WorldWideScience

Sample records for alignment-free evolutionary conservation

  1. A Fast Alignment-Free Approach for De Novo Detection of Protein Conserved Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abnousi, Armen; Broschat, Shira L.; Kalyanaraman, Ananth

    2016-01-01

    Background Identifying conserved regions in protein sequences is a fundamental operation, occurring in numerous sequence-driven analysis pipelines. It is used as a way to decode domain-rich regions within proteins, to compute protein clusters, to annotate sequence function, and to compute evolutionary relationships among protein sequences. A number of approaches exist for identifying and characterizing protein families based on their domains, and because domains represent conserved portions of a protein sequence, the primary computation involved in protein family characterization is identification of such conserved regions. However, identifying conserved regions from large collections (millions) of protein sequences presents significant challenges. Methods In this paper we present a new, alignment-free method for detecting conserved regions in protein sequences called NADDA (No-Alignment Domain Detection Algorithm). Our method exploits the abundance of exact matching short subsequences (k-mers) to quickly detect conserved regions, and the power of machine learning is used to improve the prediction accuracy of detection. We present a parallel implementation of NADDA using the MapReduce framework and show that our method is highly scalable. Results We have compared NADDA with Pfam and InterPro databases. For known domains annotated by Pfam, accuracy is 83%, sensitivity 96%, and specificity 44%. For sequences with new domains not present in the training set an average accuracy of 63% is achieved when compared to Pfam. A boost in results in comparison with InterPro demonstrates the ability of NADDA to capture conserved regions beyond those present in Pfam. We have also compared NADDA with ADDA and MKDOM2, assuming Pfam as ground-truth. On average NADDA shows comparable accuracy, more balanced sensitivity and specificity, and being alignment-free, is significantly faster. Excluding the one-time cost of training, runtimes on a single processor were 49s, 10,566s, and 456s

  2. Alignment-free phylogenetics and population genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haubold, Bernhard

    2014-05-01

    Phylogenetics and population genetics are central disciplines in evolutionary biology. Both are based on comparative data, today usually DNA sequences. These have become so plentiful that alignment-free sequence comparison is of growing importance in the race between scientists and sequencing machines. In phylogenetics, efficient distance computation is the major contribution of alignment-free methods. A distance measure should reflect the number of substitutions per site, which underlies classical alignment-based phylogeny reconstruction. Alignment-free distance measures are either based on word counts or on match lengths, and I apply examples of both approaches to simulated and real data to assess their accuracy and efficiency. While phylogeny reconstruction is based on the number of substitutions, in population genetics, the distribution of mutations along a sequence is also considered. This distribution can be explored by match lengths, thus opening the prospect of alignment-free population genomics.

  3. Evolutionary conservation of alternative splicing in chicken

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katyal, S.; Gao, Z.; Liu, R.-Z.; Godbout, R.

    2013-01-01

    Alternative splicing represents a source of great diversity for regulating protein expression and function. It has been estimated that one-third to two-thirds of mammalian genes are alternatively spliced. With the sequencing of the chicken genome and analysis of transcripts expressed in chicken tissues, we are now in a position to address evolutionary conservation of alternative splicing events in chicken and mammals. Here, we compare chicken and mammalian transcript sequences of 41 alternatively-spliced genes and 50 frequently accessed genes. Our results support a high frequency of splicing events in chicken, similar to that observed in mammals. PMID:17675855

  4. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Jelena Popovic; Milena Stevanovic

    2009-04-01

    SOX proteins constitute a large family of diverse, well-conserved transcription factors present in vertebrates and invertebrates, and also implicated in control of many developmental processes. Our objectives have been to identify Sox14 gene of goat (Capra hircus), cow (Bos taurus) and rat (Rattus norvegicus), and to perform comparative analyses and mapping of SOX14 orthologues from numerous vertebrate species. PCR based approach was used to identify Sox14 of goat, cow and rat, while nucleotide and amino acid sequence alignments and mapping were performed using information currently available in public database. Comparative sequence analysis revealed remarkable identity among Sox14 orthologues and helped us to identify highly conserved motifs that represent molecular signatures of SOX14 protein that might have structural or functional significance. Further, we determined chromosomal locations of numerous predicted group B Sox genes and their neighbouring genes using currently available genome database. In conclusion, our study has not only supported the proposed model of group B Sox genes evolution in chicken and mammals, but has also revealed that additional evolutionary events split Sox B genes into different chromosomes in some mammals. Mapping data presented in this study could help in refining the understanding of the evolution of group B Sox genes in vertebrates.

  5. Building evolutionary resilience for conserving biodiversity under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgrò, Carla M; Lowe, Andrew J; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2011-03-01

    Evolution occurs rapidly and is an ongoing process in our environments. Evolutionary principles need to be built into conservation efforts, particularly given the stressful conditions organisms are increasingly likely to experience because of climate change and ongoing habitat fragmentation. The concept of evolutionary resilience is a way of emphasizing evolutionary processes in conservation and landscape planning. From an evolutionary perspective, landscapes need to allow in situ selection and capture high levels of genetic variation essential for responding to the direct and indirect effects of climate change. We summarize ideas that need to be considered in planning for evolutionary resilience and suggest how they might be incorporated into policy and management to ensure that resilience is maintained in the face of environmental degradation.

  6. Alignment free characterization of 2D gratings

    CERN Document Server

    Madsen, Morten Hannibal; Hansen, Poul-Erik; Jørgensen, Jan Friis

    2015-01-01

    Fast characterization of 2-dimensional gratings is demonstrated using a Fourier lens optical system and a differential optimization algorithm. It is shown that both the grating specific parameters such as the basis vectors and the angle between them and the alignment of the sample, such as the rotation of the sample around the x-, y-, and z-axis, can be deduced from a single measurement. More specifically, the lattice vectors and the angle between them have been measured, while the corrections of the alignment parameters are used to improve the quality of the measurement, and hence reduce the measurement uncertainty. Alignment free characterization is demonstrated on both a 2D hexagonal grating with a period of 700 nm and a checkerboard grating with a pitch of 3000 nm. The method can also be used for both automatic alignment and in-line characterization of gratings.

  7. Strategies for measuring evolutionary conservation of RNA secondary structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Making evolutionary history count: biodiversity planning for coral reef fishes and the conservation of evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Heyden, Sophie

    2017-03-01

    Anthropogenic activities are having devastating impacts on marine systems with numerous knock-on effects on trophic functioning, species interactions and an accelerated loss of biodiversity. Establishing conservation areas can not only protect biodiversity, but also confer resilience against changes to coral reefs and their inhabitants. Planning for protection and conservation in marine systems is complex, but usually focuses on maintaining levels of biodiversity and protecting special and unique landscape features while avoiding negative impacts to socio-economic benefits. Conversely, the integration of evolutionary processes that have shaped extant species assemblages is rarely taken into account. However, it is as important to protect processes as it is to protect patterns for maintaining the evolutionary trajectories of populations and species. This review focuses on different approaches for integrating genetic analyses, such as phylogenetic diversity, phylogeography and the delineation of management units, temporal and spatial monitoring of genetic diversity and quantification of adaptive variation for protecting evolutionary resilience, into marine spatial planning, specifically for coral reef fishes. Many of these concepts are not yet readily applied to coral reef fish studies, but this synthesis highlights their potential and the importance of including historical processes into systematic biodiversity planning for conserving not only extant, but also future, biodiversity and its evolutionary potential.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  10. Ten principles from evolutionary ecology essential for effective marine conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kindsvater, Holly K; Mangel, Marc; Reynolds, John D; Dulvy, Nicholas K

    2016-04-01

    Sustainably managing marine species is crucial for the future health of the human population. Yet there are diverse perspectives concerning which species can be exploited sustainably, and how best to do so. Motivated by recent debates in the published literature over marine conservation challenges, we review ten principles connecting life-history traits, population growth rate, and density-dependent population regulation. We introduce a framework for categorizing life histories, POSE (Precocial-Opportunistic-Survivor-Episodic), which illustrates how a species' life-history traits determine a population's compensatory capacity. We show why considering the evolutionary context that has shaped life histories is crucial to sustainable management. We then review recent work that connects our framework to specific opportunities where the life-history traits of marine species can be used to improve current conservation practices.

  11. Evolutionary conservation of heavy chain protein transfer between glycosaminoglycans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Hansen, Lone; Scavenius, Carsten; Wisniewski, Hans-Georg; Kristensen, Torsten; Thøgersen, Ida B; Enghild, Jan J

    2010-04-01

    The bikunin proteins are composed of heavy chains (HCs) covalently linked to a chondroitin sulfate chain originating from Ser-10 of bikunin. Tumor necrosis factor stimulated gene-6 protein (TSG-6)/heavy chain 2 (HC2) cleaves this unique cross-link and transfers the HCs to hyaluronan and other glycosaminoglycans via a covalent HC*TSG-6 intermediate. In the present study, we have investigated if this reaction is evolutionary conserved based on the hypothesis that it is of fundamental importance. The results revealed that plasma/serum samples from mammal, bird, and reptile were able to form TSG-6 complexes suggesting the presence of proteins with the same function as the human bikunin proteins. To substantiate this, the complex forming protein from Gallus gallus (Gg) plasma was purified and identified as a Gg homolog of human HC2*bikunin. In addition, Gg pre-alpha-inhibitor and smaller amount of high molecular weight forms composed of bikunin and two HCs were purified. Like the human bikunin proteins, the purified Gg proteins were all stabilized by a protein-glycosaminoglycan-protein cross-link, i.e. the HCs were covalently attached to a chondroitin sulfate originating from bikunin. Furthermore, the complex formed between Gg HC2*bikunin and human TSG-6 appeared to be identical to that of the human proteins. Akin to human, Gg HC2 was further transferred to hyaluronan when present, and when incubated in vitro, Gg pre-alpha-inhibitor and TSG-6, failed to form the intermediate covalent complex, essential for HC transfer. Significantly, Gg HC2, analogous to human HC2, promoted complex formation between human HC3 and human TSG-6, substantiating the evolutionary conservation of these interactions. The present study demonstrates that the unique interactions between bikunin proteins, glycosaminoglycans, and TSG-6 are evolutionary conserved, emphasizing the physiological importance of the TSG-6/HC2-mediated HC-transfer reaction. In addition, the data show that the evolution of

  12. Deep evolutionary conservation of an intramolecular protein kinase activation mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingfen Han

    Full Text Available DYRK-family kinases employ an intramolecular mechanism to autophosphorylate a critical tyrosine residue in the activation loop. Once phosphorylated, DYRKs lose tyrosine kinase activity and function as serine/threonine kinases. DYRKs have been characterized in organisms from yeast to human; however, all entities belong to the Unikont supergroup, only one of five eukaryotic supergroups. To assess the evolutionary age and conservation of the DYRK intramolecular kinase-activation mechanism, we surveyed 21 genomes representing four of the five eukaryotic supergroups for the presence of DYRKs. We also analyzed the activation mechanism of the sole DYRK (class 2 DYRK present in Trypanosoma brucei (TbDYRK2, a member of the excavate supergroup and separated from Drosophila by ∼850 million years. Bioinformatics showed the DYRKs clustering into five known subfamilies, class 1, class 2, Yaks, HIPKs and Prp4s. Only class 2 DYRKs were present in all four supergroups. These diverse class 2 DYRKs also exhibited conservation of N-terminal NAPA regions located outside of the kinase domain, and were shown to have an essential role in activation loop autophosphorylation of Drosophila DmDYRK2. Class 2 TbDYRK2 required the activation loop tyrosine conserved in other DYRKs, the NAPA regions were critical for this autophosphorylation event, and the NAPA-regions of Trypanosoma and human DYRK2 complemented autophosphorylation by the kinase domain of DmDYRK2 in trans. Finally, sequential deletion analysis was used to further define the minimal region required for trans-complementation. Our analysis provides strong evidence that class 2 DYRKs were present in the primordial or root eukaryote, and suggest this subgroup may be the oldest, founding member of the DYRK family. The conservation of activation loop autophosphorylation demonstrates that kinase self-activation mechanisms are also primitive.

  13. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  14. Complete experimental toolbox for alignment-free quantum communication

    CERN Document Server

    D'Ambrosio, Vincenzo; Walborn, Stephen P; Aolita, Leandro; Slussarenko, Sergei; Marrucci, Lorenzo; Sciarrino, Fabio

    2012-01-01

    Quantum communication employs the counter-intuitive features of quantum physics to perform tasks that are im- possible in the classical world. It is crucial for testing the foundations of quantum theory and promises to rev- olutionize our information and communication technolo- gies. However, for two or more parties to execute even the simplest quantum transmission, they must establish, and maintain, a shared reference frame. This introduces a considerable overhead in communication resources, par- ticularly if the parties are in motion or rotating relative to each other. We experimentally demonstrate how to circumvent this problem with the efficient transmission of quantum information encoded in rotationally invariant states of single photons. By developing a complete toolbox for the efficient encoding and decoding of quantum infor- mation in such photonic qubits, we demonstrate the fea- sibility of alignment-free quantum key-distribution, and perform a proof-of-principle alignment-free entanglement distribut...

  15. 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.

  16. Evolutionary conservation of plant gibberellin signalling pathway components

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    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.

  17. Evolutionary Conservation of ABA Signaling for Stomatal Closure in Ferns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Shengguan; Chen, Guang; Wang, Yuanyuan; Huang, Yuqing; Marchant, Blaine; Wang, Yizhou; Yang, Qian; Dai, Fei; Hills, Adrian; Franks, Peter J; Nevo, Eviatar; Soltis, Doug; Soltis, Pamela; Sessa, Emily; Wolf, Paul G; Xue, Dawei; Zhang, Guoping; Pogson, Barry J; Blatt, Mike R; Chen, Zhong-Hua

    2017-02-23

    ABA-driven stomatal regulation reportedly evolved after the divergence of ferns, during the early evolution of seed plants approximately 360 Mya. This hypothesis is based on the observation that the stomata of certain fern species are unresponsive to ABA, but exhibit passive hydraulic control. However, ABA-induced stomatal closure was detected in some mosses and lycophytes. Here, we observed that a number of ABA signaling and membrane transporter protein families diversified over the evolutionary history of land plants. The aquatic ferns Azolla filiculoides and Salvinia cucullata have representatives of 23 families of proteins orthologous to those of Arabidopsis thaliana and all other land plant species studied. Phylogenetic analysis of the key ABA signaling proteins indicates an evolutionarily conserved stomatal response to ABA. Moreover, comparative transcriptomic analysis has identified a suite of ABA responsive genes that differentially expressed in a terrestrial fern species, Polystichum proliferum. These genes encode proteins associated with ABA biosynthesis, transport, reception, transcription, signaling, and ion and sugar transport, which fit the general ABA signaling pathway constructed from Arabidopsis thaliana and Hordeum vulgare. The retention of these key ABA-responsive genes could have had a profound effect on the adaptation of ferns to dry conditions. Furthermore, stomatal assays have shown the primary evidence for ABA-induced closure of stomata in two terrestrial fern species P. proliferum and Nephrolepis exaltata. In summary, we report new molecular and physiological evidence for the presence of active stomatal control in ferns.

  18. 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.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 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...

  2. Evolutionary conservation of sequence elements controlling cytoplasmic polyadenylylation.

    OpenAIRE

    1996-01-01

    Cytoplasmic polyadenylylation is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism involved in the translational activation of a set of maternal messenger RNAs (mRNAs) during early development. In this report, we show by interspecies injections that Xenopus and mouse use the same regulatory sequences to control cytoplasmic poly(A) addition during meiotic maturation. Similarly, Xenopus and Drosophila embryos exploit functionally conserved signals to regulate polyadenylylation during early post-fertilizati...

  3. Evolutionary conservation of sequence elements controlling cytoplasmic polyadenylylation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verrotti, A C; Thompson, S R; Wreden, C; Strickland, S; Wickens, M

    1996-08-20

    Cytoplasmic polyadenylylation is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism involved in the translational activation of a set of maternal messenger RNAs (mRNAs) during early development. In this report, we show by interspecies injections that Xenopus and mouse use the same regulatory sequences to control cytoplasmic poly(A) addition during meiotic maturation. Similarly, Xenopus and Drosophila embryos exploit functionally conserved signals to regulate polyadenylylation during early post-fertilization development. These experiments demonstrate that the sequence elements that govern cytoplasmic polyadenylylation, and hence one form of translational activation, function across species. We infer that the requisite regulatory sequence elements, and likely the trans-acting components with which they interact, have been conserved since the divergence of vertebrates and arthropods.

  4. Testing the evolutionary conservation of vocal motoneurons in vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albersheim-Carter, Jacob; Blubaum, Aleksandar; Ballagh, Irene H; Missaghi, Kianoush; Siuda, Edward R; McMurray, George; Bass, Andrew H; Dubuc, Réjean; Kelley, Darcy B; Schmidt, Marc F; Wilson, Richard J A; Gray, Paul A

    2016-04-01

    Medullary motoneurons drive vocalization in many vertebrate lineages including fish, amphibians, birds, and mammals. The developmental history of vocal motoneuron populations in each of these lineages remains largely unknown. The highly conserved transcription factor Paired-like Homeobox 2b (Phox2b) is presumed to be expressed in all vertebrate hindbrain branchial motoneurons, including laryngeal motoneurons essential for vocalization in humans. We used immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization to examine Phox2b protein and mRNA expression in caudal hindbrain and rostral spinal cord motoneuron populations in seven species across five chordate classes. Phox2b was present in motoneurons dedicated to sound production in mice and frogs (bullfrog, African clawed frog), but not those in bird (zebra finch) or bony fish (midshipman, channel catfish). Overall, the pattern of caudal medullary motoneuron Phox2b expression was conserved across vertebrates and similar to expression in sea lamprey. These observations suggest that motoneurons dedicated to sound production in vertebrates are not derived from a single developmentally or evolutionarily conserved progenitor pool.

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

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    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

  6. Evolutionary Conservation in Genes Underlying Human Psychiatric Disorders

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    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.

  7. Teaching the Toolkit: A Laboratory Series to Demonstrate the Evolutionary Conservation of Metazoan Cell Signaling Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeClair, Elizabeth E.

    2008-01-01

    A major finding of comparative genomics and developmental genetics is that metazoans share certain conserved, embryonically deployed signaling pathways that instruct cells as to their ultimate fate. Because the DNA encoding these pathways predates the evolutionary split of most animal groups, it should in principle be possible to clone…

  8. Evolutionary conservation in genes underlying human psychiatric disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogawa, Lisa M; Vallender, Eric J

    2014-01-01

    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 the protein-coding regions 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 34 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 humans to the exclusion of non-human primates was absent, however elevated dN/dS was detected in catarrhines as a whole, as well as in cetaceans, possibly as part of a more general trend. Although this may suggest that protein changes associated with schizophrenia and autism are not a cost of the higher brain function found in humans, it may also point to insufficiencies in the study of these diseases including incomplete or inaccurate gene association lists and/or a greater role of regulatory changes or copy number variation. 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.

  9. Reconstruction of human protein interolog network using evolutionary conserved network

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    Lin Chung-Yen

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The recent increase in the use of high-throughput two-hybrid analysis has generated large quantities of data on protein interactions. Specifically, the availability of information about experimental protein-protein interactions and other protein features on the Internet enables human protein-protein interactions to be computationally predicted from co-evolution events (interolog. This study also considers other protein interaction features, including sub-cellular localization, tissue-specificity, the cell-cycle stage and domain-domain combination. Computational methods need to be developed to integrate these heterogeneous biological data to facilitate the maximum accuracy of the human protein interaction prediction. Results This study proposes a relative conservation score by finding maximal quasi-cliques in protein interaction networks, and considering other interaction features to formulate a scoring method. The scoring method can be adopted to discover which protein pairs are the most likely to interact among multiple protein pairs. The predicted human protein-protein interactions associated with confidence scores are derived from six eukaryotic organisms – rat, mouse, fly, worm, thale cress and baker's yeast. Conclusion Evaluation results of the proposed method using functional keyword and Gene Ontology (GO annotations indicate that some confidence is justified in the accuracy of the predicted interactions. Comparisons among existing methods also reveal that the proposed method predicts human protein-protein interactions more accurately than other interolog-based methods.

  10. Evolutionary Genomics and Conservation of the Endangered Przewalski's Horse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Der Sarkissian, Clio; Ermini, Luca; Schubert, Mikkel; Yang, Melinda A; Librado, Pablo; Fumagalli, Matteo; Jónsson, Hákon; Bar-Gal, Gila Kahila; Albrechtsen, Anders; Vieira, Filipe G; Petersen, Bent; Ginolhac, Aurélien; Seguin-Orlando, Andaine; Magnussen, Kim; Fages, Antoine; Gamba, Cristina; Lorente-Galdos, Belen; Polani, Sagi; Steiner, Cynthia; Neuditschko, Markus; Jagannathan, Vidhya; Feh, Claudia; Greenblatt, Charles L; Ludwig, Arne; Abramson, Natalia I; Zimmermann, Waltraut; Schafberg, Renate; Tikhonov, Alexei; Sicheritz-Ponten, Thomas; Willerslev, Eske; Marques-Bonet, Tomas; Ryder, Oliver A; McCue, Molly; Rieder, Stefan; Leeb, Tosso; Slatkin, Montgomery; Orlando, Ludovic

    2015-10-05

    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 endangered, with just 2,109 individuals, one-quarter of which are in Chinese and Mongolian reintroduction reserves [1]. These horses descend from a founding population of 12 wild-caught PHs and possibly up to four domesticated individuals [2-4]. With a stocky build, an erect mane, and stripped and short legs, they are phenotypically and behaviorally distinct from domesticated horses (DHs, Equus caballus). Here, we sequenced the complete genomes of 11 PHs, representing all founding lineages, and five historical specimens dated to 1878-1929 CE, including the Holotype. These were compared to the hitherto-most-extensive genome dataset characterized for horses, comprising 21 new genomes. We found that loci showing the most genetic differentiation with DHs were enriched in genes involved in metabolism, cardiac disorders, muscle contraction, reproduction, behavior, and signaling pathways. We also show that DH and PH populations split ∼45,000 years ago and have remained connected by gene-flow thereafter. Finally, we monitor the genomic impact of ∼110 years of captivity, revealing reduced heterozygosity, increased inbreeding, and variable introgression of domestic alleles, ranging from non-detectable to as much as 31.1%. This, together with the identification of ancestry informative markers and corrections to the International Studbook, establishes a framework for evaluating the persistence of genetic variation in future reintroduced populations.

  11. ConSurf 2016: an improved methodology to estimate and visualize evolutionary conservation in macromolecules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashkenazy, Haim; Abadi, Shiran; Martz, Eric; Chay, Ofer; Mayrose, Itay; Pupko, Tal; Ben-Tal, Nir

    2016-07-08

    The degree of evolutionary conservation of an amino acid in a protein or a nucleic acid in DNA/RNA reflects a balance between its natural tendency to mutate and the overall need to retain the structural integrity and function of the macromolecule. The ConSurf web server (http://consurf.tau.ac.il), established over 15 years ago, analyses the evolutionary pattern of the amino/nucleic acids of the macromolecule to reveal regions that are important for structure and/or function. Starting from a query sequence or structure, the server automatically collects homologues, infers their multiple sequence alignment and reconstructs a phylogenetic tree that reflects their evolutionary relations. These data are then used, within a probabilistic framework, to estimate the evolutionary rates of each sequence position. Here we introduce several new features into ConSurf, including automatic selection of the best evolutionary model used to infer the rates, the ability to homology-model query proteins, prediction of the secondary structure of query RNA molecules from sequence, the ability to view the biological assembly of a query (in addition to the single chain), mapping of the conservation grades onto 2D RNA models and an advanced view of the phylogenetic tree that enables interactively rerunning ConSurf with the taxa of a sub-tree.

  12. ECRbase: Database of Evolutionary Conserved Regions, Promoters, and Transcription Factor Binding Sites in Vertebrate Genomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loots, G; Ovcharenko, I

    2006-08-08

    Evolutionary conservation of DNA sequences provides a tool for the identification of functional elements in genomes. We have created a database of evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs) in vertebrate genomes entitled ECRbase that is constructed from a collection of pairwise vertebrate genome alignments produced by the ECR Browser database. ECRbase features a database of syntenic blocks that recapitulate the evolution of rearrangements in vertebrates and a collection of promoters in all vertebrate genomes presented in the database. The database also contains a collection of annotated transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) in all ECRs and promoter elements. ECRbase currently includes human, rhesus macaque, dog, opossum, rat, mouse, chicken, frog, zebrafish, and two pufferfish genomes. It is freely accessible at http://ECRbase.dcode.org.

  13. Evolutionary conservation ofDmrt gene family in amphibi-ans, reptiles and birds

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Sex determining gene Mab-3 of C. elegans and doublesex of Drosophila contain a common DNA binding motif called a DM domain, both of which regulate similar aspects of sexual development. Human doublesex-related gene DMRT1 has been identified, which also contains the conserved DM-related DNA-binding domain and plays an essential role in gonadal differentiation. We present the amplification of a broad spectrum of DM domain sequences from phylogenetic diverse vertebrates (Cynops orientalis, Chrysemys scripta elegans and Coturnix coturnix) using degenerate PCR. Our results further reveal the unexpected complexity and the evolutionary conservation of the DM domain gene family.

  14. Introgression of transgenic crop alleles: Its evolutionary impacts on conserving genetic diversity of crop wild relatives

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bao-Rong LU

    2013-01-01

    Effective conservation of crop wild relative (CWR) species is essential for the sustainable use and genetic improvement of crop varieties,which offers greater opportunities for world food security,particularly in modem agroecosystems where CWR diversity is under severe threat.Factors such as habitat fragmentation,human disturbances,global climate change,and invasion of harmful alien species have been identified to be responsible for losses and threats to CWR diversity.However,a neglected factor,gene introgression from domesticated species through repeated outcrossing,may have a significant impact on CWR diversity.Introgression can influence genetic diversity and evolutionary processes of CWR populations through effects such as demographic swarming,genetic assimilation,and selective sweep.When largely enhancing or reducing fitness of wild plants,the introgression of crop genes will impose more significant genetic and evolutionary impacts on CWR populations,leading to undesired consequences for conserved CWR populations and species.This situation is particularly true when genetically engineered (GE) crops are deployed for commercial cultivation.It is argued that a GE crop usually contains transgenes with strong natural selection advantages,and such transgenes introgressed into CWR populations may have strong impacts on their genetic diversity and evolutionary processes,threatening their conservation.This article reviews the challenge of crop-wild gene flow,and particularly transgene introgression from GE crops,for the in situ conservation of wild relative species.The design of effective management strategies for conserving CWR species under the scenario of extensive cultivation of GE crops is also discussed.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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. 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, li

  17. Accurate discrimination of conserved coding and non-coding regions through multiple indicators of evolutionary dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pesole Graziano

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The conservation of sequences between related genomes has long been recognised as an indication of functional significance and recognition of sequence homology is one of the principal approaches used in the annotation of newly sequenced genomes. In the context of recent findings that the number non-coding transcripts in higher organisms is likely to be much higher than previously imagined, discrimination between conserved coding and non-coding sequences is a topic of considerable interest. Additionally, it should be considered desirable to discriminate between coding and non-coding conserved sequences without recourse to the use of sequence similarity searches of protein databases as such approaches exclude the identification of novel conserved proteins without characterized homologs and may be influenced by the presence in databases of sequences which are erroneously annotated as coding. Results Here we present a machine learning-based approach for the discrimination of conserved coding sequences. Our method calculates various statistics related to the evolutionary dynamics of two aligned sequences. These features are considered by a Support Vector Machine which designates the alignment coding or non-coding with an associated probability score. Conclusion We show that our approach is both sensitive and accurate with respect to comparable methods and illustrate several situations in which it may be applied, including the identification of conserved coding regions in genome sequences and the discrimination of coding from non-coding cDNA sequences.

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

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    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

  19. Predicting protein ligand binding sites by combining evolutionary sequence conservation and 3D structure.

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    John A Capra

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Identifying a protein's functional sites is an important step towards characterizing its molecular function. Numerous structure- and sequence-based methods have been developed for this problem. Here we introduce ConCavity, a small molecule binding site prediction algorithm that integrates evolutionary sequence conservation estimates with structure-based methods for identifying protein surface cavities. In large-scale testing on a diverse set of single- and multi-chain protein structures, we show that ConCavity substantially outperforms existing methods for identifying both 3D ligand binding pockets and individual ligand binding residues. As part of our testing, we perform one of the first direct comparisons of conservation-based and structure-based methods. We find that the two approaches provide largely complementary information, which can be combined to improve upon either approach alone. We also demonstrate that ConCavity has state-of-the-art performance in predicting catalytic sites and drug binding pockets. Overall, the algorithms and analysis presented here significantly improve our ability to identify ligand binding sites and further advance our understanding of the relationship between evolutionary sequence conservation and structural and functional attributes of proteins. Data, source code, and prediction visualizations are available on the ConCavity web site (http://compbio.cs.princeton.edu/concavity/.

  20. Predicting protein ligand binding sites by combining evolutionary sequence conservation and 3D structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capra, John A; Laskowski, Roman A; Thornton, Janet M; Singh, Mona; Funkhouser, Thomas A

    2009-12-01

    Identifying a protein's functional sites is an important step towards characterizing its molecular function. Numerous structure- and sequence-based methods have been developed for this problem. Here we introduce ConCavity, a small molecule binding site prediction algorithm that integrates evolutionary sequence conservation estimates with structure-based methods for identifying protein surface cavities. In large-scale testing on a diverse set of single- and multi-chain protein structures, we show that ConCavity substantially outperforms existing methods for identifying both 3D ligand binding pockets and individual ligand binding residues. As part of our testing, we perform one of the first direct comparisons of conservation-based and structure-based methods. We find that the two approaches provide largely complementary information, which can be combined to improve upon either approach alone. We also demonstrate that ConCavity has state-of-the-art performance in predicting catalytic sites and drug binding pockets. Overall, the algorithms and analysis presented here significantly improve our ability to identify ligand binding sites and further advance our understanding of the relationship between evolutionary sequence conservation and structural and functional attributes of proteins. Data, source code, and prediction visualizations are available on the ConCavity web site (http://compbio.cs.princeton.edu/concavity/).

  1. Evolutionary conservancy of the endocytic and trafficking machinery in the unicellular eukaryote Paramecium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surmacz, Liliana; Wiejak, Jolanta; Wyroba, Elzbieta

    2003-01-01

    Molecular search for the homologues of the mammalian proteins in the unicellular eukaryote Paramecium involved in endocytosis and membrane trafficking is discussed. We cloned and sequenced the gene fragments encoding the following components participating in endosome formation, sorting and maturation of the proprotein precursors, respectively, dynamin 2, Rab7 and furin. There is a proof that all these genes are expressed in this unicellular organism. The function of the identified immunoanalogues of the above described components of Paramecium endocytic machinery as well as a high degree of sequence homology to the respective human counterparts points to the evolutionary conservancy of these pathways.

  2. Evolutionary conservation of codon optimality reveals hidden signatures of cotranslational folding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechmann, Sebastian; Frydman, Judith

    2013-02-01

    The choice of codons can influence local translation kinetics during protein synthesis. Whether codon preference is linked to cotranslational regulation of polypeptide folding remains unclear. Here, we derive a revised translational efficiency scale that incorporates the competition between tRNA supply and demand. Applying this scale to ten closely related yeast species, we uncover the evolutionary conservation of codon optimality in eukaryotes. This analysis reveals universal patterns of conserved optimal and nonoptimal codons, often in clusters, which associate with the secondary structure of the translated polypeptides independent of the levels of expression. Our analysis suggests an evolved function for codon optimality in regulating the rhythm of elongation to facilitate cotranslational polypeptide folding, beyond its previously proposed role of adapting to the cost of expression. These findings establish how mRNA sequences are generally under selection to optimize the cotranslational folding of corresponding polypeptides.

  3. Evolutionary conserved regulation of HIF-1β by NF-κB.

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    Patrick van Uden

    Full Text Available Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1 is essential for mammalian development and is the principal transcription factor activated by low oxygen tensions. HIF-α subunit quantities and their associated activity are regulated in a post-translational manner, through the concerted action of a class of enzymes called Prolyl Hydroxylases (PHDs and Factor Inhibiting HIF (FIH respectively. However, alternative modes of HIF-α regulation such as translation or transcription are under-investigated, and their importance has not been firmly established. Here, we demonstrate that NF-κB regulates the HIF pathway in a significant and evolutionary conserved manner. We demonstrate that NF-κB directly regulates HIF-1β mRNA and protein. In addition, we found that NF-κB-mediated changes in HIF-1β result in modulation of HIF-2α protein. HIF-1β overexpression can rescue HIF-2α protein levels following NF-κB depletion. Significantly, NF-κB regulates HIF-1β (tango and HIF-α (sima levels and activity (Hph/fatiga, ImpL3/ldha in Drosophila, both in normoxia and hypoxia, indicating an evolutionary conserved mode of regulation. These results reveal a novel mechanism of HIF regulation, with impact in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for HIF-related pathologies including ageing, ischemia, and cancer.

  4. Evolutionary conserved regulation of HIF-1β by NF-κB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Uden, Patrick; Kenneth, Niall S; Webster, Ryan; Müller, H Arno; Mudie, Sharon; Rocha, Sonia

    2011-01-27

    Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1) is essential for mammalian development and is the principal transcription factor activated by low oxygen tensions. HIF-α subunit quantities and their associated activity are regulated in a post-translational manner, through the concerted action of a class of enzymes called Prolyl Hydroxylases (PHDs) and Factor Inhibiting HIF (FIH) respectively. However, alternative modes of HIF-α regulation such as translation or transcription are under-investigated, and their importance has not been firmly established. Here, we demonstrate that NF-κB regulates the HIF pathway in a significant and evolutionary conserved manner. We demonstrate that NF-κB directly regulates HIF-1β mRNA and protein. In addition, we found that NF-κB-mediated changes in HIF-1β result in modulation of HIF-2α protein. HIF-1β overexpression can rescue HIF-2α protein levels following NF-κB depletion. Significantly, NF-κB regulates HIF-1β (tango) and HIF-α (sima) levels and activity (Hph/fatiga, ImpL3/ldha) in Drosophila, both in normoxia and hypoxia, indicating an evolutionary conserved mode of regulation. These results reveal a novel mechanism of HIF regulation, with impact in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for HIF-related pathologies including ageing, ischemia, and cancer.

  5. 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.

  6. Defining evolutionary boundaries across parapatric ecomorphs of Black Salamanders (Aneides flavipunctatus) with conservation implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Sean B; Marks, Sharyn B; Jennings, W Bryan

    2012-12-01

    The accurate delimitation of evolutionary population units represents an important component in phylogeographic and conservation genetic studies. Here, we used a combined population assignment and historical demographic approach to study a complex of ecomorphologically distinctive populations of Black Salamanders (Aneides flavipunctatus) that are parapatrically distributed and meet at a three-way contact zone in north-western California. We used mitochondrial tree-based and multilocus clustering methods to evaluate a priori two- (Northern and Southern) and three (Northern, Coast and Inland) population hypotheses derived from previous studies. Mitochondrial results were consistent with the two- and three-population hypotheses, while the nDNA clustering results supported only the two-population hypothesis. Historical demographic analyses and mtDNA gene divergence estimates revealed that the Northern and Southern populations split during the Pliocene (2-5 Ma). Subdivision of the Southern population into Coast and Inland populations was estimated to be late Pleistocene (0.24 Ma), although our mtDNA results suggested a Pliocene divergence. Effective gene flow estimates (2N(e)m) suggest that either the two- or three-population hypotheses remain valid. However, our results unexpectedly revealed that the Northern population might instead represent two parapatric populations that separated nearly 4 Ma. These results are surprising because the Pliocene divergence between these ecomorphologically conservative forms is similar or older than for the ecomorphologically divergent Coast and Inland sister populations. We conclude that Black Salamanders in north-western California belong to at least three or four populations or species, and these all meet criteria for being Evolutionary Significant Units or 'ESUs' and therefore warrant conservation consideration.

  7. Extreme evolutionary conservation of functionally important regions in H1N1 influenza proteome.

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    Samantha Warren

    Full Text Available The H1N1 subtype of influenza A virus has caused two of the four documented pandemics and is responsible for seasonal epidemic outbreaks, presenting a continuous threat to public health. Co-circulating antigenically divergent influenza strains significantly complicates vaccine development and use. Here, by combining evolutionary, structural, functional, and population information about the H1N1 proteome, we seek to answer two questions: (1 do residues on the protein surfaces evolve faster than the protein core residues consistently across all proteins that constitute the influenza proteome? and (2 in spite of the rapid evolution of surface residues in influenza proteins, are there any protein regions on the protein surface that do not evolve? To answer these questions, we first built phylogenetically-aware models of the patterns of surface and interior substitutions. Employing these models, we found a single coherent pattern of faster evolution on the protein surfaces that characterizes all influenza proteins. The pattern is consistent with the events of inter-species reassortment, the worldwide introduction of the flu vaccine in the early 80's, as well as the differences caused by the geographic origins of the virus. Next, we developed an automated computational pipeline to comprehensively detect regions of the protein surface residues that were 100% conserved over multiple years and in multiple host species. We identified conserved regions on the surface of 10 influenza proteins spread across all avian, swine, and human strains; with the exception of a small group of isolated strains that affected the conservation of three proteins. Surprisingly, these regions were also unaffected by genetic variation in the pandemic 2009 H1N1 viral population data obtained from deep sequencing experiments. Finally, the conserved regions were intrinsically related to the intra-viral macromolecular interaction interfaces. Our study may provide further insights

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

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    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

  9. 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'.

  10. Conservation of the Keap1-Nrf2 System: An Evolutionary Journey through Stressful Space and Time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuji Fuse

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The Keap1-Nrf2 system is an evolutionarily conserved defense mechanism against oxidative and xenobiotic stress. Its regulatory mechanisms, e.g., stress-sensing mechanism, proteasome-based regulation of Nrf2 activity and selection of target genes, have been elucidated mainly in mammals. In addition, emerging model animals, such as zebrafish, fruit fly and Caenorhabditis elegans, have been shown to have similar anti-stress systems to mammals, suggesting that analogous defense systems are widely conserved throughout the animal kingdom. Experimental evidence in lower animals provides important information beyond mere laboratory-confined utility, such as regarding how these systems transformed during evolution, which may help characterize the mammalian system in greater detail. Recent advances in genome projects of both model and non-model animals have provided a great deal of useful information toward this end. We herein review the research on Keap1-Nrf2 and its analogous systems in both mammals and lower model animals. In addition, by comparing the amino acid sequences of Nrf2 and Keap1 proteins from various species, we can deduce the evolutionary history of the anti-stress system. This combinatorial approach using both experimental and genetic data will suggest perspectives of approach for researchers studying the stress response.

  11. Evolutionary conservation of mammalian sperm proteins associates with overall, not tyrosine, phosphorylation in human spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schumacher, Julia; Ramljak, Sanja; Asif, Abdul R; Schaffrath, Michael; Zischler, Hans; Herlyn, Holger

    2013-12-06

    We investigated possible associations between sequence evolution of mammalian sperm proteins and their phosphorylation status in humans. As a reference, spermatozoa from three normozoospermic men were analyzed combining two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, immunoblotting, and mass spectrometry. We identified 99 sperm proteins (thereof 42 newly described) and determined the phosphorylation status for most of them. Sequence evolution was studied across six mammalian species using nonsynonymous/synonymous rate ratios (dN/dS) and amino acid distances. Site-specific purifying selection was assessed employing average ratios of evolutionary rates at phosphorylated versus nonphosphorylated amino acids (α). According to our data, mammalian sperm proteins do not show statistically significant sequence conservation difference, no matter if the human ortholog is a phosphoprotein with or without tyrosine (Y) phosphorylation. In contrast, overall phosphorylation of human sperm proteins, i.e., phosphorylation at serine (S), threonine (T), and/or Y residues, associates with above-average conservation of sequences. Complementary investigations suggest that numerous protein-protein interactants constrain sequence evolution of sperm phosphoproteins. Although our findings reject a special relevance of Y phosphorylation for sperm functioning, they still indicate that overall phosphorylation substantially contributes to proper functioning of sperm proteins. Hence, phosphorylated sperm proteins might be considered as prime candidates for diagnosis and treatment of reduced male fertility.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Evolutionary conservation of CCND1-ORAOV1-FGF19-FGF4 locus from zebrafish to human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katoh, Masuko; Katoh, Masaru

    2003-07-01

    The CCND1-ORAOV1-FGF19-FGF4-FGF3-FLJ10261-FADD-PPFIA1-EMS1 locus on human chromosome 11q13 is frequently amplified in esophageal cancer, breast cancer, and bladder tumors. FGF19, FGF4 and FGF3 genes are implicated in embryogenesis and carcinogenesis. We proposed in 2002 the hypothesis that mouse Fgf15 might be the ortholog of human FGF19 based on comparative genomics. Here, we identified zebrafish fgf19 and oraov1 genes by using bioinformatics to demonstrate the hypothesis. Zebrafish fgf19 gene, consisting of three exons, was located around nucleotide position 121802-124963 of zebrafish genome draft sequence AL929586.12 in the reverse orientation. Zebrafish fgf19 (209 aa) was more homologous to chicken fgf19 and human FGF19 than to rodent Fgf15. Zebrafish oraov1 gene, consisting of five exons, was located around nucleotide position 112172-115838 of AL929586.12 in the reverse orientation. Zebrafish oraov1 protein (141 aa) was more homologous to human ORAOV1 than to rodent Oraov1. The CCND1-ORAOV1-FGF19-FGF4 locus was well conserved between human and zebrafish genomes in the order of genes, in the direction of genes, and in the exon-intron structure. Rat Ccnd1-Oraov1-Fgf15-Fgf4 locus was synthenic to mouse Ccnd1-Oraov1 (also known as 2210010N10Rik)-Fgf15-Fgf4 locus. Fgf15, homologous to human FGF19 and zebrafish fgf19, was located on the synthenic locus of human FGF19 and zebrafish fgf19 within rodent genomes. Based on the evolutionary conservation of the CCND1-ORAOV1-FGF19-FGF4 locus from zebrafish to human, it was concluded that Fgf15 gene is the rodent ortholog of human FGF19 gene.

  15. Evolutionary conservation of Nkx2.5 autoregulation in the second heart field.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Christopher D; Zhang, Boding; Lee, Benjamin; Evans, Samuel I; Lassar, Andrew B; Lee, Kyu-Ho

    2013-02-01

    The cardiac homeobox gene Nkx2.5 plays a key and dosage-sensitive role in the differentiation of outflow tract and right ventricle from progenitors of the second heart field (SHF) and Nkx2.5 mutation is strongly associated with human outflow tract congenital heart disease (OFT CHD). Therefore defining the regulatory mechanisms controlling Nkx2.5 expression in SHF populations serves an important function in understanding the etiology of complex CHD. Through a comparative analysis of regulatory elements controlling SHF expression of Nkx2.5 in the chicken and mouse, we have found evidence that Nkx2.5 autoregulation is important for maintaining Nkx2.5 expression during SHF differentiation in both species. However the mechanism of Nkx2.5 maintenance differs between placental mammals and non-mammalian vertebrates: in chick Nkx2.5 binds directly to a genomic enhancer element that is required to maintain Nkx2.5 expression in the SHF. In addition, it is likely that this is true in other non-mammalian vertebrates given that they possess a similar genomic organization. By contrast, in placental mammals, Nkx2.5 autoregulation in the SHF functions indirectly through Mef2c. These data underscore a tight relationship in mammals between Nkx2.5 and Mef2c in SHF transcriptional regulation, and highlight the potential for evolutionary cis-regulatory analysis to identify core, conserved components of the gene networks controlling heart development.

  16. Evolutionary conservation of Kv3.1 in the barn owl Tyto alba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kullmann, Lars; Schlüter, Tina; Wagner, Hermann; Nothwang, Hans Gerd

    2013-01-01

    For prey capture in the dark, the barn owl Tyto alba has evolved into an auditory specialist with an exquisite capability of sound localization. Adaptations include asymmetrical ears, enlarged auditory processing centers, the utilization of minute interaural time differences, and phase locking along the entire hearing range up to 10 kHz. Adaptations on the molecular level have not yet been investigated. Here, we tested the hypothesis that divergence in the amino acid sequence of the voltage-gated K(+) channel Kv3.1 contributes to the accuracy and high firing rates of auditory neurons in the barn owl. We therefore cloned both splice variants of Kcnc1, the gene encoding Kv3.1. Both splice variants, Kcnc1a and Kcnc1b, encode amino acids identical to those of the chicken, an auditory generalist. Expression analyses confirmed neural-restricted expression of the channel. In summary, our data reveal strong evolutionary conservation of Kcnc1 in the barn owl and point to other genes involved in auditory specializations of this animal. The data also demonstrate the feasibility to address neuroethological questions in organisms with no reference genome by molecular approaches. This will open new avenues for neuroethologists working in these organisms.

  17. Evolutionary conservation and in vitro reconstitution of microsporidian iron–sulfur cluster biosynthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freibert, Sven-A.; Goldberg, Alina V.; Hacker, Christian; Molik, Sabine; Dean, Paul; Williams, Tom A.; Nakjang, Sirintra; Long, Shaojun; Sendra, Kacper; Bill, Eckhard; Heinz, Eva; Hirt, Robert P.; Lucocq, John M; Embley, T. Martin; Lill, Roland

    2017-01-01

    Microsporidians are obligate intracellular parasites that have minimized their genome content and sub-cellular structures by reductive evolution. Here, we demonstrate that cristae-deficient mitochondria (mitosomes) of Trachipleistophora hominis are the functional site of iron–sulfur cluster (ISC) assembly, which we suggest is the essential task of these organelles. Cell fractionation, fluorescence imaging and immunoelectron microscopy demonstrate that mitosomes contain a complete pathway for [2Fe–2S] cluster biosynthesis that we biochemically reconstituted using purified mitosomal ISC proteins. The T. hominis cytosolic iron–sulfur protein assembly (CIA) pathway includes the essential Cfd1–Nbp35 scaffold complex that assembles a [4Fe–4S] cluster as shown by spectroscopic methods in vitro. Phylogenetic analyses reveal that the ISC and CIA pathways are predominantly bacterial, but their cytosolic and nuclear target Fe/S proteins are mainly archaeal. This mixed evolutionary history of Fe/S-related proteins and pathways, and their strong conservation among highly reduced parasites, provides compelling evidence for the ancient chimeric ancestry of eukaryotes. PMID:28051091

  18. Cross-Species Genome-Wide Identification of Evolutionary Conserved MicroProteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straub, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    MicroProteins are small single-domain proteins that act by engaging their targets into different, sometimes nonproductive protein complexes. In order to identify novel microProteins in any sequenced genome of interest, we have developed miPFinder, a program that identifies and classifies potential microProteins. In the past years, several microProteins have been discovered in plants where they are mainly involved in the regulation of development by fine-tuning transcription factor activities. The miPFinder algorithm identifies all up to date known plant microProteins and extends the microProtein 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 microProtein genes originated from large ancestral genes by gene duplication, mutation and subsequent degradation. Gene ontology analysis shows that putative microProtein ancestors are often located in the nucleus, and involved in DNA binding and formation of protein complexes. Additionally, microProtein candidates 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. PMID:28338802

  19. Evolutionary conservation of sequence and secondary structures inCRISPR repeats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunin, Victor; Sorek, Rotem; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2006-09-01

    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) are a novel class of direct repeats, separated by unique spacer sequences of similar length, that are present in {approx}40% of bacterial and all archaeal genomes analyzed to date. More than 40 gene families, called CRISPR-associated sequences (CAS), appear in conjunction with these repeats and are thought to be involved in the propagation and functioning of CRISPRs. It has been proposed that the CRISPR/CAS system samples, maintains a record of, and inactivates invasive DNA that the cell has encountered, and therefore constitutes a prokaryotic analog of an immune system. Here we analyze CRISPR repeats identified in 195 microbial genomes and show that they can be organized into multiple clusters based on sequence similarity. All individual repeats in any given cluster were inferred to form characteristic RNA secondary structure, ranging from non-existent to pronounced. Stable secondary structures included G:U base pairs and exhibited multiple compensatory base changes in the stem region, indicating evolutionary conservation and functional importance. We also show that the repeat-based classification corresponds to, and expands upon, a previously reported CAS gene-based classification including specific relationships between CRISPR and CAS subtypes.

  20. 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

  1. Evolutionary Conservation and Diversification of Puf RNA Binding Proteins and Their mRNA Targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, Gregory J; Brown, Patrick O; Herschlag, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Reprogramming of a gene's expression pattern by acquisition and loss of sequences recognized by specific regulatory RNA binding proteins may be a major mechanism in the evolution of biological regulatory programs. We identified that RNA targets of Puf3 orthologs have been conserved over 100-500 million years of evolution in five eukaryotic lineages. Focusing on Puf proteins and their targets across 80 fungi, we constructed a parsimonious model for their evolutionary history. This model entails extensive and coordinated changes in the Puf targets as well as changes in the number of Puf genes and alterations of RNA binding specificity including that: 1) Binding of Puf3 to more than 200 RNAs whose protein products are predominantly involved in the production and organization of mitochondrial complexes predates the origin of budding yeasts and filamentous fungi and was maintained for 500 million years, throughout the evolution of budding yeast. 2) In filamentous fungi, remarkably, more than 150 of the ancestral Puf3 targets were gained by Puf4, with one lineage maintaining both Puf3 and Puf4 as regulators and a sister lineage losing Puf3 as a regulator of these RNAs. The decrease in gene expression of these mRNAs upon deletion of Puf4 in filamentous fungi (N. crassa) in contrast to the increase upon Puf3 deletion in budding yeast (S. cerevisiae) suggests that the output of the RNA regulatory network is different with Puf4 in filamentous fungi than with Puf3 in budding yeast. 3) The coregulated Puf4 target set in filamentous fungi expanded to include mitochondrial genes involved in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and other nuclear-encoded RNAs with mitochondrial function not bound by Puf3 in budding yeast, observations that provide additional evidence for substantial rewiring of post-transcriptional regulation. 4) Puf3 also expanded and diversified its targets in filamentous fungi, gaining interactions with the mRNAs encoding the mitochondrial electron transport

  2. Evolutionary Conservation and Diversification of Puf RNA Binding Proteins and Their mRNA Targets.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory J Hogan

    Full Text Available Reprogramming of a gene's expression pattern by acquisition and loss of sequences recognized by specific regulatory RNA binding proteins may be a major mechanism in the evolution of biological regulatory programs. We identified that RNA targets of Puf3 orthologs have been conserved over 100-500 million years of evolution in five eukaryotic lineages. Focusing on Puf proteins and their targets across 80 fungi, we constructed a parsimonious model for their evolutionary history. This model entails extensive and coordinated changes in the Puf targets as well as changes in the number of Puf genes and alterations of RNA binding specificity including that: 1 Binding of Puf3 to more than 200 RNAs whose protein products are predominantly involved in the production and organization of mitochondrial complexes predates the origin of budding yeasts and filamentous fungi and was maintained for 500 million years, throughout the evolution of budding yeast. 2 In filamentous fungi, remarkably, more than 150 of the ancestral Puf3 targets were gained by Puf4, with one lineage maintaining both Puf3 and Puf4 as regulators and a sister lineage losing Puf3 as a regulator of these RNAs. The decrease in gene expression of these mRNAs upon deletion of Puf4 in filamentous fungi (N. crassa in contrast to the increase upon Puf3 deletion in budding yeast (S. cerevisiae suggests that the output of the RNA regulatory network is different with Puf4 in filamentous fungi than with Puf3 in budding yeast. 3 The coregulated Puf4 target set in filamentous fungi expanded to include mitochondrial genes involved in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA cycle and other nuclear-encoded RNAs with mitochondrial function not bound by Puf3 in budding yeast, observations that provide additional evidence for substantial rewiring of post-transcriptional regulation. 4 Puf3 also expanded and diversified its targets in filamentous fungi, gaining interactions with the mRNAs encoding the mitochondrial electron

  3. Mutational Studies on Resurrected Ancestral Proteins Reveal Conservation of Site-Specific Amino Acid Preferences throughout Evolutionary History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risso, Valeria A.; Manssour-Triedo, Fadia; Delgado-Delgado, Asunción; Arco, Rocio; Barroso-delJesus, Alicia; Ingles-Prieto, Alvaro; Godoy-Ruiz, Raquel; Gavira, Jose A.; Gaucher, Eric A.; Ibarra-Molero, Beatriz; Sanchez-Ruiz, Jose M.

    2015-01-01

    Local protein interactions (“molecular context” effects) dictate amino acid replacements and can be described in terms of site-specific, energetic preferences for any different amino acid. It has been recently debated whether these preferences remain approximately constant during evolution or whether, due to coevolution of sites, they change strongly. Such research highlights an unresolved and fundamental issue with far-reaching implications for phylogenetic analysis and molecular evolution modeling. Here, we take advantage of the recent availability of phenotypically supported laboratory resurrections of Precambrian thioredoxins and β-lactamases to experimentally address the change of site-specific amino acid preferences over long geological timescales. Extensive mutational analyses support the notion that evolutionary adjustment to a new amino acid may occur, but to a large extent this is insufficient to erase the primitive preference for amino acid replacements. Generally, site-specific amino acid preferences appear to remain conserved throughout evolutionary history despite local sequence divergence. We show such preference conservation to be readily understandable in molecular terms and we provide crystallographic evidence for an intriguing structural-switch mechanism: Energetic preference for an ancestral amino acid in a modern protein can be linked to reorganization upon mutation to the ancestral local structure around the mutated site. Finally, we point out that site-specific preference conservation naturally leads to one plausible evolutionary explanation for the existence of intragenic global suppressor mutations. PMID:25392342

  4. 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. PMID:25393409

  5. 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.

  6. lncScore: alignment-free identification of long noncoding RNA from assembled novel transcripts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Jian; Song, Xiaofeng; Wang, Kai

    2016-01-01

    RNA-Seq based transcriptome assembly has been widely used to identify novel lncRNAs. However, the best-performing transcript reconstruction methods merely identified 21% of full-length protein-coding transcripts from H. sapiens. Those partial-length protein-coding transcripts are more likely to be classified as lncRNAs due to their incomplete CDS, leading to higher false positive rate for lncRNA identification. Furthermore, potential sequencing or assembly error that gain or abolish stop codons also complicates ORF-based prediction of lncRNAs. Therefore, it remains a challenge to identify lncRNAs from the assembled transcripts, particularly the partial-length ones. Here, we present a novel alignment-free tool, lncScore, which uses a logistic regression model with 11 carefully selected features. Compared to other state-of-the-art alignment-free tools (e.g. CPAT, CNCI, and PLEK), lncScore outperforms them on accurately distinguishing lncRNAs from mRNAs, especially partial-length mRNAs in the human and mouse datasets. In addition, lncScore also performed well on transcripts from five other species (Zebrafish, Fly, C. elegans, Rat, and Sheep). To speed up the prediction, multithreading is implemented within lncScore, and it only took 2 minute to classify 64,756 transcripts and 54 seconds to train a new model with 21,000 transcripts with 12 threads, which is much faster than other tools. lncScore is available at https://github.com/WGLab/lncScore. PMID:27708423

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. CPAT: Coding-Potential Assessment Tool using an alignment-free logistic regression model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Liguo; Park, Hyun Jung; Dasari, Surendra; Wang, Shengqin; Kocher, Jean-Pierre; Li, Wei

    2013-04-01

    Thousands of novel transcripts have been identified using deep transcriptome sequencing. This discovery of large and 'hidden' transcriptome rejuvenates the demand for methods that can rapidly distinguish between coding and noncoding RNA. Here, we present a novel alignment-free method, Coding Potential Assessment Tool (CPAT), which rapidly recognizes coding and noncoding transcripts from a large pool of candidates. To this end, CPAT uses a logistic regression model built with four sequence features: open reading frame size, open reading frame coverage, Fickett TESTCODE statistic and hexamer usage bias. CPAT software outperformed (sensitivity: 0.96, specificity: 0.97) other state-of-the-art alignment-based software such as Coding-Potential Calculator (sensitivity: 0.99, specificity: 0.74) and Phylo Codon Substitution Frequencies (sensitivity: 0.90, specificity: 0.63). In addition to high accuracy, CPAT is approximately four orders of magnitude faster than Coding-Potential Calculator and Phylo Codon Substitution Frequencies, enabling its users to process thousands of transcripts within seconds. The software accepts input sequences in either FASTA- or BED-formatted data files. We also developed a web interface for CPAT that allows users to submit sequences and receive the prediction results almost instantly.

  12. 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

    , we find using a proximity score integrating structural information (as the sum of the scores of residues located within a given distance of the residue in question) that only the methods from the first two groups displayed a reliable performance. Next, we investigated to what degree proximity scores...... for conservation, rvET and cumulative MI (cMI) provide complementary information capable of improving the performance for CR identification. We found that integrating conservation with proximity scores for rvET and cMI achieved the highest performance. The proximity conservation score contained no complementary...... information when integrated with proximity rvET. Moreover, the signal from rvET provided only a limited gain in predictive performance when integrated with mutual information and conservation proximity scores. Combined, these observations demonstrate that the rvET and cMI scores add complementary information...

  13. Using evolutionary conserved modules in gene networks as a strategy to leverage high throughput gene expression queries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeanne M Serb

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Large-scale gene expression studies have not yielded the expected insight into genetic networks that control complex processes. These anticipated discoveries have been limited not by technology, but by a lack of effective strategies to investigate the data in a manageable and meaningful way. Previous work suggests that using a pre-determined seed-network of gene relationships to query large-scale expression datasets is an effective way to generate candidate genes for further study and network expansion or enrichment. Based on the evolutionary conservation of gene relationships, we test the hypothesis that a seed network derived from studies of retinal cell determination in the fly, Drosophila melanogaster, will be an effective way to identify novel candidate genes for their role in mouse retinal development. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our results demonstrate that a number of gene relationships regulating retinal cell differentiation in the fly are identifiable as pairwise correlations between genes from developing mouse retina. In addition, we demonstrate that our extracted seed-network of correlated mouse genes is an effective tool for querying datasets and provides a context to generate hypotheses. Our query identified 46 genes correlated with our extracted seed-network members. Approximately 54% of these candidates had been previously linked to the developing brain and 33% had been previously linked to the developing retina. Five of six candidate genes investigated further were validated by experiments examining spatial and temporal protein expression in the developing retina. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We present an effective strategy for pursuing a systems biology approach that utilizes an evolutionary comparative framework between two model organisms, fly and mouse. Future implementation of this strategy will be useful to determine the extent of network conservation, not just gene conservation, between species and will

  14. Evolutionary diversification of aminopeptidase N in Lepidoptera by conserved clade-specific amino acid residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Austin L

    2014-07-01

    Members of the aminopepidase N (APN) gene family of the insect order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) bind the naturally insecticidal Cry toxins produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Phylogenetic analysis of amino acid sequences of seven lepidopteran APN classes provided strong support for the hypothesis that lepidopteran APN2 class arose by gene duplication prior to the most recent common ancestor of Lepidoptera and Diptera. The Cry toxin-binding region (BR) of lepidopteran and dipteran APNs was subject to stronger purifying selection within APN classes than was the remainder of the molecule, reflecting conservation of catalytic site and adjoining residues within the BR. Of lepidopteran APN classes, APN2, APN6, and APN8 showed the strongest evidence of functional specialization, both in expression patterns and in the occurrence of conserved derived amino acid residues. The latter three APN classes also shared a convergently evolved conserved residue close to the catalytic site. APN8 showed a particularly strong tendency towards class-specific conserved residues, including one of the catalytic site residues in the BR and ten others in close vicinity to the catalytic site residues. The occurrence of class-specific sequences along with the conservation of enzymatic function is consistent with the hypothesis that the presence of Cry toxins in the environment has been a factor shaping the evolution of this multi-gene family.

  15. Conservation genomics reveals multiple evolutionary units within Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klicka, Luke B.; Kus, Barbara E.; Title, Pascal O.; Burns, Kevin J.

    2016-01-01

    The Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii) is a widespread North American species of bird that has declined since the mid-1960s primarily due to habitat modification. Throughout its range, Bell’s Vireo populations are regulated under varying degrees of protection; however, the species has never been characterized genetically. Therefore, the current taxonomy used to guide management decisions may misrepresent the true evolutionary history for the species. We sequenced 86 individuals for ND2 and genotyped 48 individuals for genome-wide SNPs to identify distinct lineages within Bell’s Vireo. Phylogenetic analyses uncovered two distinct clades that are separated in the arid southwestern United States, near the border of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts. These clades diverged from each other approximately 1.11–2.04 mya. The timing of diversification, geographic location, and niche modeling of the east/west divergence suggest vicariance as a mode of diversification for these two lineages. Analyses of the SNP dataset provided additional resolution and indicated the Least Bell’s Vireo populations are a distinct evolutionary lineage. Our genetic evidence, together with information from morphology and behavior, suggests that the Bell’s Vireo complex involves two species, each containing two separate subspecies. This new information has implications for the federal, state and other listing status of Bell’s Vireo throughout its range.

  16. Longins: a new evolutionary conserved VAMP family sharing a novel SNARE domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filippini, F; Rossi, V; Galli, T; Budillon, A; D'Urso, M; D'Esposito, M

    2001-07-01

    This article describes the discovery of a novel SNARE domain that might be involved in the regulation of membrane fusion. This domain is shared by a novel family of VAMPs called long VAMPs or longins. Members of this family are more conserved among eukaryotes than are classical VAMPs, possibly because of their underlying basic SNARE function.

  17. Evolutionary conservation of the chromosomal configuration and regulation of amylase genes among eight species of the Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payant, V; Abukashawa, S; Sasseville, M; Benkel, B F; Hickey, D A; David, J

    1988-09-01

    Nuclear DNA was extracted from each of the eight species comprising the Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup. Southern hybridization of this DNA by using a molecular probe specific for the alpha-amylase coding region showed that the duplicated structure of the amylase locus, first found in D. melanogaster, is conserved among all species of the melanogaster subgroup. Evidence is also presented for the concerted evolution of the duplicated genes within each species. In addition, it is shown that the glucose repression of amylase gene expression, which has been extensively studied in D. melanogaster, is not confined to this species but occurs in all eight members of the species subgroup. Thus, both the duplicated gene structure and the glucose repression of Drosophila amylase gene activity are stable over extended periods of evolutionary time.

  18. Evolutionary break point analysis between the proximal half of bovine chromosome 27 and conserved segments of the human genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldammer, T; Kuehn, C; Brunner, R M; Weikard, R

    2009-01-01

    The proximal half of Bos taurus chromosome 27 (BTA27prox) delimited by microsatellite markers BM3507 and CSSM043 reveals complex rearrangements compared to its corresponding Homo sapiens chromosome (HSA) fragments. A comparative mapping approach combining somatic and radiation hybrid cell mapping techniques and related cytogenetic data resulted in an improved physical map for BTA27prox, which provides candidate genes for several important economic traits. The generated comprehensive map includes anchor loci for 103 genes and microsatellite markers. Mapping of genes proximal to BM3507 matching a region from 0.60 to 2.78 megabase pairs (Mb) of HSA8 confirmed recent sequence annotations on BTA27. Assignments of loci predicted to be on BTA27 to BTA1, BTA8, and BTA17 narrowed down evolutionary chromosome break points compared with corresponding chromosome segments in human. New physical anchors obtained in this study confirm in more detail the described evolutionary conservation between the proximal half of BTA27 and homologous segments of HSA4 and HSA8 and will contribute to the completion of the cattle DNA genome sequence.

  19. Evolutionary variations in the expression of dorso-ventral patterning genes and the conservation of pioneer neurons in Tribolium castaneum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biffar, Lucia; Stollewerk, Angelika

    2015-04-01

    Insects are ideally suited for gaining insight into the evolutionary developmental mechanisms that have led to adaptive changes of the nervous system since the specific structure of the nervous system can be directly linked to the neural stem cell (neuroblast) lineages, which in turn can be traced back to the last common ancestor of insects. The recent comparative analysis of the Drosophila melanogaster and Tribolium castaneum neuroblast maps revealed substantial differences in the expression profiles of neuroblasts. Here we show that despite the overall conservation of the dorso-ventral expression domains of muscle segment homeobox, intermediate neuroblasts defective and ventral nervous system defective, the expression of these genes relative to the neuroblasts in the respective domains has changed considerably during insect evolution. Furthermore, functional studies show evolutionary changes in the requirement of ventral nervous system defective in the formation of neuroblast 1-1 and the correct differentiation of its presumptive progeny, the pioneer neurons aCC and pCC. The inclusion of the expression data of the dorso-ventral genes into the recently established T. castaneum neuroblast map further increases the differences in the neuroblast expression profiles between D. melanogaster and T. castaneum. Despite these molecular variations, the Even-skipped positive pioneer neurons show an invariant arrangement, except for an additional Even-skipped positive cluster that we discovered in T. castaneum. Given the importance of these pioneer neurons in establishing the intersegmental nerves and the longitudinal tracts, which are part of the conserved axonal scaffold of arthropods, we discuss internal buffering mechanisms that might ensure that neuroblast lineages invariantly generate pioneer neurons over a wide range of molecular variations.

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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.

  3. Evolutionary conservation of TORC1 components, TOR, Raptor, and LST8, between rice and yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maegawa, Kentaro; Takii, Rumi; Ushimaru, Takashi; Kozaki, Akiko

    2015-10-01

    Target of rapamycin (TOR) is a conserved eukaryotic serine/threonine kinase that functions as a central controller of cell growth. TOR protein is structurally defined by the presence several conserved domains such as the HEAT repeat, focal adhesion target (FAT), FKBP12/rapamycin binding (FRB), kinase, and FATC domains starting from the N-terminus. In most eukaryotes, TOR forms two distinct physical and functional complexes, which are termed as TOR complex 1 (TORC1) and TORC2. However, plants contain only TORC1 components, i.e., TOR, Raptor, and LST8. In this study, we analyzed the gene structure and functions of TORC components in rice to understand the properties of the TOR complex in plants. Comparison of the locations of introns in these genes among rice and other eukaryotes showed that they were well conserved among plants except for Chlamydomonas. Moreover, the intron positions in the coding sequence of human Raptor and LST8 were closer to those of plants than of fly or nematode. Complementation tests of rice TOR (OsTOR) components in yeast showed that although OsTOR did not complement yeast tor mutants, chimeric TOR, which consisted of the HEAT repeat and FAT domain from yeast and other regions from rice, rescued the tor mutants, indicating that the HEAT repeat and FAT domains are important for species-specific signaling. OsRaptor perfectly complemented a kog1 (yeast Raptor homolog) mutant, and OsLST8 partially complemented an lst8 mutant. Together, these data suggest the importance of the N-terminal region of the TOR, HEAT, and FAT domains for functional diversification of the TOR complex.

  4. Evolutionary Conservation and Diversification of the Translation Initiation Apparatus in Trypanosomatids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Zinoviev

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosomatids are ancient eukaryotic parasites that migrate between insect vectors and mammalian hosts, causing a range of diseases in humans and domestic animals. Trypanosomatids feature a multitude of unusual molecular features, including polycistronic transcription and subsequent processing by trans-splicing and polyadenylation. Regulation of protein coding genes is posttranscriptional and thus, translation regulation is fundamental for activating the developmental program of gene expression. The spliced-leader RNA is attached to all mRNAs. It contains an unusual hypermethylated cap-4 structure in its 5 end. The cap-binding complex, eIF4F, has gone through evolutionary changes in accordance with the requirement to bind cap-4. The eIF4F components in trypanosomatids are highly diverged from their orthologs in higher eukaryotes, and their potential functions are discussed. The cap-binding activity in all eukaryotes is a target for regulation and plays a similar role in trypanosomatids. Recent studies revealed a novel eIF4E-interacting protein, involved in directing stage-specific and stress-induced translation pathways. Translation regulation during stress also follows unusual regulatory cues, as the increased translation of Hsp83 following heat stress is driven by a defined element in the 3 UTR, unlike higher eukaryotes. Overall, the environmental switches experienced by trypanosomatids during their life cycle seem to affect their translational machinery in unique ways.

  5. 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.

  6. Evolutionary history of tuberculosis shaped by conserved mutations in the PhoPR virulence regulator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalo-Asensio, Jesús; Malaga, Wladimir; Pawlik, Alexandre; Astarie-Dequeker, Catherine; Passemar, Charlotte; Moreau, Flavie; Laval, Françoise; Daffé, Mamadou; Martin, Carlos; Brosch, Roland; Guilhot, Christophe

    2014-08-05

    Although the bovine tuberculosis (TB) agent, Mycobacterium bovis, may infect humans and cause disease, long-term epidemiological data indicate that humans represent a spill-over host in which infection with M. bovis is not self-maintaining. Indeed, human-to-human transmission of M. bovis strains and other members of the animal lineage of the tubercle bacilli is very rare. Here, we report on three mutations affecting the two-component virulence regulation system PhoP/PhoR (PhoPR) in M. bovis and in the closely linked Mycobacterium africanum lineage 6 (L6) that likely account for this discrepancy. Genetic transfer of these mutations into the human TB agent, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, resulted in down-regulation of the PhoP regulon, with loss of biologically active lipids, reduced secretion of the 6-kDa early antigenic target (ESAT-6), and lower virulence. Remarkably, the deleterious effects of the phoPR mutations were partly compensated by a deletion, specific to the animal-adapted and M. africanum L6 lineages, that restores ESAT-6 secretion by a PhoPR-independent mechanism. Similarly, we also observed that insertion of an IS6110 element upstream of the phoPR locus may completely revert the phoPR-bovis-associated fitness loss, which is the case for an exceptional M. bovis human outbreak strain from Spain. Our findings ultimately explain the long-term epidemiological data, suggesting that M. bovis and related phoPR-mutated strains pose a lower risk for progression to overt human TB, with major impact on the evolutionary history of TB.

  7. Evolutionary conservation of a phosphate transporter in the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karandashov, Vladimir; Nagy, Réka; Wegmüller, Sarah; Amrhein, Nikolaus; Bucher, Marcel

    2004-04-20

    Arbuscular mycorrhizae are ancient symbioses that are thought to have originated >400 million years ago in the roots of plants, pioneering the colonization of terrestrial habitats. In these associations, a key process is the transfer of phosphorus as inorganic phosphate to the host plant across the fungus-plant interface. Mycorrhiza-specific phosphate transporter genes and their regulation are conserved in phylogenetically distant plant species, and they are activated selectively by fungal species from the phylum Glomeromycota. The potato phosphate transporter gene StPT3 is expressed in a temporally defined manner in root cells harboring various mycorrhizal structures, including thick-coiled hyphae. The results highlight the role of different symbiotic structures in phosphorus transfer, and they indicate that cell-cell contact between the symbiotic partners is required to induce phosphate transport.

  8. Evolutionary Origin and Conserved Structural Building Blocks of Riboswitches and Ribosomal RNAs: Riboswitches as Probable Target Sites for Aminoglycosides Interaction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elnaz Mehdizadeh Aghdam

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Riboswitches, as noncoding RNA sequences, control gene expression through direct ligand binding. Sporadic reports on the structural relation of riboswitches with ribosomal RNAs (rRNA, raises an interest in possible similarity between riboswitches and rRNAs evolutionary origins. Since aminoglycoside antibiotics affect microbial cells through binding to functional sites of the bacterial rRNA, finding any conformational and functional relation between riboswitches/rRNAs is utmost important in both of medicinal and basic research. Methods: Analysis of the riboswitches structures were carried out using bioinformatics and computational tools. The possible functional similarity of riboswitches with rRNAs was evaluated based on the affinity of paromomycin antibiotic (targeting “A site” of 16S rRNA to riboswitches via docking method. Results: There was high structural similarity between riboswitches and rRNAs, but not any particular sequence based similarity between them was found. The building blocks including "hairpin loop containing UUU", "peptidyl transferase center conserved hairpin A loop"," helix 45" and "S2 (G8 hairpin" as high identical rRNA motifs were detected in all kinds of riboswitches. Surprisingly, binding energies of paromomycin with different riboswitches are considerably better than the binding energy of paromomycin with “16S rRNA A site”. Therefore the high affinity of paromomycin to bind riboswitches in comparison with rRNA “A site” suggests a new insight about riboswitches as possible targets for aminoglycoside antibiotics. Conclusion: These findings are considered as a possible supporting evidence for evolutionary origin of riboswitches/rRNAs and also their role in the exertion of antibiotics effects to design new drugs based on the concomitant effects via rRNA/riboswitches.

  9. Prediction of Protein-protein Interactions on the Basis of Evolutionary Conservation of Protein Functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ekaterina Kotelnikova

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Motivation: Although a great deal of progress is being made in the development of fast and reliable experimental techniques to extract genome-wide networks of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions, the sequencing of new genomes proceeds at an even faster rate. That is why there is a considerable need for reliable methods of in-silico prediction of protein interaction based solely on sequence similarity information and known interactions from well-studied organisms. This problem can be solved if a dependency exists between sequence similarity and the conservation of the proteins’ functions.Results: In this paper, we introduce a novel probabilistic method for prediction of protein-protein interactions using a new empirical probabilistic formula describing the loss of interactions between homologous proteins during the course of evolution. This formula describes an evolutional process quite similar to the process of the Earth’s population growth. In addition, our method favors predictions confi rmed by several interacting pairs over predictions coming from a single interacting pair. Our approach is useful in working with “noisy” data such as those coming from high-throughput experiments. We have generated predictions for fi ve “model” organisms: H. sapiens, D. melanogaster, C. elegans, A. thaliana, and S. cerevisiae and evaluated the quality of these predictions.

  10. Phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase: expression pattern during testicular development in mouse and evolutionary conservation in spermatozoa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayernia, Karim; Diaconu, Mihaela; Aumüller, Gerhard; Wennemuth, Gunther; Schwandt, Iris; Kleene, Kenneth; Kuehn, Hartmut; Engel, Wolfgang

    2004-04-01

    Phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx) is a selenoprotein belonging to the family of glutathione peroxidases and has been implicated in antioxidative defense and spermatogenesis. PHGPx accounts for almost the entire selenium content of mammalian testis. In an attempt to verify the expression pattern of PHGPx, testes of mouse mutants with arrest at different stages of germ cell development and testes of mice at different ages were subjected to immunostaining with a monoclonal anti-PHGPx antibody. PHGPx was detected in Leydig cells of testes in all developmental stages. In the seminiferous tubuli, the PHGPx staining was first observed in testes of 21-day-old mice which is correlated with the appearance of the first spermatids. This result was confirmed when the testes of mutant mice with defined arrest of germ cell development were used. An immunostaining was observed in the seminiferous tubuli of olt/olt and qk/qk mice which show an arrest at spermatid differentiation. In Western blot analysis of proteins extracted from testes of mutant mice and from developing testes, two signals at 19- and 22-kDa were observed which confirm the existence of two PHGPx forms in testicular cells. In mouse spermatozoa, a subcellular localization of PHGPx and sperm mitochondria-associated cysteine-rich protein (SMCP) was demonstrated, indicating the localization of PHGPx in mitochondria of spermatozoa midpiece. For verifying the midpiece localization of PHGPx in other species, spermatozoa of Drosophila melanogaster, frog, fish, cock, mouse, rat, pig, bull, and human were used in immunostaining using anti-PHGPx antibody. A localization of PHGPx was found in the midpiece of spermatozoa in all species examined. In electronmicroscopical analysis, PHGPx signals were found in the mitochondria of midpiece. These results indicate a conserved crucial role of PHGPx during sperm function and male fertility.

  11. Evolutionary conservation and DNA binding properties of the Ssh7 proteins from Sulfolobus shibatae

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN; Xulin(陈绪林); GUO; Rong(郭荣); HUANG; Li(黄力); Ray; Hong

    2002-01-01

    The thermoacidophilic archaeon Sulfolobus shibatae synthesizes a large amount of the 7-ku DNA binding proteins known as Ssh7. Our hybridization experiments showed that two Ssh7-encoding genes existed in the genome of S. Shibatae. These two genes, designated ssh7a and ssh7b, have been cloned, sequenced and expressed in Escherichia coli. The two Ssh7 proteins differ only at three amino acid positions. In addition, the cis-regulatory sequences of the ssh7a and ssh7b genes are highly conserved. These results suggest the presence of a selective pressure to maintain not only the sequence but also the expression of the two genes. We have also found that there are two genes encoding the 7-ku protein in Sulfolobus solfataricus. Based on this and other studies, we suggest that the gene encoding the 7-ku protein underwent duplication before the separation of Sulfolobus species. Binding of native Ssh7 and recombinant (r)Ssh7 to short duplex DNA fragments was analyzed by electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Both native and recombinant forms of the protein behaved in a similar fashion in the assays, suggesting that the interaction of Ssh7 with DNA is not affected either by specific lysine methylation found in the native Ssh7 proteins or by the difference between the two Ssh7 isomers in amino acid sequence. Our data show that Ssh7 binds duplex DNA fragments with a binding size of ~ 6.6 base pairs and an apparent dissociation constant of (0.7-1.0)×10-7 mol/L under the assay conditions employed in the present study. In addition, Ssh7 binds more tightly to negatively supercoiled DNA than to linear or relaxed DNA.

  12. Are Pharmaceuticals with Evolutionary Conserved Molecular Drug Targets More Potent to Cause Toxic Effects in Non-Target Organisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furuhagen, Sara; Fuchs, Anne; Lundström Belleza, Elin; Breitholtz, Magnus; Gorokhova, Elena

    2014-01-01

    The ubiquitous use of pharmaceuticals has resulted in a continuous discharge into wastewater and pharmaceuticals and their metabolites are found in the environment. Due to their design towards specific drug targets, pharmaceuticals may be therapeutically active already at low environmental concentrations. Several human drug targets are evolutionary conserved in aquatic organisms, raising concerns about effects of these pharmaceuticals in non-target organisms. In this study, we hypothesized that the toxicity of a pharmaceutical towards a non-target invertebrate depends on the presence of the human drug target orthologs in this species. This was tested by assessing toxicity of pharmaceuticals with (miconazole and promethazine) and without (levonorgestrel) identified drug target orthologs in the cladoceran Daphnia magna. The toxicity was evaluated using general toxicity endpoints at individual (immobility, reproduction and development), biochemical (RNA and DNA content) and molecular (gene expression) levels. The results provide evidence for higher toxicity of miconazole and promethazine, i.e. the drugs with identified drug target orthologs. At the individual level, miconazole had the lowest effect concentrations for immobility and reproduction (0.3 and 0.022 mg L−1, respectively) followed by promethazine (1.6 and 0.18 mg L−1, respectively). At the biochemical level, individual RNA content was affected by miconazole and promethazine already at 0.0023 and 0.059 mg L−1, respectively. At the molecular level, gene expression for cuticle protein was significantly suppressed by exposure to both miconazole and promethazine; moreover, daphnids exposed to miconazole had significantly lower vitellogenin expression. Levonorgestrel did not have any effects on any endpoints in the concentrations tested. These results highlight the importance of considering drug target conservation in environmental risk assessments of pharmaceuticals. PMID:25140792

  13. Are pharmaceuticals with evolutionary conserved molecular drug targets more potent to cause toxic effects in non-target organisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furuhagen, Sara; Fuchs, Anne; Lundström Belleza, Elin; Breitholtz, Magnus; Gorokhova, Elena

    2014-01-01

    The ubiquitous use of pharmaceuticals has resulted in a continuous discharge into wastewater and pharmaceuticals and their metabolites are found in the environment. Due to their design towards specific drug targets, pharmaceuticals may be therapeutically active already at low environmental concentrations. Several human drug targets are evolutionary conserved in aquatic organisms, raising concerns about effects of these pharmaceuticals in non-target organisms. In this study, we hypothesized that the toxicity of a pharmaceutical towards a non-target invertebrate depends on the presence of the human drug target orthologs in this species. This was tested by assessing toxicity of pharmaceuticals with (miconazole and promethazine) and without (levonorgestrel) identified drug target orthologs in the cladoceran Daphnia magna. The toxicity was evaluated using general toxicity endpoints at individual (immobility, reproduction and development), biochemical (RNA and DNA content) and molecular (gene expression) levels. The results provide evidence for higher toxicity of miconazole and promethazine, i.e. the drugs with identified drug target orthologs. At the individual level, miconazole had the lowest effect concentrations for immobility and reproduction (0.3 and 0.022 mg L-1, respectively) followed by promethazine (1.6 and 0.18 mg L-1, respectively). At the biochemical level, individual RNA content was affected by miconazole and promethazine already at 0.0023 and 0.059 mg L-1, respectively. At the molecular level, gene expression for cuticle protein was significantly suppressed by exposure to both miconazole and promethazine; moreover, daphnids exposed to miconazole had significantly lower vitellogenin expression. Levonorgestrel did not have any effects on any endpoints in the concentrations tested. These results highlight the importance of considering drug target conservation in environmental risk assessments of pharmaceuticals.

  14. Are pharmaceuticals with evolutionary conserved molecular drug targets more potent to cause toxic effects in non-target organisms?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Furuhagen

    Full Text Available The ubiquitous use of pharmaceuticals has resulted in a continuous discharge into wastewater and pharmaceuticals and their metabolites are found in the environment. Due to their design towards specific drug targets, pharmaceuticals may be therapeutically active already at low environmental concentrations. Several human drug targets are evolutionary conserved in aquatic organisms, raising concerns about effects of these pharmaceuticals in non-target organisms. In this study, we hypothesized that the toxicity of a pharmaceutical towards a non-target invertebrate depends on the presence of the human drug target orthologs in this species. This was tested by assessing toxicity of pharmaceuticals with (miconazole and promethazine and without (levonorgestrel identified drug target orthologs in the cladoceran Daphnia magna. The toxicity was evaluated using general toxicity endpoints at individual (immobility, reproduction and development, biochemical (RNA and DNA content and molecular (gene expression levels. The results provide evidence for higher toxicity of miconazole and promethazine, i.e. the drugs with identified drug target orthologs. At the individual level, miconazole had the lowest effect concentrations for immobility and reproduction (0.3 and 0.022 mg L-1, respectively followed by promethazine (1.6 and 0.18 mg L-1, respectively. At the biochemical level, individual RNA content was affected by miconazole and promethazine already at 0.0023 and 0.059 mg L-1, respectively. At the molecular level, gene expression for cuticle protein was significantly suppressed by exposure to both miconazole and promethazine; moreover, daphnids exposed to miconazole had significantly lower vitellogenin expression. Levonorgestrel did not have any effects on any endpoints in the concentrations tested. These results highlight the importance of considering drug target conservation in environmental risk assessments of pharmaceuticals.

  15. Spt-Ada-Gcn5-Acetyltransferase (SAGA) Complex in Plants: Genome Wide Identification, Evolutionary Conservation and Functional Determination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Rakesh; Rai, Krishan Mohan; Pandey, Bindu; Singh, Sudhir P.; Sawant, Samir V.

    2015-01-01

    The recruitment of RNA polymerase II on a promoter is assisted by the assembly of basal transcriptional machinery in eukaryotes. The Spt-Ada-Gcn5-Acetyltransferase (SAGA) complex plays an important role in transcription regulation in eukaryotes. However, even in the advent of genome sequencing of various plants, SAGA complex has been poorly defined for their components and roles in plant development and physiological functions. Computational analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa genomes for SAGA complex resulted in the identification of 17 to 18 potential candidates for SAGA subunits. We have further classified the SAGA complex based on the conserved domains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the SAGA complex proteins are evolutionary conserved between plants, yeast and mammals. Functional annotation showed that they participate not only in chromatin remodeling and gene regulation, but also in different biological processes, which could be indirect and possibly mediated via the regulation of gene expression. The in silico expression analysis of the SAGA components in Arabidopsis and O. sativa clearly indicates that its components have a distinct expression profile at different developmental stages. The co-expression analysis of the SAGA components suggests that many of these subunits co-express at different developmental stages, during hormonal interaction and in response to stress conditions. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of SAGA component genes further confirmed their expression in different plant tissues and stresses. The expression of representative salt, heat and light inducible genes were affected in mutant lines of SAGA subunits in Arabidopsis. Altogether, the present study reveals expedient evidences of involvement of the SAGA complex in plant gene regulation and stress responses. PMID:26263547

  16. Spt-Ada-Gcn5-Acetyltransferase (SAGA Complex in Plants: Genome Wide Identification, Evolutionary Conservation and Functional Determination.

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    Rakesh Srivastava

    Full Text Available The recruitment of RNA polymerase II on a promoter is assisted by the assembly of basal transcriptional machinery in eukaryotes. The Spt-Ada-Gcn5-Acetyltransferase (SAGA complex plays an important role in transcription regulation in eukaryotes. However, even in the advent of genome sequencing of various plants, SAGA complex has been poorly defined for their components and roles in plant development and physiological functions. Computational analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa genomes for SAGA complex resulted in the identification of 17 to 18 potential candidates for SAGA subunits. We have further classified the SAGA complex based on the conserved domains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the SAGA complex proteins are evolutionary conserved between plants, yeast and mammals. Functional annotation showed that they participate not only in chromatin remodeling and gene regulation, but also in different biological processes, which could be indirect and possibly mediated via the regulation of gene expression. The in silico expression analysis of the SAGA components in Arabidopsis and O. sativa clearly indicates that its components have a distinct expression profile at different developmental stages. The co-expression analysis of the SAGA components suggests that many of these subunits co-express at different developmental stages, during hormonal interaction and in response to stress conditions. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of SAGA component genes further confirmed their expression in different plant tissues and stresses. The expression of representative salt, heat and light inducible genes were affected in mutant lines of SAGA subunits in Arabidopsis. Altogether, the present study reveals expedient evidences of involvement of the SAGA complex in plant gene regulation and stress responses.

  17. Buffering by gene duplicates: an analysis of molecular correlates and evolutionary conservation

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    Vogel Christine

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background One mechanism to account for robustness against gene knockouts or knockdowns is through buffering by gene duplicates, but the extent and general correlates of this process in organisms is still a matter of debate. To reveal general trends of this process, we provide a comprehensive comparison of gene essentiality, duplication and buffering by duplicates across seven bacteria (Mycoplasma genitalium, Bacillus subtilis, Helicobacter pylori, Haemophilus influenzae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and four eukaryotes (Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast, Caenorhabditis elegans (worm, Drosophila melanogaster (fly, Mus musculus (mouse. Results In nine of the eleven organisms, duplicates significantly increase chances of survival upon gene deletion (P-value ≤ 0.05, but only by up to 13%. Given that duplicates make up to 80% of eukaryotic genomes, the small contribution is surprising and points to dominant roles of other buffering processes, such as alternative metabolic pathways. The buffering capacity of duplicates appears to be independent of the degree of gene essentiality and tends to be higher for genes with high expression levels. For example, buffering capacity increases to 23% amongst highly expressed genes in E. coli. Sequence similarity and the number of duplicates per gene are weak predictors of the duplicate's buffering capacity. In a case study we show that buffering gene duplicates in yeast and worm are somewhat more similar in their functions than non-buffering duplicates and have increased transcriptional and translational activity. Conclusion In sum, the extent of gene essentiality and buffering by duplicates is not conserved across organisms and does not correlate with the organisms' apparent complexity. This heterogeneity goes beyond what would be expected from differences in experimental approaches alone. Buffering by duplicates contributes to robustness in several organisms

  18. Rye Pm8 and wheat Pm3 are orthologous genes and show evolutionary conservation of resistance function against powdery mildew.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurni, Severine; Brunner, Susanne; Buchmann, Gabriele; Herren, Gerhard; Jordan, Tina; Krukowski, Patricia; Wicker, Thomas; Yahiaoui, Nabila; Mago, Rohit; Keller, Beat

    2013-12-01

    The improvement of wheat through breeding has relied strongly on the use of genetic material from related wild and domesticated grass species. The 1RS chromosome arm from rye was introgressed into wheat and crossed into many wheat lines, as it improves yield and fungal disease resistance. Pm8 is a powdery mildew resistance gene on 1RS which, after widespread agricultural cultivation, is now widely overcome by adapted mildew races. Here we show by homology-based cloning and subsequent physical and genetic mapping that Pm8 is the rye orthologue of the Pm3 allelic series of mildew resistance genes in wheat. The cloned gene was functionally validated as Pm8 by transient, single-cell expression analysis and stable transformation. Sequence analysis revealed a complex mosaic of ancient haplotypes among Pm3- and Pm8-like genes from different members of the Triticeae. These results show that the two genes have evolved independently after the divergence of the species 7.5 million years ago and kept their function in mildew resistance. During this long time span the co-evolving pathogens have not overcome these genes, which is in strong contrast to the breakdown of Pm8 resistance since its introduction into commercial wheat 70 years ago. Sequence comparison revealed that evolutionary pressure acted on the same subdomains and sequence features of the two orthologous genes. This suggests that they recognize directly or indirectly the same pathogen effectors that have been conserved in the powdery mildews of wheat and rye.

  19. 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.

  20. The plant energy sensor: evolutionary conservation and divergence of SnRK1 structure, regulation, and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broeckx, Tom; Hulsmans, Sander; Rolland, Filip

    2016-12-01

    The SnRK1 (SNF1-related kinase 1) kinases are the plant cellular fuel gauges, activated in response to energy-depleting stress conditions to maintain energy homeostasis while also gatekeeping important developmental transitions for optimal growth and survival. Similar to their opisthokont counterparts (animal AMP-activated kinase, AMPK, and yeast Sucrose Non-Fermenting 1, SNF), they function as heterotrimeric complexes with a catalytic (kinase) α subunit and regulatory β and γ subunits. Although the overall configuration of the kinase complexes is well conserved, plant-specific structural modifications (including a unique hybrid βγ subunit) and associated differences in regulation reflect evolutionary divergence in response to fundamentally different lifestyles. While AMP is the key metabolic signal activating AMPK in animals, the plant kinases appear to be allosterically inhibited by sugar-phosphates. Their function is further fine-tuned by differential subunit expression, localization, and diverse post-translational modifications. The SnRK1 kinases act by direct phosphorylation of key metabolic enzymes and regulatory proteins, extensive transcriptional regulation (e.g. through bZIP transcription factors), and down-regulation of TOR (target of rapamycin) kinase signaling. Significant progress has been made in recent years. New tools and more directed approaches will help answer important fundamental questions regarding their structure, regulation, and function, as well as explore their potential as targets for selection and modification for improved plant performance in a changing environment.

  1. Conservation genetics of evolutionary lineages of the endangered mountain yellow-legged frog, Rana muscosa (Amphibia: Ranidae), in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoville, Sean D.; Tustall, Tate S.; Vredenburg, Vance T.; Backlin, Adam R.; Gallegos, Elizabeth; Wood, Dustin A.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    Severe population declines led to the listing of southern California Rana muscosa (Ranidae) as endangered in 2002. Nine small populations inhabit watersheds in three isolated mountain ranges, the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto. One population from the Dark Canyon tributary in the San Jacinto Mountains has been used to establish a captive breeding population at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Because these populations may still be declining, it is critical to gather information on how genetic variation is structured in these populations and what historical inter-population connectivity existed between populations. Additionally, it is not clear whether these populations are rapidly losing genetic diversity due to population bottlenecks. Using mitochondrial and microsatellite data, we examine patterns of genetic variation in southern California and one of the last remaining populations of R. muscosa in the southern Sierra Nevada. We find low levels of genetic variation within each population and evidence of genetic bottlenecks. Additionally, substantial population structure is evident, suggesting a high degree of historical isolation within and between mountain ranges. Based on estimates from a multi-population isolation with migration analysis, these populations diversified during glacial episodes of the Pleistocene, with little gene flow during population divergence. Our data demonstrate that unique evolutionary lineages of R. muscosa occupy each mountain range in southern California and should be managed separately. The captive breeding program at Dark Canyon is promising, although mitigating the loss of neutral genetic diversity relative to the natural population might require additional breeding frogs.

  2. Lineage-specific sequence evolution and exon edge conservation partially explain the relationship between evolutionary rate and expression level in A. thaliana

    OpenAIRE

    Bush, Stephen J; Kover, Paula X.; Urrutia, Araxi O.

    2015-01-01

    Rapidly evolving proteins can aid the identification of genes underlying phenotypic adaptation across taxa, but functional and structural elements of genes can also affect evolutionary rates. In plants, the 'edges' of exons, flanking intron junctions, are known to contain splice enhancers and to have a higher degree of conservation compared to the remainder of the coding region. However, the extent to which these regions may be masking indicators of positive selection or account for the relat...

  3. MS4 - Multi-Scale Selector of Sequence Signatures: An alignment-free method for classification of biological sequences

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    Grasseau Gilles

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background While multiple alignment is the first step of usual classification schemes for biological sequences, alignment-free methods are being increasingly used as alternatives when multiple alignments fail. Subword-based combinatorial methods are popular for their low algorithmic complexity (suffix trees ... or exhaustivity (motif search, in general with fixed length word and/or number of mismatches. We developed previously a method to detect local similarities (the N-local decoding based on the occurrences of repeated subwords of fixed length, which does not impose a fixed number of mismatches. The resulting similarities are, for some "good" values of N, sufficiently relevant to form the basis of a reliable alignment-free classification. The aim of this paper is to develop a method that uses the similarities detected by N-local decoding while not imposing a fixed value of N. We present a procedure that selects for every position in the sequences an adaptive value of N, and we implement it as the MS4 classification tool. Results Among the equivalence classes produced by the N-local decodings for all N, we select a (relatively small number of "relevant" classes corresponding to variable length subwords that carry enough information to perform the classification. The parameter N, for which correct values are data-dependent and thus hard to guess, is here replaced by the average repetitivity κ of the sequences. We show that our approach yields classifications of several sets of HIV/SIV sequences that agree with the accepted taxonomy, even on usually discarded repetitive regions (like the non-coding part of LTR. Conclusions The method MS4 satisfactorily classifies a set of sequences that are notoriously hard to align. This suggests that our approach forms the basis of a reliable alignment-free classification tool. The only parameter κ of MS4 seems to give reasonable results even for its default value, which can be a great advantage for

  4. 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 ...

  5. Reproductive isolation, evolutionary distinctiveness and setting conservation priorities: The case of European lake whitefish and the endangered North Sea houting (Coregonus spp.

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    Mensberg Karen-Lise D

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Adaptive radiation within fishes of the Coregonus lavaretus complex has created numerous morphs, posing significant challenges for taxonomy and conservation priorities. The highly endangered North Sea houting (C. oxyrhynchus; abbreviated NSH has been considered a separate species from European lake whitefish (C. lavaretus; abbreviated ELW due to morphological divergence and adaptation to oceanic salinities. However, its evolutionary and taxonomic status is controversial. We analysed microsatellite DNA polymorphism in nine populations from the Jutland Peninsula and the Baltic Sea, representing NSH (three populations, two of which are reintroduced and ELW (six populations. The objectives were to: 1 analyse postglacial recolonization of whitefish in the region; 2 assess the evolutionary distinctiveness of NSH, and 3 apply several approaches for defining conservation units towards setting conservation priorities for NSH. Results Bayesian cluster analyses of genetic differentiation identified four major groups, corresponding to NSH and three groups of ELW (Western Jutland, Central Jutland, Baltic Sea. Estimates of historical migration rates indicated recolonization in a north-eastern direction, suggesting that all except the Baltic Sea population predominantly represent postglacial recolonization via the ancient Elbe River. Contemporary gene flow has not occurred between NSH and ELW, with a divergence time within the last 4,000 years suggested from coalescence methods. NSH showed interbreeding with ELW when brought into contact by stocking. Thus, reproductive isolation of NSH was not absolute, although possible interbreeding beyond the F1 level could not be resolved. Conclusion Fishes of the C. lavaretus complex in the Jutland Peninsula originate from the same recolonization event. NSH has evolved recently and its species status may be questioned due to incomplete reproductive isolation from ELW, but it was shown to merit

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Evolution of the 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase (4CL) gene family:Conserved evolutionary pattern and two new gene classes in gymnosperms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui GAO; Dong-Mei GUO; Wen-Juan LIU; Jin-Hua RAN; Xiao-Quan WANG

    2012-01-01

    The 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase (4CL) is the branch point enzyme that channels the general phenylpropanoid metabolism into specific lignin and flavonoid biosynthesis branches.Genetic engineering experiments on the 4CL gene have been carried out in many species,but the precise functions of different gene members are still unresolved.To investigate the evolutionary relationships and functional differentiation of the 4CL gene family,we made a comprehensive evolutionary analysis of this gene family from 27 species representing the major lineages of land plants.The phylogenetic analysis indicates that both vascular and seed plant 4CL genes form monophyletic groups,and that three and two 4CL classes can be recognized in gymnosperms and angiosperms,respectively.The evolutionary rate and frequency of duplication of the 4CL gene family are much more conserved than that of the CAD/SAD (cinnamyl/sinapyl alcohol dehydrogenase) gene family,which catalyzes the last step in monolignol biosynthesis.This may be due to different selective pressures on these genes whose products catalyze different steps in the biosynthesis pathway.In addition,we found two new major classes of 4CL genes in gymnosperms.

  9. Evolutionary and functional analysis of the invariant SWIM domain in the conserved Shu2/SWS1 protein family from Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godin, Stephen K; Meslin, Camille; Kabbinavar, Faiz; Bratton-Palmer, Dominique S; Hornack, Christina; Mihalevic, Michael J; Yoshida, Kyle; Sullivan, Meghan; Clark, Nathan L; Bernstein, Kara A

    2015-04-01

    The Saccharomyces cerevisiae Shu2 protein is an important regulator of Rad51, which promotes homologous recombination (HR). Shu2 functions in the Shu complex with Shu1 and the Rad51 paralogs Csm2 and Psy3. Shu2 belongs to the SWS1 protein family, which is characterized by its SWIM domain (CXC...Xn...CXH), a zinc-binding motif. In humans, SWS1 interacts with the Rad51 paralog SWSAP1. Using genetic and evolutionary analyses, we examined the role of the Shu complex in mitotic and meiotic processes across eukaryotic lineages. We provide evidence that the SWS1 protein family contains orthologous genes in early-branching eukaryote lineages (e.g., Giardia lamblia), as well as in multicellular eukaryotes including Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. Using sequence analysis, we expanded the SWIM domain to include an invariant alanine three residues after the terminal CXH motif (CXC…Xn…CXHXXA). We found that the SWIM domain is conserved in all eukaryotic orthologs, and accordingly, in vivo disruption of the invariant residues within the canonical SWIM domain inhibits DNA damage tolerance in yeast and protein-protein interactions in yeast and humans. Furthermore, using evolutionary analyses, we found that yeast and Drosophila Shu2 exhibit strong coevolutionary signatures with meiotic proteins, and in yeast, its disruption leads to decreased meiotic progeny. Together our data indicate that the SWS1 family is an ancient and highly conserved eukaryotic regulator of meiotic and mitotic HR.

  10. CORE_TF: a user-friendly interface to identify evolutionary conserved transcription factor binding sites in sets of co-regulated genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hestand, Matthew S; van Galen, Michiel; Villerius, Michel P; van Ommen, Gert-Jan B; den Dunnen, Johan T; 't Hoen, Peter AC

    2008-01-01

    Background The identification of transcription factor binding sites is difficult since they are only a small number of nucleotides in size, resulting in large numbers of false positives and false negatives in current approaches. Computational methods to reduce false positives are to look for over-representation of transcription factor binding sites in a set of similarly regulated promoters or to look for conservation in orthologous promoter alignments. Results We have developed a novel tool, "CORE_TF" (Conserved and Over-REpresented Transcription Factor binding sites) that identifies common transcription factor binding sites in promoters of co-regulated genes. To improve upon existing binding site predictions, the tool searches for position weight matrices from the TRANSFACR database that are over-represented in an experimental set compared to a random set of promoters and identifies cross-species conservation of the predicted transcription factor binding sites. The algorithm has been evaluated with expression and chromatin-immunoprecipitation on microarray data. We also implement and demonstrate the importance of matching the random set of promoters to the experimental promoters by GC content, which is a unique feature of our tool. Conclusion The program CORE_TF is accessible in a user friendly web interface at . It provides a table of over-represented transcription factor binding sites in the users input genes' promoters and a graphical view of evolutionary conserved transcription factor binding sites. In our test data sets it successfully predicts target transcription factors and their binding sites. PMID:19036135

  11. LA CONSERVACIÓN BIOLÓGICA Y SU PERSPECTIVA EVOLUTIVA Biological Conservation and its Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OLGA L MONTENEGRO

    Full Text Available Este artículo revisa tres de las principales causas de amenaza a la diversidad biológica, como son la fragmentación y pérdida del hábitat, así como la invasión de especies exóticas, principalmente en lo que compete a sus implicaciones evolutivas. Los efectos de la fragmentación y/o pérdida del hábitat pueden revisarse a la luz de la sinergia entre factores demográficos y genéticos que moldean cambios evolutivos o que llevan a las poblaciones al vórtice de la extinción. Las invasiones biológicas, aunque han generado pérdidas considerables en la diversidad biológica, ofrecen un escenario interesante para estudiar procesos evolutivos contemporáneos.This paper reviews three of the main threats to biological diversity, such as habitat fragmentation /habitat loss, and invasion of exotic species, mainly from their evolutionary implications. Effects of habitat fragmentation/habitat loss could be addressed by looking at the synergy between demographic and genetic factors that together shape evolutionary changes or otherwise bring populations to extinction vortex. Biological invasions, in spite of their strong negative effects on biological diversity, offer an interesting scenario to study contemporary evolutionary processes.

  12. GUTSS: An Alignment-Free Sequence Comparison Method for Use in Human Intestinal Microbiome and Fecal Microbiota Transplantation Analysis.

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    Mitchell J Brittnacher

    Full Text Available Comparative analysis of gut microbiomes in clinical studies of human diseases typically rely on identification and quantification of species or genes. In addition to exploring specific functional characteristics of the microbiome and potential significance of species diversity or expansion, microbiome similarity is also calculated to study change in response to therapies directed at altering the microbiome. Established ecological measures of similarity can be constructed from species abundances, however methods for calculating these commonly used ecological measures of similarity directly from whole genome shotgun (WGS metagenomic sequence are lacking.We present an alignment-free method for calculating similarity of WGS metagenomic sequences that is analogous to the Bray-Curtis index for species, implemented by the General Utility for Testing Sequence Similarity (GUTSS software application. This method was applied to intestinal microbiomes of healthy young children to measure developmental changes toward an adult microbiome during the first 3 years of life. We also calculate similarity of donor and recipient microbiomes to measure establishment, or engraftment, of donor microbiota in fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT studies focused on mild to moderate Crohn's disease. We show how a relative index of similarity to donor can be calculated as a measure of change in a patient's microbiome toward that of the donor in response to FMT.Because clinical efficacy of the transplant procedure cannot be fully evaluated without analysis methods to quantify actual FMT engraftment, we developed a method for detecting change in the gut microbiome that is independent of species identification and database bias, sensitive to changes in relative abundance of the microbial constituents, and can be formulated as an index for correlating engraftment success with clinical measures of disease. More generally, this method may be applied to clinical evaluation of

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

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    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.

  14. CORE_TF: a user-friendly interface to identify evolutionary conserved transcription factor binding sites in sets of co-regulated genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    den Dunnen Johan T

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The identification of transcription factor binding sites is difficult since they are only a small number of nucleotides in size, resulting in large numbers of false positives and false negatives in current approaches. Computational methods to reduce false positives are to look for over-representation of transcription factor binding sites in a set of similarly regulated promoters or to look for conservation in orthologous promoter alignments. Results We have developed a novel tool, "CORE_TF" (Conserved and Over-REpresented Transcription Factor binding sites that identifies common transcription factor binding sites in promoters of co-regulated genes. To improve upon existing binding site predictions, the tool searches for position weight matrices from the TRANSFACR database that are over-represented in an experimental set compared to a random set of promoters and identifies cross-species conservation of the predicted transcription factor binding sites. The algorithm has been evaluated with expression and chromatin-immunoprecipitation on microarray data. We also implement and demonstrate the importance of matching the random set of promoters to the experimental promoters by GC content, which is a unique feature of our tool. Conclusion The program CORE_TF is accessible in a user friendly web interface at http://www.LGTC.nl/CORE_TF. It provides a table of over-represented transcription factor binding sites in the users input genes' promoters and a graphical view of evolutionary conserved transcription factor binding sites. In our test data sets it successfully predicts target transcription factors and their binding sites.

  15. 16 Pollen Allergens Differ From Nonallergenic Pollen Proteins by Their Lower Extent of Evolutionary Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Radauer, Christian; Guhslc, Eva; Bublin, Merima; Breiteneder, Heimo

    2012-01-01

    Background Pollen contains hundreds of different proteins. However, only a small fraction of them have been identified to be allergenic. We aimed to test the hypothesis that most pollen proteins are non-allergenic due to their high extent of sequence conservation among non-related species. Methods Data on the composition of pollen proteomes of birch (Betula pendula), pellitory (Parientaria judaica) and timothy grass (Phleum pratense) were obtained from the literature. Sequences were downloade...

  16. An evolutionary conserved pattern of 18S rRNA sequence complementarity to mRNA 5' UTRs and its implications for eukaryotic gene translation regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pánek, Josef; Kolár, Michal; Vohradský, Jirí; Shivaya Valásek, Leos

    2013-09-01

    There are several key mechanisms regulating eukaryotic gene expression at the level of protein synthesis. Interestingly, the least explored mechanisms of translational control are those that involve the translating ribosome per se, mediated for example via predicted interactions between the ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) and mRNAs. Here, we took advantage of robustly growing large-scale data sets of mRNA sequences for numerous organisms, solved ribosomal structures and computational power to computationally explore the mRNA-rRNA complementarity that is statistically significant across the species. Our predictions reveal highly specific sequence complementarity of 18S rRNA sequences with mRNA 5' untranslated regions (UTRs) forming a well-defined 3D pattern on the rRNA sequence of the 40S subunit. Broader evolutionary conservation of this pattern may imply that 5' UTRs of eukaryotic mRNAs, which have already emerged from the mRNA-binding channel, may contact several complementary spots on 18S rRNA situated near the exit of the mRNA binding channel and on the middle-to-lower body of the solvent-exposed 40S ribosome including its left foot. We discuss physiological significance of this structurally conserved pattern and, in the context of previously published experimental results, propose that it modulates scanning of the 40S subunit through 5' UTRs of mRNAs.

  17. The endocrine system controlling sexual reproduction in animals: Part of the evolutionary ancient but well conserved immune system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Loof, Arnold; Schoofs, Liliane; Huybrechts, Roger

    2016-01-15

    Drastic changes in hormone titers, in particular of steroid hormones, are intuitively interpreted as necessary and beneficial for optimal functioning of animals. Peaks in progesterone- and estradiol titers that accompany the estrus cycle in female vertebrates as well as in ecdysteroids at each molt and during metamorphosis of holometabolous insects are prominent examples. A recent analysis of insect metamorphosis yielded the view that, in general, a sharp rise in sex steroid hormone titer signals that somewhere in the body some tissue(s) is undergoing programmed cell death/apoptosis. Increased steroid production is part of this process. Typical examples are ovarian follicle cells in female vertebrates and invertebrates and the prothoracic gland cells, the main production site of ecdysteroids in larval insects. A duality emerges: programmed cell death-apoptosis is deleterious at the cellular level, but it may yield beneficial effects at the organismal level. Reconciling both opposites requires reevaluating the probable evolutionary origin and role of peptidic brain hormones that direct steroid hormone synthesis. Do e.g. Luteinizing Hormone in vertebrates and Prothoracicotropic Hormone (PTTH: acting through the Torso receptor) in insects still retain an ancient role as toxins in the early immune system? Does the functional link of some neuropeptides with Ca(2+)-induced apoptosis make sense in endocrine archeology? The endocrine system as a remnant of the ancient immune system is undoubtedly counterintuitive. Yet, we will argue that such paradigm enables the logical framing of many aspects, the endocrine one inclusive of both male and female reproductive physiology.

  18. Characterization of SoxB2 and SoxC genes in Amphioxus (Branchiostoma belcheri): Implications for their evolutionary conservation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIN YuShuang; CHEN DongYan; FAN QiuSheng; ZHANG HongWei

    2009-01-01

    Most Sox genes directly affect cell fate determination and differentiation. In this study, we isolated two Sox genes: SoxB2 and SoxC from amphioxus (Branchiostoma belcheri), the closest living invertebrate relative of the vertebrates. Alignments of SoxB2 and SoxC protein sequences and their vertebrate homologs show high conservation of their HMG domains. Phylogenic analysis shows that amphioxus SoxB2 and SoxC fall out of the vertebrate branches, suggesting that vertebrate homologs might arise from gene duplications during evolution. The two genes possess similar spatial and temporal expression patterns during embryogenesis and in adults. They are both maternally inherited. During neurulation, they are expressed in the neural ectoderm and archenterons. In adults, they are expressed not only in the nerve cord, but also in the gut, midgut diverticulum, gill and oocytes. These results suggest that amphioxus SoxB2 and SoxC might co-function and have conserved functions in the nervous sys-tem and gonads as their vertebrate homologs.

  19. 16s rRNA的保守字和进化树重建%Conserved Words in 16s Ribosomal RNA Deduced from Evolutionary Tree Reconstruction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    罗辽复; 贾孟文

    2002-01-01

    Evolutionary distance is defined by oligonucleotide (n-bases) frequency difference of two sequences.Phylogenetic tree is reconstructed using a set of 16S (18S) rRNA sequences and the definition of distance.The quality of trees generally improves with increasing n and reaches a plateau of best fit at n=7 or 8.So,the 7-mer or 8-mer frequencies provides a basis to describe rRNA evolution.Then,a group of 7-mers are deduced which are correlate well with evolution.Evolution-related conservative words longer than 7 bases for Bacteria and Archaea in 16S rRNA sequences have been found.They are highly conserved in nearly all species of a kingdom (or a sub-kingdom) and are located on nearly same sites of sequences. The structural meaning of these conservative words is discussed briefly.%据寡核苷(n核苷)频数差定义进化距离,由此构成16s rRNA进化树,当n=7,8时和实验资料符合很好,在寻找出全部进化相关的7-核苷的基础上,本文进一步求得了长度大于7的保守字,它们在一个界别中的诸物种中高度保守,并出现于核糖体序列的基本相同的位置上,这些保守字对于核糖体的早期进化至关重要.

  20. Bilaterian Giant Ankyrins Have a Common Evolutionary Origin and Play a Conserved Role in Patterning the Axon Initial Segment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jegla, Timothy; Nguyen, Michelle M.; Feng, Chengye; Goetschius, Daniel J.; van Rossum, Damian B.; Pisupati, Aditya; Milner, Elliott S.

    2016-01-01

    In vertebrate neurons, the axon initial segment (AIS) is specialized for action potential initiation. It is organized by a giant 480 Kd variant of ankyrin G (AnkG) that serves as an anchor for ion channels and is required for a plasma membrane diffusion barrier that excludes somatodendritic proteins from the axon. An unusually long exon required to encode this 480Kd variant is thought to have been inserted only recently during vertebrate evolution, so the giant ankyrin-based AIS scaffold has been viewed as a vertebrate adaptation for fast, precise signaling. We re-examined AIS evolution through phylogenomic analysis of ankyrins and by testing the role of ankyrins in proximal axon organization in a model multipolar Drosophila neuron (ddaE). We find giant isoforms of ankyrin in all major bilaterian phyla, and present evidence in favor of a single common origin for giant ankyrins and the corresponding long exon in a bilaterian ancestor. This finding raises the question of whether giant ankyrin isoforms play a conserved role in AIS organization throughout the Bilateria. We examined this possibility by looking for conserved ankyrin-dependent AIS features in Drosophila ddaE neurons via live imaging. We found that ddaE neurons have an axonal diffusion barrier proximal to the cell body that requires a giant isoform of the neuronal ankyrin Ank2. Furthermore, the potassium channel shal concentrates in the proximal axon in an Ank2-dependent manner. Our results indicate that the giant ankyrin-based cytoskeleton of the AIS may have evolved prior to the radiation of extant bilaterian lineages, much earlier than previously thought. PMID:27911898

  1. The Quaternary evolutionary history, potential distribution dynamics, and conservation implications for a Qinghai-Tibet Plateau endemic herbaceous perennial, Anisodus tanguticus (Solanaceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Dong-Shi; Feng, Jian-Ju; Jiang, De-Chun; Mao, Kang-Shan; Duan, Yuan-Wen; Miehe, Georg; Opgenoorth, Lars

    2016-04-01

    Various hypotheses have been proposed about the Quaternary evolutionary history of plant species on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP), yet only a handful of studies have considered both population genetics and ecological niche context. In this study, we proposed and compared climate refugia hypotheses based on the phylogeographic pattern of Anisodus tanguticus (three plastid DNA fragments and nuclear internal transcribed spacer regions from 32 populations) and present and past species distribution models (SDMs). We detected six plastid haplotypes in two well-differentiated lineages. Although all haplotypes could be found in its western (sampling) area, only haplotypes from one lineage occurred in its eastern area. Meanwhile, most genetic variations existed between populations (F ST = 0.822). The SDMs during the last glacial maximum and last interglacial periods showed range fragmentation in the western area and significant range contraction in the eastern area, respectively, in comparison with current potential distribution. This species may have undergone intraspecific divergence during the early Quaternary, which may have been caused by survival in different refugia during the earliest known glacial in the QTP, rather than geological isolation due to orogenesis events. Subsequently, climate oscillations during the Quaternary resulted in a dynamic distribution range for this species as well as the distribution pattern of its plastid haplotypes and nuclear genotypes. The interglacial periods may have had a greater effect on A. tanguticus than the glacial periods. Most importantly, neither genetic data nor SDM alone can fully reveal the climate refugia history of this species. We also discuss the conservation implications for this important Tibetan folk medicine plant in light of these findings and SDMs under future climate models. Together, our results underline the necessity to combine phylogeographic and SDM approaches in future investigations of the Quaternary

  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; 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

  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. 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

  5. Structural and Biophysical Analysis of BST-2/Tetherin Ectodomains Reveals an Evolutionary Conserved Design to Inhibit Virus Release

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swiecki, M.; Allaire, M.; Scheaffer, S.; Fremont, D.H.; et.al.

    2011-01-28

    BST-2/tetherin is a host antiviral molecule that functions to potently inhibit the release of enveloped viruses from infected cells. In return, viruses have evolved antagonists to this activity. BST-2 traps budding virions by using two separate membrane-anchoring regions that simultaneously incorporate into the host and viral membranes. Here, we detailed the structural and biophysical properties of the full-length BST-2 ectodomain, which spans the two membrane anchors. The 1.6-{angstrom} crystal structure of the complete mouse BST-2 ectodomain reveals an {approx}145-{angstrom} parallel dimer in an extended {alpha}-helix conformation that predominantly forms a coiled coil bridged by three intermolecular disulfides that are required for stability. Sequence analysis in the context of the structure revealed an evolutionarily conserved design that destabilizes the coiled coil, resulting in a labile superstructure, as evidenced by solution x-ray scattering displaying bent conformations spanning 150 and 180 {angstrom} for the mouse and human BST-2 ectodomains, respectively. Additionally, crystal packing analysis revealed possible curvature-sensing tetrameric structures that may aid in proper placement of BST-2 during the genesis of viral progeny. Overall, this extended coiled-coil structure with inherent plasticity is undoubtedly necessary to accommodate the dynamics of viral budding while ensuring separation of the anchors.

  6. Structural and biophysical analysis of BST-2/tetherin ectodomains reveals an evolutionary conserved design to inhibit virus release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swiecki, Melissa; Scheaffer, Suzanne M; Allaire, Marc; Fremont, Daved H; Colonna, Marco; Brett, Tom J

    2011-01-28

    BST-2/tetherin is a host antiviral molecule that functions to potently inhibit the release of enveloped viruses from infected cells. In return, viruses have evolved antagonists to this activity. BST-2 traps budding virions by using two separate membrane-anchoring regions that simultaneously incorporate into the host and viral membranes. Here, we detailed the structural and biophysical properties of the full-length BST-2 ectodomain, which spans the two membrane anchors. The 1.6-Å crystal structure of the complete mouse BST-2 ectodomain reveals an ∼145-Å parallel dimer in an extended α-helix conformation that predominantly forms a coiled coil bridged by three intermolecular disulfides that are required for stability. Sequence analysis in the context of the structure revealed an evolutionarily conserved design that destabilizes the coiled coil, resulting in a labile superstructure, as evidenced by solution x-ray scattering displaying bent conformations spanning 150 and 180 Å for the mouse and human BST-2 ectodomains, respectively. Additionally, crystal packing analysis revealed possible curvature-sensing tetrameric structures that may aid in proper placement of BST-2 during the genesis of viral progeny. Overall, this extended coiled-coil structure with inherent plasticity is undoubtedly necessary to accommodate the dynamics of viral budding while ensuring separation of the anchors.

  7. Evolutionary conservation of the FLOWERING LOCUS C-mediated vernalization response: evidence from the sugar beet (Beta vulgaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Patrick A; He, Yuehui; Schmitz, Robert J; Amasino, Richard M; Panella, Lee W; Richards, Christopher M

    2007-05-01

    In many plant species, exposure to a prolonged period of cold during the winter promotes flowering in the spring, a process termed vernalization. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the vernalization requirement of winter-annual ecotypes is caused by the MADS-box gene FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), which is a repressor of flowering. During the vernalization process, FLC is downregulated by alteration of its chromatin structure, thereby permitting flowering to occur. In wheat, a vernalization requirement is imposed by a different repressor of flowering, suggesting that some components of the regulatory network controlling the vernalization response differ between monocots and dicots. The extent to which the molecular mechanisms underlying vernalization have been conserved during the diversification of the angiosperms is not well understood. Using phylogenetic analysis, we identified homologs of FLC in species representing the three major eudicot lineages. FLC homologs have not previously been documented outside the plant family Brassicaceae. We show that the sugar beet FLC homolog BvFL1 functions as a repressor of flowering in transgenic Arabidopsis and is downregulated in response to cold in sugar beet. Cold-induced downregulation of an FLC-like floral repressor may be a central feature of the vernalization response in at least half of eudicot species.

  8. Identification of a truncated splice variant of IL-18 receptor alpha in the human and rat, with evidence of wider evolutionary conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris S. Booker

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Interleukin-18 (IL-18 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine which stimulates activation of the nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-κB pathway via interaction with the IL-18 receptor. The receptor itself is formed from a dimer of two subunits, with the ligand-binding IL-18Rα subunit being encoded by the IL18R1 gene. A splice variant of murine IL18r1, which has been previously described, is formed by transcription of an unspliced intron (forming a ‘type II’ IL18r1 transcript and is predicted to encode a receptor with a truncated intracellular domain lacking the capacity to generate downstream signalling. In order to examine the relevance of this finding to human IL-18 function, we assessed the presence of a homologous transcript by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR in the human and rat as another common laboratory animal. We present evidence for type II IL18R1 transcripts in both species. While the mouse and rat transcripts are predicted to encode a truncated receptor with a novel 5 amino acid C-terminal domain, the human sequence is predicted to encode a truncated protein with a novel 22 amino acid sequence bearing resemblance to the ‘Box 1’ motif of the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR domain, in a similar fashion to the inhibitory interleukin-1 receptor 2. Given that transcripts from these three species are all formed by inclusion of homologous unspliced intronic regions, an analysis of homologous introns across a wider array of 33 species with available IL18R1 gene records was performed, which suggests similar transcripts may encode truncated type II IL-18Rα subunits in other species. This splice variant may represent a conserved evolutionary mechanism for regulating IL-18 activity.

  9. 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.

  10. Horizontally Transferred Genetic Elements in the Tsetse Fly Genome: An Alignment-Free Clustering Approach Using Batch Learning Self-Organising Map (BLSOM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakao, Ryo; Funayama, Shunsuke

    2016-01-01

    Tsetse flies (Glossina spp.) are the primary vectors of trypanosomes, which can cause human and animal African trypanosomiasis in Sub-Saharan African countries. The objective of this study was to explore the genome of Glossina morsitans morsitans for evidence of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from microorganisms. We employed an alignment-free clustering method, that is, batch learning self-organising map (BLSOM), in which sequence fragments are clustered based on the similarity of oligonucleotide frequencies independently of sequence homology. After an initial scan of HGT events using BLSOM, we identified 3.8% of the tsetse fly genome as HGT candidates. The predicted donors of these HGT candidates included known symbionts, such as Wolbachia, as well as bacteria that have not previously been associated with the tsetse fly. We detected HGT candidates from diverse bacteria such as Bacillus and Flavobacteria, suggesting a past association between these taxa. Functional annotation revealed that the HGT candidates encoded loci in various functional pathways, such as metabolic and antibiotic biosynthesis pathways. These findings provide a basis for understanding the coevolutionary history of the tsetse fly and its microbes and establish the effectiveness of BLSOM for the detection of HGT events. PMID:28074180

  11. Crystal structures of a yeast 14-3-3 protein from Lachancea thermotolerans in the unliganded form and bound to a human lipid kinase PI4KB-derived peptide reveal high evolutionary conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenreichova, Andrea; Klima, Martin; Boura, Evzen

    2016-11-01

    14-3-3 proteins bind phosphorylated binding partners to regulate several of their properties, including enzymatic activity, stability and subcellular localization. Here, two crystal structures are presented: the crystal structures of the 14-3-3 protein (also known as Bmh1) from the yeast Lachancea thermotolerans in the unliganded form and bound to a phosphopeptide derived from human PI4KB (phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase B). The structures demonstrate the high evolutionary conservation of ligand recognition by 14-3-3 proteins. The structural analysis suggests that ligand recognition by 14-3-3 proteins evolved very early in the evolution of eukaryotes and remained conserved, underlying the importance of 14-3-3 proteins in physiology.

  12. Exploring Climate Niches of Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) Haplotypes in the Western United States: Implications for Evolutionary History and Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Douglas J. Shinneman; Means, Robert E.; Potter, Kevin M.; Valerie D Hipkins

    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 ...

  13. 基于二进制加密电路的无预对齐指纹匹配%Garbled Circuits Based Alignment-Free Fingerprint Matching

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李梦醒; 冯全; 杨梅; 赵建; 贺康

    2014-01-01

    针对在加密域中进行指纹匹配时指纹模板和现场样本整体对齐的困难性,提出了一种免对齐的指纹匹配方案。采用具有旋转和平移不变性的细节点纹线方向特征和细节点局部结构,设计实现了相应的加密二进制电路,使得服务器能验证用户指纹,而不会泄露各自的数据。实验结果表明,所提方案在FVC2002-DB2指纹库上具有较高的匹配精度。%When a server authenticates users based on fingerprint over open network, the process of fin-gerprint matching is usually handled in the encrypted domain with purpose of protecting the privacy and security of both parties. However, an accurate alignment of the template and the query sample is rather difficult in this situation. An alignment-free fingerprint-matching scheme was presented, which extracts two kinds of local features around the minutiae, ridge orientation and minutiae local structure. Both fea-tures have the properties of invariant to rotation and translation. Garbled circuits were designed to imple-ment the corresponding matching algorithm, which allow the server to verify the user without leaking the respective data. Experiment shows that the scheme achieves a relatively higher accuracy on FVC2002-DB2 public database.

  14. 基于D2shepp统计法的非序列局部比对%Local Alignment-Free Sequences Based on D2shepp Statistics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘雪梅; 文德华; 於黄忠; 高亚妮

    2012-01-01

    两条生物序列间的相似性比对是计算生物学探讨的主要问题之一,一种快速的依赖于k-元组的D2shepp统计法目前已被应用到非序列比对中.文中在零模型的基础上产生两条相互独立的随机序列,基于D2shepp统计法进行了两条序列的局部比对,找到局部比对的最优值并求和.在此基础上模拟了Power值的分布情况,并分析了不同k参数下的Power值分布.在相同参数下将文中提出的局部比对与已有的D2shepp统计的全局比对进行比较,发现局部比对D2shepp统计的Power值随着序列长度的增大而快速地接近于1,比全局比对更加快速、准确.%The similarities between two biological sequences is a major issue in computational biology, and a fast D2shepp statistics method based on the joint i-tuple content in two sequences has been used in the alignment-free sequence comparison. In this paper, two separate random sequences are generated based on the zero model, and their local alignment is conducted based on D2shepp statistics, thus obtaining the optimal values and the sum of these values. Then, the Power distribution is simulated and the distributions with different k values are analyzed. Finally, with the same parameters, the proposed local alignment is compared with the global alignment based on D2shepp statistics. It is found that the Power value of the proposed local alignment rapidly approaches 1 with the increase of the sequence length and that the proposed local alignment is quicker and more accurate than the global one.

  15. On the evolutionary conservation of hydrogen bonds made by buried polar amino acids: the hidden joists, braces and trusses of protein architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Worth Catherine L

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The hydrogen bond patterns between mainchain atoms in protein structures not only give rise to regular secondary structures but also satisfy mainchain hydrogen bond potential. However, not all mainchain atoms can be satisfied through hydrogen bond interactions that arise in regular secondary structures; in some locations sidechain-to-mainchain hydrogen bonds are required to provide polar group satisfaction. Buried polar residues that are hydrogen-bonded to mainchain amide atoms tend to be highly conserved within protein families, confirming that mainchain architecture is a critical restraint on the evolution of proteins. We have investigated the stabilizing roles of buried polar sidechains on the backbones of protein structures by performing an analysis of solvent inaccessible residues that are entirely conserved within protein families and superfamilies and hydrogen bonded to an equivalent mainchain atom in each family member. Results We show that polar and sometimes charged sidechains form hydrogen bonds to mainchain atoms in the cores of proteins in a manner that has been conserved in evolution. Although particular motifs have previously been identified where buried polar residues have conserved roles in stabilizing protein structure, for example in helix capping, we demonstrate that such interactions occur in a range of architectures and highlight those polar amino acid types that fulfil these roles. We show that these buried polar residues often span elements of secondary structure and provide stabilizing interactions of the overall protein architecture. Conclusions Conservation of buried polar residues and the hydrogen-bond interactions that they form implies an important role for maintaining protein structure, contributing strong restraints on amino acid substitutions during divergent protein evolution. Our analysis sheds light on the important stabilizing roles of these residues in protein architecture and provides

  16. Evolutionary Demography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levitis, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    of biological and cultural evolution. Demographic variation within and among human populations is influenced by our biology, and therefore by natural selection and our evolutionary background. Demographic methods are necessary for studying populations of other species, and for quantifying evolutionary fitness...

  17. Characterization of a spermidine hydroxycinnamoyltransferase in Malus domestica highlights the evolutionary conservation of trihydroxycinnamoyl spermidines in pollen coat of core Eudicotyledons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elejalde-Palmett, Carolina; de Bernonville, Thomas Dugé; Glevarec, Gaëlle; Pichon, Olivier; Papon, Nicolas; Courdavault, Vincent; St-Pierre, Benoit; Giglioli-Guivarc'h, Nathalie; Lanoue, Arnaud; Besseau, Sébastien

    2015-12-01

    Phenolamides, so called hydroxycinnamic acid amides, are specialized metabolites produced in higher plants, involved in development, reproduction and serve as defence compounds in biotic interactions. Among them, trihydroxycinnamoyl spermidine derivatives were initially found to be synthetized by a spermidine hydroxycinnamoyltransferase (AtSHT) in Arabidopsis thaliana and to accumulate in the pollen coat. This study reports the identification, in Malus domestica, of an acyltransferase able to complement the sht mutant of Arabidopsis. The quantitative RT-PCR expression profile of MdSHT reveals a specific expression in flowers coordinated with anther development and tapetum cell activities. Three phenolamides including N (1),N (5),N (10)-tricoumaroyl spermidine and N (1),N (5)-dicoumaroyl-N (10)-caffeoyl spermidine identified by LC/MS, were shown to accumulate specifically in pollen grain coat of apple tree. Moreover, in vitro biochemical characterization confirmed MdSHT capacity to synthesize tri-substituted spermidine derivatives with a substrate specificity restricted to p-coumaroyl-CoA and caffeoyl-CoA as an acyl donor. Further investigations of the presence of tri-substituted hydroxycinnamoyl spermidine conjugates in higher plants were performed by targeted metabolic analyses in pollens coupled with bioinformatic analyses of putative SHT orthologues in a wide range of available plant genomes. This work highlights a probable early evolutionary appearance in the common ancestral core Eudicotyledons of a novel enzyme from the BAHD acyltransferase superfamily, dedicated to the synthesis of trihydroxycinnamoyl spermidines in pollen coat. This pathway was maintained in most species; however, recent evolutionary divergences have appeared among Eudicotyledons, such as an organ reallocation of SHT gene expression in Fabales and a loss of SHT in Malvales and Cucurbitales.

  18. 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

    2016-12-10

    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.

  19. Characterization of SoxB2 and SoxC genes in Amphi-oxus (Branchiostoma belcheri):Implications for their evolutionary conservation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    Most Sox genes directly affect cell fate determination and differentiation. In this study,we isolated two Sox genes:SoxB2 and SoxC from amphioxus (Branchiostoma belcheri),the closest living invertebrate relative of the vertebrates. Alignments of SoxB2 and SoxC protein sequences and their vertebrate homologs show high conservation of their HMG domains. Phylogenic analysis shows that amphioxus SoxB2 and SoxC fall out of the vertebrate branches,suggesting that vertebrate homologs might arise from gene duplications during evolution. The two genes possess similar spatial and temporal expression patterns during embryogenesis and in adults. They are both maternally inherited. During neurulation,they are expressed in the neural ectoderm and archenterons. In adults,they are expressed not only in the nerve cord,but also in the gut,midgut diverticulum,gill and oocytes. These results suggest that amphioxus SoxB2 and SoxC might co-function and have conserved functions in the nervous system and gonads as their vertebrate homologs.

  20. Comparative genetic structure in pines: evolutionary and conservation consequences Estructura genética comparada en pinos: consecuencias evolutivas y para la conservación

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PATRICIA DELGADO

    2002-03-01

    Full Text Available Pines have been the focus of several studies that estimate population genetic parameters using both allozymes and chloroplast single sequence repeats (SSRs. Also, the genus has also been recently studied using molecular systematics so that we now have a more clear understanding of their evolutionary history. With this background we studied comparatively the genetic structure in pines. Expected heterozygosity is particularly constant with a 99 % confidence interval between 0.19 and 0.23 in species that have been studied until now using allozymes. There is a significant proportion of species (9/41 that show high population differentiation estimates (Fst = or larger than 0.15 and five of these have large and wingless seeds probably associated with low densities, bird dispersal mechanisms and resistance to water stress. These species include the North American pinyon pines. Outcrossing rates are also constant among species from both subgenus Pinus and subgenus Strobus, which probably reflects a selective limit to the amount of deleterious alleles that can be maintained in pine species and this also affects inbreeding levels. We also explored the data published using microsatellites in pines and conclude that these markers uncover a higher proportion of variation and genetic differentiation as expected and that the evolutionary models that are used to derive the population genetic structure estimators should take into account other sources of mutation (point mutations, larger insertions and or deletions and duplications to better understand the comparative applications of these molecular markersLos pinos han sido el objeto de varios estudios para estimar los parámetros genéticos de la población utilizando tanto aloenzimas como fragmentos repetidos de secuencia sencilla (RSSs de cloroplasto. Este género también ha sido estudiado recientemente utilizando sistemática molecular de tal manera que ahora tenemos un entendimiento más claro de su

  1. Intramolecular cross-linking in a bacterial homolog of mammalian SLC6 neurotransmitter transporters suggests an evolutionary conserved role of transmembrane segments 7 and 8

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kniazeff, Julie; Loland, Claus Juul; Goldberg, Naomi;

    2005-01-01

    The extracellular concentration of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, GABA and glycine is tightly controlled by plasma membrane transporters belonging to the SLC6 gene family. A very large number of putative transport proteins with a remarkable homology to the SLC6...... transporters has recently been identified in prokaryotes. Here we have probed structural relationships in a 'microdoman' corresponding to the extracellular ends of transmembrane segments (TM) 7 and 8 in one of these homologs, the tryptophan transporter TnaT from Symbiobacterium thermophilum. We found...... proximity between TM 7 and 8 in the tertiary structure of TnaT as previously suggested for the mammalian counterparts. Furthermore, the inhibition of uptake upon cross-linking the two cysteines provides indirect support for a conserved conformational role of these transmembrane domains in the transport...

  2. Bayesian phylogeny analysis of vertebrate serpins illustrates evolutionary conservation of the intron and indels based six groups classification system from lampreys for ∼500 MY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abhishek Kumar

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The serpin superfamily is characterized by proteins that fold into a conserved tertiary structure and exploits a sophisticated and irreversible suicide-mechanism of inhibition. Vertebrate serpins are classified into six groups (V1–V6, based on three independent biological features—genomic organization, diagnostic amino acid sites and rare indels. However, this classification system was based on the limited number of mammalian genomes available. In this study, several non-mammalian genomes are used to validate this classification system using the powerful Bayesian phylogenetic method. This method supports the intron and indel based vertebrate classification and proves that serpins have been maintained from lampreys to humans for about 500 MY. Lampreys have fewer than 10 serpins, which expand into 36 serpins in humans. The two expanding groups V1 and V2 have SERPINB1/SERPINB6 and SERPINA8/SERPIND1 as the ancestral serpins, respectively. Large clusters of serpins are formed by local duplications of these serpins in tetrapod genomes. Interestingly, the ancestral HCII/SERPIND1 locus (nested within PIK4CA possesses group V4 serpin (A2APL1, homolog of α2-AP/SERPINF2 of lampreys; hence, pointing to the fact that group V4 might have originated from group V2. Additionally in this study, details of the phylogenetic history and genomic characteristics of vertebrate serpins are revisited.

  3. Historical ecology meets conservation and evolutionary genetics: a secondary contact zone between Carabus violaceus (Coleoptera, Carabidae populations inhabiting ancient and recent woodlands in north-western Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Matern

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Only very few cases have documented that an increase in connectivity after a period of fragmentation in ecological time has had an effect on the distribution, genetic structure and morphology of stenotopic species. In this study we present an example of clinal variability in a woodland ground beetle as a result of changes in the connectivity of a landscape during the last two centuries. The study area hosts both the nominate form C. violaceus s. str. and the subspecies C. v. purpurascens, which is ranked as a distinct species by some authors. We studied 12 Carabus violaceus populations from a 30 km transect of ancient and recent forests in north-western Germany. We analyzed three polymorphic enzyme loci, classified the elytron sculpture and measured the shape of the aedeagus tip of the specimens. C. violaceus showed secondary gradients both in allozyme markers and morphometric characters in our study area. A genetic differentiation of 16% between the populations is high but lies within the range of intraspecific variability in habitat specialists of the genus Carabus. Populations had no significant deficit of heterozygotes. We found many hybrid populations in terms of morphological properties. This study highlights the conservation value of ancient woodland and the consequences of landscape connectivity and defragmentation on the genetic setting of a ground beetle. Moreover, it shows that differences in the external shape of male genitalia do not prevent gene flow within the genus Carabus. Thus, the establishment of species status should not exclusively be based on this property.

  4. Evolutionary macroecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Alexandre F. Diniz-Filho

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Macroecology focuses on ecological questions at broad spatial and temporal scales, providing a statistical description of patterns in species abundance, distribution and diversity. More recently, historical components of these patterns have begun to be investigated more deeply. We tentatively refer to the practice of explicitly taking species history into account, both analytically and conceptually, as ‘evolutionary macroecology’. We discuss how the evolutionary dimension can be incorporated into macroecology through two orthogonal and complementary data types: fossils and phylogenies. Research traditions dealing with these data have developed more‐or‐less independently over the last 20–30 years, but merging them will help elucidate the historical components of diversity gradients and the evolutionary dynamics of species’ traits. Here we highlight conceptual and methodological advances in merging these two research traditions and review the viewpoints and toolboxes that can, in combination, help address patterns and unveil processes at temporal and spatial macro‐scales.

  5. Evolutionary Awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Gorelik

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In this article, we advance the concept of “evolutionary awareness,” a metacognitive framework that examines human thought and emotion from a naturalistic, evolutionary perspective. We begin by discussing the evolution and current functioning of the moral foundations on which our framework rests. Next, we discuss the possible applications of such an evolutionarily-informed ethical framework to several domains of human behavior, namely: sexual maturation, mate attraction, intrasexual competition, culture, and the separation between various academic disciplines. Finally, we discuss ways in which an evolutionary awareness can inform our cross-generational activities—which we refer to as “intergenerational extended phenotypes”—by helping us to construct a better future for ourselves, for other sentient beings, and for our environment.

  6. Evolutionary Expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, Ulrik William

    2014-01-01

    The concept of evolutionary expectations descends from cue learning psychology, synthesizing ideas on rational expectations with ideas on bounded rationality, to provide support for these ideas simultaneously. Evolutionary expectations are rational, but within cognitive bounds. Moreover......, they are correlated among people who share environments because these individuals satisfice within their cognitive bounds by using cues in order of validity, as opposed to using cues arbitrarily. Any difference in expectations thereby arise from differences in cognitive ability, because two individuals with identical...... expectations emphasizes not only that causal structure changes are common in social systems but also that causal structures in social systems, and expectations about them, develop together....

  7. The Principal Forces of Oocyte Polarity Are Evolutionary Conserved but May Not Affect the Contribution of the First Two Blastomeres to the Blastocyst Development in Mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosseini, Sayyed-Morteza; Moulavi, Fariba; Tanhaie-Vash, Nima; Asgari, Vajihe; Ghanaei, Hamid-Reza; Abedi-Dorche, Maryam; Jafarzadeh, Naser; Gourabi, Hossein; Shahverdi, Abdol-Hossein; Dizaj, Ahmad Vosough; Shirazi, Abolfazl; Nasr-Esfahani, Mohammad-Hossein

    2016-01-01

    Oocyte polarity and embryonic patterning are well-established features of development in lower species. Whether a similar form of pre-patterning exists in mammals is currently under hot debate in mice. This study investigated this issue for the first time in ovine as a large mammal model. Microsurgical trisection of unfertilized MII-oocytes revealed that cortical cytoplasm around spindle (S) contained significant amounts of total maternal mRNAs and proteins compared to matched cytoplast hemispheres that were located either near (NS) or far (FS) -to-spindle. RT-qPCR provided striking examples of maternal mRNA localized to subcellular substructures S (NPM2, GMNN, H19, PCAF, DNMT3A, DNMT1, and STELLA), NS (SOX2, NANOG, POU5F1, and TET1), and FS (GCN) of MII oocyte. Immunoblotting revealed that specific maternal proteins DNMT3A and NANOG were asymmetrically enriched in MII-spindle-half of the oocytes. Topological analysis of sperm entry point (SEP) revealed that sperm preferentially entered via the MII-spindle-half of the oocytes. Even though, the topological position of first cleavage plane with regard to SEP was quite stochastic. Spatial comparison of lipid content revealed symmetrical distribution of lipids between 2-cell blastomeres. Lineage tracing using Dil, a fluorescent dye, revealed that while the progeny of leading blastomere of 2-cell embryos contributed to more cells in the developed blastocysts compared to lagging counterpart, the contributions of leading and lagging blastomeres to the embryonic-abembryonic parts of the developed blastocysts were almost unbiased. And finally, separated sister blastomeres of 2-cell embryos had an overall similar probability to arrest at any stage before the blastocyst (2-cell, 4-cell, 8-cell, and morula) or to achieve the blastocyst stage. It was concluded that the localization of maternal mRNAs and proteins at the spindle are evolutionarily conserved between mammals unfertilized ovine oocyte could be considered polar with

  8. Partial functional conservation of IRX10 homologs in physcomitrella patens and Arabidopsis thaliana indicates an evolutionary step contributing to vascular formation in land plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hörnblad Emma

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plant cell walls are complex multicomponent structures that have evolved to fulfil an essential function in providing strength and protection to cells. Hemicelluloses constitute a key component of the cell wall and recently a number of the genes thought to encode the enzymes required for its synthesis have been identified in Arabidopsis. The acquisition of hemicellulose synthesis capability is hypothesised to have been an important step in the evolution of higher plants. Results Analysis of the Physcomitrella patens genome has revealed the presence of homologs for all of the Arabidopsis glycosyltransferases including IRX9, IRX10 and IRX14 required for the synthesis of the glucuronoxylan backbone. The Physcomitrella IRX10 homolog is expressed in a variety of moss tissues which were newly formed or undergoing expansion. There is a high degree of sequence conservation between the Physcomitrella IRX10 and Arabidopsis IRX10 and IRX10-L. Despite this sequence similarity, the Physcomitrella IRX10 gene is only able to partially rescue the Arabidopsis irx10 irx10-L double mutant indicating that there has been a neo- or sub-functionalisation during the evolution of higher plants. Analysis of the monosaccharide composition of stems from the partially rescued Arabidopsis plants does not show any significant change in xylose content compared to the irx10 irx10-L double mutant. Likewise, knockout mutants of the Physcomitrella IRX10 gene do not result in any visible phenotype and there is no significant change in monosaccharide composition of the cell walls. Conclusions The fact that the Physcomitrella IRX10 (PpGT47A protein can partially complement an Arabidopsis irx10 irx10-L double mutant suggests that it shares some function with the Arabidopsis proteins, but the lack of a phenotype in knockout lines shows that the function is not required for growth or development under normal conditions in Physcomitrella. In contrast, the Arabidopsis

  9. Evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swynghedauw, B

    2004-04-01

    Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Evolutionary, or darwinian, medicine takes the view that contemporary diseases result from incompatibility between the conditions under which the evolutionary pressure had modified our genetic endowment and the lifestyle and dietary habits in which we are currently living, including the enhanced lifespan, the changes in dietary habits and the lack of physical activity. An evolutionary trait express a genetic polymorphism which finally improve fitness, it needs million years to become functional. A limited genetic diversity is a necessary prerequisite for evolutionary medicine. Nevertheless, search for a genetic endowment would become nearly impossible if the human races were genetically different. From a genetic point of view, homo sapiens, is homogeneous, and the so-called human races have only a socio-economic definition. Historically, Heart Failure, HF, had an infectious origin and resulted from mechanical overload which triggered mechanoconversion by using phylogenically ancient pleiotropic pathways. Adaptation was mainly caused by negative inotropism. Recently, HF was caused by a complex remodelling caused by the trophic effects of mechanics, ischemia, senescence, diabetes and, neurohormones. The generally admitted hypothesis is that cancers were largely caused by a combination of modern reproductive and dietary lifestyles mismatched with genotypic traits, plus the longer time available for a confrontation. Such a concept is illustrated for skin and breast cancers, and also for the link between cancer risk and dietary habits.

  10. Evolutionary conservation of the mature oocyte proteome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamar Lotan

    2014-06-01

    Significance: The current study provides the first proteomic profile of an oocyte of a cnidarian organism the starlet sea anemone N. vectensis and gives new insights on the ancient origin of an oocyte proteome template. The comparative analysis with a chordate oocyte suggests that the oocyte proteome predates the divergence of the cnidarian and bilaterian lineages. In addition, the data generated in the study will serve as a valuable resource for further developmental and evolutional studies.

  11. Evolutionary thinking

    OpenAIRE

    Hunt, Tam

    2015-01-01

    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 de...

  12. Evolutionary Information Theory

    OpenAIRE

    Mark Burgin

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary information theory is a constructive approach that studies information in the context of evolutionary processes, which are ubiquitous in nature and society. In this paper, we develop foundations of evolutionary information theory, building several measures of evolutionary information and obtaining their properties. These measures are based on mathematical models of evolutionary computations, machines and automata. To measure evolutionary information in an invariant form, we const...

  13. Evolutionary genetics of insect innate immunity

    OpenAIRE

    Viljakainen, Lumi

    2015-01-01

    Patterns of evolution in immune defense genes help to understand the evolutionary dynamics between hosts and pathogens. Multiple insect genomes have been sequenced, with many of them having annotated immune genes, which paves the way for a comparative genomic analysis of insect immunity. In this review, I summarize the current state of comparative and evolutionary genomics of insect innate immune defense. The focus is on the conserved and divergent components of immunity with an emphasis on g...

  14. Evolutionary Information Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Burgin

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary information theory is a constructive approach that studies information in the context of evolutionary processes, which are ubiquitous in nature and society. In this paper, we develop foundations of evolutionary information theory, building several measures of evolutionary information and obtaining their properties. These measures are based on mathematical models of evolutionary computations, machines and automata. To measure evolutionary information in an invariant form, we construct and study universal evolutionary machines and automata, which form the base for evolutionary information theory. The first class of measures introduced and studied in this paper is evolutionary information size of symbolic objects relative to classes of automata or machines. In particular, it is proved that there is an invariant and optimal evolutionary information size relative to different classes of evolutionary machines. As a rule, different classes of algorithms or automata determine different information size for the same object. The more powerful classes of algorithms or automata decrease the information size of an object in comparison with the information size of an object relative to weaker4 classes of algorithms or machines. The second class of measures for evolutionary information in symbolic objects is studied by introduction of the quantity of evolutionary information about symbolic objects relative to a class of automata or machines. To give an example of applications, we briefly describe a possibility of modeling physical evolution with evolutionary machines to demonstrate applicability of evolutionary information theory to all material processes. At the end of the paper, directions for future research are suggested.

  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. Aligning science and policy to achieve evolutionarily enlightened conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Carly N; Sgrò, Carla M

    2016-11-11

    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.

  17. Rescue of Drosophila Melanogaster l(2)35Aa lethality is only mediated by polypeptide GalNAc-transferase pgant35A, but not by the evolutionary conserved human ortholog GalNAc-transferase-T11

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bennett, Eric P; Chen, Ya-Wen; Schwientek, Tilo;

    2010-01-01

    conserved family of genes encoding polypeptide GalNAc-transferases. Phylogenetic and functional analyses have proposed that subfamilies of orthologous GalNAc-transferase genes are conserved in species, suggesting that they serve distinct functions in vivo. Based on sequence alignments, pgant35A and human......)35Aa lethality. By use of genetic "domain swapping" experiments we demonstrate, that lack of rescue was not caused by inappropriate sub-cellular targeting of functionally active GalNAc-T11. Collectively our results show, that fly embryogenesis specifically requires functional pgant35A......, and that the presence of this gene product during fly embryogenesis is functionally distinct from other Drosophila GalNAc-transferase isoforms and from the proposed human ortholog GALNT11....

  18. Rescue of Drosophila Melanogaster l(2)35Aa lethality is only mediated by polypeptide GalNAc-transferase pgant35A, but not by the evolutionary conserved human ortholog GalNAc-transferase-T11.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Eric P; Chen, Ya-Wen; Schwientek, Tilo; Mandel, Ulla; Schjoldager, Katrine ter-Borch Gram; Cohen, Stephen M; Clausen, Henrik

    2010-05-01

    The Drosophila l(2)35Aa gene encodes a UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine: Polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase, essential for embryogenesis and development (J. Biol. Chem. 277, 22623-22638; J. Biol. Chem. 277, 22616-22). l(2)35Aa, also known as pgant35A, is a member of a large evolutionarily conserved family of genes encoding polypeptide GalNAc-transferases. Phylogenetic and functional analyses have proposed that subfamilies of orthologous GalNAc-transferase genes are conserved in species, suggesting that they serve distinct functions in vivo. Based on sequence alignments, pgant35A and human GALNT11 are thought to belong to a distinct subfamily. Recent in vitro studies have shown that pgant35A and pgant7, encoding enzymes from different subfamilies, prefer different acceptor substrates, whereas the orthologous pgant35A and human GALNT11 gene products possess, 1) conserved substrate preferences and 2) similar acceptor site preferences in vitro. In line with the in vitro pgant7 studies, we show that l(2)35Aa lethality is not rescued by ectopic pgant7 expression. Remarkably and in contrast to this observation, the human pgant35A ortholog, GALNT11, was shown not to support rescue of the l(2)35Aa lethality. By use of genetic "domain swapping" experiments we demonstrate, that lack of rescue was not caused by inappropriate sub-cellular targeting of functionally active GalNAc-T11. Collectively our results show, that fly embryogenesis specifically requires functional pgant35A, and that the presence of this gene product during fly embryogenesis is functionally distinct from other Drosophila GalNAc-transferase isoforms and from the proposed human ortholog GALNT11.

  19. Evolutionary humanoid robotics

    CERN Document Server

    Eaton, Malachy

    2015-01-01

    This book examines how two distinct strands of research on autonomous robots, evolutionary robotics and humanoid robot research, are converging. The book will be valuable for researchers and postgraduate students working in the areas of evolutionary robotics and bio-inspired computing.

  20. Integrating evolutionary and molecular genetics of aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flatt, Thomas; Schmidt, Paul S

    2009-10-01

    Aging or senescence is an age-dependent decline in physiological function, demographically manifest as decreased survival and fecundity with increasing age. Since aging is disadvantageous it should not evolve by natural selection. So why do organisms age and die? In the 1940s and 1950s evolutionary geneticists resolved this paradox by positing that aging evolves because selection is inefficient at maintaining function late in life. By the 1980s and 1990s this evolutionary theory of aging had received firm empirical support, but little was known about the mechanisms of aging. Around the same time biologists began to apply the tools of molecular genetics to aging and successfully identified mutations that affect longevity. Today, the molecular genetics of aging is a burgeoning field, but progress in evolutionary genetics of aging has largely stalled. Here we argue that some of the most exciting and unresolved questions about aging require an integration of molecular and evolutionary approaches. Is aging a universal process? Why do species age at different rates? Are the mechanisms of aging conserved or lineage-specific? Are longevity genes identified in the laboratory under selection in natural populations? What is the genetic basis of plasticity in aging in response to environmental cues and is this plasticity adaptive? What are the mechanisms underlying trade-offs between early fitness traits and life span? To answer these questions evolutionary biologists must adopt the tools of molecular biology, while molecular biologists must put their experiments into an evolutionary framework. The time is ripe for a synthesis of molecular biogerontology and the evolutionary biology of aging.

  1. 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

  2. Evolutionary mechanisms for loneliness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacioppo, John T; Cacioppo, Stephanie; Boomsma, Dorret I

    2014-01-01

    Robert Weiss (1973) conceptualised loneliness as perceived social isolation, which he described as a gnawing, chronic disease without redeeming features. On the scale of everyday life, it is understandable how something as personally aversive as loneliness could be regarded as a blight on human existence. However, evolutionary time and evolutionary forces operate at such a different scale of organisation than we experience in everyday life that personal experience is not sufficient to understand the role of loneliness in human existence. Research over the past decade suggests a very different view of loneliness than suggested by personal experience, one in which loneliness serves a variety of adaptive functions in specific habitats. We review evidence on the heritability of loneliness and outline an evolutionary theory of loneliness, with an emphasis on its potential adaptive value in an evolutionary timescale.

  3. Part E: Evolutionary Computation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

    important group, both from the theoretical and applied points of view, are discussed in detail, followed by an account of parallel multiobjective evolutionary algorithms, and then a more general analysis of many multiobjective problems. Considerable attention has also been paid to a presentation of hybrid...... evolutionary algorithms, such as memetic algorithms, which have emerged as a very promising tool for solving many real-world problems in a multitude of areas of science and technology. Moreover, parallel evolutionary combinatorial optimization has been presented. Search operators, which are crucial in all...... kinds of evolutionary algorithms, have been prudently analyzed. This analysis was followed by a thorough analysis of various issues involved in stochastic local search algorithms. An interesting survey of various technological and industrial applications in mechanical engineering and design has been...

  4. Conservative management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruis, W; Leifeld, L; Pfützer, R

    2012-01-01

    Treatment of diverticulitis comprises at least two options: conservative or surgical management. There is a recent trend to limit surgical treatment of acute diverticulitis and to favor conservative management. This review addresses general aspects of conservative patient care with special focus on the treatment of patients with a first attack of diverticulitis. The presentation does not include a discussion of specific drugs which is given in other sections of this issue.

  5. Evolutionary rate variation and RNA secondary structure prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, B; Andersen, E S; Damgaard, Christian Kroun

    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...

  6. Autonomous Evolutionary Information Systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Traditional information systems are passive, i.e., data orknowledge is created , retrieved, modified, updated, and deleted only in response to operations issued by users or application programs, and the systems only can execute queries or t ransactions explicitly submitted by users or application programs but have no ab ility to do something actively by themselves. Unlike a traditional information system serving just as a storehouse of data or knowledge and working passively a ccording to queries or transactions explicitly issued by users and application p rograms, an autonomous evolutionary information system serves as an autonomous a nd evolutionary partner of its users that discovers new knowledge from its datab ase or knowledge-base autonomously, cooperates with its users in solving proble m s actively by providing the users with advices, and has a certain mechanism to i mprove its own state of “knowing” and ability of “working”. This paper semi nall y defines what is an autonomous evolutionary information system, explain why aut onomous evolutionary information systems are needed, and presents some new issue s, fundamental considerations, and research directions in design and development of autonomous evolutionary information systems.

  7. 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.

  8. Paleoanthropology and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian

    2012-01-01

    Paleoanthropologists of the first half of the twentieth century were little concerned either with evolutionary theory or with the technicalities and broader implications of zoological nomenclature. In consequence, the paleoanthropological literature of the period consisted largely of a series of descriptions accompanied by authoritative pronouncements, together with a huge excess of hominid genera and species. Given the intellectual flimsiness of the resulting paleoanthropological framework, it is hardly surprising that in 1950 the ornithologist Ernst Mayr met little resistance when he urged the new postwar generation of paleoanthropologists to accept not only the elegant reductionism of the Evolutionary Synthesis but a vast oversimplification of hominid phylogenetic history and nomenclature. Indeed, the impact of Mayr's onslaught was so great that even when developments in evolutionary biology during the last quarter of the century brought other paleontologists to the realization that much more has been involved in evolutionary histories than the simple action of natural selection within gradually transforming lineages, paleoanthropologists proved highly reluctant to follow. Even today, paleoanthropologists are struggling to reconcile an intuitive realization that the burgeoning hominid fossil record harbors a substantial diversity of species (bringing hominid evolutionary patterns into line with that of other successful mammalian families), with the desire to cram a huge variety of morphologies into an unrealistically minimalist systematic framework. As long as this theoretical ambivalence persists, our perception of events in hominid phylogeny will continue to be distorted.

  9. Genomes and evolutionary genomics of animals

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Luting SONG; Wen WANG

    2013-01-01

    Alongside recent advances and booming applications of DNA sequencing technologies,a great number of complete genome sequences for animal species are available to researchers.Hundreds of animals have been involved in whole genome sequencing,and at least 87 non-human animal species' complete or draft genome sequences have been published since 1998.Based on these technological advances and the subsequent accumulation of large quantity of genomic data,evolutionary genomics has become one of the most rapidly advancing disciplines in biology.Scientists now can perform a number of comparative and evolutionary genomic studies for animals,to identify conserved genes or other functional elements among species,genomic elements that confer animals their own specific characteristics and new phenotypes for adaptation.This review deals with the current genomic and evolutionary research on non-human animals,and displays a comprehensive landscape of genomes and the evolutionary genomics of non-human animals.It is very helpful to a better understanding of the biology and evolution of the myriad forms within the animal kingdom [Current Zoology 59 (1):87-98,2013].

  10. The population genetics of evolutionary rescue.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Allen Orr

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary rescue occurs when a population that is threatened with extinction by an environmental change adapts to the change sufficiently rapidly to survive. Here we extend the mathematical theory of evolutionary rescue. In particular, we model evolutionary rescue to a sudden environmental change when adaptation involves evolution at a single locus. We consider adaptation using either new mutations or alleles from the standing genetic variation that begin rare. We obtain several results: i the total probability of evolutionary rescue from either new mutation or standing variation; ii the conditions under which rescue is more likely to involve a new mutation versus an allele from the standing genetic variation; iii a mathematical description of the U-shaped curve of total population size through time, conditional on rescue; and iv the time until the average population size begins to rebound as well as the minimal expected population size experienced by a rescued population. Our analysis requires taking into account a subtle population-genetic effect (familiar from the theory of genetic hitchhiking that involves "oversampling" of those lucky alleles that ultimately sweep to high frequency. Our results are relevant to conservation biology, experimental microbial evolution, and medicine (e.g., the dynamics of antibiotic resistance.

  11. Reshaping conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Mikkel; Danielsen, Finn; Ngaga, Yonika

    2013-01-01

    members strengthen the monitoring practices to their advantage, and to some extent move them beyond the reach of government agencies and conservation and development practitioners. This has led to outcomes that are of greater social and strategic value to communities than the original 'planned' benefits......, although the monitoring scheme has also to some extent become dominated by local 'conservation elites' who negotiate the terrain between the state and other community members. Our findings suggest that we need to move beyond simplistic assumptions of community strategies and incentives in participatory...... conservation and allow for more adaptive and politically explicit governance spaces in protected area management....

  12. Evolutionary Computation:ao Overview

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HeZhenya; WeiChengjian

    1997-01-01

    Evolutionary computation is a field of simulating evolution on a computer.Both aspects of it ,the problem solving aspect and the aspect of modeling natural evolution,are important.Simulating evolution on a computer results in stochastic optimization techniques that can outperform classical methods of optimization when applied to difficult real-world problems.There are currently four main avenues of research in simulated evolution:genetic algorithms,evolutionary programming,evolution strategies,and genetic programming.This paper presents a brief overview of thd field on evolutionary computation,including some theoretical issues,adaptive mechanisms,improvements,constrained optimizqtion,constrained satisfaction,evolutionary neural networks,evolutionary fuzzy systems,hardware evolution,evolutionary robotics,parallel evolutionary computation,and co-evolutionary models.The applications of evolutionary computation for optimizing system and intelligent information processing in telecommunications are also introduced.

  13. Conservation genetics of the protected moth "Graellsia isabellae" (Lepidoptera, Saturniidae)

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    [Abstract] Evolutionary and molecular genetics provides valuable information for the efficient conservation of endangered species. In this thesis, I have used a combination of newly generated genetic and ecological data to assess the conservation status of the protected moth Graellsia isabellae. Firstly, I reconstructed the evolutionary history of this iconic insect by using genetic data obtained from samples obtained across the whole known distribution area: Iberia Peninsula and French Alps....

  14. Evolutionary Design in Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, Jon

    Evolution is one of the most interesting and creative processes we currently understand, so it should come as no surprise that artists and designers are embracing the use of evolution in problems of artistic creativity. The material in this section illustrates the diversity of approaches being used by artists and designers in relation to evolution at the boundary of art and science. While conceptualising human creativity as an evolutionary process in itself may be controversial, what is clear is that evolutionary processes can be used to complement, even enhance human creativity, as the chapters in this section aptly demonstrate.

  15. Evolutionary Statistical Procedures

    CERN Document Server

    Baragona, Roberto; Poli, Irene

    2011-01-01

    This proposed text appears to be a good introduction to evolutionary computation for use in applied statistics research. The authors draw from a vast base of knowledge about the current literature in both the design of evolutionary algorithms and statistical techniques. Modern statistical research is on the threshold of solving increasingly complex problems in high dimensions, and the generalization of its methodology to parameters whose estimators do not follow mathematically simple distributions is underway. Many of these challenges involve optimizing functions for which analytic solutions a

  16. Wildlife Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Clive L. Spash; Aldred, Jonathan

    1998-01-01

    In this paper we consider how conservation has arisen as a key aspect of the reaction to human-initiated degradation and disappearance of ecosystems, wild lands. and wildlife. Concern over species extinction is given an historical perspective which shows the way in which pressure on wild and natural aspects of global ecology have changed in recent centuries. The role of conservation in the struggle to protect the environment is then analysed using underlying ethical arguments behind the econo...

  17. 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

    2016-12-07

    The 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, with multiple molecular markers and several genetic metrics for each marker type to choose from. Genetic patterns also differ between species, but the potential trade-offs amongst genetic objectives for multiple species in conservation planning are currently understudied. This study compares spatial conservation prioritizations derived from two metrics of both genetic diversity (nucleotide and haplotype diversity) and genetic isolation (private haplotypes and local genetic differentiation) for mitochondrial DNA for five marine species. The findings show that conservation plans based solely on habitat representation noticeably differ from those additionally including genetic data, with habitat-based conservation plans selecting fewer conservation priority areas. Furthermore, all four 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, the results suggest that multi-species genetic conservation objectives are vital to create protected area networks that appropriately preserve community-level evolutionary patterns. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  18. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ellen Clarke

    2014-04-01

    An `evolutionary transition in individuality’ or `major transition’ is a transformation in the hierarchical level at which natural selection operates on a population. In this article I give an abstract (i.e. level-neutral and substrate-neutral) articulation of the transition process in order to precisely understand how such processes can happen, especially how they can get started.

  19. Learning: An Evolutionary Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, Joanna

    2009-01-01

    This paper draws on the philosophy of Karl Popper to present a descriptive evolutionary epistemology that offers philosophical solutions to the following related problems: "What happens when learning takes place?" and "What happens in human learning?" It provides a detailed analysis of how learning takes place without any direct transfer of…

  20. Evolutionary Theories of Detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fitch, J P

    2005-04-29

    Current, mid-term and long range technologies for detection of pathogens and toxins are briefly described in the context of performance metrics and operational scenarios. Predictive (evolutionary) and speculative (revolutionary) assessments are given with trade-offs identified, where possible, among competing performance goals.

  1. Evolutionary developmental psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Ashley C; Bjorklund, David F

    2010-02-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental psychology can potentially broaden the horizons of mainstream evolutionary psychology by combining the principles of Darwinian evolution by natural selection with the study of human development, focusing on the epigenetic effects that occur between humans and their environment in a way that attempts to explain how evolved psychological mechanisms become expressed in the phenotypes of adults. An evolutionary developmental perspective includes an appreciation of comparative research and we, among others, argue that contrasting the cognition of humans with that of nonhuman primates can provide a framework with which to understand how human cognitive abilities and intelligence evolved. Furthermore, we argue that several aspects of childhood (e.g., play and immature cognition) serve both as deferred adaptations as well as imparting immediate benefits. Intense selection pressure was surely exerted on childhood over human evolutionary history and, as a result, neglecting to consider the early developmental period of children when studying their later adulthood produces an incomplete picture of the evolved adaptations expressed through human behavior and cognition.

  2. Optimal Mixing Evolutionary Algorithms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thierens, D.; Bosman, P.A.N.; Krasnogor, N.

    2011-01-01

    A key search mechanism in Evolutionary Algorithms is the mixing or juxtaposing of partial solutions present in the parent solutions. In this paper we look at the efficiency of mixing in genetic algorithms (GAs) and estimation-of-distribution algorithms (EDAs). We compute the mixing probabilities of

  3. [Schizophrenia and evolutionary psychopathology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelemen, Oguz; Kéri, Szabolcs

    2007-01-01

    Evolution can shape any characteristic appearing as a phenotype that is genetically rooted and possesses a long history. The stress-diathesis model suggests that psychiatric disorders have some genetic roots, and therefore the theory of evolution may be relevant for psychiatry. Schizophrenia is present in every human culture with approximately the same incidence. The great evolutionary paradox is: how can such illness persist despite fundamental reproductive disadvantages? Since the 1960s, several evolutionary explanations have been raised to explain the origins of schizophrenia. This article reviews all the major evolutionary theories about the possible origins of this disease. On the one hand, some researchers have proposed that schizophrenia is an evolutionary disadvantageous byproduct of human brain evolution (e.g. the evolution of hemispheric specialization, social brain or language skills). On the other hand, others have suggested that a compensatory advantage must exist either in the biological system of patients with schizophrenia (e.g. resistance against infectious diseases), or within the social domain (e.g. greater creativity of the relatives). According to some theories, shamanism and religion demonstrate some similarities to psychosis and provide clues regarding the origins of schizophrenia. At the end of this article we discuss this last theory in detail listing arguments for and against.

  4. Studies in evolutionary agroecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wille, Wibke

    of Evolutionary Agroecology that the highest yielding individuals do not necessarily perform best as a population. The investment of resources into strategies and structures increasing individual competitive ability carries a cost. If a whole population consists of individuals investing resources to compete...

  5. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lenormand, Thomas; Engelstädter, Jan; Johnston, Susan E.; Wijnker, Erik; Haag, Christoph R.

    2016-01-01

    Meiosis is a key event of sexual life cycles in eukaryotes. Its mechanistic details have been uncovered in several model organisms, and most of its essential features have received various and often contradictory evolutionary interpretations. In this perspective, we present an overview of these o

  6. Molluscan Evolutionary Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wanninger, Andreas Wilhelm Georg; Koop, Damien; Moshel-Lynch, Sharon

    2008-01-01

    Brought together by Winston F. Ponder and David R. Lindberg, thirty-six experts on the evolution of the Mollusca provide an up-to-date review of its evolutionary history. The Mollusca are the second largest animal phylum and boast a fossil record of over 540 million years. They exhibit remarkable...

  7. Recent Advances in Evolutionary Computation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xin Yao; Yong Xu

    2006-01-01

    Evolutionary computation has experienced a tremendous growth in the last decade in both theoretical analyses and industrial applications. Its scope has evolved beyond its original meaning of "biological evolution" toward a wide variety of nature inspired computational algorithms and techniques, including evolutionary, neural, ecological, social and economical computation, etc., in a unified framework. Many research topics in evolutionary computation nowadays are not necessarily "evolutionary". This paper provides an overview of some recent advances in evolutionary computation that have been made in CERCIA at the University of Birmingham, UK. It covers a wide range of topics in optimization, learning and design using evolutionary approaches and techniques, and theoretical results in the computational time complexity of evolutionary algorithms. Some issues related to future development of evolutionary computation are also discussed.

  8. Targeted gene flow for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Ella; Phillips, Ben L

    2016-04-01

    Anthropogenic threats often impose strong selection on affected populations, causing rapid evolutionary responses. Unfortunately, these adaptive responses are rarely harnessed for conservation. We suggest that conservation managers pay close attention to adaptive processes and geographic variation, with an eye to using them for conservation goals. Translocating pre-adapted individuals into recipient populations is currently considered a potentially important management tool in the face of climate change. Targeted gene flow, which involves moving individuals with favorable traits to areas where these traits would have a conservation benefit, could have a much broader application in conservation. Across a species' range there may be long-standing geographic variation in traits or variation may have rapidly developed in response to a threatening process. Targeted gene flow could be used to promote natural resistance to threats to increase species resilience. We suggest that targeted gene flow is a currently underappreciated strategy in conservation that has applications ranging from the management of invasive species and their impacts to controlling the impact and virulence of pathogens.

  9. Evolutionary tinkering with conserved components of a transcriptional regulatory network.

    OpenAIRE

    Hugo Lavoie; Hervé Hogues; Jaideep Mallick; Adnane Sellam; André Nantel; Malcolm Whiteway

    2010-01-01

    Gene expression variation between species is a major contributor to phenotypic diversity, yet the underlying flexibility of transcriptional regulatory networks remains largely unexplored. Transcription of the ribosomal regulon is a critical task for all cells; in S. cerevisiae the transcription factors Rap1, Fhl1, Ifh1, and Hmo1 form a multi-subunit complex that controls ribosomal gene expression, while in C. albicans this regulation is under the control of Tbf1 and Cbf1. Here, we analyzed, u...

  10. Evolutionary conservation in genes underlying human psychiatric disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Lisa Michelle Ogawa; Eric Joseph Vallender

    2014-01-01

    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 the protein-coding regions of genes associated...

  11. Evolutionary constrained optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Deb, Kalyanmoy

    2015-01-01

    This book makes available a self-contained collection of modern research addressing the general constrained optimization problems using evolutionary algorithms. Broadly the topics covered include constraint handling for single and multi-objective optimizations; penalty function based methodology; multi-objective based methodology; new constraint handling mechanism; hybrid methodology; scaling issues in constrained optimization; design of scalable test problems; parameter adaptation in constrained optimization; handling of integer, discrete and mix variables in addition to continuous variables; application of constraint handling techniques to real-world problems; and constrained optimization in dynamic environment. There is also a separate chapter on hybrid optimization, which is gaining lots of popularity nowadays due to its capability of bridging the gap between evolutionary and classical optimization. The material in the book is useful to researchers, novice, and experts alike. The book will also be useful...

  12. Evolutionary status of Entamoeba

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DONG Jiuhong; WEN Jianfan; XIN Dedong; LU Siqi

    2004-01-01

    In addition to its medical importance as parasitic pathogen, Entamoeba has aroused people's interest in its evolutionary status for a long time. Lacking mitochondrion and other intracellular organelles common to typical eukaryotes, Entamoeba and several other amitochondrial protozoans have been recognized as ancient pre-mitochondriate eukaryotes and named "archezoa", the most primitive extant eukaryotes. It was suggested that they might be living fossils that remained in a primitive stage of evolution before acquisition of organelles, lying close to the transition between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. However, recent studies revealed that Entamoeba contained an organelle, "crypton" or "mitosome", which was regarded as specialized or reductive mitochondrion. Relative molecular phylogenetic analyses also indicated the existence or the probable existence of mitochondrion in Entamoeba. Our phylogenetic analysis based on DNA topoisomerase II strongly suggested its divergence after some mitchondriate eukaryotes. Here, all these recent researches are reviewed and the evolutionary status of Entamoeba is discussed.

  13. Evolutionary biology of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespi, Bernard; Summers, Kyle

    2005-10-01

    Cancer is driven by the somatic evolution of cell lineages that have escaped controls on replication and by the population-level evolution of genes that influence cancer risk. We describe here how recent evolutionary ecological studies have elucidated the roles of predation by the immune system and competition among normal and cancerous cells in the somatic evolution of cancer. Recent analyses of the evolution of cancer at the population level show how rapid changes in human environments have augmented cancer risk, how strong selection has frequently led to increased cancer risk as a byproduct, and how anticancer selection has led to tumor-suppression systems, tissue designs that slow somatic evolution, constraints on morphological evolution and even senescence itself. We discuss how applications of the tools of ecology and evolutionary biology are poised to revolutionize our understanding and treatment of this disease.

  14. Evolutionary internalized regularities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, R

    2001-08-01

    Roger Shepard's proposals and supporting experiments concerning evolutionary internalized regularities have been very influential in the study of vision and in other areas of psychology and cognitive science. This paper examines issues concerning the need, nature, explanatory role, and justification for postulating such internalized constraints. In particular, I seek further clarification from Shepard on how best to understand his claim that principles of kinematic geometry underlie phenomena of motion perception. My primary focus is on the ecological validity of Shepard's kinematic constraint in the context of ordinary motion perception. First, I explore the analogy Shepard draws between internalized circadian rhythms and the supposed internalization of kinematic geometry. Next, questions are raised about how to interpret and justify applying results from his own and others' experimental studies of apparent motion to more everyday cases of motion perception in richer environments. Finally, some difficulties with Shepard's account of the evolutionary development of his kinematic constraint are considered.

  15. [Conservation Units.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Texas Education Agency, Austin.

    Each of the six instructional units deals with one aspect of conservation: forests, water, rangeland, minerals (petroleum), and soil. The area of the elementary school curriculum with which each correlates is indicated. Lists of general and specific objectives are followed by suggested teaching procedures, including ideas for introducing the…

  16. Evolutionary theory of cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attolini, Camille Stephan-Otto; Michor, Franziska

    2009-06-01

    As Theodosius Dobzhansky famously noted in 1973, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution," and cancer is no exception to this rule. Our understanding of cancer initiation, progression, treatment, and resistance has advanced considerably by regarding cancer as the product of evolutionary processes. Here we review the literature of mathematical models of cancer evolution and provide a synthesis and discussion of the field.

  17. Evolutionary game design

    CERN Document Server

    Browne, Cameron

    2011-01-01

    The book describes the world's first successful experiment in fully automated board game design. Evolutionary methods were used to derive new rule sets within a custom game description language, and self-play trials used to estimate each derived game's potential to interest human players. The end result is a number of new and interesting games, one of which has proved popular and gone on to be commercially published.

  18. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex McAvoy

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary game theory is a powerful framework for studying evolution in populations of interacting individuals. A common assumption in evolutionary game theory is that interactions are symmetric, which means that the players are distinguished by only their strategies. In nature, however, the microscopic interactions between players are nearly always asymmetric due to environmental effects, differing baseline characteristics, and other possible sources of heterogeneity. To model these phenomena, we introduce into evolutionary game theory two broad classes of asymmetric interactions: ecological and genotypic. Ecological asymmetry results from variation in the environments of the players, while genotypic asymmetry is a consequence of the players having differing baseline genotypes. We develop a theory of these forms of asymmetry for games in structured populations and use the classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner's Dilemma and the Snowdrift Game, for illustrations. Interestingly, asymmetric games reveal essential differences between models of genetic evolution based on reproduction and models of cultural evolution based on imitation that are not apparent in symmetric games.

  19. Evolutionary Hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharyn B. Marks

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Hybrid zone and its genetic analysis: implication for conservation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHENGDong; LIUXue-dong; MAJian-zhang

    2003-01-01

    Hybrid zone is a very critical concept within the evolutionary biology, because it would offer us a better insight to understand the evolutionary role of gene flow and hybridization based on the cline model. This minireview presents an expatia-tion of history perspectives and research developments upon basic concepts including hybrid zones, hybridization, hybrid and its the genetic cline model. Moreover, by figuring out the existing problem around the hybrids within conservative theory and prac-tices, it suggests that the theory of hybrid zone be introduced into conservation biology and it would be provide a broader and more open theoretical background for conservative research and practices.

  2. Heron conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kushlan, J.A.; Hafner, H.

    2000-01-01

    Herons are large, popular and, in many cases, spectacular birds found in wetlands world-wide, both tropical and temperate, natural and man-made. Some populations are very small and localized, some have decreased, some have expanded their ranges, and a few are pests of human activities. In the fifteen years since the publication of the latest monographic treatment of the family, The Herons Handbook, there has been a tremendous increase in our knowledge of heron status and conservation requirements, set against a backdrop of increasing concern about the future of the world?s wetland habitats. This book provides a comprehensive update following two distinct threads. The status and conservation needs of herons are first presented on a regional basis, in a series of chapters set at a continental or subcontinental scale. Over 200 biologists and heron conservationists have contributed to the data summarized here, and the very latest census and survey results provide the most up-to-date and detailed picture of heron populations currently available. Chapters discussing several critical issues in heron conservation follow, tending to focus on the international nature of the problems.

  3. Measuring genome conservation across taxa: divided strains and united kingdoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunin, Victor; Ahren, Dag; Goldovsky, Leon; Janssen, Paul; Ouzounis, Christos A

    2005-01-01

    Species evolutionary relationships have traditionally been defined by sequence similarities of phylogenetic marker molecules, recently followed by whole-genome phylogenies based on gene order, average ortholog similarity or gene content. Here, we introduce genome conservation--a novel metric of evolutionary distances between species that simultaneously takes into account, both gene content and sequence similarity at the whole-genome level. Genome conservation represents a robust distance measure, as demonstrated by accurate phylogenetic reconstructions. The genome conservation matrix for all presently sequenced organisms exhibits a remarkable ability to define evolutionary relationships across all taxonomic ranges. An assessment of taxonomic ranks with genome conservation shows that certain ranks are inadequately described and raises the possibility for a more precise and quantitative taxonomy in the future. All phylogenetic reconstructions are available at the genome phylogeny server: .

  4. Constraints as evolutionary systems

    CERN Document Server

    Rácz, István

    2016-01-01

    The constraint equations for smooth $[n+1]$-dimensional (with $n\\geq 3$) Riemannian or Lorentzian spaces satisfying the Einstein field equations are considered. It is shown, regardless of the signature of the primary space, that the constraints can be put into the form of an evolutionary system comprised either by a first order symmetric hyperbolic system and a parabolic equation or, alternatively, by a strongly hyperbolic system and a subsidiary algebraic relation. In both cases the (local) existence and uniqueness of solutions are also discussed.

  5. Towards Adaptive Evolutionary Architecture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Sebastian HOlt; Rask, Nina; Risi, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents first results from an interdisciplinary project, in which the fields of architecture, philosophy and artificial life are combined to explore possible futures of architecture. Through an interactive evolutionary installation, called EvoCurtain, we investigate aspects of how...... to the development of designs tailored to the individual preferences of inhabitants, changing the roles of architects and designers entirely. Architecture-as-it-could-be is a philosophical approach conducted through artistic methods to anticipate the technological futures of human-centered development within...

  6. Distributed Evolutionary Graph Partitioning

    CERN Document Server

    Sanders, Peter

    2011-01-01

    We present a novel distributed evolutionary algorithm, KaFFPaE, to solve the Graph Partitioning Problem, which makes use of KaFFPa (Karlsruhe Fast Flow Partitioner). The use of our multilevel graph partitioner KaFFPa provides new effective crossover and mutation operators. By combining these with a scalable communication protocol we obtain a system that is able to improve the best known partitioning results for many inputs in a very short amount of time. For example, in Walshaw's well known benchmark tables we are able to improve or recompute 76% of entries for the tables with 1%, 3% and 5% imbalance.

  7. On the evolutionary stage of the interacting binary AU Mon

    CERN Document Server

    Mennickent, R E

    2014-01-01

    We present a study of the evolutionary stage of the interacting binary and Double Periodic Variable AU Monocerotis. A multi-parametric Chi2 minimization is made between the observed parameters and those predicted by the grid of non-conservative and conservative evolutionary models by Van Rensbergen et al., finding the model that best represents the current stellar and system parameters. According to this model, the system started with initial masses 4 M_sun and 3.6 M_sun and orbital period 3.0 days, 196 million years ago, and at present undergoes a Case-B mass-exchange episode. This evolutionary stage is consistent with the reported existence of a circumprimary accretion disk. However, the implied high mass transfer rate contrasts with the absence of significant orbital period change if the mass exchange is conservative. We show that this can occur if the system has recently entered in a non-conservative stage of mass transfer and the efficiency of mass and angular momentum loss satisfy certain conditions.

  8. 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

  9. Spore: Spawning Evolutionary Misconceptions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Thomas E.; Sinatra, Gale M.; Schrader, P. G.

    2010-10-01

    The use of computer simulations as educational tools may afford the means to develop understanding of evolution as a natural, emergent, and decentralized process. However, special consideration of developmental constraints on learning may be necessary when using these technologies. Specifically, the essentialist (biological forms possess an immutable essence), teleological (assignment of purpose to living things and/or parts of living things that may not be purposeful), and intentionality (assumption that events are caused by an intelligent agent) biases may be reinforced through the use of computer simulations, rather than addressed with instruction. We examine the video game Spore for its depiction of evolutionary content and its potential to reinforce these cognitive biases. In particular, we discuss three pedagogical strategies to mitigate weaknesses of Spore and other computer simulations: directly targeting misconceptions through refutational approaches, targeting specific principles of scientific inquiry, and directly addressing issues related to models as cognitive tools.

  10. Evolutionary neurobiology and aesthetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Christopher Upham

    2005-01-01

    If aesthetics is a human universal, it should have a neurobiological basis. Although use of all the senses is, as Aristotle noted, pleasurable, the distance senses are primarily involved in aesthetics. The aesthetic response emerges from the central processing of sensory input. This occurs very rapidly, beneath the level of consciousness, and only the feeling of pleasure emerges into the conscious mind. This is exemplified by landscape appreciation, where it is suggested that a computation built into the nervous system during Paleolithic hunter-gathering is at work. Another inbuilt computation leading to an aesthetic response is the part-whole relationship. This, it is argued, may be traced to the predator-prey "arms races" of evolutionary history. Mate selection also may be responsible for part of our response to landscape and visual art. Aesthetics lies at the core of human mentality, and its study is consequently of importance not only to philosophers and art critics but also to neurobiologists.

  11. Open Issues in Evolutionary Robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Fernando; Duarte, Miguel; Correia, Luís; Oliveira, Sancho Moura; Christensen, Anders Lyhne

    2016-01-01

    One of the long-term goals in evolutionary robotics is to be able to automatically synthesize controllers for real autonomous robots based only on a task specification. While a number of studies have shown the applicability of evolutionary robotics techniques for the synthesis of behavioral control, researchers have consistently been faced with a number of issues preventing the widespread adoption of evolutionary robotics for engineering purposes. In this article, we review and discuss the open issues in evolutionary robotics. First, we analyze the benefits and challenges of simulation-based evolution and subsequent deployment of controllers versus evolution on real robotic hardware. Second, we discuss specific evolutionary computation issues that have plagued evolutionary robotics: (1) the bootstrap problem, (2) deception, and (3) the role of genomic encoding and genotype-phenotype mapping in the evolution of controllers for complex tasks. Finally, we address the absence of standard research practices in the field. We also discuss promising avenues of research. Our underlying motivation is the reduction of the current gap between evolutionary robotics and mainstream robotics, and the establishment of evolutionary robotics as a canonical approach for the engineering of autonomous robots.

  12. Evolutionary Design of Boolean Functions

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Zhang-yi; ZHANG Huan-guo; QIN Zhong-ping; MENG Qing-shu

    2005-01-01

    We use evolutionary computing to synthesize Boolean functions randomly. By using specific crossover and mutation operator in evolving process and modifying search space and fitness function, we get some high non-linearity functions which have other good cryptography characteristics such as autocorrelation etc. Comparing to other heuristic search techniques, evolutionary computing approach is more effective because of global search strategy and implicit parallelism.

  13. Topics of Evolutionary Computation 2001

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ursem, Rasmus Kjær

    This booklet contains the student reports from the course: Topics of Evolutionary Computation, Fall 2001, given by Thiemo Krink, Rene Thomsen and Rasmus K. Ursem......This booklet contains the student reports from the course: Topics of Evolutionary Computation, Fall 2001, given by Thiemo Krink, Rene Thomsen and Rasmus K. Ursem...

  14. Evolutionary Explanations of Eating Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Kardum

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This article reviews several most important evolutionary mechanisms that underlie eating disorders. The first part clarifies evolutionary foundations of mental disorders and various mechanisms leading to their development. In the second part selective pressures and evolved adaptations causing contemporary epidemic of obesity as well as differences in dietary regimes and life-style between modern humans and their ancestors are described. Concerning eating disorders, a number of current evolutionary explanations of anorexia nervosa are presented together with their main weaknesses. Evolutionary explanations of eating disorders based on the reproductive suppression hypothesis and its variants derived from kin selection theory and the model of parental manipulation were elaborated. The sexual competition hypothesis of eating disorder, adapted to flee famine hypothesis as well as explanation based on the concept of social attention holding power and the need to belonging were also explained. The importance of evolutionary theory in modern conceptualization and research of eating disorders is emphasized.

  15. Global loss of avian evolutionary uniqueness in urban areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibáñez-Álamo, Juan Diego; Rubio, Enrique; Benedetti, Yanina; Morelli, Federico

    2016-11-17

    Urbanization, one of the most important anthropogenic impacts on Earth, is rapidly expanding worldwide. This expansion of urban land-covered areas is known to significantly reduce different components of biodiversity. However, the global evidence for this effect is mainly focused on a single diversity measure (species richness) with a few local or regional studies also supporting reductions in functional diversity. We have used birds, an important ecological group that has been used as surrogate for other animals, to investigate the hypothesis that urbanization reduces the global taxonomical and/or evolutionary diversity. We have also explored whether there is evidence supporting that urban bird communities are evolutionarily homogenized worldwide in comparison with nonurban ones by means of using evolutionary distinctiveness (how unique are the species) of bird communities. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to quantify the effect of urbanization in more than one single diversity measure as well as the first time to look for associations between urbanization and phylogenetic diversity at a large spatial scale. Our findings show a strong and globally consistent reduction in taxonomic diversity in urban areas, which is also synchronized with the evolutionary homogenization of urban bird communities. Despite our general patterns, we found some regional differences in the intensity of the effect of cities on bird species richness or evolutionary distinctiveness, suggesting that conservation efforts should be adapted locally. Our findings might be useful for conservationists and policymakers to minimize the impact of urban development on Earth's biodiversity and help design more realistic conservation strategies.

  16. Alignment-free three-dimensional optical metamaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yang; Shi, Jinwei; Sun, Liuyang; Li, Xiaoqin; Alù, Andrea

    2014-03-01

    Three-dimensional optical metamaterials based on multilayers typically rely on critical vertical alignment to achieve the desired functionality. Here the conditions under which three-dimensional metamaterials with different functionalities may be realized without constraints on alignment are analyzed and demonstrated experimentally. This study demonstrates that the release of alignment constraints for multilayered metamaterials is allowed, while their anomalous interaction with light is preserved.

  17. Alignment-free local structural search by writhe decomposition

    OpenAIRE

    2010-01-01

    Motivation: Rapid methods for protein structure search enable biological discoveries based on flexibly defined structural similarity, unleashing the power of the ever greater number of solved protein structures. Projection methods show promise for the development of fast structural database search solutions. Projection methods map a structure to a point in a high-dimensional space and compare two structures by measuring distance between their projected points. These methods offer a tremendous...

  18. 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.

  19. Functionality of intergenic transcription: an evolutionary comparison.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philipp Khaitovich

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Although a large proportion of human transcription occurs outside the boundaries of known genes, the functional significance of this transcription remains unknown. We have compared the expression patterns of known genes as well as intergenic transcripts within the ENCODE regions between humans and chimpanzees in brain, heart, testis, and lymphoblastoid cell lines. We find that intergenic transcripts show patterns of tissue-specific conservation of their expression, which are comparable to exonic transcripts of known genes. This suggests that intergenic transcripts are subject to functional constraints that restrict their rate of evolutionary change as well as putative positive selection to an extent comparable to that of classical protein-coding genes. In brain and testis, we find that part of this intergenic transcription is caused by widespread use of alternative promoters. Further, we find that about half of the expression differences between humans and chimpanzees are due to intergenic transcripts.

  20. Functionality of Intergenic Transcription: An Evolutionary Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Visagie, Johann; Giger, Thomas; Joerchel, Sabrina; Petzold, Ekkehard; Green, Richard E; Lachmann, Michael; Pääbo, Svante

    2006-01-01

    Although a large proportion of human transcription occurs outside the boundaries of known genes, the functional significance of this transcription remains unknown. We have compared the expression patterns of known genes as well as intergenic transcripts within the ENCODE regions between humans and chimpanzees in brain, heart, testis, and lymphoblastoid cell lines. We find that intergenic transcripts show patterns of tissue-specific conservation of their expression, which are comparable to exonic transcripts of known genes. This suggests that intergenic transcripts are subject to functional constraints that restrict their rate of evolutionary change as well as putative positive selection to an extent comparable to that of classical protein-coding genes. In brain and testis, we find that part of this intergenic transcription is caused by widespread use of alternative promoters. Further, we find that about half of the expression differences between humans and chimpanzees are due to intergenic transcripts. PMID:17040132

  1. Evolutionary financial market models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponzi, A.; Aizawa, Y.

    2000-12-01

    We study computer simulations of two financial market models, the second a simplified model of the first. The first is a model of the self-organized formation and breakup of crowds of traders, motivated by the dynamics of competitive evolving systems which shows interesting self-organized critical (SOC)-type behaviour without any fine tuning of control parameters. This SOC-type avalanching and stasis appear as realistic volatility clustering in the price returns time series. The market becomes highly ordered at ‘crashes’ but gradually loses this order through randomization during the intervening stasis periods. The second model is a model of stocks interacting through a competitive evolutionary dynamic in a common stock exchange. This model shows a self-organized ‘market-confidence’. When this is high the market is stable but when it gets low the market may become highly volatile. Volatile bursts rapidly increase the market confidence again. This model shows a phase transition as temperature parameter is varied. The price returns time series in the transition region is very realistic power-law truncated Levy distribution with clustered volatility and volatility superdiffusion. This model also shows generally positive stock cross-correlations as is observed in real markets. This model may shed some light on why such phenomena are observed.

  2. Evolutionary cytogenetics in salamanders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sessions, Stanley K

    2008-01-01

    Salamanders (Amphibia: Caudata/Urodela) have been the subject of numerous cytogenetic studies, and data on karyotypes and genome sizes are available for most groups. Salamanders show a more-or-less distinct dichotomy between families with large chromosome numbers and interspecific variation in chromosome number, relative size, and shape (i.e. position of the centromere), and those that exhibit very little variation in these karyological features. This dichotomy is the basis of a major model of karyotype evolution in salamanders involving a kind of 'karyotypic orthoselection'. Salamanders are also characterized by extremely large genomes (in terms of absolute mass of nuclear DNA) and extensive variation in genome size (and overall size of the chromosomes), which transcends variation in chromosome number and shape. The biological significance and evolution of chromosome number and shape within the karyotype is not yet understood, but genome size variation has been found to have strong phenotypic, biogeographic, and phylogenetic correlates that reveal information about the biological significance of this cytogenetic variable. Urodeles also present the advantage of only 10 families and less than 600 species, which facilitates the analysis of patterns within the entire order. The purpose of this review is to present a summary of what is currently known about overall patterns of variation in karyology and genome size in salamanders. These patterns are discussed within an evolutionary context.

  3. Industrial Applications of Evolutionary Algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    Sanchez, Ernesto; Tonda, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    This book is intended as a reference both for experienced users of evolutionary algorithms and for researchers that are beginning to approach these fascinating optimization techniques. Experienced users will find interesting details of real-world problems, and advice on solving issues related to fitness computation, modeling and setting appropriate parameters to reach optimal solutions. Beginners will find a thorough introduction to evolutionary computation, and a complete presentation of all evolutionary algorithms exploited to solve different problems. The book could fill the gap between the

  4. Evolutionary disarmament in interspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisdi, E; Geritz, S A

    2001-12-22

    Competitive asymmetry, which is the advantage of having a larger body or stronger weaponry than a contestant, drives spectacular evolutionary arms races in intraspecific competition. Similar asymmetries are well documented in interspecific competition, yet they seldom lead to exaggerated traits. Here we demonstrate that two species with substantially different size may undergo parallel coevolution towards a smaller size under the same ecological conditions where a single species would exhibit an evolutionary arms race. We show that disarmament occurs for a wide range of parameters in an ecologically explicit model of competition for a single shared resource; disarmament also occurs in a simple Lotka-Volterra competition model. A key property of both models is the interplay between evolutionary dynamics and population density. The mechanism does not rely on very specific features of the model. Thus, evolutionary disarmament may be widespread and may help to explain the lack of interspecific arms races.

  5. Evolutionary computation for reinforcement learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Whiteson

    2012-01-01

    Algorithms for evolutionary computation, which simulate the process of natural selection to solve optimization problems, are an effective tool for discovering high-performing reinforcement-learning policies. Because they can automatically find good representations, handle continuous action spaces, a

  6. Evolutionary constraints or opportunities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharov, Alexei A.

    2014-01-01

    Natural selection is traditionally viewed as a leading factor of evolution, whereas variation is assumed to be random and non-directional. Any order in variation is attributed to epigenetic or developmental constraints that can hinder the action of natural selection. In contrast I consider the positive role of epigenetic mechanisms in evolution because they provide organisms with opportunities for rapid adaptive change. Because the term “constraint” has negative connotations, I use the term “regulated variation” to emphasize the adaptive nature of phenotypic variation, which helps populations and species to survive and evolve in changing environments. The capacity to produce regulated variation is a phenotypic property, which is not described in the genome. Instead, the genome acts as a switchboard, where mostly random mutations switch “on” or “off” preexisting functional capacities of organism components. Thus, there are two channels of heredity: informational (genomic) and structure-functional (phenotypic). Functional capacities of organisms most likely emerged in a chain of modifications and combinations of more simple ancestral functions. The role of DNA has been to keep records of these changes (without describing the result) so that they can be reproduced in the following generations. Evolutionary opportunities include adjustments of individual functions, multitasking, connection between various components of an organism, and interaction between organisms. The adaptive nature of regulated variation can be explained by the differential success of lineages in macro-evolution. Lineages with more advantageous patterns of regulated variation are likely to produce more species and secure more resources (i.e., long-term lineage selection). PMID:24769155

  7. Molluscan Evolutionary Genomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simison, W. Brian; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-12-01

    In the last 20 years there have been dramatic advances in techniques of high-throughput DNA sequencing, most recently accelerated by the Human Genome Project, a program that has determined the three billion base pair code on which we are based. Now this tremendous capability is being directed at other genome targets that are being sampled across the broad range of life. This opens up opportunities as never before for evolutionary and organismal biologists to address questions of both processes and patterns of organismal change. We stand at the dawn of a new 'modern synthesis' period, paralleling that of the early 20th century when the fledgling field of genetics first identified the underlying basis for Darwin's theory. We must now unite the efforts of systematists, paleontologists, mathematicians, computer programmers, molecular biologists, developmental biologists, and others in the pursuit of discovering what genomics can teach us about the diversity of life. Genome-level sampling for mollusks to date has mostly been limited to mitochondrial genomes and it is likely that these will continue to provide the best targets for broad phylogenetic sampling in the near future. However, we are just beginning to see an inroad into complete nuclear genome sequencing, with several mollusks and other eutrochozoans having been selected for work about to begin. Here, we provide an overview of the state of molluscan mitochondrial genomics, highlight a few of the discoveries from this research, outline the promise of broadening this dataset, describe upcoming projects to sequence whole mollusk nuclear genomes, and challenge the community to prepare for making the best use of these data.

  8. Optimal Control of Evolutionary Dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Chakrabarti, Raj; McLendon, George

    2008-01-01

    Elucidating the fitness measures optimized during the evolution of complex biological systems is a major challenge in evolutionary theory. We present experimental evidence and an analytical framework demonstrating how biochemical networks exploit optimal control strategies in their evolutionary dynamics. Optimal control theory explains a striking pattern of extremization in the redox potentials of electron transport proteins, assuming only that their fitness measure is a control objective functional with bounded controls.

  9. Animal models and conserved processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greek Ray

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The concept of conserved processes presents unique opportunities for using nonhuman animal models in biomedical research. However, the concept must be examined in the context that humans and nonhuman animals are evolved, complex, adaptive systems. Given that nonhuman animals are examples of living systems that are differently complex from humans, what does the existence of a conserved gene or process imply for inter-species extrapolation? Methods We surveyed the literature including philosophy of science, biological complexity, conserved processes, evolutionary biology, comparative medicine, anti-neoplastic agents, inhalational anesthetics, and drug development journals in order to determine the value of nonhuman animal models when studying conserved processes. Results Evolution through natural selection has employed components and processes both to produce the same outcomes among species but also to generate different functions and traits. Many genes and processes are conserved, but new combinations of these processes or different regulation of the genes involved in these processes have resulted in unique organisms. Further, there is a hierarchy of organization in complex living systems. At some levels, the components are simple systems that can be analyzed by mathematics or the physical sciences, while at other levels the system cannot be fully analyzed by reducing it to a physical system. The study of complex living systems must alternate between focusing on the parts and examining the intact whole organism while taking into account the connections between the two. Systems biology aims for this holism. We examined the actions of inhalational anesthetic agents and anti-neoplastic agents in order to address what the characteristics of complex living systems imply for inter-species extrapolation of traits and responses related to conserved processes. Conclusion We conclude that even the presence of conserved processes is

  10. Schizophrenia-an evolutionary enigma?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brüne, Martin

    2004-03-01

    The term 'schizophrenia' refers to a group of disorders that have been described in every human culture. Two apparently well established findings have corroborated the need for an evolutionary explanation of these disorders: (1) cross-culturally stable incidence rates and (2) decreased fecundity of the affected individuals. The rationale behind this relates to the evolutionary paradox that susceptibility genes for schizophrenia are obviously preserved in the human genepool, despite fundamental reproductive disadvantages associated with the disorders. Some researchers have therefore proposed that a compensatory advantage must exist in people who are carriers of these genes or in their first-degree relatives. Such advantages were hypothesised to be outside the brain (e.g. greater resistance against toxins or infectious diseases), or within the social domain (e.g. schizotypal shamans, creativity). More specifically, T.J. Crow has suggested an evolutionary theory of schizophrenia that relates the disorders to an extreme of variation of hemispheric specialisation and the evolution of language due to a single gene mutation located on homologous regions of the sex chromosomes. None of the evolutionary scenarios does, however, fully account for the diversity of the symptomatology, nor does any one hypothesis acknowledge the objection that the mere prevalence of a disorder must not be confused with adaptation. In the present article, I therefore discuss the evolutionary hypotheses of schizophrenia, arguing that a symptom-based approach to psychotic disorders in evolutionary perspective may improve upon the existing models of schizophrenia.

  11. 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

  12. The major synthetic evolutionary transitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solé, Ricard

    2016-01-01

    Evolution is marked by well-defined events involving profound innovations that are known as ‘major evolutionary transitions'. They involve the integration of autonomous elements into a new, higher-level organization whereby the former isolated units interact in novel ways, losing their original autonomy. All major transitions, which include the origin of life, cells, multicellular systems, societies or language (among other examples), took place millions of years ago. Are these transitions unique, rare events? Have they instead universal traits that make them almost inevitable when the right pieces are in place? Are there general laws of evolutionary innovation? In order to approach this problem under a novel perspective, we argue that a parallel class of evolutionary transitions can be explored involving the use of artificial evolutionary experiments where alternative paths to innovation can be explored. These ‘synthetic’ transitions include, for example, the artificial evolution of multicellular systems or the emergence of language in evolved communicating robots. These alternative scenarios could help us to understand the underlying laws that predate the rise of major innovations and the possibility for general laws of evolved complexity. Several key examples and theoretical approaches are summarized and future challenges are outlined. This article is part of the themed issue ‘The major synthetic evolutionary transitions’. PMID:27431528

  13. Structural symmetry in evolutionary games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-10-06

    In evolutionary game theory, an important measure of a mutant trait (strategy) is its ability to invade and take over an otherwise-monomorphic population. Typically, one quantifies the success of a mutant strategy via the probability that a randomly occurring mutant will fixate in the population. However, in a structured population, this fixation probability may depend on where the mutant arises. Moreover, the fixation probability is just one quantity by which one can measure the success of a mutant; fixation time, for instance, is another. We define a notion of homogeneity for evolutionary games that captures what it means for two single-mutant states, i.e. two configurations of a single mutant in an otherwise-monomorphic population, to be 'evolutionarily equivalent' in the sense that all measures of evolutionary success are the same for both configurations. Using asymmetric games, we argue that the term 'homogeneous' should apply to the evolutionary process as a whole rather than to just the population structure. For evolutionary matrix games in graph-structured populations, we give precise conditions under which the resulting process is homogeneous. Finally, we show that asymmetric matrix games can be reduced to symmetric games if the population structure possesses a sufficient degree of symmetry.

  14. Complicated evolutionary patterns of microRNAs in vertebrates

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG XiaoWo; ZHANG XueGong; LI YanDa

    2008-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of~22 nt long endogenous non-coding RNAs that play important regulatory roles in diverse organisms. Up to now, little is known about the evolutionary properties of these crucial regulators. Most miRNAs were thought to be phylogenetically conserved, but recently, a number of poorly-conserved miRNAs have been reported and miRNA innovation is shown to be an ongoing process. In this work, through the characterization of an miRNA super family, we studied the evolutionary patterns of miRNAs in vertebrates. Recently generated miRNAs seem to evolve rapidly during a certain period following their emergence. Multiple lineage-specific expansions were observed. Homolgous premiRNAs may produce mature products from the opposite stem arms following tandem duplications, which may have important contribution to miRNA innovation. Our observations of miRNAs' complicated evolutionary patterns support the notion that these key regulatory molecules may play very active roles in evolution.

  15. Neuronal boost to evolutionary dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vladar, Harold P; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-12-06

    Standard evolutionary dynamics is limited by the constraints of the genetic system. A central message of evolutionary neurodynamics is that evolutionary dynamics in the brain can happen in a neuronal niche in real time, despite the fact that neurons do not reproduce. We show that Hebbian learning and structural synaptic plasticity broaden the capacity for informational replication and guided variability provided a neuronally plausible mechanism of replication is in place. The synergy between learning and selection is more efficient than the equivalent search by mutation selection. We also consider asymmetric landscapes and show that the learning weights become correlated with the fitness gradient. That is, the neuronal complexes learn the local properties of the fitness landscape, resulting in the generation of variability directed towards the direction of fitness increase, as if mutations in a genetic pool were drawn such that they would increase reproductive success. Evolution might thus be more efficient within evolved brains than among organisms out in the wild.

  16. Multivariate Evolutionary Analyses in Astrophysics

    CERN Document Server

    Fraix-Burnet, Didier

    2011-01-01

    The large amount of data on galaxies, up to higher and higher redshifts, asks for sophisticated statistical approaches to build adequate classifications. Multivariate cluster analyses, that compare objects for their global similarities, are still confidential in astrophysics, probably because their results are somewhat difficult to interpret. We believe that the missing key is the unavoidable characteristics in our Universe: evolution. Our approach, known as Astrocladistics, is based on the evolutionary nature of both galaxies and their properties. It gathers objects according to their "histories" and establishes an evolutionary scenario among groups of objects. In this presentation, I show two recent results on globular clusters and earlytype galaxies to illustrate how the evolutionary concepts of Astrocladistics can also be useful for multivariate analyses such as K-means Cluster Analysis.

  17. Evolutionary engineering for industrial microbiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanee, Niti; Fisher, Adam B; Fong, Stephen S

    2012-01-01

    Superficially, evolutionary engineering is a paradoxical field that balances competing interests. In natural settings, evolution iteratively selects and enriches subpopulations that are best adapted to a particular ecological niche using random processes such as genetic mutation. In engineering desired approaches utilize rational prospective design to address targeted problems. When considering details of evolutionary and engineering processes, more commonality can be found. Engineering relies on detailed knowledge of the problem parameters and design properties in order to predict design outcomes that would be an optimized solution. When detailed knowledge of a system is lacking, engineers often employ algorithmic search strategies to identify empirical solutions. Evolution epitomizes this iterative optimization by continuously diversifying design options from a parental design, and then selecting the progeny designs that represent satisfactory solutions. In this chapter, the technique of applying the natural principles of evolution to engineer microbes for industrial applications is discussed to highlight the challenges and principles of evolutionary engineering.

  18. Neuronal boost to evolutionary dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vladar, Harold P.; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-01-01

    Standard evolutionary dynamics is limited by the constraints of the genetic system. A central message of evolutionary neurodynamics is that evolutionary dynamics in the brain can happen in a neuronal niche in real time, despite the fact that neurons do not reproduce. We show that Hebbian learning and structural synaptic plasticity broaden the capacity for informational replication and guided variability provided a neuronally plausible mechanism of replication is in place. The synergy between learning and selection is more efficient than the equivalent search by mutation selection. We also consider asymmetric landscapes and show that the learning weights become correlated with the fitness gradient. That is, the neuronal complexes learn the local properties of the fitness landscape, resulting in the generation of variability directed towards the direction of fitness increase, as if mutations in a genetic pool were drawn such that they would increase reproductive success. Evolution might thus be more efficient within evolved brains than among organisms out in the wild. PMID:26640653

  19. 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.

  20. Diversity-Guided Evolutionary Algorithms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ursem, Rasmus Kjær

    2002-01-01

    Population diversity is undoubtably a key issue in the performance of evolutionary algorithms. A common hypothesis is that high diversity is important to avoid premature convergence and to escape local optima. Various diversity measures have been used to analyze algorithms, but so far few...... algorithms have used a measure to guide the search. The diversity-guided evolutionary algorithm (DGEA) uses the wellknown distance-to-average-point measure to alternate between phases of exploration (mutation) and phases of exploitation (recombination and selection). The DGEA showed remarkable results...

  1. Evolutionary Aesthetics and Print Advertising

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil Luczaj

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The article analyzes the extent to which predictions based on the theory of evolutionary aesthetics are utilized by the advertising industry. The purpose of a comprehensive content analysis of print advertising is to determine whether the items indicated by evolutionists such as animals, flowers, certain types of landscapes, beautiful humans, and some colors are part of real advertising strategies. This article has shown that many evolutionary hypotheses (although not all of them are supported by empirical data. Along with these hypotheses, some inferences from Bourdieu’s cultural capital theory were tested. It turned out that advertising uses both biological schemata and cultural patterns to make an image more likable.

  2. Evolutionary optimization of optical antennas

    CERN Document Server

    Feichtner, Thorsten; Kiunke, Markus; Hecht, Bert

    2012-01-01

    The design of nano-antennas is so far mainly inspired by radio-frequency technology. However, material properties and experimental settings need to be reconsidered at optical frequencies, which entails the need for alternative optimal antenna designs. Here a checkerboard-type, initially random array of gold cubes is subjected to evolutionary optimization. To illustrate the power of the approach we demonstrate that by optimizing the near-field intensity enhancement the evolutionary algorithm finds a new antenna geometry, essentially a split-ring/two-wire antenna hybrid which surpasses by far the performance of a conventional gap antenna by shifting the n=1 split-ring resonance into the optical regime.

  3. 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.

  4. Differentiated evolutionary rates in alternative exons and the implications for splicing regulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eyras Eduardo

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alternatively spliced exons play an important role in the diversification of gene function in most metazoans and are highly regulated by conserved motifs in exons and introns. Two contradicting properties have been associated to evolutionary conserved alternative exons: higher sequence conservation and higher rate of non-synonymous substitutions, relative to constitutive exons. In order to clarify this issue, we have performed an analysis of the evolution of alternative and constitutive exons, using a large set of protein coding exons conserved between human and mouse and taking into account the conservation of the transcript exonic structure. Further, we have also defined a measure of the variation of the arrangement of exonic splicing enhancers (ESE-conservation score to study the evolution of splicing regulatory sequences. We have used this measure to correlate the changes in the arrangement of ESEs with the divergence of exon and intron sequences. Results We find evidence for a relation between the lack of conservation of the exonic structure and the weakening of the sequence evolutionary constraints in alternative and constitutive exons. Exons in transcripts with non-conserved exonic structures have higher synonymous (dS and non-synonymous (dN substitution rates than exons in conserved structures. Moreover, alternative exons in transcripts with non-conserved exonic structure are the least constrained in sequence evolution, and at high EST-inclusion levels they are found to be very similar to constitutive exons, whereas alternative exons in transcripts with conserved exonic structure have a dS significantly lower than average at all EST-inclusion levels. We also find higher conservation in the arrangement of ESEs in constitutive exons compared to alternative ones. Additionally, the sequence conservation at flanking introns remains constant for constitutive exons at all ESE-conservation values, but increases for

  5. Evolutionary dynamics of mammalian karyotypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlo Alberto Redi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This special volume of Cytogenetic and Genome Research (edited by Roscoe Stanyon, University of Florence and Alexander Graphodatsky, Siberian division of the Russian Academy of Sciences is dedicated to the fascinating long search of the forces behind the evolutionary dynamics of mammalian karyotypes, revealed after the hypotonic miracle of the 1950s....

  6. Statistical Methods for Evolutionary Trees

    OpenAIRE

    Edwards, A. W. F.

    2009-01-01

    In 1963 and 1964, L. L. Cavalli-Sforza and A. W. F. Edwards introduced novel methods for computing evolutionary trees from genetical data, initially for human populations from blood-group gene frequencies. The most important development was their introduction of statistical methods of estimation applied to stochastic models of evolution.

  7. Micro Evolutionary Processes and Adaptation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHADMANOV; R; K; RUBAN; I; N; VOROPAEVA; N; L; SHADMANOVA; A; R

    2008-01-01

    It would be well to note that in the absence of clear data about the formation of adaptation systems,or mechanisms of their occurrence,all that is recognized is the realization of the micro evolutionary processes.There is no well-defined connection between information exchange and formation of

  8. Evolutionary models of human personality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Haysom, H.J.; Verweij, C.J.H.; Zietsch, B.P.

    2015-01-01

    Behavioral genetic studies have shown that around a third to a half of the between-individual variation in personality traits can be accounted for by genetic differences between individuals. There is rapidly growing interest in understanding the evolutionary basis of this genetic variation. In this

  9. Evolutionary Computation and its Application

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Licheng Jiao; Lishan Kang; Zhenya He; Tao Xie

    2006-01-01

    @@ On Mar.23,2006,a project in the Major Program of NSFC-"Evolutionary computation and its application",managed by Prof.Licheng Jiao,Prof.Lishan Kang,Prof.Zhenya He,and Prof.Tao Xie,passed its Final Qualification Process and was evaluated as Excellent.

  10. Is evolutionary biology strategic science?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meagher, Thomas R

    2007-01-01

    There is a profound need for the scientific community to be better aware of the policy context in which it operates. To address this need, Evolution has established a new Outlook feature section to include papers that explore the interface between society and evolutionary biology. This first paper in the series considers the strategic relevance of evolutionary biology. Support for scientific research in general is based on governmental or institutional expenditure that is an investment, and such investment is based on strategies designed to achieve particular outcomes, such as advance in particular areas of basic science or application. The scientific community can engage in the development of scientific strategies on a variety of levels, including workshops to explicitly develop research priorities and targeted funding initiatives to help define emerging scientific areas. Better understanding and communication of the scientific achievements of evolutionary biology, emphasizing immediate and potential societal relevance, are effective counters to challenges presented by the creationist agenda. Future papers in the Outlook feature section should assist the evolutionary biology community in achieving a better collective understanding of the societal relevance of their field.

  11. Current Issues in Evolutionary Paleontology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scully, Erik Paul

    1987-01-01

    Describes some of the contributions made by the field of paleontology to theories in geology and biology. Suggests that the two best examples of modern evolutionary paleontology relate to the theory of punctuated equilibria, and the possibility that mass extinctions may be cyclic. (TW)

  12. Evolutionary perspective in child growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochberg, Ze'ev

    2011-07-01

    Hereditary, environmental, and stochastic factors determine a child's growth in his unique environment, but their relative contribution to the phenotypic outcome and the extent of stochastic programming that is required to alter human phenotypes is not known because few data are available. This is an attempt to use evolutionary life-history theory in understanding child growth in a broad evolutionary perspective, using the data and theory of evolutionary predictive adaptive growth-related strategies. Transitions from one life-history phase to the next have inherent adaptive plasticity in their timing. Humans evolved to withstand energy crises by decreasing their body size, and evolutionary short-term adaptations to energy crises utilize a plasticity that modifies the timing of transition from infancy into childhood, culminating in short stature in times of energy crisis. Transition to juvenility is part of a strategy of conversion from a period of total dependence on the family and tribe for provision and security to self-supply, and a degree of adaptive plasticity is provided and determines body composition. Transition to adolescence entails plasticity in adapting to energy resources, other environmental cues, and the social needs of the maturing adolescent to determine life-span and the period of fecundity and fertility. Fundamental questions are raised by a life-history approach to the unique growth pattern of each child in his given genetic background and current environment.

  13. Evolutionary Perspective in Child Growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ze’ev Hochberg

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Hereditary, environmental, and stochastic factors determine a child’s growth in his unique environment, but their relative contribution to the phenotypic outcome and the extent of stochastic programming that is required to alter human phenotypes is not known because few data are available. This is an attempt to use evolutionary life-history theory in understanding child growth in a broad evolutionary perspective, using the data and theory of evolutionary predictive adaptive growth-related strategies. Transitions from one life-history phase to the next have inherent adaptive plasticity in their timing. Humans evolved to withstand energy crises by decreasing their body size, and evolutionary short-term adaptations to energy crises utilize a plasticity that modifies the timing of transition from infancy into childhood, culminating in short stature in times of energy crisis. Transition to juvenility is part of a strategy of conversion from a period of total dependence on the family and tribe for provision and security to self-supply, and a degree of adaptive plasticity is provided and determines body composition. Transition to adolescence entails plasticity in adapting to energy resources, other environmental cues, and the social needs of the maturing adolescent to determine life-span and the period of fecundity and fertility. Fundamental questions are raised by a life-history approach to the unique growth pattern of each child in his given genetic background and current environment.

  14. Statistical methods for evolutionary trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, A W F

    2009-09-01

    In 1963 and 1964, L. L. Cavalli-Sforza and A. W. F. Edwards introduced novel methods for computing evolutionary trees from genetical data, initially for human populations from blood-group gene frequencies. The most important development was their introduction of statistical methods of estimation applied to stochastic models of evolution.

  15. Evolutionary constraints of phosphorylation in eukaryotes, prokaryotes, and mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnad, Florian; Forner, Francesca; Zielinska, Dorota F; Birney, Ewan; Gunawardena, Jeremy; Mann, Matthias

    2010-12-01

    High accuracy mass spectrometry has proven to be a powerful technology for the large scale identification of serine/threonine/tyrosine phosphorylation in the living cell. However, despite many described phosphoproteomes, there has been no comparative study of the extent of phosphorylation and its evolutionary conservation in all domains of life. Here we analyze the results of phosphoproteomics studies performed with the same technology in a diverse set of organisms. For the most ancient organisms, the prokaryotes, only a few hundred proteins have been found to be phosphorylated. Applying the same technology to eukaryotic species resulted in the detection of thousands of phosphorylation events. Evolutionary analysis shows that prokaryotic phosphoproteins are preferentially conserved in all living organisms, whereas-site specific phosphorylation is not. Eukaryotic phosphosites are generally more conserved than their non-phosphorylated counterparts (with similar structural constraints) throughout the eukaryotic domain. Yeast and Caenorhabditis elegans are two exceptions, indicating that the majority of phosphorylation events evolved after the divergence of higher eukaryotes from yeast and reflecting the unusually large number of nematode-specific kinases. Mitochondria present an interesting intermediate link between the prokaryotic and eukaryotic domains. Applying the same technology to this organelle yielded 174 phosphorylation sites mapped to 74 proteins. Thus, the mitochondrial phosphoproteome is similarly sparse as the prokaryotic phosphoproteomes. As expected from the endosymbiotic theory, phosphorylated as well as non-phosphorylated mitochondrial proteins are significantly conserved in prokaryotes. However, mitochondrial phosphorylation sites are not conserved throughout prokaryotes, consistent with the notion that serine/threonine phosphorylation in prokaryotes occurred relatively recently in evolution. Thus, the phosphoproteome reflects major events in the

  16. 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.

  17. Novel nuclear intron-spanning primers for Arecaceae evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacon, Christine D; Feltus, F Alex; Paterson, Andrew H; Bailey, C Donovan

    2008-01-01

    In this study, 96 nuclear 'conserved intron-scanning primers' were screened across subfamilies the Arecaceae (palms) for potential use in research focused on palm evolutionary biology. Primers were evaluated based on their ability to amplify single polymerase chain reaction products in Arecaceae, the clarity of sequencing reads, and the interspecific variability observed. Ultimately, the results suggest that: (i) seven of the loci are likely to be suitable when comparing non-Arecaceae outgroups and Arecaceae ingroups; (ii) seven loci may be of use when comparing subfamilies of Arecaceae; and (iii) four of the loci may be of use when comparing closely related genera.

  18. Evolutionary Turnover of Kinetochore Proteins: A Ship of Theseus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drinnenberg, Ines A; Henikoff, Steven; Malik, Harmit S

    2016-07-01

    The kinetochore is a multiprotein complex that mediates the attachment of a eukaryotic chromosome to the mitotic spindle. The protein composition of kinetochores is similar across species as divergent as yeast and human. However, recent findings have revealed an unexpected degree of compositional diversity in kinetochores. For example, kinetochore proteins that are essential in some species have been lost in others, whereas new kinetochore proteins have emerged in other lineages. Even in lineages with similar kinetochore composition, individual kinetochore proteins have functionally diverged to acquire either essential or redundant roles. Thus, despite functional conservation, the repertoire of kinetochore proteins has undergone recurrent evolutionary turnover.

  19. 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...

  20. Evolutionary characteristics of exons expressed at different abundance levels in mammals

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU HaiJing; FANG Lin; LI Xin; ZHANG XiaoYan; YE Jia; LI Jie; HU WeiHong; ZHENG BingRong; XIAO ChunJie

    2009-01-01

    With comparative genomics approaches, we evaluated the evolutionary characteristics of conservation of exons which are expressed abundantly, moderately or lowly in mammals. Using non-coding regions and pseudogenes as controls, sequence identity, phastCons and Ka/Ks analyses were carried out and our results showed that as the exons of high abundance are highly conserved, the minor and low exons also showed conservative characteristics in evolution. Our findings suggested that the exons with less abundance which constitute a large proportion of distinct species in transcriptome of organisms are under functional constraint and might play certain roles in enriching biological complexity in the evolution of organisms.

  1. Meeting global conservation challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    Hot on the heels of last year's Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, representatives from the global conservation community met to set the conservation agenda that will help to implement these targets.

  2. Conservation: Threatened by Luxury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Thomas J

    2016-06-20

    When animals are traded in lucrative international luxury markets, individuals really do matter to conservation. Identifying the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that make some species especially vulnerable to this kind of threat helps set guidelines for more effective conservation.

  3. The evolutionary portrait of metazoan NAD salvage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Carneiro

    Full Text Available Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD levels are essential for cellular homeostasis and survival. Main sources of intracellular NAD are the salvage pathways from nicotinamide, where Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferases (NAMPTs and Nicotinamidases (PNCs have a key role. NAMPTs and PNCs are important in aging, infection and disease conditions such as diabetes and cancer. These enzymes have been considered redundant since either one or the other exists in each individual genome. The co-occurrence of NAMPT and PNC was only recently detected in invertebrates though no structural or functional characterization exists for them. Here, using expression and evolutionary analysis combined with homology modeling and protein-ligand docking, we show that both genes are expressed simultaneously in key species of major invertebrate branches and emphasize sequence and structural conservation patterns in metazoan NAMPT and PNC homologues. The results anticipate that NAMPTs and PNCs are simultaneously active, raising the possibility that NAD salvage pathways are not redundant as both are maintained to fulfill the requirement for NAD production in some species.

  4. Evolutionary dynamics of Newcastle disease virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, P.J.; Kim, L.M.; Ip, H.S.; Afonso, C.L.

    2009-01-01

    A comprehensive dataset of NDV genome sequences was evaluated using bioinformatics to characterize the evolutionary forces affecting NDV genomes. Despite evidence of recombination in most genes, only one event in the fusion gene of genotype V viruses produced evolutionarily viable progenies. The codon-associated rate of change for the six NDV proteins revealed that the highest rate of change occurred at the fusion protein. All proteins were under strong purifying (negative) selection; the fusion protein displayed the highest number of amino acids under positive selection. Regardless of the phylogenetic grouping or the level of virulence, the cleavage site motif was highly conserved implying that mutations at this site that result in changes of virulence may not be favored. The coding sequence of the fusion gene and the genomes of viruses from wild birds displayed higher yearly rates of change in virulent viruses than in viruses of low virulence, suggesting that an increase in virulence may accelerate the rate of NDV evolution. ?? 2009 Elsevier Inc.

  5. Evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovatsos, Michail; Vukić, Jasna; Lymberakis, Petros; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-12-22

    Amniote vertebrates possess various mechanisms of sex determination, but their variability is not equally distributed. The large evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in viviparous mammals and birds was believed to be connected with their endothermy. However, some ectotherm lineages seem to be comparably conserved in sex determination, but previously there was a lack of molecular evidence to confirm this. Here, we document a stability of sex chromosomes in advanced snakes based on the testing of Z-specificity of genes using quantitative PCR (qPCR) across 37 snake species (our qPCR technique is suitable for molecular sexing in potentially all advanced snakes). We discovered that at least part of sex chromosomes is homologous across all families of caenophidian snakes (Acrochordidae, Xenodermatidae, Pareatidae, Viperidae, Homalopsidae, Colubridae, Elapidae and Lamprophiidae). The emergence of differentiated sex chromosomes can be dated back to about 60 Ma and preceded the extensive diversification of advanced snakes, the group with more than 3000 species. The Z-specific genes of caenophidian snakes are (pseudo)autosomal in the members of the snake families Pythonidae, Xenopeltidae, Boidae, Erycidae and Sanziniidae, as well as in outgroups with differentiated sex chromosomes such as monitor lizards, iguanas and chameleons. Along with iguanas, advanced snakes are therefore another example of ectothermic amniotes with a long-term stability of sex chromosomes comparable with endotherms.

  6. The evolutionary biology of dance without frills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravignani, Andrea; Cook, Peter F

    2016-10-10

    Recently psychologists have taken up the question of whether dance is reliant on unique human adaptations, or whether it is rooted in neural and cognitive mechanisms shared with other species [1,2]. In its full cultural complexity, human dance clearly has no direct analog in animal behavior. Most definitions of dance include the consistent production of movement sequences timed to an external rhythm. While not sufficient for dance, modes of auditory-motor timing, such as synchronization and entrainment, are experimentally tractable constructs that may be analyzed and compared between species. In an effort to assess the evolutionary precursors to entrainment and social features of human dance, Laland and colleagues [2] have suggested that dance may be an incidental byproduct of adaptations supporting vocal or motor imitation - referred to here as the 'imitation and sequencing' hypothesis. In support of this hypothesis, Laland and colleagues rely on four convergent lines of evidence drawn from behavioral and neurobiological research on dance behavior in humans and rhythmic behavior in other animals. Here, we propose a less cognitive, more parsimonious account for the evolution of dance. Our 'timing and interaction' hypothesis suggests that dance is scaffolded off of broadly conserved timing mechanisms allowing both cooperative and antagonistic social coordination.

  7. Evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in snakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rovatsos, Michail; Vukić, Jasna; Lymberakis, Petros; Kratochvíl, Lukáš

    2015-01-01

    Amniote vertebrates possess various mechanisms of sex determination, but their variability is not equally distributed. The large evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in viviparous mammals and birds was believed to be connected with their endothermy. However, some ectotherm lineages seem to be comparably conserved in sex determination, but previously there was a lack of molecular evidence to confirm this. Here, we document a stability of sex chromosomes in advanced snakes based on the testing of Z-specificity of genes using quantitative PCR (qPCR) across 37 snake species (our qPCR technique is suitable for molecular sexing in potentially all advanced snakes). We discovered that at least part of sex chromosomes is homologous across all families of caenophidian snakes (Acrochordidae, Xenodermatidae, Pareatidae, Viperidae, Homalopsidae, Colubridae, Elapidae and Lamprophiidae). The emergence of differentiated sex chromosomes can be dated back to about 60 Ma and preceded the extensive diversification of advanced snakes, the group with more than 3000 species. The Z-specific genes of caenophidian snakes are (pseudo)autosomal in the members of the snake families Pythonidae, Xenopeltidae, Boidae, Erycidae and Sanziniidae, as well as in outgroups with differentiated sex chromosomes such as monitor lizards, iguanas and chameleons. Along with iguanas, advanced snakes are therefore another example of ectothermic amniotes with a long-term stability of sex chromosomes comparable with endotherms. PMID:26702042

  8. Evolutionary Approaches to Expensive Optimisation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maumita Bhattacharya

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Surrogate assisted evolutionary algorithms (EA are rapidly gaining popularity where applications of EA in complex real world problem domains are concerned. Although EAs are powerful global optimizers, finding optimal solution to complex high dimensional, multimodal problems often require very expensive fitness function evaluations. Needless to say, this could brand any population-based iterative optimization technique to be the most crippling choice to handle such problems. Use of approximate model or surrogates provides a much cheaper option. However, naturally this cheaper option comes with its own price! This paper discusses some of the key issues involved with use of approximation in evolutionary algorithm, possible best practices and solutions. Answers to the following questions have been sought: what type of fitness approximation to be used; which approximation model to use; how to integrate the approximation model in EA; how much approximation to use; and how to ensure reliable approximation.

  9. Exponential Expansion in Evolutionary Economics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frederiksen, Peter; Jagtfelt, Tue

    2013-01-01

    concepts are described in detail. Taken together it provides the rudimentary aspects of an economic system within an analytical perspective. It is argued that the main dynamic processes of the evolutionary perspective can be reduced to these four concepts. The model and concepts are evaluated in the light...... of Thomas Kuhn’s notion of scientific paradigms and criteria for a good theory (1977, 1996). The paper thus aims to augment and assimilate the fragmented and scattered body of concepts presently residing within the field of evolutionary economics, by presenting an intuitive framework, applicable within...... to this problem is proposed in the form of a model of exponential expansion. The model outlines the overall structure and function of the economy as exponential expansion. The pictographic model describes four axiomatic concepts and their exponential nature. The interactive, directional, emerging and expanding...

  10. Evolutionary model of stock markets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaldasch, Joachim

    2014-12-01

    The paper presents an evolutionary economic model for the price evolution of stocks. Treating a stock market as a self-organized system governed by a fast purchase process and slow variations of demand and supply the model suggests that the short term price distribution has the form a logistic (Laplace) distribution. The long term return can be described by Laplace-Gaussian mixture distributions. The long term mean price evolution is governed by a Walrus equation, which can be transformed into a replicator equation. This allows quantifying the evolutionary price competition between stocks. The theory suggests that stock prices scaled by the price over all stocks can be used to investigate long-term trends in a Fisher-Pry plot. The price competition that follows from the model is illustrated by examining the empirical long-term price trends of two stocks.

  11. Ultimate Realities: Deterministic and Evolutionary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moxley, Roy A

    2007-01-01

    References to ultimate reality commonly turn up in the behavioral literature as references to determinism. However, this determinism is often difficult to interpret. There are different kinds of determinisms as well as different kinds of ultimate realities for a behaviorist to consider. To clarify some of the issues involved, the views of ultimate realities are treated as falling along a continuum, with extreme views of complete indeterminism and complete determinism at either end and various mixes in between. Doing so brings into play evolutionary realities and the movement from indeterminism to determinism, as in Peirce's evolutionary cosmology. In addition, this framework helps to show how the views of determinism by B. F. Skinner and other behaviorists have shifted over time. PMID:22478489

  12. Evolutionary robotics – A review

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Dilip Kumar Pratihar

    2003-12-01

    In evolutionary robotics, a suitable robot control system is developed automatically through evolution due to the interactions between the robot and its environment. It is a complicated task, as the robot and the environment constitute a highly dynamical system. Several methods have been tried by various investigators to solve this problem. This paper provides a survey on some of these important studies carried out in the recent past.

  13. Structural symmetry in evolutionary games

    OpenAIRE

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    In evolutionary game theory, an important measure of a mutant trait (strategy) is its ability to invade and take over an otherwise-monomorphic population. Typically, one quantifies the success of a mutant strategy via the probability that a randomly occurring mutant will fixate in the population. However, in a structured population, this fixation probability may depend on where the mutant arises. Moreover, the fixation probability is just one quantity by which one can measure the success of a...

  14. Evolutionary Adaptations to Dietary Changes

    OpenAIRE

    De Luca, F; Perry, G. H.; Di Rienzo, A.

    2010-01-01

    Through cultural innovation and changes in habitat and ecology, there have been a number of major dietary shifts in human evolution, including meat eating, cooking, and those associated with plant and animal domestication. The identification of signatures of adaptations to such dietary changes in the genome of extant primates (including humans) may shed light not only on the evolutionary history of our species, but also on the mechanisms that underlie common metabolic diseases in modern human...

  15. Behavioural biology: an effective and relevant conservation tool.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchholz, Richard

    2007-08-01

    'Conservation behaviour' is a young discipline that investigates how proximate and ultimate aspects of the behaviour of an animal can be of value in preventing the loss of biodiversity. Rumours of its demise are unfounded. Conservation behaviour is quickly building a capacity to positively influence environmental decision making. The theoretical framework used by animal behaviourists is uniquely valuable to elucidating integrative solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, efforts to reintroduce endangered species and reducing the deleterious effects of ecotourism. Conservation behaviourists must join with other scientists under the multidisciplinary umbrella of conservation biology without giving up on their focus: the mechanisms, development, function and evolutionary history of individual differences in behaviour. Conservation behaviour is an increasingly relevant tool in the preservation of nature.

  16. Conservation Action Handbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Rifle Association, Washington, DC.

    Conservation problems are identified, with some suggestions for action. General areas covered are: Wildlife Conservation, Soil Conservation, Clean Water, Air Pollution Action, and Outdoor Recreation Action. Appendices list private organizations or agencies concerned with natural resource use and/or management, congressional committees considering…

  17. Incorporating Development Into Evolutionary Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F. Bjorklund

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Developmental thinking is gradually becoming integrated within mainstream evolutionary psychology. This is most apparent with respect to the role of parenting, with proponents of life history theory arguing that cognitive and behavioral plasticity early in life permits children to select different life history strategies, with such strategies being adaptive solutions to different fitness trade-offs. I argue that adaptations develop and are based on the highly plastic nature of infants’ and children’s behavior/cognition/brains. The concept of evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanisms is introduced, defined as information processing mechanisms evolved to solve recurrent problems faced by ancestral populations that are expressed in a probabilistic fashion in each individual in a generation and are based on the continuous and bidirectional interaction over time at all levels of organization, from the genetic through the cultural. Early perceptual/cognitive biases result in behavior that, when occurring in a species-typical environment, produce continuous adaptive changes in behavior (and cognition, yielding adaptive outcomes. Examples from social learning and tool use are provided, illustrating the development of adaptations via evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanisms. The integration of developmental concepts into mainstream evolutionary psychology (and evolutionary concepts into mainstream developmental psychology will provide a clearer picture of what it means to be human.

  18. Exactly conservation integrators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shadwick, B.A.; Bowman, J.C.; Morrison, P.J. [Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX (United States)

    1999-03-01

    Traditional explicit numerical discretizations of conservative systems generically predict artificial secular drifts of any nonlinear invariants. In this work the authors present a general approach for developing explicit nontraditional algorithms that conserve such invariants exactly. They illustrate the method by applying it to the three-wave truncation of the Euler equations, the Lotka-Volterra predator-prey model, and the Kepler problem. The ideas are discussed in the context of symplectic (phase-space-conserving) integration methods as well as nonsymplectic conservative methods. They comment on the application of the method to general conservative systems.

  19. Exactly conservative integrators

    CERN Document Server

    Shadwick, B A; Morrison, P J; Bowman, John C

    1995-01-01

    Traditional numerical discretizations of conservative systems generically yield an artificial secular drift of any nonlinear invariants. In this work we present an explicit nontraditional algorithm that exactly conserves these invariants. We illustrate the general method by applying it to the three-wave truncation of the Euler equations, the Lotka--Volterra predator--prey model, and the Kepler problem. This method is discussed in the context of symplectic (phase space conserving) integration methods as well as nonsymplectic conservative methods. We comment on the application of our method to general conservative systems.

  20. Exactly conservative integrators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shadwick, B.A.; Bowman, J.C.; Morrison, P.J.

    1995-07-19

    Traditional numerical discretizations of conservative systems generically yield an artificial secular drift of any nonlinear invariants. In this work we present an explicit nontraditional algorithm that exactly conserves invariants. We illustrate the general method by applying it to the Three-Wave truncation of the Euler equations, the Volterra-Lotka predator-prey model, and the Kepler problem. We discuss our method in the context of symplectic (phase space conserving) integration methods as well as nonsymplectic conservative methods. We comment on the application of our method to general conservative systems.

  1. 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.

  2. Comparative approaches in evolutionary psychology: molecular neuroscience meets the mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panksepp, Jaak; Moskal, Joseph R; Panksepp, Jules B; Kroes, Roger A

    2002-12-01

    Evolutionary psychologists often overlook a wealth of information existing between the proximate genotypic level and the ultimate phenotypic level. This commonly ignored level of biological organization is the ongoing activity of neurobiological systems. In this paper, we extend our previous arguments concerning strategic weaknesses of evolutionary psychology by advocating a foundational view that focuses on similarities in brain, behavior, and various basic psychological features across mammalian species. Such an approach offers the potential to link the emerging discipline of evolutionary psychology to its parent scientific disciplines such as biochemistry, physiology, molecular genetics, developmental biology and the neuroscientific analysis of animal behavior. We detail an example of this through our impending work using gene microarray technology to characterize gene expression patterns in rats during aggressive and playful social interactions. Through a focus on functional homologies and the experimental analysis of conserved, subcortical emotional and motivational brain systems, neuroevolutionary psychobiology can reveal ancient features of the human mind that are still shared with other animals. Claims regarding evolved, uniquely human, psychological constructs should be constrained by the rigorous evidentiary standards that are routine in other sciences.

  3. Behavioral Genetic Toolkits: Toward the Evolutionary Origins of Complex Phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittschof, C C; Robinson, G E

    2016-01-01

    The discovery of toolkit genes, which are highly conserved genes that consistently regulate the development of similar morphological phenotypes across diverse species, is one of the most well-known observations in the field of evolutionary developmental biology. Surprisingly, this phenomenon is also relevant for a wide array of behavioral phenotypes, despite the fact that these phenotypes are highly complex and regulated by many genes operating in diverse tissues. In this chapter, we review the use of the toolkit concept in the context of behavior, noting the challenges of comparing behaviors and genes across diverse species, but emphasizing the successes in identifying genetic toolkits for behavior; these successes are largely attributable to the creative research approaches fueled by advances in behavioral genomics. We have two general goals: (1) to acknowledge the groundbreaking progress in this field, which offers new approaches to the difficult but exciting challenge of understanding the evolutionary genetic basis of behaviors, some of the most complex phenotypes known, and (2) to provide a theoretical framework that encompasses the scope of behavioral genetic toolkit studies in order to clearly articulate the research questions relevant to the toolkit concept. We emphasize areas for growth and highlight the emerging approaches that are being used to drive the field forward. Behavioral genetic toolkit research has elevated the use of integrative and comparative approaches in the study of behavior, with potentially broad implications for evolutionary biologists and behavioral ecologists alike.

  4. Evolutionary history of the vertebrate mitogen activated protein kinases family.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK family pathway is implicated in diverse cellular processes and pathways essential to most organisms. Its evolution is conserved throughout the eukaryotic kingdoms. However, the detailed evolutionary history of the vertebrate MAPK family is largely unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The MAPK family members were collected from literatures or by searching the genomes of several vertebrates and invertebrates with the known MAPK sequences as queries. We found that vertebrates had significantly more MAPK family members than invertebrates, and the vertebrate MAPK family originated from 3 progenitors, suggesting that a burst of gene duplication events had occurred after the divergence of vertebrates from invertebrates. Conservation of evolutionary synteny was observed in the vertebrate MAPK subfamilies 4, 6, 7, and 11 to 14. Based on synteny and phylogenetic relationships, MAPK12 appeared to have arisen from a tandem duplication of MAPK11 and the MAPK13-MAPK14 gene unit was from a segmental duplication of the MAPK11-MAPK12 gene unit. Adaptive evolution analyses reveal that purifying selection drove the evolution of MAPK family, implying strong functional constraints of MAPK genes. Intriguingly, however, intron losses were specifically observed in the MAPK4 and MAPK7 genes, but not in their flanking genes, during the evolution from teleosts to amphibians and mammals. The specific occurrence of intron losses in the MAPK4 and MAPK7 subfamilies might be associated with adaptive evolution of the vertebrates by enhancing the gene expression level of both MAPK genes. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results provide valuable insight into the evolutionary history of the vertebrate MAPK family.

  5. Some assembly required: evolutionary and systems perspectives on the mammalian reproductive system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordhorst, Bethany R; Wilson, Miranda L; Conant, Gavin C

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we discuss the way that insights from evolutionary theory and systems biology shed light on form and function in mammalian reproductive systems. In the first part of the review, we contrast the rapid evolution seen in some reproductive genes with the generally conservative nature of development. We discuss directional selection and coevolution as potential drivers of rapid evolution in sperm and egg proteins. Such rapid change is very different from the highly conservative nature of later embryo development. However, it is not unique, as some regions of the sex chromosomes also show elevated rates of evolutionary change. To explain these contradictory trends, we argue that it is not reproductive functions per se that induce rapid evolution. Rather, it is the fact that biotic interactions, such as speciation events and sexual conflict, have no evolutionary endpoint and hence can drive continuous evolutionary changes. Returning to the question of sex chromosome evolution, we discuss the way that recent advances in evolutionary genomics and systems biology and, in particular, the development of a theory of gene balance provide a better understanding of the evolutionary patterns seen on these chromosomes. We end the review with a discussion of a surprising and incompletely understood phenomenon observed in early embryos: namely the Warburg effect, whereby glucose is fermented to lactate and alanine rather than respired to carbon dioxide. We argue that evolutionary insights, from both yeasts and tumor cells, help to explain the Warburg effect, and that new metabolic modeling approaches are useful in assessing the potential sources of the effect.

  6. On the origin and evolutionary state of RZ Cas, KO Aql and S Equ

    CERN Document Server

    Mennekens, N; Van Rensbergen, W; Yungelson, L R

    2008-01-01

    Aims. Determination of the present evolutionary state and the restrictions on the initial mass ratios of RZ Cas, KO Aql and S Equ. Methods. Comparison of mass gaining stars with evolutionary models of single stars with the same mass and subsequent comparison with accretion tracks from simultaneous conservative binary evolution. Results. The gainers are in an early main sequence stage (Xc greater than 0.5), with KO Aql being almost unevolved. The initial donor/gainer mass ratios Mdi/Mgi must be larger than three to obtain the present mass and luminosity of the gainers.

  7. 7 CFR 12.23 - Conservation plans and conservation systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Conservation plans and conservation systems. 12.23 Section 12.23 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture HIGHLY ERODIBLE LAND AND WETLAND CONSERVATION Highly Erodible Land Conservation § 12.23 Conservation plans and conservation systems. (a) Use...

  8. Evolutionary genomics of LysM genes in land plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey Gary

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ubiquitous LysM motif recognizes peptidoglycan, chitooligosaccharides (chitin and, presumably, other structurally-related oligosaccharides. LysM-containing proteins were first shown to be involved in bacterial cell wall degradation and, more recently, were implicated in perceiving chitin (one of the established pathogen-associated molecular patterns and lipo-chitin (nodulation factors in flowering plants. However, the majority of LysM genes in plants remain functionally uncharacterized and the evolutionary history of complex LysM genes remains elusive. Results We show that LysM-containing proteins display a wide range of complex domain architectures. However, only a simple core architecture is conserved across kingdoms. Each individual kingdom appears to have evolved a distinct array of domain architectures. We show that early plant lineages acquired four characteristic architectures and progressively lost several primitive architectures. We report plant LysM phylogenies and associated gene, protein and genomic features, and infer the relative timing of duplications of LYK genes. Conclusion We report a domain architecture catalogue of LysM proteins across all kingdoms. The unique pattern of LysM protein domain architectures indicates the presence of distinctive evolutionary paths in individual kingdoms. We describe a comparative and evolutionary genomics study of LysM genes in plant kingdom. One of the two groups of tandemly arrayed plant LYK genes likely resulted from an ancient genome duplication followed by local genomic rearrangement, while the origin of the other groups of tandemly arrayed LYK genes remains obscure. Given the fact that no animal LysM motif-containing genes have been functionally characterized, this study provides clues to functional characterization of plant LysM genes and is also informative with regard to evolutionary and functional studies of animal LysM genes.

  9. Evolutionary shaping of demographic schedules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachter, Kenneth W.; Steinsaltz, David; Evans, Steven N.

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary processes of natural selection may be expected to leave their mark on age patterns of survival and reproduction. Demographic theory includes three main strands—mutation accumulation, stochastic vitality, and optimal life histories. This paper reviews the three strands and, concentrating on mutation accumulation, extends a mathematical result with broad implications concerning the effect of interactions between small age-specific effects of deleterious mutant alleles. Empirical data from genomic sequencing along with prospects for combining strands of theory hold hope for future progress. PMID:25024186

  10. Steps Towards an Evolutionary Physics

    CERN Document Server

    Tiezzi, E

    2006-01-01

    If thermodynamics is to physics as logic is to philosophy, recent theoretical advancements lend new coherence to the marvel and dynamism of life on Earth. Enzo Tiezzi's "Steps Towards an Evolutionary Physics" is a primer and guide, to those who would to stand on the shoulders of giants to attain this view: Heisenberg, Planck, Bateson, Varela, and Prigogine as well as notable contemporary scientists. The adventure of such a free and enquiring spirit thrives not so much on answers as on new questions. The book offers a new gestalt on the uncertainty principle and concept of probability. A wide r

  11. Micro Evolutionary Processes and Adaptation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SHADMANOV R K; RUBAN I N; VOROPAEVA N L; SHADMANOVA A R

    2008-01-01

    @@ It would be well to note that in the absence of clear data about the formation of adaptation systems,or mechanisms of their occurrence,all that is recognized is the realization of the micro evolutionary processes.There is no well-defined connection between information exchange and formation of adaptation systems.Obviously,it occurs because mechanisms and systems reacting to any external actions are not considered from the point of view of "coexistence" of dynamic and static processes and structures.

  12. Metabolism at Evolutionary Optimal States

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iraes Rabbers

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Metabolism is generally required for cellular maintenance and for the generation of offspring under conditions that support growth. The rates, yields (efficiencies, adaptation time and robustness of metabolism are therefore key determinants of cellular fitness. For biotechnological applications and our understanding of the evolution of metabolism, it is necessary to figure out how the functional system properties of metabolism can be optimized, via adjustments of the kinetics and expression of enzymes, and by rewiring metabolism. The trade-offs that can occur during such optimizations then indicate fundamental limits to evolutionary innovations and bioengineering. In this paper, we review several theoretical and experimental findings about mechanisms for metabolic optimization.

  13. Historical change and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masters, Roger D

    2007-09-01

    Despite advances in fields like genetics, evolutionary psychology, and human behavior and evolution--which generally focus on individual or small group behavior from a biological perspective--evolutionary biology has made little impact on studies of political change and social history. Theories of natural selection often seem inapplicable to human history because our social behavior is embedded in language (which makes possible the concepts of time and social identity on which what we call "history" depends). Peter Corning's Holistic Darwinism reconceptualizes evolutionary biology, making it possible to go beyond the barriers separating the social and natural sciences. Corning focuses on two primary processes: "synergy" (complex multivariate interactions at multiple levels between a species and its environment) and "cybernetics" (the information systems permitting communication between individuals and groups over time). Combining this frame of reference with inclusive fitness theory, it is possible to answer the most important (and puzzling) question in human history: How did a species that lived for millennia in hunter-gatherer bands form centralized states governing large populations of non-kin (including multi-ethnic empires as well as modern nation-states)? The fragility and contemporary ethnic violence in Kenya and the Congo should suffice as evidence that these issues need to be taken seriously. To explain the rise and fall of states as well as changes in human laws and customs--the core of historical research--it is essential to show how the provision of collective goods can overcome the challenge of self-interest and free-riding in some instances, yet fail to do so in others. To this end, it is now possible to consider how a state providing public goods can--under circumstances that often include effective leadership--contribute to enhanced inclusive fitness of virtually all its members. Because social behavior needs to adapt to ecology, but ecological

  14. The noncommutativity of the conservation laws: Mechanism of origination of vorticity and turbulence

    CERN Document Server

    Petrova, L I

    2009-01-01

    From the equations of conservation laws for energy, linear momentum, angular momentum and mass the evolutionary relation in differential forms follows. This relation connects the differential of entropy and the skew-symmetric form, whose coefficients depend on the characteristics of gas-dynamic system and the external actions. The evolutionary relation turns out to be nonidentical that is explained by the noncommutativity of conservation laws. The properties of such nonidentical relation (selfvariation, degenerate transformation) enable one to disclose the mechanism of evolutionary processes in gas-dynamic system that are accompanied by origination of vorticity and turbulence. In this case the intensity of vorticity and turbulence is defined by the commutator on unclosed skew-symmetric form in the nonidentical evolutionary relation.

  15. Conservation: Toward firmer ground

    Science.gov (United States)

    1975-01-01

    The following aspects of energy conservation were discussed: conservation history and goals, conservation modes, conservation accounting-criteria, and a method to overcome obstacles. The conservation modes tested fall into one of the following categories: reduced energy consumption, increased efficiency of energy utilization, or substitution of one or more forms of energy for another which is in shorter supply or in some sense thought to be of more value. The conservation accounting criteria include net energy reduction, economic, and technical criteria. A method to overcome obstacles includes (approaches such as: direct personal impact (life style, income, security, aspiration), an element of crisis, large scale involvement of environmental, safety, and health issues, connections to big government, big business, big politics, involvement of known and speculative science and technology, appeal to moral and ethical standards, the transient nature of opportunities to correct the system.

  16. Evolving evolutionary algorithms using linear genetic programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oltean, Mihai

    2005-01-01

    A new model for evolving Evolutionary Algorithms is proposed in this paper. The model is based on the Linear Genetic Programming (LGP) technique. Every LGP chromosome encodes an EA which is used for solving a particular problem. Several Evolutionary Algorithms for function optimization, the Traveling Salesman Problem and the Quadratic Assignment Problem are evolved by using the considered model. Numerical experiments show that the evolved Evolutionary Algorithms perform similarly and sometimes even better than standard approaches for several well-known benchmarking problems.

  17. An Introduction to Evolutionary Developmental Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karin Machluf

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary developmental psychology represents a synthesis of modern evolutionary theory and developmental psychology. Here we introduce the special issue on evolutionary developmental psychology by briefly discussing the history of this field and then summarizing the variety of topics that are covered. In this special issue, leading researchers provide a collection of theoretical and empirical articles that highlight recent findings and propose promising areas for future research.

  18. An introduction to evolutionary developmental psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machluf, Karin; Liddle, James R; Bjorklund, David F

    2014-04-29

    Evolutionary developmental psychology represents a synthesis of modern evolutionary theory and developmental psychology. Here we introduce the special issue on evolutionary developmental psychology by briefly discussing the history of this field and then summarizing the variety of topics that are covered. In this special issue, leading researchers provide a collection of theoretical and empirical articles that highlight recent findings and propose promising areas for future research.

  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. Evolutionary Models for Simple Biosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagnoli, Franco

    The concept of evolutionary development of structures constituted a real revolution in biology: it was possible to understand how the very complex structures of life can arise in an out-of-equilibrium system. The investigation of such systems has shown that indeed, systems under a flux of energy or matter can self-organize into complex patterns, think for instance to Rayleigh-Bernard convection, Liesegang rings, patterns formed by granular systems under shear. Following this line, one could characterize life as a state of matter, characterized by the slow, continuous process that we call evolution. In this paper we try to identify the organizational level of life, that spans several orders of magnitude from the elementary constituents to whole ecosystems. Although similar structures can be found in other contexts like ideas (memes) in neural systems and self-replicating elements (computer viruses, worms, etc.) in computer systems, we shall concentrate on biological evolutionary structure, and try to put into evidence the role and the emergence of network structure in such systems.

  1. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, György; Borsos, István

    2016-04-01

    Game theory provides a general mathematical background to study the effect of pair interactions and evolutionary rules on the macroscopic behavior of multi-player games where players with a finite number of strategies may represent a wide scale of biological objects, human individuals, or even their associations. In these systems the interactions are characterized by matrices that can be decomposed into elementary matrices (games) and classified into four types. The concept of decomposition helps the identification of potential games and also the evaluation of the potential that plays a crucial role in the determination of the preferred Nash equilibrium, and defines the Boltzmann distribution towards which these systems evolve for suitable types of dynamical rules. This survey draws parallel between the potential games and the kinetic Ising type models which are investigated for a wide scale of connectivity structures. We discuss briefly the applicability of the tools and concepts of statistical physics and thermodynamics. Additionally the general features of ordering phenomena, phase transitions and slow relaxations are outlined and applied to evolutionary games. The discussion extends to games with three or more strategies. Finally we discuss what happens when the system is weakly driven out of the "equilibrium state" by adding non-potential components representing games of cyclic dominance.

  2. Evolutionary epistemology a multiparadigm program

    CERN Document Server

    Pinxten, Rik

    1987-01-01

    This volume has its already distant origin in an inter­national conference on Evolutionary Epistemology the editors organized at the University of Ghent in November 1984. This conference aimed to follow up the endeavor started at the ERISS (Epistemologically Relevant Internalist Sociology of Science) conference organized by Don Campbell and Alex Rosen­ berg at Cazenovia Lake, New York, in June 1981, whilst in­ jecting the gist of certain current continental intellectual developments into a debate whose focus, we thought, was in danger of being narrowed too much, considering the still underdeveloped state of affairs in the field. Broadly speaking, evolutionary epistemology today con­ sists of two interrelated, yet qualitatively distinct inves­ tigative efforts. Both are drawing on Darwinian concepts, which may explain why many people have failed to discriminate them. One is the study of the evolution of the cognitive apparatus of living organisms, which is first and foremost the province of biologists and...

  3. Evolutionary expansion of the Monogenea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearn, G C

    1994-12-01

    The evolutionary expansion of the monogeneans has taken place in parallel with the diversification of the fish-like vertebrates. In this article the main trends in monogenean evolution are traced from a hypothetical skin-parasitic ancestor on early vertebrates. Special consideration is given to the following topics: early divergence between skin feeders and blood feeders; diversification and specialization of the haptor for attachment to skin; transfer from host to host, viviparity and the success of the gyrodactylids; predation on skin parasites and camouflage; colonization of the buccal and branchial cavities; diversification and specialization of the haptor for attachment to the gills; phoresy in gill parasites; the development of endoparasitism and the origin of the cestodes; the success of dactylogyroidean gill parasites; the uniqueness of the polyopisthocotyleans; ovoviviparity and the colonization of the tetrapods. Host specificity has been the guiding force of coevolution between monogeneans and their vertebrate hosts, but the establishment of monogeneans on unrelated hosts sharing the same environment (host-switching) may have been underestimated. Host-switching has provided significant opportunities for evolutionary change of direction and is probably responsible for the establishment of monogeneans on cephalopod molluscs, on the hippopotamus and possibly on chelonians. There are indications that host-switching may be more common in monogeneans that spread by direct transfer of adults/juveniles from host to host. A limitation on the further expansion of monogeneans is the need for water for the dispersal of the infective larva (oncomiracidium).

  4. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szabó, György, E-mail: szabo@mfa.kfki.hu; Borsos, István, E-mail: borsos@mfa.kfki.hu

    2016-04-05

    Game theory provides a general mathematical background to study the effect of pair interactions and evolutionary rules on the macroscopic behavior of multi-player games where players with a finite number of strategies may represent a wide scale of biological objects, human individuals, or even their associations. In these systems the interactions are characterized by matrices that can be decomposed into elementary matrices (games) and classified into four types. The concept of decomposition helps the identification of potential games and also the evaluation of the potential that plays a crucial role in the determination of the preferred Nash equilibrium, and defines the Boltzmann distribution towards which these systems evolve for suitable types of dynamical rules. This survey draws parallel between the potential games and the kinetic Ising type models which are investigated for a wide scale of connectivity structures. We discuss briefly the applicability of the tools and concepts of statistical physics and thermodynamics. Additionally the general features of ordering phenomena, phase transitions and slow relaxations are outlined and applied to evolutionary games. The discussion extends to games with three or more strategies. Finally we discuss what happens when the system is weakly driven out of the “equilibrium state” by adding non-potential components representing games of cyclic dominance.

  5. Unifying evolutionary and network dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swarup, Samarth; Gasser, Les

    2007-06-01

    Many important real-world networks manifest small-world properties such as scale-free degree distributions, small diameters, and clustering. The most common model of growth for these networks is preferential attachment, where nodes acquire new links with probability proportional to the number of links they already have. We show that preferential attachment is a special case of the process of molecular evolution. We present a single-parameter model of network growth that unifies varieties of preferential attachment with the quasispecies equation (which models molecular evolution), and also with the Erdős-Rényi random graph model. We suggest some properties of evolutionary models that might be applied to the study of networks. We also derive the form of the degree distribution resulting from our algorithm, and we show through simulations that the process also models aspects of network growth. The unification allows mathematical machinery developed for evolutionary dynamics to be applied in the study of network dynamics, and vice versa.

  6. Behavior Trees for Evolutionary Robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheper, Kirk Y W; Tijmons, Sjoerd; de Visser, Cornelis C; de Croon, Guido C H E

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary Robotics allows robots with limited sensors and processing to tackle complex tasks by means of sensory-motor coordination. In this article we show the first application of the Behavior Tree framework on a real robotic platform using the evolutionary robotics methodology. This framework is used to improve the intelligibility of the emergent robotic behavior over that of the traditional neural network formulation. As a result, the behavior is easier to comprehend and manually adapt when crossing the reality gap from simulation to reality. This functionality is shown by performing real-world flight tests with the 20-g DelFly Explorer flapping wing micro air vehicle equipped with a 4-g onboard stereo vision system. The experiments show that the DelFly can fully autonomously search for and fly through a window with only its onboard sensors and processing. The success rate of the optimized behavior in simulation is 88%, and the corresponding real-world performance is 54% after user adaptation. Although this leaves room for improvement, it is higher than the 46% success rate from a tuned user-defined controller.

  7. An introduction to comparative evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonk, Jennifer; Shackelford, Todd K

    2013-07-18

    Previously we (Vonk and Shackelford, 2012, in press) proposed an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary psychology into a new field of "comparative evolutionary psychology." This integrative discipline incorporates principles from ethology, ecology, biology, anthropology, and psychology, broadly defined. We present in this special issue a collection of original empirical and theoretical review articles in which leading researchers propose ways to successfully integrate comparative and evolutionary approaches within their particular areas of study. We showcase the key contributions of these articles and highlight several empirical and theoretical challenges, as well as key future directions, for comparative evolutionary psychology.

  8. An Introduction to Comparative Evolutionary Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Vonk

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Previously we (Vonk and Shackelford, 2012, in press proposed an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary psychology into a new field of “comparative evolutionary psychology.” This integrative discipline incorporates principles from ethology, ecology, biology, anthropology, and psychology, broadly defined. We present in this special issue a collection of original empirical and theoretical review articles in which leading researchers propose ways to successfully integrate comparative and evolutionary approaches within their particular areas of study. We showcase the key contributions of these articles and highlight several empirical and theoretical challenges, as well as key future directions, for comparative evolutionary psychology.

  9. Evolutionary Autonomous Health Monitoring System (EAHMS) Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — For supporting NASA's Robotics, Tele-Robotics and Autonomous Systems Roadmap, we are proposing the "Evolutionary Autonomous Health Monitoring System" (EAHMS) for...

  10. 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...... 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...

  11. Evolutionary computation for dynamic optimization problems

    CERN Document Server

    Yao, Xin

    2013-01-01

    This book provides a compilation on the state-of-the-art and recent advances of evolutionary computation for dynamic optimization problems. The motivation for this book arises from the fact that many real-world optimization problems and engineering systems are subject to dynamic environments, where changes occur over time. Key issues for addressing dynamic optimization problems in evolutionary computation, including fundamentals, algorithm design, theoretical analysis, and real-world applications, are presented. "Evolutionary Computation for Dynamic Optimization Problems" is a valuable reference to scientists, researchers, professionals and students in the field of engineering and science, particularly in the areas of computational intelligence, nature- and bio-inspired computing, and evolutionary computation.

  12. Phylodiversity to inform conservation policy: An Australian example.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laity, Tania; Laffan, Shawn W; González-Orozco, Carlos E; Faith, Daniel P; Rosauer, Dan F; Byrne, Margaret; Miller, Joseph T; Crayn, Darren; Costion, Craig; Moritz, Craig C; Newport, Karl

    2015-11-15

    Phylodiversity measures summarise the phylogenetic diversity patterns of groups of organisms. By using branches of the tree of life, rather than its tips (e.g., species), phylodiversity measures provide important additional information about biodiversity that can improve conservation policy and outcomes. As a biodiverse nation with a strong legislative and policy framework, Australia provides an opportunity to use phylogenetic information to inform conservation decision-making. We explored the application of phylodiversity measures across Australia with a focus on two highly biodiverse regions, the south west of Western Australia (SWWA) and the South East Queensland bioregion (SEQ). We analysed seven diverse groups of organisms spanning five separate phyla on the evolutionary tree of life, the plant genera Acacia and Daviesia, mammals, hylid frogs, myobatrachid frogs, passerine birds, and camaenid land snails. We measured species richness, weighted species endemism (WE) and two phylodiversity measures, phylogenetic diversity (PD) and phylogenetic endemism (PE), as well as their respective complementarity scores (a measure of gains and losses) at 20 km resolution. Higher PD was identified within SEQ for all fauna groups, whereas more PD was found in SWWA for both plant groups. PD and PD complementarity were strongly correlated with species richness and species complementarity for most groups but less so for plants. PD and PE were found to complement traditional species-based measures for all groups studied: PD and PE follow similar spatial patterns to richness and WE, but highlighted different areas that would not be identified by conventional species-based biodiversity analyses alone. The application of phylodiversity measures, particularly the novel weighted complementary measures considered here, in conservation can enhance protection of the evolutionary history that contributes to present day biodiversity values of areas. Phylogenetic measures in conservation

  13. Fast evolutionary genetic differentiation during experimental colonizations

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Josiane Santos; Marta Pascual; Pedro Simões; Inês Fragata; Michael R. Rose; Margarida Matos

    2013-08-01

    Founder effects during colonization of a novel environment are expected to change the genetic composition of populations, leading to differentiation between the colonizer population and its source population. Another expected outcome is differentiation among populations derived from repeated independent colonizations starting from the same source. We have previously detected significant founder effects affecting rate of laboratory adaptation among Drosophila subobscura laboratory populations derived from the wild. We also showed that during the first generations in the laboratory, considerable genetic differentiation occurs between foundations. The present study deepens that analysis, taking into account the natural sampling hierarchy of six foundations, derived from different locations, different years and from two samples in one of the years. We show that striking stochastic effects occur in the first two generations of laboratory culture, effects that produce immediate differentiation between foundations, independent of the source of origin and despite similarity among all founders. This divergence is probably due to powerful genetic sampling effects during the first few generations of culture in the novel laboratory environment, as a result of a significant drop in $N_{\\text{e}}$. Changes in demography as well as high variance in reproductive success in the novel environment may contribute to the low values of $N_{\\text{e}}$. This study shows that estimates of genetic differentiation between natural populations may be accurate when based on the initial samples collected in the wild, though considerable genetic differentiation may occur in the very first generations of evolution in a new, confined environment. Rapid and significant evolutionary changes can thus occur during the early generations of a founding event, both in the wild and under domestication, effects of interest for both scientific and conservation purposes.

  14. Conservation genetics in transition to conservation genomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouborg, N. Joop; Pertoldi, Cino; Loeschcke, Volker; Bijlsma, R. (Kuke); Hedrick, Phil W.

    2010-01-01

    Over the past twenty years conservation genetics has progressed from being mainly a theory-based field of population biology to a full-grown empirical discipline. Technological developments in molecular genetics have led to extensive use of neutral molecular markers such as microsatellites in conser

  15. Evolutionary triangulation: informing genetic association studies with evolutionary evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Minjun; Graham, Britney E; Zhang, Ge; Harder, Reed; Kodaman, Nuri; Moore, Jason H; Muglia, Louis; Williams, Scott M

    2016-01-01

    Genetic studies of human diseases have identified many variants associated with pathogenesis and severity. However, most studies have used only statistical association to assess putative relationships to disease, and ignored other factors for evaluation. For example, evolution is a factor that has shaped disease risk, changing allele frequencies as human populations migrated into and inhabited new environments. Since many common variants differ among populations in frequency, as does disease prevalence, we hypothesized that patterns of disease and population structure, taken together, will inform association studies. Thus, the population distributions of allelic risk variants should reflect the distributions of their associated diseases. Evolutionary Triangulation (ET) exploits this evolutionary differentiation by comparing population structure among three populations with variable patterns of disease prevalence. By selecting populations based on patterns where two have similar rates of disease that differ substantially from a third, we performed a proof of principle analysis for this method. We examined three disease phenotypes, lactase persistence, melanoma, and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. We show that for lactase persistence, a phenotype with a simple genetic architecture, ET identifies the key gene, lactase. For melanoma, ET identifies several genes associated with this disease and/or phenotypes related to it, such as skin color genes. ET was less obviously successful for Type 2 diabetes mellitus, perhaps because of the small effect sizes in known risk loci and recent environmental changes that have altered disease risk. Alternatively, ET may have revealed new genes involved in conferring disease risk for diabetes that did not meet nominal GWAS significance thresholds. We also compared ET to another method used to filter for phenotype associated genes, population branch statistic (PBS), and show that ET performs better in identifying genes known to associate with

  16. Scalable computing for evolutionary genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prins, Pjotr; Belhachemi, Dominique; Möller, Steffen; Smant, Geert

    2012-01-01

    Genomic data analysis in evolutionary biology is becoming so computationally intensive that analysis of multiple hypotheses and scenarios takes too long on a single desktop computer. In this chapter, we discuss techniques for scaling computations through parallelization of calculations, after giving a quick overview of advanced programming techniques. Unfortunately, parallel programming is difficult and requires special software design. The alternative, especially attractive for legacy software, is to introduce poor man's parallelization by running whole programs in parallel as separate processes, using job schedulers. Such pipelines are often deployed on bioinformatics computer clusters. Recent advances in PC virtualization have made it possible to run a full computer operating system, with all of its installed software, on top of another operating system, inside a "box," or virtual machine (VM). Such a VM can flexibly be deployed on multiple computers, in a local network, e.g., on existing desktop PCs, and even in the Cloud, to create a "virtual" computer cluster. Many bioinformatics applications in evolutionary biology can be run in parallel, running processes in one or more VMs. Here, we show how a ready-made bioinformatics VM image, named BioNode, effectively creates a computing cluster, and pipeline, in a few steps. This allows researchers to scale-up computations from their desktop, using available hardware, anytime it is required. BioNode is based on Debian Linux and can run on networked PCs and in the Cloud. Over 200 bioinformatics and statistical software packages, of interest to evolutionary biology, are included, such as PAML, Muscle, MAFFT, MrBayes, and BLAST. Most of these software packages are maintained through the Debian Med project. In addition, BioNode contains convenient configuration scripts for parallelizing bioinformatics software. Where Debian Med encourages packaging free and open source bioinformatics software through one central project

  17. Conserved and species-specific alternative splicing in mammalian genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Favorov Alexander V

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alternative splicing has been shown to be one of the major evolutionary mechanisms for protein diversification and proteome expansion, since a considerable fraction of alternative splicing events appears to be species- or lineage-specific. However, most studies were restricted to the analysis of cassette exons in pairs of genomes and did not analyze functionality of the alternative variants. Results We analyzed conservation of human alternative splice sites and cassette exons in the mouse and dog genomes. Alternative exons, especially minor-isofom ones, were shown to be less conserved than constitutive exons. Frame-shifting alternatives in the protein-coding regions are less conserved than frame-preserving ones. Similarly, the conservation of alternative sites is highest for evenly used alternatives, and higher when the distance between the sites is divisible by three. The rate of alternative-exon and site loss in mouse is slightly higher than in dog, consistent with faster evolution of the former. The evolutionary dynamics of alternative sites was shown to be consistent with the model of random activation of cryptic sites. Conclusion Consistent with other studies, our results show that minor cassette exons are less conserved than major-alternative and constitutive exons. However, our study provides evidence that this is caused not only by exon birth, but also lineage-specific loss of alternative exons and sites, and it depends on exon functionality.

  18. Biodiversity Conservation in Asia

    OpenAIRE

    Dale Squires

    2014-01-01

    Asian's remarkable economic growth brought many benefits but also fuelled threats to its ecosystems and biodiversity. Economic growth brings biodiversity threats but also conservation opportunities. Continued biodiversity loss is inevitable, but the types, areas and rates of biodiversity loss are not. Prioritising biodiversity conservation, tempered by what is tractable, remains a high priority. Policy and market distortions and failures significantly underprice biodiversity, undermine ecosys...

  19. Conservation Science Fair Projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil Conservation Society of America, Ankeny, IA.

    Included are ideas, suggestions, and examples for selecting and designing conservation science projects. Over 70 possible conservation subject areas are presented with suggested projects. References are cited with each of these subject areas, and a separate list of annotated references is included. The references pertain to general subject…

  20. Resource Conservation Glossary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil Conservation Society of America, Ankeny, IA.

    This glossary is a composite of terms selected from 13 technologies, and is the expanded revision of the original 1952 edition of "The Soil and Water Conservation Glossary." The terms were selected from these areas: agronomy, biology, conservation, ecology, economics, engineering, forestry, geology, hydrology, range, recreation, soils, and…

  1. Otter Conservation In Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waseem Ahmad Khan

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available This note describes the conservation status and threats of the two otter species described in Pakistan; Smooth coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata sindica and the Eurasian or common otter (Lutra lutra. It also briefly describes the actors involved as well as the efforts made for its conservation.

  2. Introducing Conservation of Momentum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunt, Marjorie; Brunt, Geoff

    2013-01-01

    The teaching of the principle of conservation of linear momentum is considered (ages 15 + ). From the principle, the momenta of two masses in an isolated system are considered. Sketch graphs of the momenta make Newton's laws appear obvious. Examples using different collision conditions are considered. Conservation of momentum is considered…

  3. On exactly conservative integrators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bowman, J.C. [Max-Planck-Inst. fuer Plasmaphysik, Garching (Germany); Shadwick, B.A. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept. of Physics; Morrison, P.J. [Texas Univ., Austin, TX (United States). Inst. for Fusion Studies

    1997-06-01

    Traditional explicit numerical discretizations of conservative systems generically predict artificial secular drifts of nonlinear invariants. These algorithms are based on polynomial functions of the time step. The authors discuss a general approach for developing explicit algorithms that conserve such invariants exactly. They illustrate the method by applying it to the truncated two-dimensional Euler equations.

  4. 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)

  5. Conservation in transportation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1980-05-30

    A nationwide examination was made of grassroots energy conservation programs related to transportation. Information compiled from civic groups, trade associations, and corporations is included on driver awareness/mass transit; travel; and ride sharing. It is concluded that a willingness by the public to cooperate in transportation energy conservation exists and should be exploited. (LCL)

  6. Creative Soil Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Martha

    2010-01-01

    Take plant lessons outdoors with this engaging and inquiry-based activity in which third-grade students learn how to apply soil conservation methods to growing plants. They also collect data and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of their method of soil conservation. An added benefit to this activity is that the third-grade students played…

  7. Numerical and Evolutionary Optimization Workshop

    CERN Document Server

    Trujillo, Leonardo; Legrand, Pierrick; Maldonado, Yazmin

    2017-01-01

    This volume comprises a selection of works presented at the Numerical and Evolutionary Optimization (NEO) workshop held in September 2015 in Tijuana, Mexico. The development of powerful search and optimization techniques is of great importance in today’s world that requires researchers and practitioners to tackle a growing number of challenging real-world problems. In particular, there are two well-established and widely known fields that are commonly applied in this area: (i) traditional numerical optimization techniques and (ii) comparatively recent bio-inspired heuristics. Both paradigms have their unique strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to solve some challenging problems while still failing in others. The goal of the NEO workshop series is to bring together people from these and related fields to discuss, compare and merge their complimentary perspectives in order to develop fast and reliable hybrid methods that maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of the underlying paradigms. Throu...

  8. Evolutionary advantages of adaptive rewarding

    CERN Document Server

    Szolnoki, Attila

    2012-01-01

    Our wellbeing depends as much on our personal success, as it does on the success of our society. The realization of this fact makes cooperation a very much needed trait. Experiments have shown that rewards can elevate our readiness to cooperate, but since giving a reward inevitably entails paying a cost for it, the emergence and stability of such behavior remain elusive. Here we show that allowing for the act of rewarding to self-organize in dependence on the success of cooperation creates several evolutionary advantages that instill new ways through which collaborative efforts are promoted. Ranging from indirect territorial battle to the spontaneous emergence and destruction of coexistence, phase diagrams and the underlying spatial patterns reveal fascinatingly reach social dynamics that explains why this costly behavior has evolved and persevered. Comparisons with adaptive punishment, however, uncover an Achilles heel of adaptive rewarding that is due to over-aggression, which in turn hinders optimal utiliz...

  9. Evolutionary Industrial Physical Model Generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrascal, Alberto; Alberdi, Amaia

    Both complexity and lack of knowledge associated to physical processes makes physical models design an arduous task. Frequently, the only available information about the physical processes are the heuristic data obtained from experiments or at best a rough idea on what are the physical principles and laws that underlie considered physical processes. Then the problem is converted to find a mathematical expression which fits data. There exist traditional approaches to tackle the inductive model search process from data, such as regression, interpolation, finite element method, etc. Nevertheless, these methods either are only able to solve a reduced number of simple model typologies, or the given black-box solution does not contribute to clarify the analyzed physical process. In this paper a hybrid evolutionary approach to search complex physical models is proposed. Tests carried out on a real-world industrial physical process (abrasive water jet machining) demonstrate the validity of this approach.

  10. Evolutionary Games and Social Conventions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Pelle Guldborg

    2007-01-01

    Some thirty years ago Lewis published his Convention: A Philosophical Study (Lewis, 2002). This laid the foundation for a game-theoretic approach to social conventions, but became more famously known for its seminal analysis of common knowledge; the concept receiving its canonical analysis...... in Aumann (1976) and which, together with the assumptions of perfect rationality, came to be defining of classical game theory. However, classical game theory is currently undergoing severe crisis as a tool for exploring social phenomena; a crisis emerging from the problem of equilibrium selection around...... knowledge to assumptions characterising agents as conditioned for playing certain strategies upon the population of which evolutionary processes operate. By providing accounts of equilibrium selection and stability properties of behaviours, the resulting frameworks have been brought to work as well...

  11. Markov Networks in Evolutionary Computation

    CERN Document Server

    Shakya, Siddhartha

    2012-01-01

    Markov networks and other probabilistic graphical modes have recently received an upsurge in attention from Evolutionary computation community, particularly in the area of Estimation of distribution algorithms (EDAs).  EDAs have arisen as one of the most successful experiences in the application of machine learning methods in optimization, mainly due to their efficiency to solve complex real-world optimization problems and their suitability for theoretical analysis. This book focuses on the different steps involved in the conception, implementation and application of EDAs that use Markov networks, and undirected models in general. It can serve as a general introduction to EDAs but covers also an important current void in the study of these algorithms by explaining the specificities and benefits of modeling optimization problems by means of undirected probabilistic models. All major developments to date in the progressive introduction of Markov networks based EDAs are reviewed in the book. Hot current researc...

  12. Piaget, Pedagogy, and Evolutionary Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy E. C. Genovese

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available Constructivist pedagogy draws on Piaget's developmental theory. Because Piaget depicted the emergence of formal reasoning skills in adolescence as part of the normal developmental pattern, many constructivists have assumed that intrinsic motivation is possible for all academic tasks. This paper argues that Piaget's concept of a formal operational stage has not been empirically verified and that the cognitive skills associated with that stage are in fact “biologically secondary abilities” (Geary and Bjorklund, 2000 culturally determined abilities that are difficult to acquire. Thus, it is unreasonable to expect that intrinsic motivation will suffice for most students for most higher level academic tasks. In addition, a case is made that educational psychology must incorporate the insights of evolutionary psychology.

  13. Evolutionary adaptations to dietary changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luca, F; Perry, G H; Di Rienzo, A

    2010-08-21

    Through cultural innovation and changes in habitat and ecology, there have been a number of major dietary shifts in human evolution, including meat eating, cooking, and those associated with plant and animal domestication. The identification of signatures of adaptations to such dietary changes in the genome of extant primates (including humans) may shed light not only on the evolutionary history of our species, but also on the mechanisms that underlie common metabolic diseases in modern human populations. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the major dietary shifts that occurred during hominin evolution, and we discuss the methods and approaches used to identify signals of natural selection in patterns of sequence variation. We then review the results of studies aimed at detecting the genetic loci that played a major role in dietary adaptations and conclude by outlining the potential of future studies in this area.

  14. Paradigms for parasite conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, Eric R; Carlson, Colin J; Bueno, Veronica M; Burgio, Kevin R; Cizauskas, Carrie A; Clements, Christopher F; Seidel, Dana P; Harris, Nyeema C

    2016-08-01

    Parasitic species, which depend directly on host species for their survival, represent a major regulatory force in ecosystems and a significant component of Earth's biodiversity. Yet the negative impacts of parasites observed at the host level have motivated a conservation paradigm of eradication, moving us farther from attainment of taxonomically unbiased conservation goals. Despite a growing body of literature highlighting the importance of parasite-inclusive conservation, most parasite species remain understudied, underfunded, and underappreciated. We argue the protection of parasitic biodiversity requires a paradigm shift in the perception and valuation of their role as consumer species, similar to that of apex predators in the mid-20th century. Beyond recognizing parasites as vital trophic regulators, existing tools available to conservation practitioners should explicitly account for the unique threats facing dependent species. We built upon concepts from epidemiology and economics (e.g., host-density threshold and cost-benefit analysis) to devise novel metrics of margin of error and minimum investment for parasite conservation. We define margin of error as the risk of accidental host extinction from misestimating equilibrium population sizes and predicted oscillations, while minimum investment represents the cost associated with conserving the additional hosts required to maintain viable parasite populations. This framework will aid in the identification of readily conserved parasites that present minimal health risks. To establish parasite conservation, we propose an extension of population viability analysis for host-parasite assemblages to assess extinction risk. In the direst cases, ex situ breeding programs for parasites should be evaluated to maximize success without undermining host protection. Though parasitic species pose a considerable conservation challenge, adaptations to conservation tools will help protect parasite biodiversity in the face of

  15. Biodiversity and evolutionary history: useful extensions of the PD phylogenetic diversity assessment framework.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faith, Daniel P

    2013-06-01

    Evolutionary biology is a core discipline in biodiversity science. Evolutionary history or phylogeny provides one natural measure of biodiversity through the popular phylogenetic diversity (PD) measure. The evolutionary model underlying PD means that it can be interpreted as quantifying the relative feature diversity of sets of species. Quantifying feature diversity measures possible future uses and benefits or option values. Interpretation of PD as counting-up features is the basis for an emerging broad family of PD calculations, of use to both biodiversity researchers and decision makers. Many of these calculations extend conventional species-level indices to the features level. Useful PD calculations include PD complementarity and endemism, Hill and Valley numbers incorporating abundance, and PD dissimilarities. A flexible analysis framework is provided by expected PD calculations, applied to either probabilities of extinction or presence-absence. Practical extensions include phylogenetic risk analysis and measures of distinctiveness and endemism. These support the integration of phylogenetic diversity into biodiversity conservation and monitoring programs.

  16. Evolutionary primacy of sodium bioenergetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolf Yuri I

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The F- and V-type ATPases are rotary molecular machines that couple translocation of protons or sodium ions across the membrane to the synthesis or hydrolysis of ATP. Both the F-type (found in most bacteria and eukaryotic mitochondria and chloroplasts and V-type (found in archaea, some bacteria, and eukaryotic vacuoles ATPases can translocate either protons or sodium ions. The prevalent proton-dependent ATPases are generally viewed as the primary form of the enzyme whereas the sodium-translocating ATPases of some prokaryotes are usually construed as an exotic adaptation to survival in extreme environments. Results We combine structural and phylogenetic analyses to clarify the evolutionary relation between the proton- and sodium-translocating ATPases. A comparison of the structures of the membrane-embedded oligomeric proteolipid rings of sodium-dependent F- and V-ATPases reveals nearly identical sets of amino acids involved in sodium binding. We show that the sodium-dependent ATPases are scattered among proton-dependent ATPases in both the F- and the V-branches of the phylogenetic tree. Conclusion Barring convergent emergence of the same set of ligands in several lineages, these findings indicate that the use of sodium gradient for ATP synthesis is the ancestral modality of membrane bioenergetics. Thus, a primitive, sodium-impermeable but proton-permeable cell membrane that harboured a set of sodium-transporting enzymes appears to have been the evolutionary predecessor of the more structurally demanding proton-tight membranes. The use of proton as the coupling ion appears to be a later innovation that emerged on several independent occasions. Reviewers This article was reviewed by J. Peter Gogarten, Martijn A. Huynen, and Igor B. Zhulin. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' comments section.

  17. Evolutionary history of exon shuffling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    França, Gustavo S; Cancherini, Douglas V; de Souza, Sandro J

    2012-06-01

    Exon shuffling has been characterized as one of the major evolutionary forces shaping both the genome and the proteome of eukaryotes. This mechanism was particularly important in the creation of multidomain proteins during animal evolution, bringing a number of functional genetic novelties. Here, genome information from a variety of eukaryotic species was used to address several issues related to the evolutionary history of exon shuffling. By comparing all protein sequences within each species, we were able to characterize exon shuffling signatures throughout metazoans. Intron phase (the position of the intron regarding the codon) and exon symmetry (the pattern of flanking introns for a given exon or block of adjacent exons) were features used to evaluate exon shuffling. We confirmed previous observations that exon shuffling mediated by phase 1 introns (1-1 exon shuffling) is the predominant kind in multicellular animals. Evidence is provided that such pattern was achieved since the early steps of animal evolution, supported by a detectable presence of 1-1 shuffling units in Trichoplax adhaerens and a considerable prevalence of them in Nematostella vectensis. In contrast, Monosiga brevicollis, one of the closest relatives of metazoans, and Arabidopsis thaliana, showed no evidence of 1-1 exon or domain shuffling above what it would be expected by chance. Instead, exon shuffling events are less abundant and predominantly mediated by phase 0 introns (0-0 exon shuffling) in those non-metazoan species. Moreover, an intermediate pattern of 1-1 and 0-0 exon shuffling was observed for the placozoan T. adhaerens, a primitive animal. Finally, characterization of flanking intron phases around domain borders allowed us to identify a common set of symmetric 1-1 domains that have been shuffled throughout the metazoan lineage.

  18. Evolutionary design assistants for architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Onur Sönmez

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In its parallel pursuit of an increased competitivity for design offices and more pleasurable and easier workflows for designers, artificial design intelligence is a technical, intellectual, and political challenge. While human-machine cooperation has become commonplace through Computer Aided Design (CAD tools, a more improved collaboration and better support appear possible only through an endeavor into a kind of artificial design intelligence, which is more sensitive to the human perception of affairs.Considered as part of the broader Computational Design studies, the research program of this quest can be called Artificial / Autonomous / Automated Design (AD. The current available level of Artificial Intelligence (AI for design is limited and a viable aim for current AD would be to develop design assistants that are capable of producing drafts for various design tasks. Thus, the overall aim of this thesis is the development of approaches, techniques, and tools towards artificial design assistants that offer a capability for generating drafts for sub-tasks within design processes. The main technology explored for this aim is Evolutionary Computation (EC, and the target design domain is architecture. The two connected research questions of the study concern, first, the investigation of the ways to develop an architectural design assistant, and secondly, the utilization of EC for the development of such assistants.While developing approaches, techniques, and computational tools for such an assistant, the study also carries out a broad theoretical investigation into the main problems, challenges, and requirements towards such assistants on a rather overall level. Therefore, the research is shaped as a parallel investigation of three main threads interwoven along several levels, moving from a more general level to specific applications. The three research threads comprise, first, theoretical discussions and speculations with regard to both existing

  19. Conservation genetics of the Philippine tarsier: cryptic genetic variation restructures conservation priorities for an island archipelago primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Rafe M; Weghorst, Jennifer A; Olson, Karen V; Duya, Mariano R M; Barley, Anthony J; Duya, Melizar V; Shekelle, Myron; Neri-Arboleda, Irene; Esselstyn, Jacob A; Dominy, Nathaniel J; Ong, Perry S; Moritz, Gillian L; Luczon, Adrian; Diesmos, Mae Lowe L; Diesmos, Arvin C; Siler, Cameron D

    2014-01-01

    Establishment of conservation priorities for primates is a particular concern in the island archipelagos of Southeast Asia, where rates of habitat destruction are among the highest in the world. Conservation programs require knowledge of taxonomic diversity to ensure success. The Philippine tarsier is a flagship species that promotes environmental awareness and a thriving ecotourism economy in the Philippines. However, assessment of its conservation status has been impeded by taxonomic uncertainty, a paucity of field studies, and a lack of vouchered specimens and genetic samples available for study in biodiversity repositories. Consequently, conservation priorities are unclear. In this study we use mitochondrial and nuclear DNA to empirically infer geographic partitioning of genetic variation and to identify evolutionarily distinct lineages for conservation action. The distribution of Philippine tarsier genetic diversity is neither congruent with expectations based on biogeographical patterns documented in other Philippine vertebrates, nor does it agree with the most recent Philippine tarsier taxonomic arrangement. We identify three principal evolutionary lineages that do not correspond to the currently recognized subspecies, highlight the discovery of a novel cryptic and range-restricted subcenter of genetic variation in an unanticipated part of the archipelago, and identify additional geographically structured genetic variation that should be the focus of future studies and conservation action. Conservation of this flagship species necessitates establishment of protected areas and targeted conservation programs within the range of each genetically distinct variant of the Philippine tarsier.

  20. Oversimplifying Evolutionary Psychology Leads to Explanatory Gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Chuck; Ledbetter, Jay N.

    2010-01-01

    Comments on Evolutionary psychology: Controversies, questions, prospects, and limitations by Confer et al. They argued that SST cannot explain the existence of either homosexuality or suicide within the human species. We contend that a sufficiently nuanced evolutionary position has no difficulties explaining either phenomenon. Also in this…

  1. Information Geometry and Evolutionary Game Theory

    CERN Document Server

    Harper, Marc

    2009-01-01

    The Shahshahani geometry of evolutionary game theory is realized as the information geometry of the simplex, deriving from the Fisher information metric of the manifold of categorical probability distributions. Some essential concepts in evolutionary game theory are realized information-theoretically. Results are extended to the Lotka-Volterra equation and to multiple population systems.

  2. Handbook of differential equations evolutionary equations

    CERN Document Server

    Dafermos, CM

    2008-01-01

    The material collected in this volume discusses the present as well as expected future directions of development of the field with particular emphasis on applications. The seven survey articles present different topics in Evolutionary PDE's, written by leading experts.- Review of new results in the area- Continuation of previous volumes in the handbook series covering Evolutionary PDEs- Written by leading experts

  3. Democratizing evolutionary biology, lessons from insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dunn, Robert Roberdeau; Beasley, DeAnna E.

    2016-01-01

    The engagement of the public in the scientific process is an old practice. Yet with recent advances in technology, the role of the citizen scientist in studying evolutionary processes has increased. Insects provide ideal models for understanding these evolutionary processes at large scales...

  4. Evolutionary Biology in the Medical School Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neese, Randolph M.; Schiffman, Joshua D.

    2003-01-01

    Presents a study in which a questionnaire was given to deans at North American medical schools to determine which aspects of evolutionary biology are included in the curricula and the factors that influence this. Suggests that most future physicians should learn evolutionary biology as undergraduates if they are to learn it at all. (Author/NB)

  5. On the Evolutionary Stability of Bargaining Inefficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Anders

    This paper investigates whether 'tough' bargaining behavior, which gives rise to inefficiency, can be evolutionary stable. We show that in a two-stage Nash Demand Game tough behavior survives. Indeed, almost all the surplus may be wasted. We also study the Ultimatum Game. Here evolutionary...

  6. 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.

  7. A Hybrid Chaotic Quantum Evolutionary Algorithm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cai, Y.; Zhang, M.; Cai, H.

    2010-01-01

    A hybrid chaotic quantum evolutionary algorithm is proposed to reduce amount of computation, speed up convergence and restrain premature phenomena of quantum evolutionary algorithm. The proposed algorithm adopts the chaotic initialization method to generate initial population which will form...... and enhance the global search ability. A large number of tests show that the proposed algorithm has higher convergence speed and better optimizing ability than quantum evolutionary algorithm, real-coded quantum evolutionary algorithm and hybrid quantum genetic algorithm. Tests also show that when chaos...... is introduced to quantum evolutionary algorithm, the hybrid chaotic search strategy is superior to the carrier chaotic strategy, and has better comprehensive performance than the chaotic mutation strategy in most of cases. Especially, the proposed algorithm is the only one that has 100% convergence rate in all...

  8. The Citation Field of Evolutionary Economics

    CERN Document Server

    Dolfsma, Wilfred

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary economics has developed into an academic field of its own, institutionalized around, amongst others, the Journal of Evolutionary Economics (JEE). This paper analyzes the way and extent to which evolutionary economics has become an interdisciplinary journal, as its aim was: a journal that is indispensable in the exchange of expert knowledge on topics and using approaches that relate naturally with it. Analyzing citation data for the relevant academic field for the Journal of Evolutionary Economics, we use insights from scientometrics and social network analysis to find that, indeed, the JEE is a central player in this interdisciplinary field aiming mostly at understanding technological and regional dynamics. It does not, however, link firmly with the natural sciences (including biology) nor to management sciences, entrepreneurship, and organization studies. Another journal that could be perceived to have evolutionary acumen, the Journal of Economic Issues, does relate to heterodox economics journa...

  9. Evolutionary Psychiatry and Nosology: Prospects and Limitations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc Faucher

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, I explain why evolutionary psychiatry is not where the next revolution in psychiatry will come from. I will proceed as follows. Firstly, I will review some of the problems commonly attributed to current nosologies, more specifically to the DSM. One of these problems is the lack of a clear and consensual definition of mental disorder; I will then examine specific attempts to spell out such a definition that use the evolutionary framework. One definition that deserves particular attention (for a number of reasons that I will mention later, is one put forward by Jerome Wakefield. Despite my sympathy for his position, I must indicate a few reasons why I think his attempt might not be able to resolve the problems related to current nosologies. I suggest that it might be wiser for an evolutionary psychiatrist to adopt the more integrative framework of “treatable conditions” (Cosmides and Tooby, 1999. As it is thought that an evolutionary approach can contribute to transforming the way we look at mental disorders, I will provide the reader with a brief sketch of the basic tenets of evolutionary psychology. The picture of the architecture of the human mind that emerges from evolutionary psychology is thought by some to be the crucial backdrop to identifying specific mental disorders and distinguishing them from normal conditions. I will also provide two examples of how evolutionary thinking is supposed to change our thinking about some disorders. Using the case of depression, I will then show what kind of problems evolutionary explanations of particular psychopathologies encounter. In conclusion, I will evaluate where evolutionary thinking leaves us in regard to what I identify as the main problems of our current nosologies. I’ll then argue that the prospects of evolutionary psychiatry are not good.

  10. Linkage disequilibrium of evolutionarily conserved regions in the human genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnson Todd A

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The strong linkage disequilibrium (LD recently found in genic or exonic regions of the human genome demonstrated that LD can be increased by evolutionary mechanisms that select for functionally important loci. This suggests that LD might be stronger in regions conserved among species than in non-conserved regions, since regions exposed to natural selection tend to be conserved. To assess this hypothesis, we used genome-wide polymorphism data from the HapMap project and investigated LD within DNA sequences conserved between the human and mouse genomes. Results Unexpectedly, we observed that LD was significantly weaker in conserved regions than in non-conserved regions. To investigate why, we examined sequence features that may distort the relationship between LD and conserved regions. We found that interspersed repeats, and not other sequence features, were associated with the weak LD tendency in conserved regions. To appropriately understand the relationship between LD and conserved regions, we removed the effect of repetitive elements and found that the high degree of sequence conservation was strongly associated with strong LD in coding regions but not with that in non-coding regions. Conclusion Our work demonstrates that the degree of sequence conservation does not simply increase LD as predicted by the hypothesis. Rather, it implies that purifying selection changes the polymorphic patterns of coding sequences but has little influence on the patterns of functional units such as regulatory elements present in non-coding regions, since the former are generally restricted by the constraint of maintaining a functional protein product across multiple exons while the latter may exist more as individually isolated units.

  11. A novel stability criterion for interval time-delay chaotic systems via the evolutionary programming approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yan, J.-J. [Department of Computer and Communication, Shu-Te University, Kaohsiung 824, Taiwan (China)]. E-mail: jjyan@mail.stu.edu.tw; Hung, M.-L. [Department of Electrical Engineering, Far-East College, No. 49, Jung-Haw Road, Hsin-Shih Town, Tainan 744, Taiwan (China)

    2006-09-15

    This paper investigates a novel stability criterion for interval time-delay chaotic systems via the evolutionary programming (EP) approach. First a delay-dependent criterion is derived for ensuring the stability of degenerate time-delay systems, and then by solving eigenvalue location optimization problems, which will be defined later, the robust stability of interval time-delay systems can be guaranteed. An example is given to verify our method that yields less conservative results than those appeared in the literature.

  12. MONKEY: Identifying conserved transcription-factor binding sitesin multiple alignments using a binding site-specific evolutionarymodel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moses, Alan M.; Chiang, Derek Y.; Pollard, Daniel A.; Iyer, VenkyN.; Eisen, Michael B.

    2004-10-28

    We introduce a method (MONKEY) to identify conserved transcription-factor binding sites in multispecies alignments. MONKEY employs probabilistic models of factor specificity and binding site evolution, on which basis we compute the likelihood that putative sites are conserved and assign statistical significance to each hit. Using genomes from the genus Saccharomyces, we illustrate how the significance of real sites increases with evolutionary distance and explore the relationship between conservation and function.

  13. Landscape Conservation Cooperatives

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) are public-private partnerships composed of states, tribes, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations,...

  14. Conservation among Elderly Women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughston, George A.; Protinsky, Howard O.

    1979-01-01

    The majority of 63 elderly women were able to pass tests in the conservation of mass (98 percent), volume (100 percent), and surface area (65 percent). These results conflict with previous research about Piagetian abilities of elderly people. (RL)

  15. Energy Conservation Behaviour Toolkit

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kalz, Marco; Börner, Dirk; Ternier, Stefaan; Specht, Marcus

    2013-01-01

    Kalz, M., Börner, D., Ternier, S., & Specht, M. (2013, 31 January). Energy Conservation Behaviour Toolkit. Presentation given at the symposium "Groene ICT en Duurzame ontwikkeling: Meters maken in het Hoger Onderwijs", Driebergen, The Netherlands.

  16. Metro Conservation Corridors

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — The Metro Conservation Corridors (MeCC) grow out of the natural resource analysis work done by the DNR in the late '90's, documented in the Metro Greenprint...

  17. Hearing Conservation Team

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Hearing Conservation Team focuses on ways to identify the early stages of noise-induced damage to the human ear. Our current research involves the evaluation of...

  18. 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...... mechanisms controlling AS are to a large extent conserved during the evolution of Caenorhabditis. This strong conservation indicates that both major and minor splice forms have important functional roles and that the relative quantities in which they are expressed are crucial. Our results therefore suggest...

  19. Energy conservation in infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blass, Elliott

    2015-08-01

    Energy acquisition through suckling has been widely studied in rat and human infants. Processes mediating energy conservation, however, have not received the attention that they deserve. This essay, in honor of Professor Jerry Hogan, discusses parallel behaviors used by rat and human mothers to minimize energy loss in their offspring. Parallel mechanisms underlying energy preservation have been identified in rats and humans, suggesting phylogenetic conservation and possibly continuity. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: In Honor of Jerry Hogan.

  20. 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

  1. Crop wild relatives and their conservation strategies in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanbo Yu

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Crop wild relatives (CWR are important components of plant genetic resources that are characterized by unique biological traits, including those with great potential and specific value in coping with climate change and ensuring food security. In general, there are more than 24,000 CWR species that can be found in China, many of which are likely to contain valuable characters for crop improvement. There are many ex situ collections of plant genetic resources including some CWR in China, but that does not replace the role and function of in situ conservation, which conserves the diversity of population in nature so that ongoing evolutionary processes of selection and adaptation to their natural habitats are maintained. One hundred and sixty-nine in situ protected areas have been established so far in China, however, there is an urgent need for China to develop a national CWR strategy which identifies prior species for conservation at national and regional levels and the steps needed to secure those species using complementary (in situ and ex situ conservation approaches. The steps taken so far in China for CWR conservation are discussed and possible conservation strategies are proposed in this paper, which serves as a crucial reference for developing conservation policy for China’s CWR.

  2. Evolutionary process of a tetranucleotide microsatellite locus in Acipenseriformes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Zhao Jun Shao; Eric Rivals; Na Zhao; Sovan Lek; Jianbo Chang; Patrick Berrebi

    2011-08-01

    The evolutionary dynamics of the tetra-nucleotide microsatellite locus Spl-106 were investigated at the repeat and flanking sequences in 137 individuals of 15 Acipenseriform species, giving 93 homologous sequences, which were detected in 11 out of 15 species. Twenty-three haplotypes of flanking sequences and three distinct types of repeats, type I, type II and type III, were found within these 93 sequences. The MS-Align phylogenetic method, newly applied to microsatellite sequences, permitted us to understand the repeat and flanking sequence evolution of Spl-106 locus. The flanking region of locus Spl-106 was highly conserved among the species of genera Acipenser, Huso and Scaphirhynchus, which diverged about 150 million years ago (Mya). The rate of flanking sequence divergence at the microsatellite locus Spl-106 in sturgeons is between 0.011% and 0.079% with an average at 0.028% per million years. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic trees produced by MS-Align showed that both the flanking and repeat regions can cluster the alleles of different species into Pacific and Atlantic lineages. Our results show a synchronous evolutionary pattern between the flanking and repeat regions. Moreover, the coexistence of different repeat types in the same species, even in the same individual, is probably due to two duplication events encompassing the locus Spl-106 that occurred during the divergence of Pacific lineage. The first occured before the diversification of Pacific species (121–96 Mya) and led to repeat types I and II. The second occurred more recently, just before the speciation of A. sinensis and A. dabryanus (69–10 Mya), and led to repeat type III. Sequences in the same species with different repeat types probably corresponds to paralogous loci. This study sheds a new light on the evolutionary mechanisms that shape the complex microsatellite loci involving different repeat types.

  3. Evidence for evolutionary specialization in human limbic structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole eBarger

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Increasingly, functional and evolutionary research has highlighted the important contribution emotion processing makes to complex human social cognition. As such, it may be asked whether neural structures involved in emotion processing, commonly referred to as limbic structures, have been impacted in human brain evolution. To address this question, we performed an extensive evolutionary analysis of multiple limbic structures using modern phylogenetic tools. For this analysis, we combined new volumetric data for the hominoid (human and ape amygdala and 4 amygdaloid nuclei, hippocampus, and striatum, collected using stereological methods in complete histological series, with previously published datasets on the amygdala, orbital and medial frontal cortex, and insula, as well as a non-limbic structure, the dorsal frontal cortex, for contrast. We performed a parallel analysis using large published datasets including many anthropoid species (human, ape, and monkey, but fewer hominoids, for the amygdala and 2 amygdaloid subdivisions, hippocampus, schizocortex, striatum, and septal nuclei. To address evolutionary change, we compared observed human values to values predicted from regressions run through a nonhuman hominoids and b nonhuman anthropoids, assessing phylogenetic influence using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression.Compared with other hominoids, the volumes of the hippocampus, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, and the orbital frontal cortex were, respectively, 50%, 37%, and 11% greater in humans than predicted for an ape of human hemisphere volume, while the medial and dorsal frontal cortex were, respectively, 26% and 29% significantly smaller. Compared with other anthropoids, only human values for the striatum fell significantly below predicted values. Overall, the data present support for the idea that regions involved in emotion processing are not necessarily conserved or regressive, but may even be enhanced in recent human

  4. Evidence for evolutionary specialization in human limbic structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barger, Nicole; Hanson, Kari L; Teffer, Kate; Schenker-Ahmed, Natalie M; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2014-01-01

    Increasingly, functional and evolutionary research has highlighted the important contribution emotion processing makes to complex human social cognition. As such, it may be asked whether neural structures involved in emotion processing, commonly referred to as limbic structures, have been impacted in human brain evolution. To address this question, we performed an extensive evolutionary analysis of multiple limbic structures using modern phylogenetic tools. For this analysis, we combined new volumetric data for the hominoid (human and ape) amygdala and 4 amygdaloid nuclei, hippocampus, and striatum, collected using stereological methods in complete histological series, with previously published datasets on the amygdala, orbital and medial frontal cortex, and insula, as well as a non-limbic structure, the dorsal frontal cortex, for contrast. We performed a parallel analysis using large published datasets including many anthropoid species (human, ape, and monkey), but fewer hominoids, for the amygdala and 2 amygdaloid subdivisions, hippocampus, schizocortex, striatum, and septal nuclei. To address evolutionary change, we compared observed human values to values predicted from regressions run through (a) non-human hominoids and (b) non-human anthropoids, assessing phylogenetic influence using phylogenetic generalized least squares regression. Compared with other hominoids, the volumes of the hippocampus, the lateral nucleus of the amygdala, and the orbital frontal cortex were, respectively, 50, 37, and 11% greater in humans than predicted for an ape of human hemisphere volume, while the medial and dorsal frontal cortex were, respectively, 26 and 29% significantly smaller. Compared with other anthropoids, only human values for the striatum fell significantly below predicted values. Overall, the data present support for the idea that regions involved in emotion processing are not necessarily conserved or regressive, but may even be enhanced in recent human evolution.

  5. Evolutionary relationships of wild hominids recapitulated by gut microbial communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Howard Ochman

    Full Text Available Multiple factors over the lifetime of an individual, including diet, geography, and physiologic state, will influence the microbial communities within the primate gut. To determine the source of variation in the composition of the microbiota within and among species, we investigated the distal gut microbial communities harbored by great apes, as present in fecal samples recovered within their native ranges. We found that the branching order of host-species phylogenies based on the composition of these microbial communities is completely congruent with the known relationships of the hosts. Although the gut is initially and continuously seeded by bacteria that are acquired from external sources, we establish that over evolutionary timescales, the composition of the gut microbiota among great ape species is phylogenetically conserved and has diverged in a manner consistent with vertical inheritance.

  6. Evolutionary ecology of Odonata: a complex life cycle perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoks, Robby; Córdoba-Aguilar, Alex

    2012-01-01

    Most insects have a complex life cycle with ecologically different larval and adult stages. We present an ontogenetic perspective to analyze and summarize the complex life cycle of Odonata within an evolutionary ecology framework. Morphological, physiological, and behavioral pathways that generate carry-over effects across the aquatic egg and larval stages and the terrestrial adult stage are identified. We also highlight several mechanisms that can decouple life stages including compensatory mechanisms at the larval and adult stages, stressful and stochastic events during metamorphosis, and stressful environmental conditions at the adult stage that may overrule effects of environmental conditions in the preceding stage. We consider the implications of these findings for the evolution, selection, and fitness of odonates; underline the role of the identified numerical and carry-over effects in shaping population and metapopulation dynamics and the community structure across habitat boundaries; and discuss implications for applied conservation issues.

  7. Conservation Kickstart- Catalyzing Conservation Initiatives Worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treinish, G.

    2014-12-01

    Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation (ASC) is a nonprofit organization that collects environmental data to catalyze conservation initiatives worldwide. Adventure athletes have the skills and motivation to reach the most remote corners of the world. ASC utilizes those skills to provide the scientific community with data while providing the outdoor community with purpose beyond the personal high of reaching a summit or rowing across an ocean. We carefully select projects, choosing partnerships that will maximize the impact of ASC volunteers. Each project must have a clear path to a tangible conservation outcome and demonstrate a clear need for our brand of volunteers. We partner with government agencies, universities, and independant reseachers to kickstart data collection efforts around the world. Last year, through a partnership with the Olympic National Forest, 20 volunteers from the Seattle area set up and monitored camera traps in an effort to survey for costal Pacific marten. Our work led to the species' listing as "critically imperiled" with NatureServe. A partnership with the inaugural Great Pacific Race, engaging trans-Pacific rowing teams, searched for microplastics in the Pacific Ocean as part of our ongoing microplastics campaign. In a multi-year partnership with the American Prairie Reserve (APR), ASC volunteer crews live and work on the Reserve collecting wildlife data year round. The data we obtain directly informs the Reserve's wildlife management decisions. On this project, our crews have safely and effectively navigated temperature extremes from -30 degrees to 100+ degrees while traveling in a remote location. We are currently scouting projects in the Okavango Delta of Botswana and the rainforest of Suriname where we will be able to cover large amounts of area in a short periord of time. ASC is at the crossroads of the adventure and coservation science communities. Our approach of answering specific questions by using highly skilled and

  8. On the accretion disc and evolutionary stage of beta Lyrae

    CERN Document Server

    Mennickent, R E

    2013-01-01

    We modeled the V-band light curve of beta Lyrae with two stellar components plus an optically thick accretion disc around the gainer assuming a semidetached configuration. We present the results of this calculation, giving physical parameters for the stars and the disc, along with general system dimensions. We discuss the evolutionary stage of the system finding the best match with one of the evolutionary models of Van Rensbergen et al. According to this model, the system is found at age 2.30E7 years, in the phase of rapid mass transfer, the second one in the life of this binary, in a Case-B mass-exchange stage with dM/dt = 1.58E-5 Msun/year. This result, along with the reported rate of orbital period change and observational evidence of mass loss, suggests that the mass transfer in beta Lyrae, is quasi-conservative. The best model indicates that beta Lyrae finished a relatively large mass loss episode 31400 years ago. The light curve model that best fit the observations has inclination angle i = 81 degree, M...

  9. The Roles and Evolutionary Patterns of Intronless Genes in Deuterostomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Zou

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Genes without introns are a characteristic feature of prokaryotes, but there are still a number of intronless genes in eukaryotes. To study these eukaryotic genes that have prokaryotic architecture could help to understand the evolutionary patterns of related genes and genomes. Our analyses revealed a number of intronless genes that reside in 6 deuterostomes (sea urchin, sea squirt, zebrafish, chicken, platypus, and human. We also determined the conservation for each intronless gene in archaea, bacteria, fungi, plants, metazoans, and other eukaryotes. Proportions of intronless genes that are inherited from the common ancestor of archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes in these species were consistent with their phylogenetic positions, with more proportions of ancient intronless genes residing in more primitive species. In these species, intronless genes belong to different cellular roles and gene ontology (GO categories, and some of these functions are very basic. Part of intronless genes is derived from other intronless genes or multiexon genes in each species. In conclusion, we showed that a varying number and proportion of intronless genes reside in these 6 deuterostomes, and some of them function importantly. These genes are good candidates for subsequent functional and evolutionary analyses specifically.

  10. Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csibra, Gergely; Gergely, György

    2011-04-12

    We propose that the cognitive mechanisms that enable the transmission of cultural knowledge by communication between individuals constitute a system of 'natural pedagogy' in humans, and represent an evolutionary adaptation along the hominin lineage. We discuss three kinds of arguments that support this hypothesis. First, natural pedagogy is likely to be human-specific: while social learning and communication are both widespread in non-human animals, we know of no example of social learning by communication in any other species apart from humans. Second, natural pedagogy is universal: despite the huge variability in child-rearing practices, all human cultures rely on communication to transmit to novices a variety of different types of cultural knowledge, including information about artefact kinds, conventional behaviours, arbitrary referential symbols, cognitively opaque skills and know-how embedded in means-end actions. Third, the data available on early hominin technological culture are more compatible with the assumption that natural pedagogy was an independently selected adaptive cognitive system than considering it as a by-product of some other human-specific adaptation, such as language. By providing a qualitatively new type of social learning mechanism, natural pedagogy is not only the product but also one of the sources of the rich cultural heritage of our species.

  11. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henok Mengistu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Hierarchical organization-the recursive composition of sub-modules-is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments. Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force-the cost of connections-promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics.

  12. Evolutionary games in the multiverse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gokhale, Chaitanya S; Traulsen, Arne

    2010-03-23

    Evolutionary game dynamics of two players with two strategies has been studied in great detail. These games have been used to model many biologically relevant scenarios, ranging from social dilemmas in mammals to microbial diversity. Some of these games may, in fact, take place between a number of individuals and not just between two. Here we address one-shot games with multiple players. As long as we have only two strategies, many results from two-player games can be generalized to multiple players. For games with multiple players and more than two strategies, we show that statements derived for pairwise interactions no longer hold. For two-player games with any number of strategies there can be at most one isolated internal equilibrium. For any number of players with any number of strategies , there can be at most isolated internal equilibria. Multiplayer games show a great dynamical complexity that cannot be captured based on pairwise interactions. Our results hold for any game and can easily be applied to specific cases, such as public goods games or multiplayer stag hunts.

  13. Evolutionary theory and the naturalist fallacy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grodal, Torben Kragh

    2008-01-01

    that great work of art are also automatically fitness-enhancing in the present day environment, at that there are simple correllations between whether a work of art has a high aesthetic value and whether it is fitness-enhancing or not.  Keywords :  Evolutionary aesthetics, film theory, literary theory......The article is an invited response to a target article by Joseph Carroll entitled "An evolutionary paradigm for literary study". It argues that the target article  misuse the fact that works of art are based on adaptations that were fitness-enhancing in the era of evolutionary adaptations to claim...

  14. Investigation on evolutionary optimization of chaos control

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zelinka, Ivan [Faculty of Applied Informatics, Tomas Bata University in Zli' n, Nad Stranemi 4511, 762 72 Zli' n (Czech Republic)], E-mail: zelinka@fai.utb.cz; Senkerik, Roman [Faculty of Applied Informatics, Tomas Bata University in Zli' n, Nad Stranemi 4511, 762 72 Zli' n (Czech Republic)], E-mail: senkerik@fai.utb.cz; Navratil, Eduard [Faculty of Applied Informatics, Tomas Bata University in Zli' n, Nad Stranemi 4511, 762 72 Zli' n (Czech Republic)], E-mail: enavratil@fai.utb.cz

    2009-04-15

    This work deals with an investigation on optimization of the feedback control of chaos based on the use of evolutionary algorithms. The main objective is to show that evolutionary algorithms are capable of optimization of chaos control. As models of deterministic chaotic systems, one-dimensional Logistic equation and two-dimensional Henon map were used. The optimizations were realized in several ways, each one for another set of parameters of evolution algorithms or separate cost functions. The evolutionary algorithm SOMA (self-organizing migrating algorithm) was used in four versions. For each version simulations were repeated several times to show and check for robustness of the applied method.

  15. Comparative analysis reveals conserved protein phosphorylation networks implicated in multiple diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tan, Chris Soon Heng; Bodenmiller, Bernd; Pasculescu, Adrian

    2009-01-01

    Protein kinases enable cellular information processing. Although numerous human phosphorylation sites and their dynamics have been characterized, the evolutionary history and physiological importance of many signaling events remain unknown. Using target phosphoproteomes determined with a similar...... experimental and computational pipeline, we investigated the conservation of human phosphorylation events in distantly related model organisms (fly, worm, and yeast). With a sequence-alignment approach, we identified 479 phosphorylation events in 344 human proteins that appear to be positionally conserved over...

  16. Challenges and Opportunities of Evolutionary Robotics

    CERN Document Server

    Sofge, D A; Bugajska, M D; Schultz, A C

    2007-01-01

    Robotic hardware designs are becoming more complex as the variety and number of on-board sensors increase and as greater computational power is provided in ever-smaller packages on-board robots. These advances in hardware, however, do not automatically translate into better software for controlling complex robots. Evolutionary techniques hold the potential to solve many difficult problems in robotics which defy simple conventional approaches, but present many challenges as well. Numerous disciplines including artificial life, cognitive science and neural networks, rule-based systems, behavior-based control, genetic algorithms and other forms of evolutionary computation have contributed to shaping the current state of evolutionary robotics. This paper provides an overview of developments in the emerging field of evolutionary robotics, and discusses some of the opportunities and challenges which currently face practitioners in the field.

  17. Evolutionary algorithms for mobile ad hoc networks

    CERN Document Server

    Dorronsoro, Bernabé; Danoy, Grégoire; Pigné, Yoann; Bouvry, Pascal

    2014-01-01

    Describes how evolutionary algorithms (EAs) can be used to identify, model, and minimize day-to-day problems that arise for researchers in optimization and mobile networking. Mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), vehicular networks (VANETs), sensor networks (SNs), and hybrid networks—each of these require a designer’s keen sense and knowledge of evolutionary algorithms in order to help with the common issues that plague professionals involved in optimization and mobile networking. This book introduces readers to both mobile ad hoc networks and evolutionary algorithms, presenting basic concepts as well as detailed descriptions of each. It demonstrates how metaheuristics and evolutionary algorithms (EAs) can be used to help provide low-cost operations in the optimization process—allowing designers to put some “intelligence” or sophistication into the design. It also offers efficient and accurate information on dissemination algorithms topology management, and mobility models to address challenges in the ...

  18. Evolutionary origins of leadership and followership.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Vugt, Mark

    2006-01-01

    Drawing upon evolutionary logic, leadership is reconceptualized in terms of the outcome of strategic interactions among individuals who are following different, yet complementary, decision rules to solve recurrent coordination problems. This article uses the vast psychological literature on leadership as a database to test several evolutionary hypotheses about the origins of leadership and followership in humans. As expected, leadership correlates with initiative taking, trait measures of intelligence, specific task competencies, and several indicators of generosity. The review finds no link between leadership and dominance. The evolutionary analysis accounts for reliable age, health, and sex differences in leadership emergence. In general, evolutionary theory provides a useful, integrative framework for studying leader-follower relationships and generates various novel research hypotheses.

  19. How mutation affects evolutionary games on graphs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Benjamin; Traulsen, Arne; Tarnita, Corina E; Nowak, Martin A

    2012-04-21

    Evolutionary dynamics are affected by population structure, mutation rates and update rules. Spatial or network structure facilitates the clustering of strategies, which represents a mechanism for the evolution of cooperation. Mutation dilutes this effect. Here we analyze how mutation influences evolutionary clustering on graphs. We introduce new mathematical methods to evolutionary game theory, specifically the analysis of coalescing random walks via generating functions. These techniques allow us to derive exact identity-by-descent (IBD) probabilities, which characterize spatial assortment on lattices and Cayley trees. From these IBD probabilities we obtain exact conditions for the evolution of cooperation and other game strategies, showing the dual effects of graph topology and mutation rate. High mutation rates diminish the clustering of cooperators, hindering their evolutionary success. Our model can represent either genetic evolution with mutation, or social imitation processes with random strategy exploration.

  20. Evolutionary fire ecology: lessons learned from pines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pausas, Juli G

    2015-05-01

    Macroevolutionary studies of the genus Pinus provide the oldest current evidence of fire as an evolutionary pressure on plants and date back to ca. 125 million years ago (Ma). Microevolutionary studies show that fire traits are variable within and among populations, especially among those subject to different fire regimes. In addition, there is increasing evidence of an inherited genetic basis to variability in fire traits. Added together, pines provide compelling evidence that fire can exert an evolutionary pressure on plants and, thus, shape biodiversity. In addition, evolutionary fire ecology is providing insights to improve the management of pine forests under changing conditions. The lessons learned from pines may guide research on the evolutionary ecology of other taxa.

  1. Evolutionary Phylogenetic Networks: Models and Issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakhleh, Luay

    Phylogenetic networks are special graphs that generalize phylogenetic trees to allow for modeling of non-treelike evolutionary histories. The ability to sequence multiple genetic markers from a set of organisms and the conflicting evolutionary signals that these markers provide in many cases, have propelled research and interest in phylogenetic networks to the forefront in computational phylogenetics. Nonetheless, the term 'phylogenetic network' has been generically used to refer to a class of models whose core shared property is tree generalization. Several excellent surveys of the different flavors of phylogenetic networks and methods for their reconstruction have been written recently. However, unlike these surveys, this chapte focuses specifically on one type of phylogenetic networks, namely evolutionary phylogenetic networks, which explicitly model reticulate evolutionary events. Further, this chapter focuses less on surveying existing tools, and addresses in more detail issues that are central to the accurate reconstruction of phylogenetic networks.

  2. Litter feedbacks, evolutionary change and exotic plant

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eppinga, M.B.; Kaproth, M.A.; Collins, A.R.; Molofsky, J.

    2011-01-01

    1. Understanding the mechanisms driving exotic plant invasions is important for designing successful invader control strategies. Previous studies have highlighted different invasion mechanisms, including alteration of nutrient cycles through plant–soil feedback and evolutionary change toward more co

  3. Teaching Evolutionary Theory as General Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Paul

    1984-01-01

    Provides a rationale for including evolution as part of a college general education curriculum, discussing the content of evolutionary theory, instructional principles, Darwin's contributions, evolution and religion, and the relationship of evolution with current events. (DMM)

  4. [Evolutionary medicine: an emergent basic science].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spotorno, Angel E

    2005-02-01

    Evolutionary Medicine is an emergent basic science that offers new and varied perspectives to the comprehension of human health. The application of classic evolutionary theories (descent with modification, and natural selection) to the human organism, to its pathogens, and their mutual co-evolution, provides new explanations about why we get sick, how we can prevent this, and how we can heal. Medicine has focused mainly on the proximate or immediate causes of diseases and the treatment of symptoms, and very little on its evolutionary or mediate causes. For instance, the present human genome and phenotypes are essentially paleolithic ones: they are not adapted to modern life style, thus favoring the so-called diseases of civilization (ie: ateroesclerosis, senescence, myopia, phobias, panic attacks, stress, reproductive cancers). With the evolutionary approach, post-modern medicine is detecting better the vulnerabilities, restrictions, biases, adaptations and maladaptations of human body, its actual diseases, and its preventions.

  5. Still doing evolutionary algorithms with Perl

    CERN Document Server

    Guervos, Juan J Merelo

    2009-01-01

    Algorithm::Evolutionary (A::E from now on) was introduced in 2002, after a talk in YAPC::EU in Munich. 7 years later, A::E is in its 0.67 version (past its "number of the beast" 0.666), and has been used extensively, to the point of being the foundation of much of the (computer) science being done by our research group (and, admittedly, not many others). All is not done, however; now A::E is being integrated with POE so that evolutionary algorithms (EAs) can be combined with all kinds of servers and used in client, servers, and anything in between. In this companion to the talk I will explain what evolutionary algorithms are, what they are being used for, how to do them with Perl (using these or other fine modules found in CPAN) and what evolutionary algorithms can do for Perl at large.

  6. Creative Conservation Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houston, Jason

    2015-04-01

    I am a fellow with the International League of Conservation photographers (iLCP) and have been focused on photographing conservation dynamics at the intersection of social and environmental issues for a decade. Subjects have included traditional concerns such as deforestation, water conservation, endangered species, and fisheries. However, I rarely make photographs of the traditional nature, wildlife, landscapes, or environmental atrocities that most people think of when they think about environmentalism. Instead, I photograph people and how they live on the planet, as I believe passionately that without also considering social and cultural concerns, we will not be able to effectively and sustainably do conservation work or achieve positive environmental change. My presentation will share recent photography projects on forest conservation in Indonesian Borneo and fisheries management in Central America where I used a 'stakeholder profile-based' process to broadly survey the complexity of the issues while also making personal connections for these projects' diverse audiences. Through these case studies I will explore the opportunities and challenges of combining the authenticity, accuracy, and scientific validity of journalistic and documentary work with the emotional impact of the conventions of art and storytelling.

  7. The Data Conservancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, S.; Duerr, R. E.

    2009-12-01

    NSF's Sustainable Digital Data Preservation and Access Network Partners program is an ambitious attempt to integrate a wide variety of expertise and infrastructure into a network for providing "reliable digital preservation, access, integration, and analysis capabilities for science." One of the first two DataNet award recipients, the Data Conservancy, is itself a network of widely diverse partners led by the libraries at the Johns Hopkins University. The Data Conservancy is built on existing exemplar scientific projects, communities, and virtual organizations that have deep engagement with their user communities, and extensive experience with large-scale distributed system development. Data Conservancy members embrace a shared vision that data curation is not an end, but rather a means to collect, organize, validate, and preserve data needed to address the grand research challenges that face society. Data Conservancy members holdings encompass the entire range of earth, life, and space science data. New to the Data Conservancy is the concept that University libraries will be part of the distributed network of data centers and that data science will become a path in the library and information science curricula. As noted by Winston Tabb (JHU Dean of Libraries) "Data Centers are the new library stacks."

  8. Evolutionary biology and life histories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brown, C. R.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available The demographic processes that drive the spread of populations through environments and in turn determine the abundance of organisms are the same demographic processes that drive the spread of genes through populations and in turn determine gene frequencies and fitness. Conceptually, marked similarities exist in the dynamic processes underlying population ecology and those underlying evolutionary biology. Central to an understanding of both disciplines is life history and its component demographic rates, such as survival, fecundity, and age of first breeding, and biologists from both fields have a vested interest in good analytical machinery for the estimation and analysis of these demographic rates. In the EURING conferences, we have been striving since the mid 1980s to promote a quantitative understanding of demographic rates through interdisciplinary collaboration between ecologists and statisticians. From the ecological side, the principal impetus has come from population biology, and in particular from wildlife biology, but the importance of good quantitative insights into demographic processes has long been recognized by a number of evolutionary biologists (e.g., Nichols & Kendall, 1995; Clobert, 1995; Cooch et al., 2002. In organizing this session, we have aimed to create a forum for those committed to gaining the best possible understanding of evolutionary processes through the application of modern quantitative methods for the collection and interpretation of data on marked animal populations. Here we present a short overview of the material presented in the session on evolutionary biology and life histories. In a plenary talk, Brown & Brown (2004 explored how mark–recapture methods have allowed a better understanding of the evolution of group–living and alternative reproductive tactics in colonial cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota. By estimating the number of transient birds passing through colonies of different sizes, they

  9. An Introduction to Comparative Evolutionary Psychology

    OpenAIRE

    Jennifer Vonk; Todd K. Shackelford

    2013-01-01

    Previously we (Vonk and Shackelford, 2012, in press) proposed an integration of comparative psychology and evolutionary psychology into a new field of “comparative evolutionary psychology.” This integrative discipline incorporates principles from ethology, ecology, biology, anthropology, and psychology, broadly defined. We present in this special issue a collection of original empirical and theoretical review articles in which leading researchers propose ways to successfully integrate compara...

  10. Evolutionary approaches of economic dynamics (In French)

    OpenAIRE

    Yildizoglu, Murat

    2009-01-01

    This chapter presents the methods and contributions of evolutionary approach to economic dynamics. First, we expose why economic dynamics can indeed be considered as evolutionary. Second, we discuss sources of diversity and selection mechanisms that drive these dynamics, in the context of industrial dynamics. Third, we expose the main methods of this approach. Last, we give a partial survey of this approach’s contributions in economic systems covering a full spectrum, from organizational to m...

  11. Extinction as the loss of evolutionary history

    OpenAIRE

    Erwin, Douglas H.

    2008-01-01

    Current plant and animal diversity preserves at most 1–2% of the species that have existed over the past 600 million years. But understanding the evolutionary impact of these extinctions requires a variety of metrics. The traditional measurement is loss of taxa (species or a higher category) but in the absence of phylogenetic information it is difficult to distinguish the evolutionary depth of different patterns of extinction: the same species loss can encompass very different losses of evolu...

  12. Humanism and multiculturalism: an evolutionary alliance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comas-Diaz, Lillian

    2012-12-01

    Humanism and multiculturalism are partners in an evolutionary alliance. Humanistic and multicultural psychotherapies have historically influenced each other. Humanism represents the third force in psychotherapy, while multiculturalism embodies the fourth developmental stage. Multiculturalism embraces humanistic values grounded in collective and social justice contexts. Examples of multicultural humanistic constructs include contextualism, holism, and liberation. Certainly, the multicultural-humanistic connection is a necessary shift in the evolution of psychotherapy. Humanism and multiculturalism participate in the development of an inclusive and evolutionary psychotherapy.

  13. The Evolutionary Robustness of Forgiveness and Cooperation

    CERN Document Server

    Bó, Pedro Dal

    2012-01-01

    We study the evolutionary robustness of strategies in infinitely repeated prisoners' dilemma games in which players make mistakes with a small probability and are patient. The evolutionary process we consider is given by the replicator dynamics. We show that there are strategies with a uniformly large basin of attraction independently of the size of the population. Moreover, we show that those strategies forgive defections and, assuming that they are symmetric, they cooperate.

  14. Influenza A HA's conserved epitopes and broadly neutralizing antibodies: a prediction method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jing; Ellis, John; Li, Jinyan

    2014-10-01

    A conserved epitope is an epitope retained by multiple strains of influenza as the key target of a broadly neutralizing antibody. Identification of conserved epitopes is of strong interest to help design broad-spectrum vaccines against influenza. Conservation score measures the evolutionary conservation of an amino acid position in a protein based on the phylogenetic relationships observed amongst homologous sequences. Here, Average Amino Acid Conservation Score (AAACS) is proposed as a method to identify HA's conserved epitopes. Our analysis shows that there is a clear distinction between conserved epitopes and nonconserved epitopes in terms of AAACS. This method also provides an excellent classification performance on an independent dataset. In contrast, alignment-based comparison methods do not work well for this problem, because conserved epitopes to the same broadly neutralizing antibody are usually not identical or similar. Location-based methods are not successful either, because conserved epitopes are located at both the less-conserved globular head (HA1) and the more-conserved stem (HA2). As a case study, two conserved epitopes on HA are predicted for the influenza A virus H7N9: One should match the broadly neutralizing antibodies CR9114 or FI6v3, while the other is new and requires validation by wet-lab experiments.

  15. Assessment of student conceptions of evolutionary trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blacquiere, Luke

    Biologists use evolutionary trees to depict hypotheses about the relationships among taxa. Trees possess lines that represent lineages, internal nodes that represent where lineages become evolutionarily isolated from one another and terminal nodes that represent the taxa under consideration. Interpreting a tree (i.e., "tree-thinking") is an important skill for biologists yet many students struggle when reading evolutionary trees. Common documented misconceptions include using morphological similarity, internal node counting or terminal node proximity, instead of identifying the internal node that represents a most recent common ancestor (MRCA), to determine relationships among taxa. I developed an instrument to assess whether students were using common ancestry or another, non-scientific, strategy to determine relationships among taxa. The study is the first to explicitly test hypotheses about how students approach reading evolutionary trees. To test the hypotheses an instrument was developed. The instrument is the first reliable and valid assessment testing student understanding of how to use most recent common ancestor to interpret evolutionary relationships in tree diagrams. Instructors can use the instrument as a diagnostic tool enabling them to help students learn this challenging concept. This study shows that, contrary to the assertion that students hold misconceptions about evolutionary trees made in the literature, students do not consistently use erroneous strategies when interpreting trees. This study suggests that a constructivist perspective of cognitive structure describes students' conception of evolutionary trees more closely than a misconception perspective.

  16. Evolutionary cell biology: two origins, one objective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Michael; Field, Mark C; Goodson, Holly V; Malik, Harmit S; Pereira-Leal, José B; Roos, David S; Turkewitz, Aaron P; Sazer, Shelley

    2014-12-02

    All aspects of biological diversification ultimately trace to evolutionary modifications at the cellular level. This central role of cells frames the basic questions as to how cells work and how cells come to be the way they are. Although these two lines of inquiry lie respectively within the traditional provenance of cell biology and evolutionary biology, a comprehensive synthesis of evolutionary and cell-biological thinking is lacking. We define evolutionary cell biology as the fusion of these two eponymous fields with the theoretical and quantitative branches of biochemistry, biophysics, and population genetics. The key goals are to develop a mechanistic understanding of general evolutionary processes, while specifically infusing cell biology with an evolutionary perspective. The full development of this interdisciplinary field has the potential to solve numerous problems in diverse areas of biology, including the degree to which selection, effectively neutral processes, historical contingencies, and/or constraints at the chemical and biophysical levels dictate patterns of variation for intracellular features. These problems can now be examined at both the within- and among-species levels, with single-cell methodologies even allowing quantification of variation within genotypes. Some results from this emerging field have already had a substantial impact on cell biology, and future findings will significantly influence applications in agriculture, medicine, environmental science, and synthetic biology.

  17. Conservation of Mangifera sylvatica

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Akhter, Sayma

    and conservation of these valuable species. The present study considers an underutilised and threatened species of Bangladesh, namely wild mango (Mangifera sylvatica Roxb.). Although this wild mango is one of the genetically closest species to the common mango (Mangifera indica L.) research is very limited...... and mostly focused on wood quality and phylogenetic relationships. Therefore, this study investigated the conservation potential of wild mango considering its contribution for food, nutrition and livelihoods. To do so, an assessment was made of the current and future distribution of the species, which...... explored. The study conveyed five key messages: 1. Wild mango may become extinct under future climate change scenarios so it is high time to start thinking about conservation initiatives. 2. Wild mango is a small sized mango with a large kernel in relation to other Mangifera species which provides...

  18. Conservation reaches new heights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepall, J; Khanal, P

    1992-10-01

    The conservation program with the management assistance of the Woodlands Mountain Institute in 2 contiguous parks, the Mount Everest National Park in Nepal and the Qomolangma Nature Reserve in China, in 2 countries is described. The focus is on conservation of the complex ecosystem with sustainable development by showing local people how to benefit from the park without environmental damage. Cultural diversity is as important as biological diversity. The area has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site with the "last pure ecological seed" of the Himalayas. The regional geography and culture are presented. Population growth has impacted natural resources through overgrazing, cultivation of marginal land, and deforestation; future plans to build a dam and road bordering the nature reserve pose other threats. Proposed management plans for the Makalu-Barun Nature Park (established in November 1991) and Conservation Area include a division of the park into nature reserve areas free of human activity, protected areas which permit traditional land use, and special sites and trail for tourists and religious pilgrims. The conservation area will act as a buffer for the park and provide economic opportunities; further subdivisions include land use for biodiversity protection, community forest and pasture, agroforestry, and agriculture and settlement. Efforts will be made to increase the welfare of women and local people; proposed projects include the introduction of higher milk-producing animals for stall feeding. Also proposed is a cultural and natural history museum. 70% of the project's resources will be directed to local community participation in consultation and park maintenance. The project is a model of how conservation and protection of natural resources can coexist with local economic development and participation; an integration of preservation of biological diversity, mountain wisdom, and the value of local people as resources for conservation.

  19. Positive evolutionary selection of an HD motif on Alzheimer precursor protein orthologues suggests a functional role.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    István Miklós

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 (p<0.0001. The motif is positively selected along the evolutionary process in the majority of APPOs, despite the fact that HD 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.

  20. 14 Conservation of Energy

    OpenAIRE

    Torre, Charles G.

    2014-01-01

    After all of these developments it is nice to keep in mind the idea that the wave equation describes (a continuum limit of) a network of coupled oscillators. This raises an interesting question. Certainly you have seen by now how important energy and momentum — and their conservation — are for understanding the behavior of dynamical systems such as an oscillator. If a wave is essentially the collective motion of many oscillators, might not there be a notion of conserved energy and momentum fo...

  1. General vorticity conservation

    CERN Document Server

    Gümral, H

    1998-01-01

    The motion of an incompressible fluid in Lagrangian coordinates involves infinitely many symmetries generated by the left Lie algebra of group of volume preserving diffeomorphisms of the three dimensional domain occupied by the fluid. Utilizing a 1+3-dimensional Hamiltonian setting an explicit realization of this symmetry algebra and the related Lagrangian and Eulerian conservation laws are constructed recursively. Their Lie algebraic structures are inherited from the same construction. The laws of general vorticity and helicity conservations are formulated globally in terms of invariant differential forms of the velocity field.

  2. Information, conservation and retrieval

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eng, T. [Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co., Stockholm (Sweden); Norberg, E. [National Swedish Archives, Stockholm (Sweden); Torbacke, J. [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of History; Jensen, M. [Swedish Radiation Protection Inst., Stockholm (Sweden)

    1996-12-01

    The seminar took place on the Swedish ship for transportation of radioactive wastes, M/S Sigyn, which at summer time is used for exhibitions. The seminar treated items related to general information needs in society and questions related to radioactive waste, i.e. how knowledge about a waste repository should be passed on to future generations. Three contributions are contained in the report from the seminar and are indexed separately: `Active preservation - otherwise no achieves`; `The conservation and dissemination of information - A democratic issue`; and, `Conservation and retrieval of information - Elements of a strategy to inform future societies about nuclear waste repositories`.

  3. 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.

  4. Phylogeography and the conservation of coral reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocha, L. A.; Craig, M. T.; Bowen, B. W.

    2007-09-01

    Here we present a review of how the study of the geographic distribution of genetic lineages (phylogeography) has helped identify management units, evolutionary significant units, cryptic species, and areas of endemism, and how this information can help efforts to achieve effective conservation of coral reefs. These studies have confirmed the major biogeographic barriers that were originally identified by tropical species distributions. Ancient separations, identified primarily with mtDNA sequence comparisons, became apparent between populations on each side of the barriers. The general lack of correlation between pelagic larval duration and genetic connectivity across barriers indicates that life history and ecology can be as influential as oceanography and geography in shaping evolutionary partitions within ocean basins. Hence, conservation strategies require a recognition of ecological hotspots, those areas where habitat heterogeneity promotes speciation, in addition to more traditional approaches based on biogeography. Finally, the emerging field of genomics will add a new dimension to phylogeography, allowing the study of genes that are pertinent to recent and ongoing differentiation, and ultimately providing higher resolution to detect evolutionary significant units that have diverged in an ecological time scale.

  5. Evolutionary response of landraces to climate change in centers of crop diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Kristin L; Perales, Hugo R

    2010-09-01

    Landraces cultivated in centers of crop diversity result from past and contemporary patterns of natural and farmer-mediated evolutionary forces. Successful in situ conservation of crop genetic resources depends on continuity of these evolutionary processes. Climate change is projected to affect agricultural production, yet analyses of impacts on in situ conservation of crop genetic diversity and farmers who conserve it have been absent. How will crop landraces respond to alterations in climate? We review the roles that phenotypic plasticity, evolution, and gene flow might play in sustaining production, although we might expect erosion of genetic diversity if landrace populations or entire races lose productivity. For example, highland maize landraces in southern Mexico do not express the plasticity necessary to sustain productivity under climate change, but may evolve in response to altered conditions. The outcome for any given crop in a given region will depend on the distribution of genetic variation that affects fitness and patterns of climate change. Understanding patterns of neutral and adaptive diversity from the population to the landscape scale is essential to clarify how landraces conserved in situ will continue to evolve and how to minimize genetic erosion of this essential natural resource.

  6. Two Centuries of Soil Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helms, Douglas

    1991-01-01

    Narrates U.S. soil conservation history since the late eighteenth century. Discusses early practices such as contour plowing. Profiles individuals who promoted soil conservation and were largely responsible for the creation of the Soil Conservation Service. Explains the causes of erosion and how soil conservation districts help farmers prevent…

  7. Correlation analysis for protein evolutionary family based on amino acid position mutations and application in PDZ domain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi-Shi Du

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It has been widely recognized that the mutations at specific directions are caused by the functional constraints in protein family and the directional mutations at certain positions control the evolutionary direction of the protein family. The mutations at different positions, even distantly separated, are mutually coupled and form an evolutionary network. Finding the controlling mutative positions and the mutative network among residues are firstly important for protein rational design and enzyme engineering. METHODOLOGY: A computational approach, namely amino acid position conservation-mutation correlation analysis (CMCA, is developed to predict mutually mutative positions and find the evolutionary network in protein family. The amino acid position mutative function, which is the foundational equation of CMCA measuring the mutation of a residue at a position, is derived from the MSA (multiple structure alignment database of protein evolutionary family. Then the position conservation correlation matrix and position mutation correlation matrix is constructed from the amino acid position mutative equation. Unlike traditional SCA (statistical coupling analysis approach, which is based on the statistical analysis of position conservations, the CMCA focuses on the correlation analysis of position mutations. CONCLUSIONS: As an example the CMCA approach is used to study the PDZ domain of protein family, and the results well illustrate the distantly allosteric mechanism in PDZ protein family, and find the functional mutative network among residues. We expect that the CMCA approach may find applications in protein engineering study, and suggest new strategy to improve bioactivities and physicochemical properties of enzymes.

  8. In Vivo Characterization of a Vertebrate Ultra-conserved Enhancer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poulin, Francis; Nobrega, Marcelo A.; Plajzer-Frick, Ingrid; Holt, Amy; Afzal, Veena; Rubin, Edward M.; Pennacchio, Len

    2004-10-01

    Genomic sequence comparisons between human, mouse and pufferfish (Takifugu rubripes (Fugu))have revealed a set of extremely conserved noncoding sequences. While this high degree of sequence conservation suggests severe evolutionary constraint and predicts a lack of tolerance to change in order to retain in vivo functionality, such elements have been minimally explored experimentally. In this study, we describe the in-depth characterization of an ancient conserved enhancer, Dc2 located near the dachshund gene, which displays a human-Fugu identity of 84 percent over 424 basepairs (bp). In addition to this large overall conservation, we find that Dc2 is characterized by the presence of a large block of sequence (144 bp) that is completely identical between human, mouse, chicken, zebrafish and Fugu. Through the testing of reporter vector constructs in transgenic mice, we observed that the 424 bp Dc2 conserved element is necessary and sufficient for brain tissue enhancer activity. In vivo analyses also revealed that the 144 bp 100 percent conserved sequence is necessary, but not sufficient, to replicate Dc2 enhancer function. However, the introduction of two separate 16 bp insertions into the highly conserved enhancer core did not cause any detectable modification of its in vivo activity. Our observations indicate that the 144 bp 100 percent conserved element is tolerant of change at least at the resolution of this transgenic mouse assay and suggest that purifying selection on Dc2 sequence might not be as strong as we predicted or that some unknown property also constrains this highly conserved enhancer sequence.

  9. Conservative Public Interest Litigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pell, Terence J.

    2007-01-01

    The idea that lawsuits can move a public as well as a legal agenda is not new. In recent years, conservatives have brought high profile lawsuits designed both to vindicate the rights of an individual plaintiff and to educate the public about an important issue. For example, lawsuits filed nearly 10 years ago against the University of Michigan's…

  10. Deficiencies in Water Conservancy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    Recent droughts and floods show the fragility of China’s water conservancy capabilities Be it extreme flooding or severe droughts,China has yet to find a stable middle ground concerning its water supply.These disasters,primarily in the Yangtze

  11. Conservation of fern spores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferns are a diverse and important group of plants, but diversity of species and populations are at risk from increasing social pressures, loss of habitat and climate change. Ex situ conservation is a useful strategy to limit decline in genetic diversity and requires technologies to preserve fern ger...

  12. Communities, Cameras, and Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    Communities, Cameras, and Conservation (CCC) is the most exciting and valuable program the author has seen in her 30 years of teaching field science courses. In this citizen science project, students and community volunteers collect data on mountain lions ("Puma concolor") at four natural areas and public parks along the Front Range of Colorado.…

  13. Conservation and gene banking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plant conservation has several objectives the main ones include safeguarding our food supply, preserving crop wild relatives for breeding and selection of new cultivars, providing material for industrial and pharmaceutical uses and preserving the beauty and diversity of our flora for generations to ...

  14. Supersymmetric non conservative systems

    CERN Document Server

    Martínez-Pérez, N E

    2015-01-01

    We give the generalization of a recent variational formulation for nonconservative classical mechanics, for fermionic and sypersymmetric systems. Both cases require slightly modified boundary conditions. The supersymmetric version is given in the superfield formalism. The corresponding Noether theorem is formulated. As expected, like the energy, the supersymmetric charges are not conserved. Examples are discussed.

  15. Beyond conservation agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giller, K.E.; Andersson, J.A.; Corbeels, Marc; Kirkegaard, John; Mortensen, David; Erenstein, Olaf; Vanlauwe, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and s

  16. Energy Conservation Simplified

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, Eugene

    2008-01-01

    The standard formulation of energy conservation involves the subsidiary ideas of kinetic energy ("KE"), work ("W"), thermal energy, internal energy, and a half-dozen different kinds of potential energy ("PE"): elastic, chemical, nuclear, gravitational, and so forth. These quantities came to be recognized during the centuries over which the…

  17. Conservative Pressures on Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryson, Joseph E.

    Pressure on the public schools is coming from conservative New Right religious-political groups. Their concerns focus on: (1) secular humanism--a Godless form of religion that the public schools are alleged to be teaching; (2) scientific evolution versus creationism--the balanced treatment statute; (3) Bible clubs and prayer in the classroom; and…

  18. Human evolutionary history and contemporary evolutionary theory provide insight when assessing cultural group selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Agustin; Kissel, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Richerson et al. provide a much needed roadmap for assessing cultural group selection (CGS) theory and for applying it to understanding variation between contemporary human groups. However, the current proposal lacks connection to relevant evidence from the human evolutionary record and requires a better integration with contemporary evolutionary theory. The article also misapplies the F st statistic.

  19. A lack of commitment for over 500 million years: conserved animal stem cell pluripotency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aboobaker, A Aziz; Kao, Damian

    2012-06-13

    Stem cells, both adult and germline, are the key cells underpinning animal evolution. Yet, surprisingly little is known about the evolution of their shared key feature: pluripotency. Now using genome-wide expression profiling of pluripotent planarian adult stem cells (pASCs), Önal et al (2012) present evidence for deep molecular conservation of pluripotency. They characterise the expression profile of pASCs and identify conserved expression profiles and functions for genes required for mammalian pluripotency. Their analyses suggest that molecular pluripotency mechanisms may be conserved, and tantalisingly that pluripotency in germ stem cells (GSCs) and somatic stem cells (SSCs) may have had shared common evolutionary origins.

  20. Composition and conservation of the mRNA-degrading machinery in bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaberdin Vladimir R

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract RNA synthesis and decay counteract each other and therefore inversely regulate gene expression in pro- and eukaryotic cells by controlling the steady-state level of individual transcripts. Genetic and biochemical data together with recent in depth annotation of bacterial genomes indicate that many components of the bacterial RNA decay machinery are evolutionarily conserved and that their functional analogues exist in organisms belonging to all kingdoms of life. Here we briefly review biological functions of essential enzymes, their evolutionary conservation and multienzyme complexes that are involved in mRNA decay in Escherichia coli and discuss their conservation in evolutionarily distant bacteria.

  1. The dynamics of on-farm management of sorghum in Ethiopia: Implication for the conservation and improvement of plant genetic resources

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seboka, B.; Hintum, van T.J.L.

    2006-01-01

    On-farm conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture has received strong support worldwide in recent years. It has been justified on appealing assumptions: it complements ex situ conservation, allows co-evolutionary interaction of host-pathogens and crop-weed complexes, and invol

  2. Evolutionary origins of hepatitis A virus in small mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drexler, Jan Felix; Corman, Victor M; Lukashev, Alexander N; van den Brand, Judith M A; Gmyl, Anatoly P; Brünink, Sebastian; Rasche, Andrea; Seggewiβ, Nicole; Feng, Hui; Leijten, Lonneke M; Vallo, Peter; Kuiken, Thijs; Dotzauer, Andreas; Ulrich, Rainer G; Lemon, Stanley M; Drosten, Christian

    2015-12-08

    Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is an ancient and ubiquitous human pathogen recovered previously only from primates. The sole species of the genus Hepatovirus, existing in both enveloped and nonenveloped forms, and with a capsid structure intermediate between that of insect viruses and mammalian picornaviruses, HAV is enigmatic in its origins. We conducted a targeted search for hepatoviruses in 15,987 specimens collected from 209 small mammal species globally and discovered highly diversified viruses in bats, rodents, hedgehogs, and shrews, which by pairwise sequence distance comprise 13 novel Hepatovirus species. Near-complete genomes from nine of these species show conservation of unique hepatovirus features, including predicted internal ribosome entry site structure, a truncated VP4 capsid protein lacking N-terminal myristoylation, a carboxyl-terminal pX extension of VP1, VP2 late domains involved in membrane envelopment, and a cis-acting replication element within the 3D(pol) sequence. Antibodies in some bat sera immunoprecipitated and neutralized human HAV, suggesting conservation of critical antigenic determinants. Limited phylogenetic cosegregation among hepatoviruses and their hosts and recombination patterns are indicative of major hepatovirus host shifts in the past. Ancestral state reconstructions suggest a Hepatovirus origin in small insectivorous mammals and a rodent origin of human HAV. Patterns of infection in small mammals mimicked those of human HAV in hepatotropism, fecal shedding, acute nature, and extinction of the virus in a closed host population. The evolutionary conservation of hepatovirus structure and pathogenesis provide novel insight into the origins of HAV and highlight the utility of analyzing animal reservoirs for risk assessment of emerging viruses.

  3. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho de Souza, Fernanda; Dexter, Kyle G.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Brienen, Roel J. W.; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R.; Lopez Gonzalez, Gabriela; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Pennington, R. Toby; Poorter, Lourens; Alexiades, Miguel; Álvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Andrade, Ana; Aragão, Luis E. O. C.; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J. M. M.; Aymard C, Gerardo A.; Baraloto, Christopher; Barroso, Jorcely G.; Bonal, Damien; Boot, Rene G. A.; Camargo, José L. C.; Comiskey, James A.; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; de Camargo, Plínio B.; Di Fiore, Anthony; Erwin, Terry L.; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Ferreira, Leandro; Fyllas, Nikolaos M.; Gloor, Emanuel; Herault, Bruno; Herrera, Rafael; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N.; Killeen, Timothy J.; Laurance, William F.; Laurance, Susan; Lloyd, Jon; Lovejoy, Thomas E.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maracahipes, Leandro; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Marimon-Junior, Ben H.; Mendoza, Casimiro; Morandi, Paulo; Neill, David A.; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Oliveira, Edmar A.; Lenza, Eddie; Palacios, Walter A.; Peñuela-Mora, Maria C.; Pipoly, John J.; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A.; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Rudas, Agustin; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Salomão, Rafael P.; Silveira, Marcos; ter Steege, Hans; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; van der Hout, Peter; van der Heijden, Geertje M. F.; van der Meer, Peter J.; Vasquez, Rodolfo V.; Vieira, Simone A.; Vilanova, Emilio; Vos, Vincent A.; Wang, Ophelia; Young, Kenneth R.; Zagt, Roderick J.; Baker, Timothy R.

    2016-01-01

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change. PMID:27974517

  4. Evolutionary mechanisms acting on proteinase inhibitor variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christeller, John T

    2005-11-01

    The interaction of proteinase inhibitors produced, in most cases, by host organisms and the invasive proteinases of pathogens or parasites or the dietary proteinases of predators, results in an evolutionary 'arms race' of rapid and ongoing change in both interacting proteins. The importance of these interactions in pathogenicity and predation is indicated by the high level and diversity of observable evolutionary activity that has been found. At the initial level of evolutionary change, recruitment of other functional protein-folding families has occurred, with the more recent evolution of one class of proteinase inhibitor from another, using the same mechanism and proteinase contact residues. The combination of different inhibitor domains into a single molecule is also observed. The basis from which variation is possible is shown by the high rate of retention of gene duplication events and by the associated process of inhibitory domain multiplication. At this level of reorganization, mutually exclusive splicing is also observed. Finally, the major mechanism by which variation is achieved rapidly is hypervariation of contact residues, an almost ubiquitous feature of proteinase inhibitors. The diversity of evolutionary mechanisms in a single class of proteins is unlikely to be common, because few systems are under similar pressure to create variation. Proteinase inhibitors are therefore a potential model system in which to study basic evolutionary process such as functional diversification.

  5. Evolutionary evidence for alternative structure in RNA sequence co-variation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin Ritz

    Full Text Available Sequence conservation and co-variation of base pairs are hallmarks of structured RNAs. For certain RNAs (e.g. riboswitches, a single sequence must adopt at least two alternative secondary structures to effectively regulate the message. If alternative secondary structures are important to the function of an RNA, we expect to observe evolutionary co-variation supporting multiple conformations. We set out to characterize the evolutionary co-variation supporting alternative conformations in riboswitches to determine the extent to which alternative secondary structures are conserved. We found strong co-variation support for the terminator, P1, and anti-terminator stems in the purine riboswitch by extending alignments to include terminator sequences. When we performed Boltzmann suboptimal sampling on purine riboswitch sequences with terminators we found that these sequences appear to have evolved to favor specific alternative conformations. We extended our analysis of co-variation to classic alignments of group I/II introns, tRNA, and other classes of riboswitches. In a majority of these RNAs, we found evolutionary evidence for alternative conformations that are compatible with the Boltzmann suboptimal ensemble. Our analyses suggest that alternative conformations are selected for and thus likely play functional roles in even the most structured of RNAs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penaluna, Brooke E.; Abadía-Cardoso, Alicia; Dunham, Jason; 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.

  7. A conserved Oct4/POUV-dependent network links adhesion and migration to progenitor maintenance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Livigni, Alessandra; Peradziryi, Hanna; Sharov, Alexei A

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: The class V POU domain transcription factor Oct4 (Pou5f1) is a pivotal regulator of embryonic stem cell (ESC) self-renewal and reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Oct4 is also an important evolutionarily conserved regulator of progenitor cell...... analysis of existing mammalian Oct4 target data sets, we defined a set of evolutionary-conserved Oct4/POUV targets. Most of these targets were regulators of cell adhesion. This is consistent with Oct4/POUV phenotypes observed in the adherens junctions in Xenopus ectoderm, mouse embryonic, and epiblast stem......, the list of Oct4 transcriptional targets contains thousands of genes. Using evolutionary conservation, we identified a core set of functionally relevant factors that linked the maintenance of adhesion to Oct4/POUV. We found that the regulation of adhesion by the Oct4/POUV network occurred at both...

  8. Do we need an extended evolutionary synthesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2007-12-01

    The Modern Synthesis (MS) is the current paradigm in evolutionary biology. It was actually built by expanding on the conceptual foundations laid out by its predecessors, Darwinism and neo-Darwinism. For sometime now there has been talk of a new Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (EES), and this article begins to outline why we may need such an extension, and how it may come about. As philosopher Karl Popper has noticed, the current evolutionary theory is a theory of genes, and we still lack a theory of forms. The field began, in fact, as a theory of forms in Darwin's days, and the major goal that an EES will aim for is a unification of our theories of genes and of forms. This may be achieved through an organic grafting of novel concepts onto the foundational structure of the MS, particularly evolvability, phenotypic plasticity, epigenetic inheritance, complexity theory, and the theory of evolution in highly dimensional adaptive landscapes.

  9. Comparative evolutionary psychology of sperm competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackelford, Todd K; Goetz, Aaron T

    2006-05-01

    A comparative evolutionary psychological perspective predicts that species that recurrently faced similar adaptive problems may have evolved similar psychological mechanisms to solve these problems. Sperm competition provides an arena in which to assess the heuristic value of such a comparative evolutionary perspective. The sperm competition that results from female infidelity and polyandry presents a similar class of adaptive problems for individuals across many species. The authors first describe mechanisms of sperm competition in insects and in birds. They suggest that the adaptive problems and evolved solutions in these species provide insight into human anatomy, physiology, psychology, and behavior. The authors then review recent theoretical and empirical arguments for the existence of sperm competition in humans and discuss proposed adaptations in humans that have analogs in insects or birds. The authors conclude by highlighting the heuristic value of a comparative evolutionary psychological approach in this field.

  10. Organisations’ evolutionary dynamics: a group dynamics approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Germán Eduardo Vargas

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Colombian entrepreneurs’ straggling, reactionary and inertial orientation has been inconsistently lustified by the availability of internal and leveraged resources, a concept intensifying deficient technological capacity. Company activity (seen as being a socioeconomic unit has been integrally orientated within an evolutionary framework by company identity and cohesion as well as adaptation and evolutionary mechanisms. The present document uses a group dynamics’ model to illustrate how knowledge-based strategic orientation and integration for innovation have become an imperative for development, from slight leverage, distinguishing between two evolutionary company forms: traditional economic (inertial, as they introduce sporadic incremental improvements and modern companies (dynamic and radical innovators. Revealing conclusions obtained from such model may be used for intervening in and modernising company activity.

  11. Incorporating evolutionary processes into population viability models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierson, Jennifer C; Beissinger, Steven R; Bragg, Jason G; Coates, David J; Oostermeijer, J Gerard B; Sunnucks, Paul; Schumaker, Nathan H; Trotter, Meredith V; Young, Andrew G

    2015-06-01

    We examined how ecological and evolutionary (eco-evo) processes in population dynamics could be better integrated into population viability analysis (PVA). Complementary advances in computation and population genomics can be combined into an eco-evo PVA to offer powerful new approaches to understand the influence of evolutionary processes on population persistence. We developed the mechanistic basis of an eco-evo PVA using individual-based models with individual-level genotype tracking and dynamic genotype-phenotype mapping to model emergent population-level effects, such as local adaptation and genetic rescue. We then outline how genomics can allow or improve parameter estimation for PVA models by providing genotypic information at large numbers of loci for neutral and functional genome regions. As climate change and other threatening processes increase in rate and scale, eco-evo PVAs will become essential research tools to evaluate the effects of adaptive potential, evolutionary rescue, and locally adapted traits on persistence.

  12. Neurocontroller analysis via evolutionary network minimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganon, Zohar; Keinan, Alon; Ruppin, Eytan

    2006-01-01

    This study presents a new evolutionary network minimization (ENM) algorithm. Neurocontroller minimization is beneficial for finding small parsimonious networks that permit a better understanding of their workings. The ENM algorithm is specifically geared to an evolutionary agents setup, as it does not require any explicit supervised training error, and is very easily incorporated in current evolutionary algorithms. ENM is based on a standard genetic algorithm with an additional step during reproduction in which synaptic connections are irreversibly eliminated. It receives as input a successfully evolved neurocontroller and aims to output a pruned neurocontroller, while maintaining the original fitness level. The small neurocontrollers produced by ENM provide upper bounds on the neurocontroller size needed to perform a given task successfully, and can provide for more effcient hardware implementations.

  13. Computational and evolutionary aspects of language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Komarova, Natalia L.; Niyogi, Partha

    2002-06-01

    Language is our legacy. It is the main evolutionary contribution of humans, and perhaps the most interesting trait that has emerged in the past 500 million years. Understanding how darwinian evolution gives rise to human language requires the integration of formal language theory, learning theory and evolutionary dynamics. Formal language theory provides a mathematical description of language and grammar. Learning theory formalizes the task of language acquisition-it can be shown that no procedure can learn an unrestricted set of languages. Universal grammar specifies the restricted set of languages learnable by the human brain. Evolutionary dynamics can be formulated to describe the cultural evolution of language and the biological evolution of universal grammar.

  14. Metrology and Energy Conservation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xuan Xiang

    2006-01-01

    @@ May 20 is World Metrology Day and the theme of this year is "Metrology and Energy Conservation." Energy is not only a vital issue for China, but also for the world. In order to implement Proposal of the CPC Central Committee on the 11th Five-Year Program for National Economic and Social Development, the government bulletin of 5th Plenary Session of the 16th CPC Central Committee announced that "there shall be marked improvement on resource utilization; the energy consumption for unit GDP shall cut 20%, water consumption of unit industrial added value drop 30%... and the recycle ratio of industrial solid wastes shall raise by 60%." These are key targets of economic development during the 11th five-year program. To make full use of metrology for energy conservation and energy utilization, the competent metrology department of Chinese Goyernment advanced metrology program in light of China's energy status.

  15. Laser conservation paleontology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asmus, John F.

    2001-10-01

    Just as lasers have found countless applications in science, industry, medicine, and entertainment, an array of real and potential uses for lasers in art-conservation analytes and practice have been investigated over the past thirty years. These include holographic recording, holographic recording, holographic nondestructive testing, laser-induced ultrasonic imaging, laser-scattering surface characterization, atomic and molecular analyses, photoacoustic spectroscopy, surface modification, as well as surface divestment and cleaning. The initial endeavors in exploring and assessing the utility of these tools for art conservation are recounted for investigations involving ruby, glass, ion, YAG, carbon dioxide, dye, and excimer lasers as well as high-intensity nonlaser light generators such as xenon flashlamps and argon pinchlamps. Initially, laser divestment/cleaning was, by general consensus, the least plausible laser application in art conservation. In the past ten years it has emerged to dominate all the other applications noted above. Today, at least a dozen firms supply user-friendly laser systems optimized for a range of art-conservation divestment applications. The first-generation laser-cleaning tools are essentially a laser, a beam-delivery device, and a debris- collection accessory. Advanced developmental work has turned in large measure to ancillary subsystems for more sophisticated process control. Of particular importance are acoustic, optical, spectral, EMP, and electronic-vision process control. Beam direction may be via manual, translational-scanner, or robotic beam positioning implemented by means of fiber optics, minors, or prisms and computer control. Substrate thermal alteration and debris redeposition may be minimized or avoided through the incorporation of a gas jet, fluid or fluid jet, or dry-ice blast.

  16. From computers to cultivation: reconceptualizing evolutionary psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise eBarrett

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Does evolutionary theorizing have a role in psychology? This is a more contentious issue than one might imagine, given that as evolved creatures, the answer must surely be yes. The contested nature of evolutionary psychology lies not in our status as evolved beings, but in the extent to which evolutionary ideas add value to studies of human behaviour, and the rigour with which these ideas are tested. This, in turn, is linked to the framework in which particular evolutionary ideas are situated. While the framing of the current research topic places the brain-as-computer metaphor in opposition to evolutionary psychology, the most prominent school of thought in this field (born out of cognitive psychology, and often known as the Santa Barbara school is entirely wedded to the computational theory of mind as an explanatory framework. Its unique aspect is to argue that the mind consists of a large number of functionally specialized (i.e., domain-specific computational mechanisms, or modules (the massive modularity hypothesis. Far from offering an alternative to, or an improvement on, the current perspective, we argue that evolutionary psychology is a mainstream computational theory, and that its arguments for domain-specificity often rest on shaky premises. We then go on to suggest that the various forms of e-cognition (i.e., embodied, embedded, enactive represent a true alternative to standard computational approaches, with an emphasis on cognitive integration or the extended mind hypothesis in particular. We feel this offers the most promise for human psychology because it incorporates the social and historical processes that are crucial to human ‘mind-making’ within an evolutionarily-informed framework. In addition to linking to other research areas in psychology, this approach is more likely to form productive links to other disciplines within the social sciences, not least by encouraging a healthy pluralism in approach.

  17. Langley's CSI evolutionary model: Phase O

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belvin, W. Keith; Elliott, Kenny B.; Horta, Lucas G.; Bailey, Jim P.; Bruner, Anne M.; Sulla, Jeffrey L.; Won, John; Ugoletti, Roberto M.

    1991-01-01

    A testbed for the development of Controls Structures Interaction (CSI) technology to improve space science platform pointing is described. The evolutionary nature of the testbed will permit the study of global line-of-sight pointing in phases 0 and 1, whereas, multipayload pointing systems will be studied beginning with phase 2. The design, capabilities, and typical dynamic behavior of the phase 0 version of the CSI evolutionary model (CEM) is documented for investigator both internal and external to NASA. The model description includes line-of-sight pointing measurement, testbed structure, actuators, sensors, and real time computers, as well as finite element and state space models of major components.

  18. Evolutionary strategy for achieving autonomous navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gage, Douglas W.

    1999-01-01

    An approach is presented for the evolutionary development of supervised autonomous navigation capabilities for small 'backpackable' ground robots, in the context of a DARPA- sponsored program to provide robotic support to small units of dismounted warfighters. This development approach relies on the implementation of a baseline visual serving navigation capability, including tools to support operator oversight and override, which is then enhanced with semantically referenced commands and a mission scripting structure. As current and future machine perception techniques are able to automatically designate visual serving goal points, this approach should provide a natural evolutionary pathway to higher levels of autonomous operation and reduced requirements for operator intervention.

  19. Human Resource Ecosystem and its evolutionary rules

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The Paper,based on the concept and the elements of human resource ecosystem(HR Ecosystem),studies the function and structure of HR Ecosystem,introduces the entropy theory to define the content of entropy of HR Ecosystem,constructs the corresponding distinctive model to distinguish the direction of the evolution of HR Ecosystem and the evolutionary entropy model, and applies the models to demonstrate the evolutionary rules of HR Ecosystem.The study shows that the entropy theory can be well applied to the analysis on HR Ecosystem and that it opens up a new field in the research of human resource management and provides a new effective technical method.

  20. Applying Evolutionary Algorithm to Public Key Cryptosystems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tu Hang; Li Li; Wu Tao-jun; Li Yuan- xiang

    2003-01-01

    A best algorithm generated scheme is proposed in the paper by making use of the thought of evolutionary algorithm, which can generate dynamically the best algorithm of generating primes in RSA cryptography under different conditions. Taking into account the factors of time, space and security integrated, this scheme possessed strong practicability. The paper also proposed a model of multi degree parallel evolutionary algorithrn to evaluate synthetically the efficiency and security of the public key cryptography. The model con tributes to designing public key cryptography system too.

  1. Genomes, Phylogeny, and Evolutionary Systems Biology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Medina, Monica

    2005-03-25

    With the completion of the human genome and the growing number of diverse genomes being sequenced, a new age of evolutionary research is currently taking shape. The myriad of technological breakthroughs in biology that are leading to the unification of broad scientific fields such as molecular biology, biochemistry, physics, mathematics and computer science are now known as systems biology. Here I present an overview, with an emphasis on eukaryotes, of how the postgenomics era is adopting comparative approaches that go beyond comparisons among model organisms to shape the nascent field of evolutionary systems biology.

  2. A Generic Design Model for Evolutionary Algorithms

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    He Feng; Kang Li-shan; Chen Yu-ping

    2003-01-01

    A generic design model for evolutionary algo rithms is proposed in this paper. The model, which was described by UML in details, focuses on the key concepts and mechanisms in evolutionary algorithms. The model not only achieves separation of concerns and encapsulation of implementations by classification and abstraction of those concepts,it also has a flexible architecture due to the application of design patterns. As a result, the model is reusable, extendible,easy to understand, easy to use, and easy to test. A large number of experiments applying the model to solve many different problems adequately illustrate the generality and effectivity of the model.

  3. Evolutionary algorithms for hard quantum control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahedinejad, Ehsan; Schirmer, Sophie; Sanders, Barry C.

    2014-09-01

    Although quantum control typically relies on greedy (local) optimization, traps (irregular critical points) in the control landscape can make optimization hard by foiling local search strategies. We demonstrate the failure of greedy algorithms as well as the (nongreedy) genetic-algorithm method to realize two fast quantum computing gates: a qutrit phase gate and a controlled-not gate. We show that our evolutionary algorithm circumvents the trap to deliver effective quantum control in both instances. Even when greedy algorithms succeed, our evolutionary algorithm can deliver a superior control procedure, for example, reducing the need for high time resolution.

  4. Integrating Evolutionary and Molecular Genetics of Aging

    OpenAIRE

    Flatt, Thomas; Schmidt, Paul S.

    2009-01-01

    Aging or senescence is an age-dependent decline in physiological function, demographically manifest as decreased survival and fecundity with increasing age. Since aging is disadvantageous it should not evolve by natural selection. So why do organisms age and die? In the 1940’s and 1950’s evolutionary geneticists resolved this paradox by positing that aging evolves because selection is inefficient at maintaining function late in life. By the 1980’s and 1990’s this evolutionary theory of aging ...

  5. Conservation of Genetic Diversity in Culture Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MAXIM A.

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The most important international document relating to the conservation of biodiversity is one adopted by theUN in Rio de Janeiro (1992 that "Convention on Biodiversity". Based on this agreement, the EU has taken a series ofmeasures to reduce genetic erosion in agriculture, which grew with the expansion of industrialized agriculture.Throughout its existence, mankind has used some 10,000 growing plant species. According to FAO statistics, today,90% of food production is ensured by some 120 growing plant species. In addition to drastic reduction in specificdiversity, the advent of industrialized agriculture has generated a process of strong genetic erosion. Old varieties andlocal varieties of crops have mostly been affected, in favour of "modern" varieties. Landraces are characterized by highheterogenity. They have the advantage of being much better adapted to biotic and abiotic stress conditions (diseases,pests, drought, low in nutrients, etc. and have excellent taste qualities, which can justify a higher price recovery thancommercial varieties. Thanks to these features, these crops need small inputs, which correspond to the concept ofsustainable development. Landraces are an invaluable genetic potential for obtaining new varieties of plants and are bestsuited for crop cultivation in ecological systems, becoming more common. Also, for long term food security in thecontext of global warming, rich genetic diversity will be require. “In situ” and “ex situ” conservation are the two majorstrategies used in the conservation of plant genetic resources. There is a fundamental difference between these twostrategies: “ex situ” conservation involves sampling, transfer and storage of a particular species population away fromthe original location, while “in situ” conservation (in their natural habitat implies that the varieties of interest,management and monitoring their place of origin takes place in the community to which they belong. These

  6. Conservation businesses and conservation planning in a biological diversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Minin, Enrico; Macmillan, Douglas Craig; Goodman, Peter Styan; Escott, Boyd; Slotow, Rob; Moilanen, Atte

    2013-08-01

    The allocation of land to biological diversity conservation competes with other land uses and the needs of society for development, food, and extraction of natural resources. Trade-offs between biological diversity conservation and alternative land uses are unavoidable, given the realities of limited conservation resources and the competing demands of society. We developed a conservation-planning assessment for the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, which forms the central component of the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biological diversity hotspot. Our objective was to enhance biological diversity protection while promoting sustainable development and providing spatial guidance in the resolution of potential policy conflicts over priority areas for conservation at risk of transformation. The conservation-planning assessment combined spatial-distribution models for 646 conservation features, spatial economic-return models for 28 alternative land uses, and spatial maps for 4 threats. Nature-based tourism businesses were competitive with other land uses and could provide revenues of >US$60 million/year to local stakeholders and simultaneously help meeting conservation goals for almost half the conservation features in the planning region. Accounting for opportunity costs substantially decreased conflicts between biological diversity, agricultural use, commercial forestry, and mining. Accounting for economic benefits arising from conservation and reducing potential policy conflicts with alternative plans for development can provide opportunities for successful strategies that combine conservation and sustainable development and facilitate conservation action.

  7. 75 FR 59469 - Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Refrigerators...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-27

    ... Energy 10 CFR Part 430 Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential... Energy Conservation Program: Energy Conservation Standards for Residential Refrigerators, Refrigerator... Conservation Act (EPCA) prescribes energy conservation standards for various consumer products and......

  8. Can compensatory culling offset undesirable evolutionary consequences of trophy hunting?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mysterud, Atle; Bischof, Richard

    2010-01-01

    1. There is growing concern about the evolutionary consequences of human harvesting on phenotypic trait quality in wild populations. Undesirable consequences are especially likely with trophy hunting because of its strong bias for specific phenotypic trait values, such as large antlers in cervids and horns in bovids. Selective hunting can cause a decline in a trophy trait over time if it is heritable, thereby reducing the long-term sustainability of the activity itself. 2. How can we build a sustainable trophy hunting tradition without the negative trait-altering effects? We used an individual-based model to explore whether selective compensatory culling of 'low quality' individuals at an early life stage can facilitate sustainability, as suggested by information from managed game populations in eastern and central Europe. Our model was rooted in empirical data on red deer, where heritability of sexual ornaments has been confirmed and phenotypic quality can be assessed by antler size in individuals as young as 1 year. 3. Simulations showed that targeted culling of low-quality yearlings could counter the selective effects of trophy hunting on the distribution of the affected trait (e.g. antler or horn size) in prime-aged individuals. Assumptions of trait heritability and young-to-adult correlation were essential for compensation, but the model proved robust to various other assumptions and changes to input parameters. The simulation approach allowed us to verify responses as evolutionary changes in trait values rather than short-term consequences of altered age structure, density and viability selection. 4. We conclude that evolutionarily enlightened management may accommodate trophy hunting. This has far reaching implications as income from trophy hunting is often channelled into local conservation efforts and rural economies. As an essential follow-up, we recommend an analysis of the effects of trophy hunting in conjunction with compensatory culling on the

  9. The glycolytic pathway of Trimastix pyriformis is an evolutionary mosaic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silberman Jeffrey D

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Glycolysis and subsequent fermentation is the main energy source for many anaerobic organisms. The glycolytic pathway consists of ten enzymatic steps which appear to be universal amongst eukaryotes. However, it has been shown that the origins of these enzymes in specific eukaryote lineages can differ, and sometimes involve lateral gene transfer events. We have conducted an expressed sequence tag (EST survey of the anaerobic flagellate Trimastix pyriformis to investigate the nature of the evolutionary origins of the glycolytic enzymes in this relatively unstudied organism. Results We have found genes in the Trimastix EST data that encode enzymes potentially catalyzing nine of the ten steps of the glycolytic conversion of glucose to pyruvate. Furthermore, we have found two different enzymes that in principle could catalyze the conversion of phosphoenol pyruvate (PEP to pyruvate (or the reverse reaction as part of the last step in glycolysis. Our phylogenetic analyses of all of these enzymes revealed at least four cases where the relationship of the Trimastix genes to homologs from other species is at odds with accepted organismal relationships. Although lateral gene transfer events likely account for these anomalies, with the data at hand we were not able to establish with confidence the bacterial donor lineage that gave rise to the respective Trimastix enzymes. Conclusion A number of the glycolytic enzymes of Trimastix have been transferred laterally from bacteria instead of being inherited from the last common eukaryotic ancestor. Thus, despite widespread conservation of the glycolytic biochemical pathway across eukaryote diversity, in a number of protist lineages the enzymatic components of the pathway have been replaced by lateral gene transfer from disparate evolutionary sources. It remains unclear if these replacements result from selectively advantageous properties of the introduced enzymes or if they are neutral

  10. An intertwined evolutionary history of methanogenic archaea and sulfate reduction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dwi Susanti

    Full Text Available Hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis and dissimilatory sulfate reduction, two of the oldest energy conserving respiratory systems on Earth, apparently could not have evolved in the same host, as sulfite, an intermediate of sulfate reduction, inhibits methanogenesis. However, certain methanogenic archaea metabolize sulfite employing a deazaflavin cofactor (F(420-dependent sulfite reductase (Fsr where N- and C-terminal halves (Fsr-N and Fsr-C are homologs of F(420H(2 dehydrogenase and dissimilatory sulfite reductase (Dsr, respectively. From genome analysis we found that Fsr was likely assembled from freestanding Fsr-N homologs and Dsr-like proteins (Dsr-LP, both being abundant in methanogens. Dsr-LPs fell into two groups defined by following sequence features: Group I (simplest, carrying a coupled siroheme-[Fe(4-S(4] cluster and sulfite-binding Arg/Lys residues; Group III (most complex, with group I features, a Dsr-type peripheral [Fe(4-S(4] cluster and an additional [Fe(4-S(4] cluster. Group II Dsr-LPs with group I features and a Dsr-type peripheral [Fe(4-S(4] cluster were proposed as evolutionary intermediates. Group III is the precursor of Fsr-C. The freestanding Fsr-N homologs serve as F(420H(2 dehydrogenase unit of a putative novel glutamate synthase, previously described membrane-bound electron transport system in methanogens and of assimilatory type sulfite reductases in certain haloarchaea. Among archaea, only methanogens carried Dsr-LPs. They also possessed homologs of sulfate activation and reduction enzymes. This suggested a shared evolutionary history for methanogenesis and sulfate reduction, and Dsr-LPs could have been the source of the oldest (3.47-Gyr ago biologically produced sulfide deposit.

  11. Complete, accurate, mammalian phylogenies aid conservation planning, but not much

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigues, Ana S. L.; Grenyer, Richard; Baillie, Jonathan E. M.; Bininda-Emonds, Olaf R. P.; Gittlemann, John L.; Hoffmann, Michael; Safi, Kamran; Schipper, Jan; Stuart, Simon N.; Brooks, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    In the face of unprecedented global biodiversity loss, conservation planning must balance between refining and deepening knowledge versus acting on current information to preserve species and communities. Phylogenetic diversity (PD), a biodiversity measure that takes into account the evolutionary relationships between species, is arguably a more meaningful measure of biodiversity than species diversity, but cannot yet be applied to conservation planning for the majority of taxa for which phylogenetic trees have not yet been developed. Here, we investigate how the quality of data on the taxonomy and/or phylogeny of species affects the results of spatial conservation planning in terms of the representation of overall mammalian PD. The results show that the better the quality of the biodiversity data the better they can serve as a basis for conservation planning. However, decisions based on incomplete data are remarkably robust across different levels of degrading quality concerning the description of new species and the availability of phylogenetic information. Thus, given the level of urgency and the need for action, conservation planning can safely make use of the best available systematic data, limited as these data may be. PMID:21844044

  12. Observations of Everyday Biodiversity: a New Perspective for Conservation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne-Caroline Prevot-Julliard

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Public involvement is one of the keys to achieving biodiversity conservation goals. Increasing public involvement in conservation activities requires investigation into what makes people more aware of nature, especially in an ordinary and local context, in their everyday lives. Among the initiatives developed to increase the public's awareness of conservation issues and individual environmental practices, citizen-science programs are based on an invitation to observe and survey nature. In our study, we examined the consequences of participation in a participative citizen-science program that takes place in an everyday-life context on individuals' knowledge and beliefs about biodiversity. This program, the French Garden Butterflies Watch, is addressed to the non-scientifically literate public and is run by the French National Museum of Natural History (MNHN. We examined the ways increased knowledge or strengthened beliefs or ideas about biodiversity can foster pro-conservation attitudes and behavior. We explored how repeated interactions with nature influence the development of knowledge in this area, and how these repeated observations of biodiversity become integrated into complex cognitive processes over time and space. We showed that repeated observations of nature can increase individual knowledge and beliefs. Our results brought out three important conclusions: (1 conservation issues must be integrated into a wider network of social relationships; (2 observing everyday nature often makes people consider its functional and evolutionary characteristics; and (3 scientific knowledge seems necessary to help people to develop their own position on ecosystems.

  13. Split diversity in constrained conservation prioritization using integer linear programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chernomor, Olga; Minh, Bui Quang; Forest, Félix; Klaere, Steffen; Ingram, Travis; Henzinger, Monika; von Haeseler, Arndt

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetic diversity (PD) is a measure of biodiversity based on the evolutionary history of species. Here, we discuss several optimization problems related to the use of PD, and the more general measure split diversity (SD), in conservation prioritization.Depending on the conservation goal and the information available about species, one can construct optimization routines that incorporate various conservation constraints. We demonstrate how this information can be used to select sets of species for conservation action. Specifically, we discuss the use of species' geographic distributions, the choice of candidates under economic pressure, and the use of predator-prey interactions between the species in a community to define viability constraints.Despite such optimization problems falling into the area of NP hard problems, it is possible to solve them in a reasonable amount of time using integer programming. We apply integer linear programming to a variety of models for conservation prioritization that incorporate the SD measure.We exemplarily show the results for two data sets: the Cape region of South Africa and a Caribbean coral reef community. Finally, we provide user-friendly software at http://www.cibiv.at/software/pda.

  14. High resolution mapping of Twist to DNA in Drosophila embryos: Efficient functional analysis and evolutionary conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Ozdemir, Anil; Fisher-Aylor, Katherine I.; Pepke, Shirley; Samanta, Manoj; Dunipace, Leslie; McCue, Kenneth; Zeng, Lucy; Ogawa, Nobuo; Wold, Barbara J; Stathopoulos, Angelike

    2011-01-01

    Cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) function by binding sequence specific transcription factors, but the relationship between in vivo physical binding and the regulatory capacity of factor-bound DNA elements remains uncertain. We investigate this relationship for the well-studied Twist factor in Drosophila melanogaster embryos by analyzing genome-wide factor occupancy and testing the functional significance of Twist occupied regions and motifs within regions. Twist ChIP-seq data efficiently identif...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    to the hitherto-most-extensive genome dataset characterized for horses, comprising 21 new genomes. We found that loci showing the most genetic differentiation with DHs were enriched in genes involved in metabolism, cardiac disorders, muscle contraction, reproduction, behavior, and signaling pathways. We also show...... that DH and PH populations split ∼45,000 years ago and have remained connected by gene-flow thereafter. Finally, we monitor the genomic impact of ∼110 years of captivity, revealing reduced heterozygosity, increased inbreeding, and variable introgression of domestic alleles, ranging from non...

  16. Covariation of learning and "reasoning" abilities in mice: evolutionary conservation of the operations of intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wass, Christopher; Denman-Brice, Alexander; Rios, Chris; Light, Kenneth R; Kolata, Stefan; Smith, Andrew M; Matzel, Louis D

    2012-04-01

    Contemporary descriptions of human intelligence hold that this trait influences a broad range of cognitive abilities, including learning, attention, and reasoning. Like humans, individual genetically heterogeneous mice express a "general" cognitive trait that influences performance across a diverse array of learning and attentional tasks, and it has been suggested that this trait is qualitatively and structurally analogous to general intelligence in humans. However, the hallmark of human intelligence is the ability to use various forms of "reasoning" to support solutions to novel problems. Here, we find that genetically heterogeneous mice are capable of solving problems that are nominally indicative of inductive and deductive forms of reasoning, and that individuals' capacity for reasoning covaries with more general learning abilities. Mice were characterized for their general learning ability as determined by their aggregate performance (derived from principal component analysis) across a battery of five diverse learning tasks. These animals were then assessed on prototypic tests indicative of deductive reasoning (inferring the meaning of a novel item by exclusion, i.e., "fast mapping") and inductive reasoning (execution of an efficient search strategy in a binary decision tree). The animals exhibited systematic abilities on each of these nominal reasoning tasks that were predicted by their aggregate performance on the battery of learning tasks. These results suggest that the coregulation of reasoning and general learning performance in genetically heterogeneous mice form a core cognitive trait that is analogous to human intelligence.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Poot, Martin; Badea, Alexandra; Williams, Robert W; Kas, Martien J

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: 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 environmen

  18. From Binding-Induced Dynamic Effects in SH3 Structures to Evolutionary Conserved Sectors

    OpenAIRE

    Ana Zafra Ruano; Elisa Cilia; Couceiro, José R.; Javier Ruiz Sanz; Joost Schymkowitz; Frederic Rousseau; Irene Luque; Tom Lenaerts

    2016-01-01

    Src Homology 3 domains are ubiquitous small interaction modules known to act as docking sites and regulatory elements in a wide range of proteins. Prior experimental NMR work on the SH3 domain of Src showed that ligand binding induces long-range dynamic changes consistent with an induced fit mechanism. The identification of the residues that participate in this mechanism produces a chart that allows for the exploration of the regulatory role of such domains in the activity of the encompassing...

  19. Evolutionary conservation of mannan-binding lectin (MBL) in bony fish

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kania, Per Walter; Sørensen, Rasmus Reng; Koch, Claus

    2010-01-01

    The complement system of fish is generally as complex as in mammals, and in addition Teleost fish often possess several genes encoding different subtypes of a given complement component, such as C3-1, C3-3 and C3-4. Initiators of both the classical (C1) and alternative pathway (factor B) have been...... characterized in the rainbow trout but so far no molecules of the lectin pathway have been identified. Based on the generally accepted idea of complement evolution, which predicts that the alternative pathway predates the two other pathways, and that the lectin pathway developed before the classical, we set out...

  20. Phosphoproteome analysis of E-coli reveals evolutionary conservation of bacterial Ser/Thr/Tyr phosphorylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Macek, B.; Gnad, F.; Soufi, Boumediene

    2008-01-01

    we use a recently developed proteomics approach based on phosphopeptide enrichment and high accuracy MS to analyze the phosphoproteome of the model Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli. We report 81 phosphorylation sites on 79 E. coli proteins, with distribution of Ser/Thr/Tyr phosphorylation...... sites 68%/23%/9%. Despite their phylogenetic distance, phosphoproteomes of E. coli and B. subtilis show striking similarity in size, classes of phosphorylated proteins, and distribution of Ser/Thr/Tyr phosphorylation sites. By combining the two datasets, we created the largest phosphorylation site...

  1. QUANTITATIVE RT-PCR ANALYSES OF FIVE EVOLUTIONARY CONSERVED GENES IN ALLIGATOR BRAINS DURING DEVELOPMENT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Sarah M.; Zhu, Tianli; Khanna, Rajesh; Pritz, Michael B.

    2011-01-01

    Gene expression was investigated in the major brain subdivisions (telencephalon, diencephalon, midbrain and hindbrain) in a representative reptile, Alligator mississipiensis, during the later stages of embryonic development. The following genes were examined: voltage-gated sodium channel isoforms: NaV1.1 and NaV1.2; synaptic vesicle 2a (SV2a); synaptophysin; and calbindin 2. With the exception of synaptophysin, which was only expressed in the telencephalon, all genes were expressed in all brain regions sampled at the time periods examined. For NaV1.1, gene expression varied according to brain area sampled. When compared with NaV1.1, the pattern of NaV1.2 gene expression differed appreciably. The gene expression of SV2a was the most robust of any of the genes examined. Of the other genes examined, although differences were noted, no statistically significant changes were found either between brain part or time interval. Although limited, the present analysis is the first quantitative mRNA gene expression study in any reptile during development. Together with future experiments of a similar nature, the present gene expression results should determine which genes are expressed in major brain areas at which times during development in Alligator. When compared with other amniotes, these results will prove useful for determining how gene expression during development influences adult brain structure. PMID:22379598

  2. 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...... 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...

  3. Probing the evolutionary history of epigenetic mechanisms: what can we learn from marine diatoms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Achal Rastogi

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent progress made on epigenetic studies revealed the conservation of epigenetic features in deep diverse branching species including Stramenopiles, plants and animals. This suggests their fundamental role in shaping species genomes across different evolutionary time scales. Diatoms are a highly successful and diverse group of phytoplankton with a fossil record of about 190 million years ago. They are distantly related from other super-groups of Eukaryotes and have retained some of the epigenetic features found in mammals and plants suggesting their ancient origin. Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana, pennate and centric diatoms, respectively, emerged as model species to address questions on the evolution of epigenetic phenomena such as what has been lost, retained or has evolved in contemporary species. In the present work, we will discuss how the study of non-model or emerging model organisms, such as diatoms, helps understand the evolutionary history of epigenetic mechanisms with a particular focus on DNA methylation and histone modifications.

  4. Early evolutionary differentiation of morphological variation in the mandible of South American caviomorph rodents (Rodentia, Caviomorpha).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez, A; Perez, S I; Verzi, D H

    2011-12-01

    Caviomorphs are a clade of South American rodents recorded at least since the early Oligocene (> 31.5 Ma) that exhibit ample eco-morphological variation. It has been proposed that phylogenetic structure is more important than ecological factors for understanding mandibular shape variation in this clade. This was interpreted as a result of the long-standing evolutionary history of caviomorphs and the early divergence of major lineages. In this work, we test this hypothesis through the analysis of morphological variation in the mandible of living and extinct species and compare this information with that obtained through comparative phylogenetic analyses. Our results support the hypothesis of early origin of mandibular variation; moreover, they suggest the conservation of early differentiated morphologies, which could indicate the existence of constrained evolutionary diversification.

  5. Approved Practices in Soil Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Albert B.

    This book is written for individuals who wish to apply conservation practices, especially those of soil and water conservation, without technical assistance, to meet one's own conditions, and within his own capability to apply them. To meet these needs, the book includes a discussion and description of soil and water conservation methods for the…

  6. Conservation Education: A Position Statement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil Conservation Society of America, Ankeny, IA.

    The Soil Conservation Society of America's (SCSA) aim is to advance the science and art of good land and water use. Conservation education has a significant role in achieving the wise use of these resources. In this report, perspectives are offered on: (1) the requirements for effective conservation education programs; (2) rationale for…

  7. Saving Money Through Energy Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presley, Michael H.; And Others

    This publication is an introduction to personal energy conservation. The first chapter presents a rationale for conserving energy and points out that private citizens control about one third of this country's energy consumption. Chapters two and three show how to save money by saving energy. Chapter two discusses energy conservation methods in the…

  8. 76 FR 22785 - Wetland Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-25

    ... 7 CFR Part 12 RIN 0578-AA58 Wetland Conservation AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, United States.... Background Existing wetland conservation provisions in 7 CFR part 12 require that NRCS' certification of a... Subjects in 7 CFR Part 12 Administrative practices and procedures, Soil conservation, Wetlands. For...

  9. Integrating conservation costs into sea level rise adaptive conservation prioritization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingjian Zhu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation requires strategic investment as resources for conservation are often limited. As sea level rises, it is important and necessary to consider both sea level rise and costs in conservation decision making. In this study, we consider costs of conservation in an integrated modeling process that incorporates a geomorphological model (SLAMM, species habitat models, and conservation prioritization (Zonation to identify conservation priorities in the face of landscape dynamics due to sea level rise in the Matanzas River basin of northeast Florida. Compared to conservation priorities that do not consider land costs in the analysis process, conservation priorities that consider costs in the planning process change significantly. The comparison demonstrates that some areas with high conservation values might be identified as lower priorities when integrating economic costs in the planning process and some areas with low conservation values might be identified as high priorities when considering costs in the planning process. This research could help coastal resources managers make informed decisions about where and how to allocate conservation resources more wisely to facilitate biodiversity adaptation to sea level rise.

  10. 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

  11. Comparative evolutionary analyses of beta globin gene in eutherian, dinosaurian and neopterygii taxa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gauri Awasthi, Garima Srivastava & Aparup Das

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Background & objectives: Comparative genomics and evolutionary analyses of conserved genes have enabled usto understand the complexity of genomes of closely related species. For example: -globin gene present inhuman hemoglobin is one such gene that has experienced many genetic changes in many related taxa andproduced more than 600 variants. One of the variant, HBS causes sickle-cell anemia in humans but offersprotection against severe malaria due to Plasmodium falciparum. In the present study, we characterized andperformed evolutionary comparative analyses of the -globin gene in different related and unrelated taxa tohave a comprehensive view of its evolution.Methods: DNA and protein sequences of -globin gene were downloaded from NCBI and characterized in detailin nine eutherian (Homo sapiens, Pan troglodytes, Macaca mulatta, Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus, Bostaurus, Canis familiaris, Equus caballus, Oryctolagus cuniculus, a dinosaurian (Gallus gallus and a neopterygii(Danio rerio taxa. Three more eutherian (Papio anubis, Ovis aries and Sus scrofa taxa were included for ananalysis at the protein level but not included at the gene level owing to lack of genomic information. Computationaland phylogenetic analyses were performed using evolutionary comparative approach.Results: Results of comparative and phylogenetic analyses revealed less conservation of genetic architecture of-globin compared to its protein architecture in all eutherian taxa. Both dinosaurian and neopterygii taxa servedas outgroups and varied at gene and protein levels.Interpretation & conclusion: Most remarkably, all primates from eutherian taxa including P. anubis showedonly nine codon position differences and an absolute similarity between H. sapiens and P. troglodytes. Absoluteconservation of coding region in Equus caballus (horse was observed. The results were discussed with aninference on the role of evolutionary forces in maintaining such close similarities

  12. 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...

  13. Evolutionary Computing in Visual Art and Music

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Colin G.; Romero Cardalda, Juan J.

    2002-01-01

    This paper is an introduction to the special section of Leonardo on Genetic Algorithms in Visual Art and Music, which arose from a workshop at the 2000 Genetic and Evolutionary Computing Conference. This introduction gives a background review of the area, takes a look at some open questions provoked by the workshop, and summarizes the papers in the section.

  14. Evolutionary optimization of production materials workflow processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herbert, Luke Thomas; Hansen, Zaza Nadja Lee; Jacobsen, Peter

    2014-01-01

    of the BPMN language, we employ an evolutionary algorithm where stochastic model checking is used as a fitness function to determine the degree of improvement of candidate processes derived from the original process through mutation and cross-over operations. We illustrate this technique using a case study...

  15. The Microfoundations of Macroeconomics: An Evolutionary Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bergh, van den Jeroen C.J.M.; Gowdy, John M.

    2000-01-01

    We consider the microfoundations controversy from the perspective ofeconomic evolution and show that the debate can benefit from lessons learned in evolutionary biology. Although the analogy between biology and economics has been noted before, it has rarely focused on clarifying the micro-macro dist

  16. Teaching about Adaptation: Why Evolutionary History Matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kampourakis, Kostas

    2013-01-01

    Adaptation is one of the central concepts in evolutionary theory, which nonetheless has been given different definitions. Some scholars support a historical definition of adaptation, considering it as a trait that is the outcome of natural selection, whereas others support an ahistorical definition, considering it as a trait that contributes to…

  17. Cellular encoding for interactive evolutionary robotics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gruau, F.C.; Quatramaran, K.

    1996-01-01

    This work reports experiments in interactive evolutionary robotics. The goal is to evolve an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) to control the locomotion of an 8-legged robot. The ANNs are encoded using a cellular developmental process called cellular encoding. In a previous work similar experiments ha

  18. An evolutionary economics approach to ecosystem dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blijleven, V.B; Angeren, van J.; Brinkkemper, S.

    2013-01-01

    Biology and evolution lie at the heart of the ecosystem metaphor that is recurrently applied in the digital era. Although the evolution and analogy with evolutionary biology is acknowledged within the research domains of business ecosystems and digital ecosystems, several key definitions and self-or

  19. Evolutionary Biology: Its Value to Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carson, Hampton L.

    1972-01-01

    Cites examples of the contribution of basic research in evolutionary biology to the solution of problems facing society (1) by dispelling myths about human origins, the nature of the individual, and the nature of race (2) by providing basic data concerning the effects of overpopulation, the production of improved sources of food, resistance of…

  20. QDist—Quartet Distance Between Evolutionary Trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mailund; Pedersen, Christian N. Storm

    2004-01-01

    QDist is a program for computing the quartet distance between two unrooted evolutionary trees, i.e. the number of quartet topology differences between the two trees, where a quartet topology is the topological subtree induced by four species. The implementation is based on an algorithm with running...... time O(n log² n), which makes it practical to compare large trees....

  1. Delayed evolutionary branching in small populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Claessen, D.; Andersson, J.; Persson, L.; de Roos, A.M.

    2007-01-01

    Abstract: Question: How is the process of evolutionary branching influenced by demographic stochasticity? Mathematical methods: Adaptive dynamics of (i) a simple consumer-resource model and (ii) an analogous but individual-based model with finite population size. Key assumptions: Consumers have acce

  2. Evolutionary Dynamics of Digitized Organizational Routines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Peng

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation explores the effects of increased digitization on the evolutionary dynamics of organizational routines. Do routines become more flexible, or more rigid, as the mix of digital technologies and human actors changes? What are the mechanisms that govern the evolution of routines? The dissertation theorizes about the effects of…

  3. Evolutionary Psychology: Controversies, Questions, Prospects, and Limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Confer, Jaime C.; Easton, Judith A.; Fleischman, Diana S.; Goetz, Cari D.; Lewis, David M. G.; Perilloux, Carin; Buss, David M.

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary psychology has emerged over the past 15 years as a major theoretical perspective, generating an increasing volume of empirical studies and assuming a larger presence within psychological science. At the same time, it has generated critiques and remains controversial among some psychologists. Some of the controversy stems from…

  4. An Evolutionary Perspective on War Heroism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rusch, Hannes; Störmer, C.

    2015-01-01

    Humans are one of the most cooperative and altruistic species on the planet. At the same time, humans have a long history of violent and deadly intergroup conflicts or wars. Recently, contemporary evolutionary theorists have revived Charles Darwin’s idea that human in-group altruism and out-group ho

  5. On evolutionary ray-projection dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Joosten, Reinoud; Roorda, Berend

    2011-01-01

    We introduce the ray-projection dynamics in evolutionary game theory by employing a ray projection of the relative fitness (vector) function, i.e., a projection unto the unit simplex along a ray through the origin. Ray-projection dynamics are weakly compatible in the terminology of Friedman (Econome

  6. Flexible Ligand Docking Using Evolutionary Algorithms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Rene

    2003-01-01

    The docking of ligands to proteins can be formulated as a computational problem where the task is to find the most favorable energetic conformation among the large space of possible protein–ligand complexes. Stochastic search methods such as evolutionary algorithms (EAs) can be used to sample large...

  7. Knowledge Guided Evolutionary Algorithms in Financial Investing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimmer, Hayden

    2013-01-01

    A large body of literature exists on evolutionary computing, genetic algorithms, decision trees, codified knowledge, and knowledge management systems; however, the intersection of these computing topics has not been widely researched. Moving through the set of all possible solutions--or traversing the search space--at random exhibits no control…

  8. On the Evolutionary Bases of Consumer Reinforcement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Michael; Xiao, Sarah Hong

    2010-01-01

    This article locates consumer behavior analysis within the modern neo-Darwinian synthesis, seeking to establish an interface between the ultimate-level theorizing of human evolutionary psychology and the proximate level of inquiry typically favored by operant learning theorists. Following an initial overview of the central tenets of neo-Darwinism,…

  9. An evolutionary basis for pollination ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Willemstein, S.C.

    1987-01-01

    In the introduction and chapter 2 the incentives and way of reasoning are given for the description of an evolutionary basis of pollination ecology. Starting from the until recently rather anecdotical character of the study of pollination ecology as a whole, and in the absence of large-scale correla

  10. Incorporating evolutionary processes into population viability models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pierson, J.C.; Beissinger, S.R.; Bragg, J.G.; Coates, D.J.; Oostermeijer, J.G.B.; Sunnucks, P.; Schumaker, N.H.; Trotter, M.V.; Young, A.G.

    2015-01-01

    We examined how ecological and evolutionary (eco-evo) processes in population dynamics could be better integrated into population viability analysis (PVA). Complementary advances in computation and population genomics can be combined into an eco-evo PVA to offer powerful new approaches to understand

  11. Complex evolutionary systems in behavioral finance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hommes, C.; Wagener, F.

    2008-01-01

    Traditional finance is built on the rationality paradigm. This chapter discusses simple models from an alternative approach in which financial markets are viewed as complex evolutionary systems. Agents are boundedly rational and base their investment decisions upon market forecasting heuristics. Pri

  12. Evolutionary Software Development (Developpement evolutionnaire de logiciels)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-08-01

    Développement évolutionnaire de logiciels (RTO-TR-IST-026) Synthèse Ceci est le rapport final du groupe de travail IST-026/RTG-008. Pendant...the arrival of a long-standing and passionate voice for evolutionary and iterative development. Gilb is one of the earliest and most active IID

  13. 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.

  14. Indoor Thermal Comfort, an Evolutionary Biology Perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stoops, John L.

    2006-04-15

    As is becoming increasingly clear, the human species evolvedin the East African savannah. Details of the precise evolutionary chainremain unresolved however it appears that the process lasted severalmillion years, culminating with the emergence of modern Homo sapiensroughly 200,000 years ago. Following that final evolutionary developmentmodern Homo sapiens relatively quickly populated the entire world.Clearly modern Homo sapiens is a successful, resourceful and adaptablespecies. In the developed societies, modern humans live an existence farremoved from our evolutionary ancestors. As we have learned over the lastcentury, this "new" lifestyle can often result in unintendedconsequences. Clearly, our modern access to food, shelter, transportationand healthcare has resulted in greatly expanded expected lifespan butthis new lifestyle can also result in the emergence of different kinds ofdiseases and health problems. The environment in modern buildings haslittle resemblance to the environment of the savannah. We strive tocreate environments with little temperature, air movement and lightvariation. Building occupants often express great dissatisfaction withthese modern created environments and a significant fraction even developsomething akin to allergies to specific buildings (sick buildingsyndrome). Are the indoor environments we are creating fundamentallyunhealthy -- when examined from an evolutionary perspective?

  15. Face Alignment Using Boosting and Evolutionary Search

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhang, Hua; Liu, Duanduan; Poel, Mannes; Nijholt, Anton; 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 f

  16. Compassion: An Evolutionary Analysis and Empirical Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goetz, Jennifer L.; Keltner, Dacher; Simon-Thomas, Emiliana

    2010-01-01

    What is compassion? And how did it evolve? In this review, we integrate 3 evolutionary arguments that converge on the hypothesis that compassion evolved as a distinct affective experience whose primary function is to facilitate cooperation and protection of the weak and those who suffer. Our empirical review reveals compassion to have distinct…

  17. Testing evolutionary theories of discriminative grandparental investment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaptijn, R.; Thomése, F.; Liefbroer, A.C.; Silverstein, M.

    2013-01-01

    This study tests two evolutionary hypotheses on grandparental investments differentiated by the child's sex: the paternity uncertainty hypothesis and the Trivers–Willard hypothesis. Data are from two culturally different countries: the Dutch Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (n=2375) and the Chines

  18. Reconstructing the evolutionary history of natural languages

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warnow, T.; Ringe, D.; Taylor, A. [Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (United States)

    1996-12-31

    In this paper we present a new methodology for determining the evolutionary history of related languages. Our methodology uses linguistic information encoded as qualitative characters, and provides much greater precision than previous methods. Our analysis of Indo-European (IE) languages resolves questions that have troubled scholars for over a century.

  19. Using Human Evolution to Teach Evolutionary Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besterman, Hugo; La Velle, Linda Baggott

    2007-01-01

    This paper discusses some traditional approaches to the teaching of evolutionary theory at pre-university level, criticising in particular some of the more commonly used models and exemplars. Curricular demands are described and an alternative approach is suggested, using the emerging story of human evolution. Recent discoveries help to illustrate…

  20. 2004 Structural, Function and Evolutionary Genomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Douglas L. Brutlag Nancy Ryan Gray

    2005-03-23

    This Gordon conference will cover the areas of structural, functional and evolutionary genomics. It will take a systematic approach to genomics, examining the evolution of proteins, protein functional sites, protein-protein interactions, regulatory networks, and metabolic networks. Emphasis will be placed on what we can learn from comparative genomics and entire genomes and proteomes.