WorldWideScience

Sample records for evolutionary conservation information

  1. 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.

  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. Information, conservation and retrieval

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eng, T.; Norberg, E.; Torbacke, J.

    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'

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilucca, Maddalena; Cimini, Giulio; Giansanti, Andrea

    2018-07-15

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

  5. 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.

  6. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-10

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

  7. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyle, Henry F; Smith, Eric A

    2012-09-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  12. Evolutionary relevance facilitates visual information processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Russell E; Calvillo, Dusti P

    2013-11-03

    Visual search of the environment is a fundamental human behavior that perceptual load affects powerfully. Previously investigated means for overcoming the inhibitions of high perceptual load, however, generalize poorly to real-world human behavior. We hypothesized that humans would process evolutionarily relevant stimuli more efficiently than evolutionarily novel stimuli, and evolutionary relevance would mitigate the repercussions of high perceptual load during visual search. Animacy is a significant component to evolutionary relevance of visual stimuli because perceiving animate entities is time-sensitive in ways that pose significant evolutionary consequences. Participants completing a visual search task located evolutionarily relevant and animate objects fastest and with the least impact of high perceptual load. Evolutionarily novel and inanimate objects were located slowest and with the highest impact of perceptual load. Evolutionary relevance may importantly affect everyday visual information processing.

  13. Evolutionary Relevance Facilitates Visual Information Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell E. Jackson

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Visual search of the environment is a fundamental human behavior that perceptual load affects powerfully. Previously investigated means for overcoming the inhibitions of high perceptual load, however, generalize poorly to real-world human behavior. We hypothesized that humans would process evolutionarily relevant stimuli more efficiently than evolutionarily novel stimuli, and evolutionary relevance would mitigate the repercussions of high perceptual load during visual search. Animacy is a significant component to evolutionary relevance of visual stimuli because perceiving animate entities is time-sensitive in ways that pose significant evolutionary consequences. Participants completing a visual search task located evolutionarily relevant and animate objects fastest and with the least impact of high perceptual load. Evolutionarily novel and inanimate objects were located slowest and with the highest impact of perceptual load. Evolutionary relevance may importantly affect everyday visual information processing.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatebe, Hisashi; Shiozaki, Kazuhiro

    2017-11-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-19

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

  20. Evolutionary conservation of plant gibberellin signalling pathway components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reski Ralf

    2007-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thien-Phong eVu Manh

    2015-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Ostaszewski

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schapira Marc

    2007-09-01

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

  4. Conservation and retrieval of information

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jensen, M.

    1993-01-01

    High-level waste from nuclear power generation will remain radioactive for thousands of years even though 99% of the radioactivity will have decayed within the first millennium. For a hypothetical group involved in future actions to retrieve or repair a repository, information about its location, design, and content would be necessary. The need of such groups can be used to design the information that should be kept in a waste archive. Two main strategies exist for long-germ information transfer, one which links information thorough successive transfers of archived material and other forms of knowledge in society, and one - such as marking the site with a monument - relying upon a direct link from the present to the distant future. Digital methods are not recommended for long-term storage, but digital processing may be a valuable tool to structure information summaries, and in the creation of better long-lasting records. Advances in archive management should also be pursued to widen the choice of information carriers of high durability. In the Nordic countries, during the first few thousand years, and perhaps up to the next period of glaciation, monuments at a repository site may be used to warn the public of the presence of dangerous waste. But messages from such markers may pose interpretation problems as we have today for messages left by earlier societies such as rune inscriptions. Since the national borders may change in the time scale relevant for nuclear waste, the creation of an international archive for all radioactive wastes would represent an improvement as regards conservation and retrieval of information. (EG)

  5. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information (RCRAInfo)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Information (RCRAInfo) system contains information reported to the state environmental programs on activities and cleanup...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  7. Widespread evolutionary conservation of alternatively spliced exons in caenorhabditis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Information and knowledge: an evolutionary framework for information science

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    Marcia J. Bates

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Many definitions of information, knowledge, and data have been suggested throughout the history of information science. In this article, the objective is to provide definitions that are usable for the physical, biological, and social meanings of the terms, covering the various senses important to our field. Argument. Information 1 is defined as the pattern of organization of matter and energy. Information 2 is defined as some pattern of organization of matter and energy that has been given meaning by a living being. Knowledge is defined as information given meaning and integrated with other contents of understanding. Elaboration. The approach is rooted in an evolutionary framework; that is, modes of information perception, processing, transmission, and storage are seen to have developed as a part of the general evolution of members of the animal kingdom. Brains are expensive for animals to support; consequently, efficient storage, including, particularly, storage at emergent levels-for example, storing the concept of chair, rather than specific memories of all chairs ever seen, is powerful and effective for animals. Conclusion. Thus, rather than being reductionist, the approach taken demonstrates the fundamentally emergent nature of most of what higher animals and human beings, in particular, experience as information.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

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    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkov, Christopher I; Sutter, Mitchell L

    2011-01-01

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

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

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    Liang Chen

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

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

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    Sommer Simone

    2005-10-01

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

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

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    Scharfe Maren

    2010-04-01

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

  16. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaac, Nick J B; Redding, David W; Meredith, Helen M; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

  17. Phylogenetically-informed priorities for amphibian conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nick J B Isaac

    Full Text Available The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species' threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species' phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our 'top 100' list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-09

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

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

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    Bilsland Elizabeth

    2007-08-01

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

  1. 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,

  2. The use of information theory in evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adami, Christoph

    2012-05-01

    Information is a key concept in evolutionary biology. Information stored in a biological organism's genome is used to generate the organism and to maintain and control it. Information is also that which evolves. When a population adapts to a local environment, information about this environment is fixed in a representative genome. However, when an environment changes, information can be lost. At the same time, information is processed by animal brains to survive in complex environments, and the capacity for information processing also evolves. Here, I review applications of information theory to the evolution of proteins and to the evolution of information processing in simulated agents that adapt to perform a complex task. © 2012 New York Academy of Sciences.

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

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    Wei Liu

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Straub, Daniel; Wenkel, Stephan

    2017-01-01

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

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

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    Lynch Michael

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catania, Francesco; Lynch, Michael

    2010-05-04

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

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    Tobias Bergmiller

    2012-06-01

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

  12. How Much Can Evolutionary Psychology Inform the Educational Sciences?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halpern, Diane F.

    2008-01-01

    In response to a stimulating article by David C. Geary on the value of understanding the evolutionary basis of learning as a guide to instruction, I raise several objections. When evolutionary theory is used to explain everything from sex differences in math and reading to why children are bored in school, it loses its explanatory power. There is…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-31

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

  16. Discovery of cis-elements between sorghum and rice using co-expression and evolutionary conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haberer Georg

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The spatiotemporal regulation of gene expression largely depends on the presence and absence of cis-regulatory sites in the promoter. In the economically highly important grass family, our knowledge of transcription factor binding sites and transcriptional networks is still very limited. With the completion of the sorghum genome and the available rice genome sequence, comparative promoter analyses now allow genome-scale detection of conserved cis-elements. Results In this study, we identified thousands of phylogenetic footprints conserved between orthologous rice and sorghum upstream regions that are supported by co-expression information derived from three different rice expression data sets. In a complementary approach, cis-motifs were discovered by their highly conserved co-occurrence in syntenic promoter pairs. Sequence conservation and matches to known plant motifs support our findings. Expression similarities of gene pairs positively correlate with the number of motifs that are shared by gene pairs and corroborate the importance of similar promoter architectures for concerted regulation. This strongly suggests that these motifs function in the regulation of transcript levels in rice and, presumably also in sorghum. Conclusion Our work provides the first large-scale collection of cis-elements for rice and sorghum and can serve as a paradigm for cis-element analysis through comparative genomics in grasses in general.

  17. 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

  18. Translational environmental biology: cell biology informing conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traylor-Knowles, Nikki; Palumbi, Stephen R

    2014-05-01

    Typically, findings from cell biology have been beneficial for preventing human disease. However, translational applications from cell biology can also be applied to conservation efforts, such as protecting coral reefs. Recent efforts to understand the cell biological mechanisms maintaining coral health such as innate immunity and acclimatization have prompted new developments in conservation. Similar to biomedicine, we urge that future efforts should focus on better frameworks for biomarker development to protect coral reefs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-10

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-07

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael K DeSalvo

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Poot

    2011-05-01

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

  7. Research on Information Sharing Mechanism of Network Organization Based on Evolutionary Game

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lin; Liu, Gaozhi

    2018-02-01

    This article first elaborates the concept and effect of network organization, and the ability to share information is analyzed, secondly introduces the evolutionary game theory, network organization for information sharing all kinds of limitations, establishes the evolutionary game model, analyzes the dynamic evolution of network organization of information sharing, through reasoning and evolution. The network information sharing by the initial state and two sides of the game payoff matrix of excess profits and information is the information sharing of cost and risk sharing are the influence of network organization node information sharing decision.

  8. Conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noteboom, H.P.

    1985-01-01

    The IUCN/WWF Plants Conservation Programme 1984 — 1985. World Wildlife Fund chose plants to be the subject of their fund-raising campaign in the period 1984 — 1985. The objectives were to: 1. Use information techniques to achieve the conservation objectives of the Plants Programme – to save plants;

  9. Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    This set of teaching aids consists of seven Audubon Nature Bulletins, providing the teacher and student with informational reading on various topics in conservation. The bulletins have these titles: Plants as Makers of Soil, Water Pollution Control, The Ground Water Table, Conservation--To Keep This Earth Habitable, Our Threatened Air Supply,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, Meytal; Rosenberg, Nurit

    2011-03-01

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

  11. Landauer's principle and the conservation of information

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daffertshofer, A.; Plastino, A.R.

    2005-01-01

    Erasure of information requires the dissipation of a minimal amount of energy as being formulated in Landauer's principle. This profound concept in information processing has recently been derived by use of basic dynamical principles of statistical mechanics. We present an alternative derivation of Landauer's principle based on dynamical principles and certain properties of the Shannon-Gibbs-Boltzmann entropy, in particular (sub-)additivity

  12. Climate Velocity Can Inform Conservation in a Warming World.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brito-Morales, Isaac; García Molinos, Jorge; Schoeman, David S; Burrows, Michael T; Poloczanska, Elvira S; Brown, Christopher J; Ferrier, Simon; Harwood, Tom D; Klein, Carissa J; McDonald-Madden, Eve; Moore, Pippa J; Pandolfi, John M; Watson, James E M; Wenger, Amelia S; Richardson, Anthony J

    2018-06-01

    Climate change is shifting the ranges of species. Simple predictive metrics of range shifts such as climate velocity, that do not require extensive knowledge or data on individual species, could help to guide conservation. We review research on climate velocity, describing the theory underpinning the concept and its assumptions. We highlight how climate velocity has already been applied in conservation-related research, including climate residence time, climate refugia, endemism, historic and projected range shifts, exposure to climate change, and climate connectivity. Finally, we discuss ways to enhance the use of climate velocity in conservation through tailoring it to be more biologically meaningful, informing design of protected areas, conserving ocean biodiversity in 3D, and informing conservation actions. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Environmental Performance Information Use by Conservation Agency Staff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wardropper, Chloe Bradley

    2018-04-01

    Performance-based conservation has long been recognized as crucial to improving program effectiveness, particularly when environmental conditions are dynamic. Yet few studies have investigated the use of environmental performance information by staff of conservation organizations. This article identifies attitudinal, policy and organizational factors influencing the use of a type of performance information—water quality information—by Soil and Water Conservation District staff in the Upper Mississippi River Basin region. An online survey ( n = 277) revealed a number of important variables associated with greater information use. Variables included employees' prosocial motivation, or the belief that they helped people and natural resources through their job, the perceived trustworthiness of data, the presence of a U.S. Clean Water Act Total Maximum Daily Load standard designation, and staff discretion to prioritize programs locally. Conservation programs that retain motivated staff and provide them the resources and flexibility to plan and evaluate their work with environmental data may increase conservation effectiveness under changing conditions.

  14. Inferring repeat-protein energetics from evolutionary information.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rocío Espada

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Natural protein sequences contain a record of their history. A common constraint in a given protein family is the ability to fold to specific structures, and it has been shown possible to infer the main native ensemble by analyzing covariations in extant sequences. Still, many natural proteins that fold into the same structural topology show different stabilization energies, and these are often related to their physiological behavior. We propose a description for the energetic variation given by sequence modifications in repeat proteins, systems for which the overall problem is simplified by their inherent symmetry. We explicitly account for single amino acid and pair-wise interactions and treat higher order correlations with a single term. We show that the resulting evolutionary field can be interpreted with structural detail. We trace the variations in the energetic scores of natural proteins and relate them to their experimental characterization. The resulting energetic evolutionary field allows the prediction of the folding free energy change for several mutants, and can be used to generate synthetic sequences that are statistically indistinguishable from the natural counterparts.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiancheng Liu

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polzikov, Mikhail; Zatsepina, Olga; Magoulas, Charalambos

    2005-01-01

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

  18. Accounting for results: how conservation organizations report performance information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rissman, Adena R; Smail, Robert

    2015-04-01

    Environmental program performance information is in high demand, but little research suggests why conservation organizations differ in reporting performance information. We compared performance measurement and reporting by four private-land conservation organizations: Partners for Fish and Wildlife in the US Fish and Wildlife Service (national government), Forest Stewardship Council-US (national nonprofit organization), Land and Water Conservation Departments (local government), and land trusts (local nonprofit organization). We asked: (1) How did the pattern of performance reporting relationships vary across organizations? (2) Was political conflict among organizations' principals associated with greater performance information? and (3) Did performance information provide evidence of program effectiveness? Based on our typology of performance information, we found that most organizations reported output measures such as land area or number of contracts, some reported outcome indicators such as adherence to performance standards, but few modeled or measured environmental effects. Local government Land and Water Conservation Departments reported the most types of performance information, while local land trusts reported the fewest. The case studies suggest that governance networks influence the pattern and type of performance reporting, that goal conflict among principles is associated with greater performance information, and that performance information provides unreliable causal evidence of program effectiveness. Challenging simple prescriptions to generate more data as evidence, this analysis suggests (1) complex institutional and political contexts for environmental program performance and (2) the need to supplement performance measures with in-depth evaluations that can provide causal inferences about program effectiveness.

  19. Trading in markets with noisy information: an evolutionary analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloembergen, Daan; Hennes, Daniel; McBurney, Peter; Tuyls, Karl

    2015-07-01

    We analyse the value of information in a stock market where information can be noisy and costly, using techniques from empirical game theory. Previous work has shown that the value of information follows a J-curve, where averagely informed traders perform below market average, and only insiders prevail. Here we show that both noise and cost can change this picture, in several cases leading to opposite results where insiders perform below market average, and averagely informed traders prevail. Moreover, we investigate the effect of random explorative actions on the market dynamics, showing how these lead to a mix of traders being sustained in equilibrium. These results provide insight into the complexity of real marketplaces, and show under which conditions a broad mix of different trading strategies might be sustainable.

  20. Evolutionary conservation of the lipopolysaccharide binding site of β₂-glycoprotein I

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ağar, Çetin; de Groot, Philip G.; Marquart, J. Arnoud; Meijers, Joost C. M.

    2011-01-01

    β₂-Glycoprotein I (β₂GPI) is a highly abundant plasma protein and the major antigen for autoantibodies in the antiphospholipid syndrome. Recently, we have described a novel function of β₂GPI as scavenger of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). With this in mind we investigated the conservation of β₂GPI in

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Evolving spectral transformations for multitemporal information extraction using evolutionary computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momm, Henrique; Easson, Greg

    2011-01-01

    Remote sensing plays an important role in assessing temporal changes in land features. The challenge often resides in the conversion of large quantities of raw data into actionable information in a timely and cost-effective fashion. To address this issue, research was undertaken to develop an innovative methodology integrating biologically-inspired algorithms with standard image classification algorithms to improve information extraction from multitemporal imagery. Genetic programming was used as the optimization engine to evolve feature-specific candidate solutions in the form of nonlinear mathematical expressions of the image spectral channels (spectral indices). The temporal generalization capability of the proposed system was evaluated by addressing the task of building rooftop identification from a set of images acquired at different dates in a cross-validation approach. The proposed system generates robust solutions (kappa values > 0.75 for stage 1 and > 0.4 for stage 2) despite the statistical differences between the scenes caused by land use and land cover changes coupled with variable environmental conditions, and the lack of radiometric calibration between images. Based on our results, the use of nonlinear spectral indices enhanced the spectral differences between features improving the clustering capability of standard classifiers and providing an alternative solution for multitemporal information extraction.

  3. Preservation and conservation of electronic information resources of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The major holdings of the broadcast libraries of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) are electronic information resources; therefore, providing safe places for general management of these resources have aroused interest in the industry in Nigeria for sometimes. The need to study the preservation and conservation of ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. A phylogenetic study of SPBP and RAI1: evolutionary conservation of chromatin binding modules.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sagar Darvekar

    Full Text Available Our genome is assembled into and array of highly dynamic nucleosome structures allowing spatial and temporal access to DNA. The nucleosomes are subject to a wide array of post-translational modifications, altering the DNA-histone interaction and serving as docking sites for proteins exhibiting effector or "reader" modules. The nuclear proteins SPBP and RAI1 are composed of several putative "reader" modules which may have ability to recognise a set of histone modification marks. Here we have performed a phylogenetic study of their putative reader modules, the C-terminal ePHD/ADD like domain, a novel nucleosome binding region and an AT-hook motif. Interactions studies in vitro and in yeast cells suggested that despite the extraordinary long loop region in their ePHD/ADD-like chromatin binding domains, the C-terminal region of both proteins seem to adopt a cross-braced topology of zinc finger interactions similar to other structurally determined ePHD/ADD structures. Both their ePHD/ADD-like domain and their novel nucleosome binding domain are highly conserved in vertebrate evolution, and construction of a phylogenetic tree displayed two well supported clusters representing SPBP and RAI1, respectively. Their genome and domain organisation suggest that SPBP and RAI1 have occurred from a gene duplication event. The phylogenetic tree suggests that this duplication has happened early in vertebrate evolution, since only one gene was identified in insects and lancelet. Finally, experimental data confirm that the conserved novel nucleosome binding region of RAI1 has the ability to bind the nucleosome core and histones. However, an adjacent conserved AT-hook motif as identified in SPBP is not present in RAI1, and deletion of the novel nucleosome binding region of RAI1 did not significantly affect its nuclear localisation.

  8. Drug-target interaction prediction from PSSM based evolutionary information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mousavian, Zaynab; Khakabimamaghani, Sahand; Kavousi, Kaveh; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali

    2016-01-01

    The labor-intensive and expensive experimental process of drug-target interaction prediction has motivated many researchers to focus on in silico prediction, which leads to the helpful information in supporting the experimental interaction data. Therefore, they have proposed several computational approaches for discovering new drug-target interactions. Several learning-based methods have been increasingly developed which can be categorized into two main groups: similarity-based and feature-based. In this paper, we firstly use the bi-gram features extracted from the Position Specific Scoring Matrix (PSSM) of proteins in predicting drug-target interactions. Our results demonstrate the high-confidence prediction ability of the Bigram-PSSM model in terms of several performance indicators specifically for enzymes and ion channels. Moreover, we investigate the impact of negative selection strategy on the performance of the prediction, which is not widely taken into account in the other relevant studies. This is important, as the number of non-interacting drug-target pairs are usually extremely large in comparison with the number of interacting ones in existing drug-target interaction data. An interesting observation is that different levels of performance reduction have been attained for four datasets when we change the sampling method from the random sampling to the balanced sampling. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-23

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Evolutionary conservation of the polyproline II conformation surrounding intrinsically disordered phosphorylation sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elam, W Austin; Schrank, Travis P; Campagnolo, Andrew J; Hilser, Vincent J

    2013-04-01

    Intrinsically disordered (ID) proteins function in the absence of a unique stable structure and appear to challenge the classic structure-function paradigm. The extent to which ID proteins take advantage of subtle conformational biases to perform functions, and whether signals for such mechanism can be identified in proteome-wide studies is not well understood. Of particular interest is the polyproline II (PII) conformation, suggested to be highly populated in unfolded proteins. We experimentally determine a complete calorimetric propensity scale for the PII conformation. Projection of the scale into representative eukaryotic proteomes reveals significant PII bias in regions coding for ID proteins. Importantly, enrichment of PII in ID proteins, or protein segments, is also captured by other PII scales, indicating that this enrichment is robustly encoded and universally detectable regardless of the method of PII propensity determination. Gene ontology (GO) terms obtained using our PII scale and other scales demonstrate a consensus for molecular functions performed by high PII proteins across the proteome. Perhaps the most striking result of the GO analysis is conserved enrichment (P ontology reveals an enrichment of PII bias near disordered phosphorylation sites that is conserved throughout eukaryotes. Copyright © 2013 The Protein Society.

  14. An Evolutionary-Conserved Function of Mammalian Notch Family Members as Cell Adhesion Molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murata, Akihiko; Yoshino, Miya; Hikosaka, Mari; Okuyama, Kazuki; Zhou, Lan; Sakano, Seiji; Yagita, Hideo; Hayashi, Shin-Ichi

    2014-01-01

    Notch family members were first identified as cell adhesion molecules by cell aggregation assays in Drosophila studies. However, they are generally recognized as signaling molecules, and it was unclear if their adhesion function was restricted to Drosophila. We previously demonstrated that a mouse Notch ligand, Delta-like 1 (Dll1) functioned as a cell adhesion molecule. We here investigated whether this adhesion function was conserved in the diversified mammalian Notch ligands consisted of two families, Delta-like (Dll1, Dll3 and Dll4) and Jagged (Jag1 and Jag2). The forced expression of mouse Dll1, Dll4, Jag1, and Jag2, but not Dll3, on stromal cells induced the rapid and enhanced adhesion of cultured mast cells (MCs). This was attributed to the binding of Notch1 and Notch2 on MCs to each Notch ligand on the stromal cells themselves, and not the activation of Notch signaling. Notch receptor-ligand binding strongly supported the tethering of MCs to stromal cells, the first step of cell adhesion. However, the Jag2-mediated adhesion of MCs was weaker and unlike other ligands appeared to require additional factor(s) in addition to the receptor-ligand binding. Taken together, these results demonstrated that the function of cell adhesion was conserved in mammalian as well as Drosophila Notch family members. Since Notch receptor-ligand interaction plays important roles in a broad spectrum of biological processes ranging from embryogenesis to disorders, our finding will provide a new perspective on these issues from the aspect of cell adhesion. PMID:25255288

  15. Evolutionary history and identification of conservation units in the giant otter, Pteronura brasiliensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickles, R S A; Groombridge, J J; Zambrana Rojas, V D; Van Damme, P; Gottelli, D; Kundu, S; Bodmer, R; Ariani, C V; Iyengar, A; Jordan, W C

    2011-12-01

    The giant otter, Pteronura brasiliensis, occupies a range including the major drainage basins of South America, yet the degree of structure that exists within and among populations inhabiting these drainages is unknown. We sequenced portions of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cytochrome b (612bp) and control region (383 bp) genes in order to determine patterns of genetic variation within the species. We found high levels of mtDNA haplotype diversity (h = 0.93 overall) and support for subdivision into four distinct groups of populations, representing important centers of genetic diversity and useful units for prioritizing conservation within the giant otter. We tested these results against the predictions of three hypotheses of Amazonian diversification (Pleistocene Refugia, Paleogeography, and Hydrogeology). While the phylogeographic pattern conformed to the predictions of the Refugia Hypothesis, molecular dating using a relaxed clock revealed the phylogroups diverged from one another between 1.69 and 0.84 Ma, ruling out the influence of Late Pleistocene glacial refugia. However, the role of Plio-Pleistocene climate change could not be rejected. While the molecular dating also makes the influence of geological arches according to the Paleogeography Hypothesis extremely unlikely, the recent Pliocene formation of the Fitzcarrald Arch and its effect of subsequently altering drainage pattern could not be rejected. The data presented here support the interactions of both climatic and hydrological changes resulting from geological activity in the Plio-Pleistocene, in shaping the phylogeographic structure of the giant otter. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Evolutionary conservation of nuclear and nucleolar targeting sequences in yeast ribosomal protein S6A

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lipsius, Edgar; Walter, Korden; Leicher, Torsten; Phlippen, Wolfgang; Bisotti, Marc-Angelo; Kruppa, Joachim

    2005-01-01

    Over 1 billion years ago, the animal kingdom diverged from the fungi. Nevertheless, a high sequence homology of 62% exists between human ribosomal protein S6 and S6A of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To investigate whether this similarity in primary structure is mirrored in corresponding functional protein domains, the nuclear and nucleolar targeting signals were delineated in yeast S6A and compared to the known human S6 signals. The complete sequence of S6A and cDNA fragments was fused to the 5'-end of the LacZ gene, the constructs were transiently expressed in COS cells, and the subcellular localization of the fusion proteins was detected by indirect immunofluorescence. One bipartite and two monopartite nuclear localization signals as well as two nucleolar binding domains were identified in yeast S6A, which are located at homologous regions in human S6 protein. Remarkably, the number, nature, and position of these targeting signals have been conserved, albeit their amino acid sequences have presumably undergone a process of co-evolution with their corresponding rRNAs

  17. Evolutionary conservation of vertebrate notochord genes in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kugler, Jamie E; Passamaneck, Yale J; Feldman, Taya G; Beh, Jeni; Regnier, Todd W; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2008-11-01

    To reconstruct a minimum complement of notochord genes evolutionarily conserved across chordates, we scanned the Ciona intestinalis genome using the sequences of 182 genes reported to be expressed in the notochord of different vertebrates and identified 139 candidate notochord genes. For 66 of these Ciona genes expression data were already available, hence we analyzed the expression of the remaining 73 genes and found notochord expression for 20. The predicted products of the newly identified notochord genes range from the transcription factors Ci-XBPa and Ci-miER1 to extracellular matrix proteins. We examined the expression of the newly identified notochord genes in embryos ectopically expressing Ciona Brachyury (Ci-Bra) and in embryos expressing a repressor form of this transcription factor in the notochord, and we found that while a subset of the genes examined are clearly responsive to Ci-Bra, other genes are not affected by alterations in its levels. We provide a first description of notochord genes that are not evidently influenced by the ectopic expression of Ci-Bra and we propose alternative regulatory mechanisms that might control their transcription. Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaobo Fan

    2015-11-01

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

  3. 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

    discrete temporary glacial refugia. Our predictive climate niche models may inform strategies for further genetic research (e.g., sampling design) and conservation that promotes haplotype compatibility with projected changes in future climate.

  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

    temporary glacial refugia. Our predictive climate niche models may inform strategies for further genetic research (e.g., sampling design) and conservation that promotes haplotype compatibility with projected changes in future climate.

  5. 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

    with discrete temporary glacial refugia. Our predictive climate niche models may inform strategies for further genetic research (e.g., sampling design and conservation that promotes haplotype compatibility with projected changes in future climate.

  6. Reef sharks: recent advances in ecological understanding to inform conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osgood, G J; Baum, J K

    2015-12-01

    Sharks are increasingly being recognized as important members of coral-reef communities, but their overall conservation status remains uncertain. Nine of the 29 reef-shark species are designated as data deficient in the IUCN Red List, and three-fourths of reef sharks had unknown population trends at the time of their assessment. Fortunately, reef-shark research is on the rise. This new body of research demonstrates reef sharks' high site restriction, fidelity and residency on coral reefs, their broad trophic roles connecting reef communities and their high population genetic structure, all information that should be useful for their management and conservation. Importantly, recent studies on the abundance and population trends of the three classic carcharhinid reef sharks (grey reef shark Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos, blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus and whitetip reef shark Triaenodon obesus) may contribute to reassessments identifying them as more vulnerable than currently realized. Because over half of the research effort has focused on only these three reef sharks and the nurse shark Ginglymostoma cirratum in only a few locales, there remain large taxonomic and geographic gaps in reef-shark knowledge. As such, a large portion of reef-shark biodiversity remains uncharacterized despite needs for targeted research identified in their red list assessments. A research agenda for the future should integrate abundance, life history, trophic ecology, genetics, habitat use and movement studies, and expand the breadth of such research to understudied species and localities, in order to better understand the conservation requirements of these species and to motivate effective conservation solutions. © 2015 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  7. Estimation of body-size traits by photogrammetry in large mammals to inform conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Joel

    2012-10-01

    Photography, including remote imagery and camera traps, has contributed substantially to conservation. However, the potential to use photography to understand demography and inform policy is limited. To have practical value, remote assessments must be reasonably accurate and widely deployable. Prior efforts to develop noninvasive methods of estimating trait size have been motivated by a desire to answer evolutionary questions, measure physiological growth, or, in the case of illegal trade, assess economics of horn sizes; but rarely have such methods been directed at conservation. Here I demonstrate a simple, noninvasive photographic technique and address how knowledge of values of individual-specific metrics bears on conservation policy. I used 10 years of data on juvenile moose (Alces alces) to examine whether body size and probability of survival are positively correlated in cold climates. I investigated whether the presence of mothers improved juvenile survival. The posited latter relation is relevant to policy because harvest of adult females has been permitted in some Canadian and American jurisdictions under the assumption that probability of survival of young is independent of maternal presence. The accuracy of estimates of head sizes made from photographs exceeded 98%. The estimates revealed that overwinter juvenile survival had no relation to the juvenile's estimated mass (p < 0.64) and was more strongly associated with maternal presence (p < 0.02) than winter snow depth (p < 0.18). These findings highlight the effects on survival of a social dynamic (the mother-young association) rather than body size and suggest a change in harvest policy will increase survival. Furthermore, photographic imaging of growth of individual juvenile muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) over 3 Arctic winters revealed annual variability in size, which supports the idea that noninvasive monitoring may allow one to detect how some environmental conditions ultimately affect body growth.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Using complementary metrics to evaluate phylogenetic diversity can facilitate the delimitation of floristic units and conservation priority areas. In this study, we describe the spatial patterns of phylogenetic alpha and beta diversity, phylogenetic endemism, and evolutionary distinctiveness of the hyperdiverse Ecuador Amazon forests and define priority areas for conservation. We established a network of 62 one‐hectare plots in terra firme forests of Ecuadorian Amazon. In these plots...

  10. The single evolutionary origin of chlorinated auxin provides a phylogenetically informative trait in the Fabaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Hong Kiat; Ross, John J; McAdam, Erin L; McAdam, Scott A M

    2016-07-02

    Chlorinated auxin (4-chloroindole-3-acetic acid, 4-Cl-IAA), a highly potent plant hormone, was once thought to be restricted to species of the tribe Fabeae within the Fabaceae, until we recently detected this hormone in the seeds of Medicago, Melilotus and Trifolium species. The absence of 4-Cl-IAA in the seeds of the cultivated species Cicer aeritinum from the Cicerae tribe, immediately basal to the Fabeae and Trifolieae tribes, suggested a single evolutionary origin of 4-Cl-IAA. Here, we provide a more robust phylogenetic placement of the ability to produce chlorinated auxin by screening key species spanning this evolutionary transition. We report no detectable level of 4-Cl-IAA in Cicer echinospermum (a wild relative of C. aeritinum) and 4 species (Galega officinalis, Parochetus communis, Astragalus propinquus and A. sinicus) from tribes or clades more basal or sister to the Cicerae tribe. We did detect 4-Cl-IAA in the dry seeds of 4 species from the genus Ononis that are either basal to the genera Medicago, Melilotus and Trigonella or basal to, but still within, the Fabeae and Trifolieae (ex. Parochetus) clades. We conclude that the single evolutionary origin of this hormone in seeds can be used as a phylogenetically informative trait within the Fabaceae.

  11. 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 ...

  12. Incorporating phylogenetic information for the definition of floristic districts in hyper-diverse Amazon forests: implications for conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guevara, J.E.; Pitman, N.C.A.; ter Steege, H.; Mogollón, H.; Ceron, C.; Palacios, W.; Oleas, N.; Fine, P.V.A.

    2017-01-01

    Using complementary metrics to evaluate phylogenetic diversity can facilitate the delimitation of floristic units and conservation priority areas. In this study, we describe the spatial patterns of phylogenetic alpha and beta diversity, phylogenetic endemism, and evolutionary distinctiveness of the

  13. Impacts of Personal Experience: Informing Water Conservation Extension Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Pei-wen; Lamm, Alexa J.

    2017-01-01

    Extension educators have diligently educated the general public about water conservation. Incorporating audiences' personal experience into educational programming is recommended as an approach to effectively enhance audiences' adoption of water conservation practices. To ensure the impact on the audiences and environment, understanding the…

  14. Phylogeography of the Koala, (Phascolarctos cinereus), and Harmonising Data to Inform Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neaves, Linda E.; Frankham, Greta J.; Dennison, Siobhan; FitzGibbon, Sean; Flannagan, Cheyne; Gillett, Amber; Hynes, Emily; Handasyde, Kathrine; Helgen, Kristofer M.; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Greenwood, Alex D.; Eldridge, Mark D. B.; Johnson, Rebecca N.

    2016-01-01

    The Australian continent exhibits complex biogeographic patterns but studies of the impacts of Pleistocene climatic oscillation on the mesic environments of the Southern Hemisphere are limited. The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), one of Australia’s most iconic species, was historically widely distributed throughout much of eastern Australia but currently represents a complex conservation challenge. To better understand the challenges to koala genetic health, we assessed the phylogeographic history of the koala. Variation in the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Control Region (CR) was examined in 662 koalas sampled throughout their distribution. In addition, koala CR haplotypes accessioned to Genbank were evaluated and consolidated. A total of 53 unique CR haplotypes have been isolated from koalas to date (including 15 haplotypes novel to this study). The relationships among koala CR haplotypes were indicative of a single Evolutionary Significant Unit and do not support the recognition of subspecies, but were separated into four weakly differentiated lineages which correspond to three geographic clusters: a central lineage, a southern lineage and two northern lineages co-occurring north of Brisbane. The three geographic clusters were separated by known Pleistocene biogeographic barriers: the Brisbane River Valley and Clarence River Valley, although there was evidence of mixing amongst clusters. While there is evidence for historical connectivity, current koala populations exhibit greater structure, suggesting habitat fragmentation may have restricted female-mediated gene flow. Since mtDNA data informs conservation planning, we provide a summary of existing CR haplotypes, standardise nomenclature and make recommendations for future studies to harmonise existing datasets. This holistic approach is critical to ensuring management is effective and small scale local population studies can be integrated into a wider species context. PMID:27588685

  15. Phylogeography of the Koala, (Phascolarctos cinereus, and Harmonising Data to Inform Conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda E Neaves

    Full Text Available The Australian continent exhibits complex biogeographic patterns but studies of the impacts of Pleistocene climatic oscillation on the mesic environments of the Southern Hemisphere are limited. The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus, one of Australia's most iconic species, was historically widely distributed throughout much of eastern Australia but currently represents a complex conservation challenge. To better understand the challenges to koala genetic health, we assessed the phylogeographic history of the koala. Variation in the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA Control Region (CR was examined in 662 koalas sampled throughout their distribution. In addition, koala CR haplotypes accessioned to Genbank were evaluated and consolidated. A total of 53 unique CR haplotypes have been isolated from koalas to date (including 15 haplotypes novel to this study. The relationships among koala CR haplotypes were indicative of a single Evolutionary Significant Unit and do not support the recognition of subspecies, but were separated into four weakly differentiated lineages which correspond to three geographic clusters: a central lineage, a southern lineage and two northern lineages co-occurring north of Brisbane. The three geographic clusters were separated by known Pleistocene biogeographic barriers: the Brisbane River Valley and Clarence River Valley, although there was evidence of mixing amongst clusters. While there is evidence for historical connectivity, current koala populations exhibit greater structure, suggesting habitat fragmentation may have restricted female-mediated gene flow. Since mtDNA data informs conservation planning, we provide a summary of existing CR haplotypes, standardise nomenclature and make recommendations for future studies to harmonise existing datasets. This holistic approach is critical to ensuring management is effective and small scale local population studies can be integrated into a wider species context.

  16. Phylogeography of the Koala, (Phascolarctos cinereus), and Harmonising Data to Inform Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neaves, Linda E; Frankham, Greta J; Dennison, Siobhan; FitzGibbon, Sean; Flannagan, Cheyne; Gillett, Amber; Hynes, Emily; Handasyde, Kathrine; Helgen, Kristofer M; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Greenwood, Alex D; Eldridge, Mark D B; Johnson, Rebecca N

    2016-01-01

    The Australian continent exhibits complex biogeographic patterns but studies of the impacts of Pleistocene climatic oscillation on the mesic environments of the Southern Hemisphere are limited. The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), one of Australia's most iconic species, was historically widely distributed throughout much of eastern Australia but currently represents a complex conservation challenge. To better understand the challenges to koala genetic health, we assessed the phylogeographic history of the koala. Variation in the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Control Region (CR) was examined in 662 koalas sampled throughout their distribution. In addition, koala CR haplotypes accessioned to Genbank were evaluated and consolidated. A total of 53 unique CR haplotypes have been isolated from koalas to date (including 15 haplotypes novel to this study). The relationships among koala CR haplotypes were indicative of a single Evolutionary Significant Unit and do not support the recognition of subspecies, but were separated into four weakly differentiated lineages which correspond to three geographic clusters: a central lineage, a southern lineage and two northern lineages co-occurring north of Brisbane. The three geographic clusters were separated by known Pleistocene biogeographic barriers: the Brisbane River Valley and Clarence River Valley, although there was evidence of mixing amongst clusters. While there is evidence for historical connectivity, current koala populations exhibit greater structure, suggesting habitat fragmentation may have restricted female-mediated gene flow. Since mtDNA data informs conservation planning, we provide a summary of existing CR haplotypes, standardise nomenclature and make recommendations for future studies to harmonise existing datasets. This holistic approach is critical to ensuring management is effective and small scale local population studies can be integrated into a wider species context.

  17. 78 FR 12349 - Proposed Information Collection; Land and Water Conservation Fund State Assistance Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-22

    ...] Proposed Information Collection; Land and Water Conservation Fund State Assistance Program AGENCY: National.... Abstract The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (LWCF Act) (16 U.S.C. 460l-4 et seq.) was enacted... discussed in detail in the Land and Water Conservation Fund State Assistance Program Federal Financial...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  19. Amphibian molecular ecology and how it has informed conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2015-10-01

    Molecular ecology has become one of the key tools in the modern conservationist's kit. Here we review three areas where molecular ecology has been applied to amphibian conservation: genes on landscapes, within-population processes, and genes that matter. We summarize relevant analytical methods, recent important studies from the amphibian literature, and conservation implications for each section. Finally, we include five in-depth examples of how molecular ecology has been successfully applied to specific amphibian systems. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  1. The value of information in conservation planning: Selecting retention trees for lichen conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karin Perhans; Robert G. Haight; Lena Gustafsson

    2014-01-01

    Conservation planning studies at small scales such as forest stands and below are uncommon. However, for retention forestry, developed during the last two decades and with current wide and increasing application in boreal and temperate regions, the need for cost-effective selection of individual trees is evident. In retention forestry certain trees are left at final...

  2. How Should Beta-Diversity Inform Biodiversity Conservation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Socolar, Jacob B; Gilroy, James J; Kunin, William E; Edwards, David P

    2016-01-01

    To design robust protected area networks, accurately measure species losses, or understand the processes that maintain species diversity, conservation science must consider the organization of biodiversity in space. Central is beta-diversity--the component of regional diversity that accumulates from compositional differences between local species assemblages. We review how beta-diversity is impacted by human activities, including farming, selective logging, urbanization, species invasions, overhunting, and climate change. Beta-diversity increases, decreases, or remains unchanged by these impacts, depending on the balance of processes that cause species composition to become more different (biotic heterogenization) or more similar (biotic homogenization) between sites. While maintaining high beta-diversity is not always a desirable conservation outcome, understanding beta-diversity is essential for protecting regional diversity and can directly assist conservation planning. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Prediction of vitamin interacting residues in a vitamin binding protein using evolutionary information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panwar, Bharat; Gupta, Sudheer; Raghava, Gajendra P S

    2013-02-07

    .81 for VIRs, VAIRs, VBIRs, PLPIRs respectively, using PSSM-based evolutionary information. All the modules developed in this study have been trained and tested on non-redundant datasets and evaluated using five-fold cross-validation technique. The performances were also evaluated on the balanced and different independent datasets. This study demonstrates that it is possible to predict VIRs, VAIRs, VBIRs and PLPIRs from evolutionary information of protein sequence. In order to provide service to the scientific community, we have developed web-server and standalone software VitaPred (http://crdd.osdd.net/raghava/vitapred/).

  4. Beyond the Pleistocene: Using Phylogeny and Constraint to Inform the Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwick, Paul W.

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary psychologists explore the adaptive function of traits and behaviors that characterize modern Homo sapiens. However, evolutionary psychologists have yet to incorporate the phylogenetic relationship between modern Homo sapiens and humans' hominid and pongid relatives (both living and extinct) into their theorizing. By considering the…

  5. Conservation genetics of the genus Martes: Assessing within-species movements, units to conserve, and connectivity across ecological and evolutionary time [Chapter 17

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael K. Schwartz; Aritz Ruiz-Gonzalez; Ryuchi Masuda; Cino Pertoldi

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the physical and temporal factors that structure Martes populations is essential to the conservation and management of the 8 recognized Martes species. Recently, advances in 3 distinct subdisciplines in molecular ecology have provided insights into historical and contemporary environmental factors that have created population substructure and influenced...

  6. Ensemble Architecture for Prediction of Enzyme-ligand Binding Residues Using Evolutionary Information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pai, Priyadarshini P; Dattatreya, Rohit Kadam; Mondal, Sukanta

    2017-11-01

    Enzyme interactions with ligands are crucial for various biochemical reactions governing life. Over many years attempts to identify these residues for biotechnological manipulations have been made using experimental and computational techniques. The computational approaches have gathered impetus with the accruing availability of sequence and structure information, broadly classified into template-based and de novo methods. One of the predominant de novo methods using sequence information involves application of biological properties for supervised machine learning. Here, we propose a support vector machines-based ensemble for prediction of protein-ligand interacting residues using one of the most important discriminative contributing properties in the interacting residue neighbourhood, i. e., evolutionary information in the form of position-specific- scoring matrix (PSSM). The study has been performed on a non-redundant dataset comprising of 9269 interacting and 91773 non-interacting residues for prediction model generation and further evaluation. Of the various PSSM-based models explored, the proposed method named ROBBY (pRediction Of Biologically relevant small molecule Binding residues on enzYmes) shows an accuracy of 84.0 %, Matthews Correlation Coefficient of 0.343 and F-measure of 39.0 % on 78 test enzymes. Further, scope of adding domain knowledge such as pocket information has also been investigated; results showed significant enhancement in method precision. Findings are hoped to boost the reliability of small-molecule ligand interaction prediction for enzyme applications and drug design. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  7. Using genomic information to conserve genetic diversity in livestock

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eynard, Sonia E.

    2018-01-01

    Concern about the status of livestock breeds and their conservation has increased as selection and small population sizes caused loss of genetic diversity. Meanwhile, dense SNP chips and whole genome sequences (WGS) became available, providing opportunities to accurately quantify the impact of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haddley Kate

    2011-05-01

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

  10. Annotating the protein-RNA interaction sites in proteins using evolutionary information and protein backbone structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Tao; Li, Qian-Zhong

    2012-11-07

    RNA-protein interactions play important roles in various biological processes. The precise detection of RNA-protein interaction sites is very important for understanding essential biological processes and annotating the function of the proteins. In this study, based on various features from amino acid sequence and structure, including evolutionary information, solvent accessible surface area and torsion angles (φ, ψ) in the backbone structure of the polypeptide chain, a computational method for predicting RNA-binding sites in proteins is proposed. When the method is applied to predict RNA-binding sites in three datasets: RBP86 containing 86 protein chains, RBP107 containing 107 proteins chains and RBP109 containing 109 proteins chains, better sensitivities and specificities are obtained compared to previously published methods in five-fold cross-validation tests. In order to make further examination for the efficiency of our method, the RBP107 dataset is used as training set, RBP86 and RBP109 datasets are used as the independent test sets. In addition, as examples of our prediction, RNA-binding sites in a few proteins are presented. The annotated results are consistent with the PDB annotation. These results show that our method is useful for annotating RNA binding sites of novel proteins.

  11. Fine-resolution conservation planning with limited climate-change information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Payal; Mallory, Mindy L; Ando, Amy W; Guntenspergen, Glenn R

    2017-04-01

    Climate-change induced uncertainties in future spatial patterns of conservation-related outcomes make it difficult to implement standard conservation-planning paradigms. A recent study translates Markowitz's risk-diversification strategy from finance to conservation settings, enabling conservation agents to use this diversification strategy for allocating conservation and restoration investments across space to minimize the risk associated with such uncertainty. However, this method is information intensive and requires a large number of forecasts of ecological outcomes associated with possible climate-change scenarios for carrying out fine-resolution conservation planning. We developed a technique for iterative, spatial portfolio analysis that can be used to allocate scarce conservation resources across a desired level of subregions in a planning landscape in the absence of a sufficient number of ecological forecasts. We applied our technique to the Prairie Pothole Region in central North America. A lack of sufficient future climate information prevented attainment of the most efficient risk-return conservation outcomes in the Prairie Pothole Region. The difference in expected conservation returns between conservation planning with limited climate-change information and full climate-change information was as large as 30% for the Prairie Pothole Region even when the most efficient iterative approach was used. However, our iterative approach allowed finer resolution portfolio allocation with limited climate-change forecasts such that the best possible risk-return combinations were obtained. With our most efficient iterative approach, the expected loss in conservation outcomes owing to limited climate-change information could be reduced by 17% relative to other iterative approaches. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. How cultural evolutionary theory can inform social psychology and vice versa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesoudi, Alex

    2009-10-01

    Cultural evolutionary theory is an interdisciplinary field in which human culture is viewed as a Darwinian process of variation, competition, and inheritance, and the tools, methods, and theories developed by evolutionary biologists to study genetic evolution are adapted to study cultural change. It is argued here that an integration of the theories and findings of mainstream social psychology and of cultural evolutionary theory can be mutually beneficial. Social psychology provides cultural evolution with a set of empirically verified microevolutionary cultural processes, such as conformity, model-based biases, and content biases, that are responsible for specific patterns of cultural change. Cultural evolutionary theory provides social psychology with ultimate explanations for, and an understanding of the population-level consequences of, many social psychological phenomena, such as social learning, conformity, social comparison, and intergroup processes, as well as linking social psychology with other social science disciplines such as cultural anthropology, archaeology, and sociology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandien, K; Sommer, R J

    2001-08-15

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

  14. Prediction of vitamin interacting residues in a vitamin binding protein using evolutionary information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panwar Bharat

    2013-02-01

    obtained highest MCC of 0.53, 0.48, 0.61, 0.81 for VIRs, VAIRs, VBIRs, PLPIRs respectively, using PSSM-based evolutionary information. All the modules developed in this study have been trained and tested on non-redundant datasets and evaluated using five-fold cross-validation technique. The performances were also evaluated on the balanced and different independent datasets. Conclusions This study demonstrates that it is possible to predict VIRs, VAIRs, VBIRs and PLPIRs from evolutionary information of protein sequence. In order to provide service to the scientific community, we have developed web-server and standalone software VitaPred (http://crdd.osdd.net/raghava/vitapred/.

  15. 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.

  16. 78 FR 28619 - Proposed Information Collection; Fish and Wildlife Service Conservation Banking Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-15

    ...-FF09E31000] Proposed Information Collection; Fish and Wildlife Service Conservation Banking Survey AGENCY... banking credits. The surveys will benefit the Service by helping to identify constraints in the current... Number: 1018-XXXX. This is a new collection. Title: Fish and Wildlife Service Conservation Banking Survey...

  17. The Modern History of Energy Conservation: An Overview for Information Professionals

    OpenAIRE

    Wulfinghoff, Donald R.

    2000-01-01

    The current electricity crisis in California, along with high petroleum and natural gas prices everywhere, reminds us that energy conservation is a key to our survival as a civilization. This critical guide by the author of the Energy Efficiency Manual presents credible information sources on energy conservation.

  18. Nonlocality versus complementarity: a conservative approach to the information problem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giddings, Steven B

    2011-01-01

    A proposal for resolution of the information paradox is that 'nice slice' states, which have been viewed as providing a sharp argument for information loss, do not in fact do so as they do not give a fully accurate description of the quantum state of a black hole. This however leaves an information problem, which is to provide a consistent description of how information escapes when a black hole evaporates. While a rather extreme form of nonlocality has been advocated in the form of complementarity, this paper argues that is not necessary, and more modest nonlocality could solve the information problem. One possible distinguishing characteristic of scenarios is the information retention time. The question of whether such nonlocality implies acausality, and particularly inconsistency, is briefly addressed. The need for such nonlocality, and its apparent tension with our empirical observations of local quantum field theory, may be a critical missing piece in understanding the principles of quantum gravity.

  19. Metabolic rates of giant pandas inform conservation strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei, Yuxiang; Hou, Rong; Spotila, James R.; Paladino, Frank V.; Qi, Dunwu; Zhang, Zhihe

    2016-01-01

    The giant panda is an icon of conservation and survived a large-scale bamboo die off in the 1980s in China. Captive breeding programs have produced a large population in zoos and efforts continue to reintroduce those animals into the wild. However, we lack sufficient knowledge of their physiological ecology to determine requirements for survival now and in the face of climate change. We measured resting and active metabolic rates of giant pandas in order to determine if current bamboo resources were sufficient for adding additional animals to populations in natural reserves. Resting metabolic rates were somewhat below average for a panda sized mammal and active metabolic rates were in the normal range. Pandas do not have exceptionally low metabolic rates. Nevertheless, there is enough bamboo in natural reserves to support both natural populations and large numbers of reintroduced pandas. Bamboo will not be the limiting factor in successful reintroduction. PMID:27264109

  20. Metabolic rates of giant pandas inform conservation strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei, Yuxiang; Hou, Rong; Spotila, James R.; Paladino, Frank V.; Qi, Dunwu; Zhang, Zhihe

    2016-06-01

    The giant panda is an icon of conservation and survived a large-scale bamboo die off in the 1980s in China. Captive breeding programs have produced a large population in zoos and efforts continue to reintroduce those animals into the wild. However, we lack sufficient knowledge of their physiological ecology to determine requirements for survival now and in the face of climate change. We measured resting and active metabolic rates of giant pandas in order to determine if current bamboo resources were sufficient for adding additional animals to populations in natural reserves. Resting metabolic rates were somewhat below average for a panda sized mammal and active metabolic rates were in the normal range. Pandas do not have exceptionally low metabolic rates. Nevertheless, there is enough bamboo in natural reserves to support both natural populations and large numbers of reintroduced pandas. Bamboo will not be the limiting factor in successful reintroduction.

  1. The Automatic Conservative: Ideology-Based Attentional Asymmetries in the Processing of Valenced Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carraro, Luciana; Castelli, Luigi; Macchiella, Claudia

    2011-01-01

    Research has widely explored the differences between conservatives and liberals, and it has been also recently demonstrated that conservatives display different reactions toward valenced stimuli. However, previous studies have not yet fully illuminated the cognitive underpinnings of these differences. In the current work, we argued that political ideology is related to selective attention processes, so that negative stimuli are more likely to automatically grab the attention of conservatives as compared to liberals. In Experiment 1, we demonstrated that negative (vs. positive) information impaired the performance of conservatives, more than liberals, in an Emotional Stroop Task. This finding was confirmed in Experiment 2 and in Experiment 3 employing a Dot-Probe Task, demonstrating that threatening stimuli were more likely to attract the attention of conservatives. Overall, results support the conclusion that people embracing conservative views of the world display an automatic selective attention for negative stimuli. PMID:22096486

  2. Divergent evolutionary rates in vertebrate and mammalian specific conserved non-coding elements (CNEs) in echolocating mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Kalina T J; Tsagkogeorga, Georgia; Rossiter, Stephen J

    2014-12-19

    The majority of DNA contained within vertebrate genomes is non-coding, with a certain proportion of this thought to play regulatory roles during development. Conserved Non-coding Elements (CNEs) are an abundant group of putative regulatory sequences that are highly conserved across divergent groups and thus assumed to be under strong selective constraint. Many CNEs may contain regulatory factor binding sites, and their frequent spatial association with key developmental genes - such as those regulating sensory system development - suggests crucial roles in regulating gene expression and cellular patterning. Yet surprisingly little is known about the molecular evolution of CNEs across diverse mammalian taxa or their role in specific phenotypic adaptations. We examined 3,110 vertebrate-specific and ~82,000 mammalian-specific CNEs across 19 and 9 mammalian orders respectively, and tested for changes in the rate of evolution of CNEs located in the proximity of genes underlying the development or functioning of auditory systems. As we focused on CNEs putatively associated with genes underlying the development/functioning of auditory systems, we incorporated echolocating taxa in our dataset because of their highly specialised and derived auditory systems. Phylogenetic reconstructions of concatenated CNEs broadly recovered accepted mammal relationships despite high levels of sequence conservation. We found that CNE substitution rates were highest in rodents and lowest in primates, consistent with previous findings. Comparisons of CNE substitution rates from several genomic regions containing genes linked to auditory system development and hearing revealed differences between echolocating and non-echolocating taxa. Wider taxonomic sampling of four CNEs associated with the homeobox genes Hmx2 and Hmx3 - which are required for inner ear development - revealed family-wise variation across diverse bat species. Specifically within one family of echolocating bats that utilise

  3. 77 FR 74168 - Information Collection: Youth Conservation Corps Application and Medical History

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-13

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Information Collection: Youth Conservation Corps...-1706), the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; the Fish and Wildlife Service, and National... of birth, age, mailing address, telephone numbers, email address, gender, educational background...

  4. 75 FR 66119 - Proposed Information Collection; International Conservation Grant Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-27

    ... Species, and Amphibians in Decline). Currently, information that we collect for Critically Endangered... collection for Amphibians in Decline grants is approved under OMB Control No. 1018-0144, which expires...

  5. Evolutionary Expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, Ulrik William

    2014-01-01

    , 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...... cognitive bounds will perceive business opportunities identically. In addition, because cues provide information about latent causal structures of the environment, changes in causality must be accompanied by changes in cognitive representations if adaptation is to be maintained. The concept of evolutionary......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...

  6. Rice DB: an Oryza Information Portal linking annotation, subcellular location, function, expression, regulation, and evolutionary information for rice and Arabidopsis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narsai, Reena; Devenish, James; Castleden, Ian; Narsai, Kabir; Xu, Lin; Shou, Huixia; Whelan, James

    2013-12-01

    Omics research in Oryza sativa (rice) relies on the use of multiple databases to obtain different types of information to define gene function. We present Rice DB, an Oryza information portal that is a functional genomics database, linking gene loci to comprehensive annotations, expression data and the subcellular location of encoded proteins. Rice DB has been designed to integrate the direct comparison of rice with Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), based on orthology or 'expressology', thus using and combining available information from two pre-eminent plant models. To establish Rice DB, gene identifiers (more than 40 types) and annotations from a variety of sources were compiled, functional information based on large-scale and individual studies was manually collated, hundreds of microarrays were analysed to generate expression annotations, and the occurrences of potential functional regulatory motifs in promoter regions were calculated. A range of computational subcellular localization predictions were also run for all putative proteins encoded in the rice genome, and experimentally confirmed protein localizations have been collated, curated and linked to functional studies in rice. A single search box allows anything from gene identifiers (for rice and/or Arabidopsis), motif sequences, subcellular location, to keyword searches to be entered, with the capability of Boolean searches (such as AND/OR). To demonstrate the utility of Rice DB, several examples are presented including a rice mitochondrial proteome, which draws on a variety of sources for subcellular location data within Rice DB. Comparisons of subcellular location, functional annotations, as well as transcript expression in parallel with Arabidopsis reveals examples of conservation between rice and Arabidopsis, using Rice DB (http://ricedb.plantenergy.uwa.edu.au). © 2013 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. The conservation and dissemination of information - A democratic issue

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torbacke, J.

    1996-01-01

    The societal function of the historians are pointed out, to describe and explain, in cooperation with the archives, the chain of political, economic, social and cultural events that has shaped the country's history. The lessons of the past, whether pleasant or unpleasant, should be passed on to the posterity. Open information is an important element in a democratic society and is normally one of the criteria that distinguishes democracy from autocracy. In the closed and controlled information society all that is hushed up and covered up leads to bitterness and rage among the citizens

  9. The conservation and dissemination of information - A democratic issue

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torbacke, J [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of History

    1996-12-01

    The societal function of the historians are pointed out, to describe and explain, in cooperation with the archives, the chain of political, economic, social and cultural events that has shaped the country`s history. The lessons of the past, whether pleasant or unpleasant, should be passed on to the posterity. Open information is an important element in a democratic society and is normally one of the criteria that distinguishes democracy from autocracy. In the closed and controlled information society all that is hushed up and covered up leads to bitterness and rage among the citizens.

  10. Fine‐resolution conservation planning with limited climate‐change information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Payal; Mallory, Mindy L.; Ando , Amy W.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2017-01-01

    Climate‐change induced uncertainties in future spatial patterns of conservation‐related outcomes make it difficult to implement standard conservation‐planning paradigms. A recent study translates Markowitz's risk‐diversification strategy from finance to conservation settings, enabling conservation agents to use this diversification strategy for allocating conservation and restoration investments across space to minimize the risk associated with such uncertainty. However, this method is information intensive and requires a large number of forecasts of ecological outcomes associated with possible climate‐change scenarios for carrying out fine‐resolution conservation planning. We developed a technique for iterative, spatial portfolio analysis that can be used to allocate scarce conservation resources across a desired level of subregions in a planning landscape in the absence of a sufficient number of ecological forecasts. We applied our technique to the Prairie Pothole Region in central North America. A lack of sufficient future climate information prevented attainment of the most efficient risk‐return conservation outcomes in the Prairie Pothole Region. The difference in expected conservation returns between conservation planning with limited climate‐change information and full climate‐change information was as large as 30% for the Prairie Pothole Region even when the most efficient iterative approach was used. However, our iterative approach allowed finer resolution portfolio allocation with limited climate‐change forecasts such that the best possible risk‐return combinations were obtained. With our most efficient iterative approach, the expected loss in conservation outcomes owing to limited climate‐change information could be reduced by 17% relative to other iterative approaches.

  11. Evolutionary conservation advice for despotic populations: habitat heterogeneity favours conflict and reduces productivity in Seychelles magpie robins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Sepulcre, Andrés; Kokko, Hanna; Norris, Ken

    2010-11-22

    Individual preferences for good habitat are often thought to have a beneficial stabilizing effect for populations. However, if individuals preferentially compete for better-quality territories, these may become hotspots of conflict. We show that, in an endangered species, this process decreases the productivity of favoured territories to the extent that differences in productivity between territories disappear. Unlike predictions from current demographic theory on site-dependent population regulation (ideal despotic distribution), we show that population productivity is reduced if resources are distributed unevenly in space. Competition for high-quality habitat can thus have detrimental consequences for populations even though it benefits individuals. Manipulating conflict (e.g. by reducing variation in habitat quality) can therefore prove an effective conservation measure in species with strong social or territorial conflict.

  12. Information Commons Features Cutting-Edge Conservation and Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilroy, Marilyn

    2011-01-01

    This article features Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons (IC) at Loyola University Chicago, an all-glass library building on the shore of Chicago's Lake Michigan that is not only a state-of-the-art digital research library and study space--it also runs on cutting-edge energy technology. The building has attracted attention and visitors from…

  13. Spatial Information in local society's cultural conservation and research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jang, J.-J.; Liao, H.-M.; Fan, I.-C.

    2015-09-01

    Center for Geographic Information Science, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences,Academia Sinica (GIS center), Coordinate short-, medium-, and long-term operations of multidisciplinary researches focusing on related topics in the sciences and humanities. Based on the requirements of multi-disciplinary research applications, sustain collection and construction of sustaining and unifying spatial base data and knowledge and building of spatial data infrastructure. Since the 1990s, GIS center build geographic information platform: "Time and space infrastructure of Chinese civilization" (Chinese Civilizationin Time and Space, CCTS) and "Taiwan History and Culture Map" (Taiwan History and Culture in Time and Space, THCTS) . the goal of both system is constructing an integrated GIS-based application infrastructure on the spatial extent of China and Taiwan, in the timeframe of Chinese and Taiwanese history, and with the contents of Chinese and Taiwanese civilization. Base on THCTS, we began to build Cultural Resources GIS(CRGIS, http://crgis.rchss.sinica.edu.tw) in 2006, to collect temples, historic Monuments, historic buildings, old trees, wind lions god and other cultural resource in Taiwan, and provide a platform for the volunteers to make for all types of tangible, intangible cultural resources, add, edit, organize and query data via Content Management System(CMS) . CRGIS collected aggregated 13,000 temples, 4,900 churches. On this basis, draw a variety of religious beliefs map-multiple times Temple distributions, different main god distributions, church distribution. Such as Mazu maps, Multiple times temple distributions map (before 1823, 1823-1895,1895-1949,1949-2015 years) at Taijiang inner sea areas in Tainan. In Taiwan, there is a religious ritual through folk activities for a period ranging from one day to several days, passing specific geospatial range and passes through some temples or houses. Such an important folk activity somewhat similar to

  14. Amino Acids of Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigen 3A Essential for Repression of Jκ-Mediated Transcription and Their Evolutionary Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalbiès-Tran, Rozenn; Stigger-Rosser, Evelyn; Dotson, Travis; Sample, Clare E.

    2001-01-01

    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen 3A (EBNA-3A) is essential for virus-mediated immortalization of B lymphocytes in vitro and is believed to regulate transcription of cellular and/or viral genes. One known mechanism of regulation is through its interaction with the cellular transcription factor Jκ. This interaction downregulates transcription mediated by EBNA-2 and Jκ. To identify the amino acids that play a role in this interaction, we have generated mutant EBNA-3A proteins. A mutant EBNA-3A protein in which alanine residues were substituted for amino acids 199, 200, and 202 no longer downregulated transcription. Surprisingly, this mutant protein remained able to coimmunoprecipitate with Jκ. Using a reporter gene assay based on the recruitment of Jκ by various regions spanning EBNA-3A, we have shown that this mutation abolished binding of Jκ to the N-proximal region (amino acids 125 to 222) and that no other region of EBNA-3A alone was sufficient to mediate an association with Jκ. To determine the biological significance of the interaction of EBNA-3A with Jκ, we have studied its conservation in the simian lymphocryptovirus herpesvirus papio (HVP) by cloning HVP-3A, the homolog of EBNA-3A encoded by this virus. This 903-amino-acid protein exhibited 37% identity with its EBV counterpart, mainly within the amino-terminal half. HVP-3A also interacted with Jκ through a region located between amino acids 127 and 223 and also repressed transcription mediated through EBNA-2 and Jκ. The evolutionary conservation of this function, in proteins that have otherwise significantly diverged, argues strongly for an important biological role in virus-mediated immortalization of B lymphocytes. PMID:11119577

  15. Consequences for diversity when prioritizing animals for conservation with pedigree or genomic information

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelsma, K.A.; Veerkamp, R.F.; Calus, M.P.L.; Windig, J.J.

    2011-01-01

    Up to now, prioritization of animals for conservation has been mainly based on pedigree information; however, genomic information may improve prioritization. In this study, we used two Holstein populations to investigate the consequences for genetic diversity when animals are prioritized with

  16. Midwestern US Farmers Perceive Crop Advisers as Conduits of Information on Agricultural Conservation Practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eanes, Francis R; Singh, Ajay S; Bulla, Brian R; Ranjan, Pranay; Prokopy, Linda S; Fales, Mary; Wickerham, Benjamin; Doran, Patrick J

    2017-11-01

    Nonpoint source pollution from agricultural land uses continues to pose one of the most significant threats to water quality in the US, with measurable impacts across local, regional, and national scales. The impact and the influence of targeted conservation efforts are directly related to the degree to which farmers are familiar with and trust the entities providing the information and/or outreach. Recent research suggests that farmers consistently rank independent and retail-affiliated crop advisers as among the most trusted and influential sources for agronomic information, but little is understood about whether farmers are willing to receive advice from crop advisers on the use of practices that conserve soil and water, and, if so, whether crop advisers will be perceived as influential. We present survey data from farmers (n = 1461) in Michigan's Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron) watershed to explore these questions. Results suggest that farmers view crop advisers as trustworthy sources of information about conservation, and influential on management practices that have large conservation implications. We discuss these results, along with perceived barriers and opportunities to crop advisers partnering with traditional conservation agencies to enhance the impact of voluntary conservation programs.

  17. Midwestern US Farmers Perceive Crop Advisers as Conduits of Information on Agricultural Conservation Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eanes, Francis R.; Singh, Ajay S.; Bulla, Brian R.; Ranjan, Pranay; Prokopy, Linda S.; Fales, Mary; Wickerham, Benjamin; Doran, Patrick J.

    2017-11-01

    Nonpoint source pollution from agricultural land uses continues to pose one of the most significant threats to water quality in the US, with measurable impacts across local, regional, and national scales. The impact and the influence of targeted conservation efforts are directly related to the degree to which farmers are familiar with and trust the entities providing the information and/or outreach. Recent research suggests that farmers consistently rank independent and retail-affiliated crop advisers as among the most trusted and influential sources for agronomic information, but little is understood about whether farmers are willing to receive advice from crop advisers on the use of practices that conserve soil and water, and, if so, whether crop advisers will be perceived as influential. We present survey data from farmers ( n = 1461) in Michigan's Saginaw Bay (Lake Huron) watershed to explore these questions. Results suggest that farmers view crop advisers as trustworthy sources of information about conservation, and influential on management practices that have large conservation implications. We discuss these results, along with perceived barriers and opportunities to crop advisers partnering with traditional conservation agencies to enhance the impact of voluntary conservation programs.

  18. Improved quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithm with diversity information applied to economic dispatch problem with prohibited operating zones

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vianna Neto, Julio Xavier; Andrade Bernert, Diego Luis de; Santos Coelho, Leandro dos

    2011-01-01

    The objective of the economic dispatch problem (EDP) of electric power generation, whose characteristics are complex and highly nonlinear, is to schedule the committed generating unit outputs so as to meet the required load demand at minimum operating cost while satisfying all unit and system equality and inequality constraints. Recently, as an alternative to the conventional mathematical approaches, modern meta-heuristic optimization techniques have been given much attention by many researchers due to their ability to find an almost global optimal solution in EDPs. Research on merging evolutionary computation and quantum computation has been started since late 1990. Inspired on the quantum computation, this paper presented an improved quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithm (IQEA) based on diversity information of population. A classical quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithm (QEA) and the IQEA were implemented and validated for a benchmark of EDP with 15 thermal generators with prohibited operating zones. From the results for the benchmark problem, it is observed that the proposed IQEA approach provides promising results when compared to various methods available in the literature.

  19. Improved quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithm with diversity information applied to economic dispatch problem with prohibited operating zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vianna Neto, Julio Xavier, E-mail: julio.neto@onda.com.b [Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, PUCPR, Undergraduate Program at Mechatronics Engineering, Imaculada Conceicao, 1155, Zip code 80215-901, Curitiba, Parana (Brazil); Andrade Bernert, Diego Luis de, E-mail: dbernert@gmail.co [Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, PUCPR, Industrial and Systems Engineering Graduate Program, LAS/PPGEPS, Imaculada Conceicao, 1155, Zip code 80215-901, Curitiba, Parana (Brazil); Santos Coelho, Leandro dos, E-mail: leandro.coelho@pucpr.b [Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, PUCPR, Industrial and Systems Engineering Graduate Program, LAS/PPGEPS, Imaculada Conceicao, 1155, Zip code 80215-901, Curitiba, Parana (Brazil)

    2011-01-15

    The objective of the economic dispatch problem (EDP) of electric power generation, whose characteristics are complex and highly nonlinear, is to schedule the committed generating unit outputs so as to meet the required load demand at minimum operating cost while satisfying all unit and system equality and inequality constraints. Recently, as an alternative to the conventional mathematical approaches, modern meta-heuristic optimization techniques have been given much attention by many researchers due to their ability to find an almost global optimal solution in EDPs. Research on merging evolutionary computation and quantum computation has been started since late 1990. Inspired on the quantum computation, this paper presented an improved quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithm (IQEA) based on diversity information of population. A classical quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithm (QEA) and the IQEA were implemented and validated for a benchmark of EDP with 15 thermal generators with prohibited operating zones. From the results for the benchmark problem, it is observed that the proposed IQEA approach provides promising results when compared to various methods available in the literature.

  20. Improved quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithm with diversity information applied to economic dispatch problem with prohibited operating zones

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neto, Julio Xavier Vianna [Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, PUCPR, Undergraduate Program at Mechatronics Engineering, Imaculada Conceicao, 1155, Zip code 80215-901, Curitiba, Parana (Brazil); Bernert, Diego Luis de Andrade; Coelho, Leandro dos Santos [Pontifical Catholic University of Parana, PUCPR, Industrial and Systems Engineering Graduate Program, LAS/PPGEPS, Imaculada Conceicao, 1155, Zip code 80215-901, Curitiba, Parana (Brazil)

    2011-01-15

    The objective of the economic dispatch problem (EDP) of electric power generation, whose characteristics are complex and highly nonlinear, is to schedule the committed generating unit outputs so as to meet the required load demand at minimum operating cost while satisfying all unit and system equality and inequality constraints. Recently, as an alternative to the conventional mathematical approaches, modern meta-heuristic optimization techniques have been given much attention by many researchers due to their ability to find an almost global optimal solution in EDPs. Research on merging evolutionary computation and quantum computation has been started since late 1990. Inspired on the quantum computation, this paper presented an improved quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithm (IQEA) based on diversity information of population. A classical quantum-inspired evolutionary algorithm (QEA) and the IQEA were implemented and validated for a benchmark of EDP with 15 thermal generators with prohibited operating zones. From the results for the benchmark problem, it is observed that the proposed IQEA approach provides promising results when compared to various methods available in the literature. (author)

  1. Evolutionary signatures amongst disease genes permit novel methods for gene prioritization and construction of informative gene-based networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nolan Priedigkeit

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Genes involved in the same function tend to have similar evolutionary histories, in that their rates of evolution covary over time. This coevolutionary signature, termed Evolutionary Rate Covariation (ERC, is calculated using only gene sequences from a set of closely related species and has demonstrated potential as a computational tool for inferring functional relationships between genes. To further define applications of ERC, we first established that roughly 55% of genetic diseases posses an ERC signature between their contributing genes. At a false discovery rate of 5% we report 40 such diseases including cancers, developmental disorders and mitochondrial diseases. Given these coevolutionary signatures between disease genes, we then assessed ERC's ability to prioritize known disease genes out of a list of unrelated candidates. We found that in the presence of an ERC signature, the true disease gene is effectively prioritized to the top 6% of candidates on average. We then apply this strategy to a melanoma-associated region on chromosome 1 and identify MCL1 as a potential causative gene. Furthermore, to gain global insight into disease mechanisms, we used ERC to predict molecular connections between 310 nominally distinct diseases. The resulting "disease map" network associates several diseases with related pathogenic mechanisms and unveils many novel relationships between clinically distinct diseases, such as between Hirschsprung's disease and melanoma. Taken together, these results demonstrate the utility of molecular evolution as a gene discovery platform and show that evolutionary signatures can be used to build informative gene-based networks.

  2. Evolutionary Conserved Function of Barley and Arabidopsis 3-KETOACYL-CoA SYNTHASES in Providing Wax Signals for Germination of Powdery Mildew Fungi1[C][W

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weidenbach, Denise; Jansen, Marcus; Franke, Rochus B.; Hensel, Goetz; Weissgerber, Wiebke; Ulferts, Sylvia; Jansen, Irina; Schreiber, Lukas; Korzun, Viktor; Pontzen, Rolf; Kumlehn, Jochen; Pillen, Klaus; Schaffrath, Ulrich

    2014-01-01

    For plant pathogenic fungi, such as powdery mildews, that survive only on a limited number of host plant species, it is a matter of vital importance that their spores sense that they landed on the right spot to initiate germination as quickly as possible. We investigated a barley (Hordeum vulgare) mutant with reduced epicuticular leaf waxes on which spores of adapted and nonadapted powdery mildew fungi showed reduced germination. The barley gene responsible for the mutant wax phenotype was cloned in a forward genetic screen and identified to encode a 3-KETOACYL-CoA SYNTHASE (HvKCS6), a protein participating in fatty acid elongation and required for synthesis of epicuticular waxes. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis revealed that the mutant has significantly fewer aliphatic wax constituents with a chain length above C-24. Complementation of the mutant restored wild-type wax and overcame germination penalty, indicating that wax constituents less present on the mutant are a crucial clue for spore germination. Investigation of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) transgenic plants with sense silencing of Arabidopsis REQUIRED FOR CUTICULAR WAX PRODUCTION1, the HvKCS6 ortholog, revealed the same germination phenotype against adapted and nonadapted powdery mildew fungi. Our findings hint to an evolutionary conserved mechanism for sensing of plant surfaces among distantly related powdery mildews that is based on KCS6-derived wax components. Perception of such a signal must have been evolved before the monocot-dicot split took place approximately 150 million years ago. PMID:25201879

  3. Evolutionary conservativeness of electric field in the Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase active site. Evidence for co-ordinated mutation of charged amino acid residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desideri, A; Falconi, M; Polticelli, F; Bolognesi, M; Djinovic, K; Rotilio, G

    1992-01-05

    Equipotential lines were calculated, using the Poisson-Boltzmann equation, for six Cu,Zn superoxide dismutases with different protein electric charge and various degrees of sequence homology, namely those from ox, pig, sheep, yeast, and the isoenzymes A and B from the amphibian Xenopus laevis. The three-dimensional structures of the porcine and ovine superoxide dismutases were obtained by molecular modelling reconstruction using the structure of the highly homologous bovine enzyme as a template. The three-dimensional structure of the evolutionary distant yeast Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase was recently resolved by us, while computer-modelled structures are available for X. laevis isoenzymes. The six proteins display large differences in the net protein charge and distribution of electrically charged surface residues but the trend of the equipotential lines in the proximity of the active sites was found to be constant in all cases. These results are in line with the very similar catlytic rate constants experimentally measured for the corresponding enzyme activities. This analysis shows that electrostatic guidance for the enzyme-substrate interaction in Cu,Zn superoxide dismutases is related to a spatial distribution of charges, arranged so as to maintain, in the area surrounding the active sites, an identical electrostatic potential distribution, which is conserved in the evolution of this protein family.

  4. The value and need for long term conservation of information regarding nuclear waste repositories

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eng, T. [Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co., Stockholm (Sweden); Jensen, M. [Swedish Radiation Protection Inst., Stockholm (Sweden)

    1993-12-31

    An important question in safety assessment of all repositories where toxic waste is disposed is how long should information be available to society about the repository and its content? Future societies right to knowledge must be considered and actions must already today be taken to ensure that proper information conservation, transfer and retrieval are provided. Collection of relevant information must be planned for at the research, construction and the operational phase of a repository. One of the main areas for information conservation and transfer is to mitigate future human intrusion. A system for best possible mitigation of human intrusion should with the present knowledge comprise the following parts: (a) development of planning procedures for long-term conservation of gathered information (present and future national and international archives, markers etc.); (b) continuous follow up of the state-of-the-art of information media; (c) preparations for national rules and regulations on nuclear waste information; (d) participation in international cooperation on issues concerning nuclear waste information keeping, transfer and retrieval.

  5. Conservation Process Model (cpm): a Twofold Scientific Research Scope in the Information Modelling for Cultural Heritage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorani, D.; Acierno, M.

    2017-05-01

    The aim of the present research is to develop an instrument able to adequately support the conservation process by means of a twofold approach, based on both BIM environment and ontology formalisation. Although BIM has been successfully experimented within AEC (Architecture Engineering Construction) field, it has showed many drawbacks for architectural heritage. To cope with unicity and more generally complexity of ancient buildings, applications so far developed have shown to poorly adapt BIM to conservation design with unsatisfactory results (Dore, Murphy 2013; Carrara 2014). In order to combine achievements reached within AEC through BIM environment (design control and management) with an appropriate, semantically enriched and flexible The presented model has at its core a knowledge base developed through information ontologies and oriented around the formalization and computability of all the knowledge necessary for the full comprehension of the object of architectural heritage an its conservation. Such a knowledge representation is worked out upon conceptual categories defined above all within architectural criticism and conservation scope. The present paper aims at further extending the scope of conceptual modelling within cultural heritage conservation already formalized by the model. A special focus is directed on decay analysis and surfaces conservation project.

  6. CONSERVATION PROCESS MODEL (CPM: A TWOFOLD SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH SCOPE IN THE INFORMATION MODELLING FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Fiorani

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the present research is to develop an instrument able to adequately support the conservation process by means of a twofold approach, based on both BIM environment and ontology formalisation. Although BIM has been successfully experimented within AEC (Architecture Engineering Construction field, it has showed many drawbacks for architectural heritage. To cope with unicity and more generally complexity of ancient buildings, applications so far developed have shown to poorly adapt BIM to conservation design with unsatisfactory results (Dore, Murphy 2013; Carrara 2014. In order to combine achievements reached within AEC through BIM environment (design control and management with an appropriate, semantically enriched and flexible The presented model has at its core a knowledge base developed through information ontologies and oriented around the formalization and computability of all the knowledge necessary for the full comprehension of the object of architectural heritage an its conservation. Such a knowledge representation is worked out upon conceptual categories defined above all within architectural criticism and conservation scope. The present paper aims at further extending the scope of conceptual modelling within cultural heritage conservation already formalized by the model. A special focus is directed on decay analysis and surfaces conservation project.

  7. The Orphan G Protein-Coupled Receptor Gene GPR178 Is Evolutionary Conserved and Altered in Response to Acute Changes in Food Intake.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanni Caruso

    Full Text Available G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs are a class of integral membrane proteins mediating physiological functions fundamental for survival, including energy homeostasis. A few years ago, an amino acid sequence of a novel GPCR gene was identified and named GPR178. In this study, we provide new insights regarding the biological significance of Gpr178 protein, investigating its evolutionary history and tissue distribution as well as examining the relationship between its expression level and feeding status. Our phylogenetic analysis indicated that GPR178 is highly conserved among all animal species investigated, and that GPR178 is not a member of a protein family. Real-time PCR and in situ hybridization revealed wide expression of Gpr178 mRNA in both the brain and periphery, with high expression density in the hypothalamus and brainstem, areas involved in the regulation of food intake. Hence, changes in receptor expression were assessed following several feeding paradigms including starvation and overfeeding. Short-term starvation (12-48h or food restriction resulted in upregulation of Gpr178 mRNA expression in the brainstem, hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex. Conversely, short-term (48h exposure to sucrose or Intralipid solutions downregulated Gpr178 mRNA in the brainstem; long-term exposure (10 days to a palatable high-fat and high-sugar diet resulted in a downregulation of Gpr178 in the amygdala but not in the hypothalamus. Our results indicate that hypothalamic Gpr178 gene expression is altered during acute exposure to starvation or acute exposure to palatable food. Changes in gene expression following palatable diet consumption suggest a possible involvement of Gpr178 in the complex mechanisms of feeding reward.

  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. The Mangroves of Kenya: general information. Compiled for Netherlands Wetlands Conservation and Training Programme, 1996.

    OpenAIRE

    Martens, Els

    1996-01-01

    The report contains general information on mangroves in Kenya with the following main topics: Mangrove ecology, Mangrove distribution, Mangrove vegetation, Mangrove associated flora, Mangrove fauna, Values and utilization, threats. Interactions between mangroves, seagrasses & coral reefs. Main problems related to mangrove management and Conservation. Managing mangroves to insure their survival.

  10. Using Home Irrigation Users' Perceptions to Inform Water Conservation Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warner, Laura A.; Chaudhary, Anil Kumar; Lamm, Alexa J.; Rumble, Joy N.; Momol, Esen

    2017-01-01

    Targeted agricultural education programs can play a role in solving complex water issues. This article applies importance-performance analysis to examine dimensions of water resources that may inform local water conservation campaigns in the United States. The purpose of this study was to generate a deep understanding of home irrigation users'…

  11. Design and Implementation of a Research-Informed Water Conservation Education Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Ruthanne; Coe, Alice; Klaver, Irene; Dickson, Kenneth

    2011-01-01

    Informed by the results of a baseline research study of regional citizen knowledge and understanding concerning watershed issues, a team of university faculty and classroom teachers designed and implemented a water conservation education program to address lacking areas of watershed knowledge. The authors developed age-appropriate, hands-on…

  12. Using Theory to Inform Water Conservation in Business Communities: Formative Research from a Chamber Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarge, Melanie A.; Daggett, Samantha; VanDyke, Matthew S.

    2018-01-01

    This study was designed to collect formative information for the development of theoretically driven water conservation communication efforts targeting the business sector of water users. Members from a West Texas Chamber of Commerce were recruited for participation in an online survey. Questionnaire responses were collected from 176 commercial…

  13. Preservation and Conservation of Information Resources in the University of Zambia Library

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanyengo, Christine Wamunyima

    2009-01-01

    Preservation and conservation of library materials is an important aspect of library and information management. Their importance and necessity are more paramount in countries where resources are limited and libraries need to balance them with the needs of an ever increasing number of students hoping to use them. This article reports on the…

  14. 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.

  15. The Origin of Value Through Information Networks : A Preliminary Framework from an Evolutionary Holonic Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Madureira, A.; Bakena, N.; Bouwman, H.

    2010-01-01

    The worldwide extraordinary level of interest in digital information networks deployment among nations is due to the strong perception that they bring economic, social and environmental value. Our literature review on studies aiming at clarifying the value of information networks, led us to conclude

  16. Computational methods using weighed-extreme learning machine to predict protein self-interactions with protein evolutionary information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Ji-Yong; Zhang, Lei; Zhou, Yong; Zhao, Yu-Jun; Wang, Da-Fu

    2017-08-18

    Self-interactions Proteins (SIPs) is important for their biological activity owing to the inherent interaction amongst their secondary structures or domains. However, due to the limitations of experimental Self-interactions detection, one major challenge in the study of prediction SIPs is how to exploit computational approaches for SIPs detection based on evolutionary information contained protein sequence. In the work, we presented a novel computational approach named WELM-LAG, which combined the Weighed-Extreme Learning Machine (WELM) classifier with Local Average Group (LAG) to predict SIPs based on protein sequence. The major improvement of our method lies in presenting an effective feature extraction method used to represent candidate Self-interactions proteins by exploring the evolutionary information embedded in PSI-BLAST-constructed position specific scoring matrix (PSSM); and then employing a reliable and robust WELM classifier to carry out classification. In addition, the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) approach is used to reduce the impact of noise. The WELM-LAG method gave very high average accuracies of 92.94 and 96.74% on yeast and human datasets, respectively. Meanwhile, we compared it with the state-of-the-art support vector machine (SVM) classifier and other existing methods on human and yeast datasets, respectively. Comparative results indicated that our approach is very promising and may provide a cost-effective alternative for predicting SIPs. In addition, we developed a freely available web server called WELM-LAG-SIPs to predict SIPs. The web server is available at http://219.219.62.123:8888/WELMLAG/ .

  17. Keeping All the PIECES: Phylogenetically Informed Ex Situ Conservation of Endangered Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larkin, Daniel J; Jacobi, Sarah K; Hipp, Andrew L; Kramer, Andrea T

    2016-01-01

    Ex situ conservation in germplasm and living collections is a major focus of global plant conservation strategies. Prioritizing species for ex situ collection is a necessary component of this effort for which sound strategies are needed. Phylogenetic considerations can play an important role in prioritization. Collections that are more phylogenetically diverse are likely to encompass more ecological and trait variation, and thus provide stronger conservation insurance and richer resources for future restoration efforts. However, phylogenetic criteria need to be weighed against other, potentially competing objectives. We used ex situ collection and threat rank data for North American angiosperms to investigate gaps in ex situ coverage and phylogenetic diversity of collections and to develop a flexible framework for prioritizing species across multiple objectives. We found that ex situ coverage of 18,766 North American angiosperm taxa was low with respect to the most vulnerable taxa: just 43% of vulnerable to critically imperiled taxa were in ex situ collections, far short of a year-2020 goal of 75%. In addition, species held in ex situ collections were phylogenetically clustered (P species been drawn at random. These patterns support incorporating phylogenetic considerations into ex situ prioritization in a manner balanced with other criteria, such as vulnerability. To meet this need, we present the 'PIECES' index (Phylogenetically Informed Ex situ Conservation of Endangered Species). PIECES integrates phylogenetic considerations into a flexible framework for prioritizing species across competing objectives using multi-criteria decision analysis. Applying PIECES to prioritizing ex situ conservation of North American angiosperms, we show strong return on investment across multiple objectives, some of which are negatively correlated with each other. A spreadsheet-based decision support tool for North American angiosperms is provided; this tool can be customized to

  18. Conservation priorities of Iberoamerican pig breeds and their ancestors based on microsatellite information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortés, O; Martinez, A M; Cañon, J; Sevane, N; Gama, L T; Ginja, C; Landi, V; Zaragoza, P; Carolino, N; Vicente, A; Sponenberg, P; Delgado, J V

    2016-07-01

    Criollo pig breeds are descendants from pigs brought to the American continent starting with Columbus second trip in 1493. Pigs currently play a key role in social economy and community cultural identity in Latin America. The aim of this study was to establish conservation priorities among a comprehensive group of Criollo pig breeds based on a set of 24 microsatellite markers and using different criteria. Spain and Portugal pig breeds, wild boar populations of different European geographic origins and commercial pig breeds were included in the analysis as potential genetic influences in the development of Criollo pig breeds. Different methods, differing in the weight given to within- and between-breed genetic variability, were used in order to estimate the contribution of each breed to global genetic diversity. As expected, the partial contribution to total heterozygosity gave high priority to Criollo pig breeds, whereas Weitzman procedures prioritized Iberian Peninsula breeds. With the combined within- and between-breed approaches, different conservation priorities were achieved. The Core Set methodologies highly prioritized Criollo pig breeds (Cr. Boliviano, Cr. Pacifico, Cr. Cubano and Cr. Guadalupe). However, weighing the between- and within-breed components with FST and 1-FST, respectively, resulted in higher contributions of Iberian breeds. In spite of the different conservation priorities according to the methodology used, other factors in addition to genetic information also need to be considered in conservation programmes, such as the economic, cultural or historical value of the breeds involved.

  19. Applications of geographic information systems and remote sensing techniques to conservation of amphibians in northwestern Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariela Palacios González

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The biodiversity of the Andean Chocó in western Ecuador and Colombia is threatened by anthropogenic changes in land cover. The main goal of this study was to contribute to conservation of 12 threatened species of amphibians at a cloud forest site in northwestern Ecuador, by identifying and proposing protection of critical areas. We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS and remote sensing techniques to quantify land cover changes over 35 years and outline important areas for amphibian conservation. We performed a supervised classification of an IKONOS satellite image from 2011 and two aerial photographs from 1977 and 2000. The 2011 IKONOS satellite image classification was used to delineate areas important for conservation of threatened amphibians within a 200 m buffer around rivers and streams. The overall classification accuracy of the three images was ≥80%. Forest cover was reduced by 17% during the last 34 years. However, only 50% of the study area retained the initial (1977 forest cover, as land was cleared for farming and eventually reforested. Finally, using the 2011 IKONOS satellite image, we delineated areas of potential conservation interest that would benefit the long term survival of threatened amphibian species at the Ecuadorian cloud forest site studied.

  20. Phylum-Level Conservation of Regulatory Information in Nematodes despite Extensive Non-coding Sequence Divergence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon, Kacy L.; Arthur, Robert K.; Ruvinsky, Ilya

    2015-01-01

    Gene regulatory information guides development and shapes the course of evolution. To test conservation of gene regulation within the phylum Nematoda, we compared the functions of putative cis-regulatory sequences of four sets of orthologs (unc-47, unc-25, mec-3 and elt-2) from distantly-related nematode species. These species, Caenorhabditis elegans, its congeneric C. briggsae, and three parasitic species Meloidogyne hapla, Brugia malayi, and Trichinella spiralis, represent four of the five major clades in the phylum Nematoda. Despite the great phylogenetic distances sampled and the extensive sequence divergence of nematode genomes, all but one of the regulatory elements we tested are able to drive at least a subset of the expected gene expression patterns. We show that functionally conserved cis-regulatory elements have no more extended sequence similarity to their C. elegans orthologs than would be expected by chance, but they do harbor motifs that are important for proper expression of the C. elegans genes. These motifs are too short to be distinguished from the background level of sequence similarity, and while identical in sequence they are not conserved in orientation or position. Functional tests reveal that some of these motifs contribute to proper expression. Our results suggest that conserved regulatory circuitry can persist despite considerable turnover within cis elements. PMID:26020930

  1. Phylum-Level Conservation of Regulatory Information in Nematodes despite Extensive Non-coding Sequence Divergence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kacy L Gordon

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Gene regulatory information guides development and shapes the course of evolution. To test conservation of gene regulation within the phylum Nematoda, we compared the functions of putative cis-regulatory sequences of four sets of orthologs (unc-47, unc-25, mec-3 and elt-2 from distantly-related nematode species. These species, Caenorhabditis elegans, its congeneric C. briggsae, and three parasitic species Meloidogyne hapla, Brugia malayi, and Trichinella spiralis, represent four of the five major clades in the phylum Nematoda. Despite the great phylogenetic distances sampled and the extensive sequence divergence of nematode genomes, all but one of the regulatory elements we tested are able to drive at least a subset of the expected gene expression patterns. We show that functionally conserved cis-regulatory elements have no more extended sequence similarity to their C. elegans orthologs than would be expected by chance, but they do harbor motifs that are important for proper expression of the C. elegans genes. These motifs are too short to be distinguished from the background level of sequence similarity, and while identical in sequence they are not conserved in orientation or position. Functional tests reveal that some of these motifs contribute to proper expression. Our results suggest that conserved regulatory circuitry can persist despite considerable turnover within cis elements.

  2. The Cybersemiotic Model of Communication: An Evolutionary View on the Threshold between Semiosis and Informational Exchange

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren Brier

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses various suggestions for a philosophical framework for a trans-disciplinary information science or a semiotic doctrine. These are: the mechanical materialistic, the pan-informational, the Luhmanian second order cybernetic approach, Peircian biosemiotics and finally the pan-semiotic approach. The limitations of each are analysed. The conclusion is that we will not have to choose between either a cybernetic-informational or a semiotic approach. A combination of a Peircian-based biosemiotics with autopoiesis theory, second order cybernetics and information science is suggested in a five-levelled cybersemiotic framework. The five levels are 1 a level of Firstness, 2 a level of mechanical matter, energy and force as Secondness, 3 a cybernetic and thermodynamic level of information, 4 a level of sign games and 5 a level of conscious language games. These levels are then used to differentiate levels of information systems, sign and language games in human communication. In our model Maturana and Varela’s description of the logic of the living as autopoietic is accepted and expanded with Luhmann’s generalization of the concept of autopoiesis, to cover also to psychological and socio-communicative systems. Adding a Peircian concept of semiosis to Luhmann’s theory in the framework of biosemiotics enables us to view the interplay of mind and body as a sign play. I have in a previous publication (see list of references suggested the term “sign play” pertaining to exosemiotics processes between animals in the same species by stretching Wittgenstein's language concept into the animal world of signs. The new concept of intrasemiotics designates the semiosis of the interpenetration between biological and psychological autopoietic systems as Luhmann defines them in his theory. One could therefore view intrasemiotics as the interplay between Lorenz' biological defined motivations and Freud's Id, understood as the psychological aspect

  3. Linking diversity and distribution to understand biodiversity gradients and inform conservation assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabricio Villalobos

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Broad-scale patterns of species richness result from differential coexistence among species in distinct regions of the globe, determined by the species’ ranges and their properties such as size, shape and location. Thus, species richness and ranges are inherently linked. These two biodiversity features also yield primary information for conservation assessments. However, species richness and range size have been usually studied separately and no formal analytical link has been established. In my PhD thesis, I applied and extended a recently developed conceptual and methodological framework to study geographical association among species and similarity among sites. This range–diversity framework, along with stochastic simulation modelling, allowed me to jointly evaluate the relationship between diversity and distribution, to infer potential processes underlying composite patterns of phyllostomid bats, and to use this approach to inform conservation assessments for the Mexican avifauna. I highlight the need to explore composite patterns for understanding biodiversity patterns and show how combining diversity and distributional data can help describe complex biogeographical patterns, providing a transparent and explicit application for initial conservation assessments.

  4. Utilizing social media for informal ocean conservation and education: The BioOceanography Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payette, J.

    2016-02-01

    Science communication through the use of social media is a rapidly evolving and growing pursuit in academic and scientific circles. Online tools and social media are being used in not only scientific communication but also scientific publication, education, and outreach. Standards and usage of social media as well as other online tools for communication, networking, outreach, and publication are always in development. Caution and a conservative attitude towards these novel "Science 2.0" tools is understandable because of their rapidly changing nature and the lack of professional standards for using them. However there are some key benefits and unique ways social media, online systems, and other Open or Open Source technologies, software, and "Science 2.0" tools can be utilized for academic purposes such as education and outreach. Diverse efforts for ocean conservation and education will continue to utilize social media for a variety of purposes. The BioOceanography project is an informal communication, education, outreach, and conservation initiative created for enhancing knowledge related to Oceanography and Marine Science with an unbiased yet conservation-minded approach and in an Open Source format. The BioOceanography project is ongoing and still evolving, but has already contributed to ocean education and conservation communication in key ways through a concerted web presence since 2013, including a curated Twitter account @_Oceanography and BioOceanography blog style website. Social media tools like those used in this project, if used properly can be highly effective and valuable for encouraging students, networking with researchers, and educating the general public in Oceanography.

  5. CCHMM_PROF: a HMM-based coiled-coil predictor with evolutionary information

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartoli, Lisa; Fariselli, Piero; Krogh, Anders

    2009-01-01

    tools are available for predicting coiled-coil domains in protein sequences, including those based on position-specific score matrices and machine learning methods. RESULTS: In this article, we introduce a hidden Markov model (CCHMM_PROF) that exploits the information contained in multiple sequence...... alignments (profiles) to predict coiled-coil regions. The new method discriminates coiled-coil sequences with an accuracy of 97% and achieves a true positive rate of 79% with only 1% of false positives. Furthermore, when predicting the location of coiled-coil segments in protein sequences, the method reaches...

  6. Information on black-footed ferret biology collected within the framework of ferret conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggins, Dean E.

    2012-01-01

    Once feared to be extinct, black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) were rediscovered near Meeteetse, Wyoming, in 1981, resulting in renewed conservation and research efforts for this highly endangered species. A need for information directly useful to recovery has motivated much monitoring of ferrets since that time, but field activities have enabled collection of data relevant to broader biological themes. This special feature is placed in a context of similar books and proceedings devoted to ferret biology and conservation. Articles include general observations on ferrets, modeling of potential impacts of ferrets on prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), discussions on relationships of ferrets to prairie dog habitats at several spatial scales (from individual burrows to patches of burrow systems) and a general treatise on the status of black-footed ferret recovery.

  7. Dataset on information strategies for energy conservation: A field experiment in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Victor L; Delmas, Magali A; Locke, Stephen L; Singh, Amarjeet

    2018-02-01

    The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled: "Information strategies for energy conservation: a field experiment in India" (Chen et al., 2017) [1]. The availability of high-resolution electricity data offers benefits to both utilities and consumers to understand the dynamics of energy consumption for example, between billing periods or times of peak demand. However, few public datasets with high-temporal resolution have been available to researchers on electricity use, especially at the appliance-level. This article describes data collected in a residential field experiment for 19 apartments at an Indian faculty housing complex during the period from August 1, 2013 to May 12, 2014. The dataset includes detailed information about electricity consumption. It also includes information on apartment characteristics and hourly weather variation to enable further studies of energy performance. These data can be used by researchers as training datasets to evaluate electricity usage consumption.

  8. A Haplotype Information Theory Method Reveals Genes of Evolutionary Interest in European vs. Asian Pigs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Nicholas J; Naval-Sánchez, Marina; Porto-Neto, Laercio; Pérez-Enciso, Miguel; Reverter, Antonio

    2018-06-05

    Asian and European wild boars were independently domesticated ca. 10,000 years ago. Since the 17th century, Chinese breeds have been imported to Europe to improve the genetics of European animals by introgression of favourable alleles, resulting in a complex mosaic of haplotypes. To interrogate the structure of these haplotypes further, we have run a new haplotype segregation analysis based on information theory, namely compression efficiency (CE). We applied the approach to sequence data from individuals from each phylogeographic region (n = 23 from Asia and Europe) including a number of major pig breeds. Our genome-wide CE is able to discriminate the breeds in a manner reflecting phylogeography. Furthermore, 24,956 non-overlapping sliding windows (each comprising 1,000 consecutive SNP) were quantified for extent of haplotype sharing within and between Asia and Europe. The genome-wide distribution of extent of haplotype sharing was quite different between groups. Unlike European pigs, Asian pigs haplotype sharing approximates a normal distribution. In line with this, we found the European breeds possessed a number of genomic windows of dramatically higher haplotype sharing than the Asian breeds. Our CE analysis of sliding windows capture some of the genomic regions reported to contain signatures of selection in domestic pigs. Prominent among these regions, we highlight the role of a gene encoding the mitochondrial enzyme LACTB which has been associated with obesity, and the gene encoding MYOG a fundamental transcriptional regulator of myogenesis. The origin of these regions likely reflects either a population bottleneck in European animals, or selective targets on commercial phenotypes reducing allelic diversity in particular genes and/or regulatory regions.

  9. Using insights from animal behaviour and behavioural ecology to inform marine conservation initiatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooker, Rohan M; Feeney, William E; White, James R; Manassa, Rachel P; Johansen, Jacob L; Dixson, Danielle L

    2016-10-01

    The impacts of human activities on the natural world are becoming increasingly apparent, with rapid development and exploitation occurring at the expense of habitat quality and biodiversity. Declines are especially concerning in the oceans, which hold intrinsic value due to their biological uniqueness as well as their substantial sociological and economic importance. Here, we review the literature and investigate whether incorporation of knowledge from the fields of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology may improve the effectiveness of conservation initiatives in marine systems. In particular, we consider (1) how knowledge of larval behaviour and ecology may be used to inform the design of marine protected areas, (2) how protecting species that hold specific ecological niches may be of particular importance for maximizing the preservation of biodiversity, (3) how current harvesting techniques may be inadvertently skewing the behavioural phenotypes of stock populations and whether changes to current practices may lessen this skew and reinforce population persistence, and (4) how understanding the behavioural and physiological responses of species to a changing environment may provide essential insights into areas of particular vulnerability for prioritized conservation attention. The complex nature of conservation programmes inherently results in interdisciplinary responses, and the incorporation of knowledge from the fields of animal behaviour and behavioural ecology may increase our ability to stem the loss of biodiversity in marine environments.

  10. Position-specific prediction of methylation sites from sequence conservation based on information theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Yinan; Guo, Yanzhi; Hu, Yayun; Li, Menglong

    2015-07-23

    Protein methylation plays vital roles in many biological processes and has been implicated in various human diseases. To fully understand the mechanisms underlying methylation for use in drug design and work in methylation-related diseases, an initial but crucial step is to identify methylation sites. The use of high-throughput bioinformatics methods has become imperative to predict methylation sites. In this study, we developed a novel method that is based only on sequence conservation to predict protein methylation sites. Conservation difference profiles between methylated and non-methylated peptides were constructed by the information entropy (IE) in a wider neighbor interval around the methylation sites that fully incorporated all of the environmental information. Then, the distinctive neighbor residues were identified by the importance scores of information gain (IG). The most representative model was constructed by support vector machine (SVM) for Arginine and Lysine methylation, respectively. This model yielded a promising result on both the benchmark dataset and independent test set. The model was used to screen the entire human proteome, and many unknown substrates were identified. These results indicate that our method can serve as a useful supplement to elucidate the mechanism of protein methylation and facilitate hypothesis-driven experimental design and validation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maréchal Eric

    2005-03-01

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

  13. Conservation and retrieval of information - Elements of a strategy to inform future societies about nuclear waste repositories

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jensen, M [ed.; National Inst. of Radiation Protection, Stockholm (Sweden)

    1996-12-01

    Two main strategies exist for long-term information transfer, one which links information through successive transfers of archived material and other forms of knowledge in society, and one - such as marking the site with a monument - relying upon a direct link from the present to the distant future. Digital methods are not recommended for long-term storage, but digital processing may be a valuable tool to structure information summaries, and in the creation of better long-lasting records. Advances in archive management should also be pursued to widen the choice of information carriers of high durability. In the Nordic countries, during the first few thousand years, and perhaps up to the next period of glaciation, monuments at a repository site may be used to warn the public of the presence of dangerous waste. But messages from such markers may pose interpretation problems as we have today for messages left by earlier societies such as rune inscriptions. Since the national borders may change in the time scale relevant for nuclear waste, the creation of an international archive for all radioactive wastes would represent an improvement as regards conservation and retrieval of information. (EG).

  14. Conservation and retrieval of information - Elements of a strategy to inform future societies about nuclear waste repositories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jensen, M.

    1996-01-01

    Two main strategies exist for long-term information transfer, one which links information through successive transfers of archived material and other forms of knowledge in society, and one - such as marking the site with a monument - relying upon a direct link from the present to the distant future. Digital methods are not recommended for long-term storage, but digital processing may be a valuable tool to structure information summaries, and in the creation of better long-lasting records. Advances in archive management should also be pursued to widen the choice of information carriers of high durability. In the Nordic countries, during the first few thousand years, and perhaps up to the next period of glaciation, monuments at a repository site may be used to warn the public of the presence of dangerous waste. But messages from such markers may pose interpretation problems as we have today for messages left by earlier societies such as rune inscriptions. Since the national borders may change in the time scale relevant for nuclear waste, the creation of an international archive for all radioactive wastes would represent an improvement as regards conservation and retrieval of information. (EG)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Recreation economics to inform migratory species conservation: Case study of the northern pintail

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattsson, Brady J.; Dubovsky, James A.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Goldstein, Joshua H.; Loomis, John B.; Diffendorfer, James E.; Semmens, Darius J.; Wiederholt, Ruscena; Lopez-Hoffman, Laura

    2018-01-01

    Quantification of the economic value provided by migratory species can aid in targeting management efforts and funding to locations yielding the greatest benefits to society and species conservation. Here we illustrate a key step in this process by estimating hunting and birding values of the northern pintail (Anas acuta) within primary breeding and wintering habitats used during the species’ annual migratory cycle in North America. We used published information on user expenditures and net economic values (consumer surplus) for recreational viewing and hunting to determine the economic value of pintail-based recreation in three primary breeding areas and two primary wintering areas. Summed expenditures and consumer surplus for northern pintail viewing were annually valued at $70M, and annual sport hunting totaled $31M (2014 USD). Expenditures for viewing ($42M) were more than twice as high than those for hunting ($18M). Estimates of consumer surplus, defined as the amount consumers are willing to pay above their current expenditures, were $15M greater for viewing ($28M) than for hunting ($13M). We discovered substantial annual consumer surplus ($41M) available for pintail conservation from birders and hunters. We also found spatial differences in economic value among the primary regions used by pintails, with viewing generally valued more in breeding regions than in wintering regions and the reverse being true for hunting. The economic value of pintail-based recreation in the Western wintering region ($26M) exceeded that in any other region by at least a factor of three. Our approach of developing regionally explicit economic values can be extended to other taxonomic groups, and is particularly suitable for migratory game birds because of the availability of large amounts of data. When combined with habitat-linked population models, regionally explicit values could inform development of more effective conservation finance and policy mechanisms to enhance

  17. Recreation economics to inform migratory species conservation: Case study of the northern pintail.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattsson, Brady J; Dubovsky, James A; Thogmartin, Wayne E; Bagstad, Kenneth J; Goldstein, Joshua H; Loomis, John B; Diffendorfer, James E; Semmens, Darius J; Wiederholt, Ruscena; López-Hoffman, Laura

    2018-01-15

    Quantification of the economic value provided by migratory species can aid in targeting management efforts and funding to locations yielding the greatest benefits to society and species conservation. Here we illustrate a key step in this process by estimating hunting and birding values of the northern pintail (Anas acuta) within primary breeding and wintering habitats used during the species' annual migratory cycle in North America. We used published information on user expenditures and net economic values (consumer surplus) for recreational viewing and hunting to determine the economic value of pintail-based recreation in three primary breeding areas and two primary wintering areas. Summed expenditures and consumer surplus for northern pintail viewing were annually valued at $70M, and annual sport hunting totaled $31M (2014 USD). Expenditures for viewing ($42M) were more than twice as high than those for hunting ($18M). Estimates of consumer surplus, defined as the amount consumers are willing to pay above their current expenditures, were $15M greater for viewing ($28M) than for hunting ($13M). We discovered substantial annual consumer surplus ($41M) available for pintail conservation from birders and hunters. We also found spatial differences in economic value among the primary regions used by pintails, with viewing generally valued more in breeding regions than in wintering regions and the reverse being true for hunting. The economic value of pintail-based recreation in the Western wintering region ($26M) exceeded that in any other region by at least a factor of three. Our approach of developing regionally explicit economic values can be extended to other taxonomic groups, and is particularly suitable for migratory game birds because of the availability of large amounts of data. When combined with habitat-linked population models, regionally explicit values could inform development of more effective conservation finance and policy mechanisms to enhance

  18. Integration of 3d Models and Diagnostic Analyses Through a Conservation-Oriented Information System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mandelli, A.; Achille, C.; Tommasi, C.; Fassi, F.

    2017-08-01

    In the recent years, mature technologies for producing high quality virtual 3D replicas of Cultural Heritage (CH) artefacts has grown thanks to the progress of Information Technologies (IT) tools. These methods are an efficient way to present digital models that can be used with several scopes: heritage managing, support to conservation, virtual restoration, reconstruction and colouring, art cataloguing and visual communication. The work presented is an emblematic case of study oriented to the preventive conservation through monitoring activities, using different acquisition methods and instruments. It was developed inside a project founded by Lombardy Region, Italy, called "Smart Culture", which was aimed to realise a platform that gave the users the possibility to easily access to the CH artefacts, using as an example a very famous statue. The final product is a 3D reality-based model that contains a lot of information inside it, and that can be consulted through a common web browser. In the end, it was possible to define the general strategies oriented to the maintenance and the valorisation of CH artefacts, which, in this specific case, must consider the integration of different techniques and competencies, to obtain a complete, accurate and continuative monitoring of the statue.

  19. Evolutionary Nephrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevalier, Robert L

    2017-05-01

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

  20. Evolutionary Information System Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Jan

    and necessary items that must be taken into account are pointed out by narrating two stories of e-commerce implementation processes in wholesale companies. The empirical evidence suggests the following: Managing the continued development on an operational level requires operational insight and understanding...

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Grandien, Kaj; Sommer, Ralf J.

    2001-01-01

    Hox transcription factors have been implicated in playing a central role in the evolution of animal morphology. Many studies indicate the evolutionary importance of regulatory changes in Hox genes, but little is known about the role of functional changes in Hox proteins. In the nematodes Pristionchus pacificus and Caenorhabditis elegans, developmental processes can be compared at the cellular, genetic, and molecular levels and differences in gene function can be identified. The Hox gene lin-3...

  3. Combining multiple sources of data to inform conservation of Lesser Prairie-Chicken populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Beth; Haukos, David A.; Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James

    2018-01-01

    Conservation of small populations is often based on limited data from spatially and temporally restricted studies, resulting in management actions based on an incomplete assessment of the population drivers. If fluctuations in abundance are related to changes in weather, proper management is especially important, because extreme weather events could disproportionately affect population abundance. Conservation assessments, especially for vulnerable populations, are aided by a knowledge of how extreme events influence population status and trends. Although important for conservation efforts, data may be limited for small or vulnerable populations. Integrated population models maximize information from various sources of data to yield population estimates that fully incorporate uncertainty from multiple data sources while allowing for the explicit incorporation of environmental covariates of interest. Our goal was to assess the relative influence of population drivers for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in the core of its range, western and southern Kansas, USA. We used data from roadside lek count surveys, nest monitoring surveys, and survival data from telemetry monitoring combined with climate (Palmer drought severity index) data in an integrated population model. Our results indicate that variability in population growth rate was most influenced by variability in juvenile survival. The Palmer drought severity index had no measurable direct effects on adult survival or mean number of offspring per female; however, there were declines in population growth rate following severe drought. Because declines in population growth rate occurred at a broad spatial scale, declines in response to drought were likely due to decreases in chick and juvenile survival rather than emigration outside of the study area. Overall, our model highlights the importance of accounting for environmental and demographic sources of variability, and provides a thorough

  4. Information strategies and energy conservation behavior: A meta-analysis of experimental studies from 1975 to 2012

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delmas, Magali A.; Fischlein, Miriam; Asensio, Omar I.

    2013-01-01

    Strategies that provide information about the environmental impact of activities are increasingly seen as effective to encourage conservation behavior. This article offers the most comprehensive meta-analysis of information based energy conservation experiments conducted to date. Based on evidence from 156 published field trials and 525,479 study subjects from 1975 to 2012, we quantify the energy savings from information based strategies. On average, individuals in the experiments reduced their electricity consumption by 7.4%. Our results also show that strategies providing individualized audits and consulting are comparatively more effective for conservation behavior than strategies that provide historical, peer comparison energy feedback. Interestingly, we find that pecuniary feedback and incentives lead to a relative increase in energy usage rather than induce conservation. We also find that the conservation effect diminishes with the rigor of the study, indicating potential methodological issues in the current literature. - Highlights: • We conduct a meta-analysis of information-based energy conservation experiments. • We analyze 156 published trials and 524,479 study subjects from 1975 to 2012. • On average, individuals in the experiments reduced electricity consumption by 7.4%. • Individualized feedback via audits and consulting results in the largest reductions. Pecuniary feedback and incentives lead to a relative increase in energy usage

  5. Evolutionary Nephrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Chevalier

    2017-05-01

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

  6. DNA from the past informs ex situ conservation for the future: an "extinct" species of Galápagos tortoise identified in captivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael A Russello

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Although not unusual to find captive relicts of species lost in the wild, rarely are presumed extinct species rediscovered outside of their native range. A recent study detected living descendents of an extinct Galápagos tortoise species (Chelonoidis elephantopus once endemic to Floreana Island on the neighboring island of Isabela. This finding adds to the growing cryptic diversity detected among these species in the wild. There also exists a large number of Galápagos tortoises in captivity of ambiguous origin. The recently accumulated population-level haplotypic and genotypic data now available for C. elephantopus add a critical reference population to the existing database of 11 extant species for investigating the origin of captive individuals of unknown ancestry.We reanalyzed mitochondrial DNA control region haplotypes and microsatellite genotypes of 156 captive individuals using an expanded reference database that included all extant Galápagos tortoise species as well as the extinct species from Floreana. Nine individuals (six females and three males exhibited strong signatures of Floreana ancestry and a high probability of assignment to C. elephantopus as detected by Bayesian assignment and clustering analyses of empirical and simulated data. One male with high assignment probability to C. elephantopus based on microsatellite genotypic data also possessed a "Floreana-like" mitochondrial DNA haplotype.Historical DNA analysis of museum specimens has provided critical spatial and temporal components to ecological, evolutionary, taxonomic and conservation-related research, but rarely has it informed ex situ species recovery efforts. Here, the availability of population-level genotypic data from the extinct C. elephantopus enabled the identification of nine Galápagos tortoise individuals of substantial conservation value that were previously misassigned to extant species of varying conservation status. As all captive individuals of C

  7. Why Do Information Gaps Persist in African Smallholder Agriculture? Perspectives from Farmers Lacking Exposure to Conservation Agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Brendan; Llewellyn, Rick; Nuberg, Ian

    2018-01-01

    Purpose: To explore why substantial agricultural information gaps persist in African smallholder farming communities and how to reduce them. Design/methodology/approach: Using conservation agriculture (CA) as a case study, we deeply explore with 29 smallholder farmers why they are yet to obtain sufficient information to enable practice evaluation.…

  8. Evolutionary thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

    Evolution as an idea has a lengthy history, even though the idea of evolution is generally associated with Darwin today. Rebecca Stott provides an engaging and thoughtful overview of this history of evolutionary thinking in her 2013 book, Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution. Since Darwin, the debate over evolution—both how it takes place and, in a long war of words with religiously-oriented thinkers, whether it takes place—has been sustained and heated. A growing share of this debate is now devoted to examining how evolutionary thinking affects areas outside of biology. How do our lives change when we recognize that all is in flux? What can we learn about life more generally if we study change instead of stasis? Carter Phipps’ book, Evolutionaries: Unlocking the Spiritual and Cultural Potential of Science's Greatest Idea, delves deep into this relatively new development. Phipps generally takes as a given the validity of the Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology. His story takes us into, as the subtitle suggests, the spiritual and cultural implications of evolutionary thinking. Can religion and evolution be reconciled? Can evolutionary thinking lead to a new type of spirituality? Is our culture already being changed in ways that we don't realize by evolutionary thinking? These are all important questions and Phipps book is a great introduction to this discussion. Phipps is an author, journalist, and contributor to the emerging “integral” or “evolutionary” cultural movement that combines the insights of Integral Philosophy, evolutionary science, developmental psychology, and the social sciences. He has served as the Executive Editor of EnlightenNext magazine (no longer published) and more recently is the co-founder of the Institute for Cultural Evolution, a public policy think tank addressing the cultural roots of America's political challenges. What follows is an email interview with Phipps. PMID:26478766

  9. 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......Demography is the quantitative study of population processes, while evolution is a population process that influences all aspects of biological organisms, including their demography. Demographic traits common to all human populations are the products of biological evolution or the interaction...

  10. Predicting Greater Prairie-Chicken Lek Site Suitability to Inform Conservation Actions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Torre J Hovick

    Full Text Available The demands of a growing human population dictates that expansion of energy infrastructure, roads, and other development frequently takes place in native rangelands. Particularly, transmission lines and roads commonly divide rural landscapes and increase fragmentation. This has direct and indirect consequences on native wildlife that can be mitigated through thoughtful planning and proactive approaches to identifying areas of high conservation priority. We used nine years (2003-2011 of Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido lek locations totaling 870 unique leks sites in Kansas and seven geographic information system (GIS layers describing land cover, topography, and anthropogenic structures to model habitat suitability across the state. The models obtained had low omission rates (0.81, indicating high model performance and reliability of predicted habitat suitability for Greater Prairie-Chickens. We found that elevation was the most influential in predicting lek locations, contributing three times more predictive power than any other variable. However, models were improved by the addition of land cover and anthropogenic features (transmission lines, roads, and oil and gas structures. Overall, our analysis provides a hierarchal understanding of Greater Prairie-Chicken habitat suitability that is broadly based on geomorphological features followed by land cover suitability. We found that when land features and vegetation cover are suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens, fragmentation by anthropogenic sources such as roadways and transmission lines are a concern. Therefore, it is our recommendation that future human development in Kansas avoid areas that our models identified as highly suitable for Greater Prairie-Chickens and focus development on land cover types that are of lower conservation concern.

  11. A guide to calculating habitat-quality metrics to inform conservation of highly mobile species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieri, Joanna A.; Sample, Christine; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Diffendorfer, James E.; Earl, Julia E.; Erickson, Richard A.; Federico, Paula; Flockhart, D. T. Tyler; Nicol, Sam; Semmens, Darius J.; Skraber, T.; Wiederholt, Ruscena; Mattsson, Brady J.

    2018-01-01

    Many metrics exist for quantifying the relative value of habitats and pathways used by highly mobile species. Properly selecting and applying such metrics requires substantial background in mathematics and understanding the relevant management arena. To address this multidimensional challenge, we demonstrate and compare three measurements of habitat quality: graph-, occupancy-, and demographic-based metrics. Each metric provides insights into system dynamics, at the expense of increasing amounts and complexity of data and models. Our descriptions and comparisons of diverse habitat-quality metrics provide means for practitioners to overcome the modeling challenges associated with management or conservation of such highly mobile species. Whereas previous guidance for applying habitat-quality metrics has been scattered in diversified tracks of literature, we have brought this information together into an approachable format including accessible descriptions and a modeling case study for a typical example that conservation professionals can adapt for their own decision contexts and focal populations.Considerations for Resource ManagersManagement objectives, proposed actions, data availability and quality, and model assumptions are all relevant considerations when applying and interpreting habitat-quality metrics.Graph-based metrics answer questions related to habitat centrality and connectivity, are suitable for populations with any movement pattern, quantify basic spatial and temporal patterns of occupancy and movement, and require the least data.Occupancy-based metrics answer questions about likelihood of persistence or colonization, are suitable for populations that undergo localized extinctions, quantify spatial and temporal patterns of occupancy and movement, and require a moderate amount of data.Demographic-based metrics answer questions about relative or absolute population size, are suitable for populations with any movement pattern, quantify demographic

  12. Biochemistry and evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Biochemical information has been crucial for the development of evolutionary biology. On the one hand, the sequence information now appearing is producing a huge increase in the amount of data available for phylogenetic analysis; on the other hand, and perhaps more fundamentally, it allows understanding of the ...

  13. Recording Information on Architectural Heritage Should Meet the Requirements for Conservation Digital Recording Practices at the Summer Palace

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, L.; Cong, Y.; Wu, C.; Bai, C.; Wu, C.

    2017-08-01

    The recording of Architectural heritage information is the foundation of research, conservation, management, and the display of architectural heritage. In other words, the recording of architectural heritage information supports heritage research, conservation, management and architectural heritage display. What information do we record and collect and what technology do we use for information recording? How do we determine the level of accuracy required when recording architectural information? What method do we use for information recording? These questions should be addressed in relation to the nature of the particular heritage site and the specific conditions for the conservation work. In recent years, with the rapid development of information acquisition technology such as Close Range Photogrammetry, 3D Laser Scanning as well as high speed and high precision Aerial Photogrammetry, many Chinese universities, research institutes and heritage management bureaux have purchased considerable equipment for information recording. However, the lack of understanding of both the nature of architectural heritage and the purpose for which the information is being collected has led to several problems. For example: some institutions when recording architectural heritage information aim solely at high accuracy. Some consider that advanced measuring methods must automatically replace traditional measuring methods. Information collection becomes the purpose, rather than the means, of architectural heritage conservation. Addressing these issues, this paper briefly reviews the history of architectural heritage information recording at the Summer Palace (Yihe Yuan, first built in 1750), Beijing. Using the recording practices at the Summer Palace during the past ten years as examples, we illustrate our achievements and lessons in recording architectural heritage information with regard to the following aspects: (buildings') ideal status desired, (buildings') current status

  14. 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...... 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...

  15. Liberal-Conservative Synthesis: the Experience of Creating the Concept of Evolutionary Modernization of Russia in the Second half of the 19th Century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxim N. Krot

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The article is devoted to consideration of the liberal-conservative conception of Russia formed in the second half of the 19th century by a number of Russian public figures and statesmen, the most prominent of which were B.N. Chicherin, K.D. Cavelin and A.D. Gradovsky. The author reveals the main stages of modernization of the social and political system in Russia suggested by the liberals. The author deals with the concrete projects of changes and reforms, characterizes the methods of achieving these aims. The article reveals the essence of the liberal-conservative "anticonstitutionalism" of the 60s and the first half of the 70s of the 19th century, identifies the main arguments, used by the representatives of this social thought trend for proving their opinion. One issue is considered separately: the draft of the administrative reform by K.D. Kavelin, having offered a wide reorganization of the supreme bodies of state administration and the nature of their formation in order to prepare the basis for establishing of representative government in Russia in the future. The article characterizes the situation in Russia at the turn of 1870 - 1880s, under the circumstances of which there is a gradual transition of liberal conservatives to the idea of immediate creation of representative bodies in Russia. The author analyzes in detail the following: the main arguments and motivations, having induced them to introducing the requirements as well as the projects themselves, devoted to the establishment of elected representative bodies that were supposed to be integrated into the existing government management, complementing and improving it. In the article special attention is drawn to the harmonious combination of liberal - reformational and conservative-preserving principles that, according to its authors, on the one hand, must have promoted the evolution of social and political relations in the country, have avoided their stagnation and degradation

  16. Water Conservation and Reuse. Instructor Guide. Working for Clean Water: An Information Program for Advisory Committees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennsylvania State Univ., Middletown. Inst. of State and Regional Affairs.

    Described is a learning session on water conservation intended for citizen advisory groups interested in water quality planning. Topics addressed in this instructor's manual include water conservation needs, benefits, programs, technology, and problems. These materials are components of the Working for Clean Water Project. (Author/WB)

  17. [Evolutionary medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wjst, M

    2013-12-01

    Evolutionary medicine allows new insights into long standing medical problems. Are we "really stoneagers on the fast lane"? This insight might have enormous consequences and will allow new answers that could never been provided by traditional anthropology. Only now this is made possible using data from molecular medicine and systems biology. Thereby evolutionary medicine takes a leap from a merely theoretical discipline to practical fields - reproductive, nutritional and preventive medicine, as well as microbiology, immunology and psychiatry. Evolutionary medicine is not another "just so story" but a serious candidate for the medical curriculum providing a universal understanding of health and disease based on our biological origin. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  18. Assessing ecological correlates of marine bird declines to inform marine conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilchis, L Ignacio; Johnson, Christine K; Evenson, Joseph R; Pearson, Scott F; Barry, Karen L; Davidson, Peter; Raphael, Martin G; Gaydos, Joseph K

    2015-01-01

    Identifying drivers of ecosystem change in large marine ecosystems is central for their effective management and conservation. This is a sizable challenge, particularly in ecosystems transcending international borders, where monitoring and conservation of long-range migratory species and their habitats are logistically and financially problematic. Here, using tools borrowed from epidemiology, we elucidated common drivers underlying species declines within a marine ecosystem, much in the way epidemiological analyses evaluate risk factors for negative health outcomes to better inform decisions. Thus, we identified ecological traits and dietary specializations associated with species declines in a community of marine predators that could be reflective of ecosystem change. To do so, we integrated count data from winter surveys collected in long-term marine bird monitoring programs conducted throughout the Salish Sea—a transboundary large marine ecosystem in North America's Pacific Northwest. We found that decadal declines in winter counts were most prevalent among pursuit divers such as alcids (Alcidae) and grebes (Podicipedidae) that have specialized diets based on forage fish, and that wide-ranging species without local breeding colonies were more prone to these declines. Although a combination of factors is most likely driving declines of diving forage fish specialists, we propose that changes in the availability of low-trophic prey may be forcing wintering range shifts of diving birds in the Salish Sea. Such a synthesis of long-term trends in a marine predator community not only provides unique insights into the types of species that are at risk of extirpation and why, but may also inform proactive conservation measures to counteract threats—information that is paramount for species-specific and ecosystem-wide conservation. Evaluación de las Correlaciones Ecológicas de las Declinaciones de Aves Marinas para Informar a la Conservación Marina Resumen La

  19. The lytic origin of herpesvirus papio is highly homologous to Epstein-Barr virus ori-Lyt: evolutionary conservation of transcriptional activation and replication signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryon, J J; Fixman, E D; Houchens, C; Zong, J; Lieberman, P M; Chang, Y N; Hayward, G S; Hayward, S D

    1993-01-01

    Herpesvirus papio (HVP) is a B-lymphotropic baboon virus with an estimated 40% homology to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). We have cloned and sequenced ori-Lyt of herpesvirus papio and found a striking degree of nucleotide homology (89%) with ori-Lyt of EBV. Transcriptional elements form an integral part of EBV ori-Lyt. The promoter and enhancer domains of EBV ori-Lyt are conserved in herpesvirus papio. The EBV ori-Lyt promoter contains four binding sites for the EBV lytic cycle transactivator Zta, and the enhancer includes one Zta and two Rta response elements. All five of the Zta response elements and one of the Rta motifs are conserved in HVP ori-Lyt, and the HVP DS-L leftward promoter and the enhancer were activated in transient transfection assays by the EBV Zta and Rta transactivators. The EBV ori-Lyt enhancer contains a palindromic sequence, GGTCAGCTGACC, centered on a PvuII restriction site. This sequence, with a single base change, is also present in the HVP ori-Lyt enhancer. DNase I footprinting demonstrated that the PvuII sequence was bound by a protein present in a Raji nuclear extract. Mobility shift and competition assays using oligonucleotide probes identified this sequence as a binding site for the cellular transcription factor MLTF. Mutagenesis of the binding site indicated that MLTF contributes significantly to the constitutive activity of the ori-Lyt enhancer. The high degree of conservation of cis-acting signal sequences in HVP ori-Lyt was further emphasized by the finding that an HVP ori-Lyt-containing plasmid was replicated in Vero cells by a set of cotransfected EBV replication genes. The central domain of EBV ori-Lyt contains two related AT-rich palindromes, one of which is partially duplicated in the HVP sequence. The AT-rich palindromes are functionally important cis-acting motifs. Deletion of these palindromes severely diminished replication of an ori-Lyt target plasmid. Images PMID:8389916

  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. Multiple Identified Neurons and Peripheral Nerves Innervating the Prothoracic Defense Glands in Stick Insects Reveal Evolutionary Conserved and Novel Elements of a Chemical Defense System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Strauß

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The defense glands in the dorsal prothorax are an important autapomorphic trait of stick insects (Phasmatodea. Here, we study the functional anatomy and neuronal innervation of the defense glands in Anisomorpha paromalus (Westwood, 1859 (Pseudophasmatinae, a species which sprays its defense secretions when disturbed or attacked. We use a neuroanatomical approach to identify the nerves innervating the gland muscles and the motoneurons with axons in the different nerves. The defense gland is innervated by nerves originating from two segments, the subesophageal ganglion (SOG, and the prothoracic ganglion. Axonal tracing confirms the gland innervation via the anterior subesophageal nerve, and two intersegmental nerves, the posterior subesophageal nerve, and the anterior prothoracic nerve. Axonal tracing of individual nerves reveals eight identified neuron types in the subesophageal or prothoracic ganglion. The strongest innervating nerve of the gland is the anterior subesophageal nerve, which also supplies dorsal longitudinal thorax muscles (neck muscles by separate nerve branches. Tracing of individual nerve branches reveals different sets of motoneurons innervating the defense gland (one ipsilateral and one contralateral subesophageal neuron or the neck muscle (ventral median neurons. The ipsilateral and contralateral subesophageal neurons have no homologs in related taxa like locusts and crickets, and thus evolved within stick insects with the differentiation of the defense glands. The overall innervation pattern suggests that the longitudinal gland muscles derived from dorsal longitudinal neck muscles. In sum, the innervating nerves for dorsal longitudinal muscles are conserved in stick insects, while the neuronal control system was specialized with conserved motoneurons for the persisting neck muscles, and evolutionarily novel subesophageal and prothoracic motoneurons innervating the defense gland.

  2. Conserved Proteins of the RNA Interference System in the Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungus Rhizoglomus irregulare Provide New Insight into the Evolutionary History of Glomeromycota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Soon-Jae; Kong, Mengxuan; Harrison, Paul; Hijri, Mohamed

    2018-01-01

    Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is an important mechanism in the evolution of many living organisms particularly in Prokaryotes where genes are frequently dispersed between taxa. Although, HGT has been reported in Eukaryotes, its accumulative effect and its frequency has been questioned. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are an early diverged fungal lineage belonging to phylum Glomeromycota, whose phylogenetic position is still under debate. The history of AMF and land plant symbiosis dates back to at least 460 Ma. However, Glomeromycota are estimated to have emerged much earlier than land plants. In this study, we surveyed genomic and transcriptomic data of the model arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus Rhizoglomus irregulare (synonym Rhizophagus irregularis) and its relatives to search for evidence of HGT that occurred during AMF evolution. Surprisingly, we found a signature of putative HGT of class I ribonuclease III protein-coding genes that occurred from autotrophic cyanobacteria genomes to R. irregulare. At least one of two HGTs was conserved among AMF species with high levels of sequence similarity. Previously, an example of intimate symbiosis between AM fungus and cyanobacteria was reported in the literature. Ribonuclease III family enzymes are important in small RNA regulation in Fungi together with two additional core proteins (Argonaute/piwi and RdRP). The eukaryotic RNA interference system found in AMF was conserved and showed homology with high sequence similarity in Mucoromycotina, a group of fungi closely related to Glomeromycota. Prior to this analysis, class I ribonuclease III has not been identified in any eukaryotes. Our results indicate that a unique acquisition of class I ribonuclease III in AMF is due to a HGT event that occurred from cyanobacteria to Glomeromycota, at the latest before the divergence of the two Glomeromycota orders Diversisporales and Glomerales. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society

  3. Conservation physiology can inform threat assessment and recovery planning processes for threatened species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Birnie-Gauvin, Kim; Walton, Sarah; Delle Palme, Caleigh A.

    2017-01-01

    threat assessments and work with partners to develop recovery plans. Here we argue that conservation physiology has much to offer for the threat assessment process and outline the ways in which this can be operationalized. For instance, conservation physiology is effective at revealing causal...... role in the conservation activities of bodies like the IUCN that are engaged in threat assessment and recovery of endangered organisms. Although we focus on activities at the international scale, these same concepts are relevant and applicable to national and regional bodies...

  4. Evolutionary robotics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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 ...

  5. 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

  6. The need for speed: informed land acquisitions for conservation in a dynamic property market.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald-Madden, Eve; Bode, Michael; Game, Edward T; Grantham, Hedley; Possingham, Hugh P

    2008-11-01

    Land acquisition is a common approach to biodiversity conservation but is typically subject to property availability on the public market. Consequently, conservation plans are often unable to be implemented as intended. When properties come on the market, conservation agencies must make a choice: purchase immediately, often without a detailed knowledge of its biodiversity value; survey the parcel and accept the risk that it may be removed from the market during this process; or not purchase and hope a better parcel comes on the market at a later date. We describe both an optimal method, using stochastic dynamic programming, and a simple rule of thumb for making such decisions. The solutions to this problem illustrate how optimal conservation is necessarily dynamic and requires explicit consideration of both the time period allowed for implementation and the availability of properties.

  7. 77 FR 25962 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-02

    ... conservation, recreation, ecological, historical, or aesthetic values, or that are threatened by conversion... establish procedures for eligible applicants who choose to participate in the program to use when developing...

  8. Using Spatial, Economic, and Ecological Opinion Data to Inform Gray Wolf Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Meredith S.; Nickerson, Norma P.; Metcalf, Elizabeth Covelli

    2018-01-01

    Public opinion can be an influential factor in wildlife management decisions. Evaluating public opinions can help legitimize, or delegitimize, management and facilitate long-term conservation goals. This is especially true for the controversial issues surrounding the management of predators. We surveyed Montana, USA, residents during summer of 2013 to measure public opinion regarding economic and ecological impacts of the gray wolf (Canis lupus), and current management of this species. Although opinions were polarized in some areas, a greater percentage of Montanans think that wolves negatively affect the economy, but impact tourism (which contributes to the economy) positively. These differences may reflect the belief that rancher economic losses from wolf predation of cattle is greater than overall tourism gains related to wolves (e.g., wolf-watching), in addition to the perception of wolves negatively affecting big game (e.g., elk [Cervus canadensis]). Results also show that a slightly greater percentage of Montanans feel that wolves positively rather than negatively affect the ecosystem. Regarding specific practices, more Montanans than not have a positive opinion of maintaining wolves on the landscape and also support hunting of wolves. More Montanans hold negative rather than positive opinions, however, regarding wolf trapping. This result was most evident in western Montana as assessed by a spatial distribution of opinions by county and has implications for current wolf management and nontarget species. Results of ordinal regression analyses revealed that big game hunters, males, and those who held negative opinions of the effect of wolves on the Montana ecosystem and economy were significantly more likely to support both hunting and trapping practices. Living in western Montana predicted positive opinions of hunting, but alternatively, negative opinions of trapping. These results provide an understanding of public opinion of wolf management by county as

  9. Using Spatial, Economic, and Ecological Opinion Data to Inform Gray Wolf Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Meredith S; Nickerson, Norma P; Metcalf, Elizabeth Covelli

    2016-09-01

    Public opinion can be an influential factor in wildlife management decisions. Evaluating public opinions can help legitimize, or delegitimize, management and facilitate long-term conservation goals. This is especially true for the controversial issues surrounding the management of predators. We surveyed Montana, USA, residents during summer of 2013 to measure public opinion regarding economic and ecological impacts of the gray wolf ( Canis lupus ), and current management of this species. Although opinions were polarized in some areas, a greater percentage of Montanans think that wolves negatively affect the economy, but impact tourism (which contributes to the economy) positively. These differences may reflect the belief that rancher economic losses from wolf predation of cattle is greater than overall tourism gains related to wolves (e.g., wolf-watching), in addition to the perception of wolves negatively affecting big game (e.g., elk [ Cervus canadensis ]). Results also show that a slightly greater percentage of Montanans feel that wolves positively rather than negatively affect the ecosystem. Regarding specific practices, more Montanans than not have a positive opinion of maintaining wolves on the landscape and also support hunting of wolves. More Montanans hold negative rather than positive opinions, however, regarding wolf trapping. This result was most evident in western Montana as assessed by a spatial distribution of opinions by county and has implications for current wolf management and nontarget species. Results of ordinal regression analyses revealed that big game hunters, males, and those who held negative opinions of the effect of wolves on the Montana ecosystem and economy were significantly more likely to support both hunting and trapping practices. Living in western Montana predicted positive opinions of hunting, but alternatively, negative opinions of trapping. These results provide an understanding of public opinion of wolf management by county as

  10. Resource manager information needs regarding hydrologic regime shifts for the North Pacific Landscape Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Andrea; Jenni, Karen

    2014-01-01

    Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) are a network of 22 public-private partnerships, defined by ecoregion, that share and provide science to ensure the sustainability of land, water, wildlife, and cultural resources in North America. LCCs were established by the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) in recognition of the fact that response to climate change must be coordinated on a landscape-level basis because important resources, ecosystem processes, and resource management challenges extend beyond most of the boundaries considered in current natural resource management. The North Pacific LCC (NPLCC) covers the range of the Pacific coastal temperate rainforest, including an area of 528,360 km2 spanning 22 degrees of latitude from the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, to Bodega Bay, California. The coverage area includes parts of four States, two Canadian provinces, and more than 100 Tribes and First Nation language groups. It extends from alpine areas at the crest of coastal mountains across subalpine, montane, and lowland forests to the nearshore marine environment. This wide range of latitudes and elevation zones; terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats; and complex jurisdictional boundaries hosts a diversity of natural resources and their corresponding management issues are equally diverse. As evidenced by the Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (S-TEK) Strategy guiding principles, identifying and responding to the needs of resource managers is key to the success of the NPLCC. To help achieve this goal of the NPLCC, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has organized several workshops with resource managers and resource scientists to identify management information needs relevant to the priority topics identified in the S-TEK Strategy. Here, we detail the results from a first workshop to address the effects of changes in hydrologic regime on rivers, streams, and riparian corridors. The workshop focused on a subset of the full NPLCC geography and was

  11. Gcn4 misregulation reveals a direct role for the evolutionary conserved EKC/KEOPS in the t6A modification of tRNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugeron, Marie-Claire; Lenstra, Tineke L; Frizzarin, Martina; El Yacoubi, Basma; Liu, Xipeng; Baudin-Baillieu, Agnès; Lijnzaad, Philip; Decourty, Laurence; Saveanu, Cosmin; Jacquier, Alain; Holstege, Frank C P; de Crécy-Lagard, Valérie; van Tilbeurgh, Herman; Libri, Domenico

    2011-08-01

    The EKC/KEOPS complex is universally conserved in Archaea and Eukarya and has been implicated in several cellular processes, including transcription, telomere homeostasis and genomic instability. However, the molecular function of the complex has remained elusive so far. We analyzed the transcriptome of EKC/KEOPS mutants and observed a specific profile that is highly enriched in targets of the Gcn4p transcriptional activator. GCN4 expression was found to be activated at the translational level in mutants via the defective recognition of the inhibitory upstream ORFs (uORFs) present in its leader. We show that EKC/KEOPS mutants are defective for the N6-threonylcarbamoyl adenosine modification at position 37 (t(6)A(37)) of tRNAs decoding ANN codons, which affects initiation at the inhibitory uORFs and provokes Gcn4 de-repression. Structural modeling reveals similarities between Kae1 and bacterial enzymes involved in carbamoylation reactions analogous to t(6)A(37) formation, supporting a direct role for the EKC in tRNA modification. These findings are further supported by strong genetic interactions of EKC mutants with a translation initiation factor and with threonine biosynthesis genes. Overall, our data provide a novel twist to understanding the primary function of the EKC/KEOPS and its impact on several essential cellular functions like transcription and telomere homeostasis.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Benefits and limitations of using decision analytic tools to assess uncertainty and prioritize Landscape Conservation Cooperative information needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post van der Burg, Max; Cullinane Thomas, Catherine; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Nelson, Richard D.

    2016-01-01

    The Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) are a network of partnerships throughout North America that are tasked with integrating science and management to support more effective delivery of conservation at a landscape scale. In order to achieve this integration, some LCCs have adopted the approach of providing their partners with better scientific information in an effort to facilitate more effective and coordinated conservation decisions. Taking this approach has led many LCCs to begin funding research to provide the information for improved decision making. To ensure that funding goes to research projects with the highest likelihood of leading to more integrated broad scale conservation, some LCCs have also developed approaches for prioritizing which information needs will be of most benefit to their partnerships. We describe two case studies in which decision analytic tools were used to quantitatively assess the relative importance of information for decisions made by partners in the Plains and Prairie Potholes LCC. The results of the case studies point toward a few valuable lessons in terms of using these tools with LCCs. Decision analytic tools tend to help shift focus away from research oriented discussions and toward discussions about how information is used in making better decisions. However, many technical experts do not have enough knowledge about decision making contexts to fully inform the latter type of discussion. When assessed in the right decision context, however, decision analyses can point out where uncertainties actually affect optimal decisions and where they do not. This helps technical experts understand that not all research is valuable in improving decision making. But perhaps most importantly, our results suggest that decision analytic tools may be more useful for LCCs as way of developing integrated objectives for coordinating partner decisions across the landscape, rather than simply ranking research priorities.

  15. Archaeogenetics in evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwman, Abigail; Rühli, Frank

    2016-09-01

    Archaeogenetics is the study of exploration of ancient DNA (aDNA) of more than 70 years old. It is an important part of the wider studies of many different areas of our past, including animal, plant and pathogen evolution and domestication events. Hereby, we address specifically the impact of research in archaeogenetics in the broader field of evolutionary medicine. Studies on ancient hominid genomes help to understand even modern health patterns. Human genetic microevolution, e.g. related to abilities of post-weaning milk consumption, and specifically genetic adaptation in disease susceptibility, e.g. towards malaria and other infectious diseases, are of the upmost importance in contributions of archeogenetics on the evolutionary understanding of human health and disease. With the increase in both the understanding of modern medical genetics and the ability to deep sequence ancient genetic information, the field of archaeogenetic evolutionary medicine is blossoming.

  16. Evolutionary institutionalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürstenberg, Dr Kai

    Institutions are hard to define and hard to study. Long prominent in political science have been two theories: Rational Choice Institutionalism (RCI) and Historical Institutionalism (HI). Arising from the life sciences is now a third: Evolutionary Institutionalism (EI). Comparative strengths and weaknesses of these three theories warrant review, and the value-to-be-added by expanding the third beyond Darwinian evolutionary theory deserves consideration. Should evolutionary institutionalism expand to accommodate new understanding in ecology, such as might apply to the emergence of stability, and in genetics, such as might apply to political behavior? Core arguments are reviewed for each theory with more detailed exposition of the third, EI. Particular attention is paid to EI's gene-institution analogy; to variation, selection, and retention of institutional traits; to endogeneity and exogeneity; to agency and structure; and to ecosystem effects, institutional stability, and empirical limitations in behavioral genetics. RCI, HI, and EI are distinct but complementary. Institutional change, while amenable to rational-choice analysis and, retrospectively, to criticaljuncture and path-dependency analysis, is also, and importantly, ecological. Stability, like change, is an emergent property of institutions, which tend to stabilize after change in a manner analogous to allopatric speciation. EI is more than metaphorically biological in that institutional behaviors are driven by human behaviors whose evolution long preceded the appearance of institutions themselves.

  17. Predicting compliance with an information-based residential outdoor water conservation program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landon, Adam C.; Kyle, Gerard T.; Kaiser, Ronald A.

    2016-05-01

    Residential water conservation initiatives often involve some form of education or persuasion intended to change the attitudes and behaviors of residential consumers. However, the ability of these instruments to change attitudes toward conservation and their efficacy in affecting water use remains poorly understood. In this investigation the authors examine consumer attitudes toward complying with a persuasive water conservation program, the extent to which those attitudes predict compliance, and the influence of environmental contextual factors on outdoor water use. Results indicate that the persuasive program was successful in developing positive attitudes toward compliance, and that those attitudes predict water use. However, attitudinal variables explain a relatively small proportion of the variance in objectively measured water use behavior. Recommendations for policy are made stressing the importance of understanding both the effects of attitudes and environmental contextual factors in behavior change initiatives in the municipal water sector.

  18. Protected Areas’ Impacts on Brazilian Amazon Deforestation: Examining Conservation – Development Interactions to Inform Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfaff, Alexander; Robalino, Juan; Herrera, Diego; Sandoval, Catalina

    2015-01-01

    Protected areas are the leading forest conservation policy for species and ecoservices goals and they may feature in climate policy if countries with tropical forest rely on familiar tools. For Brazil's Legal Amazon, we estimate the average impact of protection upon deforestation and show how protected areas’ forest impacts vary significantly with development pressure. We use matching, i.e., comparisons that are apples-to-apples in observed land characteristics, to address the fact that protected areas (PAs) tend to be located on lands facing less pressure. Correcting for that location bias lowers our estimates of PAs’ forest impacts by roughly half. Further, it reveals significant variation in PA impacts along development-related dimensions: for example, the PAs that are closer to roads and the PAs closer to cities have higher impact. Planners have multiple conservation and development goals, and are constrained by cost, yet still conservation planning should reflect what our results imply about future impacts of PAs. PMID:26225922

  19. Protected Areas' Impacts on Brazilian Amazon Deforestation: Examining Conservation-Development Interactions to Inform Planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfaff, Alexander; Robalino, Juan; Herrera, Diego; Sandoval, Catalina

    2015-01-01

    Protected areas are the leading forest conservation policy for species and ecoservices goals and they may feature in climate policy if countries with tropical forest rely on familiar tools. For Brazil's Legal Amazon, we estimate the average impact of protection upon deforestation and show how protected areas' forest impacts vary significantly with development pressure. We use matching, i.e., comparisons that are apples-to-apples in observed land characteristics, to address the fact that protected areas (PAs) tend to be located on lands facing less pressure. Correcting for that location bias lowers our estimates of PAs' forest impacts by roughly half. Further, it reveals significant variation in PA impacts along development-related dimensions: for example, the PAs that are closer to roads and the PAs closer to cities have higher impact. Planners have multiple conservation and development goals, and are constrained by cost, yet still conservation planning should reflect what our results imply about future impacts of PAs.

  20. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary ecologists are traditionally gene-focused, as genes propagate phenotypic traits across generations and mutations and recombination in the DNA generate genetic diversity required for evolutionary processes. As a consequence, the inheritance of changed DNA provides a molecular explanation for the functional changes associated with natural selection. A direct focus on proteins on the other hand, the actual molecular agents responsible for the expression of a phenotypic trait, receives far less interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists. This is partially due to the central dogma of molecular biology that appears to define proteins as the 'dead-end of molecular information flow' as well as technical limitations in identifying and studying proteins and their diversity in the field and in many of the more exotic genera often favored in ecological studies. Here we provide an overview of a newly forming field of research that we refer to as 'Evolutionary Proteomics'. We point out that the origins of cellular function are related to the properties of polypeptide and RNA and their interactions with the environment, rather than DNA descent, and that the critical role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution is more about coopting new proteins to impact cellular processes than it is about modifying gene function. Furthermore, post-transcriptional and post-translational processes generate a remarkable diversity of mature proteins from a single gene, and the properties of these mature proteins can also influence inheritance through genetic and perhaps epigenetic mechanisms. The influence of post-transcriptional diversification on evolutionary processes could provide a novel mechanistic underpinning for elements of rapid, directed evolutionary changes and adaptations as observed for a variety of evolutionary processes. Modern state-of the art technologies based on mass spectrometry are now available to identify and quantify peptides, proteins, protein

  1. Empirical Evidence in Support of a Research-Informed Water Conservation Education Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Ruthanne; Serna, Victoria Faubion

    2016-01-01

    Based on results from a 2008 research study of regional citizen knowledge concerning watershed issues, a water conservation education program was designed and implemented. Findings from the initial study demonstrated program success as evidenced by knowledge gain and willingness to "commit" to water saving behaviors in 94% of students. A…

  2. Reaching people with energy conservation information: four statewide residential case studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peelle, E.; Braid, R.B.; Jones, D.W.; Reed, J.H.

    1983-09-01

    Four state residential energy conservation programs are reviewed in terms of their origins, evolutions, purposes and goals, administration, organization, and outcomes. The four programs chosen were selected from among 30 nominated by state energy offices and regional Department of Energy personnel as being illustrative in terms of organization and/or outcomes. While intended primarily for state-level program managers and staff, the profiles of programs, conclusions, and recommendations should be useful to anyone interested in developing viable, action-oriented conservation programs. The four case studies included Oregon's Master Conserver program, Oklahoma's energy education project for low-income and elderly families, Virginia's workshops for heating dealers service and contractors, and Maine's three energy education projects - the Energy Bus, Energy Conservation Month, and the Home Energy Check-up. All four programs utilized Energy Extension Service (EES) funds from the federal government, and three were directly managed through the state EES organization. The findings of the study indicate that these programs (1) had flexibility to experiment, iterate, and reorganize as a result of their initial experiences, (2) made extensive use of networking to involve local groups in program delivery, (3) employed a large variety of delivery methods, and (4) made substantial efforts to tailor literature and handouts to the target audiences.

  3. Great Basin Factsheet Series 2016 - Information and tools to restore and conserve Great Basin ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers

    2016-01-01

    Land managers are responsible for developing effective strategies for conserving and restoring Great Basin ecosystems in the face of invasive species, conifer expansion, and altered fire regimes. A warming climate is magnifying the effects of these threats and adding urgency to implementation of management practices that will maintain or improve ecosystem...

  4. 77 FR 12567 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Submission of Conservation Efforts To Make...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-01

    ... conservation plan or agreement, procedures for monitoring the effectiveness of the plan or agreement, and an...: Regular submission (extension of a currently approved collection). Affected Public: Business or other for... report for successful agreements. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 3,300. Estimated Total Annual Cost...

  5. Evolutionary genetics: the Drosophila model

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    Evolutionary genetics straddles the two fundamental processes of life, ... of the genus Drosophila have been used extensively as model systems in experimental ... issue will prove interesting, informative and thought-provoking for both estab-.

  6. Generation of priority research questions to inform conservation policy and management at a national level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudd, Murray A; Beazley, Karen F; Cooke, Steven J; Fleishman, Erica; Lane, Daniel E; Mascia, Michael B; Roth, Robin; Tabor, Gary; Bakker, Jiselle A; Bellefontaine, Teresa; Berteaux, Dominique; Cantin, Bernard; Chaulk, Keith G; Cunningham, Kathryn; Dobell, Rod; Fast, Eleanor; Ferrara, Nadia; Findlay, C Scott; Hallstrom, Lars K; Hammond, Thomas; Hermanutz, Luise; Hutchings, Jeffrey A; Lindsay, Kathryn E; Marta, Tim J; Nguyen, Vivian M; Northey, Greg; Prior, Kent; Ramirez-Sanchez, Saudiel; Rice, Jake; Sleep, Darren J H; Szabo, Nora D; Trottier, Geneviève; Toussaint, Jean-Patrick; Veilleux, Jean-Philippe

    2011-06-01

    Integrating knowledge from across the natural and social sciences is necessary to effectively address societal tradeoffs between human use of biological diversity and its preservation. Collaborative processes can change the ways decision makers think about scientific evidence, enhance levels of mutual trust and credibility, and advance the conservation policy discourse. Canada has responsibility for a large fraction of some major ecosystems, such as boreal forests, Arctic tundra, wetlands, and temperate and Arctic oceans. Stressors to biological diversity within these ecosystems arise from activities of the country's resource-based economy, as well as external drivers of environmental change. Effective management is complicated by incongruence between ecological and political boundaries and conflicting perspectives on social and economic goals. Many knowledge gaps about stressors and their management might be reduced through targeted, timely research. We identify 40 questions that, if addressed or answered, would advance research that has a high probability of supporting development of effective policies and management strategies for species, ecosystems, and ecological processes in Canada. A total of 396 candidate questions drawn from natural and social science disciplines were contributed by individuals with diverse organizational affiliations. These were collaboratively winnowed to 40 by our team of collaborators. The questions emphasize understanding ecosystems, the effects and mitigation of climate change, coordinating governance and management efforts across multiple jurisdictions, and examining relations between conservation policy and the social and economic well-being of Aboriginal peoples. The questions we identified provide potential links between evidence from the conservation sciences and formulation of policies for conservation and resource management. Our collaborative process of communication and engagement between scientists and decision makers for

  7. Founded: Genetic Reconstruction of Lineage Diversity and Kinship Informs Ex situ Conservation of Cuban Amazon Parrots (Amazona leucocephala).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milián-García, Yoamel; Jensen, Evelyn L; Madsen, Jeanette; Álvarez Alonso, Suleiky; Serrano Rodríguez, Aryamne; Espinosa López, Georgina; Russello, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    Captive breeding is a widespread conservation strategy, yet such programs rarely include empirical genetic data for assessing management assumptions and meeting conservation goals. Cuban Amazon parrots (Amazona leucocephala) are considered vulnerable, and multiple on-island captive populations have been established from wild-caught and confiscated individuals of unknown ancestry. Here, we used mitochondrial haplotypic and nuclear genotypic data at 9 microsatellite loci to quantify the extent and distribution of genetic variation within and among captive populations in Zapata Swamp and Managua, Cuba, and to estimate kinship among breeders (n = 88). Using Bayesian clustering analysis, we detected 2 distinct clusters within the Zapata population, one of which was shared with Managua. Individuals from the cluster unique to Zapata possessed mitochondrial haplotypes with affinities to Cuban subspecies (A. l. leucocephala, A. l. palmarum); the shared cluster was similar, but also included haplotypes closely related to the subspecies restricted to Cayman Brac (A. l. hesterna). Overall mean kinship was low within each captive population (-0.026 to -0.012), with 19 and 11 recommended breeding pairs in Zapata and Managua, respectively, ranked according to mean kinship and informed by molecular sexing. Our results highlight the importance of understanding population history within ex situ management programs, while providing genetic information to directly inform Cuban parrot conservation. © The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Entropy is conserved in Hawking radiation as tunneling: A revisit of the black hole information loss paradox

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Baocheng; Cai Qingyu; Zhan Mingsheng; You Li

    2011-01-01

    Research Highlights: → Information is found to be encoded and carried away by Hawking radiations. → Entropy is conserved in Hawking radiation. → We thus conclude no information is lost. → The dynamics of black hole may be unitary. - Abstract: We revisit in detail the paradox of black hole information loss due to Hawking radiation as tunneling. We compute the amount of information encoded in correlations among Hawking radiations for a variety of black holes, including the Schwarzchild black hole, the Reissner-Nordstroem black hole, the Kerr black hole, and the Kerr-Newman black hole. The special case of tunneling through a quantum horizon is also considered. Within a phenomenological treatment based on the accepted emission probability spectrum from a black hole, we find that information is leaked out hidden in the correlations of Hawking radiation. The recovery of this previously unaccounted for information helps to conserve the total entropy of a system composed of a black hole plus its radiations. We thus conclude, irrespective of the microscopic picture for black hole collapsing, the associated radiation process: Hawking radiation as tunneling, is consistent with unitarity as required by quantum mechanics.

  9. Study on Information Management for the Conservation of Traditional Chinese Architectural Heritage - 3d Modelling and Metadata Representation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, Y. N.; Weng, K. H.; Huang, H. Y.

    2013-07-01

    After over 30 years of practise and development, Taiwan's architectural conservation field is moving rapidly into digitalization and its applications. Compared to modern buildings, traditional Chinese architecture has considerably more complex elements and forms. To document and digitize these unique heritages in their conservation lifecycle is a new and important issue. This article takes the caisson ceiling of the Taipei Confucius Temple, octagonal with 333 elements in 8 types, as a case study for digitization practise. The application of metadata representation and 3D modelling are the two key issues to discuss. Both Revit and SketchUp were appliedin this research to compare its effectiveness to metadata representation. Due to limitation of the Revit database, the final 3D models wasbuilt with SketchUp. The research found that, firstly, cultural heritage databasesmustconvey that while many elements are similar in appearance, they are unique in value; although 3D simulations help the general understanding of architectural heritage, software such as Revit and SketchUp, at this stage, could onlybe used tomodel basic visual representations, and is ineffective indocumenting additional critical data ofindividually unique elements. Secondly, when establishing conservation lifecycle information for application in management systems, a full and detailed presentation of the metadata must also be implemented; the existing applications of BIM in managing conservation lifecycles are still insufficient. Results of the research recommends SketchUp as a tool for present modelling needs, and BIM for sharing data between users, but the implementation of metadata representation is of the utmost importance.

  10. Evolutionary Conservation of pou5f3 Genomic Organization and Its Dynamic Distribution during Embryogenesis and in Adult Gonads in Japanese Flounder Paralichthys olivaceus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinning Gao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (Oct4 is a member of POU (Pit-Oct-Unc transcription factor family Class V that plays a crucial role in maintaining the pluripotency and self-renewal of stem cells. Though it has been deeply investigated in mammals, its lower vertebrate homologue, especially in the marine fish, is poorly studied. In this study, we isolated the full-length sequence of Paralichthys olivaceus pou5f3 (Popou5f3, and we found that it is homologous to mammalian Oct4. We identified two transcript variants with different lengths of 3′-untranslated regions (UTRs generated by alternative polyadenylation (APA. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR, in situ hybridization (ISH and immunohistochemistry (IHC were implemented to characterize the spatial and temporal expression pattern of Popou5f3 during early development and in adult tissues. Our results show that Popou5f3 is maternally inherited, abundantly expressed at the blastula and early gastrula stages, then greatly diminishes at the end of gastrulation. It is hardly detectable from the heart-beating stage onward. We found that Popou5f3 expression is restricted to the adult gonads, and continuously expresses during oogenesis while its dynamics are downregulated during spermatogenesis. Additionally, numerous cis-regulatory elements (CRE on both sides of the flanking regions show potential roles in regulating the expression of Popou5f3. Taken together, these findings could further our understanding of the functions and evolution of pou5f3 in lower vertebrates, and also provides fundamental information for stem cell tracing and genetic manipulation in Paralichthys olivaceus.

  11. Adaptation of Australia’s Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change: Using Science to Inform Conservation Management

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Johanna E.; Holbrook, Neil J.

    2014-01-01

    The challenges that climate change poses for marine ecosystems are already manifesting in impacts at the species, population, and community levels in Australia, particularly in Tasmania and tropical northern Australia. Many species and habitats are already under threat as a result of human activities, and the additional pressure from climate change significantly increases the challenge for marine conservation and management. Climate change impacts are expected to magnify as sea surface temper...

  12. Incorporating evolutionary principles into environmental management and policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Protected Areas' Impacts on Brazilian Amazon Deforestation: Examining Conservation-Development Interactions to Inform Planning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Pfaff

    Full Text Available Protected areas are the leading forest conservation policy for species and ecoservices goals and they may feature in climate policy if countries with tropical forest rely on familiar tools. For Brazil's Legal Amazon, we estimate the average impact of protection upon deforestation and show how protected areas' forest impacts vary significantly with development pressure. We use matching, i.e., comparisons that are apples-to-apples in observed land characteristics, to address the fact that protected areas (PAs tend to be located on lands facing less pressure. Correcting for that location bias lowers our estimates of PAs' forest impacts by roughly half. Further, it reveals significant variation in PA impacts along development-related dimensions: for example, the PAs that are closer to roads and the PAs closer to cities have higher impact. Planners have multiple conservation and development goals, and are constrained by cost, yet still conservation planning should reflect what our results imply about future impacts of PAs.

  14. Understanding public perceptions of risk regarding outdoor pet cats to inform conservation action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramza, Ashley; Teel, Tara; VandeWoude, Susan; Crooks, Kevin

    2016-04-01

    Free-ranging domestic cats (Felis catus) incur and impose risks on ecosystems and represent a complex issue of critical importance to biodiversity conservation and cat and human health globally. Prior social science research on this topic is limited and has emphasized feral cats even though owned cats often comprise a large proportion of the outdoor cat population, particularly in urban areas. To address this gap, we examined public risk perceptions and attitudes toward outdoor pet cats across varying levels of urbanization, including along the wildland-urban interface, in Colorado (U.S.A.), through a mail survey of 1397 residents. Residents did not view all types of risks uniformly. They viewed risks of cat predation on wildlife and carnivore predation on cats as more likely than disease-related risks. Additionally, risk perceptions were related to attitudes, prior experiences with cats and cat-wildlife interactions, and cat-owner behavior. Our findings suggest that changes in risk perceptions may result in behavior change. Therefore, knowledge of cat-related risk perceptions and attitudes could be used to develop communication programs aimed at promoting risk-aversive behaviors among cat owners and cat-management strategies that are acceptable to the public and that directly advance the conservation of native species. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. 76 FR 38618 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Coral Reef Conservation Program Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-07-01

    ..., NOAA is seeking information on the knowledge, attitudes and reef use patterns, as well as information... through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments.... Gwellnar Banks, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2011-16525 Filed 6-30...

  16. Biodiversity informatics: challenges and opportunities for applying biodiversity information to management and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    James S. Kagan

    2006-01-01

    Researchers, land managers, and the public currently often are unable to obtain useful biodiversity information because the subject represents such a large component of biology and ecology, and systems to compile and organize this information do not exist. Information on vascular plant taxonomy, as addressed by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and key...

  17. Evolutionary perspectives on ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichard, Martin

    2017-10-01

    From an evolutionary perspective, ageing is a decrease in fitness with chronological age - expressed by an increase in mortality risk and/or decline in reproductive success and mediated by deterioration of functional performance. While this makes ageing intuitively paradoxical - detrimental to individual fitness - evolutionary theory offers answers as to why ageing has evolved. In this review, I first briefly examine the classic evolutionary theories of ageing and their empirical tests, and highlight recent findings that have advanced our understanding of the evolution of ageing (condition-dependent survival, positive pleiotropy). I then provide an overview of recent theoretical extensions and modifications that accommodate those new discoveries. I discuss the role of indeterminate (asymptotic) growth for lifetime increases in fecundity and ageing trajectories. I outline alternative views that challenge a universal existence of senescence - namely the lack of a germ-soma distinction and the ability of tissue replacement and retrogression to younger developmental stages in modular organisms. I argue that rejuvenation at the organismal level is plausible, but includes a return to a simple developmental stage. This may exempt a particular genotype from somatic defects but, correspondingly, removes any information acquired during development. A resolution of the question of whether a rejuvenated individual is the same entity is central to the recognition of whether current evolutionary theories of ageing, with their extensions and modifications, can explain the patterns of ageing across the Tree of Life. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Information Management Systems for Cultural Heritage and Conservation of World Heritage Sites. The Silk Roads Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ona Vileikis

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses the application of Information Management Systems (IMS in cultural heritage. IMS offer a set of tools for understanding, inventorying and documenting national, regional and World Heritage properties.  Information Management Systems can assist State Parties, stakeholders and heritage site managers involved in cultural heritage management and conservation by easily mining, sharing and exchanging information from multiple sources based on international standards. Moreover, they aim to record, manage, visualize, analyze and disseminate heritage information. In close collaboration with five Central Asian countries, namely, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan; a Belgian consortium headed by the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation (RLICC, K.U.Leuven is developing the Silk Roads Cultural Heritage Resource Information System (CHRIS. This Web-based Information Management System supports the preparation of the Central Asia Silk Roads serial and transnational nominations on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The project has been set up thanks to the financial support of the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO and in collaboration with UNESCO World Heritage Centre in conjunction with the People’s Republic of China and the Japanese Funds-in-Trust UNESCO project. It provides a holistic approach for the recording, documenta tion, protection and monitoring tasks as part of the management of these potential World Heritage Properties. The Silk Roads CHRIS is easily accessible to the general user, presented in a bilingual English and Russian frame and interoperable, i.e. open for other applications to connect to. In this way, all information for the nomination dossiers is easily verified regarding consistency and quality and ready for managing, periodic reporting and monitoring processes in the respect to the property listed. Fina lly, this study provides a general framework to establish

  19. Information requirements of young women with breast cancer treated with mastectomy or breast conserving surgery: A systematic review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recio-Saucedo, Alejandra; Gerty, Sue; Foster, Claire; Eccles, Diana; Cutress, Ramsey I

    2016-02-01

    Young women with breast cancer have poorer prognosis, greater lifetime risk of local recurrence, contralateral recurrence, and distant disease, regardless of surgery received. Here we systematically review published evidence relating to the information requirements and preferences of young women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer offered a choice between mastectomy and Breast Conservation Surgery (BCS). Findings will inform the development of a surgical decision aid for young women. Eight databases were searched to identify research examining information requirements of young women facing breast oncological surgery treatment decisions (MESH headings). Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria. Data were extracted and summarised in a narrative synthesis. Findings indicate that young women prefer greater and more detailed information regarding treatment side effects, sexuality, and body image. Younger age of diagnosis leads to an increased risk perception of developing a second breast cancer. Young women's choices are influenced by factors associated with family and career. Information is required in a continuum throughout the treatment experience and not only at diagnosis when treatment decisions are made. Young women show differing levels of participation preferences. Young women find decision-making challenging when the characteristics of diagnosis provide a surgical choice between mastectomy and breast conservation surgery. Efforts should be made to provide information regarding sexuality, body image, reconstruction, fertility and likelihood of familial predisposition. Further research is needed to identify the specific level and information requirements of this young-onset group. The low number of studies indicate a need to design studies targeting specifically this age group of breast cancer patients. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    transcriptional factors and architectural components of chro- matin (Pevny and .... F7, coagulation fac- tor VII (serum prothrombin conversion accelerator); LAMP1, .... of RNA into protein nor in RNA stability, but in production, or in transcription ...

  1. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    similar amino acid residues are shaded grey. N: N- terminus of SOX14, specific for B2 group of SOX proteins; HMG domain: High Mobility Group binding domain; GBHR: Group B Homology Region; B, C, E, F and G, SOX14 specific regions; A, h1, h2 and h3, SOX14/SOX21 homology regions. 1. SOX14 Homo sapiens, 2.

  2. Determining the drivers of population structure in a highly urbanized landscape to inform conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomassen, Henri A; Harrigan, Ryan J; Semple Delaney, Kathleen; Riley, Seth P D; Serieys, Laurel E K; Pease, Katherine; Wayne, Robert K; Smith, Thomas B

    2018-02-01

    Understanding the environmental contributors to population structure is of paramount importance for conservation in urbanized environments. We used spatially explicit models to determine genetic population structure under current and future environmental conditions across a highly fragmented, human-dominated environment in Southern California to assess the effects of natural ecological variation and urbanization. We focused on 7 common species with diverse habitat requirements, home-range sizes, and dispersal abilities. We quantified the relative roles of potential barriers, including natural environmental characteristics and an anthropogenic barrier created by a major highway, in shaping genetic variation. The ability to predict genetic variation in our models differed among species: 11-81% of intraspecific genetic variation was explained by environmental variables. Although an anthropogenically induced barrier (a major highway) severely restricted gene flow and movement at broad scales for some species, genetic variation seemed to be primarily driven by natural environmental heterogeneity at a local level. Our results show how assessing environmentally associated variation for multiple species under current and future climate conditions can help identify priority regions for maximizing population persistence under environmental change in urbanized regions. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. Adaptation of Australia’s Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change: Using Science to Inform Conservation Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna E. Johnson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The challenges that climate change poses for marine ecosystems are already manifesting in impacts at the species, population, and community levels in Australia, particularly in Tasmania and tropical northern Australia. Many species and habitats are already under threat as a result of human activities, and the additional pressure from climate change significantly increases the challenge for marine conservation and management. Climate change impacts are expected to magnify as sea surface temperatures, ocean chemistry, ocean circulation, sea level, rainfall, and storm patterns continue to change this century. In particular, keystone species that form the foundation of marine habitats, such as coral reefs, kelp beds, and temperate rocky reefs, are projected to pass thresholds with subsequent implications for communities and ecosystems. This review synthesises recent science in this field: the observed impacts and responses of marine ecosystems to climate change, ecological thresholds of change, and strategies for marine conservation to promote adaptation. Increasing observations of climate-related impacts on Australia’s marine ecosystems—both temperate and tropical—are making adaptive management more important than ever before. Our increased understanding of the impacts and responses of marine ecosystems to climate change provides a focus for “no-regrets” adaptations that can be implemented now and refined as knowledge improves.

  4. Determination of non-market values to inform conservation strategies for the threatened Alistana-Sanabresa cattle breed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Collado, D; Diaz, C; Drucker, A G; Carabaño, M J; Zander, K K

    2014-08-01

    Livestock breed-related public good functions are often used to justify support for endangered breed conservation despite the fact that little is known about such non-market values. We show how stated preference techniques can be used to assess the non-market values that people place on livestock breeds. Through the application of a case study choice experiment survey in Zamora province, Spain, the total economic value (TEV) of the threatened Alistana-Sanabresa (AS) cattle breed was investigated. An analysis of the relative importance of the non-market components of its TEV and an assessment of the socio-economic variables that influence people's valuation of such components is used to inform conservation strategy design. Overall, the findings reveal that the AS breed had significant non-market values associated with it and that the value that respondents placed on each specific public good function also varied significantly. Functions related with indirect use cultural and existence values were much more highly valued than landscape maintenance values. These high cultural and existence values (totalling over 80% of TEV) suggest that an AS in situ conservation strategy will be required to secure such values. As part of such a strategy, incentive mechanisms will be needed to permit farmers to capture some of these public good values and thus be able to afford to maintain breed population numbers at socially desirable levels. One such mechanism could be related to the development of breed-related agritourism initiatives, with a view to enhancing private good values and providing an important addition to continued direct support. Where linked with cultural dimensions, niche product market development, including through improving AS breed-related product quality and brand recognition may also have a role to play as part of such an overall conservation and use strategy. We conclude that livestock breed conservation strategies with the highest potential to maximise

  5. 78 FR 7390 - Information Collection Request; Economic Assessment of Conservation Reserve Program Lands for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-01

    ... enhance essential ecosystem resources, including wildlife, which has been documented to provide improved... Agricultural and Resource Economics. Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this information...

  6. Identifying resource manager information needs for the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodward, Andrea; Liedtke, Theresa; Jenni, Karen

    2014-01-01

    Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) are a network of 22 public-private partnerships, defined by ecoregion, that share and provide science to ensure the sustainability of land, water, wildlife and cultural resources in North America. LLCs were established by the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) in recognition that response to climate change must be coordinated on a landscape-level basis because important resources, ecosystem processes and resource management challenges extend beyond national wildlife refuges, Bureau of Land Management lands, national parks, and even international boundaries. Therefore, DOI agencies must work with other Federal, State, Tribal (U.S. indigenous peoples), First Nation (Canadian indigenous peoples), and local governments, as well as private landowners, to develop landscape-level strategies for understanding and responding to climate change.

  7. Spatial demographic models to inform conservation planning of golden eagles in renewable energy landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, J. David; Schumaker, Nathan H.; Inman, Richard D.; Esque, Todd C.; Longshore, Kathleen M.; Nussear, Kenneth E

    2017-01-01

    Spatial demographic models can help guide monitoring and management activities targeting at-risk species, even in cases where baseline data are lacking. Here, we provide an example of how site-specific changes in land use and anthropogenic stressors can be incorporated into a spatial demographic model to investigate effects on population dynamics of Golden Eagles (Aquila chrysaetos). Our study focused on a population of Golden Eagles exposed to risks associated with rapid increases in renewable energy development in southern California, U.S.A. We developed a spatially explicit, individual-based simulation model that integrated empirical data on demography of Golden Eagles with spatial data on the arrangement of nesting habitats, prey resources, and planned renewable energy development sites. Our model permitted simulated eagles of different stage-classes to disperse, establish home ranges, acquire prey resources, prospect for breeding sites, and reproduce. The distribution of nesting habitats, prey resources, and threats within each individual's home range influenced movement, reproduction, and survival. We used our model to explore potential effects of alternative disturbance scenarios, and proposed conservation strategies, on the future distribution and abundance of Golden Eagles in the study region. Results from our simulations suggest that probable increases in mortality associated with renewable energy infrastructure (e.g., collisions with wind turbines and vehicles, electrocution on power poles) could have negative consequences for population trajectories, but that site-specific conservation actions could reduce the magnitude of negative effects. Our study demonstrates the use of a flexible and expandable modeling framework to incorporate spatially dependent processes when determining relative effects of proposed management options to Golden Eagles and their habitats.

  8. Informing conservation management about structural versus functional connectivity: a case-study of Cross River gorillas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imong, Inaoyom; Robbins, Martha M; Mundry, Roger; Bergl, Richard; Kühl, Hjalmar S

    2014-10-01

    Connectivity among subpopulations is vital for the persistence of small and fragmented populations. For management interventions to be effective conservation planners have to make the critical distinction between structural connectivity (based on landscape structure) and functional connectivity (which considers both landscape structure and organism-specific behavioral attributes) which can differ considerably within a given context. We assessed spatial and temporal changes in structural and functional connectivity of the Cross River gorilla Gorilla gorilla diehli (CRG) population in a 12,000 km(2) landscape in the Nigeria-Cameroon border region over a 23-year period, comparing two periods: 1987-2000 and 2000-2010. Despite substantial forest connections between occupied areas, genetic evidence shows that only limited dispersal occurs among CRG subpopulations. We used remotely sensed land-cover data and simulated human pressure (using a spatially explicit agent-based model) to assess human impact on connectivity of the CRG population. We calculated cost-weighted distances between areas occupied by gorillas as measures of connectivity (structural based on land-cover only, functional based on both land-cover and simulated human pressure). Whereas structural connectivity decreased by 5% over the 23-year period, functional connectivity decreased by 11%, with both decreasing more during the latter compared to the earlier period. Our results highlight the increasing threat of isolation of CRG subpopulations due to human disturbance, and provide insight into how increasing human influence may lead to functional isolation of wildlife populations despite habitat continuity, a pressing and common issue in tropical Africa often not accounted for when deciding management interventions. In addition to quantifying threats to connectivity, our study provides crucial evidence for management authorities to identify actions that are more likely to be effective for conservation of

  9. Evolutionary principles and their practical application.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  10. Conservation endocrinology

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, Stephen; Romero, L. Michael

    2017-01-01

    Endocrinologists can make significant contributions to conservation biology by helping to understand the mechanisms by which organisms cope with changing environments. Field endocrine techniques have advanced rapidly in recent years and can provide substantial information on the growth, stress, and reproductive status of individual animals, thereby providing insight into current and future responses of populations to changes in the environment. Environmental stressors and reproductive status can be detected nonlethally by measuring a number of endocrine-related endpoints, including steroids in plasma, living and nonliving tissue, urine, and feces. Information on the environmental or endocrine requirements of individual species for normal growth, development, and reproduction will provide critical information for species and ecosystem conservation. For many taxa, basic information on endocrinology is lacking, and advances in conservation endocrinology will require approaches that are both “basic” and “applied” and include integration of laboratory and field approaches.

  11. Passivity and Evolutionary Game Dynamics

    KAUST Repository

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

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Passivity and Evolutionary Game Dynamics

    KAUST Repository

    Park, Shinkyu

    2018-03-21

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

  13. Sequence co-evolutionary information is a natural partner to minimally-frustrated models of biomolecular dynamics [version 1; referees: 3 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey K Noel

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Experimentally derived structural constraints have been crucial to the implementation of computational models of biomolecular dynamics. For example, not only does crystallography provide essential starting points for molecular simulations but also high-resolution structures permit for parameterization of simplified models. Since the energy landscapes for proteins and other biomolecules have been shown to be minimally frustrated and therefore funneled, these structure-based models have played a major role in understanding the mechanisms governing folding and many functions of these systems. Structural information, however, may be limited in many interesting cases. Recently, the statistical analysis of residue co-evolution in families of protein sequences has provided a complementary method of discovering residue-residue contact interactions involved in functional configurations. These functional configurations are often transient and difficult to capture experimentally. Thus, co-evolutionary information can be merged with that available for experimentally characterized low free-energy structures, in order to more fully capture the true underlying biomolecular energy landscape.

  14. 77 FR 14726 - Information Collection Request; Economic Assessment of Conservation Reserve Program Lands for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-13

    ... improve CRP selection criteria and program implementation. Having information on recreation-related jobs... Hunting. OMB Control Number: 0560-NEW. Type of Request: New. Abstract: As specified in the Food...

  15. IndOBIS, an Ocean Biogeographic Information System for assessment and conservation of Indian Ocean biodiversity

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chavan, V.S.; Achuthankutty, C.T.; Berghe, E.V.; Wafar, M.V.M.

    Compilation of inventories of components of coastal and marine biodiversity of Indian Ocean is hampered by several factors: low effort by some countries, preference to certain taxon, dwindling taxonomic expertise, low infrastructure of Information...

  16. Evolutionary principles and their practical application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 77 FR 30486 - Confidentiality of Information; Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-23

    ... information on three types of proposed changes. NMFS begins with proposed changes that concern the expanded... could be disclosed. This interpretation of limited access program would include specific types of... section 402(b)(1)(D). Unless expressly waived by Congress, sovereign immunity precludes state court...

  18. 78 FR 76313 - Proposed Information Collection; Survey of Residents' Attitudes on Jaguar Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-17

    ... Mexico). We plan to survey 200 residents, land-based business owners/ operators, related government... jaguar ecology and status, people's attitudes towards jaguars, and the social barriers and opportunities... forthcoming policies or programs. We will use information gained from this survey to formulate future jaguar...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. NetTurnP – Neural Network Prediction of Beta-turns by Use of Evolutionary Information and Predicted Protein Sequence Features

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Bent; Lundegaard, Claus; Petersen, Thomas Nordahl

    2010-01-01

    is the highest reported performance on a two-class prediction of β-turn and not-β-turn. Furthermore NetTurnP shows improved performance on some of the specific β-turn types. In the present work, neural network methods have been trained to predict β-turn or not and individual β-turn types from the primary amino......β-turns are the most common type of non-repetitive structures, and constitute on average 25% of the amino acids in proteins. The formation of β-turns plays an important role in protein folding, protein stability and molecular recognition processes. In this work we present the neural network method...... NetTurnP, for prediction of two-class β-turns and prediction of the individual β-turn types, by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features. It has been evaluated against a commonly used dataset BT426, and achieves a Matthews correlation coefficient of 0.50, which...

  2. Fixism and conservation science.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  3. Resilience and risk: a demographic model to inform conservation planning for polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, Eric V.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Rode, Karyn D.; Runge, Michael C.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is having widespread ecological effects, including loss of Arctic sea ice. This has led to listing of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and other ice-dependent marine mammals under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). Methods are needed to evaluate the effects of climate change on population persistence to inform recovery planning for listed species. For polar bears, this includes understanding interactions between climate and secondary factors, such as subsistence harvest, which provide economic, nutritional, or cultural value to humans.

  4. An informational view of accession rarity and allele specificity in germplasm banks for management and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Valdés, M Humberto; Burgueño, Juan; Singh, Sukhwinder; Martínez, Octavio; Sansaloni, Carolina Paola

    2018-01-01

    Germplasm banks are growing in their importance, number of accessions and amount of characterization data, with a large emphasis on molecular genetic markers. In this work, we offer an integrated view of accessions and marker data in an information theory framework. The basis of this development is the mutual information between accessions and allele frequencies for molecular marker loci, which can be decomposed in allele specificities, as well as in rarity and divergence of accessions. In this way, formulas are provided to calculate the specificity of the different marker alleles with reference to their distribution across accessions, accession rarity, defined as the weighted average of the specificity of its alleles, and divergence, defined by the Kullback-Leibler formula. Albeit being different measures, it is demonstrated that average rarity and divergence are equal for any collection. These parameters can contribute to the knowledge of the structure of a germplasm collection and to make decisions about the preservation of rare variants. The concepts herein developed served as the basis for a strategy for core subset selection called HCore, implemented in a publicly available R script. As a proof of concept, the mathematical view and tools developed in this research were applied to a large collection of Mexican wheat accessions, widely characterized by SNP markers. The most specific alleles were found to be private of a single accession, and the distribution of this parameter had its highest frequencies at low levels of specificity. Accession rarity and divergence had largely symmetrical distributions, and had a positive, albeit non-strictly linear relationship. Comparison of the HCore approach for core subset selection, with three state-of-the-art methods, showed it to be superior for average divergence and rarity, mean genetic distance and diversity. The proposed approach can be used for knowledge extraction and decision making in germplasm collections of

  5. Spatial Information in local society’s cultural conservation and research

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.-J. Jang

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Center for Geographic Information Science, Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences,Academia Sinica (GIS center, Coordinate short-, medium-, and long-term operations of multidisciplinary researches focusing on related topics in the sciences and humanities. Based on the requirements of multi-disciplinary research applications, sustain collection and construction of sustaining and unifying spatial base data and knowledge and building of spatial data infrastructure. Since the 1990s, GIS center build geographic information platform: "Time and space infrastructure of Chinese civilization" (Chinese Civilizationin Time and Space, CCTS and "Taiwan History and Culture Map" (Taiwan History and Culture in Time and Space, THCTS . the goal of both system is constructing an integrated GIS-based application infrastructure on the spatial extent of China and Taiwan, in the timeframe of Chinese and Taiwanese history, and with the contents of Chinese and Taiwanese civilization. Base on THCTS, we began to build Cultural Resources GIS(CRGIS, http://crgis.rchss.sinica.edu.tw/ in 2006, to collect temples, historic Monuments, historic buildings, old trees, wind lions god and other cultural resource in Taiwan, and provide a platform for the volunteers to make for all types of tangible, intangible cultural resources, add, edit, organize and query data via Content Management System(CMS . CRGIS collected aggregated 13,000 temples, 4,900 churches. On this basis, draw a variety of religious beliefs map-multiple times Temple distributions, different main god distributions, church distribution. Such as Mazu maps, Multiple times temple distributions map (before 1823, 1823-1895,1895-1949,1949-2015 years at Taijiang inner sea areas in Tainan. In Taiwan, there is a religious ritual through folk activities for a period ranging from one day to several days, passing specific geospatial range and passes through some temples or houses. Such an important folk activity somewhat

  6. Downscaled projections of Caribbean coral bleaching that can inform conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hooidonk, Ruben; Maynard, Jeffrey Allen; Liu, Yanyun; Lee, Sang-Ki

    2015-09-01

    Projections of climate change impacts on coral reefs produced at the coarse resolution (~1°) of Global Climate Models (GCMs) have informed debate but have not helped target local management actions. Here, projections of the onset of annual coral bleaching conditions in the Caribbean under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 are produced using an ensemble of 33 Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase-5 models and via dynamical and statistical downscaling. A high-resolution (~11 km) regional ocean model (MOM4.1) is used for the dynamical downscaling. For statistical downscaling, sea surface temperature (SST) means and annual cycles in all the GCMs are replaced with observed data from the ~4-km NOAA Pathfinder SST dataset. Spatial patterns in all three projections are broadly similar; the average year for the onset of annual severe bleaching is 2040-2043 for all projections. However, downscaled projections show many locations where the onset of annual severe bleaching (ASB) varies 10 or more years within a single GCM grid cell. Managers in locations where this applies (e.g., Florida, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, among others) can identify locations that represent relative albeit temporary refugia. Both downscaled projections are different for the Bahamas compared to the GCM projections. The dynamically downscaled projections suggest an earlier onset of ASB linked to projected changes in regional currents, a feature not resolved in GCMs. This result demonstrates the value of dynamical downscaling for this application and means statistically downscaled projections have to be interpreted with caution. However, aside from west of Andros Island, the projections for the two types of downscaling are mostly aligned; projected onset of ASB is within ±10 years for 72% of the reef locations. © 2015 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. iPhos-PseEvo: Identifying Human Phosphorylated Proteins by Incorporating Evolutionary Information into General PseAAC via Grey System Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Wang-Ren; Sun, Bi-Qian; Xiao, Xuan; Xu, Dong; Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2017-05-01

    Protein phosphorylation plays a critical role in human body by altering the structural conformation of a protein, causing it to become activated/deactivated, or functional modification. Given an uncharacterized protein sequence, can we predict whether it may be phosphorylated or may not? This is no doubt a very meaningful problem for both basic research and drug development. Unfortunately, to our best knowledge, so far no high throughput bioinformatics tool whatsoever has been developed to address such a very basic but important problem due to its extremely complexity and lacking sufficient training data. Here we proposed a predictor called iPhos-PseEvo by (1) incorporating the protein sequence evolutionary information into the general pseudo amino acid composition (PseAAC) via the grey system theory, (2) balancing out the skewed training datasets by the asymmetric bootstrap approach, and (3) constructing an ensemble predictor by fusing an array of individual random forest classifiers thru a voting system. Rigorous jackknife tests have indicated that very promising success rates have been achieved by iPhos-PseEvo even for such a difficult problem. A user-friendly web-server for iPhos-PseEvo has been established at http://www.jci-bioinfo.cn/iPhos-PseEvo, by which users can easily obtain their desired results without the need to go through the complicated mathematical equations involved. It has not escaped our notice that the formulation and approach presented here can be used to analyze many other problems in protein science as well. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. Creating Learning Experiences that Promote Informal Science Education: Designing Conservation-Focused Interactive Zoo Exhibits through Action Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalenda, Peter

    Research on exhibit design over the past twenty years has started to identify many different methods to increase the learning that occurs in informal education environments. This study utilized relevant research on exhibit design to create and study the effectiveness of a mobile interactive exhibit at the Seneca Park Zoo that promotes socialization, engagement in science, and conservation-related practices among guests. This study will serve as one component of a major redesign project at the Seneca Park Zoo for their Rocky Coasts exhibit. This action research study targeted the following question, "How can interactive exhibits be designed to promote socialization, engagement in science, and real-world conservation-related practices (RCPs) among zoo guests?" Specific research questions included: 1. In what ways did guests engage with the exhibit? 2. In what ways were guests impacted by the exhibit? a) What evidence exists, if any, of guests learning science content from the exhibit? b) What evidence exists, if any, of guests being emotionally affected by the exhibit? c) What evidence exists, if any, of guests changing their RCPs after visiting the exhibit? Data were collected through zoo guest surveys completed by zoo guests comparing multiple exhibits, interviews with guests before and after they used the prototype exhibit, observations and audio recordings of guests using the prototype exhibit, and follow-up phone interviews with guests who volunteered to participate. Data were analyzed collaboratively with members of the zoo's exhibit Redesign Team using grounded theory qualitative data analysis techniques to find patterns and trends among data. Initial findings from data analysis were used to develop shifts in the exhibit in order to increase visitor engagement and learning. This process continued for two full action research spirals, which resulted in three iterations of the prototype exhibit. The overall findings of this study highlight the ways in which

  9. Soil loss estimation using geographic information system in enfraz watershed for soil conservation planning in highlands of Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gizachew Tiruneh

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Accelerated soil erosion is a worldwide problem because of its economic and environmental impacts. Enfraz watershed is one of the most erosion-prone watersheds in the highlands of Ethiopia, which received little attention. This study was, therefore, carried out to spatially predict the soil loss rate of the watershed with a Geographic Information System (GIS and Remote Sensing (RS. Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE adapted to Ethiopian conditions was used to estimate potential soil losses by utilizing information on rainfall erosivity (R using interpolation of rainfall data, soil erodibility (K using soil map, vegetation cover (C using satellite images, topography (LS using Digital Elevation Model (DEM and conservation practices (P using satellite images. Based on the analysis, about 92.31% (5914.34 ha of the watershed was categorized none to slight class which under soil loss tolerance (SLT values ranging from 5 to 11 tons ha-1 year-1. The remaining 7.68% (492.21 ha of land was classified under moderate to high class about several times the maximum tolerable soil loss. The total and an average amount of soil loss estimated by RUSLE from the watershed was 30,836.41 ton year-1 and 4.81 tons ha-1year-1, respectively.

  10. Evolutionary Biology Research in India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 5; Issue 10. Evolutionary Biology Research in India. Information and Announcements Volume 5 Issue 10 October 2000 pp 102-104. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/005/10/0102-0104 ...

  11. Attractive evolutionary equilibria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Joosten, Reinoud A.M.G.; Roorda, Berend

    2011-01-01

    We present attractiveness, a refinement criterion for evolutionary equilibria. Equilibria surviving this criterion are robust to small perturbations of the underlying payoff system or the dynamics at hand. Furthermore, certain attractive equilibria are equivalent to others for certain evolutionary

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tybur, Joshua M; Navarrete, Carlos David

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Evolutionary Stable Strategy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 21; Issue 9. Evolutionary Stable Strategy: Application of Nash Equilibrium in Biology. General Article Volume 21 Issue 9 September 2016 pp 803- ... Keywords. Evolutionary game theory, evolutionary stable state, conflict, cooperation, biological games.

  14. PROPOSING A DIGITAL INFORMATION SYSTEM FOR THE MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION OF THE QHAPAQ ÑAN – ANDEAN ROAD SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. N. Duperré

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The ancient network of roads in the Andean region is one of the most important works of infrastructure in South America. The extensive territory where the main exchanges between their communities were locally performed is previous to the expansion of the Inca Empire. In the year 2014, the region was included on the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This communication network is the Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System. The Incas planned their route in the diverse landscape of the Andes to promote social and economic ties among the Andean communities. The routes originated in the central square of Cusco, creating cross-connections in a wide geographical area. The Tawantinsuyu depended on this sole route to link very distant production and worship centers. The Qhapaq Ñan was the result of a political project. Even nowadays, it continues to articulate the development of cultural traditions in the Andean region. The present contribution analyzes its transcendental importance as a Cultural Heritage and the singularity of its nomination by the UNESCO, as for the first time six countries are sharing common objectives towards guaranteeing its protection. Furthermore, this research explores the sense of timing in Latin American countries and the implicit challenges in the implementation of the new information technologies for the dissemination of information on Main Andean Road and for its conservation. Although many of the countries have already incorporated the necessary digital tools in this matter, we conclude that there is a need to implement an Integrated Digital Model for the coordinated management in the countries that form the region.

  15. Proposing a Digital Information System for the Management and Conservation of the Qhapaq ÑAN - Andean Road System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duperré, G. N.

    2017-08-01

    The ancient network of roads in the Andean region is one of the most important works of infrastructure in South America. The extensive territory where the main exchanges between their communities were locally performed is previous to the expansion of the Inca Empire. In the year 2014, the region was included on the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This communication network is the Qhapaq Ñan, Andean Road System. The Incas planned their route in the diverse landscape of the Andes to promote social and economic ties among the Andean communities. The routes originated in the central square of Cusco, creating cross-connections in a wide geographical area. The Tawantinsuyu depended on this sole route to link very distant production and worship centers. The Qhapaq Ñan was the result of a political project. Even nowadays, it continues to articulate the development of cultural traditions in the Andean region. The present contribution analyzes its transcendental importance as a Cultural Heritage and the singularity of its nomination by the UNESCO, as for the first time six countries are sharing common objectives towards guaranteeing its protection. Furthermore, this research explores the sense of timing in Latin American countries and the implicit challenges in the implementation of the new information technologies for the dissemination of information on Main Andean Road and for its conservation. Although many of the countries have already incorporated the necessary digital tools in this matter, we conclude that there is a need to implement an Integrated Digital Model for the coordinated management in the countries that form the region.

  16. NetTurnP--neural network prediction of beta-turns by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bent Petersen

    Full Text Available UNLABELLED: β-turns are the most common type of non-repetitive structures, and constitute on average 25% of the amino acids in proteins. The formation of β-turns plays an important role in protein folding, protein stability and molecular recognition processes. In this work we present the neural network method NetTurnP, for prediction of two-class β-turns and prediction of the individual β-turn types, by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features. It has been evaluated against a commonly used dataset BT426, and achieves a Matthews correlation coefficient of 0.50, which is the highest reported performance on a two-class prediction of β-turn and not-β-turn. Furthermore NetTurnP shows improved performance on some of the specific β-turn types. In the present work, neural network methods have been trained to predict β-turn or not and individual β-turn types from the primary amino acid sequence. The individual β-turn types I, I', II, II', VIII, VIa1, VIa2, VIba and IV have been predicted based on classifications by PROMOTIF, and the two-class prediction of β-turn or not is a superset comprised of all β-turn types. The performance is evaluated using a golden set of non-homologous sequences known as BT426. Our two-class prediction method achieves a performance of: MCC=0.50, Qtotal=82.1%, sensitivity=75.6%, PPV=68.8% and AUC=0.864. We have compared our performance to eleven other prediction methods that obtain Matthews correlation coefficients in the range of 0.17-0.47. For the type specific β-turn predictions, only type I and II can be predicted with reasonable Matthews correlation coefficients, where we obtain performance values of 0.36 and 0.31, respectively. CONCLUSION: The NetTurnP method has been implemented as a webserver, which is freely available at http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/services/NetTurnP/. NetTurnP is the only available webserver that allows submission of multiple sequences.

  17. NetTurnP – Neural Network Prediction of Beta-turns by Use of Evolutionary Information and Predicted Protein Sequence Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Bent; Lundegaard, Claus; Petersen, Thomas Nordahl

    2010-01-01

    β-turns are the most common type of non-repetitive structures, and constitute on average 25% of the amino acids in proteins. The formation of β-turns plays an important role in protein folding, protein stability and molecular recognition processes. In this work we present the neural network method NetTurnP, for prediction of two-class β-turns and prediction of the individual β-turn types, by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features. It has been evaluated against a commonly used dataset BT426, and achieves a Matthews correlation coefficient of 0.50, which is the highest reported performance on a two-class prediction of β-turn and not-β-turn. Furthermore NetTurnP shows improved performance on some of the specific β-turn types. In the present work, neural network methods have been trained to predict β-turn or not and individual β-turn types from the primary amino acid sequence. The individual β-turn types I, I', II, II', VIII, VIa1, VIa2, VIba and IV have been predicted based on classifications by PROMOTIF, and the two-class prediction of β-turn or not is a superset comprised of all β-turn types. The performance is evaluated using a golden set of non-homologous sequences known as BT426. Our two-class prediction method achieves a performance of: MCC  = 0.50, Qtotal = 82.1%, sensitivity  = 75.6%, PPV  = 68.8% and AUC  = 0.864. We have compared our performance to eleven other prediction methods that obtain Matthews correlation coefficients in the range of 0.17 – 0.47. For the type specific β-turn predictions, only type I and II can be predicted with reasonable Matthews correlation coefficients, where we obtain performance values of 0.36 and 0.31, respectively. Conclusion The NetTurnP method has been implemented as a webserver, which is freely available at http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/services/NetTurnP/. NetTurnP is the only available webserver that allows submission of multiple sequences. PMID:21152409

  18. NetTurnP--neural network prediction of beta-turns by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Bent; Lundegaard, Claus; Petersen, Thomas Nordahl

    2010-11-30

    β-turns are the most common type of non-repetitive structures, and constitute on average 25% of the amino acids in proteins. The formation of β-turns plays an important role in protein folding, protein stability and molecular recognition processes. In this work we present the neural network method NetTurnP, for prediction of two-class β-turns and prediction of the individual β-turn types, by use of evolutionary information and predicted protein sequence features. It has been evaluated against a commonly used dataset BT426, and achieves a Matthews correlation coefficient of 0.50, which is the highest reported performance on a two-class prediction of β-turn and not-β-turn. Furthermore NetTurnP shows improved performance on some of the specific β-turn types. In the present work, neural network methods have been trained to predict β-turn or not and individual β-turn types from the primary amino acid sequence. The individual β-turn types I, I', II, II', VIII, VIa1, VIa2, VIba and IV have been predicted based on classifications by PROMOTIF, and the two-class prediction of β-turn or not is a superset comprised of all β-turn types. The performance is evaluated using a golden set of non-homologous sequences known as BT426. Our two-class prediction method achieves a performance of: MCC=0.50, Qtotal=82.1%, sensitivity=75.6%, PPV=68.8% and AUC=0.864. We have compared our performance to eleven other prediction methods that obtain Matthews correlation coefficients in the range of 0.17-0.47. For the type specific β-turn predictions, only type I and II can be predicted with reasonable Matthews correlation coefficients, where we obtain performance values of 0.36 and 0.31, respectively. The NetTurnP method has been implemented as a webserver, which is freely available at http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/services/NetTurnP/. NetTurnP is the only available webserver that allows submission of multiple sequences.

  19. Evolutionary molecular medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  20. Soil Conservation Techniques for Hillside Farms. A Guide for Peace Corps Volunteers. Appropriate Technologies for Development. Peace Corps Information Collection & Exchange Reprint Series No. R-62.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crozier, Carl

    This guide provides agricultural extensionists with basic information that will help them design plans for the conservation of soils and the management of water runoff in specific agricultural plots. It is based on experiences with small hillside farms in Honduras and takes into account the resources and constraints commonly encountered there.…

  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. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  2. 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.

  3. Using Spatial Information Technologies as Monitoring Devices in International Watershed Conservation along the Senegal River Basin of West Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaw A. Twumasi

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we present the applications of spatial technologies—Geographic Information Systems (GIS and remote sensing—in the international monitoring of river basins particularly analyzing the ecological, hydrological, and socio-economic issues along the Senegal River. The literature on multinational water crisis has for decades focused on mediation aspects of trans-boundary watershed management resulting in limited emphasis placed on the application of advances in geo-spatial information technologies in multinational watershed conservation in the arid areas of the West African sub-region within the Senegal River Basin for decision-making and monitoring. While the basin offers life support in a complex ecosystem that stretches across different nations in a mostly desert region characterized by water scarcity and subsistence economies, there exists recurrent environmental stress induced by both socio-economic and physical factors. Part of the problems consists of flooding, drought and limited access to sufficient quantities of water. These remain particularly sensitive issues that are crucial for the health of a rapidly growing population and the economy. The problems are further compounded due to the threats of climate change and the resultant degradation of almost the region’s entire natural resources base. While the pace at which the institutional framework for managing the waters offers opportunities for hydro electricity and irrigated agriculture through the proliferation of dams, it has raised other serious concerns in the region. Even where data exists for confronting these issues, some of them are incompatible and dispersed among different agencies. This not only widens the geo-spatial data gaps, but it hinders the ability to monitor water problems along the basin. This study will fill that gap in research through mix scale methods built on descriptive statistics, GIS and remote sensing

  4. Using spatial information technologies as monitoring devices in international watershed conservation along the Senegal River Basin of West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merem, Edmund C; Twumasi, Yaw A

    2008-12-01

    In this paper, we present the applications of spatial technologies-Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing-in the international monitoring of river basins particularly analyzing the ecological, hydrological, and socio-economic issues along the Senegal River. The literature on multinational water crisis has for decades focused on mediation aspects of trans-boundary watershed management resulting in limited emphasis placed on the application of advances in geo-spatial information technologies in multinational watershed conservation in the arid areas of the West African sub-region within the Senegal River Basin for decision-making and monitoring. While the basin offers life support in a complex ecosystem that stretches across different nations in a mostly desert region characterized by water scarcity and subsistence economies, there exists recurrent environmental stress induced by both socio-economic and physical factors. Part of the problems consists of flooding, drought and limited access to sufficient quantities of water. These remain particularly sensitive issues that are crucial for the health of a rapidly growing population and the economy. The problems are further compounded due to the threats of climate change and the resultant degradation of almost the region's entire natural resources base. While the pace at which the institutional framework for managing the waters offers opportunities for hydro electricity and irrigated agriculture through the proliferation of dams, it has raised other serious concerns in the region. Even where data exists for confronting these issues, some of them are incompatible and dispersed among different agencies. This not only widens the geo-spatial data gaps, but it hinders the ability to monitor water problems along the basin. This study will fill that gap in research through mix scale methods built on descriptive statistics, GIS and remote sensing techniques by generating spatially referenced data to supplement

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Carly N; Sgrò, Carla M

    2017-06-01

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

  7. Attractive evolutionary equilibria

    OpenAIRE

    Roorda, Berend; Joosten, Reinoud

    2011-01-01

    We present attractiveness, a refinement criterion for evolutionary equilibria. Equilibria surviving this criterion are robust to small perturbations of the underlying payoff system or the dynamics at hand. Furthermore, certain attractive equilibria are equivalent to others for certain evolutionary dynamics. For instance, each attractive evolutionarily stable strategy is an attractive evolutionarily stable equilibrium for certain barycentric ray-projection dynamics, and vice versa.

  8. Polymorphic Evolutionary Games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Michael A

    2016-06-07

    In this paper, I present an analytical framework for polymorphic evolutionary games suitable for explicitly modeling evolutionary processes in diploid populations with sexual reproduction. The principal aspect of the proposed approach is adding diploid genetics cum sexual recombination to a traditional evolutionary game, and switching from phenotypes to haplotypes as the new game׳s pure strategies. Here, the relevant pure strategy׳s payoffs derived by summing the payoffs of all the phenotypes capable of producing gametes containing that particular haplotype weighted by the pertinent probabilities. The resulting game is structurally identical to the familiar Evolutionary Games with non-linear pure strategy payoffs (Hofbauer and Sigmund, 1998. Cambridge University Press), and can be analyzed in terms of an established analytical framework for such games. And these results can be translated into the terms of genotypic, and whence, phenotypic evolutionary stability pertinent to the original game. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Maréchal Eric; Ortet Philippe; Roy Sylvaine; Bastien Olivier

    2005-01-01

    Abstract Background Popular methods to reconstruct molecular phylogenies are based on multiple sequence alignments, in which addition or removal of data may change the resulting tree topology. We have sought a representation of homologous proteins that would conserve the information of pair-wise sequence alignments, respect probabilistic properties of Z-scores (Monte Carlo methods applied to pair-wise comparisons) and be the basis for a novel method of consistent and stable phylogenetic recon...

  10. Conservation, biodiversity and infectious disease: scientific evidence and policy implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Hillary S.; Wood, Chelsea L.; Kilpatrick, A. Marm; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Nunn, Charles L.; Vincent, Jeffrey R.

    2017-01-01

    Habitat destruction and infectious disease are dual threats to nature and people. The potential to simultaneously advance conservation and human health has attracted considerable scientific and popular interest; in particular, many authors have justified conservation action by pointing out potential public health benefits . One major focus of this debate—that biodiversity conservation often decreases infectious disease transmission via the dilution effect—remains contentious. Studies that test for a dilution effect often find a negative association between a diversity metric and a disease risk metric, but how such associations should inform conservation policy remains unclear for several reasons. For one, diversity and infection risk have many definitions, making it possible to identify measures that conform to expectations. Furthermore, the premise that habitat destruction consistently reduces biodiversity is in question, and disturbance or conservation can affect disease in many ways other than through biodiversity change. To date, few studies have examined the broader set of mechanisms by which anthropogenic disturbance or conservation might increase or decrease infectious disease risk to human populations. Due to interconnections between biodiversity change, economics and human behaviour, moving from ecological theory to policy action requires understanding how social and economic factors affect conservation.This Theme Issue arose from a meeting aimed at synthesizing current theory and data on ‘biodiversity, conservation and infectious disease’ (4–6 May 2015). Ecologists, evolutionary biologists, economists, epidemiologists, veterinary scientists, public health professionals, and conservation biologists from around the world discussed the latest research on the ecological and socio-economic links between conservation, biodiversity and infectious disease, and the open questions and controversies in these areas. By combining ecological understanding

  11. Bioinformatics education dissemination with an evolutionary problem solving perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungck, John R; Donovan, Samuel S; Weisstein, Anton E; Khiripet, Noppadon; Everse, Stephen J

    2010-11-01

    Bioinformatics is central to biology education in the 21st century. With the generation of terabytes of data per day, the application of computer-based tools to stored and distributed data is fundamentally changing research and its application to problems in medicine, agriculture, conservation and forensics. In light of this 'information revolution,' undergraduate biology curricula must be redesigned to prepare the next generation of informed citizens as well as those who will pursue careers in the life sciences. The BEDROCK initiative (Bioinformatics Education Dissemination: Reaching Out, Connecting and Knitting together) has fostered an international community of bioinformatics educators. The initiative's goals are to: (i) Identify and support faculty who can take leadership roles in bioinformatics education; (ii) Highlight and distribute innovative approaches to incorporating evolutionary bioinformatics data and techniques throughout undergraduate education; (iii) Establish mechanisms for the broad dissemination of bioinformatics resource materials and teaching models; (iv) Emphasize phylogenetic thinking and problem solving; and (v) Develop and publish new software tools to help students develop and test evolutionary hypotheses. Since 2002, BEDROCK has offered more than 50 faculty workshops around the world, published many resources and supported an environment for developing and sharing bioinformatics education approaches. The BEDROCK initiative builds on the established pedagogical philosophy and academic community of the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to assemble the diverse intellectual and human resources required to sustain an international reform effort in undergraduate bioinformatics education.

  12. Unusual evolutionary conservation and further species-specific adaptations of a large family of nonclassical MHC class Ib genes across different degrees of genome ploidy in the amphibian subfamily Xenopodinae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edholm, Eva-Stina; Goyos, Ana; Taran, Joseph; De Jesús Andino, Francisco; Ohta, Yuko; Robert, Jacques

    2014-06-01

    Nonclassical MHC class Ib (class Ib) genes are a family of highly diverse and rapidly evolving genes wherein gene numbers, organization, and expression markedly differ even among closely related species rendering class Ib phylogeny difficult to establish. Whereas among mammals there are few unambiguous class Ib gene orthologs, different amphibian species belonging to the anuran subfamily Xenopodinae exhibit an unusually high degree of conservation among multiple class Ib gene lineages. Comparative genomic analysis of class Ib gene loci of two divergent (~65 million years) Xenopodinae subfamily members Xenopus laevis (allotetraploid) and Xenopus tropicalis (diploid) shows that both species possess a large cluster of class Ib genes denoted as Xenopus/Silurana nonclassical (XNC/SNC). Our study reveals two distinct phylogenetic patterns among these genes: some gene lineages display a high degree of flexibility, as demonstrated by species-specific expansion and contractions, whereas other class Ib gene lineages have been maintained as monogenic subfamilies with very few changes in their nucleotide sequence across divergent species. In this second category, we further investigated the XNC/SNC10 gene lineage that in X. laevis is required for the development of a distinct semi-invariant T cell population. We report compelling evidence of the remarkable high degree of conservation of this gene lineage that is present in all 12 species of the Xenopodinae examined, including species with different degrees of ploidy ranging from 2, 4, 8 to 12 N. This suggests that the critical role of XNC10 during early T cell development is conserved in amphibians.

  13. African wildlife conservation and the evolution of hunting institutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    't Sas-Rolfes, Michael

    2017-11-01

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

  14. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-03-15

    Mar 15, 2014 ... ... of events: 'Entities that were capable of independent replication ... There have been many major evolutionary events that this definition of .... selection at level x to exclusive selection at x – will probably require a multiplicity ...

  15. Evolutionary relationships among Astroviridae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lukashov, Vladimir V.; Goudsmit, Jaap

    2002-01-01

    To study the evolutionary relationships among astroviruses, all available sequences for members of the family Astroviridae were collected. Phylogenetic analysis distinguished two deep-rooted groups: one comprising mammalian astroviruses, with ovine astrovirus being an outlier, and the other

  16. Informing innovative peatland conservation in light of palaeoecological evidence for the demise of Sphagnum imbricatum: the case of Oxenhope Moor, Yorkshire, UK

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. McCarroll

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Actively growing mires have high conservation value and the potential to sequester carbon. However, drainage, burning, overgrazing and atmospheric pollution have led to depauperation of native flora and loss of peat at many peatland sites. In order to counteract such degradation, palaeoecological techniques can be applied and the data then used to inform nature conservation practice. The present study exemplifies this approach and was conducted on degraded blanket mire in Yorkshire, UK, in collaboration with a field-based moorland restoration agency. High-resolution, multiproxy palaeoecological analyses on a peat core from Oxenhope Moor were used to reconstruct Holocene vegetation changes spanning approximately the last 7000 years. Humification, pollen, plant macrofossil and charcoal analyses show distinct changes in species composition and indicate their potential causes. Human-induced changes identified at 2100 cal. BP are most likely to reflect deliberate clearance by fire. Sphagnum imbricatum disappears and is subsequently replaced by S. papillosum at ca. 1000 cal. BP, possibly due to drier conditions and competition between the two species. Increased human activity is identified since the Industrial Revolution where monocots and Eriophorum vaginatum increase, interpreted as a result of managed burning. It is intended that the long-term ecological history of the site, derived using palaeoecological techniques, will be used to inform conservation practice and can help set feasible targets for restoration and conservation. Specifically, encouraging a species mix that has pre-19th century longevity is suggested, including the specific recommendation that translocation of S. imbricatum be explored experimentally at this site, with a view to ascertaining likely success elsewhere.

  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 Multiplayer Games

    OpenAIRE

    Gokhale, Chaitanya S.; Traulsen, Arne

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary game theory has become one of the most diverse and far reaching theories in biology. Applications of this theory range from cell dynamics to social evolution. However, many applications make it clear that inherent non-linearities of natural systems need to be taken into account. One way of introducing such non-linearities into evolutionary games is by the inclusion of multiple players. An example is of social dilemmas, where group benefits could e.g.\\ increase less than linear wi...

  19. An Evolutionary Approach to Adaptive Capacity Assessment: A Case Study of Soufriere, Saint Lucia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Ryan Hogarth

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper assesses the capacity of Soufriere, Saint Lucia to adapt to climate change. A community-based vulnerability assessment was conducted that employed semi-structured interviews with community members. The results were analysed using the Local Adaptive Capacity (LAC framework, which characterises adaptive capacity based on five elements: asset base; institutions and entitlements; knowledge and information; innovation; and flexible forward-looking decision-making and governance. Beyond providing an in-depth analysis of Soufriere’s capacity to adapt to climate change, the paper argues that the elements of the LAC framework largely correspond with an evolutionary perspective on adaptive capacity. However, other evolutionary themes—such as structure, history, path-dependency, scale, agency, conservation of diversity, and the perils of specialisation—should also be taken into account.

  20. 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.

  1. Evolutionary rate variation and RNA secondary structure prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Madagascar Conservation & Development

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Madagascar Conservation & Development welcomes the results of original research, field surveys, advances in field and laboratory techniques, book reviews, and informal status reports from research, conservation, development and management programs and in-field projects in Madagascar. In addition, notes on changes ...

  3. A Framework for Effective Assessment of Model-based Projections of Biodiversity to Inform the Next Generation of Global Conservation Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, B.; Beard, T. D.; Weiskopf, S. R.; Jackson, S. T.; Tittensor, D.; Harfoot, M.; Senay, G. B.; Casey, K.; Lenton, T. M.; Leidner, A. K.; Ruane, A. C.; Ferrier, S.; Serbin, S.; Matsuda, H.; Shiklomanov, A. N.; Rosa, I.

    2017-12-01

    Biodiversity and ecosystems services underpin political targets for the conservation of biodiversity; however, previous incarnations of these biodiversity-related targets have not relied on integrated model based projections of possible outcomes based on climate and land use change. Although a few global biodiversity models are available, most biodiversity models lie along a continuum of geography and components of biodiversity. Model-based projections of the future of global biodiversity are critical to support policymakers in the development of informed global conservation targets, but the scientific community lacks a clear strategy for integrating diverse data streams in developing, and evaluating the performance of, such biodiversity models. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a framework for ongoing testing and refinement of model-based projections of biodiversity trends and change, by linking a broad variety of biodiversity models with data streams generated by advances in remote sensing, coupled with new and emerging in-situ observation technologies to inform development of essential biodiversity variables, future global biodiversity targets, and indicators. Our two main objectives are to (1) develop a framework for model testing and refining projections of a broad range of biodiversity models, focusing on global models, through the integration of diverse data streams and (2) identify the realistic outputs that can be developed and determine coupled approaches using remote sensing and new and emerging in-situ observations (e.g., metagenomics) to better inform the next generation of global biodiversity targets.

  4. DNA in the conservation and management of African antelope

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lorenzen, Eline

    2016-01-01

    tool in informed species conservation and sustainable wildlife management. The movement of antelope through translocations, reintroductions, and population augmentations is common practice in wildlife management. DNA-led species identification using genetic barcoding is an effective use of genetic data...... within forensics. DNA barcoding is a taxonomic method that uses a short genetic marker in an organism's DNA to identify it as belonging to a particular species....... databases, and represents a valuable reference database of antelope DNA diversity. For the evolution of antelope, sub-Saharan Africa is a region of particular intrigue. The geographic regions of sub-Saharan Africa represent unique evolutionary scenarios. Molecular data have become an increasingly important...

  5. 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.

  6. Applying evolutionary anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  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. PMID:25684561

  8. Evolutionary Algorithms Application Analysis in Biometric Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Goranin

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Wide usage of biometric information for person identity verification purposes, terrorist acts prevention measures and authenticationprocess simplification in computer systems has raised significant attention to reliability and efficiency of biometricsystems. Modern biometric systems still face many reliability and efficiency related issues such as reference databasesearch speed, errors while recognizing of biometric information or automating biometric feature extraction. Current scientificinvestigations show that application of evolutionary algorithms may significantly improve biometric systems. In thisarticle we provide a comprehensive review of main scientific research done in sphere of evolutionary algorithm applicationfor biometric system parameter improvement.

  9. Domain architecture conservation in orthologs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Science framework for the conservation and restoration strategy of DOI secretarial order 3336: Utilizing resilience and resistance concepts to assess threats to sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse, prioritize conservation and restoration actions, and inform management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Campbell, Steve; Carlson, John; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Clause, Karen J.; Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Espinosa, Shawn; Griffin, Kathleen A.; Christiansen, Thomas J.; Crist, Michele R.; Hanser, Steven E.; Havlina, Douglas W.; Henke, Kenneth F.; Hennig, Jacob D.; Kurth, Laurie L.; Maestas, Jeremy D.; Mayer, Kenneth E.; Manning, Mary E.; Mealor, Brian A.; McCarthy, Clinton; Pellant, Mike; Prentice, Karen L.; Perea, Marco A.; Pyke, David A.; Wiechman , Lief A.; Wuenschel, Amarina

    2016-01-01

    The Science Framework for the Conservation and Restoration Strategy of the Department of the Interior, Secretarial Order 3336 (SO 3336), Rangeland Fire Prevention, Management and Restoration, provides a strategic, multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome. The emphasis of this version is on sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse. The Science Framework uses a six step process in which sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative, invasive annual grasses is linked to species habitat information based on the distribution and abundance of focal species. The predominant ecosystem and anthropogenic threats are assessed, and a habitat matrix is developed that helps decision makers evaluate risks and determine appropriate management strategies at regional and local scales. Areas are prioritized for management action using a geospatial approach that overlays resilience and resistance, species habitat information, and predominant threats. Decision tools are discussed for determining the suitability of priority areas for management and the most appropriate management actions at regional to local scales. The Science Framework and geospatial crosscut are intended to complement the mitigation strategies associated with the Greater Sage-Grouse Land Use Plan amendments for the Department of the Interior Bureaus, such as the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service.

  11. Part E: Evolutionary Computation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

    of Computational Intelligence. First, comprehensive surveys of genetic algorithms, genetic programming, evolution strategies, parallel evolutionary algorithms are presented, which are readable and constructive so that a large audience might find them useful and – to some extent – ready to use. Some more general...... 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...... topics like the estimation of distribution algorithms, indicator-based selection, etc., are also discussed. An important problem, from a theoretical and practical point of view, of learning classifier systems is presented in depth. Multiobjective evolutionary algorithms, which constitute one of the most...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Site-specific assessments of the abundance of three inshore dolphin species to inform conservation and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander Mark Brown

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Assessing the abundance of wildlife populations is essential to their effective conservation and management. Concerns have been raised over the vulnerability of tropical inshore dolphins in waters off northern Australia to anthropogenic impacts on local populations, yet a lack of abundance data precludes assessment of their conservation status and the management of threats. Using small vessels as cost-effective research platforms, photo-identification surveys and capture-recapture models were applied to provide the first quantitative abundance data for Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni, Australian humpback (Sousa sahulensis, and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus at five sites in the Kimberley region of north-western Australia. The abundance of each species was highly variable between different sites, likely reflecting species-specific habitat preferences. Within the c. 130 km2 study sites, the estimated abundance of most species was ≤ 60 individuals (excluding calves, and fewer than 20 humpback dolphins were identified at each site in any one 3-5 week sampling period. However, larger estimates of c. 130 snubfin and c. 160 bottlenose dolphins were obtained at two different sites. Several local populations showed evidence of site fidelity, particularly snubfin dolphins. By implementing a standardized, multi-site approach, data on local populations were provided within a broader, regional context, and indicated that each species is patchily distributed in the region. This highlights the need for site-specific baseline data collection using appropriate survey techniques to quantitatively assess the potential impacts of threatening activities to local populations. These findings further illustrate the need to gain a greater understanding of known and potential threats to inshore dolphin populations, their relative impacts, and to mitigate where necessary. In particular, the level of interactions with inshore gillnet fisheries

  14. Physcomitrella patens activates reinforcement of the cell wall, programmed cell death and accumulation of evolutionary conserved defence signals, such as salicylic acid and 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid, but not jasmonic acid, upon Botrytis cinerea infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponce De León, Inés; Schmelz, Eric A; Gaggero, Carina; Castro, Alexandra; Álvarez, Alfonso; Montesano, Marcos

    2012-10-01

    The moss Physcomitrella patens is an evolutionarily basal model system suitable for the analysis of plant defence responses activated after pathogen assault. Upon infection with the necrotroph Botrytis cinerea, several defence mechanisms are induced in P. patens, including the fortification of the plant cell wall by the incorporation of phenolic compounds and the induced expression of related genes. Botrytis cinerea infection also activates the accumulation of reactive oxygen species and cell death with hallmarks of programmed cell death in moss tissues. Salicylic acid (SA) levels also increase after fungal infection, and treatment with SA enhances transcript accumulation of the defence gene phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) in P. patens colonies. The expression levels of the genes involved in 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) synthesis, including lipoxygenase (LOX) and allene oxide synthase (AOS), increase in P. patens gametophytes after pathogen assault, together with a rise in free linolenic acid and OPDA concentrations. However, jasmonic acid (JA) could not be detected in healthy or infected tissues of this plant. Our results suggest that, although conserved defence signals, such as SA and OPDA, are synthesized and are probably involved in the defence response of P. patens against B. cinerea infection, JA production appears to be missing. Interestingly, P. patens responds to OPDA and methyl jasmonate by reducing moss colony growth and rhizoid length, suggesting that jasmonate perception is present in mosses. Thus, P. patens can provide clues with regard to the evolution of different defence pathways in plants, including signalling and perception of OPDA and jasmonates in nonflowering and flowering plants. © 2012 THE AUTHORS. MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY © 2012 BSPP AND BLACKWELL PUBLISHING LTD.

  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. EVOLUTIONARY FOUNDATIONS FOR MOLECULAR MEDICINE

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Evolution has long provided a foundation for population genetics, but many major advances in evolutionary biology from the 20th century are only now being applied in molecular medicine. They include the distinction between proximate and evolutionary explanations, kin selection, evolutionary models for cooperation, and new strategies for tracing phylogenies and identifying signals of selection. Recent advances in genomics are further transforming evolutionary biology and creating yet more opportunities for progress at the interface of evolution with genetics, medicine, and public health. This article reviews 15 evolutionary principles and their applications in molecular medicine in hopes that readers will use them and others to speed the development of evolutionary molecular medicine. PMID:22544168

  17. Evolutionary trends in Heteroptera

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cobben, R.H.

    1968-01-01

    1. This work, the first volume of a series dealing with evolutionary trends in Heteroptera, is concerned with the egg system of about 400 species. The data are presented systematically in chapters 1 and 2 with a critical review of the literature after each family.

    2. Chapter 3 evaluates facts

  18. 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

  19. Applications of Evolutionary Computation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mora, Antonio M.; Squillero, Giovanni; Di Chio, C; Agapitos, Alexandros; Cagnoni, Stefano; Cotta, Carlos; Fernández De Vega, F; Di Caro, G A; Drechsler, R.; Ekárt, A; Esparcia-Alcázar, Anna I.; Farooq, M; Langdon, W B; Merelo-Guervós, J.J.; Preuss, M; Richter, O.-M.H.; Silva, Sara; Sim$\\$~oes, A; Squillero, Giovanni; Tarantino, Ernesto; Tettamanzi, Andrea G B; Togelius, J; Urquhart, Neil; Uyar, A S; Yannakakis, G N; Smith, Stephen L; Caserta, Marco; Ramirez, Adriana; Voß, Stefan; Squillero, Giovanni; Burelli, Paolo; Mora, Antonio M.; Squillero, Giovanni; Jan, Mathieu; Matthias, M; Di Chio, C; Agapitos, Alexandros; Cagnoni, Stefano; Cotta, Carlos; Fernández De Vega, F; Di Caro, G A; Drechsler, R.; Ekárt, A; Esparcia-Alcázar, Anna I.; Farooq, M; Langdon, W B; Merelo-Guervós, J.J.; Preuss, M; Richter, O.-M.H.; Silva, Sara; Sim$\\$~oes, A; Squillero, Giovanni; Tarantino, Ernesto; Tettamanzi, Andrea G B; Togelius, J; Urquhart, Neil; Uyar, A S; Yannakakis, G N; Caserta, Marco; Ramirez, Adriana; Voß, Stefan; Squillero, Giovanni; Burelli, Paolo; Esparcia-Alcazar, Anna I; Silva, Sara; Agapitos, Alexandros; Cotta, Carlos; De Falco, Ivanoe; Cioppa, Antonio Della; Diwold, Konrad; Ekart, Aniko; Tarantino, Ernesto; Vega, Francisco Fernandez De; Burelli, Paolo; Sim, Kevin; Cagnoni, Stefano; Simoes, Anabela; Merelo, J.J.; Urquhart, Neil; Haasdijk, Evert; Zhang, Mengjie; Squillero, Giovanni; Eiben, A E; Tettamanzi, Andrea G B; Glette, Kyrre; Rohlfshagen, Philipp; Schaefer, Robert; Caserta, Marco; Ramirez, Adriana; Voß, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The application of genetic and evolutionary computation to problems in medicine has increased rapidly over the past five years, but there are specific issues and challenges that distinguish it from other real-world applications. Obtaining reliable and coherent patient data, establishing the clinical

  20. Editorial overview: Evolutionary psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gangestad, S.W.; Tybur, J.M.

    2016-01-01

    Functional approaches in psychology - which ask what behavior is good for - are almost as old as scientific psychology itself. Yet sophisticated, generative functional theories were not possible until developments in evolutionary biology in the mid-20th century. Arising in the last three decades,

  1. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hindi and English. Port 1. Resonance, Vo1.7 ... they use. Of course, many evolutionary biologists do work with fossils or DNA, or both, but there are also large numbers of ... The first major division that I like to make is between studies focussed ...

  2. 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…

  3. Complex systems, evolutionary planning?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bertolini, L.; de Roo, G.; Silva, E.A.

    2010-01-01

    Coping with uncertainty is a defining challenge for spatial planners. Accordingly, most spatial planning theories and methods are aimed at reducing uncertainty. However, the question is what should be done when this seems impossible? This chapter proposes an evolutionary interpretation of spatial

  4. 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...

  5. A Dynamic Information Framework: A Multi-Sector, Geospatial Gateway for Environmental Conservation and Adaptation to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, E. C.; Norbu, C.; Juizo, D.; Wangdi, T.; Richey, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    Landscapes, watersheds, and their downstream coastal and lacustrine zones are facing a series of challenges critical to their future, centered on the availability and distribution of water. Management options cover a range of issues, from bringing safe water to local villages for the rural poor, developing adaptation strategies for both rural and urban populations and large infrastructure, and sustaining environmental flows and ecosystem services needed for natural and human-dominated ecosystems. These targets represent a very complex set of intersecting issues of scale, cross-sector science and technology, education, politics, and economics, and the desired sustainable development is closely linked to how the nominally responsible governmental Ministries respond to the information they have. In practice, such information and even perspectives are virtually absent, in much of the developing world. A Dynamic Information Framework (DIF) is being designed as a knowledge platform whereby decision-makers in information-sparse regions can consider rigorous scenarios of alternative futures and obtain decision support for complex environmental and economic decisions is essential. The DIF is geospatial gateway, with functional components of base data layers, directed data layers focused on synthetic objectives, geospatially-explicit, process-based, cross-sector simulation models (requiring data from the directed data layers), and facilitated input/output (including visualizations), and decision support system and scenario testing capabilities. A fundamental aspect to a DIF is not only the convergence of multi-sector information, but how that information can be (a) integrated (b) used for robust simulations and projections, and (c) conveyed to policymakers and stakeholders, in the most compelling, and visual, manner. Examples are given of emerging applications. The ZambeziDIF was used to establish baselines for agriculture, biodiversity, and water resources in the lower

  6. Large-scale population assessment informs conservation management for seabirds in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean: A case study of Adélie penguins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin Southwell

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are increasingly affected by fisheries, climate change and human presence. Antarctic seabirds are vulnerable to all these threats because they depend on terrestrial and marine environments to breed and forage. We assess the current distribution and total abundance of Adélie penguins in East Antarctica and find there are 3.5 (95% CI 2.9–4.2 million individuals of breeding age along the East Antarctic coastline and 5.9 (4.2–7.7 million individuals foraging in the adjacent ocean after the breeding season. One third of the breeding population numbering over 1 million individuals breed within 10 km of research stations, highlighting the potential for human activities to impact Adélie penguin populations despite their current high abundance. The 16 Antarctic Specially Protected Areas currently designated in East Antarctica offer protection to breeding populations close to stations in four of six regional populations. The East Antarctic breeding population consumes an average of 193 500 tonnes of krill and 18 800 tonnes of fish during a breeding season, with consumption peaking at the end of the breeding season. These findings can inform future conservation management decisions in the terrestrial environment under the Protocol on Environmental Protection to develop a systematic network of protected areas, and in the marine environment under the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources to allow the consumption needs of Adélie penguins to be taken into account when setting fishery catch limits. Extending this work to other penguin, flying seabird, seal and whale species is a priority for conservation management in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  8. Public views of wetlands and waterfowl conservation in the United States—Results of a survey to inform the 2018 update of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkins, Emily J.; Miller, Holly M.

    2018-01-24

    Executive SummaryThis report provides information from a general public survey conducted in early 2017 to help inform the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) 2018 update. This report is intended for use by the NAWMP advisory committees and anyone interested in the human dimensions of wetlands and waterfowl management. A mail-out survey was sent to 5,000 addresses in the United States, which were selected randomly in proportion to the population of each State. A total of 1,030 completed surveys representing 49 States were returned, resulting in a 23 percent overall response rate.When comparing the demographics of the respondents to the U.S. census data, this sample overrepresented people who are male, older, highly educated, and white. Data were weighted on gender and age to make the results more representative of the overall U.S. population. Additionally, this sample had higher participation rates in all wildlife-related recreation activities than has been found in previous studies; this indicates there may have been selection bias, with people interested in nature-related topics more likely to complete the survey. Therefore, results likely represent a segment of the U.S. public that is more oriented toward and aware of wildlife and conservation issues than the general public as a whole. Because of this bias, responses for each question were also broken down by recreationist type (hunters, anglers, wildlife viewers, and no wildlife-related recreation). Additionally, responses for each question were split by administrative flyway (Atlantic, Central, Mississippi, Pacific) and residency (urban, urban cluster, rural) to better understand the different groups.Most respondents knew of wetlands in their local area or community, and more than half had visited wetlands in the previous 12 months. Of those who had visited wetlands, the most common reasons were for walking/hiking/biking and enjoying nature/picnicking. In addition, this sample was very concerned

  9. Conservation Value

    OpenAIRE

    Tisdell, Clement A.

    2010-01-01

    This paper outlines the significance of the concept of conservation value and discusses ways in which it is determined paying attention to views stemming from utilitarian ethics and from deontological ethics. The importance of user costs in relation to economic decisions about the conservation and use of natural resources is emphasised. Particular attention is given to competing views about the importance of conserving natural resources in order to achieve economic sustainability. This then l...

  10. Evolutionary Algorithms for Boolean Queries Optimization

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Húsek, Dušan; Snášel, Václav; Neruda, Roman; Owais, S.S.J.; Krömer, P.

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 1 (2006), s. 15-20 ISSN 1790-0832 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR 1ET100300414 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10300504 Keywords : evolutionary algorithms * genetic algorithms * information retrieval * Boolean query Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics

  11. Conserved and variable domains of RNase MRP RNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dávila López, Marcela; Rosenblad, Magnus Alm; Samuelsson, Tore

    2009-01-01

    Ribonuclease MRP is a eukaryotic ribonucleoprotein complex consisting of one RNA molecule and 7-10 protein subunits. One important function of MRP is to catalyze an endonucleolytic cleavage during processing of rRNA precursors. RNase MRP is evolutionary related to RNase P which is critical for tRNA processing. A large number of MRP RNA sequences that now are available have been used to identify conserved primary and secondary structure features of the molecule. MRP RNA has structural features in common with P RNA such as a conserved catalytic core, but it also has unique features and is characterized by a domain highly variable between species. Information regarding primary and secondary structure features is of interest not only in basic studies of the function of MRP RNA, but also because mutations in the RNA give rise to human genetic diseases such as cartilage-hair hypoplasia.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin R Jack

    2016-05-01

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

  13. The four cornerstones of Evolutionary Toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bickham, John W

    2011-05-01

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

  14. Japan's energy conservation policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoda, Kenichi

    1990-01-01

    This article reviews developments in Japanese energy conservation since the 1970s. The industrial sector has achieved the greatest success, due to industrial restructuring as well as improvements in energy efficiency. In the residential/commercial sector, the efficiency of appliances has been much improved. Although improvements have been made in the fuel efficiency of passenger cars, energy consumption in the transportation sector has risen slightly owing to increased transport of passengers and freight. The overall responsibility for energy conservation policy rests with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. MITI is also responsible for implementing specific conservation policies in regard to the industrial and commercial sectors. In the residential sector, MITI works with the Ministry of Construction and in the transportation sector with the Ministry of Transport. To realize the goals of energy conservation policy through general research, dissemination of public information and other activities, MITI works with the Energy Conservation Center (ECC). (author). 2 figs, 3 tabs

  15. The discovery of Kerivoula krauensis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae in southern peninsular Thailand provides new information on the distribution and conservation status of this data deficient species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bounsavane Douangboubpha

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In August 2013, an adult male Kerivoula krauensis was captured in a harp trap set in forest understorey in Bala Forest, Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Narathiwat Province, Thailand. This is only the second locality recorded for the species, the first outside Malaysia, and represents a range extension of 254 km, northwards from Krau Wildlife Reserve, Malaysia. This discovery has important conservation implications suggesting that the species is more widespread than previously thought but also confirms previous findings that it appears to live in very low population densities as compared to other Kerivoula found in the same habitat. Information on its taxonomy, echolocation call, distribution and ecology is included. In addition, the new material from Thailand is briefly compared to other known species from the country

  16. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  18. A teleofunctional account of evolutionary mismatch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cofnas, Nathan

    When the environment in which an organism lives deviates in some essential way from that to which it is adapted, this is described as "evolutionary mismatch," or "evolutionary novelty." The notion of mismatch plays an important role, explicitly or implicitly, in evolution-informed cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, and medicine. The evolutionary novelty of our contemporary environment is thought to have significant implications for our health and well-being. However, scientists have generally been working without a clear definition of mismatch. This paper defines mismatch as deviations in the environment that render biological traits unable, or impaired in their ability, to produce their selected effects (i.e., to perform their proper functions in Neander's sense). The machinery developed by Millikan in connection with her account of proper function, and with her related teleosemantic account of representation, is used to identify four major types, and several subtypes, of evolutionary mismatch. While the taxonomy offered here does not in itself resolve any scientific debates, the hope is that it can be used to better formulate empirical hypotheses concerning the effects of mismatch. To illustrate, it is used to show that the controversial hypothesis that general intelligence evolved as an adaptation to handle evolutionary novelty can, contra some critics, be formulated in a conceptually coherent way.

  19. Multiobjective Multifactorial Optimization in Evolutionary Multitasking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Abhishek; Ong, Yew-Soon; Feng, Liang; Tan, Kay Chen

    2016-05-03

    In recent decades, the field of multiobjective optimization has attracted considerable interest among evolutionary computation researchers. One of the main features that makes evolutionary methods particularly appealing for multiobjective problems is the implicit parallelism offered by a population, which enables simultaneous convergence toward the entire Pareto front. While a plethora of related algorithms have been proposed till date, a common attribute among them is that they focus on efficiently solving only a single optimization problem at a time. Despite the known power of implicit parallelism, seldom has an attempt been made to multitask, i.e., to solve multiple optimization problems simultaneously. It is contended that the notion of evolutionary multitasking leads to the possibility of automated transfer of information across different optimization exercises that may share underlying similarities, thereby facilitating improved convergence characteristics. In particular, the potential for automated transfer is deemed invaluable from the standpoint of engineering design exercises where manual knowledge adaptation and reuse are routine. Accordingly, in this paper, we present a realization of the evolutionary multitasking paradigm within the domain of multiobjective optimization. The efficacy of the associated evolutionary algorithm is demonstrated on some benchmark test functions as well as on a real-world manufacturing process design problem from the composites industry.

  20. Conserving analyst attention units: use of multi-agent software and CEP methods to assist information analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rimland, Jeffrey; McNeese, Michael; Hall, David

    2013-05-01

    Although the capability of computer-based artificial intelligence techniques for decision-making and situational awareness has seen notable improvement over the last several decades, the current state-of-the-art still falls short of creating computer systems capable of autonomously making complex decisions and judgments in many domains where data is nuanced and accountability is high. However, there is a great deal of potential for hybrid systems in which software applications augment human capabilities by focusing the analyst's attention to relevant information elements based on both a priori knowledge of the analyst's goals and the processing/correlation of a series of data streams too numerous and heterogeneous for the analyst to digest without assistance. Researchers at Penn State University are exploring ways in which an information framework influenced by Klein's (Recognition Primed Decision) RPD model, Endsley's model of situational awareness, and the Joint Directors of Laboratories (JDL) data fusion process model can be implemented through a novel combination of Complex Event Processing (CEP) and Multi-Agent Software (MAS). Though originally designed for stock market and financial applications, the high performance data-driven nature of CEP techniques provide a natural compliment to the proven capabilities of MAS systems for modeling naturalistic decision-making, performing process adjudication, and optimizing networked processing and cognition via the use of "mobile agents." This paper addresses the challenges and opportunities of such a framework for augmenting human observational capability as well as enabling the ability to perform collaborative context-aware reasoning in both human teams and hybrid human / software agent teams.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  2. 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...

  3. Introduction to Evolutionary Algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    Yu, Xinjie

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) are becoming increasingly attractive for researchers from various disciplines, such as operations research, computer science, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, social science, economics, etc. This book presents an insightful, comprehensive, and up-to-date treatment of EAs, such as genetic algorithms, differential evolution, evolution strategy, constraint optimization, multimodal optimization, multiobjective optimization, combinatorial optimization, evolvable hardware, estimation of distribution algorithms, ant colony optimization, particle swarm opti

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  5. Evolutionary games on graphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, György; Fáth, Gábor

    2007-07-01

    Game theory is one of the key paradigms behind many scientific disciplines from biology to behavioral sciences to economics. In its evolutionary form and especially when the interacting agents are linked in a specific social network the underlying solution concepts and methods are very similar to those applied in non-equilibrium statistical physics. This review gives a tutorial-type overview of the field for physicists. The first four sections introduce the necessary background in classical and evolutionary game theory from the basic definitions to the most important results. The fifth section surveys the topological complications implied by non-mean-field-type social network structures in general. The next three sections discuss in detail the dynamic behavior of three prominent classes of models: the Prisoner's Dilemma, the Rock-Scissors-Paper game, and Competing Associations. The major theme of the review is in what sense and how the graph structure of interactions can modify and enrich the picture of long term behavioral patterns emerging in evolutionary games.

  6. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-19

    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 often 'weird' features. We discuss the origin of meiosis (origin of ploidy reduction and recombination, two-step meiosis), its secondary modifications (in polyploids or asexuals, inverted meiosis), its importance in punctuating life cycles (meiotic arrests, epigenetic resetting, meiotic asymmetry, meiotic fairness) and features associated with recombination (disjunction constraints, heterochiasmy, crossover interference and hotspots). We present the various evolutionary scenarios and selective pressures that have been proposed to account for these features, and we highlight that their evolutionary significance often remains largely mysterious. Resolving these mysteries will likely provide decisive steps towards understanding why sex and recombination are found in the majority of eukaryotes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26308326

  8. Assessment of technical strengths and information flow of energy conservation research in Japan. Volume 2. Background document

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hane, G.J.; Lewis, P.M.; Hutchinson, R.A.; Rubinger, B.; Willis, A.

    1985-06-01

    Purpose of this study is to explore the status of R and D in Japan and the ability of US researchers to keep abreast of Japanese technical advances. US researchers familiar with R and D activities in Japan were interviewed in ten fields that are relevant to the more efficient use of energy: amorphous metals, biotechnology, ceramics, combustion, electrochemical energy storage, heat engines, heat transfer, high-temperature sensors, thermal and chemical energy storage, and tribology. The researchers were questioned about their perceptions of the strengths of R and D in Japan, comparative aspects of US work, and the quality of available information sources describing R and D in Japan. Of the ten related fields, the researchers expressed a strong perception that significant R and D is under way in amorphous metals, biotechnology, and ceramics, and that the US competitive position in these technologies will be significantly challenged. Researchers also identified alternative emphases in Japanese R and D programs in these areas that provide Japan with stronger technical capabilities. For example, in biotechnology, researchers noted the significant Japanese emphasis on industrial-scale bioprocess engineering, which contrasts with a more meager effort in the US. In tribology, researchers also noted the strength of the chemical tribology research in Japan and commented on the effective mix of chemical and mechanical tribology research. This approach contrasts with the emphasis on mechanical tribology in the US.

  9. Mesocycles in conserving plastics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shashoua, Yvonne

    2016-01-01

    driven by the need to balance the requirements for reversibility in conservation practices with the artist’s intent and significance. Developments within each of the three mesocycles from the 1990s to date are discussed in this article. Environmental science and toxicology of waste plastics offer a novel...... source of information about real time degradation in terrestrial and marine microenvironments that seems likely to contribute to the conservation of similar materials in contemporary artworks....

  10. Modelling coral reef futures to inform management: can reducing local-scale stressors conserve reefs under climate change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurney, Georgina G; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Geronimo, Rollan C; Aliño, Perry M; Johnson, Craig R

    2013-01-01

    Climate change has emerged as a principal threat to coral reefs, and is expected to exacerbate coral reef degradation caused by more localised stressors. Management of local stressors is widely advocated to bolster coral reef resilience, but the extent to which management of local stressors might affect future trajectories of reef state remains unclear. This is in part because of limited understanding of the cumulative impact of multiple stressors. Models are ideal tools to aid understanding of future reef state under alternative management and climatic scenarios, but to date few have been sufficiently developed to be useful as decision support tools for local management of coral reefs subject to multiple stressors. We used a simulation model of coral reefs to investigate the extent to which the management of local stressors (namely poor water quality and fishing) might influence future reef state under varying climatic scenarios relating to coral bleaching. We parameterised the model for Bolinao, the Philippines, and explored how simulation modelling can be used to provide decision support for local management. We found that management of water quality, and to a lesser extent fishing, can have a significant impact on future reef state, including coral recovery following bleaching-induced mortality. The stressors we examined interacted antagonistically to affect reef state, highlighting the importance of considering the combined impact of multiple stressors rather than considering them individually. Further, by providing explicit guidance for management of Bolinao's reef system, such as which course of management action will most likely to be effective over what time scales and at which sites, we demonstrated the utility of simulation models for supporting management. Aside from providing explicit guidance for management of Bolinao's reef system, our study offers insights which could inform reef management more broadly, as well as general understanding of reef

  11. Modelling coral reef futures to inform management: can reducing local-scale stressors conserve reefs under climate change?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgina G Gurney

    Full Text Available Climate change has emerged as a principal threat to coral reefs, and is expected to exacerbate coral reef degradation caused by more localised stressors. Management of local stressors is widely advocated to bolster coral reef resilience, but the extent to which management of local stressors might affect future trajectories of reef state remains unclear. This is in part because of limited understanding of the cumulative impact of multiple stressors. Models are ideal tools to aid understanding of future reef state under alternative management and climatic scenarios, but to date few have been sufficiently developed to be useful as decision support tools for local management of coral reefs subject to multiple stressors. We used a simulation model of coral reefs to investigate the extent to which the management of local stressors (namely poor water quality and fishing might influence future reef state under varying climatic scenarios relating to coral bleaching. We parameterised the model for Bolinao, the Philippines, and explored how simulation modelling can be used to provide decision support for local management. We found that management of water quality, and to a lesser extent fishing, can have a significant impact on future reef state, including coral recovery following bleaching-induced mortality. The stressors we examined interacted antagonistically to affect reef state, highlighting the importance of considering the combined impact of multiple stressors rather than considering them individually. Further, by providing explicit guidance for management of Bolinao's reef system, such as which course of management action will most likely to be effective over what time scales and at which sites, we demonstrated the utility of simulation models for supporting management. Aside from providing explicit guidance for management of Bolinao's reef system, our study offers insights which could inform reef management more broadly, as well as general

  12. Modelling Coral Reef Futures to Inform Management: Can Reducing Local-Scale Stressors Conserve Reefs under Climate Change?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurney, Georgina G.; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Geronimo, Rollan C.; Aliño, Perry M.; Johnson, Craig R.

    2013-01-01

    Climate change has emerged as a principal threat to coral reefs, and is expected to exacerbate coral reef degradation caused by more localised stressors. Management of local stressors is widely advocated to bolster coral reef resilience, but the extent to which management of local stressors might affect future trajectories of reef state remains unclear. This is in part because of limited understanding of the cumulative impact of multiple stressors. Models are ideal tools to aid understanding of future reef state under alternative management and climatic scenarios, but to date few have been sufficiently developed to be useful as decision support tools for local management of coral reefs subject to multiple stressors. We used a simulation model of coral reefs to investigate the extent to which the management of local stressors (namely poor water quality and fishing) might influence future reef state under varying climatic scenarios relating to coral bleaching. We parameterised the model for Bolinao, the Philippines, and explored how simulation modelling can be used to provide decision support for local management. We found that management of water quality, and to a lesser extent fishing, can have a significant impact on future reef state, including coral recovery following bleaching-induced mortality. The stressors we examined interacted antagonistically to affect reef state, highlighting the importance of considering the combined impact of multiple stressors rather than considering them individually. Further, by providing explicit guidance for management of Bolinao's reef system, such as which course of management action will most likely to be effective over what time scales and at which sites, we demonstrated the utility of simulation models for supporting management. Aside from providing explicit guidance for management of Bolinao's reef system, our study offers insights which could inform reef management more broadly, as well as general understanding of reef

  13. (ICTs) And Environmental Conservation

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ICTs have a potential for improving the accessibility of environmental information, and if appropriately applied, they can empower local people to make informed decisions regarding environmental issues, thus enhancing environmental conservation. However, the challenge is on how to define particular roles that ...

  14. Discovery of Conservation and Diversification of miR171 Genes by Phylogenetic Analysis based on Global Genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xudong Zhu

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The microRNA171 (miR171 family is widely distributed and highly conserved in a range of species and plays critical roles in regulating plant growth and development through repressing expression of ( transcription factors. However, information on the evolutionary conservation and functional diversification of the miRNA171 family members remains scanty. We reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships among miR171 precursor and mature sequences so as to investigate the extent and degree of evolutionary conservation of miR171 in (L. Heynh. (ath, grape ( L. (vvi, poplar ( Torr. & A.Gray ex Hook. (ptc, and rice ( L. (osa. Despite strong conservation of over 80%, some mature miR171 sequences, such as , and and , -, and -, have undergone critical sequence variation, leading to functional diversification, since they target non gene transcript(s. Phylogenetic analyses revealed a combination of old ancestral relationships and recent lineage-specific diversification in the miR171 family within the four model plants. The -regulatory motifs on the upstream promoter sequences of genes were highly divergent and shared some similar elements, indicating their possible contribution to the functional variation observed within the miR171 family. This study will buttress our understanding of the functional differentiation of miRNAs and the relationships of miRNA–target pairs based on the evolutionary history of genes.

  15. Multispecies genetic objectives in spatial conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  16. EDEN: evolutionary dynamics within environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münch, Philipp C.; Stecher, Bärbel; McHardy, Alice C.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Summary Metagenomics revolutionized the field of microbial ecology, giving access to Gb-sized datasets of microbial communities under natural conditions. This enables fine-grained analyses of the functions of community members, studies of their association with phenotypes and environments, as well as of their microevolution and adaptation to changing environmental conditions. However, phylogenetic methods for studying adaptation and evolutionary dynamics are not able to cope with big data. EDEN is the first software for the rapid detection of protein families and regions under positive selection, as well as their associated biological processes, from meta- and pangenome data. It provides an interactive result visualization for detailed comparative analyses. Availability and implementation EDEN is available as a Docker installation under the GPL 3.0 license, allowing its use on common operating systems, at http://www.github.com/hzi-bifo/eden. Contact alice.mchardy@helmholtz-hzi.de Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:28637301

  17. Multi-iPPseEvo: A Multi-label Classifier for Identifying Human Phosphorylated Proteins by Incorporating Evolutionary Information into Chou's General PseAAC via Grey System Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Wang-Ren; Zheng, Quan-Shu; Sun, Bi-Qian; Xiao, Xuan

    2017-03-01

    Predicting phosphorylation protein is a challenging problem, particularly when query proteins have multi-label features meaning that they may be phosphorylated at two or more different type amino acids. In fact, human protein usually be phosphorylated at serine, threonine and tyrosine. By introducing the "multi-label learning" approach, a novel predictor has been developed that can be used to deal with the systems containing both single- and multi-label phosphorylation protein. Here we proposed a predictor called Multi-iPPseEvo by (1) incorporating the protein sequence evolutionary information into the general pseudo amino acid composition (PseAAC) via the grey system theory, (2) balancing out the skewed training datasets by the asymmetric bootstrap approach, and (3) constructing an ensemble predictor by fusing an array of individual random forest classifiers thru a voting system. Rigorous cross-validations via a set of multi-label metrics indicate that the multi-label phosphorylation predictor is very promising and encouraging. The current approach represents a new strategy to deal with the multi-label biological problems, and the software is freely available for academic use at http://www.jci-bioinfo.cn/Multi-iPPseEvo. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  20. The impact of information and other factors on on-farm agrobiodiversity conservation: evidence from a duration analysis of Portuguese fruit growers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Botelho, A.; Dinis, I.; Costa Pinto, L.

    2012-11-01

    In spite of the increasing awareness of the importance of in situ and on-farm conservation of agro biodiversity, there is still limited knowledge about the factors that influence farmers choices in variety adoption. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to a better understanding of the factors that influence farmers adoption of traditional varieties of fruit trees so that better and more effective policy measures aiming at their preservation can be designed. While studies in this area have mainly employed standard probit/logit techniques, in this paper, an econometric technique which addresses simultaneously the issue of sample censoring and the joint determination of the occurrence and timing of adoptions duration analysis was applied. The use of this technique in the analysis of adoption data uncovers a sizably higher effect of information on farmers decisions than that obtained by standard approaches. The results strongly support the idea that good extension services providing reliable and accessible information, as well as technical guidance adapted to local conditions, are fundamental components in determining the adoption of land races. (Author)

  1. Nuclear myosin is ubiquitously expressed and evolutionary conserved in vertebrates

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kahle, Michal; Přidalová, Jarmila; Špaček, M.; Dzijak, Rastislav; Hozák, Pavel

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 127, č. 2 (2007), s. 139-184 ISSN 0948-6143 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA204/04/0108; GA AV ČR IAA5039202; GA MŠk LC545; GA ČR GD204/05/H023 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390512; CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : Nuclear myosin I * Transcription * Chromatin Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.893, year: 2007

  2. Differential Evolutionary Constraints in the Evolution of Chemoreceptors: A Murine and Human Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricardo D’Oliveira Albanus

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Chemoreception is among the most important sensory modalities in animals. Organisms use the ability to perceive chemical compounds in all major ecological activities. Recent studies have allowed the characterization of chemoreceptor gene families. These genes present strikingly high variability in copy numbers and pseudogenization degrees among different species, but the mechanisms underlying their evolution are not fully understood. We have analyzed the functional networks of these genes, their orthologs distribution, and performed phylogenetic analyses in order to investigate their evolutionary dynamics. We have modeled the chemosensory networks and compared the evolutionary constraints of their genes in Mus musculus, Homo sapiens, and Rattus norvegicus. We have observed significant differences regarding the constraints on the orthologous groups and network topologies of chemoreceptors and signal transduction machinery. Our findings suggest that chemosensory receptor genes are less constrained than their signal transducing machinery, resulting in greater receptor diversity and conservation of information processing pathways. More importantly, we have observed significant differences among the receptors themselves, suggesting that olfactory and bitter taste receptors are more conserved than vomeronasal receptors.

  3. Studies in evolutionary agroecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wille, Wibke

    of population performance will increase in frequency. Yield, one of the fundamental agronomic variables, is not an individual, but a population characteristic. A farmer wants a high yield per hectare; he is not interested in the performance of individual plants. When individual selection and population...... 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Energy conservation in industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pembleton, P.

    1992-01-01

    Energy Conservation in Industry is the first number in the Energy and Environmental Series of the Industrial and Technological Information Bank (INTIB). The Series supersedes the INECA Journal and reflects the broader information programme undertaken by INTIB. The present number of the Series contains contributions from three major international databases and five topic-specific sources, including three United Nations Organizations. The present publication consists of a recent technical report on a current topic: reducing energy loss in four industrial sectors and improving energy conservation through waste-heat recovery, followed by two sections containing abstracts of technical materials

  6. Properties of Sequence Conservation in Upstream Regulatory and Protein Coding Sequences among Paralogs in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Dale N.; Wiehe, Thomas

    Whole genome duplication (WGD) has catalyzed the formation of new species, genes with novel functions, altered expression patterns, complexified signaling pathways and has provided organisms a level of genetic robustness. We studied the long-term evolution and interrelationships of 5’ upstream regulatory sequences (URSs), protein coding sequences (CDSs) and expression correlations (EC) of duplicated gene pairs in Arabidopsis. Three distinct methods revealed significant evolutionary conservation between paralogous URSs and were highly correlated with microarray-based expression correlation of the respective gene pairs. Positional information on exact matches between sequences unveiled the contribution of micro-chromosomal rearrangements on expression divergence. A three-way rank analysis of URS similarity, CDS divergence and EC uncovered specific gene functional biases. Transcription factor activity was associated with gene pairs exhibiting conserved URSs and divergent CDSs, whereas a broad array of metabolic enzymes was found to be associated with gene pairs showing diverged URSs but conserved CDSs.

  7. Core principles of evolutionary medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunspan, Daniel Z; Nesse, Randolph M; Barnes, M Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background and objectives Evolutionary medicine is a rapidly growing field that uses the principles of evolutionary biology to better understand, prevent and treat disease, and that uses studies of disease to advance basic knowledge in evolutionary biology. Over-arching principles of evolutionary medicine have been described in publications, but our study is the first to systematically elicit core principles from a diverse panel of experts in evolutionary medicine. These principles should be useful to advance recent recommendations made by The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to make evolutionary thinking a core competency for pre-medical education. Methodology The Delphi method was used to elicit and validate a list of core principles for evolutionary medicine. The study included four surveys administered in sequence to 56 expert panelists. The initial open-ended survey created a list of possible core principles; the three subsequent surveys winnowed the list and assessed the accuracy and importance of each principle. Results Fourteen core principles elicited at least 80% of the panelists to agree or strongly agree that they were important core principles for evolutionary medicine. These principles over-lapped with concepts discussed in other articles discussing key concepts in evolutionary medicine. Conclusions and implications This set of core principles will be helpful for researchers and instructors in evolutionary medicine. We recommend that evolutionary medicine instructors use the list of core principles to construct learning goals. Evolutionary medicine is a young field, so this list of core principles will likely change as the field develops further. PMID:29493660

  8. Practical advantages of evolutionary computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, David B.

    1997-10-01

    Evolutionary computation is becoming a common technique for solving difficult, real-world problems in industry, medicine, and defense. This paper reviews some of the practical advantages to using evolutionary algorithms as compared with classic methods of optimization or artificial intelligence. Specific advantages include the flexibility of the procedures, as well as their ability to self-adapt the search for optimum solutions on the fly. As desktop computers increase in speed, the application of evolutionary algorithms will become routine.

  9. PANTHER-PSEP: predicting disease-causing genetic variants using position-specific evolutionary preservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Haiming; Thomas, Paul D

    2016-07-15

    PANTHER-PSEP is a new software tool for predicting non-synonymous genetic variants that may play a causal role in human disease. Several previous variant pathogenicity prediction methods have been proposed that quantify evolutionary conservation among homologous proteins from different organisms. PANTHER-PSEP employs a related but distinct metric based on 'evolutionary preservation': homologous proteins are used to reconstruct the likely sequences of ancestral proteins at nodes in a phylogenetic tree, and the history of each amino acid can be traced back in time from its current state to estimate how long that state has been preserved in its ancestors. Here, we describe the PSEP tool, and assess its performance on standard benchmarks for distinguishing disease-associated from neutral variation in humans. On these benchmarks, PSEP outperforms not only previous tools that utilize evolutionary conservation, but also several highly used tools that include multiple other sources of information as well. For predicting pathogenic human variants, the trace back of course starts with a human 'reference' protein sequence, but the PSEP tool can also be applied to predicting deleterious or pathogenic variants in reference proteins from any of the ∼100 other species in the PANTHER database. PANTHER-PSEP is freely available on the web at http://pantherdb.org/tools/csnpScoreForm.jsp Users can also download the command-line based tool at ftp://ftp.pantherdb.org/cSNP_analysis/PSEP/ CONTACT: pdthomas@usc.edu Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Clustering of Pan- and Core-genome of Lactobacillus provides Novel Evolutionary Insights for Differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inglin, Raffael C; Meile, Leo; Stevens, Marc J A

    2018-04-24

    Bacterial taxonomy aims to classify bacteria based on true evolutionary events and relies on a polyphasic approach that includes phenotypic, genotypic and chemotaxonomic analyses. Until now, complete genomes are largely ignored in taxonomy. The genus Lactobacillus consists of 173 species and many genomes are available to study taxonomy and evolutionary events. We analyzed and clustered 98 completely sequenced genomes of the genus Lactobacillus and 234 draft genomes of 5 different Lactobacillus species, i.e. L. reuteri, L. delbrueckii, L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus and L. helveticus. The core-genome of the genus Lactobacillus contains 266 genes and the pan-genome 20'800 genes. Clustering of the Lactobacillus pan- and core-genome resulted in two highly similar trees. This shows that evolutionary history is traceable in the core-genome and that clustering of the core-genome is sufficient to explore relationships. Clustering of core- and pan-genomes at species' level resulted in similar trees as well. Detailed analyses of the core-genomes showed that the functional class "genetic information processing" is conserved in the core-genome but that "signaling and cellular processes" is not. The latter class encodes functions that are involved in environmental interactions. Evolution of lactobacilli seems therefore directed by the environment. The type species L. delbrueckii was analyzed in detail and its pan-genome based tree contained two major clades whose members contained different genes yet identical functions. In addition, evidence for horizontal gene transfer between strains of L. delbrueckii, L. plantarum, and L. rhamnosus, and between species of the genus Lactobacillus is presented. Our data provide evidence for evolution of some lactobacilli according to a parapatric-like model for species differentiation. Core-genome trees are useful to detect evolutionary relationships in lactobacilli and might be useful in taxonomic analyses. Lactobacillus' evolution is directed

  11. Phylogenetic footprint of the plant clock system in angiosperms: evolutionary processes of Pseudo-Response Regulators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saito Shigeru

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plant circadian clocks regulate many photoperiodic and diurnal responses that are conserved among plant species. The plant circadian clock system has been uncovered in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, using genetics and systems biology approaches. However, it is still not clear how the clock system had been organized in the evolutionary history of plants. We recently revealed the molecular phylogeny of LHY/CCA1 genes, one of the essential components of the clock system. The aims of this study are to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships of angiosperm clock-associated PRR genes, the partner of the LHY/CCA1 genes, and to clarify the evolutionary history of the plant clock system in angiosperm lineages. Results In the present study, to investigate the molecular phylogeny of PRR genes, we performed two approaches: reconstruction of phylogenetic trees and examination of syntenic relationships. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that PRR genes had diverged into three clades prior to the speciation of monocots and eudicots. Furthermore, copy numbers of PRR genes have been independently increased in monocots and eudicots as a result of ancient chromosomal duplication events. Conclusions Based on the molecular phylogenies of both PRR genes and LHY/CCA1 genes, we inferred the evolutionary process of the plant clock system in angiosperms. This scenario provides evolutionary information that a common ancestor of monocots and eudicots had retained the basic components required for reconstructing a clock system and that the plant circadian clock may have become a more elaborate mechanism after the speciation of monocots and eudicots because of the gene expansion that resulted from polyploidy events.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Complexity in Evolutionary Processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schuster, P.

    2010-01-01

    Darwin's principle of evolution by natural selection is readily casted into a mathematical formalism. Molecular biology revealed the mechanism of mutation and provides the basis for a kinetic theory of evolution that models correct reproduction and mutation as parallel chemical reaction channels. A result of the kinetic theory is the existence of a phase transition in evolution occurring at a critical mutation rate, which represents a localization threshold for the population in sequence space. Occurrence and nature of such phase transitions depend critically on fitness landscapes. The fitness landscape being tantamount to a mapping from sequence or genotype space into phenotype space is identified as the true source of complexity in evolution. Modeling evolution as a stochastic process is discussed and neutrality with respect to selection is shown to provide a major challenge for understanding evolutionary processes (author)

  14. 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.

  15. Evolutionary games under incompetence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleshnina, Maria; Filar, Jerzy A; Ejov, Vladimir; McKerral, Jody C

    2018-02-26

    The adaptation process of a species to a new environment is a significant area of study in biology. As part of natural selection, adaptation is a mutation process which improves survival skills and reproductive functions of species. Here, we investigate this process by combining the idea of incompetence with evolutionary game theory. In the sense of evolution, incompetence and training can be interpreted as a special learning process. With focus on the social side of the problem, we analyze the influence of incompetence on behavior of species. We introduce an incompetence parameter into a learning function in a single-population game and analyze its effect on the outcome of the replicator dynamics. Incompetence can change the outcome of the game and its dynamics, indicating its significance within what are inherently imperfect natural systems.

  16. [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…

  17. Creative conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bentham, Roelof J.

    1968-01-01

    The increasing exploitation of our natural resources, the unlimited occupation of ever more new areas, and the intensification of land-use, make it necessary for us to expand the concept of conservation. But we also need to reconsider that concept itself. For the changing conditions in the

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Evolutionary economics and industry location

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, R.A.; Frenken, K.

    2003-01-01

    This paper aims to provide the outlines of an evolutionary economic geography of industry location. We discuss two evolutionary explanations of industry location, that is, one that concentrates on spin-offs, and one that focuses attention on knowledge and agglomeration economies. We claim that both

  2. Contemporary issues in evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    These discussions included, among others, the possible consequences of nonDNA-based inheritance—epigenetics and cultural evolution, niche construction, and developmental mechanisms on our understanding of the evolutionary process, speciation, complexity in biology, and constructing a formal evolutionary theory.

  3. Contemporary issues in evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    We are delighted to bring to the readers, a set of peer-reviewed papers on evolutionary biology, published as a special issue of the Journal of Genetics. These papers emanated from ruminations upon and discussions at the Foundations of. Evolutionary Theory: the Ongoing Synthesis meeting at Coorg, India, in February ...

  4. Fixation Time for Evolutionary Graphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Pu-Yan; Zhang, Pei-Ai

    Evolutionary graph theory (EGT) is recently proposed by Lieberman et al. in 2005. EGT is successful for explaining biological evolution and some social phenomena. It is extremely important to consider the time of fixation for EGT in many practical problems, including evolutionary theory and the evolution of cooperation. This study characterizes the time to asymptotically reach fixation.

  5. Applications of evolutionary economic geography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, R.A.; Frenken, K.; Puranam, Krishna Kishore; Ravi Kumar Jain B., xx

    2008-01-01

    This paper is written as the first chapter of an edited volume on evolutionary economics and economic geography (Frenken, K., editor, Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, expected publication date February 2007). The paper reviews empirical applications of

  6. 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.

  7. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Evolutionary design assistants for architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Onur Sönmez

    2015-04-01

    evolutionary decisions. In this way, the Interleaved EA enables the use of different settings and operators for each of the objectives within an overall task, which would be the same for all objectives in a regular multi-objective EA. This property gives the algorithm a modular structure, which offers an improvable method for the utilization of domain-specific knowledge for each sub-task, i.e., objective. The Interleaved EA can be used by Evolutionary Computation (EC researchers and by practitioners who employ EC for their tasks. As a third main output, the “Architectural Stem Cells Framework” is a conceptual framework for architectural design assistants. It proposes a dynamic and multi-layered method for combining a set of design assistants for larger tasks in architectural design. The first component of the framework is a layer-based, parallel task decomposition approach, which aims at obtaining a dynamic parallelization of sub-tasks within a more complicated problem. The second component of the framework is a conception for the development mechanisms for building drafts, i.e., Architectural Stem Cells (ASC. An ASC can be conceived as a semantically marked geometric structure, which contains the information that specifies the possibilities and constraints for how an abstract building may develop from an undetailed stage to a fully developed building draft. ASCs are required for re-integrating the separated task layers of an architectural problem through solution-based development. The ASC Framework brings together many of the ideas of this thesis for a practical research agenda and it is presented to the AD researchers in architecture. Finally, the “design_proxy.layout” (d_p.layout is an architectural layout design assistant based on the design_proxy approach and the IEA. The system uses a relaxed problem definition (producing draft layouts and a flexible layout representation that permits the overlapping of design units and boundaries. User interaction with the

  9. Notes on spectrum and exponential decay in nonautonomous evolutionary equations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Pötzsche

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We first determine the dichotomy (Sacker-Sell spectrum for certain nonautonomous linear evolutionary equations induced by a class of parabolic PDE systems. Having this information at hand, we underline the applicability of our second result: If the widths of the gaps in the dichotomy spectrum are bounded away from $0$, then one can rule out the existence of super-exponentially decaying (i.e. slow solutions of semi-linear evolutionary equations.

  10. [Analysis from the French DRG-based information system (PMSI) of conservative surgical treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding in 2008-2010].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, H; Villefranque, V; Panel, P

    2015-05-01

    To evaluate the conservative surgical treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding from the Medicalized Information System Program (PMSI). The diagnosis codes were selected from 10th version of the international classification disease. A transversal and longitudinal descriptive analysis was performed from hospital stays, patient's characteristics, medical procedures between 2008-2010. Nineteen thousand six hundred and seventy-nine patients were admitted in hospital (public or private) for treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding. Endometrial ablation increased by 16,7%, 10.2% for first generation technique (G1) and 63.5% for second generation techniques (G2). G2 were used in 15% of indications. The median age was respectively 45.2±6.4 years old versus 45.8±4.9 years old for G2. The median length of hospital stay was 1.6 ±1with 69% of patients in ambulatory care. The likelihood to have a hysterectomy in the 3 years follow-up was higher after G1 than G2 treatments (P=0.0034) for the patients above 40 years old. In longitudinal study, defined only by endometrial hyperplasia, 11,532 patients were included and only 8.2% had been treated by G2. In spite of the international guidelines since 2008, 85% of patients treated with first generation surgical technique. The failure rate defined by a re-ablation or a hysterectomy is higher after G1. This result must be discussed in relationship with cost effective aspects. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  11. 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

  12. Conservation of Charge and Conservation of Current

    OpenAIRE

    Eisenberg, Bob

    2016-01-01

    Conservation of current and conservation of charge are nearly the same thing: when enough is known about charge movement, conservation of current can be derived from conservation of charge, in ideal dielectrics, for example. Conservation of current is enforced implicitly in ideal dielectrics by theories that conserve charge. But charge movement in real materials like semiconductors or ionic solutions is never ideal. We present an apparently universal derivation of conservation of current and ...

  13. communities` attitudes towards conservation in gashakagumti

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Tersor

    JOURNAL OF RESEARCH IN FORESTRY, WILDLIFE AND ENVIRONMENT VOLUME 7, No.2 SEPTEMBER, 2015. ... and the impact of conservation interventions, as well as to inform the ... The conservation attitudes of local people residing ...

  14. A brief introduction to continuous evolutionary optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Kramer, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Practical optimization problems are often hard to solve, in particular when they are black boxes and no further information about the problem is available except via function evaluations. This work introduces a collection of heuristics and algorithms for black box optimization with evolutionary algorithms in continuous solution spaces. The book gives an introduction to evolution strategies and parameter control. Heuristic extensions are presented that allow optimization in constrained, multimodal, and multi-objective solution spaces. An adaptive penalty function is introduced for constrained optimization. Meta-models reduce the number of fitness and constraint function calls in expensive optimization problems. The hybridization of evolution strategies with local search allows fast optimization in solution spaces with many local optima. A selection operator based on reference lines in objective space is introduced to optimize multiple conflictive objectives. Evolutionary search is employed for learning kernel ...

  15. Chemical evolutionary games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aristotelous, Andreas C; Durrett, Richard

    2014-05-01

    Inspired by the use of hybrid cellular automata in modeling cancer, we introduce a generalization of evolutionary games in which cells produce and absorb chemicals, and the chemical concentrations dictate the death rates of cells and their fitnesses. Our long term aim is to understand how the details of the interactions in a system with n species and m chemicals translate into the qualitative behavior of the system. Here, we study two simple 2×2 games with two chemicals and revisit the two and three species versions of the one chemical colicin system studied earlier by Durrett and Levin (1997). We find that in the 2×2 examples, the behavior of our new spatial model can be predicted from that of the mean field differential equation using ideas of Durrett and Levin (1994). However, in the three species colicin model, the system with diffusion does not have the coexistence which occurs in the lattices model in which sites interact with only their nearest neighbors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Evolutionary and developmental modules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacquaniti, Francesco; Ivanenko, Yuri P; d'Avella, Andrea; Zelik, Karl E; Zago, Myrka

    2013-01-01

    The identification of biological modules at the systems level often follows top-down decomposition of a task goal, or bottom-up decomposition of multidimensional data arrays into basic elements or patterns representing shared features. These approaches traditionally have been applied to mature, fully developed systems. Here we review some results from two other perspectives on modularity, namely the developmental and evolutionary perspective. There is growing evidence that modular units of development were highly preserved and recombined during evolution. We first consider a few examples of modules well identifiable from morphology. Next we consider the more difficult issue of identifying functional developmental modules. We dwell especially on modular control of locomotion to argue that the building blocks used to construct different locomotor behaviors are similar across several animal species, presumably related to ancestral neural networks of command. A recurrent theme from comparative studies is that the developmental addition of new premotor modules underlies the postnatal acquisition and refinement of several different motor behaviors in vertebrates.

  17. Exercise, Affect, and Adherence: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harold Lee

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The low rates of regular exercise and overall physical activity (PA in the general population represent a significant public health challenge. Previous research suggests that, for many people, exercise leads to a negative affective response and, in turn, reduced likelihood of future exercise. The purpose of this paper is to examine this exercise-affect-adherence relationship from an evolutionary perspective. Specifically, we argue that low rates of physical exercise in the general population are a function of the evolved human tendency to avoid unnecessary physical exertion. This innate tendency evolved because it allowed our evolutionary ancestors to conserve energy for physical activities that had immediate adaptive utility such as pursuing prey, escaping predators, and engaging in social and reproductive behaviors. The commonly observed negative affective response to exercise is an evolved proximate psychological mechanism through which humans avoid unnecessary energy expenditure. The fact that the human tendencies toward negative affective response to and avoidance of unnecessary physical activities are innate does not mean that they are unchangeable. Indeed, it is only because of human-engineered changes in our environmental conditions (i.e., it is no longer necessary for us to work for our food that our predisposition to avoid unnecessary physical exertion has become a liability. Thus, it is well within our capabilities to reengineer our environments to once again make PA necessary or, at least, to serve an immediate functional purpose. We propose a two-pronged approach to PA promotion based on this evolutionary functional perspective: First, to promote exercise and other physical activities that are perceived to have an immediate purpose, and second, to instill greater perceived purpose for a wider range of physical activities. We posit that these strategies are more likely to result in more positive (or at least less negative affective

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csibra, Gergely; Gergely, György

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21357237

  1. 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.

  2. Evolutionary Computing Methods for Spectral Retrieval

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrile, Richard; Fink, Wolfgang; Huntsberger, Terrance; Lee, Seugwon; Tisdale, Edwin; VonAllmen, Paul; Tinetti, Geivanna

    2009-01-01

    A methodology for processing spectral images to retrieve information on underlying physical, chemical, and/or biological phenomena is based on evolutionary and related computational methods implemented in software. In a typical case, the solution (the information that one seeks to retrieve) consists of parameters of a mathematical model that represents one or more of the phenomena of interest. The methodology was developed for the initial purpose of retrieving the desired information from spectral image data acquired by remote-sensing instruments aimed at planets (including the Earth). Examples of information desired in such applications include trace gas concentrations, temperature profiles, surface types, day/night fractions, cloud/aerosol fractions, seasons, and viewing angles. The methodology is also potentially useful for retrieving information on chemical and/or biological hazards in terrestrial settings. In this methodology, one utilizes an iterative process that minimizes a fitness function indicative of the degree of dissimilarity between observed and synthetic spectral and angular data. The evolutionary computing methods that lie at the heart of this process yield a population of solutions (sets of the desired parameters) within an accuracy represented by a fitness-function value specified by the user. The evolutionary computing methods (ECM) used in this methodology are Genetic Algorithms and Simulated Annealing, both of which are well-established optimization techniques and have also been described in previous NASA Tech Briefs articles. These are embedded in a conceptual framework, represented in the architecture of the implementing software, that enables automatic retrieval of spectral and angular data and analysis of the retrieved solutions for uniqueness.

  3. 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.

  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)

    Whiteson, S.; Wiering, M.; van Otterlo, M.

    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,

  6. Integrating genomics into evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Juan Antonio; Marigorta, Urko M; Navarro, Arcadi

    2014-12-01

    The application of the principles of evolutionary biology into medicine was suggested long ago and is already providing insight into the ultimate causes of disease. However, a full systematic integration of medical genomics and evolutionary medicine is still missing. Here, we briefly review some cases where the combination of the two fields has proven profitable and highlight two of the main issues hindering the development of evolutionary genomic medicine as a mature field, namely the dissociation between fitness and health and the still considerable difficulties in predicting phenotypes from genotypes. We use publicly available data to illustrate both problems and conclude that new approaches are needed for evolutionary genomic medicine to overcome these obstacles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Evolutionary robotics – A review

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    a need for a technique by which the robot is able to acquire new behaviours automatically .... Evolutionary robotics is a comparatively new field of robotics research, which seems to ..... Technical Report: PCIA-94-04, Institute of Psychology,.

  8. Social traits, social networks and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, D N; McAdam, A G

    2017-12-01

    The social environment is both an important agent of selection for most organisms, and an emergent property of their interactions. As an aggregation of interactions among members of a population, the social environment is a product of many sets of relationships and so can be represented as a network or matrix. Social network analysis in animals has focused on why these networks possess the structure they do, and whether individuals' network traits, representing some aspect of their social phenotype, relate to their fitness. Meanwhile, quantitative geneticists have demonstrated that traits expressed in a social context can depend on the phenotypes and genotypes of interacting partners, leading to influences of the social environment on the traits and fitness of individuals and the evolutionary trajectories of populations. Therefore, both fields are investigating similar topics, yet have arrived at these points relatively independently. We review how these approaches are diverged, and yet how they retain clear parallelism and so strong potential for complementarity. This demonstrates that, despite separate bodies of theory, advances in one might inform the other. Techniques in network analysis for quantifying social phenotypes, and for identifying community structure, should be useful for those studying the relationship between individual behaviour and group-level phenotypes. Entering social association matrices into quantitative genetic models may also reduce bias in heritability estimates, and allow the estimation of the influence of social connectedness on trait expression. Current methods for measuring natural selection in a social context explicitly account for the fact that a trait is not necessarily the property of a single individual, something the network approaches have not yet considered when relating network metrics to individual fitness. Harnessing evolutionary models that consider traits affected by genes in other individuals (i.e. indirect genetic

  9. In situ conservation and landscape genetics in forest species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martín L.M.

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Conservation of forest genetic resources is essential for sustaining the environmental and productive values of forests. One of the environmental values is the conservation of the diversity that is assessed through the amount of genetic diversity stored by forests, their structure and dynamics. The current need for forest conservation and management has driven a rapid expansion of landscape genetics discipline that combines tools from molecular genetics, landscape ecology and spatial statistics and is decisive for improving not only ecological knowledge but also for properly managing population genetic resources. The objective of this study is to show the way to establish the safeguard of genetic diversity through this approach using the results obtained in sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill. that has provided a better understanding on the species genetic resources. In this respect, we will show how the information provided by different types of molecular markers (genomic and genic offer more accurate indication on the distribution of the genetic diversity among and within populations assuming different evolutionary drivers.

  10. International Conference of Intelligence Computation and Evolutionary Computation ICEC 2012

    CERN Document Server

    Intelligence Computation and Evolutionary Computation

    2013-01-01

    2012 International Conference of Intelligence Computation and Evolutionary Computation (ICEC 2012) is held on July 7, 2012 in Wuhan, China. This conference is sponsored by Information Technology & Industrial Engineering Research Center.  ICEC 2012 is a forum for presentation of new research results of intelligent computation and evolutionary computation. Cross-fertilization of intelligent computation, evolutionary computation, evolvable hardware and newly emerging technologies is strongly encouraged. The forum aims to bring together researchers, developers, and users from around the world in both industry and academia for sharing state-of-art results, for exploring new areas of research and development, and to discuss emerging issues facing intelligent computation and evolutionary computation.

  11. Evolutionary Game Theory: A Renaissance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Newton

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Economic agents are not always rational or farsighted and can make decisions according to simple behavioral rules that vary according to situation and can be studied using the tools of evolutionary game theory. Furthermore, such behavioral rules are themselves subject to evolutionary forces. Paying particular attention to the work of young researchers, this essay surveys the progress made over the last decade towards understanding these phenomena, and discusses open research topics of importance to economics and the broader social sciences.

  12. Freud: the first evolutionary psychologist?

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeCroy, D

    2000-04-01

    An evolutionary perspective on attachment theory and psychoanalytic theory brings these two fields together in interesting ways. Application of the evolutionary principle of parent-offspring conflict to attachment theory suggests that attachment styles represent context-sensitive, evolved (adaptive) behaviors. In addition, an emphasis on offspring counter-strategies to adult reproductive strategies leads to consideration of attachment styles as overt manifestations of psychodynamic mediating processes, including the defense mechanisms of repression and reaction formation.

  13. Conserved family of glycerol kinase loci in Drosophila melanogaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez Agosto, Julian A.; McCabe, Edward R.B.

    2009-01-01

    Glycerol kinase (GK) is an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of glycerol 3-phosphate from ATP and glycerol, the rate-limiting step in glycerol utilization. We analyzed the genome of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster and identified five GK orthologs, including two loci with sequence homology to the mammalian Xp21 GK protein. Using a combination of sequence analysis and evolutionary comparisons of orthologs between species, we characterized functional domains in the protein required for GK activity. Our findings include additional conserved domains that suggest novel nuclear and mitochondrial functions for glycerol kinase in apoptosis and transcriptional regulation. Investigation of GK function in Drosophila will inform us about the role of this enzyme in development and will provide us with a tool to examine genetic modifiers of human metabolic disorders. PMID:16545593

  14. Exploring the miRNA regulatory network using evolutionary correlations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedikt Obermayer

    2014-10-01

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

  15. Hydrology and Conservation Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanan, M.

    2006-12-01

    Responses to change in the behavior of ecological systems are largely governed by interactions at different levels. Research is essential and is to be necessarily designed to gain insights into various interactions at the community level. Sustainable resource management is only possible if conservation of biodiversity can be accomplished by properly using the knowledge discovered. It is well known that the United States Department of Agriculture provides technical information, resources, and data necessary to assist the researchers in addressing their conservation needs. Conservation aims to protect, preserve and conserve the earth's natural resources. These include, but not limited to the conservation of soil, water, minerals, air, plants and all living beings. The United States Department of Agriculture also encourages farmers and ranchers to voluntarily address threats to soil and water. Protection of wetlands and wildlife habitat has been on the radar screen of conservation experts for a very long time. The main objective has always been to help farmers and landowners conform and comply with federal and state environmental laws. During the implementation phase, farmers should be encouraged to make beneficial, cost-effective changes to methods of irrigation systems. In some cases, the hydrologic regime of the project area can be thought of as principally an issue of river flow regimes for floodplain forests. In this presentation, the author tries to focus on the impact of hydrology and conservation ecology on global warming. He also discusses the impact of hydrology and conservation ecology global air concerns such as greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. References: Chow, V. T, D. R. Maidment, and L. W. Mays. 1988. Applied Hydrology. McGraw-Hill, Inc. U.S. Soil Conservation Service. Technical Release 55: Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds. USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture). June 1986. Lehner, B. and P. Döll (2004). Development and validation

  16. Multiscale structure in eco-evolutionary dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stacey, Blake C.

    In a complex system, the individual components are neither so tightly coupled or correlated that they can all be treated as a single unit, nor so uncorrelated that they can be approximated as independent entities. Instead, patterns of interdependency lead to structure at multiple scales of organization. Evolution excels at producing such complex structures. In turn, the existence of these complex interrelationships within a biological system affects the evolutionary dynamics of that system. I present a mathematical formalism for multiscale structure, grounded in information theory, which makes these intuitions quantitative, and I show how dynamics defined in terms of population genetics or evolutionary game theory can lead to multiscale organization. For complex systems, "more is different," and I address this from several perspectives. Spatial host--consumer models demonstrate the importance of the structures which can arise due to dynamical pattern formation. Evolutionary game theory reveals the novel effects which can result from multiplayer games, nonlinear payoffs and ecological stochasticity. Replicator dynamics in an environment with mesoscale structure relates to generalized conditionalization rules in probability theory. The idea of natural selection "acting at multiple levels" has been mathematized in a variety of ways, not all of which are equivalent. We will face down the confusion, using the experience developed over the course of this thesis to clarify the situation.

  17. An Evolutionary Perspective on Toxic Leadership

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucia Ovidia VREJA

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Charles Darwin’s prediction from 1859, that future psychology was going to be built on principles derived from evolutionary theory came at last to be fulfilled. Nowadays, there are at least four disciplines that attempt to explain human behaviours as evolutionary adaptations (or maladaptations to the natural and/or social environment: human sociobiology, human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology, memetics and gene–culture coevolution theory (in our view, the most adequate of all. According to gene–culture coevolution theory, articulated language was the singular phenomenon that permitted humans to become a cultural species, and from that moment on culture become itself a selection factor. Culture means transmission of information from one generation to the next and learning from other individuals’ experiences, trough language. So, it is of critical importance to have good criteria for the selection of those individuals from whom we should learn. Yet when humans also choose their leaders from among those role-models, according to the same criteria, this mechanism can become a maladaptation and the result can be toxic leadership.

  18. An evolutionary ecology of individual differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall, Sasha R. X.; Bell, Alison M.; Bolnick, Daniel I.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2014-01-01

    Individuals often differ in what they do. This has been recognised since antiquity. Nevertheless, the ecological and evolutionary significance of such variation is attracting widespread interest, which is burgeoning to an extent that is fragmenting the literature. As a first attempt at synthesis, we focus on individual differences in behaviour within populations that exceed the day-to-day variation in individual behaviour (i.e. behavioural specialisation). Indeed, the factors promoting ecologically relevant behavioural specialisation within natural populations are likely to have far-reaching ecological and evolutionary consequences. We discuss such individual differences from three distinct perspectives: individual niche specialisations, the division of labour within insect societies and animal personality variation. In the process, while recognising that each area has its own unique motivations, we identify a number of opportunities for productive ‘crossfertilisation’ among the (largely independent) bodies of work. We conclude that a complete understanding of evolutionarily and ecologically relevant individual differences must specify how ecological interactions impact the basic biological process (e.g. Darwinian selection, development and information processing) that underpin the organismal features determining behavioural specialisations. Moreover, there is likely to be covariation amongst behavioural specialisations. Thus, we sketch the key elements of a general framework for studying the evolutionary ecology of individual differences. PMID:22897772

  19. Evolutionary games on multilayer networks: a colloquium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhen; Wang, Lin; Szolnoki, Attila; Perc, Matjaž

    2015-05-01

    Networks form the backbone of many complex systems, ranging from the Internet to human societies. Accordingly, not only is the range of our interactions limited and thus best described and modeled by networks, it is also a fact that the networks that are an integral part of such models are often interdependent or even interconnected. Networks of networks or multilayer networks are therefore a more apt description of social systems. This colloquium is devoted to evolutionary games on multilayer networks, and in particular to the evolution of cooperation as one of the main pillars of modern human societies. We first give an overview of the most significant conceptual differences between single-layer and multilayer networks, and we provide basic definitions and a classification of the most commonly used terms. Subsequently, we review fascinating and counterintuitive evolutionary outcomes that emerge due to different types of interdependencies between otherwise independent populations. The focus is on coupling through the utilities of players, through the flow of information, as well as through the popularity of different strategies on different network layers. The colloquium highlights the importance of pattern formation and collective behavior for the promotion of cooperation under adverse conditions, as well as the synergies between network science and evolutionary game theory.

  20. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Green Eric D

    2009-07-01

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

  3. Promoting household energy conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steg, Linda

    2008-01-01

    It is commonly assumed that households must change their behaviour to reduce the problems caused by increasing levels of fossil energy use. Strategies for behaviour change will be more effective if they target the most important causes of the behaviour in question. Therefore, this paper first discusses the factors influencing household energy use. Three barriers to fossil fuel energy conservation are discussed: insufficient knowledge of effective ways to reduce household energy use, the low priority and high costs of energy savings, and the lack of feasible alternatives. Next, the paper elaborates on the effectiveness and acceptability of strategies aimed to promote household energy savings. Informational strategies aimed at changing individuals' knowledge, perceptions, cognitions, motivations and norms, as well as structural strategies aimed at changing the context in which decisions are made, are discussed. This paper focuses on the psychological literature on household energy conservation, which mostly examined the effects of informational strategies. Finally, this paper lists important topics for future research

  4. Beyond biology: toward a more public ecology for conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    David P. Robertson; R. Bruce Hull

    2001-01-01

    The ultimate purpose of conservation science is to inform and affect conservation policy. Therefore, conservation biologists and all the people who produce, review, and apply conservation research should evaluate the success of their knowledge according to its ability to influence conservation decisions. In addition to possessing conventional "scientific"...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-15

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

  6. Applying Evolutionary Prototyping In Developing LMIS: A Spatial Web-Based System For Land Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agustiono, W.

    2018-01-01

    Software development project is a difficult task. Especially for software designed to comply with regulations that are constantly being introduced or changed, it is almost impossible to make just one change during the development process. Even if it is possible, nonetheless, the developers may take bulk of works to fix the design to meet specified needs. This iterative work also means that it takes additional time and potentially leads to failing to meet the original schedule and budget. In such inevitable changes, it is essential for developers to carefully consider and use an appropriate method which will help them carry out software project development. This research aims to examine the implementation of a software development method called evolutionary prototyping for developing software for complying regulation. It investigates the development of Land Management Information System (pseudonym), initiated by the Australian government, for use by farmers to meet regulatory demand requested by Soil and Land Conservation Act. By doing so, it sought to provide understanding the efficacy of evolutionary prototyping in helping developers address frequent changing requirements and iterative works but still within schedule. The findings also offer useful practical insights for other developers who seek to build similar regulatory compliance software.

  7. Evolutionary foundations for cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aktipis, C Athena; Nesse, Randolph M

    2013-01-01

    New applications of evolutionary biology are transforming our understanding of cancer. The articles in this special issue provide many specific examples, such as microorganisms inducing cancers, the significance of within-tumor heterogeneity, and the possibility that lower dose chemotherapy may sometimes promote longer survival. Underlying these specific advances is a large-scale transformation, as cancer research incorporates evolutionary methods into its toolkit, and asks new evolutionary questions about why we are vulnerable to cancer. Evolution explains why cancer exists at all, how neoplasms grow, why cancer is remarkably rare, and why it occurs despite powerful cancer suppression mechanisms. Cancer exists because of somatic selection; mutations in somatic cells result in some dividing faster than others, in some cases generating neoplasms. Neoplasms grow, or do not, in complex cellular ecosystems. Cancer is relatively rare because of natural selection; our genomes were derived disproportionally from individuals with effective mechanisms for suppressing cancer. Cancer occurs nonetheless for the same six evolutionary reasons that explain why we remain vulnerable to other diseases. These four principles-cancers evolve by somatic selection, neoplasms grow in complex ecosystems, natural selection has shaped powerful cancer defenses, and the limitations of those defenses have evolutionary explanations-provide a foundation for understanding, preventing, and treating cancer.

  8. phyloXML: XML for evolutionary biology and comparative genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Mira V; Zmasek, Christian M

    2009-10-27

    Evolutionary trees are central to a wide range of biological studies. In many of these studies, tree nodes and branches need to be associated (or annotated) with various attributes. For example, in studies concerned with organismal relationships, tree nodes are associated with taxonomic names, whereas tree branches have lengths and oftentimes support values. Gene trees used in comparative genomics or phylogenomics are usually annotated with taxonomic information, genome-related data, such as gene names and functional annotations, as well as events such as gene duplications, speciations, or exon shufflings, combined with information related to the evolutionary tree itself. The data standards currently used for evolutionary trees have limited capacities to incorporate such annotations of different data types. We developed a XML language, named phyloXML, for describing evolutionary trees, as well as various associated data items. PhyloXML provides elements for commonly used items, such as branch lengths, support values, taxonomic names, and gene names and identifiers. By using "property" elements, phyloXML can be adapted to novel and unforeseen use cases. We also developed various software tools for reading, writing, conversion, and visualization of phyloXML formatted data. PhyloXML is an XML language defined by a complete schema in XSD that allows storing and exchanging the structures of evolutionary trees as well as associated data. More information about phyloXML itself, the XSD schema, as well as tools implementing and supporting phyloXML, is available at http://www.phyloxml.org.

  9. Human genomic disease variants: a neutral evolutionary explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudley, Joel T; Kim, Yuseob; Liu, Li; Markov, Glenn J; Gerold, Kristyn; Chen, Rong; Butte, Atul J; Kumar, Sudhir

    2012-08-01

    Many perspectives on the role of evolution in human health include nonempirical assumptions concerning the adaptive evolutionary origins of human diseases. Evolutionary analyses of the increasing wealth of clinical and population genomic data have begun to challenge these presumptions. In order to systematically evaluate such claims, the time has come to build a common framework for an empirical and intellectual unification of evolution and modern medicine. We review the emerging evidence and provide a supporting conceptual framework that establishes the classical neutral theory of molecular evolution (NTME) as the basis for evaluating disease- associated genomic variations in health and medicine. For over a decade, the NTME has already explained the origins and distribution of variants implicated in diseases and has illuminated the power of evolutionary thinking in genomic medicine. We suggest that a majority of disease variants in modern populations will have neutral evolutionary origins (previously neutral), with a relatively smaller fraction exhibiting adaptive evolutionary origins (previously adaptive). This pattern is expected to hold true for common as well as rare disease variants. Ultimately, a neutral evolutionary perspective will provide medicine with an informative and actionable framework that enables objective clinical assessment beyond convenient tendencies to invoke past adaptive events in human history as a root cause of human disease.

  10. Integrating Agriculture and Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandever, Mark W.

    2010-01-01

    The USGS produces the needed science-based information to guide management actions and policy decisions that support wildlife habitat and other environmental services compatible with USDA conservation goals and farm operations. The Policy Analysis and Science Assistance Branch of the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) has conducted research involving a national landowner survey and numerous short- and long-term evaluations regarding vegetation responses to land management practices. This research helps land and resource managers to make informed decisions and resolve resource management conflicts.

  11. An Angiotensin II type 1 receptor activation switch patch revealed through Evolutionary Trace analysis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonde, Marie Mi; Yao, Rong; Ma, Jian-Nong

    2010-01-01

    to be completely resolved. Evolutionary Trace (ET) analysis is a computational method, which identifies clusters of functionally important residues by integrating information on evolutionary important residue variations with receptor structure. Combined with known mutational data, ET predicted a patch of residues......) displayed phenotypes associated with changed activation state, such as increased agonist affinity or basal activity, promiscuous activation, or constitutive internalization highlighting the importance of testing different signaling pathways. We conclude that this evolutionary important patch mediates...

  12. Energy conservation-information for the neighbourhood. Interim report 1: Social diagnosis. Buurtgerichte voorlichting over energiebesparing. Interim-rapport 1: De sociale diagnose

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Midden, C J; Weenig, W H; Schmidt, T

    1985-09-01

    The authors describe the problems with respect to energy conservation behavior of low income groups living in rented houses in neighbourhoods. Cohesion within such neighbourhoods can be considered as a resultant of two components: social solidarity and the extent of interaction combined with an inclination to ask for help. This leads to four ideal-types of people which looks like an improvement of the typology of Warren. 26 refs.

  13. 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.

  14. Robust and Flexible Scheduling with Evolutionary Computation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Mikkel T.

    Over the last ten years, there have been numerous applications of evolutionary algorithms to a variety of scheduling problems. Like most other research on heuristic scheduling, the primary aim of the research has been on deterministic formulations of the problems. This is in contrast to real world...... scheduling problems which are usually not deterministic. Usually at the time the schedule is made some information about the problem and processing environment is available, but this information is uncertain and likely to change during schedule execution. Changes frequently encountered in scheduling...... environments include machine breakdowns, uncertain processing times, workers getting sick, materials being delayed and the appearance of new jobs. These possible environmental changes mean that a schedule which was optimal for the information available at the time of scheduling can end up being highly...

  15. Evolutionary comparison of prenylation pathway in kinetoplastid Leishmania and its sister Leptomonas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauhan, Indira Singh; Kaur, Jaspreet; Krishna, Shagun; Ghosh, Arpita; Singh, Prashant; Siddiqi, Mohammad Imran; Singh, Neeloo

    2015-11-21

    Leptomonas is monogenetic kinetoplastid parasite of insects and is primitive in comparison to Leishmania. Comparative studies of these two kinetoplastid may share light on the evolutionary transition to dixenous parasitism in Leishmania. In order to adapt and survive within two hosts, Leishmania species must have acquired virulence factors in addition to mechanisms that mediate susceptibility/resistance to infection in the pathology associated with disease. Rab proteins are key mediators of vesicle transport and contribute greatly to the evolution of complexity of membrane transport system. In this study we used our whole genome sequence data of these two divergent kinetoplastids to analyze the orthologues/paralogues of Rab proteins. During change of lifestyle from monogenetic (Leptomonas) to digenetic (Leishmania), we found that the prenyl machinery remained unchanged. Geranylgeranyl transferase-I (GGTase-I) was absent in both Leishmania and its sister Leptomonas. Farnesyltransferase (FTase) and geranylgeranyl transferase-II (GGTase-II) were identified for protein prenylation. We predict that activity of the missing alpha-subunit (α-subunit) of GGTase-II in Leptomonas was probably contributed by the α-subunit of FTase, while beta-subunit (β-subunit) of GGTase-II was conserved and indicated functional conservation in the evolution of these two kinetoplastids. Therefore the β-subunit emerges as an excellent target for compounds inhibiting parasite activity in clinical cases of co-infections. We also confirmed that during the evolution to digenetic life style in Leishmania, the parasite acquired capabilities to evade drug action and maintain parasite virulence in the host with the incorporation of short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR/MDR) superfamily in Rab genes. Our study based on whole genome sequences is the first to build comparative evolutionary analysis and identification of prenylation proteins in Leishmania and its sister Leptomonas. The information

  16. Optimal conservation of migratory species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tara G Martin

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Migratory animals comprise a significant portion of biodiversity worldwide with annual investment for their conservation exceeding several billion dollars. Designing effective conservation plans presents enormous challenges. Migratory species are influenced by multiple events across land and sea-regions that are often separated by thousands of kilometres and span international borders. To date, conservation strategies for migratory species fail to take into account how migratory animals are spatially connected between different periods of the annual cycle (i.e. migratory connectivity bringing into question the utility and efficiency of current conservation efforts. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we report the first framework for determining an optimal conservation strategy for a migratory species. Employing a decision theoretic approach using dynamic optimization, we address the problem of how to allocate resources for habitat conservation for a Neotropical-Nearctic migratory bird, the American redstart Setophaga ruticilla, whose winter habitat is under threat. Our first conservation strategy used the acquisition of winter habitat based on land cost, relative bird density, and the rate of habitat loss to maximize the abundance of birds on the wintering grounds. Our second strategy maximized bird abundance across the entire range of the species by adding the constraint of maintaining a minimum percentage of birds within each breeding region in North America using information on migratory connectivity as estimated from stable-hydrogen isotopes in feathers. We show that failure to take into account migratory connectivity may doom some regional populations to extinction, whereas including information on migratory connectivity results in the protection of the species across its entire range. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate that conservation strategies for migratory animals depend critically upon two factors: knowledge of

  17. 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.

  18. The evolutionary psychology of hunger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Shawaf, Laith

    2016-10-01

    An evolutionary psychological perspective suggests that emotions can be understood as coordinating mechanisms whose job is to regulate various psychological and physiological programs in the service of solving an adaptive problem. This paper suggests that it may also be fruitful to approach hunger from this coordinating mechanism perspective. To this end, I put forward an evolutionary task analysis of hunger, generating novel a priori hypotheses about the coordinating effects of hunger on psychological processes such as perception, attention, categorization, and memory. This approach appears empirically fruitful in that it yields a bounty of testable new hypotheses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hemberg, Martin; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Achieving open access to conservation science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Richard A; Lee, Jasmine R; Watson, James E M

    2014-12-01

    Conservation science is a crisis discipline in which the results of scientific enquiry must be made available quickly to those implementing management. We assessed the extent to which scientific research published since the year 2000 in 20 conservation science journals is publicly available. Of the 19,207 papers published, 1,667 (8.68%) are freely downloadable from an official repository. Moreover, only 938 papers (4.88%) meet the standard definition of open access in which material can be freely reused providing attribution to the authors is given. This compares poorly with a comparable set of 20 evolutionary biology journals, where 31.93% of papers are freely downloadable and 7.49% are open access. Seventeen of the 20 conservation journals offer an open access option, but fewer than 5% of the papers are available through open access. The cost of accessing the full body of conservation science runs into tens of thousands of dollars per year for institutional subscribers, and many conservation practitioners cannot access pay-per-view science through their workplace. However, important initiatives such as Research4Life are making science available to organizations in developing countries. We urge authors of conservation science to pay for open access on a per-article basis or to choose publication in open access journals, taking care to ensure the license allows reuse for any purpose providing attribution is given. Currently, it would cost $51 million to make all conservation science published since 2000 freely available by paying the open access fees currently levied to authors. Publishers of conservation journals might consider more cost effective models for open access and conservation-oriented organizations running journals could consider a broader range of options for open access to nonmembers such as sponsorship of open access via membership fees. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the Society for

  3. 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

  4. Evolutionary Psychology and Intelligence Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanazawa, Satoshi

    2010-01-01

    This article seeks to unify two subfields of psychology that have hitherto stood separately: evolutionary psychology and intelligence research/differential psychology. I suggest that general intelligence may simultaneously be an evolved adaptation and an individual-difference variable. Tooby and Cosmides's (1990a) notion of random quantitative…

  5. Darwinian foundations for evolutionary economics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stoelhorst, J.W.

    2008-01-01

    This paper engages with the methodological debate on the contribution of Darwinism to Veblen's (1898) evolutionary research program for economics. I argue that ontological continuity, generalized Darwinism, and multi-level selection are necessary building blocks for an explanatory framework that can

  6. Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 10; Issue 7. Polemics and Synthesis: Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology. Renee M Borges. General Article Volume 10 Issue 7 July 2005 pp 21-33. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  7. Realism, Relativism, and Evolutionary Psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derksen, M.

    Against recent attempts to forge a reconciliation between constructionism and realism, I contend that, in psychology at least, stirring up conflict is a more fruitful strategy. To illustrate this thesis, I confront a school of psychology with strong realist leanings, evolutionary psychology, with

  8. Ancient Biomolecules and Evolutionary Inference

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cappellini, Enrico; Prohaska, Ana; Racimo, Fernando

    2018-01-01

    Over the last decade, studies of ancient biomolecules-particularly ancient DNA, proteins, and lipids-have revolutionized our understanding of evolutionary history. Though initially fraught with many challenges, the field now stands on firm foundations. Researchers now successfully retrieve nucleo...

  9. Genetical Genomics for Evolutionary Studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prins, J.C.P.; Smant, G.; Jansen, R.C.

    2012-01-01

    Genetical genomics combines acquired high-throughput genomic data with genetic analysis. In this chapter, we discuss the application of genetical genomics for evolutionary studies, where new high-throughput molecular technologies are combined with mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) on the genome

  10. Evolutionary trends in directional hearing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carr, Catherine E; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    2016-01-01

    Tympanic hearing is a true evolutionary novelty that arose in parallel within early tetrapods. We propose that in these tetrapods, selection for sound localization in air acted upon pre-existing directionally sensitive brainstem circuits, similar to those in fishes. Auditory circuits in birds...

  11. 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....

  12. Haldane and modern evolutionary genetics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Brian Charlesworth

    2017-11-24

    Nov 24, 2017 ... q(t) of an allele at a locus among the gametes produced at time t, to its .... the importance of disease as an evolutionary factor, which is now a ..... VII. Selection intensity as a function of mortality rate. Proc. Camb. Philos. Soc.

  13. The relationship of protein conservation and sequence length

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panchenko Anna R

    2002-11-01

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

  14. Evolutionary analysis of FAM83H in vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wushuang Huang

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

  15. Designing Conservation Corridors in Production Landscapes: Assessment Methods, Implementation Issues, and Lessons Learned

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda T. Lombard

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Designing broad-scale conservation corridors has become increasingly common as a way of conducting an assessment for achieving targets for the representation and persistence of nature. However, since many of these corridors must traverse agricultural and other production landscapes, planning and implementation are not trivial tasks. Most approaches to conservation assessments in the dynamic world of production landscapes are data-intensive and analytically complex. However, in the real world, donor and other external requirements impose time and budget constraints, and dictate strong stakeholder involvement in the entire planning process. In order to accommodate this, assessments must be rapid, cheap, and the approach and products must be comprehensible and acceptable to stakeholders. Here we describe such an assessment aimed at identifying and implementing a network of conservation corridors in the Gouritz Initiative project domain of South Africa's Cape Floristic Region hotspot. We used empirical data and expert knowledge to identify a corridor network hypothesized to sustain key ecological and evolutionary processes. We also consulted experts to provide a spatially explicit assessment of the opportunity costs of conservation associated with agriculture, the predominant land use in the region. We used these products to identify categories of land requiring different actions and instruments to achieve conservation goals, thereby moving from the "where" to the "how" of conservation. This information was then fed into the collaborative strategy development process for the Gouritz Initiative. Our discussion emphasizes the lessons that we learnt from undertaking this assessment, particularly lessons regarding the implementation of the planning products. We conclude that at the outset of any planning project, a consensus on the vision must be achieved, a detailed social assessment of appropriate institutions must be undertaken, and a learning

  16. Towards a mechanistic foundation of evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doebeli, Michael; Ispolatov, Yaroslav; Simon, Burt

    2017-02-15

    Most evolutionary thinking is based on the notion of fitness and related ideas such as fitness landscapes and evolutionary optima. Nevertheless, it is often unclear what fitness actually is, and its meaning often depends on the context. Here we argue that fitness should not be a basal ingredient in verbal or mathematical descriptions of evolution. Instead, we propose that evolutionary birth-death processes, in which individuals give birth and die at ever-changing rates, should be the basis of evolutionary theory, because such processes capture the fundamental events that generate evolutionary dynamics. In evolutionary birth-death processes, fitness is at best a derived quantity, and owing to the potential complexity of such processes, there is no guarantee that there is a simple scalar, such as fitness, that would describe long-term evolutionary outcomes. We discuss how evolutionary birth-death processes can provide useful perspectives on a number of central issues in evolution.

  17. Applied evolutionary economics and economic geography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frenken, K.

    2007-01-01

    Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography" aims to further advance empirical methodologies in evolutionary economics, with a special emphasis on geography and firm location. It does so by bringing together a select group of leading scholars including economists, geographers and

  18. Evolutionary biology of bacterial and fungal pathogens

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Baquero, F

    2008-01-01

    ... and Evolutionary Dynamics of Pathogens * 21 Keith A. Crandall and Marcos Pérez-Losada II. Evolutionary Genetics of Microbial Pathogens 4. Environmental and Social Influences on Infectious Disea...

  19. Information

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyard, Pierre.

    1981-01-01

    The fear for nuclear energy and more particularly for radioactive wastes is analyzed in the sociological context. Everybody agree on the information need, information is available but there is a problem for their diffusion. Reactions of the public are analyzed and journalists, scientists and teachers have a role to play [fr

  20. A conceptual evolutionary aseismic decision support framework for hospitals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yufeng; Dargush, Gary F.; Shao, Xiaoyun

    2012-12-01

    In this paper, aconceptual evolutionary framework for aseismic decision support for hospitalsthat attempts to integrate a range of engineering and sociotechnical models is presented. Genetic algorithms are applied to find the optimal decision sets. A case study is completed to demonstrate how the frameworkmay applytoa specific hospital.The simulations show that the proposed evolutionary decision support framework is able to discover robust policy sets in either uncertain or fixed environments. The framework also qualitatively identifies some of the characteristicbehavior of the critical care organization. Thus, by utilizing the proposedframework, the decision makers are able to make more informed decisions, especially toenhance the seismic safety of the hospitals.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, W Chris; Murphy, Melanie A

    2010-02-01

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

  3. Evolutionary dynamics of protein domain architecture in plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Xue-Cheng

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Genetic variability and differentiation among populations of the Azorean endemic gymnosperm Juniperus brevifolia: baseline information for a conservation and restoration perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Luís; Elias, Rui B; Moura, Mónica; Meimberg, Harald; Dias, Eduardo

    2011-12-01

    The Azorean endemic gymnosperm Juniperus brevifolia (Seub.) Antoine is a top priority species for conservation in Macaronesia, based on its ecological significance in natural plant communities. To evaluate genetic variability and differentiation among J. brevifolia populations from the Azorean archipelago, we studied 15 ISSR and 15 RAPD markers in 178 individuals from 18 populations. The average number of polymorphic bands per population was 65 for both ISSR and RAPD. The majority of genetic variability was found within populations and among populations within islands, and this partitioning of variability was confirmed by AMOVA. The large majority of population pairwise F(ST) values were above 0.3 and below 0.6. The degree of population genetic differentiation in J. brevifolia was relatively high compared with other species, including Juniperus spp. The genetic differentiation among populations suggests that provenance should be considered when formulating augmentation or reintroduction strategies.

  5. The citation field of evolutionary economics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dolfsma, Wilfred; Leydesdorff, Loet

    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

  6. Essays on nonlinear evolutionary game dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ochea, M.I.

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary game theory has been viewed as an evolutionary repair of rational actor game theory in the hope that a population of boundedly rational players may attain convergence to classic rational solutions, such as the Nash Equilibrium, via some learning or evolutionary process. In this thesis

  7. Planning for land use and conservation: Assessing GIS-based conservation software for land use planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rob Baldwin; Ryan Scherzinger; Don Lipscomb; Miranda Mockrin; Susan Stein

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in planning and ecological software make it possible to conduct highly technical analyses to prioritize conservation investments and inform local land use planning. We review these tools, termed conservation planning tools, and assess the knowledge of a key set of potential users: the land use planning community. We grouped several conservation software...

  8. The Neural Systems of Forgiveness: An Evolutionary Psychological Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Billingsley

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Evolution-minded researchers posit that the suite of human cognitive adaptations may include forgiveness systems. According to these researchers, forgiveness systems regulate interpersonal motivation toward a transgressor in the wake of harm by weighing multiple factors that influence both the potential gains of future interaction with the transgressor and the likelihood of future harm. Although behavioral research generally supports this evolutionary model of forgiveness, the model’s claims have not been examined with available neuroscience specifically in mind, nor has recent neuroscientific research on forgiveness generally considered the evolutionary literature. The current review aims to help bridge this gap by using evolutionary psychology and cognitive neuroscience to mutually inform and interrogate one another. We briefly summarize the evolutionary research on forgiveness, then review recent neuroscientific findings on forgiveness in light of the evolutionary model. We emphasize neuroscientific research that links desire for vengeance to reward-based areas of the brain, that singles out prefrontal areas likely associated with inhibition of vengeful feelings, and that correlates the activity of a theory-of-mind network with assessments of the intentions and blameworthiness of those who commit harm. In addition, we identify gaps in the existing neuroscientific literature, and propose future research directions that might address them, at least in part.

  9. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Cognition and Culture in Evolutionary Context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colmenares, Fernando; Hernández-Lloreda, María Victoria

    2017-01-09

    In humans and other animals, the individuals' ability to adapt efficiently and effectively to the niches they have actively contributed to construct relies heavily on an evolved psychology which has been shaped by biological, social, and cultural processes over evolutionary time. As expected, although many of the behavioral and cognitive components of this evolved psychology are widely shared across species, many others are species-unique. Although many animal species are known to acquire group-specific traditions (or cultures) via social learning, human culture is unique in terms of its contents and characteristics (observable and unobservable products, cumulative effects, norm conformity, and norm enforcement) and of its cognitive underpinnings (imitation, instructed teaching, and language). Here we provide a brief overview of some of the issues that are currently tackled in the field. We also highlight some of the strengths of a biological, comparative, non-anthropocentric and evolutionarily grounded approach to the study of culture. The main contributions of this approach to the science of culture are its emphasis (a) on the integration of information on mechanisms, function, and evolution, and on mechanistic factors located at different levels of the biological hierarchy, and (b) on the search for general principles that account for commonalities and differences between species, both in the cultural products and in the processes of innovation, dissemination, and accumulation involved that operate during developmental and evolutionary timespans.

  11. Optimizing a reconfigurable material via evolutionary computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilken, Sam; Miskin, Marc Z.; Jaeger, Heinrich M.

    2015-08-01

    Rapid prototyping by combining evolutionary computation with simulations is becoming a powerful tool for solving complex design problems in materials science. This method of optimization operates in a virtual design space that simulates potential material behaviors and after completion needs to be validated by experiment. However, in principle an evolutionary optimizer can also operate on an actual physical structure or laboratory experiment directly, provided the relevant material parameters can be accessed by the optimizer and information about the material's performance can be updated by direct measurements. Here we provide a proof of concept of such direct, physical optimization by showing how a reconfigurable, highly nonlinear material can be tuned to respond to impact. We report on an entirely computer controlled laboratory experiment in which a 6 ×6 grid of electromagnets creates a magnetic field pattern that tunes the local rigidity of a concentrated suspension of ferrofluid and iron filings. A genetic algorithm is implemented and tasked to find field patterns that minimize the force transmitted through the suspension. Searching within a space of roughly 1010 possible configurations, after testing only 1500 independent trials the algorithm identifies an optimized configuration of layered rigid and compliant regions.

  12. Clonality and evolutionary history of rhabdomyosarcoma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Chen

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available To infer the subclonality of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS and predict the temporal order of genetic events for the tumorigenic process, and to identify novel drivers, we applied a systematic method that takes into account germline and somatic alterations in 44 tumor-normal RMS pairs using deep whole-genome sequencing. Intriguingly, we find that loss of heterozygosity of 11p15.5 and mutations in RAS pathway genes occur early in the evolutionary history of the PAX-fusion-negative-RMS (PFN-RMS subtype. We discover several early mutations in non-RAS mutated samples and predict them to be drivers in PFN-RMS including recurrent mutation of PKN1. In contrast, we find that PAX-fusion-positive (PFP subtype tumors have undergone whole-genome duplication in the late stage of cancer evolutionary history and have acquired fewer mutations and subclones than PFN-RMS. Moreover we predict that the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion event occurs earlier than the whole genome duplication. Our findings provide information critical to the understanding of tumorigenesis of RMS.

  13. Schroedinger operators and evolutionary strategies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asselmeyer, T.

    1997-01-01

    First we introduce a simple model for the description of evolutionary algorithms, which is based on 2nd order partial differential equations for the distribution function of the individuals. Then we turn to the properties of Boltzmann's and Darwin's strategy. the next chapter is dedicated to the mathematical properties of Schroedinger operators. Both statements on the spectral density and their reproducibility during the simulation are summarized. The remaining of this chapter are dedicated to the analysis of the kernel as well as the dependence of the Schroedinger operator on the potential. As conclusion from the results of this chapter we obtain the classification of the strategies in dependence of the fitness. We obtain the classification of the evolutionary strategies, which are described by a 2nd order partial differential equation, in relation to their solution behaviour. Thereafter we are employed with the variation of the mutation distribution

  14. Exponential Expansion in Evolutionary Economics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frederiksen, Peter; Jagtfelt, Tue

    2013-01-01

    This article attempts to solve current problems of conceptual fragmentation within the field of evolutionary economics. One of the problems, as noted by a number of observers, is that the field suffers from an assemblage of fragmented and scattered concepts (Boschma and Martin 2010). A solution...... 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...... 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...

  15. Preventive evolutionary medicine of cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochberg, Michael E; Thomas, Frédéric; Assenat, Eric; Hibner, Urszula

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that once an individual reaches an age of sufficiently low Darwinian fitness, (s)he will have reduced chances of keeping cancerous lesions in check. While we clearly need to better understand the emergence of precursor states and early malignancies as well as their mitigation by the microenvironment and tissue architecture, we argue that lifestyle changes and preventive therapies based in an evolutionary framework, applied to identified high-risk populations before incipient neoplasms become clinically detectable and chemoresistant lineages emerge, are currently the most reliable way to control or eliminate early tumours. Specifically, the relatively low levels of (epi)genetic heterogeneity characteristic of many if not most incipient lesions will mean a relatively limited set of possible adaptive traits and associated costs compared to more advanced cancers, and thus a more complete and predictable understanding of treatment options and outcomes. We propose a conceptual model for preventive treatments and discuss the many associated challenges.

  16. THE THEORY OF THE FIRM AND THE EVOLUTIONARY GAMES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sirghi Nicoleta

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The neoclassical theory of the firm deals with the pattern of perfect competition, within which the perfect information available to economic agents provides instant allocation of production factors and access to economic goods. The Austrian School (C. Menger, L. von Mises, Hayek, etc. supported the idea of minimal state intervention on the markets, bringing important conceptual developments on the theory of the firm. Hirschleifer (1982 put forward the model of social and institutional functioning, arguing that the game theory is able to predict the outcome of the collective behavior and the human characteristics necessary for building the respective institutions.The evolutionary theory provides the firm and the entrepreneur the recognition of the functions of innovation, of generating and exploiting information and of organizing and coordinating production. The evolutionary perspective of the firm assumes the existence of a body of knowledge that is acquired through and builds up the organizational memory, subsequently found in routines, all choices being made based on these routines (Nelson and Winter, 2002. The evolution of the firm is considered to be similar to natural selection, but unlike the classic market selection, the evolutionists suggest the existence of a plurality of selection media. The present research is structured as follows: a brief introduction into the theories of the firm, the second part of the paper analyzes the theories of the firm from an institutional, neo-institutional and evolutionary perspective. In the third part of the paper the evolutionary games are described and analyzed from the evolutionary perspective of the firm. The last part of the paper represents a study of the “hawk-dove” game dynamic replicator. The final conclusions of the paper show that the evolutionary theory brings valuable contributions to the foundation of explanations regarding economic phenomena, indicating new directions for advanced

  17. Protein conservation and variation suggest mechanisms of cell type-specific modulation of signaling pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin H Schaefer

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Many proteins and signaling pathways are present in most cell types and tissues and yet perform specialized functions. To elucidate mechanisms by which these ubiquitous pathways are modulated, we overlaid information about cross-cell line protein abundance and variability, and evolutionary conservation onto functional pathway components and topological layers in the pathway hierarchy. We found that the input (receptors and the output (transcription factors layers evolve more rapidly than proteins in the intermediary transmission layer. In contrast, protein expression variability decreases from the input to the output layer. We observed that the differences in protein variability between the input and transmission layer can be attributed to both the network position and the tendency of variable proteins to physically interact with constitutively expressed proteins. Differences in protein expression variability and conservation are also accompanied by the tendency of conserved and constitutively expressed proteins to acquire somatic mutations, while germline mutations tend to occur in cell type-specific proteins. Thus, conserved core proteins in the transmission layer could perform a fundamental role in most cell types and are therefore less tolerant to germline mutations. In summary, we propose that the core signal transmission machinery is largely modulated by a variable input layer through physical protein interactions. We hypothesize that the bow-tie organization of cellular signaling on the level of protein abundance variability contributes to the specificity of the signal response in different cell types.

  18. 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.

  19. The evolutionary portrait of metazoan NAD salvage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carneiro, João; Duarte-Pereira, Sara; Azevedo, Luísa; Castro, L Filipe C; Aguiar, Paulo; Moreira, Irina S; Amorim, António; Silva, Raquel M

    2013-01-01

    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.

  20. 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. © 2015 The Author(s).