WorldWideScience

Sample records for alignment-free evolutionary conservation

  1. Strategies for measuring evolutionary conservation of RNA secondary structures

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    Hofacker Ivo L

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolutionary conservation of RNA secondary structure is a typical feature of many functional non-coding RNAs. Since almost all of the available methods used for prediction and annotation of non-coding RNA genes rely on this evolutionary signature, accurate measures for structural conservation are essential. Results We systematically assessed the ability of various measures to detect conserved RNA structures in multiple sequence alignments. We tested three existing and eight novel strategies that are based on metrics of folding energies, metrics of single optimal structure predictions, and metrics of structure ensembles. We find that the folding energy based SCI score used in the RNAz program and a simple base-pair distance metric are by far the most accurate. The use of more complex metrics like for example tree editing does not improve performance. A variant of the SCI performed particularly well on highly conserved alignments and is thus a viable alternative when only little evolutionary information is available. Surprisingly, ensemble based methods that, in principle, could benefit from the additional information contained in sub-optimal structures, perform particularly poorly. As a general trend, we observed that methods that include a consensus structure prediction outperformed equivalent methods that only consider pairwise comparisons. Conclusion Structural conservation can be measured accurately with relatively simple and intuitive metrics. They have the potential to form the basis of future RNA gene finders, that face new challenges like finding lineage specific structures or detecting mis-aligned sequences.

  2. Alignment-free genome tree inference by learning group-specific distance metrics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Kaustubh R; McHardy, Alice C

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the evolutionary relationships between organisms is vital for their in-depth study. Gene-based methods are often used to infer such relationships, which are not without drawbacks. One can now attempt to use genome-scale information, because of the ever increasing number of genomes available. This opportunity also presents a challenge in terms of computational efficiency. Two fundamentally different methods are often employed for sequence comparisons, namely alignment-based and alignment-free methods. Alignment-free methods rely on the genome signature concept and provide a computationally efficient way that is also applicable to nonhomologous sequences. The genome signature contains evolutionary signal as it is more similar for closely related organisms than for distantly related ones. We used genome-scale sequence information to infer taxonomic distances between organisms without additional information such as gene annotations. We propose a method to improve genome tree inference by learning specific distance metrics over the genome signature for groups of organisms with similar phylogenetic, genomic, or ecological properties. Specifically, our method learns a Mahalanobis metric for a set of genomes and a reference taxonomy to guide the learning process. By applying this method to more than a thousand prokaryotic genomes, we showed that, indeed, better distance metrics could be learned for most of the 18 groups of organisms tested here. Once a group-specific metric is available, it can be used to estimate the taxonomic distances for other sequenced organisms from the group. This study also presents a large scale comparison between 10 methods--9 alignment-free and 1 alignment-based.

  3. Evolutionary dynamics of a conserved sequence motif in the ribosomal genes of the ciliate Paramecium.

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    Catania, Francesco; Lynch, Michael

    2010-05-04

    In protozoa, the identification of preserved motifs by comparative genomics is often impeded by difficulties to generate reliable alignments for non-coding sequences. Moreover, the evolutionary dynamics of regulatory elements in 3' untranslated regions (both in protozoa and metazoa) remains a virtually unexplored issue. By screening Paramecium tetraurelia's 3' untranslated regions for 8-mers that were previously found to be preserved in mammalian 3' UTRs, we detect and characterize a motif that is distinctly conserved in the ribosomal genes of this ciliate. The motif appears to be conserved across Paramecium aurelia species but is absent from the ribosomal genes of four additional non-Paramecium species surveyed, including another ciliate, Tetrahymena thermophila. Motif-free ribosomal genes retain fewer paralogs in the genome and appear to be lost more rapidly relative to motif-containing genes. Features associated with the discovered preserved motif are consistent with this 8-mer playing a role in post-transcriptional regulation. Our observations 1) shed light on the evolution of a putative regulatory motif across large phylogenetic distances; 2) are expected to facilitate the understanding of the modulation of ribosomal genes expression in Paramecium; and 3) reveal a largely unexplored--and presumably not restricted to Paramecium--association between the presence/absence of a DNA motif and the evolutionary fate of its host genes.

  4. CORAL: aligning conserved core regions across domain families.

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    Fong, Jessica H; Marchler-Bauer, Aron

    2009-08-01

    Homologous protein families share highly conserved sequence and structure regions that are frequent targets for comparative analysis of related proteins and families. Many protein families, such as the curated domain families in the Conserved Domain Database (CDD), exhibit similar structural cores. To improve accuracy in aligning such protein families, we propose a profile-profile method CORAL that aligns individual core regions as gap-free units. CORAL computes optimal local alignment of two profiles with heuristics to preserve continuity within core regions. We benchmarked its performance on curated domains in CDD, which have pre-defined core regions, against COMPASS, HHalign and PSI-BLAST, using structure superpositions and comprehensive curator-optimized alignments as standards of truth. CORAL improves alignment accuracy on core regions over general profile methods, returning a balanced score of 0.57 for over 80% of all domain families in CDD, compared with the highest balanced score of 0.45 from other methods. Further, CORAL provides E-values to aid in detecting homologous protein families and, by respecting block boundaries, produces alignments with improved 'readability' that facilitate manual refinement. CORAL will be included in future versions of the NCBI Cn3D/CDTree software, which can be downloaded at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Structure/cdtree/cdtree.shtml. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  5. Aligning science and policy to achieve evolutionarily enlightened conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Carly N; Sgrò, Carla M

    2017-06-01

    There is increasing recognition among conservation scientists that long-term conservation outcomes could be improved through better integration of evolutionary theory into management practices. Despite concerns that the importance of key concepts emerging from evolutionary theory (i.e., evolutionary principles and processes) are not being recognized by managers, there has been little effort to determine the level of integration of evolutionary theory into conservation policy and practice. We assessed conservation policy at 3 scales (international, national, and provincial) on 3 continents to quantify the degree to which key evolutionary concepts, such as genetic diversity and gene flow, are being incorporated into conservation practice. We also evaluated the availability of clear guidance within the applied evolutionary biology literature as to how managers can change their management practices to achieve better conservation outcomes. Despite widespread recognition of the importance of maintaining genetic diversity, conservation policies provide little guidance about how this can be achieved in practice and other relevant evolutionary concepts, such as inbreeding depression, are mentioned rarely. In some cases the poor integration of evolutionary concepts into management reflects a lack of decision-support tools in the literature. Where these tools are available, such as risk-assessment frameworks, they are not being adopted by conservation policy makers, suggesting that the availability of a strong evidence base is not the only barrier to evolutionarily enlightened management. We believe there is a clear need for more engagement by evolutionary biologists with policy makers to develop practical guidelines that will help managers make changes to conservation practice. There is also an urgent need for more research to better understand the barriers to and opportunities for incorporating evolutionary theory into conservation practice. © 2016 Society for Conservation

  6. Evolutionary dynamics of a conserved sequence motif in the ribosomal genes of the ciliate Paramecium

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    Lynch Michael

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In protozoa, the identification of preserved motifs by comparative genomics is often impeded by difficulties to generate reliable alignments for non-coding sequences. Moreover, the evolutionary dynamics of regulatory elements in 3' untranslated regions (both in protozoa and metazoa remains a virtually unexplored issue. Results By screening Paramecium tetraurelia's 3' untranslated regions for 8-mers that were previously found to be preserved in mammalian 3' UTRs, we detect and characterize a motif that is distinctly conserved in the ribosomal genes of this ciliate. The motif appears to be conserved across Paramecium aurelia species but is absent from the ribosomal genes of four additional non-Paramecium species surveyed, including another ciliate, Tetrahymena thermophila. Motif-free ribosomal genes retain fewer paralogs in the genome and appear to be lost more rapidly relative to motif-containing genes. Features associated with the discovered preserved motif are consistent with this 8-mer playing a role in post-transcriptional regulation. Conclusions Our observations 1 shed light on the evolution of a putative regulatory motif across large phylogenetic distances; 2 are expected to facilitate the understanding of the modulation of ribosomal genes expression in Paramecium; and 3 reveal a largely unexplored--and presumably not restricted to Paramecium--association between the presence/absence of a DNA motif and the evolutionary fate of its host genes.

  7. Background Adjusted Alignment-Free Dissimilarity Measures Improve the Detection of Horizontal Gene Transfer

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    Kujin Tang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Horizontal gene transfer (HGT plays an important role in the evolution of microbial organisms including bacteria. Alignment-free methods based on single genome compositional information have been used to detect HGT. Currently, Manhattan and Euclidean distances based on tetranucleotide frequencies are the most commonly used alignment-free dissimilarity measures to detect HGT. By testing on simulated bacterial sequences and real data sets with known horizontal transferred genomic regions, we found that more advanced alignment-free dissimilarity measures such as CVTree and d2* that take into account the background Markov sequences can solve HGT detection problems with significantly improved performance. We also studied the influence of different factors such as evolutionary distance between host and donor sequences, size of sliding window, and host genome composition on the performances of alignment-free methods to detect HGT. Our study showed that alignment-free methods can predict HGT accurately when host and donor genomes are in different order levels. Among all methods, CVTree with word length of 3, d2* with word length 3, Markov order 1 and d2* with word length 4, Markov order 1 outperform others in terms of their highest F1-score and their robustness under the influence of different factors.

  8. Detecting the limits of regulatory element conservation anddivergence estimation using pairwise and multiple alignments

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    Pollard, Daniel A.; Moses, Alan M.; Iyer, Venky N.; Eisen,Michael B.

    2006-08-14

    Background: Molecular evolutionary studies of noncodingsequences rely on multiple alignments. Yet how multiple alignmentaccuracy varies across sequence types, tree topologies, divergences andtools, and further how this variation impacts specific inferences,remains unclear. Results: Here we develop a molecular evolutionsimulation platform, CisEvolver, with models of background noncoding andtranscription factor binding site evolution, and use simulated alignmentsto systematically examine multiple alignment accuracy and its impact ontwo key molecular evolutionary inferences: transcription factor bindingsite conservation and divergence estimation. We find that the accuracy ofmultiple alignments is determined almost exclusively by the pairwisedivergence distance of the two most diverged species and that additionalspecies have a negligible influence on alignment accuracy. Conservedtranscription factor binding sites align better than surroundingnoncoding DNA yet are often found to be misaligned at relatively shortdivergence distances, such that studies of binding site gain and losscould easily be confounded by alignment error. Divergence estimates frommultiple alignments tend to be overestimated at short divergencedistances but reach a tool specific divergence at which they cease toincrease, leading to underestimation at long divergences. Our moststriking finding was that overall alignment accuracy, binding sitealignment accuracy and divergence estimation accuracy vary greatly acrossbranches in a tree and are most accurate for terminal branches connectingsister taxa and least accurate for internal branches connectingsub-alignments. Conclusions: Our results suggest that variation inalignment accuracy can lead to errors in molecular evolutionaryinferences that could be construed as biological variation. Thesefindings have implications for which species to choose for analyses, whatkind of errors would be expected for a given set of species and howmultiple alignment tools and

  9. Face Alignment Using Boosting and Evolutionary Search

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, Hua; Liu, Duanduan; Poel, Mannes; Nijholt, Antinus; Zha, H.; Taniguchi, R.-I.; Maybank, S.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we present a face alignment approach using granular features, boosting, and an evolutionary search algorithm. Active Appearance Models (AAM) integrate a shape-texture-combined morphable face model into an efficient fitting strategy, then Boosting Appearance Models (BAM) consider the

  10. Evolutionary rates at codon sites may be used to align sequences and infer protein domain function

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    Hazelhurst Scott

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sequence alignments form part of many investigations in molecular biology, including the determination of phylogenetic relationships, the prediction of protein structure and function, and the measurement of evolutionary rates. However, to obtain meaningful results, a significant degree of sequence similarity is required to ensure that the alignments are accurate and the inferences correct. Limitations arise when sequence similarity is low, which is particularly problematic when working with fast-evolving genes, evolutionary distant taxa, genomes with nucleotide biases, and cases of convergent evolution. Results A novel approach was conceptualized to address the "low sequence similarity" alignment problem. We developed an alignment algorithm termed FIRE (Functional Inference using the Rates of Evolution, which aligns sequences using the evolutionary rate at codon sites, as measured by the dN/dS ratio, rather than nucleotide or amino acid residues. FIRE was used to test the hypotheses that evolutionary rates can be used to align sequences and that the alignments may be used to infer protein domain function. Using a range of test data, we found that aligning domains based on evolutionary rates was possible even when sequence similarity was very low (for example, antibody variable regions. Furthermore, the alignment has the potential to infer protein domain function, indicating that domains with similar functions are subject to similar evolutionary constraints. These data suggest that an evolutionary rate-based approach to sequence analysis (particularly when combined with structural data may be used to study cases of convergent evolution or when sequences have very low similarity. However, when aligning homologous gene sets with sequence similarity, FIRE did not perform as well as the best traditional alignment algorithms indicating that the conventional approach of aligning residues as opposed to evolutionary rates remains the

  11. A Clustal Alignment Improver Using Evolutionary Algorithms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Rene; Fogel, Gary B.; Krink, Thimo

    2002-01-01

    Multiple sequence alignment (MSA) is a crucial task in bioinformatics. In this paper we extended previous work with evolutionary algorithms (EA) by using MSA solutions obtained from the wellknown Clustal V algorithm as a candidate solution seed of the initial EA population. Our results clearly show...

  12. Evolutionary conservation of regulatory elements in vertebrate HOX gene clusters

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    Santini, Simona; Boore, Jeffrey L.; Meyer, Axel

    2003-12-31

    Due to their high degree of conservation, comparisons of DNA sequences among evolutionarily distantly-related genomes permit to identify functional regions in noncoding DNA. Hox genes are optimal candidate sequences for comparative genome analyses, because they are extremely conserved in vertebrates and occur in clusters. We aligned (Pipmaker) the nucleotide sequences of HoxA clusters of tilapia, pufferfish, striped bass, zebrafish, horn shark, human and mouse (over 500 million years of evolutionary distance). We identified several highly conserved intergenic sequences, likely to be important in gene regulation. Only a few of these putative regulatory elements have been previously described as being involved in the regulation of Hox genes, while several others are new elements that might have regulatory functions. The majority of these newly identified putative regulatory elements contain short fragments that are almost completely conserved and are identical to known binding sites for regulatory proteins (Transfac). The conserved intergenic regions located between the most rostrally expressed genes in the developing embryo are longer and better retained through evolution. We document that presumed regulatory sequences are retained differentially in either A or A clusters resulting from a genome duplication in the fish lineage. This observation supports both the hypothesis that the conserved elements are involved in gene regulation and the Duplication-Deletion-Complementation model.

  13. Phylogeny Reconstruction with Alignment-Free Method That Corrects for Horizontal Gene Transfer.

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    Raquel Bromberg

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Advances in sequencing have generated a large number of complete genomes. Traditionally, phylogenetic analysis relies on alignments of orthologs, but defining orthologs and separating them from paralogs is a complex task that may not always be suited to the large datasets of the future. An alternative to traditional, alignment-based approaches are whole-genome, alignment-free methods. These methods are scalable and require minimal manual intervention. We developed SlopeTree, a new alignment-free method that estimates evolutionary distances by measuring the decay of exact substring matches as a function of match length. SlopeTree corrects for horizontal gene transfer, for composition variation and low complexity sequences, and for branch-length nonlinearity caused by multiple mutations at the same site. We tested SlopeTree on 495 bacteria, 73 archaea, and 72 strains of Escherichia coli and Shigella. We compared our trees to the NCBI taxonomy, to trees based on concatenated alignments, and to trees produced by other alignment-free methods. The results were consistent with current knowledge about prokaryotic evolution. We assessed differences in tree topology over different methods and settings and found that the majority of bacteria and archaea have a core set of proteins that evolves by descent. In trees built from complete genomes rather than sets of core genes, we observed some grouping by phenotype rather than phylogeny, for instance with a cluster of sulfur-reducing thermophilic bacteria coming together irrespective of their phyla. The source-code for SlopeTree is available at: http://prodata.swmed.edu/download/pub/slopetree_v1/slopetree.tar.gz.

  14. Phylogeny Reconstruction with Alignment-Free Method That Corrects for Horizontal Gene Transfer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grishin, Nick V.; Otwinowski, Zbyszek

    2016-01-01

    Advances in sequencing have generated a large number of complete genomes. Traditionally, phylogenetic analysis relies on alignments of orthologs, but defining orthologs and separating them from paralogs is a complex task that may not always be suited to the large datasets of the future. An alternative to traditional, alignment-based approaches are whole-genome, alignment-free methods. These methods are scalable and require minimal manual intervention. We developed SlopeTree, a new alignment-free method that estimates evolutionary distances by measuring the decay of exact substring matches as a function of match length. SlopeTree corrects for horizontal gene transfer, for composition variation and low complexity sequences, and for branch-length nonlinearity caused by multiple mutations at the same site. We tested SlopeTree on 495 bacteria, 73 archaea, and 72 strains of Escherichia coli and Shigella. We compared our trees to the NCBI taxonomy, to trees based on concatenated alignments, and to trees produced by other alignment-free methods. The results were consistent with current knowledge about prokaryotic evolution. We assessed differences in tree topology over different methods and settings and found that the majority of bacteria and archaea have a core set of proteins that evolves by descent. In trees built from complete genomes rather than sets of core genes, we observed some grouping by phenotype rather than phylogeny, for instance with a cluster of sulfur-reducing thermophilic bacteria coming together irrespective of their phyla. The source-code for SlopeTree is available at: http://prodata.swmed.edu/download/pub/slopetree_v1/slopetree.tar.gz. PMID:27336403

  15. Alignment-free microbial phylogenomics under scenarios of sequence divergence, genome rearrangement and lateral genetic transfer.

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    Bernard, Guillaume; Chan, Cheong Xin; Ragan, Mark A

    2016-07-01

    Alignment-free (AF) approaches have recently been highlighted as alternatives to methods based on multiple sequence alignment in phylogenetic inference. However, the sensitivity of AF methods to genome-scale evolutionary scenarios is little known. Here, using simulated microbial genome data we systematically assess the sensitivity of nine AF methods to three important evolutionary scenarios: sequence divergence, lateral genetic transfer (LGT) and genome rearrangement. Among these, AF methods are most sensitive to the extent of sequence divergence, less sensitive to low and moderate frequencies of LGT, and most robust against genome rearrangement. We describe the application of AF methods to three well-studied empirical genome datasets, and introduce a new application of the jackknife to assess node support. Our results demonstrate that AF phylogenomics is computationally scalable to multi-genome data and can generate biologically meaningful phylogenies and insights into microbial evolution.

  16. Model selection in Bayesian segmentation of multiple DNA alignments.

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    Oldmeadow, Christopher; Keith, Jonathan M

    2011-03-01

    The analysis of multiple sequence alignments is allowing researchers to glean valuable insights into evolution, as well as identify genomic regions that may be functional, or discover novel classes of functional elements. Understanding the distribution of conservation levels that constitutes the evolutionary landscape is crucial to distinguishing functional regions from non-functional. Recent evidence suggests that a binary classification of evolutionary rates is inappropriate for this purpose and finds only highly conserved functional elements. Given that the distribution of evolutionary rates is multi-modal, determining the number of modes is of paramount concern. Through simulation, we evaluate the performance of a number of information criterion approaches derived from MCMC simulations in determining the dimension of a model. We utilize a deviance information criterion (DIC) approximation that is more robust than the approximations from other information criteria, and show our information criteria approximations do not produce superfluous modes when estimating conservation distributions under a variety of circumstances. We analyse the distribution of conservation for a multiple alignment comprising four primate species and mouse, and repeat this on two additional multiple alignments of similar species. We find evidence of six distinct classes of evolutionary rates that appear to be robust to the species used. Source code and data are available at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/477240/changept.zip.

  17. The drug target genes show higher evolutionary conservation than non-target genes.

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    Lv, Wenhua; Xu, Yongdeng; Guo, Yiying; Yu, Ziqi; Feng, Guanglong; Liu, Panpan; Luan, Meiwei; Zhu, Hongjie; Liu, Guiyou; Zhang, Mingming; Lv, Hongchao; Duan, Lian; Shang, Zhenwei; Li, Jin; Jiang, Yongshuai; Zhang, Ruijie

    2016-01-26

    Although evidence indicates that drug target genes share some common evolutionary features, there have been few studies analyzing evolutionary features of drug targets from an overall level. Therefore, we conducted an analysis which aimed to investigate the evolutionary characteristics of drug target genes. We compared the evolutionary conservation between human drug target genes and non-target genes by combining both the evolutionary features and network topological properties in human protein-protein interaction network. The evolution rate, conservation score and the percentage of orthologous genes of 21 species were included in our study. Meanwhile, four topological features including the average shortest path length, betweenness centrality, clustering coefficient and degree were considered for comparison analysis. Then we got four results as following: compared with non-drug target genes, 1) drug target genes had lower evolutionary rates; 2) drug target genes had higher conservation scores; 3) drug target genes had higher percentages of orthologous genes and 4) drug target genes had a tighter network structure including higher degrees, betweenness centrality, clustering coefficients and lower average shortest path lengths. These results demonstrate that drug target genes are more evolutionarily conserved than non-drug target genes. We hope that our study will provide valuable information for other researchers who are interested in evolutionary conservation of drug targets.

  18. Sequence comparison alignment-free approach based on suffix tree and L-words frequency.

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    Soares, Inês; Goios, Ana; Amorim, António

    2012-01-01

    The vast majority of methods available for sequence comparison rely on a first sequence alignment step, which requires a number of assumptions on evolutionary history and is sometimes very difficult or impossible to perform due to the abundance of gaps (insertions/deletions). In such cases, an alternative alignment-free method would prove valuable. Our method starts by a computation of a generalized suffix tree of all sequences, which is completed in linear time. Using this tree, the frequency of all possible words with a preset length L-L-words--in each sequence is rapidly calculated. Based on the L-words frequency profile of each sequence, a pairwise standard Euclidean distance is then computed producing a symmetric genetic distance matrix, which can be used to generate a neighbor joining dendrogram or a multidimensional scaling graph. We present an improvement to word counting alignment-free approaches for sequence comparison, by determining a single optimal word length and combining suffix tree structures to the word counting tasks. Our approach is, thus, a fast and simple application that proved to be efficient and powerful when applied to mitochondrial genomes. The algorithm was implemented in Python language and is freely available on the web.

  19. Oxfold: Kinetic Folding of RNA using Stochastic Context-Free Grammars and Evolutionary Information

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Anderson, James W.J.; Haas, Pierre A.; Mathieson, Leigh-Anne

    2013-01-01

    Motivation: Many computational methods for RNA secondary structure prediction, and, in particular, for the prediction of a consensus structure of an alignment of RNA sequences, have been developed. Most methods however ignore biophysical factors such as the kinetics of RNA folding; no current...... implementation considers both evolutionary information and folding kinetics, thus losing information which, when considered, might lead to better predictions. Results: We present an iterative algorithm, Oxfold, in the framework of stochastic context-free grammars, that emulates the kinetics of RNA folding...

  20. How conservative are evolutionary anthropologists?: a survey of political attitudes.

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    Lyle, Henry F; Smith, Eric A

    2012-09-01

    The application of evolutionary theory to human behavior has elicited a variety of critiques, some of which charge that this approach expresses or encourages conservative or reactionary political agendas. In a survey of graduate students in psychology, Tybur, Miller, and Gangestad (Human Nature, 18, 313-328, 2007) found that the political attitudes of those who use an evolutionary approach did not differ from those of other psychology grad students. Here, we present results from a directed online survey of a broad sample of graduate students in anthropology that assays political views. We found that evolutionary anthropology graduate students were very liberal in their political beliefs, overwhelmingly voted for a liberal U.S. presidential candidate in the 2008 election, and identified with liberal political parties; in this, they were almost indistinguishable from non-evolutionary anthropology students. Our results contradict the view that evolutionary anthropologists hold conservative or reactionary political views. We discuss some possible reasons for the persistence of this view in terms of the sociology of science.

  1. Toxin structures as evolutionary tools: Using conserved 3D folds to study the evolution of rapidly evolving peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Undheim, Eivind A B; Mobli, Mehdi; King, Glenn F

    2016-06-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) structures have been used to explore the evolution of proteins for decades, yet they have rarely been utilized to study the molecular evolution of peptides. Here, we highlight areas in which 3D structures can be particularly useful for studying the molecular evolution of peptide toxins. Although we focus our discussion on animal toxins, including one of the most widespread disulfide-rich peptide folds known, the inhibitor cystine knot, our conclusions should be widely applicable to studies of the evolution of disulfide-constrained peptides. We show that conserved 3D folds can be used to identify evolutionary links and test hypotheses regarding the evolutionary origin of peptides with extremely low sequence identity; construct accurate multiple sequence alignments; and better understand the evolutionary forces that drive the molecular evolution of peptides. Also watch the video abstract. © 2016 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Gene family size conservation is a good indicator of evolutionary rates.

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    Chen, Feng-Chi; Chen, Chiuan-Jung; Li, Wen-Hsiung; Chuang, Trees-Juen

    2010-08-01

    The evolution of duplicate genes has been a topic of broad interest. Here, we propose that the conservation of gene family size is a good indicator of the rate of sequence evolution and some other biological properties. By comparing the human-chimpanzee-macaque orthologous gene families with and without family size conservation, we demonstrate that genes with family size conservation evolve more slowly than those without family size conservation. Our results further demonstrate that both family expansion and contraction events may accelerate gene evolution, resulting in elevated evolutionary rates in the genes without family size conservation. In addition, we show that the duplicate genes with family size conservation evolve significantly more slowly than those without family size conservation. Interestingly, the median evolutionary rate of singletons falls in between those of the above two types of duplicate gene families. Our results thus suggest that the controversy on whether duplicate genes evolve more slowly than singletons can be resolved when family size conservation is taken into consideration. Furthermore, we also observe that duplicate genes with family size conservation have the highest level of gene expression/expression breadth, the highest proportion of essential genes, and the lowest gene compactness, followed by singletons and then by duplicate genes without family size conservation. Such a trend accords well with our observations of evolutionary rates. Our results thus point to the importance of family size conservation in the evolution of duplicate genes.

  3. Sequence Comparison Alignment-Free Approach Based on Suffix Tree and L-Words Frequency

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    Inês Soares

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The vast majority of methods available for sequence comparison rely on a first sequence alignment step, which requires a number of assumptions on evolutionary history and is sometimes very difficult or impossible to perform due to the abundance of gaps (insertions/deletions. In such cases, an alternative alignment-free method would prove valuable. Our method starts by a computation of a generalized suffix tree of all sequences, which is completed in linear time. Using this tree, the frequency of all possible words with a preset length L—L-words—in each sequence is rapidly calculated. Based on the L-words frequency profile of each sequence, a pairwise standard Euclidean distance is then computed producing a symmetric genetic distance matrix, which can be used to generate a neighbor joining dendrogram or a multidimensional scaling graph. We present an improvement to word counting alignment-free approaches for sequence comparison, by determining a single optimal word length and combining suffix tree structures to the word counting tasks. Our approach is, thus, a fast and simple application that proved to be efficient and powerful when applied to mitochondrial genomes. The algorithm was implemented in Python language and is freely available on the web.

  4. Does the evolutionary conservation of microsatellite loci imply function?

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    Shriver, M.D.; Deka, R.; Ferrell, R.E. [Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Microsatellites are highly polymorphic tandem arrays of short (1-6 bp) sequence motifs which have been found widely distributed in the genomes of all eukaryotes. We have analyzed allele frequency data on 16 microsatellite loci typed in the great apes (human, chimp, orangutan, and gorilla). The majority of these loci (13) were isolated from human genomic libraries; three were cloned from chimpanzee genomic DNA. Most of these loci are not only present in all apes species, but are polymorphic with comparable levels of heterozygosity and have alleles which overlap in size. The extent of divergence of allele frequencies among these four species were studies using the stepwise-weighted genetic distance (Dsw), which was previously shown to conform to linearity with evolutionary time since divergence for loci where mutations exist in a stepwise fashion. The phylogenetic tree of the great apes constructed from this distance matrix was consistent with the expected topology, with a high bootstrap confidence (82%) for the human/chimp clade. However, the allele frequency distributions of these species are 10 times more similar to each other than expected when they were calibrated with a conservative estimate of the time since separation of humans and the apes. These results are in agreement with sequence-based surveys of microsatellites which have demonstrated that they are highly (90%) conserved over short periods of evolutionary time (< 10 million years) and moderately (30%) conserved over long periods of evolutionary time (> 60-80 million years). This evolutionary conservation has prompted some authors to speculate that there are functional constraints on microsatellite loci. In contrast, the presence of directional bias of mutations with constraints and/or selection against aberrant sized alleles can explain these results.

  5. Efficient alignment-free DNA barcode analytics.

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    Kuksa, Pavel; Pavlovic, Vladimir

    2009-11-10

    In this work we consider barcode DNA analysis problems and address them using alternative, alignment-free methods and representations which model sequences as collections of short sequence fragments (features). The methods use fixed-length representations (spectrum) for barcode sequences to measure similarities or dissimilarities between sequences coming from the same or different species. The spectrum-based representation not only allows for accurate and computationally efficient species classification, but also opens possibility for accurate clustering analysis of putative species barcodes and identification of critical within-barcode loci distinguishing barcodes of different sample groups. New alignment-free methods provide highly accurate and fast DNA barcode-based identification and classification of species with substantial improvements in accuracy and speed over state-of-the-art barcode analysis methods. We evaluate our methods on problems of species classification and identification using barcodes, important and relevant analytical tasks in many practical applications (adverse species movement monitoring, sampling surveys for unknown or pathogenic species identification, biodiversity assessment, etc.) On several benchmark barcode datasets, including ACG, Astraptes, Hesperiidae, Fish larvae, and Birds of North America, proposed alignment-free methods considerably improve prediction accuracy compared to prior results. We also observe significant running time improvements over the state-of-the-art methods. Our results show that newly developed alignment-free methods for DNA barcoding can efficiently and with high accuracy identify specimens by examining only few barcode features, resulting in increased scalability and interpretability of current computational approaches to barcoding.

  6. Evolutionary conservation of P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 primary structure and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schapira Marc

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1 plays a critical role in recruiting leukocytes in inflammatory lesions by mediating leukocyte rolling on selectins. Core-2 O-glycosylation of a N-terminal threonine and sulfation of at least one tyrosine residue of PSGL-1 are required for L- and P-selectin binding. Little information is available on the intra- and inter-species evolution of PSGL-1 primary structure. In addition, the evolutionary conservation of selectin binding site on PSGL-1 has not been previously examined in detail. Therefore, we performed multiple sequence alignment of PSGL-1 amino acid sequences of 14 mammals (human, chimpanzee, rhesus monkey, bovine, pig, rat, tree-shrew, bushbaby, mouse, bat, horse, cat, sheep and dog and examined mammalian PSGL-1 interactions with human selectins. Results A signal peptide was predicted in each sequence and a propeptide cleavage site was found in 9/14 species. PSGL-1 N-terminus is poorly conserved. However, each species exhibits at least one tyrosine sulfation site and, except in horse and dog, a T [D/E]PP [D/E] motif associated to the core-2 O-glycosylation of a N-terminal threonine. A mucin-like domain of 250–280 amino acids long was disclosed in all studied species. It lies between the conserved N-terminal O-glycosylated threonine (Thr-57 in human and the transmembrane domain, and contains a central region exhibiting a variable number of decameric repeats (DR. Interspecies and intraspecies polymorphisms were observed. Transmembrane and cytoplasmic domain sequences are well conserved. The moesin binding residues that serve as adaptor between PSGL-1 and Syk, and are involved in regulating PSGL-1-dependent rolling on P-selectin are perfectly conserved in all analyzed mammalian sequences. Despite a poor conservation of PSGL-1 N-terminal sequence, CHO cells co-expressing human glycosyltransferases and human, bovine, pig or rat PSGL-1 efficiently rolled on human L- or P

  7. AlignMiner: a Web-based tool for detection of divergent regions in multiple sequence alignments of conserved sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claros M Gonzalo

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Multiple sequence alignments are used to study gene or protein function, phylogenetic relations, genome evolution hypotheses and even gene polymorphisms. Virtually without exception, all available tools focus on conserved segments or residues. Small divergent regions, however, are biologically important for specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction, genotyping, molecular markers and preparation of specific antibodies, and yet have received little attention. As a consequence, they must be selected empirically by the researcher. AlignMiner has been developed to fill this gap in bioinformatic analyses. Results AlignMiner is a Web-based application for detection of conserved and divergent regions in alignments of conserved sequences, focusing particularly on divergence. It accepts alignments (protein or nucleic acid obtained using any of a variety of algorithms, which does not appear to have a significant impact on the final results. AlignMiner uses different scoring methods for assessing conserved/divergent regions, Entropy being the method that provides the highest number of regions with the greatest length, and Weighted being the most restrictive. Conserved/divergent regions can be generated either with respect to the consensus sequence or to one master sequence. The resulting data are presented in a graphical interface developed in AJAX, which provides remarkable user interaction capabilities. Users do not need to wait until execution is complete and can.even inspect their results on a different computer. Data can be downloaded onto a user disk, in standard formats. In silico and experimental proof-of-concept cases have shown that AlignMiner can be successfully used to designing specific polymerase chain reaction primers as well as potential epitopes for antibodies. Primer design is assisted by a module that deploys several oligonucleotide parameters for designing primers "on the fly". Conclusions AlignMiner can be used

  8. Fast discovery and visualization of conserved regions in DNA sequences using quasi-alignment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagar, Anurag; Hahsler, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Next Generation Sequencing techniques are producing enormous amounts of biological sequence data and analysis becomes a major computational problem. Currently, most analysis, especially the identification of conserved regions, relies heavily on Multiple Sequence Alignment and its various heuristics such as progressive alignment, whose run time grows with the square of the number and the length of the aligned sequences and requires significant computational resources. In this work, we present a method to efficiently discover regions of high similarity across multiple sequences without performing expensive sequence alignment. The method is based on approximating edit distance between segments of sequences using p-mer frequency counts. Then, efficient high-throughput data stream clustering is used to group highly similar segments into so called quasi-alignments. Quasi-alignments have numerous applications such as identifying species and their taxonomic class from sequences, comparing sequences for similarities, and, as in this paper, discovering conserved regions across related sequences. In this paper, we show that quasi-alignments can be used to discover highly similar segments across multiple sequences from related or different genomes efficiently and accurately. Experiments on a large number of unaligned 16S rRNA sequences obtained from the Greengenes database show that the method is able to identify conserved regions which agree with known hypervariable regions in 16S rRNA. Furthermore, the experiments show that the proposed method scales well for large data sets with a run time that grows only linearly with the number and length of sequences, whereas for existing multiple sequence alignment heuristics the run time grows super-linearly. Quasi-alignment-based algorithms can detect highly similar regions and conserved areas across multiple sequences. Since the run time is linear and the sequences are converted into a compact clustering model, we are able to

  9. BinAligner: a heuristic method to align biological networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jialiang; Li, Jun; Grünewald, Stefan; Wan, Xiu-Feng

    2013-01-01

    The advances in high throughput omics technologies have made it possible to characterize molecular interactions within and across various species. Alignments and comparison of molecular networks across species will help detect orthologs and conserved functional modules and provide insights on the evolutionary relationships of the compared species. However, such analyses are not trivial due to the complexity of network and high computational cost. Here we develop a mixture of global and local algorithm, BinAligner, for network alignments. Based on the hypotheses that the similarity between two vertices across networks would be context dependent and that the information from the edges and the structures of subnetworks can be more informative than vertices alone, two scoring schema, 1-neighborhood subnetwork and graphlet, were introduced to derive the scoring matrices between networks, besides the commonly used scoring scheme from vertices. Then the alignment problem is formulated as an assignment problem, which is solved by the combinatorial optimization algorithm, such as the Hungarian method. The proposed algorithm was applied and validated in aligning the protein-protein interaction network of Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and that of varicella zoster virus (VZV). Interestingly, we identified several putative functional orthologous proteins with similar functions but very low sequence similarity between the two viruses. For example, KSHV open reading frame 56 (ORF56) and VZV ORF55 are helicase-primase subunits with sequence identity 14.6%, and KSHV ORF75 and VZV ORF44 are tegument proteins with sequence identity 15.3%. These functional pairs can not be identified if one restricts the alignment into orthologous protein pairs. In addition, BinAligner identified a conserved pathway between two viruses, which consists of 7 orthologous protein pairs and these proteins are connected by conserved links. This pathway might be crucial for virus packing and

  10. Evolutionary growth process of highly conserved sequences in vertebrate genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishibashi, Minaka; Noda, Akiko Ogura; Sakate, Ryuichi; Imanishi, Tadashi

    2012-08-01

    Genome sequence comparison between evolutionarily distant species revealed ultraconserved elements (UCEs) among mammals under strong purifying selection. Most of them were also conserved among vertebrates. Because they tend to be located in the flanking regions of developmental genes, they would have fundamental roles in creating vertebrate body plans. However, the evolutionary origin and selection mechanism of these UCEs remain unclear. Here we report that UCEs arose in primitive vertebrates, and gradually grew in vertebrate evolution. We searched for UCEs in two teleost fishes, Tetraodon nigroviridis and Oryzias latipes, and found 554 UCEs with 100% identity over 100 bps. Comparison of teleost and mammalian UCEs revealed 43 pairs of common, jawed-vertebrate UCEs (jUCE) with high sequence identities, ranging from 83.1% to 99.2%. Ten of them retain lower similarities to the Petromyzon marinus genome, and the substitution rates of four non-exonic jUCEs were reduced after the teleost-mammal divergence, suggesting that robust conservation had been acquired in the jawed vertebrate lineage. Our results indicate that prototypical UCEs originated before the divergence of jawed and jawless vertebrates and have been frozen as perfect conserved sequences in the jawed vertebrate lineage. In addition, our comparative sequence analyses of UCEs and neighboring regions resulted in a discovery of lineage-specific conserved sequences. They were added progressively to prototypical UCEs, suggesting step-wise acquisition of novel regulatory roles. Our results indicate that conserved non-coding elements (CNEs) consist of blocks with distinct evolutionary history, each having been frozen since different evolutionary era along the vertebrate lineage. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Reverse Conservation Analysis Reveals the Specificity Determining Residues of Cytochrome P450 Family 2 (CYP 2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tai-Sung Lee

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The concept of conservation of amino acids is widely used to identify important alignment positions of orthologs. The assumption is that important amino acid residues will be conserved in the protein family during the evolutionary process. For paralog alignment, on the other hand, the opposite concept can be used to identify residues that are responsible for specificity. Assuming that the function-specific or ligand-specific residue positions will have higher diversity since they are under evolutionary pressure to fit the target specificity, these function-specific or ligand-specific residues positions will have a lower degree of conservation than other positions in a highly conserved paralog alignment. This study assessed the ability of reverse conservation analysis to identify function-specific and ligand-specific residue positions in closely related paralog. Reverse conservation analysis of paralog alignments successfully identified all six previously reported substrate recognition sites (SRSs in cytochrome P450 family 2 (CYP 2. Further analysis of each subfamily identified the specificity-determining residues (SDRs that have been experimentally found. New potential SDRs were also predicted and await confirmation by further experiments or modeling calculations. This concept may be also applied to identify SDRs in other protein families.

  12. Evolutionary rate variation and RNA secondary structure prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, B.; Andersen, E.S.; Damgaard, C.

    2004-01-01

    Predicting RNA secondary structure using evolutionary history can be carried out by using an alignment of related RNA sequences with conserved structure. Accurately determining evolutionary substitution rates for base pairs and single stranded nucleotides is a concern for methods based on this type...... by applying rates derived from tRNA and rRNA to the prediction of the much more rapidly evolving 5'-region of HIV-1. We find that the HIV-1 prediction is in agreement with experimental data, even though the relative evolutionary rate between A and G is significantly increased, both in stem and loop regions...

  13. Clustering of reads with alignment-free measures and quality values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comin, Matteo; Leoni, Andrea; Schimd, Michele

    2015-01-01

    The data volume generated by Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies is growing at a pace that is now challenging the storage and data processing capacities of modern computer systems. In this context an important aspect is the reduction of data complexity by collapsing redundant reads in a single cluster to improve the run time, memory requirements, and quality of post-processing steps like assembly and error correction. Several alignment-free measures, based on k-mers counts, have been used to cluster reads. Quality scores produced by NGS platforms are fundamental for various analysis of NGS data like reads mapping and error detection. Moreover future-generation sequencing platforms will produce long reads but with a large number of erroneous bases (up to 15 %). In this scenario it will be fundamental to exploit quality value information within the alignment-free framework. To the best of our knowledge this is the first study that incorporates quality value information and k-mers counts, in the context of alignment-free measures, for the comparison of reads data. Based on this principles, in this paper we present a family of alignment-free measures called D (q) -type. A set of experiments on simulated and real reads data confirms that the new measures are superior to other classical alignment-free statistics, especially when erroneous reads are considered. Also results on de novo assembly and metagenomic reads classification show that the introduction of quality values improves over standard alignment-free measures. These statistics are implemented in a software called QCluster (http://www.dei.unipd.it/~ciompin/main/qcluster.html).

  14. Spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living lizards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diego-Rasilla, Francisco J.; Pérez-Mellado, Valentín; Pérez-Cembranos, Ana

    2017-04-01

    Several species of vertebrates exhibit spontaneous longitudinal body axis alignment relative to the Earth's magnetic field (i.e., magnetic alignment) while they are performing different behavioural tasks. Since magnetoreception is still not fully understood, studying magnetic alignment provides evidence for magnetoreception and broadens current knowledge of magnetic sense in animals. Furthermore, magnetic alignment widens the roles of magnetic sensitivity in animals and may contribute to shed new light on magnetoreception. In this context, spontaneous alignment in two species of lacertid lizards ( Podarcis muralis and Podarcis lilfordi) during basking periods was monitored. Alignments in 255 P. muralis and 456 P. lilfordi were measured over a 5-year period. The possible influence of the sun's position (i.e., altitude and azimuth) and geomagnetic field values corresponding to the moment in which a particular lizard was observed on lizards' body axis orientation was evaluated. Both species exhibited a highly significant bimodal orientation along the north-northeast and south-southwest magnetic axis. The evidence from this study suggests that free-living lacertid lizards exhibit magnetic alignment behaviour, since their body alignments cannot be explained by an effect of the sun's position. On the contrary, lizard orientations were significantly correlated with geomagnetic field values at the time of each observation. We suggest that this behaviour might provide lizards with a constant directional reference while they are sun basking. This directional reference might improve their mental map of space to accomplish efficient escape behaviour. This study is the first to provide spontaneous magnetic alignment behaviour in free-living reptiles.

  15. Evolutionary conservation of plant gibberellin signalling pathway components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reski Ralf

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background: Gibberellins (GA are plant hormones that can regulate germination, elongation growth, and sex determination. They ubiquitously occur in seed plants. The discovery of gibberellin receptors, together with advances in understanding the function of key components of GA signalling in Arabidopsis and rice, reveal a fairly short GA signal transduction route. The pathway essentially consists of GID1 gibberellin receptors that interact with F-box proteins, which in turn regulate degradation of downstream DELLA proteins, suppressors of GA-controlled responses. Results: Arabidopsis sequences of the gibberellin signalling compounds were used to screen databases from a variety of plants, including protists, for homologues, providing indications for the degree of conservation of the pathway. The pathway as such appears completely absent in protists, the moss Physcomitrella patens shares only a limited homology with the Arabidopsis proteins, thus lacking essential characteristics of the classical GA signalling pathway, while the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii contains a possible ortholog for each component. The occurrence of classical GA responses can as yet not be linked with the presence of homologues of the signalling pathway. Alignments and display in neighbour joining trees of the GA signalling components confirm the close relationship of gymnosperms, monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants, as suggested from previous studies. Conclusion: Homologues of the GA-signalling pathway were mainly found in vascular plants. The GA signalling system may have its evolutionary molecular onset in Physcomitrella patens, where GAs at higher concentrations affect gravitropism and elongation growth.

  16. A Global Network Alignment Method Using Discrete Particle Swarm Optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Jiaxiang; Gong, Maoguo; Ma, Lijia

    2016-10-19

    Molecular interactions data increase exponentially with the advance of biotechnology. This makes it possible and necessary to comparatively analyse the different data at a network level. Global network alignment is an important network comparison approach to identify conserved subnetworks and get insight into evolutionary relationship across species. Network alignment which is analogous to subgraph isomorphism is known to be an NP-hard problem. In this paper, we introduce a novel heuristic Particle-Swarm-Optimization based Network Aligner (PSONA), which optimizes a weighted global alignment model considering both protein sequence similarity and interaction conservations. The particle statuses and status updating rules are redefined in a discrete form by using permutation. A seed-and-extend strategy is employed to guide the searching for the superior alignment. The proposed initialization method "seeds" matches with high sequence similarity into the alignment, which guarantees the functional coherence of the mapping nodes. A greedy local search method is designed as the "extension" procedure to iteratively optimize the edge conservations. PSONA is compared with several state-of-art methods on ten network pairs combined by five species. The experimental results demonstrate that the proposed aligner can map the proteins with high functional coherence and can be used as a booster to effectively refine the well-studied aligners.

  17. Alignment and prediction of cis-regulatory modules based on a probabilistic model of evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin He

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Cross-species comparison has emerged as a powerful paradigm for predicting cis-regulatory modules (CRMs and understanding their evolution. The comparison requires reliable sequence alignment, which remains a challenging task for less conserved noncoding sequences. Furthermore, the existing models of DNA sequence evolution generally do not explicitly treat the special properties of CRM sequences. To address these limitations, we propose a model of CRM evolution that captures different modes of evolution of functional transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs and the background sequences. A particularly novel aspect of our work is a probabilistic model of gains and losses of TFBSs, a process being recognized as an important part of regulatory sequence evolution. We present a computational framework that uses this model to solve the problems of CRM alignment and prediction. Our alignment method is similar to existing methods of statistical alignment but uses the conserved binding sites to improve alignment. Our CRM prediction method deals with the inherent uncertainties of binding site annotations and sequence alignment in a probabilistic framework. In simulated as well as real data, we demonstrate that our program is able to improve both alignment and prediction of CRM sequences over several state-of-the-art methods. Finally, we used alignments produced by our program to study binding site conservation in genome-wide binding data of key transcription factors in the Drosophila blastoderm, with two intriguing results: (i the factor-bound sequences are under strong evolutionary constraints even if their neighboring genes are not expressed in the blastoderm and (ii binding sites in distal bound sequences (relative to transcription start sites tend to be more conserved than those in proximal regions. Our approach is implemented as software, EMMA (Evolutionary Model-based cis-regulatory Module Analysis, ready to be applied in a broad biological context.

  18. L-GRAAL: Lagrangian graphlet-based network aligner.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malod-Dognin, Noël; Pržulj, Nataša

    2015-07-01

    Discovering and understanding patterns in networks of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is a central problem in systems biology. Alignments between these networks aid functional understanding as they uncover important information, such as evolutionary conserved pathways, protein complexes and functional orthologs. A few methods have been proposed for global PPI network alignments, but because of NP-completeness of underlying sub-graph isomorphism problem, producing topologically and biologically accurate alignments remains a challenge. We introduce a novel global network alignment tool, Lagrangian GRAphlet-based ALigner (L-GRAAL), which directly optimizes both the protein and the interaction functional conservations, using a novel alignment search heuristic based on integer programming and Lagrangian relaxation. We compare L-GRAAL with the state-of-the-art network aligners on the largest available PPI networks from BioGRID and observe that L-GRAAL uncovers the largest common sub-graphs between the networks, as measured by edge-correctness and symmetric sub-structures scores, which allow transferring more functional information across networks. We assess the biological quality of the protein mappings using the semantic similarity of their Gene Ontology annotations and observe that L-GRAAL best uncovers functionally conserved proteins. Furthermore, we introduce for the first time a measure of the semantic similarity of the mapped interactions and show that L-GRAAL also uncovers best functionally conserved interactions. In addition, we illustrate on the PPI networks of baker's yeast and human the ability of L-GRAAL to predict new PPIs. Finally, L-GRAAL's results are the first to show that topological information is more important than sequence information for uncovering functionally conserved interactions. L-GRAAL is coded in C++. Software is available at: http://bio-nets.doc.ic.ac.uk/L-GRAAL/. n.malod-dognin@imperial.ac.uk Supplementary data are available at

  19. Late replication domains are evolutionary conserved in the Drosophila genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreyenkova, Natalya G; Kolesnikova, Tatyana D; Makunin, Igor V; Pokholkova, Galina V; Boldyreva, Lidiya V; Zykova, Tatyana Yu; Zhimulev, Igor F; Belyaeva, Elena S

    2013-01-01

    Drosophila chromosomes are organized into distinct domains differing in their predominant chromatin composition, replication timing and evolutionary conservation. We show on a genome-wide level that genes whose order has remained unaltered across 9 Drosophila species display late replication timing and frequently map to the regions of repressive chromatin. This observation is consistent with the existence of extensive domains of repressive chromatin that replicate extremely late and have conserved gene order in the Drosophila genome. We suggest that such repressive chromatin domains correspond to a handful of regions that complete replication at the very end of S phase. We further demonstrate that the order of genes in these regions is rarely altered in evolution. Substantial proportion of such regions significantly coincide with large synteny blocks. This indicates that there are evolutionary mechanisms maintaining the integrity of these late-replicating chromatin domains. The synteny blocks corresponding to the extremely late-replicating regions in the D. melanogaster genome consistently display two-fold lower gene density across different Drosophila species.

  20. Conservation success as a function of good alignment of social and ecological structures and processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodin, Orjan; Crona, Beatrice; Thyresson, Matilda; Golz, Anna-Lea; Tengö, Maria

    2014-10-01

    How to create and adjust governing institutions so that they align (fit) with complex ecosystem processes and structures across scales is an issue of increasing concern in conservation. It is argued that lack of such social-ecological fit makes governance and conservation difficult, yet progress in explicitly defining and rigorously testing what constitutes a good fit has been limited. We used a novel modeling approach and data from case studies of fishery and forest conservation to empirically test presumed relationships between conservation outcomes and certain patterns of alignment of social-ecological interdependences. Our approach made it possible to analyze conservation outcome on a systems level while also providing information on how individual actors are positioned in the complex web of social-ecological interdependencies. We found that when actors who shared resources were also socially linked, conservation at the level of the whole social-ecological system was positively affected. When the scales at which individual actors used resources and the scale at which ecological resources were interconnected to other ecological resources were aligned through tightened feedback loops, conservation outcome was better than when they were not aligned. The analysis of individual actors' positions in the web of social-ecological interdependencies was helpful in understanding why a system has a certain level of social-ecological fit. Results of analysis of positions showed that different actors contributed in very different ways to achieve a certain fit and revealed some underlying difference between the actors, for example in terms of actors' varying rights to access and use different ecological resources. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  1. Field-free molecular alignment probed by the free electron laser in Hamburg (FLASH)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnsson, P; Rouzee, A; Siu, W; Huismans, Y; Vrakking, M J J [FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics (AMOLF), Science Park 113, 1098 XG Amsterdam (Netherlands); Lepine, F [Universite Lyon 1, CNRS, LASIM, UMR 5579, 43 bvd. du 11 novembre 1918, F-69622 Villeurbanne (France); Marchenko, T [Laboratoire d' Optique Applique, ENSTA/Ecole Polytechnique, Chemin de la Huniere, 91761 Palaiseau (France); Duesterer, S; Tavella, F; Stojanovic, N; Azima, A; Treusch, R [Hamburger Synchrotronstrahlungslabor (HASYLAB) at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) Notkestrasse 85, D-22607 Hamburg (Germany); Kling, M F [Max-Planck Institut fuer Quantenoptik, Hans-Kopfermann Strasse 1, D-85748 Garching (Germany)], E-mail: per.johnsson@fysik.lth.se

    2009-07-14

    High flux extreme ultraviolet (XUV) sources like the free electron laser (FEL) in Hamburg (FLASH) offer the possibility of diffractive imaging of small objects. Irrespective of whether the diffraction is based on the detection of photons or photoelectrons, it is required that the measurement is done in the reference frame of the molecule meaning that, for a sample of several molecules, it is necessary to pre-align the molecules in the sample. As a step towards performing molecular frame diffraction experiments, we report experiments on field-free molecular alignment performed at FLASH. The impulsive alignment induced by a 100 fs near-infrared laser pulse in a rotationally cold CO{sub 2} sample is characterized by ionizing and dissociating the molecules with a time-delayed XUV-FEL pulse. The time-dependent angular distributions of ionic fragments measured by a velocity map imaging spectrometer exhibit rapid changes associated with the induced rotational dynamics. The experimental results show hints of a dissociation process that depends nonlinearly on the XUV intensity.

  2. Revisiting the phylogeny of Zoanthidea (Cnidaria: Anthozoa): Staggered alignment of hypervariable sequences improves species tree inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swain, Timothy D

    2018-01-01

    The recent rapid proliferation of novel taxon identification in the Zoanthidea has been accompanied by a parallel propagation of gene trees as a tool of species discovery, but not a corresponding increase in our understanding of phylogeny. This disparity is caused by the trade-off between the capabilities of automated DNA sequence alignment and data content of genes applied to phylogenetic inference in this group. Conserved genes or segments are easily aligned across the order, but produce poorly resolved trees; hypervariable genes or segments contain the evolutionary signal necessary for resolution and robust support, but sequence alignment is daunting. Staggered alignments are a form of phylogeny-informed sequence alignment composed of a mosaic of local and universal regions that allow phylogenetic inference to be applied to all nucleotides from both hypervariable and conserved gene segments. Comparisons between species tree phylogenies inferred from all data (staggered alignment) and hypervariable-excluded data (standard alignment) demonstrate improved confidence and greater topological agreement with other sources of data for the complete-data tree. This novel phylogeny is the most comprehensive to date (in terms of taxa and data) and can serve as an expandable tool for evolutionary hypothesis testing in the Zoanthidea. Spanish language abstract available in Text S1. Translation by L. O. Swain, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, 60604, USA. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The importance of immune gene variability (MHC in evolutionary ecology and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sommer Simone

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Genetic studies have typically inferred the effects of human impact by documenting patterns of genetic differentiation and levels of genetic diversity among potentially isolated populations using selective neutral markers such as mitochondrial control region sequences, microsatellites or single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs. However, evolutionary relevant and adaptive processes within and between populations can only be reflected by coding genes. In vertebrates, growing evidence suggests that genetic diversity is particularly important at the level of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC. MHC variants influence many important biological traits, including immune recognition, susceptibility to infectious and autoimmune diseases, individual odours, mating preferences, kin recognition, cooperation and pregnancy outcome. These diverse functions and characteristics place genes of the MHC among the best candidates for studies of mechanisms and significance of molecular adaptation in vertebrates. MHC variability is believed to be maintained by pathogen-driven selection, mediated either through heterozygote advantage or frequency-dependent selection. Up to now, most of our knowledge has derived from studies in humans or from model organisms under experimental, laboratory conditions. Empirical support for selective mechanisms in free-ranging animal populations in their natural environment is rare. In this review, I first introduce general information about the structure and function of MHC genes, as well as current hypotheses and concepts concerning the role of selection in the maintenance of MHC polymorphism. The evolutionary forces acting on the genetic diversity in coding and non-coding markers are compared. Then, I summarise empirical support for the functional importance of MHC variability in parasite resistance with emphasis on the evidence derived from free-ranging animal populations investigated in their natural habitat. Finally, I

  4. Reliability of image-free navigation to monitor lower-limb alignment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearle, Andrew D; Goleski, Patrick; Musahl, Volker; Kendoff, Daniel

    2009-02-01

    Proper alignment of the mechanical axis of the lower limb is the principal goal of a high tibial osteotomy. A well-accepted and relevant technical specification is the coronal plane lower-limb alignment. Target values for coronal plane alignment after high tibial osteotomy include 2 degrees of overcorrection, while tolerances for this specification have been established as 2 degrees to 4 degrees. However, the role of axial plane and sagittal plane realignment after high tibial osteotomy is poorly understood; consequently, targets and tolerance for this technical specification remain undefined. This article reviews the literature concerning the reliability and precision of navigation in monitoring the clinically relevant specification of lower-limb alignment in high tibial osteotomy. We conclude that image-free navigation registration may be clinically useful for intraoperative monitoring of the coronal plane only. Only fair and poor results for the axial and sagittal planes can be obtained by image-free navigation systems. In the future, combined image-based data, such as those from radiographs, magnetic resonance imaging, and gait analysis, may be used to help to improve the accuracy and reproducibility of quantitative intraoperative monitoring of lower-limb alignment.

  5. Collective azimuthal alignment and transverse momentum conservation in relativistic heavy-ion collisions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bock, R.; Gutbrod, H.H.; Siemiarczuk, T.

    1987-08-01

    It is shown that transverse momentum conservation in the three-source Fai and Randrup statistical model does not explain the collective azimuthal alignment as observed in heavy-ion collisions at Bevelac energies. (orig.)

  6. AlignNemo: a local network alignment method to integrate homology and topology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Ciriello

    Full Text Available Local network alignment is an important component of the analysis of protein-protein interaction networks that may lead to the identification of evolutionary related complexes. We present AlignNemo, a new algorithm that, given the networks of two organisms, uncovers subnetworks of proteins that relate in biological function and topology of interactions. The discovered conserved subnetworks have a general topology and need not to correspond to specific interaction patterns, so that they more closely fit the models of functional complexes proposed in the literature. The algorithm is able to handle sparse interaction data with an expansion process that at each step explores the local topology of the networks beyond the proteins directly interacting with the current solution. To assess the performance of AlignNemo, we ran a series of benchmarks using statistical measures as well as biological knowledge. Based on reference datasets of protein complexes, AlignNemo shows better performance than other methods in terms of both precision and recall. We show our solutions to be biologically sound using the concept of semantic similarity applied to Gene Ontology vocabularies. The binaries of AlignNemo and supplementary details about the algorithms and the experiments are available at: sourceforge.net/p/alignnemo.

  7. Cross-species genome-wide identification of evolutionary conserved microproteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Straub, Daniel; Wenkel, Stephan

    2017-01-01

    Protein concept beyond transcription factors to other protein families. Here, we reveal potential microProtein candidates in several plant and animal reference genomes. A large number of these microProteins are species-specific while others evolved early and are evolutionary highly conserved. Most known micro...... act in plant transcriptional regulation, signal transduction and anatomical structure development. MiPFinder is freely available to find microProteins in any genome and will aid in the identification of novel microProteins in plants and animals....

  8. Wildlife conservation and animal temperament: causes and consequences of evolutionary change for captive, reintroduced, and wild populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McDougall, P.T.; Réale, D.; Sol, D.; Reader, S.M.

    2006-01-01

    We argue that animal temperament is an important concept for wildlife conservation science and review causes and consequences of evolutionary changes in temperament traits that may occur in captive-breeding programmes. An evolutionary perspective is valid because temperament traits are heritable,

  9. Evolutionary Conservation of the Components in the TOR Signaling Pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatebe, Hisashi; Shiozaki, Kazuhiro

    2017-11-01

    Target of rapamycin (TOR) is an evolutionarily conserved protein kinase that controls multiple cellular processes upon various intracellular and extracellular stimuli. Since its first discovery, extensive studies have been conducted both in yeast and animal species including humans. Those studies have revealed that TOR forms two structurally and physiologically distinct protein complexes; TOR complex 1 (TORC1) is ubiquitous among eukaryotes including animals, yeast, protozoa, and plants, while TOR complex 2 (TORC2) is conserved in diverse eukaryotic species other than plants. The studies have also identified two crucial regulators of mammalian TORC1 (mTORC1), Ras homolog enriched in brain (RHEB) and RAG GTPases. Of these, RAG regulates TORC1 in yeast as well and is conserved among eukaryotes with the green algae and land plants as apparent exceptions. RHEB is present in various eukaryotes but sporadically missing in multiple taxa. RHEB, in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae , appears to be extremely divergent with concomitant loss of its function as a TORC1 regulator. In this review, we summarize the evolutionarily conserved functions of the key regulatory subunits of TORC1 and TORC2, namely RAPTOR, RICTOR, and SIN1. We also delve into the evolutionary conservation of RHEB and RAG and discuss the conserved roles of these GTPases in regulating TORC1.

  10. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuura, Hironori; Sokabe, Takaaki; Kohno, Keigo; Tominaga, Makoto; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2009-09-10

    TRP (Transient Receptor Potential) channels respond to diverse stimuli and thus function as the primary integrators of varied sensory information. They are also activated by various compounds and secondary messengers to mediate cell-cell interactions as well as to detect changes in the local environment. Their physiological roles have been primarily characterized only in mice and fruit flies, and evolutionary studies are limited. To understand the evolution of insect TRP channels and the mechanisms of integrating sensory inputs in insects, we have identified and compared TRP channel genes in Drosophila melanogaster, Bombyx mori, Tribolium castaneum, Apis mellifera, Nasonia vitripennis, and Pediculus humanus genomes as part of genome sequencing efforts. All the insects examined have 2 TRPV, 1 TRPN, 1 TRPM, 3 TRPC, and 1 TRPML subfamily members, demonstrating that these channels have the ancient origins in insects. The common pattern also suggests that the mechanisms for detecting mechanical and visual stimuli and maintaining lysosomal functions may be evolutionarily well conserved in insects. However, a TRPP channel, the most ancient TRP channel, is missing in B. mori, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis. Although P. humanus and D. melanogaster contain 4 TRPA subfamily members, the other insects have 5 TRPA subfamily members. T. castaneum, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis contain TRPA5 channels, which have been specifically retained or gained in Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. Furthermore, TRPA1, which functions for thermotaxis in Drosophila, is missing in A. mellifera and N. vitripennis; however, they have other Hymenoptera-specific TRPA channels (AmHsTRPA and NvHsTRPA). NvHsTRPA expressed in HEK293 cells is activated by temperature increase, demonstrating that HsTRPAs function as novel thermal sensors in Hymenoptera. The total number of insect TRP family members is 13-14, approximately half that of mammalian TRP family members. As shown for mammalian TRP channels, this

  11. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

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    Tominaga Makoto

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background TRP (Transient Receptor Potential channels respond to diverse stimuli and thus function as the primary integrators of varied sensory information. They are also activated by various compounds and secondary messengers to mediate cell-cell interactions as well as to detect changes in the local environment. Their physiological roles have been primarily characterized only in mice and fruit flies, and evolutionary studies are limited. To understand the evolution of insect TRP channels and the mechanisms of integrating sensory inputs in insects, we have identified and compared TRP channel genes in Drosophila melanogaster, Bombyx mori, Tribolium castaneum, Apis mellifera, Nasonia vitripennis, and Pediculus humanus genomes as part of genome sequencing efforts. Results All the insects examined have 2 TRPV, 1 TRPN, 1 TRPM, 3 TRPC, and 1 TRPML subfamily members, demonstrating that these channels have the ancient origins in insects. The common pattern also suggests that the mechanisms for detecting mechanical and visual stimuli and maintaining lysosomal functions may be evolutionarily well conserved in insects. However, a TRPP channel, the most ancient TRP channel, is missing in B. mori, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis. Although P. humanus and D. melanogaster contain 4 TRPA subfamily members, the other insects have 5 TRPA subfamily members. T. castaneum, A. mellifera, and N. vitripennis contain TRPA5 channels, which have been specifically retained or gained in Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. Furthermore, TRPA1, which functions for thermotaxis in Drosophila, is missing in A. mellifera and N. vitripennis; however, they have other Hymenoptera-specific TRPA channels (AmHsTRPA and NvHsTRPA. NvHsTRPA expressed in HEK293 cells is activated by temperature increase, demonstrating that HsTRPAs function as novel thermal sensors in Hymenoptera. Conclusion The total number of insect TRP family members is 13-14, approximately half that of mammalian TRP

  12. Genes with stable DNA methylation levels show higher evolutionary conservation than genes with fluctuant DNA methylation levels.

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    Zhang, Ruijie; Lv, Wenhua; Luan, Meiwei; Zheng, Jiajia; Shi, Miao; Zhu, Hongjie; Li, Jin; Lv, Hongchao; Zhang, Mingming; Shang, Zhenwei; Duan, Lian; Jiang, Yongshuai

    2015-11-24

    Different human genes often exhibit different degrees of stability in their DNA methylation levels between tissues, samples or cell types. This may be related to the evolution of human genome. Thus, we compared the evolutionary conservation between two types of genes: genes with stable DNA methylation levels (SM genes) and genes with fluctuant DNA methylation levels (FM genes). For long-term evolutionary characteristics between species, we compared the percentage of the orthologous genes, evolutionary rate dn/ds and protein sequence identity. We found that the SM genes had greater percentages of the orthologous genes, lower dn/ds, and higher protein sequence identities in all the 21 species. These results indicated that the SM genes were more evolutionarily conserved than the FM genes. For short-term evolutionary characteristics among human populations, we compared the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) density, and the linkage disequilibrium (LD) degree in HapMap populations and 1000 genomes project populations. We observed that the SM genes had lower SNP densities, and higher degrees of LD in all the 11 HapMap populations and 13 1000 genomes project populations. These results mean that the SM genes had more stable chromosome genetic structures, and were more conserved than the FM genes.

  13. Differential evolution-simulated annealing for multiple sequence alignment

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    Addawe, R. C.; Addawe, J. M.; Sueño, M. R. K.; Magadia, J. C.

    2017-10-01

    Multiple sequence alignments (MSA) are used in the analysis of molecular evolution and sequence structure relationships. In this paper, a hybrid algorithm, Differential Evolution - Simulated Annealing (DESA) is applied in optimizing multiple sequence alignments (MSAs) based on structural information, non-gaps percentage and totally conserved columns. DESA is a robust algorithm characterized by self-organization, mutation, crossover, and SA-like selection scheme of the strategy parameters. Here, the MSA problem is treated as a multi-objective optimization problem of the hybrid evolutionary algorithm, DESA. Thus, we name the algorithm as DESA-MSA. Simulated sequences and alignments were generated to evaluate the accuracy and efficiency of DESA-MSA using different indel sizes, sequence lengths, deletion rates and insertion rates. The proposed hybrid algorithm obtained acceptable solutions particularly for the MSA problem evaluated based on the three objectives.

  14. Disentangling evolutionary signals: conservation, specificity determining positions and coevolution. Implication for catalytic residue prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teppa, Elin; Wilkins, Angela D.; Nielsen, Morten

    2012-01-01

    Background: A large panel of methods exists that aim to identify residues with critical impact on protein function based on evolutionary signals, sequence and structure information. However, it is not clear to what extent these different methods overlap, and if any of the methods have higher...... predictive potential compared to others when it comes to, in particular, the identification of catalytic residues (CR) in proteins. Using a large set of enzymatic protein families and measures based on different evolutionary signals, we sought to break up the different components of the information content......-value Evolutionary Trace (rvET) methods and conservation, another containing mutual information (MI) methods, and the last containing methods designed explicitly for the identification of specificity determining positions (SDPs): integer-value Evolutionary Trace (ivET), SDPfox, and XDET. In terms of prediction of CR...

  15. Identification of putative regulatory upstream ORFs in the yeast genome using heuristics and evolutionary conservation

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    Bilsland Elizabeth

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The translational efficiency of an mRNA can be modulated by upstream open reading frames (uORFs present in certain genes. A uORF can attenuate translation of the main ORF by interfering with translational reinitiation at the main start codon. uORFs also occur by chance in the genome, in which case they do not have a regulatory role. Since the sequence determinants for functional uORFs are not understood, it is difficult to discriminate functional from spurious uORFs by sequence analysis. Results We have used comparative genomics to identify novel uORFs in yeast with a high likelihood of having a translational regulatory role. We examined uORFs, previously shown to play a role in regulation of translation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, for evolutionary conservation within seven Saccharomyces species. Inspection of the set of conserved uORFs yielded the following three characteristics useful for discrimination of functional from spurious uORFs: a length between 4 and 6 codons, a distance from the start of the main ORF between 50 and 150 nucleotides, and finally a lack of overlap with, and clear separation from, neighbouring uORFs. These derived rules are inherently associated with uORFs with properties similar to the GCN4 locus, and may not detect most uORFs of other types. uORFs with high scores based on these rules showed a much higher evolutionary conservation than randomly selected uORFs. In a genome-wide scan in S. cerevisiae, we found 34 conserved uORFs from 32 genes that we predict to be functional; subsequent analysis showed the majority of these to be located within transcripts. A total of 252 genes were found containing conserved uORFs with properties indicative of a functional role; all but 7 are novel. Functional content analysis of this set identified an overrepresentation of genes involved in transcriptional control and development. Conclusion Evolutionary conservation of uORFs in yeasts can be traced up to 100

  16. Unifying evolutionary and thermodynamic information for RNA folding of multiple alignments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seemann, Ernst Stefan; Gorodkin, Jan; Backofen, Rolf

    2008-01-01

    Computational methods for determining the secondary structure of RNA sequences from given alignments are currently either based on thermodynamic folding, compensatory base pair substitutions or both. However, there is currently no approach that combines both sources of information in a single...... the corresponding probability of being single stranded. Furthermore, we found that structurally conserved RNA motifs are mostly supported by folding energies. Other problems (e.g. RNA-folding kinetics) may also benefit from employing the principles of the model we introduce. Our implementation, PETfold, was tested...

  17. Surveying alignment-free features for Ortholog detection in related yeast proteomes by using supervised big data classifiers.

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    Galpert, Deborah; Fernández, Alberto; Herrera, Francisco; Antunes, Agostinho; Molina-Ruiz, Reinaldo; Agüero-Chapin, Guillermin

    2018-05-03

    The development of new ortholog detection algorithms and the improvement of existing ones are of major importance in functional genomics. We have previously introduced a successful supervised pairwise ortholog classification approach implemented in a big data platform that considered several pairwise protein features and the low ortholog pair ratios found between two annotated proteomes (Galpert, D et al., BioMed Research International, 2015). The supervised models were built and tested using a Saccharomycete yeast benchmark dataset proposed by Salichos and Rokas (2011). Despite several pairwise protein features being combined in a supervised big data approach; they all, to some extent were alignment-based features and the proposed algorithms were evaluated on a unique test set. Here, we aim to evaluate the impact of alignment-free features on the performance of supervised models implemented in the Spark big data platform for pairwise ortholog detection in several related yeast proteomes. The Spark Random Forest and Decision Trees with oversampling and undersampling techniques, and built with only alignment-based similarity measures or combined with several alignment-free pairwise protein features showed the highest classification performance for ortholog detection in three yeast proteome pairs. Although such supervised approaches outperformed traditional methods, there were no significant differences between the exclusive use of alignment-based similarity measures and their combination with alignment-free features, even within the twilight zone of the studied proteomes. Just when alignment-based and alignment-free features were combined in Spark Decision Trees with imbalance management, a higher success rate (98.71%) within the twilight zone could be achieved for a yeast proteome pair that underwent a whole genome duplication. The feature selection study showed that alignment-based features were top-ranked for the best classifiers while the runners-up were

  18. An evolutionary model for protein-coding regions with conserved RNA structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jakob Skou; Forsberg, Roald; Meyer, Irmtraud Margret

    2004-01-01

    in the RNA structure. The overlap of these fundamental dependencies is sufficient to cause "contagious" context dependencies which cascade across many nucleotide sites. Such large-scale dependencies challenge the use of traditional phylogenetic models in evolutionary inference because they explicitly assume...... components of traditional phylogenetic models. We applied this to a data set of full-genome sequences from the hepatitis C virus where five RNA structures are mapped within the coding region. This allowed us to partition the effects of selection on different structural elements and to test various hypotheses......Here we present a model of nucleotide substitution in protein-coding regions that also encode the formation of conserved RNA structures. In such regions, apparent evolutionary context dependencies exist, both between nucleotides occupying the same codon and between nucleotides forming a base pair...

  19. Spatial multiobjective optimization of agricultural conservation practices using a SWAT model and an evolutionary algorithm.

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    Rabotyagov, Sergey; Campbell, Todd; Valcu, Adriana; Gassman, Philip; Jha, Manoj; Schilling, Keith; Wolter, Calvin; Kling, Catherine

    2012-12-09

    Finding the cost-efficient (i.e., lowest-cost) ways of targeting conservation practice investments for the achievement of specific water quality goals across the landscape is of primary importance in watershed management. Traditional economics methods of finding the lowest-cost solution in the watershed context (e.g.,(5,12,20)) assume that off-site impacts can be accurately described as a proportion of on-site pollution generated. Such approaches are unlikely to be representative of the actual pollution process in a watershed, where the impacts of polluting sources are often determined by complex biophysical processes. The use of modern physically-based, spatially distributed hydrologic simulation models allows for a greater degree of realism in terms of process representation but requires a development of a simulation-optimization framework where the model becomes an integral part of optimization. Evolutionary algorithms appear to be a particularly useful optimization tool, able to deal with the combinatorial nature of a watershed simulation-optimization problem and allowing the use of the full water quality model. Evolutionary algorithms treat a particular spatial allocation of conservation practices in a watershed as a candidate solution and utilize sets (populations) of candidate solutions iteratively applying stochastic operators of selection, recombination, and mutation to find improvements with respect to the optimization objectives. The optimization objectives in this case are to minimize nonpoint-source pollution in the watershed, simultaneously minimizing the cost of conservation practices. A recent and expanding set of research is attempting to use similar methods and integrates water quality models with broadly defined evolutionary optimization methods(3,4,9,10,13-15,17-19,22,23,25). In this application, we demonstrate a program which follows Rabotyagov et al.'s approach and integrates a modern and commonly used SWAT water quality model(7) with a

  20. GraphAlignment: Bayesian pairwise alignment of biological networks

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    Kolář Michal

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With increased experimental availability and accuracy of bio-molecular networks, tools for their comparative and evolutionary analysis are needed. A key component for such studies is the alignment of networks. Results We introduce the Bioconductor package GraphAlignment for pairwise alignment of bio-molecular networks. The alignment incorporates information both from network vertices and network edges and is based on an explicit evolutionary model, allowing inference of all scoring parameters directly from empirical data. We compare the performance of our algorithm to an alternative algorithm, Græmlin 2.0. On simulated data, GraphAlignment outperforms Græmlin 2.0 in several benchmarks except for computational complexity. When there is little or no noise in the data, GraphAlignment is slower than Græmlin 2.0. It is faster than Græmlin 2.0 when processing noisy data containing spurious vertex associations. Its typical case complexity grows approximately as O(N2.6. On empirical bacterial protein-protein interaction networks (PIN and gene co-expression networks, GraphAlignment outperforms Græmlin 2.0 with respect to coverage and specificity, albeit by a small margin. On large eukaryotic PIN, Græmlin 2.0 outperforms GraphAlignment. Conclusions The GraphAlignment algorithm is robust to spurious vertex associations, correctly resolves paralogs, and shows very good performance in identification of homologous vertices defined by high vertex and/or interaction similarity. The simplicity and generality of GraphAlignment edge scoring makes the algorithm an appropriate choice for global alignment of networks.

  1. The Drosophila surface glia transcriptome: evolutionary conserved blood-brain barrier processes.

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    Michael K DeSalvo

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available AbstractCentral nervous system (CNS function is dependent on the stringent regulation of metabolites, drugs, cells, and pathogens exposed to the CNS space. Cellular blood-brain barrier (BBB structures are highly specific checkpoints governing entry and exit of all small molecules to and from the brain interstitial space, but the precise mechanisms that regulate the BBB are not well understood. In addition, the BBB has long been a challenging obstacle to the pharmacologic treatment of CNS diseases; thus model systems that can parse the functions of the BBB are highly desirable. In this study, we sought to define the transcriptome of the adult Drosophila melanogaster BBB by isolating the BBB surface glia with FACS and profiling their gene expression with microarrays. By comparing the transcriptome of these surface glia to that of all brain glia, brain neurons, and whole brains, we present a catalog of transcripts that are selectively enriched at the Drosophila BBB. We found that the fly surface glia show high expression of many ABC and SLC transporters, cell adhesion molecules, metabolic enzymes, signaling molecules, and components of xenobiotic metabolism pathways. Using gene sequence-based alignments, we compare the Drosophila and Murine BBB transcriptomes and discover many shared chemoprotective and small molecule control pathways, thus affirming the relevance of invertebrate models for studying evolutionary conserved BBB properties. The Drosophila BBB transcriptome is valuable to vertebrate and insect biologists alike as a resource for studying proteins underlying diffusion barrier development and maintenance, glial biology, and regulation of drug transport at tissue barriers.

  2. The Drosophila surface glia transcriptome: evolutionary conserved blood-brain barrier processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSalvo, Michael K; Hindle, Samantha J; Rusan, Zeid M; Orng, Souvinh; Eddison, Mark; Halliwill, Kyle; Bainton, Roland J

    2014-01-01

    Central nervous system (CNS) function is dependent on the stringent regulation of metabolites, drugs, cells, and pathogens exposed to the CNS space. Cellular blood-brain barrier (BBB) structures are highly specific checkpoints governing entry and exit of all small molecules to and from the brain interstitial space, but the precise mechanisms that regulate the BBB are not well understood. In addition, the BBB has long been a challenging obstacle to the pharmacologic treatment of CNS diseases; thus model systems that can parse the functions of the BBB are highly desirable. In this study, we sought to define the transcriptome of the adult Drosophila melanogaster BBB by isolating the BBB surface glia with fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and profiling their gene expression with microarrays. By comparing the transcriptome of these surface glia to that of all brain glia, brain neurons, and whole brains, we present a catalog of transcripts that are selectively enriched at the Drosophila BBB. We found that the fly surface glia show high expression of many ATP-binding cassette (ABC) and solute carrier (SLC) transporters, cell adhesion molecules, metabolic enzymes, signaling molecules, and components of xenobiotic metabolism pathways. Using gene sequence-based alignments, we compare the Drosophila and Murine BBB transcriptomes and discover many shared chemoprotective and small molecule control pathways, thus affirming the relevance of invertebrate models for studying evolutionary conserved BBB properties. The Drosophila BBB transcriptome is valuable to vertebrate and insect biologists alike as a resource for studying proteins underlying diffusion barrier development and maintenance, glial biology, and regulation of drug transport at tissue barriers.

  3. K2 and K2*: efficient alignment-free sequence similarity measurement based on Kendall statistics.

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    Lin, Jie; Adjeroh, Donald A; Jiang, Bing-Hua; Jiang, Yue

    2018-05-15

    Alignment-free sequence comparison methods can compute the pairwise similarity between a huge number of sequences much faster than sequence-alignment based methods. We propose a new non-parametric alignment-free sequence comparison method, called K2, based on the Kendall statistics. Comparing to the other state-of-the-art alignment-free comparison methods, K2 demonstrates competitive performance in generating the phylogenetic tree, in evaluating functionally related regulatory sequences, and in computing the edit distance (similarity/dissimilarity) between sequences. Furthermore, the K2 approach is much faster than the other methods. An improved method, K2*, is also proposed, which is able to determine the appropriate algorithmic parameter (length) automatically, without first considering different values. Comparative analysis with the state-of-the-art alignment-free sequence similarity methods demonstrates the superiority of the proposed approaches, especially with increasing sequence length, or increasing dataset sizes. The K2 and K2* approaches are implemented in the R language as a package and is freely available for open access (http://community.wvu.edu/daadjeroh/projects/K2/K2_1.0.tar.gz). yueljiang@163.com. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  4. Exploring the miRNA regulatory network using evolutionary correlations.

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    Benedikt Obermayer

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Post-transcriptional regulation by miRNAs is a widespread and highly conserved phenomenon in metazoans, with several hundreds to thousands of conserved binding sites for each miRNA, and up to two thirds of all genes under miRNA regulation. At the same time, the effect of miRNA regulation on mRNA and protein levels is usually quite modest and associated phenotypes are often weak or subtle. This has given rise to the notion that the highly interconnected miRNA regulatory network exerts its function less through any individual link and more via collective effects that lead to a functional interdependence of network links. We present a Bayesian framework to quantify conservation of miRNA target sites using vertebrate whole-genome alignments. The increased statistical power of our phylogenetic model allows detection of evolutionary correlation in the conservation patterns of site pairs. Such correlations could result from collective functions in the regulatory network. For instance, co-conservation of target site pairs supports a selective benefit of combinatorial regulation by multiple miRNAs. We find that some miRNA families are under pronounced co-targeting constraints, indicating a high connectivity in the regulatory network, while others appear to function in a more isolated way. By analyzing coordinated targeting of different curated gene sets, we observe distinct evolutionary signatures for protein complexes and signaling pathways that could reflect differences in control strategies. Our method is easily scalable to analyze upcoming larger data sets, and readily adaptable to detect high-level selective constraints between other genomic loci. We thus provide a proof-of-principle method to understand regulatory networks from an evolutionary perspective.

  5. Regulation of G-protein coupled receptor traffic by an evolutionary conserved hydrophobic signal.

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    Angelotti, Tim; Daunt, David; Shcherbakova, Olga G; Kobilka, Brian; Hurt, Carl M

    2010-04-01

    Plasma membrane (PM) expression of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) is required for activation by extracellular ligands; however, mechanisms that regulate PM expression of GPCRs are poorly understood. For some GPCRs, such as alpha2c-adrenergic receptors (alpha(2c)-ARs), heterologous expression in non-native cells results in limited PM expression and extensive endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention. Recently, ER export/retentions signals have been proposed to regulate cellular trafficking of several GPCRs. By utilizing a chimeric alpha(2a)/alpha(2c)-AR strategy, we identified an evolutionary conserved hydrophobic sequence (ALAAALAAAAA) in the extracellular amino terminal region that is responsible in part for alpha(2c)-AR subtype-specific trafficking. To our knowledge, this is the first luminal ER retention signal reported for a GPCR. Removal or disruption of the ER retention signal dramatically increased PM expression and decreased ER retention. Conversely, transplantation of this hydrophobic sequence into alpha(2a)-ARs reduced their PM expression and increased ER retention. This evolutionary conserved hydrophobic trafficking signal within alpha(2c)-ARs serves as a regulator of GPCR trafficking.

  6. Evolutionary Advantages of Free Play During Childhood

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    Werner Greve

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In a theoretical framework of evolutionary developmental psychology, the present study investigates the assumption that free play during childhood is a condition for the development of individual adaptability, which in turn predicts, first, social success and, second, reproductive success. This hypothesis is tested in a study with 238 adults (75.9% females; 18–90 years. Participants were asked to recollect their free play experiences during childhood in detail, to report their current developmental status with respect to several aspects of social success, and to report the number of (own children. Furthermore, individual adaptability (flexibility of goal adjustment is assessed. Results show that the opportunity for free play in childhood significantly predicts both social success and individual adaptability. Social success did not predict reproductive success (number of offspring directly. However, an indirect effect to the number of offspring was found, mediated by individual adaptability. These results suggest that freely playing in childhood is connected to the development of developmental resources, in particular individual adaptability in adulthood, which, in turn, is related to reproductive success (fitness.

  7. Evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges: key concepts for conserving Australian arid zone freshwater biodiversity under climate change

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    Davis, Jenny; Pavlova, Alexandra; Thompson, Ross; Sunnucks, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We introduce a conceptual model that characterizes evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges based on our review of the attributes of aquatic habitats and freshwater taxa (fishes and aquatic invertebrates) in arid Australia. We also identify methods of recognizing likely future refugia and approaches to assessing the vulnerability of arid-adapted freshwater biota to a warming and drying climate. Evolutionary refugia in arid areas are characterized as permanent, groundwater-dependent habitats (subterranean aquifers and springs) supporting vicariant relicts and short-range endemics. Ecological refuges can vary across space and time, depending on the dispersal abilities of aquatic taxa and the geographical proximity and hydrological connectivity of aquatic habitats. The most important are the perennial waterbodies (both groundwater and surface water fed) that support obligate aquatic organisms. These species will persist where suitable habitats are available and dispersal pathways are maintained. For very mobile species (invertebrates with an aerial dispersal phase) evolutionary refugia may also act as ecological refuges. Evolutionary refugia are likely future refugia because their water source (groundwater) is decoupled from local precipitation. However, their biota is extremely vulnerable to changes in local conditions because population extinction risks cannot be abated by the dispersal of individuals from other sites. Conservation planning must incorporate a high level of protection for aquifers that support refugial sites. Ecological refuges are vulnerable to changes in regional climate because they have little

  8. Adiabatic Field-Free Alignment of Asymmetric Top Molecules with an Optical Centrifuge.

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    Korobenko, A; Milner, V

    2016-05-06

    We use an optical centrifuge to align asymmetric top SO_{2} molecules by adiabatically spinning their most polarizable O-O axis. The effective centrifugal potential in the rotating frame confines the sulfur atoms to the plane of the laser-induced rotation, leading to the planar molecular alignment that persists after the molecules are released from the centrifuge. The periodic appearance of the full three-dimensional alignment, typically observed only with linear and symmetric top molecules, is also detected. Together with strong in-plane centrifugal forces, which bend the molecules by up to 10 deg, permanent field-free alignment offers new ways of controlling molecules with laser light.

  9. Functional conservation of the Drosophila gooseberry gene and its evolutionary alleles.

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    Wei Liu

    Full Text Available The Drosophila Pax gene gooseberry (gsb is required for development of the larval cuticle and CNS, survival to adulthood, and male fertility. These functions can be rescued in gsb mutants by two gsb evolutionary alleles, gsb-Prd and gsb-Pax3, which express the Drosophila Paired and mouse Pax3 proteins under the control of gooseberry cis-regulatory region. Therefore, both Paired and Pax3 proteins have conserved all the Gsb functions that are required for survival of embryos to fertile adults, despite the divergent primary sequences in their C-terminal halves. As gsb-Prd and gsb-Pax3 uncover a gsb function involved in male fertility, construction of evolutionary alleles may provide a powerful strategy to dissect hitherto unknown gene functions. Our results provide further evidence for the essential role of cis-regulatory regions in the functional diversification of duplicated genes during evolution.

  10. Muscle conserving free gracilis transfer (mini-gracilis free flap

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    Bibhuti Bhusan Nayak

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Gracilis is a commonly used muscle for free tissue transfer. It is also split into two based on its pedicles and used as two units. Use of distal part as a free flap in isolation has never been described in literature. We describe a technique of harvesting a small unit of gracilis based on its minor pedicle and maintaining the continuity and conserving the major bulk of muscle. Thus, the function of the muscle is preserved and the same is also available for transfer on its major pedicle later, if required.

  11. Essentiality, conservation, evolutionary pressure and codon bias in bacterial genomes.

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    Dilucca, Maddalena; Cimini, Giulio; Giansanti, Andrea

    2018-07-15

    Essential genes constitute the core of genes which cannot be mutated too much nor lost along the evolutionary history of a species. Natural selection is expected to be stricter on essential genes and on conserved (highly shared) genes, than on genes that are either nonessential or peculiar to a single or a few species. In order to further assess this expectation, we study here how essentiality of a gene is connected with its degree of conservation among several unrelated bacterial species, each one characterised by its own codon usage bias. Confirming previous results on E. coli, we show the existence of a universal exponential relation between gene essentiality and conservation in bacteria. Moreover, we show that, within each bacterial genome, there are at least two groups of functionally distinct genes, characterised by different levels of conservation and codon bias: i) a core of essential genes, mainly related to cellular information processing; ii) a set of less conserved nonessential genes with prevalent functions related to metabolism. In particular, the genes in the first group are more retained among species, are subject to a stronger purifying conservative selection and display a more limited repertoire of synonymous codons. The core of essential genes is close to the minimal bacterial genome, which is in the focus of recent studies in synthetic biology, though we confirm that orthologs of genes that are essential in one species are not necessarily essential in other species. We also list a set of highly shared genes which, reasonably, could constitute a reservoir of targets for new anti-microbial drugs. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Evolutionary rescue: linking theory for conservation and medicine.

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    Alexander, Helen K; Martin, Guillaume; Martin, Oliver Y; Bonhoeffer, Sebastian

    2014-12-01

    Evolutionary responses that rescue populations from extinction when drastic environmental changes occur can be friend or foe. The field of conservation biology is concerned with the survival of species in deteriorating global habitats. In medicine, in contrast, infected patients are treated with chemotherapeutic interventions, but drug resistance can compromise eradication of pathogens. These contrasting biological systems and goals have created two quite separate research communities, despite addressing the same central question of whether populations will decline to extinction or be rescued through evolution. We argue that closer integration of the two fields, especially of theoretical understanding, would yield new insights and accelerate progress on these applied problems. Here, we overview and link mathematical modelling approaches in these fields, suggest specific areas with potential for fruitful exchange, and discuss common ideas and issues for empirical testing and prediction.

  13. Fabrication and Characterization of Aligned Flexible Lead-Free Piezoelectric Nanofibers for Wearable Device Applications

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    Sang Hyun Ji

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Flexible lead-free piezoelectric nanofibers, based on BNT-ST (0.78Bi0.5Na0.5TiO3-0.22SrTiO3 ceramic and poly(vinylidene fluoride-trifluoroethylene (PVDF-TrFE copolymers, were fabricated by an electrospinning method and the effects of the degree of alignment in the nanofibers on the piezoelectric characteristics were investigated. The microstructure of the lead-free piezoelectric nanofibers was observed by field emission scanning electron microscope (FE-SEM and the orientation was analyzed by fast Fourier transform (FFT images. X-ray diffraction (XRD analysis confirmed that the phase was not changed by the electrospinning process and maintained a perovskite phase. Polarization-electric field (P-E loops and piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM were used to investigate the piezoelectric properties of the piezoelectric nanofibers, according to the degree of alignment—the well aligned piezoelectric nanofibers had higher piezoelectric properties. Furthermore, the output voltage of the aligned lead-free piezoelectric nanofibers was measured according to the vibration frequency and the bending motion and the aligned piezoelectric nanofibers with a collector rotation speed of 1500 rpm performed the best.

  14. MEGA5: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis Using Maximum Likelihood, Evolutionary Distance, and Maximum Parsimony Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Koichiro; Peterson, Daniel; Peterson, Nicholas; Stecher, Glen; Nei, Masatoshi; Kumar, Sudhir

    2011-01-01

    Comparative analysis of molecular sequence data is essential for reconstructing the evolutionary histories of species and inferring the nature and extent of selective forces shaping the evolution of genes and species. Here, we announce the release of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 5 (MEGA5), which is a user-friendly software for mining online databases, building sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees, and using methods of evolutionary bioinformatics in basic biology, biomedicine, and evolution. The newest addition in MEGA5 is a collection of maximum likelihood (ML) analyses for inferring evolutionary trees, selecting best-fit substitution models (nucleotide or amino acid), inferring ancestral states and sequences (along with probabilities), and estimating evolutionary rates site-by-site. In computer simulation analyses, ML tree inference algorithms in MEGA5 compared favorably with other software packages in terms of computational efficiency and the accuracy of the estimates of phylogenetic trees, substitution parameters, and rate variation among sites. The MEGA user interface has now been enhanced to be activity driven to make it easier for the use of both beginners and experienced scientists. This version of MEGA is intended for the Windows platform, and it has been configured for effective use on Mac OS X and Linux desktops. It is available free of charge from http://www.megasoftware.net. PMID:21546353

  15. Evolutionary conservation and network structure characterize genes of phenotypic relevance for mitosis in human.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Ostaszewski

    Full Text Available The impact of gene silencing on cellular phenotypes is difficult to establish due to the complexity of interactions in the associated biological processes and pathways. A recent genome-wide RNA knock-down study both identified and phenotypically characterized a set of important genes for the cell cycle in HeLa cells. Here, we combine a molecular interaction network analysis, based on physical and functional protein interactions, in conjunction with evolutionary information, to elucidate the common biological and topological properties of these key genes. Our results show that these genes tend to be conserved with their corresponding protein interactions across several species and are key constituents of the evolutionary conserved molecular interaction network. Moreover, a group of bistable network motifs is found to be conserved within this network, which are likely to influence the network stability and therefore the robustness of cellular functioning. They form a cluster, which displays functional homogeneity and is significantly enriched in genes phenotypically relevant for mitosis. Additional results reveal a relationship between specific cellular processes and the phenotypic outcomes induced by gene silencing. This study introduces new ideas regarding the relationship between genotype and phenotype in the context of the cell cycle. We show that the analysis of molecular interaction networks can result in the identification of genes relevant to cellular processes, which is a promising avenue for future research.

  16. Evolutionary analysis of FAM83H in vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wushuang Huang

    Full Text Available Amelogenesis imperfecta is a group of disorders causing abnormalities in enamel formation in various phenotypes. Many mutations in the FAM83H gene have been identified to result in autosomal dominant hypocalcified amelogenesis imperfecta in different populations. However, the structure and function of FAM83H and its pathological mechanism have yet to be further explored. Evolutionary analysis is an alternative for revealing residues or motifs that are important for protein function. In the present study, we chose 50 vertebrate species in public databases representative of approximately 230 million years of evolution, including 1 amphibian, 2 fishes, 7 sauropsidas and 40 mammals, and we performed evolutionary analysis on the FAM83H protein. By sequence alignment, conserved residues and motifs were indicated, and the loss of important residues and motifs of five special species (Malayan pangolin, platypus, minke whale, nine-banded armadillo and aardvark was discovered. A phylogenetic time tree showed the FAM83H divergent process. Positive selection sites in the C-terminus suggested that the C-terminus of FAM83H played certain adaptive roles during evolution. The results confirmed some important motifs reported in previous findings and identified some new highly conserved residues and motifs that need further investigation. The results suggest that the C-terminus of FAM83H contain key conserved regions critical to enamel formation and calcification.

  17. JDet: interactive calculation and visualization of function-related conservation patterns in multiple sequence alignments and structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muth, Thilo; García-Martín, Juan A; Rausell, Antonio; Juan, David; Valencia, Alfonso; Pazos, Florencio

    2012-02-15

    We have implemented in a single package all the features required for extracting, visualizing and manipulating fully conserved positions as well as those with a family-dependent conservation pattern in multiple sequence alignments. The program allows, among other things, to run different methods for extracting these positions, combine the results and visualize them in protein 3D structures and sequence spaces. JDet is a multiplatform application written in Java. It is freely available, including the source code, at http://csbg.cnb.csic.es/JDet. The package includes two of our recently developed programs for detecting functional positions in protein alignments (Xdet and S3Det), and support for other methods can be added as plug-ins. A help file and a guided tutorial for JDet are also available.

  18. Evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges: key concepts for conserving Australian arid zone freshwater biodiversity under climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Davis, Jenny; Pavlova, Alexandra; Thompson, Ross; Sunnucks, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We introduce a conceptual model that characterizes evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges based on our review of the attributes of aquati...

  19. Enzyme sequence similarity improves the reaction alignment method for cross-species pathway comparison

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ovacik, Meric A. [Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (United States); Androulakis, Ioannis P., E-mail: yannis@rci.rutgers.edu [Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (United States); Biomedical Engineering Department, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854 (United States)

    2013-09-15

    Pathway-based information has become an important source of information for both establishing evolutionary relationships and understanding the mode of action of a chemical or pharmaceutical among species. Cross-species comparison of pathways can address two broad questions: comparison in order to inform evolutionary relationships and to extrapolate species differences used in a number of different applications including drug and toxicity testing. Cross-species comparison of metabolic pathways is complex as there are multiple features of a pathway that can be modeled and compared. Among the various methods that have been proposed, reaction alignment has emerged as the most successful at predicting phylogenetic relationships based on NCBI taxonomy. We propose an improvement of the reaction alignment method by accounting for sequence similarity in addition to reaction alignment method. Using nine species, including human and some model organisms and test species, we evaluate the standard and improved comparison methods by analyzing glycolysis and citrate cycle pathways conservation. In addition, we demonstrate how organism comparison can be conducted by accounting for the cumulative information retrieved from nine pathways in central metabolism as well as a more complete study involving 36 pathways common in all nine species. Our results indicate that reaction alignment with enzyme sequence similarity results in a more accurate representation of pathway specific cross-species similarities and differences based on NCBI taxonomy.

  20. Enzyme sequence similarity improves the reaction alignment method for cross-species pathway comparison

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ovacik, Meric A.; Androulakis, Ioannis P.

    2013-01-01

    Pathway-based information has become an important source of information for both establishing evolutionary relationships and understanding the mode of action of a chemical or pharmaceutical among species. Cross-species comparison of pathways can address two broad questions: comparison in order to inform evolutionary relationships and to extrapolate species differences used in a number of different applications including drug and toxicity testing. Cross-species comparison of metabolic pathways is complex as there are multiple features of a pathway that can be modeled and compared. Among the various methods that have been proposed, reaction alignment has emerged as the most successful at predicting phylogenetic relationships based on NCBI taxonomy. We propose an improvement of the reaction alignment method by accounting for sequence similarity in addition to reaction alignment method. Using nine species, including human and some model organisms and test species, we evaluate the standard and improved comparison methods by analyzing glycolysis and citrate cycle pathways conservation. In addition, we demonstrate how organism comparison can be conducted by accounting for the cumulative information retrieved from nine pathways in central metabolism as well as a more complete study involving 36 pathways common in all nine species. Our results indicate that reaction alignment with enzyme sequence similarity results in a more accurate representation of pathway specific cross-species similarities and differences based on NCBI taxonomy

  1. Phylogenetic inference with weighted codon evolutionary distances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criscuolo, Alexis; Michel, Christian J

    2009-04-01

    We develop a new approach to estimate a matrix of pairwise evolutionary distances from a codon-based alignment based on a codon evolutionary model. The method first computes a standard distance matrix for each of the three codon positions. Then these three distance matrices are weighted according to an estimate of the global evolutionary rate of each codon position and averaged into a unique distance matrix. Using a large set of both real and simulated codon-based alignments of nucleotide sequences, we show that this approach leads to distance matrices that have a significantly better treelikeness compared to those obtained by standard nucleotide evolutionary distances. We also propose an alternative weighting to eliminate the part of the noise often associated with some codon positions, particularly the third position, which is known to induce a fast evolutionary rate. Simulation results show that fast distance-based tree reconstruction algorithms on distance matrices based on this codon position weighting can lead to phylogenetic trees that are at least as accurate as, if not better, than those inferred by maximum likelihood. Finally, a well-known multigene dataset composed of eight yeast species and 106 codon-based alignments is reanalyzed and shows that our codon evolutionary distances allow building a phylogenetic tree which is similar to those obtained by non-distance-based methods (e.g., maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood) and also significantly improved compared to standard nucleotide evolutionary distance estimates.

  2. Observation of enhanced field-free molecular alignment by two laser pulses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bisgaard, Christer; Poulsen, Mikael Dahlerup; Peronne, Emmanuel

    2004-01-01

    We show experimentally that field-free alignment of iodobenzene molecules, induced by a single, intense, linearly polarized 1.4-ps-long laser pulse, can be strongly enhanced by dividing the pulse into two optimally synchronized pulses of the same duration. For a given total energy of the two...

  3. Coma-free alignment of high resolution electron microscopes with the aid of optical diffractograms

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zemlin, F.; Weiss, K.; Schiske, P.; Kunath, W.; Herrmann, K.-H.

    1978-01-01

    Alignment by means of current commutating and defocusing of the objective does not yield the desired rotational symmetry of the imaging pencils. This was found while aligning a transmission electron microscope with a single field condenser objective. A series of optical diffractograms of micrographs taken under the same tilted illumination yet under various azimuths have been arranged in a tableau, wherein strong asymmetry is exhibited. Quantitative evaluation yields the most important asymmetric aberration to be the axial coma, which becomes critical when a resolution better than 5 A 0 is obtained. The tableau also allows an assessment of the three-fold astigmatism. A procedure has been developed which aligns the microscope onto the coma-free and dispersion-free pencil axis and does not rely on current communication. The procedure demands equal appearance of astigmatic carbon film images produced under the same tilt yet diametrical azimuth. (Auth.)

  4. Incorporating evolutionary principles into environmental management and policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lankau, Richard; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Harris, David J.

    2011-01-01

    As policymakers and managers work to mitigate the effects of rapid anthropogenic environmental changes, they need to consider organisms’ responses. In light of recent evidence that evolution can be quite rapid, this now includes evolutionary responses. Evolutionary principles have a long history...... in conservation biology, and the necessary next step for the field is to consider ways in which conservation policy makers and managers can proactively manipulate evolutionary processes to achieve their goals. In this review, we aim to illustrate the potential conservation benefits of an increased understanding...... of evolutionary history and prescriptive manipulation of three basic evolutionary factors: selection, variation, and gene flow. For each, we review and propose ways that policy makers and managers can use evolutionary thinking to preserve threatened species, combat pest species, or reduce undesirable evolutionary...

  5. Molecular insight into human platelet antigens: structural and evolutionary conservation analyses offer new perspective to immunogenic disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, Meytal; Rosenberg, Nurit

    2011-03-01

    Human platelet antigens (HPAs) are polymorphisms in platelet membrane glycoproteins (GPs) that can stimulate production of alloantibodies once exposed to foreign platelets (PLTs) with different HPAs. These antibodies can cause neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, posttransfusion purpura, and PLT transfusion refractoriness. Most HPAs are localized on the main PLT receptors: 1) integrin αIIbβ3, known as the fibrinogen receptor; 2) the GPIb-IX-V complex that functions as the receptor for von Willebrand factor; and 3) integrin α2β1, which functions as the collagen receptor. We analyzed the structural location and the evolutionary conservation of the residues associated with the HPAs to characterize the features that induce immunologic responses but do not cause inherited diseases. We found that all HPAs reside in positions located on the protein surface, apart from the ligand-binding site, and are evolutionary variable. Disease-causing mutations often reside in highly conserved and buried positions. In contrast, the HPAs affect residues on the protein surface that were not conserved throughout evolution; this explains their naive effect on the protein function. Nonetheless, the HPAs involve substitutions of solvent-exposed positions that lead to altered interfaces on the surface of the protein and might present epitopes foreign to the immune system. © 2010 American Association of Blood Banks.

  6. Improving protein-protein interaction prediction using evolutionary information from low-quality MSAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Várnai, Csilla; Burkoff, Nikolas S; Wild, David L

    2017-01-01

    Evolutionary information stored in multiple sequence alignments (MSAs) has been used to identify the interaction interface of protein complexes, by measuring either co-conservation or co-mutation of amino acid residues across the interface. Recently, maximum entropy related correlated mutation measures (CMMs) such as direct information, decoupling direct from indirect interactions, have been developed to identify residue pairs interacting across the protein complex interface. These studies have focussed on carefully selected protein complexes with large, good-quality MSAs. In this work, we study protein complexes with a more typical MSA consisting of fewer than 400 sequences, using a set of 79 intramolecular protein complexes. Using a maximum entropy based CMM at the residue level, we develop an interface level CMM score to be used in re-ranking docking decoys. We demonstrate that our interface level CMM score compares favourably to the complementarity trace score, an evolutionary information-based score measuring co-conservation, when combined with the number of interface residues, a knowledge-based potential and the variability score of individual amino acid sites. We also demonstrate, that, since co-mutation and co-complementarity in the MSA contain orthogonal information, the best prediction performance using evolutionary information can be achieved by combining the co-mutation information of the CMM with co-conservation information of a complementarity trace score, predicting a near-native structure as the top prediction for 41% of the dataset. The method presented is not restricted to small MSAs, and will likely improve interface prediction also for complexes with large and good-quality MSAs.

  7. CAB-Align: A Flexible Protein Structure Alignment Method Based on the Residue-Residue Contact Area.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Genki Terashi

    Full Text Available Proteins are flexible, and this flexibility has an essential functional role. Flexibility can be observed in loop regions, rearrangements between secondary structure elements, and conformational changes between entire domains. However, most protein structure alignment methods treat protein structures as rigid bodies. Thus, these methods fail to identify the equivalences of residue pairs in regions with flexibility. In this study, we considered that the evolutionary relationship between proteins corresponds directly to the residue-residue physical contacts rather than the three-dimensional (3D coordinates of proteins. Thus, we developed a new protein structure alignment method, contact area-based alignment (CAB-align, which uses the residue-residue contact area to identify regions of similarity. The main purpose of CAB-align is to identify homologous relationships at the residue level between related protein structures. The CAB-align procedure comprises two main steps: First, a rigid-body alignment method based on local and global 3D structure superposition is employed to generate a sufficient number of initial alignments. Then, iterative dynamic programming is executed to find the optimal alignment. We evaluated the performance and advantages of CAB-align based on four main points: (1 agreement with the gold standard alignment, (2 alignment quality based on an evolutionary relationship without 3D coordinate superposition, (3 consistency of the multiple alignments, and (4 classification agreement with the gold standard classification. Comparisons of CAB-align with other state-of-the-art protein structure alignment methods (TM-align, FATCAT, and DaliLite using our benchmark dataset showed that CAB-align performed robustly in obtaining high-quality alignments and generating consistent multiple alignments with high coverage and accuracy rates, and it performed extremely well when discriminating between homologous and nonhomologous pairs of proteins

  8. CAB-Align: A Flexible Protein Structure Alignment Method Based on the Residue-Residue Contact Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terashi, Genki; Takeda-Shitaka, Mayuko

    2015-01-01

    Proteins are flexible, and this flexibility has an essential functional role. Flexibility can be observed in loop regions, rearrangements between secondary structure elements, and conformational changes between entire domains. However, most protein structure alignment methods treat protein structures as rigid bodies. Thus, these methods fail to identify the equivalences of residue pairs in regions with flexibility. In this study, we considered that the evolutionary relationship between proteins corresponds directly to the residue-residue physical contacts rather than the three-dimensional (3D) coordinates of proteins. Thus, we developed a new protein structure alignment method, contact area-based alignment (CAB-align), which uses the residue-residue contact area to identify regions of similarity. The main purpose of CAB-align is to identify homologous relationships at the residue level between related protein structures. The CAB-align procedure comprises two main steps: First, a rigid-body alignment method based on local and global 3D structure superposition is employed to generate a sufficient number of initial alignments. Then, iterative dynamic programming is executed to find the optimal alignment. We evaluated the performance and advantages of CAB-align based on four main points: (1) agreement with the gold standard alignment, (2) alignment quality based on an evolutionary relationship without 3D coordinate superposition, (3) consistency of the multiple alignments, and (4) classification agreement with the gold standard classification. Comparisons of CAB-align with other state-of-the-art protein structure alignment methods (TM-align, FATCAT, and DaliLite) using our benchmark dataset showed that CAB-align performed robustly in obtaining high-quality alignments and generating consistent multiple alignments with high coverage and accuracy rates, and it performed extremely well when discriminating between homologous and nonhomologous pairs of proteins in both

  9. Planar solar concentrator featuring alignment-free total-internal-reflection collectors and an innovative compound tracker.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teng, Tun-Chien; Lai, Wei-Che

    2014-12-15

    This study proposed a planar solar concentrator featuring alignment-free total-internal-reflection (TIR) collectors and an innovative compound tracker. The compound tracker, combining a mechanical single-axis tracker and scrollable prism sheets, can achieve a performance on a par with dual-axis tracking while reducing the cost of the tracking system and increasing its robustness. The alignment-free TIR collectors are assembled on the waveguide without requiring alignment, so the planar concentrator is relatively easily manufactured and markedly increases the feasibility for use in large concentrators. Further, the identical TIR collector is applicable to various-sized waveguide slab without requiring modification, which facilitates flexibility regarding the size of the waveguide slab. In the simulation model, the thickness of the slab was 2 mm, and its maximal length reached 6 m. With an average angular tolerance of ±0.6°, and after considering both the Fresnel loss and the angular spread of the sun, the simulation indicates that the waveguide concentrator of a 1000-mm length provides the optical efficiencies of 62-77% at the irradiance concentrations of 387-688, and the one of a 2000-mm length provides the optical efficiencies of 52-64.5% at the irradiance concentrations of 645-1148. Alternatively, if a 100-mm horizontally staggered waveguide slab is collocated with the alignment-free TIR collectors, the optical efficiency would be greatly improved up to 91.5% at an irradiance concentration of 1098 (C(geo) = 1200X).

  10. Fine-tuning structural RNA alignments in the twilight zone

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schirmer Stefanie

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A widely used method to find conserved secondary structure in RNA is to first construct a multiple sequence alignment, and then fold the alignment, optimizing a score based on thermodynamics and covariance. This method works best around 75% sequence similarity. However, in a "twilight zone" below 55% similarity, the sequence alignment tends to obscure the covariance signal used in the second phase. Therefore, while the overall shape of the consensus structure may still be found, the degree of conservation cannot be estimated reliably. Results Based on a combination of available methods, we present a method named planACstar for improving structure conservation in structural alignments in the twilight zone. After constructing a consensus structure by alignment folding, planACstar abandons the original sequence alignment, refolds the sequences individually, but consistent with the consensus, aligns the structures, irrespective of sequence, by a pure structure alignment method, and derives an improved sequence alignment from the alignment of structures, to be re-submitted to alignment folding, etc.. This circle may be iterated as long as structural conservation improves, but normally, one step suffices. Conclusions Employing the tools ClustalW, RNAalifold, and RNAforester, we find that for sequences with 30-55% sequence identity, structural conservation can be improved by 10% on average, with a large variation, measured in terms of RNAalifold's own criterion, the structure conservation index.

  11. Conserved antigenic sites between MERS-CoV and Bat-coronavirus are revealed through sequence analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharmin, Refat; Islam, Abul B M M K

    2016-01-01

    MERS-CoV is a newly emerged human coronavirus reported closely related with HKU4 and HKU5 Bat coronaviruses. Bat and MERS corona-viruses are structurally related. Therefore, it is of interest to estimate the degree of conserved antigenic sites among them. It is of importance to elucidate the shared antigenic-sites and extent of conservation between them to understand the evolutionary dynamics of MERS-CoV. Multiple sequence alignment of the spike (S), membrane (M), enveloped (E) and nucleocapsid (N) proteins was employed to identify the sequence conservation among MERS and Bat (HKU4, HKU5) coronaviruses. We used various in silico tools to predict the conserved antigenic sites. We found that MERS-CoV shared 30 % of its S protein antigenic sites with HKU4 and 70 % with HKU5 bat-CoV. Whereas 100 % of its E, M and N protein's antigenic sites are found to be conserved with those in HKU4 and HKU5. This sharing suggests that in case of pathogenicity MERS-CoV is more closely related to HKU5 bat-CoV than HKU4 bat-CoV. The conserved epitopes indicates their evolutionary relationship and ancestry of pathogenicity.

  12. Optimizing multiple sequence alignments using a genetic algorithm based on three objectives: structural information, non-gaps percentage and totally conserved columns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortuño, Francisco M; Valenzuela, Olga; Rojas, Fernando; Pomares, Hector; Florido, Javier P; Urquiza, Jose M; Rojas, Ignacio

    2013-09-01

    Multiple sequence alignments (MSAs) are widely used approaches in bioinformatics to carry out other tasks such as structure predictions, biological function analyses or phylogenetic modeling. However, current tools usually provide partially optimal alignments, as each one is focused on specific biological features. Thus, the same set of sequences can produce different alignments, above all when sequences are less similar. Consequently, researchers and biologists do not agree about which is the most suitable way to evaluate MSAs. Recent evaluations tend to use more complex scores including further biological features. Among them, 3D structures are increasingly being used to evaluate alignments. Because structures are more conserved in proteins than sequences, scores with structural information are better suited to evaluate more distant relationships between sequences. The proposed multiobjective algorithm, based on the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm, aims to jointly optimize three objectives: STRIKE score, non-gaps percentage and totally conserved columns. It was significantly assessed on the BAliBASE benchmark according to the Kruskal-Wallis test (P algorithm also outperforms other aligners, such as ClustalW, Multiple Sequence Alignment Genetic Algorithm (MSA-GA), PRRP, DIALIGN, Hidden Markov Model Training (HMMT), Pattern-Induced Multi-sequence Alignment (PIMA), MULTIALIGN, Sequence Alignment Genetic Algorithm (SAGA), PILEUP, Rubber Band Technique Genetic Algorithm (RBT-GA) and Vertical Decomposition Genetic Algorithm (VDGA), according to the Wilcoxon signed-rank test (P 0.05) with the advantage of being able to use less structures. Structural information is included within the objective function to evaluate more accurately the obtained alignments. The source code is available at http://www.ugr.es/~fortuno/MOSAStrE/MO-SAStrE.zip.

  13. Identify alternative splicing events based on position-specific evolutionary conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Chen

    Full Text Available The evolution of eukaryotes is accompanied by the increased complexity of alternative splicing which greatly expands genome information. One of the greatest challenges in the post-genome era is a complete revelation of human transcriptome with consideration of alternative splicing. Here, we introduce a comparative genomics approach to systemically identify alternative splicing events based on the differential evolutionary conservation between exons and introns and the high-quality annotation of the ENCODE regions. Specifically, we focus on exons that are included in some transcripts but are completely spliced out for others and we call them conditional exons. First, we characterize distinguishing features among conditional exons, constitutive exons and introns. One of the most important features is the position-specific conservation score. There are dramatic differences in conservation scores between conditional exons and constitutive exons. More importantly, the differences are position-specific. For flanking intronic regions, the differences between conditional exons and constitutive exons are also position-specific. Using the Random Forests algorithm, we can classify conditional exons with high specificities (97% for the identification of conditional exons from intron regions and 95% for the classification of known exons and fair sensitivities (64% and 32% respectively. We applied the method to the human genome and identified 39,640 introns that actually contain conditional exons and classified 8,813 conditional exons from the current RefSeq exon list. Among those, 31,673 introns containing conditional exons and 5,294 conditional exons classified from known exons cannot be inferred from RefSeq, UCSC or Ensembl annotations. Some of these de novo predictions were experimentally verified.

  14. Evolutionary plasticity of habenular asymmetry with a conserved efferent connectivity pattern.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo Villalón

    Full Text Available The vertebrate habenulae (Hb is an evolutionary conserved dorsal diencephalic nuclear complex that relays information from limbic and striatal forebrain regions to the ventral midbrain. One key feature of this bilateral nucleus is the presence of left-right differences in size, cytoarchitecture, connectivity, neurochemistry and/or gene expression. In teleosts, habenular asymmetry has been associated with preferential innervation of left-right habenular efferents into dorso-ventral domains of the midbrain interpeduncular nucleus (IPN. However, the degree of conservation of this trait and its relation to the structural asymmetries of the Hb are currently unknown. To address these questions, we performed the first systematic comparative analysis of structural and connectional asymmetries of the Hb in teleosts. We found striking inter-species variability in the overall shape and cytoarchitecture of the Hb, and in the frequency, strength and to a lesser degree, laterality of habenular volume at the population level. Directional asymmetry of the Hb was either to the left in D. rerio, E. bicolor, O. latipes, P. reticulata, B. splendens, or to the right in F. gardneri females. In contrast, asymmetry was absent in P. scalare and F. gardneri males at the population level, although in these species the Hb displayed volumetric asymmetries at the individual level. Inter-species variability was more pronounced across orders than within a single order, and coexisted with an overall conserved laterotopic representation of left-right habenular efferents into dorso-ventral domains of the IPN. These results suggest that the circuit design involving the Hb of teleosts promotes structural flexibility depending on developmental, cognitive and/or behavioural pressures, without affecting the main midbrain connectivity output, thus unveiling a key conserved role of this connectivity trait in the function of the circuit. We propose that ontogenic plasticity in habenular

  15. Evolutionary principles and their practical application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hendry, A. P.; Kinnison, M. T.; Heino, M.

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles...... are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design...... of harvesting regimes that minimize unwanted life-history evolution, and the setting of conservation priorities based on populations, species, or communities that harbor the greatest evolutionary diversity and potential. The adoption of evolutionary principles has proceeded somewhat independently...

  16. Evolutionary principles and their practical application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Andrew P; Kinnison, Michael T; Heino, Mikko; Day, Troy; Smith, Thomas B; Fitt, Gary; Bergstrom, Carl T; Oakeshott, John; Jørgensen, Peter S; Zalucki, Myron P; Gilchrist, George; Southerton, Simon; Sih, Andrew; Strauss, Sharon; Denison, Robert F; Carroll, Scott P

    2011-03-01

    Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design of harvesting regimes that minimize unwanted life-history evolution, and the setting of conservation priorities based on populations, species, or communities that harbor the greatest evolutionary diversity and potential. The adoption of evolutionary principles has proceeded somewhat independently in these different fields, even though the underlying fundamental concepts are the same. We explore these fundamental concepts under four main themes: variation, selection, connectivity, and eco-evolutionary dynamics. Within each theme, we present several key evolutionary principles and illustrate their use in addressing applied problems. We hope that the resulting primer of evolutionary concepts and their practical utility helps to advance a unified multidisciplinary field of applied evolutionary biology.

  17. Historian: accurate reconstruction of ancestral sequences and evolutionary rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Ian H

    2017-04-15

    Reconstruction of ancestral sequence histories, and estimation of parameters like indel rates, are improved by using explicit evolutionary models and summing over uncertain alignments. The previous best tool for this purpose (according to simulation benchmarks) was ProtPal, but this tool was too slow for practical use. Historian combines an efficient reimplementation of the ProtPal algorithm with performance-improving heuristics from other alignment tools. Simulation results on fidelity of rate estimation via ancestral reconstruction, along with evaluations on the structurally informed alignment dataset BAliBase 3.0, recommend Historian over other alignment tools for evolutionary applications. Historian is available at https://github.com/evoldoers/historian under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 US license. ihholmes+historian@gmail.com. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  18. Comprehensive characterization of evolutionary conserved breakpoints in four New World Monkey karyotypes compared to Chlorocebus aethiops and Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Xiaobo; Supiwong, Weerayuth; Weise, Anja; Mrasek, Kristin; Kosyakova, Nadezda; Tanomtong, Alongkoad; Pinthong, Krit; Trifonov, Vladimir A; Cioffi, Marcelo de Bello; Grothmann, Pierre; Liehr, Thomas; Oliveira, Edivaldo H C de

    2015-11-01

    Comparative cytogenetic analysis in New World Monkeys (NWMs) using human multicolor banding (MCB) probe sets were not previously done. Here we report on an MCB based FISH-banding study complemented with selected locus-specific and heterochromatin specific probes in four NWMs and one Old World Monkey (OWM) species, i.e. in Alouatta caraya (ACA), Callithrix jacchus (CJA), Cebus apella (CAP), Saimiri sciureus (SSC), and Chlorocebus aethiops (CAE), respectively. 107 individual evolutionary conserved breakpoints (ECBs) among those species were identified and compared with those of other species in previous reports. Especially for chromosomal regions being syntenic to human chromosomes 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 16 previously cryptic rearrangements could be observed. 50.4% (54/107) NWM-ECBs were colocalized with those of OWMs, 62.6% (62/99) NWM-ECBs were related with those of Hylobates lar (HLA) and 66.3% (71/107) NWM-ECBs corresponded with those known from other mammalians. Furthermore, human fragile sites were aligned with the ECBs found in the five studied species and interestingly 66.3% ECBs colocalized with those fragile sites (FS). Overall, this study presents detailed chromosomal maps of one OWM and four NWM species. This data will be helpful to further investigation on chromosome evolution in NWM and hominoids in general and is prerequisite for correct interpretation of future sequencing based genomic studies in those species.

  19. Comprehensive characterization of evolutionary conserved breakpoints in four New World Monkey karyotypes compared to Chlorocebus aethiops and Homo sapiens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaobo Fan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Comparative cytogenetic analysis in New World Monkeys (NWMs using human multicolor banding (MCB probe sets were not previously done. Here we report on an MCB based FISH-banding study complemented with selected locus-specific and heterochromatin specific probes in four NWMs and one Old World Monkey (OWM species, i.e. in Alouatta caraya (ACA, Callithrix jacchus (CJA, Cebus apella (CAP, Saimiri sciureus (SSC, and Chlorocebus aethiops (CAE, respectively. 107 individual evolutionary conserved breakpoints (ECBs among those species were identified and compared with those of other species in previous reports. Especially for chromosomal regions being syntenic to human chromosomes 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 16 previously cryptic rearrangements could be observed. 50.4% (54/107 NWM-ECBs were colocalized with those of OWMs, 62.6% (62/99 NWM-ECBs were related with those of Hylobates lar (HLA and 66.3% (71/107 NWM-ECBs corresponded with those known from other mammalians. Furthermore, human fragile sites were aligned with the ECBs found in the five studied species and interestingly 66.3% ECBs colocalized with those fragile sites (FS. Overall, this study presents detailed chromosomal maps of one OWM and four NWM species. This data will be helpful to further investigation on chromosome evolution in NWM and hominoids in general and is prerequisite for correct interpretation of future sequencing based genomic studies in those species.

  20. The sagittal stem alignment and the stem version clearly influence the impingement-free range of motion in total hip arthroplasty: a computer model-based analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Michael; Duda, Georg; Perka, Carsten; Tohtz, Stephan

    2016-03-01

    The component alignment in total hip arthroplasty influences the impingement-free range of motion (ROM). While substantiated data is available for the cup positioning, little is known about the stem alignment. Especially stem rotation and the sagittal alignment influence the position of the cone in relation to the edge of the socket and thus the impingement-free functioning. Hence, the question arises as to what influence do these parameters have on the impingement-free ROM? With the help of a computer model the influence of the sagittal stem alignment and rotation on the impingement-free ROM were investigated. The computer model was based on the CT dataset of a patient with a non-cemented THA. In the model the stem version was set at 10°/0°/-10° and the sagittal alignment at 5°/0°/-5°, which resulted in nine alternative stem positions. For each position, the maximum impingement-free ROM was investigated. Both stem version and sagittal stem alignment have a relevant influence on the impingement-free ROM. In particular, flexion and extension as well as internal and external rotation capability present evident differences. In the position intervals of 10° sagittal stem alignment and 20° stem version a difference was found of about 80° in the flexion and 50° in the extension capability. Likewise, differences were evidenced of up to 72° in the internal and up to 36° in the external rotation. The sagittal stem alignment and the stem torsion have a relevant influence on the impingement-free ROM. To clarify the causes of an impingement or accompanying problems, both parameters should be examined and, if possible, a combined assessment of these factors should be made.

  1. Revival structures of linear molecules in a field-free alignment condition as probed by high-order harmonic generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, G. H.; Kim, H. T.; Park, J. Y.; Nam, C. H.; Kim, T. K.; Lee, J. H.; Ihee, H.

    2006-01-01

    Revival structures (rotational coherence) of three linear molecules (N 2 , O 2 , and CO 2 ) in a field free alignment condition have been investigated using high-order harmonic generation. The harmonic yields of these molecules were measured in a pump-probe manner by using a weak femtosecond (fs) laser pulse for field-free alignment of molecules and another intense fs laser pulse for harmonic generation. The harmonic intensities from 23rd to 29th order with respect to the time delay between the pump and the probe pulses showed revival structures in the condition of a field-free alignment of molecules. While the revival structure of a N 2 molecule had one-fourth the period of the full revival time and different degrees of modulation among different fractional revival times, the revival structures of O 2 and CO 2 molecules showed one-eighth the periods of the full revival time and similar degrees of modulation among all fractional revival times. The revival structures could be interpreted in terms of the nature of the highest occupied molecular orbital and the total nuclear spin.

  2. Patterns of evolutionary conservation of essential genes correlate with their compensability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Bergmiller

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Essential genes code for fundamental cellular functions required for the viability of an organism. For this reason, essential genes are often highly conserved across organisms. However, this is not always the case: orthologues of genes that are essential in one organism are sometimes not essential in other organisms or are absent from their genomes. This suggests that, in the course of evolution, essential genes can be rendered nonessential. How can a gene become non-essential? Here we used genetic manipulation to deplete the products of 26 different essential genes in Escherichia coli. This depletion results in a lethal phenotype, which could often be rescued by the overexpression of a non-homologous, non-essential gene, most likely through replacement of the essential function. We also show that, in a smaller number of cases, the essential genes can be fully deleted from the genome, suggesting that complete functional replacement is possible. Finally, we show that essential genes whose function can be replaced in the laboratory are more likely to be non-essential or not present in other taxa. These results are consistent with the notion that patterns of evolutionary conservation of essential genes are influenced by their compensability-that is, by how easily they can be functionally replaced, for example through increased expression of other genes.

  3. Identifying human disease genes through cross-species gene mapping of evolutionary conserved processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Poot

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding complex networks that modulate development in humans is hampered by genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity within and between populations. Here we present a method that exploits natural variation in highly diverse mouse genetic reference panels in which genetic and environmental factors can be tightly controlled. The aim of our study is to test a cross-species genetic mapping strategy, which compares data of gene mapping in human patients with functional data obtained by QTL mapping in recombinant inbred mouse strains in order to prioritize human disease candidate genes.We exploit evolutionary conservation of developmental phenotypes to discover gene variants that influence brain development in humans. We studied corpus callosum volume in a recombinant inbred mouse panel (C57BL/6J×DBA/2J, BXD strains using high-field strength MRI technology. We aligned mouse mapping results for this neuro-anatomical phenotype with genetic data from patients with abnormal corpus callosum (ACC development.From the 61 syndromes which involve an ACC, 51 human candidate genes have been identified. Through interval mapping, we identified a single significant QTL on mouse chromosome 7 for corpus callosum volume with a QTL peak located between 25.5 and 26.7 Mb. Comparing the genes in this mouse QTL region with those associated with human syndromes (involving ACC and those covered by copy number variations (CNV yielded a single overlap, namely HNRPU in humans and Hnrpul1 in mice. Further analysis of corpus callosum volume in BXD strains revealed that the corpus callosum was significantly larger in BXD mice with a B genotype at the Hnrpul1 locus than in BXD mice with a D genotype at Hnrpul1 (F = 22.48, p<9.87*10(-5.This approach that exploits highly diverse mouse strains provides an efficient and effective translational bridge to study the etiology of human developmental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia.

  4. Functional Sites Induce Long-Range Evolutionary Constraints in Enzymes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin R Jack

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Functional residues in proteins tend to be highly conserved over evolutionary time. However, to what extent functional sites impose evolutionary constraints on nearby or even more distant residues is not known. Here, we report pervasive conservation gradients toward catalytic residues in a dataset of 524 distinct enzymes: evolutionary conservation decreases approximately linearly with increasing distance to the nearest catalytic residue in the protein structure. This trend encompasses, on average, 80% of the residues in any enzyme, and it is independent of known structural constraints on protein evolution such as residue packing or solvent accessibility. Further, the trend exists in both monomeric and multimeric enzymes and irrespective of enzyme size and/or location of the active site in the enzyme structure. By contrast, sites in protein-protein interfaces, unlike catalytic residues, are only weakly conserved and induce only minor rate gradients. In aggregate, these observations show that functional sites, and in particular catalytic residues, induce long-range evolutionary constraints in enzymes.

  5. BEAST: Bayesian evolutionary analysis by sampling trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Drummond Alexei J

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The evolutionary analysis of molecular sequence variation is a statistical enterprise. This is reflected in the increased use of probabilistic models for phylogenetic inference, multiple sequence alignment, and molecular population genetics. Here we present BEAST: a fast, flexible software architecture for Bayesian analysis of molecular sequences related by an evolutionary tree. A large number of popular stochastic models of sequence evolution are provided and tree-based models suitable for both within- and between-species sequence data are implemented. Results BEAST version 1.4.6 consists of 81000 lines of Java source code, 779 classes and 81 packages. It provides models for DNA and protein sequence evolution, highly parametric coalescent analysis, relaxed clock phylogenetics, non-contemporaneous sequence data, statistical alignment and a wide range of options for prior distributions. BEAST source code is object-oriented, modular in design and freely available at http://beast-mcmc.googlecode.com/ under the GNU LGPL license. Conclusion BEAST is a powerful and flexible evolutionary analysis package for molecular sequence variation. It also provides a resource for the further development of new models and statistical methods of evolutionary analysis.

  6. Flavivirus and Filovirus EvoPrinters: New alignment tools for the comparative analysis of viral evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Brody

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Flavivirus and Filovirus infections are serious epidemic threats to human populations. Multi-genome comparative analysis of these evolving pathogens affords a view of their essential, conserved sequence elements as well as progressive evolutionary changes. While phylogenetic analysis has yielded important insights, the growing number of available genomic sequences makes comparisons between hundreds of viral strains challenging. We report here a new approach for the comparative analysis of these hemorrhagic fever viruses that can superimpose an unlimited number of one-on-one alignments to identify important features within genomes of interest.We have adapted EvoPrinter alignment algorithms for the rapid comparative analysis of Flavivirus or Filovirus sequences including Zika and Ebola strains. The user can input a full genome or partial viral sequence and then view either individual comparisons or generate color-coded readouts that superimpose hundreds of one-on-one alignments to identify unique or shared identity SNPs that reveal ancestral relationships between strains. The user can also opt to select a database genome in order to access a library of pre-aligned genomes of either 1,094 Flaviviruses or 460 Filoviruses for rapid comparative analysis with all database entries or a select subset. Using EvoPrinter search and alignment programs, we show the following: 1 superimposing alignment data from many related strains identifies lineage identity SNPs, which enable the assessment of sublineage complexity within viral outbreaks; 2 whole-genome SNP profile screens uncover novel Dengue2 and Zika recombinant strains and their parental lineages; 3 differential SNP profiling identifies host cell A-to-I hyper-editing within Ebola and Marburg viruses, and 4 hundreds of superimposed one-on-one Ebola genome alignments highlight ultra-conserved regulatory sequences, invariant amino acid codons and evolutionarily variable protein-encoding domains within a

  7. Alignment of Duke free electron laser storage ring and optical beam delivery system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emamian, M.; Hower, N.

    1999-01-01

    Duke Free Electron Laser Laboratory (DFELL) hosts a 1.1 GeV electron beam storage ring facility which is capable of generating beams in the range of nearly monochromatic gamma rays to high peak power infra red (IR) laser. In this report specifications and procedures for alignment of OK-4 /Duke storage ring FEL wiggler and optical cavity mirrors will be discussed. The OK-4 FEL lasing has demonstrated a series of world record in the last few years. In August of this year the OK-4 FEL successfully commissioned to laser at 193.7 nm. Also in this article, alignment of the γ-ray and UV optical beam delivery system that is currently in progress will be described. (authors)

  8. Facilitating Constructive Alignment in Power Systems Engineering Education Using Free and Open-Source Software

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanfretti, L.; Milano, F.

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes how the use of free and open-source software (FOSS) can facilitate the application of constructive alignment theory in power systems engineering education by enabling the deep learning approach in power system analysis courses. With this aim, this paper describes the authors' approach in using the Power System Analysis Toolbox…

  9. Flexible Piezoelectric Touch Sensor by Alignment of Lead-Free Alkaline Niobate Microcubes in PDMS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deutz, D.B.; Mascarenhas, N.T.; Schelen, J.B.J.; de Leeuw, D.M.; van der Zwaag, S.; Groen, W.A.

    2017-01-01

    A highly sensitive, lead-free, and flexible piezoelectric touch sensor is reported based on composite films of alkaline niobate K0.485Na0.485Li0.03NbO3 (KNLN) powders aligned in a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) matrix. KNLN powder is fabricated by

  10. Identification of an evolutionary conserved SURF-6 domain in a family of nucleolar proteins extending from human to yeast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polzikov, Mikhail; Zatsepina, Olga; Magoulas, Charalambos

    2005-01-01

    The mammalian SURF-6 protein is localized in the nucleolus, yet its function remains elusive in the recently characterized nucleolar proteome. We discovered by searching the Protein families database that a unique evolutionary conserved SURF-6 domain is present in the carboxy-terminal of a novel family of eukaryotic proteins extending from human to yeast. By using the enhanced green fluorescent protein as a fusion protein marker in mammalian cells, we show that proteins from distantly related taxonomic groups containing the SURF-6 domain are localized in the nucleolus. Deletion sequence analysis shows that multiple regions of the SURF-6 protein are capable of nucleolar targeting independently of the evolutionary conserved domain. We identified that the Saccharomyces cerevisiae member of the SURF-6 family, named rrp14 or ykl082c, has been categorized in yeast databases to interact with proteins involved in ribosomal biogenesis and cell polarity. These results classify SURF-6 as a new family of nucleolar proteins in the eukaryotic kingdom and point out that SURF-6 has a distinct domain within the known nucleolar proteome that may mediate complex protein-protein interactions for analogous processes between yeast and mammalian cells

  11. Time warping of evolutionary distant temporal gene expression data based on noise suppression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Papatsenko Dmitri

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative analysis of genome wide temporal gene expression data has a broad potential area of application, including evolutionary biology, developmental biology, and medicine. However, at large evolutionary distances, the construction of global alignments and the consequent comparison of the time-series data are difficult. The main reason is the accumulation of variability in expression profiles of orthologous genes, in the course of evolution. Results We applied Pearson distance matrices, in combination with other noise-suppression techniques and data filtering to improve alignments. This novel framework enhanced the capacity to capture the similarities between the temporal gene expression datasets separated by large evolutionary distances. We aligned and compared the temporal gene expression data in budding (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and fission (Schizosaccharomyces pombe yeast, which are separated by more then ~400 myr of evolution. We found that the global alignment (time warping properly matched the duration of cell cycle phases in these distant organisms, which was measured in prior studies. At the same time, when applied to individual ortholog pairs, this alignment procedure revealed groups of genes with distinct alignments, different from the global alignment. Conclusion Our alignment-based predictions of differences in the cell cycle phases between the two yeast species were in a good agreement with the existing data, thus supporting the computational strategy adopted in this study. We propose that the existence of the alternative alignments, specific to distinct groups of genes, suggests presence of different synchronization modes between the two organisms and possible functional decoupling of particular physiological gene networks in the course of evolution.

  12. Fixism and conservation science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, Alexandre; Fontaine, Colin; Veron, Simon; Monnet, Anne-Christine; Legrand, Marine; Clavel, Joanne; Chantepie, Stéphane; Couvet, Denis; Ducarme, Frédéric; Fontaine, Benoît; Jiguet, Frédéric; le Viol, Isabelle; Rolland, Jonathan; Sarrazin, François; Teplitsky, Céline; Mouchet, Maud

    2017-08-01

    The field of biodiversity conservation has recently been criticized as relying on a fixist view of the living world in which existing species constitute at the same time targets of conservation efforts and static states of reference, which is in apparent disagreement with evolutionary dynamics. We reviewed the prominent role of species as conservation units and the common benchmark approach to conservation that aims to use past biodiversity as a reference to conserve current biodiversity. We found that the species approach is justified by the discrepancy between the time scales of macroevolution and human influence and that biodiversity benchmarks are based on reference processes rather than fixed reference states. Overall, we argue that the ethical and theoretical frameworks underlying conservation research are based on macroevolutionary processes, such as extinction dynamics. Current species, phylogenetic, community, and functional conservation approaches constitute short-term responses to short-term human effects on these reference processes, and these approaches are consistent with evolutionary principles. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  13. Alignment of whole genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delcher, A L; Kasif, S; Fleischmann, R D; Peterson, J; White, O; Salzberg, S L

    1999-01-01

    A new system for aligning whole genome sequences is described. Using an efficient data structure called a suffix tree, the system is able to rapidly align sequences containing millions of nucleotides. Its use is demonstrated on two strains of Mycoplasma tuberculosis, on two less similar species of Mycoplasma bacteria and on two syntenic sequences from human chromosome 12 and mouse chromosome 6. In each case it found an alignment of the input sequences, using between 30 s and 2 min of computation time. From the system output, information on single nucleotide changes, translocations and homologous genes can easily be extracted. Use of the algorithm should facilitate analysis of syntenic chromosomal regions, strain-to-strain comparisons, evolutionary comparisons and genomic duplications. PMID:10325427

  14. Label-Free Alignment of Nonmagnetic Particles in a Small Uniform Magnetic Field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhaomeng; Wang, Ying; Wu, Rui Ge; Wang, Z P; Ramanujan, R V

    2018-01-01

    Label-free manipulation of biological entities can minimize damage, increase viability and improve efficiency of subsequent analysis. Understanding the mechanism of interaction between magnetic and nonmagnetic particles in an inverse ferrofluid can provide a mechanism of label-free manipulation of such entities in a uniform magnetic field. The magnetic force, induced by relative magnetic susceptibility difference between nonmagnetic particles and surrounding magnetic particles as well as particle-particle interaction were studied. Label-free alignment of nonmagnetic particles can be achieved by higher magnetic field strength (Ba), smaller particle spacing (R), larger particle size (rp1), and higher relative magnetic permeability difference between particle and the surrounding fluid (Rμr). Rμr can be used to predict the direction of the magnetic force between both magnetic and nonmagnetic particles. A sandwich structure, containing alternate layers of magnetic and nonmagnetic particle chains, was studied. This work can be used for manipulation of nonmagnetic particles in lab-on-a-chip applications.

  15. EvoluCode: Evolutionary Barcodes as a Unifying Framework for Multilevel Evolutionary Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linard, Benjamin; Nguyen, Ngoc Hoan; Prosdocimi, Francisco; Poch, Olivier; Thompson, Julie D

    2012-01-01

    Evolutionary systems biology aims to uncover the general trends and principles governing the evolution of biological networks. An essential part of this process is the reconstruction and analysis of the evolutionary histories of these complex, dynamic networks. Unfortunately, the methodologies for representing and exploiting such complex evolutionary histories in large scale studies are currently limited. Here, we propose a new formalism, called EvoluCode (Evolutionary barCode), which allows the integration of different evolutionary parameters (eg, sequence conservation, orthology, synteny …) in a unifying format and facilitates the multilevel analysis and visualization of complex evolutionary histories at the genome scale. The advantages of the approach are demonstrated by constructing barcodes representing the evolution of the complete human proteome. Two large-scale studies are then described: (i) the mapping and visualization of the barcodes on the human chromosomes and (ii) automatic clustering of the barcodes to highlight protein subsets sharing similar evolutionary histories and their functional analysis. The methodologies developed here open the way to the efficient application of other data mining and knowledge extraction techniques in evolutionary systems biology studies. A database containing all EvoluCode data is available at: http://lbgi.igbmc.fr/barcodes.

  16. Considerations in the identification of functional RNA structural elements in genomic alignments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blencowe Benjamin J

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Accurate identification of novel, functional noncoding (nc RNA features in genome sequence has proven more difficult than for exons. Current algorithms identify and score potential RNA secondary structures on the basis of thermodynamic stability, conservation, and/or covariance in sequence alignments. Neither the algorithms nor the information gained from the individual inputs have been independently assessed. Furthermore, due to issues in modelling background signal, it has been difficult to gauge the precision of these algorithms on a genomic scale, in which even a seemingly small false-positive rate can result in a vast excess of false discoveries. Results We developed a shuffling algorithm, shuffle-pair.pl, that simultaneously preserves dinucleotide frequency, gaps, and local conservation in pairwise sequence alignments. We used shuffle-pair.pl to assess precision and recall of six ncRNA search tools (MSARI, QRNA, ddbRNA, RNAz, Evofold, and several variants of simple thermodynamic stability on a test set of 3046 alignments of known ncRNAs. Relative to mononucleotide shuffling, preservation of dinucleotide content in shuffling the alignments resulted in a drastic increase in estimated false-positive detection rates for ncRNA elements, precluding evaluation of higher order alignments, which cannot not be adequately shuffled maintaining both dinucleotides and alignment structure. On pairwise alignments, none of the covariance-based tools performed markedly better than thermodynamic scoring alone. Although the high false-positive rates call into question the veracity of any individual predicted secondary structural element in our analysis, we nevertheless identified intriguing global trends in human genome alignments. The distribution of ncRNA prediction scores in 75-base windows overlapping UTRs, introns, and intergenic regions analyzed using both thermodynamic stability and EvoFold (which has no thermodynamic component was

  17. Initial alignment method for free space optics laser beam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, Yuta; Tashiro, Yuki; Izumi, Kiyotaka; Yoshida, Koichi; Tsujimura, Takeshi

    2016-08-01

    The authors have newly proposed and constructed an active free space optics transmission system. It is equipped with a motor driven laser emitting mechanism and positioning photodiodes, and it transmits a collimated thin laser beam and accurately steers the laser beam direction. It is necessary to introduce the laser beam within sensible range of the receiver in advance of laser beam tracking control. This paper studies an estimation method of laser reaching point for initial laser beam alignment. Distributed photodiodes detect laser luminescence at respective position, and the optical axis of laser beam is analytically presumed based on the Gaussian beam optics. Computer simulation evaluates the accuracy of the proposed estimation methods, and results disclose that the methods help us to guide the laser beam to a distant receiver.

  18. A flexible statistical model for alignment of label-free proteomics data--incorporating ion mobility and product ion information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin, Ashlee M; Thompson, J Will; Soderblom, Erik J; Geromanos, Scott J; Henao, Ricardo; Kraus, Virginia B; Moseley, M Arthur; Lucas, Joseph E

    2013-12-16

    The goal of many proteomics experiments is to determine the abundance of proteins in biological samples, and the variation thereof in various physiological conditions. High-throughput quantitative proteomics, specifically label-free LC-MS/MS, allows rapid measurement of thousands of proteins, enabling large-scale studies of various biological systems. Prior to analyzing these information-rich datasets, raw data must undergo several computational processing steps. We present a method to address one of the essential steps in proteomics data processing--the matching of peptide measurements across samples. We describe a novel method for label-free proteomics data alignment with the ability to incorporate previously unused aspects of the data, particularly ion mobility drift times and product ion information. We compare the results of our alignment method to PEPPeR and OpenMS, and compare alignment accuracy achieved by different versions of our method utilizing various data characteristics. Our method results in increased match recall rates and similar or improved mismatch rates compared to PEPPeR and OpenMS feature-based alignment. We also show that the inclusion of drift time and product ion information results in higher recall rates and more confident matches, without increases in error rates. Based on the results presented here, we argue that the incorporation of ion mobility drift time and product ion information are worthy pursuits. Alignment methods should be flexible enough to utilize all available data, particularly with recent advancements in experimental separation methods.

  19. Predicting loss of evolutionary history: Where are we?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veron, Simon; Davies, T Jonathan; Cadotte, Marc W; Clergeau, Philippe; Pavoine, Sandrine

    2017-02-01

    The Earth's evolutionary history is threatened by species loss in the current sixth mass extinction event in Earth's history. Such extinction events not only eliminate species but also their unique evolutionary histories. Here we review the expected loss of Earth's evolutionary history quantified by phylogenetic diversity (PD) and evolutionary distinctiveness (ED) at risk. Due to the general paucity of data, global evolutionary history losses have been predicted for only a few groups, such as mammals, birds, amphibians, plants, corals and fishes. Among these groups, there is now empirical support that extinction threats are clustered on the phylogeny; however this is not always a sufficient condition to cause higher loss of phylogenetic diversity in comparison to a scenario of random extinctions. Extinctions of the most evolutionarily distinct species and the shape of phylogenetic trees are additional factors that can elevate losses of evolutionary history. Consequently, impacts of species extinctions differ among groups and regions, and even if global losses are low within large groups, losses can be high among subgroups or within some regions. Further, we show that PD and ED are poorly protected by current conservation practices. While evolutionary history can be indirectly protected by current conservation schemes, optimizing its preservation requires integrating phylogenetic indices with those that capture rarity and extinction risk. Measures based on PD and ED could bring solutions to conservation issues, however they are still rarely used in practice, probably because the reasons to protect evolutionary history are not clear for practitioners or due to a lack of data. However, important advances have been made in the availability of phylogenetic trees and methods for their construction, as well as assessments of extinction risk. Some challenges remain, and looking forward, research should prioritize the assessment of expected PD and ED loss for more taxonomic

  20. Incorporating evolutionary history into conservation planning in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buerki, Sven; Callmander, Martin W; Bachman, Steven; Moat, Justin; Labat, Jean-Noël; Forest, Félix

    2015-02-19

    There is increased evidence that incorporating evolutionary history directly in conservation actions is beneficial, particularly given the likelihood that extinction is not random and that phylogenetic diversity (PD) is lost at higher rates than species diversity. This evidence is even more compelling in biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar, where less than 10% of the original vegetation remains. Here, we use the Leguminosae, an ecologically and economically important plant family, and a combination of phylogenetics and species distribution modelling, to assess biodiversity patterns and identify regions, coevolutionary processes and ecological factors that are important in shaping this diversity, especially during the Quaternary. We show evidence that species distribution and community PD are predicted by watershed boundaries, which enable the identification of a network of refugia and dispersal corridors that were perhaps important for maintaining community integrity during past climate change. Phylogenetically clustered communities are found in the southwest of the island at low elevation and share a suite of morphological characters (especially fruit morphology) indicative of coevolution with their main dispersers, the extinct and extant lemurs. Phylogenetically over-dispersed communities are found along the eastern coast at sea level and may have resulted from many independent dispersal events from the drier and more seasonal regions of Madagascar. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  1. Mitochondrial DNA haplotype distribution patterns in Pinus ponderosa (Pinaceae): range-wide evolutionary history and implications for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Kevin M; Hipkins, Valerie D; Mahalovich, Mary F; Means, Robert E

    2013-08-01

    Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex P. Lawson & C. Lawson) exhibits complicated patterns of morphological and genetic variation across its range in western North America. This study aims to clarify P. ponderosa evolutionary history and phylogeography using a highly polymorphic mitochondrial DNA marker, with results offering insights into how geographical and climatological processes drove the modern evolutionary structure of tree species in the region. We amplified the mtDNA nad1 second intron minisatellite region for 3,100 trees representing 104 populations, and sequenced all length variants. We estimated population-level haplotypic diversity and determined diversity partitioning among varieties, races and populations. After aligning sequences of minisatellite repeat motifs, we evaluated evolutionary relationships among haplotypes. The geographical structuring of the 10 haplotypes corresponded with division between Pacific and Rocky Mountain varieties. Pacific haplotypes clustered with high bootstrap support, and appear to have descended from Rocky Mountain haplotypes. A greater proportion of diversity was partitioned between Rocky Mountain races than between Pacific races. Areas of highest haplotypic diversity were the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range in California, northwestern California, and southern Nevada. Pinus ponderosa haplotype distribution patterns suggest a complex phylogeographic history not revealed by other genetic and morphological data, or by the sparse paleoecological record. The results appear consistent with long-term divergence between the Pacific and Rocky Mountain varieties, along with more recent divergences not well-associated with race. Pleistocene refugia may have existed in areas of high haplotypic diversity, as well as the Great Basin, Southwestern United States/northern Mexico, and the High Plains.

  2. Structural re-alignment in an immunologic surface region of ricin A chain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zemla, A T; Zhou, C E

    2007-07-24

    We compared structure alignments generated by several protein structure comparison programs to determine whether existing methods would satisfactorily align residues at a highly conserved position within an immunogenic loop in ribosome inactivating proteins (RIPs). Using default settings, structure alignments generated by several programs (CE, DaliLite, FATCAT, LGA, MAMMOTH, MATRAS, SHEBA, SSM) failed to align the respective conserved residues, although LGA reported correct residue-residue (R-R) correspondences when the beta-carbon (Cb) position was used as the point of reference in the alignment calculations. Further tests using variable points of reference indicated that points distal from the beta carbon along a vector connecting the alpha and beta carbons yielded rigid structural alignments in which residues known to be highly conserved in RIPs were reported as corresponding residues in structural comparisons between ricin A chain, abrin-A, and other RIPs. Results suggest that approaches to structure alignment employing alternate point representations corresponding to side chain position may yield structure alignments that are more consistent with observed conservation of functional surface residues than do standard alignment programs, which apply uniform criteria for alignment (i.e., alpha carbon (Ca) as point of reference) along the entirety of the peptide chain. We present the results of tests that suggest the utility of allowing user-specified points of reference in generating alternate structural alignments, and we present a web server for automatically generating such alignments.

  3. Alignment-free phylogeny of whole genomes using underlying subwords

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Comin Matteo

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background With the progress of modern sequencing technologies a large number of complete genomes are now available. Traditionally the comparison of two related genomes is carried out by sequence alignment. There are cases where these techniques cannot be applied, for example if two genomes do not share the same set of genes, or if they are not alignable to each other due to low sequence similarity, rearrangements and inversions, or more specifically to their lengths when the organisms belong to different species. For these cases the comparison of complete genomes can be carried out only with ad hoc methods that are usually called alignment-free methods. Methods In this paper we propose a distance function based on subword compositions called Underlying Approach (UA. We prove that the matching statistics, a popular concept in the field of string algorithms able to capture the statistics of common words between two sequences, can be derived from a small set of “independent” subwords, namely the irredundant common subwords. We define a distance-like measure based on these subwords, such that each region of genomes contributes only once, thus avoiding to count shared subwords a multiple number of times. In a nutshell, this filter discards subwords occurring in regions covered by other more significant subwords. Results The Underlying Approach (UA builds a scoring function based on this set of patterns, called underlying. We prove that this set is by construction linear in the size of input, without overlaps, and can be efficiently constructed. Results show the validity of our method in the reconstruction of phylogenetic trees, where the Underlying Approach outperforms the current state of the art methods. Moreover, we show that the accuracy of UA is achieved with a very small number of subwords, which in some cases carry meaningful biological information. Availability http://www.dei.unipd.it/∼ciompin/main/underlying.html

  4. An additional reference axis improves femoral rotation alignment in image-free computer navigation assisted total knee arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inui, Hiroshi; Taketomi, Shuji; Nakamura, Kensuke; Sanada, Takaki; Tanaka, Sakae; Nakagawa, Takumi

    2013-05-01

    Few studies have demonstrated improvement in accuracy of rotational alignment using image-free navigation systems mainly due to the inconsistent registration of anatomical landmarks. We have used an image-free navigation for total knee arthroplasty, which adopts the average algorithm between two reference axes (transepicondylar axis and axis perpendicular to the Whiteside axis) for femoral component rotation control. We hypothesized that addition of another axis (condylar twisting axis measured on a preoperative radiograph) would improve the accuracy. One group using the average algorithm (double-axis group) was compared with the other group using another axis to confirm the accuracy of the average algorithm (triple-axis group). Femoral components were more accurately implanted for rotational alignment in the triple-axis group (ideal: triple-axis group 100%, double-axis group 82%, P<0.05). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. RV-Typer: A Web Server for Typing of Rhinoviruses Using Alignment-Free Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pandurang S Kolekar

    Full Text Available Rhinoviruses (RV are increasingly being reported to cause mild to severe infections of respiratory tract in humans. RV are antigenically the most diverse species of the genus Enterovirus and family Picornaviridae. There are three species of RV (RV-A, -B and -C, with 80, 32 and 55 serotypes/types, respectively. Antigenic variation is the main limiting factor for development of a cross-protective vaccine against RV.Serotyping of Rhinoviruses is carried out using cross-neutralization assays in cell culture. However, these assays become laborious and time-consuming for the large number of strains. Alternatively, serotyping of RV is carried out by alignment-based phylogeny of both protein and nucleotide sequences of VP1. However, serotyping of RV based on alignment-based phylogeny is a multi-step process, which needs to be repeated every time a new isolate is sequenced. In view of the growing need for serotyping of RV, an alignment-free method based on "return time distribution" (RTD of amino acid residues in VP1 protein has been developed and implemented in the form of a web server titled RV-Typer. RV-Typer accepts nucleotide or protein sequences as an input and computes return times of di-peptides (k = 2 to assign serotypes. The RV-Typer performs with 100% sensitivity and specificity. It is significantly faster than alignment-based methods. The web server is available at http://bioinfo.net.in/RV-Typer/home.html.

  6. Evolutionary history of the recruitment of conserved developmental genes in association to the formation and diversification of a novel trait

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirai Leila T

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The origin and modification of novel traits are important aspects of biological diversification. Studies combining concepts and approaches of developmental genetics and evolutionary biology have uncovered many examples of the recruitment, or co-option, of genes conserved across lineages for the formation of novel, lineage-restricted traits. However, little is known about the evolutionary history of the recruitment of those genes, and of the relationship between them -for example, whether the co-option involves whole or parts of existing networks, or whether it occurs by redeployment of individual genes with de novo rewiring. We use a model novel trait, color pattern elements on butterfly wings called eyespots, to explore these questions. Eyespots have greatly diversified under natural and sexual selection, and their formation involves genetic circuitries shared across insects. Results We investigated the evolutionary history of the recruitment and co-recruitment of four conserved transcription regulators to the larval wing disc region where circular pattern elements develop. The co-localization of Antennapedia, Notch, Distal-less, and Spalt with presumptive (eyespot organizers was examined in 13 butterfly species, providing the largest comparative dataset available for the system. We found variation between families, between subfamilies, and between tribes. Phylogenetic reconstructions by parsimony and maximum likelihood methods revealed an unambiguous evolutionary history only for Antennapedia, with a resolved single origin of eyespot-associated expression, and many homoplastic events for Notch, Distal-less, and Spalt. The flexibility in the (co-recruitment of the targeted genes includes cases where different gene combinations are associated with morphologically similar eyespots, as well as cases where identical protein combinations are associated with very different phenotypes. Conclusions The evolutionary history of gene

  7. Genome-wide detection of selection and other evolutionary forces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xu, Zhuofei; Zhou, Rui

    2015-01-01

    As is well known, pathogenic microbes evolve rapidly to escape from the host immune system and antibiotics. Genetic variations among microbial populations occur frequently during the long-term pathogen–host evolutionary arms race, and individual mutation beneficial for the fitness can be fixed...... to scan genome-wide alignments for evidence of positive Darwinian selection, recombination, and other evolutionary forces operating on the coding regions. In this chapter, we describe an integrative analysis pipeline and its application to tracking featured evolutionary trajectories on the genome...

  8. Triangular Alignment (TAME). A Tensor-based Approach for Higher-order Network Alignment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mohammadi, Shahin [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Gleich, David F. [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States); Kolda, Tamara G. [Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States); Grama, Ananth [Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)

    2015-11-01

    Network alignment is an important tool with extensive applications in comparative interactomics. Traditional approaches aim to simultaneously maximize the number of conserved edges and the underlying similarity of aligned entities. We propose a novel formulation of the network alignment problem that extends topological similarity to higher-order structures and provide a new objective function that maximizes the number of aligned substructures. This objective function corresponds to an integer programming problem, which is NP-hard. Consequently, we approximate this objective function as a surrogate function whose maximization results in a tensor eigenvalue problem. Based on this formulation, we present an algorithm called Triangular AlignMEnt (TAME), which attempts to maximize the number of aligned triangles across networks. We focus on alignment of triangles because of their enrichment in complex networks; however, our formulation and resulting algorithms can be applied to general motifs. Using a case study on the NAPABench dataset, we show that TAME is capable of producing alignments with up to 99% accuracy in terms of aligned nodes. We further evaluate our method by aligning yeast and human interactomes. Our results indicate that TAME outperforms the state-of-art alignment methods both in terms of biological and topological quality of the alignments.

  9. Dynamics based alignment of proteins: an alternative approach to quantify dynamic similarity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lyngsø Rune

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The dynamic motions of many proteins are central to their function. It therefore follows that the dynamic requirements of a protein are evolutionary constrained. In order to assess and quantify this, one needs to compare the dynamic motions of different proteins. Comparing the dynamics of distinct proteins may also provide insight into how protein motions are modified by variations in sequence and, consequently, by structure. The optimal way of comparing complex molecular motions is, however, far from trivial. The majority of comparative molecular dynamics studies performed to date relied upon prior sequence or structural alignment to define which residues were equivalent in 3-dimensional space. Results Here we discuss an alternative methodology for comparative molecular dynamics that does not require any prior alignment information. We show it is possible to align proteins based solely on their dynamics and that we can use these dynamics-based alignments to quantify the dynamic similarity of proteins. Our method was tested on 10 representative members of the PDZ domain family. Conclusions As a result of creating pair-wise dynamics-based alignments of PDZ domains, we have found evolutionarily conserved patterns in their backbone dynamics. The dynamic similarity of PDZ domains is highly correlated with their structural similarity as calculated with Dali. However, significant differences in their dynamics can be detected indicating that sequence has a more refined role to play in protein dynamics than just dictating the overall fold. We suggest that the method should be generally applicable.

  10. Pareto optimal pairwise sequence alignment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeRonne, Kevin W; Karypis, George

    2013-01-01

    Sequence alignment using evolutionary profiles is a commonly employed tool when investigating a protein. Many profile-profile scoring functions have been developed for use in such alignments, but there has not yet been a comprehensive study of Pareto optimal pairwise alignments for combining multiple such functions. We show that the problem of generating Pareto optimal pairwise alignments has an optimal substructure property, and develop an efficient algorithm for generating Pareto optimal frontiers of pairwise alignments. All possible sets of two, three, and four profile scoring functions are used from a pool of 11 functions and applied to 588 pairs of proteins in the ce_ref data set. The performance of the best objective combinations on ce_ref is also evaluated on an independent set of 913 protein pairs extracted from the BAliBASE RV11 data set. Our dynamic-programming-based heuristic approach produces approximated Pareto optimal frontiers of pairwise alignments that contain comparable alignments to those on the exact frontier, but on average in less than 1/58th the time in the case of four objectives. Our results show that the Pareto frontiers contain alignments whose quality is better than the alignments obtained by single objectives. However, the task of identifying a single high-quality alignment among those in the Pareto frontier remains challenging.

  11. Evolutionary conservation of essential and highly expressed genes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scharfe Maren

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The constant increase in development and spread of bacterial resistance to antibiotics poses a serious threat to human health. New sequencing technologies are now on the horizon that will yield massive increases in our capacity for DNA sequencing and will revolutionize the drug discovery process. Since essential genes are promising novel antibiotic targets, the prediction of gene essentiality based on genomic information has become a major focus. Results In this study we demonstrate that pooled sequencing is applicable for the analysis of sequence variations of strain collections with more than 10 individual isolates. Pooled sequencing of 36 clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates revealed that essential and highly expressed proteins evolve at lower rates, whereas extracellular proteins evolve at higher rates. We furthermore refined the list of experimentally essential P. aeruginosa genes, and identified 980 genes that show no sequence variation at all. Among the conserved nonessential genes we found several that are involved in regulation, motility and virulence, indicating that they represent factors of evolutionary importance for the lifestyle of a successful environmental bacterium and opportunistic pathogen. Conclusion The detailed analysis of a comprehensive set of P. aeruginosa genomes in this study clearly disclosed detailed information of the genomic makeup and revealed a large set of highly conserved genes that play an important role for the lifestyle of this microorganism. Sequencing strain collections enables for a detailed and extensive identification of sequence variations as potential bacterial adaptation processes, e.g., during the development of antibiotic resistance in the clinical setting and thus may be the basis to uncover putative targets for novel treatment strategies.

  12. Improving your target-template alignment with MODalign.

    KAUST Repository

    Barbato, Alessandro; Benkert, Pascal; Schwede, Torsten; Tramontano, Anna; Kosinski, Jan

    2012-01-01

    , upon modification of the target-template alignment, updates the multiple sequence alignments of the two protein families, their conservation score, secondary structure and solvent accessibility values, and local quality scores of the implied three

  13. African wildlife conservation and the evolution of hunting institutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    't Sas-Rolfes, Michael

    2017-11-01

    Hunting regulation presents a significant challenge for contemporary global conservation governance. Motivated by various incentives, hunters may act legally or illegally, for or against the interests of conservation. Hunter incentives are shaped by the interactions between unevenly evolving formal and informal institutions, embedded in socio-ecological systems. To work effectively for conservation, regulatory interventions must take these evolving institutional interactions into account. Drawing on analytical tools from evolutionary institutional economics, this article examines the trajectory of African hunting regulation and its consequences. Concepts of institutional dynamics, fit, scale, and interplay are applied to case studies of rhinoceros and lion hunting to highlight issues of significance to conservation outcomes. These include important links between different forms of hunting and dynamic interplay with institutions of trade. The case studies reveal that inappropriate formal regulatory approaches may be undermined by adaptive informal market responses. Poorly regulated hunting may lead to calls for stricter regulations or bans, but such legal restrictions may in turn perversely lead to more intensified and organised illegal hunting activity, further undermining conservation objectives. I conclude by offering insights and recommendations to guide more effective future regulatory interventions and priorities for further research. Specifically, I advocate approaches that move beyond simplistic regulatory interventions toward more complex, but supportive, institutional arrangements that align formal and informal institutions through inclusive stakeholder engagement.

  14. Laser-induced field-free alignment of the OCS molecule

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Loriot, V; Tzallas, P; Benis, E P; Hertz, E; Lavorel, B; Charalambidis, D; Faucher, O

    2007-01-01

    We investigate the dynamical alignment of jet-cooled OCS molecules induced by a short laser pulse. The alignment is measured through the orientational contribution of the optical Kerr effect using a second weak laser pulse as a probe. Maximum alignment is observed at conditions close to saturation of ionization. The results are analysed with a quantum mechanical model solving for the rotational dynamics

  15. CSA: An efficient algorithm to improve circular DNA multiple alignment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pereira Luísa

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The comparison of homologous sequences from different species is an essential approach to reconstruct the evolutionary history of species and of the genes they harbour in their genomes. Several complete mitochondrial and nuclear genomes are now available, increasing the importance of using multiple sequence alignment algorithms in comparative genomics. MtDNA has long been used in phylogenetic analysis and errors in the alignments can lead to errors in the interpretation of evolutionary information. Although a large number of multiple sequence alignment algorithms have been proposed to date, they all deal with linear DNA and cannot handle directly circular DNA. Researchers interested in aligning circular DNA sequences must first rotate them to the "right" place using an essentially manual process, before they can use multiple sequence alignment tools. Results In this paper we propose an efficient algorithm that identifies the most interesting region to cut circular genomes in order to improve phylogenetic analysis when using standard multiple sequence alignment algorithms. This algorithm identifies the largest chain of non-repeated longest subsequences common to a set of circular mitochondrial DNA sequences. All the sequences are then rotated and made linear for multiple alignment purposes. To evaluate the effectiveness of this new tool, three different sets of mitochondrial DNA sequences were considered. Other tests considering randomly rotated sequences were also performed. The software package Arlequin was used to evaluate the standard genetic measures of the alignments obtained with and without the use of the CSA algorithm with two well known multiple alignment algorithms, the CLUSTALW and the MAVID tools, and also the visualization tool SinicView. Conclusion The results show that a circularization and rotation pre-processing step significantly improves the efficiency of public available multiple sequence alignment

  16. Conservation Evo-Devo: Preserving Biodiversity by Understanding Its Origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Calum S; Adams, Colin E; Bean, Colin W; Parsons, Kevin J

    2017-10-01

    Unprecedented rates of species extinction increase the urgency for effective conservation biology management practices. Thus, any improvements in practice are vital and we suggest that conservation can be enhanced through recent advances in evolutionary biology, specifically advances put forward by evolutionary developmental biology (i.e., evo-devo). There are strong overlapping conceptual links between conservation and evo-devo whereby both fields focus on evolutionary potential. In particular, benefits to conservation can be derived from some of the main areas of evo-devo research, namely phenotypic plasticity, modularity and integration, and mechanistic investigations of the precise developmental and genetic processes that determine phenotypes. Using examples we outline how evo-devo can expand into conservation biology, an opportunity which holds great promise for advancing both fields. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Integrating Traditional and Evolutionary Knowledge in Biodiversity Conservation: a Population Level Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan J. Fraser

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Despite their dual importance in the assessment of endangered/threatened species, there have been few attempts to integrate traditional ecological knowledge (TEK and evolutionary biology knowledge (EBK at the population level. We contrasted long-term aboriginal TEK with previously obtained EBK in the context of seasonal migratory habits and population biology of a salmonid fish, brook charr, (Salvelinus fontinalis inhabiting a large, remote postglacial lake. Compilation of TEK spanning four decades involved analytical workshops, semidirective interviews, and collaborative fieldwork with local aboriginal informants and fishing guides. We found that TEK complemented EBK of brook charr by providing concordant and additional information about (1 population viability; (2 breeding areas and migration patterns of divergent populations; and (3 the behavioral ecology of populations within feeding areas; all of which may ultimately affect the maintenance of population diversity. Aboriginal concerns related to human pressures on this species, not revealed by EBK, also help to focus future conservation initiatives for divergent populations and to encourage restoration of traditional fishing practices. However, relative to EBK, the relevance of TEK to salmonid biodiversity conservation was evident mainly at a smaller spatial scale, for example, that of individual rivers occupied by populations or certain lake sectors. Nevertheless, EBK was only collected over a 4-yr period, so TEK provided an essential long-term temporal window to evaluate population differences and persistence. We concluded that, despite different conceptual underpinnings, spatially and temporally varying TEK and EBK both contribute to the knowledge base required to achieve sustainability and effective biodiversity conservation planning for a given species. Such integration may be particularly relevant in many isolated regions, where intraspecific diversity can go unrecognized due to sparse

  18. A configuration space of homologous proteins conserving mutual information and allowing a phylogeny inference based on pair-wise Z-score probabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastien, Olivier; Ortet, Philippe; Roy, Sylvaine; Maréchal, Eric

    2005-03-10

    Popular methods to reconstruct molecular phylogenies are based on multiple sequence alignments, in which addition or removal of data may change the resulting tree topology. We have sought a representation of homologous proteins that would conserve the information of pair-wise sequence alignments, respect probabilistic properties of Z-scores (Monte Carlo methods applied to pair-wise comparisons) and be the basis for a novel method of consistent and stable phylogenetic reconstruction. We have built up a spatial representation of protein sequences using concepts from particle physics (configuration space) and respecting a frame of constraints deduced from pair-wise alignment score properties in information theory. The obtained configuration space of homologous proteins (CSHP) allows the representation of real and shuffled sequences, and thereupon an expression of the TULIP theorem for Z-score probabilities. Based on the CSHP, we propose a phylogeny reconstruction using Z-scores. Deduced trees, called TULIP trees, are consistent with multiple-alignment based trees. Furthermore, the TULIP tree reconstruction method provides a solution for some previously reported incongruent results, such as the apicomplexan enolase phylogeny. The CSHP is a unified model that conserves mutual information between proteins in the way physical models conserve energy. Applications include the reconstruction of evolutionary consistent and robust trees, the topology of which is based on a spatial representation that is not reordered after addition or removal of sequences. The CSHP and its assigned phylogenetic topology, provide a powerful and easily updated representation for massive pair-wise genome comparisons based on Z-score computations.

  19. A configuration space of homologous proteins conserving mutual information and allowing a phylogeny inference based on pair-wise Z-score probabilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maréchal Eric

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Popular methods to reconstruct molecular phylogenies are based on multiple sequence alignments, in which addition or removal of data may change the resulting tree topology. We have sought a representation of homologous proteins that would conserve the information of pair-wise sequence alignments, respect probabilistic properties of Z-scores (Monte Carlo methods applied to pair-wise comparisons and be the basis for a novel method of consistent and stable phylogenetic reconstruction. Results We have built up a spatial representation of protein sequences using concepts from particle physics (configuration space and respecting a frame of constraints deduced from pair-wise alignment score properties in information theory. The obtained configuration space of homologous proteins (CSHP allows the representation of real and shuffled sequences, and thereupon an expression of the TULIP theorem for Z-score probabilities. Based on the CSHP, we propose a phylogeny reconstruction using Z-scores. Deduced trees, called TULIP trees, are consistent with multiple-alignment based trees. Furthermore, the TULIP tree reconstruction method provides a solution for some previously reported incongruent results, such as the apicomplexan enolase phylogeny. Conclusion The CSHP is a unified model that conserves mutual information between proteins in the way physical models conserve energy. Applications include the reconstruction of evolutionary consistent and robust trees, the topology of which is based on a spatial representation that is not reordered after addition or removal of sequences. The CSHP and its assigned phylogenetic topology, provide a powerful and easily updated representation for massive pair-wise genome comparisons based on Z-score computations.

  20. An alignment-free method to find similarity among protein sequences via the general form of Chou's pseudo amino acid composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, M K; Niyogi, R; Misra, M

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a method to create the 60-dimensional feature vector for protein sequences via the general form of pseudo amino acid composition. The construction of the feature vector is based on the contents of amino acids, total distance of each amino acid from the first amino acid in the protein sequence and the distribution of 20 amino acids. The obtained cosine distance metric (also called the similarity matrix) is used to construct the phylogenetic tree by the neighbour joining method. In order to show the applicability of our approach, we tested it on three proteins: 1) ND5 protein sequences from nine species, 2) ND6 protein sequences from eight species, and 3) 50 coronavirus spike proteins. The results are in agreement with known history and the output from the multiple sequence alignment program ClustalW, which is widely used. We have also compared our phylogenetic results with six other recently proposed alignment-free methods. These comparisons show that our proposed method gives a more consistent biological relationship than the others. In addition, the time complexity is linear and space required is less as compared with other alignment-free methods that use graphical representation. It should be noted that the multiple sequence alignment method has exponential time complexity.

  1. CAFE: aCcelerated Alignment-FrEe sequence analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yang Young; Tang, Kujin; Ren, Jie; Fuhrman, Jed A; Waterman, Michael S; Sun, Fengzhu

    2017-07-03

    Alignment-free genome and metagenome comparisons are increasingly important with the development of next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Recently developed state-of-the-art k-mer based alignment-free dissimilarity measures including CVTree, $d_2^*$ and $d_2^S$ are more computationally expensive than measures based solely on the k-mer frequencies. Here, we report a standalone software, aCcelerated Alignment-FrEe sequence analysis (CAFE), for efficient calculation of 28 alignment-free dissimilarity measures. CAFE allows for both assembled genome sequences and unassembled NGS shotgun reads as input, and wraps the output in a standard PHYLIP format. In downstream analyses, CAFE can also be used to visualize the pairwise dissimilarity measures, including dendrograms, heatmap, principal coordinate analysis and network display. CAFE serves as a general k-mer based alignment-free analysis platform for studying the relationships among genomes and metagenomes, and is freely available at https://github.com/younglululu/CAFE. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  2. Strengths and Weaknesses of McNamara's Evolutionary Psychological Model of Dreaming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Olliges

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This article includes a brief overview of McNamara's (2004 evolutionary model of dreaming. The strengths and weaknesses of this model are then evaluated in terms of its consonance with measurable neurological and biological properties of dreaming, its fit within the tenets of evolutionary theories of dreams, and its alignment with evolutionary concepts of cooperation and spirituality. McNamara's model focuses primarily on dreaming that occurs during rapid eye movement (REM sleep; therefore this article also focuses on REM dreaming.

  3. Remembering the evolutionary Freud.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Allan

    2006-03-01

    Throughout his career as a writer, Sigmund Freud maintained an interest in the evolutionary origins of the human mind and its neurotic and psychotic disorders. In common with many writers then and now, he believed that the evolutionary past is conserved in the mind and the brain. Today the "evolutionary Freud" is nearly forgotten. Even among Freudians, he is regarded to be a red herring, relevant only to the extent that he diverts attention from the enduring achievements of the authentic Freud. There are three ways to explain these attitudes. First, the evolutionary Freud's key work is the "Overview of the Transference Neurosis" (1915). But it was published at an inopportune moment, forty years after the author's death, during the so-called "Freud wars." Second, Freud eventually lost interest in the "Overview" and the prospect of a comprehensive evolutionary theory of psychopathology. The publication of The Ego and the Id (1923), introducing Freud's structural theory of the psyche, marked the point of no return. Finally, Freud's evolutionary theory is simply not credible. It is based on just-so stories and a thoroughly discredited evolutionary mechanism, Lamarckian use-inheritance. Explanations one and two are probably correct but also uninteresting. Explanation number three assumes that there is a fundamental difference between Freud's evolutionary narratives (not credible) and the evolutionary accounts of psychopathology that currently circulate in psychiatry and mainstream journals (credible). The assumption is mistaken but worth investigating.

  4. Neotropical fish-fruit interactions: eco-evolutionary dynamics and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa, Sandra Bibiana; Costa-Pereira, Raul; Fleming, Theodore; Goulding, Michael; Anderson, Jill T

    2015-11-01

    Frugivorous fish play a prominent role in seed dispersal and reproductive dynamics of plant communities in riparian and floodplain habitats of tropical regions worldwide. In Neotropical wetlands, many plant species have fleshy fruits and synchronize their fruiting with the flood season, when fruit-eating fish forage in forest and savannahs for periods of up to 7 months. We conducted a comprehensive analysis to examine the evolutionary origin of fish-fruit interactions, describe fruit traits associated with seed dispersal and seed predation, and assess the influence of fish size on the effectiveness of seed dispersal by fish (ichthyochory). To date, 62 studies have documented 566 species of fruits and seeds from 82 plant families in the diets of 69 Neotropical fish species. Fish interactions with flowering plants are likely to be as old as 70 million years in the Neotropics, pre-dating most modern bird-fruit and mammal-fruit interactions, and contributing to long-distance seed dispersal and possibly the radiation of early angiosperms. Ichthyochory occurs across the angiosperm phylogeny, and is more frequent among advanced eudicots. Numerous fish species are capable of dispersing small seeds, but only a limited number of species can disperse large seeds. The size of dispersed seeds and the probability of seed dispersal both increase with fish size. Large-bodied species are the most effective seed dispersal agents and remain the primary target of fishing activities in the Neotropics. Thus, conservation efforts should focus on these species to ensure continuity of plant recruitment dynamics and maintenance of plant diversity in riparian and floodplain ecosystems. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  5. Alignment engineering in liquid crystalline elastomers: Free-form microstructures with multiple functionalities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zeng, Hao; Cerretti, Giacomo; Wiersma, Diederik S., E-mail: camilla.parmeggiani@lens.unifi.it, E-mail: wiersma@lens.unifi.it [European Laboratory for Non Linear Spectroscopy (LENS), University of Florence, via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Italy); Wasylczyk, Piotr [European Laboratory for Non Linear Spectroscopy (LENS), University of Florence, via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Italy); Faculty of Physics, Institute of Experimental Physics, University of Warsaw, ul. Hoza 69, Warszawa 00-681 (Poland); Martella, Daniele [European Laboratory for Non Linear Spectroscopy (LENS), University of Florence, via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Italy); Dipartimento di Chimica “Ugo Schiff,” University of Florence, via della Lastruccia 3-13, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Italy); Parmeggiani, Camilla, E-mail: camilla.parmeggiani@lens.unifi.it, E-mail: wiersma@lens.unifi.it [European Laboratory for Non Linear Spectroscopy (LENS), University of Florence, via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Italy); CNR-INO, via Nello Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Italy)

    2015-03-16

    We report a method to fabricate polymer microstructures with local control over the molecular orientation. Alignment control is achieved on molecular level in a structure of arbitrary form that can be from 1 to 100 μm in size, by fixing the local boundary conditions with micro-grating patterns. The method makes use of two-photon polymerization (Direct Laser Writing) and is demonstrated specifically in liquid-crystalline elastomers. This concept allows for the realization of free-form polymeric structures with multiple functionalities which are not possible to realize with existing techniques and which can be locally controlled by light in the micrometer scale.

  6. Insights from life history theory for an explicit treatment of trade-offs in conservation biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Anne

    2015-06-01

    As economic and social contexts become more embedded within biodiversity conservation, it becomes obvious that resources are a limiting factor in conservation. This recognition is leading conservation scientists and practitioners to increasingly frame conservation decisions as trade-offs between conflicting societal objectives. However, this framing is all too often done in an intuitive way, rather than by addressing trade-offs explicitly. In contrast, the concept of trade-off is a keystone in evolutionary biology, where it has been investigated extensively. I argue that insights from evolutionary theory can provide methodological and theoretical support to evaluating and quantifying trade-offs in biodiversity conservation. I reviewed the diverse ways in which trade-offs have emerged within the context of conservation and how advances from evolutionary theory can help avoid the main pitfalls of an implicit approach. When studying both evolutionary trade-offs (e.g., reproduction vs. survival) and conservation trade-offs (e.g., biodiversity conservation vs. agriculture), it is crucial to correctly identify the limiting resource, hold constant the amount of this resource when comparing different scenarios, and choose appropriate metrics to quantify the extent to which the objectives have been achieved. Insights from studies in evolutionary theory also reveal how an inadequate selection of conservation solutions may result from considering suboptimal rather than optional solutions when examining whether a trade-off exits between 2 objectives. Furthermore, the shape of a trade-off curve (i.e., whether the relationship between 2 objectives follows a concave, convex, or linear form) is known to affect crucially the definition of optimal solutions in evolutionary biology and very likely affects decisions in biodiversity conservation planning too. This interface between evolutionary biology and biodiversity conservation can therefore provide methodological guidance to

  7. Field-free molecular orientation of nonadiabatically aligned OCS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonoda, Kotaro; Iwasaki, Atsushi; Yamanouchi, Kaoru; Hasegawa, Hirokazu

    2018-02-01

    We investigate an enhancement of the orientation of OCS molecules by irradiating them with a near IR (ω) ultrashort laser pulse for alignment followed by another ultrashort laser pulse for orientation, which is synthesized by a phase-locked coherent superposition of the near IR laser pulse and its second harmonic (2ω). On the basis of the asymmetry in the ejection direction of S3+ fragment ions generated by the Coulomb explosion of multiply charged OCS, we show that the extent of the orientation of OCS is significantly enhanced when the delay between the alignment pulse and the orientation pulse is a quarter or three quarters of the rotational period. The recorded enhanced orientation was interpreted well by a numerical simulation of the temporal evolution of a rotational wave packet prepared by the alignment and orientation pulses.

  8. Developmental evolutionary biology of the vertebrate ear: conserving mechanoelectric transduction and developmental pathways in diverging morphologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritzsch, B.; Beisel, K. W.; Bermingham, N. A.

    2000-01-01

    This brief overview shows that a start has been made to molecularly dissect vertebrate ear development and its evolutionary conservation to the development of the insect hearing organ. However, neither the patterning process of the ear nor the patterning process of insect sensory organs is sufficiently known at the moment to provide more than a first glimpse. Moreover, hardly anything is known about otocyst development of the cephalopod molluscs, another triploblast lineage that evolved complex 'ears'. We hope that the apparent conserved functional and cellular components present in the ciliated sensory neurons/hair cells will also be found in the genes required for vertebrate ear and insect sensory organ morphogenesis (Fig. 3). Likewise, we expect that homologous pre-patterning genes will soon be identified for the non-sensory cell development, which is more than a blocking of neuronal development through the Delta/Notch signaling system. Generation of the apparently unique ear could thus represent a multiplication of non-sensory cells by asymmetric and symmetric divisions as well as modification of existing patterning process by implementing novel developmental modules. In the final analysis, the vertebrate ear may come about by increasing the level of gene interactions in an already existing and highly conserved interactive cascade of bHLH genes. Since this was apparently achieved in all three lineages of triploblasts independently (Fig. 3), we now need to understand how much of the morphogenetic cascades are equally conserved across phyla to generate complex ears. The existing mutations in humans and mice may be able to point the direction of future research to understand the development of specific cell types and morphologies in the formation of complex arthropod, cephalopod, and vertebrate 'ears'.

  9. Implementation of a Parallel Protein Structure Alignment Service on Cloud

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Che-Lun Hung

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Protein structure alignment has become an important strategy by which to identify evolutionary relationships between protein sequences. Several alignment tools are currently available for online comparison of protein structures. In this paper, we propose a parallel protein structure alignment service based on the Hadoop distribution framework. This service includes a protein structure alignment algorithm, a refinement algorithm, and a MapReduce programming model. The refinement algorithm refines the result of alignment. To process vast numbers of protein structures in parallel, the alignment and refinement algorithms are implemented using MapReduce. We analyzed and compared the structure alignments produced by different methods using a dataset randomly selected from the PDB database. The experimental results verify that the proposed algorithm refines the resulting alignments more accurately than existing algorithms. Meanwhile, the computational performance of the proposed service is proportional to the number of processors used in our cloud platform.

  10. Genomic diversity guides conservation strategies among rare terrestrial orchid species when taxonomy remains uncertain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Collin W; Supple, Megan A; Aitken, Nicola C; Cantrill, David J; Borevitz, Justin O; James, Elizabeth A

    2017-06-01

    Species are often used as the unit for conservation, but may not be suitable for species complexes where taxa are difficult to distinguish. Under such circumstances, it may be more appropriate to consider species groups or populations as evolutionarily significant units (ESUs). A population genomic approach was employed to investigate the diversity within and among closely related species to create a more robust, lineage-specific conservation strategy for a nationally endangered terrestrial orchid and its relatives from south-eastern Australia. Four putative species were sampled from a total of 16 populations in the Victorian Volcanic Plain (VVP) bioregion and one population of a sub-alpine outgroup in south-eastern Australia. Morphological measurements were taken in situ along with leaf material for genotyping by sequencing (GBS) and microsatellite analyses. Species could not be differentiated using morphological measurements. Microsatellite and GBS markers confirmed the outgroup as distinct, but only GBS markers provided resolution of population genetic structure. The nationally endangered Diuris basaltica was indistinguishable from two related species ( D. chryseopsis and D. behrii ), while the state-protected D. gregaria showed genomic differentiation. Genomic diversity identified among the four Diuris species suggests that conservation of this taxonomically complex group will be best served by considering them as one ESU rather than separately aligned with species as currently recognized. This approach will maximize evolutionary potential among all species during increased isolation and environmental change. The methods used here can be applied generally to conserve evolutionary processes for groups where taxonomic uncertainty hinders the use of species as conservation units. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

  11. When theory trumps ideology: Lessons from evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tybur, Joshua M; Navarrete, Carlos David

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary psychologists are personally liberal, just as social psychologists are. Yet their research has rarely been perceived as liberally biased--if anything, it has been erroneously perceived as motivated by conservative political agendas. Taking a closer look at evolutionary psychologists might offer the broader social psychology community guidance in neutralizing some of the biases Duarte et al. discuss.

  12. Improving your target-template alignment with MODalign

    OpenAIRE

    Barbato, Alessandro; Benkert, Pascal; Schwede, Torsten; Tramontano, Anna; Kosinski, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Summary: MODalign is an interactive web-based tool aimed at helping protein structure modelers to inspect and manually modify the alignment between the sequences of a target protein and of its template(s). It interactively computes, displays and, upon modification of the target-template alignment, updates the multiple sequence alignments of the two protein families, their conservation score, secondary structure and solvent accessibility values, and local quality scores of the implied three-di...

  13. Alignment-free Transcriptomic and Metatranscriptomic Comparison Using Sequencing Signatures with Variable Length Markov Chains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Weinan; Ren, Jie; Wang, Kun; Wang, Shun; Zeng, Feng; Wang, Ying; Sun, Fengzhu

    2016-11-23

    The comparison between microbial sequencing data is critical to understand the dynamics of microbial communities. The alignment-based tools analyzing metagenomic datasets require reference sequences and read alignments. The available alignment-free dissimilarity approaches model the background sequences with Fixed Order Markov Chain (FOMC) yielding promising results for the comparison of microbial communities. However, in FOMC, the number of parameters grows exponentially with the increase of the order of Markov Chain (MC). Under a fixed high order of MC, the parameters might not be accurately estimated owing to the limitation of sequencing depth. In our study, we investigate an alternative to FOMC to model background sequences with the data-driven Variable Length Markov Chain (VLMC) in metatranscriptomic data. The VLMC originally designed for long sequences was extended to apply to high-throughput sequencing reads and the strategies to estimate the corresponding parameters were developed. The flexible number of parameters in VLMC avoids estimating the vast number of parameters of high-order MC under limited sequencing depth. Different from the manual selection in FOMC, VLMC determines the MC order adaptively. Several beta diversity measures based on VLMC were applied to compare the bacterial RNA-Seq and metatranscriptomic datasets. Experiments show that VLMC outperforms FOMC to model the background sequences in transcriptomic and metatranscriptomic samples. A software pipeline is available at https://d2vlmc.codeplex.com.

  14. Combined CT-based and image-free navigation systems in TKA reduces postoperative outliers of rotational alignment of the tibial component.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitsuhashi, Shota; Akamatsu, Yasushi; Kobayashi, Hideo; Kusayama, Yoshihiro; Kumagai, Ken; Saito, Tomoyuki

    2018-02-01

    Rotational malpositioning of the tibial component can lead to poor functional outcome in TKA. Although various surgical techniques have been proposed, precise rotational placement of the tibial component was difficult to accomplish even with the use of a navigation system. The purpose of this study is to assess whether combined CT-based and image-free navigation systems replicate accurately the rotational alignment of tibial component that was preoperatively planned on CT, compared with the conventional method. We compared the number of outliers for rotational alignment of the tibial component using combined CT-based and image-free navigation systems (navigated group) with those of conventional method (conventional group). Seventy-two TKAs were performed between May 2012 and December 2014. In the navigated group, the anteroposterior axis was prepared using CT-based navigation system and the tibial component was positioned under control of the navigation. In the conventional group, the tibial component was placed with reference to the Akagi line that was determined visually. Fisher's exact probability test was performed to evaluate the results. There was a significant difference between the two groups with regard to the number of outliers: 3 outliers in the navigated group compared with 12 outliers in the conventional group (P image-free navigation systems decreased the number of rotational outliers of tibial component, and was helpful for the replication of the accurate rotational alignment of the tibial component that was preoperatively planned.

  15. Gene Coexpression and Evolutionary Conservation Analysis of the Human Preimplantation Embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiancheng Liu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary developmental biology (EVO-DEVO tries to decode evolutionary constraints on the stages of embryonic development. Two models—the “funnel-like” model and the “hourglass” model—have been proposed by investigators to illustrate the fluctuation of selective pressure on these stages. However, selective indices of stages corresponding to mammalian preimplantation embryonic development (PED were undetected in previous studies. Based on single cell RNA sequencing of stages during human PED, we used coexpression method to identify gene modules activated in each of these stages. Through measuring the evolutionary indices of gene modules belonging to each stage, we observed change pattern of selective constraints on PED for the first time. The selective pressure decreases from the zygote stage to the 4-cell stage and increases at the 8-cell stage and then decreases again from 8-cell stage to the late blastocyst stages. Previous EVO-DEVO studies concerning the whole embryo development neglected the fluctuation of selective pressure in these earlier stages, and the fluctuation was potentially correlated with events of earlier stages, such as zygote genome activation (ZGA. Such oscillation in an earlier stage would further affect models of the evolutionary constraints on whole embryo development. Therefore, these earlier stages should be measured intensively in future EVO-DEVO studies.

  16. Alignment of Custom Standards by Machine Learning Algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adela Sirbu

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Building an efficient model for automatic alignment of terminologies would bring a significant improvement to the information retrieval process. We have developed and compared two machine learning based algorithms whose aim is to align 2 custom standards built on a 3 level taxonomy, using kNN and SVM classifiers that work on a vector representation consisting of several similarity measures. The weights utilized by the kNN were optimized with an evolutionary algorithm, while the SVM classifier's hyper-parameters were optimized with a grid search algorithm. The database used for train was semi automatically obtained by using the Coma++ tool. The performance of our aligners is shown by the results obtained on the test set.

  17. Assessment of acetabulum anteversion aligned with the transverse acetabulum ligament: cadaveric study using image-free navigation system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomokazu Fukui

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The transverse acetabulum ligament (TAL has been used as an intraoperative anatomical landmark to position the acetabulum cup in total hip arthroplasty (THA. However, the validity of the use of TAL has not been clarified. The purpose of this study was to examine the orientation of the cup component aligned with the TAL in cadaveric study. The 31 hips in 25 whole-body embalmed cadavers were examined. The donors were 12 men and 13 women. Simulated THA procedure using image-free navigation system was performed and a trial cup with a diameter of approximately 2 mm less than the size of the acetabulum were inserted and snugly fitted on the TAL through the posterior wall of acetabulum. The orientation of the cup component was measured using an image-free THA navigation system. The measured radiographic anteversion and inclination angles averaged 18.2±7.2° (range: 2.0-33.2° and 43.5±4.2° (range: 33.1-51.0° respectively. Based on the Lewinnek’s safe zone criteria, 26 hips (80.6% were judged to be within the. Moreover, in the analysis of the gender difference of TAL angles, the average anteversion angle was shown to be significant larger in female than male population. The TAL can be effectively used an intraoperative landmark to align the acetabulum component helping reduce the risk of dislocation after surgery. In the intraoperative judgment, a gender difference in the alignment of the TAL should be taken into consideration.

  18. Domain architecture conservation in orthologs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background As orthologous proteins are expected to retain function more often than other homologs, they are often used for functional annotation transfer between species. However, ortholog identification methods do not take into account changes in domain architecture, which are likely to modify a protein's function. By domain architecture we refer to the sequential arrangement of domains along a protein sequence. To assess the level of domain architecture conservation among orthologs, we carried out a large-scale study of such events between human and 40 other species spanning the entire evolutionary range. We designed a score to measure domain architecture similarity and used it to analyze differences in domain architecture conservation between orthologs and paralogs relative to the conservation of primary sequence. We also statistically characterized the extents of different types of domain swapping events across pairs of orthologs and paralogs. Results The analysis shows that orthologs exhibit greater domain architecture conservation than paralogous homologs, even when differences in average sequence divergence are compensated for, for homologs that have diverged beyond a certain threshold. We interpret this as an indication of a stronger selective pressure on orthologs than paralogs to retain the domain architecture required for the proteins to perform a specific function. In general, orthologs as well as the closest paralogous homologs have very similar domain architectures, even at large evolutionary separation. The most common domain architecture changes observed in both ortholog and paralog pairs involved insertion/deletion of new domains, while domain shuffling and segment duplication/deletion were very infrequent. Conclusions On the whole, our results support the hypothesis that function conservation between orthologs demands higher domain architecture conservation than other types of homologs, relative to primary sequence conservation. This supports the

  19. The evolutionary strata of DARPP-32 tail implicates hierarchical ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The evolutionary strata of DARPP-32 tail implicates hierarchical functional expansion in higher vertebrates. CHOONG YONG UNG and TEOW CHONG TEOH. Supplementary data 1. Protein sequences of PPP1R1 family from 39 vertebrate species in FASTA format. Supplementary data 2. Multiple sequence alignment results ...

  20. Response to perturbations of the force-free aligned pulsar atmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, E.A.

    1978-01-01

    To clarify the likely structure of the pulsar atmosphere, the response of various plasma configurations near a rotating neutron star with aligned rotational and dipole magnetic axes is investigated. These configurations represent both general infinitesimal perturbations along B of the force-free (E.B = O) atmosphere, as well as a heuristic class of finite perturbations (shell atmospheres). It is shown that the general infinitesimal perturbations along B which preserve spatial ordering involve regions of both negative and positive work, whose boundaries are at the surfaces E.B = O(E is not equal to O) and those of zero charge density (cos 2 theta = 1/3). At the latter surfaces, and on one side of the system will produce mixing of charges of opposite sign. The intersecting E.B=O surface, the response of the recombination of these charges, and their removal by gravity, shows that the force-free atmosphere is physically unstable, favouring a lower density at mid-latitude. The response of various plasma shell atmospheres is also examined and confirms the likelihood of the plasma atmosphere previously predicted from a near-vacuum analysis, provided the density is not too large. Larger density shells are found to break up into 'striated' configurations, containing two electron and one or two ion groups, which however may not develop into stable configurations. Criteria on the plasma density related to this and other responses of the plasma shells are discussed. (author)

  1. MultiSeq: unifying sequence and structure data for evolutionary analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wright Dan

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Since the publication of the first draft of the human genome in 2000, bioinformatic data have been accumulating at an overwhelming pace. Currently, more than 3 million sequences and 35 thousand structures of proteins and nucleic acids are available in public databases. Finding correlations in and between these data to answer critical research questions is extremely challenging. This problem needs to be approached from several directions: information science to organize and search the data; information visualization to assist in recognizing correlations; mathematics to formulate statistical inferences; and biology to analyze chemical and physical properties in terms of sequence and structure changes. Results Here we present MultiSeq, a unified bioinformatics analysis environment that allows one to organize, display, align and analyze both sequence and structure data for proteins and nucleic acids. While special emphasis is placed on analyzing the data within the framework of evolutionary biology, the environment is also flexible enough to accommodate other usage patterns. The evolutionary approach is supported by the use of predefined metadata, adherence to standard ontological mappings, and the ability for the user to adjust these classifications using an electronic notebook. MultiSeq contains a new algorithm to generate complete evolutionary profiles that represent the topology of the molecular phylogenetic tree of a homologous group of distantly related proteins. The method, based on the multidimensional QR factorization of multiple sequence and structure alignments, removes redundancy from the alignments and orders the protein sequences by increasing linear dependence, resulting in the identification of a minimal basis set of sequences that spans the evolutionary space of the homologous group of proteins. Conclusion MultiSeq is a major extension of the Multiple Alignment tool that is provided as part of VMD, a structural

  2. Widespread evolutionary conservation of alternatively spliced exons in caenorhabditis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Irimia, Manuel; Rukov, Jakob L; Penny, David

    2007-01-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) contributes to increased transcriptome and proteome diversity in various eukaryotic lineages. Previous studies showed low levels of conservation of alternatively spliced (cassette) exons within mammals and within dipterans. We report a strikingly different pattern...... in Caenorhabditis nematodes-more than 92% of cassette exons from Caenorhabditis elegans are conserved in Caenorhabditis briggsae and/or Caenorhabditis remanei. High levels of conservation extend to minor-form exons (present in a minority of transcripts) and are particularly pronounced for exons showing complex...... patterns of splicing. The functionality of the vast majority of cassette exons is underscored by various other features. We suggest that differences in conservation between lineages reflect differences in levels of functionality and further suggest that these differences are due to differences in intron...

  3. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    OpenAIRE

    Tominaga Makoto; Kohno Keigo; Sokabe Takaaki; Matsuura Hironori; Kadowaki Tatsuhiko

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background TRP (Transient Receptor Potential) channels respond to diverse stimuli and thus function as the primary integrators of varied sensory information. They are also activated by various compounds and secondary messengers to mediate cell-cell interactions as well as to detect changes in the local environment. Their physiological roles have been primarily characterized only in mice and fruit flies, and evolutionary studies are limited. To understand the evolution of insect TRP c...

  4. Conserving rangeland resources. | Mentis | African Journal of Range ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... goal-attainment, (5) try to correct departures, and (6) align individual and societal interests by manipulating market-forces. Keywords: altruism; conservation; Conservation implementation; Conservation properties; human activity; Human values; philosophy; Range resources; rangeland; Rangelands; Science philosophy

  5. Improved accuracy of component alignment with the implementation of image-free navigation in total knee arthroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenberger, Ralf E; Hoser, Christian; Quirbach, Sebastian; Attal, Rene; Hennerbichler, Alfred; Fink, Christian

    2008-03-01

    Accuracy of implant positioning and reconstruction of the mechanical leg axis are major requirements for achieving good long-term results in total knee arthroplasty (TKA). The purpose of the present study was to determine whether image-free computer navigation technology has the potential to improve the accuracy of component alignment in TKA cohorts of experienced surgeons immediately and constantly. One hundred patients with primary arthritis of the knee underwent the unilateral total knee arthroplasty. The cohort of 50 TKAs implanted with conventional instrumentation was directly followed by the cohort of the very first 50 computer-assisted TKAs. All surgeries were performed by two senior surgeons. All patients received the Zimmer NexGen total knee prosthesis (Zimmer Inc., Warsaw, IN, USA). There was no variability regarding surgeons or surgical technique, except for the use of the navigation system (StealthStation) Treon plus Medtronic Inc., Minnesota, MI, USA). Accuracy of implant positioning was measured on postoperative long-leg standing radiographs and standard lateral X-rays with regard to the valgus angle and the coronal and sagittal component angles. In addition, preoperative deformities of the mechanical leg axis, tourniquet time, age, and gender were correlated. Statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS 15.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) software package. Independent t-tests were used, with significance set at P alignment between the two cohorts. To compute the rate of optimally implanted prostheses between the two groups we used the chi(2) test. The average postoperative radiological frontal mechanical alignment was 1.88 degrees of varus (range 6.1 degrees of valgus-10.1 degrees of varus; SD 3.68 degrees ) in the conventional cohort and 0.28 degrees of varus (range 3.7 degrees -6.0 degrees of varus; SD 1.97 degrees ) in the navigated cohort. Including all criteria for optimal implant alignment, 16 cases (32%) in the conventional cohort and 31

  6. Reconsidering 'Set the People Free': Neoliberalism and Freedom Rhetoric in Churchill's Conservative Party.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, James

    2017-09-18

    It is often assumed that 'Hayekian' or 'neoliberal' influences lay behind Conservative attacks on socialism in 1945 and subsequent calls to 'set the people free' in 1950 and 1951. This assumption has had consequences for our understanding of late-1940s Conservatism and for wider interpretations of post-war politics. Heeding recent calls to reconnect the inter-war and post-war parties and to pay closer attention to how opponents and contexts generate arguments, this article revisits senior Conservatives' rhetoric between 1945 and 1951 to break the link between neoliberal influence and freedom rhetoric. First, it argues that the rhetoric of 1945 was derived from a distinctly Conservative lineage of interwar argument and reflected strategies developed before the publication of F. A. Hayek's 'The Road to Serfdom'. Second, it demonstrates that senior Conservatives' emancipatory rhetoric in opposition after 1945 was neither a simple continuation of these themes nor primarily a response to the public's growing antipathy towards rationing and controls. Rather, such rhetoric was a complex response to Britain's immediate economic difficulties and the political challenges presented by austerity. Finally, the article sheds new light on the strategy that governed the party's campaigns in 1950 and 1951. Churchill and others' calls to 'set the people free' stemmed from a belief that the rhetorical opportunity lay in reconciling liberty with security. In that sense, the leadership had moved beyond begrudging compromises with the 'Attleean settlement' and was instead attempting to define a new identity within the parameters of the welfare state. © The Author [2017]. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  7. Data on the evolutionary history of the V(DJ recombination-activating protein 1 – RAG1 coupled with sequence and variant analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abhishek Kumar

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available RAG1 protein is one of the key component of RAG complex regulating the V(DJ recombination. There are only few studies for RAG1 concerning evolutionary history, detailed sequence and mutational hotspots. Herein, we present out datasets used for the recent comprehensive study of RAG1 based on sequence, phylogenetic and genetic variant analyses (Kumar et al., 2015 [1]. Protein sequence alignment helped in characterizing the conserved domains and regions of RAG1. It also aided in unraveling ancestral RAG1 in the sea urchin. Human genetic variant analyses revealed 751 mutational hotspots, located both in the coding and the non-coding regions. For further analysis and discussion, see (Kumar et al., 2015 [1].

  8. Are hotspots of evolutionary potential adequately protected in southern California?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandergast, A.G.; Bohonak, A.J.; Hathaway, S.A.; Boys, J.; Fisher, R.N.

    2008-01-01

    Reserves are often designed to protect rare habitats, or "typical" exemplars of ecoregions and geomorphic provinces. This approach focuses on current patterns of organismal and ecosystem-level biodiversity, but typically ignores the evolutionary processes that control the gain and loss of biodiversity at these and other levels (e.g., genetic, ecological). In order to include evolutionary processes in conservation planning efforts, their spatial components must first be identified and mapped. We describe a GIS-based approach for explicitly mapping patterns of genetic divergence and diversity for multiple species (a "multi-species genetic landscape"). Using this approach, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA datasets from 21 vertebrate and invertebrate species in southern California to identify areas with common phylogeographic breaks and high intrapopulation diversity. The result is an evolutionary framework for southern California within which patterns of genetic diversity can be analyzed in the context of historical processes, future evolutionary potential and current reserve design. Our multi-species genetic landscapes pinpoint six hotspots where interpopulation genetic divergence is consistently high, five evolutionary hotspots within which genetic connectivity is high, and three hotspots where intrapopulation genetic diversity is high. These 14 hotspots can be grouped into eight geographic areas, of which five largely are unprotected at this time. The multi-species genetic landscape approach may provide an avenue to readily incorporate measures of evolutionary process into GIS-based systematic conservation assessment and land-use planning.

  9. FEAST: sensitive local alignment with multiple rates of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudek, Alexander K; Brown, Daniel G

    2011-01-01

    We present a pairwise local aligner, FEAST, which uses two new techniques: a sensitive extension algorithm for identifying homologous subsequences, and a descriptive probabilistic alignment model. We also present a new procedure for training alignment parameters and apply it to the human and mouse genomes, producing a better parameter set for these sequences. Our extension algorithm identifies homologous subsequences by considering all evolutionary histories. It has higher maximum sensitivity than Viterbi extensions, and better balances specificity. We model alignments with several submodels, each with unique statistical properties, describing strongly similar and weakly similar regions of homologous DNA. Training parameters using two submodels produces superior alignments, even when we align with only the parameters from the weaker submodel. Our extension algorithm combined with our new parameter set achieves sensitivity 0.59 on synthetic tests. In contrast, LASTZ with default settings achieves sensitivity 0.35 with the same false positive rate. Using the weak submodel as parameters for LASTZ increases its sensitivity to 0.59 with high error. FEAST is available at http://monod.uwaterloo.ca/feast/.

  10. An Alignment-Free Algorithm in Comparing the Similarity of Protein Sequences Based on Pseudo-Markov Transition Probabilities among Amino Acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yushuang; Song, Tian; Yang, Jiasheng; Zhang, Yi; Yang, Jialiang

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we have proposed a novel alignment-free method for comparing the similarity of protein sequences. We first encode a protein sequence into a 440 dimensional feature vector consisting of a 400 dimensional Pseudo-Markov transition probability vector among the 20 amino acids, a 20 dimensional content ratio vector, and a 20 dimensional position ratio vector of the amino acids in the sequence. By evaluating the Euclidean distances among the representing vectors, we compare the similarity of protein sequences. We then apply this method into the ND5 dataset consisting of the ND5 protein sequences of 9 species, and the F10 and G11 datasets representing two of the xylanases containing glycoside hydrolase families, i.e., families 10 and 11. As a result, our method achieves a correlation coefficient of 0.962 with the canonical protein sequence aligner ClustalW in the ND5 dataset, much higher than those of other 5 popular alignment-free methods. In addition, we successfully separate the xylanases sequences in the F10 family and the G11 family and illustrate that the F10 family is more heat stable than the G11 family, consistent with a few previous studies. Moreover, we prove mathematically an identity equation involving the Pseudo-Markov transition probability vector and the amino acids content ratio vector.

  11. Multispecies genetic objectives in spatial conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nielsen, Erica S; Beger, Maria; Henriques, Romina; Selkoe, Kimberly A; von der Heyden, Sophie

    2017-08-01

    Growing threats to biodiversity and global alteration of habitats and species distributions make it increasingly necessary to consider evolutionary patterns in conservation decision making. Yet, there is no clear-cut guidance on how genetic features can be incorporated into conservation-planning processes, despite multiple molecular markers and several genetic metrics for each marker type to choose from. Genetic patterns differ between species, but the potential tradeoffs among genetic objectives for multiple species in conservation planning are currently understudied. We compared spatial conservation prioritizations derived from 2 metrics of genetic diversity (nucleotide and haplotype diversity) and 2 metrics of genetic isolation (private haplotypes and local genetic differentiation) in mitochondrial DNA of 5 marine species. We compared outcomes of conservation plans based only on habitat representation with plans based on genetic data and habitat representation. Fewer priority areas were selected for conservation plans based solely on habitat representation than on plans that included habitat and genetic data. All 4 genetic metrics selected approximately similar conservation-priority areas, which is likely a result of prioritizing genetic patterns across a genetically diverse array of species. Largely, our results suggest that multispecies genetic conservation objectives are vital to creating protected-area networks that appropriately preserve community-level evolutionary patterns. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Limitations of outsourcing on-the-ground biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacona, Gwenllian D; Bode, Michael; Armsworth, Paul R

    2016-12-01

    To counteract global species decline, modern biodiversity conservation engages in large projects, spends billions of dollars, and includes many organizations working simultaneously within regions. To add to this complexity, the conservation sector has hierarchical structure, where conservation actions are often outsourced by funders (foundations, government, etc.) to local organizations that work on-the-ground. In contrast, conservation science usually assumes that a single organization makes resource allocation decisions. This discrepancy calls for theory to understand how the expected biodiversity outcomes change when interactions between organizations are accounted for. Here, we used a game theoretic model to explore how biodiversity outcomes are affected by vertical and horizontal interactions between 3 conservation organizations: a funder that outsourced its actions and 2 local conservation organizations that work on-the-ground. Interactions between the organizations changed the spending decisions made by individual organizations, and thereby the magnitude and direction of the conservation benefits. We showed that funders would struggle to incentivize recipient organizations with set priorities to perform desired actions, even when they control substantial amounts of the funding and employ common contracting approaches to enhance outcomes. Instead, biodiversity outcomes depended on priority alignment across the organizations. Conservation outcomes for the funder were improved by strategic interactions when organizational priorities were well aligned, but decreased when priorities were misaligned. Meanwhile, local organizations had improved outcomes regardless of alignment due to additional funding in the system. Given that conservation often involves the aggregate actions of multiple organizations with different objectives, strategic interactions between organizations need to be considered if we are to predict possible outcomes of conservation programs or

  13. BLSSpeller: exhaustive comparative discovery of conserved cis-regulatory elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Witte, Dieter; Van de Velde, Jan; Decap, Dries; Van Bel, Michiel; Audenaert, Pieter; Demeester, Piet; Dhoedt, Bart; Vandepoele, Klaas; Fostier, Jan

    2015-12-01

    The accurate discovery and annotation of regulatory elements remains a challenging problem. The growing number of sequenced genomes creates new opportunities for comparative approaches to motif discovery. Putative binding sites are then considered to be functional if they are conserved in orthologous promoter sequences of multiple related species. Existing methods for comparative motif discovery usually rely on pregenerated multiple sequence alignments, which are difficult to obtain for more diverged species such as plants. As a consequence, misaligned regulatory elements often remain undetected. We present a novel algorithm that supports both alignment-free and alignment-based motif discovery in the promoter sequences of related species. Putative motifs are exhaustively enumerated as words over the IUPAC alphabet and screened for conservation using the branch length score. Additionally, a confidence score is established in a genome-wide fashion. In order to take advantage of a cloud computing infrastructure, the MapReduce programming model is adopted. The method is applied to four monocotyledon plant species and it is shown that high-scoring motifs are significantly enriched for open chromatin regions in Oryza sativa and for transcription factor binding sites inferred through protein-binding microarrays in O.sativa and Zea mays. Furthermore, the method is shown to recover experimentally profiled ga2ox1-like KN1 binding sites in Z.mays. BLSSpeller was written in Java. Source code and manual are available at http://bioinformatics.intec.ugent.be/blsspeller Klaas.Vandepoele@psb.vib-ugent.be or jan.fostier@intec.ugent.be. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

  14. Evolutionary conserved neural signature of early life stress affects animal social competence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyman, Cecilia; Fischer, Stefan; Aubin-Horth, Nadia; Taborsky, Barbara

    2018-01-31

    In vertebrates, the early social environment can persistently influence behaviour and social competence later in life. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying variation in animal social competence are largely unknown. In rats, high-quality maternal care causes an upregulation of hippocampal glucocorticoid receptors ( gr ) and reduces offspring stress responsiveness. This identifies gr regulation as a candidate mechanism for maintaining variation in animal social competence. We tested this hypothesis in a highly social cichlid fish, Neolamprologus pulcher , reared with or without caring parents. We find that the molecular pathway translating early social experience into later-life alterations of the stress axis is homologous across vertebrates: fish reared with parents expressed the glucocorticoid receptor gr1 more in the telencephalon. Furthermore, expression levels of the transcription factor egr-1 (early growth response 1) were associated with gr1 expression in the telencephalon and hypothalamus. When blocking glucocorticoid receptors (GR) with an antagonist, mifepristone (RU486), parent-reared individuals showed more socially appropriate, submissive behaviour when intruding on a larger conspecific's territory. Remarkably, mifepristone-treated fish were less attacked by territory owners and had a higher likelihood of territory takeover. Our results indicate that early social-environment effects on stress axis programming are mediated by an evolutionary conserved molecular pathway, which is causally involved in environmentally induced variation of animal social competence. © 2018 The Author(s).

  15. Genomic signal processing methods for computation of alignment-free distances from DNA sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrayo, Ernesto; Mendizabal-Ruiz, E Gerardo; Vélez-Pérez, Hugo; Romo-Vázquez, Rebeca; Mendizabal, Adriana P; Morales, J Alejandro

    2014-01-01

    Genomic signal processing (GSP) refers to the use of digital signal processing (DSP) tools for analyzing genomic data such as DNA sequences. A possible application of GSP that has not been fully explored is the computation of the distance between a pair of sequences. In this work we present GAFD, a novel GSP alignment-free distance computation method. We introduce a DNA sequence-to-signal mapping function based on the employment of doublet values, which increases the number of possible amplitude values for the generated signal. Additionally, we explore the use of three DSP distance metrics as descriptors for categorizing DNA signal fragments. Our results indicate the feasibility of employing GAFD for computing sequence distances and the use of descriptors for characterizing DNA fragments.

  16. Alignment methods: strategies, challenges, benchmarking, and comparative overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Löytynoja, Ari

    2012-01-01

    Comparative evolutionary analyses of molecular sequences are solely based on the identities and differences detected between homologous characters. Errors in this homology statement, that is errors in the alignment of the sequences, are likely to lead to errors in the downstream analyses. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic inference are tightly connected and many popular alignment programs use the phylogeny to divide the alignment problem into smaller tasks. They then neglect the phylogenetic tree, however, and produce alignments that are not evolutionarily meaningful. The use of phylogeny-aware methods reduces the error but the resulting alignments, with evolutionarily correct representation of homology, can challenge the existing practices and methods for viewing and visualising the sequences. The inter-dependency of alignment and phylogeny can be resolved by joint estimation of the two; methods based on statistical models allow for inferring the alignment parameters from the data and correctly take into account the uncertainty of the solution but remain computationally challenging. Widely used alignment methods are based on heuristic algorithms and unlikely to find globally optimal solutions. The whole concept of one correct alignment for the sequences is questionable, however, as there typically exist vast numbers of alternative, roughly equally good alignments that should also be considered. This uncertainty is hidden by many popular alignment programs and is rarely correctly taken into account in the downstream analyses. The quest for finding and improving the alignment solution is complicated by the lack of suitable measures of alignment goodness. The difficulty of comparing alternative solutions also affects benchmarks of alignment methods and the results strongly depend on the measure used. As the effects of alignment error cannot be predicted, comparing the alignments' performance in downstream analyses is recommended.

  17. Catchments as conservation units for riverine biodiversity | Wishart ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The geological structure and longitudinal nature of river systems provide a possible barrier to the dispersal of lotic organisms. This has the potential to drive evolutionary processes such as genetic differentiation and subsequent allopatric speciation. In the conservation of lotic ecosystems population and evolutionary ...

  18. Unified Alignment of Protein-Protein Interaction Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malod-Dognin, Noël; Ban, Kristina; Pržulj, Nataša

    2017-04-19

    Paralleling the increasing availability of protein-protein interaction (PPI) network data, several network alignment methods have been proposed. Network alignments have been used to uncover functionally conserved network parts and to transfer annotations. However, due to the computational intractability of the network alignment problem, aligners are heuristics providing divergent solutions and no consensus exists on a gold standard, or which scoring scheme should be used to evaluate them. We comprehensively evaluate the alignment scoring schemes and global network aligners on large scale PPI data and observe that three methods, HUBALIGN, L-GRAAL and NATALIE, regularly produce the most topologically and biologically coherent alignments. We study the collective behaviour of network aligners and observe that PPI networks are almost entirely aligned with a handful of aligners that we unify into a new tool, Ulign. Ulign enables complete alignment of two networks, which traditional global and local aligners fail to do. Also, multiple mappings of Ulign define biologically relevant soft clusterings of proteins in PPI networks, which may be used for refining the transfer of annotations across networks. Hence, PPI networks are already well investigated by current aligners, so to gain additional biological insights, a paradigm shift is needed. We propose such a shift come from aligning all available data types collectively rather than any particular data type in isolation from others.

  19. Investigating evolutionary conservation of dendritic cell subset identity and functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thien-Phong eVu Manh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Dendritic cells (DC were initially defined as mononuclear phagocytes with a dendritic morphology and an exquisite efficiency for naïve T cell activation. DC encompass several subsets initially identified by their expression of specific cell surface molecules and later shown to excel in distinct functions and to develop under the instruction of different transcription factors or cytokines. Very few cell surface molecules are expressed in a specific manner on any immune cell type. Hence, to identify cell types, the sole use of a small number of cell surface markers in classical flow cytometry can be deceiving. Moreover, the markers currently used to define mononuclear phagocyte subsets vary depending on the tissue and animal species studied and even between laboratories. This has led to confusion in the definition of DC subset identity and in their attribution of specific functions. There is a strong need to identify a rigorous and consensus way to define mononuclear phagocyte subsets, with precise guidelines potentially applicable throughout tissues and species. We will discuss the advantages, drawbacks and complementarities of different methodologies: cell surface phenotyping, ontogeny, functional characterization and molecular profiling. We will advocate that gene expression profiling is a very rigorous, largely unbiased and accessible method to define the identity of mononuclear phagocyte subsets, which strengthens and refines surface phenotyping. It is uniquely powerful to yield new, experimentally testable, hypotheses on the ontogeny or functions of mononuclear phagocyte subsets, their molecular regulation and their evolutionary conservation. We propose defining cell populations based on a combination of cell surface phenotyping, expression analysis of hallmark genes and robust functional assays, in order to reach a consensus and integrate faster the huge but scattered knowledge accumulated by different laboratories on different cell types

  20. Optimization of sequence alignment for simple sequence repeat regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ogbonnaya Francis C

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs, are tandemly repeated DNA sequences, including tandem copies of specific sequences no longer than six bases, that are distributed in the genome. SSR has been used as a molecular marker because it is easy to detect and is used in a range of applications, including genetic diversity, genome mapping, and marker assisted selection. It is also very mutable because of slipping in the DNA polymerase during DNA replication. This unique mutation increases the insertion/deletion (INDELs mutation frequency to a high ratio - more than other types of molecular markers such as single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs. SNPs are more frequent than INDELs. Therefore, all designed algorithms for sequence alignment fit the vast majority of the genomic sequence without considering microsatellite regions, as unique sequences that require special consideration. The old algorithm is limited in its application because there are many overlaps between different repeat units which result in false evolutionary relationships. Findings To overcome the limitation of the aligning algorithm when dealing with SSR loci, a new algorithm was developed using PERL script with a Tk graphical interface. This program is based on aligning sequences after determining the repeated units first, and the last SSR nucleotides positions. This results in a shifting process according to the inserted repeated unit type. When studying the phylogenic relations before and after applying the new algorithm, many differences in the trees were obtained by increasing the SSR length and complexity. However, less distance between different linage had been observed after applying the new algorithm. Conclusions The new algorithm produces better estimates for aligning SSR loci because it reflects more reliable evolutionary relations between different linages. It reduces overlapping during SSR alignment, which results in a more realistic

  1. Improving your target-template alignment with MODalign.

    KAUST Repository

    Barbato, Alessandro

    2012-02-04

    SUMMARY: MODalign is an interactive web-based tool aimed at helping protein structure modelers to inspect and manually modify the alignment between the sequences of a target protein and of its template(s). It interactively computes, displays and, upon modification of the target-template alignment, updates the multiple sequence alignments of the two protein families, their conservation score, secondary structure and solvent accessibility values, and local quality scores of the implied three-dimensional model(s). Although it has been designed to simplify the target-template alignment step in modeling, it is suitable for all cases where a sequence alignment needs to be inspected in the context of other biological information. AVAILABILITY AND IMPLEMENTATION: Freely available on the web at http://modorama.biocomputing.it/modalign. Website implemented in HTML and JavaScript with all major browsers supported. CONTACT: jan.kosinski@uniroma1.it.

  2. Evolutionary inference via the Poisson Indel Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchard-Côté, Alexandre; Jordan, Michael I

    2013-01-22

    We address the problem of the joint statistical inference of phylogenetic trees and multiple sequence alignments from unaligned molecular sequences. This problem is generally formulated in terms of string-valued evolutionary processes along the branches of a phylogenetic tree. The classic evolutionary process, the TKF91 model [Thorne JL, Kishino H, Felsenstein J (1991) J Mol Evol 33(2):114-124] is a continuous-time Markov chain model composed of insertion, deletion, and substitution events. Unfortunately, this model gives rise to an intractable computational problem: The computation of the marginal likelihood under the TKF91 model is exponential in the number of taxa. In this work, we present a stochastic process, the Poisson Indel Process (PIP), in which the complexity of this computation is reduced to linear. The Poisson Indel Process is closely related to the TKF91 model, differing only in its treatment of insertions, but it has a global characterization as a Poisson process on the phylogeny. Standard results for Poisson processes allow key computations to be decoupled, which yields the favorable computational profile of inference under the PIP model. We present illustrative experiments in which Bayesian inference under the PIP model is compared with separate inference of phylogenies and alignments.

  3. Parallel and Perpendicular Alignment of Anisotropic Particles in Free Liquid Microjets and Emerging Microdroplets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlenk, Mathias; Hofmann, Eddie; Seibt, Susanne; Rosenfeldt, Sabine; Schrack, Lukas; Drechsler, Markus; Rothkirch, Andre; Ohm, Wiebke; Breu, Josef; Gekle, Stephan; Förster, Stephan

    2018-04-24

    Liquid microjets play a key role in fiber spinning, inkjet printing, and coating processes. In all of these applications, the liquid jets carry dispersed particles whose spatial and orientational distributions within the jet critically influence the properties of the fabricated structures. Despite its importance, there is currently no knowledge about the orientational distribution of particles within microjets and droplets. Here, we demonstrate a microfluidic device that allows to determine the local particle distribution and orientation by X-ray scattering. Using this methodology, we discovered unexpected changes in the particle orientation upon exiting the nozzle to form a free jet, and upon jet break-up into droplets, causing an unusual biaxial particle orientation. We show how flow and aspect ratio determine the flow orientation of anisotropic particles. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the observed phenomena are a general characteristic of anisotropic particles. Our findings greatly enhance our understanding of particle orientation in free jets and droplets and provide a rationale for controlling particle alignment in liquid jet-based fabrication methodologies.

  4. Conservation of transcription factor binding events predicts gene expression across species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemberg, Martin; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

    Recent technological advances have made it possible to determine the genome-wide binding sites of transcription factors (TFs). Comparisons across species have suggested a relatively low degree of evolutionary conservation of experimentally defined TF binding events (TFBEs). Using binding data for six different TFs in hepatocytes and embryonic stem cells from human and mouse, we demonstrate that evolutionary conservation of TFBEs within orthologous proximal promoters is closely linked to function, defined as expression of the target genes. We show that (i) there is a significantly higher degree of conservation of TFBEs when the target gene is expressed in both species; (ii) there is increased conservation of binding events for groups of TFs compared to individual TFs; and (iii) conserved TFBEs have a greater impact on the expression of their target genes than non-conserved ones. These results link conservation of structural elements (TFBEs) to conservation of function (gene expression) and suggest a higher degree of functional conservation than implied by previous studies. PMID:21622661

  5. Evolutionary position of Peruvian land snails (Orthalicidae among Stylommatophora (Mollusca: Gastropoda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Ramirez

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The genera Bostryx and Scutalus (Orthalicidae: Bulimulinae are endemics from South America. They are mainly distributed on the western slopes of the Peruvian Andes. The goal of the present work was to assess their evolutionary position among the stylommatophoran gastropods based on the 16S rRNA mitochondrial marker. Four sequences were obtained, and along with 28 sequences of other Stylommatophora retrieved from the GenBank, were aligned with ClustalX. The phylogenetic reconstruction was carried out using the methods of Neighbor-Joining, Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian inference. The multiple sequence alignment had 371 sites, with indels. The two genera of the family Orthalicidae for the first time included in a molecular phylogeny (Bostryx and Scutalus, formed a monophyletic group along with another member of the superfamily Orthalicoidea (Placostylus, result that is comparable with that obtained with nuclear markers. Their evolutionary relationship with other land snails is also discussed.

  6. Dynamic conservation of forest genetic resources in 33 European countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lefevre, F.; Koskela, J.; Hubert, J.; Kraigher, H.; Longauer, R.; Olrik, D.C.; Vries, de S.M.G.

    2013-01-01

    Dynamic conservation of forest genetic resources (FGR) means maintaining the genetic diversity of trees within an evolutionary process and allowing generation turnover in the forest. We assessed the network of forests areas managed for the dynamic conservation of FGR (conservation units) across

  7. The relationship of protein conservation and sequence length

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panchenko Anna R

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In general, the length of a protein sequence is determined by its function and the wide variance in the lengths of an organism's proteins reflects the diversity of specific functional roles for these proteins. However, additional evolutionary forces that affect the length of a protein may be revealed by studying the length distributions of proteins evolving under weaker functional constraints. Results We performed sequence comparisons to distinguish highly conserved and poorly conserved proteins from the bacterium Escherichia coli, the archaeon Archaeoglobus fulgidus, and the eukaryotes Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Drosophila melanogaster, and Homo sapiens. For all organisms studied, the conserved and nonconserved proteins have strikingly different length distributions. The conserved proteins are, on average, longer than the poorly conserved ones, and the length distributions for the poorly conserved proteins have a relatively narrow peak, in contrast to the conserved proteins whose lengths spread over a wider range of values. For the two prokaryotes studied, the poorly conserved proteins approximate the minimal length distribution expected for a diverse range of structural folds. Conclusions There is a relationship between protein conservation and sequence length. For all the organisms studied, there seems to be a significant evolutionary trend favoring shorter proteins in the absence of other, more specific functional constraints.

  8. Conservation of transcription factor binding events predicts gene expression across species

    OpenAIRE

    Hemberg, Martin; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

    Recent technological advances have made it possible to determine the genome-wide binding sites of transcription factors (TFs). Comparisons across species have suggested a relatively low degree of evolutionary conservation of experimentally defined TF binding events (TFBEs). Using binding data for six different TFs in hepatocytes and embryonic stem cells from human and mouse, we demonstrate that evolutionary conservation of TFBEs within orthologous proximal promoters is closely linked to funct...

  9. Global patterns of evolutionary distinct and globally endangered amphibians and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safi, Kamran; Armour-Marshall, Katrina; Baillie, Jonathan E M; Isaac, Nick J B

    2013-01-01

    Conservation of phylogenetic diversity allows maximising evolutionary information preserved within fauna and flora. The "EDGE of Existence" programme is the first institutional conservation initiative that prioritises species based on phylogenetic information. Species are ranked in two ways: one according to their evolutionary distinctiveness (ED) and second, by including IUCN extinction status, their evolutionary distinctiveness and global endangerment (EDGE). Here, we describe the global patterns in the spatial distribution of priority ED and EDGE species, in order to identify conservation areas for mammalian and amphibian communities. In addition, we investigate whether environmental conditions can predict the observed spatial pattern in ED and EDGE globally. Priority zones with high concentrations of ED and EDGE scores were defined using two different methods. The overlap between mammal and amphibian zones was very small, reflecting the different phylo-biogeographic histories. Mammal ED zones were predominantly found on the African continent and the neotropical forests, whereas in amphibians, ED zones were concentrated in North America. Mammal EDGE zones were mainly in South-East Asia, southern Africa and Madagascar; for amphibians they were in central and south America. The spatial pattern of ED and EDGE was poorly described by a suite of environmental variables. Mapping the spatial distribution of ED and EDGE provides an important step towards identifying priority areas for the conservation of mammalian and amphibian phylogenetic diversity in the EDGE of existence programme.

  10. Preserving the evolutionary potential of floras in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forest, Félix; Grenyer, Richard; Rouget, Mathieu; Davies, T Jonathan; Cowling, Richard M; Faith, Daniel P; Balmford, Andrew; Manning, John C; Procheş, Serban; van der Bank, Michelle; Reeves, Gail; Hedderson, Terry A J; Savolainen, Vincent

    2007-02-15

    One of the biggest challenges for conservation biology is to provide conservation planners with ways to prioritize effort. Much attention has been focused on biodiversity hotspots. However, the conservation of evolutionary process is now also acknowledged as a priority in the face of global change. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) is a biodiversity index that measures the length of evolutionary pathways that connect a given set of taxa. PD therefore identifies sets of taxa that maximize the accumulation of 'feature diversity'. Recent studies, however, concluded that taxon richness is a good surrogate for PD. Here we show taxon richness to be decoupled from PD, using a biome-wide phylogenetic analysis of the flora of an undisputed biodiversity hotspot--the Cape of South Africa. We demonstrate that this decoupling has real-world importance for conservation planning. Finally, using a database of medicinal and economic plant use, we demonstrate that PD protection is the best strategy for preserving feature diversity in the Cape. We should be able to use PD to identify those key regions that maximize future options, both for the continuing evolution of life on Earth and for the benefit of society.

  11. Evolutionary conservation of dual Sec translocases in the cyanelles of Cyanophora paradoxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Löffelhardt Wolfgang

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cyanelles, the peptidoglycan-armored plastids of glaucocystophytes, occupy a unique bridge position in between free-living cyanobacteria and chloroplasts. In some respects they side with cyanobacteria whereas other features are clearly shared with chloroplasts. The Sec translocase, an example for "conservative sorting" in the course of evolution, is found in the plasma membrane of all prokaryotes, in the thylakoid membrane of chloroplasts and in both these membrane types of cyanobacteria. Results In this paper we present evidence for a dual location of the Sec translocon in the thylakoid as well as inner envelope membranes of the cyanelles from Cyanophora paradoxa, i. e. conservative sorting sensu stricto. The prerequisite was the generation of specific antisera directed against cyanelle SecY that allowed immunodetection of the protein on SDS gels from both membrane types separated by sucrose density gradient floatation centrifugation. Immunoblotting of blue-native gels yielded positive but differential results for both the thylakoid and envelope Sec complexes, respectively. In addition, heterologous antisera directed against components of the Toc/Tic translocons and binding of a labeled precursor protein were used to discriminate between inner and outer envelope membranes. Conclusion The envelope translocase can be envisaged as a prokaryotic feature missing in higher plant chloroplasts but retained in cyanelles, likely for protein transport to the periplasm. Candidate passengers are cytochrome c6 and enzymes of peptidoglycan metabolism. The minimal set of subunits of the Toc/Tic translocase of a primitive plastid is proposed.

  12. When Heterotrimeric G Proteins Are Not Activated by G Protein-Coupled Receptors: Structural Insights and Evolutionary Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiGiacomo, Vincent; Marivin, Arthur; Garcia-Marcos, Mikel

    2018-01-23

    Heterotrimeric G proteins are signal-transducing switches conserved across eukaryotes. In humans, they work as critical mediators of intercellular communication in the context of virtually any physiological process. While G protein regulation by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is well-established and has received much attention, it has become recently evident that heterotrimeric G proteins can also be activated by cytoplasmic proteins. However, this alternative mechanism of G protein regulation remains far less studied than GPCR-mediated signaling. This Viewpoint focuses on recent advances in the characterization of a group of nonreceptor proteins that contain a sequence dubbed the "Gα-binding and -activating (GBA) motif". So far, four proteins present in mammals [GIV (also known as Girdin), DAPLE, CALNUC, and NUCB2] and one protein in Caenorhabditis elegans (GBAS-1) have been described as possessing a functional GBA motif. The GBA motif confers guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity on Gαi subunits in vitro and activates G protein signaling in cells. The importance of this mechanism of signal transduction is highlighted by the fact that its dysregulation underlies human diseases, such as cancer, which has made the proteins attractive new candidates for therapeutic intervention. Here we discuss recent discoveries on the structural basis of GBA-mediated activation of G proteins and its evolutionary conservation and compare them with the better-studied mechanism mediated by GPCRs.

  13. Distinct retroelement classes define evolutionary breakpoints demarcating sites of evolutionary novelty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, Mark S; Carone, Dawn M; Green, Eric D; O'Neill, Michael J; O'Neill, Rachel J

    2009-01-01

    Background Large-scale genome rearrangements brought about by chromosome breaks underlie numerous inherited diseases, initiate or promote many cancers and are also associated with karyotype diversification during species evolution. Recent research has shown that these breakpoints are nonrandomly distributed throughout the mammalian genome and many, termed "evolutionary breakpoints" (EB), are specific genomic locations that are "reused" during karyotypic evolution. When the phylogenetic trajectory of orthologous chromosome segments is considered, many of these EB are coincident with ancient centromere activity as well as new centromere formation. While EB have been characterized as repeat-rich regions, it has not been determined whether specific sequences have been retained during evolution that would indicate previous centromere activity or a propensity for new centromere formation. Likewise, the conservation of specific sequence motifs or classes at EBs among divergent mammalian taxa has not been determined. Results To define conserved sequence features of EBs associated with centromere evolution, we performed comparative sequence analysis of more than 4.8 Mb within the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, derived from centromeric regions (CEN), euchromatic regions (EU), and an evolutionary breakpoint (EB) that has undergone convergent breakpoint reuse and past centromere activity in marsupials. We found a dramatic enrichment for long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE1s) and endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and a depletion of short interspersed nucleotide elements (SINEs) shared between CEN and EBs. We analyzed the orthologous human EB (14q32.33), known to be associated with translocations in many cancers including multiple myelomas and plasma cell leukemias, and found a conserved distribution of similar repetitive elements. Conclusion Our data indicate that EBs tracked within the class Mammalia harbor sequence features retained since the divergence of marsupials

  14. Distinct retroelement classes define evolutionary breakpoints demarcating sites of evolutionary novelty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Green Eric D

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Large-scale genome rearrangements brought about by chromosome breaks underlie numerous inherited diseases, initiate or promote many cancers and are also associated with karyotype diversification during species evolution. Recent research has shown that these breakpoints are nonrandomly distributed throughout the mammalian genome and many, termed "evolutionary breakpoints" (EB, are specific genomic locations that are "reused" during karyotypic evolution. When the phylogenetic trajectory of orthologous chromosome segments is considered, many of these EB are coincident with ancient centromere activity as well as new centromere formation. While EB have been characterized as repeat-rich regions, it has not been determined whether specific sequences have been retained during evolution that would indicate previous centromere activity or a propensity for new centromere formation. Likewise, the conservation of specific sequence motifs or classes at EBs among divergent mammalian taxa has not been determined. Results To define conserved sequence features of EBs associated with centromere evolution, we performed comparative sequence analysis of more than 4.8 Mb within the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, derived from centromeric regions (CEN, euchromatic regions (EU, and an evolutionary breakpoint (EB that has undergone convergent breakpoint reuse and past centromere activity in marsupials. We found a dramatic enrichment for long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE1s and endogenous retroviruses (ERVs and a depletion of short interspersed nucleotide elements (SINEs shared between CEN and EBs. We analyzed the orthologous human EB (14q32.33, known to be associated with translocations in many cancers including multiple myelomas and plasma cell leukemias, and found a conserved distribution of similar repetitive elements. Conclusion Our data indicate that EBs tracked within the class Mammalia harbor sequence features retained since the

  15. Diversification of defensins and NLRs in Arabidopsis species by different evolutionary mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondragón-Palomino, Mariana; Stam, Remco; John-Arputharaj, Ajay; Dresselhaus, Thomas

    2017-12-15

    Genes encoding proteins underlying host-pathogen co-evolution and which are selected for new resistance specificities frequently are under positive selection, a process that maintains diversity. Here, we tested the contribution of natural selection, recombination and transcriptional divergence to the evolutionary diversification of the plant defensins superfamily in three Arabidopsis species. The intracellular NOD-like receptor (NLR) family was used for comparison because positive selection has been well documented in its members. Similar to defensins, NLRs are encoded by a large and polymorphic gene family and many of their members are involved in the immune response. Gene trees of Arabidopsis defensins (DEFLs) show a high prevalence of clades containing orthologs. This indicates that their diversity dates back to a common ancestor and species-specific duplications did not significantly contribute to gene family expansion. DEFLs are characterized by a pervasive pattern of neutral evolution with infrequent positive and negative selection as well as recombination. In comparison, most NLR alignment groups are characterized by frequent occurrence of positive selection and recombination in their leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain as well negative selection in their nucleotide-binding (NB-ARC) domain. While major NLR subgroups are expressed in pistils and leaves both in presence or absence of pathogen infection, the members of DEFL alignment groups are predominantly transcribed in pistils. Furthermore, conserved groups of NLRs and DEFLs are differentially expressed in response to Fusarium graminearum regardless of whether these genes are under positive selection or not. The present analyses of NLRs expands previous studies in Arabidopsis thaliana and highlights contrasting patterns of purifying and diversifying selection affecting different gene regions. DEFL genes show a different evolutionary trend, with fewer recombination events and significantly fewer instances of

  16. Diversity and evolutionary patterns of immune genes in free-ranging Namibian leopards (Panthera pardus pardus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro-Prieto, Aines; Wachter, Bettina; Melzheimer, Joerg; Thalwitzer, Susanne; Sommer, Simone

    2011-01-01

    The genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) are a key component of the mammalian immune system and have become important molecular markers for fitness-related genetic variation in wildlife populations. Currently, no information about the MHC sequence variation and constitution in African leopards exists. In this study, we isolated and characterized genetic variation at the adaptively most important region of MHC class I and MHC class II-DRB genes in 25 free-ranging African leopards from Namibia and investigated the mechanisms that generate and maintain MHC polymorphism in the species. Using single-stranded conformation polymorphism analysis and direct sequencing, we detected 6 MHC class I and 6 MHC class II-DRB sequences, which likely correspond to at least 3 MHC class I and 3 MHC class II-DRB loci. Amino acid sequence variation in both MHC classes was higher or similar in comparison to other reported felids. We found signatures of positive selection shaping the diversity of MHC class I and MHC class II-DRB loci during the evolutionary history of the species. A comparison of MHC class I and MHC class II-DRB sequences of the leopard to those of other felids revealed a trans-species mode of evolution. In addition, the evolutionary relationships of MHC class II-DRB sequences between African and Asian leopard subspecies are discussed.

  17. Origin of the fittest: link between emergent variation and evolutionary change as a critical question in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2011-07-07

    In complex organisms, neutral evolution of genomic architecture, associated compensatory interactions in protein networks and emergent developmental processes can delineate the directions of evolutionary change, including the opportunity for natural selection. These effects are reflected in the evolution of developmental programmes that link genomic architecture with a corresponding functioning phenotype. Two recent findings call for closer examination of the rules by which these links are constructed. First is the realization that high dimensionality of genotypes and emergent properties of autonomous developmental processes (such as capacity for self-organization) result in the vast areas of fitness neutrality at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. Second is the ubiquity of context- and taxa-specific regulation of deeply conserved gene networks, such that exceptional phenotypic diversification coexists with remarkably conserved generative processes. Establishing the causal reciprocal links between ongoing neutral expansion of genomic architecture, emergent features of organisms' functionality, and often precisely adaptive phenotypic diversification therefore becomes an important goal of evolutionary biology and is the latest reincarnation of the search for a framework that links development, functioning and evolution of phenotypes. Here I examine, in the light of recent empirical advances, two evolutionary concepts that are central to this framework-natural selection and inheritance-the general rules by which they become associated with emergent developmental and homeostatic processes and the role that they play in descent with modification.

  18. Free energy analysis of cell spreading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEvoy, Eóin; Deshpande, Vikram S; McGarry, Patrick

    2017-10-01

    In this study we present a steady-state adaptation of the thermodynamically motivated stress fiber (SF) model of Vigliotti et al. (2015). We implement this steady-state formulation in a non-local finite element setting where we also consider global conservation of the total number of cytoskeletal proteins within the cell, global conservation of the number of binding integrins on the cell membrane, and adhesion limiting ligand density on the substrate surface. We present a number of simulations of cell spreading in which we consider a limited subset of the possible deformed spread-states assumed by the cell in order to examine the hypothesis that free energy minimization drives the process of cell spreading. Simulations suggest that cell spreading can be viewed as a competition between (i) decreasing cytoskeletal free energy due to strain induced assembly of cytoskeletal proteins into contractile SFs, and (ii) increasing elastic free energy due to stretching of the mechanically passive components of the cell. The computed minimum free energy spread area is shown to be lower for a cell on a compliant substrate than on a rigid substrate. Furthermore, a low substrate ligand density is found to limit cell spreading. The predicted dependence of cell spread area on substrate stiffness and ligand density is in agreement with the experiments of Engler et al. (2003). We also simulate the experiments of Théry et al. (2006), whereby initially circular cells deform and adhere to "V-shaped" and "Y-shaped" ligand patches. Analysis of a number of different spread states reveals that deformed configurations with the lowest free energy exhibit a SF distribution that corresponds to experimental observations, i.e. a high concentration of highly aligned SFs occurs along free edges, with lower SF concentrations in the interior of the cell. In summary, the results of this study suggest that cell spreading is driven by free energy minimization based on a competition between decreasing

  19. Global patterns of evolutionary distinct and globally endangered amphibians and mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamran Safi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Conservation of phylogenetic diversity allows maximising evolutionary information preserved within fauna and flora. The "EDGE of Existence" programme is the first institutional conservation initiative that prioritises species based on phylogenetic information. Species are ranked in two ways: one according to their evolutionary distinctiveness (ED and second, by including IUCN extinction status, their evolutionary distinctiveness and global endangerment (EDGE. Here, we describe the global patterns in the spatial distribution of priority ED and EDGE species, in order to identify conservation areas for mammalian and amphibian communities. In addition, we investigate whether environmental conditions can predict the observed spatial pattern in ED and EDGE globally. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Priority zones with high concentrations of ED and EDGE scores were defined using two different methods. The overlap between mammal and amphibian zones was very small, reflecting the different phylo-biogeographic histories. Mammal ED zones were predominantly found on the African continent and the neotropical forests, whereas in amphibians, ED zones were concentrated in North America. Mammal EDGE zones were mainly in South-East Asia, southern Africa and Madagascar; for amphibians they were in central and south America. The spatial pattern of ED and EDGE was poorly described by a suite of environmental variables. CONCLUSIONS: Mapping the spatial distribution of ED and EDGE provides an important step towards identifying priority areas for the conservation of mammalian and amphibian phylogenetic diversity in the EDGE of existence programme.

  20. Nucleotide sequence and phylogeny of the tet (L) tetracycline resistance determinant encoded by the plasmid pSTE1 from Staphylococcus hyicus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schwarz, S.; Cardoso, M.; Wegener, Henrik Caspar

    1992-01-01

    O from Streptococcus mutans were performed. An alignment of Tet amino acid sequence revealed the presence of 30 conserved amino acids among these Tet variants. On the basis of the alignment, a phylogenetic tree was constructed. It demonstrated large evolutionary distances between the Tet M and Tet O...

  1. Short-Term Effects of Kinesiotaping on Pain and Joint Alignment in Conservative Treatment of Hallux Valgus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karabicak, Gul Oznur; Bek, Nilgun; Tiftikci, Ugur

    2015-10-01

    The main aim of this study was to measure short-term effects of kinesiotaping on pain and joint alignment in the conservative treatment of hallux valgus. Twenty-one female patients diagnosed with a total of 34 feet with hallux valgus (13 bilateral, 6 right, and 2 left) participated in this study. Kinesiotaping was implemented after the first assessment and renewed in days 3, 7, and 10. The main outcome measures were pain, as assessed using visual analog scale, and hallux adduction angle, as measured by goniometry. Secondary outcome measure was patients' functional status, as measured by Foot Function Index and the hallux valgus scale of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS). The radiographic results were also measured before and after 1 month of treatment. The Wilcoxon test was used to compare the differences between initial and final scores of AOFAS, as well as FFI scales and hallux valgus angle assessment scores. There was a significant reduction in goniometric measurement of hallux valgus angle (P = .001). There was a significant reduction in pain intensity (P = .001) and AOFAS and Foot Function Index scores at the end of the treatment (P = .001 and P = .001, respectively). There was a significant difference between radiographic results in 1-month control (P = .009). For this group of female patients, pain and joint alignment were improved after a 10-day kinesiotape implementation in patients with hallux valgus. The findings showed short-term decreased pain and disability in hallux valgus deformity. Copyright © 2015 National University of Health Sciences. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Finding optimal interaction interface alignments between biological complexes

    KAUST Repository

    Cui, Xuefeng

    2015-06-13

    Motivation: Biological molecules perform their functions through interactions with other molecules. Structure alignment of interaction interfaces between biological complexes is an indispensable step in detecting their structural similarities, which are keys to understanding their evolutionary histories and functions. Although various structure alignment methods have been developed to successfully access the similarities of protein structures or certain types of interaction interfaces, existing alignment tools cannot directly align arbitrary types of interfaces formed by protein, DNA or RNA molecules. Specifically, they require a \\'blackbox preprocessing\\' to standardize interface types and chain identifiers. Yet their performance is limited and sometimes unsatisfactory. Results: Here we introduce a novel method, PROSTA-inter, that automatically determines and aligns interaction interfaces between two arbitrary types of complex structures. Our method uses sequentially remote fragments to search for the optimal superimposition. The optimal residue matching problem is then formulated as a maximum weighted bipartite matching problem to detect the optimal sequence order-independent alignment. Benchmark evaluation on all non-redundant protein-DNA complexes in PDB shows significant performance improvement of our method over TM-align and iAlign (with the \\'blackbox preprocessing\\'). Two case studies where our method discovers, for the first time, structural similarities between two pairs of functionally related protein-DNA complexes are presented. We further demonstrate the power of our method on detecting structural similarities between a protein-protein complex and a protein-RNA complex, which is biologically known as a protein-RNA mimicry case. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

  3. Identification of extant vertebrate Myxine glutinosa VWF: evolutionary conservation of primary hemostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Marianne A; Beeler, David L; Spokes, Katherine C; Chen, Junmei; Dharaneeswaran, Harita; Sciuto, Tracey E; Dvorak, Ann M; Interlandi, Gianluca; Lopez, José A; Aird, William C

    2017-12-07

    Hemostasis in vertebrates involves both a cellular and a protein component. Previous studies in jawless vertebrates (cyclostomes) suggest that the protein response, which involves thrombin-catalyzed conversion of a soluble plasma protein, fibrinogen, into a polymeric fibrin clot, is conserved in all vertebrates. However, similar data are lacking for the cellular response, which in gnathostomes is regulated by von Willebrand factor (VWF), a glycoprotein that mediates the adhesion of platelets to the subendothelial matrix of injured blood vessels. To gain evolutionary insights into the cellular phase of coagulation, we asked whether a functional vwf gene is present in the Atlantic hagfish, Myxine glutinosa We found a single vwf transcript that encodes a simpler protein compared with higher vertebrates, the most striking difference being the absence of an A3 domain, which otherwise binds collagen under high-flow conditions. Immunohistochemical analyses of hagfish tissues and blood revealed Vwf expression in endothelial cells and thrombocytes. Electron microscopic studies of hagfish tissues demonstrated the presence of Weibel-Palade bodies in the endothelium. Hagfish Vwf formed high-molecular-weight multimers in hagfish plasma and in stably transfected CHO cells. In functional assays, botrocetin promoted VWF-dependent thrombocyte aggregation. A search for vwf sequences in the genome of sea squirts, the closest invertebrate relatives of hagfish, failed to reveal evidence of an intact vwf gene. Together, our findings suggest that VWF evolved in the ancestral vertebrate following the divergence of the urochordates some 500 million years ago and that it acquired increasing complexity though sequential insertion of functional modules. © 2017 by The American Society of Hematology.

  4. Multilevel Evolutionary Algorithm that Optimizes the Structure of Scale-Free Networks for the Promotion of Cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma game.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Penghui; Liu, Jing

    2017-06-28

    Understanding the emergence of cooperation has long been a challenge across disciplines. Even if network reciprocity reflected the importance of population structure in promoting cooperation, it remains an open question how population structures can be optimized, thereby enhancing cooperation. In this paper, we attempt to apply the evolutionary algorithm (EA) to solve this highly complex problem. However, as it is hard to evaluate the fitness (cooperation level) of population structures, simply employing the canonical evolutionary algorithm (EA) may fail in optimization. Thus, we propose a new EA variant named mlEA-C PD -SFN to promote the cooperation level of scale-free networks (SFNs) in the Prisoner's Dilemma Game (PDG). Meanwhile, to verify the preceding conclusions may not be applied to this problem, we also provide the optimization results of the comparative experiment (EA cluster ), which optimizes the clustering coefficient of structures. Even if preceding research concluded that highly clustered scale-free networks enhance cooperation, we find EA cluster does not perform desirably, while mlEA-C PD -SFN performs efficiently in different optimization environments. We hope that mlEA-C PD -SFN may help promote the structure of species in nature and that more general properties that enhance cooperation can be learned from the output structures.

  5. Evolutionary conserved mechanisms pervade structure and transcriptional modulation of allograft inflammatory factor-1 from sea anemone Anemonia viridis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuttitta, Angela; Ragusa, Maria Antonietta; Costa, Salvatore; Bennici, Carmelo; Colombo, Paolo; Mazzola, Salvatore; Gianguzza, Fabrizio; Nicosia, Aldo

    2017-08-01

    Gene family encoding allograft inflammatory factor-1 (AIF-1) is well conserved among organisms; however, there is limited knowledge in lower organisms. In this study, the first AIF-1 homologue from cnidarians was identified and characterised in the sea anemone Anemonia viridis. The full-length cDNA of AvAIF-1 was of 913 bp with a 5' -untranslated region (UTR) of 148 bp, a 3'-UTR of 315 and an open reading frame (ORF) of 450 bp encoding a polypeptide with149 amino acid residues and predicted molecular weight of about 17 kDa. The predicted protein possesses evolutionary conserved EF hand Ca 2+ binding motifs, post-transcriptional modification sites and a 3D structure which can be superimposed with human members of AIF-1 family. The AvAIF-1 transcript was constitutively expressed in all tested tissues of unchallenged sea anemone, suggesting that AvAIF-1 could serve as a general protective factor under normal physiological conditions. Moreover, we profiled the transcriptional activation of AvAIF-1 after challenges with different abiotic/biotic stresses showing induction by warming conditions, heavy metals exposure and immune stimulation. Thus, mechanisms associated to inflammation and immune challenges up-regulated AvAIF-1 mRNA levels. Our results suggest its involvement in the inflammatory processes and immune response of A. viridis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. XUV ionization of aligned molecules

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelkensberg, F.; Siu, W.; Gademann, G. [FOM Institute AMOLF, Science Park 104, NL-1098 XG Amsterdam (Netherlands); Rouzee, A.; Vrakking, M. J. J. [FOM Institute AMOLF, Science Park 104, NL-1098 XG Amsterdam (Netherlands); Max-Born-Institut, Max-Born Strasse 2A, D-12489 Berlin (Germany); Johnsson, P. [FOM Institute AMOLF, Science Park 104, NL-1098 XG Amsterdam (Netherlands); Department of Physics, Lund University, Post Office Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund (Sweden); Lucchini, M. [Department of Physics, Politecnico di Milano, Istituto di Fotonica e Nanotecnologie CNR-IFN, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano (Italy); Lucchese, R. R. [Department of Chemistry, Texas A and M University, College Station, Texas 77843-3255 (United States)

    2011-11-15

    New extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) light sources such as high-order-harmonic generation (HHG) and free-electron lasers (FELs), combined with laser-induced alignment techniques, enable novel methods for making molecular movies based on measuring molecular frame photoelectron angular distributions. Experiments are presented where CO{sub 2} molecules were impulsively aligned using a near-infrared laser and ionized using femtosecond XUV pulses obtained by HHG. Measured electron angular distributions reveal contributions from four orbitals and the onset of the influence of the molecular structure.

  7. XUV ionization of aligned molecules

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kelkensberg, F.; Siu, W.; Gademann, G.; Rouzee, A.; Vrakking, M. J. J.; Johnsson, P.; Lucchini, M.; Lucchese, R. R.

    2011-01-01

    New extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) light sources such as high-order-harmonic generation (HHG) and free-electron lasers (FELs), combined with laser-induced alignment techniques, enable novel methods for making molecular movies based on measuring molecular frame photoelectron angular distributions. Experiments are presented where CO 2 molecules were impulsively aligned using a near-infrared laser and ionized using femtosecond XUV pulses obtained by HHG. Measured electron angular distributions reveal contributions from four orbitals and the onset of the influence of the molecular structure.

  8. Improved measurements of RNA structure conservation with generalized centroid estimators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yohei eOkada

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Identification of non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs in genomes is acrucial task for not only molecular cell biology but alsobioinformatics. Secondary structures of ncRNAs are employed as a keyfeature of ncRNA analysis since biological functions of ncRNAs aredeeply related to their secondary structures. Although the minimumfree energy (MFE structure of an RNA sequence is regarded as the moststable structure, MFE alone could not be an appropriate measure foridentifying ncRNAs since the free energy is heavily biased by thenucleotide composition. Therefore, instead of MFE itself, severalalternative measures for identifying ncRNAs have been proposed such asthe structure conservation index (SCI and the base pair distance(BPD, both of which employ MFE structures. However, thesemeasurements are unfortunately not suitable for identifying ncRNAs insome cases including the genome-wide search and incur high falsediscovery rate. In this study, we propose improved measurements basedon SCI and BPD, applying generalized centroid estimators toincorporate the robustness against low quality multiple alignments.Our experiments show that our proposed methods achieve higher accuracythan the original SCI and BPD for not only human-curated structuralalignments but also low quality alignments produced by CLUSTALW. Furthermore, the centroid-based SCI on CLUSTAL W alignments is moreaccurate than or comparable with that of the original SCI onstructural alignments generated with RAF, a high quality structuralaligner, for which two-fold expensive computational time is requiredon average. We conclude that our methods are more suitable forgenome-wide alignments which are of low quality from the point of viewon secondary structures than the original SCI and BPD.

  9. Synthesis and assessment methods for an edge-alignment-free hybrid image

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sripian, Peeraya; Yamaguchi, Yasushi

    2017-07-01

    A hybrid image allows multiple image interpretations to be modulated by the viewing distance. It can be constructed on the basis of the multiscale perceptual mechanisms of the human visual system by combining the low and high spatial frequencies of two different images. The hybrid image was introduced as an experimental tool for visual recognition study in terms of spatial frequency perception. To produce a compelling hybrid image, the original hybrid image synthesis method could only use similar shapes of source images that were aligned in the edges. If any two different images can be hybrid, it would be beneficial as a new experimental tool. In addition, there is no measure for the actual perception of spatial frequency, whether a single spatial frequency or both spatial frequencies are perceived from the hybrid stimulus. This paper describes two methods for synthesizing a hybrid image from dissimilar shape images or unaligned images; this hybrid image is known as an "edge-alignment-free hybrid image." A noise-inserted method can be done by intentionally inserting and enhancing noises into the high-frequency image. With this method, the low-frequency blobs are covered with high-frequency noises when viewed up close. A color-inserted method uses complementary color gratings in the background of the high-frequency image to emphasize the high-frequency image when viewed up close, whereas the gratings disappear when viewed from far away. To ascertain that our approach successfully separates the spatial frequency at each viewing distance, we measured this property using our proposed assessment method. Our proposed method allows the experimenter to quantify the probability of perceiving both spatial frequencies and a single spatial frequency in a hybrid image. The experimental results confirmed that our proposed synthesis methods successfully hid the low-frequency image and emphasized the high-frequency image at a close viewing distance. At the same time, the

  10. Passivity and Evolutionary Game Dynamics

    KAUST Repository

    Park, Shinkyu; Shamma, Jeff S.; Martins, Nuno C.

    2018-01-01

    This paper investigates an energy conservation and dissipation -- passivity -- aspect of dynamic models in evolutionary game theory. We define a notion of passivity using the state-space representation of the models, and we devise systematic methods to examine passivity and to identify properties of passive dynamic models. Based on the methods, we describe how passivity is connected to stability in population games and illustrate stability of passive dynamic models using numerical simulations.

  11. Passivity and Evolutionary Game Dynamics

    KAUST Repository

    Park, Shinkyu

    2018-03-21

    This paper investigates an energy conservation and dissipation -- passivity -- aspect of dynamic models in evolutionary game theory. We define a notion of passivity using the state-space representation of the models, and we devise systematic methods to examine passivity and to identify properties of passive dynamic models. Based on the methods, we describe how passivity is connected to stability in population games and illustrate stability of passive dynamic models using numerical simulations.

  12. A Kinematic Conservation Law in Free Surface Flow

    OpenAIRE

    Gavrilyuk , Sergey; Kalisch , Henrik; Khorsand , Zahra

    2015-01-01

    The Green-Naghdi system is used to model highly nonlinear weakly dispersive waves propagating at the surface of a shallow layer of a perfect fluid. The system has three associated conservation laws which describe the conservation of mass, momentum, and energy due to the surface wave motion. In addition, the system features a fourth conservation law which is the main focus of this note. It will be shown how this fourth conservation law can be interpreted in terms of a concrete kinematic quanti...

  13. Statistical alignment: computational properties, homology testing and goodness-of-fit

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hein, J; Wiuf, Carsten; Møller, Martin

    2000-01-01

    The model of insertions and deletions in biological sequences, first formulated by Thorne, Kishino, and Felsenstein in 1991 (the TKF91 model), provides a basis for performing alignment within a statistical framework. Here we investigate this model.Firstly, we show how to accelerate the statistical...... alignment algorithms several orders of magnitude. The main innovations are to confine likelihood calculations to a band close to the similarity based alignment, to get good initial guesses of the evolutionary parameters and to apply an efficient numerical optimisation algorithm for finding the maximum...... analysis.Secondly, we propose a new homology test based on this model, where homology means that an ancestor to a sequence pair can be found finitely far back in time. This test has statistical advantages relative to the traditional shuffle test for proteins.Finally, we describe a goodness-of-fit test...

  14. Genomic multiple sequence alignments: refinement using a genetic algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lefkowitz Elliot J

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genomic sequence data cannot be fully appreciated in isolation. Comparative genomics – the practice of comparing genomic sequences from different species – plays an increasingly important role in understanding the genotypic differences between species that result in phenotypic differences as well as in revealing patterns of evolutionary relationships. One of the major challenges in comparative genomics is producing a high-quality alignment between two or more related genomic sequences. In recent years, a number of tools have been developed for aligning large genomic sequences. Most utilize heuristic strategies to identify a series of strong sequence similarities, which are then used as anchors to align the regions between the anchor points. The resulting alignment is globally correct, but in many cases is suboptimal locally. We describe a new program, GenAlignRefine, which improves the overall quality of global multiple alignments by using a genetic algorithm to improve local regions of alignment. Regions of low quality are identified, realigned using the program T-Coffee, and then refined using a genetic algorithm. Because a better COFFEE (Consistency based Objective Function For alignmEnt Evaluation score generally reflects greater alignment quality, the algorithm searches for an alignment that yields a better COFFEE score. To improve the intrinsic slowness of the genetic algorithm, GenAlignRefine was implemented as a parallel, cluster-based program. Results We tested the GenAlignRefine algorithm by running it on a Linux cluster to refine sequences from a simulation, as well as refine a multiple alignment of 15 Orthopoxvirus genomic sequences approximately 260,000 nucleotides in length that initially had been aligned by Multi-LAGAN. It took approximately 150 minutes for a 40-processor Linux cluster to optimize some 200 fuzzy (poorly aligned regions of the orthopoxvirus alignment. Overall sequence identity increased only

  15. VESPA: Very large-scale Evolutionary and Selective Pressure Analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew E. Webb

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Background Large-scale molecular evolutionary analyses of protein coding sequences requires a number of preparatory inter-related steps from finding gene families, to generating alignments and phylogenetic trees and assessing selective pressure variation. Each phase of these analyses can represent significant challenges, particularly when working with entire proteomes (all protein coding sequences in a genome from a large number of species. Methods We present VESPA, software capable of automating a selective pressure analysis using codeML in addition to the preparatory analyses and summary statistics. VESPA is written in python and Perl and is designed to run within a UNIX environment. Results We have benchmarked VESPA and our results show that the method is consistent, performs well on both large scale and smaller scale datasets, and produces results in line with previously published datasets. Discussion Large-scale gene family identification, sequence alignment, and phylogeny reconstruction are all important aspects of large-scale molecular evolutionary analyses. VESPA provides flexible software for simplifying these processes along with downstream selective pressure variation analyses. The software automatically interprets results from codeML and produces simplified summary files to assist the user in better understanding the results. VESPA may be found at the following website: http://www.mol-evol.org/VESPA.

  16. Optimal design of an alignment-free two-DOF rehabilitation robot for the shoulder complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galinski, Daniel; Sapin, Julien; Dehez, Bruno

    2013-06-01

    This paper presents the optimal design of an alignment-free exoskeleton for the rehabilitation of the shoulder complex. This robot structure is constituted of two actuated joints and is linked to the arm through passive degrees of freedom (DOFs) to drive the flexion-extension and abduction-adduction movements of the upper arm. The optimal design of this structure is performed through two steps. The first step is a multi-objective optimization process aiming to find the best parameters characterizing the robot and its position relative to the patient. The second step is a comparison process aiming to select the best solution from the optimization results on the basis of several criteria related to practical considerations. The optimal design process leads to a solution outperforming an existing solution on aspects as kinematics or ergonomics while being more simple.

  17. A Fast and Specific Alignment Method for Minisatellite Maps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Rivals

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Variable minisatellites count among the most polymorphic markers of eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes. This variability can affect gene coding regions, like in the prion protein gene, or gene regulation regions, like for the cystatin B gene, and be associated or implicated in diseases: the Creutzfeld-Jakob disease and the myoclonus epilepsy type 1, for our examples. When it affects neutrally evolving regions, the polymorphism in length (i.e., in number of copies of minisatellites proved useful in population genetics.Motivation: In these tandem repeat sequences, different mutational mechanisms let the number of copies, as well as the copies themselves, vary. Especially, the interspersion of events of tandem duplication/contraction and of punctual mutation makes the succession of variant repeats much more informative than the sole allele length. To exploit this information requires the ability to align minisatellite alleles by accounting for both punctual mutations and tandem duplications.Results: We propose a minisatellite maps alignment program that improves on previous solutions. Our new program is faster, simpler, considers an extended evolutionary model, and is available to the community. We test it on the data set of 609 alleles of the MSY1 (DYF155S1 human minisatellite and confirm its ability to recover known evolutionary signals. Our experiments highlight that the informativeness of minisatellites resides in their length and composition polymorphisms. Exploiting both simultaneously is critical to unravel the implications of variable minisatellites in the control of gene expression and diseases.Availability: Software is available at http://atgc.lirmm.fr/ms_align/

  18. Identification and classification of conserved RNA secondary structures in the human genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jakob Skou; Bejerano, Gill; Siepel, Adam

    2006-01-01

    The discoveries of microRNAs and riboswitches, among others, have shown functional RNAs to be biologically more important and genomically more prevalent than previously anticipated. We have developed a general comparative genomics method based on phylogenetic stochastic context-free grammars...... for identifying functional RNAs encoded in the human genome and used it to survey an eight-way genome-wide alignment of the human, chimpanzee, mouse, rat, dog, chicken, zebra-fish, and puffer-fish genomes for deeply conserved functional RNAs. At a loose threshold for acceptance, this search resulted in a set......, the results nevertheless provide evidence for many new human functional RNAs and present specific predictions to facilitate their further characterization....

  19. Transient reflectivity on vertically aligned single-wall carbon nanotubes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galimberti, Gianluca; Ponzoni, Stefano; Ferrini, Gabriele [Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Advanced Materials Physics (i-LAMP) and Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, I-25121 Brescia (Italy); Hofmann, Stephan [Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0FA (United Kingdom); Arshad, Muhammad [Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen (Netherlands); ICTP, Strada Costiera 11, I-34151 Trieste (Italy); National Centre for Physics Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad (Pakistan); Cepek, Cinzia [Istituto Officina dei Materiali — CNR, Laboratorio TASC, Area Science Park, Basovizza, I-34149 Trieste (Italy); Pagliara, Stefania, E-mail: pagliara@dmf.unicatt.it [Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Advanced Materials Physics (i-LAMP) and Dipartimento di Matematica e Fisica, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, I-25121 Brescia (Italy)

    2013-09-30

    One-color transient reflectivity measurements are carried out on two different samples of vertically aligned single-wall carbon nanotube bundles and compared with the response recently published on unaligned bundles. The negative sign of the optical response for both samples indicates that the free electron character revealed on unaligned bundles is only due to the intertube interactions favored by the tube bending. Neither the presence of bundles nor the existence of structural defects in aligned bundles is able to induce a free-electron like behavior of the photoexcited carriers. This result is also confirmed by the presence of non-linear excitonic effects in the transient response of the aligned bundles. - Highlights: • Transient reflectivity measurements on two aligned carbon nanotube samples • Relationship between unalignment and/or bundling and intertube interaction • The bundling is not able to modify the intertube interactions • The presence of structural defects does not affect the intertube interactions • A localized exciton-like behavior has been revealed in these samples.

  20. {beta}-Ray angular distribution from purely nuclear spin aligned {sup 20}F

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nagatomo, T., E-mail: nagatomo@riken.jp [RIKEN Nishina Center (Japan); Matsuta, K. [Osaka University (Japan); Minamisono, K. [NSCL/MSU (United States); Sumikama, T. [Tokyo University of Science (Japan); Mihara, M. [Osaka University (Japan); Ozawa, A.; Tagishi, Y. [University of Tsukuba (Japan); Ogura, M.; Matsumiya, R.; Fukuda, M. [Osaka University (Japan); Yamaguchi, M.; Yasuno, T.; Ohta, H.; Hashizume, Y. [University of Tsukuba (Japan); Fujiwara, H. [Osaka University (Japan); Chiba, A. [University of Tsukuba (Japan); Minamisono, T. [Fukui University of Technology (Japan)

    2007-11-15

    The alignment correlation term in the {beta}-ray angular distribution from purely nuclear spin aligned {sup 20}F has been measured to test the G-parity conservation law which is one of the fundamental symmetries in the weak nucleon current. We utilized the hyperfine interaction of {sup 20}F in an MgF{sub 2} single crystal and successfully created the pure alignment from the polarization by means of the spin manipulation technique based on the {beta}-NMR method.

  1. Structure-Based Sequence Alignment of the Transmembrane Domains of All Human GPCRs: Phylogenetic, Structural and Functional Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cvicek, Vaclav; Goddard, William A.; Abrol, Ravinder

    2016-01-01

    The understanding of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) is undergoing a revolution due to increased information about their signaling and the experimental determination of structures for more than 25 receptors. The availability of at least one receptor structure for each of the GPCR classes, well separated in sequence space, enables an integrated superfamily-wide analysis to identify signatures involving the role of conserved residues, conserved contacts, and downstream signaling in the context of receptor structures. In this study, we align the transmembrane (TM) domains of all experimental GPCR structures to maximize the conserved inter-helical contacts. The resulting superfamily-wide GpcR Sequence-Structure (GRoSS) alignment of the TM domains for all human GPCR sequences is sufficient to generate a phylogenetic tree that correctly distinguishes all different GPCR classes, suggesting that the class-level differences in the GPCR superfamily are encoded at least partly in the TM domains. The inter-helical contacts conserved across all GPCR classes describe the evolutionarily conserved GPCR structural fold. The corresponding structural alignment of the inactive and active conformations, available for a few GPCRs, identifies activation hot-spot residues in the TM domains that get rewired upon activation. Many GPCR mutations, known to alter receptor signaling and cause disease, are located at these conserved contact and activation hot-spot residue positions. The GRoSS alignment places the chemosensory receptor subfamilies for bitter taste (TAS2R) and pheromones (Vomeronasal, VN1R) in the rhodopsin family, known to contain the chemosensory olfactory receptor subfamily. The GRoSS alignment also enables the quantification of the structural variability in the TM regions of experimental structures, useful for homology modeling and structure prediction of receptors. Furthermore, this alignment identifies structurally and functionally important residues in all human GPCRs

  2. Identification of evolutionary hotspots based on genetic data from multiple terrestrial and aquatic taxa and gap analysis of hotspots in protected lands encompassed by the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, J.; Snider, M.; Duke, J.; Moyer, G.R.

    2014-01-01

     The southeastern United States is a recognized hotspot of biodiversity for a variety of aquatic taxa, including fish, amphibians, and mollusks. Unfortunately, the great diversity of the area is accompanied by a large proportion of species at risk of extinction . Gap analysis was employed to assess the representation of evolutionary hotspots in protected lands w h ere an evolutionary hotspot was defined as an area with high evolutionary potential and measured by atypical patterns of genetic divergence, genetic diversity, and to a lesser extent genetic similarity across multiple terrestrial or aquatic taxa. A survey of the primary literature produced 16 terrestrial and 14 aquatic genetic datasets for estimation of genetic divergence and diversity. Relative genetic diversity and divergence values for each terrestrial and aquatic dataset were used for interpolation of multispecies genetic surfaces and subsequent visualization using ArcGIS. The multispecies surfaces interpolated from relative divergences and diversity data identified numerous evolutionary hotspots for both terrestrial and aquatic taxa , many of which were afforded some current protection. For instance, 14% of the cells identified as hotspots of aquatic diversity were encompassed by currently protected areas. Additionally, 25% of the highest 1% of terrestrial diversity cells were afforded some level of protection. In contrast, areas of high and low divergence among species, and areas of high variance in diversity were poorly represented in the protected lands. Of particular interest were two areas that were consistently identified by several different measures as important from a conservation perspective. These included an area encompassing the panhandle of Florida and southern Georgia near the Apalachicola National Forest (displaying varying levels of genetic divergence and greater than average levels of genetic diversity) and a large portion of the coastal regions of North and South Carolina

  3. Conservation of native Pacific trout diversity in Western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke E. Penaluna; Alicia Abadía-Cardoso; Jason B. Dunham; Francisco J. García-Dé León; Robert E. Gresswell; Arturo Ruiz Luna; Eric B. Taylor; Bradley B. Shepard; Robert Al-Chokhachy; Clint C. Muhlfeld; Kevin R. Bestgen; Kevin Rogers; Marco A. Escalante; Ernest R. Keeley; Gabriel M. Temple; Jack E. Williams; Kathleen R. Matthews; Ron Pierce; Richard L. Mayden; Ryan P. Kovach; John Carlos Garza; Kurt D. Fausch

    2016-01-01

    Pacific trout Oncorhynchus spp. in western North America are strongly valued in ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural views, and have been the subject of substantial research and conservation efforts. Despite this, the understanding of their evolutionary histories, overall diversity, and challenges to their conservation is incomplete. We review...

  4. The gsdf gene locus harbors evolutionary conserved and clustered genes preferentially expressed in fish previtellogenic oocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gautier, Aude; Le Gac, Florence; Lareyre, Jean-Jacques

    2011-02-01

    The gonadal soma-derived factor (GSDF) belongs to the transforming growth factor-β superfamily and is conserved in teleostean fish species. Gsdf is specifically expressed in the gonads, and gene expression is restricted to the granulosa and Sertoli cells in trout and medaka. The gsdf gene expression is correlated to early testis differentiation in medaka and was shown to stimulate primordial germ cell and spermatogonia proliferation in trout. In the present study, we show that the gsdf gene localizes to a syntenic chromosomal fragment conserved among vertebrates although no gsdf-related gene is detected on the corresponding genomic region in tetrapods. We demonstrate using quantitative RT-PCR that most of the genes localized in the synteny are specifically expressed in medaka gonads. Gsdf is the only gene of the synteny with a much higher expression in the testis compared to the ovary. In contrast, gene expression pattern analysis of the gsdf surrounding genes (nup54, aff1, klhl8, sdad1, and ptpn13) indicates that these genes are preferentially expressed in the female gonads. The tissue distribution of these genes is highly similar in medaka and zebrafish, two teleostean species that have diverged more than 110 million years ago. The cellular localization of these genes was determined in medaka gonads using the whole-mount in situ hybridization technique. We confirm that gsdf gene expression is restricted to Sertoli and granulosa cells in contact with the premeiotic and meiotic cells. The nup54 gene is expressed in spermatocytes and previtellogenic oocytes. Transcripts corresponding to the ovary-specific genes (aff1, klhl8, and sdad1) are detected only in previtellogenic oocytes. No expression was detected in the gonocytes in 10 dpf embryos. In conclusion, we show that the gsdf gene localizes to a syntenic chromosomal fragment harboring evolutionary conserved genes in vertebrates. These genes are preferentially expressed in previtelloogenic oocytes, and thus, they

  5. Decoupling mechanisms-paying for conservation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cross, P.S.

    1993-07-15

    In 1988, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners issued a policy statement that said [open quotes]ratemaking practices should align utilities' pursuit of profit with least-cost planning.[close quotes] This policy coincided with then-current thinkingg at a number of state commissions about the much-touted goal of encouraging utilities to invest in conservation, or demand-side management (DSM) programs, rather than in generating resources to meet system load requirements. Besides utility concerns about recovering conservation program investments, regulators also notices a built-in [open quotes]disincentive[close quotes] to investment in the traditional ratemaking format: If profit is tied to sales, then utilities will always shy away from aggressively promoting conservation. Or so the thinkin went. [open quotes]Decoupling mechanisms[close quotes] were born to remove this disincentive. A number of states have implemented these mechanisms, while several others are investigating the issue. One chief drawback of the mechanisms is that if sales go down, rates go up to cover the shortfall. (Of course, rates go down if sales exceed forecasted levels.) A major problem has been that rate increases have occurred at exactly the wrong time, during economic slowdowns when utilities are struggling to retain price-sensitive customers and residential ratepayers are least likely to bear with quiet stoicism the burden placed on family budgets. Decoupling is seen by some as a step backwards in the move to competitive regulatory reforms that seek to encourage utilities to behave like free-market companies. Indeed, the newest decoupling mechanisms face serious challenge.

  6. Evolutionary dynamics of protein domain architecture in plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Xue-Cheng

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein domains are the structural, functional and evolutionary units of the protein. Protein domain architectures are the linear arrangements of domain(s in individual proteins. Although the evolutionary history of protein domain architecture has been extensively studied in microorganisms, the evolutionary dynamics of domain architecture in the plant kingdom remains largely undefined. To address this question, we analyzed the lineage-based protein domain architecture content in 14 completed green plant genomes. Results Our analyses show that all 14 plant genomes maintain similar distributions of species-specific, single-domain, and multi-domain architectures. Approximately 65% of plant domain architectures are universally present in all plant lineages, while the remaining architectures are lineage-specific. Clear examples are seen of both the loss and gain of specific protein architectures in higher plants. There has been a dynamic, lineage-wise expansion of domain architectures during plant evolution. The data suggest that this expansion can be largely explained by changes in nuclear ploidy resulting from rounds of whole genome duplications. Indeed, there has been a decrease in the number of unique domain architectures when the genomes were normalized into a presumed ancestral genome that has not undergone whole genome duplications. Conclusions Our data show the conservation of universal domain architectures in all available plant genomes, indicating the presence of an evolutionarily conserved, core set of protein components. However, the occurrence of lineage-specific domain architectures indicates that domain architecture diversity has been maintained beyond these core components in plant genomes. Although several features of genome-wide domain architecture content are conserved in plants, the data clearly demonstrate lineage-wise, progressive changes and expansions of individual protein domain architectures, reinforcing

  7. Proteome-wide mapping of the Drosophila acetylome demonstrates a high degree of conservation of lysine acetylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weinert, Brian T; Wagner, Sebastian A; Horn, Heiko

    2011-01-01

    Posttranslational modification of proteins by acetylation and phosphorylation regulates most cellular processes in living organisms. Surprisingly, the evolutionary conservation of phosphorylated serine and threonine residues is only marginally higher than that of unmodified serines and threonines....... With high-resolution mass spectrometry, we identified 1981 lysine acetylation sites in the proteome of Drosophila melanogaster. We used data sets of experimentally identified acetylation and phosphorylation sites in Drosophila and humans to analyze the evolutionary conservation of these modification sites...... between flies and humans. Site-level conservation analysis revealed that acetylation sites are highly conserved, significantly more so than phosphorylation sites. Furthermore, comparison of lysine conservation in Drosophila and humans with that in nematodes and zebrafish revealed that acetylated lysines...

  8. A Protocol for Producing Virus-Free Artichoke Genetic Resources for Conservation, Breeding, and Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberta Spanò

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The potential of the globe artichoke biodiversity in the Mediterranean area is enormous but at risk of genetic erosion because only a limited number of varieties are vegetatively propagated and grown. In Apulia (southern Italy, the Regional Government launched specific actions to rescue and preserve biodiversity of woody and vegetable crops in the framework of the Rural Development Program. Many globe artichoke ecotypes have remained neglected and unnoticed for a long time and have been progressively eroded by several causes, which include a poor phytosanitary status. Sanitation of such ecotypes from infections of vascular fungi and viruses may be a solution for their ex situ conservation and multiplication in nursery plants in conformity to the current EU Directives 93/61/CEE and 93/62/CEE that enforce nursery productions of virus-free and true-to-type certified stocks. Five Apulian ecotypes, Bianco di Taranto, Francesina, Locale di Mola, Verde di Putignano and Violetto di Putignano, were sanitized from artichoke Italian latent virus (AILV, artichoke latent virus (ArLV and tomato infectious chlorosis virus (TICV by meristem-tip culture and in vitro thermotherapy through a limited number of subcultures to reduce the risk of “pastel variants” induction of and loss of earliness. A total of 25 virus-free primary sources were obtained and conserved ex situ in a nursery.

  9. G-quadruplex DNA sequences are evolutionarily conserved and associated with distinct genomic features in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John A Capra

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available G-quadruplex DNA is a four-stranded DNA structure formed by non-Watson-Crick base pairing between stacked sets of four guanines. Many possible functions have been proposed for this structure, but its in vivo role in the cell is still largely unresolved. We carried out a genome-wide survey of the evolutionary conservation of regions with the potential to form G-quadruplex DNA structures (G4 DNA motifs across seven yeast species. We found that G4 DNA motifs were significantly more conserved than expected by chance, and the nucleotide-level conservation patterns suggested that the motif conservation was the result of the formation of G4 DNA structures. We characterized the association of conserved and non-conserved G4 DNA motifs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae with more than 40 known genome features and gene classes. Our comprehensive, integrated evolutionary and functional analysis confirmed the previously observed associations of G4 DNA motifs with promoter regions and the rDNA, and it identified several previously unrecognized associations of G4 DNA motifs with genomic features, such as mitotic and meiotic double-strand break sites (DSBs. Conserved G4 DNA motifs maintained strong associations with promoters and the rDNA, but not with DSBs. We also performed the first analysis of G4 DNA motifs in the mitochondria, and surprisingly found a tenfold higher concentration of the motifs in the AT-rich yeast mitochondrial DNA than in nuclear DNA. The evolutionary conservation of the G4 DNA motif and its association with specific genome features supports the hypothesis that G4 DNA has in vivo functions that are under evolutionary constraint.

  10. The four cornerstones of Evolutionary Toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bickham, John W

    2011-05-01

    Evolutionary Toxicology is the study of the effects of chemical pollutants on the genetics of natural populations. Research in Evolutionary Toxicology uses experimental designs familiar to the ecotoxicologist with matched reference and contaminated sites and the selection of sentinel species. It uses the methods of molecular genetics and population genetics, and is based on the theories and concepts of evolutionary biology and conservation genetics. Although it is a relatively young field, interest is rapidly growing among ecotoxicologists and more and more field studies and even controlled laboratory experiments are appearing in the literature. A number of population genetic impacts have been observed in organisms exposed to pollutants which I refer to here as the four cornerstones of Evolutionary Toxicology. These include (1) genome-wide changes in genetic diversity, (2) changes in allelic or genotypic frequencies caused by contaminant-induced selection acting at survivorship loci, (3) changes in dispersal patterns or gene flow which alter the genetic relationships among populations, and (4) changes in allelic or genotypic frequencies caused by increased mutation rates. It is concluded that population genetic impacts of pollution exposure are emergent effects that are not necessarily predictable from the mode of toxicity of the pollutant. Thus, to attribute an effect to a particular contaminant requires a careful experimental design which includes selection of appropriate reference sites, detailed chemistry analyses of environmental samples and tissues, and the use of appropriate biomarkers to establish exposure and effect. This paper describes the field of Evolutionary Toxicology and discusses relevant field studies and their findings. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

  11. Reconstruction of caribou evolutionary history in Western North America and its implications for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weckworth, Byron V; Musiani, Marco; McDevitt, Allan D; Hebblewhite, Mark; Mariani, Stefano

    2012-07-01

    The role of Beringia as a refugium and route for trans-continental exchange of fauna during glacial cycles of the past 2million years are well documented; less apparent is its contribution as a significant reservoir of genetic diversity. Using mitochondrial DNA sequences and 14 microsatellite loci, we investigate the phylogeographic history of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in western North America. Patterns of genetic diversity reveal two distinct groups of caribou. Caribou classified as a Northern group, of Beringian origin, exhibited greater number and variability in mtDNA haplotypes compared to a Southern group originating from refugia south of glacial ice. Results indicate that subspecies R. t. granti of Alaska and R. t. groenlandicus of northern Canada do not constitute distinguishable units at mtDNA or microsatellites, belying their current status as separate subspecies. Additionally, the Northern Mountain ecotype of woodland caribou (presently R. t. caribou) has closer kinship to caribou classified as granti or groenlandicus. Comparisons of mtDNA and microsatellite data suggest that behavioural and ecological specialization is a more recently derived life history characteristic. Notably, microsatellite differentiation among Southern herds is significantly greater, most likely as a result of human-induced landscape fragmentation and genetic drift due to smaller population sizes. These results not only provide important insight into the evolutionary history of northern species such as caribou, but also are important indicators for managers evaluating conservation measures for this threatened species. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  12. Survey of local and global biological network alignment: the need to reconcile the two sides of the same coin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guzzi, Pietro Hiram; Milenković, Tijana

    2017-01-05

    Analogous to genomic sequence alignment that allows for across-species transfer of biological knowledge between conserved sequence regions, biological network alignment can be used to guide the knowledge transfer between conserved regions of molecular networks of different species. Hence, biological network alignment can be used to redefine the traditional notion of a sequence-based homology to a new notion of network-based homology. Analogous to genomic sequence alignment, there exist local and global biological network alignments. Here, we survey prominent and recent computational approaches of each network alignment type and discuss their (dis)advantages. Then, as it was recently shown that the two approach types are complementary, in the sense that they capture different slices of cellular functioning, we discuss the need to reconcile the two network alignment types and present a recent first step in this direction. We conclude with some open research problems on this topic and comment on the usefulness of network alignment in other domains besides computational biology. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. THE ATLAS INNER DETECTOR TRACK BASED ALIGNMENT

    CERN Document Server

    Marti i Garcia, Salvador; The ATLAS collaboration

    2018-01-01

    The alignment of the ATLAS Inner Detector is performed with a track-based alignment algorithm. Its goal is to provide an accurate description of the detector geometry such that track parameters are accurately determined and free from biases. Its software implementation is modular and configurable, with a clear separation of the alignment algorithm from the detector system specifics and the database handling. The alignment must cope with the rapid movements of the detector as well as with the slow drift of the different mechanical units. Prompt alignment constants are derived for every run at the calibration stage. These sets of constants are then dynamically split from the beginning of the run in many chunks, allowing to describe the tracker geometry as it evolves with time. The alignment of the Inner Detector is validated and improved by studying resonance decays (Z and J/psi to mu+mu-), as well as using information from the calorimeter system with the E/p method with electrons. A detailed study of these res...

  14. Assembly and Alignment of Ship Power Plants in Modern Shipbuilding

    OpenAIRE

    A. O. Mikhailov; K. N. Morozov

    2013-01-01

    Fine alignment of main ship power plants mechanisms and shaft lines provides long-term and failure-free performance of propulsion system while fast and high-quality installation of mechanisms and shaft lines decreases common labor intensity. For checking shaft line allowed stress and setting its alignment it is required to perform calculations considering various stages of life cycle. In 2012 JSC SSTC developed special software complex “Shaftline” for calculation of align...

  15. ChIP-seq Identification of Weakly Conserved Heart Enhancers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blow, Matthew J.; McCulley, David J.; Li, Zirong; Zhang, Tao; Akiyama, Jennifer A.; Holt, Amy; Plajzer-Frick, Ingrid; Shoukry, Malak; Wright, Crystal; Chen, Feng; Afzal, Veena; Bristow, James; Ren, Bing; Black, Brian L.; Rubin, Edward M.; Visel, Axel; Pennacchio, Len A.

    2010-07-01

    Accurate control of tissue-specific gene expression plays a pivotal role in heart development, but few cardiac transcriptional enhancers have thus far been identified. Extreme non-coding sequence conservation successfully predicts enhancers active in many tissues, but fails to identify substantial numbers of heart enhancers. Here we used ChIP-seq with the enhancer-associated protein p300 from mouse embryonic day 11.5 heart tissue to identify over three thousand candidate heart enhancers genome-wide. Compared to other tissues studied at this time-point, most candidate heart enhancers are less deeply conserved in vertebrate evolution. Nevertheless, the testing of 130 candidate regions in a transgenic mouse assay revealed that most of them reproducibly function as enhancers active in the heart, irrespective of their degree of evolutionary constraint. These results provide evidence for a large population of poorly conserved heart enhancers and suggest that the evolutionary constraint of embryonic enhancers can vary depending on tissue type.

  16. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2005-01-01

    Individual-based models (IBMs) allow the explicit inclusion of individual variation in greater detail than do classical differential-equation and difference-equation models. Inclusion of such variation is important for continued progress in ecological and evolutionary theory. We provide a conceptual basis for IBMs by describing five major types of individual variation in IBMs: spatial, ontogenetic, phenotypic, cognitive, and genetic. IBMs are now used in almost all subfields of ecology and evolutionary biology. We map those subfields and look more closely at selected key papers on fish recruitment, forest dynamics, sympatric speciation, metapopulation dynamics, maintenance of diversity, and species conservation. Theorists are currently divided on whether IBMs represent only a practical tool for extending classical theory to more complex situations, or whether individual-based theory represents a radically new research program. We feel that the tension between these two poles of thinking can be a source of creativity in ecology and evolutionary theory.

  17. Evolutionarily conserved elements in vertebrate, insect, worm, and yeast genomes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Siepel, Adam; Bejerano, Gill; Pedersen, Jakob Skou

    2005-01-01

    We have conducted a comprehensive search for conserved elements in vertebrate genomes, using genome-wide multiple alignments of five vertebrate species (human, mouse, rat, chicken, and Fugu rubripes). Parallel searches have been performed with multiple alignments of four insect species (three...... species of Drosophila and Anopheles gambiae), two species of Caenorhabditis, and seven species of Saccharomyces. Conserved elements were identified with a computer program called phastCons, which is based on a two-state phylogenetic hidden Markov model (phylo-HMM). PhastCons works by fitting a phylo......-HMM to the data by maximum likelihood, subject to constraints designed to calibrate the model across species groups, and then predicting conserved elements based on this model. The predicted elements cover roughly 3%-8% of the human genome (depending on the details of the calibration procedure) and substantially...

  18. Evolutionary history of the porpoise family (Phocoenidae) : A perspective from mitogenomes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ben Chehida, Yacine; Aguilar, A. A.; Borrell, A.; Ferreira, M.; Taylor, B.L.; Rojas-Bracho, L.; Robertson, K.; Thumloup, Julie; Schumacher, C.; Vikingsson, G.A.; Morin, Phillip A.; Fontaine, Michael Christophe

    2017-01-01

    The six species of porpoises inhabit the cold waters of the globe, displaying a textbook example of anti-tropical distribution in marine mammals. Nevertheless, the evolutionary history of the porpoises still remained poorly understood, but this knowledge is crucial to illuminate the conservation

  19. Evolutionary Meta-Analysis of Association Studies Reveals Ancient Constraints Affecting Disease Marker Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudley, Joel T.; Chen, Rong; Sanderford, Maxwell; Butte, Atul J.; Kumar, Sudhir

    2012-01-01

    Genome-wide disease association studies contrast genetic variation between disease cohorts and healthy populations to discover single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and other genetic markers revealing underlying genetic architectures of human diseases. Despite scores of efforts over the past decade, many reproducible genetic variants that explain substantial proportions of the heritable risk of common human diseases remain undiscovered. We have conducted a multispecies genomic analysis of 5,831 putative human risk variants for more than 230 disease phenotypes reported in 2,021 studies. We find that the current approaches show a propensity for discovering disease-associated SNPs (dSNPs) at conserved genomic positions because the effect size (odds ratio) and allelic P value of genetic association of an SNP relates strongly to the evolutionary conservation of their genomic position. We propose a new measure for ranking SNPs that integrates evolutionary conservation scores and the P value (E-rank). Using published data from a large case-control study, we demonstrate that E-rank method prioritizes SNPs with a greater likelihood of bona fide and reproducible genetic disease associations, many of which may explain greater proportions of genetic variance. Therefore, long-term evolutionary histories of genomic positions offer key practical utility in reassessing data from existing disease association studies, and in the design and analysis of future studies aimed at revealing the genetic basis of common human diseases. PMID:22389448

  20. Sex-specific ecophysiological responses to environmental fluctuations of free-ranging Hermann's tortoises: implication for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibeaux, Adélaïde; Michel, Catherine Louise; Bonnet, Xavier; Caron, Sébastien; Fournière, Kévin; Gagno, Stephane; Ballouard, Jean-Marie

    2016-01-01

    Physiological parameters provide indicators to evaluate how organisms respond to conservation actions. For example, individuals translocated during reinforcement programmes may not adapt to their novel host environment and may exhibit elevated chronic levels of stress hormones and/or decreasing body condition. Conversely, successful conservation actions should be associated with a lack of detrimental physiological perturbation. However, physiological references fluctuate over time and are influenced by various factors (e.g. sex, age, reproductive status). It is therefore necessary to determine the range of natural variations of the selected physiological metrics to establish useful baselines. This study focuses on endangered free-ranging Hermann's tortoises ( Testudo hermanni hermanni ), where conservation actions have been preconized to prevent extinction of French mainland populations. The influence of sex and of environmental factors (site, year and season) on eight physiological parameters (e.g. body condition, corticosterone concentrations) was assessed in 82 individuals from two populations living in different habitats. Daily displacements were monitored by radio-tracking. Most parameters varied between years and seasons and exhibited contrasting sex patterns but with no or limited effect of site. By combining behavioural and physiological traits, this study provides sex-specific seasonal baselines that can be used to monitor the health status of Hermann's tortoises facing environmental threats (e.g. habitat changes) or during conservation actions (e.g. translocation). These results might also assist in selection of the appropriate season for translocation.

  1. Invisible hand effect in an evolutionary minority game model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sysi-Aho, Marko; Saramäki, Jari; Kaski, Kimmo

    2005-03-01

    In this paper, we study the properties of a minority game with evolution realized by using genetic crossover to modify fixed-length decision-making strategies of agents. Although the agents in this evolutionary game act selfishly by trying to maximize their own performances only, it turns out that the whole society will eventually be rewarded optimally. This “invisible hand” effect is what Adam Smith over two centuries ago expected to take place in the context of free market mechanism. However, this behaviour of the society of agents is realized only under idealized conditions, where all agents are utilizing the same efficient evolutionary mechanism. If on the other hand part of the agents are adaptive, but not evolutionary, the system does not reach optimum performance, which is also the case if part of the evolutionary agents form a uniformly acting “cartel”.

  2. gmos: Rapid Detection of Genome Mosaicism over Short Evolutionary Distances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domazet-Lošo, Mirjana; Domazet-Lošo, Tomislav

    2016-01-01

    Prokaryotic and viral genomes are often altered by recombination and horizontal gene transfer. The existing methods for detecting recombination are primarily aimed at viral genomes or sets of loci, since the expensive computation of underlying statistical models often hinders the comparison of complete prokaryotic genomes. As an alternative, alignment-free solutions are more efficient, but cannot map (align) a query to subject genomes. To address this problem, we have developed gmos (Genome MOsaic Structure), a new program that determines the mosaic structure of query genomes when compared to a set of closely related subject genomes. The program first computes local alignments between query and subject genomes and then reconstructs the query mosaic structure by choosing the best local alignment for each query region. To accomplish the analysis quickly, the program mostly relies on pairwise alignments and constructs multiple sequence alignments over short overlapping subject regions only when necessary. This fine-tuned implementation achieves an efficiency comparable to an alignment-free tool. The program performs well for simulated and real data sets of closely related genomes and can be used for fast recombination detection; for instance, when a new prokaryotic pathogen is discovered. As an example, gmos was used to detect genome mosaicism in a pathogenic Enterococcus faecium strain compared to seven closely related genomes. The analysis took less than two minutes on a single 2.1 GHz processor. The output is available in fasta format and can be visualized using an accessory program, gmosDraw (freely available with gmos).

  3. gmos: Rapid Detection of Genome Mosaicism over Short Evolutionary Distances.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirjana Domazet-Lošo

    Full Text Available Prokaryotic and viral genomes are often altered by recombination and horizontal gene transfer. The existing methods for detecting recombination are primarily aimed at viral genomes or sets of loci, since the expensive computation of underlying statistical models often hinders the comparison of complete prokaryotic genomes. As an alternative, alignment-free solutions are more efficient, but cannot map (align a query to subject genomes. To address this problem, we have developed gmos (Genome MOsaic Structure, a new program that determines the mosaic structure of query genomes when compared to a set of closely related subject genomes. The program first computes local alignments between query and subject genomes and then reconstructs the query mosaic structure by choosing the best local alignment for each query region. To accomplish the analysis quickly, the program mostly relies on pairwise alignments and constructs multiple sequence alignments over short overlapping subject regions only when necessary. This fine-tuned implementation achieves an efficiency comparable to an alignment-free tool. The program performs well for simulated and real data sets of closely related genomes and can be used for fast recombination detection; for instance, when a new prokaryotic pathogen is discovered. As an example, gmos was used to detect genome mosaicism in a pathogenic Enterococcus faecium strain compared to seven closely related genomes. The analysis took less than two minutes on a single 2.1 GHz processor. The output is available in fasta format and can be visualized using an accessory program, gmosDraw (freely available with gmos.

  4. Molecular evolutionary patterns of NAD+/Sirtuin aging signaling pathway across taxa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uma Gaur

    Full Text Available A deeper understanding of the conserved molecular mechanisms in different taxa have been made possible only because of the evolutionary conservation of crucial signaling pathways. In the present study, we explored the molecular evolutionary pattern of selection signatures in 51 species for 10 genes which are important components of NAD+/Sirtuin pathway and have already been directly linked to lifespan extension in worms and mice. Selection pressure analysis using PAML program revealed that MRPS5 and PPARGC1A were under significant constraints because of their functional significance. FOXO3a also displayed strong purifying selection. All three sirtuins, which were SIRT1, SIRT2 and SIRT6, displayed a great degree of conservation between taxa, which is consistent with the previous report. A significant evolutionary constraint is seen on the anti-oxidant gene, SOD3. As expected, TP53 gene was under significant selection pressure in mammals, owing to its major role in tumor progression. Poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP genes displayed the most sites under positive selection. Further 3D structural analysis of PARP1 and PARP2 protein revealed that some of these positively selected sites caused a change in the electrostatic potential of the protein structure, which may allow a change in its interaction with other proteins and molecules ultimately leading to difference in the function. Although the functional significance of the positively selected sites could not be established in the variants databases, yet it will be interesting to see if these sites actually affect the function of PARP1 and PARP2.

  5. Molecular Evolutionary Constraints that Determine the Avirulence State of Clostridium botulinum C2 Toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prisilla, A; Prathiviraj, R; Chellapandi, P

    2017-04-01

    Clostridium botulinum (group-III) is an anaerobic bacterium producing C2 toxin along with botulinum neurotoxins. C2 toxin is belonged to binary toxin A family in bacterial ADP-ribosylation superfamily. A structural and functional diversity of binary toxin A family was inferred from different evolutionary constraints to determine the avirulence state of C2 toxin. Evolutionary genetic analyses revealed evidence of C2 toxin cluster evolution through horizontal gene transfer from the phage or plasmid origins, site-specific insertion by gene divergence, and homologous recombination event. It has also described that residue in conserved NAD-binding core, family-specific domain structure, and functional motifs found to predetermine its virulence state. Any mutational changes in these residues destabilized its structure-function relationship. Avirulent mutants of C2 toxin were screened and selected from a crucial site required for catalytic function of C2I and pore-forming function of C2II. We found coevolved amino acid pairs contributing an essential role in stabilization of its local structural environment. Avirulent toxins selected in this study were evaluated by detecting evolutionary constraints in stability of protein backbone structure, folding and conformational dynamic space, and antigenic peptides. We found 4 avirulent mutants of C2I and 5 mutants of C2II showing more stability in their local structural environment and backbone structure with rapid fold rate, and low conformational flexibility at mutated sites. Since, evolutionary constraints-free mutants with lack of catalytic and pore-forming function suggested as potential immunogenic candidates for treating C. botulinum infected poultry and veterinary animals. Single amino acid substitution in C2 toxin thus provides a major importance to understand its structure-function link, not only of a molecule but also of the pathogenesis.

  6. SVM-dependent pairwise HMM: an application to protein pairwise alignments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlando, Gabriele; Raimondi, Daniele; Khan, Taushif; Lenaerts, Tom; Vranken, Wim F

    2017-12-15

    Methods able to provide reliable protein alignments are crucial for many bioinformatics applications. In the last years many different algorithms have been developed and various kinds of information, from sequence conservation to secondary structure, have been used to improve the alignment performances. This is especially relevant for proteins with highly divergent sequences. However, recent works suggest that different features may have different importance in diverse protein classes and it would be an advantage to have more customizable approaches, capable to deal with different alignment definitions. Here we present Rigapollo, a highly flexible pairwise alignment method based on a pairwise HMM-SVM that can use any type of information to build alignments. Rigapollo lets the user decide the optimal features to align their protein class of interest. It outperforms current state of the art methods on two well-known benchmark datasets when aligning highly divergent sequences. A Python implementation of the algorithm is available at http://ibsquare.be/rigapollo. wim.vranken@vub.be. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com

  7. Evolutionary conservation and expression of miR-10a-3p in olive flounder and rock bream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Ara; Im, Jennifer; Lee, Hee-Eun; Jang, Dongmin; Nam, Gyu-Hwi; Mishra, Anshuman; Kim, Woo-Jin; Kim, Won; Cha, Hee-Jae; Kim, Heui-Soo

    2017-09-10

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that mainly bind to the seed sequences located within the 3' untranslated region (3' UTR) of target genes. They perform an important biological function as regulators of gene expression. Different genes can be regulated by the same miRNA, whilst different miRNAs can be regulated by the same genes. Here, the evolutionary conservation and expression pattern of miR-10a-3p in olive flounder and rock bream was examined. Binding sites (AAAUUC) to seed region of the 3' UTR of target genes were highly conserved in various species. The expression pattern of miR-10a-3p was ubiquitous in the examined tissues, whilst its expression level was decreased in gill tissues infected by viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) compared to the normal control. In the case of rock bream, the spleen, kidney, and liver tissues showed dominant expression levels of miR-10a-3p. Only the liver tissues in the rock bream samples infected by the iridovirus indicated a dominant miR-10a-3p expression. The gene ontology (GO) analysis of predicted target genes for miR-10a-3p revealed that multiple genes are related to binding activity, catalytic activity, cell components as well as cellular and metabolic process. Overall the results imply that the miR-10a-3p could be used as a biomarker to detect VHSV infection in olive flounder and iridovirus infection in rock bream. In addition, the data provides fundamental information for further study of the complex interaction between miR-10a-3p and gene expression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Orbital alignment effects in near-resonant Rydberg atoms-rare gas collisions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Isaacs, W.A.; Morrison, M.A.

    1993-01-01

    Recent experimental and theoretical studies of near-resonant energy transfer collisions involving rare-gas atoms and alkali or alkaline earth atoms which have been initially excited to an aligned state via one or more linearly polarized rasters have yielded a wealth of insight into orbital alignment and related effects. We have extended this inquiry to initially aligned Rydberg states, examining state-to-state and alignment-selected cross sections using quantum collision theory augmented by approximations appropriate to the special characteristics of the Rydberg state (e.g., the quasi-free-electron model and the impulse approximation)

  9. Metabolic pathway alignment between species using a comprehensive and flexible similarity measure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Ridder Dick

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative analysis of metabolic networks in multiple species yields important information on their evolution, and has great practical value in metabolic engineering, human disease analysis, drug design etc. In this work, we aim to systematically search for conserved pathways in two species, quantify their similarities, and focus on the variations between them. Results We present an efficient framework, Metabolic Pathway Alignment and Scoring (M-PAS, for identifying and ranking conserved metabolic pathways. M-PAS aligns all reactions in entire metabolic networks of two species and assembles them into pathways, taking mismatches, gaps and crossovers into account. It uses a comprehensive scoring function, which quantifies pathway similarity such that we can focus on different pathways given different biological motivations. Using M-PAS, we detected 1198 length-four pathways fully conserved between Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli, and also revealed 1399 cases of a species using a unique route in otherwise highly conserved pathways. Conclusion Our method efficiently automates the process of exploring reaction arrangement possibilities, both between species and within species, to find conserved pathways. We not only reconstruct conventional pathways such as those found in KEGG, but also discover new pathway possibilities. Our results can help to generate hypotheses on missing reactions and manifest differences in highly conserved pathways, which is useful for biology and life science applications.

  10. Locoregional recurrence after breast-conserving therapy remains an independent prognostic factor even after an event free interval of 10 years in early stage breast cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanis, E.; van de Velde, C. J. H.; Bartelink, H.; van de Vijver, M. J.; Putter, H.; van der Hage, J. A.

    2012-01-01

    Locoregional recurrence (LRR) after breast-conserving therapy is a well-known independent risk factor associated with unfavourable long-term outcome. Controversy exists concerning the prognostic impact of a LRR after a very long event-free interval. Patients who underwent breast-conserving therapy

  11. Genes involved in complex adaptive processes tend to have highly conserved upstream regions in mammalian genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohane Isaac

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recent advances in genome sequencing suggest a remarkable conservation in gene content of mammalian organisms. The similarity in gene repertoire present in different organisms has increased interest in studying regulatory mechanisms of gene expression aimed at elucidating the differences in phenotypes. In particular, a proximal promoter region contains a large number of regulatory elements that control the expression of its downstream gene. Although many studies have focused on identification of these elements, a broader picture on the complexity of transcriptional regulation of different biological processes has not been addressed in mammals. The regulatory complexity may strongly correlate with gene function, as different evolutionary forces must act on the regulatory systems under different biological conditions. We investigate this hypothesis by comparing the conservation of promoters upstream of genes classified in different functional categories. Results By conducting a rank correlation analysis between functional annotation and upstream sequence alignment scores obtained by human-mouse and human-dog comparison, we found a significantly greater conservation of the upstream sequence of genes involved in development, cell communication, neural functions and signaling processes than those involved in more basic processes shared with unicellular organisms such as metabolism and ribosomal function. This observation persists after controlling for G+C content. Considering conservation as a functional signature, we hypothesize a higher density of cis-regulatory elements upstream of genes participating in complex and adaptive processes. Conclusion We identified a class of functions that are associated with either high or low promoter conservation in mammals. We detected a significant tendency that points to complex and adaptive processes were associated with higher promoter conservation, despite the fact that they have emerged

  12. Multiple network alignment on quantum computers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daskin, Anmer; Grama, Ananth; Kais, Sabre

    2014-12-01

    Comparative analyses of graph-structured datasets underly diverse problems. Examples of these problems include identification of conserved functional components (biochemical interactions) across species, structural similarity of large biomolecules, and recurring patterns of interactions in social networks. A large class of such analyses methods quantify the topological similarity of nodes across networks. The resulting correspondence of nodes across networks, also called node alignment, can be used to identify invariant subgraphs across the input graphs. Given graphs as input, alignment algorithms use topological information to assign a similarity score to each -tuple of nodes, with elements (nodes) drawn from each of the input graphs. Nodes are considered similar if their neighbors are also similar. An alternate, equivalent view of these network alignment algorithms is to consider the Kronecker product of the input graphs and to identify high-ranked nodes in the Kronecker product graph. Conventional methods such as PageRank and HITS (Hypertext-Induced Topic Selection) can be used for this purpose. These methods typically require computation of the principal eigenvector of a suitably modified Kronecker product matrix of the input graphs. We adopt this alternate view of the problem to address the problem of multiple network alignment. Using the phase estimation algorithm, we show that the multiple network alignment problem can be efficiently solved on quantum computers. We characterize the accuracy and performance of our method and show that it can deliver exponential speedups over conventional (non-quantum) methods.

  13. Stochastic sampling of the RNA structural alignment space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmanci, Arif Ozgun; Sharma, Gaurav; Mathews, David H

    2009-07-01

    A novel method is presented for predicting the common secondary structures and alignment of two homologous RNA sequences by sampling the 'structural alignment' space, i.e. the joint space of their alignments and common secondary structures. The structural alignment space is sampled according to a pseudo-Boltzmann distribution based on a pseudo-free energy change that combines base pairing probabilities from a thermodynamic model and alignment probabilities from a hidden Markov model. By virtue of the implicit comparative analysis between the two sequences, the method offers an improvement over single sequence sampling of the Boltzmann ensemble. A cluster analysis shows that the samples obtained from joint sampling of the structural alignment space cluster more closely than samples generated by the single sequence method. On average, the representative (centroid) structure and alignment of the most populated cluster in the sample of structures and alignments generated by joint sampling are more accurate than single sequence sampling and alignment based on sequence alone, respectively. The 'best' centroid structure that is closest to the known structure among all the centroids is, on average, more accurate than structure predictions of other methods. Additionally, cluster analysis identifies, on average, a few clusters, whose centroids can be presented as alternative candidates. The source code for the proposed method can be downloaded at http://rna.urmc.rochester.edu.

  14. Sequence and structural analysis of the chitinase insertion domain reveals two conserved motifs involved in chitin-binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hai Li

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Chitinases are prevalent in life and are found in species including archaea, bacteria, fungi, plants, and animals. They break down chitin, which is the second most abundant carbohydrate in nature after cellulose. Hence, they are important for maintaining a balance between carbon and nitrogen trapped as insoluble chitin in biomass. Chitinases are classified into two families, 18 and 19 glycoside hydrolases. In addition to a catalytic domain, which is a triosephosphate isomerase barrel, many family 18 chitinases contain another module, i.e., chitinase insertion domain. While numerous studies focus on the biological role of the catalytic domain in chitinase activity, the function of the chitinase insertion domain is not completely understood. Bioinformatics offers an important avenue in which to facilitate understanding the role of residues within the chitinase insertion domain in chitinase function.Twenty-seven chitinase insertion domain sequences, which include four experimentally determined structures and span five kingdoms, were aligned and analyzed using a modified sequence entropy parameter. Thirty-two positions with conserved residues were identified. The role of these conserved residues was explored by conducting a structural analysis of a number of holo-enzymes. Hydrogen bonding and van der Waals calculations revealed a distinct subset of four conserved residues constituting two sequence motifs that interact with oligosaccharides. The other conserved residues may be key to the structure, folding, and stability of this domain.Sequence and structural studies of the chitinase insertion domains conducted within the framework of evolution identified four conserved residues which clearly interact with the substrates. Furthermore, evolutionary studies propose a link between the appearance of the chitinase insertion domain and the function of family 18 chitinases in the subfamily A.

  15. Alignment between values of dryland pastoralists and conservation needs for small mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addison, Jane; Pavey, Chris R

    2017-04-01

    Policies for conservation outside protected areas, such as those designed to address the decline in Australian mammals, will not result in net improvements unless they address barriers to proenvironmental behavior. We used a mixed-methods approach to explore potential value-action gaps (disconnects between values and subsequent action) for small mammal conservation behaviors among pastoralists in dryland Australia. Using semistructured surveys and open-ended interviews (n = 43), we explored values toward small mammals; uptake of a range of current and intended actions that may provide benefit to small mammals; and potential perceived barriers to their uptake. Pastoralists assigned great conservation value to small mammals; over 80% (n = 36) agreed to strongly agreed that small mammals on their property were important. These values did not translate into stated willingness to engage in voluntary cessation of wild-dog control (r 2 = 0.187, p = 0.142, n = 43). However, assigning great conservation value to small mammals was strongly related to stated voluntary willingness to engage in the proenvironmental behavior most likely to result in benefits to small mammals: cat and fox control (r 2 = 0.558, p = 0.000, n = 43). There was no significant difference between stated voluntarily and incentivized willingness to engage in cat and fox control (p = 0.862, n = 43). The high levels of willingness to engage in voluntary cat and fox control highlight a potential entry point for addressing Australia's mammal declines because the engagement of pastoralists in conservation programs targeting cat and fox control is unlikely to be prevented by attitudinal constraints. Qualitative data suggest there is likely a subpopulation of pastoralists who value small mammals but do not wish to engage in formal conservation programs due to relational barriers with potential implementers. A long-term commitment to engagement with pastoralists by implementers will thus be necessary for

  16. Evolutionary Conservation and Emerging Functional Diversity of the Cytosolic Hsp70:J Protein Chaperone Network of Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Amit K; Diwan, Danish; Raut, Sandeep; Dobriyal, Neha; Brown, Rebecca E; Gowda, Vinita; Hines, Justin K; Sahi, Chandan

    2017-06-07

    Heat shock proteins of 70 kDa (Hsp70s) partner with structurally diverse Hsp40s (J proteins), generating distinct chaperone networks in various cellular compartments that perform myriad housekeeping and stress-associated functions in all organisms. Plants, being sessile, need to constantly maintain their cellular proteostasis in response to external environmental cues. In these situations, the Hsp70:J protein machines may play an important role in fine-tuning cellular protein quality control. Although ubiquitous, the functional specificity and complexity of the plant Hsp70:J protein network has not been studied. Here, we analyzed the J protein network in the cytosol of Arabidopsis thaliana and, using yeast genetics, show that the functional specificities of most plant J proteins in fundamental chaperone functions are conserved across long evolutionary timescales. Detailed phylogenetic and functional analysis revealed that increased number, regulatory differences, and neofunctionalization in J proteins together contribute to the emerging functional diversity and complexity in the Hsp70:J protein network in higher plants. Based on the data presented, we propose that higher plants have orchestrated their "chaperome," especially their J protein complement, according to their specialized cellular and physiological stipulations. Copyright © 2017 Verma et al.

  17. Evolutionary conservation and neuronal mechanisms of auditory perceptual restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkov, Christopher I; Sutter, Mitchell L

    2011-01-01

    Auditory perceptual 'restoration' occurs when the auditory system restores an occluded or masked sound of interest. Behavioral work on auditory restoration in humans began over 50 years ago using it to model a noisy environmental scene with competing sounds. It has become clear that not only humans experience auditory restoration: restoration has been broadly conserved in many species. Behavioral studies in humans and animals provide a necessary foundation to link the insights being obtained from human EEG and fMRI to those from animal neurophysiology. The aggregate of data resulting from multiple approaches across species has begun to clarify the neuronal bases of auditory restoration. Different types of neural responses supporting restoration have been found, supportive of multiple mechanisms working within a species. Yet a general principle has emerged that responses correlated with restoration mimic the response that would have been given to the uninterrupted sound of interest. Using the same technology to study different species will help us to better harness animal models of 'auditory scene analysis' to clarify the conserved neural mechanisms shaping the perceptual organization of sound and to advance strategies to improve hearing in natural environmental settings. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Flotillin-1 is an evolutionary-conserved memory-related protein up-regulated in implicit and explicit learning paradigms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monje, Francisco J; Divisch, Isabella; Demit, Marvie; Lubec, Gert; Pollak, Daniela D

    2013-06-01

    Studies of synaptic plasticity using the marine mollusk Aplysia californica as model system have been successfully used to identify proteins involved in learning and memory. The importance of molecular elements regulated by the learning- related neurotransmitter serotonin in Aplysia can then be explored in rodent models and finally tested for their relevance for human physiology and pathology. Herein, 2-DE gel-based electrophoresis has been used to investigate protein level changes after treatment with serotonin in Aplysia abdominal ganglia. Twenty-one proteins have been found to be regulated by serotonin, and protein level changes of actin depolymerizing factor (ADF), deleted in azoospermia associated protein (DAZAP-1), and Flotillin-1 have been verified by Western blotting. Flotillin-1, a member of the flotillin/reggie family of scaffolding proteins, has been previously found to be involved in neuritic branching and synapse formation in hippocampal neurons in vitro. However, its importance for hippocampal- dependent learning and memory in the mouse has not been examined. Here, elevated levels of Flotillin-1 in hippocampal tissue of mice trained in the Morris water maze confirmed the relevance of Flotillin-1 for memory-related processes in a mammalian system. Thus, a translational approach-from invertebrates to rodents-led to the identification of Flotillin-1 as evolutionary-conserved memory-related protein.

  19. Marine Dispersal Scales Are Congruent over Evolutionary and Ecological Time

    KAUST Repository

    Pinsky, Malin L.

    2016-12-15

    The degree to which offspring remain near their parents or disperse widely is critical for understanding population dynamics, evolution, and biogeography, and for designing conservation actions. In the ocean, most estimates suggesting short-distance dispersal are based on direct ecological observations of dispersing individuals, while indirect evolutionary estimates often suggest substantially greater homogeneity among populations. Reconciling these two approaches and their seemingly competing perspectives on dispersal has been a major challenge. Here we show for the first time that evolutionary and ecological measures of larval dispersal can closely agree by using both to estimate the distribution of dispersal distances. In orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) populations in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, we found that evolutionary dispersal kernels were 17 km (95% confidence interval: 12–24 km) wide, while an exhaustive set of direct larval dispersal observations suggested kernel widths of 27 km (19–36 km) or 19 km (15–27 km) across two years. The similarity between these two approaches suggests that ecological and evolutionary dispersal kernels can be equivalent, and that the apparent disagreement between direct and indirect measurements can be overcome. Our results suggest that carefully applied evolutionary methods, which are often less expensive, can be broadly relevant for understanding ecological dispersal across the tree of life.

  20. MEGA X: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis across Computing Platforms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sudhir; Stecher, Glen; Li, Michael; Knyaz, Christina; Tamura, Koichiro

    2018-06-01

    The Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (Mega) software implements many analytical methods and tools for phylogenomics and phylomedicine. Here, we report a transformation of Mega to enable cross-platform use on Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. Mega X does not require virtualization or emulation software and provides a uniform user experience across platforms. Mega X has additionally been upgraded to use multiple computing cores for many molecular evolutionary analyses. Mega X is available in two interfaces (graphical and command line) and can be downloaded from www.megasoftware.net free of charge.

  1. Water Conservation Resource List.

    Science.gov (United States)

    NJEA Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Alarmed by the growing water shortage, the New Jersey State Office of Dissemination has prepared this annotated list of free or inexpensive instructional materials for teaching about water conservation, K-l2. A tipsheet for home water conservation is appended. (Editor/SJL)

  2. Environmental protection through energy conservation: A free lunch at last?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruff, L.E.

    1990-01-01

    A cautious analysis of demand-side management programs is presented. Utility demand-side management (DSM) programs deserve to be given full and careful consideration as a potential way to give consumers better end-use energy services for their money, utilities an edge in an increasingly competitive market, and society a way to reduce the environmental costs of energy production. But in each of these areas, DSM programs offer no free lunches and have no inherent advantages over supply-side programs. If energy conservation makes sense on economic and business grounds, it can meet the standard economic and business tests applied to most of the rest of the economy; it neither requires nor deserves to be exempt from market concepts and disciplines. If utility DSM programs make sense on environmental grounds, they should be able to demonstrate their cost-effectiveness relative to other, primarily supply-side measures society is willing to undertake in order to control environmental effects. Subsidizing DSM measures in the hope that something good will happen far upstream can waste much money and cause disappointment and frustration

  3. Alignment enhancement of a symmetric top molecule by two short laser pulses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bisgaard, Christer Z; Viftrup, Simon; Stapelfeldt, Henrik

    2006-01-01

    equation. It is shown that the strongest degree of one-dimensional (single axis) field-free alignment obtainable with a single pulse can be enhanced using the two-pulse sequence in a parallel polarization geometry. The conditions for alignment enhancement are: (1) The second pulse must be sent near...

  4. Tetrapods on the EDGE: Overcoming data limitations to identify phylogenetic conservation priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Claudia L.; Wearn, Oliver R.; Owen, Nisha R.

    2018-01-01

    The scale of the ongoing biodiversity crisis requires both effective conservation prioritisation and urgent action. As extinction is non-random across the tree of life, it is important to prioritise threatened species which represent large amounts of evolutionary history. The EDGE metric prioritises species based on their Evolutionary Distinctiveness (ED), which measures the relative contribution of a species to the total evolutionary history of their taxonomic group, and Global Endangerment (GE), or extinction risk. EDGE prioritisations rely on adequate phylogenetic and extinction risk data to generate meaningful priorities for conservation. However, comprehensive phylogenetic trees of large taxonomic groups are extremely rare and, even when available, become quickly out-of-date due to the rapid rate of species descriptions and taxonomic revisions. Thus, it is important that conservationists can use the available data to incorporate evolutionary history into conservation prioritisation. We compared published and new methods to estimate missing ED scores for species absent from a phylogenetic tree whilst simultaneously correcting the ED scores of their close taxonomic relatives. We found that following artificial removal of species from a phylogenetic tree, the new method provided the closest estimates of their “true” ED score, differing from the true ED score by an average of less than 1%, compared to the 31% and 38% difference of the previous methods. The previous methods also substantially under- and over-estimated scores as more species were artificially removed from a phylogenetic tree. We therefore used the new method to estimate ED scores for all tetrapods. From these scores we updated EDGE prioritisation rankings for all tetrapod species with IUCN Red List assessments, including the first EDGE prioritisation for reptiles. Further, we identified criteria to identify robust priority species in an effort to further inform conservation action whilst

  5. Fitting-free algorithm for efficient quantification of collagen fiber alignment in SHG imaging applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Gunnsteinn; Liang, Wenxuan; Li, Xingde

    2017-10-01

    Collagen fiber alignment derived from second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy images can be important for disease diagnostics. Image processing algorithms are needed to robustly quantify the alignment in images with high sensitivity and reliability. Fourier transform (FT) magnitude, 2D power spectrum, and image autocorrelation have previously been used to extract fiber information from images by assuming a certain mathematical model (e.g. Gaussian distribution of the fiber-related parameters) and fitting. The fitting process is slow and fails to converge when the data is not Gaussian. Herein we present an efficient constant-time deterministic algorithm which characterizes the symmetricity of the FT magnitude image in terms of a single parameter, named the fiber alignment anisotropy R ranging from 0 (randomized fibers) to 1 (perfect alignment). This represents an important improvement of the technology and may bring us one step closer to utilizing the technology for various applications in real time. In addition, we present a digital image phantom-based framework for characterizing and validating the algorithm, as well as assessing the robustness of the algorithm against different perturbations.

  6. Multiple alignment analysis on phylogenetic tree of the spread of SARS epidemic using distance method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amiroch, S.; Pradana, M. S.; Irawan, M. I.; Mukhlash, I.

    2017-09-01

    Multiple Alignment (MA) is a particularly important tool for studying the viral genome and determine the evolutionary process of the specific virus. Application of MA in the case of the spread of the Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic is an interesting thing because this virus epidemic a few years ago spread so quickly that medical attention in many countries. Although there has been a lot of software to process multiple sequences, but the use of pairwise alignment to process MA is very important to consider. In previous research, the alignment between the sequences to process MA algorithm, Super Pairwise Alignment, but in this study used a dynamic programming algorithm Needleman wunchs simulated in Matlab. From the analysis of MA obtained and stable region and unstable which indicates the position where the mutation occurs, the system network topology that produced the phylogenetic tree of the SARS epidemic distance method, and system area networks mutation.

  7. TCS: a new multiple sequence alignment reliability measure to estimate alignment accuracy and improve phylogenetic tree reconstruction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jia-Ming; Di Tommaso, Paolo; Notredame, Cedric

    2014-06-01

    Multiple sequence alignment (MSA) is a key modeling procedure when analyzing biological sequences. Homology and evolutionary modeling are the most common applications of MSAs. Both are known to be sensitive to the underlying MSA accuracy. In this work, we show how this problem can be partly overcome using the transitive consistency score (TCS), an extended version of the T-Coffee scoring scheme. Using this local evaluation function, we show that one can identify the most reliable portions of an MSA, as judged from BAliBASE and PREFAB structure-based reference alignments. We also show how this measure can be used to improve phylogenetic tree reconstruction using both an established simulated data set and a novel empirical yeast data set. For this purpose, we describe a novel lossless alternative to site filtering that involves overweighting the trustworthy columns. Our approach relies on the T-Coffee framework; it uses libraries of pairwise alignments to evaluate any third party MSA. Pairwise projections can be produced using fast or slow methods, thus allowing a trade-off between speed and accuracy. We compared TCS with Heads-or-Tails, GUIDANCE, Gblocks, and trimAl and found it to lead to significantly better estimates of structural accuracy and more accurate phylogenetic trees. The software is available from www.tcoffee.org/Projects/tcs. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Predicting Consensus Structures for RNA Alignments Via Pseudo-Energy Minimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junilda Spirollari

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Thermodynamic processes with free energy parameters are often used in algorithms that solve the free energy minimization problem to predict secondary structures of single RNA sequences. While results from these algorithms are promising, an observation is that single sequence-based methods have moderate accuracy and more information is needed to improve on RNA secondary structure prediction, such as covariance scores obtained from multiple sequence alignments. We present in this paper a new approach to predicting the consensus secondary structure of a set of aligned RNA sequences via pseudo-energy minimization. Our tool, called RSpredict, takes into account sequence covariation and employs effective heuristics for accuracy improvement. RSpredict accepts, as input data, a multiple sequence alignment in FASTA or ClustalW format and outputs the consensus secondary structure of the input sequences in both the Vienna style Dot Bracket format and the Connectivity Table format. Our method was compared with some widely used tools including KNetFold, Pfold and RNAalifold. A comprehensive test on different datasets including Rfam sequence alignments and a multiple sequence alignment obtained from our study on the Drosophila X chromosome reveals that RSpredict is competitive with the existing tools on the tested datasets. RSpredict is freely available online as a web server and also as a jar file for download at http:// datalab.njit.edu/biology/RSpredict.

  9. USING ECO-EVOLUTIONARY INDIVIDUAL-BASED MODELS TO INVESTIGATE SPATIALLY-DEPENDENT PROCESSES IN CONSERVATION GENETICS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eco-evolutionary population simulation models are powerful new forecasting tools for exploring management strategies for climate change and other dynamic disturbance regimes. Additionally, eco-evo individual-based models (IBMs) are useful for investigating theoretical feedbacks ...

  10. Sequence alignment visualization in HTML5 without Java.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gille, Christoph; Birgit, Weyand; Gille, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Java has been extensively used for the visualization of biological data in the web. However, the Java runtime environment is an additional layer of software with an own set of technical problems and security risks. HTML in its new version 5 provides features that for some tasks may render Java unnecessary. Alignment-To-HTML is the first HTML-based interactive visualization for annotated multiple sequence alignments. The server side script interpreter can perform all tasks like (i) sequence retrieval, (ii) alignment computation, (iii) rendering, (iv) identification of a homologous structural models and (v) communication with BioDAS-servers. The rendered alignment can be included in web pages and is displayed in all browsers on all platforms including touch screen tablets. The functionality of the user interface is similar to legacy Java applets and includes color schemes, highlighting of conserved and variable alignment positions, row reordering by drag and drop, interlinked 3D visualization and sequence groups. Novel features are (i) support for multiple overlapping residue annotations, such as chemical modifications, single nucleotide polymorphisms and mutations, (ii) mechanisms to quickly hide residue annotations, (iii) export to MS-Word and (iv) sequence icons. Alignment-To-HTML, the first interactive alignment visualization that runs in web browsers without additional software, confirms that to some extend HTML5 is already sufficient to display complex biological data. The low speed at which programs are executed in browsers is still the main obstacle. Nevertheless, we envision an increased use of HTML and JavaScript for interactive biological software. Under GPL at: http://www.bioinformatics.org/strap/toHTML/.

  11. DIDA: Distributed Indexing Dispatched Alignment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamid Mohamadi

    Full Text Available One essential application in bioinformatics that is affected by the high-throughput sequencing data deluge is the sequence alignment problem, where nucleotide or amino acid sequences are queried against targets to find regions of close similarity. When queries are too many and/or targets are too large, the alignment process becomes computationally challenging. This is usually addressed by preprocessing techniques, where the queries and/or targets are indexed for easy access while searching for matches. When the target is static, such as in an established reference genome, the cost of indexing is amortized by reusing the generated index. However, when the targets are non-static, such as contigs in the intermediate steps of a de novo assembly process, a new index must be computed for each run. To address such scalability problems, we present DIDA, a novel framework that distributes the indexing and alignment tasks into smaller subtasks over a cluster of compute nodes. It provides a workflow beyond the common practice of embarrassingly parallel implementations. DIDA is a cost-effective, scalable and modular framework for the sequence alignment problem in terms of memory usage and runtime. It can be employed in large-scale alignments to draft genomes and intermediate stages of de novo assembly runs. The DIDA source code, sample files and user manual are available through http://www.bcgsc.ca/platform/bioinfo/software/dida. The software is released under the British Columbia Cancer Agency License (BCCA, and is free for academic use.

  12. An efficient binomial model-based measure for sequence comparison and its application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoqing; Dai, Qi; Li, Lihua; He, Zerong

    2011-04-01

    Sequence comparison is one of the major tasks in bioinformatics, which could serve as evidence of structural and functional conservation, as well as of evolutionary relations. There are several similarity/dissimilarity measures for sequence comparison, but challenges remains. This paper presented a binomial model-based measure to analyze biological sequences. With help of a random indicator, the occurrence of a word at any position of sequence can be regarded as a random Bernoulli variable, and the distribution of a sum of the word occurrence is well known to be a binomial one. By using a recursive formula, we computed the binomial probability of the word count and proposed a binomial model-based measure based on the relative entropy. The proposed measure was tested by extensive experiments including classification of HEV genotypes and phylogenetic analysis, and further compared with alignment-based and alignment-free measures. The results demonstrate that the proposed measure based on binomial model is more efficient.

  13. High qualitative and quantitative conservation of alternative splicing in Caenorhabditis elegans and Caenorhabditis briggsae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rukov, Jakob Lewin; Irimia, Manuel; Mørk, Søren

    2007-01-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) is an important contributor to proteome diversity and is regarded as an explanatory factor for the relatively low number of human genes compared with less complex animals. To assess the evolutionary conservation of AS and its developmental regulation, we have investigated...... the qualitative and quantitative expression of 21 orthologous alternative splice events through the development of 2 nematode species separated by 85-110 Myr of evolutionary time. We demonstrate that most of these alternative splice events present in Caenorhabditis elegans are conserved in Caenorhabditis briggsae....... Moreover, we find that relative isoform expression levels vary significantly during development for 78% of the AS events and that this quantitative variation is highly conserved between the 2 species. Our results suggest that AS is generally tightly regulated through development and that the regulatory...

  14. Conservation of myeloid surface antigens on primate granulocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letvin, N L; Todd, R F; Palley, L S; Schlossman, S F; Griffin, J D

    1983-02-01

    Monoclonal antibodies reactive with myeloid cell surface antigens were used to study evolutionary changes in granulocyte surface antigens from primate species. Certain of these granulocyte membrane antigens are conserved in phylogenetically distant species, indicating the potential functional importance of these structures. The degree of conservation of these antigens reflects the phylogenetic relationship between primate species. Furthermore, species of the same genus show similar patterns of binding to this panel of anti-human myeloid antibodies. This finding of conserved granulocyte surface antigens suggests that non-human primates may provide a model system for exploring uses of monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of human myeloid disorders.

  15. Functionalized vertically aligned ZnO nanorods for application in electrolyte-insulator-semiconductor based pH sensors and label-free immuno-sensors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Narendra; Senapati, Sujata; Kumar, Jitendra; Panda, Siddhartha; Kumar, Satyendra

    2016-01-01

    Vertically aligned ZnO nanorods were grown on a SiO 2 /Si surface by optimization of the temperature and atmosphere for annealing of the seed. The seed layer annealed at 500 °C in vacuum provided well separated and uniform seeds which also provided the best condition to get densely packed, uniformly distributed, and vertically aligned nanorods. These nanorods grown on the substrates were used to fabricate electrolyte-insulator-semiconductor (EIS) devices for pH sensing. Etching of ZnO at acidic pH prevents the direct use of nanorods for pH sensing. Therefore, the nanorods functionalised with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APTES) were utilized for pH sensing and showed the pH sensitivity of 50.1 mV/pH. APTES is also known to be used as a linker to immobilize biomolecules (such as antibodies). The EIS device with APTES functionalized nanorods was used for the label free detection of prostate-specific antigen (PSA). Finally, voltage shifts of 23 mV and 35 mV were observed with PSA concentrations of 1 ng/ml and 100 ng/ml, respectively. (paper)

  16. GATA: A graphic alignment tool for comparative sequenceanalysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nix, David A.; Eisen, Michael B.

    2005-01-01

    Several problems exist with current methods used to align DNA sequences for comparative sequence analysis. Most dynamic programming algorithms assume that conserved sequence elements are collinear. This assumption appears valid when comparing orthologous protein coding sequences. Functional constraints on proteins provide strong selective pressure against sequence inversions, and minimize sequence duplications and feature shuffling. For non-coding sequences this collinearity assumption is often invalid. For example, enhancers contain clusters of transcription factor binding sites that change in number, orientation, and spacing during evolution yet the enhancer retains its activity. Dotplot analysis is often used to estimate non-coding sequence relatedness. Yet dot plots do not actually align sequences and thus cannot account well for base insertions or deletions. Moreover, they lack an adequate statistical framework for comparing sequence relatedness and are limited to pairwise comparisons. Lastly, dot plots and dynamic programming text outputs fail to provide an intuitive means for visualizing DNA alignments.

  17. Mango: multiple alignment with N gapped oligos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zefeng; Lin, Hao; Li, Ming

    2008-06-01

    Multiple sequence alignment is a classical and challenging task. The problem is NP-hard. The full dynamic programming takes too much time. The progressive alignment heuristics adopted by most state-of-the-art works suffer from the "once a gap, always a gap" phenomenon. Is there a radically new way to do multiple sequence alignment? In this paper, we introduce a novel and orthogonal multiple sequence alignment method, using both multiple optimized spaced seeds and new algorithms to handle these seeds efficiently. Our new algorithm processes information of all sequences as a whole and tries to build the alignment vertically, avoiding problems caused by the popular progressive approaches. Because the optimized spaced seeds have proved significantly more sensitive than the consecutive k-mers, the new approach promises to be more accurate and reliable. To validate our new approach, we have implemented MANGO: Multiple Alignment with N Gapped Oligos. Experiments were carried out on large 16S RNA benchmarks, showing that MANGO compares favorably, in both accuracy and speed, against state-of-the-art multiple sequence alignment methods, including ClustalW 1.83, MUSCLE 3.6, MAFFT 5.861, ProbConsRNA 1.11, Dialign 2.2.1, DIALIGN-T 0.2.1, T-Coffee 4.85, POA 2.0, and Kalign 2.0. We have further demonstrated the scalability of MANGO on very large datasets of repeat elements. MANGO can be downloaded at http://www.bioinfo.org.cn/mango/ and is free for academic usage.

  18. Evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandergast, Amy G.; Inman, Richard D.; Barr, Kelly R.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Esque, Todd C.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Wood, Dustin A.; Medica, Philip A.; Breinholt, Jesse W.; Stephen, Catherine L.; Gottscho, Andrew D.; Marks, Sharyn B.; Jennings, W. Bryan; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Genetic diversity within species provides the raw material for adaptation and evolution. Just as regions of high species diversity are conservation targets, identifying regions containing high genetic diversity and divergence within and among populations may be important to protect future evolutionary potential. When multiple co-distributed species show spatial overlap in high genetic diversity and divergence, these regions can be considered evolutionary hotspots. We mapped spatial population genetic structure for 17 animal species across the Mojave Desert, USA. We analyzed these in concurrence and located 10 regions of high genetic diversity, divergence or both among species. These were mainly concentrated along the western and southern boundaries where ecotones between mountain, grassland and desert habitat are prevalent, and along the Colorado River. We evaluated the extent to which these hotspots overlapped protected lands and utility-scale renewable energy development projects of the Bureau of Land Management. While 30–40% of the total hotspot area was categorized as protected, between 3–7% overlapped with proposed renewable energy project footprints, and up to 17% overlapped with project footprints combined with transmission corridors. Overlap of evolutionary hotspots with renewable energy development mainly occurred in 6 of the 10 identified hotspots. Resulting GIS-based maps can be incorporated into ongoing landscape planning efforts and highlight specific regions where further investigation of impacts to population persistence and genetic connectivity may be warranted.

  19. Refinement procedure for the image alignment in high-resolution electron tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houben, L.; Bar Sadan, M.

    2011-01-01

    High-resolution electron tomography from a tilt series of transmission electron microscopy images requires an accurate image alignment procedure in order to maximise the resolution of the tomogram. This is the case in particular for ultra-high resolution where even very small misalignments between individual images can dramatically reduce the fidelity of the resultant reconstruction. A tomographic-reconstruction based and marker-free method is proposed, which uses an iterative optimisation of the tomogram resolution. The method utilises a search algorithm that maximises the contrast in tomogram sub-volumes. Unlike conventional cross-correlation analysis it provides the required correlation over a large tilt angle separation and guarantees a consistent alignment of images for the full range of object tilt angles. An assessment based on experimental reconstructions shows that the marker-free procedure is competitive to the reference of marker-based procedures at lower resolution and yields sub-pixel accuracy even for simulated high-resolution data. -- Highlights: → Alignment procedure for electron tomography based on iterative tomogram contrast optimisation. → Marker-free, independent of object, little user interaction. → Accuracy competitive with fiducial marker methods and suited for high-resolution tomography.

  20. Effects of Nanowire Length and Surface Roughness on the Electrochemical Sensor Properties of Nafion-Free, Vertically Aligned Pt Nanowire Array Electrodes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiyang Li

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, vertically aligned Pt nanowire arrays (PtNWA with different lengths and surface roughnesses were fabricated and their electrochemical performance toward hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 detection was studied. The nanowire arrays were synthesized by electroplating Pt in nanopores of anodic aluminum oxide (AAO template. Different parameters, such as current density and deposition time, were precisely controlled to synthesize nanowires with different surface roughnesses and various lengths from 3 μm to 12 μm. The PtNWA electrodes showed better performance than the conventional electrodes modified by Pt nanowires randomly dispersed on the electrode surface. The results indicate that both the length and surface roughness can affect the sensing performance of vertically aligned Pt nanowire array electrodes. Generally, longer nanowires with rougher surfaces showed better electrochemical sensing performance. The 12 μm rough surface PtNWA presented the largest sensitivity (654 μA·mM−1·cm−2 among all the nanowires studied, and showed a limit of detection of 2.4 μM. The 12 μm rough surface PtNWA electrode also showed good anti-interference property from chemicals that are typically present in the biological samples such as ascorbic, uric acid, citric acid, and glucose. The sensing performance in real samples (river water was tested and good recovery was observed. These Nafion-free, vertically aligned Pt nanowires with surface roughness control show great promise as versatile electrochemical sensors and biosensors.

  1. Ontology Alignment Repair through Modularization and Confidence-Based Heuristics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel Santos

    Full Text Available Ontology Matching aims at identifying a set of semantic correspondences, called an alignment, between related ontologies. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in efficient and effective matching methods for large ontologies. However, alignments produced for large ontologies are often logically incoherent. It was only recently that the use of repair techniques to improve the coherence of ontology alignments began to be explored. This paper presents a novel modularization technique for ontology alignment repair which extracts fragments of the input ontologies that only contain the necessary classes and relations to resolve all detectable incoherences. The paper presents also an alignment repair algorithm that uses a global repair strategy to minimize both the degree of incoherence and the number of mappings removed from the alignment, while overcoming the scalability problem by employing the proposed modularization technique. Our evaluation shows that our modularization technique produces significantly small fragments of the ontologies and that our repair algorithm produces more complete alignments than other current alignment repair systems, while obtaining an equivalent degree of incoherence. Additionally, we also present a variant of our repair algorithm that makes use of the confidence values of the mappings to improve alignment repair. Our repair algorithm was implemented as part of AgreementMakerLight, a free and open-source ontology matching system.

  2. Ontology Alignment Repair through Modularization and Confidence-Based Heuristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Emanuel; Faria, Daniel; Pesquita, Catia; Couto, Francisco M

    2015-01-01

    Ontology Matching aims at identifying a set of semantic correspondences, called an alignment, between related ontologies. In recent years, there has been a growing interest in efficient and effective matching methods for large ontologies. However, alignments produced for large ontologies are often logically incoherent. It was only recently that the use of repair techniques to improve the coherence of ontology alignments began to be explored. This paper presents a novel modularization technique for ontology alignment repair which extracts fragments of the input ontologies that only contain the necessary classes and relations to resolve all detectable incoherences. The paper presents also an alignment repair algorithm that uses a global repair strategy to minimize both the degree of incoherence and the number of mappings removed from the alignment, while overcoming the scalability problem by employing the proposed modularization technique. Our evaluation shows that our modularization technique produces significantly small fragments of the ontologies and that our repair algorithm produces more complete alignments than other current alignment repair systems, while obtaining an equivalent degree of incoherence. Additionally, we also present a variant of our repair algorithm that makes use of the confidence values of the mappings to improve alignment repair. Our repair algorithm was implemented as part of AgreementMakerLight, a free and open-source ontology matching system.

  3. Nuclear Alignment in Projectile Fragmentation as a Tool for Moment Measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Georgiev, G.; Matea, I.; Oliveira Santos, F. de; Lewitowicz, M.; Daugas, J.M.; Belier, G.; Goutte, H.; Meot, V.; Roig, O.; Hass, M.; Baby, L.T.; Goldring, G.; Astabatyan, R.; Lukyanov, S.; Penionzhkevich, Yu.E.; Balabanski, D.L.; Borremans, D.; Himpe, P.; Neyens, G.; Sawicka, M.

    2004-01-01

    The application of the Time Dependent Perturbed Angular Distribution (TDPAD) method to study isomeric states produced and oriented in projectile-fragmentation reactions provides the opportunity to perform nuclear-moment measurements in a wide range of neutron-rich nuclei, unaccessible by other means. An absolute necessity for the application of the TDPAD technique is a spin-aligned ensemble of nuclei. The preliminary results from a recent application of this method on 61mFe and 54mFe at GANIL, Caen, France showed that a significant increase of the amount of the observed alignment, compared to our previous measurement on 67mNi and 69mCu, can be obtained. Some experimental details, concerning the conservation of the reaction obtained alignment, are discussed

  4. Free energy minimization to predict RNA secondary structures and computational RNA design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churkin, Alexander; Weinbrand, Lina; Barash, Danny

    2015-01-01

    Determining the RNA secondary structure from sequence data by computational predictions is a long-standing problem. Its solution has been approached in two distinctive ways. If a multiple sequence alignment of a collection of homologous sequences is available, the comparative method uses phylogeny to determine conserved base pairs that are more likely to form as a result of billions of years of evolution than by chance. In the case of single sequences, recursive algorithms that compute free energy structures by using empirically derived energy parameters have been developed. This latter approach of RNA folding prediction by energy minimization is widely used to predict RNA secondary structure from sequence. For a significant number of RNA molecules, the secondary structure of the RNA molecule is indicative of its function and its computational prediction by minimizing its free energy is important for its functional analysis. A general method for free energy minimization to predict RNA secondary structures is dynamic programming, although other optimization methods have been developed as well along with empirically derived energy parameters. In this chapter, we introduce and illustrate by examples the approach of free energy minimization to predict RNA secondary structures.

  5. Sequential Optimization of Global Sequence Alignments Relative to Different Cost Functions

    KAUST Repository

    Odat, Enas M.

    2011-05-01

    The purpose of this dissertation is to present a methodology to model global sequence alignment problem as directed acyclic graph which helps to extract all possible optimal alignments. Moreover, a mechanism to sequentially optimize sequence alignment problem relative to different cost functions is suggested. Sequence alignment is mostly important in computational biology. It is used to find evolutionary relationships between biological sequences. There are many algo- rithms that have been developed to solve this problem. The most famous algorithms are Needleman-Wunsch and Smith-Waterman that are based on dynamic program- ming. In dynamic programming, problem is divided into a set of overlapping sub- problems and then the solution of each subproblem is found. Finally, the solutions to these subproblems are combined into a final solution. In this thesis it has been proved that for two sequences of length m and n over a fixed alphabet, the suggested optimization procedure requires O(mn) arithmetic operations per cost function on a single processor machine. The algorithm has been simulated using C#.Net programming language and a number of experiments have been done to verify the proved statements. The results of these experiments show that the number of optimal alignments is reduced after each step of optimization. Furthermore, it has been verified that as the sequence length increased linearly then the number of optimal alignments increased exponentially which also depends on the cost function that is used. Finally, the number of executed operations increases polynomially as the sequence length increase linearly.

  6. Protein structure database search and evolutionary classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jinn-Moon; Tung, Chi-Hua

    2006-01-01

    As more protein structures become available and structural genomics efforts provide structural models in a genome-wide strategy, there is a growing need for fast and accurate methods for discovering homologous proteins and evolutionary classifications of newly determined structures. We have developed 3D-BLAST, in part, to address these issues. 3D-BLAST is as fast as BLAST and calculates the statistical significance (E-value) of an alignment to indicate the reliability of the prediction. Using this method, we first identified 23 states of the structural alphabet that represent pattern profiles of the backbone fragments and then used them to represent protein structure databases as structural alphabet sequence databases (SADB). Our method enhanced BLAST as a search method, using a new structural alphabet substitution matrix (SASM) to find the longest common substructures with high-scoring structured segment pairs from an SADB database. Using personal computers with Intel Pentium4 (2.8 GHz) processors, our method searched more than 10 000 protein structures in 1.3 s and achieved a good agreement with search results from detailed structure alignment methods. [3D-BLAST is available at http://3d-blast.life.nctu.edu.tw].

  7. Genetic divergence and units for conservation in the Komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciofi, C.; Beaumont, M. A.; Swingland, I. R.; Bruford, M. W.

    1999-01-01

    In the past decade much attention has focused on the role that genetics can play in the formation of management strategies in conservation. Here, we describe genetic diversity in the world's largest lizard, the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), examining the evolutionary relationships and population genetic history of the four islands in south-east Indonesia, which form the vast majority of its range. We identify distinct genetic groups for conservation. The population on the island of Komodo shows by far the largest values of genetic divergence and is proposed that it should be a separate conservation management unit. Other populations, surviving either on small islands with substantially reduced genetic variability, or in isolated patches, are identified as particularly vulnerable to stochastic threats and habitat loss. Our results provide an example of how data defining intraspecific levels of genetic divergence can provide information to help management plans, ensure the maintenance of genetic variability across populations and identify evolutionary potential within endangered species.

  8. A case study of bats and white-nose syndrome demonstrating how to model population viability with evolutionary effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maslo, Brooke; Fefferman, Nina H

    2015-08-01

    Ecological factors generally affect population viability on rapid time scales. Traditional population viability analyses (PVA) therefore focus on alleviating ecological pressures, discounting potential evolutionary impacts on individual phenotypes. Recent studies of evolutionary rescue (ER) focus on cases in which severe, environmentally induced population bottlenecks trigger a rapid evolutionary response that can potentially reverse demographic threats. ER models have focused on shifting genetics and resulting population recovery, but no one has explored how to incorporate those findings into PVA. We integrated ER into PVA to identify the critical decision interval for evolutionary rescue (DIER) under which targeted conservation action should be applied to buffer populations undergoing ER against extinction from stochastic events and to determine the most appropriate vital rate to target to promote population recovery. We applied this model to little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) affected by white-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease causing massive declines in several North American bat populations. Under the ER scenario, the model predicted that the DIER period for little brown bats was within 11 years of initial WNS emergence, after which they stabilized at a positive growth rate (λ = 1.05). By comparing our model results with population trajectories of multiple infected hibernacula across the WNS range, we concluded that ER is a potential explanation of observed little brown bat population trajectories across multiple hibernacula within the affected range. Our approach provides a tool that can be used by all managers to provide testable hypotheses regarding the occurrence of ER in declining populations, suggest empirical studies to better parameterize the population genetics and conservation-relevant vital rates, and identify the DIER period during which management strategies will be most effective for species conservation. © 2015 Society for Conservation

  9. Evolutionary Genomics and Conservation of the Endangered Przewalski’s Horse

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Ermini, Luca; Schubert, Mikkel

    2015-01-01

    Przewalski’s horses (PHs, Equus ferus ssp. przewalskii) were discovered in the Asian steppes in the 1870s and represent the last remaining true wild horses. PHs became extinct in the wild in the 1960s but survived in captivity, thanks to major conservation efforts. The current population is still...

  10. Noisy: Identification of problematic columns in multiple sequence alignments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grünewald Stefan

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Motivation Sequence-based methods for phylogenetic reconstruction from (nucleic acid sequence data are notoriously plagued by two effects: homoplasies and alignment errors. Large evolutionary distances imply a large number of homoplastic sites. As most protein-coding genes show dramatic variations in substitution rates that are not uncorrelated across the sequence, this often leads to a patchwork pattern of (i phylogenetically informative and (ii effectively randomized regions. In highly variable regions, furthermore, alignment errors accumulate resulting in sometimes misleading signals in phylogenetic reconstruction. Results We present here a method that, based on assessing the distribution of character states along a cyclic ordering of the taxa, allows the identification of phylogenetically uninformative homoplastic sites in a multiple sequence alignment. Removal of these sites appears to improve the performance of phylogenetic reconstruction algorithms as measured by various indices of "tree quality". In particular, we obtain more stable trees due to the exclusion of phylogenetically incompatible sites that most likely represent strongly randomized characters. Software The computer program noisy implements this approach. It can be employed to improving phylogenetic reconstruction capability with quite a considerable success rate whenever (1 the average bootstrap support obtained from the original alignment is low, and (2 there are sufficiently many taxa in the data set – at least, say, 12 to 15 taxa. The software can be obtained under the GNU Public License from http://www.bioinf.uni-leipzig.de/Software/noisy/.

  11. Comparative Intradermal Tuberculin Testing of Free-Ranging African Buffaloes (Syncerus caffer Captured for Ex Situ Conservation in the Kafue Basin Ecosystem in Zambia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hetron Mweemba Munang'andu

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Bovine tuberculosis (BTB is endemic in African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer in some National Parks in Southern Africa, whilst no studies have been conducted on BTB on buffalo populations in Zambia. The increased demand for ecotourism and conservation of the African buffalo on private owned game ranches has prompted the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA and private sector in Zambia to generate a herd of “BTB-free buffaloes” for ex situ conservation. In the present study, 86 African buffaloes from four different herds comprising a total of 530 animals were investigated for the presence of BTB for the purpose of generating “BTB free” buffalo for ex-situ conservation. Using the comparative intradermal tuberculin test (CIDT the BTB status at both individual animal and herd level was estimated to be 0.0% by the CIDT technique. Compared to Avian reactors only, a prevalence of 5.8% was determined whilst for Bovine-only reactors a prevalence of 0.0% was determined. These results suggest the likelihood of buffalo herds in the Kafue National Park being free of BTB.

  12. Aligning Natural Resource Conservation and Flood Hazard Mitigation in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calil, Juliano; Beck, Michael W; Gleason, Mary; Merrifield, Matthew; Klausmeyer, Kirk; Newkirk, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Flooding is the most common and damaging of all natural disasters in the United States, and was a factor in almost all declared disasters in U.S. Direct flood losses in the U.S. in 2011 totaled $8.41 billion and flood damage has also been on the rise globally over the past century. The National Flood Insurance Program paid out more than $38 billion in claims since its inception in 1968, more than a third of which has gone to the one percent of policies that experienced multiple losses and are classified as "repetitive loss." During the same period, the loss of coastal wetlands and other natural habitat has continued, and funds for conservation and restoration of these habitats are very limited. This study demonstrates that flood losses could be mitigated through action that meets both flood risk reduction and conservation objectives. We found that there are at least 11,243km2 of land in coastal California, which is both flood-prone and has natural resource conservation value, and where a property/structure buyout and habitat restoration project could meet multiple objectives. For example, our results show that in Sonoma County, the extent of land that meets these criteria is 564km2. Further, we explore flood mitigation grant programs that can be a significant source of funds to such projects. We demonstrate that government funded buyouts followed by restoration of targeted lands can support social, environmental, and economic objectives: reduction of flood exposure, restoration of natural resources, and efficient use of limited governmental funds.

  13. Aligning Natural Resource Conservation and Flood Hazard Mitigation in California.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juliano Calil

    Full Text Available Flooding is the most common and damaging of all natural disasters in the United States, and was a factor in almost all declared disasters in U.S.Direct flood losses in the U.S. in 2011 totaled $8.41 billion and flood damage has also been on the rise globally over the past century. The National Flood Insurance Program paid out more than $38 billion in claims since its inception in 1968, more than a third of which has gone to the one percent of policies that experienced multiple losses and are classified as "repetitive loss." During the same period, the loss of coastal wetlands and other natural habitat has continued, and funds for conservation and restoration of these habitats are very limited. This study demonstrates that flood losses could be mitigated through action that meets both flood risk reduction and conservation objectives. We found that there are at least 11,243km2 of land in coastal California, which is both flood-prone and has natural resource conservation value, and where a property/structure buyout and habitat restoration project could meet multiple objectives. For example, our results show that in Sonoma County, the extent of land that meets these criteria is 564km2. Further, we explore flood mitigation grant programs that can be a significant source of funds to such projects. We demonstrate that government funded buyouts followed by restoration of targeted lands can support social, environmental, and economic objectives: reduction of flood exposure, restoration of natural resources, and efficient use of limited governmental funds.

  14. Evolutionary Conservation in Genes Underlying Human Psychiatric Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Michelle Ogawa

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Many psychiatric diseases observed in humans have tenuous or absent analogs in other species. Most notable among these are schizophrenia and autism. One hypothesis has posited that these diseases have arisen as a consequence of human brain evolution, for example, that the same processes that led to advances in cognition, language, and executive function also resulted in novel diseases in humans when dysfunctional. Here, the molecular evolution of genes associated with these and other psychiatric disorders are compared among species. Genes associated with psychiatric disorders are drawn from the literature and orthologous sequences are collected from eleven primate species (human, chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, orangutan, gibbon, macaque, baboon, marmoset, squirrel monkey, and galago and thirty one non-primate mammalian species. Evolutionary parameters, including dN/dS, are calculated for each gene and compared between disease classes and among species, focusing on humans and primates compared to other mammals and on large-brained taxa (cetaceans, rhinoceros, walrus, bear, and elephant compared to their small-brained sister species. Evidence of differential selection in primates supports the hypothesis that schizophrenia and autism are a cost of higher brain function. Through this work a better understanding of the molecular evolution of the human brain, the pathophysiology of disease, and the genetic basis of human psychiatric disease is gained.

  15. Aligning the unalignable: bacteriophage whole genome alignments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bérard, Sèverine; Chateau, Annie; Pompidor, Nicolas; Guertin, Paul; Bergeron, Anne; Swenson, Krister M

    2016-01-13

    In recent years, many studies focused on the description and comparison of large sets of related bacteriophage genomes. Due to the peculiar mosaic structure of these genomes, few informative approaches for comparing whole genomes exist: dot plots diagrams give a mostly qualitative assessment of the similarity/dissimilarity between two or more genomes, and clustering techniques are used to classify genomes. Multiple alignments are conspicuously absent from this scene. Indeed, whole genome aligners interpret lack of similarity between sequences as an indication of rearrangements, insertions, or losses. This behavior makes them ill-prepared to align bacteriophage genomes, where even closely related strains can accomplish the same biological function with highly dissimilar sequences. In this paper, we propose a multiple alignment strategy that exploits functional collinearity shared by related strains of bacteriophages, and uses partial orders to capture mosaicism of sets of genomes. As classical alignments do, the computed alignments can be used to predict that genes have the same biological function, even in the absence of detectable similarity. The Alpha aligner implements these ideas in visual interactive displays, and is used to compute several examples of alignments of Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium bacteriophages, involving up to 29 genomes. Using these datasets, we prove that Alpha alignments are at least as good as those computed by standard aligners. Comparison with the progressive Mauve aligner - which implements a partial order strategy, but whose alignments are linearized - shows a greatly improved interactive graphic display, while avoiding misalignments. Multiple alignments of whole bacteriophage genomes work, and will become an important conceptual and visual tool in comparative genomics of sets of related strains. A python implementation of Alpha, along with installation instructions for Ubuntu and OSX, is available on bitbucket (https://bitbucket.org/thekswenson/alpha).

  16. OXBench: A benchmark for evaluation of protein multiple sequence alignment accuracy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Searle Stephen MJ

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The alignment of two or more protein sequences provides a powerful guide in the prediction of the protein structure and in identifying key functional residues, however, the utility of any prediction is completely dependent on the accuracy of the alignment. In this paper we describe a suite of reference alignments derived from the comparison of protein three-dimensional structures together with evaluation measures and software that allow automatically generated alignments to be benchmarked. We test the OXBench benchmark suite on alignments generated by the AMPS multiple alignment method, then apply the suite to compare eight different multiple alignment algorithms. The benchmark shows the current state-of-the art for alignment accuracy and provides a baseline against which new alignment algorithms may be judged. Results The simple hierarchical multiple alignment algorithm, AMPS, performed as well as or better than more modern methods such as CLUSTALW once the PAM250 pair-score matrix was replaced by a BLOSUM series matrix. AMPS gave an accuracy in Structurally Conserved Regions (SCRs of 89.9% over a set of 672 alignments. The T-COFFEE method on a data set of families with http://www.compbio.dundee.ac.uk. Conclusions The OXBench suite of reference alignments, evaluation software and results database provide a convenient method to assess progress in sequence alignment techniques. Evaluation measures that were dependent on comparison to a reference alignment were found to give good discrimination between methods. The STAMP Sc Score which is independent of a reference alignment also gave good discrimination. Application of OXBench in this paper shows that with the exception of T-COFFEE, the majority of the improvement in alignment accuracy seen since 1985 stems from improved pair-score matrices rather than algorithmic refinements. The maximum theoretical alignment accuracy obtained by pooling results over all methods was 94

  17. ASH structure alignment package: Sensitivity and selectivity in domain classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Toh Hiroyuki

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Structure alignment methods offer the possibility of measuring distant evolutionary relationships between proteins that are not visible by sequence-based analysis. However, the question of how structural differences and similarities ought to be quantified in this regard remains open. In this study we construct a training set of sequence-unique CATH and SCOP domains, from which we develop a scoring function that can reliably identify domains with the same CATH topology and SCOP fold classification. The score is implemented in the ASH structure alignment package, for which the source code and a web service are freely available from the PDBj website http://www.pdbj.org/ASH/. Results The new ASH score shows increased selectivity and sensitivity compared with values reported for several popular programs using the same test set of 4,298,905 structure pairs, yielding an area of .96 under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC curve. In addition, weak sequence homologies between similar domains are revealed that could not be detected by BLAST sequence alignment. Also, a subset of domain pairs is identified that exhibit high similarity, even though their CATH and SCOP classification differs. Finally, we show that the ranking of alignment programs based solely on geometric measures depends on the choice of the quality measure. Conclusion ASH shows high selectivity and sensitivity with regard to domain classification, an important step in defining distantly related protein sequence families. Moreover, the CPU cost per alignment is competitive with the fastest programs, making ASH a practical option for large-scale structure classification studies.

  18. Extinction risk and overfishing: reconciling conservation and fisheries perspectives on the status of marine fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Trevor D; Baum, Julia K

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic disturbances are ubiquitous in the ocean, but their impacts on marine species are hotly debated. We evaluated marine fish statuses using conservation (Red List threatened or not) and fisheries (above or below reference points) metrics, compared their alignment, and diagnosed why discrepancies arise. Whereas only 13.5% of Red Listed marine fishes (n = 2952) are threatened, 40% and 21% of populations with stock assessments (n = 166) currently are below their more conservative and riskier reference points, respectively. Conservation and fisheries metrics aligned well (70.5% to 80.7%), despite their mathematical disconnect. Red Listings were not biased towards exaggerating threat status, and egregious errors, where populations were categorized at opposite extremes of fisheries and conservation metrics, were rare. Our analyses suggest conservation and fisheries scientists will agree on the statuses of exploited marine fishes in most cases, leaving only the question of appropriate management responses for populations of mutual concern still unresolved.

  19. Indirect Effects on Heathland Conservation and Wolf Persistence of Contradictory Policies that Threaten Traditional Free-Ranging Horse Husbandry

    OpenAIRE

    López-Bao, José V.; Sazatorníl, V.; LLaneza, Luis; Rodríguez, Alejandro

    2013-01-01

    Conservation agencies within the European Union promote the restoration of traditional land uses as a cost-effective way to preserve biodiversity outside reserves. Although the European Union pursues the integration of the environment into strategic decision-making, it also dictates sectoral policies that may damage farmland biodiversity. We illustrate this point by outlining the socioeconomic factors that allow the persistence of traditional free-ranging horse husbandry in Galicia, northwest...

  20. T-BAS: Tree-Based Alignment Selector toolkit for phylogenetic-based placement, alignment downloads and metadata visualization: an example with the Pezizomycotina tree of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbone, Ignazio; White, James B; Miadlikowska, Jolanta; Arnold, A Elizabeth; Miller, Mark A; Kauff, Frank; U'Ren, Jana M; May, Georgiana; Lutzoni, François

    2017-04-15

    High-quality phylogenetic placement of sequence data has the potential to greatly accelerate studies of the diversity, systematics, ecology and functional biology of diverse groups. We developed the Tree-Based Alignment Selector (T-BAS) toolkit to allow evolutionary placement and visualization of diverse DNA sequences representing unknown taxa within a robust phylogenetic context, and to permit the downloading of highly curated, single- and multi-locus alignments for specific clades. In its initial form, T-BAS v1.0 uses a core phylogeny of 979 taxa (including 23 outgroup taxa, as well as 61 orders, 175 families and 496 genera) representing all 13 classes of largest subphylum of Fungi-Pezizomycotina (Ascomycota)-based on sequence alignments for six loci (nr5.8S, nrLSU, nrSSU, mtSSU, RPB1, RPB2 ). T-BAS v1.0 has three main uses: (i) Users may download alignments and voucher tables for members of the Pezizomycotina directly from the reference tree, facilitating systematics studies of focal clades. (ii) Users may upload sequence files with reads representing unknown taxa and place these on the phylogeny using either BLAST or phylogeny-based approaches, and then use the displayed tree to select reference taxa to include when downloading alignments. The placement of unknowns can be performed for large numbers of Sanger sequences obtained from fungal cultures and for alignable, short reads of environmental amplicons. (iii) User-customizable metadata can be visualized on the tree. T-BAS Version 1.0 is available online at http://tbas.hpc.ncsu.edu . Registration is required to access the CIPRES Science Gateway and NSF XSEDE's large computational resources. icarbon@ncsu.edu. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  1. Conserved sex chromosomes across adaptively radiated Anolis lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovatsos, Michail; Altmanová, Marie; Pokorná, Martina; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2014-07-01

    Vertebrates possess diverse sex-determining systems, which differ in evolutionary stability among particular groups. It has been suggested that poikilotherms possess more frequent turnovers of sex chromosomes than homoiotherms, whose effective thermoregulation can prevent the emergence of the sex reversals induced by environmental temperature. Squamate reptiles used to be regarded as a group with an extensive variability in sex determination; however, we document how the rather old radiation of lizards from the genus Anolis, known for exceptional ecomorphological variability, was connected with stability in sex chromosomes. We found that 18 tested species, representing most of the phylogenetic diversity of the genus, share the gene content of their X chromosomes. Furthermore, we discovered homologous sex chromosomes in species of two genera (Sceloporus and Petrosaurus) from the family Phrynosomatidae, serving here as an outgroup to Anolis. We can conclude that the origin of sex chromosomes within iguanas largely predates the Anolis radiation and that the sex chromosomes of iguanas remained conserved for a significant part of their evolutionary history. Next to therian mammals and birds, Anolis lizards therefore represent another adaptively radiated amniote clade with conserved sex chromosomes. We argue that the evolutionary stability of sex-determining systems may reflect an advanced stage of differentiation of sex chromosomes rather than thermoregulation strategy. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  2. Accurate marker-free alignment with simultaneous geometry determination and reconstruction of tilt series in electron tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winkler, Hanspeter; Taylor, Kenneth A.

    2006-01-01

    An image alignment method for electron tomography is presented which is based on cross-correlation techniques and which includes a simultaneous refinement of the tilt geometry. A coarsely aligned tilt series is iteratively refined with a procedure consisting of two steps for each cycle: area matching and subsequent geometry correction. The first step, area matching, brings into register equivalent specimen regions in all images of the tilt series. It determines four parameters of a linear two-dimensional transformation, not just translation and rotation as is done during the preceding coarse alignment with conventional methods. The refinement procedure also differs from earlier methods in that the alignment references are now computed from already aligned images by reprojection of a backprojected volume. The second step, geometry correction, refines the initially inaccurate estimates of the geometrical parameters, including the direction of the tilt axis, a tilt angle offset, and the inclination of the specimen with respect to the support film or specimen holder. The correction values serve as an indicator for the progress of the refinement. For each new iteration, the correction values are used to compute an updated set of geometry parameters by a least squares fit. Model calculations show that it is essential to refine the geometrical parameters as well as the accurate alignment of the images to obtain a faithful map of the original structure

  3. Functional comparison of the nematode Hox gene lin-39 in C. elegans and P. pacificus reveals evolutionary conservation of protein function despite divergence of primary sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandien, K; Sommer, R J

    2001-08-15

    Hox transcription factors have been implicated in playing a central role in the evolution of animal morphology. Many studies indicate the evolutionary importance of regulatory changes in Hox genes, but little is known about the role of functional changes in Hox proteins. In the nematodes Pristionchus pacificus and Caenorhabditis elegans, developmental processes can be compared at the cellular, genetic, and molecular levels and differences in gene function can be identified. The Hox gene lin-39 is involved in the regulation of nematode vulva development. Comparison of known lin-39 mutations in P. pacificus and C. elegans revealed both conservation and changes of gene function. Here, we study evolutionary changes of lin-39 function using hybrid transgenes and site-directed mutagenesis in an in vivo assay using C. elegans lin-39 mutants. Our data show that despite the functional differences of LIN-39 between the two species, Ppa-LIN-39, when driven by Cel-lin-39 regulatory elements, can functionally replace Cel-lin-39. Furthermore, we show that the MAPK docking and phosphorylation motifs unique for Cel-LIN-39 are dispensable for Cel-lin-39 function. Therefore, the evolution of lin-39 function is driven by changes in regulatory elements rather than changes in the protein itself.

  4. On-orbit alignment and diagnostics for the LISA Technology Package

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MarIn, A F GarcIa; Wand, V; Steier, F; Cervantes, F Guzman; Bogenstahl, J; Jennrich, O; Heinzel, G; Danzmann, K

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents a procedure to perform fully autonomous on-orbit alignment of the interferometer on board the LISA Technology Package (LTP). LTP comprises two free-floating test masses as inertial sensors that additionally serve as end mirrors of a set of interferometers. From the output signals of the interferometers, a subset has been selected to obtain alignment information of the test masses. Based on these signals, an alignment procedure was developed and successfully tested on the engineering model of the optical bench. Furthermore, operation procedures for the characterization of critical on-orbit properties of the optical metrology system (e.g. fibre noise) have been established

  5. Variation in MHC class II B genes in marbled murrelets: implications for delineating conservation units

    Science.gov (United States)

    C. Vásquez-Carrillo; V. Friesen; L. Hall; M.Z. Peery

    2013-01-01

    Conserving genetic variation is critical for maintaining the evolutionary potential and viability of a species. Genetic studies seeking to delineate conservation units, however, typically focus on characterizing neutral genetic variation and may not identify populations harboring local adaptations. Here, variation at two major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II...

  6. Structure based alignment and clustering of proteins (STRALCP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zemla, Adam T.; Zhou, Carol E.; Smith, Jason R.; Lam, Marisa W.

    2013-06-18

    Disclosed are computational methods of clustering a set of protein structures based on local and pair-wise global similarity values. Pair-wise local and global similarity values are generated based on pair-wise structural alignments for each protein in the set of protein structures. Initially, the protein structures are clustered based on pair-wise local similarity values. The protein structures are then clustered based on pair-wise global similarity values. For each given cluster both a representative structure and spans of conserved residues are identified. The representative protein structure is used to assign newly-solved protein structures to a group. The spans are used to characterize conservation and assign a "structural footprint" to the cluster.

  7. Context dependent DNA evolutionary models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jens Ledet

    This paper is about stochastic models for the evolution of DNA. For a set of aligned DNA sequences, connected in a phylogenetic tree, the models should be able to explain - in probabilistic terms - the differences seen in the sequences. From the estimates of the parameters in the model one can...... start to make biologically interpretations and conclusions concerning the evolutionary forces at work. In parallel with the increase in computing power, models have become more complex. Starting with Markov processes on a space with 4 states, and extended to Markov processes with 64 states, we are today...... studying models on spaces with 4n (or 64n) number of states with n well above one hundred, say. For such models it is no longer possible to calculate the transition probability analytically, and often Markov chain Monte Carlo is used in connection with likelihood analysis. This is also the approach taken...

  8. Robust optic alignment in a tilt-free implementation of the Rowland circle spectrometer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mortensen, Devon R., E-mail: devon@easyxafs.com [Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1560 (United States); easyXAFS, LLC, Seattle, WA 98122 (United States); Seidler, Gerald T., E-mail: seidler@uw.edu [Department of Physics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1560 (United States)

    2017-02-15

    Highlights: • A Rowland circle spectrometer using spherically-bend crystal analyzers can be constructed and operated without the use of a two-axis tilt for analyzer alignment. • The resulting instrument allows immediate exchange of fully-tuned optics after a single, initial alignment. • This improvement will help enable the expansion of high-resolution x-ray expansion spectroscopy outside of synchrotron light sources. - Abstract: High-resolution x-ray emission spectroscopy (XES) has recently been demonstrated in the laboratory setting, achieving nearly synchrotron-level count rates despite the use of only conventional x-ray tube sources. This development holds high potential for expanding the reach of x-ray spectroscopies beyond the specialist community of synchrotron users, but comes with its own unique technical challenges for instrument performance and also, just as importantly, for ease of use by non-experts in x-ray science. Here, we address spectrometer design and operations in the context of the imperfect parallelness between the desired crystal plane and the wafer surface in spherically bent crystal analyser (SBCAs), an effect usually called “wafer miscut”. This introduces an ambiguous re-focusing error that typically requires a motorized two-axis tilt stage for fine alignment of the SBCA optic onto the ideal Rowland circle configuration. We instead demonstrate an asymmetric Rowland geometry that eliminates all need for motorized fine-tilt adjustment. We find rapid, extremely reproducible re-insertion of any aligned SBCA, i.e., without the need for any subsequent reoptimization. These improvements strongly benefit the ease of use of laboratory based spectrometers, taking them an important step closer to the level of turnkey operations needed for wide adoption outside of the existing specialist community.

  9. Conservation genetics of otters: Review about the use of non-invasive samples

    OpenAIRE

    Aristizábal Duque, Sandra L.; Orozco-Jiménez, Luz Y.; Zapata-Escobar, Carolina; Palacio-Baena, Jaime A.

    2018-01-01

    Abstract: Wild population management programs require determining some fundamental aspects for conservation, including population structure, flow between populations, evolutionary history and kinship, among others. Since sample collection from wild mammals for DNA extraction is a complex task, conservation genetics has developed non-invasive sampling techniques, which allow obtaining DNA without the need to capture individuals. For the genetic characterization of otter populations, stools are...

  10. Ancient Origin of the Tryptophan Operon and the Dynamics of Evolutionary Change†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Gary; Keyhani, Nemat O.; Bonner; Jensen, Roy A.

    2003-01-01

    The seven conserved enzymatic domains required for tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis are encoded in seven genetic regions that are organized differently (whole-pathway operons, multiple partial-pathway operons, and dispersed genes) in prokaryotes. A comparative bioinformatics evaluation of the conservation and organization of the genes of Trp biosynthesis in prokaryotic operons should serve as an excellent model for assessing the feasibility of predicting the evolutionary histories of genes and operons associated with other biochemical pathways. These comparisons should provide a better understanding of possible explanations for differences in operon organization in different organisms at a genomics level. These analyses may also permit identification of some of the prevailing forces that dictated specific gene rearrangements during the course of evolution. Operons concerned with Trp biosynthesis in prokaryotes have been in a dynamic state of flux. Analysis of closely related organisms among the Bacteria at various phylogenetic nodes reveals many examples of operon scission, gene dispersal, gene fusion, gene scrambling, and gene loss from which the direction of evolutionary events can be deduced. Two milestone evolutionary events have been mapped to the 16S rRNA tree of Bacteria, one splitting the operon in two, and the other rejoining it by gene fusion. The Archaea, though less resolved due to a lesser genome representation, appear to exhibit more gene scrambling than the Bacteria. The trp operon appears to have been an ancient innovation; it was already present in the common ancestor of Bacteria and Archaea. Although the operon has been subjected, even in recent times, to dynamic changes in gene rearrangement, the ancestral gene order can be deduced with confidence. The evolutionary history of the genes of the pathway is discernible in rough outline as a vertical line of descent, with events of lateral gene transfer or paralogy enriching the analysis as interesting

  11. Ancient origin of the tryptophan operon and the dynamics of evolutionary change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Gary; Keyhani, Nemat O; Bonner, Carol A; Jensen, Roy A

    2003-09-01

    The seven conserved enzymatic domains required for tryptophan (Trp) biosynthesis are encoded in seven genetic regions that are organized differently (whole-pathway operons, multiple partial-pathway operons, and dispersed genes) in prokaryotes. A comparative bioinformatics evaluation of the conservation and organization of the genes of Trp biosynthesis in prokaryotic operons should serve as an excellent model for assessing the feasibility of predicting the evolutionary histories of genes and operons associated with other biochemical pathways. These comparisons should provide a better understanding of possible explanations for differences in operon organization in different organisms at a genomics level. These analyses may also permit identification of some of the prevailing forces that dictated specific gene rearrangements during the course of evolution. Operons concerned with Trp biosynthesis in prokaryotes have been in a dynamic state of flux. Analysis of closely related organisms among the Bacteria at various phylogenetic nodes reveals many examples of operon scission, gene dispersal, gene fusion, gene scrambling, and gene loss from which the direction of evolutionary events can be deduced. Two milestone evolutionary events have been mapped to the 16S rRNA tree of Bacteria, one splitting the operon in two, and the other rejoining it by gene fusion. The Archaea, though less resolved due to a lesser genome representation, appear to exhibit more gene scrambling than the Bacteria. The trp operon appears to have been an ancient innovation; it was already present in the common ancestor of Bacteria and Archaea. Although the operon has been subjected, even in recent times, to dynamic changes in gene rearrangement, the ancestral gene order can be deduced with confidence. The evolutionary history of the genes of the pathway is discernible in rough outline as a vertical line of descent, with events of lateral gene transfer or paralogy enriching the analysis as interesting

  12. The novel cytochrome c6 of chloroplasts: a case of evolutionary bricolage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Christopher J; Schlarb-Ridley, Beatrix G; Wastl, Juergen; Purton, Saul; Bendall, Derek S

    2006-01-01

    Cytochrome c6 has long been known as a redox carrier of the thylakoid lumen of cyanobacteria and some eukaryotic algae that can substitute for plastocyanin in electron transfer. Until recently, it was widely accepted that land plants lack a cytochrome c6. However, a homologue of the protein has now been identified in several plant species together with an additional isoform in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This form of the protein, designated cytochrome c6A, differs from the 'conventional' cytochrome c6 in possessing a conserved insertion of 12 amino acids that includes two absolutely conserved cysteine residues. There are conflicting reports of whether cytochrome c6A can substitute for plastocyanin in photosynthetic electron transfer. The evidence for and against this is reviewed and the likely evolutionary history of cytochrome c6A is discussed. It is suggested that it has been converted from a primary role in electron transfer to one in regulation within the chloroplast, and is an example of evolutionary 'bricolage'.

  13. Evolutionary Nephrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevalier, Robert L

    2017-05-01

    Progressive kidney disease follows nephron loss, hyperfiltration, and incomplete repair, a process described as "maladaptive." In the past 20 years, a new discipline has emerged that expands research horizons: evolutionary medicine. In contrast to physiologic (homeostatic) adaptation, evolutionary adaptation is the result of reproductive success that reflects natural selection. Evolutionary explanations for physiologically maladaptive responses can emerge from mismatch of the phenotype with environment or evolutionary tradeoffs. Evolutionary adaptation to a terrestrial environment resulted in a vulnerable energy-consuming renal tubule and a hypoxic, hyperosmolar microenvironment. Natural selection favors successful energy investment strategy: energy is allocated to maintenance of nephron integrity through reproductive years, but this declines with increasing senescence after ~40 years of age. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include restricted fetal growth or preterm birth (life history tradeoff resulting in fewer nephrons), evolutionary selection for APOL1 mutations (that provide resistance to trypanosome infection, a tradeoff), and modern life experience (Western diet mismatch leading to diabetes and hypertension). Current advances in genomics, epigenetics, and developmental biology have revealed proximate causes of kidney disease, but attempts to slow kidney disease remain elusive. Evolutionary medicine provides a complementary approach by addressing ultimate causes of kidney disease. Marked variation in nephron number at birth, nephron heterogeneity, and changing susceptibility to kidney injury throughout life history are the result of evolutionary processes. Combined application of molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), developmental programming and life history theory may yield new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease.

  14. Evolutionary Nephrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Chevalier

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Progressive kidney disease follows nephron loss, hyperfiltration, and incomplete repair, a process described as “maladaptive.” In the past 20 years, a new discipline has emerged that expands research horizons: evolutionary medicine. In contrast to physiologic (homeostatic adaptation, evolutionary adaptation is the result of reproductive success that reflects natural selection. Evolutionary explanations for physiologically maladaptive responses can emerge from mismatch of the phenotype with environment or from evolutionary tradeoffs. Evolutionary adaptation to a terrestrial environment resulted in a vulnerable energy-consuming renal tubule and a hypoxic, hyperosmolar microenvironment. Natural selection favors successful energy investment strategy: energy is allocated to maintenance of nephron integrity through reproductive years, but this declines with increasing senescence after ∼40 years of age. Risk factors for chronic kidney disease include restricted fetal growth or preterm birth (life history tradeoff resulting in fewer nephrons, evolutionary selection for APOL1 mutations (which provide resistance to trypanosome infection, a tradeoff, and modern life experience (Western diet mismatch leading to diabetes and hypertension. Current advances in genomics, epigenetics, and developmental biology have revealed proximate causes of kidney disease, but attempts to slow kidney disease remain elusive. Evolutionary medicine provides a complementary approach by addressing ultimate causes of kidney disease. Marked variation in nephron number at birth, nephron heterogeneity, and changing susceptibility to kidney injury throughout the life history are the result of evolutionary processes. Combined application of molecular genetics, evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo, developmental programming, and life history theory may yield new strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic kidney disease.

  15. Mathematics and evolutionary biology make bioinformatics education comprehensible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisstein, Anton E.

    2013-01-01

    The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes—the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software—the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a ‘two-culture’ problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses. PMID:23821621

  16. Mathematics and evolutionary biology make bioinformatics education comprehensible.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungck, John R; Weisstein, Anton E

    2013-09-01

    The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes-the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software-the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a 'two-culture' problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses.

  17. Toward a method for tracking virus evolutionary trajectory applied to the pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squires, R Burke; Pickett, Brett E; Das, Sajal; Scheuermann, Richard H

    2014-12-01

    In 2009 a novel pandemic H1N1 influenza virus (H1N1pdm09) emerged as the first official influenza pandemic of the 21st century. Early genomic sequence analysis pointed to the swine origin of the virus. Here we report a novel computational approach to determine the evolutionary trajectory of viral sequences that uses data-driven estimations of nucleotide substitution rates to track the gradual accumulation of observed sequence alterations over time. Phylogenetic analysis and multiple sequence alignments show that sequences belonging to the resulting evolutionary trajectory of the H1N1pdm09 lineage exhibit a gradual accumulation of sequence variations and tight temporal correlations in the topological structure of the phylogenetic trees. These results suggest that our evolutionary trajectory analysis (ETA) can more effectively pinpoint the evolutionary history of viruses, including the host and geographical location traversed by each segment, when compared against either BLAST or traditional phylogenetic analysis alone. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Tevatron alignment issues 2003-2004

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Volk, J.T.; Annala, J.; Elementi, L.; Gelfand, N.; Gollwitzer, K.E.; Greenwood, J.; Martens, M.; Moore, C.; Nobrega, A.; Russell, A.D.; Shiltsev, V.; Stefanski, R.; Sager, T.; Syphers, M.J.; Wojcik, G.

    2005-01-01

    It was observed during the early part of Run II that dipole corrector currents in the Tevatron were changing over time. Measurement of the roll for dipoles and quadrupoles confirmed that there was a slow and systematic movement of the magnets from their ideal position. A simple system using a digital protractor and laptop computer was developed to allow roll measurements of all dipoles and quadrupoles. These measurements showed that many magnets in the Tevatron had rolled more than 1 milliradian. To aid in magnet alignment a new survey network was built in the Tevatron tunnel. This network is based on the use of free centering laser tracker. During the measurement of the network coordinates for all dipole, quadrupole and corrector magnets were obtained. This paper discusses roll measurement techniques and data, the old and new Tevatron alignment network

  19. Conservation of native Pacific trout diversity in western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penaluna, Brooke E.; Abadía-Cardoso, Alicia; Dunham, Jason B.; García de León, Francisco J; Gresswell, Robert E.; Luna, Arturo Ruiz; Taylor, Eric B.; Shepard, Bradley B.; Al-Chokhachy, Robert K.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Bestgen, Kevin R.; Rogers, Kevin H.; Escalante, Marco A; Keeley, Ernest R; Temple, Gabriel; Williams, Jack E.; Matthews, Kathleen; Pierce, Ron; Mayden, Richard L.; Kovach, Ryan; Garza, John Carlos; Fausch, Kurt D.

    2016-01-01

    Pacific trout Oncorhynchus spp. in western North America are strongly valued in ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural views, and have been the subject of substantial research and conservation efforts. Despite this, the understanding of their evolutionary histories, overall diversity, and challenges to their conservation is incomplete. We review the state of knowledge on these important issues, focusing on Pacific trout in the genus Oncorhynchus. Although most research on salmonid fishes emphasizes Pacific salmon, we focus on Pacific trout because they share a common evolutionary history, and many taxa in western North America have not been formally described, particularly in the southern extent of their ranges. Research in recent decades has led to the revision of many hypotheses concerning the origin and diversification of Pacific trout throughout their range. Although there has been significant success at addressing past threats to Pacific trout, contemporary and future threats represented by nonnative species, land and water use activities, and climate change pose challenges and uncertainties. Ultimately, conservation of Pacific trout depends on how well these issues are understood and addressed, and on solutions that allow these species to coexist with a growing scope of human influences.

  20. Vulnerability of dynamic genetic conservation units of forest trees in Europe to climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Schueler, Silvio; Falk, Wolfgang; Koskela, Jarkko; Lefèvre, François; Bozzano, Michele; Hubert, Jason; Kraigher, Hojka; Longauer, Roman; Olrik, Ditte C.

    2014-01-01

    A transnational network of genetic conservation units for forest trees was recently documented in Europe aiming at the conservation of evolutionary processes and the adaptive potential of natural or man-made tree populations. In this study, we quantified the vulnerability of individual conservation units and the whole network to climate change using climate favourability models and the estimated velocity of climate change. Compared to the overall climate niche of the analysed target species p...

  1. Changing trends and persisting biases in three decades of conservation science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moreno Di Marco

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Conservation science is a rapidly developing discipline, and the knowledge base it generates is relevant for practical applications. It is therefore crucial to monitor biases and trends in conservation literature, to track the progress of the discipline and re-align efforts where needed. We evaluated past and present trends in the focus of the conservation literature, and how they relate to conservation needs. We defined the focus of the past literature from 13 published reviews referring to 18,369 article classifications, and the focus of the current literature by analysing 2553 articles published between 2011–2015. We found that some of the historically under-studied biodiversity elements are receiving significantly more attention today, despite being still under-represented. The total proportion of articles on invertebrates, genetic diversity, or aquatic systems is 50%–60% higher today than it was before 2010. However, a disconnect between scientific focus and conservation needs is still present, with greater attention devoted to areas or taxa less rich in biodiversity and threatened biodiversity. In particular, a strong geographical bias persists, with 40% of studies carried out in USA, Australia or the UK, and only 10% and 6% respectively in Africa or South East Asia. Despite some changing trends, global conservation science is still poorly aligned with biodiversity distribution and conservation priorities, especially in relation to threatened species. To overcome the biases identified here, scientists, funding agencies and journals must prioritise research adaptively, based on biodiversity conservation needs. Conservation depends on policy makers and practitioners for success, and scientists should actively provide those who make decisions with the knowledge that best addresses their needs.

  2. The relative importance of regional, local, and evolutionary factors structuring cryptobenthic coral-reef assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadia, Gabby N.; Tornabene, Luke; Smith, David J.; Pezold, Frank L.

    2018-03-01

    Factors shaping coral-reef fish species assemblages can operate over a wide range of spatial scales (local versus regional) and across both proximate and evolutionary time. Niche theory and neutral theory provide frameworks for testing assumptions and generating insights about the importance of local versus regional processes. Niche theory postulates that species assemblages are an outcome of evolutionary processes at regional scales followed by local-scale interactions, whereas neutral theory presumes that species assemblages are formed by largely random processes drawing from regional species pools. Indo-Pacific cryptobenthic coral-reef fishes are highly evolved, ecologically diverse, temporally responsive, and situated on a natural longitudinal diversity gradient, making them an ideal group for testing predictions from niche and neutral theories and effects of regional and local processes on species assemblages. Using a combination of ecological metrics (fish density, diversity, assemblage composition) and evolutionary analyses (testing for phylogenetic niche conservatism), we demonstrate that the structure of cryptobenthic fish assemblages can be explained by a mixture of regional factors, such as the size of regional species pools and broad-scale barriers to gene flow/drivers of speciation, coupled with local-scale factors, such as the relative abundance of specific microhabitat types. Furthermore, species of cryptobenthic fishes have distinct microhabitat associations that drive significant differences in assemblage community structure between microhabitat types, and these distinct microhabitat associations are phylogenetically conserved over evolutionary timescales. The implied differential fitness of cryptobenthic fishes across varied microhabitats and the conserved nature of their ecology are consistent with predictions from niche theory. Neutral theory predictions may still hold true for early life-history stages, where stochastic factors may be more

  3. Mutations in specific structural regions of immunoglobulin light chains are associated with free light chain levels in patients with AL amyloidosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanya L Poshusta

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The amyloidoses are protein misfolding diseases characterized by the deposition of amyloid that leads to cell death and tissue degeneration. In immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis (AL, each patient has a unique monoclonal immunoglobulin light chain (LC that forms amyloid deposits. Somatic mutations in AL LCs make these proteins less thermodynamically stable than their non-amyloidogenic counterparts, leading to misfolding and ultimately the formation of amyloid fibrils. We hypothesize that location rather than number of non-conservative mutations determines the amyloidogenicity of light chains. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We performed sequence alignments on the variable domain of 50 kappa and 91 lambda AL light chains and calculated the number of non-conservative mutations over total number of patients for each secondary structure element in order to identify regions that accumulate non-conservative mutations. Among patients with AL, the levels of circulating immunoglobulin free light chain varies greatly, but even patients with very low levels can have very advanced amyloid deposition. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that in specific secondary structure elements, there are significant differences in the number of non-conservative mutations between normal and AL sequences. AL sequences from patients with different levels of secreted light chain have distinct differences in the location of non-conservative mutations, suggesting that for patients with very low levels of light chains and advanced amyloid deposition, the location of non-conservative mutations rather than the amount of free light chain in circulation may determine the amyloidogenic propensity of light chains.

  4. The covariance between genetic and environmental influences across ecological gradients: reassessing the evolutionary significance of countergradient and cogradient variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conover, David O; Duffy, Tara A; Hice, Lyndie A

    2009-06-01

    Patterns of phenotypic change across environmental gradients (e.g., latitude, altitude) have long captivated the interest of evolutionary ecologists. The pattern and magnitude of phenotypic change is determined by the covariance between genetic and environmental influences across a gradient. Cogradient variation (CoGV) occurs when covariance is positive: that is, genetic and environmental influences on phenotypic expression are aligned and their joint influence accentuates the change in mean trait value across the gradient. Conversely, countergradient variation (CnGV) occurs when covariance is negative: that is, genetic and environmental influences on phenotypes oppose one another, thereby diminishing the change in mean trait expression across the gradient. CnGV has so far been found in at least 60 species, with most examples coming from fishes, amphibians, and insects across latitudinal or altitudinal gradients. Traits that display CnGV most often involve metabolic compensation, that is, the elevation of various physiological rates processes (development, growth, feeding, metabolism, activity) to counteract the dampening effect of reduced temperature, growing season length, or food supply. Far fewer examples of CoGV have been identified (11 species), and these most often involve morphological characters. Increased knowledge of spatial covariance patterns has furthered our understanding of Bergmann size clines, phenotypic plasticity, species range limits, tradeoffs in juvenile growth rate, and the design of conservation strategies for wild species. Moreover, temporal CnGV explains some cases of an apparent lack of phenotypic response to directional selection and provides a framework for predicting evolutionary responses to climate change.

  5. Cognitive Adaptations for n-person Exchange: The Evolutionary Roots of Organizational Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tooby, John; Cosmides, Leda; Price, Michael E.

    2013-01-01

    Organizations are composed of stable, predominantly cooperative interactions or n-person exchanges. Humans have been engaging in n-person exchanges for a great enough period of evolutionary time that we appear to have evolved a distinct constellation of species-typical mechanisms specialized to solve the adaptive problems posed by this form of social interaction. These mechanisms appear to have been evolutionarily elaborated out of the cognitive infrastructure that initially evolved for dyadic exchange. Key adaptive problems that these mechanisms are designed to solve include coordination among individuals, and defense against exploitation by free riders. Multi-individual cooperation could not have been maintained over evolutionary time if free riders reliably benefited more than contributors to collective enterprises, and so outcompeted them. As a result, humans evolved mechanisms that implement an aversion to exploitation by free riding, and a strategy of conditional cooperation, supplemented by punitive sentiment towards free riders. Because of the design of these mechanisms, how free riding is treated is a central determinant of the survival and health of cooperative organizations. The mapping of the evolved psychology of n-party exchange cooperation may contribute to the construction of a principled theoretical foundation for the understanding of human behavior in organizations. PMID:23814325

  6. An evolutionary conserved region (ECR in the human dopamine receptor D4 gene supports reporter gene expression in primary cultures derived from the rat cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haddley Kate

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Detecting functional variants contributing to diversity of behaviour is crucial for dissecting genetics of complex behaviours. At a molecular level, characterisation of variation in exons has been studied as they are easily identified in the current genome annotation although the functional consequences are less well understood; however, it has been difficult to prioritise regions of non-coding DNA in which genetic variation could also have significant functional consequences. Comparison of multiple vertebrate genomes has allowed the identification of non-coding evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs, in which the degree of conservation can be comparable with exonic regions suggesting functional significance. Results We identified ECRs at the dopamine receptor D4 gene locus, an important gene for human behaviours. The most conserved non-coding ECR (D4ECR1 supported high reporter gene expression in primary cultures derived from neonate rat frontal cortex. Computer aided analysis of the sequence of the D4ECR1 indicated the potential transcription factors that could modulate its function. D4ECR1 contained multiple consensus sequences for binding the transcription factor Sp1, a factor previously implicated in DRD4 expression. Co-transfection experiments demonstrated that overexpression of Sp1 significantly decreased the activity of the D4ECR1 in vitro. Conclusion Bioinformatic analysis complemented by functional analysis of the DRD4 gene locus has identified a a strong enhancer that functions in neurons and b a transcription factor that may modulate the function of that enhancer.

  7. Market Reform, Programmatic (DeAlignment and Party System Stability in Latin America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kenneth M. ROBERTS

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Although democratic regimes in Latin America since the early 1980s have been surprisingly durable, party systems in much of the region continue to experience very high levels of electoral instability. A critical juncture approach to institutional change suggests that variation in party system stability is related to the impact of market liberalization in the 1980s and 90s on the programmatic alignment –or (dealignment– of partisan competition. Market reforms that were adopted by conservative leaders and opposed by a major leftist rival aligned party systems programmatically, allowing societal opposition to be channeled into institutionalized forms of competition that were highly stable in the post-adjustment era. By contrast, «bait-and-switch» reforms adopted by populist or leftist leaders were programmatically de-aligning for party systems, leaving them vulnerable to highly destabilizing reactive sequences in the aftermath to the reform process-including mass social protests, the demise of historic conservative parties, and the outflanking of traditional populist or leftist parties by more radical, anti-neoliberal outsiders. The political dynamics of market-based economic adjustment thus heavily conditioned the ways in which party systems would process the post-adjustment revival of populist and leftist alternatives in the region.

  8. Stability of force-free spheromak plasma in spheroidal flux conserver

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaneko, Shobu; Tsutsui, Hiroaki

    1988-01-01

    The Woltjer-Taylor method is applied to spheromak plasmas in spheroidal flux conservers. As models of the flux conserver, both oblate and prolate spheroidal vessels with a center conductor are used. The plasma is not assumed to be nearly spherical, and the Rayleigh-Ritz method and the finite element method are used to evaluate the eigenvalues. The oblate spheromak is shown to be stable irrespective of the shape of the flux conserver. Though the prolate spheromak is unstable if there is no center conductor, it can be stable if the center conductor is installed. (author)

  9. The Greening of Innovation Systems for Eco-innovation - Towards an Evolutionary Climate Mitigation Policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Maj Munch; Foxon, Timothy J.

    2009-01-01

    Policies for mitigating climate change have never received as much attention worldwide as now. At the same time another upcoming policy trend is the increasing synthesis between innovation- and environmental policy, a synthesis that is captured by the “eco-innovation” concept. However, the climate...... and innovation policy areas are currently little aligned and have in fact been considered “opposites” until very recently. The paper seeks to identify how evolutionary economic theory, hitherto very little applied to the environmental area, may guide the development of climate policies and eco...... implications of this shift are considerable and have hitherto gained little attention. A deeper understanding of eco-innovation dynamics is strongly needed for informing both climate and innovation policies. The paper argues that the fact that environmental problems have largely been neglected by evolutionary...

  10. Evolutionary molecular medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M; Ganten, Detlev; Gregory, T Ryan; Omenn, Gilbert S

    2012-05-01

    Evolution has long provided a foundation for population genetics, but some major advances in evolutionary biology from the twentieth century that provide foundations for evolutionary medicine are only now being applied in molecular medicine. They include the need for both proximate and evolutionary explanations, kin selection, evolutionary models for cooperation, competition between alleles, co-evolution, and new strategies for tracing phylogenies and identifying signals of selection. Recent advances in genomics are transforming evolutionary biology in ways that create even more opportunities for progress at its interfaces with genetics, medicine, and public health. This article reviews 15 evolutionary principles and their applications in molecular medicine in hopes that readers will use them and related principles to speed the development of evolutionary molecular medicine.

  11. Expanding the eco-evolutionary context of herbicide resistance research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neve, Paul; Busi, Roberto; Renton, Michael; Vila-Aiub, Martin M

    2014-09-01

    The potential for human-driven evolution in economically and environmentally important organisms in medicine, agriculture and conservation management is now widely recognised. The evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds is a classic example of rapid adaptation in the face of human-mediated selection. Management strategies that aim to slow or prevent the evolution of herbicide resistance must be informed by an understanding of the ecological and evolutionary factors that drive selection in weed populations. Here, we argue for a greater focus on the ultimate causes of selection for resistance in herbicide resistance studies. The emerging fields of eco-evolutionary dynamics and applied evolutionary biology offer a means to achieve this goal and to consider herbicide resistance in a broader and sometimes novel context. Four relevant research questions are presented, which examine (i) the impact of herbicide dose on selection for resistance, (ii) plant fitness in herbicide resistance studies, (iii) the efficacy of herbicide rotations and mixtures and (iv) the impacts of gene flow on resistance evolution and spread. In all cases, fundamental ecology and evolution have the potential to offer new insights into herbicide resistance evolution and management. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  12. Conserved Nonexonic Elements: A Novel Class of Marker for Phylogenomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Scott V; Cloutier, Alison; Baker, Allan J

    2017-11-01

    Noncoding markers have a particular appeal as tools for phylogenomic analysis because, at least in vertebrates, they appear less subject to strong variation in GC content among lineages. Thus far, ultraconserved elements (UCEs) and introns have been the most widely used noncoding markers. Here we analyze and study the evolutionary properties of a new type of noncoding marker, conserved nonexonic elements (CNEEs), which consists of noncoding elements that are estimated to evolve slower than the neutral rate across a set of species. Although they often include UCEs, CNEEs are distinct from UCEs because they are not ultraconserved, and, most importantly, the core region alone is analyzed, rather than both the core and its flanking regions. Using a data set of 16 birds plus an alligator outgroup, and ∼3600-∼3800 loci per marker type, we found that although CNEEs were less variable than bioinformatically derived UCEs or introns and in some cases exhibited a slower approach to branch resolution as determined by phylogenomic subsampling, the quality of CNEE alignments was superior to those of the other markers, with fewer gaps and missing species. Phylogenetic resolution using coalescent approaches was comparable among the three marker types, with most nodes being fully and congruently resolved. Comparison of phylogenetic results across the three marker types indicated that one branch, the sister group to the passerine + falcon clade, was resolved differently and with moderate (>70%) bootstrap support between CNEEs and UCEs or introns. Overall, CNEEs appear to be promising as phylogenomic markers, yielding phylogenetic resolution as high as for UCEs and introns but with fewer gaps, less ambiguity in alignments and with patterns of nucleotide substitution more consistent with the assumptions of commonly used methods of phylogenetic analysis. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Systematic Biologists.

  13. Natural history collections as windows on evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Michael W; Hammond, Talisin T; Wogan, Guinevere O U; Walsh, Rachel E; LaBarbera, Katie; Wommack, Elizabeth A; Martins, Felipe M; Crawford, Jeremy C; Mack, Katya L; Bloch, Luke M; Nachman, Michael W

    2016-02-01

    Natural history collections provide an immense record of biodiversity on Earth. These repositories have traditionally been used to address fundamental questions in biogeography, systematics and conservation. However, they also hold the potential for studying evolution directly. While some of the best direct observations of evolution have come from long-term field studies or from experimental studies in the laboratory, natural history collections are providing new insights into evolutionary change in natural populations. By comparing phenotypic and genotypic changes in populations through time, natural history collections provide a window into evolutionary processes. Recent studies utilizing this approach have revealed some dramatic instances of phenotypic change over short timescales in response to presumably strong selective pressures. In some instances, evolutionary change can be paired with environmental change, providing a context for potential selective forces. Moreover, in a few cases, the genetic basis of phenotypic change is well understood, allowing for insight into adaptive change at multiple levels. These kinds of studies open the door to a wide range of previously intractable questions by enabling the study of evolution through time, analogous to experimental studies in the laboratory, but amenable to a diversity of species over longer timescales in natural populations. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Incorporating phylogenetic information for the definition of floristic districts in hyperdiverse Amazon forests: Implications for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guevara Andino, Juan Ernesto; Pitman, Nigel C A; Ter Steege, Hans; Mogollón, Hugo; Ceron, Carlos; Palacios, Walter; Oleas, Nora; Fine, Paul V A

    2017-11-01

    Using complementary metrics to evaluate phylogenetic diversity can facilitate the delimitation of floristic units and conservation priority areas. In this study, we describe the spatial patterns of phylogenetic alpha and beta diversity, phylogenetic endemism, and evolutionary distinctiveness of the hyperdiverse Ecuador Amazon forests and define priority areas for conservation. We established a network of 62 one-hectare plots in terra firme forests of Ecuadorian Amazon. In these plots, we tagged, collected, and identified every single adult tree with dbh ≥10 cm. These data were combined with a regional community phylogenetic tree to calculate different phylogenetic diversity (PD) metrics in order to create spatial models. We used Loess regression to estimate the spatial variation of taxonomic and phylogenetic beta diversity as well as phylogenetic endemism and evolutionary distinctiveness. We found evidence for the definition of three floristic districts in the Ecuadorian Amazon, supported by both taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity data. Areas with high levels of phylogenetic endemism and evolutionary distinctiveness in Ecuadorian Amazon forests are unprotected. Furthermore, these areas are severely threatened by proposed plans of oil and mining extraction at large scales and should be prioritized in conservation planning for this region.

  15. The origin, current diversity and future conservation of the modern lion (Panthera leo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Ross; Yamaguchi, Nobuyuki; Barnes, Ian; Cooper, Alan

    2006-01-01

    Understanding the phylogeographic processes affecting endangered species is crucial both to interpreting their evolutionary history and to the establishment of conservation strategies. Lions provide a key opportunity to explore such processes; however, a lack of genetic diversity and shortage of suitable samples has until now hindered such investigation. We used mitochondrial control region DNA (mtDNA) sequences to investigate the phylogeographic history of modern lions, using samples from across their entire range. We find the sub-Saharan African lions are basal among modern lions, supporting a single African origin model of modern lion evolution, equivalent to the ‘recent African origin’ model of modern human evolution. We also find the greatest variety of mtDNA haplotypes in the centre of Africa, which may be due to the distribution of physical barriers and continental-scale habitat changes caused by Pleistocene glacial oscillations. Our results suggest that the modern lion may currently consist of three geographic populations on the basis of their recent evolutionary history: North African–Asian, southern African and middle African. Future conservation strategies should take these evolutionary subdivisions into consideration. PMID:16901830

  16. AlignMe—a membrane protein sequence alignment web server

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamm, Marcus; Staritzbichler, René; Khafizov, Kamil; Forrest, Lucy R.

    2014-01-01

    We present a web server for pair-wise alignment of membrane protein sequences, using the program AlignMe. The server makes available two operational modes of AlignMe: (i) sequence to sequence alignment, taking two sequences in fasta format as input, combining information about each sequence from multiple sources and producing a pair-wise alignment (PW mode); and (ii) alignment of two multiple sequence alignments to create family-averaged hydropathy profile alignments (HP mode). For the PW sequence alignment mode, four different optimized parameter sets are provided, each suited to pairs of sequences with a specific similarity level. These settings utilize different types of inputs: (position-specific) substitution matrices, secondary structure predictions and transmembrane propensities from transmembrane predictions or hydrophobicity scales. In the second (HP) mode, each input multiple sequence alignment is converted into a hydrophobicity profile averaged over the provided set of sequence homologs; the two profiles are then aligned. The HP mode enables qualitative comparison of transmembrane topologies (and therefore potentially of 3D folds) of two membrane proteins, which can be useful if the proteins have low sequence similarity. In summary, the AlignMe web server provides user-friendly access to a set of tools for analysis and comparison of membrane protein sequences. Access is available at http://www.bioinfo.mpg.de/AlignMe PMID:24753425

  17. Evolutionary Rate Heterogeneity of Primary and Secondary Metabolic Pathway Genes in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, Dola; Mukherjee, Ashutosh; Ghosh, Tapash Chandra

    2015-11-10

    Primary metabolism is essential to plants for growth and development, and secondary metabolism helps plants to interact with the environment. Many plant metabolites are industrially important. These metabolites are produced by plants through complex metabolic pathways. Lack of knowledge about these pathways is hindering the successful breeding practices for these metabolites. For a better knowledge of the metabolism in plants as a whole, evolutionary rate variation of primary and secondary metabolic pathway genes is a prerequisite. In this study, evolutionary rate variation of primary and secondary metabolic pathway genes has been analyzed in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Primary metabolic pathway genes were found to be more conserved than secondary metabolic pathway genes. Several factors such as gene structure, expression level, tissue specificity, multifunctionality, and domain number are the key factors behind this evolutionary rate variation. This study will help to better understand the evolutionary dynamics of plant metabolism. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  18. Evolutionary distance from human homologs reflects allergenicity of animal food proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, John A; Breiteneder, Heimo; Mills, E N Clare

    2007-12-01

    In silico analysis of allergens can identify putative relationships among protein sequence, structure, and allergenic properties. Such systematic analysis reveals that most plant food allergens belong to a restricted number of protein superfamilies, with pollen allergens behaving similarly. We have investigated the structural relationships of animal food allergens and their evolutionary relatedness to human homologs to define how closely a protein must resemble a human counterpart to lose its allergenic potential. Profile-based sequence homology methods were used to classify animal food allergens into Pfam families, and in silico analyses of their evolutionary and structural relationships were performed. Animal food allergens could be classified into 3 main families--tropomyosins, EF-hand proteins, and caseins--along with 14 minor families each composed of 1 to 3 allergens. The evolutionary relationships of each of these allergen superfamilies showed that in general, proteins with a sequence identity to a human homolog above approximately 62% were rarely allergenic. Single substitutions in otherwise highly conserved regions containing IgE epitopes in EF-hand parvalbumins may modulate allergenicity. These data support the premise that certain protein structures are more allergenic than others. Contrasting with plant food allergens, animal allergens, such as the highly conserved tropomyosins, challenge the capability of the human immune system to discriminate between foreign and self-proteins. Such immune responses run close to becoming autoimmune responses. Exploiting the closeness between animal allergens and their human homologs in the development of recombinant allergens for immunotherapy will need to consider the potential for developing unanticipated autoimmune responses.

  19. Elucidating the evolutionary conserved DNA-binding specificities of WRKY transcription factors by molecular dynamics and in vitro binding assays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Luise H.; Fischer, Nina M.; Harter, Klaus; Kohlbacher, Oliver; Wanke, Dierk

    2013-01-01

    WRKY transcription factors constitute a large protein family in plants that is involved in the regulation of developmental processes and responses to biotic or abiotic stimuli. The question arises how stimulus-specific responses are mediated given that the highly conserved WRKY DNA-binding domain (DBD) exclusively recognizes the ‘TTGACY’ W-box consensus. We speculated that the W-box consensus might be more degenerate and yet undetected differences in the W-box consensus of WRKYs of different evolutionary descent exist. The phylogenetic analysis of WRKY DBDs suggests that they evolved from an ancestral group IIc-like WRKY early in the eukaryote lineage. A direct descent of group IIc WRKYs supports a monophyletic origin of all other group II and III WRKYs from group I by loss of an N-terminal DBD. Group I WRKYs are of paraphyletic descent and evolved multiple times independently. By homology modeling, molecular dynamics simulations and in vitro DNA–protein interaction-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with AtWRKY50 (IIc), AtWRKY33 (I) and AtWRKY11 (IId) DBDs, we revealed differences in DNA-binding specificities. Our data imply that other components are essentially required besides the W-box-specific binding to DNA to facilitate a stimulus-specific WRKY function. PMID:23975197

  20. Subfamily logos: visualization of sequence deviations at alignment positions with high information content

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beitz Eric

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Recognition of relevant sequence deviations can be valuable for elucidating functional differences between protein subfamilies. Interesting residues at highly conserved positions can then be mutated and experimentally analyzed. However, identification of such sites is tedious because automated approaches are scarce. Results Subfamily logos visualize subfamily-specific sequence deviations. The display is similar to classical sequence logos but extends into the negative range. Positive, upright characters correspond to residues which are characteristic for the subfamily, negative, upside-down characters to residues typical for the remaining sequences. The symbol height is adjusted to the information content of the alignment position. Residues which are conserved throughout do not appear. Conclusion Subfamily logos provide an intuitive display of relevant sequence deviations. The method has proven to be valid using a set of 135 aligned aquaporin sequences in which established subfamily-specific positions were readily identified by the algorithm.

  1. An extensive assessment of network alignment algorithms for comparison of brain connectomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milano, Marianna; Guzzi, Pietro Hiram; Tymofieva, Olga; Xu, Duan; Hess, Christofer; Veltri, Pierangelo; Cannataro, Mario

    2017-06-06

    Recently the study of the complex system of connections in neural systems, i.e. the connectome, has gained a central role in neurosciences. The modeling and analysis of connectomes are therefore a growing area. Here we focus on the representation of connectomes by using graph theory formalisms. Macroscopic human brain connectomes are usually derived from neuroimages; the analyzed brains are co-registered in the image domain and brought to a common anatomical space. An atlas is then applied in order to define anatomically meaningful regions that will serve as the nodes of the network - this process is referred to as parcellation. The atlas-based parcellations present some known limitations in cases of early brain development and abnormal anatomy. Consequently, it has been recently proposed to perform atlas-free random brain parcellation into nodes and align brains in the network space instead of the anatomical image space, as a way to deal with the unknown correspondences of the parcels. Such process requires modeling of the brain using graph theory and the subsequent comparison of the structure of graphs. The latter step may be modeled as a network alignment (NA) problem. In this work, we first define the problem formally, then we test six existing state of the art of network aligners on diffusion MRI-derived brain networks. We compare the performances of algorithms by assessing six topological measures. We also evaluated the robustness of algorithms to alterations of the dataset. The results confirm that NA algorithms may be applied in cases of atlas-free parcellation for a fully network-driven comparison of connectomes. The analysis shows MAGNA++ is the best global alignment algorithm. The paper presented a new analysis methodology that uses network alignment for validating atlas-free parcellation brain connectomes. The methodology has been experimented on several brain datasets.

  2. Evolutionary origins and diversification of proteobacterial mutualists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sachs, Joel L; Skophammer, Ryan G; Bansal, Nidhanjali; Stajich, Jason E

    2014-01-22

    Mutualistic bacteria infect most eukaryotic species in nearly every biome. Nonetheless, two dilemmas remain unresolved about bacterial-eukaryote mutualisms: how do mutualist phenotypes originate in bacterial lineages and to what degree do mutualists traits drive or hinder bacterial diversification? Here, we reconstructed the phylogeny of the hyperdiverse phylum Proteobacteria to investigate the origins and evolutionary diversification of mutualistic bacterial phenotypes. Our ancestral state reconstructions (ASRs) inferred a range of 34-39 independent origins of mutualist phenotypes in Proteobacteria, revealing the surprising frequency with which host-beneficial traits have evolved in this phylum. We found proteobacterial mutualists to be more often derived from parasitic than from free-living ancestors, consistent with the untested paradigm that bacterial mutualists most often evolve from pathogens. Strikingly, we inferred that mutualists exhibit a negative net diversification rate (speciation minus extinction), which suggests that mutualism evolves primarily via transitions from other states rather than diversification within mutualist taxa. Moreover, our ASRs infer that proteobacterial mutualist lineages exhibit a paucity of reversals to parasitism or to free-living status. This evolutionary conservatism of mutualism is contrary to long-standing theory, which predicts that selection should often favour mutants in microbial mutualist populations that exploit or abandon more slowly evolving eukaryotic hosts.

  3. The implications of free 3D scanning in the conservation state assessment of old wood painted icon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munteanu, Marius; Sandu, Ion

    2016-06-01

    The present paper presents the conservation state and the making of a 3D model of a XVIII-th century orthodox icon on wood support, using free available software and cloud computing. In order to create the 3D model of the painting layer of the icon a number of 70 pictures were taken using a Nikon DSLR D3300, 24.2 MP in setup with a Hama Star 75 photo tripod, in loops 360° around the painting, at three different angles. The pictures were processed with Autodesk I23D Catch, which automatically finds and matches common features among all of the uploaded photographs in order to create the 3D scene, using the power and speed of cloud computing. The obtained 3D model was afterwards analyzed and processed in order to obtain a final version, which can now be use to better identify, to map and to prioritize the future conservation processes and finally can be shared online as an animation.

  4. Robustness of cooperation in the evolutionary prisoner's dilemma on complex networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poncela, J; Gomez-Gardenes, J; FlorIa, L M; Moreno, Y

    2007-01-01

    Recent studies on the evolutionary dynamics of the prisoner's dilemma game in scale-free networks have demonstrated that the heterogeneity of the network interconnections enhances the evolutionary success of cooperation. In this paper we address the issue of how the characterization of the asymptotic states of the evolutionary dynamics depends on the initial concentration of cooperators. We find that the measure and the connectedness properties of the set of nodes where cooperation reaches fixation is largely independent of initial conditions, in contrast with the behaviour of both the set of nodes where defection is fixed, and the fluctuating nodes. We also check for the robustness of these results when varying the degree heterogeneity along a one-parametric family of networks interpolating between the class of Erdos-Renyi graphs and the Barabasi-Albert networks

  5. High-resolution accelerator alignment using x-ray optics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingxin Yang

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available We propose a novel alignment technique utilizing the x-ray beam of an undulator in conjunction with pinholes and position-sensitive detectors for positioning components of the accelerator, undulator, and beam line in an x-ray free-electron laser. Two retractable pinholes at each end of the undulator define a stable and reproducible x-ray beam axis (XBA. Targets are precisely positioned on the XBA using a pinhole camera technique. Position-sensitive detectors responding to both x-ray and electron beams enable direct transfer of the position setting from the XBA to the electron beam. This system has the potential to deliver superior alignment accuracy (1–3   μm for target pinholes in the transverse directions over a long distance (200 m or longer. It can be used to define the beam axis of the electron-beam–based alignment, enabling high reproducibility of the latter. This x-ray–based concept should complement the electron-beam–based alignment and the existing survey methods to raise the alignment accuracy of long accelerators to an unprecedented level. Further improvement of the transverse accuracy using x-ray zone plates will be discussed. We also propose a concurrent measurement scheme during accelerator operation to allow real-time feedback for transverse position correction.

  6. To conserve, or not to conserve ... : Large eddy simulation of wind farms with energy-conserving schemes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mehta, D.

    2016-01-01

    This thesis concerns the industrial application of large eddy simulation to wind farm aerodynamics. Through a series of simple tests, it presents the pros and cons of using energy-conserving time integration and furthers the importance of a dissipation-free spatial discretisation. Finally, it

  7. Correlation between sequence conservation and structural thermodynamics of microRNA precursors from human, mouse, and chicken genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Shengqi

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Previous studies have shown that microRNA precursors (pre-miRNAs have considerably more stable secondary structures than other native RNAs (tRNA, rRNA, and mRNA and artificial RNA sequences. However, pre-miRNAs with ultra stable secondary structures have not been investigated. It is not known if there is a tendency in pre-miRNA sequences towards or against ultra stable structures? Furthermore, the relationship between the structural thermodynamic stability of pre-miRNA and their evolution remains unclear. Results We investigated the correlation between pre-miRNA sequence conservation and structural stability as measured by adjusted minimum folding free energies in pre-miRNAs isolated from human, mouse, and chicken. The analysis revealed that conserved and non-conserved pre-miRNA sequences had structures with similar average stabilities. However, the relatively ultra stable and unstable pre-miRNAs were more likely to be non-conserved than pre-miRNAs with moderate stability. Non-conserved pre-miRNAs had more G+C than A+U nucleotides, while conserved pre-miRNAs contained more A+U nucleotides. Notably, the U content of conserved pre-miRNAs was especially higher than that of non-conserved pre-miRNAs. Further investigations showed that conserved and non-conserved pre-miRNAs exhibited different structural element features, even though they had comparable levels of stability. Conclusions We proposed that there is a correlation between structural thermodynamic stability and sequence conservation for pre-miRNAs from human, mouse, and chicken genomes. Our analyses suggested that pre-miRNAs with relatively ultra stable or unstable structures were less favoured by natural selection than those with moderately stable structures. Comparison of nucleotide compositions between non-conserved and conserved pre-miRNAs indicated the importance of U nucleotides in the pre-miRNA evolutionary process. Several characteristic structural elements were

  8. A Conserved Leucine Occupies the Empty Substrate Site of LeuT in the Na+-free Return State

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malinauskaite, Lina; Said, Saida; Sahin, Caglanur

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial members of the neurotransmitter:sodium symporter (NSS) family perform Na+-dependent amino-acid uptake and extrude H+ in return. Previous NSS structures represent intermediates of Na+/substrate binding or intracellular release, but not the inward-to-outward return transition. Here we...... report crystal structures of Aquifex aeolicus LeuT in an outward-oriented, Na+- and substrate-free state likely to be H+-occluded. We find a remarkable rotation of the conserved Leu25 into the empty substrate-binding pocket and rearrangements of the empty Na+ sites. Mutational studies of the equivalent...

  9. Testing evolutionary hypotheses for phenotypic divergence using landscape genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, W Chris; Murphy, Melanie A

    2010-02-01

    Understanding the evolutionary causes of phenotypic variation among populations has long been a central theme in evolutionary biology. Several factors can influence phenotypic divergence, including geographic isolation, genetic drift, divergent natural or sexual selection, and phenotypic plasticity. But the relative importance of these factors in generating phenotypic divergence in nature is still a tantalizing and unresolved problem in evolutionary biology. The origin and maintenance of phenotypic divergence is also at the root of many ongoing debates in evolutionary biology, such as the extent to which gene flow constrains adaptive divergence (Garant et al. 2007) and the relative importance of genetic drift, natural selection, and sexual selection in initiating reproductive isolation and speciation (Coyne & Orr 2004). In this issue, Wang & Summers (2010) test the causes of one of the most fantastic examples of phenotypic divergence in nature: colour pattern divergence among populations of the strawberry poison frog (Dendrobates pumilio) in Panama and Costa Rica (Fig. 1). This study provides a beautiful example of the use of the emerging field of landscape genetics to differentiate among hypotheses for phenotypic divergence. Using landscape genetic analyses, Wang & Summers were able to reject the hypotheses that colour pattern divergence is due to isolation-by-distance (IBD) or landscape resistance. Instead, the hypothesis left standing is that colour divergence is due to divergent selection, in turn driving reproductive isolation among populations with different colour morphs. More generally, this study provides a wonderful example of how the emerging field of landscape genetics, which has primarily been applied to questions in conservation and ecology, now plays an essential role in evolutionary research.

  10. Transient reflectivity on vertically aligned single-wall carbon nanotubes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Galimberti, Gianluca; Ponzoni, Stefano; Ferrini, Gabriele; Hofmann, Stephan; Arshad, Muhammad; Cepek, Cinzia; Pagliara, Stefania

    2013-01-01

    One-color transient reflectivity measurements are carried out on two different samples of vertically aligned single-wall carbon nanotube bundles and compared with the response recently published on unaligned bundles. The negative sign of the optical response for both samples indicates that the free

  11. Covariant Evolutionary Event Analysis for Base Interaction Prediction Using a Relational Database Management System for RNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Weijia; Ozer, Stuart; Gutell, Robin R

    2009-01-01

    With an increasingly large amount of sequences properly aligned, comparative sequence analysis can accurately identify not only common structures formed by standard base pairing but also new types of structural elements and constraints. However, traditional methods are too computationally expensive to perform well on large scale alignment and less effective with the sequences from diversified phylogenetic classifications. We propose a new approach that utilizes coevolutional rates among pairs of nucleotide positions using phylogenetic and evolutionary relationships of the organisms of aligned sequences. With a novel data schema to manage relevant information within a relational database, our method, implemented with a Microsoft SQL Server 2005, showed 90% sensitivity in identifying base pair interactions among 16S ribosomal RNA sequences from Bacteria, at a scale 40 times bigger and 50% better sensitivity than a previous study. The results also indicated covariation signals for a few sets of cross-strand base stacking pairs in secondary structure helices, and other subtle constraints in the RNA structure.

  12. Aligned Magnetic Field, Radiation, and Rotation Effects on Unsteady Hydromagnetic Free Convection Flow Past an Impulsively Moving Vertical Plate in a Porous Medium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep Naramgari

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available We analyse the effects of aligned magnetic field, radiation, and rotation on unsteady hydromagnetic free convection flow of a viscous incompressible electrically conducting fluid past an impulsively moving vertical plate in a porous medium in presence of heat source. An exact solution of the governing equations in dimensionless form is obtained by Laplace transform technique in ramped temperature case. To compare the results obtained in this case with that of isothermal plate, the exact solution of the governing equations is also obtained for isothermal plate and results are discussed graphically in both ramped temperature and isothermal cases.

  13. Alignment of non-covalent interactions at protein-protein interfaces.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongbo Zhu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The study and comparison of protein-protein interfaces is essential for the understanding of the mechanisms of interaction between proteins. While there are many methods for comparing protein structures and protein binding sites, so far no methods have been reported for comparing the geometry of non-covalent interactions occurring at protein-protein interfaces. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we present a method for aligning non-covalent interactions between different protein-protein interfaces. The method aligns the vector representations of van der Waals interactions and hydrogen bonds based on their geometry. The method has been applied to a dataset which comprises a variety of protein-protein interfaces. The alignments are consistent to a large extent with the results obtained using two other complementary approaches. In addition, we apply the method to three examples of protein mimicry. The method successfully aligns respective interfaces and allows for recognizing conserved interface regions. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The Galinter method has been validated in the comparison of interfaces in which homologous subunits are involved, including cases of mimicry. The method is also applicable to comparing interfaces involving non-peptidic compounds. Galinter assists users in identifying local interface regions with similar patterns of non-covalent interactions. This is particularly relevant to the investigation of the molecular basis of interaction mimicry.

  14. Discovery of Conservation and Diversification of miR171 Genes by Phylogenetic Analysis based on Global Genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xudong Zhu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The microRNA171 (miR171 family is widely distributed and highly conserved in a range of species and plays critical roles in regulating plant growth and development through repressing expression of ( transcription factors. However, information on the evolutionary conservation and functional diversification of the miRNA171 family members remains scanty. We reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships among miR171 precursor and mature sequences so as to investigate the extent and degree of evolutionary conservation of miR171 in (L. Heynh. (ath, grape ( L. (vvi, poplar ( Torr. & A.Gray ex Hook. (ptc, and rice ( L. (osa. Despite strong conservation of over 80%, some mature miR171 sequences, such as , and and , -, and -, have undergone critical sequence variation, leading to functional diversification, since they target non gene transcript(s. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a combination of old ancestral relationships and recent lineage-specific diversification in the miR171 family within the four model plants. The -regulatory motifs on the upstream promoter sequences of genes were highly divergent and shared some similar elements, indicating their possible contribution to the functional variation observed within the miR171 family. This study will buttress our understanding of the functional differentiation of miRNAs and the relationships of miRNA–target pairs based on the evolutionary history of genes.

  15. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaac, Nick J B; Redding, David W; Meredith, Helen M; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  16. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick J B Isaac

    Full Text Available The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  17. Structure versus time in the evolutionary diversification of avian carotenoid metabolic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Erin S; Badyaev, Alexander V

    2018-05-01

    Historical associations of genes and proteins are thought to delineate pathways available to subsequent evolution; however, the effects of past functional involvements on contemporary evolution are rarely quantified. Here, we examined the extent to which the structure of a carotenoid enzymatic network persists in avian evolution. Specifically, we tested whether the evolution of carotenoid networks was most concordant with phylogenetically structured expansion from core reactions of common ancestors or with subsampling of biochemical pathway modules from an ancestral network. We compared structural and historical associations in 467 carotenoid networks of extant and ancestral species and uncovered the overwhelming effect of pre-existing metabolic network structure on carotenoid diversification over the last 50 million years of avian evolution. Over evolutionary time, birds repeatedly subsampled and recombined conserved biochemical modules, which likely maintained the overall structure of the carotenoid metabolic network during avian evolution. These findings explain the recurrent convergence of evolutionary distant species in carotenoid metabolism and weak phylogenetic signal in avian carotenoid evolution. Remarkable retention of an ancient metabolic structure throughout extensive and prolonged ecological diversification in avian carotenoid metabolism illustrates a fundamental requirement of organismal evolution - historical continuity of a deterministic network that links past and present functional associations of its components. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  18. A genetic linkage map of sole (Solea solea: a tool for evolutionary and comparative analyses of exploited (flatfishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eveline Diopere

    Full Text Available Linkage maps based on markers derived from genes are essential evolutionary tools for commercial marine fish to help identify genomic regions associated with complex traits and subject to selective forces at play during exploitation or selective breeding. Additionally, they allow the use of genomic information from other related species for which more detailed information is available. Sole (solea solea L. is a commercially important flatfish species in the North Sea, subject to overexploitation and showing evidence of fisheries-induced evolutionary changes in growth- and maturation-related traits. Sole would definitely benefit from a linkage map to better understand how evolution has shaped its genome structure. This study presents a linkage map of sole based on 423 single nucleotide polymorphisms derived from expressed sequence tags and 8 neutral microsatellite markers. The total map length is 1233.8 cM and consists of 38 linkage groups with a size varying between 0 to 92.1 cM. Being derived from expressed sequence tags allowed us to align the map with the genome of four model fish species, namely medaka (Oryzias latipes, Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus and green spotted pufferfish (Tetraodon nigroviridis. This comparison revealed multiple conserved syntenic regions with all four species, and suggested that the linkage groups represent 21 putative sole chromosomes. The map was also compared to the linkage map of turbot (Scophthalmus maximus, another commercially important flatfish species and closely related to sole. For all putative sole chromosomes (except one a turbot homolog was detected, confirming the even higher degree of synteny between these two flatfish species.

  19. MUON DETECTORS: ALIGNMENT

    CERN Multimedia

    G.Gomez.

    Since June of 2009, the muon alignment group has focused on providing new alignment constants and on finalizing the hardware alignment reconstruction. Alignment constants for DTs and CSCs were provided for CRAFT09 data reprocessing. For DT chambers, the track-based alignment was repeated using CRAFT09 cosmic ray muons and validated using segment extrapolation and split cosmic tools. One difference with respect to the previous alignment is that only five degrees of freedom were aligned, leaving the rotation around the local x-axis to be better determined by the hardware system. Similarly, DT chambers poorly aligned by tracks (due to limited statistics) were aligned by a combination of photogrammetry and hardware-based alignment. For the CSC chambers, the hardware system provided alignment in global z and rotations about local x. Entire muon endcap rings were further corrected in the transverse plane (global x and y) by the track-based alignment. Single chamber track-based alignment suffers from poor statistic...

  20. CONDITIONAL FLOW STATISTICS AND ALIGNMENT OF PRINCIPAL STRAIN RATES, VORTICITY, AND SCALAR GRADIENTS IN A TURBULENT NONPREMIXED JET FLAME

    KAUST Repository

    Attili, Antonio

    2015-06-30

    The alignment of vorticity and gradients of conserved and reactive scalars with the eigenvectors of the strain rate tensor (i.e., the principal strains) is investigated in a direct numerical simulation of a turbulent nonpremixed flame achieving a Taylor’s scale Reynolds number in the range 100≤Reλ≤150 (Attili et al. Comb. Flame, 161, 2014). The vorticity vector displays a pronounced tendency to align with the direction of the intermediate strain. These alignment statistics are in almost perfect agreement with those in homogeneous isotropic turbulence (Ashurst et al. Physics of Fluids 30, 1987) and differ significantly from the results obtained in other nonpremixed flames in which vorticity alignment with the most extensive strain was observed (Boratavet al. Physics of Fluids 8, 1996). The gradients of conserved and reactive scalars align with the most compressive strain. It is worth noting that conditioning on the local values of the mixture fraction, or equivalently conditioning on the distance from the flame sheet, does not affect the statistics. Our results suggest that turbulence overshadows the effects of heat release and chemical reactions. This may be due to the larger Reynolds number achieved in the present study compared to that in previous works.

  1. CONDITIONAL FLOW STATISTICS AND ALIGNMENT OF PRINCIPAL STRAIN RATES, VORTICITY, AND SCALAR GRADIENTS IN A TURBULENT NONPREMIXED JET FLAME

    KAUST Repository

    Attili, Antonio; Bisetti, Fabrizio

    2015-01-01

    The alignment of vorticity and gradients of conserved and reactive scalars with the eigenvectors of the strain rate tensor (i.e., the principal strains) is investigated in a direct numerical simulation of a turbulent nonpremixed flame achieving a Taylor’s scale Reynolds number in the range 100≤Reλ≤150 (Attili et al. Comb. Flame, 161, 2014). The vorticity vector displays a pronounced tendency to align with the direction of the intermediate strain. These alignment statistics are in almost perfect agreement with those in homogeneous isotropic turbulence (Ashurst et al. Physics of Fluids 30, 1987) and differ significantly from the results obtained in other nonpremixed flames in which vorticity alignment with the most extensive strain was observed (Boratavet al. Physics of Fluids 8, 1996). The gradients of conserved and reactive scalars align with the most compressive strain. It is worth noting that conditioning on the local values of the mixture fraction, or equivalently conditioning on the distance from the flame sheet, does not affect the statistics. Our results suggest that turbulence overshadows the effects of heat release and chemical reactions. This may be due to the larger Reynolds number achieved in the present study compared to that in previous works.

  2. Improving model construction of profile HMMs for remote homology detection through structural alignment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zaverucha Gerson

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Remote homology detection is a challenging problem in Bioinformatics. Arguably, profile Hidden Markov Models (pHMMs are one of the most successful approaches in addressing this important problem. pHMM packages present a relatively small computational cost, and perform particularly well at recognizing remote homologies. This raises the question of whether structural alignments could impact the performance of pHMMs trained from proteins in the Twilight Zone, as structural alignments are often more accurate than sequence alignments at identifying motifs and functional residues. Next, we assess the impact of using structural alignments in pHMM performance. Results We used the SCOP database to perform our experiments. Structural alignments were obtained using the 3DCOFFEE and MAMMOTH-mult tools; sequence alignments were obtained using CLUSTALW, TCOFFEE, MAFFT and PROBCONS. We performed leave-one-family-out cross-validation over super-families. Performance was evaluated through ROC curves and paired two tailed t-test. Conclusion We observed that pHMMs derived from structural alignments performed significantly better than pHMMs derived from sequence alignment in low-identity regions, mainly below 20%. We believe this is because structural alignment tools are better at focusing on the important patterns that are more often conserved through evolution, resulting in higher quality pHMMs. On the other hand, sensitivity of these tools is still quite low for these low-identity regions. Our results suggest a number of possible directions for improvements in this area.

  3. Improving model construction of profile HMMs for remote homology detection through structural alignment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardes, Juliana S; Dávila, Alberto M R; Costa, Vítor S; Zaverucha, Gerson

    2007-11-09

    Remote homology detection is a challenging problem in Bioinformatics. Arguably, profile Hidden Markov Models (pHMMs) are one of the most successful approaches in addressing this important problem. pHMM packages present a relatively small computational cost, and perform particularly well at recognizing remote homologies. This raises the question of whether structural alignments could impact the performance of pHMMs trained from proteins in the Twilight Zone, as structural alignments are often more accurate than sequence alignments at identifying motifs and functional residues. Next, we assess the impact of using structural alignments in pHMM performance. We used the SCOP database to perform our experiments. Structural alignments were obtained using the 3DCOFFEE and MAMMOTH-mult tools; sequence alignments were obtained using CLUSTALW, TCOFFEE, MAFFT and PROBCONS. We performed leave-one-family-out cross-validation over super-families. Performance was evaluated through ROC curves and paired two tailed t-test. We observed that pHMMs derived from structural alignments performed significantly better than pHMMs derived from sequence alignment in low-identity regions, mainly below 20%. We believe this is because structural alignment tools are better at focusing on the important patterns that are more often conserved through evolution, resulting in higher quality pHMMs. On the other hand, sensitivity of these tools is still quite low for these low-identity regions. Our results suggest a number of possible directions for improvements in this area.

  4. Costs of integrating economics and conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arponen, Anni; Cabeza, Mar; Eklund, Johanna; Kujala, Heini; Lehtomäki, Joona

    2010-10-01

    Recent literature on systematic conservation planning has focused strongly on economics. It is a necessary component of efficient conservation planning because the question is about effective resource allocation. Nevertheless, there is an increasing tendency toward economic factors overriding biological considerations. Focusing too narrowly on economic cost may lead us back toward solutions resembling those obtained by opportunistic choice of areas, the avoidance of which was the motivation for development of systematic approaches. Moreover, there are many overlooked difficulties in incorporating economic considerations reliably into conservation planning because available economic data and the free market are complex. For instance, economies based on free markets tend to be shortsighted, whereas biodiversity conservation aims far into the future. Although economic data are necessary, they should not be relied on too heavily or considered separately from other sociopolitical factors. We suggest focusing on development of more-comprehensive ecological-economic modeling, while not forgetting the importance of purely biological analyses that are needed as a point of reference for evaluating conservation outcomes. © 2010 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. The evolutionarily conserved transcription factor PRDM12 controls sensory neuron development and pain perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Vanja; Cole, Tiffany; Van Campenhout, Claude; Khoung, Thang M; Leung, Calvin; Vermeiren, Simon; Novatchkova, Maria; Wenzel, Daniel; Cikes, Domagoj; Polyansky, Anton A; Kozieradzki, Ivona; Meixner, Arabella; Bellefroid, Eric J; Neely, G Gregory; Penninger, Josef M

    2015-01-01

    PR homology domain-containing member 12 (PRDM12) belongs to a family of conserved transcription factors implicated in cell fate decisions. Here we show that PRDM12 is a key regulator of sensory neuronal specification in Xenopus. Modeling of human PRDM12 mutations that cause hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy (HSAN) revealed remarkable conservation of the mutated residues in evolution. Expression of wild-type human PRDM12 in Xenopus induced the expression of sensory neuronal markers, which was reduced using various human PRDM12 mutants. In Drosophila, we identified Hamlet as the functional PRDM12 homolog that controls nociceptive behavior in sensory neurons. Furthermore, expression analysis of human patient fibroblasts with PRDM12 mutations uncovered possible downstream target genes. Knockdown of several of these target genes including thyrotropin-releasing hormone degrading enzyme (TRHDE) in Drosophila sensory neurons resulted in altered cellular morphology and impaired nociception. These data show that PRDM12 and its functional fly homolog Hamlet are evolutionary conserved master regulators of sensory neuronal specification and play a critical role in pain perception. Our data also uncover novel pathways in multiple species that regulate evolutionary conserved nociception.

  6. Evolutionary perspectives on innate immunity from the study of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dennis H; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-02-01

    Genetic and functional genomic approaches have begun to define the molecular determinants of pathogen resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Conserved signal transduction components are required for pathogen resistance, including a Toll/IL-1 receptor domain adaptor protein that functions upstream of a conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway. We suggest that this pathway is an ancestral innate immune signaling pathway present in the common ancestor of nematodes, arthropods and vertebrates, which is likely to predate the involvement of canonical Toll signaling pathways in innate immunity. We anticipate that the study of pathogen resistance in C. elegans will continue to provide evolutionary and mechanistic insights into the signal transduction and physiology of innate immunity.

  7. Evolutionary thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

    Evolution as an idea has a lengthy history, even though the idea of evolution is generally associated with Darwin today. Rebecca Stott provides an engaging and thoughtful overview of this history of evolutionary thinking in her 2013 book, Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution. Since Darwin, the debate over evolution—both how it takes place and, in a long war of words with religiously-oriented thinkers, whether it takes place—has been sustained and heated. A growing share of this debate is now devoted to examining how evolutionary thinking affects areas outside of biology. How do our lives change when we recognize that all is in flux? What can we learn about life more generally if we study change instead of stasis? Carter Phipps’ book, Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea, delves deep into this relatively new development. Phipps generally takes as a given the validity of the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology. His story takes us into, as the subtitle suggests, the spiritual and cultural implications of evolutionary thinking. Can religion and evolution be reconciled? Can evolutionary thinking lead to a new type of spirituality? Is our culture already being changed in ways that we don't realize by evolutionary thinking? These are all important questions and Phipps book is a great introduction to this discussion. Phipps is an author, journalist, and contributor to the emerging “integral” or “evolutionary” cultural movement that combines the insights of Integral Philosophy, evolutionary science, developmental psychology, and the social sciences. He has served as the Executive Editor of EnlightenNext magazine (no longer published) and more recently is the co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a public policy think tank addressing the cultural roots of America's political challenges. What follows is an email interview with Phipps. PMID:26478766

  8. Geography of conservation spending, biodiversity, and culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClanahan, T R; Rankin, P S

    2016-10-01

    We used linear and multivariate models to examine the associations between geography, biodiversity, per capita economic output, national spending on conservation, governance, and cultural traits in 55 countries. Cultural traits and social metrics of modernization correlated positively with national spending on conservation. The global distribution of this spending culture was poorly aligned with the distribution of biodiversity. Specifically, biodiversity was greater in the tropics where cultures tended to spend relatively less on conservation and tended to have higher collectivism, formalized and hierarchical leadership, and weaker governance. Consequently, nations lacking social traits frequently associated with modernization, environmentalism, and conservation spending have the largest component of Earth's biodiversity. This has significant implications for setting policies and priorities for resource management given that biological diversity is rapidly disappearing and cultural traits change slowly. Therefore, we suggest natural resource management adapt to and use characteristics of existing social organization rather than wait for or promote social values associated with conservation spending. Supporting biocultural traditions, engaging leaders to increase conservation commitments, cross-national efforts that complement attributes of cultures, and avoiding interference with nature may work best to conserve nature in collective and hierarchical societies. Spending in modernized nations may be a symbolic response to a symptom of economic development and environmental degradation, and here conservation actions need to ensure that biodiversity is not being lost. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. Evolutionary ancestry and novel functions of the mammalian glucose transporter (GLUT) family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson-O'Brien, Amy L; Patron, Nicola; Rogers, Suzanne

    2010-05-21

    In general, sugar porters function by proton-coupled symport or facilitative transport modes. Symporters, coupled to electrochemical energy, transport nutrients against a substrate gradient. Facilitative carriers transport sugars along a concentration gradient, thus transport is dependent upon extracellular nutrient levels. Across bacteria, fungi, unicellular non-vertebrates and plants, proton-coupled hexose symport is a crucial process supplying energy under conditions of nutrient flux. In mammals it has been assumed that evolution of whole body regulatory mechanisms would eliminate this need. To determine whether any isoforms bearing this function might be conserved in mammals, we investigated the relationship between the transporters of animals and the proton-coupled hexose symporters found in other species. We took a comparative genomic approach and have performed the first comprehensive and statistically supported phylogenetic analysis of all mammalian glucose transporter (GLUT) isoforms. Our data reveals the mammalian GLUT proteins segregate into five distinct classes. This evolutionary ancestry gives insight to structure, function and transport mechanisms within the groups. Combined with biological assays, we present novel evidence that, in response to changing nutrient availability and environmental pH, proton-coupled, active glucose symport function is maintained in mammalian cells. The analyses show the ancestry, evolutionary conservation and biological importance of the GLUT classes. These findings significantly extend our understanding of the evolution of mammalian glucose transport systems. They also reveal that mammals may have conserved an adaptive response to nutrient demand that would have important physiological implications to cell survival and growth.

  10. Synthesis of Large Arrays of Well-Aligned Carbon Nanotubes on Glass

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bush, P. Siegal, M.P.; Huang, Z.P.; Provencio, P.N.; Ren, Z.F.; Wang, J.H.; Xu, J.W.

    1998-11-10

    Free-standing aligned carbon nanotubes have previously been grown above 7000C on mesoporous silica embedded with iron nanoparticles. Here, carbon nanotubes aligned over areas up to several square centimeters were grown on nickel-coated glass below 666oC by plasma-enhanced hot filament chemical vapor deposition. Acetylene (C2H2) gas was used as the carbon source and ammonia (NH3) gas was used as a catalyst and dilution gas. Nanotubes with controllable diameters from 20 to 400 nanometers and lengths from 0.1 to 50 micrometers were obtained. Using this method, large panels of aligned carbon nanotubes can be made under conditions that are suitable for device fabrication.

  11. Evolutionary relationship and structural characterization of the EPF/EPFL gene family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takata, Naoki; Yokota, Kiyonobu; Ohki, Shinya; Mori, Masashi; Taniguchi, Toru; Kurita, Manabu

    2013-01-01

    EPF1-EPF2 and EPFL9/Stomagen act antagonistically in regulating leaf stomatal density. The aim of this study was to elucidate the evolutionary functional divergence of EPF/EPFL family genes. Phylogenetic analyses showed that AtEPFL9/Stomagen-like genes are conserved only in vascular plants and are closely related to AtEPF1/EPF2-like genes. Modeling showed that EPF/EPFL peptides share a common 3D structure that is constituted of a scaffold and loop. Molecular dynamics simulation suggested that AtEPF1/EPF2-like peptides form an additional disulfide bond in their loop regions and show greater flexibility in these regions than AtEPFL9/Stomagen-like peptides. This study uncovered the evolutionary relationship and the conformational divergence of proteins encoded by the EPF/EPFL family genes.

  12. Formatt: Correcting protein multiple structural alignments by incorporating sequence alignment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniels Noah M

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The quality of multiple protein structure alignments are usually computed and assessed based on geometric functions of the coordinates of the backbone atoms from the protein chains. These purely geometric methods do not utilize directly protein sequence similarity, and in fact, determining the proper way to incorporate sequence similarity measures into the construction and assessment of protein multiple structure alignments has proved surprisingly difficult. Results We present Formatt, a multiple structure alignment based on the Matt purely geometric multiple structure alignment program, that also takes into account sequence similarity when constructing alignments. We show that Formatt outperforms Matt and other popular structure alignment programs on the popular HOMSTRAD benchmark. For the SABMark twilight zone benchmark set that captures more remote homology, Formatt and Matt outperform other programs; depending on choice of embedded sequence aligner, Formatt produces either better sequence and structural alignments with a smaller core size than Matt, or similarly sized alignments with better sequence similarity, for a small cost in average RMSD. Conclusions Considering sequence information as well as purely geometric information seems to improve quality of multiple structure alignments, though defining what constitutes the best alignment when sequence and structural measures would suggest different alignments remains a difficult open question.

  13. PANTHER-PSEP: predicting disease-causing genetic variants using position-specific evolutionary preservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Haiming; Thomas, Paul D

    2016-07-15

    PANTHER-PSEP is a new software tool for predicting non-synonymous genetic variants that may play a causal role in human disease. Several previous variant pathogenicity prediction methods have been proposed that quantify evolutionary conservation among homologous proteins from different organisms. PANTHER-PSEP employs a related but distinct metric based on 'evolutionary preservation': homologous proteins are used to reconstruct the likely sequences of ancestral proteins at nodes in a phylogenetic tree, and the history of each amino acid can be traced back in time from its current state to estimate how long that state has been preserved in its ancestors. Here, we describe the PSEP tool, and assess its performance on standard benchmarks for distinguishing disease-associated from neutral variation in humans. On these benchmarks, PSEP outperforms not only previous tools that utilize evolutionary conservation, but also several highly used tools that include multiple other sources of information as well. For predicting pathogenic human variants, the trace back of course starts with a human 'reference' protein sequence, but the PSEP tool can also be applied to predicting deleterious or pathogenic variants in reference proteins from any of the ∼100 other species in the PANTHER database. PANTHER-PSEP is freely available on the web at http://pantherdb.org/tools/csnpScoreForm.jsp Users can also download the command-line based tool at ftp://ftp.pantherdb.org/cSNP_analysis/PSEP/ CONTACT: pdthomas@usc.edu Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. ANALYSIS OF ANKLE ALIGNMENT ABNORMALITIES AS A RISK FACTOR FOR PEDIATRIC FLEXIBLE FLAT FOOT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dr. Ajai Singh

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Majority of paediatric flat feet are flexible and asymptomatic; less than 0.1% of all flat feet are rigid. If these can be diagnosed and managed early, then various complications can be prevented and they will remain asymptomatic. This study was conducted to analyse the ankle rotational mal-alignments in the natural course of flexible flat foot in children. Seventy-six patients of flexible flat foot and one hundred controls were included in this study. The height of foot arches was judged clinically by inspecting the height of the medial arch and by measuring the arch index on weight-bearing podograms. Tibial torsion and bimalleolar angle were assessed in all subjects. Tibial torsion was assessed in the first twenty subjects (ten cases and ten controls both by clinical methods (foot-thigh angle and CT. As no statistical difference in the two methods was observed, tibial torsion was measured by clinical methods only in the remaining subjects. Bimalleolar angle was measured on weight-bearing podograms in all subjects. For a minimum of two years, cases were followed up regularly with a standard conservative protocol and the height of the arches observed. Majority of cases of flexible flat foot were found to have increased tibial torsion and increased foot-bimalleolar angle (high talar spin. The severity of collapse of the medial arch and the response to conservative treatment was found to correlate with these rotational mal-alignments of the ankle. Ankle rotational mal-alignments were seen to make these flexible flat foot deformities more complex and less responsive to conservative treatment.

  15. The evolutionary role of modularity and integration in the hominoid cranium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitteroecker, Philipp; Bookstein, Fred

    2008-04-01

    Patterns of morphological integration and modularity among shape features emerge from genetic and developmental factors with varying pleiotropic effects. Factors or processes affecting morphology only locally may respond to selection more easily than common factors that may lead to deleterious side effects and hence are expected to be more conserved. We briefly review evidence for such global factors in primate cranial development as well as for local factors constrained to either the face or the neurocranium. In a sample comprising 157 crania of Homo sapiens, Pan troglodytes, and Gorilla gorilla, we statistically estimated common and local factors of shape variation from Procrustes coordinates of 347 landmarks and semilandmarks. Common factors with pleiotropic effects on both the face and the neurocranium account for a large amount of shape variation, but mainly by extension or truncation of otherwise conserved developmental pathways. Local factors (modular shape characteristics) have more degrees of freedom for evolutionary change than mere ontogenetic scaling. Cranial shape is similarly integrated during development in all three species, but human evolution involves dissociation among several characteristics. The dissociation has probably been achieved by evolutionary alterations and by the novel emergence of local factors affecting characteristics that are controlled at the same time by the common factors.

  16. Comparative Genomic Analyses Provide New Insights into the Evolutionary Dynamics of Heterochromatin in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caizzi, Ruggiero; Moschetti, Roberta; Piacentini, Lucia; Fanti, Laura; Marsano, Renè Massimiliano; Dimitri, Patrizio

    2016-08-01

    The term heterochromatin has been long considered synonymous with gene silencing, but it is now clear that the presence of transcribed genes embedded in pericentromeric heterochromatin is a conserved feature in the evolution of eukaryotic genomes. Several studies have addressed the epigenetic changes that enable the expression of genes in pericentric heterochromatin, yet little is known about the evolutionary processes through which this has occurred. By combining genome annotation analysis and high-resolution cytology, we have identified and mapped 53 orthologs of D. melanogaster heterochromatic genes in the genomes of two evolutionarily distant species, D. pseudoobscura and D. virilis. Our results show that the orthologs of the D. melanogaster heterochromatic genes are clustered at three main genomic regions in D. virilis and D. pseudoobscura. In D. virilis, the clusters lie in the middle of euchromatin, while those in D. pseudoobscura are located in the proximal portion of the chromosome arms. Some orthologs map to the corresponding Muller C element in D. pseudoobscura and D. virilis, while others localize on the Muller B element, suggesting that chromosomal rearrangements that have been instrumental in the fusion of two separate elements involved the progenitors of genes currently located in D. melanogaster heterochromatin. These results demonstrate an evolutionary repositioning of gene clusters from ancestral locations in euchromatin to the pericentromeric heterochromatin of descendent D. melanogaster chromosomes. Remarkably, in both D. virilis and D. pseudoobscura the gene clusters show a conserved association with the HP1a protein, one of the most highly evolutionarily conserved epigenetic marks. In light of these results, we suggest a new scenario whereby ancestral HP1-like proteins (and possibly other epigenetic marks) may have contributed to the evolutionary repositioning of gene clusters into heterochromatin.

  17. Three dimensional alignment of molecules using elliptically polarized laser fields

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, J.J.; Bjerre, N.; Hald, K.

    2000-01-01

    We demonstrate, theoretically and experimentally, that an intense, elliptically polarized, nonresonant laser field can simultaneously force all three axes of a molecule to align along given axes fixed in space, thus inhibiting the free rotation in all three Euler angles. Theoretically, the effect...

  18. Genetic divergence and units for conservation in the Komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis

    OpenAIRE

    Ciofi, C.; Beaumont, M. A.; Swingland, I. R.; Bruford, M. W.

    1999-01-01

    In the past decade much attention has focused on the role that genetics can play in the formation of management strategies in conservation. Here, we describe genetic diversity in the world's largest lizard, the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), examining the evolutionary relationships and population genetic history of the four islands in south-east Indonesia, which form the vast majority of its range. We identify distinct genetic groups for conservation. The population on the island of Kom...

  19. Differential Evolutionary Constraints in the Evolution of Chemoreceptors: A Murine and Human Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo D’Oliveira Albanus

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Chemoreception is among the most important sensory modalities in animals. Organisms use the ability to perceive chemical compounds in all major ecological activities. Recent studies have allowed the characterization of chemoreceptor gene families. These genes present strikingly high variability in copy numbers and pseudogenization degrees among different species, but the mechanisms underlying their evolution are not fully understood. We have analyzed the functional networks of these genes, their orthologs distribution, and performed phylogenetic analyses in order to investigate their evolutionary dynamics. We have modeled the chemosensory networks and compared the evolutionary constraints of their genes in Mus musculus, Homo sapiens, and Rattus norvegicus. We have observed significant differences regarding the constraints on the orthologous groups and network topologies of chemoreceptors and signal transduction machinery. Our findings suggest that chemosensory receptor genes are less constrained than their signal transducing machinery, resulting in greater receptor diversity and conservation of information processing pathways. More importantly, we have observed significant differences among the receptors themselves, suggesting that olfactory and bitter taste receptors are more conserved than vomeronasal receptors.

  20. MUON DETECTORS: ALIGNMENT

    CERN Multimedia

    G.Gomez

    2010-01-01

    The main developments in muon alignment since March 2010 have been the production, approval and deployment of alignment constants for the ICHEP data reprocessing. In the barrel, a new geometry, combining information from both hardware and track-based alignment systems, has been developed for the first time. The hardware alignment provides an initial DT geometry, which is then anchored as a rigid solid, using the link alignment system, to a reference frame common to the tracker. The “GlobalPositionRecords” for both the Tracker and Muon systems are being used for the first time, and the initial tracker-muon relative positioning, based on the link alignment, yields good results within the photogrammetry uncertainties of the Tracker and alignment ring positions. For the first time, the optical and track-based alignments show good agreement between them; the optical alignment being refined by the track-based alignment. The resulting geometry is the most complete to date, aligning all 250 DTs, ...

  1. Evolutionary Stable Strategy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 21; Issue 9. Evolutionary Stable Strategy: Application of Nash Equilibrium in Biology. General Article Volume 21 Issue 9 September 2016 pp 803- ... Keywords. Evolutionary game theory, evolutionary stable state, conflict, cooperation, biological games.

  2. Aligning conservation goals: are patterns of species richness and endemism concordant at regional scales?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricketts, T. H.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation strategies commonly target areas of high species richness and/or high endemism. However, the correlation between richness and endemism at scales relevant to conservation is unclear; these two common goals of conservation plans may therefore be in conflict. Here the spatial concordance between richness and endemism is tested using five taxa in North America: butterflies, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. This concordance is also tested using overall indices of richness and endemism (incorporating all five taxa. For all taxa except birds, richness and endemism were significantly correlated, with amphibians, reptiles, and the overall indices showing the highest correlations (rs = 0.527-0.676. However, 'priority sets' of ecoregions (i.e., the top 10% of ecoregions based on richness generally overlapped poorly with those based on endemism (< 50% overlap for all but reptiles. These results offer only limited support for the idea that richness and endemism are correlated at broad scales and indicate that land managers will need to balance these dual, and often conflicting, goals of biodiversity conservation.

  3. Consciousness, crosstalk, and the mereological fallacy: An evolutionary perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Rodrick

    2012-12-01

    The cross-sectional decontextualization afflicting contemporary neuroscience - attributing to ‘the brain’ what is the province of the whole organism - is mirrored by an evolutionary decontextualization exceptionalizing consciousness. The living state is characterized by cognitive processes at all scales and levels of organization. Many can be associated with dual information sources that ‘speak’ a ‘language’ of behavior-in-context. Shifting global broadcasts analogous to consciousness, albeit far slower - wound healing, tumor control, immune function, gene expression, etc. - have emerged through repeated evolutionary exaptation of the crosstalk and noise inherent to all information transmission. These recruit ‘unconscious’ cognitive modules into tunable arrays as needed to meet threats and opportunities across multiple frames of reference. The development is straightforward, based on the powerful necessary conditions imposed by the asymptotic limit theorems of communication theory, in the same sense that the Central Limit Theorem constrains sums of stochastic variates. Recognition of information as a form of free energy instantiated by physical processes that consume free energy permits analogs to phase transition and nonequilibrium thermodynamic arguments, leading to ‘dynamic regression models’ useful for data analysis.

  4. Evolutionary Instability of Symbiotic Function in Bradyrhizobium japonicum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sachs, Joel L.; Russell, James E.; Hollowell, Amanda C.

    2011-01-01

    Bacterial mutualists are often acquired from the environment by eukaryotic hosts. However, both theory and empirical work suggest that this bacterial lifestyle is evolutionarily unstable. Bacterial evolution outside of the host is predicted to favor traits that promote an independent lifestyle in the environment at a cost to symbiotic function. Consistent with these predictions, environmentally-acquired bacterial mutualists often lose symbiotic function over evolutionary time. Here, we investigate the evolutionary erosion of symbiotic traits in Bradyrhizobium japonicum, a nodulating root symbiont of legumes. Building on a previous published phylogeny we infer loss events of nodulation capability in a natural population of Bradyrhizobium, potentially driven by mutation or deletion of symbiosis loci. Subsequently, we experimentally evolved representative strains from the symbiont population under host-free in vitro conditions to examine potential drivers of these loss events. Among Bradyrhizobium genotypes that evolved significant increases in fitness in vitro, two exhibited reduced symbiotic quality, but no experimentally evolved strain lost nodulation capability or evolved any fixed changes at six sequenced loci. Our results are consistent with trade-offs between symbiotic quality and fitness in a host free environment. However, the drivers of loss-of-nodulation events in natural Bradyrhizobium populations remain unknown. PMID:22073160

  5. Statistical potential-based amino acid similarity matrices for aligning distantly related protein sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Yen Hock; Huang, He; Kihara, Daisuke

    2006-08-15

    Aligning distantly related protein sequences is a long-standing problem in bioinformatics, and a key for successful protein structure prediction. Its importance is increasing recently in the context of structural genomics projects because more and more experimentally solved structures are available as templates for protein structure modeling. Toward this end, recent structure prediction methods employ profile-profile alignments, and various ways of aligning two profiles have been developed. More fundamentally, a better amino acid similarity matrix can improve a profile itself; thereby resulting in more accurate profile-profile alignments. Here we have developed novel amino acid similarity matrices from knowledge-based amino acid contact potentials. Contact potentials are used because the contact propensity to the other amino acids would be one of the most conserved features of each position of a protein structure. The derived amino acid similarity matrices are tested on benchmark alignments at three different levels, namely, the family, the superfamily, and the fold level. Compared to BLOSUM45 and the other existing matrices, the contact potential-based matrices perform comparably in the family level alignments, but clearly outperform in the fold level alignments. The contact potential-based matrices perform even better when suboptimal alignments are considered. Comparing the matrices themselves with each other revealed that the contact potential-based matrices are very different from BLOSUM45 and the other matrices, indicating that they are located in a different basin in the amino acid similarity matrix space.

  6. Uni- and tridimensional alignment of molecules by femto-second laser pulse

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rouzee, Arnaud

    2007-01-01

    This thesis is devoted to the study of the alignment of linear and asymmetric top molecules generated by an intense laser pulse. In the case of short pulses with respect to molecular rotation, periodic alignment appears in field-free conditions after the extinction of the field. We study theoretically and experimentally the effects of intensity, temperature and polarization of the electric field on produced alignment. If the field is linearly polarized, the interaction leads to the alignment of the most polarizable axis of the molecule. If the field is elliptically polarized, the pulse can generate a simultaneous alignment of the three principal axes of inertia of an asymmetric top molecule (3-D alignment). This alignment can be characterized experimentally using pump-probe techniques which exploit the optical properties of the medium. They require the use of a second pulse of low intensity temporally delayed. Three techniques were exploited during this thesis. The first technique measures a depolarization due to the birefringence of the medium when the molecules are aligned. The second is based on the defocusing of the pulse on a gradient of index created following the space variation of alignment with respect to the spatial profile of the field. The last involves the creation of a grading of index to the intersection of two intense pulses, which causes the diffraction of the probe. Finally, we show experimentally that the birefringence technique can be used to quantify the 3-D alignment of an asymmetric top molecule like ethylene. (author) [fr

  7. Amino Acids of Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigen 3A Essential for Repression of Jκ-Mediated Transcription and Their Evolutionary Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalbiès-Tran, Rozenn; Stigger-Rosser, Evelyn; Dotson, Travis; Sample, Clare E.

    2001-01-01

    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen 3A (EBNA-3A) is essential for virus-mediated immortalization of B lymphocytes in vitro and is believed to regulate transcription of cellular and/or viral genes. One known mechanism of regulation is through its interaction with the cellular transcription factor Jκ. This interaction downregulates transcription mediated by EBNA-2 and Jκ. To identify the amino acids that play a role in this interaction, we have generated mutant EBNA-3A proteins. A mutant EBNA-3A protein in which alanine residues were substituted for amino acids 199, 200, and 202 no longer downregulated transcription. Surprisingly, this mutant protein remained able to coimmunoprecipitate with Jκ. Using a reporter gene assay based on the recruitment of Jκ by various regions spanning EBNA-3A, we have shown that this mutation abolished binding of Jκ to the N-proximal region (amino acids 125 to 222) and that no other region of EBNA-3A alone was sufficient to mediate an association with Jκ. To determine the biological significance of the interaction of EBNA-3A with Jκ, we have studied its conservation in the simian lymphocryptovirus herpesvirus papio (HVP) by cloning HVP-3A, the homolog of EBNA-3A encoded by this virus. This 903-amino-acid protein exhibited 37% identity with its EBV counterpart, mainly within the amino-terminal half. HVP-3A also interacted with Jκ through a region located between amino acids 127 and 223 and also repressed transcription mediated through EBNA-2 and Jκ. The evolutionary conservation of this function, in proteins that have otherwise significantly diverged, argues strongly for an important biological role in virus-mediated immortalization of B lymphocytes. PMID:11119577

  8. Impulsive Laser Induced Alignment of Molecules Dissolved in Helium Nanodroplets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pentlehner, Dominik; H. Nielsen, Jens; Slenczka, Alkwin

    2013-01-01

    We show that a 450 fs nonresonant, moderately intense, linearly polarized laser pulse can induce field-free molecular axis alignment of methyliodide (CH3I) molecules dissolved in a helium nanodroplet. Time-resolved measurements reveal rotational dynamics much slower than that of isolated molecules...

  9. Madagascar Conservation & Development - Vol 6, No 1 (2011)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Out of sight but no longer out of mind: A climate of change for marine conservation in Madagascar · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT ... Dynamique institutionnelle des transferts de gestion dans le corridor Fandriana - Vondrozo · EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT

  10. Application of a sensitive collection heuristic for very large protein families: Evolutionary relationship between adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL and classic mammalian lipases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Berezovsky Igor

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Manually finding subtle yet statistically significant links to distantly related homologues becomes practically impossible for very populated protein families due to the sheer number of similarity searches to be invoked and analyzed. The unclear evolutionary relationship between classical mammalian lipases and the recently discovered human adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL; a patatin family member is an exemplary case for such a problem. Results We describe an unsupervised, sensitive sequence segment collection heuristic suitable for assembling very large protein families. It is based on fan-like expanding, iterative database searches. To prevent inclusion of unrelated hits, additional criteria are introduced: minimal alignment length and overlap with starting sequence segments, finding starting sequences in reciprocal searches, automated filtering for compositional bias and repetitive patterns. This heuristic was implemented as FAMILYSEARCHER in the ANNIE sequence analysis environment and applied to search for protein links between the classical lipase family and the patatin-like group. Conclusion The FAMILYSEARCHER is an efficient tool for tracing distant evolutionary relationships involving large protein families. Although classical lipases and ATGL have no obvious sequence similarity and differ with regard to fold and catalytic mechanism, homology links detected with FAMILYSEARCHER show that they are evolutionarily related. The conserved sequence parts can be narrowed down to an ancestral core module consisting of three β-strands, one α-helix and a turn containing the typical nucleophilic serine. Moreover, this ancestral module also appears in numerous enzymes with various substrate specificities, but that critically rely on nucleophilic attack mechanisms.

  11. TNR and conservation on a university campus: a political ecological perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Dombrosky

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available How to manage the impact of free-ranging cats on native wildlife is a polarizing issue. Conservation biologists largely support domestic cat euthanasia to mitigate impacts of free-ranging cat predation on small animal populations. Above all else, animal welfare activists support the humane treatment of free-ranging cats, objecting to euthanasia. Clearly, this issue of how to control free-ranging cat predation on small animals is value laden, and both positions must be considered and comprehended to promote effective conservation. Here, two gaps in the free-ranging cat—small-animal conservation literature are addressed. First, the importance of understanding the processes of domestication and evolution and how each relates to felid behavioral ecology is discussed. The leading hypothesis to explain domestication of wildcats (Felis silvestris relates to their behavioral ecology as a solitary predator, which made them suited for pest control in early agricultural villages of the Old World. The relationship humans once had with cats, however, has changed because today domesticated cats are usually household pets. As a result, concerns of conservation biologists may relate to cats as predators, but cat welfare proponents come from the position of assuming responsibility for free-ranging household pets (and their feral offspring. Thus, the perceptions of pet owners and other members of the general public provide an important context that frames the relationship between free-ranging cats and small animal conservation. The second part of this paper assesses the effects of an information-based conservation approach on shifting student’s perception of a local Trap–Neuter–Return (TNR program in introductory core science classes at the University of North Texas (UNT. UNT students are (knowingly or unknowingly regularly in close proximity to a TNR program on campus that supports cat houses and feeding stations. A survey design implementing a tailored

  12. Evolutionary Fates and Dynamic Functionalization of Young Duplicate Genes in Arabidopsis Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Tao, Feng; Marowsky, Nicholas C; Fan, Chuanzhu

    2016-09-01

    Gene duplication is a primary means to generate genomic novelties, playing an essential role in speciation and adaptation. Particularly in plants, a high abundance of duplicate genes has been maintained for significantly long periods of evolutionary time. To address the manner in which young duplicate genes were derived primarily from small-scale gene duplication and preserved in plant genomes and to determine the underlying driving mechanisms, we generated transcriptomes to produce the expression profiles of five tissues in Arabidopsis thaliana and the closely related species Arabidopsis lyrata and Capsella rubella Based on the quantitative analysis metrics, we investigated the evolutionary processes of young duplicate genes in Arabidopsis. We determined that conservation, neofunctionalization, and specialization are three main evolutionary processes for Arabidopsis young duplicate genes. We explicitly demonstrated the dynamic functionalization of duplicate genes along the evolutionary time scale. Upon origination, duplicates tend to maintain their ancestral functions; but as they survive longer, they might be likely to develop distinct and novel functions. The temporal evolutionary processes and functionalization of plant duplicate genes are associated with their ancestral functions, dynamic DNA methylation levels, and histone modification abundances. Furthermore, duplicate genes tend to be initially expressed in pollen and then to gain more interaction partners over time. Altogether, our study provides novel insights into the dynamic retention processes of young duplicate genes in plant genomes. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  13. Discovery of cis-elements between sorghum and rice using co-expression and evolutionary conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haberer Georg

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression largely depends on the presence and absence of cis-regulatory sites in the promoter. In the economically highly important grass family, our knowledge of transcription factor binding sites and transcriptional networks is still very limited. With the completion of the sorghum genome and the available rice genome sequence, comparative promoter analyses now allow genome-scale detection of conserved cis-elements. Results In this study, we identified thousands of phylogenetic footprints conserved between orthologous rice and sorghum upstream regions that are supported by co-expression information derived from three different rice expression data sets. In a complementary approach, cis-motifs were discovered by their highly conserved co-occurrence in syntenic promoter pairs. Sequence conservation and matches to known plant motifs support our findings. Expression similarities of gene pairs positively correlate with the number of motifs that are shared by gene pairs and corroborate the importance of similar promoter architectures for concerted regulation. This strongly suggests that these motifs function in the regulation of transcript levels in rice and, presumably also in sorghum. Conclusion Our work provides the first large-scale collection of cis-elements for rice and sorghum and can serve as a paradigm for cis-element analysis through comparative genomics in grasses in general.

  14. Free Speech as a Cultural Value in the United States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio J. Alvarez

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Political orientation influences support for free speech, with liberals often reporting greater support for free speech than conservatives. We hypothesized that this effect should be moderated by cultural context: individualist cultures value individual self-expression and self-determination, and collectivist cultures value group harmony and conformity. These different foci should differently influence liberals and conservatives’ support for free speech within these cultures. Two studies evaluated the joint influence of political orientation and cultural context on support for free speech. Study 1, using a multilevel analysis of data from 37 U.S. states (n = 1,001, showed that conservatives report stronger support for free speech in collectivist states, whereas there were no differences between conservatives and liberals in support for free speech in individualist states. Study 2 (n = 90 confirmed this pattern by priming independent and interdependent self-construals in liberals and conservatives. Results demonstrate the importance of cultural context for free speech. Findings suggest that in the U.S. support for free speech might be embraced for different reasons: conservatives’ support for free speech appears to be motivated by a focus on collectively held values favoring free speech, while liberals’ support for free speech might be motivated by a focus on individualist self-expression.

  15. Evolutionary hierarchy of vertebrate-like heterotrimeric G protein families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, Arunkumar; Mustafa, Arshi; Almén, Markus Sällman; Fredriksson, Robert; Williams, Michael J; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2015-10-01

    Heterotrimeric G proteins perform a crucial role as molecular switches controlling various cellular responses mediated by G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling pathway. Recent data have shown that the vertebrate-like G protein families are found across metazoans and their closest unicellular relatives. However, an overall evolutionary hierarchy of vertebrate-like G proteins, including gene family annotations and in particular mapping individual gene gain/loss events across diverse holozoan lineages is still incomplete. Here, with more expanded invertebrate taxon sampling, we have reconstructed phylogenetic trees for each of the G protein classes/families and provide a robust classification and hierarchy of vertebrate-like heterotrimeric G proteins. Our results further extend the evidence that the common ancestor (CA) of holozoans had at least five ancestral Gα genes corresponding to all major vertebrate Gα classes and contain a total of eight genes including two Gβ and one Gγ. Our results also indicate that the GNAI/O-like gene likely duplicated in the last CA of metazoans to give rise to GNAI- and GNAO-like genes, which are conserved across invertebrates. Moreover, homologs of GNB1-4 paralogon- and GNB5 family-like genes are found in most metazoans and that the unicellular holozoans encode two ancestral Gβ genes. Similarly, most bilaterian invertebrates encode two Gγ genes which include a representative of the GNG gene cluster and a putative homolog of GNG13. Interestingly, our results also revealed key evolutionary events such as the Drosophila melanogaster eye specific Gβ subunit that is found conserved in most arthropods and several previously unidentified species specific expansions within Gαi/o, Gαs, Gαq, Gα12/13 classes and the GNB1-4 paralogon. Also, we provide an overall proposed evolutionary scenario on the expansions of all G protein families in vertebrate tetraploidizations. Our robust classification/hierarchy is essential to further

  16. The non-random clustering of non-synonymous substitutions and its relationship to evolutionary rate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stone Eric A

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein sequences are subject to a mosaic of constraint. Changes to functional domains and buried residues, for example, are more apt to disrupt protein structure and function than are changes to residues participating in loops or exposed to solvent. Regions of constraint on the tertiary structure of a protein often result in loose segmentation of its primary structure into stretches of slowly- and rapidly-evolving amino acids. This clustering can be exploited, and existing methods have done so by relying on local sequence conservation as a signature of selection to help identify functionally important regions within proteins. We invert this paradigm by leveraging the regional nature of protein structure and function to both illuminate and make use of genome-wide patterns of local sequence conservation. Results Our hypothesis is that the regional nature of structural and functional constraints will assert a positive autocorrelation on the evolutionary rates of neighboring sites, which, in a pairwise comparison of orthologous proteins, will manifest itself as the clustering of non-synonymous changes across the amino acid sequence. We introduce a dispersion ratio statistic to test this and related hypotheses. Using genome-wide interspecific comparisons of orthologous protein pairs, we reveal a strong log-linear relationship between the degree of clustering and the intensity of constraint. We further demonstrate how this relationship varies with the evolutionary distance between the species being compared. We provide some evidence that proteins with a history of positive selection deviate from genome-wide trends. Conclusions We find a significant association between the evolutionary rate of a protein and the degree to which non-synonymous changes cluster along its primary sequence. We show that clustering is a non-redundant predictor of evolutionary rate, and we speculate that conflicting signals of clustering and constraint may

  17. cDNA cloning and sequencing of human fibrillarin, a conserved nucleolar protein recognized by autoimmune antisera

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aris, J.P.; Blobel, G.

    1991-01-01

    The authors have isolated a 1.1-kilobase cDNA clone that encodes human fibrillarin by screening a hepatoma library in parallel with DNA probes derived from the fibrillarin genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (NOP1) and Xenopus laevis. RNA blot analysis indicates that the corresponding mRNA is ∼1,300 nucleotides in length. Human fibrillarin expressed in vitro migrates on SDS gels as a 36-kDa protein that is specifically immunoprecipitated by antisera from humans with scleroderma autoimmune disease. Human fibrillarin contains an amino-terminal repetitive domain ∼75-80 amino acids in length that is rich in glycine and arginine residues and is similar to amino-terminal domains in the yeast and Xenopus fibrillarins. The occurrence of a putative RNA-binding domain and an RNP consensus sequence within the protein is consistent with the association of fibrillarin with small nucleolar RNAs. Protein sequence alignments show that 67% of amino acids from human fibrillarin are identical to those in yeast fibrillarin and that 81% are identical to those in Xenopus fibrillarin. This identity suggests the evolutionary conservation of an important function early in the pathway for ribosome biosynthesis

  18. Evolutionary relationship and structural characterization of the EPF/EPFL gene family.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoki Takata

    Full Text Available EPF1-EPF2 and EPFL9/Stomagen act antagonistically in regulating leaf stomatal density. The aim of this study was to elucidate the evolutionary functional divergence of EPF/EPFL family genes. Phylogenetic analyses showed that AtEPFL9/Stomagen-like genes are conserved only in vascular plants and are closely related to AtEPF1/EPF2-like genes. Modeling showed that EPF/EPFL peptides share a common 3D structure that is constituted of a scaffold and loop. Molecular dynamics simulation suggested that AtEPF1/EPF2-like peptides form an additional disulfide bond in their loop regions and show greater flexibility in these regions than AtEPFL9/Stomagen-like peptides. This study uncovered the evolutionary relationship and the conformational divergence of proteins encoded by the EPF/EPFL family genes.

  19. A Neurology of the Conservative-Liberal Dimension of Political Ideology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Mario F

    2017-01-01

    Differences in political ideology are a major source of human disagreement and conflict. There is increasing evidence that neurobiological mechanisms mediate individual differences in political ideology through effects on a conservative-liberal axis. This review summarizes personality, evolutionary and genetic, cognitive, neuroimaging, and neurological studies of conservatism-liberalism and discusses how they might affect political ideology. What emerges from this highly variable literature is evidence for a normal right-sided "conservative-complex" involving structures sensitive to negativity bias, threat, disgust, and avoidance. This conservative-complex may be damaged with brain disease, sometimes leading to a pathological "liberal shift" or a reduced tendency to conservatism in political ideology. Although not deterministic, these findings recommend further research on politics and the brain.

  20. Ligand Binding Site Detection by Local Structure Alignment and Its Performance Complementarity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hui Sun; Im, Wonpil

    2013-01-01

    Accurate determination of potential ligand binding sites (BS) is a key step for protein function characterization and structure-based drug design. Despite promising results of template-based BS prediction methods using global structure alignment (GSA), there is a room to improve the performance by properly incorporating local structure alignment (LSA) because BS are local structures and often similar for proteins with dissimilar global folds. We present a template-based ligand BS prediction method using G-LoSA, our LSA tool. A large benchmark set validation shows that G-LoSA predicts drug-like ligands’ positions in single-chain protein targets more precisely than TM-align, a GSA-based method, while the overall success rate of TM-align is better. G-LoSA is particularly efficient for accurate detection of local structures conserved across proteins with diverse global topologies. Recognizing the performance complementarity of G-LoSA to TM-align and a non-template geometry-based method, fpocket, a robust consensus scoring method, CMCS-BSP (Complementary Methods and Consensus Scoring for ligand Binding Site Prediction), is developed and shows improvement on prediction accuracy. The G-LoSA source code is freely available at http://im.bioinformatics.ku.edu/GLoSA. PMID:23957286

  1. Structural proteomics of minimal organisms: conservation ofprotein fold usage and evolutionary implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chandonia, John-Marc; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2006-03-15

    Background: Determining the complete repertoire of proteinstructures for all soluble, globular proteins in a single organism hasbeen one of the major goals of several structural genomics projects inrecent years. Results: We report that this goal has nearly been reachedfor several "minimal organisms"--parasites or symbionts with reducedgenomes--for which over 95 percent of the soluble, globular proteins maynow be assigned folds, overall 3-D backbone structures. We analyze thestructures of these proteins as they relate to cellular functions, andcompare conservation off old usage between functional categories. We alsocompare patterns in the conservation off olds among minimal organisms andthose observed between minimal organisms and other bacteria. Conclusion:We find that proteins performing essential cellular functions closelyrelated to transcription and translation exhibit a higher degree ofconservation in fold usage than proteins in other functional categories.Folds related to transcription and translation functional categories werealso over represented in minimal organisms compared to otherbacteria.

  2. Exploring Climate Niches of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) Haplotypes in the Western United States: Implications for Evolutionary History and Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shinneman, Douglas J; Means, Robert E; Potter, Kevin M; Hipkins, Valerie D

    2016-01-01

    Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) occupies montane environments throughout western North America, where it is both an ecologically and economically important tree species. A recent study using mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated substantial genetic variation among ponderosa pine populations in the western U.S., identifying 10 haplotypes with unique evolutionary lineages that generally correspond spatially with distributions of the Pacific (P. p. var. ponderosa) and Rocky Mountain (P. p. var. scopulorum) varieties. To elucidate the role of climate in shaping the phylogeographic history of ponderosa pine, we used nonparametric multiplicative regression to develop predictive climate niche models for two varieties and 10 haplotypes and to hindcast potential distribution of the varieties during the last glacial maximum (LGM), ~22,000 yr BP. Our climate niche models performed well for the varieties, but haplotype models were constrained in some cases by small datasets and unmeasured microclimate influences. The models suggest strong relationships between genetic lineages and climate. Particularly evident was the role of seasonal precipitation balance in most models, with winter- and summer-dominated precipitation regimes strongly associated with P. p. vars. ponderosa and scopulorum, respectively. Indeed, where present-day climate niches overlap between the varieties, introgression of two haplotypes also occurs along a steep clinal divide in western Montana. Reconstructed climate niches for the LGM suggest potentially suitable climate existed for the Pacific variety in the California Floristic province, the Great Basin, and Arizona highlands, while suitable climate for the Rocky Mountain variety may have existed across the southwestern interior highlands. These findings underscore potentially unique phylogeographic origins of modern ponderosa pine evolutionary lineages, including potential adaptations to Pleistocene climates associated with discrete

  3. Exploring Climate Niches of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson Haplotypes in the Western United States: Implications for Evolutionary History and Conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas J Shinneman

    Full Text Available Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson occupies montane environments throughout western North America, where it is both an ecologically and economically important tree species. A recent study using mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated substantial genetic variation among ponderosa pine populations in the western U.S., identifying 10 haplotypes with unique evolutionary lineages that generally correspond spatially with distributions of the Pacific (P. p. var. ponderosa and Rocky Mountain (P. p. var. scopulorum varieties. To elucidate the role of climate in shaping the phylogeographic history of ponderosa pine, we used nonparametric multiplicative regression to develop predictive climate niche models for two varieties and 10 haplotypes and to hindcast potential distribution of the varieties during the last glacial maximum (LGM, ~22,000 yr BP. Our climate niche models performed well for the varieties, but haplotype models were constrained in some cases by small datasets and unmeasured microclimate influences. The models suggest strong relationships between genetic lineages and climate. Particularly evident was the role of seasonal precipitation balance in most models, with winter- and summer-dominated precipitation regimes strongly associated with P. p. vars. ponderosa and scopulorum, respectively. Indeed, where present-day climate niches overlap between the varieties, introgression of two haplotypes also occurs along a steep clinal divide in western Montana. Reconstructed climate niches for the LGM suggest potentially suitable climate existed for the Pacific variety in the California Floristic province, the Great Basin, and Arizona highlands, while suitable climate for the Rocky Mountain variety may have existed across the southwestern interior highlands. These findings underscore potentially unique phylogeographic origins of modern ponderosa pine evolutionary lineages, including potential adaptations to Pleistocene climates associated

  4. Classification and evolutionary analysis of the basic helix-loop-helix gene family in the green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ake; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Debao; Wang, Xuhua; Song, Huifang; Dang, Chunwang; Yao, Qin; Chen, Keping

    2013-08-01

    Helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins play essential regulatory roles in a variety of biological processes. These highly conserved proteins form a large transcription factor superfamily, and are commonly identified in large numbers within animal, plant, and fungal genomes. The bHLH domain has been well studied in many animal species, but has not yet been characterized in non-avian reptiles. In this study, we identified 102 putative bHLH genes in the genome of the green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. Based on phylogenetic analysis, these genes were classified into 43 families, with 43, 24, 16, 3, 10, and 3 members assigned into groups A, B, C, D, E, and F, respectively, and 3 members categorized as "orphans". Within-group evolutionary relationships inferred from the phylogenetic analysis were consistent with highly conserved patterns observed for introns and additional domains. Results from phylogenetic analysis of the H/E(spl) family suggest that genome and tandem gene duplications have contributed to this family's expansion. Our classification and evolutionary analysis has provided insights into the evolutionary diversification of animal bHLH genes, and should aid future studies on bHLH protein regulation of key growth and developmental processes.

  5. Evolutionary ancestry and novel functions of the mammalian glucose transporter (GLUT family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patron Nicola

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In general, sugar porters function by proton-coupled symport or facilitative transport modes. Symporters, coupled to electrochemical energy, transport nutrients against a substrate gradient. Facilitative carriers transport sugars along a concentration gradient, thus transport is dependent upon extracellular nutrient levels. Across bacteria, fungi, unicellular non-vertebrates and plants, proton-coupled hexose symport is a crucial process supplying energy under conditions of nutrient flux. In mammals it has been assumed that evolution of whole body regulatory mechanisms would eliminate this need. To determine whether any isoforms bearing this function might be conserved in mammals, we investigated the relationship between the transporters of animals and the proton-coupled hexose symporters found in other species. Results We took a comparative genomic approach and have performed the first comprehensive and statistically supported phylogenetic analysis of all mammalian glucose transporter (GLUT isoforms. Our data reveals the mammalian GLUT proteins segregate into five distinct classes. This evolutionary ancestry gives insight to structure, function and transport mechanisms within the groups. Combined with biological assays, we present novel evidence that, in response to changing nutrient availability and environmental pH, proton-coupled, active glucose symport function is maintained in mammalian cells. Conclusions The analyses show the ancestry, evolutionary conservation and biological importance of the GLUT classes. These findings significantly extend our understanding of the evolution of mammalian glucose transport systems. They also reveal that mammals may have conserved an adaptive response to nutrient demand that would have important physiological implications to cell survival and growth.

  6. Phylogenetic niche conservatism and the evolutionary basis of ecological speciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyron, R Alexander; Costa, Gabriel C; Patten, Michael A; Burbrink, Frank T

    2015-11-01

    Phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) typically refers to the tendency of closely related species to be more similar to each other in terms of niche than they are to more distant relatives. This has been implicated as a potential driving force in speciation and other species-richness patterns, such as latitudinal gradients. However, PNC has not been very well defined in most previous studies. Is it a pattern or a process? What are the underlying endogenous (e.g. genetic) and exogenous (e.g. ecological) factors that cause niches to be conserved? What degree of similarity is necessary to qualify as PNC? Is it possible for the evolutionary processes causing niches to be conserved to also result in niche divergence in different habitats? Here, we revisit these questions, codifying a theoretical and operational definition of PNC as a mechanistic evolutionary process resulting from several factors. We frame this both from a macroevolutionary and population-genetic perspective. We discuss how different axes of physical (e.g. geographic) and environmental (e.g. climatic) heterogeneity interact with the fundamental process of PNC to produce different outcomes of ecological speciation. We also review tests for PNC, and suggest ways that these could be improved or better utilized in future studies. Ultimately, PNC as a process has a well-defined mechanistic basis in organisms, and future studies investigating ecological speciation would be well served to consider this, and frame hypothesis testing in terms of the processes and expected patterns described herein. The process of PNC may lead to patterns where niches are conserved (more similar than expected), constrained (divergent within a limited subset of available niches), or divergent (less similar than expected), based on degree of phylogenetic relatedness between species. © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  7. MUON DETECTORS: ALIGNMENT

    CERN Multimedia

    G.Gomez

    2010-01-01

    Most of the work in muon alignment since December 2009 has focused on the geometry reconstruction from the optical systems and improvements in the internal alignment of the DT chambers. The barrel optical alignment system has progressively evolved from reconstruction of single active planes to super-planes (December 09) to a new, full barrel reconstruction. Initial validation studies comparing this full barrel alignment at 0T with photogrammetry provide promising results. In addition, the method has been applied to CRAFT09 data, and the resulting alignment at 3.8T yields residuals from tracks (extrapolated from the tracker) which look smooth, suggesting a good internal barrel alignment with a small overall offset with respect to the tracker. This is a significant improvement, which should allow the optical system to provide a start-up alignment for 2010. The end-cap optical alignment has made considerable progress in the analysis of transfer line data. The next set of alignment constants for CSCs will there...

  8. Identifying ambassador species for conservation marketing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.A. Macdonald

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Conservation relies heavily on external funding, much of it from a supportive public. Therefore it is important to know which species are most likely to catalyse such funding. Whilst previous work has looked at the physical attributes that contribute to a species' appeal, no previous studies have tried to examine the extent to which a species' sympatriots might contribute to it's potential as flagship for wider conservation. Therefore, here we estimate ‘flexibility’ and ‘appeal’ scores for all terrestrial mammals (n = 4320 and identify which of these might serve as ambassadors (defined as both highly appealing and flexible. Relatively few mammals (between 240 and 331 emerged as ambassadors, with carnivores featuring heavily in this group (representing 5% of terrestrial mammals but 39% of ambassadors. ‘Top ambassadors’ were defined as those with both flexibility and appeal scores greater than 1 standard deviation above the mean. Less than a quarter of the 20 most endangered and evolutionary distinct species in this study were classed as ambassadors, highlighting the need for surrogate species to catalyse conservation effort in areas with such priority species. This is the first global analysis bringing together flexibility and appeal for all terrestrial mammals, and demonstrates an approach for determining how best to market species in order to achieve maximal conservation gain in a world with urgent conservation need but limited resources.

  9. Lysosomal enzymes and their receptors in invertebrates: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Nadimpalli Siva; Bhamidimarri, Poorna M

    2015-01-01

    Lysosomal biogenesis is an important process in eukaryotic cells to maintain cellular homeostasis. The key components that are involved in the biogenesis such as the lysosomal enzymes, their modifications and the mannose 6-phosphate receptors have been well studied and their evolutionary conservation across mammalian and non-mammalian vertebrates is clearly established. Invertebrate lysosomal biogenesis pathway on the other hand is not well studied. Although, details on mannose 6-phosphate receptors and enzymes involved in lysosomal enzyme modifications were reported earlier, a clear cut pathway has not been established. Recent research on the invertebrate species involving biogenesis of lysosomal enzymes suggests a possible conserved pathway in invertebrates. This review presents certain observations based on these processes that include biochemical, immunological and functional studies. Major conclusions include conservation of MPR-dependent pathway in higher invertebrates and recent evidence suggests that MPR-independent pathway might have been more prominent among lower invertebrates. The possible components of MPR-independent pathway that may play a role in lysosomal enzyme targeting are also discussed here.

  10. Deformation effect in the fast neutron total cross section of aligned 59Co

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fasoli, U.; Pavan, P.; Toniolo, D.; Zago, G.; Zannoni, R.; Galeazzi, G.

    1983-01-01

    The variation of the total neutron cross section, Δsigma/sub align/, on 59 Co due to nuclear alignment of the target has been measured over the energy range from 0.8 to 20 MeV employing a cobalt single crystal with a 34% nuclear alignment. The results show that Δsigma/sub align/ oscillates from a minimum of -5% at about 2.5 MeV to a maximum of +1% at about 10 MeV. The data were successfully fitted by optical model coupled-channel calculations. The coupling terms were deduced from a model representing the 59 Co nucleus as a vibrational 60 Ni core coupled to a proton hole in a (1f/sub 7/2/) shell, without free parameters. The optical model parameters were determined by fitting the total cross section, which was independently measured. The theoretical calculations show that, at lower energies, Δsigma/sub align/ depends appreciably on the coupling with the low-lying levels

  11. Fine-scale movements of rural free-ranging dogs in conservation areas in the temperate rainforest of the coastal range of southern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepulveda, Maximiliano; Pelican, Katherine; Cross, Paul C.; Eguren, Antonieta; Singer, Randall S.

    2015-01-01

    Domestic dogs can play a variety of important roles for farmers. However, when in proximity to conservation areas, the presence of rural free-ranging dogs can be problematic due to the potential for predation of, competition with, or transmission of infectious disease to local threatened fauna. We used a frequent location radio tracking technology to study rural free-ranging dog movements and habitat use into sensitive conservation habitats. To achieve a better understanding of foray behaviors in dogs we monitored dogs (n = 14) in rural households located in an isolated area between the Valdivian Coastal Reserve and the Alerce Costero National Park in southern Chile. Dogs were mostly located near households (habitat compared to forest habitat including protected lands. Foraying dogs rarely used forest habitat and, when entered, trails and/or roads were selected for movement. Our study provides important information about how dogs interact in a fine-scale with wildlife habitat, and, in particular, protected lands, providing insight into how dog behavior might drive wildlife interactions, and, in turn, how an understanding of dog behavior can be used to manage these interactions.

  12. Protein 3D structure computed from evolutionary sequence variation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora S Marks

    Full Text Available The evolutionary trajectory of a protein through sequence space is constrained by its function. Collections of sequence homologs record the outcomes of millions of evolutionary experiments in which the protein evolves according to these constraints. Deciphering the evolutionary record held in these sequences and exploiting it for predictive and engineering purposes presents a formidable challenge. The potential benefit of solving this challenge is amplified by the advent of inexpensive high-throughput genomic sequencing.In this paper we ask whether we can infer evolutionary constraints from a set of sequence homologs of a protein. The challenge is to distinguish true co-evolution couplings from the noisy set of observed correlations. We address this challenge using a maximum entropy model of the protein sequence, constrained by the statistics of the multiple sequence alignment, to infer residue pair couplings. Surprisingly, we find that the strength of these inferred couplings is an excellent predictor of residue-residue proximity in folded structures. Indeed, the top-scoring residue couplings are sufficiently accurate and well-distributed to define the 3D protein fold with remarkable accuracy.We quantify this observation by computing, from sequence alone, all-atom 3D structures of fifteen test proteins from different fold classes, ranging in size from 50 to 260 residues, including a G-protein coupled receptor. These blinded inferences are de novo, i.e., they do not use homology modeling or sequence-similar fragments from known structures. The co-evolution signals provide sufficient information to determine accurate 3D protein structure to 2.7-4.8 Å C(α-RMSD error relative to the observed structure, over at least two-thirds of the protein (method called EVfold, details at http://EVfold.org. This discovery provides insight into essential interactions constraining protein evolution and will facilitate a comprehensive survey of the universe of

  13. CVTree3 Web Server for Whole-genome-based and Alignment-free Prokaryotic Phylogeny and Taxonomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guanghong Zuo

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available A faithful phylogeny and an objective taxonomy for prokaryotes should agree with each other and ultimately follow the genome data. With the number of sequenced genomes reaching tens of thousands, both tree inference and detailed comparison with taxonomy are great challenges. We now provide one solution in the latest Release 3.0 of the alignment-free and whole-genome-based web server CVTree3. The server resides in a cluster of 64 cores and is equipped with an interactive, collapsible, and expandable tree display. It is capable of comparing the tree branching order with prokaryotic classification at all taxonomic ranks from domains down to species and strains. CVTree3 allows for inquiry by taxon names and trial on lineage modifications. In addition, it reports a summary of monophyletic and non-monophyletic taxa at all ranks as well as produces print-quality subtree figures. After giving an overview of retrospective verification of the CVTree approach, the power of the new server is described for the mega-classification of prokaryotes and determination of taxonomic placement of some newly-sequenced genomes. A few discrepancies between CVTree and 16S rRNA analyses are also summarized with regard to possible taxonomic revisions. CVTree3 is freely accessible to all users at http://tlife.fudan.edu.cn/cvtree3/ without login requirements.

  14. CVTree3 Web Server for Whole-genome-based and Alignment-free Prokaryotic Phylogeny and Taxonomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Guanghong; Hao, Bailin

    2015-10-01

    A faithful phylogeny and an objective taxonomy for prokaryotes should agree with each other and ultimately follow the genome data. With the number of sequenced genomes reaching tens of thousands, both tree inference and detailed comparison with taxonomy are great challenges. We now provide one solution in the latest Release 3.0 of the alignment-free and whole-genome-based web server CVTree3. The server resides in a cluster of 64 cores and is equipped with an interactive, collapsible, and expandable tree display. It is capable of comparing the tree branching order with prokaryotic classification at all taxonomic ranks from domains down to species and strains. CVTree3 allows for inquiry by taxon names and trial on lineage modifications. In addition, it reports a summary of monophyletic and non-monophyletic taxa at all ranks as well as produces print-quality subtree figures. After giving an overview of retrospective verification of the CVTree approach, the power of the new server is described for the mega-classification of prokaryotes and determination of taxonomic placement of some newly-sequenced genomes. A few discrepancies between CVTree and 16S rRNA analyses are also summarized with regard to possible taxonomic revisions. CVTree3 is freely accessible to all users at http://tlife.fudan.edu.cn/cvtree3/ without login requirements. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  15. Sensing Characteristics of A Precision Aligner Using Moire Gratings for Precision Alignment System

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Lizhong; Hideo Furuhashi; Yoshiyuki Uchida

    2001-01-01

    Sensing characteristics of a precision aligner using moire gratings for precision alignment sysem has been investigated. A differential moire alignment system and a modified alignment system were used. The influence of the setting accuracy of the gap length and inclination of gratings on the alignment accuracy has been studied experimentally and theoretically. Setting accuracy of the gap length less than 2.5μm is required in modified moire alignment. There is no influence of the gap length on the alignment accuracy in the differential alignment system. The inclination affects alignment accuracies in both differential and modified moire alignment systems.

  16. MUON DETECTORS: ALIGNMENT

    CERN Multimedia

    Z. Szillasi and G. Gomez.

    2013-01-01

    When CMS is opened up, major components of the Link and Barrel Alignment systems will be removed. This operation, besides allowing for maintenance of the detector underneath, is needed for making interventions that will reinforce the alignment measurements and make the operation of the alignment system more reliable. For that purpose and also for their general maintenance and recalibration, the alignment components will be transferred to the Alignment Lab situated in the ISR area. For the track-based alignment, attention is focused on the determination of systematic uncertainties, which have become dominant, since now there is a large statistics of muon tracks. This will allow for an improved Monte Carlo misalignment scenario and updated alignment position errors, crucial for high-momentum muon analysis such as Z′ searches.

  17. Evolutionary Fates and Dynamic Functionalization of Young Duplicate Genes in Arabidopsis Genomes1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Tao, Feng; Marowsky, Nicholas C.; Fan, Chuanzhu

    2016-01-01

    Gene duplication is a primary means to generate genomic novelties, playing an essential role in speciation and adaptation. Particularly in plants, a high abundance of duplicate genes has been maintained for significantly long periods of evolutionary time. To address the manner in which young duplicate genes were derived primarily from small-scale gene duplication and preserved in plant genomes and to determine the underlying driving mechanisms, we generated transcriptomes to produce the expression profiles of five tissues in Arabidopsis thaliana and the closely related species Arabidopsis lyrata and Capsella rubella. Based on the quantitative analysis metrics, we investigated the evolutionary processes of young duplicate genes in Arabidopsis. We determined that conservation, neofunctionalization, and specialization are three main evolutionary processes for Arabidopsis young duplicate genes. We explicitly demonstrated the dynamic functionalization of duplicate genes along the evolutionary time scale. Upon origination, duplicates tend to maintain their ancestral functions; but as they survive longer, they might be likely to develop distinct and novel functions. The temporal evolutionary processes and functionalization of plant duplicate genes are associated with their ancestral functions, dynamic DNA methylation levels, and histone modification abundances. Furthermore, duplicate genes tend to be initially expressed in pollen and then to gain more interaction partners over time. Altogether, our study provides novel insights into the dynamic retention processes of young duplicate genes in plant genomes. PMID:27485883

  18. Do species conservation assessments capture genetic diversity?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malin C. Rivers

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The best known system for classifying threat status of species, the IUCN Red List, currently lacks explicit considerations of genetic diversity, and consequently may not account for potential adaptation of species to future environmental change. To address this gap, we integrate range-wide genetic analysis with IUCN Red List assessments.We calculated the loss of genetic diversity under simulated range loss for species of Delonix (Leguminosae. Simulated range loss involved random loss of populations and was intended to model ongoing habitat destruction. We found a strong relationship between loss of genetic diversity and range. Moreover, we found correspondence between levels of genetic diversity and thresholds for ‘non-threatened’ versus ‘threatened’ IUCN Red List categories.Our results support the view that current threat thresholds of the IUCN Red List criteria reflect genetic diversity, and hence evolutionary potential; although the genetic diversity distinction between threatened categories was less evident. Thus, by supplementing conventional conservation assessments with genetic data, new insights into the biological robustness of IUCN Red List assessments for targeted conservation initiatives can be achieved. Keywords: Conservation assessment, Conservation genetics, Extinction risk, Genetic diversity, IUCN Red List, Range

  19. Pairwise structure alignment specifically tuned for surface pockets and interaction interfaces

    KAUST Repository

    Cui, Xuefeng

    2015-09-09

    To detect and evaluate the similarities between the three-dimensional (3D) structures of two molecules, various kinds of methods have been proposed for the pairwise structure alignment problem [6, 9, 7, 11]. The problem plays important roles when studying the function and the evolution of biological molecules. Recently, pairwise structure alignment methods have been extended and applied on surface pocket structures [10, 3, 5] and interaction interface structures [8, 4]. The results show that, even when there are no global similarities discovered between the global sequences and the global structures, biological molecules or complexes could share similar functions because of well conserved pockets and interfaces. Thus, pairwise pocket and interface structure alignments are promising to unveil such shared functions that cannot be discovered by the well-studied global sequence and global structure alignments. State-of-the-art methods for pairwise pocket and interface structure alignments [4, 5] are direct extensions of the classic pairwise protein structure alignment methods, and thus such methods share a few limitations. First, the goal of the classic protein structure alignment methods is to align single-chain protein structures (i.e., a single fragment of residues connected by peptide bonds). However, we observed that pockets and interfaces tend to consist of tens of extremely short backbone fragments (i.e., three or fewer residues connected by peptide bonds). Thus, existing pocket and interface alignment methods based on the protein structure alignment methods still rely on the existence of long-enough backbone fragments, and the fragmentation issue of pockets and interfaces rises the risk of missing the optimal alignments. Moreover, existing interface structure alignment methods focus on protein-protein interfaces, and require a "blackbox preprocessing" before aligning protein-DNA and protein-RNA interfaces. Therefore, we introduce the PROtein STucture Alignment

  20. Identifying designatable units for intraspecific conservation prioritization: a hierarchical approach applied to the lake whitefish species complex (Coregonus spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mee, Jonathan A; Bernatchez, Louis; Reist, Jim D; Rogers, Sean M; Taylor, Eric B

    2015-06-01

    The concept of the designatable unit (DU) affords a practical approach to identifying diversity below the species level for conservation prioritization. However, its suitability for defining conservation units in ecologically diverse, geographically widespread and taxonomically challenging species complexes has not been broadly evaluated. The lake whitefish species complex (Coregonus spp.) is geographically widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, and it contains a great deal of variability in ecology and evolutionary legacy within and among populations, as well as a great deal of taxonomic ambiguity. Here, we employ a set of hierarchical criteria to identify DUs within the Canadian distribution of the lake whitefish species complex. We identified 36 DUs based on (i) reproductive isolation, (ii) phylogeographic groupings, (iii) local adaptation and (iv) biogeographic regions. The identification of DUs is required for clear discussion regarding the conservation prioritization of lake whitefish populations. We suggest conservation priorities among lake whitefish DUs based on biological consequences of extinction, risk of extinction and distinctiveness. Our results exemplify the need for extensive genetic and biogeographic analyses for any species with broad geographic distributions and the need for detailed evaluation of evolutionary history and adaptive ecological divergence when defining intraspecific conservation units.

  1. An evolutionary framework for the Jovian and Saturnian satellites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stevenson, R.J.

    1987-01-01

    The position of the satellite within the protonebula, the influence of the parent planet, particularly the relative effects of tidal (gravitational) as opposed to radiogenic (internal) heat generating processes, as well as the type of ice, exert a control on the evolutionary histories of the Jovian and Saturnian satellites. The landscapes of the moons are modified by surface deformational processes (tectonic activity derived from within the body) and externally derived cratering. The geological history of the Galilean satellites is deduced from surface stratigraphic successions of geological units. Io and Europa, with crater-free surfaces, are tectonically more advanced than crater-saturated Callisto. Two thermal-drive models are proposed based on: an expression for externally derived gravitational influences between two bodies; and internal heat generation via radiogenic decay (expressed by surface area/volume ratio). Both parameters, for the Galilean satellites, are plotted against an inferred product of tectonic processes - the age of the surface terrain. From these diagrams, the tectonic evolutionary state of the more distant Saturnian system are predicted. These moons are fitted into an evolutionary framework for the Solar System. 34 refs.; 4 figs.; 2 tabs

  2. Oxygen-promoted catalyst sintering influences number density, alignment, and wall number of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Wenbo; Li, Jinjing; Polsen, Erik S; Oliver, C Ryan; Zhao, Yikun; Meshot, Eric R; Barclay, Michael; Fairbrother, D Howard; Hart, A John; Plata, Desiree L

    2017-04-20

    A lack of synthetic control and reproducibility during vertically aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) synthesis has stifled many promising applications of organic nanomaterials. Oxygen-containing species are particularly precarious in that they have both beneficial and deleterious effects and are notoriously difficult to control. Here, we demonstrated diatomic oxygen's ability, independent of water, to tune oxide-supported catalyst thin film dewetting and influence nanoscale (diameter and wall number) and macro-scale (alignment and density) properties for as-grown vertically aligned CNTs. In particular, single- or few-walled CNT forests were achieved at very low oxygen loading, with single-to-multi-walled CNT diameters ranging from 4.8 ± 1.3 nm to 6.4 ± 1.1 nm over 0-800 ppm O 2 , and an expected variation in alignment, where both were related to the annealed catalyst morphology. Morphological differences were not the result of subsurface diffusion, but instead occurred via Ostwald ripening under several hundred ppm O 2 , and this effect was mitigated by high H 2 concentrations and not due to water vapor (as confirmed in O 2 -free water addition experiments), supporting the importance of O 2 specifically. Further characterization of the interface between the Fe catalyst and Al 2 O 3 support revealed that either oxygen-deficit metal oxide or oxygen-adsorption on metals could be functional mechanisms for the observed catalyst nanoparticle evolution. Taken as a whole, our results suggest that the impacts of O 2 and H 2 on the catalyst evolution have been underappreciated and underleveraged in CNT synthesis, and these could present a route toward facile manipulation of CNT forest morphology through control of the reactive gaseous atmosphere alone.

  3. MUON DETECTORS: ALIGNMENT

    CERN Multimedia

    G. Gomez and J. Pivarski

    2011-01-01

    Alignment efforts in the first few months of 2011 have shifted away from providing alignment constants (now a well established procedure) and focussed on some critical remaining issues. The single most important task left was to understand the systematic differences observed between the track-based (TB) and hardware-based (HW) barrel alignments: a systematic difference in r-φ and in z, which grew as a function of z, and which amounted to ~4-5 mm differences going from one end of the barrel to the other. This difference is now understood to be caused by the tracker alignment. The systematic differences disappear when the track-based barrel alignment is performed using the new “twist-free” tracker alignment. This removes the largest remaining source of systematic uncertainty. Since the barrel alignment is based on hardware, it does not suffer from the tracker twist. However, untwisting the tracker causes endcap disks (which are aligned ...

  4. MUON DETECTORS: ALIGNMENT

    CERN Multimedia

    Gervasio Gomez

    The main progress of the muon alignment group since March has been in the refinement of both the track-based alignment for the DTs and the hardware-based alignment for the CSCs. For DT track-based alignment, there has been significant improvement in the internal alignment of the superlayers inside the DTs. In particular, the distance between superlayers is now corrected, eliminating the residual dependence on track impact angles, and good agreement is found between survey and track-based corrections. The new internal geometry has been approved to be included in the forthcoming reprocessing of CRAFT samples. The alignment of DTs with respect to the tracker using global tracks has also improved significantly, since the algorithms use the latest B-field mapping, better run selection criteria, optimized momentum cuts, and an alignment is now obtained for all six degrees of freedom (three spatial coordinates and three rotations) of the aligned DTs. This work is ongoing and at a stage where we are trying to unders...

  5. Evolutionary paths of streptococcal and staphylococcal superantigens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Okumura Kayo

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS harbors several superantigens (SAgs in the prophage region of its genome, although speG and smez are not located in this region. The diversity of SAgs is thought to arise during horizontal transfer, but their evolutionary pathways have not yet been determined. We recently completed sequencing the entire genome of S. dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis (SDSE, the closest relative of GAS. Although speG is the only SAg gene of SDSE, speG was present in only 50% of clinical SDSE strains and smez in none. In this study, we analyzed the evolutionary paths of streptococcal and staphylococcal SAgs. Results We compared the sequences of the 12–60 kb speG regions of nine SDSE strains, five speG+ and four speG–. We found that the synteny of this region was highly conserved, whether or not the speG gene was present. Synteny analyses based on genome-wide comparisons of GAS and SDSE indicated that speG is the direct descendant of a common ancestor of streptococcal SAgs, whereas smez was deleted from SDSE after SDSE and GAS split from a common ancestor. Cumulative nucleotide skew analysis of SDSE genomes suggested that speG was located outside segments of steeper slopes than the stable region in the genome, whereas the region flanking smez was unstable, as expected from the results of GAS. We also detected a previously undescribed staphylococcal SAg gene, selW, and a staphylococcal SAg -like gene, ssl, in the core genomes of all Staphylococcus aureus strains sequenced. Amino acid substitution analyses, based on dN/dS window analysis of the products encoded by speG, selW and ssl suggested that all three genes have been subjected to strong positive selection. Evolutionary analysis based on the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method showed that each clade included at least one direct descendant. Conclusions Our findings reveal a plausible model for the comprehensive evolutionary pathway of streptococcal and

  6. Constraints of a parity-conserving/time-reversal-non-conserving interaction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oers, Willem T.H. van

    2002-01-01

    Time-Reversal-Invariance non-conservation has for the first time been unequivocally demonstrated in a direct measurement at CPLEAR. One then can ask the question: What about tests of time-reversal-invariance in systems other than the kaon system? Tests of time-reversal-invariance can be distinguished as belonging to two classes: the first one deals with time-reversal-invariance-non-conserving (T-odd)/parity violating (P-odd) interactions, while the second one deals with T-odd/P-even interactions (assuming CPT conservation this implies C-conjugation non-conservation). Limits on a T-odd/P-odd interaction follow from measurements of the electric dipole moment of the neutron ( -26 e.cm [95% C.L.]). It provides a limit on a T-odd/P-odd pion-nucleon coupling constant which is less than 10 -4 times the weak interaction strength. Experimental limits on a T-odd/P-even interaction are much less stringent. Following the standard approach of describing the nucleon-nucleon interaction in terms of meson exchanges, it can be shown that only charged ρ-meson exchange and A 1 -meson exchange can lead to a T-odd/P-even interaction. The better constraints stem from measurements of the electric dipole moment of the neutron and from measurements of charge-symmetry breaking in neutron-proton elastic scattering. The latter experiments were executed at TRIUMF (497 and 347 MeV) and at IUCF (183 MeV). All other experiments, like detailed balance experiments, polarization - analyzing power difference determinations, and five-fold correlation experiments with polarized incident nucleons and aligned nuclear targets, have been shown to be at least an order to magnitude less sensitive. Is there room for further experimentation?

  7. Evolutionary conservation of the lipopolysaccharide binding site of β₂-glycoprotein I

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ağar, Çetin; de Groot, Philip G.; Marquart, J. Arnoud; Meijers, Joost C. M.

    2011-01-01

    β₂-Glycoprotein I (β₂GPI) is a highly abundant plasma protein and the major antigen for autoantibodies in the antiphospholipid syndrome. Recently, we have described a novel function of β₂GPI as scavenger of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). With this in mind we investigated the conservation of β₂GPI in

  8. Achieving open access to conservation science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Richard A; Lee, Jasmine R; Watson, James E M

    2014-12-01

    Conservation science is a crisis discipline in which the results of scientific enquiry must be made available quickly to those implementing management. We assessed the extent to which scientific research published since the year 2000 in 20 conservation science journals is publicly available. Of the 19,207 papers published, 1,667 (8.68%) are freely downloadable from an official repository. Moreover, only 938 papers (4.88%) meet the standard definition of open access in which material can be freely reused providing attribution to the authors is given. This compares poorly with a comparable set of 20 evolutionary biology journals, where 31.93% of papers are freely downloadable and 7.49% are open access. Seventeen of the 20 conservation journals offer an open access option, but fewer than 5% of the papers are available through open access. The cost of accessing the full body of conservation science runs into tens of thousands of dollars per year for institutional subscribers, and many conservation practitioners cannot access pay-per-view science through their workplace. However, important initiatives such as Research4Life are making science available to organizations in developing countries. We urge authors of conservation science to pay for open access on a per-article basis or to choose publication in open access journals, taking care to ensure the license allows reuse for any purpose providing attribution is given. Currently, it would cost $51 million to make all conservation science published since 2000 freely available by paying the open access fees currently levied to authors. Publishers of conservation journals might consider more cost effective models for open access and conservation-oriented organizations running journals could consider a broader range of options for open access to nonmembers such as sponsorship of open access via membership fees. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the Society for

  9. Polymorphic Evolutionary Games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Michael A

    2016-06-07

    In this paper, I present an analytical framework for polymorphic evolutionary games suitable for explicitly modeling evolutionary processes in diploid populations with sexual reproduction. The principal aspect of the proposed approach is adding diploid genetics cum sexual recombination to a traditional evolutionary game, and switching from phenotypes to haplotypes as the new game׳s pure strategies. Here, the relevant pure strategy׳s payoffs derived by summing the payoffs of all the phenotypes capable of producing gametes containing that particular haplotype weighted by the pertinent probabilities. The resulting game is structurally identical to the familiar Evolutionary Games with non-linear pure strategy payoffs (Hofbauer and Sigmund, 1998. Cambridge University Press), and can be analyzed in terms of an established analytical framework for such games. And these results can be translated into the terms of genotypic, and whence, phenotypic evolutionary stability pertinent to the original game. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Understanding the mind from an evolutionary perspective: an overview of evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackelford, Todd K; Liddle, James R

    2014-05-01

    The theory of evolution by natural selection provides the only scientific explanation for the existence of complex adaptations. The design features of the brain, like any organ, are the result of selection pressures operating over deep time. Evolutionary psychology posits that the human brain comprises a multitude of evolved psychological mechanisms, adaptations to specific and recurrent problems of survival and reproduction faced over human evolutionary history. Although some mistakenly view evolutionary psychology as promoting genetic determinism, evolutionary psychologists appreciate and emphasize the interactions between genes and environments. This approach to psychology has led to a richer understanding of a variety of psychological phenomena, and has provided a powerful foundation for generating novel hypotheses. Critics argue that evolutionary psychologists resort to storytelling, but as with any branch of science, empirical testing is a vital component of the field, with hypotheses standing or falling with the weight of the evidence. Evolutionary psychology is uniquely suited to provide a unifying theoretical framework for the disparate subdisciplines of psychology. An evolutionary perspective has provided insights into several subdisciplines of psychology, while simultaneously demonstrating the arbitrary nature of dividing psychological science into such subdisciplines. Evolutionary psychologists have amassed a substantial empirical and theoretical literature, but as a relatively new approach to psychology, many questions remain, with several promising directions for future research. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  11. ATGC database and ATGC-COGs: an updated resource for micro- and macro-evolutionary studies of prokaryotic genomes and protein family annotation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, David M; Wolf, Yuri I; Koonin, Eugene V

    2017-01-04

    The Alignable Tight Genomic Clusters (ATGCs) database is a collection of closely related bacterial and archaeal genomes that provides several tools to aid research into evolutionary processes in the microbial world. Each ATGC is a taxonomy-independent cluster of 2 or more completely sequenced genomes that meet the objective criteria of a high degree of local gene order (synteny) and a small number of synonymous substitutions in the protein-coding genes. As such, each ATGC is suited for analysis of microevolutionary variations within a cohesive group of organisms (e.g. species), whereas the entire collection of ATGCs is useful for macroevolutionary studies. The ATGC database includes many forms of pre-computed data, in particular ATGC-COGs (Clusters of Orthologous Genes), multiple sequence alignments, a set of 'index' orthologs representing the most well-conserved members of each ATGC-COG, the phylogenetic tree of the organisms within each ATGC, etc. Although the ATGC database contains several million proteins from thousands of genomes organized into hundreds of clusters (roughly a 4-fold increase since the last version of the ATGC database), it is now built with completely automated methods and will be regularly updated following new releases of the NCBI RefSeq database. The ATGC database is hosted jointly at the University of Iowa at dmk-brain.ecn.uiowa.edu/ATGC/ and the NCBI at ftp.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pub/kristensen/ATGC/atgc_home.html. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research 2016. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  12. Refinement procedure for the image alignment in high-resolution electron tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houben, L; Bar Sadan, M

    2011-01-01

    High-resolution electron tomography from a tilt series of transmission electron microscopy images requires an accurate image alignment procedure in order to maximise the resolution of the tomogram. This is the case in particular for ultra-high resolution where even very small misalignments between individual images can dramatically reduce the fidelity of the resultant reconstruction. A tomographic-reconstruction based and marker-free method is proposed, which uses an iterative optimisation of the tomogram resolution. The method utilises a search algorithm that maximises the contrast in tomogram sub-volumes. Unlike conventional cross-correlation analysis it provides the required correlation over a large tilt angle separation and guarantees a consistent alignment of images for the full range of object tilt angles. An assessment based on experimental reconstructions shows that the marker-free procedure is competitive to the reference of marker-based procedures at lower resolution and yields sub-pixel accuracy even for simulated high-resolution data. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Delineating slowly and rapidly evolving fractions of the Drosophila genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith, Jonathan M; Adams, Peter; Stephen, Stuart; Mattick, John S

    2008-05-01

    Evolutionary conservation is an important indicator of function and a major component of bioinformatic methods to identify non-protein-coding genes. We present a new Bayesian method for segmenting pairwise alignments of eukaryotic genomes while simultaneously classifying segments into slowly and rapidly evolving fractions. We also describe an information criterion similar to the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) for determining the number of classes. Working with pairwise alignments enables detection of differences in conservation patterns among closely related species. We analyzed three whole-genome and three partial-genome pairwise alignments among eight Drosophila species. Three distinct classes of conservation level were detected. Sequences comprising the most slowly evolving component were consistent across a range of species pairs, and constituted approximately 62-66% of the D. melanogaster genome. Almost all (>90%) of the aligned protein-coding sequence is in this fraction, suggesting much of it (comprising the majority of the Drosophila genome, including approximately 56% of non-protein-coding sequences) is functional. The size and content of the most rapidly evolving component was species dependent, and varied from 1.6% to 4.8%. This fraction is also enriched for protein-coding sequence (while containing significant amounts of non-protein-coding sequence), suggesting it is under positive selection. We also classified segments according to conservation and GC content simultaneously. This analysis identified numerous sub-classes of those identified on the basis of conservation alone, but was nevertheless consistent with that classification. Software, data, and results available at www.maths.qut.edu.au/-keithj/. Genomic segments comprising the conservation classes available in BED format.

  14. MUON DETECTORS: ALIGNMENT

    CERN Multimedia

    G. Gomez

    Since December, the muon alignment community has focused on analyzing the data recorded so far in order to produce new DT and CSC Alignment Records for the second reprocessing of CRAFT data. Two independent algorithms were developed which align the DT chambers using global tracks, thus providing, for the first time, a relative alignment of the barrel with respect to the tracker. These results are an important ingredient for the second CRAFT reprocessing and allow, for example, a more detailed study of any possible mis-modelling of the magnetic field in the muon spectrometer. Both algorithms are constructed in such a way that the resulting alignment constants are not affected, to first order, by any such mis-modelling. The CSC chambers have not yet been included in this global track-based alignment due to a lack of statistics, since only a few cosmics go through the tracker and the CSCs. A strategy exists to align the CSCs using the barrel as a reference until collision tracks become available. Aligning the ...

  15. MUON DETECTORS: ALIGNMENT

    CERN Multimedia

    G.Gomez

    2011-01-01

    The Muon Alignment work now focuses on producing a new track-based alignment with higher track statistics, making systematic studies between the results of the hardware and track-based alignment methods and aligning the barrel using standalone muon tracks. Currently, the muon track reconstruction software uses a hardware-based alignment in the barrel (DT) and a track-based alignment in the endcaps (CSC). An important task is to assess the muon momentum resolution that can be achieved using the current muon alignment, especially for highly energetic muons. For this purpose, cosmic ray muons are used, since the rate of high-energy muons from collisions is very low and the event statistics are still limited. Cosmics have the advantage of higher statistics in the pT region above 100 GeV/c, but they have the disadvantage of having a mostly vertical topology, resulting in a very few global endcap muons. Only the barrel alignment has therefore been tested so far. Cosmic muons traversing CMS from top to bottom are s...

  16. Incorporating phylogenetic information for the definition of floristic districts in hyperdiverse Amazon forests: Implications for conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Guevara Andino, Juan Ernesto; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; ter Steege, Hans; Mogollón, Hugo; Ceron, Carlos; Palacios, Walter; Oleas, Nora; Fine, Paul V. A.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Using complementary metrics to evaluate phylogenetic diversity can facilitate the delimitation of floristic units and conservation priority areas. In this study, we describe the spatial patterns of phylogenetic alpha and beta diversity, phylogenetic endemism, and evolutionary distinctiveness of the hyperdiverse Ecuador Amazon forests and define priority areas for conservation. We established a network of 62 one‐hectare plots in terra firme forests of Ecuadorian Amazon. In these plots...

  17. Conjoint Analysis of Farmers’ Response to Conservation Incentives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Conner

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Environmental degradation threatens the long term resiliency of the US food and farming system. While USDA has provided conservation incentives for the adoption of best management practices (BMPs, only a small percentage of farms have participated in such conservation programs. This study uses conjoint analysis to examine Vermont farmers’ underlying preferences and willingness-to-accept (WTA incentives for three common BMPs. Based on the results of this survey, we hypothesize that federal cost share programs’ payments are below preferred incentive levels and that less familiar and more complex BMPs require a higher payment. Our implications focus on strategies to test these hypotheses and align incentive payments and other non-monetary options to increase BMP adoption.

  18. Investigation of the two-quasiparticle bands in the doubly-odd nucleus 166Ta using a particle-number conserving cranked shell model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, ZhenHua

    2016-07-01

    The high-spin rotational properties of two-quasiparticle bands in the doubly-odd 166Ta are analyzed using the cranked shell model with pairing correlations treated by a particle-number conserving method, in which the blocking effects are taken into account exactly. The experimental moments of inertia and alignments and their variations with the rotational frequency hω are reproduced very well by the particle-number conserving calculations, which provides a reliable support to the configuration assignments in previous works for these bands. The backbendings in these two-quasiparticle bands are analyzed by the calculated occupation probabilities and the contributions of each orbital to the total angular momentum alignments. The moments of inertia and alignments for the Gallagher-Moszkowski partners of these observed two-quasiparticle rotational bands are also predicted.

  19. Inferring repeat-protein energetics from evolutionary information.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocío Espada

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Natural protein sequences contain a record of their history. A common constraint in a given protein family is the ability to fold to specific structures, and it has been shown possible to infer the main native ensemble by analyzing covariations in extant sequences. Still, many natural proteins that fold into the same structural topology show different stabilization energies, and these are often related to their physiological behavior. We propose a description for the energetic variation given by sequence modifications in repeat proteins, systems for which the overall problem is simplified by their inherent symmetry. We explicitly account for single amino acid and pair-wise interactions and treat higher order correlations with a single term. We show that the resulting evolutionary field can be interpreted with structural detail. We trace the variations in the energetic scores of natural proteins and relate them to their experimental characterization. The resulting energetic evolutionary field allows the prediction of the folding free energy change for several mutants, and can be used to generate synthetic sequences that are statistically indistinguishable from the natural counterparts.

  20. Exploiting deterministic maintenance opportunity windows created by conservative engineering design rules that result in free time locked into large high-speed coupled production lines with finite buffers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Durandt, Casper

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Conservative engineering design rules for large serial coupled production processes result in machines having locked-in free time (also called ‘critical downtime’ or ‘maintenance opportunity windows’, which cause idle time if not used. Operators are not able to assess a large production process holistically, and so may not be aware that they form the current bottleneck – or that they have free time available due to interruptions elsewhere. A real-time method is developed to accurately calculate and display free time in location and magnitude, and efficiency improvements are demonstrated in large-scale production runs.

  1. Genome-wide analysis of the phosphoinositide kinome from two ciliates reveals novel evolutionary links for phosphoinositide kinases in eukaryotic cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Leondaritis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The complexity of phosphoinositide signaling in higher eukaryotes is partly due to expansion of specific families and types of phosphoinositide kinases (PIKs that can generate all phosphoinositides via multiple routes. This is particularly evident in the PI3Ks and PIPKs, and it is considered an evolutionary trait associated with metazoan diversification. Yet, there are limited comprehensive studies on the PIK repertoire of free living unicellular organisms. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We undertook a genome-wide analysis of putative PIK genes in two free living ciliated cells, Tetrahymena and Paramecium. The Tetrahymena thermophila and Paramecium tetraurelia genomes were probed with representative kinases from all families and types. Putative homologs were verified by EST, microarray and deep RNA sequencing database searches and further characterized for domain structure, catalytic efficiency, expression patterns and phylogenetic relationships. In total, we identified and characterized 22 genes in the Tetrahymena thermophila genome and 62 highly homologues genes in Paramecium tetraurelia suggesting a tight evolutionary conservation in the ciliate lineage. Comparison to the kinome of fungi reveals a significant expansion of PIK genes in ciliates. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study highlights four important aspects concerning ciliate and other unicellular PIKs. First, ciliate-specific expansion of PI4KIII-like genes. Second, presence of class I PI3Ks which, at least in Tetrahymena, are associated with a metazoan-type machinery for PIP3 signaling. Third, expansion of divergent PIPK enzymes such as the recently described type IV transmembrane PIPKs. Fourth, presence of possible type II PIPKs and presumably inactive PIKs (hence, pseudo-PIKs not previously described. Taken together, our results provide a solid framework for future investigation of the roles of PIKs in ciliates and indicate that novel functions and novel regulatory

  2. Deformation effect in the fast neutron total cross section of aligned /sup 59/Co

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fasoli, U.; Pavan, P.; Toniolo, D.; Zago, G.; Zannoni, R.; Galeazzi, G.

    1982-07-19

    The variation of the total neutron cross section, ..delta.. sigma/sub align/, on /sup 59/Co due to nuclear alignment of the target in the beam direction, has been measured over the energy range from 0.8 to 20 MeV, employing a cobalt single-crystal with a 34% nuclear alignment degree. The results show that ..delta.. sigma/sub align/ oscillates from a minimum of -5% at about 2.5 MeV to a maximum of +1% at about 10 MeV. The data were successfully fitted by optical model coupled-channel calculations. The coupling terms were deduced from a model representing the /sup 59/Co nucleus as a virbrational /sup 60/Ni core coupled to a proton-hole in a (lf 7/2) shell, without free parameters. The optical model parameters were determined by fitting the total cross-section independently measured. The theoretical calculations show that, at lower energies, ..delta.. sigma/sub align/ depends appreciably on the coupling with the low-lying levels.

  3. [Evolutionary medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wjst, M

    2013-12-01

    Evolutionary medicine allows new insights into long standing medical problems. Are we "really stoneagers on the fast lane"? This insight might have enormous consequences and will allow new answers that could never been provided by traditional anthropology. Only now this is made possible using data from molecular medicine and systems biology. Thereby evolutionary medicine takes a leap from a merely theoretical discipline to practical fields - reproductive, nutritional and preventive medicine, as well as microbiology, immunology and psychiatry. Evolutionary medicine is not another "just so story" but a serious candidate for the medical curriculum providing a universal understanding of health and disease based on our biological origin. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  4. Core principles of evolutionary medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunspan, Daniel Z; Nesse, Randolph M; Barnes, M Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background and objectives Evolutionary medicine is a rapidly growing field that uses the principles of evolutionary biology to better understand, prevent and treat disease, and that uses studies of disease to advance basic knowledge in evolutionary biology. Over-arching principles of evolutionary medicine have been described in publications, but our study is the first to systematically elicit core principles from a diverse panel of experts in evolutionary medicine. These principles should be useful to advance recent recommendations made by The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to make evolutionary thinking a core competency for pre-medical education. Methodology The Delphi method was used to elicit and validate a list of core principles for evolutionary medicine. The study included four surveys administered in sequence to 56 expert panelists. The initial open-ended survey created a list of possible core principles; the three subsequent surveys winnowed the list and assessed the accuracy and importance of each principle. Results Fourteen core principles elicited at least 80% of the panelists to agree or strongly agree that they were important core principles for evolutionary medicine. These principles over-lapped with concepts discussed in other articles discussing key concepts in evolutionary medicine. Conclusions and implications This set of core principles will be helpful for researchers and instructors in evolutionary medicine. We recommend that evolutionary medicine instructors use the list of core principles to construct learning goals. Evolutionary medicine is a young field, so this list of core principles will likely change as the field develops further. PMID:29493660

  5. Evolutionary history of LINE-1 in the major clades of placental mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul D Waters

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available LINE-1 constitutes an important component of mammalian genomes. It has a dynamic evolutionary history characterized by the rise, fall and replacement of subfamilies. Most data concerning LINE-1 biology and evolution are derived from the human and mouse genomes and are often assumed to hold for all placentals.To examine LINE-1 relationships, sequences from the 3' region of the reverse transcriptase from 21 species (representing 13 orders across Afrotheria, Xenarthra, Supraprimates and Laurasiatheria were obtained from whole genome sequence assemblies, or by PCR with degenerate primers. These sequences were aligned and analysed.Our analysis reflects accepted placental relationships suggesting mostly lineage-specific LINE-1 families. The data provide clear support for several clades including Glires, Supraprimates, Laurasiatheria, Boreoeutheria, Xenarthra and Afrotheria. Within the afrotherian LINE-1 (AfroLINE clade, our tree supports Paenungulata, Afroinsectivora and Afroinsectiphillia. Xenarthran LINE-1 (XenaLINE falls sister to AfroLINE, providing some support for the Atlantogenata (Xenarthra+Afrotheria hypothesis.LINEs and SINEs make up approximately half of all placental genomes, so understanding their dynamics is an essential aspect of comparative genomics. Importantly, a tree of LINE-1 offers a different view of the root, as long edges (branches such as that to marsupials are shortened and/or broken up. Additionally, a robust phylogeny of diverse LINE-1 is essential in testing that site-specific LINE-1 insertions, often regarded as homoplasy-free phylogenetic markers, are indeed unique and not convergent.

  6. Alignment-Annotator web server: rendering and annotating sequence alignments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gille, Christoph; Fähling, Michael; Weyand, Birgit; Wieland, Thomas; Gille, Andreas

    2014-07-01

    Alignment-Annotator is a novel web service designed to generate interactive views of annotated nucleotide and amino acid sequence alignments (i) de novo and (ii) embedded in other software. All computations are performed at server side. Interactivity is implemented in HTML5, a language native to web browsers. The alignment is initially displayed using default settings and can be modified with the graphical user interfaces. For example, individual sequences can be reordered or deleted using drag and drop, amino acid color code schemes can be applied and annotations can be added. Annotations can be made manually or imported (BioDAS servers, the UniProt, the Catalytic Site Atlas and the PDB). Some edits take immediate effect while others require server interaction and may take a few seconds to execute. The final alignment document can be downloaded as a zip-archive containing the HTML files. Because of the use of HTML the resulting interactive alignment can be viewed on any platform including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android and iOS in any standard web browser. Importantly, no plugins nor Java are required and therefore Alignment-Anotator represents the first interactive browser-based alignment visualization. http://www.bioinformatics.org/strap/aa/ and http://strap.charite.de/aa/. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  7. Metazoan Remaining Genes for Essential Amino Acid Biosynthesis: Sequence Conservation and Evolutionary Analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor R. Costa

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Essential amino acids (EAA consist of a group of nine amino acids that animals are unable to synthesize via de novo pathways. Recently, it has been found that most metazoans lack the same set of enzymes responsible for the de novo EAA biosynthesis. Here we investigate the sequence conservation and evolution of all the metazoan remaining genes for EAA pathways. Initially, the set of all 49 enzymes responsible for the EAA de novo biosynthesis in yeast was retrieved. These enzymes were used as BLAST queries to search for similar sequences in a database containing 10 complete metazoan genomes. Eight enzymes typically attributed to EAA pathways were found to be ubiquitous in metazoan genomes, suggesting a conserved functional role. In this study, we address the question of how these genes evolved after losing their pathway partners. To do this, we compared metazoan genes with their fungal and plant orthologs. Using phylogenetic analysis with maximum likelihood, we found that acetolactate synthase (ALS and betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase (BHMT diverged from the expected Tree of Life (ToL relationships. High sequence conservation in the paraphyletic group Plant-Fungi was identified for these two genes using a newly developed Python algorithm. Selective pressure analysis of ALS and BHMT protein sequences showed higher non-synonymous mutation ratios in comparisons between metazoans/fungi and metazoans/plants, supporting the hypothesis that these two genes have undergone non-ToL evolution in animals.

  8. Evolutionary Relationship and Structural Characterization of the EPF/EPFL Gene Family

    OpenAIRE

    Takata, Naoki; Yokota, Kiyonobu; Ohki, Shinya; Mori, Masashi; Taniguchi, Toru; Kurita, Manabu

    2013-01-01

    EPF1-EPF2 and EPFL9/Stomagen act antagonistically in regulating leaf stomatal density. The aim of this study was to elucidate the evolutionary functional divergence of EPF/EPFL family genes. Phylogenetic analyses showed that AtEPFL9/Stomagen-like genes are conserved only in vascular plants and are closely related to AtEPF1/EPF2-like genes. Modeling showed that EPF/EPFL peptides share a common 3D structure that is constituted of a scaffold and loop. Molecular dynamics simulation suggested that...

  9. A mass-conserving multiphase lattice Boltzmann model for simulation of multiphase flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Xiao-Dong; Li, You; Ma, Yi-Ren; Chen, Mu-Feng; Li, Xiang; Li, Qiao-Zhong

    2018-01-01

    In this study, a mass-conserving multiphase lattice Boltzmann (LB) model is proposed for simulating the multiphase flows. The proposed model developed in the present study is to improve the model of Shao et al. ["Free-energy-based lattice Boltzmann model for simulation of multiphase flows with density contrast," Phys. Rev. E 89, 033309 (2014)] by introducing a mass correction term in the lattice Boltzmann model for the interface. The model of Shao et al. [(the improved Zheng-Shu-Chew (Z-S-C model)] correctly considers the effect of the local density variation in momentum equation and has an obvious improvement over the Zheng-Shu-Chew (Z-S-C) model ["A lattice Boltzmann model for multiphase flows with large density ratio," J. Comput. Phys. 218(1), 353-371 (2006)] in terms of solution accuracy. However, due to the physical diffusion and numerical dissipation, the total mass of each fluid phase cannot be conserved correctly. To solve this problem, a mass correction term, which is similar to the one proposed by Wang et al. ["A mass-conserved diffuse interface method and its application for incompressible multiphase flows with large density ratio," J. Comput. Phys. 290, 336-351 (2015)], is introduced into the lattice Boltzmann equation for the interface to compensate the mass losses or offset the mass increase. Meanwhile, to implement the wetting boundary condition and the contact angle, a geometric formulation and a local force are incorporated into the present mass-conserving LB model. The proposed model is validated by verifying the Laplace law, simulating both one and two aligned droplets splashing onto a liquid film, droplets standing on an ideal wall, droplets with different wettability splashing onto smooth wax, and bubbles rising under buoyancy. Numerical results show that the proposed model can correctly simulate multiphase flows. It was found that the mass is well-conserved in all cases considered by the model developed in the present study. The developed

  10. Applying evolutionary anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Applying Evolutionary Anthropology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. PMID:25684561

  12. Evolutionary and mechanistic drivers of laterality: A review and new synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiper, Mallory L

    2017-11-01

    Laterality, best understood as asymmetries of bilateral structures or biases in behaviour, has been demonstrated in species from all major vertebrate classes, and in many invertebrates, showing a large degree of evolutionary conservation across vertebrate groups. Despite the establishment of this phenomenon in so many species, however, the evolutionary and mechanistic study of laterality is uneven with numerous areas in this field requiring greater attention. Here, I present a partial review of how far the study of laterality has come, outlining previous pioneering work, I discuss the hypothesized costs and benefits of a lateralized brain and the suggested path of the evolution of laterality for populations and individuals. I propose an expansion of laterality research into areas that have been touched upon in the past but require stronger evidence from which the field will greatly benefit. Namely, I suggest a continuation of the phylogenetic approach to investigating laterality to better understand its evolutionary path; and a further focus on mechanistic drivers, with special attention to genetic and environmental effects. Putting together the puzzle of laterality using as many pieces as possible will provide a stronger understanding of this field, allowing us to continue to expand the field in novel ways.

  13. Helminths and Cancers From the Evolutionary Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholte, Larissa L S; Pascoal-Xavier, Marcelo A; Nahum, Laila A

    2018-01-01

    Helminths include free-living and parasitic Platyhelminthes and Nematoda which infect millions of people worldwide. Some Platyhelminthes species of blood flukes ( Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma japonicum , and Schistosoma mansoni ) and liver flukes ( Clonorchis sinensis and Opisthorchis viverrini ) are known to be involved in human cancers. Other helminths are likely to be carcinogenic. Our main goals are to summarize the current knowledge of human cancers caused by Platyhelminthes, point out some helminth and human biomarkers identified so far, and highlight the potential contributions of phylogenetics and molecular evolution to cancer research. Human cancers caused by helminth infection include cholangiocarcinoma, colorectal hepatocellular carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and urinary bladder cancer. Chronic inflammation is proposed as a common pathway for cancer initiation and development. Furthermore, different bacteria present in gastric, colorectal, and urogenital microbiomes might be responsible for enlarging inflammatory and fibrotic responses in cancers. Studies have suggested that different biomarkers are involved in helminth infection and human cancer development; although, the detailed mechanisms remain under debate. Different helminth proteins have been studied by different approaches. However, their evolutionary relationships remain unsolved. Here, we illustrate the strengths of homology identification and function prediction of uncharacterized proteins from genome sequencing projects based on an evolutionary framework. Together, these approaches may help identifying new biomarkers for disease diagnostics and intervention measures. This work has potential applications in the field of phylomedicine (evolutionary medicine) and may contribute to parasite and cancer research.

  14. Helminths and Cancers From the Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larissa L. S. Scholte

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Helminths include free-living and parasitic Platyhelminthes and Nematoda which infect millions of people worldwide. Some Platyhelminthes species of blood flukes (Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma japonicum, and Schistosoma mansoni and liver flukes (Clonorchis sinensis and Opisthorchis viverrini are known to be involved in human cancers. Other helminths are likely to be carcinogenic. Our main goals are to summarize the current knowledge of human cancers caused by Platyhelminthes, point out some helminth and human biomarkers identified so far, and highlight the potential contributions of phylogenetics and molecular evolution to cancer research. Human cancers caused by helminth infection include cholangiocarcinoma, colorectal hepatocellular carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and urinary bladder cancer. Chronic inflammation is proposed as a common pathway for cancer initiation and development. Furthermore, different bacteria present in gastric, colorectal, and urogenital microbiomes might be responsible for enlarging inflammatory and fibrotic responses in cancers. Studies have suggested that different biomarkers are involved in helminth infection and human cancer development; although, the detailed mechanisms remain under debate. Different helminth proteins have been studied by different approaches. However, their evolutionary relationships remain unsolved. Here, we illustrate the strengths of homology identification and function prediction of uncharacterized proteins from genome sequencing projects based on an evolutionary framework. Together, these approaches may help identifying new biomarkers for disease diagnostics and intervention measures. This work has potential applications in the field of phylomedicine (evolutionary medicine and may contribute to parasite and cancer research.

  15. Grinding Characteristics Of Directionally Aligned SiC Whisker Wheel-Comparison With Al2O3 Fiber Wheel

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    魏源迁; 山口胜美; 菊泽贤二; 洞口严; 中根正喜

    2003-01-01

    A unique SiC whisker wheel was invented,in which the whiskers were aligned normally to the grinding wheel surface.In this paper,grindabilities of the SiC whisker wheel are investigated and compared with those of other wheels of SiC grains,Al2O3 grains,as well as Al2O3 long and short fibres which were also aligned normally to the grinding wheel surface,respectively.The main research contents concern grinding characteristics of a directionally aligned SiC whisker wheel such as material-removal volume,wheel-wear rates,integrity of the ground surfaces,grinding ratios and grinding efficiency.Furthermore,grinding wheels of whiskers and fibres have a common disadvantage:they tend to load easily.The authors have proposed a simple method of loading-free grinding to overcome this propensity and investigate some related grinding characteristics under loading-free grinding conditions.

  16. Measuring the distance between multiple sequence alignments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackburne, Benjamin P; Whelan, Simon

    2012-02-15

    Multiple sequence alignment (MSA) is a core method in bioinformatics. The accuracy of such alignments may influence the success of downstream analyses such as phylogenetic inference, protein structure prediction, and functional prediction. The importance of MSA has lead to the proliferation of MSA methods, with different objective functions and heuristics to search for the optimal MSA. Different methods of inferring MSAs produce different results in all but the most trivial cases. By measuring the differences between inferred alignments, we may be able to develop an understanding of how these differences (i) relate to the objective functions and heuristics used in MSA methods, and (ii) affect downstream analyses. We introduce four metrics to compare MSAs, which include the position in a sequence where a gap occurs or the location on a phylogenetic tree where an insertion or deletion (indel) event occurs. We use both real and synthetic data to explore the information given by these metrics and demonstrate how the different metrics in combination can yield more information about MSA methods and the differences between them. MetAl is a free software implementation of these metrics in Haskell. Source and binaries for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X are available from http://kumiho.smith.man.ac.uk/whelan/software/metal/.

  17. Positive evolutionary selection of an HD motif on Alzheimer precursor protein orthologues suggests a functional role.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miklós, István; Zádori, Zoltán

    2012-02-01

    HD amino acid duplex has been found in the active center of many different enzymes. The dyad plays remarkably different roles in their catalytic processes that usually involve metal coordination. An HD motif is positioned directly on the amyloid beta fragment (Aβ) and on the carboxy-terminal region of the extracellular domain (CAED) of the human amyloid precursor protein (APP) and a taxonomically well defined group of APP orthologues (APPOs). In human Aβ HD is part of a presumed, RGD-like integrin-binding motif RHD; however, neither RHD nor RXD demonstrates reasonable conservation in APPOs. The sequences of CAEDs and the position of the HD are not particularly conserved either, yet we show with a novel statistical method using evolutionary modeling that the presence of HD on CAEDs cannot be the result of neutral evolutionary forces (pHD motif is underrepresented in the proteomes of all species of the animal kingdom. Position migration can be explained by high probability occurrence of multiple copies of HD on intermediate sequences, from which only one is kept by selective evolutionary forces, in a similar way as in the case of the "transcription binding site turnover." CAED of all APP orthologues and homologues are predicted to bind metal ions including Amyloid-like protein 1 (APLP1) and Amyloid-like protein 2 (APLP2). Our results suggest that HDs on the CAEDs are most probably key components of metal-binding domains, which facilitate and/or regulate inter- or intra-molecular interactions in a metal ion-dependent or metal ion concentration-dependent manner. The involvement of naturally occurring mutations of HD (Tottori (D7N) and English (H6R) mutations) in early onset Alzheimer's disease gives additional support to our finding that HD has an evolutionary preserved function on APPOs.

  18. Evolutionary conservation of the polyproline II conformation surrounding intrinsically disordered phosphorylation sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elam, W Austin; Schrank, Travis P; Campagnolo, Andrew J; Hilser, Vincent J

    2013-04-01

    Intrinsically disordered (ID) proteins function in the absence of a unique stable structure and appear to challenge the classic structure-function paradigm. The extent to which ID proteins take advantage of subtle conformational biases to perform functions, and whether signals for such mechanism can be identified in proteome-wide studies is not well understood. Of particular interest is the polyproline II (PII) conformation, suggested to be highly populated in unfolded proteins. We experimentally determine a complete calorimetric propensity scale for the PII conformation. Projection of the scale into representative eukaryotic proteomes reveals significant PII bias in regions coding for ID proteins. Importantly, enrichment of PII in ID proteins, or protein segments, is also captured by other PII scales, indicating that this enrichment is robustly encoded and universally detectable regardless of the method of PII propensity determination. Gene ontology (GO) terms obtained using our PII scale and other scales demonstrate a consensus for molecular functions performed by high PII proteins across the proteome. Perhaps the most striking result of the GO analysis is conserved enrichment (P ontology reveals an enrichment of PII bias near disordered phosphorylation sites that is conserved throughout eukaryotes. Copyright © 2013 The Protein Society.

  19. Point-form electrodynamics and the construction of