WorldWideScience

Sample records for evolutionary conservation information

  1. Evolutionary Information Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Burgin

    2013-04-01

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

  2. Special Issue: Evolutionary perspectives on salmonid conservation and management

    OpenAIRE

    Waples, Robin S; Hendry, Andrew P

    2008-01-01

    This special issue of Evolutionary Applications comprises 15 papers that illustrate how evolutionary principles can inform the conservation and management of salmonid fishes. Several papers address the past evolutionary history of salmonids to gain insights into their likely plastic and genetic responses to future environmental change. The remaining papers consider potential evolutionary responses to climate warming, biological invasions, artificial propagation, habitat alteration, and harves...

  3. Evolutionary conservation of protein backbone flexibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguid, Sandra; Fernández-Alberti, Sebastián; Parisi, Gustavo; Echave, Julián

    2006-10-01

    Internal protein dynamics is essential for biological function. During evolution, protein divergence is functionally constrained: properties more relevant for function vary more slowly than less important properties. Thus, if protein dynamics is relevant for function, it should be evolutionary conserved. In contrast with the well-studied evolution of protein structure, the evolutionary divergence of protein dynamics has not been addressed systematically before, apart from a few case studies. X-Ray diffraction analysis gives information not only on protein structure but also on B-factors, which characterize the flexibility that results from protein dynamics. Here we study the evolutionary divergence of protein backbone dynamics by comparing the C(alpha) flexibility (B-factor) profiles for a large dataset of homologous proteins classified into families and superfamilies. We show that C(alpha) flexibility profiles diverge slowly, so that they are conserved at family and superfamily levels, even for pairs of proteins with nonsignificant sequence similarity. We also analyze and discuss the correlations among the divergences of flexibility, sequence, and structure.

  4. Evolutionary conservation of protein vibrational dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maguid, Sandra; Fernandez-Alberti, Sebastian; Echave, Julian

    2008-10-01

    The aim of the present work is to study the evolutionary divergence of vibrational protein dynamics. To this end, we used the Gaussian Network Model to perform a systematic analysis of normal mode conservation on a large dataset of proteins classified into homologous sets of family pairs and superfamily pairs. We found that the lowest most collective normal modes are the most conserved ones. More precisely, there is, on average, a linear correlation between normal mode conservation and mode collectivity. These results imply that the previously observed conservation of backbone flexibility (B-factor) profiles is due to the conservation of the most collective modes, which contribute the most to such profiles. We discuss the possible roles of normal mode robustness and natural selection in the determination of the observed behavior. Finally, we draw some practical implications for dynamics-based protein alignment and classification and discuss possible caveats of the present approach.

  5. Global distribution and conservation of evolutionary distinctness in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jetz, Walter; Thomas, Gavin H; Joy, Jeffrey B; Redding, David W; Hartmann, Klaas; Mooers, Arne O

    2014-05-05

    Integrated, efficient, and global prioritization approaches are necessary to manage the ongoing loss of species and their associated function. "Evolutionary distinctness" measures a species' contribution to the total evolutionary history of its clade and is expected to capture uniquely divergent genomes and functions. Here we demonstrate how such a metric identifies species and regions of particular value for safeguarding evolutionary diversity. Among the world's 9,993 recognized bird species, evolutionary distinctness is very heterogeneously distributed on the phylogenetic tree and varies little with range size or threat level. Species representing the most evolutionary history over the smallest area (those with greatest "evolutionary distinctness rarity") as well as some of the most imperiled distinct species are often concentrated outside the species-rich regions and countries, suggesting they may not be well captured by current conservation planning. We perform global cross-species and spatial analyses and generate minimum conservation sets to assess the benefits of the presented species-level metrics. We find that prioritizing imperiled species by their evolutionary distinctness and geographic rarity is a surprisingly effective and spatially economical way to maintain the total evolutionary information encompassing the world's birds. We identify potential conservation gaps in relation to the existing reserve network that in particular highlight islands as effective priority areas. The presented distinctness metrics are effective yet easily communicable and versatile tools to assist objective global conservation decision making. Given that most species will remain ecologically understudied, combining growing phylogenetic and spatial data may be an efficient way to retain vital aspects of biodiversity. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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`.

  8. Evolutionary discrimination of mammalian conserved non-genic sequences (CNGs)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dermitzakis, ET; Reymond, A; Scamuffa, N; Ucla, C; Kirkness, E; Rossier, C; Antonarakis, SE

    2003-01-01

    Analysis of the human and mouse genomes identified an abundance of conserved non-genic sequences (CNGs). The significance and evolutionary depth of their conservation remain unanswered. We have quantified levels and patterns of conservation of 191 CNGs of human chromosome 21 in 14 mammalian species.

  9. The importance of an evolutionary perspective in conservation policy planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moritz, Craig C; Potter, Sally

    2013-12-01

    Prioritization of taxa for conservation must rest on a foundation of correctly identified species boundaries, enhanced by an understanding of evolutionary history and phylogenetic relationships. Therefore, we can incorporate both evolutionary and ecological processes into efforts to sustain biodiversity. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Malaney & Cook (2013) highlight the critical value of an evolutionary biogeographical approach, combining multilocus phylogeography with climatic niche modelling to infer phylogenetically weighted conservation priorities for evolutionary lineages of jumping mice across North America. Remarkably, they find that the Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei), long debated as a threatened taxon, in fact represents the southern terminus of a relatively uniform lineage that expanded well into Alaska during the Holocene. By contrast, some other relictual and phylogenetically divergent taxa of jumping mice likely warrant greater conservation priority. This study highlights the value of integrative approaches that place current taxonomy in a broader evolutionary context to identify taxa for conservation assessment, but also highlights the challenges in maintaining potential for adaptive responses to environmental change. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    PCR based approach was used to identify Sox14 of goat, cow and rat, while nucleotide and amino acid sequence alignments and mapping were performed using information currently available in public database. Comparative sequence analysis revealed remarkable identity among Sox14 orthologues and helped us to ...

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Heyden, Sophie

    2017-03-01

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

  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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalya G Andreyenkova

    Full Text Available 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 triangulation: informing genetic association studies with evolutionary evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Information theory, evolutionary innovations and evolvability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Andreas

    2017-12-05

    How difficult is it to 'discover' an evolutionary adaptation or innovation? I here suggest that information theory, in combination with high-throughput DNA sequencing, can help answer this question by quantifying a new phenotype's information content. I apply this framework to compute the phenotypic information associated with novel gene regulation and with the ability to use novel carbon sources. The framework can also help quantify how DNA duplications affect evolvability, estimate the complexity of phenotypes and clarify the meaning of 'progress' in Darwinian evolution.This article is part of the themed issue 'Process and pattern in innovations from cells to societies'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Evolutionary placement of Xanthomonadales based on conserved protein signature sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutiño-Jiménez, Ania M; Martins-Pinheiro, Marinalva; Lima, Wanessa C; Martín-Tornet, Alexander; Morales, Osleidys G; Menck, Carlos F M

    2010-02-01

    Xanthomonadales comprises one of the largest phytopathogenic bacterial groups, and is currently classified within the gamma-proteobacteria. However, the phylogenetic placement of this group is not clearly resolved, and the results of different studies contradict one another. In this work, the evolutionary position of Xanthomonadales was determined by analyzing the presence of shared insertions and deletions (INDELs) in highly conserved proteins. Several distinctive insertions found in most of the members of the gamma-proteobacteria are absent in Xanthomonadales and groups such as Legionelalles, Chromatiales, Methylococcales, Thiotrichales and Cardiobacteriales. These INDELs were most likely introduced after the branching of Xanthomonadales from most of the gamma-proteobacteria and provide evidence for the phylogenetic placement of the early gamma-proteobacteria. Moreover, other proteins contain insertions exclusive to the Xanthomonadales order, confirming that this is a monophyletic group and provide important specific genetic markers. Thus, the data presented clearly support the Xanthomonadales group as an independent subdivision, and constitute one of the deepest branching lineage within the gamma-proteobacteria clade. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Evolutionary Conservation of ABA Signaling for Stomatal Closure1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yuqing; Dai, Fei; Franks, Peter J.; Nevo, Eviatar; Soltis, Douglas E.; Soltis, Pamela S.; Xue, Dawei; Zhang, Guoping; Pogson, Barry J.

    2017-01-01

    Abscisic acid (ABA)-driven stomatal regulation reportedly evolved after the divergence of ferns, during the early evolution of seed plants approximately 360 million years ago. This hypothesis is based on the observation that the stomata of certain fern species are unresponsive to ABA, but exhibit passive hydraulic control. However, ABA-induced stomatal closure was detected in some mosses and lycophytes. Here, we observed that a number of ABA signaling and membrane transporter protein families diversified over the evolutionary history of land plants. The aquatic ferns Azolla filiculoides and Salvinia cucullata have representatives of 23 families of proteins orthologous to those of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and all other land plant species studied. Phylogenetic analysis of the key ABA signaling proteins indicates an evolutionarily conserved stomatal response to ABA. Moreover, comparative transcriptomic analysis has identified a suite of ABA-responsive genes that differentially expressed in a terrestrial fern species, Polystichum proliferum. These genes encode proteins associated with ABA biosynthesis, transport, reception, transcription, signaling, and ion and sugar transport, which fit the general ABA signaling pathway constructed from Arabidopsis and Hordeum vulgare. The retention of these key ABA-responsive genes could have had a profound effect on the adaptation of ferns to dry conditions. Furthermore, stomatal assays have shown the primary evidence for ABA-induced closure of stomata in two terrestrial fern species P. proliferum and Nephrolepis exaltata. In summary, we report, to our knowledge, new molecular and physiological evidence for the presence of active stomatal control in ferns. PMID:28232585

  3. 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.

  4. Masking residues using context-specific evolutionary conservation significantly improves short linear motif discovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davey, Norman E; Shields, Denis C; Edwards, Richard J

    2009-02-15

    Short linear motifs (SLiMs) are important mediators of protein-protein interactions. Their short and degenerate nature presents a challenge for computational discovery. We sought to improve SLiM discovery by incorporating evolutionary information, since SLiMs are more conserved than surrounding residues. We have developed a new method that assesses the evolutionary signal of a residue in its sequence and structural context. Under-conserved residues are masked out prior to SLiM discovery, allowing incorporation into the existing statistical model employed by SLiMFinder. The method shows considerable robustness in terms of both the conservation score used for individual residues and the size of the sequence neighbourhood. Optimal parameters significantly improve return of known functional motifs from benchmarking data, raising the return of significant validated SLiMs from typical human interaction datasets from 20% to 60%, while retaining the high level of stringency needed for application to real biological data. The success of this regime indicates that it could be of general benefit to computational annotation and prediction of protein function at the sequence level. All data and tools in this article are available at http://bioware.ucd.ie/~slimdisc/slimfinder/conmasking/.

  5. Internal epitope tagging informed by relative lack of sequence conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burg, Leonard; Zhang, Karen; Bonawitz, Tristan; Grajevskaja, Viktorija; Bellipanni, Gianfranco; Waring, Richard; Balciunas, Darius

    2016-11-28

    Many experimental techniques rely on specific recognition and stringent binding of proteins by antibodies. This can readily be achieved by introducing an epitope tag. We employed an approach that uses a relative lack of evolutionary conservation to inform epitope tag site selection, followed by integration of the tag-coding sequence into the endogenous locus in zebrafish. We demonstrate that an internal epitope tag is accessible for antibody binding, and that tagged proteins retain wild type function.

  6. Internal epitope tagging informed by relative lack of sequence conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Leonard Burg; Karen Zhang; Tristan Bonawitz; Viktorija Grajevskaja; Gianfranco Bellipanni; Richard Waring; Darius Balciunas

    2016-01-01

    Many experimental techniques rely on specific recognition and stringent binding of proteins by antibodies. This can readily be achieved by introducing an epitope tag. We employed an approach that uses a relative lack of evolutionary conservation to inform epitope tag site selection, followed by integration of the tag-coding sequence into the endogenous locus in zebrafish. We demonstrate that an internal epitope tag is accessible for antibody binding, and that tagged proteins retain wild type ...

  7. 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

  8. Evolutionary Conservation of ABA Signaling for Stomatal Closure.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

    Abscisic acid (ABA)-driven stomatal regulation reportedly evolved after the divergence of ferns, during the early evolution of seed plants approximately 360 million years ago. This hypothesis is based on the observation that the stomata of certain fern species are unresponsive to ABA, but exhibit passive hydraulic control. However, ABA-induced stomatal closure was detected in some mosses and lycophytes. Here, we observed that a number of ABA signaling and membrane transporter protein families diversified over the evolutionary history of land plants. The aquatic ferns Azolla filiculoides and Salvinia cucullata have representatives of 23 families of proteins orthologous to those of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and all other land plant species studied. Phylogenetic analysis of the key ABA signaling proteins indicates an evolutionarily conserved stomatal response to ABA. Moreover, comparative transcriptomic analysis has identified a suite of ABA-responsive genes that differentially expressed in a terrestrial fern species, Polystichum proliferum These genes encode proteins associated with ABA biosynthesis, transport, reception, transcription, signaling, and ion and sugar transport, which fit the general ABA signaling pathway constructed from Arabidopsis and Hordeum vulgare The retention of these key ABA-responsive genes could have had a profound effect on the adaptation of ferns to dry conditions. Furthermore, stomatal assays have shown the primary evidence for ABA-induced closure of stomata in two terrestrial fern species Pproliferum and Nephrolepis exaltata In summary, we report, to our knowledge, new molecular and physiological evidence for the presence of active stomatal control in ferns. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  9. 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

  10. Evolutionary biology in biodiversity science, conservation, and policy: a call to action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Andrew P; Lohmann, Lúcia G; Conti, Elena; Cracraft, Joel; Crandall, Keith A; Faith, Daniel P; Häuser, Christoph; Joly, Carlos A; Kogure, Kazuhiro; Larigauderie, Anne; Magallón, Susana; Moritz, Craig; Tillier, Simon; Zardoya, Rafael; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Hélène; Walther, Bruno A; Yahara, Tetsukazu; Donoghue, Michael J

    2010-05-01

    Evolutionary biologists have long endeavored to document how many species exist on Earth, to understand the processes by which biodiversity waxes and wanes, to document and interpret spatial patterns of biodiversity, and to infer evolutionary relationships. Despite the great potential of this knowledge to improve biodiversity science, conservation, and policy, evolutionary biologists have generally devoted limited attention to these broader implications. Likewise, many workers in biodiversity science have underappreciated the fundamental relevance of evolutionary biology. The aim of this article is to summarize and illustrate some ways in which evolutionary biology is directly relevant. We do so in the context of four broad areas: (1) discovering and documenting biodiversity, (2) understanding the causes of diversification, (3) evaluating evolutionary responses to human disturbances, and (4) implications for ecological communities, ecosystems, and humans. We also introduce bioGENESIS, a new project within DIVERSITAS launched to explore the potential practical contributions of evolutionary biology. In addition to fostering the integration of evolutionary thinking into biodiversity science, bioGENESIS provides practical recommendations to policy makers for incorporating evolutionary perspectives into biodiversity agendas and conservation. We solicit your involvement in developing innovative ways of using evolutionary biology to better comprehend and stem the loss of biodiversity.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  12. 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...

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

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    Yuji Fuse

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuse, Yuji; Kobayashi, Makoto

    2017-03-09

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:22952807

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeClair, Elizabeth E.

    2008-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Evolutionary Conserved Protein Features From Analysis of Virus Shapes

    CERN Document Server

    Bozic, Anze Losdorfer; Podgornik, Rudolf

    2013-01-01

    From the shape and size analysis of approximately 130 small icosahedral viruses we conclude that there is a typical structural capsid protein, having a mean diameter of 5 nm and a mean thickness of 3 nm, with more than two thirds of the analyzed capsid proteins having thicknesses between 2 nm and 4 nm. To investigate whether, in addition to the conserved geometry, capsid proteins show similarities in the way they interact with one another, we examined the shapes of the capsids in detail. We classified them numerically according to their similarity to sphere and icosahedron and a set of shapes in between, all obtained from the theory of elasticity of shells. In order to make a unique and straightforward connection between an idealized, numerically calculated shape of an elastic shell and a capsid, we devised a special shape fitting procedure, the outcome of which is the idealized elastic shape fitting the capsid best. Using such a procedure we performed statistical analysis of a series of virus shapes and we f...

  1. Evolutionary Relationships and Taxa-Specific Conserved Signature Indels Among Cellulases of Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Lebin; Ram, Hari; Singh, Ved Pal

    2017-10-01

    The cellulases from different cellulolytic organisms have evolutionary relationships, which range from single-celled prokaryotes to the complex eukaryotes of the living world. This in silico analysis revealed the presence of a conserved cellulase domain along with evolutionary relationships among cellulases from several species of Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya. The amino acid sequences of cellulases from Archaea and Bacteria showed closer identity with their domain or phylum members that provided insights into convergent and divergent evolution of cellulases from other enzymes with different substrate specificities. Evolutionary relatedness was also observed in phylogenetic trees among a number of cellulase sequences of diverse taxa. In cellulases, propensity for alanine, glycine, leucine, serine, and threonine was high, but low for cysteine, histidine, and methionine. Catalytic aspartic acid had a higher propensity than glutamic acid, and both were involved in regular expression patterns. Characteristic group and multigroup-specific conserved signature indels located in the catalytic domains of cellulases were observed that further clarified evolutionary relationships. These indels can be distinctive molecular tools for understanding phylogeny and identification of unknown cellulolytic species of common evolutionary descent in different environments.

  2. 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.

  3. Utilizing evolutionary information and gene expression data for estimating gene networks with bayesian network models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamada, Yoshinori; Bannai, Hideo; Imoto, Seiya; Katayama, Toshiaki; Kanehisa, Minoru; Miyano, Satoru

    2005-12-01

    Since microarray gene expression data do not contain sufficient information for estimating accurate gene networks, other biological information has been considered to improve the estimated networks. Recent studies have revealed that highly conserved proteins that exhibit similar expression patterns in different organisms, have almost the same function in each organism. Such conserved proteins are also known to play similar roles in terms of the regulation of genes. Therefore, this evolutionary information can be used to refine regulatory relationships among genes, which are estimated from gene expression data. We propose a statistical method for estimating gene networks from gene expression data by utilizing evolutionarily conserved relationships between genes. Our method simultaneously estimates two gene networks of two distinct organisms, with a Bayesian network model utilizing the evolutionary information so that gene expression data of one organism helps to estimate the gene network of the other. We show the effectiveness of the method through the analysis on Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Homo sapiens cell cycle gene expression data. Our method was successful in estimating gene networks that capture many known relationships as well as several unknown relationships which are likely to be novel. Supplementary information is available at http://bonsai.ims.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~tamada/bayesnet/.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loots, G; Ovcharenko, I

    2006-08-08

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

  5. Combining Physicochemical and Evolutionary Information for Protein Contact Prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Michael; Brock, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    We introduce a novel contact prediction method that achieves high prediction accuracy by combining evolutionary and physicochemical information about native contacts. We obtain evolutionary information from multiple-sequence alignments and physicochemical information from predicted ab initio protein structures. These structures represent low-energy states in an energy landscape and thus capture the physicochemical information encoded in the energy function. Such low-energy structures are likely to contain native contacts, even if their overall fold is not native. To differentiate native from non-native contacts in those structures, we develop a graph-based representation of the structural context of contacts. We then use this representation to train an support vector machine classifier to identify most likely native contacts in otherwise non-native structures. The resulting contact predictions are highly accurate. As a result of combining two sources of information—evolutionary and physicochemical—we maintain prediction accuracy even when only few sequence homologs are present. We show that the predicted contacts help to improve ab initio structure prediction. A web service is available at http://compbio.robotics.tu-berlin.de/epc-map/. PMID:25338092

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. Evolutionary mirages: selection on binding site composition creates the illusion of conserved grammars in Drosophila enhancers.

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    Richard W Lusk

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The clustering of transcription factor binding sites in developmental enhancers and the apparent preferential conservation of clustered sites have been widely interpreted as proof that spatially constrained physical interactions between transcription factors are required for regulatory function. However, we show here that selection on the composition of enhancers alone, and not their internal structure, leads to the accumulation of clustered sites with evolutionary dynamics that suggest they are preferentially conserved. We simulated the evolution of idealized enhancers from Drosophila melanogaster constrained to contain only a minimum number of binding sites for one or more factors. Under this constraint, mutations that destroy an existing binding site are tolerated only if a compensating site has emerged elsewhere in the enhancer. Overlapping sites, such as those frequently observed for the activator Bicoid and repressor Krüppel, had significantly longer evolutionary half-lives than isolated sites for the same factors. This leads to a substantially higher density of overlapping sites than expected by chance and the appearance that such sites are preferentially conserved. Because D. melanogaster (like many other species has a bias for deletions over insertions, sites tended to become closer together over time, leading to an overall clustering of sites in the absence of any selection for clustered sites. Since this effect is strongest for the oldest sites, clustered sites also incorrectly appear to be preferentially conserved. Following speciation, sites tend to be closer together in all descendent species than in their common ancestors, violating the common assumption that shared features of species' genomes reflect their ancestral state. Finally, we show that selection on binding site composition alone recapitulates the observed number of overlapping and closely neighboring sites in real D. melanogaster enhancers. Thus, this study calls into

  10. Promotion of cooperation in evolutionary game dynamics with local information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xuesong; Pan, Qiuhui; He, Mingfeng

    2018-01-21

    In this paper, we propose a strategy-updating rule driven by local information, which is called Local process. Unlike the standard Moran process, the Local process does not require global information about the strategic environment. By analyzing the dynamical behavior of the system, we explore how the local information influences the fixation of cooperation in two-player evolutionary games. Under weak selection, the decreasing local information leads to an increase of the fixation probability when natural selection does not favor cooperation replacing defection. In the limit of sufficiently large selection, the analytical results indicate that the fixation probability increases with the decrease of the local information, irrespective of the evolutionary games. Furthermore, for the dominance of defection games under weak selection and for coexistence games, the decreasing of local information will lead to a speedup of a single cooperator taking over the population. Overall, to some extent, the local information is conducive to promoting the cooperation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Eco-evolutionary dynamics, coding structure and the information threshold

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    Hogeweg Paulien

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The amount of information that can be maintained in an evolutionary system of replicators is limited by genome length, the number of errors during replication (mutation rate and various external factors that influence the selection pressure. To date, this phenomenon, known as the information threshold, has been studied (both genotypically and phenotypically in a constant environment and with respect to maintenance (as opposed to accumulation of information. Here we take a broader perspective on this problem by studying the accumulation of information in an ecosystem, given an evolvable coding structure. Moreover, our setup allows for individual based as well as ecosystem based solutions. That is, all functions can be performed by individual replicators, or complementing functions can be performed by different replicators. In this setup, where both the ecosystem and the individual genomes can evolve their structure, we study how populations cope with high mutation rates and accordingly how the information threshold might be alleviated. Results We observe that the first response to increased mutation rates is a change in coding structure. At moderate mutation rates evolution leads to longer genomes with a higher diversity than at high mutation rates. Thus, counter-intuitively, at higher mutation rates diversity is reduced and the efficacy of the evolutionary process is decreased. Therefore, moderate mutation rates allow for more degrees of freedom in exploring genotype space during the evolutionary trajectory, facilitating the emergence of solutions. When an individual based solution cannot be attained due to high mutation rates, spatial structuring of the ecosystem can accommodate the evolution of ecosystem based solutions. Conclusions We conclude that the evolutionary freedom (eg. the number of genotypes that can be reached by evolution is increasingly restricted by higher mutation rates. In the case of such severe mutation

  12. Identification of the novel evolutionary conserved obstructor multigene family in invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behr, Matthias; Hoch, Michael

    2005-12-19

    Insects have evolved chitin-containing structures such as the cuticle or peritrophic membranes that serve to protect their bodies against the hostile environment. The specific mechanisms by which these structures are produced, are mostly unknown. We have identified a novel multigene family, the obstructor family, which encodes ten putatively secreted chitin-binding proteins that are characterized by a stereotype arrangement of a N-terminal signaling peptide and 3 chitin-binding-domains. Gene expression studies in Drosophila melanogaster embryos demonstrate that obstructor family members are expressed in cuticle forming tissues. Using computational and phylogenetic analysis, we show that obstructor genes represent an evolutionary conserved multigene family in invertebrates.

  13. 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......MicroProteins are small single-domain proteins that act by engaging their targets into different, sometimes nonproductive protein complexes. In order to identify novel microProteins in any sequenced genome of interest, we have developed miPFinder, a program that identifies and classifies potential...

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

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    Patrick van Uden

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-27

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

  16. 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

    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......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...... within a multiple sequence alignment to investigate their predictive potential and degree of overlap. Results: Our results demonstrate that the different methods included in the benchmark in general can be divided into three groups with a limited mutual overlap. One group containing real...

  17. 77 FR 74167 - Information Collection Request: Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-13

    ... information is collected in support of the conservation compliance provisions of Title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (the 1985 Farm Bill), as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008... Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3801-3862), as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

    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...... concerning the relation of these effects. Of particular interest, we found evidence of a functional role of loop and bulge regions, as these were shown to evolve according to a different and more constrained selective regime than the nonpairing regions outside the RNA structures. Other potential applications......Here we present a model of nucleotide substitution in protein-coding regions that also encode the formation of conserved RNA structures. In such regions, apparent evolutionary context dependencies exist, both between nucleotides occupying the same codon and between nucleotides forming a base pair...

  19. 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.

  20. 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'.

  1. The mathematical law of evolutionary information dynamics and an observer's evolution regularities

    CERN Document Server

    Lerner, Vladimir S

    2011-01-01

    An interactive stochastics, evaluated by an entropy functional (EF) of a random field and informational process' path functional (IPF), allows us modeling the evolutionary information processes and revealing regularities of evolution dynamics. Conventional Shannon's information measure evaluates a sequence of the process' static events for each information state and do not reveal hidden dynamic connections between these events. The paper formulates the mathematical forms of the information regularities, based on a minimax variation principle (VP) for IPF, applied to the evolution's both random microprocesses and dynamic macroprocesses. The paper shows that the VP single form of the mathematical law leads to the following evolutionary regularities: -creation of the order from stochastics through the evolutionary macrodynamics, described by a gradient of dynamic potential, evolutionary speed and the evolutionary conditions of a fitness and diversity; -the evolutionary hierarchy with growing information values a...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-06

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Bergmiller

    2012-06-01

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

  4. Robust Estimation of Evolutionary Distances with Information Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Minh Duc; Allison, Lloyd; Dix, Trevor I; Bodén, Mikael

    2016-05-01

    Methods for measuring genetic distances in phylogenetics are known to be sensitive to the evolutionary model assumed. However, there is a lack of established methodology to accommodate the trade-off between incorporating sufficient biological reality and avoiding model overfitting. In addition, as traditional methods measure distances based on the observed number of substitutions, their tend to underestimate distances between diverged sequences due to backward and parallel substitutions. Various techniques were proposed to correct this, but they lack the robustness against sequences that are distantly related and of unequal base frequencies. In this article, we present a novel genetic distance estimate based on information theory that overcomes the above two hurdles. Instead of examining the observed number of substitutions, this method estimates genetic distances using Shannon's mutual information. This naturally provides an effective framework for balancing model complexity and goodness of fit. Our distance estimate is shown to be approximately linear to elapsed time and hence is less sensitive to the divergence of sequence data and compositional biased sequences. Using extensive simulation data, we show that our method 1) consistently reconstructs more accurate phylogeny topologies than existing methods, 2) is robust in extreme conditions such as diverged phylogenies, unequal base frequencies data, and heterogeneous mutation patterns, and 3) scales well with large phylogenies. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. Systematic analysis of head-to-head gene organization: evolutionary conservation and potential biological relevance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan-Yuan Li

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Several "head-to-head" (or "bidirectional" gene pairs have been studied in individual experiments, but genome-wide analysis of this gene organization, especially in terms of transcriptional correlation and functional association, is still insufficient. We conducted a systematic investigation of head-to-head gene organization focusing on structural features, evolutionary conservation, expression correlation and functional association. Of the present 1,262, 1,071, and 491 head-to-head pairs identified in human, mouse, and rat genomes, respectively, pairs with 1- to 400-base pair distance between transcription start sites form the majority (62.36%, 64.15%, and 55.19% for human, mouse, and rat,respectively of each dataset, and the largest group is always the one with a transcription start site distance of 101 to 200 base pairs. The phylogenetic analysis among Fugu, chicken, and human indicates a negative selection on the separation of head-to-head genes across vertebrate evolution, and thus the ancestral existence of this gene organization. The expression analysis shows that most of the human head-to-head genes are significantly correlated,and the correlation could be positive, negative, or alternative depending on the experimental conditions. Finally, head to-head genes statistically tend to perform similar functions, and gene pairs associated with the significant cofunctions seem to have stronger expression correlations. The findings indicate that the head-to-head gene organization is ancient and conserved, which subjects functionally related genes to correlated transcriptional regulation and thus provides an exquisite mechanism of transcriptional regulation based on gene organization. These results have significantly expanded the knowledge about head-to-head gene organization. Supplementary materials for this study are available at http://www.scbit.org/h2h.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    For prey capture in the dark, the barn owl Tyto alba has evolved into an auditory specialist with an exquisite capability of sound localization. Adaptations include asymmetrical ears, enlarged auditory processing centers, the utilization of minute interaural time differences, and phase locking along the entire hearing range up to 10 kHz. Adaptations on the molecular level have not yet been investigated. Here, we tested the hypothesis that divergence in the amino acid sequence of the voltage-gated K(+) channel Kv3.1 contributes to the accuracy and high firing rates of auditory neurons in the barn owl. We therefore cloned both splice variants of Kcnc1, the gene encoding Kv3.1. Both splice variants, Kcnc1a and Kcnc1b, encode amino acids identical to those of the chicken, an auditory generalist. Expression analyses confirmed neural-restricted expression of the channel. In summary, our data reveal strong evolutionary conservation of Kcnc1 in the barn owl and point to other genes involved in auditory specializations of this animal. The data also demonstrate the feasibility to address neuroethological questions in organisms with no reference genome by molecular approaches. This will open new avenues for neuroethologists working in these organisms. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  10. An evolutionary conserved role for anaplastic lymphoma kinase in behavioral responses to ethanol.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy W Lasek

    Full Text Available Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (Alk is a gene expressed in the nervous system that encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase commonly known for its oncogenic function in various human cancers. We have determined that Alk is associated with altered behavioral responses to ethanol in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, in mice, and in humans. Mutant flies containing transposon insertions in dAlk demonstrate increased resistance to the sedating effect of ethanol. Database analyses revealed that Alk expression levels in the brains of recombinant inbred mice are negatively correlated with ethanol-induced ataxia and ethanol consumption. We therefore tested Alk gene knockout mice and found that they sedate longer in response to high doses of ethanol and consume more ethanol than wild-type mice. Finally, sequencing of human ALK led to the discovery of four polymorphisms associated with a low level of response to ethanol, an intermediate phenotype that is predictive of future alcohol use disorders (AUDs. These results suggest that Alk plays an evolutionary conserved role in ethanol-related behaviors. Moreover, ALK may be a novel candidate gene conferring risk for AUDs as well as a potential target for pharmacological intervention.

  11. Evolutionary conserved role of c-Jun-N-terminal kinase in CO2-induced epithelial dysfunction.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    István Vadász

    Full Text Available Elevated CO(2 levels (hypercapnia occur in patients with respiratory diseases and impair alveolar epithelial integrity, in part, by inhibiting Na,K-ATPase function. Here, we examined the role of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK in CO(2 signaling in mammalian alveolar epithelial cells as well as in diptera, nematodes and rodent lungs. In alveolar epithelial cells, elevated CO(2 levels rapidly induced activation of JNK leading to downregulation of Na,K-ATPase and alveolar epithelial dysfunction. Hypercapnia-induced activation of JNK required AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK and protein kinase C-ζ leading to subsequent phosphorylation of JNK at Ser-129. Importantly, elevated CO(2 levels also caused a rapid and prominent activation of JNK in Drosophila S2 cells and in C. elegans. Paralleling the results with mammalian epithelial cells, RNAi against Drosophila JNK fully prevented CO(2-induced downregulation of Na,K-ATPase in Drosophila S2 cells. The importance and specificity of JNK CO(2 signaling was additionally demonstrated by the ability of mutations in the C. elegans JNK homologs, jnk-1 and kgb-2 to partially rescue the hypercapnia-induced fertility defects but not the pharyngeal pumping defects. Together, these data provide evidence that deleterious effects of hypercapnia are mediated by JNK which plays an evolutionary conserved, specific role in CO(2 signaling in mammals, diptera and nematodes.

  12. Evolutionary conservation of sequence and secondary structures inCRISPR repeats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunin, Victor; Sorek, Rotem; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2006-09-01

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

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Predicting DNA-binding amino acid residues from electrostatic stabilization upon mutation to Asp/Glu and evolutionary conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yao Chi; Wu, Chih Yuan; Lim, Carmay

    2007-05-15

    Binding of polyanionic DNA depends on the cluster of electropositive atoms in the binding site of a DNA-binding protein. Such a cluster of electropositive protein atoms would be electrostatically unfavorable without stabilizing interactions from the respective electronegative DNA atoms and would likely be evolutionary conserved due to its critical biological role. Consequently, our strategy for predicting DNA-binding residues is based on detecting a cluster of evolutionary conserved surface residues that are electrostatically stabilized upon mutation to negatively charged Asp/Glu residues. The method requires as input the protein structure and sufficient sequence homologs to define each residue's relative conservation, and it yields as output experimentally testable residues that are predicted to bind DNA. By incorporating characteristic DNA-binding site features (i.e., electrostatic strain and amino acid conservation), the new method yields a prediction accuracy of 83%, which is much higher than methods based on only electrostatic strain (57%) or conservation alone (50%). It is also less sensitive to protein conformational changes upon DNA binding than methods that mainly depend on the 3D protein structure. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. 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

    2013-07-01

    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 refugees 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 refugees 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 refugees. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Polycomb repressive complex's evolutionary conserved function: the role of EZH2 status and cellular background.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gall Trošelj, Koraljka; Novak Kujundzic, Renata; Ugarkovic, Djurdjica

    2016-01-01

    When assembled in multiprotein polycomb repressive complexes (PRCs), highly evolutionary conserved polycomb group (PcG) proteins epigenetically control gene activity. Although the composition of PRCs may vary considerably, it is well established that the embryonic ectoderm development (EED) 1, suppressor of zeste (SUZ) 12, and methyltransferase enhancer of zeste (EZH2)-containing complex, PRC2, which is abundant in highly proliferative cells (including cancer cells), establishes a repressive methylation mark on histone 3 (H3K27me3). From the perspective of molecular cancer pathogenesis, this effect, when directed towards a promoter of tumor suppressor genes, represents pro-tumorigenic effect. This mode of action was shown in several cancer models. However, EZH2 function extends beyond this scenario. The highly specific cellular background, related to the origin of cell and numerous external stimuli during a given time-window, may be the trigger for EZH2 interaction with other proteins, not necessarily histones. This is particularly relevant for cancer. This review provides a critical overview of the evolutional importance of PRC and discusses several important aspects of EZH2 functioning within PRC. The review also deals with mutational studies on EZH2. Due to the existence of several protein (and messenger RNA (mRNA)) isoforms, these mutations were stratified, using the protein sequence which is considered canonical. This approach showed that there is an urgent need for the uniformed positioning of currently known EZH2 mutations (somatic-in tumors, as well as germline mutations in the Weaver's syndrome). Finally, we discuss EZH2 function with respect to amount of trimethylated H3K27, in a specific cellular milieu, through presenting the most recent data related to EZH2-H3K27m3 relationship in cancer. All these points are significant in considering EZH2 as a therapeutic target.

  1. 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.

  2. NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) Ion Propulsion System Information Summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pencil, Eirc S.; Benson, Scott W.

    2008-01-01

    This document is a guide to New Frontiers mission proposal teams. The document describes the development and status of the NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system (IPS) technology, its application to planetary missions, and the process anticipated to transition NEXT to the first flight mission.

  3. 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.

  4. [Morphologic variation of the parthenogenetic lizard Aspidoscelis rodecki (Squamata: Teiidae): evolutionary and conservation implications].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elizalde-Rocha, Sandra P; Méndez-de la Cruz, Fausto R; Méndez-Sánchez, J Fernando; Granados-González, Gisela; Hernândez-Gallegos, Oswaldo

    2008-12-01

    Post-formational divergence has been used for the recognition of new parthenogenetic species. Currently, the parthenogenetic lizard Aspidoscelis rodecki McCoy and Maslin 1962 is recognized as a single taxon that was derived from a single, parthenogenetically capable, hybrid. This lizard had been derived via hybridization between individuals of two gonochoristic species, Aspidoscelis ungusticeps Cope 1878 and Aspidoscelis deppii Wiegmann 1834. The distribution of A. rodecki includes Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres and the adjacent mainland of Quintana Roo, México. Previous studies have found post-formational divergence in genetic, chromatic and life-history characteristics among a continental population (Puerto Juárez) and an insular population (Isla Contoy). A meristic analysis was carried out to evaluate the morphological divergence among both populations of A. rodecki. We used 38 individuals from Puerto Juárez and 23 individuals from Isla Contoy. Nine meristic characters with discrimination value among species of the genus Aspidoscelis were used in both univariate (t-Student) and multivariate analyses (principal components and canonical variate analysis). According to both analyses, Puerto Juárez is meristically distinguishable from Isla Contoy. Both populations differ in five meristic characters and were a high correct classification in the canonical variate analysis: 97% of Puerto Juárez and 100% of Isla Contoy. A small sample from Isla Mujeres and a single specimen from Punta Sam (mainland) may represent different morphological groups. Due to the patterns of phenotypic variation, A. rodecki is considered as a single variable parthenogenetic species with high priority to conservation. The populations of A. rodecki have been extremely affected by the tourism developers. If the habitat of the parthenogenetic lizard (beach grasses) is allowed to stay, the expansion by the developers will not affect the survivorship of these populations. Nevertheless, the first

  5. Patterns of evolutionary conservation of ascorbic acid-related genes following whole-genome triplication in Brassica rapa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Weike; Song, Xiaoming; Liu, Tongkun; Huang, Zhinan; Ren, Jun; Hou, Xilin; Du, Jianchang; Li, Ying

    2014-12-31

    Ascorbic acid (AsA) is an important antioxidant in plants and an essential vitamin for humans. Extending the study of AsA-related genes from Arabidopsis thaliana to Brassica rapa could shed light on the evolution of AsA in plants and inform crop breeding. In this study, we conducted whole-genome annotation, molecular-evolution and gene-expression analyses of all known AsA-related genes in B. rapa. The nucleobase-ascorbate transporter (NAT) gene family and AsA l-galactose pathway genes were also compared among plant species. Four important insights gained are that: 1) 102 AsA-related gene were identified in B. rapa and they mainly diverged 12-18 Ma accompanied by the Brassica-specific genome triplication event; 2) during their evolution, these AsA-related genes were preferentially retained, consistent with the gene dosage hypothesis; 3) the putative proteins were highly conserved, but their expression patterns varied; and 4) although the number of AsA-related genes is higher in B. rapa than in A. thaliana, the AsA contents and the numbers of expressed genes in leaves of both species are similar, the genes that are not generally expressed may serve as substitutes during emergencies. In summary, this study provides genome-wide insights into evolutionary history and mechanisms of AsA-related genes following whole-genome triplication in B. rapa. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  6. Explaining forest productivity using tree functional traits and phylogenetic information: two sides of the same coin over evolutionary scale?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquette, Alain; Joly, Simon; Messier, Christian

    2015-05-01

    Given evidences that diverse ecosystems provide more services than depauperate ones, much attention has now turned toward finding meaningful and operational diversity indices. We ask two questions: (1) Does phylogenetic diversity contain additional information not explained by functional traits? And (2) What are the strength and nature of the correlation between phylogeny and functional traits according to the evolutionary scale considered? We used data from permanent forest plots of northeastern Canada for which these links have been demonstrated and important functional traits identified. We show that the nature of the relationship between traits and phylogeny varies dramatically among traits, but also according to the evolutionary distance considered. The demonstration that different characters show phylogenetic autocorrelation at different evolutionary depths suggests that phylogenetic content of traits may be too crude to determine whether phylogenies contain relevant information. However, our study provides support for the use of phylogenies to assess ecosystem functioning when key functional traits are unavailable. We also highlight a potentially important contribution of phylogenetics for conservation and the study of the impact of biodiversity loss on ecosystem functioning and the provision of services, given the accumulating evidence that mechanisms promoting diversity effects shift over time to involve different traits.

  7. In situ conservation-harnessing natural and human-derived evolutionary forces to ensure future crop adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellon, Mauricio R; Dulloo, Ehsan; Sardos, Julie; Thormann, Imke; Burdon, Jeremy J

    2017-12-01

    Ensuring the availability of the broadest possible germplasm base for agriculture in the face of increasingly uncertain and variable patterns of biotic and abiotic change is fundamental for the world's future food supply. While ex situ conservation plays a major role in the conservation and availability of crop germplasm, it may be insufficient to ensure this. In situ conservation aims to maintain target species and the collective genotypes they represent under evolution. A major rationale for this view is based on the likelihood that continued exposure to changing selective forces will generate and favor new genetic variation and an increased likelihood that rare alleles that may be of value to future agriculture are maintained. However, the evidence that underpins this key rationale remains fragmented and has not been examined systematically, thereby decreasing the perceived value and support for in situ conservation for agriculture and food systems and limiting the conservation options available. This study reviews evidence regarding the likelihood and rate of evolutionary change in both biotic and abiotic traits for crops and their wild relatives, placing these processes in a realistic context in which smallholder farming operates and crop wild relatives continue to exist. It identifies areas of research that would contribute to a deeper understanding of these processes as the basis for making them more useful for future crop adaptation.

  8. 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

  9. Aj-rel and Aj-p105, two evolutionary conserved NF-κB homologues in sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) and their involvement in LPS induced immunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Tingting; Sun, Yongxin; Jin, Liji; Thacker, Philip; Li, Shuying; Xu, Yongping

    2013-01-01

    The nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) has been evolutionary conserved from insects to mammals and plays a major regulatory role in the initiation of physiological responses. In this study, we identified and characterized a primitive and functional NF-κB pathway active in the immune defence of the sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus). The ancient NF-κB homologues, Aj-rel and Aj-p105, share numerous signature motifs with their vertebrate orthologues, notably the Rel Homology Domain, Rel Protein Signature DNA Binding Motif, Nuclear Localization Signal and the Ankyrin Repeats for Aj-p105. Phylogenetic analyses indicate that these homologues belong to class I and II of NF-κB respectively. We examined the dimerization of Aj-rel and Aj-p105 and our results demonstrated that Aj-rel forms heterdimers with Aj-p105 and the degradation product of Aj-p105, namely Aj-p50. We further observed that LPS stimulation led to the degradation of Aj-p105 and the nuclear translocation of Aj-rel and Aj-p50. Taken together, our data indicate that the NF-κB signaling cascade is active in sea cucumber and plays a crucial role in regulating their immune defence. Our results increase the available information on sea cucumber immunity and provide new information for use in the study of the comparative and evolutionary aspects of immunity. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Structural Simulations and Conservation Analysis -Historic Building Information Model (HBIM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dore, C.; Murphy, M.; McCarthy, S.; Brechin, F.; Casidy, C.; Dirix, E.

    2015-02-01

    In this paper the current findings to date of the Historic Building Information Model (HBIM) of the Four Courts in Dublin are presented. The Historic Building Information Model (HBIM) forms the basis for both structural and conservation analysis to measure the impact of war damage which still impacts on the building. The laser scan survey was carried out in the summer of 2014 of the internal and external structure. After registration and processing of the laser scan survey, the HBIM was created of the damaged section of the building and is presented as two separate workflows in this paper. The first is the model created from historic data, the second a procedural and segmented model developed from laser scan survey of the war damaged drum and dome. From both models structural damage and decay simulations will be developed for documentation and conservation analysis.

  11. A Species Distribution Modeling Informed Conservation Assessment of Bog Spicebush

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-14

    likely dynamic, with metapopulation processes affect- ing recruitment into sites that vary in suitability over time and space . Alt- hough Bog Spicebush...Schwartz 2009. Using species distribution models to predict new occurrences for rare plants. Diversity and Distributions 15:565-576. Wintle, B. A. and...ER D C/ CE RL T R- 16 -3 1 A Species Distribution Modeling Informed Conservation Assessment of Bog Spicebush Co ns tr uc tio n En gi ne

  12. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeanne M Serb

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

  14. Incorporating Information Literacy Skills into Analytical Chemistry: An Evolutionary Step

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walczak, Mary M.; Jackson, Paul T.

    2007-01-01

    The American Chemical Society (ACS) has recently decided to incorporate various information literacy skills for teaching analytical chemistry to the students. The methodology has been found to be extremely effective, as it provides better understanding to the students.

  15. 76 FR 51943 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; International Dolphin Conservation Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-08-19

    ...; International Dolphin Conservation Program AGENCY: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA... (NOAA) collects information to implement the International Dolphin Conservation Program Act (Act). The... ] nations in the International Dolphin Conservation Program that would otherwise be under embargo. The Act...

  16. Evolutionary Diversifaction of Aminopeptidase N in Lepidoptera by Conserved Clade-specific Amino Acid Residues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Austin L.

    2015-01-01

    Members of the aminopepidase N (APN) gene family of the insect order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) bind the naturally insecticidal Cry toxins produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Phylogenetic analysis of amino acid sequences of seven lepidopteran APN classes provided strong support for the hypothesis that lepidopteran APN2 class arose by gene duplication prior to the most recent common ancestor of Lepidoptera and Diptera. The Cry toxin-binding region (BR) of lepidopteran and dipteran APNs was subject to stronger purifying selection within APN classes than was the remainder of the molecule, reflecting conservation of catalytic site and adjoining residues within the BR. Of lepidopteran APN classes, APN2, APN6, and APN8 showed the strongest evidence of functional specialization, both in expression patterns and in the occurrence of conserved derived amino acid residues. The latter three APN classes also shared a convergently evolved conserved residue close to the catalytic site. APN8 showed a particularly strong tendency towards class-specific conserved residues, including one of the catalytic site residues in the BR and ten others in close vicinity to the catalytic site residues. The occurrence of class-specific sequences along with the conservation of enzymatic function is consistent with the hypothesis that the presence of Cry toxins in the environment has been a factor shaping the evolution of this multi-gene family. PMID:24675701

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Austin L

    2014-07-01

    Members of the aminopepidase N (APN) gene family of the insect order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) bind the naturally insecticidal Cry toxins produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Phylogenetic analysis of amino acid sequences of seven lepidopteran APN classes provided strong support for the hypothesis that lepidopteran APN2 class arose by gene duplication prior to the most recent common ancestor of Lepidoptera and Diptera. The Cry toxin-binding region (BR) of lepidopteran and dipteran APNs was subject to stronger purifying selection within APN classes than was the remainder of the molecule, reflecting conservation of catalytic site and adjoining residues within the BR. Of lepidopteran APN classes, APN2, APN6, and APN8 showed the strongest evidence of functional specialization, both in expression patterns and in the occurrence of conserved derived amino acid residues. The latter three APN classes also shared a convergently evolved conserved residue close to the catalytic site. APN8 showed a particularly strong tendency towards class-specific conserved residues, including one of the catalytic site residues in the BR and ten others in close vicinity to the catalytic site residues. The occurrence of class-specific sequences along with the conservation of enzymatic function is consistent with the hypothesis that the presence of Cry toxins in the environment has been a factor shaping the evolution of this multi-gene family. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Phylogeography of Camellia taliensis (Theaceae) inferred from chloroplast and nuclear DNA: insights into evolutionary history and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yang; Yang, Shi-xiong; Ji, Peng-zhang; Gao, Li-zhi

    2012-06-21

    As one of the most important but seriously endangered wild relatives of the cultivated tea, Camellia taliensis harbors valuable gene resources for tea tree improvement in the future. The knowledge of genetic variation and population structure may provide insights into evolutionary history and germplasm conservation of the species. Here, we sampled 21 natural populations from the species' range in China and performed the phylogeography of C. taliensis by using the nuclear PAL gene fragment and chloroplast rpl32-trnL intergenic spacer. Levels of haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity detected at rpl32-trnL (h = 0.841; π = 0.00314) were almost as high as at PAL (h = 0.836; π = 0.00417). Significant chloroplast DNA population subdivision was detected (GST = 0.988; NST = 0.989), suggesting fairly high genetic differentiation and low levels of recurrent gene flow through seeds among populations. Nested clade phylogeographic analysis of chlorotypes suggests that population genetic structure in C. taliensis has been affected by habitat fragmentation in the past. However, the detection of a moderate nrDNA population subdivision (GST = 0.222; NST = 0.301) provided the evidence of efficient pollen-mediated gene flow among populations and significant phylogeographical structure (NST > GST; P conservation strategies for germplasm sampling and developing in situ conservation of natural populations.

  19. Proteome-Wide Discovery of Evolutionary Conserved Sequences in Disordered Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen Ba, Alex N.; Yeh, Brian J.; van Dyk, Dewald; Davidson, Alan R.; Andrews, Brenda J.; Weiss, Eric L.; Moses, Alan M.

    2016-01-01

    At least 30% of human proteins are thought to contain intrinsically disordered regions, which lack stable structural conformation. Despite lacking enzymatic functions and having few protein domains, disordered regions are functionally important for protein regulation and contain short linear motifs (short peptide sequences involved in protein-protein interactions), but in most disordered regions, the functional amino acid residues remain unknown. We searched for evolutionarily conserved sequences within disordered regions according to the hypothesis that conservation would indicate functional residues. Using a phylogenetic hidden Markov model (phylo-HMM), we made accurate, specific predictions of functional elements in disordered regions even when these elements are only two or three amino acids long. Among the conserved sequences that we identified were previously known and newly identified short linear motifs, and we experimentally verified key examples, including a motif that may mediate interaction between protein kinase Cbk1 and its substrates. We also observed that hub proteins, which interact with many partners in a protein interaction network, are highly enriched in these conserved sequences. Our analysis enabled the systematic identification of the functional residues in disordered regions and suggested that at least 5% of amino acids in disordered regions are important for function. PMID:22416277

  20. Genes are information, so information theory is coming to the aid of evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwin, William B

    2015-11-01

    Speciation is central to evolutionary biology, and to elucidate it, we need to catch the early genetic changes that set nascent taxa on their path to species status (Via 2009). That challenge is difficult, of course, for two chief reasons: (i) serendipity is required to catch speciation in the act; and (ii) after a short time span with lingering gene flow, differentiation may be low and/or embodied only in rare alleles that are difficult to sample. In this issue of Molecular Ecology Resources, Smouse et al. (2015) have noted that optimal assessment of differentiation within and between nascent species should be robust to these challenges, and they identified a measure based on Shannon's information theory that has many advantages for this and numerous other tasks. The Shannon measure exhibits complete additivity of information at different levels of subdivision. Of all the family of diversity measures ('0' or allele counts, '1' or Shannon, '2' or heterozygosity, F(ST) and related metrics) Shannon's measure comes closest to weighting alleles by their frequencies. For the Shannon measure, rare alleles that represent early signals of nascent speciation are neither down-weighted to the point of irrelevance, as for level 2 measures, nor up-weighted to overpowering importance, as for level 0 measures (Chao et al. 2010, )2015. Shannon measures have a long history in population genetics, dating back to Shannon's PhD thesis in 1940 (Crow 2001), but have received only sporadic attention, until a resurgence of interest in the last ten years, as reviewed briefly by Smouse et al. (2015). © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Structural proteomics of minimal organisms: conservation ofprotein fold usage and evolutionary implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chandonia, John-Marc; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2006-03-15

    Background: Determining the complete repertoire of proteinstructures for all soluble, globular proteins in a single organism hasbeen one of the major goals of several structural genomics projects inrecent years. Results: We report that this goal has nearly been reachedfor several "minimal organisms"--parasites or symbionts with reducedgenomes--for which over 95 percent of the soluble, globular proteins maynow be assigned folds, overall 3-D backbone structures. We analyze thestructures of these proteins as they relate to cellular functions, andcompare conservation off old usage between functional categories. We alsocompare patterns in the conservation off olds among minimal organisms andthose observed between minimal organisms and other bacteria. Conclusion:We find that proteins performing essential cellular functions closelyrelated to transcription and translation exhibit a higher degree ofconservation in fold usage than proteins in other functional categories.Folds related to transcription and translation functional categories werealso over represented in minimal organisms compared to otherbacteria.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. EVOLUTIONARY MODELING PROBLEMS IN STRUCTURAL SYNTHESIS OF INFORMATION NETWORKS OF AUTOMATED CONTROL SYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.R.Yusupbekov

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides a new approach for solving a problem of modeling and structural syntheses of information networks of automated control systems by applying fuzzy sets theory, fuzzy logic and genetic algorithms. The procedure of formalizing structural syntheses of multi-level dispersed information networks of automated control systems is proposed. Also, the paper proposes a conceptual model of evolutionary syntheses based on genetic algorithms, which do not require additional information about the characteristics and features of target function. Modified genetic operators of crossover, mutation and algorithms of evolutionary syntheses of information networks systems are developed. Finally, the results of computational experiments on researching the influence of probability of the use of crossover and mutation operators, method of choosing parental pairs, and the size of initial population on the speed and precision of final results are provided.

  6. 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 Ca2+ 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.

  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 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. ©2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  8. Antibodies directed against monomorphic and evolutionary conserved self epitopes may be generated in 'knock-out' mice. Development of monoclonal antibodies directed against monomorphic MHC class I determinants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Claesson, M H; Endel, B; Ulrik, J

    1994-01-01

    of culture. It is concluded that MoAbs reacting with monomorphic self epitopes may be generated using animals deleted of the gene of interest. The implications may be far reaching since such MoAbs potentially identify evolutionary conserved and physiologically important epitopes....

  9. 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.

  10. New Insights on Coffea miRNAs: Features and Evolutionary Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaves, S S; Fernandes-Brum, C N; Silva, G F F; Ferrara-Barbosa, B C; Paiva, L V; Nogueira, F T S; Cardoso, T C S; Amaral, L R; de Souza Gomes, M; Chalfun-Junior, A

    2015-10-01

    Small RNAs influence the gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by guiding messenger RNA (mRNA) cleavage, translational repression, and chromatin modifications. In addition to model plants, the microRNAs (miRNAs) have been identified in different crop species. In this work, we developed a specific pipeline to search for coffee miRNA homologs on expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and genome survey sequences (GSS) databases. As a result, 36 microRNAs were identified and a total of 616 and 362 potential targets for Coffea arabica and Coffea canephora, respectively. The evolutionary analyses of these molecules were performed by comparing the primary and secondary structures of precursors and mature miRNAs with their orthologs. Moreover, using a stem-loop RT-PCR assay, we evaluated the accumulation of mature miRNAs in genomes with different ploidy levels, detecting an increase in the miRNAs accumulation according to the ploidy raising. Finally, a 5' RACE (Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends) assay was performed to verify the regulation of auxin responsive factor 8 (ARF8) by MIR167 in coffee plants. The great variety of target genes indicates the functional plasticity of these molecules and reinforces the importance of understanding the RNAi-dependent regulatory mechanisms. Our results expand the study of miRNAs and their target genes in this crop, providing new challenges to understand the biology of these species.

  11. Phylogeography of Camellia taliensis (Theaceae inferred from chloroplast and nuclear DNA: insights into evolutionary history and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Yang

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background As one of the most important but seriously endangered wild relatives of the cultivated tea, Camellia taliensis harbors valuable gene resources for tea tree improvement in the future. The knowledge of genetic variation and population structure may provide insights into evolutionary history and germplasm conservation of the species. Results Here, we sampled 21 natural populations from the species' range in China and performed the phylogeography of C. taliensis by using the nuclear PAL gene fragment and chloroplast rpl32-trnL intergenic spacer. Levels of haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity detected at rpl32-trnL (h = 0.841; π = 0.00314 were almost as high as at PAL (h = 0.836; π = 0.00417. Significant chloroplast DNA population subdivision was detected (GST = 0.988; NST = 0.989, suggesting fairly high genetic differentiation and low levels of recurrent gene flow through seeds among populations. Nested clade phylogeographic analysis of chlorotypes suggests that population genetic structure in C. taliensis has been affected by habitat fragmentation in the past. However, the detection of a moderate nrDNA population subdivision (GST = 0.222; NST = 0.301 provided the evidence of efficient pollen-mediated gene flow among populations and significant phylogeographical structure (NST > GST; P PAL haplotypes indicates that phylogeographical pattern of nrDNA haplotypes might be caused by restricted gene flow with isolation by distance, which was also supported by Mantel’s test of nrDNA haplotypes (r = 0.234, P  Conclusions We found that C. taliensis showed fairly high genetic differentiation resulting from restricted gene flow and habitat fragmentation. This phylogeographical study gives us deep insights into population structure of the species and conservation strategies for germplasm sampling and developing in situ conservation of natural populations.

  12. Conserved Units of Co-Expression in Bacterial Genomes: An Evolutionary Insight into Transcriptional Regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junier, Ivan; Rivoire, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    Genome-wide measurements of transcriptional activity in bacteria indicate that the transcription of successive genes is strongly correlated beyond the scale of operons. Here, we analyze hundreds of bacterial genomes to identify supra-operonic segments of genes that are proximal in a large number of genomes. We show that these synteny segments correspond to genomic units of strong transcriptional co-expression. Structurally, the segments contain operons with specific relative orientations (co-directional or divergent) and nucleoid-associated proteins are found to bind at their boundaries. Functionally, operons inside a same segment are highly co-expressed even in the apparent absence of regulatory factors at their promoter regions. Remote operons along DNA can also be co-expressed if their corresponding segments share a transcriptional or sigma factor, without requiring these factors to bind directly to the promoters of the operons. As evidence that these results apply across the bacterial kingdom, we demonstrate them both in the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli and in the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. The underlying process that we propose involves only RNA-polymerases and DNA: it implies that the transcription of an operon mechanically enhances the transcription of adjacent operons. In support of a primary role of this regulation by facilitated co-transcription, we show that the transcription en bloc of successive operons as a result of transcriptional read-through is strongly and specifically enhanced in synteny segments. Finally, our analysis indicates that facilitated co-transcription may be evolutionary primitive and may apply beyond bacteria. PMID:27195891

  13. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elnaz Mehdizadeh Aghdam

    2014-05-01

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

  15. Evolutionary analysis of two complement C4 genes: Ancient duplication and conservation during jawed vertebrate evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nonaka, Mayumi I; Terado, Tokio; Kimura, Hiroshi; Nonaka, Masaru

    2017-03-01

    The complement C4 is a thioester-containing protein, and a histidine (H) residue catalyzes the cleavage of the thioester to allow covalent binding to carbohydrates on target cells. Some mammalian and teleost species possess an additional isotype where the catalytic H is replaced by an aspartic acid (D), which binds preferentially to proteins. We found the two C4 isotypes in many other jawed vertebrates, including sharks and birds/reptiles. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that C4 gene duplication occurred in the early days of the jawed vertebrate evolution. The D-type C4 of bony fish except for mammals formed a cluster, termed D-lineage. The D-lineage genes were located in a syntenic region outside MHC, and evolved conservatively. Mammals lost the D-lineage before speciation, but D-type C4 was regenerated by recent gene duplication in some mammalian species or groups. Dual C4 molecules with different substrate specificities would have contributed to development of the antibody-dependent classical pathway. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Evolutionary conservation of a core root microbiome across plant phyla along a tropical soil chronosequence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeoh, Yun Kit; Dennis, Paul G; Paungfoo-Lonhienne, Chanyarat; Weber, Lui; Brackin, Richard; Ragan, Mark A; Schmidt, Susanne; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2017-08-09

    Culture-independent molecular surveys of plant root microbiomes indicate that soil type generally has a stronger influence on microbial communities than host phylogeny. However, these studies have mostly focussed on model plants and crops. Here, we examine the root microbiomes of multiple plant phyla including lycopods, ferns, gymnosperms, and angiosperms across a soil chronosequence using 16S rRNA gene amplicon profiling. We confirm that soil type is the primary determinant of root-associated bacterial community composition, but also observe a significant correlation with plant phylogeny. A total of 47 bacterial genera are associated with roots relative to bulk soil microbial communities, including well-recognized plant-associated genera such as Bradyrhizobium, Rhizobium, and Burkholderia, and major uncharacterized lineages such as WPS-2, Ellin329, and FW68. We suggest that these taxa collectively constitute an evolutionarily conserved core root microbiome at this site. This lends support to the inference that a core root microbiome has evolved with terrestrial plants over their 400 million year history.Yeoh et al. study root microbiomes of different plant phyla across a tropical soil chronosequence. They confirm that soil type is the primary determinant of root-associated bacterial communities, but also observe a clear correlation with plant phylogeny and define a core root microbiome at this site.

  17. RegulonDB v8.0: omics data sets, evolutionary conservation, regulatory phrases, cross-validated gold standards and more

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salgado, Heladia; Peralta-Gil, Martin; Gama-Castro, Socorro; Santos-Zavaleta, Alberto; Muñiz-Rascado, Luis; García-Sotelo, Jair S.; Weiss, Verena; Solano-Lira, Hilda; Martínez-Flores, Irma; Medina-Rivera, Alejandra; Salgado-Osorio, Gerardo; Alquicira-Hernández, Shirley; Alquicira-Hernández, Kevin; López-Fuentes, Alejandra; Porrón-Sotelo, Liliana; Huerta, Araceli M.; Bonavides-Martínez, César; Balderas-Martínez, Yalbi I.; Pannier, Lucia; Olvera, Maricela; Labastida, Aurora; Jiménez-Jacinto, Verónica; Vega-Alvarado, Leticia; del Moral-Chávez, Victor; Hernández-Alvarez, Alfredo; Morett, Enrique; Collado-Vides, Julio

    2013-01-01

    This article summarizes our progress with RegulonDB (http://regulondb.ccg.unam.mx/) during the past 2 years. We have kept up-to-date the knowledge from the published literature regarding transcriptional regulation in Escherichia coli K-12. We have maintained and expanded our curation efforts to improve the breadth and quality of the encoded experimental knowledge, and we have implemented criteria for the quality of our computational predictions. Regulatory phrases now provide high-level descriptions of regulatory regions. We expanded the assignment of quality to various sources of evidence, particularly for knowledge generated through high-throughput (HT) technology. Based on our analysis of most relevant methods, we defined rules for determining the quality of evidence when multiple independent sources support an entry. With this latest release of RegulonDB, we present a new highly reliable larger collection of transcription start sites, a result of our experimental HT genome-wide efforts. These improvements, together with several novel enhancements (the tracks display, uploading format and curational guidelines), address the challenges of incorporating HT-generated knowledge into RegulonDB. Information on the evolutionary conservation of regulatory elements is also available now. Altogether, RegulonDB version 8.0 is a much better home for integrating knowledge on gene regulation from the sources of information currently available. PMID:23203884

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Zafra Ruano

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Src Homology 3 domains are ubiquitous small interaction modules known to act as docking sites and regulatory elements in a wide range of proteins. Prior experimental NMR work on the SH3 domain of Src showed that ligand binding induces long-range dynamic changes consistent with an induced fit mechanism. The identification of the residues that participate in this mechanism produces a chart that allows for the exploration of the regulatory role of such domains in the activity of the encompassing protein. Here we show that a computational approach focusing on the changes in side chain dynamics through ligand binding identifies equivalent long-range effects in the Src SH3 domain. Mutation of a subset of the predicted residues elicits long-range effects on the binding energetics, emphasizing the relevance of these positions in the definition of intramolecular cooperative networks of signal transduction in this domain. We find further support for this mechanism through the analysis of seven other publically available SH3 domain structures of which the sequences represent diverse SH3 classes. By comparing the eight predictions, we find that, in addition to a dynamic pathway that is relatively conserved throughout all SH3 domains, there are dynamic aspects specific to each domain and homologous subgroups. Our work shows for the first time from a structural perspective, which transduction mechanisms are common between a subset of closely related and distal SH3 domains, while at the same time highlighting the differences in signal transduction that make each family member unique. These results resolve the missing link between structural predictions of dynamic changes and the domain sectors recently identified for SH3 domains through sequence analysis.

  19. Evolutionary conservation of an atypical glucocorticoid-responsive element in the human tyrosine hydroxylase gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheela Rani, C S; Soto-Pina, Alexandra; Iacovitti, Lorraine; Strong, Randy

    2013-07-01

    The human tyrosine hydroxylase (hTH) gene has a 42 bp evolutionarily conserved region designated (CR) II at -7.24 kb, which bears 93% homology to the region we earlier identified as containing the glucocorticoid response element, a 7 bp activator protein-1 (AP-1)-like motif in the rat TH gene. We cloned this hTH-CRII region upstream of minimal basal hTH promoter in luciferase (Luc) reporter vector, and tested glucocorticoid responsiveness in human cell lines. Dexamethasone (Dex) stimulated Luc activity of hTH-CRII in HeLa cells, while mifepristone, a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist, prevented Dex stimulation. Deletion of the 7 bp 5'-TGACTAA at -7243 bp completely abolished the Dex-stimulated Luc activity of hTH-CRII construct. The AP-1 agonist, tetradeconoyl-12,13-phorbol acetate (TPA), also stimulated hTH promoter activity, and Dex and TPA together further accentuated this response. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed the presence of both GR and AP-1 proteins, especially Jun family members, at this hTH promoter site. Dex did not stimulate hTH promoter activity in a catecholaminergic cell line, which had low endogenous GR levels, but did activate the response when GR was expressed exogenously. Thus, our studies have clearly identified a glucocorticoid-responsive element in a 7 bp AP-1-like motif in the promoter region at -7.24 kb of the human TH gene. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rakesh Srivastava

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

  2. 78 FR 12349 - Proposed Information Collection; Land and Water Conservation Fund State Assistance Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-22

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

  3. Conservation and evolutionary divergence in the activity of receptor-regulated smads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorrentino Gina M

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Activity of the Transforming growth factor-β (TGFβ pathway is essential to the establishment of body axes and tissue differentiation in bilaterians. Orthologs for core pathway members have been found in all metazoans, but uncertain homology of the body axes and tissues patterned by these signals raises questions about the activities of these molecules across the metazoan tree. We focus on the principal canonical transduction proteins (R-Smads of the TGFβ pathway, which instruct both axial patterning and tissue differentiation in the developing embryo. We compare the activity of R-Smads from a cnidarian (Nematostella vectensis, an arthropod (Drosophila melanogaster, and a vertebrate (Xenopus laevis in Xenopus embryonic assays. Results Overexpressing NvSmad1/5 ventralized Xenopus embryos when expressed in dorsal blastomeres, similar to the effects of Xenopus Smad1. However, NvSmad1/5 was less potent than XSmad1 in its ability to activate downstream target genes in Xenopus animal cap assays. NvSmad2/3 strongly induced general mesendodermal marker genes, but weakly induced ones involved in specifying the Spemann organizer. NvSmad2/3 was unable to induce a secondary trunk axis in Xenopus embryos, whereas the orthologs from Xenopus (XSmad2 and XSmad3 and Drosophila (dSmad2 were capable of doing so. Replacement of the NvSmad2/3 MH2 domain with the Xenopus XSmad2 MH2 slightly increased its inductive capability, but did not confer an ability to generate a secondary body axis. Conclusions Vertebrate and cnidarian Smad1/5 have similar axial patterning and induction activities, although NvSmad1/5 is less efficient than the vertebrate gene. We conclude that the activities of Smad1/5 orthologs have been largely conserved across Metazoa. NvSmad2/3 efficiently activates general mesendoderm markers, but is unable to induce vertebrate organizer-specific genes or to produce a secondary body axis in Xenopus. Orthologs dSmad2 and XSmad3

  4. Evolutionary Conservation in Biogenesis of β-Barrel Proteins Allows Mitochondria to Assemble a Functional Bacterial Trimeric Autotransporter Protein*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Thomas; Oberhettinger, Philipp; Schütz, Monika; Holzer, Katharina; Ramms, Anne S.; Linke, Dirk; Autenrieth, Ingo B.; Rapaport, Doron

    2014-01-01

    Yersinia adhesin A (YadA) belongs to a class of bacterial adhesins that form trimeric structures. Their mature form contains a passenger domain and a C-terminal β-domain that anchors the protein in the outer membrane (OM). Little is known about how precursors of such proteins cross the periplasm and assemble into the OM. In the present study we took advantage of the evolutionary conservation in the biogenesis of β-barrel proteins between bacteria and mitochondria. We previously observed that upon expression in yeast cells, bacterial β-barrel proteins including the transmembrane domain of YadA assemble into the mitochondrial OM. In the current study we found that when expressed in yeast cells both the monomeric and trimeric forms of full-length YadA were detected in mitochondria but only the trimeric species was fully integrated into the OM. The oligomeric form was exposed on the surface of the organelle in its native conformation and maintained its capacity to adhere to host cells. The co-expression of YadA with a mitochondria-targeted form of the bacterial periplasmic chaperone Skp, but not with SurA or SecB, resulted in enhanced levels of both forms of YadA. Taken together, these results indicate that the proper assembly of trimeric autotransporter can occur also in a system lacking the lipoproteins of the BAM machinery and is specifically enhanced by the chaperone Skp. PMID:25190806

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Evolutionary Game Analysis of Competitive Information Dissemination on Social Networks: An Agent-Based Computational Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Sun

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Social networks are formed by individuals, in which personalities, utility functions, and interaction rules are made as close to reality as possible. Taking the competitive product-related information as a case, we proposed a game-theoretic model for competitive information dissemination in social networks. The model is presented to explain how human factors impact competitive information dissemination which is described as the dynamic of a coordination game and players’ payoff is defined by a utility function. Then we design a computational system that integrates the agent, the evolutionary game, and the social network. The approach can help to visualize the evolution of % of competitive information adoption and diffusion, grasp the dynamic evolution features in information adoption game over time, and explore microlevel interactions among users in different network structure under various scenarios. We discuss several scenarios to analyze the influence of several factors on the dissemination of competitive information, ranging from personality of individuals to structure of networks.

  10. Marketing: an approach to successful energy-conservation information programs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutton, R. B.; McNeill, D. L.

    1980-08-01

    This monograph shows how the adoption of a marketing approach can improve the quality of the development and delivery of energy-conservation programs. Several factors make the use of such a marketing approach to conservation particularly beneficial, namely: (1) goals of conservation programs can be quantified (e.g., specified amount of energy to be saved); in addition, intermediate effects necessary for program success are also measureable (e.g., knowledge, attitude change, etc); (2) there is an apparent and increasing need for conservation by different parts (or sectors) of the population; however, it is clear that the desire for conservation is not the same for all sectors; (3) conservation programs can be thought of in much the same way as products with benefits and costs; this necessitates an understanding of how the population makes conservation decisions so that the program can fit into that decision process; (4) the need to tailor programs to the needs of the population is heightened by the general competition for the consumer dollar; it is necessary to design and present programs in a way that the individual will view conservation as an attractive choice among many (e.g., bank savings, buying clothes, furniture, car, etc.); and (5) the population's response to, and need for conservation is constantly changing; consequently, it is important to realize that these changes may need to be reflected in the conservation programs themselves (both ongoing and new).

  11. Phylogeography of Camellia taliensis (Theaceae) inferred from chloroplast and nuclear DNA: insights into evolutionary history and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background As one of the most important but seriously endangered wild relatives of the cultivated tea, Camellia taliensis harbors valuable gene resources for tea tree improvement in the future. The knowledge of genetic variation and population structure may provide insights into evolutionary history and germplasm conservation of the species. Results Here, we sampled 21 natural populations from the species' range in China and performed the phylogeography of C. taliensis by using the nuclear PAL gene fragment and chloroplast rpl32-trnL intergenic spacer. Levels of haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity detected at rpl32-trnL (h = 0.841; π = 0.00314) were almost as high as at PAL (h = 0.836; π = 0.00417). Significant chloroplast DNA population subdivision was detected (GST = 0.988; NST = 0.989), suggesting fairly high genetic differentiation and low levels of recurrent gene flow through seeds among populations. Nested clade phylogeographic analysis of chlorotypes suggests that population genetic structure in C. taliensis has been affected by habitat fragmentation in the past. However, the detection of a moderate nrDNA population subdivision (GST = 0.222; NST = 0.301) provided the evidence of efficient pollen-mediated gene flow among populations and significant phylogeographical structure (NST > GST; P < 0.01). The analysis of PAL haplotypes indicates that phylogeographical pattern of nrDNA haplotypes might be caused by restricted gene flow with isolation by distance, which was also supported by Mantel’s test of nrDNA haplotypes (r = 0.234, P < 0.001). We found that chlorotype C1 was fixed in seven populations of Lancang River Region, implying that the Lancang River might have provided a corridor for the long-distance dispersal of the species. Conclusions We found that C. taliensis showed fairly high genetic differentiation resulting from restricted gene flow and habitat fragmentation. This phylogeographical

  12. 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

    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...... in a simplified way, in combination with a molecular evolution model. This method improves considerably upon existing grammatical models that do not consider folding kinetics. Additionally, the model compares favourably to non-kinetic thermodynamic models. Availability: http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~anderson Contact...

  13. Improving the Accuracy of Fitted Atomic Models in Cryo-EM Density Maps of Protein Assemblies Using Evolutionary Information from Aligned Homologous Proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakesh, Ramachandran; Srinivasan, Narayanaswamy

    2016-01-01

    Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM) has become an important technique to obtain structural insights into large macromolecular assemblies. However the resolution of the density maps do not allow for its interpretation at atomic level. Hence they are combined with high resolution structures along with information from other experimental or bioinformatics techniques to obtain pseudo-atomic models. Here, we describe the use of evolutionary conservation of residues as obtained from protein structures and alignments of homologous proteins to detect errors in the fitting of atomic structures as well as improve accuracy of the protein-protein interfacial regions in the cryo-EM density maps.

  14. Latest Stored Information Based Adaptive Selection Strategy for Multiobjective Evolutionary Algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiale Gao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The adaptive operator selection (AOS and the adaptive parameter control are widely used to enhance the search power in many multiobjective evolutionary algorithms. This paper proposes a novel adaptive selection strategy with bandits for the multiobjective evolutionary algorithm based on decomposition (MOEA/D, named latest stored information based adaptive selection (LSIAS. An improved upper confidence bound (UCB method is adopted in the strategy, in which the operator usage rate and abandonment of extreme fitness improvement are introduced to improve the performance of UCB. The strategy uses a sliding window to store recent valuable information about operators, such as factors, probabilities, and efficiency. Four common used DE operators are chosen with the AOS, and two kinds of assist information on operator are selected to improve the operators search power. The operator information is updated with the help of LSIAS and the resulting algorithmic combination is called MOEA/D-LSIAS. Compared to some well-known MOEA/D variants, the LSIAS demonstrates the superior robustness and fast convergence for various multiobjective optimization problems. The comparative experiments also demonstrate improved search power of operators with different assist information on different problems.

  15. 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…

  16. Machine learning approach to predict protein phosphorylation sites by incorporating evolutionary information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sikder Abdur

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most of the existing in silico phosphorylation site prediction systems use machine learning approach that requires preparing a good set of classification data in order to build the classification knowledge. Furthermore, phosphorylation is catalyzed by kinase enzymes and hence the kinase information of the phosphorylated sites has been used as major classification data in most of the existing systems. Since the number of kinase annotations in protein sequences is far less than that of the proteins being sequenced to date, the prediction systems that use the information found from the small clique of kinase annotated proteins can not be considered as completely perfect for predicting outside the clique. Hence the systems are certainly not generalized. In this paper, a novel generalized prediction system, PPRED (Phosphorylation PREDictor is proposed that ignores the kinase information and only uses the evolutionary information of proteins for classifying phosphorylation sites. Results Experimental results based on cross validations and an independent benchmark reveal the significance of using the evolutionary information alone to classify phosphorylation sites from protein sequences. The prediction performance of the proposed system is better than those of the existing prediction systems that also do not incorporate kinase information. The system is also comparable to systems that incorporate kinase information in predicting such sites. Conclusions The approach presented in this paper provides an efficient way to identify phosphorylation sites in a given protein primary sequence that would be a valuable information for the molecular biologists working on protein phosphorylation sites and for bioinformaticians developing generalized prediction systems for the post translational modifications like phosphorylation or glycosylation. PPRED is publicly available at the URL http://www.cse.univdhaka.edu/~ashis/ppred/index.php.

  17. Evolutionary conservation in biogenesis of β-barrel proteins allows mitochondria to assemble a functional bacterial trimeric autotransporter protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulrich, Thomas; Oberhettinger, Philipp; Schütz, Monika; Holzer, Katharina; Ramms, Anne S; Linke, Dirk; Autenrieth, Ingo B; Rapaport, Doron

    2014-10-24

    Yersinia adhesin A (YadA) belongs to a class of bacterial adhesins that form trimeric structures. Their mature form contains a passenger domain and a C-terminal β-domain that anchors the protein in the outer membrane (OM). Little is known about how precursors of such proteins cross the periplasm and assemble into the OM. In the present study we took advantage of the evolutionary conservation in the biogenesis of β-barrel proteins between bacteria and mitochondria. We previously observed that upon expression in yeast cells, bacterial β-barrel proteins including the transmembrane domain of YadA assemble into the mitochondrial OM. In the current study we found that when expressed in yeast cells both the monomeric and trimeric forms of full-length YadA were detected in mitochondria but only the trimeric species was fully integrated into the OM. The oligomeric form was exposed on the surface of the organelle in its native conformation and maintained its capacity to adhere to host cells. The co-expression of YadA with a mitochondria-targeted form of the bacterial periplasmic chaperone Skp, but not with SurA or SecB, resulted in enhanced levels of both forms of YadA. Taken together, these results indicate that the proper assembly of trimeric autotransporter can occur also in a system lacking the lipoproteins of the BAM machinery and is specifically enhanced by the chaperone Skp. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  18. Integrating paleobiology, archeology, and history to inform biological conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rick, Torben C; Lockwood, Rowan

    2013-02-01

    The search for novel approaches to establishing ecological baselines (reference conditions) is constrained by the fact that most ecological studies span the past few decades, at most, and investigate ecosystems that have been substantially altered by human activities for decades, centuries, or more. Paleobiology, archeology, and history provide historical ecological context for biological conservation, remediation, and restoration. We argue that linking historical ecology explicitly with conservation can help unify related disciplines of conservation paleobiology, conservation archeobiology, and environmental history. Differences in the spatial and temporal resolution and extent (scale) of prehistoric, historic, and modern ecological data remain obstacles to integrating historical ecology and conservation biology, but the prolonged temporal extents of historical ecological data can help establish more complete baselines for restoration, document a historical range of ecological variability, and assist in determining desired future conditions. We used the eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) fishery of the Chesapeake Bay (U.S.A.) to demonstrate the utility of historical ecological data for elucidating oyster conservation and the need for an approach to conservation that transcends disciplinary boundaries. Historical ecological studies from the Chesapeake have documented dramatic declines (as much as 99%) in oyster abundance since the early to mid-1800 s, changes in oyster size in response to different nutrient levels from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, and substantial reductions in oyster accretion rates (from 10 mm/year to effectively 0 mm/year) from the Late Holocene to modern times. Better integration of different historical ecological data sets and increased collaboration between paleobiologists, geologists, archeologists, environmental historians, and ecologists to create standardized research designs and methodologies will help unify prehistoric

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The power of information for targeting cost-effective conservation investments in multifunctional farmlands

    OpenAIRE

    Stoms, DM; Kreitler, J; Davis, FW

    2011-01-01

    Decisions about which places to conserve are based upon the geographic heterogeneity of three types of information: public goods or benefits, their vulnerability to threats, and the costs to avert those threats. The choice of public goods depends on the mission of the conservation organization (e.g., biodiversity, open space, cultural values, or farmland). For spatial targeting of conservation at the regional scale, practitioners must estimate the values of these types of information. The qua...

  3. Natural selection. V. How to read the fundamental equations of evolutionary change in terms of information theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, S A

    2012-12-01

    The equations of evolutionary change by natural selection are commonly expressed in statistical terms. Fisher's fundamental theorem emphasizes the variance in fitness. Quantitative genetics expresses selection with covariances and regressions. Population genetic equations depend on genetic variances. How can we read those statistical expressions with respect to the meaning of natural selection? One possibility is to relate the statistical expressions to the amount of information that populations accumulate by selection. However, the connection between selection and information theory has never been compelling. Here, I show the correct relations between statistical expressions for selection and information theory expressions for selection. Those relations link selection to the fundamental concepts of entropy and information in the theories of physics, statistics and communication. We can now read the equations of selection in terms of their natural meaning. Selection causes populations to accumulate information about the environment. © 2012 The Author. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. 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...

  5. 30 CFR 250.246 - What mineral resource conservation information must accompany the DPP or DOCD?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What mineral resource conservation information must accompany the DPP or DOCD? 250.246 Section 250.246 Mineral Resources MINERALS MANAGEMENT SERVICE... Coordination Documents (docd) § 250.246 What mineral resource conservation information must accompany the DPP...

  6. 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 ...

  7. Evolutionary dynamics on rugged fitness landscapes: exact dynamics and information theoretical aspects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saakian, David B; Fontanari, José F

    2009-10-01

    The parallel mutation-selection evolutionary dynamics, in which mutation and replication are independent events, is solved exactly in the case that the Malthusian fitnesses associated to the genomes are described by the random energy model (REM) and by a ferromagnetic version of the REM. The solution method uses the mapping of the evolutionary dynamics into a quantum Ising chain in a transverse field and the Suzuki-Trotter formalism to calculate the transition probabilities between configurations at different times. We find that in the case of the REM landscape the dynamics can exhibit three distinct regimes: pure diffusion or stasis for short times, depending on the fitness of the initial configuration, and a spin-glass regime for large times. The dynamic transition between these dynamical regimes is marked by discontinuities in the mean-fitness as well as in the overlap with the initial reference sequence. The relaxation to equilibrium is described by an inverse time decay. In the ferromagnetic REM, we find in addition to these three regimes, a ferromagnetic regime where the overlap and the mean-fitness are frozen. In this case, the system relaxes to equilibrium in a finite time. The relevance of our results to information processing aspects of evolution is discussed.

  8. The methionine-rich low-molecular-weight chloroplast heat-shock protein: evolutionary conservation and accumulation in relation to thermotolerance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downs, C; Heckathorn, S; Bryan, J; Coleman, J

    1998-02-01

    The evolutionary conservation of the low-molecular-weight chloroplast-localized heat-shock protein (LMW chlpHsp) in vascular plants was examined using immunological methods. An antibody (Abmet) specific to the LMW chlpHsp was produced using a synthetic 28-residue peptide containing the most conserved elements of its unique "methionine-rich domain" as an antigen. This antibody detected a heat-inducible low-molecular-weight chloroplast protein in plants of six divergent Anthophyta species, including C3, C4, CAM, monocot, and dicot species. Abmet also detected a LMW chlpHsp in species from the Divisions Psilotophyta, Equisetophyta, Polypodiophyta, and Ginkgophyta. A preliminary examination of the relationship between accumulation of the LMW chlpHsp and habitat was also conducted. Seven Anthophyta species originating from both warm- and cool-temperature habitats were grown at 28C and then heat stressed at 40C. A positive qualitative relationship between the accumulation of the LMW chlpHsp and organismal thermotolerance in these species was observed; similar results were obtained separately with four nonAnthophyta species. The strong evolutionary conservation of this LMW Hsp and its localization to the chloroplast, and the correlation between production of this protein and plant thermotolerance, suggest that the LMW chlpHsp plays an important role in adaptation to heat stress.

  9. Cultural evolutionary tipping points in the storage and transmission of information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, R Alexander; O'Brien, Michael J

    2012-01-01

    Human culture has evolved through a series of major tipping points in information storage and communication. The first was the appearance of language, which enabled communication between brains and allowed humans to specialize in what they do and to participate in complex mating games. The second was information storage outside the brain, most obviously expressed in the "Upper Paleolithic Revolution" - the sudden proliferation of cave art, personal adornment, and ritual in Europe some 35,000-45,000 years ago. More recently, this storage has taken the form of writing, mass media, and now the Internet, which is arguably overwhelming humans' ability to discern relevant information. The third tipping point was the appearance of technology capable of accumulating and manipulating vast amounts of information outside humans, thus removing them as bottlenecks to a seemingly self-perpetuating process of knowledge explosion. Important components of any discussion of cultural evolutionary tipping points are tempo and mode, given that the rate of change, as well as the kind of change, in information storage and transmission has not been constant over the previous million years.

  10. Cultural Evolutionary Tipping Points in the Storage and Transmission of Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentley, R. Alexander; O’Brien, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    Human culture has evolved through a series of major tipping points in information storage and communication. The first was the appearance of language, which enabled communication between brains and allowed humans to specialize in what they do and to participate in complex mating games. The second was information storage outside the brain, most obviously expressed in the “Upper Paleolithic Revolution” – the sudden proliferation of cave art, personal adornment, and ritual in Europe some 35,000–45,000 years ago. More recently, this storage has taken the form of writing, mass media, and now the Internet, which is arguably overwhelming humans’ ability to discern relevant information. The third tipping point was the appearance of technology capable of accumulating and manipulating vast amounts of information outside humans, thus removing them as bottlenecks to a seemingly self-perpetuating process of knowledge explosion. Important components of any discussion of cultural evolutionary tipping points are tempo and mode, given that the rate of change, as well as the kind of change, in information storage and transmission has not been constant over the previous million years. PMID:23267338

  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. A program for at-risk high school students informed by evolutionary science.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Sloan Wilson

    Full Text Available Improving the academic performance of at-risk high school students has proven difficult, often calling for an extended day, extended school year, and other expensive measures. Here we report the results of a program for at-risk 9th and 10th graders in Binghamton, New York, called the Regents Academy that takes place during the normal school day and year. The design of the program is informed by the evolutionary dynamics of cooperation and learning, in general and for our species as a unique product of biocultural evolution. Not only did the Regents Academy students outperform their comparison group in a randomized control design, but they performed on a par with the average high school student in Binghamton on state-mandated exams. All students can benefit from the social environment provided for at-risk students at the Regents Academy, which is within the reach of most public school districts.

  13. 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 related uncertainty in future spatial patterns of conservation-related outcomes make it difficult to implement standard conservation and land-use planning paradigms. A recent study translates Markowitz’s risk diversification strategy from finance to conservation settings, enabling policy makers and conservation agents to use this diversification strategy for allocating conservation and restoration investments across space to overcome such uncertainty. However this method is information intensive and requires a large number of climate change scenarios for carrying out fine scale conservation planning. We develop an iterative portfolio 47 analysis technique that enables policy makers and conservation agents to allocate scarce conservation resources across a desired level of sub-regions in a planning landscape in the absence of sufficient number of climate scenarios. We use a case study of the Prairie Pothole Region to show that lack of sufficient information prevents a conservation agent from attaining the most efficient risk-return conservation outcomes. However, our iterative approach enables a decision maker to do fine-scale portfolio allocation with limited available climate change forecasts in a manner that obtains the best possible risk-return combinations, especially when targeting low risk opportunities.

  14. Exchange of genetic information between therian X and Y chromosome gametologs in old evolutionary strata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peneder, Peter; Wallner, Barbara; Vogl, Claus

    2017-10-01

    Therian X and Y sex chromosomes arose from a pair of autosomes. Y chromosomes consist of a pseudoautosomal region that crosses over with the X chromosome and a male-specific Y-chromosomal region that does not. The X chromosome can be structured into "evolutionary strata". Divergence of X-chromosomal genes from their gametologs is similar within a stratum, but differs among strata, likely caused by a different onset of suppression of crossing over between gametologs. After stratum formation, exchange of information between gametologs has long been believed absent; however, recent studies have shown limited exchange, likely through gene conversion. Herein we investigate exchange of genetic information between gametologs in old strata that formed before the split of Laurasiatheria (cattle) from Euarchontoglires (primates and rodents) with a new phylogenetic approach. A prerequisite for our test is an overall preradiative topology, that is, all X-chromosomal gametologs are more similar among themselves than to Y-chromosomal sequences. Screening multiple sequence alignments of the coding sequences of genes from cattle, mice, and humans identified four genes, DDX3X/Y,RBMX/Y,USP9X/Y, and UTX/Y, exhibiting a preradiation topology. Applying our test, we detected exchange of genetic information between all four X and Y gametologs after stratum formation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Premise of the study: 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...

  16. Highly Accurate Prediction of Protein-Protein Interactions via Incorporating Evolutionary Information and Physicochemical Characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zheng-Wei Li

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Protein-protein interactions (PPIs occur at almost all levels of cell functions and play crucial roles in various cellular processes. Thus, identification of PPIs is critical for deciphering the molecular mechanisms and further providing insight into biological processes. Although a variety of high-throughput experimental techniques have been developed to identify PPIs, existing PPI pairs by experimental approaches only cover a small fraction of the whole PPI networks, and further, those approaches hold inherent disadvantages, such as being time-consuming, expensive, and having high false positive rate. Therefore, it is urgent and imperative to develop automatic in silico approaches to predict PPIs efficiently and accurately. In this article, we propose a novel mixture of physicochemical and evolutionary-based feature extraction method for predicting PPIs using our newly developed discriminative vector machine (DVM classifier. The improvements of the proposed method mainly consist in introducing an effective feature extraction method that can capture discriminative features from the evolutionary-based information and physicochemical characteristics, and then a powerful and robust DVM classifier is employed. To the best of our knowledge, it is the first time that DVM model is applied to the field of bioinformatics. When applying the proposed method to the Yeast and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori datasets, we obtain excellent prediction accuracies of 94.35% and 90.61%, respectively. The computational results indicate that our method is effective and robust for predicting PPIs, and can be taken as a useful supplementary tool to the traditional experimental methods for future proteomics research.

  17. Wildlife forensics: Genomics has become a powerful tool to inform conservation measures

    OpenAIRE

    Wolinsky, Howard

    2012-01-01

    Genomics has become a powerful tool for conservationists to track individual animals, analyse populations and inform conservation management. But as helpful as these techniques are, they are not a substitute for stricter measures to protect threatened species.

  18. 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/).

  19. 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.

  20. How Cultural Evolutionary Theory Can Inform Social Psychology and Vice Versa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mesoudi, Alex

    2009-01-01

    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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OLGA L MONTENEGRO

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

  4. Cybersemiotics: An Evolutionary World View Going Beyond Entropy and Information into the Question of Meaning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren Brier

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available What makes Cybersemiotics different from other approaches attempting to produce a transdisciplinary theory of information, cognition and communication is its absolute naturalism, which forces us to view life, consciousness and cultural meaning all as a part of nature and evolution. It thus opposes a number of orthodoxies: 1. The physico-chemical scientific paradigm based on third person objective empirical knowledge and mathematical theory, but with no conceptions of experiental life, meaning and first person embodied consciousness and therefore meaningful linguistic intersubjectivity; 2. The biological and natural historical science approach understood as the combination of genetic evolutionary theory with an ecological and thermodynamic view based on the evolution of experiental living systems as the ground fact and engaged in a search for empirical truth, yet doing so without a theory of meaning and first person embodied consciousness and thereby linguistic meaningful intersubjectivity; 3. The linguistic-cultural-social structuralist constructivism that sees all knowledge as constructions of meaning produced by the intersubjective web of language, cultural mentality and power, but with no concept of empirical truth, life, evolution, ecology and a very weak concept of subjective embodied first person consciousness even while taking conscious intersubjective communication and knowledge processes as the basic fact to study (the linguistic turn; 4. Any approach which takes the qualitative distinction between subject and object as the ground fact, on which all meaningful knowledge is based, considering all result of the sciences including linguistics and embodiment of consciousness as secondary knowledge, as opposed to a phenomenological (Husserl or actually phaneroscopic (Peirce first person point of view considering conscious meaningful experiences in advance of the subject/object distinction. The phaneroscopic semiotics includes an

  5. PRELIMINARY REVIEW OF NECPA GENERATED INFORMATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE OFFICE OF CONSERVATION AND SOLAR APPLICATIONS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rivera, R. G.; Nieves, A. L.

    1979-03-01

    Effective implementation of energy conservation policy requires large quantities of various types of good quality, timely data. To obtain the desired data, the information requirements must first be identified so that they can be communicated in a justifiable form to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and other data collecting organizations. This report represents the initial results of an effort to describe the general information needed by the Office of Conservation and Solar Applications (CS) to carry out their responsibility in implementing the National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA). The assessment of the NECPA-generated information requirements is organized around the conservation programs for utilities, residences, industry, federal and public buildings and transportation. This assessment identifies the factors that generate the information requirements (sections, parts and titles of NECPA), describes the general information needed to implement the act and references potential sources of data. Appendix A contains a summary of this assessment in,table form. This report is the first in a series in a study to assess the information and data requirements of the Conservation and Solar Office. Subsequent reports will concentrate on specific programs to access detailed data needs .

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haddley Kate

    2011-05-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Entropic Profiler - detection of conservation in genomes using information theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Francisco; Freitas, Ana T; Almeida, Jonas S; Vinga, Susana

    2009-05-05

    In the last decades, with the successive availability of whole genome sequences, many research efforts have been made to mathematically model DNA. Entropic Profiles (EP) were proposed recently as a new measure of continuous entropy of genome sequences. EP represent local information plots related to DNA randomness and are based on information theory and statistical concepts. They express the weighed relative abundance of motifs for each position in genomes. Their study is very relevant because under or over-representation segments are often associated with significant biological meaning. The Entropic Profiler application here presented is a new tool designed to detect and extract under and over-represented DNA segments in genomes by using EP. It allows its computation in a very efficient way by recurring to improved algorithms and data structures, which include modified suffix trees. Available through a web interface http://kdbio.inesc-id.pt/software/ep/ and as downloadable source code, it allows to study positions and to search for motifs inside the whole sequence or within a specified range. DNA sequences can be entered from different sources, including FASTA files, pre-loaded examples or resuming a previously saved work. Besides the EP value plots, p-values and z-scores for each motif are also computed, along with the Chaos Game Representation of the sequence. EP are directly related with the statistical significance of motifs and can be considered as a new method to extract and classify significant regions in genomes and estimate local scales in DNA. The present implementation establishes an efficient and useful tool for whole genome analysis.

  9. 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

  10. RECENT ADVANCES IN FUNCTIONAL REGION PREDICTION BY USING STRUCTURAL AND EVOLUTIONARY INFORMATION – REMAINING PROBLEMS AND FUTURE EXTENSIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wataru Nemoto

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Structural genomics projects have solved many new structures with unknown functions. One strategy to investigate the function of a structure is to computationally find the functionally important residues or regions on it. Therefore, the development of functional region prediction methods has become an important research subject. An effective approach is to use a method employing structural and evolutionary information, such as the evolutionary trace (ET method. ET ranks the residues of a protein structure by calculating the scores for relative evolutionary importance, and locates functionally important sites by identifying spatial clusters of highly ranked residues. After ET was developed, numerous ET-like methods were subsequently reported, and many of them are in practical use, although they require certain conditions. In this mini review, we first introduce the remaining problems and the recent improvements in the methods using structural and evolutionary information. We then summarize the recent developments of the methods. Finally, we conclude by describing possible extensions of the evolution- and structure-based methods.

  11. Using Pro-Environmental Information to Modify Conservation Behavior: Paper Recycling and Reuse

    OpenAIRE

    Wichmann, Bruno; Luckert, Martin; Bissonnette, Katrina; Cumberland, Alyssa; Doll, Claire; Gupta, Tanishka; Shi, Yuan

    2017-01-01

    In cases where market policy instruments (e.g., taxes and quotas) are impractical tools to induce conservation behavior, information campaigns may be a valuable option. We use a difference-in-differences strategy to estimate the effectiveness a signage campaign for inducing paper recycling and reuse behavior in computer labs. We find that the implementation of signage with pro-environment appeals increases the probability of conservation behavior (i.e., recycling or reuse) by approximately 13...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    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/). PMID:23387468

  13. 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.

  14. Using a social-ecological framework to inform the implementation of conservation plans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero, Angela M; Wilson, Kerrie A

    2017-04-01

    One of the key determinants of success in biodiversity conservation is how well conservation planning decisions account for the social system in which actions are to be implemented. Understanding elements of how the social and ecological systems interact can help identify opportunities for implementation. Utilizing data from a large-scale conservation initiative in southwestern of Australia, we explored how a social-ecological system framework can be applied to identify how social and ecological factors interact to influence the opportunities for conservation. Using data from semistructured interviews, an online survey, and publicly available data, we developed a conceptual model of the social-ecological system associated with the conservation of the Fitz-Stirling region. We used this model to identify the relevant variables (remnants of vegetation, stakeholder presence, collaboration between stakeholders, and their scale of management) that affect the implementation of conservation actions in the region. We combined measures for these variables to ascertain how areas associated with different levels of ecological importance coincided with areas associated with different levels of stakeholder presence, stakeholder collaboration, and scales of management. We identified areas that could benefit from different implementation strategies, from those suitable for immediate conservation action to areas requiring implementation over the long term to increase on-the-ground capacity and identify mechanisms to incentivize implementation. The application of a social-ecological framework can help conservation planners and practitioners facilitate the integration of ecological and social data to inform the translation of priorities for action into implementation strategies that account for the complexities of conservation problems in a focused way. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. 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.

  16. Explaining forest productivity using tree functional traits and phylogenetic information: two sides of the same coin over evolutionary scale?

    OpenAIRE

    Paquette, Alain; Joly, Simon; Messier, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Given evidences that diverse ecosystems provide more services than depauperate ones, much attention has now turned toward finding meaningful and operational diversity indices. We ask two questions: (1) Does phylogenetic diversity contain additional information not explained by functional traits? And (2) What are the strength and nature of the correlation between phylogeny and functional traits according to the evolutionary scale considered? We used data from permanent forest plots of northeas...

  17. Genetic Code Evolution Reveals the Neutral Emergence of Mutational Robustness, and Information as an Evolutionary Constraint

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven E. Massey

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The standard genetic code (SGC is central to molecular biology and its origin and evolution is a fundamental problem in evolutionary biology, the elucidation of which promises to reveal much about the origins of life. In addition, we propose that study of its origin can also reveal some fundamental and generalizable insights into mechanisms of molecular evolution, utilizing concepts from complexity theory. The first is that beneficial traits may arise by non-adaptive processes, via a process of “neutral emergence”. The structure of the SGC is optimized for the property of error minimization, which reduces the deleterious impact of point mutations. Via simulation, it can be shown that genetic codes with error minimization superior to the SGC can emerge in a neutral fashion simply by a process of genetic code expansion via tRNA and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase duplication, whereby similar amino acids are added to codons related to that of the parent amino acid. This process of neutral emergence has implications beyond that of the genetic code, as it suggests that not all beneficial traits have arisen by the direct action of natural selection; we term these “pseudaptations”, and discuss a range of potential examples. Secondly, consideration of genetic code deviations (codon reassignments reveals that these are mostly associated with a reduction in proteome size. This code malleability implies the existence of a proteomic constraint on the genetic code, proportional to the size of the proteome (P, and that its reduction in size leads to an “unfreezing” of the codon – amino acid mapping that defines the genetic code, consistent with Crick’s Frozen Accident theory. The concept of a proteomic constraint may be extended to propose a general informational constraint on genetic fidelity, which may be used to explain variously, differences in mutation rates in genomes with differing proteome sizes, differences in DNA repair capacity and genome

  18. Phylogeography of the endangered rosewood Dalbergia nigra (Fabaceae): insights into the evolutionary history and conservation of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, R A; Lemos-Filho, J P; Ramos, A C S; Lovato, M B

    2011-01-01

    The Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) is an endangered tree endemic to the central Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one of the world's most threatened biomes. The population diversity, phylogeographic structure and demographic history of this species were investigated using the variation in the chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) sequences of 185 individuals from 19 populations along the geographical range of the species. Fifteen haplotypes were detected in the analysis of 1297 bp from two non-coding sequences, trnV-trnM and trnL. We identified a strong genetic structure (FST=0.62, Pclimatic changes in the central part of the Atlantic forest, with cycles of forest expansion and contraction, may have led to repeated vicariance events, resulting in the genetic differentiation of these groups. Based on comparisons among the populations of large reserves and small, disturbed fragments of the same phylogeographic group, we also found evidence of recent anthropogenic effects on genetic diversity. The results were also analysed with the aim of contributing to the conservation of D. nigra. We suggest that the three phylogeographic groups could be considered as three distinct management units. Based on the genetic diversity and uniqueness of the populations, we also indicate priority areas for conservation. PMID:20517347

  19. 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.

  20. Geospatial Information Informs Bonobo (pan Paniscus) Conservation Efforts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nackoney, J.; Hickey, J.; Williams, D.; Facheux, C.; Dupain, J.

    2014-12-01

    The bonobo (Pan paniscus), a great ape that is endemic to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has been listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 2007. Hunting and habitat loss are primary threats. Two recent wars and ongoing conflicts in the DRC have resulted in political and economic instability that hampers on-the-ground work, thereby accentuating the importance of spatial data and maps as tools for monitoring threats remotely and prioritizing locations for safeguarding bonobo habitat. Several regional and rangewide efforts have leveraged the utility of existing spatial data to help focus limited resources for effective broad-scale conservation of these great apes. At local scales, we developed spatial models to identify locations of highest hunting pressure, predict future human settlement and agricultural expansion, map areas of highest conservation value to bonobos, and identify the connective corridors linking them. We identified 42 least-disturbed wildland blocks meeting the minimum home range size needed for bonobos, and 32 potential corridors. At the range-wide scale, we developed a first range-wide spatial model of suitable conditions for the bonobo; this was a major contribution to the development of a Bonobo Conservation Strategy for 2012-2022, recently published by IUCN. The model used a forest edge density metric and other biotic and abiotic variables in conjunction with bonobo nest data collected during 2003-2010 by over 40 bonobo researchers. Approximately 28% of the range was predicted suitable; of that, about 27.5% was located in official protected areas. Highlighting these examples, this presentation will discuss the conservation status of bonobos and how spatial data and models are being utilized for the formation of strategic conservation plans.

  1. Recovering the evolutionary history of crowned pigeons (Columbidae: Goura): Implications for the biogeography and conservation of New Guinean lowland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruxaux, Jade; Gabrielli, Maëva; Ashari, Hidayat; Prŷs-Jones, Robert; Joseph, Leo; Milá, Borja; Besnard, Guillaume; Thébaud, Christophe

    2017-12-01

    Assessing the relative contributions of immigration and diversification into the buildup of species diversity is key to understanding the role of historical processes in driving biogeographical and diversification patterns in species-rich regions. Here, we investigated how colonization, in situ speciation, and extinction history may have generated the present-day distribution and diversity of Goura crowned pigeons (Columbidae), a group of large forest-dwelling pigeons comprising four recognized species that are all endemic to New Guinea. We used a comprehensive geographical and taxonomic sampling based mostly on historical museum samples, and shallow shotgun sequencing, to generate complete mitogenomes, nuclear ribosomal clusters and independent nuclear conserved DNA elements. We used these datasets independently to reconstruct molecular phylogenies. Divergence time estimates were obtained using mitochondrial data only. All analyses revealed similar genetic divisions within the genus Goura and recovered as monophyletic groups the four species currently recognized, providing support for recent taxonomic changes based on differences in plumage characters. These four species are grouped into two pairs of strongly supported sister species, which were previously not recognized as close relatives: Goura sclaterii with Goura cristata, and Goura victoria with Goura scheepmakeri. While the geographical origin of the Goura lineage remains elusive, the crown age of 5.73 Ma is consistent with present-day species diversity being the result of a recent diversification within New Guinea. Although the orogeny of New Guinea's central cordillera must have played a role in driving diversification in Goura, cross-barrier dispersal seems more likely than vicariance to explain the speciation events having led to the four current species. Our results also have important conservation implications. Future assessments of the conservation status of Goura species should consider threat

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. InterEvDock: a docking server to predict the structure of protein–protein interactions using evolutionary information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jinchao; Vavrusa, Marek; Andreani, Jessica; Rey, Julien; Tufféry, Pierre; Guerois, Raphaël

    2016-01-01

    The structural modeling of protein–protein interactions is key in understanding how cell machineries cross-talk with each other. Molecular docking simulations provide efficient means to explore how two unbound protein structures interact. InterEvDock is a server for protein docking based on a free rigid-body docking strategy. A systematic rigid-body docking search is performed using the FRODOCK program and the resulting models are re-scored with InterEvScore and SOAP-PP statistical potentials. The InterEvScore potential was specifically designed to integrate co-evolutionary information in the docking process. InterEvDock server is thus particularly well suited in case homologous sequences are available for both binding partners. The server returns 10 structures of the most likely consensus models together with 10 predicted residues most likely involved in the interface. In 91% of all complexes tested in the benchmark, at least one residue out of the 10 predicted is involved in the interface, providing useful guidelines for mutagenesis. InterEvDock is able to identify a correct model among the top10 models for 49% of the rigid-body cases with evolutionary information, making it a unique and efficient tool to explore structural interactomes under an evolutionary perspective. The InterEvDock web interface is available at http://bioserv.rpbs.univ-paris-diderot.fr/services/InterEvDock/. PMID:27131368

  5. 75 FR 19953 - Agency Information Collection: Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Survey of Field...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-16

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Agency Information Collection: Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products: Survey of Field Energy Consumption of Residential Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers, and Freezers AGENCY: U.S. Department of Energy...

  6. 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…

  7. 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'…

  8. 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.

  9. Use of evolutionary information in the fitting of atomic level protein models in low resolution cryo-EM map of a protein assembly improves the accuracy of the fitting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Agnel P; Swapna, Lakshmipuram S; Rakesh, Ramachandran; Srinivasan, Narayanaswamy

    2016-09-01

    Protein-protein interface residues, especially those at the core of the interface, exhibit higher conservation than residues in solvent exposed regions. Here, we explore the ability of this differential conservation to evaluate fittings of atomic models in low-resolution cryo-EM maps and select models from the ensemble of solutions that are often proposed by different model fitting techniques. As a prelude, using a non-redundant and high-resolution structural dataset involving 125 permanent and 95 transient complexes, we confirm that core interface residues are conserved significantly better than nearby non-interface residues and this result is used in the cryo-EM map analysis. From the analysis of inter-component interfaces in a set of fitted models associated with low-resolution cryo-EM maps of ribosomes, chaperones and proteasomes we note that a few poorly conserved residues occur at interfaces. Interestingly a few conserved residues are not in the interface, though they are close to the interface. These observations raise the potential requirement of refitting the models in the cryo-EM maps. We show that sampling an ensemble of models and selection of models with high residue conservation at the interface and in good agreement with the density helps in improving the accuracy of the fit. This study indicates that evolutionary information can serve as an additional input to improve and validate fitting of atomic models in cryo-EM density maps. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Informing Species Conservation at Multiple Scales Using Data Collected for Marine Mammal Stock Assessments

    OpenAIRE

    Alana Grech; James Sheppard; Helene Marsh

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Conservation planning and the design of marine protected areas (MPAs) requires spatially explicit information on the distribution of ecological features. Most species of marine mammals range over large areas and across multiple planning regions. The spatial distributions of marine mammals are difficult to predict using habitat modelling at ecological scales because of insufficient understanding of their habitat needs, however, relevant information may be available from surveys con...

  11. 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

    2015-02-01

    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. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Evolutionary conservation of the signaling proteins upstream of cyclic AMP-dependent kinase and protein kinase C in gastropod mollusks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sossin, Wayne S; Abrams, Thomas W

    2009-01-01

    The protein kinase C (PKC) and the cAMP-dependent kinase (protein kinase A; PKA) pathways are known to play important roles in behavioral plasticity and learning in the nervous systems of a wide variety of species across phyla. We briefly review the members of the PKC and PKA family and focus on the evolution of the immediate upstream activators of PKC and PKA i.e., phospholipase C (PLC) and adenylyl cyclase (AC), and their conservation in gastropod mollusks, taking advantage of the recent assembly of the Aplysiacalifornica and Lottia gigantea genomes. The diversity of PLC and AC family members present in mollusks suggests a multitude of possible mechanisms to activate PKA and PKC; we briefly discuss the relevance of these pathways to the known physiological activation of these kinases in Aplysia neurons during plasticity and learning. These multiple mechanisms of activation provide the gastropod nervous system with tremendous flexibility for implementing neuromodulatory responses to both neuronal activity and extracellular signals. Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. cDNA sequence, genomic organization, and evolutionary conservation of a novel gene from the WAGR region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwartz, F.; Eisenman, R.; Knoll, J.; Bruns, G. [Children`s Hospital and Department of Pediatrics, Boston, MA (United States)

    1995-09-20

    A new gene (239FB) with predominant and differential expression in fetal brain has recently been isolated from a chromosome 11p13-p14 boundary area near FSHB. The corresponding mRNA has an open reading frame of 294 amino acids, a 3` untranslated region of 1247 nucleotides, and a highly GC-rich 5` untranslated region. The coding and 3` UT sequence is specified by 6 exons within nearly 87 kb of isolated genomic locus. The 5` end region of the transcript maps adjacent to the only genomically defined CpG island in a chromosomal subregion that may be associated with part of the mental retardation of some WAGR (Wilms tumor, aniridia, genitourinary anomalies, and mental retardation) syndrome patients. In addition to nucleotide and amino acid similarity to an EST from a normalized infant brain cDNA library, the predicted protein has extensive similarity to Caenorhbditis elegans polypeptides of, as yet, unknown function. The 239FB locus is, therefore, likely part of a family of genes with two members expressed in human brain. The extensive conservation of the predicted protein suggests a fundamental function of the gene product and will enable evaluation of the role of the 239FB gene in neurogenesis in model organisms. 48 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  14. Structure of Fusarium poae virus 1 shows conserved and variable elements of partitivirus capsids and evolutionary relationships to picobirnavirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Jinghua; Ochoa, Wendy F; Li, Hua; Havens, Wendy M; Nibert, Max L; Ghabrial, Said A; Baker, Timothy S

    2010-12-01

    Filamentous fungus Fusarium poae is a worldwide cause of the economically important disease Fusarium head blight of cereal grains. The fungus is itself commonly infected with a bisegmented dsRNA virus from the family Partitiviridae. For this study, we determined the structure of partitivirus Fusarium poae virus 1 (FpV1) to a resolution of 5.6Å or better by electron cryomicroscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction. The main structural features of FpV1 are consistent with those of two other fungal partitiviruses for which high-resolution structures have been recently reported. These shared features include a 120-subunit T=1 capsid comprising 60 quasisymmetrical capsid protein dimers with both shell and protruding domains. Distinguishing features are evident throughout the FpV1 capsid, however, consistent with its more massive subunits and its greater phylogenetic divergence relative to the other two structurally characterized partitiviruses. These results broaden our understanding of conserved and variable elements of fungal partitivirus structure, as well as that of vertebrate picobirnavirus, and support the suggestion that a phylogenetic subcluster of partitiviruses closely related to FpV1 should constitute a separate taxonomic genus. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Evolutionary Expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, Ulrik William

    2014-01-01

    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......, 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......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...

  16. 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.

  17. Molecular Characterization and Expression Profiling of Brachypodium distachyon L. Cystatin Genes Reveal High Evolutionary Conservation and Functional Divergence in Response to Abiotic Stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saminathan Subburaj

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Cystatin is a class of proteins mainly involved in cysteine protease inhibition and plant growth and development, as well as tolerance under various abiotic stresses. In this study, we performed the first comprehensive analysis of the molecular characterization and expression profiling in response to various abiotic stresses of the cystatin gene family in Brachypodium distachyon, a novel model plant for Triticum species with huge genomes. Comprehensive searches of the Brachypodium genome database identified 25 B. distachyon cystatin (BdC genes that are distributed unevenly on chromosomes; of these, nine and two were involved in tandem and segmental duplication events, respectively. All BdC genes had similar exon/intron structural organization, with three conserved motifs similar to those from other plant species, indicating their high evolutionary conservation. Expression profiling of 10 typical BdC genes revealed ubiquitous expression in different organs at varying expression levels. BdC gene expression in seedling leaves was particularly highly induced by various abiotic stresses, including the plant hormone abscisic acid and various environmental cues (cold, H2O2, CdCl2, salt, and drought. Interestingly, most BdC genes were significantly upregulated under multiple abiotic stresses, including BdC15 under all stresses, BdC7-2 and BdC10 under five stresses, and BdC7-1, BdC2-1, BdC14, and BdC12 under four stresses. The putative metabolic pathways of cytastin genes in response to various abiotic stresses mainly involve the aberrant protein degradation pathway and reactive oxygen species (ROS-triggered programmed cell death signaling pathways. These observations provide a better understanding of the structural and functional characteristics of the plant cystatin gene family.

  18. 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

  19. Functional analysis of COP1 and SPA orthologs from Physcomitrella and rice during photomorphogenesis of transgenic Arabidopsis reveals distinct evolutionary conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranjan, Aashish; Dickopf, Stephen; Ullrich, Kristian K; Rensing, Stefan A; Hoecker, Ute

    2014-07-01

    Plants have evolved light sensing mechanisms to optimally adapt their growth and development to the ambient light environment. The COP1/SPA complex is a key negative regulator of light signaling in the well-studied dicot Arabidopsis thaliana. COP1 and members of the four SPA proteins are part of an E3 ubiquitin ligase that acts in darkness to ubiquitinate several transcription factors involved in light responses, thereby targeting them for degradation by the proteasome. While COP1 is also found in humans, SPA proteins appear specific to plants. Here, we have functionally addressed evolutionary conservation of COP1 and SPA orthologs from the moss Physcomitrella, the monocot rice and the dicot Arabidopsis. To this end, we analyzed the activities of COP1- and SPA-like proteins from Physcomitrella patens and rice when expressed in Arabidopsis. Expression of rice COP1 and Physcomitrella COP1 protein sequences predominantly complemented all phenotypic aspects of the viable, hypomorphic cop1-4 mutant and the null, seedling-lethal cop1-5 mutant of Arabidopsis: rice COP1 fully rescued the constitutive-photomorphogenesis phenotype in darkness and the leaf expansion defect of cop1 mutants, while it partially restored normal photoperiodic flowering in cop1. Physcomitrella COP1 partially restored normal seedling growth and flowering time, while it fully restored normal leaf expansion in the cop1 mutants. In contrast, expression of a SPA ortholog from Physcomitrella (PpSPAb) in Arabidopsis spa mutants did not rescue any facet of the spa mutant phenotype, suggesting that the PpSPAb protein is not functionally conserved or that the Arabidopsis function evolved after the split of mosses and seed plants. The SPA1 ortholog from rice (OsSPA1) rescued the spa mutant phenotype in dark-grown seedlings, but did not complement any spa mutant phenotype in light-grown seedlings or in adult plants. Our results show that COP1 protein sequences from Physcomitrella, rice and Arabidopsis have

  20. Functional analysis of COP1 and SPA orthologs from Physcomitrella and rice during photomorphogenesis of transgenic Arabidopsis reveals distinct evolutionary conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background Plants have evolved light sensing mechanisms to optimally adapt their growth and development to the ambient light environment. The COP1/SPA complex is a key negative regulator of light signaling in the well-studied dicot Arabidopsis thaliana. COP1 and members of the four SPA proteins are part of an E3 ubiquitin ligase that acts in darkness to ubiquitinate several transcription factors involved in light responses, thereby targeting them for degradation by the proteasome. While COP1 is also found in humans, SPA proteins appear specific to plants. Here, we have functionally addressed evolutionary conservation of COP1 and SPA orthologs from the moss Physcomitrella, the monocot rice and the dicot Arabidopsis. Results To this end, we analyzed the activities of COP1- and SPA-like proteins from Physcomitrella patens and rice when expressed in Arabidopsis. Expression of rice COP1 and Physcomitrella COP1 protein sequences predominantly complemented all phenotypic aspects of the viable, hypomorphic cop1-4 mutant and the null, seedling-lethal cop1-5 mutant of Arabidopsis: rice COP1 fully rescued the constitutive-photomorphogenesis phenotype in darkness and the leaf expansion defect of cop1 mutants, while it partially restored normal photoperiodic flowering in cop1. Physcomitrella COP1 partially restored normal seedling growth and flowering time, while it fully restored normal leaf expansion in the cop1 mutants. In contrast, expression of a SPA ortholog from Physcomitrella (PpSPAb) in Arabidopsis spa mutants did not rescue any facet of the spa mutant phenotype, suggesting that the PpSPAb protein is not functionally conserved or that the Arabidopsis function evolved after the split of mosses and seed plants. The SPA1 ortholog from rice (OsSPA1) rescued the spa mutant phenotype in dark-grown seedlings, but did not complement any spa mutant phenotype in light-grown seedlings or in adult plants. Conclusion Our results show that COP1 protein sequences from Physcomitrella

  1. Vehicles, Replicators, and Intercellular Movement of Genetic Information: Evolutionary Dissection of a Bacterial Cell

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matti Jalasvuori

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Prokaryotic biosphere is vastly diverse in many respects. Any given bacterial cell may harbor in different combinations viruses, plasmids, transposons, and other genetic elements along with their chromosome(s. These agents interact in complex environments in various ways causing multitude of phenotypic effects on their hosting cells. In this discussion I perform a dissection for a bacterial cell in order to simplify the diversity into components that may help approach the ocean of details in evolving microbial worlds. The cell itself is separated from all the genetic replicators that use the cell vehicle for preservation and propagation. I introduce a classification that groups different replicators according to their horizontal movement potential between cells and according to their effects on the fitness of their present host cells. The classification is used to discuss and improve the means by which we approach general evolutionary tendencies in microbial communities. Moreover, the classification is utilized as a tool to help formulating evolutionary hypotheses and to discuss emerging bacterial pathogens as well as to promote understanding on the average phenotypes of different replicators in general. It is also discussed that any given biosphere comprising prokaryotic cell vehicles and genetic replicators may naturally evolve to have horizontally moving replicators of various types.

  2. Protein-Protein Interactions in a Crowded Environment: An Analysis via Cross-Docking Simulations and Evolutionary Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Anne; Sacquin-Mora, Sophie; Dimitrova, Viktoriya; Laine, Elodie; Ponty, Yann; Carbone, Alessandra

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale analyses of protein-protein interactions based on coarse-grain molecular docking simulations and binding site predictions resulting from evolutionary sequence analysis, are possible and realizable on hundreds of proteins with variate structures and interfaces. We demonstrated this on the 168 proteins of the Mintseris Benchmark 2.0. On the one hand, we evaluated the quality of the interaction signal and the contribution of docking information compared to evolutionary information showing that the combination of the two improves partner identification. On the other hand, since protein interactions usually occur in crowded environments with several competing partners, we realized a thorough analysis of the interactions of proteins with true partners but also with non-partners to evaluate whether proteins in the environment, competing with the true partner, affect its identification. We found three populations of proteins: strongly competing, never competing, and interacting with different levels of strength. Populations and levels of strength are numerically characterized and provide a signature for the behavior of a protein in the crowded environment. We showed that partner identification, to some extent, does not depend on the competing partners present in the environment, that certain biochemical classes of proteins are intrinsically easier to analyze than others, and that small proteins are not more promiscuous than large ones. Our approach brings to light that the knowledge of the binding site can be used to reduce the high computational cost of docking simulations with no consequence in the quality of the results, demonstrating the possibility to apply coarse-grain docking to datasets made of thousands of proteins. Comparison with all available large-scale analyses aimed to partner predictions is realized. We release the complete decoys set issued by coarse-grain docking simulations of both true and false interacting partners, and their evolutionary

  3. 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

    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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Sequence-based antigenic change prediction by a sparse learning method incorporating co-evolutionary information.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jialiang Yang

    Full Text Available Rapid identification of influenza antigenic variants will be critical in selecting optimal vaccine candidates and thus a key to developing an effective vaccination program. Recent studies suggest that multiple simultaneous mutations at antigenic sites accumulatively enhance antigenic drift of influenza A viruses. However, pre-existing methods on antigenic variant identification are based on analyses from individual sites. Because the impacts of these co-evolved sites on influenza antigenicity may not be additive, it will be critical to quantify the impact of not only those single mutations but also multiple simultaneous mutations or co-evolved sites. Here, we developed and applied a computational method, AntigenCO, to identify and quantify both single and co-evolutionary sites driving the historical antigenic drifts. AntigenCO achieved an accuracy of up to 90.05% for antigenic variant prediction, significantly outperforming methods based on single sites. AntigenCO can be useful in antigenic variant identification in influenza surveillance.

  9. Spiritual care as a response to an exaptation: how evolutionary psychology informs the debate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevern, Peter

    2017-04-01

    This article has its origins in a 2013 proposal by the author that the concept of 'spiritual care' in clinical settings might fruitfully be grounded in the findings of the Cognitive Science of Religion (CSR). In a recent paper, John Paley rejects the central arguments and asserts his conviction that a model for 'spiritual care' cannot be derived from the insights of evolutionary psychology. In this article, the author employs a modified form of Fichtean dialectic to examine the contrasting positions and, via a process of analysis and synthesis, identify the key areas for further exploration and research. He concludes, first, that CSR in itself does not provide a sufficient theoretical justification for the notion and practice of 'spiritual care'; secondly, that any attempt to develop a general theory of spiritual care would need to pay closer attention to the role of historically situated religious communities; and finally, that these objections nevertheless do not amount to an argument against the attempt to provide spiritual care as part of person-centred care. Instead, a revised model is proposed which has the potential to provide testable predictions in this field. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  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. Combining evolutionary information extracted from frequency profiles with sequence-based kernels for protein remote homology detection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Bin; Zhang, Deyuan; Xu, Ruifeng; Xu, Jinghao; Wang, Xiaolong; Chen, Qingcai; Dong, Qiwen; Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2014-02-15

    Owing to its importance in both basic research (such as molecular evolution and protein attribute prediction) and practical application (such as timely modeling the 3D structures of proteins targeted for drug development), protein remote homology detection has attracted a great deal of interest. It is intriguing to note that the profile-based approach is promising and holds high potential in this regard. To further improve protein remote homology detection, a key step is how to find an optimal means to extract the evolutionary information into the profiles. Here, we propose a novel approach, the so-called profile-based protein representation, to extract the evolutionary information via the frequency profiles. The latter can be calculated from the multiple sequence alignments generated by PSI-BLAST. Three top performing sequence-based kernels (SVM-Ngram, SVM-pairwise and SVM-LA) were combined with the profile-based protein representation. Various tests were conducted on a SCOP benchmark dataset that contains 54 families and 23 superfamilies. The results showed that the new approach is promising, and can obviously improve the performance of the three kernels. Furthermore, our approach can also provide useful insights for studying the features of proteins in various families. It has not escaped our notice that the current approach can be easily combined with the existing sequence-based methods so as to improve their performance as well. For users' convenience, the source code of generating the profile-based proteins and the multiple kernel learning was also provided at http://bioinformatics.hitsz.edu.cn/main/~binliu/remote/

  14. 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/ .

  15. Informing species conservation at multiple scales using data collected for marine mammal stock assessments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alana Grech

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Conservation planning and the design of marine protected areas (MPAs requires spatially explicit information on the distribution of ecological features. Most species of marine mammals range over large areas and across multiple planning regions. The spatial distributions of marine mammals are difficult to predict using habitat modelling at ecological scales because of insufficient understanding of their habitat needs, however, relevant information may be available from surveys conducted to inform mandatory stock assessments. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: We use a 20-year time series of systematic aerial surveys of dugong (Dugong dugong abundance to create spatially-explicit models of dugong distribution and relative density at the scale of the coastal waters of northeast Australia (∼136,000 km(2. We interpolated the corrected data at the scale of 2 km * 2 km planning units using geostatistics. Planning units were classified as low, medium, high and very high dugong density on the basis of the relative density of dugongs estimated from the models and a frequency analysis. Torres Strait was identified as the most significant dugong habitat in northeast Australia and the most globally significant habitat known for any member of the Order Sirenia. The models are used by local, State and Federal agencies to inform management decisions related to the Indigenous harvest of dugongs, gill-net fisheries and Australia's National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: In this paper we demonstrate that spatially-explicit population models add value to data collected for stock assessments, provide a robust alternative to predictive habitat distribution models, and inform species conservation at multiple scales.

  16. Informing species conservation at multiple scales using data collected for marine mammal stock assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grech, Alana; Sheppard, James; Marsh, Helene

    2011-03-28

    Conservation planning and the design of marine protected areas (MPAs) requires spatially explicit information on the distribution of ecological features. Most species of marine mammals range over large areas and across multiple planning regions. The spatial distributions of marine mammals are difficult to predict using habitat modelling at ecological scales because of insufficient understanding of their habitat needs, however, relevant information may be available from surveys conducted to inform mandatory stock assessments. We use a 20-year time series of systematic aerial surveys of dugong (Dugong dugong) abundance to create spatially-explicit models of dugong distribution and relative density at the scale of the coastal waters of northeast Australia (∼136,000 km(2)). We interpolated the corrected data at the scale of 2 km * 2 km planning units using geostatistics. Planning units were classified as low, medium, high and very high dugong density on the basis of the relative density of dugongs estimated from the models and a frequency analysis. Torres Strait was identified as the most significant dugong habitat in northeast Australia and the most globally significant habitat known for any member of the Order Sirenia. The models are used by local, State and Federal agencies to inform management decisions related to the Indigenous harvest of dugongs, gill-net fisheries and Australia's National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas. In this paper we demonstrate that spatially-explicit population models add value to data collected for stock assessments, provide a robust alternative to predictive habitat distribution models, and inform species conservation at multiple scales.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Evolutionary theory as a tool for predicting extinction risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, Austin J; Hammerschlag, Neil; Cooke, Steven J; Costa, Daniel P; Irschick, Duncan J

    2015-02-01

    Timely and proactive wildlife conservation requires strategies for determining which species are most at the greatest threat of extinction. Here, we suggest that evolutionary theory, particularly the concept of specialization, can be a useful tool to inform such assessments and may greatly aid in our ability to predict the vulnerabilities of species to anthropogenic impacts. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. 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.

  2. INTEGRATION OF 3D MODELS AND DIAGNOSTIC ANALYSES THROUGH A CONSERVATION-ORIENTED INFORMATION SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Mandelli

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. Self-similarity, conservation of entropy/bits and the black hole information puzzle

    CERN Document Server

    Singleton, Douglas; Zhu, Tao

    2013-01-01

    John Wheeler coined the phrase ``it from bit" or ``bit from it" in the 1980s. However, much of the interest in the connection between information, i.e. ``bits", and physical objects, i.e. ``its", stems from the discovery that black holes have characteristics of thermodynamic systems having entropies and temperatures. This insight led to the information loss problem -- what happens to the ``bits" when the black hole has evaporated away due to the energy loss from Hawking radiation? In this essay we speculate on a conservative answer to this question using the assumption of self-similarity of quantum correction to the gravitational action and the requirement that the quantum corrected entropy be well behaved in the limit when the black hole mass goes to zero.

  4. Employing Predictive Spatial Models to Inform Conservation Planning for Seabirds in the Labrador Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Fifield

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Seabirds are vulnerable to incidental harm from human activities in the ocean, and knowledge of their seasonal distribution is required to assess risk and effectively inform marine conservation planning. Significant hydrocarbon discoveries and exploration licenses in the Labrador Sea underscore the need for quantitative information on seabird seasonal distribution and abundance, as this region is known to provide important habitat for seabirds year-round. We explore the utility of density surface modeling (DSM to improve seabird information available for regional conservation and management decision making. We, (1 develop seasonal density surface models for seabirds in the Labrador Sea using data from vessel-based surveys (2006–2014; 13,783 linear km of surveys, (2 present measures of uncertainty in model predictions, (3 discuss how density surface models can inform conservation and management decision making, and 4 explore challenges and potential pitfalls associated with using these modeling procedures. Models predicted large areas of high seabird density in fall over continental shelf waters (max. ~80 birds·km−2 driven largely by the southward migration of murres (Uria spp. and dovekies (Alle alle from Arctic breeding colonies. The continental shelf break was also highlighted as an important habitat feature, with predictions of high seabird densities particularly during summer (max. ~70 birds·km−2. Notable concentrations of seabirds overlapped with several significant hydrocarbon discoveries on the continental shelf and large areas in the vicinity of the southern shelf break, which are in the early stages of exploration. Some, but not all, areas of high seabird density were within current Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area (EBSA boundaries. Building predictive spatial models required knowledge of Distance Sampling and GAMs, and significant investments of time and computational power—resource needs that are becoming more

  5. Remotely Sensed Data Informs Red List Evaluations and Conservation Priorities in Southeast Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Binbin V; Hughes, Alice C; Jenkins, Clinton N; Ocampo-Peñuela, Natalia; Pimm, Stuart L

    2016-01-01

    The IUCN Red List has assessed the global distributions of the majority of the world's amphibians, birds and mammals. Yet these assessments lack explicit reference to widely available, remotely-sensed data that can sensibly inform a species' risk of extinction. Our first goal is to add additional quantitative data to the existing standardised process that IUCN employs. Secondly, we ask: do our results suggest species of concern-those at considerably greater risk than hitherto appreciated? Thirdly, these assessments are not only important on a species-by-species basis. By combining distributions of species of concern, we map conservation priorities. We ask to what degree these areas are currently protected and how might knowledge from remote sensing modify the priorities? Finally, we develop a quick and simple method to identify and modify the priority setting in a landscape where natural habitats are disappearing rapidly and so where conventional species' assessments might be too slow to respond. Tropical, mainland Southeast Asia is under exceptional threat, yet relatively poorly known. Here, additional quantitative measures may be particularly helpful. This region contains over 122, 183, and 214 endemic mammals, birds, and amphibians, respectively, of which the IUCN considers 37, 21, and 37 threatened. When corrected for the amount of remaining natural habitats within the known elevation preferences of species, the average sizes of species ranges shrink to amphibian ranges are conservation priorities.

  6. Sequence co-evolutionary information is a natural partner to minimally-frustrated models of biomolecular dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noel, Jeffrey K; Morcos, Faruck; Onuchic, Jose N

    2016-01-01

    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.

  7. Analysis of the mitochondrial COI gene and its informative potential for evolutionary inferences in the families Coreidae and Pentatomidae (Heteroptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, H V; Marchesin, S R C; Itoyama, M M

    2016-02-05

    The mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene is one of the most popular markers used for molecular systematics. Fragments of this gene are often used to infer phylogenies, particularly the region near the 5'-end, which is used by the DNA Barcoding Consortium. With a growing number of sequences being deposited in the DNA barcoding database, there is an urgent need to understand the evolution of this gene and its evolutionary relationship among species; it is also important to analyze the informative potential of the gene for phylogenetic inferences for each group used. In this study, the COI gene was divided into three distinct regions: a 5'-region, a central region, and a 3'-region. The nucleotide composition of these regions was analyzed, and their potential for making informative phylogenetic inferences using species in the families Coreidae and Pentatomidae (Heteroptera) was assessed. It was found that the same region in the COI gene may present different behaviors for each family analyzed, and that using additional regions from the same gene may even prejudice the analysis.

  8. The brain in the early fossil jawless vertebrates: evolutionary information from an empty nutshell.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janvier, P

    2008-03-18

    Various 535-365 million year-old extinct jawless vertebrates taxa provide either direct or indirect information about brain and cranial nerve morphology. The paraphyletic group referred to as "ostracoderms", includes some forms in which the braincase closely encapsulated the brain, thereby providing relatively accurate data about its overall external morphology. Current morphology-based phylogenies suggests that "ostracoderms" are in fact jawless stem gnathostomes, and the closely similar aspect of their brain cavity suggests that it illustrates the ancestral condition of the gnathostome brain and fills the morphological gap between the brain condition of the extant cyclostomes and that of the extant jawed vertebrates.

  9. Model-based estimators of density and connectivity to inform conservation of spatially structured populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, Dana J.; Fuller, Angela K.; Royle, J. Andrew; Sutherland, Chris

    2017-01-01

    Conservation and management of spatially structured populations is challenging because solutions must consider where individuals are located, but also differential individual space use as a result of landscape heterogeneity. A recent extension of spatial capture–recapture (SCR) models, the ecological distance model, uses spatial encounter histories of individuals (e.g., a record of where individuals are detected across space, often sequenced over multiple sampling occasions), to estimate the relationship between space use and characteristics of a landscape, allowing simultaneous estimation of both local densities of individuals across space and connectivity at the scale of individual movement. We developed two model-based estimators derived from the SCR ecological distance model to quantify connectivity over a continuous surface: (1) potential connectivity—a metric of the connectivity of areas based on resistance to individual movement; and (2) density-weighted connectivity (DWC)—potential connectivity weighted by estimated density. Estimates of potential connectivity and DWC can provide spatial representations of areas that are most important for the conservation of threatened species, or management of abundant populations (i.e., areas with high density and landscape connectivity), and thus generate predictions that have great potential to inform conservation and management actions. We used a simulation study with a stationary trap design across a range of landscape resistance scenarios to evaluate how well our model estimates resistance, potential connectivity, and DWC. Correlation between true and estimated potential connectivity was high, and there was positive correlation and high spatial accuracy between estimated DWC and true DWC. We applied our approach to data collected from a population of black bears in New York, and found that forested areas represented low levels of resistance for black bears. We demonstrate that formal inference about measures

  10. A novel bioinformatics pipeline to discover genes related to arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis based on their evolutionary conservation pattern among higher plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favre, Patrick; Bapaume, Laure; Bossolini, Eligio; Delorenzi, Mauro; Falquet, Laurent; Reinhardt, Didier

    2014-12-03

    Genes involved in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis have been identified primarily by mutant screens, followed by identification of the mutated genes (forward genetics). In addition, a number of AM-related genes has been identified by their AM-related expression patterns, and their function has subsequently been elucidated by knock-down or knock-out approaches (reverse genetics). However, genes that are members of functionally redundant gene families, or genes that have a vital function and therefore result in lethal mutant phenotypes, are difficult to identify. If such genes are constitutively expressed and therefore escape differential expression analyses, they remain elusive. The goal of this study was to systematically search for AM-related genes with a bioinformatics strategy that is insensitive to these problems. The central element of our approach is based on the fact that many AM-related genes are conserved only among AM-competent species. Our approach involves genome-wide comparisons at the proteome level of AM-competent host species with non-mycorrhizal species. Using a clustering method we first established orthologous/paralogous relationships and subsequently identified protein clusters that contain members only of the AM-competent species. Proteins of these clusters were then analyzed in an extended set of 16 plant species and ranked based on their relatedness among AM-competent monocot and dicot species, relative to non-mycorrhizal species. In addition, we combined the information on the protein-coding sequence with gene expression data and with promoter analysis. As a result we present a list of yet uncharacterized proteins that show a strongly AM-related pattern of sequence conservation, indicating that the respective genes may have been under selection for a function in AM. Among the top candidates are three genes that encode a small family of similar receptor-like kinases that are related to the S-locus receptor kinases involved in sporophytic

  11. Legal, Institutional, and Economic Indicators of Forest Conservation and Sustainable Management: Review of Information Available for the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul V. Ellefson; Calder M. Hibbard; Michael A. Kilgore; James E. Granskog

    2005-01-01

    This review looks at the Nation’s legal, institutional, and economic capacity to promote forest conservation and sustainable resource management. It focuses on 20 indicators of Criterion Seven of the so-called Montreal Process and involves an extensive search and synthesis of information from a variety of sources. It identifies ways to fill information gaps and improve...

  12. A Nose for Death: Integrating Trophic and Informational Networks for Conservation and Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menna E Jones

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Non-lethal management of wildlife, both ‘problem wildlife’ and pest species, to protect crops and threatened species is becoming increasingly important as non-human animals and humans come into closer proximity. A particularly promising approach is to apply predator scents to manipulate the cost/benefit ratio that influences the behavioral decisions made by prey and other predators about where to forage or rest. However, such olfactory manipulations are not always successful. Using insights from size-structured food webs, we develop a novel integrative model of the information that animals acquire from eavesdropping on predator and conspecific scents. We show how animals can use the information content in predator scents to derive knowledge of other predators and competitors and thus influence their decision to stay in or leave an area. This model framework clarifies how predator scents can influence all trophic levels, from interference competition directed at smaller predators, to predation and herbivory, and exploits direct and indirect pathways to promote landscapes of fear that influence spatial and temporal patch use in target animals. We illustrate how the application of this conceptual model can focus future research to enhance the use of predator scent-based deterrents in conservation and management. This integrated model shows great promise for addressing wildlife management concerns and for eventually improving the success and efficacy of traditional management techniques.

  13. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ona Vileikis; Mario Santana Quintero; Koen Van Balen; Barbara Dumont; Vincent Tigny

    2011-01-01

    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, ...

  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. 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

  17. Evolutionary Information System Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Jan

    This paper offers advice to companies and professionals that implement e-commerce systems in business organizations. Implementing e-commerce systems is different from traditional IT implementation and thus requires a new set of tools and skills. The need for a novel approach is illustrated...... of business priorities. On a more theoretical level this suggests that we must revise our current understanding of systems development to cope....

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

    OpenAIRE

    PATRICIA DELGADO; ARGELIA CUENCA; Escalante, Ana E.; FRANCISCO MOLINA-FREANER; DANIEL PIÑERO

    2002-01-01

    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 sp...

  19. 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

    Conservation physiology has emerged as a discipline with many success stories. Yet, it is unclear how conservation physiology is currently integrated into the activities of bodies such as the IUCN and other agencies/organizations/bodies which undertake international, national, or regional species...

  20. 78 FR 28619 - Proposed Information Collection; Fish and Wildlife Service Conservation Banking Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-15

    ... Banking Survey AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice; request for comments. SUMMARY... impediments to the habitat conservation banking program, and develop possible options for encouraging expanded... and purchasers of conservation banking credits. The surveys will benefit the Service by helping to...

  1. 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)

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worth, Catherine L; Blundell, Tom L

    2010-05-31

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Worth Catherine L

    2010-05-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

    International audience; 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 a...

  12. θ-improved limited tolerance relation model of incomplete information system for evaluation of water conservancy project management modernization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-qin GAO

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The modernization of water conservancy project management is a complicated engineering system involving a management system, a management method, management personnel, the exertion of social, economic, and ecological effects, and so on. However, indices for evaluating the modernization of water conservancy project management are usually unobtainable in practical applications. Conducting appropriate extension of the classical rough set theory and then applying it to an incomplete information system are the key to the application of the rough set theory. Based on analysis of some extended rough set models in incomplete information systems, a rough set model based on the θ-improved limited tolerance relation is put forward. At the same time, upper approximation and lower approximation are defined under this improved relation. According to the evaluation index system and management practices, the threshold for θ is defined. An example study indicates the practicability and maneuverability of the model.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. The Jumonji gene family in Crassostrea gigas suggests evolutionary conservation of Jmj-C histone demethylases orthologues in the oyster gametogenesis and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellous, Alexandre; Favrel, Pascal; Guo, Ximing; Riviere, Guillaume

    2014-03-15

    Jumonji (Jmj) proteins are histone demethylases, which control the identity of stem cells. Jmj genes were characterized from plants to mammals where they have been implicated in the epigenetic regulation of development. Despite the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas representing one of the most important aquaculture resources worldwide, the molecular mechanisms governing the embryogenesis and reproduction of this lophotrochozoan species remain poorly understood. However, annotations in the C. gigas EST library suggested the presence of putative Jumonji genes, raising the question of the conservation of this family of histone demethylases in the oyster. Using Primer walking, 5'-RACE PCR and in silico analyses, we characterized nine Jumonji orthologues in the oyster, called Cg-Jmj, bearing conserved domains critical for putative histone demethylase activity. Phylogenic analyses revealed that oyster Jumonji cluster into two distinct groups: 'single-domain Jmj' and 'multi-domain Jmj', and define 8 subgroups corresponding to each cognate orthologues in metazoans. RT-qPCR investigations showed specific regulations of Cg-Jmj mRNAs during the early development and along the reproduction cycle. Furthermore, in situ and in toto hybridizations indicate that oyster Jumonji genes are transcribed mostly within the gonad in adult oysters whereas they display a ubiquitous expression during embryonic and larval development. Our study demonstrates the presence of nine Jumonji orthologues in the oyster C. gigas. Their domain conservation and their expression profile suggest an implication during reproduction and development, questioning about the epigenetic regulation by histone methylation in lophotrochozoans. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Evolutionary behavioral genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zietsch, Brendan P; de Candia, Teresa R; Keller, Matthew C

    2015-04-01

    We describe the scientific enterprise at the intersection of evolutionary psychology and behavioral genetics-a field that could be termed Evolutionary Behavioral Genetics-and how modern genetic data is revolutionizing our ability to test questions in this field. We first explain how genetically informative data and designs can be used to investigate questions about the evolution of human behavior, and describe some of the findings arising from these approaches. Second, we explain how evolutionary theory can be applied to the investigation of behavioral genetic variation. We give examples of how new data and methods provide insight into the genetic architecture of behavioral variation and what this tells us about the evolutionary processes that acted on the underlying causal genetic variants.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Does more mean less? The value of information for conservation planning under sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runting, Rebecca K; Wilson, Kerrie A; Rhodes, Jonathan R

    2013-02-01

    Many studies have explored the benefits of adopting more sophisticated modelling techniques or spatial data in terms of our ability to accurately predict ecosystem responses to global change. However, we currently know little about whether the improved predictions will actually lead to better conservation outcomes once the costs of gaining improved models or data are accounted for. This severely limits our ability to make strategic decisions for adaptation to global pressures, particularly in landscapes subject to dynamic change such as the coastal zone. In such landscapes, the global phenomenon of sea level rise is a critical consideration for preserving biodiversity. Here, we address this issue in the context of making decisions about where to locate a reserve system to preserve coastal biodiversity with a limited budget. Specifically, we determined the cost-effectiveness of investing in high-resolution elevation data and process-based models for predicting wetland shifts in a coastal region of South East Queensland, Australia. We evaluated the resulting priority areas for reserve selection to quantify the cost-effectiveness of investment in better quantifying biological and physical processes. We show that, in this case, it is considerably more cost effective to use a process-based model and high-resolution elevation data, even if this requires a substantial proportion of the project budget to be expended (up to 99% in one instance). The less accurate model and data set failed to identify areas of high conservation value, reducing the cost-effectiveness of the resultant conservation plan. This suggests that when developing conservation plans in areas where sea level rise threatens biodiversity, investing in high-resolution elevation data and process-based models to predict shifts in coastal ecosystems may be highly cost effective. A future research priority is to determine how this cost-effectiveness varies among different regions across the globe. © 2012

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Hearing Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-01-01

    the federal standard. Footnote** See Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.95 "Occupational Noise Exposure." (Back to text) | USDOL | CONTACT INFORMATION | DISCLAIMER | 15 of 15 OSHA 3074 - Hearing Conservation

  6. Predict protein structural class for low-similarity sequences by evolutionary difference information into the general form of Chou's pseudo amino acid composition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lichao; Zhao, Xiqiang; Kong, Liang

    2014-08-21

    Knowledge of protein structural class plays an important role in characterizing the overall folding type of a given protein. At present, it is still a challenge to extract sequence information solely using protein sequence for protein structural class prediction with low similarity sequence in the current computational biology. In this study, a novel sequence representation method is proposed based on position specific scoring matrix for protein structural class prediction. By defined evolutionary difference formula, varying length proteins are expressed as uniform dimensional vectors, which can represent evolutionary difference information between the adjacent residues of a given protein. To perform and evaluate the proposed method, support vector machine and jackknife tests are employed on three widely used datasets, 25PDB, 1189 and 640 datasets with sequence similarity lower than 25%, 40% and 25%, respectively. Comparison of our results with the previous methods shows that our method may provide a promising method to predict protein structural class especially for low-similarity sequences. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Evolutionary explanations for natural language: criteria from evolutionary biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuidema, W.; de Boer, B.

    2008-01-01

    Theories of the evolutionary origins of language must be informed by empirical and theoretical results from a variety of different fields. Complementing recent surveys of relevant work from linguistics, animal behaviour and genetics, this paper surveys the requirements on evolutionary scenarios that

  10. Expression analysis of Egr-1 ortholog in metamorphic brain of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.): Possible evolutionary conservation of roles of Egr in eye development in vertebrates and insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Watanabe, Takayuki; Uchiyama, Hironobu; Sasaki, Tetsuhiko; Yajima, Shunsuke; Ono, Masato

    2016-09-16

    Specific genes quickly transcribed after extracellular stimuli without de novo protein synthesis are known as immediate early genes (IEGs) and are thought to contribute to learning and memory processes in the mature nervous system of vertebrates. A recent study revealed that the homolog of Early growth response protein-1 (Egr-1), which is one of the best-characterized vertebrate IEGs, shared similar properties as a neural activity-dependent gene in the adult brain of insects. With regard to the roles of vertebrate Egr-1 in neural development, the contribution to the development and growth of visual systems has been reported. However, in insects, the expression dynamics of the Egr-1 homologous gene during neural development remains poorly understood. Our expression analysis demonstrated that AmEgr, a honeybee homolog of Egr-1, was transiently upregulated in the developing brain during the early to mid pupal stages. In situ hybridization and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) immunohistochemistry revealed that AmEgr was mainly expressed in post-mitotic cells in optic lobes, the primary visual center of the insect brain. These findings suggest the evolutionarily conserved role of Egr homologs in the development of visual systems in vertebrates and insects. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Useful parasites: the evolutionary biology and biotechnology ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    , transposable elements have long been considered as 'parasitic' or 'selfish'. Today, we ... research niche and deserve to be included into the agenda of molecular ecologists, evolutionary geneticists, conservation biologists and plant breeders.

  16. Northern goshawk ecology: An assessment of current knowledge and information needs for conservation and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    John R. Squires; Patricia L. Kennedy

    2006-01-01

    The contentious and litigious history associated with managing Northern Goshawks (Accipiter gentilis) has focused much research attention toward understanding this species’ life history. Results from these studies address many key information needs that are useful to managers and decision makers, but many pressing information needs exist to address key...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Incorporating fragmentation and non-native species into distribution models to inform fluvial fish conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Andrew T; Papeş, Monica; Long, James M

    2018-02-01

    Fluvial fishes face increased imperilment from anthropogenic activities, but the specific factors contributing most to range declines are often poorly understood. For example, the range of the fluvial-specialist shoal bass (Micropterus cataractae) continues to decrease, yet how perceived threats have contributed to range loss is largely unknown. We used species distribution models to determine which factors contributed most to shoal bass range loss. We estimated a potential distribution based on natural abiotic factors and a series of currently occupied distributions that incorporated variables characterizing land cover, non-native species, and river fragmentation intensity (no fragmentation, dams only, and dams and large impoundments). We allowed interspecific relationships between non-native congeners and shoal bass to vary across fragmentation intensities. Results from the potential distribution model estimated shoal bass presence throughout much of their native basin, whereas models of currently occupied distribution showed that range loss increased as fragmentation intensified. Response curves from models of currently occupied distribution indicated a potential interaction between fragmentation intensity and the relationship between shoal bass and non-native congeners, wherein non-natives may be favored at the highest fragmentation intensity. Response curves also suggested that >100 km of interconnected, free-flowing stream fragments were necessary to support shoal bass presence. Model evaluation, including an independent validation, suggested that models had favorable predictive and discriminative abilities. Similar approaches that use readily available, diverse, geospatial data sets may deliver insights into the biology and conservation needs of other fluvial species facing similar threats. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. Evolutionary macroecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Alexandre F. Diniz-Filho

    2013-10-01

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

  1. [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.

  2. 77 FR 74168 - Information Collection: Youth Conservation Corps Application and Medical History

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-13

    ... undertaken, and swimming ability. The purpose of this form is to certify the youth's physical fitness to work... technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All comments received in response...

  3. Comparative Analysis of the Mitochondrial Genomes of Callitettixini Spittlebugs (Hemiptera: Cercopidae) Confirms the Overall High Evolutionary Speed of the AT-Rich Region but Reveals the Presence of Short Conservative Elements at the Tribal Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jie; Bu, Cuiping; Wipfler, Benjamin; Liang, Aiping

    2014-01-01

    The present study compares the mitochondrial genomes of five species of the spittlebug tribe Callitettixini (Hemiptera: Cercopoidea: Cercopidae) from eastern Asia. All genomes of the five species sequenced are circular double-stranded DNA molecules and range from 15,222 to 15,637 bp in length. They contain 22 tRNA genes, 13 protein coding genes (PCGs) and 2 rRNA genes and share the putative ancestral gene arrangement of insects. The PCGs show an extreme bias of nucleotide and amino acid composition. Significant differences of the substitution rates among the different genes as well as the different codon position of each PCG are revealed by the comparative evolutionary analyses. The substitution speeds of the first and second codon position of different PCGs are negatively correlated with their GC content. Among the five species, the AT-rich region features great differences in length and pattern and generally shows a 2–5 times higher substitution rate than the fastest PCG in the mitochondrial genome, atp8. Despite the significant variability in length, short conservative segments were identified in the AT-rich region within Callitettixini, although absent from the other groups of the spittlebug superfamily Cercopoidea. PMID:25285442

  4. Quantitative Palynology Informing Conservation Ecology in the Bohemian/Bavarian Forests of Central Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Vachel A; Chiverrell, Richard C; Clear, Jennifer L; Kuosmanen, Niina; Moravcová, Alice; Svoboda, Miroslav; Svobodová-Svitavská, Helena; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F N; van der Knaap, Willem O; Kuneš, Petr

    2017-01-01

    In 1927, the first pollen diagram was published from the Bohemian/Bavarian Forest region of Central Europe, providing one of the first qualitative views of the long-term vegetation development in the region. Since then significant methodological advances in quantitative approaches such as pollen influx and pollen-based vegetation models (e.g., Landscape Reconstruction Algorithm, LRA) have contributed to enhance our understanding of temporal and spatial ecology. These types of quantitative reconstructions are fundamental for conservation and restoration ecology because they provide long-term perspectives on ecosystem functioning. In the Bohemian/Bavarian Forests, forest managers have a goal to restore the original forest composition at mid-elevation forests, yet they rely on natural potential vegetation maps that do not take into account long-term vegetation dynamics. Here we reconstruct the Holocene history of forest composition and discuss the implications the LRA has for regional forest management and conservation. Two newly analyzed pollen records from Prášilské jezero and Rachelsee were compared to 10 regional peat bogs/mires and two other regional lakes to reconstruct total land-cover abundance at both the regional- and local-scales. The results demonstrate that spruce has been the dominant canopy cover across the region for the past 9,000 years at both high- (>900 m) and mid-elevations (>700-900 m). At the regional-scale inferred from lake records, spruce has comprised an average of ~50% of the total forest canopy; whereas at the more local-scale at mid-elevations, spruce formed ~59%. Beech established ~6,000 cal. years BP while fir established later around 5,500 cal. years BP. Beech and fir growing at mid-elevations reached a maximum land-cover abundance of 24% and 13% roughly 1,000 years ago. Over the past 500 years spruce has comprised ~47% land-cover, while beech and fir comprised ~8% and forest canopy cover points to a patchwork mosaic with local

  5. Partial sequence analysis of an atypical Turkish isolate provides further information on the evolutionary history of Plum pox virus (PPV).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glasa, Miroslav; Candresse, Thierry

    2005-03-01

    A variety of techniques, such as typing with subgroup-specific monoclonal antibodies, restriction length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis or subgroup-specific RT-PCR are available for the discrimination of Plum pox virus (PPV) isolates. However, the existence of PPV isolates showing abnormal typing properties has been observed in the past [Candresse, T., Cambra, M., Dallot, S., Lanneau, M., Asensio, M., Gorris, M.T., Revers, F., Macquaire, G., Olmos, A., Boscia, D., Quiot J.B., Dunez, J., 1998. Comparison of monoclonal antibodies and polymerase chain reaction assays for the typing of isolates belonging to the D and M serotypes of Plum pox potyvirus. Phytopathology 88, 198-204.]. In an effort to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying such anomalous serological and molecular typing characteristics, partial 3' (1449 nt) and 5' (3706 nt) sequences have been determined for an atypical Turkish PPV isolate (Abricotier Turquie or Ab-Tk). The results obtained indicate that its unusual typing behaviour is caused by point mutations affecting key restriction sites and epitopes and confirm that this isolate represents a divergent member of the PPV-M subgroup. In addition, analysis of the partial Ab-Tk genomic sequences demonstrated that the 5' region of the genome of this isolate has a mosaic structure resulting from recombination event(s), shedding new light on the evolutionary history of Plum pox virus.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Evolutionary synthetic biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peisajovich, Sergio G

    2012-06-15

    Signaling networks process vast amounts of environmental information to generate specific cellular responses. As cellular environments change, signaling networks adapt accordingly. Here, I will discuss how the integration of synthetic biology and directed evolution approaches is shedding light on the molecular mechanisms that guide the evolution of signaling networks. In particular, I will review studies that demonstrate how different types of mutations, from the replacement of individual amino acids to the shuffling of modular domains, lead to markedly different evolutionary trajectories and consequently to diverse network rewiring. Moreover, I will argue that intrinsic evolutionary properties of signaling proteins, such as the robustness of wild type functions, the promiscuous nature of evolutionary intermediates, and the modular decoupling between binding and catalysis, play important roles in the evolution of signaling networks. Finally, I will argue that rapid advances in our ability to synthesize DNA will radically alter how we study signaling network evolution at the genome-wide level.

  9. Teaching evolutionary biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosana Tidon

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary Biology integrates several disciplines of Biology in a complex and interactive manner, where a deep understanding of the subject demands knowledge in diverse areas. Since this knowledge is often inaccessible to the majority of specialized professionals, including the teachers, we present some reflections in order to stimulate discussions aimed at the improvement of the conditions of education in this area. We examine the profile of evolutionary teaching in Brazil, based on questionnaires distributed to teachers in Secondary Education in the Federal District, on data provided by the "National Institute for Educational Studies and Research", and on information collected from teachers working in various regions of this country. Issues related to biological misconceptions, curriculum and didactic material are discussed, and some proposals are presented with the objective of aiding discussions aimed at the improvement of the teaching of evolutionary biology.

  10. 77 FR 43803 - Confidentiality of Information; Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-26

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 600 RIN 0648-AV81 Confidentiality of... regulations to revise existing regulations governing the confidentiality of information submitted in... some significant issues that concern NMFS' application of the MSA confidentiality provision to requests...

  11. 77 FR 30486 - Confidentiality of Information; Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-23

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 600 RIN 0648-AV81 Confidentiality of... governing the confidentiality of information submitted in compliance with any requirement or regulation... address some significant issues that concern NMFS' application of the MSA confidentiality provision to...

  12. 77 FR 35349 - Confidentiality of Information; Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-13

    ... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Part 600 RIN 0648-AV81 Confidentiality of... regulations governing the confidentiality of information submitted in compliance with any requirement or... some significant issues that concern NMFS' application of the MSA confidentiality provision to requests...

  13. 78 FR 7390 - Information Collection Request; Economic Assessment of Conservation Reserve Program Lands for...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-02-01

    .... Mail: Skip Hyberg, Agricultural Economist, Economic and Policy Analysis Staff, Farm Service Agency... particular importance to rural communities in the region. FSA is responsible for identifying and quantifying... collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of FSA, including whether...

  14. Innovation in conservation, how information technology tools improve the ex situ management of plant genetic resources

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hintum, van T.J.L.

    2012-01-01

    Many new technologies highly relevant to the PGR community have become available over the past years, especially in the fields of genomics and information technology. The effect of the second category of technologies on the ex situ manage-ment of plant genetic resources is explored. After a low

  15. 75 FR 17079 - Agency Information Collection: Energy Conservation Program: Compliance and Certification...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-05

    ... distribution transformers. The collection covers information necessary for the DOE and United States Customs... established for certain low-voltage dry-type, medium-voltage type, and liquid immersed distribution... Report for Distribution Transformers. (3) Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection...

  16. Incorporating evolutionary processes into population viability models.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

    We examined how ecological and evolutionary (eco-evo) processes in population dynamics could be better integrated into population viability analysis (PVA). Complementary advances in computation and population genomics can be combined into an eco-evo PVA to offer powerful new approaches to understand the influence of evolutionary processes on population persistence. We developed the mechanistic basis of an eco-evo PVA using individual-based models with individual-level genotype tracking and dynamic genotype-phenotype mapping to model emergent population-level effects, such as local adaptation and genetic rescue. We then outline how genomics can allow or improve parameter estimation for PVA models by providing genotypic information at large numbers of loci for neutral and functional genome regions. As climate change and other threatening processes increase in rate and scale, eco-evo PVAs will become essential research tools to evaluate the effects of adaptive potential, evolutionary rescue, and locally adapted traits on persistence. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  17. Self-similarity, conservation of entropy/bits and the black hole information puzzle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singleton, Douglas; Vagenas, Elias C.; Zhu, Tao

    2014-05-01

    John Wheeler coined the phrase "it from bit" or "bit from it" in the 1980s. However, much of the interest in the connection between information, i.e. "bits", and physical objects, i.e. "its", stems from the discovery that black holes have characteristics of thermodynamic systems having entropies and temperatures. This insight led to the information loss problem — what happens to the "bits" when the black hole has evaporated away due to the energy loss from Hawking radiation? In this essay we speculate on a radical answer to this question using the assumption of self-similarity of quantum correction to the gravitational action and the requirement that the quantum corrected entropy be well behaved in the limit when the black hole mass goes to zero.

  18. Conservation of Shannon's redundancy for proteins. [information theory applied to amino acid sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatlin, L. L.

    1974-01-01

    Concepts of information theory are applied to examine various proteins in terms of their redundancy in natural originators such as animals and plants. The Monte Carlo method is used to derive information parameters for random protein sequences. Real protein sequence parameters are compared with the standard parameters of protein sequences having a specific length. The tendency of a chain to contain some amino acids more frequently than others and the tendency of a chain to contain certain amino acid pairs more frequently than other pairs are used as randomness measures of individual protein sequences. Non-periodic proteins are generally found to have random Shannon redundancies except in cases of constraints due to short chain length and genetic codes. Redundant characteristics of highly periodic proteins are discussed. A degree of periodicity parameter is derived.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    International audience; 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....

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Incorporating evolutionary principles into environmental management and policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    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......As policymakers and managers work to mitigate the effects of rapid anthropogenic environmental changes, they need to consider organisms’ responses. In light of recent evidence that evolution can be quite rapid, this now includes evolutionary responses. Evolutionary principles have a long history...... of evolutionary history and prescriptive manipulation of three basic evolutionary factors: selection, variation, and gene flow. For each, we review and propose ways that policy makers and managers can use evolutionary thinking to preserve threatened species, combat pest species, or reduce undesirable evolutionary...

  4. 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.

  5. Entropic Profiler – detection of conservation in genomes using information theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Almeida Jonas S

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the last decades, with the successive availability of whole genome sequences, many research efforts have been made to mathematically model DNA. Entropic Profiles (EP were proposed recently as a new measure of continuous entropy of genome sequences. EP represent local information plots related to DNA randomness and are based on information theory and statistical concepts. They express the weighed relative abundance of motifs for each position in genomes. Their study is very relevant because under or over-representation segments are often associated with significant biological meaning. Findings The Entropic Profiler application here presented is a new tool designed to detect and extract under and over-represented DNA segments in genomes by using EP. It allows its computation in a very efficient way by recurring to improved algorithms and data structures, which include modified suffix trees. Available through a web interface http://kdbio.inesc-id.pt/software/ep/ and as downloadable source code, it allows to study positions and to search for motifs inside the whole sequence or within a specified range. DNA sequences can be entered from different sources, including FASTA files, pre-loaded examples or resuming a previously saved work. Besides the EP value plots, p-values and z-scores for each motif are also computed, along with the Chaos Game Representation of the sequence. Conclusion EP are directly related with the statistical significance of motifs and can be considered as a new method to extract and classify significant regions in genomes and estimate local scales in DNA. The present implementation establishes an efficient and useful tool for whole genome analysis.

  6. 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

  7. The Energy Consumer Guide. A What-to-Do, Where-to-Go Manual for Information on Conserving Energy and Resolving Energy-Related Consumer Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington, DC.

    This guide was prepared to help individuals become more informed and more efficient consumers of energy. The guide lists agencies and organizations which provide useful information on everything from household energy-saving tips to energy conservation projects sponsored by local community groups. Section 1 highlights many of the agencies and…

  8. 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.

  9. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    SOX14 Bos taurus, 7. SOX14 Mus musculus, 8. SOX14 Rattus norvegicus,. 9. SOX14 Monodelphis domestica, 10. SOX14 Ornithorinchus anatinus, 11. SOX14. Gallus gallus, 12. SOX14 Xenopus tropicalis, 13. SOX14 Danio rerio, 14. SOX14. Oreochromis aureus, 15. SOX14 Takifugu rubripes, 16. SOX21 Homo sapiens, 17.

  10. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    cluded SOX14/Sox14 genes of human (Homo sapiens), chim- panzee (Pan troglodytes), macaca (Macaca mulatta), dog. (Canis familiaris), horse (Equus cabalus), mouse (Mus mus- culus), opposum (Monodelphis domestica), platypus (Or- nithorinchus anatinus), chicken (Gallus gallus), frog (Xeno- pus tropicalis), zebrafish ...

  11. Evolutionary conservation of the mature oocyte proteome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamar Lotan

    2014-06-01

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

  12. Genome sequence analysis of solanum lycopersicum showing the phylogenetic relationship based on multiple sequence alignment and conserved domain proteins.

    OpenAIRE

    Uma kumari; Ashok kumar choudhary

    2016-01-01

    Phylogenetics analysis has become essential in researching the evolutionary relationship between sequence alignment and conserved domain protein evolutionary relationship are identified from open reading frame rather than from complete sequences.A reading frame is a set of consecutive,nucleotide ,non overlapping triplets of three consecutive nucleotide .The national center for biotechnology information NCBI provide many tools for compairing database- stored nucleotide or protein sequence,i...

  13. Phylogenetic detection of conserved gene clusters in microbial genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anton Brian P

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Microbial genomes contain an abundance of genes with conserved proximity forming clusters on the chromosome. However, the conservation can be a result of many factors such as vertical inheritance, or functional selection. Thus, identification of conserved gene clusters that are under functional selection provides an effective channel for gene annotation, microarray screening, and pathway reconstruction. The problem of devising a robust method to identify these conserved gene clusters and to evaluate the significance of the conservation in multiple genomes has a number of implications for comparative, evolutionary and functional genomics as well as synthetic biology. Results In this paper we describe a new method for detecting conserved gene clusters that incorporates the information captured by a genome phylogenetic tree. We show that our method can overcome the common problem of overestimation of significance due to the bias in the genome database and thereby achieve better accuracy when detecting functionally connected gene clusters. Our results can be accessed at database GeneChords http://genomics10.bu.edu/GeneChords. Conclusion The methodology described in this paper gives a scalable framework for discovering conserved gene clusters in microbial genomes. It serves as a platform for many other functional genomic analyses in microorganisms, such as operon prediction, regulatory site prediction, functional annotation of genes, evolutionary origin and development of gene clusters.

  14. Phylogenetic detection of conserved gene clusters in microbial genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yu; Anton, Brian P; Roberts, Richard J; Kasif, Simon

    2005-10-03

    Microbial genomes contain an abundance of genes with conserved proximity forming clusters on the chromosome. However, the conservation can be a result of many factors such as vertical inheritance, or functional selection. Thus, identification of conserved gene clusters that are under functional selection provides an effective channel for gene annotation, microarray screening, and pathway reconstruction. The problem of devising a robust method to identify these conserved gene clusters and to evaluate the significance of the conservation in multiple genomes has a number of implications for comparative, evolutionary and functional genomics as well as synthetic biology. In this paper we describe a new method for detecting conserved gene clusters that incorporates the information captured by a genome phylogenetic tree. We show that our method can overcome the common problem of overestimation of significance due to the bias in the genome database and thereby achieve better accuracy when detecting functionally connected gene clusters. Our results can be accessed at database GeneChords http://genomics10.bu.edu/GeneChords. The methodology described in this paper gives a scalable framework for discovering conserved gene clusters in microbial genomes. It serves as a platform for many other functional genomic analyses in microorganisms, such as operon prediction, regulatory site prediction, functional annotation of genes, evolutionary origin and development of gene clusters.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Weak correlation between sequence conservation in promoter regions and in protein-coding regions of human-mouse orthologous gene pairs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nakai Kenta

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Interspecies sequence comparison is a powerful tool to extract functional or evolutionary information from the genomes of organisms. A number of studies have compared protein sequences or promoter sequences between mammals, which provided many insights into genomics. However, the correlation between protein conservation and promoter conservation remains controversial. Results We examined promoter conservation as well as protein conservation for 6,901 human and mouse orthologous genes, and observed a very weak correlation between them. We further investigated their relationship by decomposing it based on functional categories, and identified categories with significant tendencies. Remarkably, the 'ribosome' category showed significantly low promoter conservation, despite its high protein conservation, and the 'extracellular matrix' category showed significantly high promoter conservation, in spite of its low protein conservation. Conclusion Our results show the relation of gene function to protein conservation and promoter conservation, and revealed that there seem to be nonparallel components between protein and promoter sequence evolution.

  18. 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 variation on a monomorphic design allows us to incorporate heritable individual differences in evolved adaptations. The Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis, which is one consequence of the integration of evolutionary psychology and intelligence research, can potentially explain why less intelligent individuals enjoy TV more, why liberals are more intelligent than conservatives, and why night owls are more intelligent than morning larks, among many other findings. The general approach proposed here will allow us to integrate evolutionary psychology with any other aspect of differential psychology. Copyright 2010 APA, all rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    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. PMID:23691071

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Evolutionary developmental psychology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    King, Ashley C; Bjorklund, David F

    2010-01-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental psychology can potentially broaden the horizons of mainstream evolutionary psychology by combining the principles of Darwinian evolution by natural selection...

  6. Information integration in evolutionary processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pagie, Ludo Wilhelmus Petrus

    1999-01-01

    Biologische evolutie heeft geleid tot een grote verscheidenheid aan organismen welke een hoge mate van complexiteit vertonen. Ofschoon evolutie al lange tijd bestudeerd wordt hebben we nog geen verklaring voor het ontstaan van deze verscheidenheid en complexiteit of hoe ze in stand worden gehouden.

  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. 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

  9. An evolutionary perspective on health psychology: New approaches and applications

    OpenAIRE

    Tybur, Joshua M; Bryan, Angela D.; Caldwell Hooper, Ann E.

    2012-01-01

    Although health psychologists' efforts to understand and promote health are most effective when guided by theory, health psychology has not taken full advantage of theoretical insights provided by evolutionary psychology. Here, we argue that evolutionary perspectives can fruitfully inform strategies for addressing some of the challenges facing health psychologists. Evolutionary psychology's emphasis on modular, functionally specialized psychological systems can inform approaches to understand...

  10. Description of the Marine Traffic inside the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals: Key Information for Conservation Policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moulins, A.; D'incà, M.; Rosso, M.; Tepsich, P.; Coomber, F. G.

    2016-02-01

    The International Sanctuary for the Protection of Mediterranean Marine Mammals was established in order to improve conservation measures where cetaceans are abundant and highly impacted by human pressures. Shipping is one of the main human activity in the Sanctuary with many impacts on the ecosystem but still, it is not well known. This study presents the results of shipping collected during 18 consecutive months by an AIS (Automatic Information System) antenna. More than 3 millions of km were covered by the 6 types of ships: passenger, cargo, tanker, fishing, pleasure and service. The predominant types of the vessel list were cargo (41.8%) and pleasure vessels (31.8%) and over half (62.9%) were classed as commercial vessels (passenger, cargo, tanker). Considering the distance covered, passenger and cargo vessels were the most predominant (with 37% and 38% kilometers respectively) and the commercial vessels contribute with 85% of the total kilometers. Compared to the global scale, the study highlights the importance and predominance of intra-Mediterranean transits made especially by passenger crafts between the Italian and French mainland to the islands of Corsica and Sardinia. The spatial distribution was not uniform and the density was found to be vessel type dependent. Many high densities displayed distinct shipping routes and impacted on different jurisdictional boundaries: a third (32%) of the commercial traffic was recorded outside the territorial waters and on different ecological areas of the sanctuary: the main shipping corridors traverse all ecological regions. Overlapping the shipping density with the different cetacean species distributions, it was possible to evaluate spatial vulnerability of the different species and help to focus Pelagos protection measures on more restricted areas. The vessel speeds were found to be high and dependent on vessel type with specific spatial distributions. This work confirms that passenger vessels, and to some degree

  11. Exploring the Factors Related to Acceptance of Evolutionary Theory among Turkish Preservice Biology Teachers: Toward a More Informative Conceptual Ecology for Biological Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deniz, Hasan; Donnelly, Lisa A.; Yilmaz, Irfan

    2008-01-01

    In this study, using multiple regression analysis, we aimed to explore the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among preservice Turkish biology teachers using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical lens. We aimed to determine the extent to which we can account for the variance in acceptance of evolutionary…

  12. 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.

  13. The application of life history information to the conservation management of Chrysoritis butterflies (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae in South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.F. Terblanche

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to their intricate life histories and the unique wing patterns and colouring the butterflies of the genus Chrysoritis are of significant conservation and aesthetic value. Thisoverview probes into practical examples of butterfly life history research applicable to environmental management of this relatively well-known invertebrate group in South Africa. Despite the pioneer work on life histories of Chrysoritis in the past, more should be done to understand the life history of the butterflies in the wild, especially their natural host plants and the behaviour of adults and larvae. A system of voucher specimens of host plants should be introduced in South Africa. Although various host plant species in nature are used by the members of Chrysoritis, including the Chrysoritis chrysaor group, the choice of these in nature by each species is significant for conservation management and in the case of Chrysoritis aureus perhaps even as a specific characteristic.A revision of the ant genus Crematogaster will benefit the conservation management of Chrysoritis species since some of these ant species may consist of a number of specieswith much more restricted distributions than previously thought. Rigorous quantified tudies of population dynamics of Chrysoritis butterflies are absent and the introductionof such studies will benefit conservation management of these localised butterflies extensively.

  14. Conserving declining species using incomplete demographic information: what help can we expect from the use of matrix population models?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hemerik, L.; Klok, C.

    2006-01-01

    Due to human activity, many species have strongly declined in number and are currently threatened with extinction. Management directed at conservation of these species can benefit from the use of simple population models such as matrix models. However, for many species, data on survival and

  15. 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.

  16. 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: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/005/10/0102-0104 ...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Neuronal boost to evolutionary dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vladar, Harold P; Szathmáry, Eörs

    2015-12-06

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Cognitive evolutionary therapy for depression: a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giosan, Cezar; Muresan, Vlad; Moldovan, Ramona

    2014-10-01

    We present an evolutionary-driven cognitive-behavioral intervention for a moderately depressed patient. Standard cognitive and behavioral therapy techniques focused on the patient's perfectionistic and self-downing beliefs, while novel, evolutionary-informed techniques were used to guide behavioral activation and conceptualize secondary emotional problems related to anger. The treatment reduced depressive symptomatology and increased evolutionary fitness.

  3. 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.

  4. Genetic structure and demographic history should inform conservation: Chinese cobras currently treated as homogenous show population divergence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long-Hui Lin

    Full Text Available An understanding of population structure and genetic diversity is crucial for wildlife conservation and for determining the integrity of wildlife populations. The vulnerable Chinese cobra (Naja atra has a distribution from the mouth of the Yangtze River down to northern Vietnam and Laos, within which several large mountain ranges and water bodies may influence population structure. We combined 12 microsatellite loci and 1117 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene to explore genetic structure and demographic history in this species, using 269 individuals from various localities in Mainland China and Vietnam. High levels of genetic variation were identified for both mtDNA and microsatellites. mtDNA data revealed two main (Vietnam + southern China + southwestern China; eastern + southeastern China and one minor (comprising only two individuals from the westernmost site clades. Microsatellite data divided the eastern + southeastern China clade further into two genetic clusters, which include individuals from the eastern and southeastern regions, respectively. The Luoxiao and Nanling Mountains may be important barriers affecting the diversification of lineages. In the haplotype network of cytchrome b, many haplotypes were represented within a "star" cluster and this and other tests suggest recent expansion. However, microsatellite analyses did not yield strong evidence for a recent bottleneck for any population or genetic cluster. The three main clusters identified here should be considered as independent management units for conservation purposes. The release of Chinese cobras into the wild should cease unless their origin can be determined, and this will avoid problems arising from unnatural homogenization.

  5. 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.

  6. An evolutionary perspective on health psychology: new approaches and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tybur, Joshua M; Bryan, Angela D; Hooper, Ann E Caldwell

    2012-12-20

    Although health psychologists' efforts to understand and promote health are most effective when guided by theory, health psychology has not taken full advantage of theoretical insights provided by evolutionary psychology. Here, we argue that evolutionary perspectives can fruitfully inform strategies for addressing some of the challenges facing health psychologists. Evolutionary psychology's emphasis on modular, functionally specialized psychological systems can inform approaches to understanding the myriad behaviors grouped under the umbrella of "health," as can theoretical perspectives used by evolutionary anthropologists, biologists, and psychologists (e.g., Life History Theory). We detail some early investigations into evolutionary health psychology, and we provide suggestions for directions for future research.

  7. An Evolutionary Perspective on Health Psychology: New Approaches and Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua M. Tybur

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Although health psychologists' efforts to understand and promote health are most effective when guided by theory, health psychology has not taken full advantage of theoretical insights provided by evolutionary psychology. Here, we argue that evolutionary perspectives can fruitfully inform strategies for addressing some of the challenges facing health psychologists. Evolutionary psychology's emphasis on modular, functionally specialized psychological systems can inform approaches to understanding the myriad behaviors grouped under the umbrella of “health,” as can theoretical perspectives used by evolutionary anthropologists, biologists, and psychologists (e.g., Life History Theory. We detail some early investigations into evolutionary health psychology, and we provide suggestions for directions for future research.

  8. 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.

  9. Comparative Effectiveness of Conservative Interventions for Nonspecific Chronic Spinal Pain: Physical, Behavioral/Psychologically Informed, or Combined? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Keeffe, Mary; Purtill, Helen; Kennedy, Norelee; Conneely, Mairead; Hurley, John; O'Sullivan, Peter; Dankaerts, Wim; O'Sullivan, Kieran

    2016-07-01

    Nonspecific chronic spinal pain (NSCSP) is highly disabling. Current conservative rehabilitation commonly includes physical and behavioral interventions, or a combination of these approaches. Physical interventions aim to enhance physical capacity by using methods such as exercise, manual therapy, and ergonomics. Behavioral/psychologically informed interventions aim to enhance behaviors, cognitions, or mood by using methods such as relaxation and cognitive behavioral therapy. Combined interventions aim to target physical and also behavioral/psychological factors contributing to patients' pain by using methods such as multidisciplinary pain management programs. Because it remains unclear whether any of these approaches are superior, this review aimed to assess the comparative effectiveness of physical, behavioral/psychologically informed, and combined interventions on pain and disability in patients with NSCSP. Ten electronic databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) including participants reporting NSCSP. Studies were required to have an "active" conservative treatment control group for comparison. Studies were not eligible if the interventions were from the same domain (eg, if the study compared 2 physical interventions). Study quality was assessed used the Cochrane Back Review Group risk of bias criteria. The treatment effects of physical, behavioral/psychologically informed, and combined interventions were assessed using meta-analyses. Twenty-four studies were included. No clinically significant differences were found for pain and disability between physical, behavioral/psychologically informed, and combined interventions. The simple categorization of interventions into physical, behavioral/psychologically informed, and combined could be considered a limitation of this review, because these interventions may not be easily differentiated to allow accurate comparisons to be made. Further work should consider investigating whether tailoring

  10. Evolutionary genomics of LysM genes in land plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey Gary

    2009-08-01

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

  11. Conservation in transportation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1980-05-30

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

  12. 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 ...

  13. Use of real-time and continuous water quality monitoring in Iowa streams to inform conservation strategy in an agricultural landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, C. S.; Kim, S. W.; Davis, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern U.S. are major contributors of nutrients to the Mississippi River Basin and the Gulf of Mexico. Many states within the Upper Mississippi River Basin, including Iowa, are developing nutrient reduction strategies to reduce non-point and point source loads of nitrogen and phosphorous in an effort to reverse degradation of streams and lakes. Quantifying nutrient loads in Iowa and assessing loads transported within Iowa rivers are important components of Iowa's strategy. Nutrient loads estimated with data collected using traditional methods of grab sampling are expensive and have met with limited usefulness to the agricultural community when assessing the effectiveness of implemented conservation practices. New sensor technology is allowing for real-time measurement of nutrient loads in many Iowa rivers. IIHR Hydroscience and Engineering has deployed 22 nitrate-nitrogen sensors in several Iowa rivers to provide accurate measure of nutrient loads. Combined with 17 sensors operated by the USGS, the sensor network captures nutrient transport and loading patterns in rivers across the state. A new Iowa Water Quality Information System (IWQIS) is being developed to display and share the continuous, real-time data. The data reported here will compare and contrast load calculations obtained using continuous monitors with those from a more traditional grab samples. We also will demonstrate how continuous nitrate monitoring informs watershed hydrology and the assessment of conservation practices designed to reduce nutrient loss from farmed fields. Finally, we will establish that the costs of real time continuous monitoring are modest when compared to grab sampling strategies and the costs of implementing conservation on productive lands in the Western Corn Belt of Iowa.

  14. 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

  15. 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, Steve; Havlina, Douglas W.; Henke, Kenneth F.; Hennig, Jacob D.; Kurth, Laurie L.; Maestas, Jeremy D.; Mayer, Kenneth E.; Manning, Mary; 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.

  16. 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 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.

  17. Phylogeography and the conservation of coral reef fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-09-01

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

  18. Euryhalinity in an evolutionary context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Eric T.; McCormick, Stephen D.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Farrell, Anthony Peter; Brauner, Colin J.

    2013-01-01

    This chapter focuses on the evolutionary importance and taxonomic distribution of euryhalinity. Euryhalinity refers to broad halotolerance and broad halohabitat distribution. Salinity exposure experiments have demonstrated that species vary tenfold in their range of tolerable salinity levels, primarily because of differences in upper limits. Halotolerance breadth varies with the species’ evolutionary history, as represented by its ordinal classification, and with the species’ halohabitat. Freshwater and seawater species tolerate brackish water; their empirically-determined fundamental haloniche is broader than their realized haloniche, as revealed by the halohabitats they occupy. With respect to halohabitat distribution, a minority of species (<10%) are euryhaline. Habitat-euryhalinity is prevalent among basal actinopterygian fishes, is largely absent from orders arising from intermediate nodes, and reappears in the most derived taxa. There is pronounced family-level variability in the tendency to be halohabitat-euryhaline, which may have arisen during a burst of diversification following the Cretaceous-Palaeogene extinction. Low prevalence notwithstanding, euryhaline species are potent sources of evolutionary diversity. Euryhalinity is regarded as a key innovation trait whose evolution enables exploitation of new adaptive zone, triggering cladogenesis. We review phylogenetically-informed studies that demonstrate freshwater species diversifying from euryhaline ancestors through processes such as landlocking. These studies indicate that some euryhaline taxa are particularly susceptible to changes in halohabitat and subsequent diversification, and some geographic regions have been hotspots for transitions to freshwater. Comparative studies on mechanisms among multiple taxa and at multiple levels of biological integration are needed to clarify evolutionary pathways to, and from, euryhalinity.

  19. 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.

  20. The Effects of Information Regarding Sustainability Issues and Behavioral Self-Management Instruction on College Students' Energy Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mosher, Hilary R.; Desrochers, Marcie

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper was to evaluate the effectiveness of sustainability information and strategies to change pro-environmental (pro-e) behavior with introductory environmental science laboratory students. Design/methodology/approach: A one-group pretest posttest study was used to evaluate a two-hour workshop in which 30 participants…

  1. based conservation

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/mcd.v10i2.1. Increasing women's par- ticipation in community- based conservation: key to success? Ensuring that both men and women benefit equitably from conservation and development programs is likely to increase the long-term success of both conservation and development goals. However ...

  2. Taming Data to Make Decisions: Using a Spatial Fuzzy Logic Decision Support Framework to Inform Conservation and Land Use Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, T.; Baker, B.; Degagne, R. S.

    2015-12-01

    With the abundance of data sources, analytical methods, and computer models, land managers are faced with the overwhelming task of making sense of a profusion of data of wildly different types. Luckily, fuzzy logic provides a method to work with different types of data using language-based propositions such as "the landscape is undisturbed," and a simple set of logic constructs. Just as many surveys allow different levels of agreement with a proposition, fuzzy logic allows values reflecting different levels of truth for a proposition. Truth levels fall within a continuum ranging from Fully True to Fully False. Hence a fuzzy logic model produces continuous results. The Environmental Evaluation Modeling System (EEMS) is a platform-independent, tree-based, fuzzy logic modeling framework. An EEMS model provides a transparent definition of an evaluation model and is commonly developed as a collaborative effort among managers, scientists, and GIS experts. Managers specify a set of evaluative propositions used to characterize the landscape. Scientists, working with managers, formulate functions that convert raw data values into truth values for the propositions and produce a logic tree to combine results into a single metric used to guide decisions. Managers, scientists, and GIS experts then work together to implement and iteratively tune the logic model and produce final results. We present examples of two successful EEMS projects that provided managers with map-based results suitable for guiding decisions: sensitivity and climate change exposure in Utah and the Colorado Plateau modeled for the Bureau of Land Management; and terrestrial ecological intactness in the Mojave and Sonoran region of southern California modeled for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.

  3. 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

  4. Towards an evolutionary model of transcription networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan Xie

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available DNA evolution models made invaluable contributions to comparative genomics, although it seemed formidable to include non-genomic features into these models. In order to build an evolutionary model of transcription networks (TNs, we had to forfeit the substitution model used in DNA evolution and to start from modeling the evolution of the regulatory relationships. We present a quantitative evolutionary model of TNs, subjecting the phylogenetic distance and the evolutionary changes of cis-regulatory sequence, gene expression and network structure to one probabilistic framework. Using the genome sequences and gene expression data from multiple species, this model can predict regulatory relationships between a transcription factor (TF and its target genes in all species, and thus identify TN re-wiring events. Applying this model to analyze the pre-implantation development of three mammalian species, we identified the conserved and re-wired components of the TNs downstream to a set of TFs including Oct4, Gata3/4/6, cMyc and nMyc. Evolutionary events on the DNA sequence that led to turnover of TF binding sites were identified, including a birth of an Oct4 binding site by a 2nt deletion. In contrast to recent reports of large interspecies differences of TF binding sites and gene expression patterns, the interspecies difference in TF-target relationship is much smaller. The data showed increasing conservation levels from genomic sequences to TF-DNA interaction, gene expression, TN, and finally to morphology, suggesting that evolutionary changes are larger at molecular levels and smaller at functional levels. The data also showed that evolutionarily older TFs are more likely to have conserved target genes, whereas younger TFs tend to have larger re-wiring rates.

  5. 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.

  6. Domain architecture conservation in orthologs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forslund, Kristoffer; Pekkari, Isabella; Sonnhammer, Erik L L

    2011-08-05

    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. 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. 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 notion that orthologs are

  7. 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

  8. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 7; Issue 11. Evolutionary Biology Today - The Domain of Evolutionary Biology. Amitabh Joshi. Series Article Volume 7 Issue 11 November 2002 pp 8-17. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  9. Part E: Evolutionary Computation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

    evolutionary algorithms, such as memetic algorithms, which have emerged as a very promising tool for solving many real-world problems in a multitude of areas of science and technology. Moreover, parallel evolutionary combinatorial optimization has been presented. Search operators, which are crucial in all...

  10. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Amitabh Joshi studies and teaches evolutionary ' genetics and population ecology at the Jawaharlal. Nehru Centre for Advanced. Scientific Research,. Bangalore. His current research interests are in life- history, evolution, the evolutionary genetics of biological clocks, the evolution of ecological specialization dynamics. He.

  11. Evolutionary humanoid robotics

    CERN Document Server

    Eaton, Malachy

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 8; Issue 2. Evolutionary Biology Today - What do Evolutionary Biologists do? Amitabh Joshi. Series Article Volume 8 Issue 2 February 2003 pp 6-18. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  13. Applying evolutionary anthropology

    OpenAIRE

    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 h...

  14. Investigating Evolutionary Dynamics of RHA1 Operons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yong; Geng, Dandan; Ehrhardt, Kristina; Zhang, Shaoqiang

    2016-01-01

    Grouping genes as operons is an important genomic feature of prokaryotic organisms. The comprehensive understanding of the operon organizations would be helpful to decipher transcriptional mechanisms, cellular pathways, and the evolutionary landscape of prokaryotic genomes. Although thousands of prokaryotes have been sequenced, genome-wide investigation of the evolutionary dynamics (division and recombination) of operons among these genomes remains unexplored. Here, we systematically analyzed the operon dynamics of Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 (RHA1), an oleaginous bacterium with high potential applications in biofuel, by comparing 340 prokaryotic genomes that were carefully selected from different genera. Interestingly, 99% of RHA1 operons were observed to exhibit evolutionary events of division and recombination among the 340 compared genomes. An operon that encodes all enzymes related to histidine biosynthesis in RHA1 (His-operon) was found to be segmented into smaller gene groups (sub-operons) in diverse genomes. These sub-operons were further reorganized with different functional genes as novel operons that are related to different biochemical processes. Comparatively, the operons involved in the functional categories of lipid transport and metabolism are relatively conserved among the 340 compared genomes. At the pathway level, RHA1 operons found to be significantly conserved were involved in ribosome synthesis, oxidative phosphorylation, and fatty acid synthesis. These analyses provide evolutionary insights of operon organization and the dynamic associations of various biochemical pathways in different prokaryotes.

  15. Combining genetic and demographic data for prioritizing conservation actions: insights from a threatened fish species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paz-Vinas, Ivan; Comte, Lise; Chevalier, Mathieu; Dubut, Vincent; Veyssiere, Charlotte; Grenouillet, Gaël; Loot, Geraldine; Blanchet, Simon

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Prioritizing and making efficient conservation plans for threatened populations requires information at both evolutionary and ecological timescales. Nevertheless, few studies integrate multidisciplinary approaches, mainly because of the difficulty for conservationists to assess simultaneously the evolutionary and ecological status of populations. Here, we sought to demonstrate how combining genetic and demographic analyses allows prioritizing and initiating conservation plans. To do so, we combined snapshot microsatellite data and a 30-year-long demographic survey on a threatened freshwater fish species (Parachondrostoma toxostoma) at the river basin scale. Our results revealed low levels of genetic diversity and weak effective population sizes (<63 individuals) in all populations. We further detected severe bottlenecks dating back to the last centuries (200–800 years ago), which may explain the differentiation of certain populations. The demographic survey revealed a general decrease in the spatial distribution and abundance of P. toxostoma over the last three decades. We conclude that demo-genetic approaches are essential for (1) identifying populations for which both evolutionary and ecological extinction risks are high; and (2) proposing conservation plans targeted toward these at risk populations, and accounting for the evolutionary history of populations. We suggest that demo-genetic approaches should be the norm in conservation practices. We combined genetic and demographic data from a threatened freshwater fish species (Parachondrostoma toxostoma) at the river basin scale for conservation purposes. Genetic diversity and effective population sizes are very low, probably due to the strong genetic bottlenecks detected in this study. The species spatial distribution and abundance also decreased during the last decades. PMID:24567833

  16. Comparative phylogeography and population genetics within Buteo lineatus reveals evidence of distinct evolutionary lineages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hull, J.M.; Strobel, Bradley N.; Boal, C.W.; Hull, A.C.; Dykstra, C.R.; Irish, A.M.; Fish, A.M.; Ernest, H.B.

    2008-01-01

    Traditional subspecies classifications may suggest phylogenetic relationships that are discordant with evolutionary history and mislead evolutionary inference. To more accurately describe evolutionary relationships and inform conservation efforts, we investigated the genetic relationships and demographic histories of Buteo lineatus subspecies in eastern and western North America using 21 nuclear microsatellite loci and 375-base pairs of mitochondrial control region sequence. Frequency based analyses of mitochondrial sequence data support significant population distinction between eastern (B. l. lineatus/alleni/texanus) and western (B. l. elegans) subspecies of B. lineatus. This distinction was further supported by frequency and Bayesian analyses of the microsatellite data. We found evidence of differing demographic histories between regions; among eastern sites, mitochondrial data suggested that rapid population expansion occurred following the end of the last glacial maximum, with B. l. texanus population expansion preceding that of B. l. lineatus/alleni. No evidence of post-glacial population expansion was detected among western samples (B. l. elegans). Rather, microsatellite data suggest that the western population has experienced a recent bottleneck, presumably associated with extensive anthropogenic habitat loss during the 19th and 20th centuries. Our data indicate that eastern and western populations of B. lineatus are genetically distinct lineages, have experienced very different demographic histories, and suggest management as separate conservation units may be warranted. ?? 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. G protein-coupled time travel: evolutionary aspects of GPCR research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Römpler, Holger; Stäubert, Claudia; Thor, Doreen; Schulz, Angela; Hofreiter, Michael; Schöneberg, Torsten

    2007-02-01

    The common seven-transmembrane-domain (TMD) architecture of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) has been preserved over a vast period of time, and highly conserved amino acid motifs and residues have evolved to establish ligand and signal transduction specificities. The mining of evolutionary data from sequenced genomes and targeted retrieved orthologs has proven helpful for understanding the physiological relevance of individual GPCRs and for interpreting the clinical significance of GPCR mutations in structural terms. Sequence analysis of GPCR pseudogenes, which are considered as genomic traces of past functions, as well as recent success in sequence analysis of GPCR genes from extinct species, provide further information. This review discusses recent advances and approaches aimed at developing a better understanding of GPCR biology based on evolutionary data.

  18. Characterization of five evolutionary conserved regions of the human tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter: implications for the engineering of a human TH minimal promoter assembled in a self-inactivating lentiviral vector system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romano, Gaetano; Suon, Sokreine; Jin, Hao; Donaldson, Angela E; Iacovitti, Lorraine

    2005-08-01

    A DNA fragment of about 13 kb containing the human tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) promoter was previously isolated from a genomic DNA library and sequenced. The 11 kb from the transcription start of the human TH promoter was successively joined to the green fluorescent protein (GFP) to generate a transgenic mouse model. High levels of GFP expression could be observed in TH-positive cells of the Substantia nigra of embryonic and adult mice. Intriguingly, the sequence of the human TH promoter showed a low degree of homology with the mouse and rat TH promoters. In fact, comparative analysis of the sequences of human, rat, and mouse TH promoters revealed only five small regions of high homology. These five evolutionarily conserved regions were numbered in numeric progression from the 5' end of human TH promoter. In the present study, a panel of minimal human TH promoters was generated to analyze the transcriptional activity and specificity of gene expression conferred by the five conserved regions (CRs). The series of constructs was termed 250 bp and contained the first -194 bp of the human TH promoter immediately upstream of the transcription start, the first 35 bp the human TH messenger RNA leader, plus one or more of the five CRs. All the constructs were assembled in a self-inactivating form of the latest series of lentiviral vector system based on the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Lentiviral-mediated gene transfer was highly efficient for the in vitro transduction of human neuronal progenitor cells (hNPCs). Since a subset of hNPCs express TH following in vitro treatment with a mixture of differentiating agents, it was possible to assess specificity of expression for all the minimal human TH promoters. Overall, the successive addition of the five conserved regions produced a greater degree of specificity in induced TH-positive hNPCs, in particular after the addition of CRI (-8,917, -8,876). However, the human TH minimal promoters did not show any

  19. 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

  20. Analysis of gene order conservation in eukaryotes identifies transcriptionally and functionally linked genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcela Dávila López

    Full Text Available The order of genes in eukaryotes is not entirely random. Studies of gene order conservation are important to understand genome evolution and to reveal mechanisms why certain neighboring genes are more difficult to separate during evolution. Here, genome-wide gene order information was compiled for 64 species, representing a wide variety of eukaryotic phyla. This information is presented in a browser where gene order may be displayed and compared between species. Factors related to non-random gene order in eukaryotes were examined by considering pairs of neighboring genes. The evolutionary conservation of gene pairs was studied with respect to relative transcriptional direction, intergenic distance and functional relationship as inferred by gene ontology. The results show that among gene pairs that are conserved the divergently and co-directionally transcribed genes are much more common than those that are convergently transcribed. Furthermore, highly conserved pairs, in particular those of fungi, are characterized by a short intergenic distance. Finally, gene pairs of metazoa and fungi that are evolutionary conserved and that are divergently transcribed are much more likely to be related by function as compared to poorly conserved gene pairs. One example is the ribosomal protein gene pair L13/S16, which is unusual as it occurs both in fungi and alveolates. A specific functional relationship between these two proteins is also suggested by the fact that they are part of the same operon in both eubacteria and archaea. In conclusion, factors associated with non-random gene order in eukaryotes include relative gene orientation, intergenic distance and functional relationships. It seems likely that certain pairs of genes are conserved because the genes involved have a transcriptional and/or functional relationship. The results also indicate that studies of gene order conservation aid in identifying genes that are related in terms of transcriptional

  1. 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.

  2. The Application of Multiobjective Evolutionary Algorithms to an Educational Computational Model of Science Information Processing: A Computational Experiment in Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamb, Richard L.; Firestone, Jonah B.

    2017-01-01

    Conflicting explanations and unrelated information in science classrooms increase cognitive load and decrease efficiency in learning. This reduced efficiency ultimately limits one's ability to solve reasoning problems in the science. In reasoning, it is the ability of students to sift through and identify critical pieces of information that is of…

  3. Evolutionary contributions to the study of human fertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sear, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Demography, lacking an overarching theoretical framework of its own, has drawn on theories in many other social sciences to inform its analyses. The aim of this paper is to bring to the demographic community's attention research in the evolutionary sciences on fertility, and to demonstrate that evolutionary theory can be another useful tool in the demographer's toolkit. I first dispel some myths which impede the incorporation of evolutionary theory into demography: I make it clear that evolutionary explanations do not assume that all human behaviour is hardwired and functions to maximize genetic fitness; that they are able to explain variation in human behaviour; and that they are not necessarily alternatives to social science explanations. I then describe the diversity of work on fertility by evolutionary researchers, particularly human evolutionary ecologists and cultural evolutionists, and illustrate the usefulness of the evolutionary approach with examples of its application to age at first birth and the fertility transition.

  4. Language as an evolutionary system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brighton, Henry; Smith, Kenny; Kirby, Simon

    2005-09-01

    John Maynard Smith and Eörs Szathmáry argued that human language signified the eighth major transition in evolution: human language marked a new form of information transmission from one generation to another [Maynard Smith J, Szathmáry E. The major transitions in evolution. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press; 1995]. According to this view language codes cultural information and as such forms the basis for the evolution of complexity in human culture. In this article we develop the theory that language also codes information in another sense: languages code information on their own structure. As a result, languages themselves provide information that influences their own survival. To understand the consequences of this theory we discuss recent computational models of linguistic evolution. Linguistic evolution is the process by which languages themselves evolve. This article draws together this recent work on linguistic evolution and highlights the significance of this process in understanding the evolution of linguistic complexity. Our conclusions are that: (1) the process of linguistic transmission constitutes the basis for an evolutionary system, and (2), that this evolutionary system is only superficially comparable to the process of biological evolution.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Taxonomy and conservation of Vietnam's primates: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Mary E; Sterling, Eleanor J; Hurley, Martha M

    2011-11-01

    Vietnam has the highest number of primate taxa overall (24-27) and the highest number of globally threatened primate taxa (minimum 20) in Mainland Southeast Asia. Conservation management of these species depends in part on resolving taxonomic uncertainties, which remain numerous among the Asian primates. Recent research on genetic, morphological, and acoustic diversity in Vietnam's primates has clarified some of these uncertainties, although a number of significant classification issues still remain. Herein, we summarize and compare the major current taxonomic classifications of Vietnam's primates, discuss recent advances in the context of these taxonomies, and suggest key areas for additional research to best inform conservation efforts in a region crucial to global primate diversity. Among the most important next steps for the conservation of Vietnam's primates is a new consensus list of Asian primates that resolves current differences between major taxonomies, incorporates recent research advances, and recognizes units of diversity at scales below the species-level, whether termed populations, morphs, or subspecies. Priority should be placed on recognizing distinct populations, regardless of the species concept in use, in order to foster the evolutionary processes necessary for primate populations to cope with inevitable environmental changes. The long-term conservation of Vietnam's primates depends not only on an accepted and accurate taxonomy but also on funding for on-the-ground conservation activities, including training, and the continued dedication and leadership of Vietnamese researchers and managers. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. 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.

  11. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks, adaptive dynamics and evolutionary rescue theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferriere, Regis; Legendre, Stéphane

    2013-01-19

    Adaptive dynamics theory has been devised to account for feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes. Doing so opens new dimensions to and raises new challenges about evolutionary rescue. Adaptive dynamics theory predicts that successive trait substitutions driven by eco-evolutionary feedbacks can gradually erode population size or growth rate, thus potentially raising the extinction risk. Even a single trait substitution can suffice to degrade population viability drastically at once and cause 'evolutionary suicide'. In a changing environment, a population may track a viable evolutionary attractor that leads to evolutionary suicide, a phenomenon called 'evolutionary trapping'. Evolutionary trapping and suicide are commonly observed in adaptive dynamics models in which the smooth variation of traits causes catastrophic changes in ecological state. In the face of trapping and suicide, evolutionary rescue requires that the population overcome evolutionary threats generated by the adaptive process itself. Evolutionary repellors play an important role in determining how variation in environmental conditions correlates with the occurrence of evolutionary trapping and suicide, and what evolutionary pathways rescue may follow. In contrast with standard predictions of evolutionary rescue theory, low genetic variation may attenuate the threat of evolutionary suicide and small population sizes may facilitate escape from evolutionary traps.

  12. 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.

  13. Evolutionary Mechanisms for Loneliness

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Robert Weiss (1973) conceptualized loneliness as perceived social isolation, which he described as a gnawing, chronic disease without redeeming features. On the scale of everyday life, it is understandable how something as personally aversive as loneliness could be regarded as a blight on human existence. However, evolutionary time and evolutionary forces operate at such a different scale of organization than we experience in everyday life that personal experience is not sufficient to understand the role of loneliness in human existence. Research over the past decade suggests a very different view of loneliness than suggested by personal experience, one in which loneliness serves a variety of adaptive functions in specific habitats. We review evidence on the heritability of loneliness and outline an evolutionary theory of loneliness, with an emphasis on its potential adaptive value in an evolutionary timescale. PMID:24067110

  14. Marine mammals: evolutionary biology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Berta, Annalisa; Sumich, James L; Kovacs, Kit M

    2015-01-01

    The third edition of Marine Mammals: Evolutionary Biology provides a comprehensive and current assessment of the diversity, evolution, and biology of marine mammals, while highlighting the latest tools and techniques for their study...

  15. 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)

  16. A three-dimensional topology of complex I inferred from evolutionary correlations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kensche Philip R

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The quaternary structure of eukaryotic NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I, the largest complex of the oxidative phosphorylation, is still mostly unresolved. Furthermore, it is unknown where transiently bound assembly factors interact with complex I. We therefore asked whether the evolution of complex I contains information about its 3D topology and the binding positions of its assembly factors. We approached these questions by correlating the evolutionary rates of eukaryotic complex I subunits using the mirror-tree method and mapping the results into a 3D representation by multidimensional scaling. Results More than 60% of the evolutionary correlation among the conserved seven subunits of the complex I matrix arm can be explained by the physical distance between the subunits. The three-dimensional evolutionary model of the eukaryotic conserved matrix arm has a striking similarity to the matrix arm quaternary structure in the bacterium Thermus thermophilus (rmsd=19 Å and supports the previous finding that in eukaryotes the N-module is turned relative to the Q-module when compared to bacteria. By contrast, the evolutionary rates contained little information about the structure of the membrane arm. A large evolutionary model of 45 subunits and assembly factors allows to predict subunit positions and interactions (rmsd = 52.6 Å. The model supports an interaction of NDUFAF3, C8orf38 and C2orf56 during the assembly of the proximal matrix arm and the membrane arm. The model further suggests a tight relationship between the assembly factor NUBPL and NDUFA2, which both have been linked to iron-sulfur cluster assembly, as well as between NDUFA12 and its paralog, the assembly factor NDUFAF2. Conclusions The physical distance between subunits of complex I is a major correlate of the rate of protein evolution in the complex I matrix arm and is sufficient to infer parts of the complex’s structure with high accuracy. The

  17. Priorities for global felid conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickman, Amy J; Hinks, Amy E; Macdonald, Ewan A; Burnham, Dawn; Macdonald, David W

    2015-06-01

    Conservation resources are limited, necessitating prioritization of species and locations for action. Most prioritization approaches are based solely on biologically relevant characteristics of taxa or areas and ignore geopolitical realities. Doing so risks a poor return on conservation investment due to nonbiological factors, such as economic or political instability. We considered felids, a taxon which attracts intense conservation attention, to demonstrate a new approach that incorporates both intrinsic species traits and geopolitical characteristics of countries. We developed conservation priority scores for wild felids based on their International Union for Conservation of Nature status, body mass, habitat, range within protected area, evolutionary distinctiveness, and conservation umbrella potential. We used published data on governance, economics and welfare, human population pressures, and conservation policy to assign conservation-likelihood scores to 142 felid-hosting countries. We identified 71 countries as high priorities (above median) for felid conservation. These countries collectively encompassed all 36 felid species and supported an average of 96% of each species' range. Of these countries, 60.6% had below-average conservation-likelihood scores, which indicated these countries are relatively risky conservation investments. Governance was the most common factor limiting conservation likelihood. It was the major contributor to below-median likelihood scores for 62.5% of the 32 felid species occurring in lower-likelihood countries. Governance was followed by economics for which scores were below median for 25% of these species. An average of 58% of species' ranges occurred in 43 higher-priority lower-likelihood countries. Human population pressure was second to governance as a limiting factor when accounting for percentage of species' ranges in each country. As conservation likelihood decreases, it will be increasingly important to identify relevant

  18. Pulmonary CT image classification with evolutionary programming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, M T; Uppaluri, R; Hoffman, E A; McLennan, G

    1999-12-01

    It is often difficult to classify information in medical images from derived features. The purpose of this research was to investigate the use of evolutionary programming as a tool for selecting important features and generating algorithms to classify computed tomographic (CT) images of the lung. Training and test sets consisting of 11 features derived from multiple lung CT images were generated, along with an indicator of the target area from which features originated. The images included five parameters based on histogram analysis, 11 parameters based on run length and co-occurrence matrix measures, and the fractal dimension. Two classification experiments were performed. In the first, the classification task was to distinguish between the subtle but known differences between anterior and posterior portions of transverse lung CT sections. The second classification task was to distinguish normal lung CT images from emphysematous images. The performance of the evolutionary programming approach was compared with that of three statistical classifiers that used the same training and test sets. Evolutionary programming produced solutions that compared favorably with those of the statistical classifiers. In separating the anterior from the posterior lung sections, the evolutionary programming results were better than two of the three statistical approaches. The evolutionary programming approach correctly identified all the normal and abnormal lung images and accomplished this by using less features than the best statistical method. The results of this study demonstrate the utility of evolutionary programming as a tool for developing classification algorithms.

  19. Reshaping conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Mikkel; Danielsen, Finn; Ngaga, Yonika

    2013-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Satellite imagery as a single source of predictor variables for habitat suitability modelling: how Landsat can inform the conservation of a critically endangered lemur

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    José J. Lahoz-Monfort; Gurutzeta Guillera-Arroita; E. J. Milner-Gulland; Richard P. Young; Emily Nicholson

    2010-01-01

    1. Statistical modelling of habitat suitability is an important tool for planning conservation interventions, particularly for areas where species distribution data are expensive or hard to collect...

  3. Targeted gene flow for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Ella; Phillips, Ben L

    2016-04-01

    Anthropogenic threats often impose strong selection on affected populations, causing rapid evolutionary responses. Unfortunately, these adaptive responses are rarely harnessed for conservation. We suggest that conservation managers pay close attention to adaptive processes and geographic variation, with an eye to using them for conservation goals. Translocating pre-adapted individuals into recipient populations is currently considered a potentially important management tool in the face of climate change. Targeted gene flow, which involves moving individuals with favorable traits to areas where these traits would have a conservation benefit, could have a much broader application in conservation. Across a species' range there may be long-standing geographic variation in traits or variation may have rapidly developed in response to a threatening process. Targeted gene flow could be used to promote natural resistance to threats to increase species resilience. We suggest that targeted gene flow is a currently underappreciated strategy in conservation that has applications ranging from the management of invasive species and their impacts to controlling the impact and virulence of pathogens. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  4. Wildlife Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Spash, Clive L.; Aldred, Jonathan

    1998-01-01

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

  5. Austere conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bluwstein, Jevgeniy; Moyo, Francis; Kicheleri, Rose Peter

    2016-01-01

    . Our findings suggest that WMAs foster very limited ownership, participation and collective action at the community level, because WMA governance follows an austere logic of centralized control over key resources. Thus, we suggest that it is difficult to argue that WMAs are community-owned conservation...... initiatives until a genuinely devolved and more flexible conservation model is implemented to give space for popular participation in rule-making....

  6. The population genetics of evolutionary rescue.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Allen Orr

    2014-08-01

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

  7. Paleoanthropology and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. An approach to evaluate the information in chromatographic fingerprints: Application to the optimisation of the extraction and conservation conditions of medicinal herbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alvarez-Segura, T; Cabo-Calvet, E; Torres-Lapasió, J R; García-Álvarez-Coque, M C

    2015-11-27

    A new approach is reported for high-performance liquid chromatography to measure the level of information in fingerprints. For this purpose, the concept of peak prominence, which is the protruding part of each visible peak with regard to the valleys that delimit it, was used. The peaks in the fingerprints are ranked according to the areas of the peak prominences, and a threshold is established to discriminate between the significant peaks and those that are irreproducible. The approach was applied to evaluate the impact of several extraction conditions (solvent nature and composition, time and temperature of the treatment, amount of sample, and time and temperature of conservation of the extracts) on the number of significant peaks found in the fingerprints of a medicinal herb (a green tea sample), using Plackett–Burman designs. Acetonitrile, ethanol and methanol were used for the extraction, and a linear gradient for chromatographic analysis, where the acetonitrile content was increased from 5.0% to 42.5% (v/v) in 45 min. The maximal number of significant peaks in the fingerprints was obtained using a methanol–water mixture as extraction solvent, high ultrasonication time and high temperature. The reported approach can be generalised to other complex samples and situations.

  10. Alternative ways of representing Zapotec and Cuicatec folk classification of birds: a multidimensional model and its implications for culturally-informed conservation in Oaxaca, México.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcántara-Salinas, Graciela; Ellen, Roy F; Valiñas-Coalla, Leopoldo; Caballero, Javier; Argueta-Villamar, Arturo

    2013-12-09

    We report on a comparative ethno-ornithological study of Zapotec and Cuicatec communities in Northern Oaxaca, Mexico that provided a challenge to some existing descriptions of folk classification. Our default model was the taxonomic system of ranks developed by Brent Berlin. Fieldwork was conducted in the Zapotec village of San Miguel Tiltepec and in the Cuicatec village of San Juan Teponaxtla, using a combination of ethnographic interviews and pile-sorting tests. Post-fieldwork, Principal Component Analysis using NTSYSpc V. 2.11f was applied to obtain pattern variation for the answers from different participants. Using language and pile-sorting data analysed through Principal Component Analysis, we show how both Zapotec and Cuicatec subjects place a particular emphasis on an intermediate level of classification.These categories group birds with non-birds using ecological and behavioral criteria, and violate a strict distinction between symbolic and mundane (or ‘natural’), and between ‘general-purpose’ and ‘single-purpose’ schemes. We suggest that shared classificatory knowledge embodying everyday schemes for apprehending the world of birds might be better reflected in a multidimensional model that would also provide a more realistic basis for developing culturally-informed conservation strategies.

  11. 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.

  12. Evolutionary Theory as a Guide to Socioscientific Decision-Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadler, Troy D.

    2005-01-01

    Evolutionary theory serves as the fundamental cornerstone to all life science; yet students frequently possess misconceptions regarding evolution or resist learning the idea altogether. This study, which emerged from a larger project focused on informal reasoning, explores how college students' conceptions of evolutionary theory affect their…

  13. Ancient hyaenas highlight the old problem of estimating evolutionary rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, Beth; Ho, Simon Y W

    2014-02-01

    Phylogenetic analyses of ancient DNA data can provide a timeline for evolutionary change even in the absence of fossils. The power to infer the evolutionary rate is, however, highly dependent on the number and age of samples, the information content of the sequence data and the demographic history of the sampled population. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Sheng et al. (2014) analysed mitochondrial DNA sequences isolated from a combination of ancient and present-day hyaenas, including three Pleistocene samples from China. Using an evolutionary rate inferred from the ages of the ancient sequences, they recalibrated the timing of hyaena diversification and suggest a much more recent evolutionary history than was believed previously. Their results highlight the importance of accurately estimating the evolutionary rate when inferring timescales of geographical and evolutionary diversification. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Total Integrative Evolutionary Communication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nedergaard Thomsen, Ole; Brier, Søren

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we outline a cybersemiotic foundation for the trend of pragmatics-based functional linguistics, Functional Discourse Grammar. Cybersemiotics is a substantial inter- and transdisciplinary semiotic theory which integrates, on the one hand, second-order cybernetics and autopoiesis theory...... and, on the other, Peircean biosemiotics. According to Cybersemiotics, language is primarily a creative process of total integrative evolutionary communication. It comprises three evolutionary stages: (1) biological reflexive languaging (the reflexive foundation of social coordination), (2......). In this inclusive hierarchy language games subsume the other stages, and thus human evolutionary communication is primarily a symbolic-conventional practice. It is intertwined with the practice of living, that is, with different life forms, including other forms of semiotic behavior. Together they form a coherent...

  15. 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.

  16. Evolutionary history of tissue kallikreins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Athanasia Pavlopoulou

    Full Text Available The gene family of human kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs encodes proteins with diverse and pleiotropic functions in normal physiology as well as in disease states. Currently, the most widely known KLK is KLK3 or prostate-specific antigen (PSA that has applications in clinical diagnosis and monitoring of prostate cancer. The KLK gene family encompasses the largest contiguous cluster of serine proteases in humans which is not interrupted by non-KLK genes. This exceptional and unique characteristic of KLKs makes them ideal for evolutionary studies aiming to infer the direction and timing of gene duplication events. Previous studies on the evolution of KLKs were restricted to mammals and the emergence of KLKs was suggested about 150 million years ago (mya. In order to elucidate the evolutionary history of KLKs, we performed comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of KLK homologous proteins in multiple genomes including those that have been completed recently. Interestingly, we were able to identify novel reptilian, avian and amphibian KLK members which allowed us to trace the emergence of KLKs 330 mya. We suggest that a series of duplication and mutation events gave rise to the KLK gene family. The prominent feature of the KLK family is that it consists of tandemly and uninterruptedly arrayed genes in all species under investigation. The chromosomal co-localization in a single cluster distinguishes KLKs from trypsin and other trypsin-like proteases which are spread in different genetic loci. All the defining features of the KLKs were further found to be conserved in the novel KLK protein sequences. The study of this unique family will further assist in selecting new model organisms for functional studies of proteolytic pathways involving KLKs.

  17. Evolutionary Design in Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, Jon

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Haplogroups as Evolutionary Markers of Cognitive Ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rindermann, Heiner; Woodley, Michael A.; Stratford, James

    2012-01-01

    Studies investigating evolutionary theories on the origins of national differences in intelligence have been criticized on the basis that both national cognitive ability measures and supposedly evolutionarily informative proxies (such as latitude and climate) are confounded with general developmental status. In this study 14 Y chromosomal…

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Use of bioinformatics and phylogenetics approaches to further characterize the molecular features of DARPP-32 can guide future works. Predicted phosphorylation sites on DARPP-32 show conservation across vertebrates. Phylogenetics analysis indicates evolutionary strata of phosphorylation site acquisition at the ...

  3. When development matters: From evolutionary psychology to evolutionary developmental psychology

    OpenAIRE

    Hernández Blasi, Carlos; Gardiner, Amy K.; Bjorklund, David F.

    2008-01-01

    This article presents evolutionary developmental psychology (EDP) as an emerging field of evolutionary psychology (EP). In describing the core tenets of both approaches and the differences between them, we emphasize the important roles that evolution and development have in understanding human behaviour. We suggest that developmental psychologists should pay more attention to evolutionary issues and, conversely, evolutionary psychologists should take development seriously. Key words: evol...

  4. 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.

  5. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-03-15

    Mar 15, 2014 ... I define an evolutionary transition as a shift in the hierarchical level at which heritable fitness variance ... life, for example in eusocial insects, around 150 million years ago. None of these transformations was ...... affecting and heritable trait, and to introduce a mechanism which inhibits them from subsequent ...

  6. Evolutionary Stable Strategy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    After Maynard-Smith and Price [1] mathematically derived why a given behaviour or strategy was adopted by a certain proportion of the population at a given time, it was shown that a strategy which is currently stable in a population need not be stable in evolutionary time (across generations). Additionally it was sug-.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. Origins of evolutionary transitions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Ellen

    2014-04-01

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

  10. Evolutionary pattern search algorithms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hart, W.E.

    1995-09-19

    This paper defines a class of evolutionary algorithms called evolutionary pattern search algorithms (EPSAs) and analyzes their convergence properties. This class of algorithms is closely related to evolutionary programming, evolutionary strategie and real-coded genetic algorithms. EPSAs are self-adapting systems that modify the step size of the mutation operator in response to the success of previous optimization steps. The rule used to adapt the step size can be used to provide a stationary point convergence theory for EPSAs on any continuous function. This convergence theory is based on an extension of the convergence theory for generalized pattern search methods. An experimental analysis of the performance of EPSAs demonstrates that these algorithms can perform a level of global search that is comparable to that of canonical EAs. We also describe a stopping rule for EPSAs, which reliably terminated near stationary points in our experiments. This is the first stopping rule for any class of EAs that can terminate at a given distance from stationary points.

  11. Optimal Mixing Evolutionary Algorithms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D. Thierens (Dirk); P.A.N. Bosman (Peter); N. Krasnogor

    2011-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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,

  15. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geary, David C.; Bjorklund, David F.

    2000-01-01

    Describes evolutionary developmental psychology as the study of the genetic and ecological mechanisms that govern the development of social and cognitive competencies common to all human beings and the epigenetic (gene-environment interactions) processes that adapt these competencies to local conditions. Outlines basic assumptions and domains of…

  16. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  17. Evolutionary Theory under Fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewin, Roger

    1980-01-01

    Summarizes events of a conference on evolutionary biology in Chicago entitled: "Macroevolution." Reviews the theory of modern synthesis, a term used to explain Darwinism in terms of population biology and genetics. Issues presented at the conference are discussed in detail. (CS)

  18. Evolutionary developmental psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Ashley C; Bjorklund, David F

    2010-02-01

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

  19. Evolutionary Theories of Detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fitch, J P

    2005-04-29

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

  20. Evolutionary problems in centrosome and centriole biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, L; Normark, B B

    2015-05-01

    Centrosomes have been an enigma to evolutionary biologists. Either they have been the subject of ill-founded speculation or they have been ignored. Here, we highlight evolutionary paradoxes and problems of centrosome and centriole evolution and seek to understand them in the light of recent advances in centrosome biology. Most evolutionary accounts of centrosome evolution have been based on the hypothesis that centrosomes are replicators, independent of the nucleus and cytoplasm. It is now clear, however, that this hypothesis is not tenable. Instead, centrosomes are formed de novo each cell division, with the presence of an old centrosome regulating, but not essential for, the assembly of a new one. Centrosomes are the microtubule-organizing centres of cells. They can potentially affect sensory and motor characters (as the basal body of cilia), as well as the movements of chromosomes during cell division. This latter role does not seem essential, however, except in male meiosis, and the reasons for this remain unclear. Although the centrosome is absent in some taxa, when it is present, its structure is extraordinarily conserved: in most taxa across eukaryotes, it does not appear to evolve at all. And yet a few insect groups display spectacular hypertrophy of the centrioles. We discuss how this might relate to the unusual reproductive system found in these insects. Finally, we discuss why the fate of centrosomes in sperm and early embryos might differ between different groups of animals. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society for Evolutionary Biology.

  1. Indirect evolutionary rescue: prey adapts, predator avoids extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamichi, Masato; Miner, Brooks E

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have increasingly recognized evolutionary rescue (adaptive evolution that prevents extinction following environmental change) as an important process in evolutionary biology and conservation science. Researchers have concentrated on single species living in isolation, but populations in nature exist within communities of interacting species, so evolutionary rescue should also be investigated in a multispecies context. We argue that the persistence or extinction of a focal species can be determined solely by evolutionary change in an interacting species. We demonstrate that prey adaptive evolution can prevent predator extinction in two-species predator–prey models, and we derive the conditions under which this indirect evolutionary interaction is essential to prevent extinction following environmental change. A nonevolving predator can be rescued from extinction by adaptive evolution of its prey due to a trade-off for the prey between defense against predation and population growth rate. As prey typically have larger populations and shorter generations than their predators, prey evolution can be rapid and have profound effects on predator population dynamics. We suggest that this process, which we term ‘indirect evolutionary rescue’, has the potential to be critically important to the ecological and evolutionary responses of populations and communities to dramatic environmental change. PMID:26366196

  2. Evolutionary Thinking in Environmental Economics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bergh, J.C.J.M.

    2007-01-01

    Evolutionary and environmental economics have a potentially close relationship. This paper reviews past and identifies potential applications of evolutionary concepts and methods to environmental economics. This covers a number of themes: resource use and ecosystem management; growth and

  3. 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.

  4. Human evolutionary psychology and animal behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly; Wilson

    1999-03-01

    Homo sapiens is increasingly being studied within the evolutionary (adaptationist, selectionist) framework favoured by animal behaviour researchers. There are various labels for such work, including evolutionary psychology, human behavioural ecology and human sociobiology. Collectively, we call these areas 'human evolutionary psychology' (HEP) because their shared objective is an evolutionary understanding of human information processing and decision making. Sexual selection and sex differences have been especially prominent in recent HEP research, but many other topics have been addressed, including parent-offspring relations, reciprocity and exploitation, foraging strategies and spatial cognition. Many HEP researchers began their scientific careers in animal behaviour, and in many ways, HEP research is scarcely distinguishable from other animal behaviour research. Currently controversial issues in HEP, such as the explanation(s) for observed levels of heritable diversity, the kinds of data needed to test adaptationist hypotheses, and the characterization of a species-typical 'environment of evolutionary adaptedness', are issues in animal behaviour as well. What gives HEP a distinct methodological flavour is that the research animal can talk, an ability that has both advantages and pitfalls for researchers. The proper use of self-reports and other verbal data in HEP might usefully become a subject of future research in its own right. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Using qualitative geographic information systems to explore gendered dimensions for conservation agriculture production systems in the Philippines: A mixed methods approach

    OpenAIRE

    Harman, M.

    2013-01-01

    Metadata only record This research identifies gender-based constraints and opportunities for the adoption of conservation agriculture production systems (CAPS) based on a case-study with smallholder farmers in two villages in Misamis Oriental, Philippines. It explores gendered soil knowledge and perceptions, access to resources, and agricultural practices in the context of food security and soil conservation. This approach combines qualitative and quantitative methods such as focus group d...

  8. Colorful Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skophammer, Karen

    2011-01-01

    Some people only think about conservation on Earth Day. Being in the "art business" however, this author is always conscious of the many products she thinks get wasted when they could be reused, recycled, and restored--especially in a school building and art room. In this article, she describes an art lesson that allows students to paint…

  9. 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

  10. [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…

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. Identifications of conserved 7-mers in 3'-UTRs and microRNAs in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Xuegong

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background MicroRNAs (miRNAs are a class of endogenous regulatory small RNAs which play an important role in posttranscriptional regulations by targeting mRNAs for cleavage or translational repression. The base-pairing between the 5'-end of miRNA and the target mRNA 3'-UTRs is essential for the miRNA:mRNA recognition. Recent studies show that many seed matches in 3'-UTRs, which are fully complementary to miRNA 5'-ends, are highly conserved. Based on these features, a two-stage strategy can be implemented to achieve the de novo identification of miRNAs by requiring the complete base-pairing between the 5'-end of miRNA candidates and the potential seed matches in 3'-UTRs. Results We presented a new method, which combined multiple pairwise conservation information, to identify the frequently-occurred and conserved 7-mers in 3'-UTRs. A pairwise conservation score (PCS was introduced to describe the conservation of all 7-mers in 3'-UTRs between any two Drosophila species. Using PCSs computed from 6 pairs of flies, we developed a support vector machine (SVM classifier ensemble, named Cons-SVM and identified 689 conserved 7-mers including 63 seed matches covering 32 out of 38 known miRNA families in the reference dataset. In the second stage, we searched for 90 nt conserved stem-loop regions containing the complementary sequences to the identified 7-mers and used the previously published miRNA prediction software to analyze these stem-loops. We predicted 47 miRNA candidates in the genome-wide screen. Conclusion Cons-SVM takes advantage of the independent evolutionary information from the 6 pairs of flies and shows high sensitivity in identifying seed matches in 3'-UTRs. Combining the multiple pairwise conservation information by the machine learning approach, we finally identified 47 miRNA candidates in D. melanogaster.

  14. Hybridisation on coral reefs and the conservation of evolutionary novelty

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zoe T. RICHARDS Jean-Paul A. HOBBS

    2015-01-01

    .... In this review, we summarise the growing body of evidence arising from studies on stony corals and reef fishes to verify the occurrence of hybridisatiori, and we examine the influence hybridisation...

  15. Evolutionary Conservation and Diversification of Rh Family Genes and Proteins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cheng-Han Huang; Jianbin Peng

    2005-01-01

    .... In the latter view, Rh and Amt are different biological gas channels. To reconstruct the phytogeny of the Rh family and study its coexistence with and relationship to Amt in depth, we analyzed 111 Rh genes and 260 Amt genes...

  16. Growth and longevity in freshwater mussels: evolutionary and conservation implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendell R. Haag; Andrew L.. Rypel

    2010-01-01

    The amount of energy allocated to growth versus other functions is a fundamental feature of an organism’s life history. Constraints on energy availability result in characteristic trade-offs among life-history traits and reflect strategies by which organisms adapt to their environments. Freshwater mussels are a diverse and imperiled component of aquatic ecosystems but...

  17. Molecular Genetic Equipment for Improved Inventory and Monitoring of Species of Conservation Concern on Department of Defense Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-18

    Monitoring of Species of Conservation Concern on Department of Defense Lands Report Title The Laboratory for Ecological , Evolutionary and Conservation...practice for monitoring aquatic macroorganisms, Biological Conservation, (03 2015): 1. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2014.11.040 Robert C. Lonsinger, Eric M...SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: The Laboratory for Ecological , Evolutionary and Conservation Genetics in the College of Natural Resources at the

  18. The Mechanisms of Psychedelic Visionary Experiences: Hypotheses from Evolutionary Psychology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Michael J. Winkelman

    2017-01-01

    ... by exogenous neurotransmitter analogs. Humans have a long evolutionary relationship with psychedelics, a consequence of psychedelics' selective effects for human cognitive abilities, exemplified in the information rich visionary experiences...

  19. Studies in evolutionary agroecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wille, Wibke

    Darwinian evolution by natural selection is driven primarily by differential survival and reproduction among individuals in a population. When the evolutionary interest of an individual is in conflict with the interests of the population, the genes increasing individual fitness at the cost...... performance are not in conflict, it is unlikely that plant breeding can radically improve the results of millions of years of evolution through natural selection. However, efforts to improve crops can be very successful, when breeding is directed towards goals diverging from natural selection. The potential...... 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Anxiety: an evolutionary approach.

    OpenAIRE

    Bateson, M; Brilot, B; Nettle, D.

    2011-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses, with huge attendant suffering. Current treatments are not universally effective, suggesting that a deeper understanding of the causes of anxiety is needed. To understand anxiety disorders better, it is first necessary to understand the normal anxiety response. This entails considering its evolutionary function as well as the mechanisms underlying it. We argue that the function of the human anxiety response, and homologues in other ...

  2. Exporting conservation

    OpenAIRE

    LTRA-12

    2012-01-01

    Metadata only record Soil degradation represents a major threat to food security, particularly in mountainous regions of Southeast Asia, where rainfall can wash away inches of topsoil. This article presents conservation agriculture as a potential solution, focusing on the work that North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University conducts in Southeast Asia in conjunction with regional partners as part of the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (SANREM) collabo...

  3. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex McAvoy

    2015-08-01

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

  4. Evolutionary theory and teleology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Grady, R T

    1984-04-21

    The order within and among living systems can be explained rationally by postulating a process of descent with modification, effected by factors which are extrinsic or intrinsic to the organisms. Because at the time Darwin proposed his theory of evolution there was no concept of intrinsic factors which could evolve, he postulated a process of extrinsic effects--natural selection. Biological order was thus seen as an imposed, rather than an emergent, property. Evolutionary change was seen as being determined by the functional efficiency (adaptedness) of the organism in its environment, rather than by spontaneous changes in intrinsically generated organizing factors. The initial incompleteness of Darwin's explanatory model, and the axiomatization of its postulates in neo-Darwinism, has resulted in a theory of functionalism, rather than structuralism. As such, it introduces an unnecessary teleology which confounds evolutionary studies and reduces the usefulness of the theory. This problem cannot be detected from within the neo-Darwinian paradigm because the different levels of end-directed activity--teleomatic, teleonomic, and teleological--are not recognized. They are, in fact, considered to influence one another. The theory of nonequilibrium evolution avoids these problems by returning to the basic principles of biological order and developing a structuralist explanation of intrinsically generated change. Extrinsic factors may affect the resultant evolutionary pattern, but they are neither necessary nor sufficient for evolution to occur.

  5. 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).

  6. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-08-01

    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.

  7. Evolutionary origin of insect pheromones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stökl, Johannes; Steiger, Sandra

    2017-12-01

    Communication via chemical signals, that is, pheromones, is of pivotal importance for most insects. According to current evolutionary theory, insect pheromones originated either from extant precursor compounds being selected for information transfer or by the pheromone components exploiting a pre-existing sensory bias in the receiver. Here, we review the available experimental evidence for both hypotheses. Existing data indicate that most insect pheromones evolved from precursor compounds that were emitted as metabolic by-products or that previously had other non-communicative functions. Many studies have investigated cuticular hydrocarbons that have evolved a communicative function, although examples of pheromones exist that have arisen from defensive secretions, hormones or dietary compounds. We summarize and discuss the selective pressures shaping the pheromone during signal evolution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Anne

    2015-06-01

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

  9. From computers to cultivation: reconceptualizing evolutionary psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Louise; Pollet, Thomas V.; Stulp, Gert

    2014-01-01

    Does evolutionary theorizing have a role in psychology? This is a more contentious issue than one might imagine, given that, as evolved creatures, the answer must surely be yes. The contested nature of evolutionary psychology lies not in our status as evolved beings, but in the extent to which evolutionary ideas add value to studies of human behavior, and the rigor with which these ideas are tested. This, in turn, is linked to the framework in which particular evolutionary ideas are situated. While the framing of the current research topic places the brain-as-computer metaphor in opposition to evolutionary psychology, the most prominent school of thought in this field (born out of cognitive psychology, and often known as the Santa Barbara school) is entirely wedded to the computational theory of mind as an explanatory framework. Its unique aspect is to argue that the mind consists of a large number of functionally specialized (i.e., domain-specific) computational mechanisms, or modules (the massive modularity hypothesis). Far from offering an alternative to, or an improvement on, the current perspective, we argue that evolutionary psychology is a mainstream computational theory, and that its arguments for domain-specificity often rest on shaky premises. We then go on to suggest that the various forms of e-cognition (i.e., embodied, embedded, enactive) represent a true alternative to standard computational approaches, with an emphasis on “cognitive integration” or the “extended mind hypothesis” in particular. We feel this offers the most promise for human psychology because it incorporates the social and historical processes that are crucial to human “mind-making” within an evolutionarily informed framework. In addition to linking to other research areas in psychology, this approach is more likely to form productive links to other disciplines within the social sciences, not least by encouraging a healthy pluralism in approach. PMID:25161633

  10. From computers to cultivation: reconceptualizing evolutionary psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Louise eBarrett

    2014-08-01

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

  11. From computers to cultivation: reconceptualizing evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Louise; Pollet, Thomas V; Stulp, Gert

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Evolutionary divergence of chloroplast FAD synthetase proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arilla-Luna Sonia

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Flavin adenine dinucleotide synthetases (FADSs - a group of bifunctional enzymes that carry out the dual functions of riboflavin phosphorylation to produce flavin mononucleotide (FMN and its subsequent adenylation to generate FAD in most prokaryotes - were studied in plants in terms of sequence, structure and evolutionary history. Results Using a variety of bioinformatics methods we have found that FADS enzymes localized to the chloroplasts, which we term as plant-like FADS proteins, are distributed across a variety of green plant lineages and constitute a divergent protein family clearly of cyanobacterial origin. The C-terminal module of these enzymes does not contain the typical riboflavin kinase active site sequence, while the N-terminal module is broadly conserved. These results agree with a previous work reported by Sandoval et al. in 2008. Furthermore, our observations and preliminary experimental results indicate that the C-terminus of plant-like FADS proteins may contain a catalytic activity, but different to that of their prokaryotic counterparts. In fact, homology models predict that plant-specific conserved residues constitute a distinct active site in the C-terminus. Conclusions A structure-based sequence alignment and an in-depth evolutionary survey of FADS proteins, thought to be crucial in plant metabolism, are reported, which will be essential for the correct annotation of plant genomes and further structural and functional studies. This work is a contribution to our understanding of the evolutionary history of plant-like FADS enzymes, which constitute a new family of FADS proteins whose C-terminal module might be involved in a distinct catalytic activity.

  13. Evolutionary divergence of chloroplast FAD synthetase proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Flavin adenine dinucleotide synthetases (FADSs) - a group of bifunctional enzymes that carry out the dual functions of riboflavin phosphorylation to produce flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and its subsequent adenylation to generate FAD in most prokaryotes - were studied in plants in terms of sequence, structure and evolutionary history. Results Using a variety of bioinformatics methods we have found that FADS enzymes localized to the chloroplasts, which we term as plant-like FADS proteins, are distributed across a variety of green plant lineages and constitute a divergent protein family clearly of cyanobacterial origin. The C-terminal module of these enzymes does not contain the typical riboflavin kinase active site sequence, while the N-terminal module is broadly conserved. These results agree with a previous work reported by Sandoval et al. in 2008. Furthermore, our observations and preliminary experimental results indicate that the C-terminus of plant-like FADS proteins may contain a catalytic activity, but different to that of their prokaryotic counterparts. In fact, homology models predict that plant-specific conserved residues constitute a distinct active site in the C-terminus. Conclusions A structure-based sequence alignment and an in-depth evolutionary survey of FADS proteins, thought to be crucial in plant metabolism, are reported, which will be essential for the correct annotation of plant genomes and further structural and functional studies. This work is a contribution to our understanding of the evolutionary history of plant-like FADS enzymes, which constitute a new family of FADS proteins whose C-terminal module might be involved in a distinct catalytic activity. PMID:20955574

  14. 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.

  15. Applying evolutionary concepts to wildlife disease ecology and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vander Wal, Eric; Garant, Dany; Calmé, Sophie; Chapman, Colin A; Festa-Bianchet, Marco; Millien, Virginie; Rioux-Paquette, Sébastien; Pelletier, Fanie

    2014-08-01

    Existing and emerging infectious diseases are among the most pressing global threats to biodiversity, food safety and human health. The complex interplay between host, pathogen and environment creates a challenge for conserving species, communities and ecosystem functions, while mediating the many known ecological and socio-economic negative effects of disease. Despite the clear ecological and evolutionary contexts of host-pathogen dynamics, approaches to managing wildlife disease remain predominantly reactionary, focusing on surveillance and some attempts at eradication. A few exceptional studies have heeded recent calls for better integration of ecological concepts in the study and management of wildlife disease; however, evolutionary concepts remain underused. Applied evolution consists of four principles: evolutionary history, genetic and phenotypic variation, selection and eco-evolutionary dynamics. In this article, we first update a classical framework for understanding wildlife disease to integrate better these principles. Within this framework, we explore the evolutionary implications of environment-disease interactions. Subsequently, we synthesize areas where applied evolution can be employed in wildlife disease management. Finally, we discuss some future directions and challenges. Here, we underscore that despite some evolutionary principles currently playing an important role in our understanding of disease in wild animals, considerable opportunities remain for fostering the practice of evolutionarily enlightened wildlife disease management.

  16. 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.

  17. Evolutionary genomics of Entamoeba

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weedall, Gareth D.; Hall, Neil

    2011-01-01

    Entamoeba histolytica is a human pathogen that causes amoebic dysentery and leads to significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Understanding the genome and evolution of the parasite will help explain how, when and why it causes disease. Here we review current knowledge about the evolutionary genomics of Entamoeba: how differences between the genomes of different species may help explain different phenotypes, and how variation among E. histolytica parasites reveals patterns of population structure. The imminent expansion of the amount genome data will greatly improve our knowledge of the genus and of pathogenic species within it. PMID:21288488

  18. Scalable computing for evolutionary genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Sensitivity analysis of conservation targets in systematic conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Noam; Mazor, Tessa; Brokovich, Eran; Jablon, Pierre-Elie; Kark, Salit

    2015-10-01

    Systematic conservation planning has rapidly advanced in the past decade and has been increasingly incorporated in multiple studies and conservation projects. One of its requirements is a quantitative definition of conservation targets. While the Convention on Biological Diversity aims to expand the world's protected area network to 17% of the land surface, in many cases such uniform policy-driven targets may not be appropriate for achieving persistence of various species. Targets are often set arbitrarily, often because information required for the persistence of each species is unavailable or unknown in the focal region. Conservation planners therefore need to establish complementary novel approaches to address the gaps in setting targets. Here, we develop and present a novel method that aims to help guide the selection of conservation targets, providing support for decision makers, planners, and managers. This is achieved by examining the overall flexibility of the conservation network resulting from conservation prioritization, and aiming for greater flexibility. To test this approach we applied the decision support tool Marxan to determine marine conservation priority areas in the eastern Mediterranean Sea as a case study. We assessed the flexibility of the conservation network by comparing 80 different scenarios in which conservation targets were gradually increased and assessed by a range of calculated metrics (e.g., the percentage of the total area selected, the overall connectivity). We discovered that when conservation targets were set too low (i.e., below 10% of the distribution range of each species), very few areas were identified as irreplaceable and the conservation network was not well defined. Interestingly, when conservation targets were set too high (over 50% of the species' range), too many conservation priority areas were selected as irreplaceable, an outcome which is realistically infeasible to implement. As a general guideline, we found that

  20. 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"...

  1. Evolutionary psychology: A how-to guide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, David M G; Al-Shawaf, Laith; Conroy-Beam, Daniel; Asao, Kelly; Buss, David M

    2017-01-01

    Researchers in the social and behavioral sciences are increasingly using evolutionary insights to test novel hypotheses about human psychology. Because evolutionary perspectives are relatively new to psychology and most researchers do not receive formal training in this endeavor, there remains ambiguity about "best practices" for implementing evolutionary principles. This article provides researchers with a practical guide for using evolutionary perspectives in their research programs and for avoiding common pitfalls in doing so. We outline essential elements of an evolutionarily informed research program at 3 central phases: (a) generating testable hypotheses, (b) testing empirical predictions, and (c) interpreting results. We elaborate key conceptual tools, including task analysis, psychological mechanisms, design features, universality, and cost-benefit analysis. Researchers can use these tools to generate hypotheses about universal psychological mechanisms, social and cultural inputs that amplify or attenuate the activation of these mechanisms, and cross-culturally variable behavior that these mechanisms can produce. We hope that this guide inspires theoretically and methodologically rigorous research that more cogently integrates knowledge from the psychological and life sciences. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  2. Comparative genomics and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kondrashov, A S

    1999-12-01

    Data of large-scale DNA sequencing are relevant to some of the most fundamental issues in evolutionary biology: suboptimality, homology, hierarchy, ancestry, novelties, the role of natural selection, and the relative importance of directional versus stabilizing selection. Already, these data provided the best available evidence for some evolutionary phenomena, and in several cases led to refinement of old concepts. Still, the Darwinian evolutionary paradigm will successfully accommodate comparative genomics.

  3. Analyzing opportunities for energy conservation in municipal fleet management: service delivery patterns, equipment, supply, operations, and maintenance. Information bulletin of the energy task force of the urban consortium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1980-01-01

    Vehicle fleet management as a five-step process is portrayed and the multiple energy conservation opportunities within each step are examined. The five steps described are, configuration of service area and service delivery patterns, equipping the fleet, operating the fleet, maintaining the fleet, and supplying the fleet with fuel. A systems approach to decision making about municipal fleets is outlined. Management options, control techniques, and devices are suggested for each of the five steps. Reference is made to analytic tools which will assist in deliberating options at each of these steps. These tools are presented in a list. Four concise case studies of jurisdictions which are taking deliberate steps to reduce fuel use are presented. Key opportunities for fuel conservation are then summarized, followed by a selected bibliography, and listing of reference materials and additional resources.

  4. 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.

  5. Evolutionary status of Polaris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fadeyev, Yu. A.

    2015-05-01

    Hydrodynamic models of short-period Cepheids were computed to determine the pulsation period as a function of evolutionary time during the first and third crossings of the instability strip. The equations of radiation hydrodynamics and turbulent convection for radial stellar pulsations were solved with the initial conditions obtained from the evolutionary models of Population I stars (X = 0.7, Z = 0.02) with masses from 5.2 to 6.5 M⊙ and the convective core overshooting parameter 0.1 ≤ αov ≤ 0.3. In Cepheids with period of 4 d the rate of pulsation period change during the first crossing of the instability strip is over 50 times larger than that during the third crossing. Polaris is shown to cross the instability strip for the first time and to be the fundamental mode pulsator. The best agreement between the predicted and observed rates of period change was obtained for the model with mass of 5.4 M⊙ and the overshooting parameter αov = 0.25. The bolometric luminosity and radius are L = 1.26 × 103 L⊙ and R = 37.5 R⊙, respectively. In the HR diagram, Polaris is located at the red edge of the instability strip.

  6. Evolutionary scenarios of Notch proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodosiou, Athina; Arhondakis, Stilianos; Baumann, Marc; Kossida, Sophia

    2009-07-01

    Notch is a highly conserved family of transmembrane receptors and transcription factors that are key players in several developmental processes. In this study, we identified novel Notch sequences from various species covering from worm to human and conducted a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis in order to confirm and extend the evolutionary history of Notch. Our findings confirm an independent duplication event in Caenorhabditis elegans resulting in two Notch genes and show that the vertebrate Notch genes resulted from two duplication events, both of which occurred before the divergence of teleosts and tetrapoda. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the vertebrate Notch2 group is phylogenetically closer to Notch3 and that Notch2 appeared at the first round of vertebrate duplication events. Moreover, there is evidence that the two Notch1 genes in fish, appeared by a recent duplication of Notch1 in teleost after the divergence of teleost and tetrapoda. Whether this is from ancient whole genome duplication (WGD) or gene duplication remains to be elucidated. The fourth group of Notch (Notch4) was found only in mammals. We suggest two possible scenarios for the origin of the Notch4 subfamily: 1) Notch4 appeared at the time of the two WGDs in the early chordate but has been maintained only in the mammalian lineage and was lost in the other lineages, 2) a recent independent duplication event took place in the mammalian lineage. The increase of the sequencing data from Xenopus tropicalis, Gallus gallus genome projects and of other avian and reptile genomes will shed more light on this event. Nevertheless, the great divergence of Notch4, from the other three Notch genes, suggests a rapid divergence raising questions about the functional implication of this event. In addition, comparison of the organization of Notch syntenic genes among species supports the coordinated rearrangements during evolution for Ntch, PBX, and BRD families that may lead to possible functional

  7. Evolutionary psychology in the modern world: applications, perspectives, and strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, S Craig; van Vugt, Mark; Dunbar, Robin I M

    2012-12-20

    An evolutionary approach is a powerful framework which can bring new perspectives on any aspect of human behavior, to inform and complement those from other disciplines, from psychology and anthropology to economics and politics. Here we argue that insights from evolutionary psychology may be increasingly applied to address practical issues and help alleviate social problems. We outline the promise of this endeavor, and some of the challenges it faces. In doing so, we draw parallels between an applied evolutionary psychology and recent developments in Darwinian medicine, which similarly has the potential to complement conventional approaches. Finally, we describe some promising new directions which are developed in the associated papers accompanying this article.

  8. Structural and evolutionary bioinformatics of the SPOUT superfamily of methyltransferases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Purta Elzbieta

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background SPOUT methyltransferases (MTases are a large class of S-adenosyl-L-methionine-dependent enzymes that exhibit an unusual alpha/beta fold with a very deep topological knot. In 2001, when no crystal structures were available for any of these proteins, Anantharaman, Koonin, and Aravind identified homology between SpoU and TrmD MTases and defined the SPOUT superfamily. Since then, multiple crystal structures of knotted MTases have been solved and numerous new homologous sequences appeared in the databases. However, no comprehensive comparative analysis of these proteins has been carried out to classify them based on structural and evolutionary criteria and to guide functional predictions. Results We carried out extensive searches of databases of protein structures and sequences to collect all members of previously identified SPOUT MTases, and to identify previously unknown homologs. Based on sequence clustering, characterization of domain architecture, structure predictions and sequence/structure comparisons, we re-defined families within the SPOUT superfamily and predicted putative active sites and biochemical functions for the so far uncharacterized members. We have also delineated the common core of SPOUT MTases and inferred a multiple sequence alignment for the conserved knot region, from which we calculated the phylogenetic tree of the superfamily. We have also studied phylogenetic distribution of different families, and used this information to infer the evolutionary history of the SPOUT superfamily. Conclusion We present the first phylogenetic tree of the SPOUT superfamily since it was defined, together with a new scheme for its classification, and discussion about conservation of sequence and structure in different families, and their functional implications. We identified four protein families as new members of the SPOUT superfamily. Three of these families are functionally uncharacterized (COG1772, COG1901, and COG4080

  9. 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.

  10. Behavioural endocrinology and reproduction: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crews, D

    1992-01-01

    It is a fact that those interested in immediate causation tend to be unaware of the great advances in evolutionary biology. Similarly, most scientists interested in ecological and evolutionary questions ignore advances in neurobiology and molecular biology. Quite simply, 'reductionists see little to be gained from holistic studies, and whole organism biologists do not recognize the value of molecular analysis' (Prosser 1986). This philosophical gap and lack of communication between molecular and physiological biologists with organismal and evolutionary biologists makes it difficult to be a generalist. Yet if we are to understand past, present, and perhaps even future behaviour, we must study how the different levels of biological organization are integrated. If done with foresight, it can lead to new discoveries not only in evolution and ecology, but also in physiology and even molecular biology. One of the first things we are impressed by is the great variety of animals, particularly their behaviours and their physiologies. With so many differences, are there any generalities? With the establishment of evolutionary theory, evidence that there is 'unity in diversity' has come with discoveries of common anatomical features, the cell cycle, conservation of intermediary metabolism, and the genetic code, to name but a few. While in vertebrates there appears to be a conservation of the neural circuits underlying sex behaviour, it is still too early to state the extent to which this concept can be extended to the hormonal mechanisms underlying behaviour. This chapter has documented how some widely-held assumptions are generalities only in a very restricted sense. I have tried to show how much of our conceptual understanding of the behavioural endocrinology stems from extensive studies on relatively few species. According to (Beach 1979), there are '... two cardinal rules that should govern not only the construction of animal models for human behaviour, but for all

  11. 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.

  12. Evolutionary genomics of animal personality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Oers, Kees; Mueller, Jakob C

    2010-12-27

    Research on animal personality can be approached from both a phenotypic and a genetic perspective. While using a phenotypic approach one can measure present selection on personality traits and their combinations. However, this approach cannot reconstruct the historical trajectory that was taken by evolution. Therefore, it is essential for our understanding of the causes and consequences of personality diversity to link phenotypic variation in personality traits with polymorphisms in genomic regions that code for this trait variation. Identifying genes or genome regions that underlie personality traits will open exciting possibilities to study natural selection at the molecular level, gene-gene and gene-environment interactions, pleiotropic effects and how gene expression shapes personality phenotypes. In this paper, we will discuss how genome information revealed by already established approaches and some more recent techniques such as high-throughput sequencing of genomic regions in a large number of individuals can be used to infer micro-evolutionary processes, historical selection and finally the maintenance of personality trait variation. We will do this by reviewing recent advances in molecular genetics of animal personality, but will also use advanced human personality studies as case studies of how molecular information may be used in animal personality research in the near future.

  13. Methodologies for conservation assessments of the genetic biodiversity of aquatic macro-organisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BERT T. M.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available International organizations and biodiversity scientists recognize three levels of biodiversity: genetic, species, and ecosystem. However, most studies with the goal of assessing biodiversity collect data at only a single level -- that of the species. Even when multiple levels of biodiversity are considered, usually only ecosystem diversity is also evaluated. Genetic diversity is virtually never considered. Yet, genetic diversity is essential for the maintenance o