WorldWideScience

Sample records for evolutionary conserved genes

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-26

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  4. Evolutionary Conservation in Genes Underlying Human Psychiatric Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa Michelle Ogawa

    2014-05-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Liu

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

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynch Michael

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catania, Francesco; Lynch, Michael

    2010-05-04

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scharfe Maren

    2010-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sommer Simone

    2005-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiancheng Liu

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirai Leila T

    2012-02-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-11-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandien, K; Sommer, R J

    2001-08-15

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

  1. Strategies for measuring evolutionary conservation of RNA secondary structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hofacker Ivo L

    2008-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilucca, Maddalena; Cimini, Giulio; Giansanti, Andrea

    2018-07-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanni Caruso

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Grandien, Kaj; Sommer, Ralf J.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  7. Comparative genome analysis of PHB gene family reveals deep evolutionary origins and diverse gene function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di, Chao; Xu, Wenying; Su, Zhen; Yuan, Joshua S

    2010-10-07

    PHB (Prohibitin) gene family is involved in a variety of functions important for different biological processes. PHB genes are ubiquitously present in divergent species from prokaryotes to eukaryotes. Human PHB genes have been found to be associated with various diseases. Recent studies by our group and others have shown diverse function of PHB genes in plants for development, senescence, defence, and others. Despite the importance of the PHB gene family, no comprehensive gene family analysis has been carried to evaluate the relatedness of PHB genes across different species. In order to better guide the gene function analysis and understand the evolution of the PHB gene family, we therefore carried out the comparative genome analysis of the PHB genes across different kingdoms. The relatedness, motif distribution, and intron/exon distribution all indicated that PHB genes is a relatively conserved gene family. The PHB genes can be classified into 5 classes and each class have a very deep evolutionary origin. The PHB genes within the class maintained the same motif patterns during the evolution. With Arabidopsis as the model species, we found that PHB gene intron/exon structure and domains are also conserved during the evolution. Despite being a conserved gene family, various gene duplication events led to the expansion of the PHB genes. Both segmental and tandem gene duplication were involved in Arabidopsis PHB gene family expansion. However, segmental duplication is predominant in Arabidopsis. Moreover, most of the duplicated genes experienced neofunctionalization. The results highlighted that PHB genes might be involved in important functions so that the duplicated genes are under the evolutionary pressure to derive new function. PHB gene family is a conserved gene family and accounts for diverse but important biological functions based on the similar molecular mechanisms. The highly diverse biological function indicated that more research needs to be carried out

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Zou

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-10

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

  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. Conservation and gene banking

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Evolutionary-conserved telomere-linked helicase genes of fission yeast are repressed by silencing factors, RNAi components and the telomere-binding protein Taz1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, K. R.; Ibarra, P. T.; Thon, G.

    2006-01-01

    . Mutations and conditions perturbing histone acetylation had similar effects further demonstrating that the tlh genes are normally repressed by heterochromatin. In contrast, mutations in the RNAi factors Dcr1, Ago1 or Rdp1 led only to a modest derepression of the tlh genes indicating an alternate pathway...

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatebe, Hisashi; Shiozaki, Kazuhiro

    2017-11-01

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

  17. Synonymous genes explore different evolutionary landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guillaume Cambray

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available The evolutionary potential of a gene is constrained not only by the amino acid sequence of its product, but by its DNA sequence as well. The topology of the genetic code is such that half of the amino acids exhibit synonymous codons that can reach different subsets of amino acids from each other through single mutation. Thus, synonymous DNA sequences should access different regions of the protein sequence space through a limited number of mutations, and this may deeply influence the evolution of natural proteins. Here, we demonstrate that this feature can be of value for manipulating protein evolvability. We designed an algorithm that, starting from an input gene, constructs a synonymous sequence that systematically includes the codons with the most different evolutionary perspectives; i.e., codons that maximize accessibility to amino acids previously unreachable from the template by point mutation. A synonymous version of a bacterial antibiotic resistance gene was computed and synthesized. When concurrently submitted to identical directed evolution protocols, both the wild type and the recoded sequence led to the isolation of specific, advantageous phenotypic variants. Simulations based on a mutation isolated only from the synthetic gene libraries were conducted to assess the impact of sub-functional selective constraints, such as codon usage, on natural adaptation. Our data demonstrate that rational design of synonymous synthetic genes stands as an affordable improvement to any directed evolution protocol. We show that using two synonymous DNA sequences improves the overall yield of the procedure by increasing the diversity of mutants generated. These results provide conclusive evidence that synonymous coding sequences do experience different areas of the corresponding protein adaptive landscape, and that a sequence's codon usage effectively constrains the evolution of the encoded protein.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bilsland Elizabeth

    2007-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  1. Evolutionary Fates and Dynamic Functionalization of Young Duplicate Genes in Arabidopsis Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Tao, Feng; Marowsky, Nicholas C; Fan, Chuanzhu

    2016-09-01

    Gene duplication is a primary means to generate genomic novelties, playing an essential role in speciation and adaptation. Particularly in plants, a high abundance of duplicate genes has been maintained for significantly long periods of evolutionary time. To address the manner in which young duplicate genes were derived primarily from small-scale gene duplication and preserved in plant genomes and to determine the underlying driving mechanisms, we generated transcriptomes to produce the expression profiles of five tissues in Arabidopsis thaliana and the closely related species Arabidopsis lyrata and Capsella rubella Based on the quantitative analysis metrics, we investigated the evolutionary processes of young duplicate genes in Arabidopsis. We determined that conservation, neofunctionalization, and specialization are three main evolutionary processes for Arabidopsis young duplicate genes. We explicitly demonstrated the dynamic functionalization of duplicate genes along the evolutionary time scale. Upon origination, duplicates tend to maintain their ancestral functions; but as they survive longer, they might be likely to develop distinct and novel functions. The temporal evolutionary processes and functionalization of plant duplicate genes are associated with their ancestral functions, dynamic DNA methylation levels, and histone modification abundances. Furthermore, duplicate genes tend to be initially expressed in pollen and then to gain more interaction partners over time. Altogether, our study provides novel insights into the dynamic retention processes of young duplicate genes in plant genomes. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  2. Evolutionary Fates and Dynamic Functionalization of Young Duplicate Genes in Arabidopsis Genomes1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Tao, Feng; Marowsky, Nicholas C.; Fan, Chuanzhu

    2016-01-01

    Gene duplication is a primary means to generate genomic novelties, playing an essential role in speciation and adaptation. Particularly in plants, a high abundance of duplicate genes has been maintained for significantly long periods of evolutionary time. To address the manner in which young duplicate genes were derived primarily from small-scale gene duplication and preserved in plant genomes and to determine the underlying driving mechanisms, we generated transcriptomes to produce the expression profiles of five tissues in Arabidopsis thaliana and the closely related species Arabidopsis lyrata and Capsella rubella. Based on the quantitative analysis metrics, we investigated the evolutionary processes of young duplicate genes in Arabidopsis. We determined that conservation, neofunctionalization, and specialization are three main evolutionary processes for Arabidopsis young duplicate genes. We explicitly demonstrated the dynamic functionalization of duplicate genes along the evolutionary time scale. Upon origination, duplicates tend to maintain their ancestral functions; but as they survive longer, they might be likely to develop distinct and novel functions. The temporal evolutionary processes and functionalization of plant duplicate genes are associated with their ancestral functions, dynamic DNA methylation levels, and histone modification abundances. Furthermore, duplicate genes tend to be initially expressed in pollen and then to gain more interaction partners over time. Altogether, our study provides novel insights into the dynamic retention processes of young duplicate genes in plant genomes. PMID:27485883

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-19

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

  4. Evolutionary conservation of plant gibberellin signalling pathway components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reski Ralf

    2007-11-01

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

  5. Evolutionary rate patterns of the Gibberellin pathway genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Fu-min

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Analysis of molecular evolutionary patterns of different genes within metabolic pathways allows us to determine whether these genes are subject to equivalent evolutionary forces and how natural selection shapes the evolution of proteins in an interacting system. Although previous studies found that upstream genes in the pathway evolved more slowly than downstream genes, the correlation between evolutionary rate and position of the genes in metabolic pathways as well as its implications in molecular evolution are still less understood. Results We sequenced and characterized 7 core structural genes of the gibberellin biosynthetic pathway from 8 representative species of the rice tribe (Oryzeae to address alternative hypotheses regarding evolutionary rates and patterns of metabolic pathway genes. We have detected significant rate heterogeneity among 7 GA pathway genes for both synonymous and nonsynonymous sites. Such rate variation is mostly likely attributed to differences of selection intensity rather than differential mutation pressures on the genes. Unlike previous argument that downstream genes in metabolic pathways would evolve more slowly than upstream genes, the downstream genes in the GA pathway did not exhibited the elevated substitution rate and instead, the genes that encode either the enzyme at the branch point (GA20ox or enzymes catalyzing multiple steps (KO, KAO and GA3ox in the pathway had the lowest evolutionary rates due to strong purifying selection. Our branch and codon models failed to detect signature of positive selection for any lineage and codon of the GA pathway genes. Conclusion This study suggests that significant heterogeneity of evolutionary rate of the GA pathway genes is mainly ascribed to differential constraint relaxation rather than the positive selection and supports the pathway flux theory that predicts that natural selection primarily targets enzymes that have the greatest control on fluxes.

  6. Mutational and Evolutionary Analyses of Bovine Reprimo Gene ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It can therefore be concluded that bovine RPRM gene contained 4 transition mutations and 5 indels that can be used in marker assisted selection. Evolutionary findings also demonstrated the existence of a divergent evolution between bovine RPRM gene and RPRM gene of fishes and frog. Keywords: Identity, phylogeny ...

  7. Divergent Evolutionary Patterns of NAC Transcription Factors Are Associated with Diversification and Gene Duplications in Angiosperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoli Jin

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available NAC (NAM/ATAF/CUC proteins constitute one of the biggest plant-specific transcription factor (TF families and have crucial roles in diverse developmental programs during plant growth. Phylogenetic analyses have revealed both conserved and lineage-specific NAC subfamilies, among which various origins and distinct features were observed. It is reasonable to hypothesize that there should be divergent evolutionary patterns of NAC TFs both between dicots and monocots, and among NAC subfamilies. In this study, we compared the gene duplication and loss, evolutionary rate, and selective pattern among non-lineage specific NAC subfamilies, as well as those between dicots and monocots, through genome-wide analyses of sequence and functional data in six dicot and five grass lineages. The number of genes gained in the dicot lineages was much larger than that in the grass lineages, while fewer gene losses were observed in the grass than that in the dicots. We revealed (1 uneven constitution of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs and contrasting birth/death rates among subfamilies, and (2 two distinct evolutionary scenarios of NAC TFs between dicots and grasses. Our results demonstrated that relaxed selection, resulting from concerted gene duplications, may have permitted substitutions responsible for functional divergence of NAC genes into new lineages. The underlying mechanism of distinct evolutionary fates of NAC TFs shed lights on how evolutionary divergence contributes to differences in establishing NAC gene subfamilies and thus impacts the distinct features between dicots and grasses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  9. Evolutionary relationship and structural characterization of the EPF/EPFL gene family.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoki Takata

    Full Text Available EPF1-EPF2 and EPFL9/Stomagen act antagonistically in regulating leaf stomatal density. The aim of this study was to elucidate the evolutionary functional divergence of EPF/EPFL family genes. Phylogenetic analyses showed that AtEPFL9/Stomagen-like genes are conserved only in vascular plants and are closely related to AtEPF1/EPF2-like genes. Modeling showed that EPF/EPFL peptides share a common 3D structure that is constituted of a scaffold and loop. Molecular dynamics simulation suggested that AtEPF1/EPF2-like peptides form an additional disulfide bond in their loop regions and show greater flexibility in these regions than AtEPFL9/Stomagen-like peptides. This study uncovered the evolutionary relationship and the conformational divergence of proteins encoded by the EPF/EPFL family genes.

  10. Evolutionary relationship and structural characterization of the EPF/EPFL gene family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takata, Naoki; Yokota, Kiyonobu; Ohki, Shinya; Mori, Masashi; Taniguchi, Toru; Kurita, Manabu

    2013-01-01

    EPF1-EPF2 and EPFL9/Stomagen act antagonistically in regulating leaf stomatal density. The aim of this study was to elucidate the evolutionary functional divergence of EPF/EPFL family genes. Phylogenetic analyses showed that AtEPFL9/Stomagen-like genes are conserved only in vascular plants and are closely related to AtEPF1/EPF2-like genes. Modeling showed that EPF/EPFL peptides share a common 3D structure that is constituted of a scaffold and loop. Molecular dynamics simulation suggested that AtEPF1/EPF2-like peptides form an additional disulfide bond in their loop regions and show greater flexibility in these regions than AtEPFL9/Stomagen-like peptides. This study uncovered the evolutionary relationship and the conformational divergence of proteins encoded by the EPF/EPFL family genes.

  11. A Comprehensive Classification and Evolutionary Analysis of Plant Homeobox Genes

    OpenAIRE

    Mukherjee, Krishanu; Brocchieri, Luciano; B?rglin, Thomas R.

    2009-01-01

    The full complement of homeobox transcription factor sequences, including genes and pseudogenes, was determined from the analysis of 10 complete genomes from flowering plants, moss, Selaginella, unicellular green algae, and red algae. Our exhaustive genome-wide searches resulted in the discovery in each class of a greater number of homeobox genes than previously reported. All homeobox genes can be unambiguously classified by sequence evolutionary analysis into 14 distinct classes also charact...

  12. Evolutionary Relationship and Structural Characterization of the EPF/EPFL Gene Family

    OpenAIRE

    Takata, Naoki; Yokota, Kiyonobu; Ohki, Shinya; Mori, Masashi; Taniguchi, Toru; Kurita, Manabu

    2013-01-01

    EPF1-EPF2 and EPFL9/Stomagen act antagonistically in regulating leaf stomatal density. The aim of this study was to elucidate the evolutionary functional divergence of EPF/EPFL family genes. Phylogenetic analyses showed that AtEPFL9/Stomagen-like genes are conserved only in vascular plants and are closely related to AtEPF1/EPF2-like genes. Modeling showed that EPF/EPFL peptides share a common 3D structure that is constituted of a scaffold and loop. Molecular dynamics simulation suggested that...

  13. Divergence and Conservative Evolution of XTNX Genes in Land Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan-Mei Zhang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The Toll-interleukin-1 receptor (TIR and Nucleotide-binding site (NBS domains are two major components of the TIR-NBS-leucine-rich repeat family plant disease resistance genes. Extensive functional and evolutionary studies have been performed on these genes; however, the characterization of a small group of genes that are composed of atypical TIR and NBS domains, namely XTNX genes, is limited. The present study investigated this specific gene family by conducting genome-wide analyses of 59 green plant genomes. A total of 143 XTNX genes were identified in 51 of the 52 land plant genomes, whereas no XTNX gene was detected in any green algae genomes, which indicated that XTNX genes originated upon emergence of land plants. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the ancestral XTNX gene underwent two rounds of ancient duplications in land plants, which resulted in the formation of clades I/II and clades IIa/IIb successively. Although clades I and IIb have evolved conservatively in angiosperms, the motif composition difference and sequence divergence at the amino acid level suggest that functional divergence may have occurred since the separation of the two clades. In contrast, several features of the clade IIa genes, including the absence in the majority of dicots, the long branches in the tree, the frequent loss of ancestral motifs, and the loss of expression in all detected tissues of Zea mays, all suggest that the genes in this lineage might have undergone pseudogenization. This study highlights that XTNX genes are a gene family originated anciently in land plants and underwent specific conservative pattern in evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-10

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

  15. Evolutionary relationships between miRNA genes and their activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Yan; Skogerbø, Geir; Ning, Qianqian; Wang, Zhen; Li, Biqing; Yang, Shuang; Sun, Hong; Li, Yixue

    2012-12-22

    The emergence of vertebrates is characterized by a strong increase in miRNA families. MicroRNAs interact broadly with many transcripts, and the evolution of such a system is intriguing. However, evolutionary questions concerning the origin of miRNA genes and their subsequent evolution remain unexplained. In order to systematically understand the evolutionary relationship between miRNAs gene and their function, we classified human known miRNAs into eight groups based on their evolutionary ages estimated by maximum parsimony method. New miRNA genes with new functional sequences accumulated more dynamically in vertebrates than that observed in Drosophila. Different levels of evolutionary selection were observed over miRNA gene sequences with different time of origin. Most genic miRNAs differ from their host genes in time of origin, there is no particular relationship between the age of a miRNA and the age of its host genes, genic miRNAs are mostly younger than the corresponding host genes. MicroRNAs originated over different time-scales are often predicted/verified to target the same or overlapping sets of genes, opening the possibility of substantial functional redundancy among miRNAs of different ages. Higher degree of tissue specificity and lower expression level was found in young miRNAs. Our data showed that compared with protein coding genes, miRNA genes are more dynamic in terms of emergence and decay. Evolution patterns are quite different between miRNAs of different ages. MicroRNAs activity is under tight control with well-regulated expression increased and targeting decreased over time. Our work calls attention to the study of miRNA activity with a consideration of their origin time.

  16. Gene pool conservation of teak in Myanmar

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tin-Tun

    1995-01-01

    Myanmar with an area of 261, 228 Sq. miles is endowed with various types of forests which occupied nearly 50% of the country. Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.) is one of the most valuable timber species for its excellent wood quality and properties which are not observed with other timbers. Gene pool can be defined as a group of individual trees growing over a wide range of environmental conditions, and constituting different genetic complexes which can be transmitted to the offsprings. Topics such as: objectives of gene pool conservation, genetically improved seeds for large scale forest plantations, methodology of conservation, are discussed in the article. Myanmar teak dominates the world's teak market, and thus it is crucial to maintain the superiority in the conservation of gene complexes of teak. To some extent, the conservation of gene pools of teak and tree improvements are being undertaken by the Forest Research Institute of Myanmar. It is felt that the dissemination of the philosophy and concept of gene conservation to the personal involved in the forestry activities of the country are still inadequate

  17. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo Villalón

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

  20. Patterns of intron gain and conservation in eukaryotic genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolf Yuri I

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background: The presence of introns in protein-coding genes is a universal feature of eukaryotic genome organization, and the genes of multicellular eukaryotes, typically, contain multiple introns, a substantial fraction of which share position in distant taxa, such as plants and animals. Depending on the methods and data sets used, researchers have reached opposite conclusions on the causes of the high fraction of shared introns in orthologous genes from distant eukaryotes. Some studies conclude that shared intron positions reflect, almost entirely, a remarkable evolutionary conservation, whereas others attribute it to parallel gain of introns. To resolve these contradictions, it is crucial to analyze the evolution of introns by using a model that minimally relies on arbitrary assumptions. Results: We developed a probabilistic model of evolution that allows for variability of intron gain and loss rates over branches of the phylogenetic tree, individual genes, and individual sites. Applying this model to an extended set of conserved eukaryotic genes, we find that parallel gain, on average, accounts for only ~8% of the shared intron positions. However, the distribution of parallel gains over the phylogenetic tree of eukaryotes is highly non-uniform. There are, practically, no parallel gains in closely related lineages, whereas for distant lineages, such as animals and plants, parallel gains appear to contribute up to 20% of the shared intron positions. In accord with these findings, we estimated that ancestral introns have a high probability to be retained in extant genomes, and conversely, that a substantial fraction of extant introns have retained their positions since the early stages of eukaryotic evolution. In addition, the density of sites that are available for intron insertion is estimated to be, approximately, one in seven basepairs. Conclusion: We obtained robust estimates of the contribution of parallel gain to the observed

  1. Evolutionary origins of Brassicaceae specific genes in Arabidopsis thaliana

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background All sequenced genomes contain a proportion of lineage-specific genes, which exhibit no sequence similarity to any genes outside the lineage. Despite their prevalence, the origins and functions of most lineage-specific genes remain largely unknown. As more genomes are sequenced opportunities for understanding evolutionary origins and functions of lineage-specific genes are increasing. Results This study provides a comprehensive analysis of the origins of lineage-specific genes (LSGs) in Arabidopsis thaliana that are restricted to the Brassicaceae family. In this study, lineage-specific genes within the nuclear (1761 genes) and mitochondrial (28 genes) genomes are identified. The evolutionary origins of two thirds of the lineage-specific genes within the Arabidopsis thaliana genome are also identified. Almost a quarter of lineage-specific genes originate from non-lineage-specific paralogs, while the origins of ~10% of lineage-specific genes are partly derived from DNA exapted from transposable elements (twice the proportion observed for non-lineage-specific genes). Lineage-specific genes are also enriched in genes that have overlapping CDS, which is consistent with such novel genes arising from overprinting. Over half of the subset of the 958 lineage-specific genes found only in Arabidopsis thaliana have alignments to intergenic regions in Arabidopsis lyrata, consistent with either de novo origination or differential gene loss and retention, with both evolutionary scenarios explaining the lineage-specific status of these genes. A smaller number of lineage-specific genes with an incomplete open reading frame across different Arabidopsis thaliana accessions are further identified as accession-specific genes, most likely of recent origin in Arabidopsis thaliana. Putative de novo origination for two of the Arabidopsis thaliana-only genes is identified via additional sequencing across accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana and closely related sister species

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemberg, Martin; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkov, Christopher I; Sutter, Mitchell L

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Characterization of the avian Trojan gene family reveals contrasting evolutionary constraints.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petar Petrov

    Full Text Available "Trojan" is a leukocyte-specific, cell surface protein originally identified in the chicken. Its molecular function has been hypothesized to be related to anti-apoptosis and the proliferation of immune cells. The Trojan gene has been localized onto the Z sex chromosome. The adjacent two genes also show significant homology to Trojan, suggesting the existence of a novel gene/protein family. Here, we characterize this Trojan family, identify homologues in other species and predict evolutionary constraints on these genes. The two Trojan-related proteins in chicken were predicted as a receptor-type tyrosine phosphatase and a transmembrane protein, bearing a cytoplasmic immuno-receptor tyrosine-based activation motif. We identified the Trojan gene family in ten other bird species and found related genes in three reptiles and a fish species. The phylogenetic analysis of the homologues revealed a gradual diversification among the family members. Evolutionary analyzes of the avian genes predicted that the extracellular regions of the proteins have been subjected to positive selection. Such selection was possibly a response to evolving interacting partners or to pathogen challenges. We also observed an almost complete lack of intracellular positively selected sites, suggesting a conserved signaling mechanism of the molecules. Therefore, the contrasting patterns of selection likely correlate with the interaction and signaling potential of the molecules.

  5. Characterization of the avian Trojan gene family reveals contrasting evolutionary constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrov, Petar; Syrjänen, Riikka; Smith, Jacqueline; Gutowska, Maria Weronika; Uchida, Tatsuya; Vainio, Olli; Burt, David W

    2015-01-01

    "Trojan" is a leukocyte-specific, cell surface protein originally identified in the chicken. Its molecular function has been hypothesized to be related to anti-apoptosis and the proliferation of immune cells. The Trojan gene has been localized onto the Z sex chromosome. The adjacent two genes also show significant homology to Trojan, suggesting the existence of a novel gene/protein family. Here, we characterize this Trojan family, identify homologues in other species and predict evolutionary constraints on these genes. The two Trojan-related proteins in chicken were predicted as a receptor-type tyrosine phosphatase and a transmembrane protein, bearing a cytoplasmic immuno-receptor tyrosine-based activation motif. We identified the Trojan gene family in ten other bird species and found related genes in three reptiles and a fish species. The phylogenetic analysis of the homologues revealed a gradual diversification among the family members. Evolutionary analyzes of the avian genes predicted that the extracellular regions of the proteins have been subjected to positive selection. Such selection was possibly a response to evolving interacting partners or to pathogen challenges. We also observed an almost complete lack of intracellular positively selected sites, suggesting a conserved signaling mechanism of the molecules. Therefore, the contrasting patterns of selection likely correlate with the interaction and signaling potential of the molecules.

  6. Evolutionary Pattern and Regulation Analysis to Support Why Diversity Functions Existed within PPAR Gene Family Members

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianyu Zhou

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR gene family members exhibit distinct patterns of distribution in tissues and differ in functions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the evolutionary impacts on diversity functions of PPAR members and the regulatory differences on gene expression patterns. 63 homology sequences of PPAR genes from 31 species were collected and analyzed. The results showed that three isolated types of PPAR gene family may emerge from twice times of gene duplication events. The conserved domains of HOLI (ligand binding domain of hormone receptors domain and ZnF_C4 (C4 zinc finger in nuclear in hormone receptors are essential for keeping basic roles of PPAR gene family, and the variant domains of LCRs may be responsible for their divergence in functions. The positive selection sites in HOLI domain are benefit for PPARs to evolve towards diversity functions. The evolutionary variants in the promoter regions and 3′ UTR regions of PPARs result into differential transcription factors and miRNAs involved in regulating PPAR members, which may eventually affect their expressions and tissues distributions. These results indicate that gene duplication event, selection pressure on HOLI domain, and the variants on promoter and 3′ UTR are essential for PPARs evolution and diversity functions acquired.

  7. Evolutionary Pattern and Regulation Analysis to Support Why Diversity Functions Existed within PPAR Gene Family Members.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Tianyu; Yan, Xiping; Wang, Guosong; Liu, Hehe; Gan, Xiang; Zhang, Tao; Wang, Jiwen; Li, Liang

    2015-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor (PPAR) gene family members exhibit distinct patterns of distribution in tissues and differ in functions. The purpose of this study is to investigate the evolutionary impacts on diversity functions of PPAR members and the regulatory differences on gene expression patterns. 63 homology sequences of PPAR genes from 31 species were collected and analyzed. The results showed that three isolated types of PPAR gene family may emerge from twice times of gene duplication events. The conserved domains of HOLI (ligand binding domain of hormone receptors) domain and ZnF_C4 (C4 zinc finger in nuclear in hormone receptors) are essential for keeping basic roles of PPAR gene family, and the variant domains of LCRs may be responsible for their divergence in functions. The positive selection sites in HOLI domain are benefit for PPARs to evolve towards diversity functions. The evolutionary variants in the promoter regions and 3' UTR regions of PPARs result into differential transcription factors and miRNAs involved in regulating PPAR members, which may eventually affect their expressions and tissues distributions. These results indicate that gene duplication event, selection pressure on HOLI domain, and the variants on promoter and 3' UTR are essential for PPARs evolution and diversity functions acquired.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Comparison of evolutionary algorithms in gene regulatory network model inference.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    2010-01-01

    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The evolution of high throughput technologies that measure gene expression levels has created a data base for inferring GRNs (a process also known as reverse engineering of GRNs). However, the nature of these data has made this process very difficult. At the moment, several methods of discovering qualitative causal relationships between genes with high accuracy from microarray data exist, but large scale quantitative analysis on real biological datasets cannot be performed, to date, as existing approaches are not suitable for real microarray data which are noisy and insufficient. RESULTS: This paper performs an analysis of several existing evolutionary algorithms for quantitative gene regulatory network modelling. The aim is to present the techniques used and offer a comprehensive comparison of approaches, under a common framework. Algorithms are applied to both synthetic and real gene expression data from DNA microarrays, and ability to reproduce biological behaviour, scalability and robustness to noise are assessed and compared. CONCLUSIONS: Presented is a comparison framework for assessment of evolutionary algorithms, used to infer gene regulatory networks. Promising methods are identified and a platform for development of appropriate model formalisms is established.

  10. Ubiquitin--conserved protein or selfish gene?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catic, André; Ploegh, Hidde L

    2005-11-01

    The posttranslational modifier ubiquitin is encoded by a multigene family containing three primary members, which yield the precursor protein polyubiquitin and two ubiquitin moieties, Ub(L40) and Ub(S27), that are fused to the ribosomal proteins L40 and S27, respectively. The gene encoding polyubiquitin is highly conserved and, until now, those encoding Ub(L40) and Ub(S27) have been generally considered to be equally invariant. The evolution of the ribosomal ubiquitin moieties is, however, proving to be more dynamic. It seems that the genes encoding Ub(L40) and Ub(S27) are actively maintained by homologous recombination with the invariant polyubiquitin locus. Failure to recombine leads to deterioration of the sequence of the ribosomal ubiquitin moieties in several phyla, although this deterioration is evidently constrained by the structural requirements of the ubiquitin fold. Only a few amino acids in ubiquitin are vital for its function, and we propose that conservation of all three ubiquitin genes is driven not only by functional properties of the ubiquitin protein, but also by the propensity of the polyubiquitin locus to act as a 'selfish gene'.

  11. Evolutionary genomics of plant genes encoding N-terminal-TM-C2 domain proteins and the similar FAM62 genes and synaptotagmin genes of metazoans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craxton Molly

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Synaptotagmin genes are found in animal genomes and are known to function in the nervous system. Genes with a similar domain architecture as well as sequence similarity to synaptotagmin C2 domains have also been found in plant genomes. The plant genes share an additional region of sequence similarity with a group of animal genes named FAM62. FAM62 genes also have a similar domain architecture. Little is known about the functions of the plant genes and animal FAM62 genes. Indeed, many members of the large and diverse Syt gene family await functional characterization. Understanding the evolutionary relationships among these genes will help to realize the full implications of functional studies and lead to improved genome annotation. Results I collected and compared plant Syt-like sequences from the primary nucleotide sequence databases at NCBI. The collection comprises six groups of plant genes conserved in embryophytes: NTMC2Type1 to NTMC2Type6. I collected and compared metazoan FAM62 sequences and identified some similar sequences from other eukaryotic lineages. I found evidence of RNA editing and alternative splicing. I compared the intron patterns of Syt genes. I also compared Rabphilin and Doc2 genes. Conclusion Genes encoding proteins with N-terminal-transmembrane-C2 domain architectures resembling synaptotagmins, are widespread in eukaryotes. A collection of these genes is presented here. The collection provides a resource for studies of intron evolution. I have classified the collection into homologous gene families according to distinctive patterns of sequence conservation and intron position. The evolutionary histories of these gene families are traceable through the appearance of family members in different eukaryotic lineages. Assuming an intron-rich eukaryotic ancestor, the conserved intron patterns distinctive of individual gene families, indicate independent origins of Syt, FAM62 and NTMC2 genes. Resemblances

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-07

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Conservation of gene linkage in dispersed vertebrate NK homeobox clusters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wotton, Karl R; Weierud, Frida K; Juárez-Morales, José L; Alvares, Lúcia E; Dietrich, Susanne; Lewis, Katharine E

    2009-10-01

    Nk homeobox genes are important regulators of many different developmental processes including muscle, heart, central nervous system and sensory organ development. They are thought to have arisen as part of the ANTP megacluster, which also gave rise to Hox and ParaHox genes, and at least some NK genes remain tightly linked in all animals examined so far. The protostome-deuterostome ancestor probably contained a cluster of nine Nk genes: (Msx)-(Nk4/tinman)-(Nk3/bagpipe)-(Lbx/ladybird)-(Tlx/c15)-(Nk7)-(Nk6/hgtx)-(Nk1/slouch)-(Nk5/Hmx). Of these genes, only NKX2.6-NKX3.1, LBX1-TLX1 and LBX2-TLX2 remain tightly linked in humans. However, it is currently unclear whether this is unique to the human genome as we do not know which of these Nk genes are clustered in other vertebrates. This makes it difficult to assess whether the remaining linkages are due to selective pressures or because chance rearrangements have "missed" certain genes. In this paper, we identify all of the paralogs of these ancestrally clustered NK genes in several distinct vertebrates. We demonstrate that tight linkages of Lbx1-Tlx1, Lbx2-Tlx2 and Nkx3.1-Nkx2.6 have been widely maintained in both the ray-finned and lobe-finned fish lineages. Moreover, the recently duplicated Hmx2-Hmx3 genes are also tightly linked. Finally, we show that Lbx1-Tlx1 and Hmx2-Hmx3 are flanked by highly conserved noncoding elements, suggesting that shared regulatory regions may have resulted in evolutionary pressure to maintain these linkages. Consistent with this, these pairs of genes have overlapping expression domains. In contrast, Lbx2-Tlx2 and Nkx3.1-Nkx2.6, which do not seem to be coexpressed, are also not associated with conserved noncoding sequences, suggesting that an alternative mechanism may be responsible for the continued clustering of these genes.

  16. G-NEST: a gene neighborhood scoring tool to identify co-conserved, co-expressed genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lemay Danielle G

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In previous studies, gene neighborhoods—spatial clusters of co-expressed genes in the genome—have been defined using arbitrary rules such as requiring adjacency, a minimum number of genes, a fixed window size, or a minimum expression level. In the current study, we developed a Gene Neighborhood Scoring Tool (G-NEST which combines genomic location, gene expression, and evolutionary sequence conservation data to score putative gene neighborhoods across all possible window sizes simultaneously. Results Using G-NEST on atlases of mouse and human tissue expression data, we found that large neighborhoods of ten or more genes are extremely rare in mammalian genomes. When they do occur, neighborhoods are typically composed of families of related genes. Both the highest scoring and the largest neighborhoods in mammalian genomes are formed by tandem gene duplication. Mammalian gene neighborhoods contain highly and variably expressed genes. Co-localized noisy gene pairs exhibit lower evolutionary conservation of their adjacent genome locations, suggesting that their shared transcriptional background may be disadvantageous. Genes that are essential to mammalian survival and reproduction are less likely to occur in neighborhoods, although neighborhoods are enriched with genes that function in mitosis. We also found that gene orientation and protein-protein interactions are partially responsible for maintenance of gene neighborhoods. Conclusions Our experiments using G-NEST confirm that tandem gene duplication is the primary driver of non-random gene order in mammalian genomes. Non-essentiality, co-functionality, gene orientation, and protein-protein interactions are additional forces that maintain gene neighborhoods, especially those formed by tandem duplicates. We expect G-NEST to be useful for other applications such as the identification of core regulatory modules, common transcriptional backgrounds, and chromatin domains. The

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-10

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

  18. Evolutionary maintenance of filovirus-like genes in bat genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taylor Derek J

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little is known of the biological significance and evolutionary maintenance of integrated non-retroviral RNA virus genes in eukaryotic host genomes. Here, we isolated novel filovirus-like genes from bat genomes and tested for evolutionary maintenance. We also estimated the age of filovirus VP35-like gene integrations and tested the phylogenetic hypotheses that there is a eutherian mammal clade and a marsupial/ebolavirus/Marburgvirus dichotomy for filoviruses. Results We detected homologous copies of VP35-like and NP-like gene integrations in both Old World and New World species of Myotis (bats. We also detected previously unknown VP35-like genes in rodents that are positionally homologous. Comprehensive phylogenetic estimates for filovirus NP-like and VP35-like loci support two main clades with a marsupial and a rodent grouping within the ebolavirus/Lloviu virus/Marburgvirus clade. The concordance of VP35-like, NP-like and mitochondrial gene trees with the expected species tree supports the notion that the copies we examined are orthologs that predate the global spread and radiation of the genus Myotis. Parametric simulations were consistent with selective maintenance for the open reading frame (ORF of VP35-like genes in Myotis. The ORF of the filovirus-like VP35 gene has been maintained in bat genomes for an estimated 13. 4 MY. ORFs were disrupted for the NP-like genes in Myotis. Likelihood ratio tests revealed that a model that accommodates positive selection is a significantly better fit to the data than a model that does not allow for positive selection for VP35-like sequences. Moreover, site-by-site analysis of selection using two methods indicated at least 25 sites in the VP35-like alignment are under positive selection in Myotis. Conclusions Our results indicate that filovirus-like elements have significance beyond genomic imprints of prior infection. That is, there appears to be, or have been, functionally maintained

  19. Evolutionary dynamics of human autoimmune disease genes and malfunctioned immunological genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Podder Soumita

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background One of the main issues of molecular evolution is to divulge the principles in dictating the evolutionary rate differences among various gene classes. Immunological genes have received considerable attention in evolutionary biology as candidates for local adaptation and for studying functionally important polymorphisms. The normal structure and function of immunological genes will be distorted when they experience mutations leading to immunological dysfunctions. Results Here, we examined the fundamental differences between the genes which on mutation give rise to autoimmune or other immune system related diseases and the immunological genes that do not cause any disease phenotypes. Although the disease genes examined are analogous to non-disease genes in product, expression, function, and pathway affiliation, a statistically significant decrease in evolutionary rate has been found in autoimmune disease genes relative to all other immune related diseases and non-disease genes. Possible ways of accumulation of mutation in the three steps of the central dogma (DNA-mRNA-Protein have been studied to trace the mutational effects predisposed to disease consequence and acquiring higher selection pressure. Principal Component Analysis and Multivariate Regression Analysis have established the predominant role of single nucleotide polymorphisms in guiding the evolutionary rate of immunological disease and non-disease genes followed by m-RNA abundance, paralogs number, fraction of phosphorylation residue, alternatively spliced exon, protein residue burial and protein disorder. Conclusions Our study provides an empirical insight into the etiology of autoimmune disease genes and other immunological diseases. The immediate utility of our study is to help in disease gene identification and may also help in medicinal improvement of immune related disease.

  20. Evolutionary Analysis of Minor Histocompatibility Genes In Hydra

    KAUST Repository

    Aalismail, Nojood

    2016-05-01

    Hydra is a simple freshwater solitary polyp used as a model system to study evolutionary aspects. The immune response of this organism has not been studied extensively and the immune response genes have not been identified and characterized. On the other hand, immune response has been investigated and genetic analysis has been initiated in other lower invertebrates. In the present study we took initiative to study the self/nonself recognition in hydra and its relation to the immune response. Moreover, performing phylogenetic analysis to look for annotated immune genes in hydra gave us a potential to analyze the expression of minor histocompatibility genes that have been shown to play a major role in grafting and transplantation in mammals. Here we obtained the cDNA library that shows expression of minor histocompatibility genes and confirmed that the annotated sequences in databases are actually present. In addition, grafting experiments suggested, although still preliminary, that homograft showed less rejection response than in heterograft. Involvement of possible minor histocompatibility gene orthologous in immune response was examined by qPCR.

  1. Phylogenetic distribution and evolutionary dynamics of the sex determination genes doublesex and transformer in insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geuverink, E; Beukeboom, L W

    2014-01-01

    Sex determination in insects is characterized by a gene cascade that is conserved at the bottom but contains diverse primary signals at the top. The bottom master switch gene doublesex is found in all insects. Its upstream regulator transformer is present in the orders Hymenoptera, Coleoptera and Diptera, but has thus far not been found in Lepidoptera and in the basal lineages of Diptera. transformer is presumed to be ancestral to the holometabolous insects based on its shared domains and conserved features of autoregulation and sex-specific splicing. We interpret that its absence in basal lineages of Diptera and its order-specific conserved domains indicate multiple independent losses or recruitments into the sex determination cascade. Duplications of transformer are found in derived families within the Hymenoptera, characterized by their complementary sex determination mechanism. As duplications are not found in any other insect order, they appear linked to the haplodiploid reproduction of the Hymenoptera. Further phylogenetic analyses combined with functional studies are needed to understand the evolutionary history of the transformer gene among insects. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  2. Divergent gene expression in the conserved dauer stage of the nematodes Pristionchus pacificus and Caenorhabditis elegans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sinha Amit

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An organism can respond to changing environmental conditions by adjusting gene regulation and by forming alternative phenotypes. In nematodes, these mechanisms are coupled because many species will form dauer larvae, a stress-resistant and non-aging developmental stage, when exposed to unfavorable environmental conditions, and execute gene expression programs that have been selected for the survival of the animal in the wild. These dauer larvae represent an environmentally induced, homologous developmental stage across many nematode species, sharing conserved morphological and physiological properties. Hence it can be expected that some core components of the associated transcriptional program would be conserved across species, while others might diverge over the course of evolution. However, transcriptional and metabolic analysis of dauer development has been largely restricted to Caenorhabditis elegans. Here, we use a transcriptomic approach to compare the dauer stage in the evolutionary model system Pristionchus pacificus with the dauer stage in C. elegans. Results We have employed Agilent microarrays, which represent 20,446 P. pacificus and 20,143 C. elegans genes to show an unexpected divergence in the expression profiles of these two nematodes in dauer and dauer exit samples. P. pacificus and C. elegans differ in the dynamics and function of genes that are differentially expressed. We find that only a small number of orthologous gene pairs show similar expression pattern in the dauers of the two species, while the non-orthologous fraction of genes is a major contributor to the active transcriptome in dauers. Interestingly, many of the genes acquired by horizontal gene transfer and orphan genes in P. pacificus, are differentially expressed suggesting that these genes are of evolutionary and functional importance. Conclusion Our data set provides a catalog for future functional investigations and indicates novel insight

  3. 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

  4. 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,

  5. Differential evolution of members of the rhomboid gene family with conservative and divergent patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qi; Zhang, Ning; Zhang, Liangsheng; Ma, Hong

    2015-04-01

    Rhomboid proteins are intramembrane serine proteases that are involved in a plethora of biological functions, but the evolutionary history of the rhomboid gene family is not clear. We performed a comprehensive molecular evolutionary analysis of the rhomboid gene family and also investigated the organization and sequence features of plant rhomboids in different subfamilies. Our results showed that eukaryotic rhomboids could be divided into five subfamilies (RhoA-RhoD and PARL). Most orthology groups appeared to be conserved only as single or low-copy genes in all lineages in RhoB-RhoD and PARL, whereas RhoA genes underwent several duplication events, resulting in multiple gene copies. These duplication events were due to whole genome duplications in plants and animals and the duplicates might have experienced functional divergence. We also identified a novel group of plant rhomboid (RhoB1) that might have lost their enzymatic activity; their existence suggests that they might have evolved new mechanisms. Plant and animal rhomboids have similar evolutionary patterns. In addition, there are mutations affecting key active sites in RBL8, RBL9 and one of the Brassicaceae PARL duplicates. This study delineates a possible evolutionary scheme for intramembrane proteins and illustrates distinct fates and a mechanism of evolution of gene duplicates. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  6. Clusters of orthologous genes for 41 archaeal genomes and implications for evolutionary genomics of archaea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolf Yuri I

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An evolutionary classification of genes from sequenced genomes that distinguishes between orthologs and paralogs is indispensable for genome annotation and evolutionary reconstruction. Shortly after multiple genome sequences of bacteria, archaea, and unicellular eukaryotes became available, an attempt on such a classification was implemented in Clusters of Orthologous Groups of proteins (COGs. Rapid accumulation of genome sequences creates opportunities for refining COGs but also represents a challenge because of error amplification. One of the practical strategies involves construction of refined COGs for phylogenetically compact subsets of genomes. Results New Archaeal Clusters of Orthologous Genes (arCOGs were constructed for 41 archaeal genomes (13 Crenarchaeota, 27 Euryarchaeota and one Nanoarchaeon using an improved procedure that employs a similarity tree between smaller, group-specific clusters, semi-automatically partitions orthology domains in multidomain proteins, and uses profile searches for identification of remote orthologs. The annotation of arCOGs is a consensus between three assignments based on the COGs, the CDD database, and the annotations of homologs in the NR database. The 7538 arCOGs, on average, cover ~88% of the genes in a genome compared to a ~76% coverage in COGs. The finer granularity of ortholog identification in the arCOGs is apparent from the fact that 4538 arCOGs correspond to 2362 COGs; ~40% of the arCOGs are new. The archaeal gene core (protein-coding genes found in all 41 genome consists of 166 arCOGs. The arCOGs were used to reconstruct gene loss and gene gain events during archaeal evolution and gene sets of ancestral forms. The Last Archaeal Common Ancestor (LACA is conservatively estimated to possess 996 genes compared to 1245 and 1335 genes for the last common ancestors of Crenarchaeota and Euryarchaeota, respectively. It is inferred that LACA was a chemoautotrophic hyperthermophile

  7. Early Developmental and Evolutionary Origins of Gene Body DNA Methylation Patterns in Mammalian Placentas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diane I Schroeder

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Over the last 20-80 million years the mammalian placenta has taken on a variety of morphologies through both divergent and convergent evolution. Recently we have shown that the human placenta genome has a unique epigenetic pattern of large partially methylated domains (PMDs and highly methylated domains (HMDs with gene body DNA methylation positively correlating with level of gene expression. In order to determine the evolutionary conservation of DNA methylation patterns and transcriptional regulatory programs in the placenta, we performed a genome-wide methylome (MethylC-seq analysis of human, rhesus macaque, squirrel monkey, mouse, dog, horse, and cow placentas as well as opossum extraembryonic membrane. We found that, similar to human placenta, mammalian placentas and opossum extraembryonic membrane have globally lower levels of methylation compared to somatic tissues. Higher relative gene body methylation was the conserved feature across all mammalian placentas, despite differences in PMD/HMDs and absolute methylation levels. Specifically, higher methylation over the bodies of genes involved in mitosis, vesicle-mediated transport, protein phosphorylation, and chromatin modification was observed compared with the rest of the genome. As in human placenta, higher methylation is associated with higher gene expression and is predictive of genic location across species. Analysis of DNA methylation in oocytes and preimplantation embryos shows a conserved pattern of gene body methylation similar to the placenta. Intriguingly, mouse and cow oocytes and mouse early embryos have PMD/HMDs but their placentas do not, suggesting that PMD/HMDs are a feature of early preimplantation methylation patterns that become lost during placental development in some species and following implantation of the embryo.

  8. Genes from scratch--the evolutionary fate of de novo genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlötterer, Christian

    2015-04-01

    Although considered an extremely unlikely event, many genes emerge from previously noncoding genomic regions. This review covers the entire life cycle of such de novo genes. Two competing hypotheses about the process of de novo gene birth are discussed as well as the high death rate of de novo genes. Despite the high death rate, some de novo genes are retained and remain functional, even in distantly related species, through their integration into gene networks. Further studies combining gene expression with ribosome profiling in multiple populations across different species will be instrumental for an improved understanding of the evolutionary processes operating on de novo genes. Copyright © 2015 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Evolutionary novelty in gravity sensing through horizontal gene transfer and high-order protein assembly.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tu Anh Nguyen

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Horizontal gene transfer (HGT can promote evolutionary adaptation by transforming a species' relationship to the environment. In most well-understood cases of HGT, acquired and donor functions appear to remain closely related. Thus, the degree to which HGT can lead to evolutionary novelties remains unclear. Mucorales fungi sense gravity through the sedimentation of vacuolar protein crystals. Here, we identify the octahedral crystal matrix protein (OCTIN. Phylogenetic analysis strongly supports acquisition of octin by HGT from bacteria. A bacterial OCTIN forms high-order periplasmic oligomers, and inter-molecular disulphide bonds are formed by both fungal and bacterial OCTINs, suggesting that they share elements of a conserved assembly mechanism. However, estimated sedimentation velocities preclude a gravity-sensing function for the bacterial structures. Together, our data suggest that HGT from bacteria into the Mucorales allowed a dramatic increase in assembly scale and emergence of the gravity-sensing function. We conclude that HGT can lead to evolutionary novelties that emerge depending on the physiological and cellular context of protein assembly.

  10. Why is the correlation between gene importance and gene evolutionary rate so weak?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhi; Zhang, Jianzhi

    2009-01-01

    One of the few commonly believed principles of molecular evolution is that functionally more important genes (or DNA sequences) evolve more slowly than less important ones. This principle is widely used by molecular biologists in daily practice. However, recent genomic analysis of a diverse array of organisms found only weak, negative correlations between the evolutionary rate of a gene and its functional importance, typically measured under a single benign lab condition. A frequently suggested cause of the above finding is that gene importance determined in the lab differs from that in an organism's natural environment. Here, we test this hypothesis in yeast using gene importance values experimentally determined in 418 lab conditions or computationally predicted for 10,000 nutritional conditions. In no single condition or combination of conditions did we find a much stronger negative correlation, which is explainable by our subsequent finding that always-essential (enzyme) genes do not evolve significantly more slowly than sometimes-essential or always-nonessential ones. Furthermore, we verified that functional density, approximated by the fraction of amino acid sites within protein domains, is uncorrelated with gene importance. Thus, neither the lab-nature mismatch nor a potentially biased among-gene distribution of functional density explains the observed weakness of the correlation between gene importance and evolutionary rate. We conclude that the weakness is factual, rather than artifactual. In addition to being weakened by population genetic reasons, the correlation is likely to have been further weakened by the presence of multiple nontrivial rate determinants that are independent from gene importance. These findings notwithstanding, we show that the principle of slower evolution of more important genes does have some predictive power when genes with vastly different evolutionary rates are compared, explaining why the principle can be practically useful

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Evolutionary diversification of plant shikimate kinase gene duplicates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geoffrey Fucile

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Shikimate kinase (SK; EC 2.7.1.71 catalyzes the fifth reaction of the shikimate pathway, which directs carbon from the central metabolism pool to a broad range of secondary metabolites involved in plant development, growth, and stress responses. In this study, we demonstrate the role of plant SK gene duplicate evolution in the diversification of metabolic regulation and the acquisition of novel and physiologically essential function. Phylogenetic analysis of plant SK homologs resolves an orthologous cluster of plant SKs and two functionally distinct orthologous clusters. These previously undescribed genes, shikimate kinase-like 1 (SKL1 and -2 (SKL2, do not encode SK activity, are present in all major plant lineages, and apparently evolved under positive selection following SK gene duplication over 400 MYA. This is supported by functional assays using recombinant SK, SKL1, and SKL2 from Arabidopsis thaliana (At and evolutionary analyses of the diversification of SK-catalytic and -substrate binding sites based on theoretical structure models. AtSKL1 mutants yield albino and novel variegated phenotypes, which indicate SKL1 is required for chloroplast biogenesis. Extant SKL2 sequences show a strong genetic signature of positive selection, which is enriched in a protein-protein interaction module not found in other SK homologs. We also report the first kinetic characterization of plant SKs and show that gene expression diversification among the AtSK inparalogs is correlated with developmental processes and stress responses. This study examines the functional diversification of ancient and recent plant SK gene duplicates and highlights the utility of SKs as scaffolds for functional innovation.

  14. The constancy of gene conservation across divergent bacterial orders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ackermann Martin

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Orthologous genes are frequently presumed to perform similar functions. However, outside of model organisms, this is rarely tested. One means of inferring changes in function is if there are changes in the level of gene conservation and selective constraint. Here we compare levels of gene conservation across three bacterial groups to test for changes in gene functionality. Findings The level of gene conservation for different orthologous genes is highly correlated across clades, even for highly divergent groups of bacteria. These correlations do not arise from broad differences in gene functionality (e.g. informational genes vs. metabolic genes, but instead seem to result from very specific differences in gene function. Furthermore, these functional differences appear to be maintained over very long periods of time. Conclusion These results suggest that even over broad time scales, most bacterial genes are under a nearly constant level of purifying selection, and that bacterial evolution is thus dominated by selective and functional stasis.

  15. Classification and evolutionary analysis of the basic helix-loop-helix gene family in the green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ake; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Debao; Wang, Xuhua; Song, Huifang; Dang, Chunwang; Yao, Qin; Chen, Keping

    2013-08-01

    Helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins play essential regulatory roles in a variety of biological processes. These highly conserved proteins form a large transcription factor superfamily, and are commonly identified in large numbers within animal, plant, and fungal genomes. The bHLH domain has been well studied in many animal species, but has not yet been characterized in non-avian reptiles. In this study, we identified 102 putative bHLH genes in the genome of the green anole lizard, Anolis carolinensis. Based on phylogenetic analysis, these genes were classified into 43 families, with 43, 24, 16, 3, 10, and 3 members assigned into groups A, B, C, D, E, and F, respectively, and 3 members categorized as "orphans". Within-group evolutionary relationships inferred from the phylogenetic analysis were consistent with highly conserved patterns observed for introns and additional domains. Results from phylogenetic analysis of the H/E(spl) family suggest that genome and tandem gene duplications have contributed to this family's expansion. Our classification and evolutionary analysis has provided insights into the evolutionary diversification of animal bHLH genes, and should aid future studies on bHLH protein regulation of key growth and developmental processes.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Straub, Daniel; Wenkel, Stephan

    2017-01-01

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

  17. Evolutionary change and phylogenetic relationships in light of horizontal gene transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boto, Luis

    2015-06-01

    Horizontal gene transfer has, over the past 25 years, become a part of evolutionary thinking. In the present paper I discuss horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in relation to contingency, natural selection, evolutionary change speed and the Tree-of-Life endeavour, with the aim of contributing to the understanding of the role of HGT in evolutionary processes. In addition, the challenges that HGT imposes on the current view of evolution are emphasized.

  18. 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.

  19. Comparative genomic analysis of the Lipase3 gene family in five plant species reveals distinct evolutionary origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dan; Zhang, Lin; Hu, JunFeng; Gao, Dianshuai; Liu, Xin; Sha, Yan

    2018-04-01

    Lipases are physiologically important and ubiquitous enzymes that share a conserved domain and are classified into eight different families based on their amino acid sequences and fundamental biological properties. The Lipase3 family of lipases was reported to possess a canonical fold typical of α/β hydrolases and a typical catalytic triad, suggesting a distinct evolutionary origin for this family. Genes in the Lipase3 family do not have the same functions, but maintain the conserved Lipase3 domain. There have been extensive studies of Lipase3 structures and functions, but little is known about their evolutionary histories. In this study, all lipases within five plant species were identified, and their phylogenetic relationships and genetic properties were analyzed and used to group them into distinct evolutionary families. Each identified lipase family contained at least one dicot and monocot Lipase3 protein, indicating that the gene family was established before the split of dicots and monocots. Similar intron/exon numbers and predicted protein sequence lengths were found within individual groups. Twenty-four tandem Lipase3 gene duplications were identified, implying that the distinctive function of Lipase3 genes appears to be a consequence of translocation and neofunctionalization after gene duplication. The functional genes EDS1, PAD4, and SAG101 that are reportedly involved in pathogen response were all located in the same group. The nucleotide diversity (Dxy) and the ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous nucleotide substitutions rates (Ka/Ks) of the three genes were significantly greater than the average across the genomes. We further observed evidence for selection maintaining diversity on three genes in the Toll-Interleukin-1 receptor type of nucleotide binding/leucine-rich repeat immune receptor (TIR-NBS LRR) immunity-response signaling pathway, indicating that they could be vulnerable to pathogen effectors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-04-01

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

  1. Assessing the evolutionary rate of positional orthologous genes in prokaryotes using synteny data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lespinet Olivier

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparison of completely sequenced microbial genomes has revealed how fluid these genomes are. Detecting synteny blocks requires reliable methods to determining the orthologs among the whole set of homologs detected by exhaustive comparisons between each pair of completely sequenced genomes. This is a complex and difficult problem in the field of comparative genomics but will help to better understand the way prokaryotic genomes are evolving. Results We have developed a suite of programs that automate three essential steps to study conservation of gene order, and validated them with a set of 107 bacteria and archaea that cover the majority of the prokaryotic taxonomic space. We identified the whole set of shared homologs between two or more species and computed the evolutionary distance separating each pair of homologs. We applied two strategies to extract from the set of homologs a collection of valid orthologs shared by at least two genomes. The first computes the Reciprocal Smallest Distance (RSD using the PAM distances separating pairs of homologs. The second method groups homologs in families and reconstructs each family's evolutionary tree, distinguishing bona fide orthologs as well as paralogs created after the last speciation event. Although the phylogenetic tree method often succeeds where RSD fails, the reverse could occasionally be true. Accordingly, we used the data obtained with either methods or their intersection to number the orthologs that are adjacent in for each pair of genomes, the Positional Orthologous Genes (POGs, and to further study their properties. Once all these synteny blocks have been detected, we showed that POGs are subject to more evolutionary constraints than orthologs outside synteny groups, whichever the taxonomic distance separating the compared organisms. Conclusion The suite of programs described in this paper allows a reliable detection of orthologs and is useful for evaluating gene

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohane Isaac

    2005-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haberer Georg

    2009-06-01

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

  5. Evolutionary history of chordate PAX genes: dynamics of change in a complex gene family.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Rodrigues Paixão-Côrtes

    Full Text Available Paired box (PAX genes are transcription factors that play important roles in embryonic development. Although the PAX gene family occurs in animals only, it is widely distributed. Among the vertebrates, its 9 genes appear to be the product of complete duplication of an original set of 4 genes, followed by an additional partial duplication. Although some studies of PAX genes have been conducted, no comprehensive survey of these genes across the entire taxonomic unit has yet been attempted. In this study, we conducted a detailed comparison of PAX sequences from 188 chordates, which revealed restricted variation. The absence of PAX4 and PAX8 among some species of reptiles and birds was notable; however, all 9 genes were present in all 74 mammalian genomes investigated. A search for signatures of selection indicated that all genes are subject to purifying selection, with a possible constraint relaxation in PAX4, PAX7, and PAX8. This result indicates asymmetric evolution of PAX family genes, which can be associated with the emergence of adaptive novelties in the chordate evolutionary trajectory.

  6. Highly restricted gene flow and deep evolutionary lineages in the giant clam Tridacna maxima

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuryanto, A.; Kochzius, M.

    2009-09-01

    The tropical Indo-West Pacific is the biogeographic region with the highest diversity of marine shallow water species, with its centre in the Indo-Malay Archipelago. However, due to its high endemism, the Red Sea is also considered as an important centre of evolution. Currently, not much is known about exchange among the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and West Pacific, as well as connectivity within the Indo-Malay Archipelago, even though such information is important to illuminate ecological and evolutionary processes that shape marine biodiversity in these regions. In addition, the inference of connectivity among populations is important for conservation. This study aims to test the hypothesis that the Indo-Malay Archipelago and the Red Sea are important centres of evolution by studying the genetic population structure of the giant clam Tridacna maxima. This study is based on a 484-bp fragment of the cytochrome c oxidase I gene from 211 individuals collected at 14 localities in the Indo-West Pacific to infer lineage diversification and gene flow as a measure for connectivity. The analysis showed a significant genetic differentiation among sample sites in the Indo-West Pacific (Φst = 0.74, P < 0.001) and across the Indo-Malay Archipelago (Φst = 0.72, P < 0.001), indicating restricted gene flow. Hierarchical AMOVA revealed the highest fixation index (Φct = 0.8, P < 0.001) when sample sites were assigned to the following regions: (1) Red Sea, (2) Indian Ocean and Java Sea, (3) Indonesian throughflow and seas in the East of Sulawesi, and (4) Western Pacific. Geological history as well as oceanography are important factors that shape the genetic structure of T. maxima in the Indo-Malay Archipelago and Red Sea. The observed deep evolutionary lineages might include cryptic species and this result supports the notion that the Indo-Malay Archipelago and the Red Sea are important centres of evolution.

  7. Identification of conserved drought-adaptive genes using a cross-species meta-analysis approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaar-Moshe, Lidor; Hübner, Sariel; Peleg, Zvi

    2015-05-03

    Drought is the major environmental stress threatening crop-plant productivity worldwide. Identification of new genes and metabolic pathways involved in plant adaptation to progressive drought stress at the reproductive stage is of great interest for agricultural research. We developed a novel Cross-Species meta-Analysis of progressive Drought stress at the reproductive stage (CSA:Drought) to identify key drought adaptive genes and mechanisms and to test their evolutionary conservation. Empirically defined filtering criteria were used to facilitate a robust integration of 17 deposited microarray experiments (148 arrays) of Arabidopsis, rice, wheat and barley. By prioritizing consistency over intensity, our approach was able to identify 225 differentially expressed genes shared across studies and taxa. Gene ontology enrichment and pathway analyses classified the shared genes into functional categories involved predominantly in metabolic processes (e.g. amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism), regulatory function (e.g. protein degradation and transcription) and response to stimulus. We further investigated drought related cis-acting elements in the shared gene promoters, and the evolutionary conservation of shared genes. The universal nature of the identified drought-adaptive genes was further validated in a fifth species, Brachypodium distachyon that was not included in the meta-analysis. qPCR analysis of 27, randomly selected, shared orthologs showed similar expression pattern as was found by the CSA:Drought.In accordance, morpho-physiological characterization of progressive drought stress, in B. distachyon, highlighted the key role of osmotic adjustment as evolutionary conserved drought-adaptive mechanism. Our CSA:Drought strategy highlights major drought-adaptive genes and metabolic pathways that were only partially, if at all, reported in the original studies included in the meta-analysis. These genes include a group of unclassified genes that could be involved

  8. Clusters of orthologous genes for 41 archaeal genomes and implications for evolutionary genomics of archaea

    OpenAIRE

    Wolf Yuri I; Novichkov Pavel S; Sorokin Alexander V; Makarova Kira S; Koonin Eugene V

    2007-01-01

    Abstract Background An evolutionary classification of genes from sequenced genomes that distinguishes between orthologs and paralogs is indispensable for genome annotation and evolutionary reconstruction. Shortly after multiple genome sequences of bacteria, archaea, and unicellular eukaryotes became available, an attempt on such a classification was implemented in Clusters of Orthologous Groups of proteins (COGs). Rapid accumulation of genome sequences creates opportunities for refining COGs ...

  9. Vampire bats exhibit evolutionary reduction of bitter taste receptor genes common to other bats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Wei; Zhao, Huabin

    2014-01-01

    The bitter taste serves as an important natural defence against the ingestion of poisonous foods and is thus believed to be indispensable in animals. However, vampire bats are obligate blood feeders that show a reduced behavioural response towards bitter-tasting compounds. To test whether bitter taste receptor genes (T2Rs) have been relaxed from selective constraint in vampire bats, we sampled all three vampire bat species and 11 non-vampire bats, and sequenced nine one-to-one orthologous T2Rs that are assumed to be functionally conserved in all bats. We generated 85 T2R sequences and found that vampire bats have a significantly greater percentage of pseudogenes than other bats. These results strongly suggest a relaxation of selective constraint and a reduction of bitter taste function in vampire bats. We also found that vampire bats retain many intact T2Rs, and that the taste signalling pathway gene Calhm1 remains complete and intact with strong functional constraint. These results suggest the presence of some bitter taste function in vampire bats, although it is not likely to play a major role in food selection. Together, our study suggests that the evolutionary reduction of bitter taste function in animals is more pervasive than previously believed, and highlights the importance of extra-oral functions of taste receptor genes. PMID:24966321

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Genome-Wide Identification, Evolutionary and Expression Analyses of the GALACTINOL SYNTHASE Gene Family in Rapeseed and Tobacco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonghai Fan

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Galactinol synthase (GolS is a key enzyme in raffinose family oligosaccharide (RFO biosynthesis. The finding that GolS accumulates in plants exposed to abiotic stresses indicates RFOs function in environmental adaptation. However, the evolutionary relationships and biological functions of GolS family in rapeseed (Brassica napus and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum remain unclear. In this study, we identified 20 BnGolS and 9 NtGolS genes. Subcellular localization predictions showed that most of the proteins are localized to the cytoplasm. Phylogenetic analysis identified a lost event of an ancient GolS copy in the Solanaceae and an ancient duplication event leading to evolution of GolS4/7 in the Brassicaceae. The three-dimensional structures of two GolS proteins were conserved, with an important DxD motif for binding to UDP-galactose (uridine diphosphate-galactose and inositol. Expression profile analysis indicated that BnGolS and NtGolS genes were expressed in most tissues and highly expressed in one or two specific tissues. Hormone treatments strongly induced the expression of most BnGolS genes and homologous genes in the same subfamilies exhibited divergent-induced expression. Our study provides a comprehensive evolutionary analysis of GolS genes among the Brassicaceae and Solanaceae as well as an insight into the biological function of GolS genes in hormone response in plants.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Chen

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan J. Fraser

    2006-12-01

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

  14. Gene genealogies indicates abundant gene conversions and independent evolutionary histories of the mating-type chromosomes in the evolutionary history of Neurospora tetrasperma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Whittle Carrie A

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The self-fertile filamentous ascomycete Neurospora tetrasperma contains a large (~7 Mbp and young (mat chromosomes. The objective of the present study is to reveal the evolutionary history, including key genomic events, associated with the various regions of the mat chromosomes among ten strains representing all the nine known species (lineages contained within the N. tetrasperma species complex. Results Comparative analysis of sequence divergence among alleles of 24 mat-linked genes (mat A and mat a indicates that a large region of suppressed recombination exists within the mat chromosome for each of nine lineages of N. tetrasperma sensu latu. The recombinationally suppressed region varies in size and gene composition among lineages, and is flanked on both ends by normally recombining regions. Genealogical analyses among lineages reveals that eight gene conversion events have occurred between homologous mat A and mat a-linked alleles of genes located within the region of restricted recombination during the evolutionary history of N. tetrasperma. Conclusions We conclude that the region of suppressed recombination in the mat chromosomes has likely been subjected to independent contraction and/or expansion during the evolutionary history of the N. tetrasperma species complex. Furthermore, we infer that gene conversion events are likely a common phenomenon within this recombinationally suppressed genomic region. We argue that gene conversions might provide an efficient mechanism of adaptive editing of functional genes, including the removal of deleterious mutations, within the young recombinationally suppressed region of the mat chromosomes.

  15. Visualizing conserved gene location across microbe genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Chris D.

    2009-01-01

    This paper introduces an analysis-based zoomable visualization technique for displaying the location of genes across many related species of microbes. The purpose of this visualizatiuon is to enable a biologist to examine the layout of genes in the organism of interest with respect to the gene organization of related organisms. During the genomic annotation process, the ability to observe gene organization in common with previously annotated genomes can help a biologist better confirm the structure and function of newly analyzed microbe DNA sequences. We have developed a visualization and analysis tool that enables the biologist to observe and examine gene organization among genomes, in the context of the primary sequence of interest. This paper describes the visualization and analysis steps, and presents a case study using a number of Rickettsia genomes.

  16. Selective modes determine evolutionary rates, gene compactness and expression patterns in Brassica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Yue; Liu, Jing; Zhang, Jiefu; Liu, Shengyi; Du, Jianchang

    2017-07-01

    It has been well documented that most nuclear protein-coding genes in organisms can be classified into two categories: positively selected genes (PSGs) and negatively selected genes (NSGs). The characteristics and evolutionary fates of different types of genes, however, have been poorly understood. In this study, the rates of nonsynonymous substitution (K a ) and the rates of synonymous substitution (K s ) were investigated by comparing the orthologs between the two sequenced Brassica species, Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea, and the evolutionary rates, gene structures, expression patterns, and codon bias were compared between PSGs and NSGs. The resulting data show that PSGs have higher protein evolutionary rates, lower synonymous substitution rates, shorter gene length, fewer exons, higher functional specificity, lower expression level, higher tissue-specific expression and stronger codon bias than NSGs. Although the quantities and values are different, the relative features of PSGs and NSGs have been largely verified in the model species Arabidopsis. These data suggest that PSGs and NSGs differ not only under selective pressure (K a /K s ), but also in their evolutionary, structural and functional properties, indicating that selective modes may serve as a determinant factor for measuring evolutionary rates, gene compactness and expression patterns in Brassica. © 2017 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. 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.

  18. Evolutionary analysis of hepatitis C virus gene sequences from 1953

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Rebecca R.; Tanaka, Yasuhito; Takebe, Yutaka; Magiorkinis, Gkikas; Buskell, Zelma; Seeff, Leonard; Alter, Harvey J.; Pybus, Oliver G.

    2013-01-01

    Reconstructing the transmission history of infectious diseases in the absence of medical or epidemiological records often relies on the evolutionary analysis of pathogen genetic sequences. The precision of evolutionary estimates of epidemic history can be increased by the inclusion of sequences derived from ‘archived’ samples that are genetically distinct from contemporary strains. Historical sequences are especially valuable for viral pathogens that circulated for many years before being formally identified, including HIV and the hepatitis C virus (HCV). However, surprisingly few HCV isolates sampled before discovery of the virus in 1989 are currently available. Here, we report and analyse two HCV subgenomic sequences obtained from infected individuals in 1953, which represent the oldest genetic evidence of HCV infection. The pairwise genetic diversity between the two sequences indicates a substantial period of HCV transmission prior to the 1950s, and their inclusion in evolutionary analyses provides new estimates of the common ancestor of HCV in the USA. To explore and validate the evolutionary information provided by these sequences, we used a new phylogenetic molecular clock method to estimate the date of sampling of the archived strains, plus the dates of four more contemporary reference genomes. Despite the short fragments available, we conclude that the archived sequences are consistent with a proposed sampling date of 1953, although statistical uncertainty is large. Our cross-validation analyses suggest that the bias and low statistical power observed here likely arise from a combination of high evolutionary rate heterogeneity and an unstructured, star-like phylogeny. We expect that attempts to date other historical viruses under similar circumstances will meet similar problems. PMID:23938759

  19. Conserved genomic organisation of Group B Sox genes in insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woerfel Gertrud

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sox domain containing genes are important metazoan transcriptional regulators implicated in a wide rage of developmental processes. The vertebrate B subgroup contains the Sox1, Sox2 and Sox3 genes that have early functions in neural development. Previous studies show that Drosophila Group B genes have been functionally conserved since they play essential roles in early neural specification and mutations in the Drosophila Dichaete and SoxN genes can be rescued with mammalian Sox genes. Despite their importance, the extent and organisation of the Group B family in Drosophila has not been fully characterised, an important step in using Drosophila to examine conserved aspects of Group B Sox gene function. Results We have used the directed cDNA sequencing along with the output from the publicly-available genome sequencing projects to examine the structure of Group B Sox domain genes in Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila pseudoobscura, Anopheles gambiae and Apis mellifora. All of the insect genomes contain four genes encoding Group B proteins, two of which are intronless, as is the case with vertebrate group B genes. As has been previously reported and unusually for Group B genes, two of the insect group B genes, Sox21a and Sox21b, contain introns within their DNA-binding domains. We find that the highly unusual multi-exon structure of the Sox21b gene is common to the insects. In addition, we find that three of the group B Sox genes are organised in a linked cluster in the insect genomes. By in situ hybridisation we show that the pattern of expression of each of the four group B genes during embryogenesis is conserved between D. melanogaster and D. pseudoobscura. Conclusion The DNA-binding domain sequences and genomic organisation of the group B genes have been conserved over 300 My of evolution since the last common ancestor of the Hymenoptera and the Diptera. Our analysis suggests insects have two Group B1 genes, SoxN and

  20. Tracing evolutionary relicts of positive selection on eight malaria-related immune genes in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Bing-Hong; Liao, Pei-Chun

    2015-07-01

    Plasmodium-induced malaria widely infects primates and other mammals. Multiple past studies have revealed that positive selection could be the main evolutionary force triggering the genetic diversity of anti-malaria resistance-associated genes in human or primates. However, researchers focused most of their attention on the infra-generic and intra-specific genome evolution rather than analyzing the complete evolutionary history of mammals. Here we extend previous research by testing the evolutionary link of natural selection on eight candidate genes associated with malaria resistance in mammals. Three of the eight genes were detected to be affected by recombination, including TNF-α, iNOS and DARC. Positive selection was detected in the rest five immunogenes multiple times in different ancestral lineages of extant species throughout the mammalian evolution. Signals of positive selection were exposed in four malaria-related immunogenes in primates: CCL2, IL-10, HO1 and CD36. However, selection signals of G6PD have only been detected in non-primate eutherians. Significantly higher evolutionary rates and more radical amino acid replacement were also detected in primate CD36, suggesting its functional divergence from other eutherians. Prevalent positive selection throughout the evolutionary trajectory of mammalian malaria-related genes supports the arms race evolutionary hypothesis of host genetic response of mammalian immunogenes to infectious pathogens. © The Author(s) 2014 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-31

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

  4. Phylogenetic analysis reveals conservation and diversification of micro RNA166 genes among diverse plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barik, Suvakanta; SarkarDas, Shabari; Singh, Archita; Gautam, Vibhav; Kumar, Pramod; Majee, Manoj; Sarkar, Ananda K

    2014-01-01

    Similar to the majority of the microRNAs, mature miR166s are derived from multiple members of MIR166 genes (precursors) and regulate various aspects of plant development by negatively regulating their target genes (Class III HD-ZIP). The evolutionary conservation or functional diversification of miRNA166 family members remains elusive. Here, we show the phylogenetic relationships among MIR166 precursor and mature sequences from three diverse model plant species. Despite strong conservation, some mature miR166 sequences, such as ppt-miR166m, have undergone sequence variation. Critical sequence variation in ppt-miR166m has led to functional diversification, as it targets non-HD-ZIPIII gene transcript (s). MIR166 precursor sequences have diverged in a lineage specific manner, and both precursors and mature osa-miR166i/j are highly conserved. Interestingly, polycistronic MIR166s were present in Physcomitrella and Oryza but not in Arabidopsis. The nature of cis-regulatory motifs on the upstream promoter sequences of MIR166 genes indicates their possible contribution to the functional variation observed among miR166 species. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sagar Darvekar

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

  7. Comparison of loline alkaloid gene clusters across fungal endophytes: predicting the co-regulatory sequence motifs and the evolutionary history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutil, Brandi L; Greenwald, Charles; Liu, Gang; Spiering, Martin J; Schardl, Christopher L; Wilkinson, Heather H

    2007-10-01

    LOL, a fungal secondary metabolite gene cluster found in Epichloë and Neotyphodium species, is responsible for production of insecticidal loline alkaloids. To analyze the genetic architecture and to predict the evolutionary history of LOL, we compared five clusters from four fungal species (single clusters from Epichloë festucae, Neotyphodium sp. PauTG-1, Neotyphodium coenophialum, and two clusters we previously characterized in Neotyphodium uncinatum). Using PhyloCon to compare putative lol gene promoter regions, we have identified four motifs conserved across the lol genes in all five clusters. Each motif has significant similarity to known fungal transcription factor binding sites in the TRANSFAC database. Conservation of these motifs is further support for the hypothesis that the lol genes are co-regulated. Interestingly, the history of asexual Neotyphodium spp. includes multiple interspecific hybridization events. Comparing clusters from three Neotyphodium species and E. festucae allowed us to determine which Epichloë ancestors are the most likely contributors of LOL in these asexual species. For example, while no present day Epichloë typhina isolates are known to produce lolines, our data support the hypothesis that the E. typhina ancestor(s) of three asexual endophyte species contained a LOL gene cluster. Thus, these data support a model of evolution in which the polymorphism in loline alkaloid production phenotypes among endophyte species is likely due to the loss of the trait over time.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Codon usage is associated with the evolutionary age of genes in metazoan genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linial Nathan

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Codon usage may vary significantly between different organisms and between genes within the same organism. Several evolutionary processes have been postulated to be the predominant determinants of codon usage: selection, mutation, and genetic drift. However, the relative contribution of each of these factors in different species remains debatable. The availability of complete genomes for tens of multicellular organisms provides an opportunity to inspect the relationship between codon usage and the evolutionary age of genes. Results We assign an evolutionary age to a gene based on the relative positions of its identified homologues in a standard phylogenetic tree. This yields a classification of all genes in a genome to several evolutionary age classes. The present study starts from the observation that each age class of genes has a unique codon usage and proceeds to provide a quantitative analysis of the codon usage in these classes. This observation is made for the genomes of Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, and Drosophila melanogaster. It is even more remarkable that the differences between codon usages in different age groups exhibit similar and consistent behavior in various organisms. While we find that GC content and gene length are also associated with the evolutionary age of genes, they can provide only a partial explanation for the observed codon usage. Conclusion While factors such as GC content, mutational bias, and selection shape the codon usage in a genome, the evolutionary history of an organism over hundreds of millions of years is an overlooked property that is strongly linked to GC content, protein length, and, even more significantly, to the codon usage of metazoan genomes.

  10. Evolutionary Origins of Cancer Driver Genes and Implications for Cancer Prognosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Xin-Yi; Jiang, Ling-Han; Zhou, Xiong-Hui; Cui, Ze-Jia; Zhang, Hong-Yu

    2017-07-14

    The cancer atavistic theory suggests that carcinogenesis is a reverse evolution process. It is thus of great interest to explore the evolutionary origins of cancer driver genes and the relevant mechanisms underlying the carcinogenesis. Moreover, the evolutionary features of cancer driver genes could be helpful in selecting cancer biomarkers from high-throughput data. In this study, through analyzing the cancer endogenous molecular networks, we revealed that the subnetwork originating from eukaryota could control the unlimited proliferation of cancer cells, and the subnetwork originating from eumetazoa could recapitulate the other hallmarks of cancer. In addition, investigations based on multiple datasets revealed that cancer driver genes were enriched in genes originating from eukaryota, opisthokonta, and eumetazoa. These results have important implications for enhancing the robustness of cancer prognosis models through selecting the gene signatures by the gene age information.

  11. ERC analysis: web-based inference of gene function via evolutionary rate covariation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfe, Nicholas W; Clark, Nathan L

    2015-12-01

    The recent explosion of comparative genomics data presents an unprecedented opportunity to construct gene networks via the evolutionary rate covariation (ERC) signature. ERC is used to identify genes that experienced similar evolutionary histories, and thereby draws functional associations between them. The ERC Analysis website allows researchers to exploit genome-wide datasets to infer novel genes in any biological function and to explore deep evolutionary connections between distinct pathways and complexes. The website provides five analytical methods, graphical output, statistical support and access to an increasing number of taxonomic groups. Analyses and data at http://csb.pitt.edu/erc_analysis/ nclark@pitt.edu. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. Evolutionary constraints shape caste-specific gene expression across 15 ant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morandin, Claire; Mikheyev, Alexander S; Pedersen, Jes Søe; Helanterä, Heikki

    2017-05-01

    Development of polymorphic phenotypes from similar genomes requires gene expression differences. However, little is known about how morph-specific gene expression patterns vary on a broad phylogenetic scale. We hypothesize that evolution of morph-specific gene expression, and consequently morph-specific phenotypic evolution, may be constrained by gene essentiality and the amount of pleiotropic constraints. Here, we use comparative transcriptomics of queen and worker morphs, that is, castes, from 15 ant species to understand the constraints of morph-biased gene expression. In particular, we investigate how measures of evolutionary constraints at the sequence level (expression level, connectivity, and number of gene ontology [GO] terms) correlate with morph-biased expression. Our results show that genes indeed vary in their potential to become morph-biased. The existence of genes that are constrained in becoming caste-biased potentially limits the evolutionary decoupling of the caste phenotypes, that is, it might result in "caste load" occasioning from antagonistic fitness variation, similarly to sexually antagonistic fitness variation between males and females. On the other hand, we suggest that genes under low constraints are released from antagonistic variation and thus more likely to be co-opted for morph specific use. Overall, our results suggest that the factors that affect sequence evolutionary rates and evolution of plastic expression may largely overlap. © 2017 The Author(s). Evolution © 2017 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  16. Seed collection success and failure in fraxinus gene conservation efforts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph D. Zeleznik; Andrew J. David

    2017-01-01

    National seed collection and gene conservation programs have expanded in recent years, especially in response to pressure from non-native pests such as the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis). Since 2008, we have been working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) and USDA Forest Service (USDA FS) leading seed collection...

  17. Conservation of gene co-regulation in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snel, B.; Bork, P.; Huynen, M.A.

    2002-01-01

    We raise some issues in detecting the conservation (or absence thereof) of co-regulation using gene order; how we think the variations in the cellular network in various species can be studied; and how to determine and interpret the higher order structure in networks of functional relations.

  18. Doublesex: a conserved downstream gene controlled by diverse ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The Drosophila doublesex (dsx) gene at the bottom of the sex-determination cascade is the best characterized candidate so far, and is conserved from worms (mab3 of Caenorhabditis elegans) to mammals (Dmrt-1). Studies of dsx homologues from insect species belonging to different orders position them at the bottom of ...

  19. Changes in transcriptional orientation are associated with increases in evolutionary rates of enterobacterial genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hsiung Chao

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Changes in transcriptional orientation (“CTOs” occur frequently in prokaryotic genomes. Such changes usually result from genomic inversions, which may cause a conflict between the directions of replication and transcription and an increase in mutation rate. However, CTOs do not always lead to the replication-transcription confrontation. Furthermore, CTOs may cause deleterious disruptions of operon structure and/or gene regulations. The currently existing CTOs may indicate relaxation of selection pressure. Therefore, it is of interest to investigate whether CTOs have an independent effect on the evolutionary rates of the affected genes, and whether these genes are subject to any type of selection pressure in prokaryotes. Methods Three closely related enterbacteria, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, were selected for comparisons of synonymous (dS and nonsynonymous (dN substitution rate between the genes that have experienced changes in transcriptional orientation (changed-orientation genes, “COGs” and those that do not (same-orientation genes, “SOGs”. The dN/dS ratio was also derived to evaluate the selection pressure on the analyzed genes. Confounding factors in the estimation of evolutionary rates, such as gene essentiality, gene expression level, replication-transcription confrontation, and decreased dS at gene terminals were controlled in the COG-SOG comparisons. Results We demonstrate that COGs have significantly higher dN and dS than SOGs when a series of confounding factors are controlled. However, the dN/dS ratios are similar between the two gene groups, suggesting that the increase in dS can sufficiently explain the increase in dN in COGs. Therefore, the increases in evolutionary rates in COGs may be mainly mutation-driven. Conclusions Here we show that CTOs can increase the evolutionary rates of the affected genes. This effect is independent of the

  20. Evolutionary Analysis of Minor Histocompatibility Genes In Hydra

    KAUST Repository

    Aalismail, Nojood

    2016-01-01

    In the present study we took initiative to study the self/nonself recognition in hydra and its relation to the immune response. Moreover, performing phylogenetic analysis to look for annotated immune genes in hydra gave us a potential to analyze the expression of minor histocompatibility genes that have been shown to play a major role in grafting and transplantation in mammals. Here we obtained the cDNA library that shows expression of minor histocompatibility genes and confirmed that the annotated sequences in databases are actually present. In addition, grafting experiments suggested, although still preliminary, that homograft showed less rejection response than in heterograft. Involvement of possible minor histocompatibility gene orthologous in immune response was examined by qPCR.

  1. Unusual conservation of mitochondrial gene order in Crassostrea oysters: evidence for recent speciation in Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Oysters are morphologically plastic and hence difficult subjects for taxonomic and evolutionary studies. It is long been suspected, based on the extraordinary species diversity observed, that Asia Pacific is the epicenter of oyster speciation. To understand the species diversity and its evolutionary history, we collected five Crassostrea species from Asia and sequenced their complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes in addition to two newly released Asian oysters (C. iredalei and Saccostrea mordax) for a comprehensive analysis. Results The six Asian Crassostrea mt genomes ranged from 18,226 to 22,446 bp in size, and all coded for 39 genes (12 proteins, 2 rRNAs and 25 tRNAs) on the same strand. Their genomes contained a split of the rrnL gene and duplication of trnM, trnK and trnQ genes. They shared the same gene order that differed from an Atlantic sister species by as many as nine tRNA changes (6 transpositions and 3 duplications) and even differed significantly from S. mordax in protein-coding genes. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that the six Asian Crassostrea species emerged between 3 and 43 Myr ago, while the Atlantic species evolved 83 Myr ago. Conclusions The complete conservation of gene order in the six Asian Crassostrea species over 43 Myr is highly unusual given the remarkable rate of rearrangements in their sister species and other bivalves. It provides strong evidence for the recent speciation of the six Crassostrea species in Asia. It further indicates that changes in mt gene order may not be strictly a function of time but subject to other constraints that are presently not well understood. PMID:21189147

  2. Analysis of the reptile CD1 genes: evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zhi; Wang, Chunyan; Wang, Tao; Bai, Jianhui; Zhao, Yu; Liu, Xuhan; Ma, Qingwei; Wu, Xiaobing; Guo, Ying; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2015-06-01

    CD1, as the third family of antigen-presenting molecules, is previously only found in mammals and chickens, which suggests that the chicken and mammalian CD1 shared a common ancestral gene emerging at least 310 million years ago. Here, we describe CD1 genes in the green anole lizard and Crocodylia, demonstrating that CD1 is ubiquitous in mammals, birds, and reptiles. Although the reptilian CD1 protein structures are predicted to be similar to human CD1d and chicken CD1.1, CD1 isotypes are not found to be orthologous between mammals, birds, and reptiles according to phylogenetic analyses, suggesting an independent diversification of CD1 isotypes during the speciation of mammals, birds, and reptiles. In the green anole lizard, although the single CD1 locus and MHC I gene are located on the same chromosome, there is an approximately 10-Mb-long sequence in between, and interestingly, several genes flanking the CD1 locus belong to the MHC paralogous region on human chromosome 19. The CD1 genes in Crocodylia are located in two loci, respectively linked to the MHC region and MHC paralogous region (corresponding to the MHC paralogous region on chromosome 19). These results provide new insights for studying the origin and evolution of CD1.

  3. Upon Accounting for the Impact of Isoenzyme Loss, Gene Deletion Costs Anticorrelate with Their Evolutionary Rates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Jacobs

    Full Text Available System-level metabolic network models enable the computation of growth and metabolic phenotypes from an organism's genome. In particular, flux balance approaches have been used to estimate the contribution of individual metabolic genes to organismal fitness, offering the opportunity to test whether such contributions carry information about the evolutionary pressure on the corresponding genes. Previous failure to identify the expected negative correlation between such computed gene-loss cost and sequence-derived evolutionary rates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been ascribed to a real biological gap between a gene's fitness contribution to an organism "here and now" and the same gene's historical importance as evidenced by its accumulated mutations over millions of years of evolution. Here we show that this negative correlation does exist, and can be exposed by revisiting a broadly employed assumption of flux balance models. In particular, we introduce a new metric that we call "function-loss cost", which estimates the cost of a gene loss event as the total potential functional impairment caused by that loss. This new metric displays significant negative correlation with evolutionary rate, across several thousand minimal environments. We demonstrate that the improvement gained using function-loss cost over gene-loss cost is explained by replacing the base assumption that isoenzymes provide unlimited capacity for backup with the assumption that isoenzymes are completely non-redundant. We further show that this change of the assumption regarding isoenzymes increases the recall of epistatic interactions predicted by the flux balance model at the cost of a reduction in the precision of the predictions. In addition to suggesting that the gene-to-reaction mapping in genome-scale flux balance models should be used with caution, our analysis provides new evidence that evolutionary gene importance captures much more than strict essentiality.

  4. Upon Accounting for the Impact of Isoenzyme Loss, Gene Deletion Costs Anticorrelate with Their Evolutionary Rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, Christopher; Lambourne, Luke; Xia, Yu; Segrè, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    System-level metabolic network models enable the computation of growth and metabolic phenotypes from an organism's genome. In particular, flux balance approaches have been used to estimate the contribution of individual metabolic genes to organismal fitness, offering the opportunity to test whether such contributions carry information about the evolutionary pressure on the corresponding genes. Previous failure to identify the expected negative correlation between such computed gene-loss cost and sequence-derived evolutionary rates in Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been ascribed to a real biological gap between a gene's fitness contribution to an organism "here and now" and the same gene's historical importance as evidenced by its accumulated mutations over millions of years of evolution. Here we show that this negative correlation does exist, and can be exposed by revisiting a broadly employed assumption of flux balance models. In particular, we introduce a new metric that we call "function-loss cost", which estimates the cost of a gene loss event as the total potential functional impairment caused by that loss. This new metric displays significant negative correlation with evolutionary rate, across several thousand minimal environments. We demonstrate that the improvement gained using function-loss cost over gene-loss cost is explained by replacing the base assumption that isoenzymes provide unlimited capacity for backup with the assumption that isoenzymes are completely non-redundant. We further show that this change of the assumption regarding isoenzymes increases the recall of epistatic interactions predicted by the flux balance model at the cost of a reduction in the precision of the predictions. In addition to suggesting that the gene-to-reaction mapping in genome-scale flux balance models should be used with caution, our analysis provides new evidence that evolutionary gene importance captures much more than strict essentiality.

  5. Evolutionary rate of a gene affected by chromosomal position.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, J; Ashworth, A

    1999-09-09

    Genes evolve at different rates depending on the strength of selective pressure to maintain their function. Chromosomal position can also have an influence [1] [2]. The pseudoautosomal region (PAR) of mammalian sex chromosomes is a small region of sequence identity that is the site of an obligatory pairing and recombination event between the X and Y chromosomes during male meiosis [3] [4] [5] [6]. During female meiosis, X chromosomes can pair and recombine along their entire length. Recombination in the PAR is therefore approximately 10 times greater in male meiosis compared with female meiosis [4] [5] [6]. The gene Fxy (also known as MID1 [7]) spans the pseudoautosomal boundary (PAB) in the laboratory mouse (Mus musculus domesticus, C57BL/6) such that the 5' three exons of the gene are located on the X chromosome but the seven exons encoding the carboxy-terminal two-thirds of the protein are located within the PAR and are therefore present on both the X and Y chromosomes [8]. In humans [7] [9], the rat, and the wild mouse species Mus spretus, the gene is entirely X-unique. Here, we report that the rate of sequence divergence of the 3' end of the Fxy gene is much higher (estimated at 170-fold higher for synonymous sites) when pseudoautosomal (present on both the X and Y chromosomes) than when X-unique. Thus, chromosomal position can directly affect the rate of evolution of a gene. This finding also provides support for the suggestion that regions of the genome with a high recombination frequency, such as the PAR, may have an intrinsically elevated rate of sequence divergence.

  6. The ergot alkaloid gene cluster: Functional analyses and evolutionary aspects

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lorenz, N.; Haarmann, T.; Pažoutová, Sylvie; Jung, M.; Tudzynski, P.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 70, 15-16 (2009), s. 1822-1832 ISSN 0031-9422 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50200510 Keywords : Claviceps purpurea * Ergot fungus * Ergot alkaloid gene cluster Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 3.104, year: 2009

  7. Evolutionary analysis of the kinesin light chain genes in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti: gene duplication as a source for novel early zygotic genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biedler, James K; Tu, Zhijian

    2010-07-08

    The maternal zygotic transition marks the time at which transcription from the zygotic genome is initiated and a subset of maternal RNAs are progressively degraded in the developing embryo. A number of early zygotic genes have been identified in Drosophila melanogaster and comparisons to sequenced mosquito genomes suggest that some of these early zygotic genes such as bottleneck are fast-evolving or subject to turnover in dipteran insects. One objective of this study is to identify early zygotic genes from the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti to study their evolution. We are also interested in obtaining early zygotic promoters that will direct transgene expression in the early embryo as part of a Medea gene drive system. Two novel early zygotic kinesin light chain genes we call AaKLC2.1 and AaKLC2.2 were identified by transcriptome sequencing of Aedes aegypti embryos at various time points. These two genes have 98% nucleotide and amino acid identity in their coding regions and show transcription confined to the early zygotic stage according to gene-specific RT-PCR analysis. These AaKLC2 genes have a paralogous gene (AaKLC1) in Ae. aegypti. Phylogenetic inference shows that an ortholog to the AaKLC2 genes is only found in the sequenced genome of Culex quinquefasciatus. In contrast, AaKLC1 gene orthologs are found in all three sequenced mosquito species including Anopheles gambiae. There is only one KLC gene in D. melanogaster and other sequenced holometabolous insects that appears to be similar to AaKLC1. Unlike AaKLC2, AaKLC1 is expressed in all life stages and tissues tested, which is consistent with the expression pattern of the An. gambiae and D. melanogaster KLC genes. Phylogenetic inference also suggests that AaKLC2 genes and their likely C. quinquefasciatus ortholog are fast-evolving genes relative to the highly conserved AaKLC1-like paralogs. Embryonic injection of a luciferase reporter under the control of a 1 kb fragment upstream of the AaKLC2.1 start

  8. Evolutionary analysis of the kinesin light chain genes in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti: gene duplication as a source for novel early zygotic genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tu Zhijian

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The maternal zygotic transition marks the time at which transcription from the zygotic genome is initiated and a subset of maternal RNAs are progressively degraded in the developing embryo. A number of early zygotic genes have been identified in Drosophila melanogaster and comparisons to sequenced mosquito genomes suggest that some of these early zygotic genes such as bottleneck are fast-evolving or subject to turnover in dipteran insects. One objective of this study is to identify early zygotic genes from the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti to study their evolution. We are also interested in obtaining early zygotic promoters that will direct transgene expression in the early embryo as part of a Medea gene drive system. Results Two novel early zygotic kinesin light chain genes we call AaKLC2.1 and AaKLC2.2 were identified by transcriptome sequencing of Aedes aegypti embryos at various time points. These two genes have 98% nucleotide and amino acid identity in their coding regions and show transcription confined to the early zygotic stage according to gene-specific RT-PCR analysis. These AaKLC2 genes have a paralogous gene (AaKLC1 in Ae. aegypti. Phylogenetic inference shows that an ortholog to the AaKLC2 genes is only found in the sequenced genome of Culex quinquefasciatus. In contrast, AaKLC1 gene orthologs are found in all three sequenced mosquito species including Anopheles gambiae. There is only one KLC gene in D. melanogaster and other sequenced holometabolous insects that appears to be similar to AaKLC1. Unlike AaKLC2, AaKLC1 is expressed in all life stages and tissues tested, which is consistent with the expression pattern of the An. gambiae and D. melanogaster KLC genes. Phylogenetic inference also suggests that AaKLC2 genes and their likely C. quinquefasciatus ortholog are fast-evolving genes relative to the highly conserved AaKLC1-like paralogs. Embryonic injection of a luciferase reporter under the control of a

  9. rbcL gene sequences provide evidence for the evolutionary lineages of leptosporangiate ferns.

    OpenAIRE

    Hasebe, M; Omori, T; Nakazawa, M; Sano, T; Kato, M; Iwatsuki, K

    1994-01-01

    Pteriodophytes have a longer evolutionary history than any other vascular land plant and, therefore, have endured greater loss of phylogenetically informative information. This factor has resulted in substantial disagreements in evaluating characters and, thus, controversy in establishing a stable classification. To compare competing classifications, we obtained DNA sequences of a chloroplast gene. The sequence of 1206 nt of the large subunit of the ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase gene (rbc...

  10. Evolutionary changes of Hox genes and relevant regulatory factors provide novel insights into mammalian morphological modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Kui; Sun, Xiaohui; Chen, Meixiu; Sun, Yingying; Tian, Ran; Wang, Zhengfei; Xu, Shixia; Yang, Guang

    2018-01-01

    The diversity of body plans of mammals accelerates the innovation of lifestyles and the extensive adaptation to different habitats, including terrestrial, aerial and aquatic habitats. However, the genetic basis of those phenotypic modifications, which have occurred during mammalian evolution, remains poorly explored. In the present study, we synthetically surveyed the evolutionary pattern of Hox clusters that played a powerful role in the morphogenesis along the head-tail axis of animal embryos and the main regulatory factors (Mll, Bmi1 and E2f6) that control the expression of Hox genes. A deflected density of repetitive elements and lineage-specific radical mutations of Mll have been determined in marine mammals with morphological changes, suggesting that evolutionary changes may alter Hox gene expression in these lineages, leading to the morphological modification of these lineages. Although no positive selection was detected at certain ancestor nodes of lineages, the increased ω values of Hox genes implied the relaxation of functional constraints of these genes during the mammalian evolutionary process. More importantly, 49 positively-selected sites were identified in mammalian lineages with phenotypic modifications, indicating adaptive evolution acting on Hox genes and regulatory factors. In addition, 3 parallel amino acid substitutions in some Hox genes were examined in marine mammals, which might be responsible for their streamlined body. © 2017 The Authors. Integrative Zoology published by International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  11. Characterization of resistance gene analogues (RGAs in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh. and their evolutionary history of the Rosaceae family.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michele Perazzolli

    Full Text Available The family of resistance gene analogues (RGAs with a nucleotide-binding site (NBS domain accounts for the largest number of disease resistance genes and is one of the largest gene families in plants. We have identified 868 RGAs in the genome of the apple (Malus × domestica Borkh. cultivar 'Golden Delicious'. This represents 1.51% of the total number of predicted genes for this cultivar. Several evolutionary features are pronounced in M. domestica, including a high fraction (80% of RGAs occurring in clusters. This suggests frequent tandem duplication and ectopic translocation events. Of the identified RGAs, 56% are located preferentially on six chromosomes (Chr 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 15, and 25% are located on Chr 2. TIR-NBS and non-TIR-NBS classes of RGAs are primarily exclusive of different chromosomes, and 99% of non-TIR-NBS RGAs are located on Chr 11. A phylogenetic reconstruction was conducted to study the evolution of RGAs in the Rosaceae family. More than 1400 RGAs were identified in six species based on their NBS domain, and a neighbor-joining analysis was used to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships among the protein sequences. Specific phylogenetic clades were found for RGAs of Malus, Fragaria, and Rosa, indicating genus-specific evolution of resistance genes. However, strikingly similar RGAs were shared in Malus, Pyrus, and Prunus, indicating high conservation of specific RGAs and suggesting a monophyletic origin of these three genera.

  12. Characterization of Resistance Gene Analogues (RGAs) in Apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) and Their Evolutionary History of the Rosaceae Family

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldo, Angela; Righetti, Laura; Bailey, Aubrey; Fontana, Paolo; Velasco, Riccardo; Malnoy, Mickael

    2014-01-01

    The family of resistance gene analogues (RGAs) with a nucleotide-binding site (NBS) domain accounts for the largest number of disease resistance genes and is one of the largest gene families in plants. We have identified 868 RGAs in the genome of the apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) cultivar ‘Golden Delicious’. This represents 1.51% of the total number of predicted genes for this cultivar. Several evolutionary features are pronounced in M. domestica, including a high fraction (80%) of RGAs occurring in clusters. This suggests frequent tandem duplication and ectopic translocation events. Of the identified RGAs, 56% are located preferentially on six chromosomes (Chr 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 15), and 25% are located on Chr 2. TIR-NBS and non-TIR-NBS classes of RGAs are primarily exclusive of different chromosomes, and 99% of non-TIR-NBS RGAs are located on Chr 11. A phylogenetic reconstruction was conducted to study the evolution of RGAs in the Rosaceae family. More than 1400 RGAs were identified in six species based on their NBS domain, and a neighbor-joining analysis was used to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships among the protein sequences. Specific phylogenetic clades were found for RGAs of Malus, Fragaria, and Rosa, indicating genus-specific evolution of resistance genes. However, strikingly similar RGAs were shared in Malus, Pyrus, and Prunus, indicating high conservation of specific RGAs and suggesting a monophyletic origin of these three genera. PMID:24505246

  13. Characterization of resistance gene analogues (RGAs) in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) and their evolutionary history of the Rosaceae family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perazzolli, Michele; Malacarne, Giulia; Baldo, Angela; Righetti, Laura; Bailey, Aubrey; Fontana, Paolo; Velasco, Riccardo; Malnoy, Mickael

    2014-01-01

    The family of resistance gene analogues (RGAs) with a nucleotide-binding site (NBS) domain accounts for the largest number of disease resistance genes and is one of the largest gene families in plants. We have identified 868 RGAs in the genome of the apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.) cultivar 'Golden Delicious'. This represents 1.51% of the total number of predicted genes for this cultivar. Several evolutionary features are pronounced in M. domestica, including a high fraction (80%) of RGAs occurring in clusters. This suggests frequent tandem duplication and ectopic translocation events. Of the identified RGAs, 56% are located preferentially on six chromosomes (Chr 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 15), and 25% are located on Chr 2. TIR-NBS and non-TIR-NBS classes of RGAs are primarily exclusive of different chromosomes, and 99% of non-TIR-NBS RGAs are located on Chr 11. A phylogenetic reconstruction was conducted to study the evolution of RGAs in the Rosaceae family. More than 1400 RGAs were identified in six species based on their NBS domain, and a neighbor-joining analysis was used to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships among the protein sequences. Specific phylogenetic clades were found for RGAs of Malus, Fragaria, and Rosa, indicating genus-specific evolution of resistance genes. However, strikingly similar RGAs were shared in Malus, Pyrus, and Prunus, indicating high conservation of specific RGAs and suggesting a monophyletic origin of these three genera.

  14. Cadherin genes and evolutionary novelties in the octopus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Z Yan; Ragsdale, Clifton W

    2017-09-01

    All animals with large brains must have molecular mechanisms to regulate neuronal process outgrowth and prevent neurite self-entanglement. In vertebrates, two major gene families implicated in these mechanisms are the clustered protocadherins and the atypical cadherins. However, the molecular mechanisms utilized in complex invertebrate brains, such as those of the cephalopods, remain largely unknown. Recently, we identified protocadherins and atypical cadherins in the octopus. The octopus protocadherin expansion shares features with the mammalian clustered protocadherins, including enrichment in neural tissues, clustered head-to-tail orientations in the genome, and a large first exon encoding all cadherin domains. Other octopus cadherins, including a newly-identified cadherin with 77 extracellular cadherin domains, are elevated in the suckers, a striking cephalopod novelty. Future study of these octopus genes may yield insights into the general functions of protocadherins in neural wiring and cadherin-related proteins in complex morphogenesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Genome-wide identification of nuclear receptor (NR) genes and the evolutionary significance of the NR1O subfamily in the monogonont rotifer Brachionus spp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Duck-Hyun; Kim, Hui-Su; Hwang, Dae-Sik; Kim, Hee-Jin; Hagiwara, Atsushi; Lee, Jae-Seong; Jeong, Chang-Bum

    2017-10-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) are a large family of transcription factors that are involved in many fundamental biological processes. NRs are considered to have originated from a common ancestor, and are highly conserved throughout the whole animal taxa. Therefore, the genome-wide identification of NR genes in an animal taxon can provide insight into the evolutionary tendencies of NRs. Here, we identified all the NR genes in the monogonont rotifer Brachionus spp., which are considered an ecologically key species due to their abundance and world-wide distribution. The NR family was composed of 40, 32, 29, and 32 genes in the genomes of the rotifers B. calyciflorus, B. koreanus, B. plicatilis, and B. rotundiformis, respectively, which were classified into seven distinct subfamilies. The composition of each subfamily was highly conserved between species, except for NR1O genes, suggesting that they have undergone sporadic evolutionary processes for adaptation to their different environmental pressures. In addition, despite the dynamics of NR evolution, the significance of the conserved endocrine system, particularly for estrogen receptor (ER)-signaling, in rotifers was discussed on the basis of phylogenetic analyses. The results of this study may help provide a better understanding the evolution of NRs, and expand our knowledge of rotifer endocrine systems. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Designing a parallel evolutionary algorithm for inferring gene networks on the cloud computing environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Wei-Po; Hsiao, Yu-Ting; Hwang, Wei-Che

    2014-01-16

    To improve the tedious task of reconstructing gene networks through testing experimentally the possible interactions between genes, it becomes a trend to adopt the automated reverse engineering procedure instead. Some evolutionary algorithms have been suggested for deriving network parameters. However, to infer large networks by the evolutionary algorithm, it is necessary to address two important issues: premature convergence and high computational cost. To tackle the former problem and to enhance the performance of traditional evolutionary algorithms, it is advisable to use parallel model evolutionary algorithms. To overcome the latter and to speed up the computation, it is advocated to adopt the mechanism of cloud computing as a promising solution: most popular is the method of MapReduce programming model, a fault-tolerant framework to implement parallel algorithms for inferring large gene networks. This work presents a practical framework to infer large gene networks, by developing and parallelizing a hybrid GA-PSO optimization method. Our parallel method is extended to work with the Hadoop MapReduce programming model and is executed in different cloud computing environments. To evaluate the proposed approach, we use a well-known open-source software GeneNetWeaver to create several yeast S. cerevisiae sub-networks and use them to produce gene profiles. Experiments have been conducted and the results have been analyzed. They show that our parallel approach can be successfully used to infer networks with desired behaviors and the computation time can be largely reduced. Parallel population-based algorithms can effectively determine network parameters and they perform better than the widely-used sequential algorithms in gene network inference. These parallel algorithms can be distributed to the cloud computing environment to speed up the computation. By coupling the parallel model population-based optimization method and the parallel computational framework, high

  19. Reconstructing the Evolutionary History of Paralogous APETALA1/FRUITFULL-Like Genes in Grasses (Poaceae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Jill C.; Kellogg, Elizabeth A.

    2006-01-01

    Gene duplication is an important mechanism for the generation of evolutionary novelty. Paralogous genes that are not silenced may evolve new functions (neofunctionalization) that will alter the developmental outcome of preexisting genetic pathways, partition ancestral functions (subfunctionalization) into divergent developmental modules, or function redundantly. Functional divergence can occur by changes in the spatio-temporal patterns of gene expression and/or by changes in the activities of their protein products. We reconstructed the evolutionary history of two paralogous monocot MADS-box transcription factors, FUL1 and FUL2, and determined the evolution of sequence and gene expression in grass AP1/FUL-like genes. Monocot AP1/FUL-like genes duplicated at the base of Poaceae and codon substitutions occurred under relaxed selection mostly along the branch leading to FUL2. Following the duplication, FUL1 was apparently lost from early diverging taxa, a pattern consistent with major changes in grass floral morphology. Overlapping gene expression patterns in leaves and spikelets indicate that FUL1 and FUL2 probably share some redundant functions, but that FUL2 may have become temporally restricted under partial subfunctionalization to particular stages of floret development. These data have allowed us to reconstruct the history of AP1/FUL-like genes in Poaceae and to hypothesize a role for this gene duplication in the evolution of the grass spikelet. PMID:16816429

  20. Origin of a function by tandem gene duplication limits the evolutionary capability of its sister copy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasselmann, Martin; Lechner, Sarah; Schulte, Christina; Beye, Martin

    2010-07-27

    The most remarkable outcome of a gene duplication event is the evolution of a novel function. Little information exists on how the rise of a novel function affects the evolution of its paralogous sister gene copy, however. We studied the evolution of the feminizer (fem) gene from which the gene complementary sex determiner (csd) recently derived by tandem duplication within the honey bee (Apis) lineage. Previous studies showed that fem retained its sex determination function, whereas the rise of csd established a new primary signal of sex determination. We observed a specific reduction of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitution ratios in Apis to non-Apis fem. We found a contrasting pattern at two other genetically linked genes, suggesting that hitchhiking effects to csd, the locus under balancing selection, is not the cause of this evolutionary pattern. We also excluded higher synonymous substitution rates by relative rate testing. These results imply that stronger purifying selection is operating at the fem gene in the presence of csd. We propose that csd's new function interferes with the function of Fem protein, resulting in molecular constraints and limited evolvability of fem in the Apis lineage. Elevated silent nucleotide polymorphism in fem relative to the genome-wide average suggests that genetic linkage to the csd gene maintained more nucleotide variation in today's population. Our findings provide evidence that csd functionally and genetically interferes with fem, suggesting that a newly evolved gene and its functions can limit the evolutionary capability of other genes in the genome.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, Meytal; Rosenberg, Nurit

    2011-03-01

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

  2. Human Intellectual Disability Genes Form Conserved Functional Modules in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oortveld, Merel A. W.; Keerthikumar, Shivakumar; Oti, Martin; Nijhof, Bonnie; Fernandes, Ana Clara; Kochinke, Korinna; Castells-Nobau, Anna; van Engelen, Eva; Ellenkamp, Thijs; Eshuis, Lilian; Galy, Anne; van Bokhoven, Hans; Habermann, Bianca; Brunner, Han G.; Zweier, Christiane; Verstreken, Patrik; Huynen, Martijn A.; Schenck, Annette

    2013-01-01

    Intellectual Disability (ID) disorders, defined by an IQ below 70, are genetically and phenotypically highly heterogeneous. Identification of common molecular pathways underlying these disorders is crucial for understanding the molecular basis of cognition and for the development of therapeutic intervention strategies. To systematically establish their functional connectivity, we used transgenic RNAi to target 270 ID gene orthologs in the Drosophila eye. Assessment of neuronal function in behavioral and electrophysiological assays and multiparametric morphological analysis identified phenotypes associated with knockdown of 180 ID gene orthologs. Most of these genotype-phenotype associations were novel. For example, we uncovered 16 genes that are required for basal neurotransmission and have not previously been implicated in this process in any system or organism. ID gene orthologs with morphological eye phenotypes, in contrast to genes without phenotypes, are relatively highly expressed in the human nervous system and are enriched for neuronal functions, suggesting that eye phenotyping can distinguish different classes of ID genes. Indeed, grouping genes by Drosophila phenotype uncovered 26 connected functional modules. Novel links between ID genes successfully predicted that MYCN, PIGV and UPF3B regulate synapse development. Drosophila phenotype groups show, in addition to ID, significant phenotypic similarity also in humans, indicating that functional modules are conserved. The combined data indicate that ID disorders, despite their extreme genetic diversity, are caused by disruption of a limited number of highly connected functional modules. PMID:24204314

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hemberg, Martin; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Comparative genomics of Mycoplasma: analysis of conserved essential genes and diversity of the pan-genome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Liu

    Full Text Available Mycoplasma, the smallest self-replicating organism with a minimal metabolism and little genomic redundancy, is expected to be a close approximation to the minimal set of genes needed to sustain bacterial life. This study employs comparative evolutionary analysis of twenty Mycoplasma genomes to gain an improved understanding of essential genes. By analyzing the core genome of mycoplasmas, we finally revealed the conserved essential genes set for mycoplasma survival. Further analysis showed that the core genome set has many characteristics in common with experimentally identified essential genes. Several key genes, which are related to DNA replication and repair and can be disrupted in transposon mutagenesis studies, may be critical for bacteria survival especially over long period natural selection. Phylogenomic reconstructions based on 3,355 homologous groups allowed robust estimation of phylogenetic relatedness among mycoplasma strains. To obtain deeper insight into the relative roles of molecular evolution in pathogen adaptation to their hosts, we also analyzed the positive selection pressures on particular sites and lineages. There appears to be an approximate correlation between the divergence of species and the level of positive selection detected in corresponding lineages.

  5. The evolutionary history of the SAL1 gene family in eutherian mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Callebaut Isabelle

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background SAL1 (salivary lipocalin is a member of the OBP (Odorant Binding Protein family and is involved in chemical sexual communication in pig. SAL1 and its relatives may be involved in pheromone and olfactory receptor binding and in pre-mating behaviour. The evolutionary history and the selective pressures acting on SAL1 and its orthologous genes have not yet been exhaustively described. The aim of the present work was to study the evolution of these genes, to elucidate the role of selective pressures in their evolution and the consequences for their functions. Results Here, we present the evolutionary history of SAL1 gene and its orthologous genes in mammals. We found that (1 SAL1 and its related genes arose in eutherian mammals with lineage-specific duplications in rodents, horse and cow and are lost in human, mouse lemur, bushbaby and orangutan, (2 the evolution of duplicated genes of horse, rat, mouse and guinea pig is driven by concerted evolution with extensive gene conversion events in mouse and guinea pig and by positive selection mainly acting on paralogous genes in horse and guinea pig, (3 positive selection was detected for amino acids involved in pheromone binding and amino acids putatively involved in olfactory receptor binding, (4 positive selection was also found for lineage, indicating a species-specific strategy for amino acid selection. Conclusions This work provides new insights into the evolutionary history of SAL1 and its orthologs. On one hand, some genes are subject to concerted evolution and to an increase in dosage, suggesting the need for homogeneity of sequence and function in certain species. On the other hand, positive selection plays a role in the diversification of the functions of the family and in lineage, suggesting adaptive evolution, with possible consequences for speciation and for the reinforcement of prezygotic barriers.

  6. The evolutionary history of bears is characterized by gene flow across species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Vikas; Lammers, Fritjof; Bidon, Tobias; Pfenninger, Markus; Kolter, Lydia; Nilsson, Maria A.; Janke, Axel

    2017-01-01

    Bears are iconic mammals with a complex evolutionary history. Natural bear hybrids and studies of few nuclear genes indicate that gene flow among bears may be more common than expected and not limited to polar and brown bears. Here we present a genome analysis of the bear family with representatives of all living species. Phylogenomic analyses of 869 mega base pairs divided into 18,621 genome fragments yielded a well-resolved coalescent species tree despite signals for extensive gene flow across species. However, genome analyses using different statistical methods show that gene flow is not limited to closely related species pairs. Strong ancestral gene flow between the Asiatic black bear and the ancestor to polar, brown and American black bear explains uncertainties in reconstructing the bear phylogeny. Gene flow across the bear clade may be mediated by intermediate species such as the geographically wide-spread brown bears leading to large amounts of phylogenetic conflict. Genome-scale analyses lead to a more complete understanding of complex evolutionary processes. Evidence for extensive inter-specific gene flow, found also in other animal species, necessitates shifting the attention from speciation processes achieving genome-wide reproductive isolation to the selective processes that maintain species divergence in the face of gene flow. PMID:28422140

  7. The evolutionary history of bears is characterized by gene flow across species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Vikas; Lammers, Fritjof; Bidon, Tobias; Pfenninger, Markus; Kolter, Lydia; Nilsson, Maria A; Janke, Axel

    2017-04-19

    Bears are iconic mammals with a complex evolutionary history. Natural bear hybrids and studies of few nuclear genes indicate that gene flow among bears may be more common than expected and not limited to polar and brown bears. Here we present a genome analysis of the bear family with representatives of all living species. Phylogenomic analyses of 869 mega base pairs divided into 18,621 genome fragments yielded a well-resolved coalescent species tree despite signals for extensive gene flow across species. However, genome analyses using different statistical methods show that gene flow is not limited to closely related species pairs. Strong ancestral gene flow between the Asiatic black bear and the ancestor to polar, brown and American black bear explains uncertainties in reconstructing the bear phylogeny. Gene flow across the bear clade may be mediated by intermediate species such as the geographically wide-spread brown bears leading to large amounts of phylogenetic conflict. Genome-scale analyses lead to a more complete understanding of complex evolutionary processes. Evidence for extensive inter-specific gene flow, found also in other animal species, necessitates shifting the attention from speciation processes achieving genome-wide reproductive isolation to the selective processes that maintain species divergence in the face of gene flow.

  8. A global evolutionary and metabolic analysis of human obesity gene risk variants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Joseph J; Hazlett, Zachary S; Orlando, Robert A; Garver, William S

    2017-09-05

    It is generally accepted that the selection of gene variants during human evolution optimized energy metabolism that now interacts with our obesogenic environment to increase the prevalence of obesity. The purpose of this study was to perform a global evolutionary and metabolic analysis of human obesity gene risk variants (110 human obesity genes with 127 nearest gene risk variants) identified using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to enhance our knowledge of early and late genotypes. As a result of determining the mean frequency of these obesity gene risk variants in 13 available populations from around the world our results provide evidence for the early selection of ancestral risk variants (defined as selection before migration from Africa) and late selection of derived risk variants (defined as selection after migration from Africa). Our results also provide novel information for association of these obesity genes or encoded proteins with diverse metabolic pathways and other human diseases. The overall results indicate a significant differential evolutionary pattern for the selection of obesity gene ancestral and derived risk variants proposed to optimize energy metabolism in varying global environments and complex association with metabolic pathways and other human diseases. These results are consistent with obesity genes that encode proteins possessing a fundamental role in maintaining energy metabolism and survival during the course of human evolution. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Co-evolutionary interactions between host resistance and pathogen avirulence genes in rice-Magnaporthe oryzae pathosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Pankaj Kumar; Ray, Soham; Thakur, Shallu; Rathour, Rajeev; Sharma, Vinay; Sharma, Tilak Raj

    2018-06-01

    Rice and Magnaporthe oryzae constitutes an ideal pathosystem for studying host-pathogen interaction in cereals crops. There are two alternative hypotheses, viz. Arms race and Trench warfare, which explain the co-evolutionary dynamics of hosts and pathogens which are under continuous confrontation. Arms race proposes that both R- and Avr- genes of host and pathogen, respectively, undergo positive selection. Alternatively, trench warfare suggests that either R- or Avr- gene in the pathosystem is under balanced selection intending to stabilize the genetic advantage gained over the opposition. Here, we made an attempt to test the above-stated hypotheses in rice-M. oryzae pathosystem at loci of three R-Avr gene pairs, Piz-t-AvrPiz-t, Pi54-AvrPi54 and Pita-AvrPita using allele mining approach. Allele mining is an efficient way to capture allelic variants existing in the population and to study the selective forces imposed on the variants during evolution. Results of nucleotide diversity, neutrality statistics and phylogenetic analyses reveal that Piz-t, Pi54 and AvrPita are diversified and under positive selection at their corresponding loci, while their counterparts, AvrPiz-t, AvrPi54 and Pita are conserved and under balancing selection, in nature. These results imply that rice-M. oryzae populations are engaged in a trench warfare at least at the three R/Avr loci studied. It is a maiden attempt to study the co-evolution of three R-Avr gene pairs in this pathosystem. Knowledge gained from this study will help in understanding the evolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen interaction in a better way and will also aid in developing new durable blast resistant rice varieties in future. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Population genetics of non-genetic traits: Evolutionary roles of stochasticity in gene expression

    KAUST Repository

    Mineta, Katsuhiko; Matsumoto, Tomotaka; Osada, Naoki; Araki, Hitoshi

    2015-01-01

    The role of stochasticity in evolutionary genetics has long been debated. To date, however, the potential roles of non-genetic traits in evolutionary processes have been largely neglected. In molecular biology, growing evidence suggests that stochasticity in gene expression (SGE) is common and that SGE has major impacts on phenotypes and fitness. Here, we provide a general overview of the potential effects of SGE on population genetic parameters, arguing that SGE can indeed have a profound effect on evolutionary processes. Our analyses suggest that SGE potentially alters the fate of mutations by influencing effective population size and fixation probability. In addition, a genetic control of SGE magnitude could evolve under certain conditions, if the fitness of the less-fit individual increases due to SGE and environmental fluctuation. Although empirical evidence for our arguments is yet to come, methodological developments for precisely measuring SGE in living organisms will further advance our understanding of SGE-driven evolution.

  11. Population genetics of non-genetic traits: Evolutionary roles of stochasticity in gene expression

    KAUST Repository

    Mineta, Katsuhiko

    2015-05-01

    The role of stochasticity in evolutionary genetics has long been debated. To date, however, the potential roles of non-genetic traits in evolutionary processes have been largely neglected. In molecular biology, growing evidence suggests that stochasticity in gene expression (SGE) is common and that SGE has major impacts on phenotypes and fitness. Here, we provide a general overview of the potential effects of SGE on population genetic parameters, arguing that SGE can indeed have a profound effect on evolutionary processes. Our analyses suggest that SGE potentially alters the fate of mutations by influencing effective population size and fixation probability. In addition, a genetic control of SGE magnitude could evolve under certain conditions, if the fitness of the less-fit individual increases due to SGE and environmental fluctuation. Although empirical evidence for our arguments is yet to come, methodological developments for precisely measuring SGE in living organisms will further advance our understanding of SGE-driven evolution.

  12. Evolutionary Inference across Eukaryotes Identifies Specific Pressures Favoring Mitochondrial Gene Retention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Iain G; Williams, Ben P

    2016-02-24

    Since their endosymbiotic origin, mitochondria have lost most of their genes. Although many selective mechanisms underlying the evolution of mitochondrial genomes have been proposed, a data-driven exploration of these hypotheses is lacking, and a quantitatively supported consensus remains absent. We developed HyperTraPS, a methodology coupling stochastic modeling with Bayesian inference, to identify the ordering of evolutionary events and suggest their causes. Using 2015 complete mitochondrial genomes, we inferred evolutionary trajectories of mtDNA gene loss across the eukaryotic tree of life. We find that proteins comprising the structural cores of the electron transport chain are preferentially encoded within mitochondrial genomes across eukaryotes. A combination of high GC content and high protein hydrophobicity is required to explain patterns of mtDNA gene retention; a model that accounts for these selective pressures can also predict the success of artificial gene transfer experiments in vivo. This work provides a general method for data-driven inference of the ordering of evolutionary and progressive events, here identifying the distinct features shaping mitochondrial genomes of present-day species. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Evolutionary and genetic analysis of the VP2 gene of canine parvovirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Gairu; Ji, Senlin; Zhai, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Yuxiang; Liu, Jie; Zhu, Mengyan; Zhou, Jiyong; Su, Shuo

    2017-07-17

    Canine parvovirus (CPV) type 2 emerged in 1978 in the USA and quickly spread among dog populations all over the world with high morbidity. Although CPV is a DNA virus, its genomic substitution rate is similar to some RNA viruses. Therefore, it is important to trace the evolution of CPV to monitor the appearance of mutations that might affect vaccine effectiveness. Our analysis shows that the VP2 genes of CPV isolated from 1979 to 2016 are divided into six groups: GI, GII, GIII, GIV, GV, and GVI. Amino acid mutation analysis revealed several undiscovered important mutation sites: F267Y, Y324I, and T440A. Of note, the evolutionary rate of the CPV VP2 gene from Asia and Europe decreased. Codon usage analysis showed that the VP2 gene of CPV exhibits high bias with an ENC ranging from 34.93 to 36.7. Furthermore, we demonstrate that natural selection plays a major role compared to mutation pressure driving CPV evolution. There are few studies on the codon usage of CPV. Here, we comprehensively studied the genetic evolution, codon usage pattern, and evolutionary characterization of the VP2 gene of CPV. The novel findings revealing the evolutionary process of CPV will greatly serve future CPV research.

  14. Evolutionary Trails of Plant Group II Pyridoxal Phosphate-Dependent Decarboxylase Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Rahul

    2016-01-01

    Type II pyridoxal phosphate-dependent decarboxylase (PLP_deC) enzymes play important metabolic roles during nitrogen metabolism. Recent evolutionary profiling of these genes revealed a sharp expansion of histidine decarboxylase genes in the members of Solanaceae family. In spite of the high sequence homology shared by PLP_deC orthologs, these enzymes display remarkable differences in their substrate specificities. Currently, limited information is available on the gene repertoires and substrate specificities of PLP_deCs which renders their precise annotation challenging and offers technical challenges in the immediate identification and biochemical characterization of their full gene complements in plants. Herein, we explored their evolutionary trails in a comprehensive manner by taking advantage of high-throughput data accessibility and computational approaches. We discussed the premise that has enabled an improved reconstruction of their evolutionary lineage and evaluated the factors offering constraints in their rapid functional characterization, till date. We envisage that the synthesized information herein would act as a catalyst for the rapid exploration of their biochemical specificity and physiological roles in more plant species.

  15. Evolutionary maintenance of selfish homing endonuclease genes in the absence of horizontal transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yahara, Koji; Fukuyo, Masaki; Sasaki, Akira; Kobayashi, Ichizo

    2009-11-03

    Homing endonuclease genes are "selfish" mobile genetic elements whose endonuclease promotes the spread of its own gene by creating a break at a specific target site and using the host machinery to repair the break by copying and inserting the gene at this site. Horizontal transfer across the boundary of a species or population within which mating takes place has been thought to be necessary for their evolutionary persistence. This is based on the assumption that they will become fixed in a host population, where opportunities of homing will disappear, and become susceptible to degeneration. To test this hypothesis, we modeled behavior of a homing endonuclease gene that moves during meiosis through double-strand break repair. We mathematically explored conditions for persistence of the homing endonuclease gene and elucidated their parameter dependence as phase diagrams. We found that, if the cost of the pseudogene is lower than that of the homing endonuclease gene, the 2 forms can persist in a population through autonomous periodic oscillation. If the cost of the pseudogene is higher, 2 types of dynamics appear that enable evolutionary persistence: bistability dependent on initial frequency or fixation irrespective of initial frequency. The prediction of long persistence in the absence of horizontal transfer was confirmed by stochastic simulations in finite populations. The average time to extinction of the endonuclease gene was found to be thousands of meiotic generations or more based on realistic parameter values. These results provide a solid theoretical basis for an understanding of these and other extremely selfish elements.

  16. Evolutionary Transition of Promoter and Gene Body DNA Methylation across Invertebrate-Vertebrate Boundary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keller, Thomas E; Han, Priscilla; Yi, Soojin V

    2016-04-01

    Genomes of invertebrates and vertebrates exhibit highly divergent patterns of DNA methylation. Invertebrate genomes tend to be sparsely methylated, and DNA methylation is mostly targeted to a subset of transcription units (gene bodies). In a drastic contrast, vertebrate genomes are generally globally and heavily methylated, punctuated by the limited local hypo-methylation of putative regulatory regions such as promoters. These genomic differences also translate into functional differences in DNA methylation and gene regulation. Although promoter DNA methylation is an important regulatory component of vertebrate gene expression, its role in invertebrate gene regulation has been little explored. Instead, gene body DNA methylation is associated with expression of invertebrate genes. However, the evolutionary steps leading to the differentiation of invertebrate and vertebrate genomic DNA methylation remain unresolved. Here we analyzed experimentally determined DNA methylation maps of several species across the invertebrate-vertebrate boundary, to elucidate how vertebrate gene methylation has evolved. We show that, in contrast to the prevailing idea, a substantial number of promoters in an invertebrate basal chordate Ciona intestinalis are methylated. Moreover, gene expression data indicate significant, epigenomic context-dependent associations between promoter methylation and expression in C. intestinalis. However, there is no evidence that promoter methylation in invertebrate chordate has been evolutionarily maintained across the invertebrate-vertebrate boundary. Rather, body-methylated invertebrate genes preferentially obtain hypo-methylated promoters among vertebrates. Conversely, promoter methylation is preferentially found in lineage- and tissue-specific vertebrate genes. These results provide important insights into the evolutionary origin of epigenetic regulation of vertebrate gene expression. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polzikov, Mikhail; Zatsepina, Olga; Magoulas, Charalambos

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Papatsenko Dmitri

    2009-10-01

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

  19. Evolutionary inference across eukaryotes identifies specific pressures favoring mitochondrial gene retention

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Ben; Johnston, Iain

    2016-01-01

    Since their endosymbiotic origin, mitochondria have lost most of their genes. Although many selective mechanisms underlying the evolution of mitochondrial genomes have been proposed, a data-driven exploration of these hypotheses is lacking, and a quantitatively supported consensus remains absent. We developed HyperTraPS, a methodology coupling stochastic modelling with Bayesian inference, to identify the ordering of evolutionary events and suggest their causes. Using 2015 complete mitochondri...

  20. Genome-Wide Identification, Evolutionary Analysis and Expression Profiles of LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES DOMAIN Gene Family in Lotus japonicus and Medicago truncatula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianquan Yang

    Full Text Available The LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARIES DOMAIN (LBD gene family has been well-studied in Arabidopsis and play crucial roles in the diverse growth and development processes including establishment and maintenance of boundary of developmental lateral organs. In this study we identified and characterized 38 LBD genes in Lotus japonicus (LjLBD and 57 LBD genes in Medicago truncatula (MtLBD, both of which are model legume plants that have some specific development features absent in Arabidopsis. The phylogenetic relationships, their locations in the genome, genes structure and conserved motifs were examined. The results revealed that all LjLBD and MtLBD genes could be distinctly divided into two classes: Class I and II. The evolutionary analysis showed that Type I functional divergence with some significantly site-specific shifts may be the main force for the divergence between Class I and Class II. In addition, the expression patterns of LjLBD genes uncovered the diverse functions in plant development. Interestingly, we found that two LjLBD proteins that were highly expressed during compound leaf and pulvinus development, can interact via yeast two-hybrid assays. Taken together, our findings provide an evolutionary and genetic foundation in further understanding the molecular basis of LBD gene family in general, specifically in L. japonicus and M. truncatula.

  1. An evolutionarily conserved gene, FUWA, plays a role in determining panicle architecture, grain shape and grain weight in rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jun; Gao, He; Zheng, Xiao-Ming; Jin, Mingna; Weng, Jian-Feng; Ma, Jin; Ren, Yulong; Zhou, Kunneng; Wang, Qi; Wang, Jie; Wang, Jiu-Lin; Zhang, Xin; Cheng, Zhijun; Wu, Chuanyin; Wang, Haiyang; Wan, Jian-Min

    2015-08-01

    Plant breeding relies on creation of novel allelic combinations for desired traits. Identification and utilization of beneficial alleles, rare alleles and evolutionarily conserved genes in the germplasm (referred to as 'hidden' genes) provide an effective approach to achieve this goal. Here we show that a chemically induced null mutation in an evolutionarily conserved gene, FUWA, alters multiple important agronomic traits in rice, including panicle architecture, grain shape and grain weight. FUWA encodes an NHL domain-containing protein, with preferential expression in the root meristem, shoot apical meristem and inflorescences, where it restricts excessive cell division. Sequence analysis revealed that FUWA has undergone a bottleneck effect, and become fixed in landraces and modern cultivars during domestication and breeding. We further confirm a highly conserved role of FUWA homologs in determining panicle architecture and grain development in rice, maize and sorghum through genetic transformation. Strikingly, knockdown of the FUWA transcription level by RNA interference results in an erect panicle and increased grain size in both indica and japonica genetic backgrounds. This study illustrates an approach to create new germplasm with improved agronomic traits for crop breeding by tapping into evolutionary conserved genes. © 2015 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Evolutionary genomics and adaptive evolution of the Hedgehog gene family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh in vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Pereira

    Full Text Available The Hedgehog (Hh gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog--Shh; Indian hedgehog--Ihh; and Desert hedgehog--Dhh, each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots.

  4. Evolutionary genomics and adaptive evolution of the Hedgehog gene family (Shh, Ihh and Dhh) in vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Joana; Johnson, Warren E; O'Brien, Stephen J; Jarvis, Erich D; Zhang, Guojie; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Antunes, Agostinho

    2014-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) gene family codes for a class of secreted proteins composed of two active domains that act as signalling molecules during embryo development, namely for the development of the nervous and skeletal systems and the formation of the testis cord. While only one Hh gene is found typically in invertebrate genomes, most vertebrates species have three (Sonic hedgehog--Shh; Indian hedgehog--Ihh; and Desert hedgehog--Dhh), each with different expression patterns and functions, which likely helped promote the increasing complexity of vertebrates and their successful diversification. In this study, we used comparative genomic and adaptive evolutionary analyses to characterize the evolution of the Hh genes in vertebrates following the two major whole genome duplication (WGD) events. To overcome the lack of Hh-coding sequences on avian publicly available databases, we used an extensive dataset of 45 avian and three non-avian reptilian genomes to show that birds have all three Hh paralogs. We find suggestions that following the WGD events, vertebrate Hh paralogous genes evolved independently within similar linkage groups and under different evolutionary rates, especially within the catalytic domain. The structural regions around the ion-binding site were identified to be under positive selection in the signaling domain. These findings contrast with those observed in invertebrates, where different lineages that experienced gene duplication retained similar selective constraints in the Hh orthologs. Our results provide new insights on the evolutionary history of the Hh gene family, the functional roles of these paralogs in vertebrate species, and on the location of mutational hotspots.

  5. Characterization and evolutionary analysis of ent-kaurene synthase like genes from the wild rice species Oryza rufipogon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toyomasu, Tomonobu; Miyamoto, Koji; Shenton, Matthew R; Sakai, Arisa; Sugawara, Chizu; Horie, Kiyotaka; Kawaide, Hiroshi; Hasegawa, Morifumi; Chuba, Masaru; Mitsuhashi, Wataru; Yamane, Hisakazu; Kurata, Nori; Okada, Kazunori

    2016-11-18

    Cultivated rice (Oryza sativa) possesses various labdane-related diterpene synthase genes, homologs of ent-copalyl diphosphate synthase (CPS) and ent-kaurene synthase (KS) that are responsible for the biosynthesis of phytohormone gibberellins. The CPS homologs and KS like (KSL) homologs successively converted geranylgeranyl diphosphate to cyclic diterpene hydrocarbons via ent-copalyl diphosphate or syn-copalyl diphosphate in O. sativa. Consequently, a variety of labdane-related diterpenoids, including phytoalexin phytocassanes, momilactones and oryzalexins, have been identified from cultivated rice. Our previous report indicated that the biosynthesis of phytocassanes and momilactones is conserved in Oryza rufipogon, the progenitor of Asian cultivated rice. Moreover, their biosynthetic gene clusters, containing OsCPS2 and OsKSL7 for phytocassane biosynthesis and OsCPS4 and OsKSL4 for momilactone biosynthesis, are also present in the O. rufipogon genome. We herein characterized O. rufipogon homologs of OsKSL5, OsKSL6, OsKSL8 responsible for oryzalexin S biosynthesis, and OsKSL10 responsible for oryzalexins A-F biosynthesis, to obtain more evolutionary insight into diterpenoid biosynthesis in O. sativa. Our phytoalexin analyses showed that no accumulation of oryzalexins was detected in extracts from O. rufipogon leaf blades. In vitro functional analyses indicated that unlike OsKSL10, O. rufipogon KSL10 functions as an ent-miltiradiene synthase, which explains the lack of accumulation of oryzalexins A-F in O. rufipogon. The different functions of KSL5 and KSL8 in O. sativa japonica to those in indica are conserved in each type of O. rufipogon, while KSL6 functions (ent-isokaurene synthases) are well conserved. Our study suggests that O. sativa japonica has evolved distinct specialized diterpenoid metabolism, including the biosynthesis of oryzalexins. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. The evolutionary fate of the genes encoding the purine catabolic enzymes in hominoids, birds, and reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keebaugh, Alaine C; Thomas, James W

    2010-06-01

    Gene loss has been proposed to play a major role in adaptive evolution, and recent studies are beginning to reveal its importance in human evolution. However, the potential consequence of a single gene-loss event upon the fates of functionally interrelated genes is poorly understood. Here, we use the purine metabolic pathway as a model system in which to explore this important question. The loss of urate oxidase (UOX) activity, a necessary step in this pathway, has occurred independently in the hominoid and bird/reptile lineages. Because the loss of UOX would have removed the functional constraint upon downstream genes in this pathway, these downstream genes are generally assumed to have subsequently deteriorated. In this study, we used a comparative genomics approach to empirically determine the fate of UOX itself and the downstream genes in five hominoids, two birds, and a reptile. Although we found that the loss of UOX likely triggered the genetic deterioration of the immediate downstream genes in the hominoids, surprisingly in the birds and reptiles, the UOX locus itself and some of the downstream genes were present in the genome and predicted to encode proteins. To account for the variable pattern of gene retention and loss after the inactivation of UOX, we hypothesize that although gene loss is a common fate for genes that have been rendered obsolete due to the upstream loss of an enzyme a metabolic pathway, it is also possible that same lack of constraint will foster the evolution of new functions or allow the optimization of preexisting alternative functions in the downstream genes, thereby resulting in gene retention. Thus, adaptive single-gene losses have the potential to influence the long-term evolutionary fate of functionally interrelated genes.

  7. Inference of the protokaryotypes of amniotes and tetrapods and the evolutionary processes of microchromosomes from comparative gene mapping.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshinobu Uno

    Full Text Available Comparative genome analysis of non-avian reptiles and amphibians provides important clues about the process of genome evolution in tetrapods. However, there is still only limited information available on the genome structures of these organisms. Consequently, the protokaryotypes of amniotes and tetrapods and the evolutionary processes of microchromosomes in tetrapods remain poorly understood. We constructed chromosome maps of functional genes for the Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis, the Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis, and the Western clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis and compared them with genome and/or chromosome maps of other tetrapod species (salamander, lizard, snake, chicken, and human. This is the first report on the protokaryotypes of amniotes and tetrapods and the evolutionary processes of microchromosomes inferred from comparative genomic analysis of vertebrates, which cover all major non-avian reptilian taxa (Squamata, Crocodilia, Testudines. The eight largest macrochromosomes of the turtle and chicken were equivalent, and 11 linkage groups had also remained intact in the crocodile. Linkage groups of the chicken macrochromosomes were also highly conserved in X. tropicalis, two squamates, and the salamander, but not in human. Chicken microchromosomal linkages were conserved in the squamates, which have fewer microchromosomes than chicken, and also in Xenopus and the salamander, which both lack microchromosomes; in the latter, the chicken microchromosomal segments have been integrated into macrochromosomes. Our present findings open up the possibility that the ancestral amniotes and tetrapods had at least 10 large genetic linkage groups and many microchromosomes, which corresponded to the chicken macro- and microchromosomes, respectively. The turtle and chicken might retain the microchromosomes of the amniote protokaryotype almost intact. The decrease in number and/or disappearance of microchromosomes by repeated

  8. Evolutionary history of the third chromosome gene arrangements of Drosophila pseudoobscura inferred from inversion breakpoints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Andre G; Detweiler, Don; Schaeffer, Stephen W

    2011-08-01

    The third chromosome of Drosophila pseudoobscura is polymorphic for numerous gene arrangements that form classical clines in North America. The polytene salivary chromosomes isolated from natural populations revealed changes in gene order that allowed the different gene arrangements to be linked together by paracentric inversions representing one of the first cases where genetic data were used to construct a phylogeny. Although the inversion phylogeny can be used to determine the relationships among the gene arrangements, the cytogenetic data are unable to infer the ancestral arrangement or the age of the different chromosome types. These are both important properties if one is to infer the evolutionary forces responsible for the spread and maintenance of the chromosomes. Here, we employ the nucleotide sequences of 18 regions distributed across the third chromosome in 80-100 D. pseudoobscura strains to test whether five gene arrangements are of unique or multiple origin, what the ancestral arrangement was, and what are the ages of the different arrangements. Each strain carried one of six commonly found gene arrangements and the sequences were used to infer their evolutionary relationships. Breakpoint regions in the center of the chromosome supported monophyly of the gene arrangements, whereas regions at the ends of the chromosome gave phylogenies that provided less support for monophyly of the chromosomes either because the individual markers did not have enough phylogenetically informative sites or genetic exchange scrambled information among the gene arrangements. A data set where the genetic markers were concatenated strongly supported a unique origin of the different gene arrangements. The inversion polymorphism of D. pseudoobscura is estimated to be about a million years old. We have also shown that the generated phylogeny is consistent with the cytological phylogeny of this species. In addition, the data presented here support hypothetical as the ancestral

  9. Effects of using coding potential, sequence conservation and mRNA structure conservation for predicting pyrroly-sine containing genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Have, Christian Theil; Zambach, Sine; Christiansen, Henning

    2013-01-01

    for prediction of pyrrolysine incorporating genes in genomes of bacteria and archaea leading to insights about the factors driving pyrrolysine translation and identification of new gene candidates. The method predicts known conserved genes with high recall and predicts several other promising candidates...... for experimental verification. The method is implemented as a computational pipeline which is available on request....

  10. Phylodynamics and evolutionary epidemiology of African swine fever p72-CVR genes in Eurasia and Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkhamis, Moh A; Gallardo, Carmina; Jurado, Cristina; Soler, Alejandro; Arias, Marisa; Sánchez-Vizcaíno, José M

    2018-01-01

    African swine fever (ASF) is a complex infectious disease of swine that constitutes devastating impacts on animal health and the world economy. Here, we investigated the evolutionary epidemiology of ASF virus (ASFV) in Eurasia and Africa using the concatenated gene sequences of the viral protein 72 and the central variable region of isolates collected between 1960 and 2015. We used Bayesian phylodynamic models to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the virus, to identify virus population demographics and to quantify dispersal patterns between host species. Results suggest that ASFV exhibited a significantly high evolutionary rate and population growth through time since its divergence in the 18th century from East Africa, with no signs of decline till recent years. This increase corresponds to the growing pig trade activities between continents during the 19th century, and may be attributed to an evolutionary drift that resulted from either continuous circulation or maintenance of the virus within Africa and Eurasia. Furthermore, results implicate wild suids as the ancestral host species (root state posterior probability = 0.87) for ASFV in the early 1700s in Africa. Moreover, results indicate the transmission cycle between wild suids and pigs is an important cycle for ASFV spread and maintenance in pig populations, while ticks are an important natural reservoir that can facilitate ASFV spread and maintenance in wild swine populations. We illustrated the prospects of phylodynamic methods in improving risk-based surveillance, support of effective animal health policies, and epidemic preparedness in countries at high risk of ASFV incursion.

  11. Genome Wide Identification, Evolutionary, and Expression Analysis of VQ Genes from Two Pyrus Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Yunpeng; Meng, Dandan; Abdullah, Muhammad; Jin, Qing; Lin, Yi; Cai, Yongping

    2018-04-23

    The VQ motif-containing gene, a member of the plant-specific genes, is involved in the plant developmental process and various stress responses. The VQ motif-containing gene family has been studied in several plants, such as rice ( Oryza sativa ), maize ( Zea mays ), and Arabidopsis ( Arabidopsis thaliana ). However, no systematic study has been performed in Pyrus species, which have important economic value. In our study, we identified 41 and 28 VQ motif-containing genes in Pyrus bretschneideri and Pyrus communis , respectively. Phylogenetic trees were calculated using A. thaliana and O. sativa VQ motif-containing genes as a template, allowing us to categorize these genes into nine subfamilies. Thirty-two and eight paralogous of VQ motif-containing genes were found in P. bretschneideri and P. communis , respectively, showing that the VQ motif-containing genes had a more remarkable expansion in P. bretschneideri than in P. communis . A total of 31 orthologous pairs were identified from the P. bretschneideri and P. communis VQ motif-containing genes. Additionally, among the paralogs, we found that these duplication gene pairs probably derived from segmental duplication/whole-genome duplication (WGD) events in the genomes of P. bretschneideri and P. communis , respectively. The gene expression profiles in both P. bretschneideri and P. communis fruits suggested functional redundancy for some orthologous gene pairs derived from a common ancestry, and sub-functionalization or neo-functionalization for some of them. Our study provided the first systematic evolutionary analysis of the VQ motif-containing genes in Pyrus , and highlighted the diversification and duplication of VQ motif-containing genes in both P. bretschneideri and P. communis .

  12. Gene pool conservation and tree improvement in Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Isajev Vasilije

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the concepts applied in the gene pool conservation and tree improvement in Serbia. Gene pool conservation of tree species in Serbia includes a series of activities aiming at the sustainability and protection of genetic and species variability. This implies the investigation of genetic resources and their identification through the research of the genetic structure and the breeding system of individual species. Paper also includes the study of intra- and inter-population variability in experiments - provenance tests, progeny tests, half- and full-sib lines, etc. The increased use of the genetic potential in tree improvement in Serbia should be intensified by the following activities: improvement of production of normal forest seed, application of the concept of new selections directed primarily to the improvement of only one character, because in that case the result would be certain, establishment and management of seed orchards as specialized plantations for long-term production of genetically good-quality forest seeds, and the shortening of the improvement process by introducing new techniques and methods (molecular markers, somaclonal variation, genetic engineering, protoplast fusion, micropropagation, etc..

  13. Phylogenetic and CRISPR/Cas9 Studies in Deciphering the Evolutionary Trajectory and Phenotypic Impacts of Rice ERECTA Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanchun Zhang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The ERECTA family genes (ERfs have been found to play diverse functions in Arabidopsis, including controlling cell proliferation and cell growth, regulating stomata patterning, and responding to various stresses. This wide range of functions has rendered them as a potential candidate for crop improvement. However, information on their functional roles, particularly their morphological impact, in crop genomes, such as rice, is limited. Here, through evolutionary prediction, we first depict the evolutionary trajectory of the ER family, and show that the ER family is actually highly conserved across different species, suggesting that most of their functions may also be observed in other plant species. We then take advantage of the CRISPR/Cas9 (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats–associated nuclease 9 system to assess their morphological impact on one of the most important crops, rice. Loss-of-function mutants of OsER1 and OsER2 display shortened plant stature and reduced panicle size, suggesting they possibly also functioned in regulating cell proliferation and cell growth in rice. In addition to functions similar to that in Arabidopsis, we also find clues that rice ERfs may play unique functional roles. The OsER2 displayed more severe phenotypic changes than OsER1, indicating putative differentiation in their functions. The OsERL might be of essential in its function, and the proper function of all three rice ER genes might be dependent of their genetic background. Future investigations relating to these functions are key to exploiting ERfs in crop development.

  14. Genome-wide identification, evolutionary and expression analysis of the aspartic protease gene superfamily in grape

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Aspartic proteases (APs) are a large family of proteolytic enzymes found in almost all organisms. In plants, they are involved in many biological processes, such as senescence, stress responses, programmed cell death, and reproduction. Prior to the present study, no grape AP gene(s) had been reported, and their research on woody species was very limited. Results In this study, a total of 50 AP genes (VvAP) were identified in the grape genome, among which 30 contained the complete ASP domain. Synteny analysis within grape indicated that segmental and tandem duplication events contributed to the expansion of the grape AP family. Additional analysis between grape and Arabidopsis demonstrated that several grape AP genes were found in the corresponding syntenic blocks of Arabidopsis, suggesting that these genes arose before the divergence of grape and Arabidopsis. Phylogenetic relationships of the 30 VvAPs with the complete ASP domain and their Arabidopsis orthologs, as well as their gene and protein features were analyzed and their cellular localization was predicted. Moreover, expression profiles of VvAP genes in six different tissues were determined, and their transcript abundance under various stresses and hormone treatments were measured. Twenty-seven VvAP genes were expressed in at least one of the six tissues examined; nineteen VvAPs responded to at least one abiotic stress, 12 VvAPs responded to powdery mildew infection, and most of the VvAPs responded to SA and ABA treatments. Furthermore, integrated synteny and phylogenetic analysis identified orthologous AP genes between grape and Arabidopsis, providing a unique starting point for investigating the function of grape AP genes. Conclusions The genome-wide identification, evolutionary and expression analyses of grape AP genes provide a framework for future analysis of AP genes in defining their roles during stress response. Integrated synteny and phylogenetic analyses provide novel insight into the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Comprehensive analysis of the flowering genes in Chinese cabbage and examination of evolutionary pattern of CO-like genes in plant kingdom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Xiaoming; Duan, Weike; Huang, Zhinan; Liu, Gaofeng; Wu, Peng; Liu, Tongkun; Li, Ying; Hou, Xilin

    2015-09-01

    In plants, flowering is the most important transition from vegetative to reproductive growth. The flowering patterns of monocots and eudicots are distinctly different, but few studies have described the evolutionary patterns of the flowering genes in them. In this study, we analysed the evolutionary pattern, duplication and expression level of these genes. The main results were as follows: (i) characterization of flowering genes in monocots and eudicots, including the identification of family-specific, orthologous and collinear genes; (ii) full characterization of CONSTANS-like genes in Brassica rapa (BraCOL genes), the key flowering genes; (iii) exploration of the evolution of COL genes in plant kingdom and construction of the evolutionary pattern of COL genes; (iv) comparative analysis of CO and FT genes between Brassicaceae and Grass, which identified several family-specific amino acids, and revealed that CO and FT protein structures were similar in B. rapa and Arabidopsis but different in rice; and (v) expression analysis of photoperiod pathway-related genes in B. rapa under different photoperiod treatments by RT-qPCR. This analysis will provide resources for understanding the flowering mechanisms and evolutionary pattern of COL genes. In addition, this genome-wide comparative study of COL genes may also provide clues for evolution of other flowering genes.

  18. Deep evolutionary comparison of gene expression identifies parallel recruitment of trans-factors in two independent origins of C4 photosynthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvain Aubry

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available With at least 60 independent origins spanning monocotyledons and dicotyledons, the C4 photosynthetic pathway represents one of the most remarkable examples of convergent evolution. The recurrent evolution of this highly complex trait involving alterations to leaf anatomy, cell biology and biochemistry allows an increase in productivity by ∼ 50% in tropical and subtropical areas. The extent to which separate lineages of C4 plants use the same genetic networks to maintain C4 photosynthesis is unknown. We developed a new informatics framework to enable deep evolutionary comparison of gene expression in species lacking reference genomes. We exploited this to compare gene expression in species representing two independent C4 lineages (Cleome gynandra and Zea mays whose last common ancestor diverged ∼ 140 million years ago. We define a cohort of 3,335 genes that represent conserved components of leaf and photosynthetic development in these species. Furthermore, we show that genes encoding proteins of the C4 cycle are recruited into networks defined by photosynthesis-related genes. Despite the wide evolutionary separation and independent origins of the C4 phenotype, we report that these species use homologous transcription factors to both induce C4 photosynthesis and to maintain the cell specific gene expression required for the pathway to operate. We define a core molecular signature associated with leaf and photosynthetic maturation that is likely shared by angiosperm species derived from the last common ancestor of the monocotyledons and dicotyledons. We show that deep evolutionary comparisons of gene expression can reveal novel insight into the molecular convergence of highly complex phenotypes and that parallel evolution of trans-factors underpins the repeated appearance of C4 photosynthesis. Thus, exploitation of extant natural variation associated with complex traits can be used to identify regulators. Moreover, the transcription factors

  19. Deep evolutionary comparison of gene expression identifies parallel recruitment of trans-factors in two independent origins of C4 photosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubry, Sylvain; Kelly, Steven; Kümpers, Britta M C; Smith-Unna, Richard D; Hibberd, Julian M

    2014-06-01

    With at least 60 independent origins spanning monocotyledons and dicotyledons, the C4 photosynthetic pathway represents one of the most remarkable examples of convergent evolution. The recurrent evolution of this highly complex trait involving alterations to leaf anatomy, cell biology and biochemistry allows an increase in productivity by ∼ 50% in tropical and subtropical areas. The extent to which separate lineages of C4 plants use the same genetic networks to maintain C4 photosynthesis is unknown. We developed a new informatics framework to enable deep evolutionary comparison of gene expression in species lacking reference genomes. We exploited this to compare gene expression in species representing two independent C4 lineages (Cleome gynandra and Zea mays) whose last common ancestor diverged ∼ 140 million years ago. We define a cohort of 3,335 genes that represent conserved components of leaf and photosynthetic development in these species. Furthermore, we show that genes encoding proteins of the C4 cycle are recruited into networks defined by photosynthesis-related genes. Despite the wide evolutionary separation and independent origins of the C4 phenotype, we report that these species use homologous transcription factors to both induce C4 photosynthesis and to maintain the cell specific gene expression required for the pathway to operate. We define a core molecular signature associated with leaf and photosynthetic maturation that is likely shared by angiosperm species derived from the last common ancestor of the monocotyledons and dicotyledons. We show that deep evolutionary comparisons of gene expression can reveal novel insight into the molecular convergence of highly complex phenotypes and that parallel evolution of trans-factors underpins the repeated appearance of C4 photosynthesis. Thus, exploitation of extant natural variation associated with complex traits can be used to identify regulators. Moreover, the transcription factors that are shared by

  20. Diverse evolutionary trajectories for small RNA biogenesis genes in the oomycete genus Phytophthora

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie eBollmann

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Gene regulation by small RNA pathways is ubiquitous among eukaryotes, but little is known about small RNA pathways in the Stramenopile kingdom. Phytophthora, a genus of filamentous oomycetes, contains many devastating plant pathogens, causing multibillion-dollar damage to crops, ornamental plants, and natural environments. The genomes of several oomycetes including Phytophthora species such as the soybean pathogen P. sojae, have been sequenced, allowing evolutionary analysis of small RNA-processing enzymes. This study examined the evolutionary origins of the oomycete small RNA-related genes Dicer-like (DCL, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RDR through broad phylogenetic analyses of the key domains. Two Dicer gene homologs, DCL1 and DCL2, and one RDR homolog were cloned and analyzed from P. sojae. Gene expression analysis revealed only minor changes in transcript levels among different life stages. Oomycete DCL1 homologs clustered with animal and plant Dicer homologs in evolutionary trees, whereas oomycete DCL2 homologs clustered basally to the tree along with Drosha homologs. Phylogenetic analysis of the RDR homologs confirmed a previous study that suggested the last common eukaryote ancestor possessed three RDR homologs, which were selectively retained or lost in later lineages. Our analysis clarifies the position of some Unikont and Chromalveolate RDR lineages within the tree, including oomycete homologs. Finally, we analyzed alterations in the domain structure of oomycete Dicer and RDR homologs, specifically focusing on the proposed domain transfer of the DEAD-box helicase domain from Dicer to RDR. Implications of the oomycete domain structure are discussed, and possible roles of the two oomycete Dicer homologs are proposed.

  1. Algorithms for computing parsimonious evolutionary scenarios for genome evolution, the last universal common ancestor and dominance of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of prokaryotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Galperin Michael Y

    2003-01-01

    indicates that, even with a gain penalty of 1 (equal weights assigned to a gain and a loss, the set of 572 genes assigned to LUCA might be nearly sufficient to sustain a functioning organism. Under this gain penalty value, the numbers of horizontal gene transfer and gene loss events are nearly identical. This result holds true for two alternative topologies of the species tree and even under random shuffling of the tree. Therefore, the results seem to be compatible with approximately equal likelihoods of HGT and gene loss in the evolution of prokaryotes. Conclusions The notion that gene loss and HGT are major aspects of prokaryotic evolution was supported by quantitative analysis of the mapping of the phyletic patterns of COGs onto a hypothetical species tree. Algorithms were developed for constructing parsimonious evolutionary scenarios, which include gene loss and gain events, for orthologous gene sets, given a species tree. This analysis shows, contrary to expectations, that the number of predicted HGT events that occurred during the evolution of prokaryotes might be approximately the same as the number of gene losses. The approach to the reconstruction of evolutionary scenarios employed here is conservative with regard to the detection of HGT because only patterns of gene presence-absence in sequenced genomes are taken into account. In reality, horizontal transfer might have contributed to the evolution of many other genes also, which makes it a dominant force in prokaryotic evolution.

  2. Prevalent Role of Gene Features in Determining Evolutionary Fates of Whole-Genome Duplication Duplicated Genes in Flowering Plants1[W][OA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Wen-kai; Liu, Yun-long; Xia, En-hua; Gao, Li-zhi

    2013-01-01

    The evolution of genes and genomes after polyploidization has been the subject of extensive studies in evolutionary biology and plant sciences. While a significant number of duplicated genes are rapidly removed during a process called fractionation, which operates after the whole-genome duplication (WGD), another considerable number of genes are retained preferentially, leading to the phenomenon of biased gene retention. However, the evolutionary mechanisms underlying gene retention after WGD remain largely unknown. Through genome-wide analyses of sequence and functional data, we comprehensively investigated the relationships between gene features and the retention probability of duplicated genes after WGDs in six plant genomes, Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), poplar (Populus trichocarpa), soybean (Glycine max), rice (Oryza sativa), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor), and maize (Zea mays). The results showed that multiple gene features were correlated with the probability of gene retention. Using a logistic regression model based on principal component analysis, we resolved evolutionary rate, structural complexity, and GC3 content as the three major contributors to gene retention. Cluster analysis of these features further classified retained genes into three distinct groups in terms of gene features and evolutionary behaviors. Type I genes are more prone to be selected by dosage balance; type II genes are possibly subject to subfunctionalization; and type III genes may serve as potential targets for neofunctionalization. This study highlights that gene features are able to act jointly as primary forces when determining the retention and evolution of WGD-derived duplicated genes in flowering plants. These findings thus may help to provide a resolution to the debate on different evolutionary models of gene fates after WGDs. PMID:23396833

  3. 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.

  4. Conservation of the rad21 Schizosaccharomyces pombe DNA double-strand break repair gene in mammals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKay, Michael J.; Spek, Peter van der; Kanaar, Roland; Smit, Bep; Bootsma, Dirk; Hoeijmakers, Jan H. J.

    1996-01-01

    Purpose/Objective: Genetic factors are likely to be major determinants of human cellular ionizing radiation sensitivity. DNA double strand breaks (dsbs) are significant ionizing radiation-induced lesions; cellular DNA dsb processing is also important in a number of other contexts. To further the understanding of DNA dsb processing in mammalian cells, we cloned and sequenced mammalian homologs of the rad21 Schizosaccharomyces pombe DNA dsb repair gene. Materials and Methods: The genes were cloned by evolutionary walking, exploiting sequence homology between the yeast and mammalian genes. Results: No major motifs indicative of a particular function were present in the predicted amino acid sequences of the mammalian genes. Alignment of the Rad21 amino acid sequence with its putative homologs showed that similarity was distributed across the length of the proteins, with more highly conserved regions at both termini. The mHR21 sp (mouse homolog ofR ad21, S. pombe) and hHR21 sp (humanh omolog of Rad21, S. pombe) predicted proteins were 96% identical, whereas the human and S. pombe proteins were 25% identical and 47% similar. RNA blot analysis showed that mHR21 sp mRNA was abundant in all adult mouse tissues examined, with highest expression in testis and thymus. In addition to a 3.1kb mRNA transcript in all tissues, an additional 2.2kb transcript was present at a high level in post-meiotic spermatids, white expression of the 3.1kb mRNA in testis was confined to the meiotic compartment. hHR21 sp mRNA was cell cycle regulated in human cells, increasing in late S phase to a peak in G2 phase. The level of hHR21 sp transcripts was not altered by exposure of normal diploid fibroblasts to 10 Gy ionizing radiation. In situ hybridization showed mHR21 sp resided on chromosome 15D3, whereashHR21 sp localized to the syntenic 8q24 region. Conclusion: Cloning these novel mammalian genes and characterization of their protein products should contribute to the understanding of cellular

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  6. Evolutionary genetic analyses of MEF2C gene: implications for learning and memory in Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalmady, Sunil V; Venkatasubramanian, Ganesan; Arasappa, Rashmi; Rao, Naren P

    2013-02-01

    MEF2C facilitates context-dependent fear conditioning (CFC) which is a salient aspect of hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. CFC might have played a crucial role in human evolution because of its advantageous influence on survival of species. In this study, we analyzed 23 orthologous mammalian gene sequences of MEF2C gene to examine the evidence for positive selection on this gene in Homo sapiens using Phylogenetic Analysis by Maximum Likelihood (PAML) and HyPhy software. Both PAML Bayes Empirical Bayes (BEB) and HyPhy Fixed Effects Likelihood (FEL) analyses supported significant positive selection on 4 codon sites in H. sapiens. Also, haplotter analysis revealed significant ongoing positive selection on this gene in Central European population. The study findings suggest that adaptive selective pressure on this gene might have influenced human evolution. Further research on this gene might unravel the potential role of this gene in learning and memory as well as its pathogenetic effect in certain hippocampal disorders with evolutionary basis like schizophrenia. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Evolutionary changes of multiple visual pigment genes in the complete genome of Pacific bluefin tuna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Yoji; Mori, Kazuki; Saitoh, Kenji; Oshima, Kenshiro; Mekuchi, Miyuki; Sugaya, Takuma; Shigenobu, Yuya; Ojima, Nobuhiko; Muta, Shigeru; Fujiwara, Atushi; Yasuike, Motoshige; Oohara, Ichiro; Hirakawa, Hideki; Chowdhury, Vishwajit Sur; Kobayashi, Takanori; Nakajima, Kazuhiro; Sano, Motohiko; Wada, Tokio; Tashiro, Kosuke; Ikeo, Kazuho; Hattori, Masahira; Kuhara, Satoru; Gojobori, Takashi; Inouye, Kiyoshi

    2013-07-02

    Tunas are migratory fishes in offshore habitats and top predators with unique features. Despite their ecological importance and high market values, the open-ocean lifestyle of tuna, in which effective sensing systems such as color vision are required for capture of prey, has been poorly understood. To elucidate the genetic and evolutionary basis of optic adaptation of tuna, we determined the genome sequence of the Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis), using next-generation sequencing technology. A total of 26,433 protein-coding genes were predicted from 16,802 assembled scaffolds. From these, we identified five common fish visual pigment genes: red-sensitive (middle/long-wavelength sensitive; M/LWS), UV-sensitive (short-wavelength sensitive 1; SWS1), blue-sensitive (SWS2), rhodopsin (RH1), and green-sensitive (RH2) opsin genes. Sequence comparison revealed that tuna's RH1 gene has an amino acid substitution that causes a short-wave shift in the absorption spectrum (i.e., blue shift). Pacific bluefin tuna has at least five RH2 paralogs, the most among studied fishes; four of the proteins encoded may be tuned to blue light at the amino acid level. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis suggested that gene conversions have occurred in each of the SWS2 and RH2 loci in a short period. Thus, Pacific bluefin tuna has undergone evolutionary changes in three genes (RH1, RH2, and SWS2), which may have contributed to detecting blue-green contrast and measuring the distance to prey in the blue-pelagic ocean. These findings provide basic information on behavioral traits of predatory fish and, thereby, could help to improve the technology to culture such fish in captivity for resource management.

  8. EST analysis in Ginkgo biloba: an assessment of conserved developmental regulators and gymnosperm specific genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Runko Suzan J

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ginkgo biloba L. is the only surviving member of one of the oldest living seed plant groups with medicinal, spiritual and horticultural importance worldwide. As an evolutionary relic, it displays many characters found in the early, extinct seed plants and extant cycads. To establish a molecular base to understand the evolution of seeds and pollen, we created a cDNA library and EST dataset from the reproductive structures of male (microsporangiate, female (megasporangiate, and vegetative organs (leaves of Ginkgo biloba. Results RNA from newly emerged male and female reproductive organs and immature leaves was used to create three distinct cDNA libraries from which 6,434 ESTs were generated. These 6,434 ESTs from Ginkgo biloba were clustered into 3,830 unigenes. A comparison of our Ginkgo unigene set against the fully annotated genomes of rice and Arabidopsis, and all available ESTs in Genbank revealed that 256 Ginkgo unigenes match only genes among the gymnosperms and non-seed plants – many with multiple matches to genes in non-angiosperm plants. Conversely, another group of unigenes in Gingko had highly significant homology to transcription factors in angiosperms involved in development, including MADS box genes as well as post-transcriptional regulators. Several of the conserved developmental genes found in Ginkgo had top BLAST homology to cycad genes. We also note here the presence of ESTs in G. biloba similar to genes that to date have only been found in gymnosperms and an additional 22 Ginkgo genes common only to genes from cycads. Conclusion Our analysis of an EST dataset from G. biloba revealed genes potentially unique to gymnosperms. Many of these genes showed homology to fully sequenced clones from our cycad EST dataset found in common only with gymnosperms. Other Ginkgo ESTs are similar to developmental regulators in higher plants. This work sets the stage for future studies on Ginkgo to better understand seed and

  9. Comparative and evolutionary studies of vertebrate ALDH1A-like genes and proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Roger S

    2015-06-05

    Vertebrate ALDH1A-like genes encode cytosolic enzymes capable of metabolizing all-trans-retinaldehyde to retinoic acid which is a molecular 'signal' guiding vertebrate development and adipogenesis. Bioinformatic analyses of vertebrate and invertebrate genomes were undertaken using known ALDH1A1, ALDH1A2 and ALDH1A3 amino acid sequences. Comparative analyses of the corresponding human genes provided evidence for distinct modes of gene regulation and expression with putative transcription factor binding sites (TFBS), CpG islands and micro-RNA binding sites identified for the human genes. ALDH1A-like sequences were identified for all mammalian, bird, lizard and frog genomes examined, whereas fish genomes displayed a more restricted distribution pattern for ALDH1A1 and ALDH1A3 genes. The ALDH1A1 gene was absent in many bony fish genomes examined, with the ALDH1A3 gene also absent in the medaka and tilapia genomes. Multiple ALDH1A1-like genes were identified in mouse, rat and marsupial genomes. Vertebrate ALDH1A1, ALDH1A2 and ALDH1A3 subunit sequences were highly conserved throughout vertebrate evolution. Comparative amino acid substitution rates showed that mammalian ALDH1A2 sequences were more highly conserved than for the ALDH1A1 and ALDH1A3 sequences. Phylogenetic studies supported an hypothesis for ALDH1A2 as a likely primordial gene originating in invertebrate genomes and undergoing sequential gene duplication to generate two additional genes, ALDH1A1 and ALDH1A3, in most vertebrate genomes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Conserved gene regulatory module specifies lateral neural borders across bilaterians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yongbin; Zhao, Di; Horie, Takeo; Chen, Geng; Bao, Hongcun; Chen, Siyu; Liu, Weihong; Horie, Ryoko; Liang, Tao; Dong, Biyu; Feng, Qianqian; Tao, Qinghua; Liu, Xiao

    2017-08-01

    The lateral neural plate border (NPB), the neural part of the vertebrate neural border, is composed of central nervous system (CNS) progenitors and peripheral nervous system (PNS) progenitors. In invertebrates, PNS progenitors are also juxtaposed to the lateral boundary of the CNS. Whether there are conserved molecular mechanisms determining vertebrate and invertebrate lateral neural borders remains unclear. Using single-cell-resolution gene-expression profiling and genetic analysis, we present evidence that orthologs of the NPB specification module specify the invertebrate lateral neural border, which is composed of CNS and PNS progenitors. First, like in vertebrates, the conserved neuroectoderm lateral border specifier Msx/vab-15 specifies lateral neuroblasts in Caenorhabditis elegans Second, orthologs of the vertebrate NPB specification module ( Msx/vab-15 , Pax3/7/pax-3 , and Zic/ref-2 ) are significantly enriched in worm lateral neuroblasts. In addition, like in other bilaterians, the expression domain of Msx/vab-15 is more lateral than those of Pax3/7/pax-3 and Zic/ref- 2 in C. elegans Third, we show that Msx/vab-15 regulates the development of mechanosensory neurons derived from lateral neural progenitors in multiple invertebrate species, including C. elegans , Drosophila melanogaster , and Ciona intestinalis We also identify a novel lateral neural border specifier, ZNF703/tlp-1 , which functions synergistically with Msx/vab- 15 in both C. elegans and Xenopus laevis These data suggest a common origin of the molecular mechanism specifying lateral neural borders across bilaterians.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-23

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

  12. Incorporating evolutionary principles into environmental management and policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Recovery and evolutionary analysis of complete integron gene cassette arrays from Vibrio

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gillings Michael R

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Integrons are genetic elements capable of the acquisition, rearrangement and expression of genes contained in gene cassettes. Gene cassettes generally consist of a promoterless gene associated with a recombination site known as a 59-base element (59-be. Multiple insertion events can lead to the assembly of large integron-associated cassette arrays. The most striking examples are found in Vibrio, where such cassette arrays are widespread and can range from 30 kb to 150 kb. Besides those found in completely sequenced genomes, no such array has yet been recovered in its entirety. We describe an approach to systematically isolate, sequence and annotate large integron gene cassette arrays from bacterial strains. Results The complete Vibrio sp. DAT722 integron cassette array was determined through the streamlined approach described here. To place it in an evolutionary context, we compare the DAT722 array to known vibrio arrays and performed phylogenetic analyses for all of its components (integrase, 59-be sites, gene cassette encoded genes. It differs extensively in terms of genomic context as well as gene cassette content and organization. The phylogenetic tree of the 59-be sites collectively found in the Vibrio gene cassette pool suggests frequent transfer of cassettes within and between Vibrio species, with slower transfer rates between more phylogenetically distant relatives. We also identify multiple cases where non-integron chromosomal genes seem to have been assembled into gene cassettes and others where cassettes have been inserted into chromosomal locations outside integrons. Conclusion Our systematic approach greatly facilitates the isolation and annotation of large integrons gene cassette arrays. Comparative analysis of the Vibrio sp. DAT722 integron obtained through this approach to those found in other vibrios confirms the role of this genetic element in promoting lateral gene transfer and suggests a high rate of gene

  14. Genetic and evolutionary characterization of RABVs from China using the phosphoprotein gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lihua; Wu, Hui; Tao, Xiaoyan; Li, Hao; Rayner, Simon; Liang, Guodong; Tang, Qing

    2013-01-07

    While the function of the phosphoprotein (P) gene of the rabies virus (RABV) has been well studied in laboratory adapted RABVs, the genetic diversity and evolution characteristics of the P gene of street RABVs remain unclear. The objective of the present study was to investigate the mutation and evolution of P genes in Chinese street RABVs. The P gene of 77 RABVs from brain samples of dogs and wild animals collected in eight Chinese provinces through 2003 to 2008 were sequenced. The open reading frame (ORF) of the P genes was 894 nucleotides (nt) in length, with 85-99% (80-89%) amino acid (nucleotide) identity compared with the laboratory RABVs and vaccine strains. Phylogenetic analysis based on the P gene revealed that Chinese RABVs strains could be divided into two distinct clades, and several RABV variants were found to co circulating in the same province. Two conserved (CD1, 2) and two variable (VD1, 2) domains were identified by comparing the deduced primary sequences of the encoded P proteins. Two sequence motifs, one believed to confer binding to the cytoplasmic dynein light chain LC8 and a lysine-rich sequence were conserved throughout the Chinese RABVs. In contrast, the isolates exhibited lower conservation of one phosphate acceptor and one internal translation initiation site identified in the P protein of the rabies challenge virus standard (CVS) strain. Bayesian coalescent analysis showed that the P gene in Chinese RABVs have a substitution rate (3.305x10(-4) substitutions per site per year) and evolution history (592 years ago) similar to values for the glycoprotein (G) and nucleoprotein (N) reported previously. Several substitutions were found in the P gene of Chinese RABVs strains compared to the laboratory adapted and vaccine strains, whether these variations could affect the biological characteristics of Chinese RABVs need to be further investigated. The substitution rate and evolution history of P gene is similar to G and N gene, combine the

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    The complement system of fish is generally as complex as in mammals, and in addition Teleost fish often possess several genes encoding different subtypes of a given complement component, such as C3-1, C3-3 and C3-4. Initiators of both the classical (C1) and alternative pathway (factor B) have bee...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Löffelhardt Wolfgang

    2008-11-01

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

  17. An evolutionarily conserved gene family encodes proton-selective ion channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Yu-Hsiang; Cooper, Alexander J; Teng, Bochuan; Chang, Rui B; Artiga, Daniel J; Turner, Heather N; Mulhall, Eric M; Ye, Wenlei; Smith, Andrew D; Liman, Emily R

    2018-03-02

    Ion channels form the basis for cellular electrical signaling. Despite the scores of genetically identified ion channels selective for other monatomic ions, only one type of proton-selective ion channel has been found in eukaryotic cells. By comparative transcriptome analysis of mouse taste receptor cells, we identified Otopetrin1 (OTOP1), a protein required for development of gravity-sensing otoconia in the vestibular system, as forming a proton-selective ion channel. We found that murine OTOP1 is enriched in acid-detecting taste receptor cells and is required for their zinc-sensitive proton conductance. Two related murine genes, Otop2 and Otop3 , and a Drosophila ortholog also encode proton channels. Evolutionary conservation of the gene family and its widespread tissue distribution suggest a broad role for proton channels in physiology and pathophysiology. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  18. Identification and Evolutionary Analysis of Potential Candidate Genes in a Human Eating Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ubadah Sabbagh

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to find genes linked with eating disorders and associated with both metabolic and neural systems. Our operating hypothesis was that there are genetic factors underlying some eating disorders resting in both those pathways. Specifically, we are interested in disorders that may rest in both sleep and metabolic function, generally called Night Eating Syndrome (NES. A meta-analysis of the Gene Expression Omnibus targeting the mammalian nervous system, sleep, and obesity studies was performed, yielding numerous genes of interest. Through a text-based analysis of the results, a number of potential candidate genes were identified. VGF, in particular, appeared to be relevant both to obesity and, broadly, to brain or neural development. VGF is a highly connected protein that interacts with numerous targets via proteolytically digested peptides. We examined VGF from an evolutionary perspective to determine whether other available evidence supported a role for the gene in human disease. We conclude that some of the already identified variants in VGF from human polymorphism studies may contribute to eating disorders and obesity. Our data suggest that there is enough evidence to warrant eGWAS and GWAS analysis of these genes in NES patients in a case-control study.

  19. Evolutionary trajectories of snake genes and genomes revealed by comparative analyses of five-pacer viper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Wei; Wang, Zong-ji; Li, Qi-ye; Lian, Jin-ming; Zhou, Yang; Lu, Bing-zheng; Jin, Li-jun; Qiu, Peng-xin; Zhang, Pei; Zhu, Wen-bo; Wen, Bo; Huang, Yi-jun; Lin, Zhi-long; Qiu, Bi-tao; Su, Xing-wen; Yang, Huan-ming; Zhang, Guo-jie; Yan, Guang-mei; Zhou, Qi

    2016-01-01

    Snakes have numerous features distinctive from other tetrapods and a rich history of genome evolution that is still obscure. Here, we report the high-quality genome of the five-pacer viper, Deinagkistrodon acutus, and comparative analyses with other representative snake and lizard genomes. We map the evolutionary trajectories of transposable elements (TEs), developmental genes and sex chromosomes onto the snake phylogeny. TEs exhibit dynamic lineage-specific expansion, and many viper TEs show brain-specific gene expression along with their nearby genes. We detect signatures of adaptive evolution in olfactory, venom and thermal-sensing genes and also functional degeneration of genes associated with vision and hearing. Lineage-specific relaxation of functional constraints on respective Hox and Tbx limb-patterning genes supports fossil evidence for a successive loss of forelimbs then hindlimbs during snake evolution. Finally, we infer that the ZW sex chromosome pair had undergone at least three recombination suppression events in the ancestor of advanced snakes. These results altogether forge a framework for our deep understanding into snakes' history of molecular evolution. PMID:27708285

  20. Identification and Evolutionary Analysis of Potential Candidate Genes in a Human Eating Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabbagh, Ubadah; Mullegama, Saman; Wyckoff, Gerald J

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to find genes linked with eating disorders and associated with both metabolic and neural systems. Our operating hypothesis was that there are genetic factors underlying some eating disorders resting in both those pathways. Specifically, we are interested in disorders that may rest in both sleep and metabolic function, generally called Night Eating Syndrome (NES). A meta-analysis of the Gene Expression Omnibus targeting the mammalian nervous system, sleep, and obesity studies was performed, yielding numerous genes of interest. Through a text-based analysis of the results, a number of potential candidate genes were identified. VGF, in particular, appeared to be relevant both to obesity and, broadly, to brain or neural development. VGF is a highly connected protein that interacts with numerous targets via proteolytically digested peptides. We examined VGF from an evolutionary perspective to determine whether other available evidence supported a role for the gene in human disease. We conclude that some of the already identified variants in VGF from human polymorphism studies may contribute to eating disorders and obesity. Our data suggest that there is enough evidence to warrant eGWAS and GWAS analysis of these genes in NES patients in a case-control study.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-19

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

  2. 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

  3. An Evolutionary Conserved Epigenetic Mark of Polycomb Response Elements Implemented by Trx/MLL/COMPASS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rickels, Ryan; Hu, Deqing; Collings, Clayton K; Woodfin, Ashley R; Piunti, Andrea; Mohan, Man; Herz, Hans-Martin; Kvon, Evgeny; Shilatifard, Ali

    2016-07-21

    Polycomb response elements (PREs) are specific DNA sequences that stably maintain the developmental pattern of gene expression. Drosophila PREs are well characterized, whereas the existence of PREs in mammals remains debated. Accumulating evidence supports a model in which CpG islands recruit Polycomb group (PcG) complexes; however, which subset of CGIs is selected to serve as PREs is unclear. Trithorax (Trx) positively regulates gene expression in Drosophila and co-occupies PREs to antagonize Polycomb-dependent silencing. Here we demonstrate that Trx-dependent H3K4 dimethylation (H3K4me2) marks Drosophila PREs and maintains the developmental expression pattern of nearby genes. Similarly, the mammalian Trx homolog, MLL1, deposits H3K4me2 at CpG-dense regions that could serve as PREs. In the absence of MLL1 and H3K4me2, H3K27me3 levels, a mark of Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2), increase at these loci. By inhibiting PRC2-dependent H3K27me3 in the absence of MLL1, we can rescue expression of these loci, demonstrating a functional balance between MLL1 and PRC2 activities at these sites. Thus, our study provides rules for identifying cell-type-specific functional mammalian PREs within the human genome. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Oestrogen, an evolutionary conserved regulator of T cell differentiation and immune tolerance in jawed vertebrates?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paiola, Matthieu; Knigge, Thomas; Duflot, Aurélie; Pinto, Patricia I S; Farcy, Emilie; Monsinjon, Tiphaine

    2018-07-01

    In teleosts, as in mammals, the immune system is tightly regulated by sexual steroid hormones, such as oestrogens. We investigated the effects of 17β-oestradiol on the expression of several genes related to T cell development and resulting T cell subpopulations in sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, for a primary lymphoid organ, the thymus, and two secondary lymphoid organs, the head-kidney and the spleen. In parallel, the oxidative burst capacity was assessed in leucocytes of the secondary lymphoid organs. Apoptosis- and proliferation-related genes, indicative of B and T cell clonal selection and lymphoid progenitor activity, were not affected by elevated oestrogen-levels. Sex-related oestrogen-responsiveness in T cell and antigen-presenting cell markers was observed, the expression of which was differentially induced by oestrogen-exposure in the three lymphoid organs. Remarkably, in the spleen, oestrogen increased regulatory T cell-related gene expression was associated with a decrease in oxidative burst capacity. To the best of our knowledge, this study indicates for the first time that physiological levels of oestrogen are likely to promote immune tolerance by modulating thymic function (i.e., T cell development and output) and peripheral T cells in teleosts, similar to previously reported oestrogenic effects in mammals. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Reconstruction of Oomycete Genome Evolution Identifies Differences in Evolutionary Trajectories Leading to Present-Day Large Gene Families

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seidl, M.F.; Ackerveken, van den G.; Govers, F.; Snel, B.

    2012-01-01

    The taxonomic class of oomycetes contains numerous pathogens of plants and animals but is related to nonpathogenic diatoms and brown algae. Oomycetes have flexible genomes comprising large gene families that play roles in pathogenicity. The evolutionary processes that shaped the gene content have

  6. Functional alterations due to amino acid changes and evolutionary comparative analysis of ARPKD and ADPKD genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burhan M. Edrees

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available A targeted customized sequencing of genes implicated in autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD phenotype was performed to identify candidate variants using the Ion torrent PGM next-generation sequencing. The results identified four potential pathogenic variants in PKHD1 gene [c.4870C>T, p.(Arg1624Trp, c.5725C>T, p.(Arg1909Trp, c.1736C>T, p.(Thr579Met and c.10628T>G, p.(Leu3543Trp] among 12 out of 18 samples. However, one variant c.4870C>T, p.(Arg1624Trp was common among eight patients. Some patient samples also showed few variants in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD disease causing genes PKD1 and PKD2 such as c.12433G>A, p.(Val4145Ile and c.1445T>G, p.(Phe482Cys, respectively. All causative variants were validated by capillary sequencing and confirmed the presence of a novel homozygous variant c.10628T>G, p.(Leu3543Trp in a male proband. We have recently published the results of these studies (Edrees et al., 2016. Here we report for the first time the effect of the common mutation p.(Arg1624Trp found in eight samples on the protein structure and function due to the specific amino acid changes of PKHD1 protein using molecular dynamics simulations. The computational approaches provide tool predict the phenotypic effect of variant on the structure and function of the altered protein. The structural analysis with the common mutation p.(Arg1624Trp in the native and mutant modeled protein were also studied for solvent accessibility, secondary structure and stabilizing residues to find out the stability of the protein between wild type and mutant forms. Furthermore, comparative genomics and evolutionary analyses of variants observed in PKHD1, PKD1, and PKD2 genes were also performed in some mammalian species including human to understand the complexity of genomes among closely related mammalian species. Taken together, the results revealed that the evolutionary comparative analyses and characterization of PKHD1, PKD1

  7. rbcL gene sequences provide evidence for the evolutionary lineages of leptosporangiate ferns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasebe, M; Omori, T; Nakazawa, M; Sano, T; Kato, M; Iwatsuki, K

    1994-06-07

    Pteriodophytes have a longer evolutionary history than any other vascular land plant and, therefore, have endured greater loss of phylogenetically informative information. This factor has resulted in substantial disagreements in evaluating characters and, thus, controversy in establishing a stable classification. To compare competing classifications, we obtained DNA sequences of a chloroplast gene. The sequence of 1206 nt of the large subunit of the ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase gene (rbcL) was determined from 58 species, representing almost all families of leptosporangiate ferns. Phlogenetic trees were inferred by the neighbor-joining and the parsimony methods. The two methods produced almost identical phylogenetic trees that provided insights concerning major general evolutionary trends in the leptosporangiate ferns. Interesting findings were as follows: (i) two morphologically distinct heterosporous water ferns, Marsilea and Salvinia, are sister genera; (ii) the tree ferns (Cyatheaceae, Dicksoniaceae, and Metaxyaceae) are monophyletic; and (iii) polypodioids are distantly related to the gleichenioids in spite of the similarity of their exindusiate soral morphology and are close to the higher indusiate ferns. In addition, the affinities of several "problematic genera" were assessed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Evolutionary responses to a constructed niche: ancient Mesoamericans as a model of gene-culture coevolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tábita Hünemeier

    Full Text Available Culture and genetics rely on two distinct but not isolated transmission systems. Cultural processes may change the human selective environment and thereby affect which individuals survive and reproduce. Here, we evaluated whether the modes of subsistence in Native American populations and the frequencies of the ABCA1*Arg230Cys polymorphism were correlated. Further, we examined whether the evolutionary consequences of the agriculturally constructed niche in Mesoamerica could be considered as a gene-culture coevolution model. For this purpose, we genotyped 229 individuals affiliated with 19 Native American populations and added data for 41 other Native American groups (n = 1905 to the analysis. In combination with the SNP cluster of a neutral region, this dataset was then used to unravel the scenario involved in 230Cys evolutionary history. The estimated age of 230Cys is compatible with its origin occurring in the American continent. The correlation of its frequencies with the archeological data on Zea pollen in Mesoamerica/Central America, the neutral coalescent simulations, and the F(ST-based natural selection analysis suggest that maize domestication was the driving force in the increase in the frequencies of 230Cys in this region. These results may represent the first example of a gene-culture coevolution involving an autochthonous American allele.

  10. 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

  11. Evolutionary Analysis of Structural Protein Gene VP1 of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Serotype Asia 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qingxun; Liu, Xinsheng; Fang, Yuzhen; Pan, Li; Lv, Jianliang; Zhang, Zhongwang; Zhou, Peng; Ding, Yaozhong; Chen, Haotai; Shao, Junjun; Zhao, Furong; Lin, Tong; Chang, Huiyun; Zhang, Jie; Wang, Yonglu; Zhang, Yongguang

    2015-01-01

    Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) serotype Asia 1 was mostly endemic in Asia and then was responsible for economically important viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals, but the study on its selection and evolutionary process is comparatively rare. In this study, we characterized 377 isolates from Asia collected up until 2012, including four vaccine strains. Maximum likelihood analysis suggested that the strains circulating in Asia were classified into 8 different groups (groups I–VIII) or were unclassified (viruses collected before 2000). On the basis of divergence time analyses, we infer that the TMRCA of Asia 1 virus existed approximately 86.29 years ago. The result suggested that the virus had a high mutation rate (5.745 × 10−3 substitutions/site/year) in comparison to the other serotypes of FMDV VP1 gene. Furthermore, the structural protein VP1 was under lower selection pressure and the positive selection occurred at many sites, and four codons (positions 141, 146, 151, and 169) were located in known critical antigenic residues. The remaining sites were not located in known functional regions and were moderately conserved, and the reason for supporting all sites under positive selection remains to be elucidated because the power of these analyses was largely unknown. PMID:25793223

  12. Inference of miRNA targets using evolutionary conservation and pathway analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    van Nimwegen Erik

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background MicroRNAs have emerged as important regulatory genes in a variety of cellular processes and, in recent years, hundreds of such genes have been discovered in animals. In contrast, functional annotations are available only for a very small fraction of these miRNAs, and even in these cases only partially. Results We developed a general Bayesian method for the inference of miRNA target sites, in which, for each miRNA, we explicitly model the evolution of orthologous target sites in a set of related species. Using this method we predict target sites for all known miRNAs in flies, worms, fish, and mammals. By comparing our predictions in fly with a reference set of experimentally tested miRNA-mRNA interactions we show that our general method performs at least as well as the most accurate methods available to date, including ones specifically tailored for target prediction in fly. An important novel feature of our model is that it explicitly infers the phylogenetic distribution of functional target sites, independently for each miRNA. This allows us to infer species-specific and clade-specific miRNA targeting. We also show that, in long human 3' UTRs, miRNA target sites occur preferentially near the start and near the end of the 3' UTR. To characterize miRNA function beyond the predicted lists of targets we further present a method to infer significant associations between the sets of targets predicted for individual miRNAs and specific biochemical pathways, in particular those of the KEGG pathway database. We show that this approach retrieves several known functional miRNA-mRNA associations, and predicts novel functions for known miRNAs in cell growth and in development. Conclusion We have presented a Bayesian target prediction algorithm without any tunable parameters, that can be applied to sequences from any clade of species. The algorithm automatically infers the phylogenetic distribution of functional sites for each miRNA, and

  13. Forest gene conservation from the perspective of the international community

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. Hosny El-Lakany

    2017-01-01

    conservation of forest genetic resources (FGR). After presenting internationally adopted definitions of some terms related to FGR, the characteristics of the current state of FGR conservation from a global perspective are summarized. Many international and regional organizations and institutions are engaged in the conservation of FGR at degrees ranging from...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris S. Booker

    2014-09-01

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

  20. Evolutionary mechanisms driving the evolution of a large polydnavirus gene family coding for protein tyrosine phosphatases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serbielle Céline

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gene duplications have been proposed to be the main mechanism involved in genome evolution and in acquisition of new functions. Polydnaviruses (PDVs, symbiotic viruses associated with parasitoid wasps, are ideal model systems to study mechanisms of gene duplications given that PDV genomes consist of virulence genes organized into multigene families. In these systems the viral genome is integrated in a wasp chromosome as a provirus and virus particles containing circular double-stranded DNA are injected into the parasitoids’ hosts and are essential for parasitism success. The viral virulence factors, organized in gene families, are required collectively to induce host immune suppression and developmental arrest. The gene family which encodes protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs has undergone spectacular expansion in several PDV genomes with up to 42 genes. Results Here, we present strong indications that PTP gene family expansion occurred via classical mechanisms: by duplication of large segments of the chromosomally integrated form of the virus sequences (segmental duplication, by tandem duplications within this form and by dispersed duplications. We also propose a novel duplication mechanism specific to PDVs that involves viral circle reintegration into the wasp genome. The PTP copies produced were shown to undergo conservative evolution along with episodes of adaptive evolution. In particular recently produced copies have undergone positive selection in sites most likely involved in defining substrate selectivity. Conclusion The results provide evidence about the dynamic nature of polydnavirus proviral genomes. Classical and PDV-specific duplication mechanisms have been involved in the production of new gene copies. Selection pressures associated with antagonistic interactions with parasitized hosts have shaped these genes used to manipulate lepidopteran physiology with evidence for positive selection involved in

  1. Molecular cloning and evolutionary analysis of the GJA1 (connexin43) gene from bats (Chiroptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li; Li, Gang; Wang, Jinhong; Ye, Shaohui; Jones, Gareth; Zhang, Shuyi

    2009-04-01

    Gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43), encoded by the GJA1 gene, is the most abundant connexin in the cardiovascular system and was reported as a crucial factor maintaining cardiac electrical conduction, as well as having a very important function in facilitating the recycling of potassium ions from hair cells in the cochlea back into the cochlear endolymph during auditory transduction processes. In mammals, bats are the only taxon possessing powered flight, placing exceptional demand on many organismal processes. To meet the demands of flying, the hearts of bats show many specialties. Moreover, ultrasonic echolocation allows bat species to orientate and often detect and locate food in darkness. In this study, we cloned the full-length coding region of GJA1 gene from 12 different species of bats and obtained orthologous sequences from other mammals. We used the maximum likelihood method to analyse the evolution of GJA1 gene in mammals and the lineage of bats. Our results showed this gene is much conserved in mammals, as well as in bats' lineage. Compared with other mammals, we found one private amino acid substitution shared by bats, which is located on the inner loop domain, as well as some species-specific amino acid substitutions. The evolution rate analyses showed the signature of purifying selection on not only different classification level lineages but also the different domains and amino acid residue sites of this gene. Also, we suggested that GJA1 gene could be used as a good molecular marker to do the phylogenetic reconstruction.

  2. Modalities of gene action predicted by the classical evolutionary biological theory of aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, George M

    2007-04-01

    What might now be referred to as the "classical" evolutionary biological theory of why we age has had a number of serious challenges in recent years. While the theory might therefore have to be modified under certain circumstances, in the author's opinion, it still provides the soundest theoretical basis for thinking about how we age. Nine modalities of gene action that have the potential to modulate processes of aging are reviewed, including the two most widely reviewed and accepted concepts ("antagonistic pleiotropy" and "mutation accumulation"). While several of these nine mechanisms can be regarded as derivatives of the antagonistic pleiotropic concept, they frame more specific questions for future research. Such research should pursue what appears to be the dominant factor in the determination of intraspecific variations in longevity-stochastic mechanisms, most likely based upon epigenetics. This contrasts with the dominant factor in the determination of interspecific variations in longevity-the constitutional genome, most likely based upon variations in regulatory loci.

  3. Evolutionary Dynamics of the Gametologous CTNNB1 Gene on the Z and W Chromosomes of Snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laopichienpong, Nararat; Muangmai, Narongrit; Chanhome, Lawan; Suntrarachun, Sunutcha; Twilprawat, Panupon; Peyachoknagul, Surin; Srikulnath, Kornsorn

    2017-03-01

    Snakes exhibit genotypic sex determination with female heterogamety (ZZ males and ZW females), and the state of sex chromosome differentiation also varies among lineages. To investigate the evolutionary history of homologous genes located in the nonrecombining region of differentiated sex chromosomes in snakes, partial sequences of the gametologous CTNNB1 gene were analyzed for 12 species belonging to henophid (Cylindrophiidae, Xenopeltidae, and Pythonidae) and caenophid snakes (Viperidae, Elapidae, and Colubridae). Nonsynonymous/synonymous substitution ratios (Ka/Ks) in coding sequences were low (Ka/Ks < 1) between CTNNB1Z and CTNNB1W, suggesting that these 2 genes may have similar functional properties. However, frequencies of intron sequence substitutions and insertion–deletions were higher in CTNNB1Z than CTNNB1W, suggesting that Z-linked sequences evolved faster than W-linked sequences. Molecular phylogeny based on both intron and exon sequences showed the presence of 2 major clades: 1) Z-linked sequences of Caenophidia and 2) W-linked sequences of Caenophidia clustered with Z-linked sequences of Henophidia, which suggests that the sequence divergence between CTNNB1Z and CTNNB1W in Caenophidia may have occurred by the cessation of recombination after the split from Henophidia.

  4. Zebrafish IGF genes: gene duplication, conservation and divergence, and novel roles in midline and notochord development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuming Zou

    Full Text Available Insulin-like growth factors (IGFs are key regulators of development, growth, and longevity. In most vertebrate species including humans, there is one IGF-1 gene and one IGF-2 gene. Here we report the identification and functional characterization of 4 distinct IGF genes (termed as igf-1a, -1b, -2a, and -2b in zebrafish. These genes encode 4 structurally distinct and functional IGF peptides. IGF-1a and IGF-2a mRNAs were detected in multiple tissues in adult fish. IGF-1b mRNA was detected only in the gonad and IGF-2b mRNA only in the liver. Functional analysis showed that all 4 IGFs caused similar developmental defects but with different potencies. Many of these embryos had fully or partially duplicated notochords, suggesting that an excess of IGF signaling causes defects in the midline formation and an expansion of the notochord. IGF-2a, the most potent IGF, was analyzed in depth. IGF-2a expression caused defects in the midline formation and expansion of the notochord but it did not alter the anterior neural patterning. These results not only provide new insights into the functional conservation and divergence of the multiple igf genes but also reveal a novel role of IGF signaling in midline formation and notochord development in a vertebrate model.

  5. Oxytocin Pathway Genes: Evolutionary Ancient System Impacting on Human Affiliation, Sociality, and Psychopathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feldman, Ruth; Monakhov, Mikhail; Pratt, Maayan; Ebstein, Richard P

    2016-02-01

    Oxytocin (OT), a nonapeptide signaling molecule originating from an ancestral peptide, appears in different variants across all vertebrate and several invertebrate species. Throughout animal evolution, neuropeptidergic signaling has been adapted by organisms for regulating response to rapidly changing environments. The family of OT-like molecules affects both peripheral tissues implicated in reproduction, homeostasis, and energy balance, as well as neuromodulation of social behavior, stress regulation, and associative learning in species ranging from nematodes to humans. After describing the OT-signaling pathway, we review research on the three genes most extensively studied in humans: the OT receptor (OXTR), the structural gene for OT (OXT/neurophysin-I), and CD38. Consistent with the notion that sociality should be studied from the perspective of social life at the species level, we address human social functions in relation to OT-pathway genes, including parenting, empathy, and using social relationships to manage stress. We then describe associations between OT-pathway genes with psychopathologies involving social dysfunctions such as autism, depression, or schizophrenia. Human research particularly underscored the involvement of two OXTR single nucleotide polymorphisms (rs53576, rs2254298) with fewer studies focusing on other OXTR (rs7632287, rs1042778, rs2268494, rs2268490), OXT (rs2740210, rs4813627, rs4813625), and CD38 (rs3796863, rs6449197) single nucleotide polymorphisms. Overall, studies provide evidence for the involvement of OT-pathway genes in human social functions but also suggest that factors such as gender, culture, and early environment often confound attempts to replicate first findings. We conclude by discussing epigenetics, conceptual implications within an evolutionary perspective, and future directions, especially the need to refine phenotypes, carefully characterize early environments, and integrate observations of social behavior across

  6. Preferential transcription of conserved rif genes in two phenotypically distinct Plasmodium falciparum parasite lines

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Christian W; Magistrado, Pamela A; Nielsen, Morten A

    2009-01-01

    transcribed in the VAR2CSA-expressing parasite line. In addition, two rif genes were found transcribed at early and late intra-erythrocyte stages independently of var gene transcription. Rif genes are organised in groups and inter-genomic conserved gene families, suggesting that RIFIN sub-groups may have......Plasmodium falciparum variant surface antigens (VSA) are targets of protective immunity to malaria. Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 (PfEMP1) and repetitive interspersed family (RIFIN) proteins are encoded by the two variable multigene families, var and rif genes, respectively...... novel rif gene groups, rifA1 and rifA2, containing inter-genomic conserved rif genes, were identified. All rifA1 genes were orientated head-to-head with a neighbouring Group A var gene whereas rifA2 was present in all parasite genomes as a single copy gene with a unique 5' untranslated region. Rif...

  7. Phylogenetic comparison of F-Box (FBX gene superfamily within the plant kingdom reveals divergent evolutionary histories indicative of genomic drift.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhihua Hua

    Full Text Available The emergence of multigene families has been hypothesized as a major contributor to the evolution of complex traits and speciation. To help understand how such multigene families arose and diverged during plant evolution, we examined the phylogenetic relationships of F-Box (FBX genes, one of the largest and most polymorphic superfamilies known in the plant kingdom. FBX proteins comprise the target recognition subunit of SCF-type ubiquitin-protein ligases, where they individually recruit specific substrates for ubiquitylation. Through the extensive analysis of 10,811 FBX loci from 18 plant species, ranging from the alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to numerous monocots and eudicots, we discovered strikingly diverse evolutionary histories. The number of FBX loci varies widely and appears independent of the growth habit and life cycle of land plants, with a little as 198 predicted for Carica papaya to as many as 1350 predicted for Arabidopsis lyrata. This number differs substantially even among closely related species, with evidence for extensive gains/losses. Despite this extraordinary inter-species variation, one subset of FBX genes was conserved among most species examined. Together with evidence of strong purifying selection and expression, the ligases synthesized from these conserved loci likely direct essential ubiquitylation events. Another subset was much more lineage specific, showed more relaxed purifying selection, and was enriched in loci with little or no evidence of expression, suggesting that they either control more limited, species-specific processes or arose from genomic drift and thus may provide reservoirs for evolutionary innovation. Numerous FBX loci were also predicted to be pseudogenes with their numbers tightly correlated with the total number of FBX genes in each species. Taken together, it appears that the FBX superfamily has independently undergone substantial birth/death in many plant lineages, with its size and rapid

  8. Yeast Interspecies Comparative Proteomics Reveals Divergence in Expression Profiles and Provides Insights into Proteome Resource Allocation and Evolutionary Roles of Gene Duplication*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kito, Keiji; Ito, Haruka; Nohara, Takehiro; Ohnishi, Mihoko; Ishibashi, Yuko; Takeda, Daisuke

    2016-01-01

    Omics analysis is a versatile approach for understanding the conservation and diversity of molecular systems across multiple taxa. In this study, we compared the proteome expression profiles of four yeast species (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces mikatae, Kluyveromyces waltii, and Kluyveromyces lactis) grown on glucose- or glycerol-containing media. Conserved expression changes across all species were observed only for a small proportion of all proteins differentially expressed between the two growth conditions. Two Kluyveromyces species, both of which exhibited a high growth rate on glycerol, a nonfermentative carbon source, showed distinct species-specific expression profiles. In K. waltii grown on glycerol, proteins involved in the glyoxylate cycle and gluconeogenesis were expressed in high abundance. In K. lactis grown on glycerol, the expression of glycolytic and ethanol metabolic enzymes was unexpectedly low, whereas proteins involved in cytoplasmic translation, including ribosomal proteins and elongation factors, were highly expressed. These marked differences in the types of predominantly expressed proteins suggest that K. lactis optimizes the balance of proteome resource allocation between metabolism and protein synthesis giving priority to cellular growth. In S. cerevisiae, about 450 duplicate gene pairs were retained after whole-genome duplication. Intriguingly, we found that in the case of duplicates with conserved sequences, the total abundance of proteins encoded by a duplicate pair in S. cerevisiae was similar to that of protein encoded by nonduplicated ortholog in Kluyveromyces yeast. Given the frequency of haploinsufficiency, this observation suggests that conserved duplicate genes, even though minor cases of retained duplicates, do not exhibit a dosage effect in yeast, except for ribosomal proteins. Thus, comparative proteomic analyses across multiple species may reveal not only species-specific characteristics of metabolic processes under

  9. Arabidopsis CPR5 is a senescence-regulatory gene with pleiotropic functions as predicted by the evolutionary theory of senescence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jing, Hai-Chun; Anderson, Lisa; Sturre, Marcel J. G.; Hille, Jacques; Dijkwel, Paul P.

    2007-01-01

    Arabidopsis CPR5 is a senescence-regulatory gene with pleiotropic functions as predicted by the evolutionary theory of senescence Hai-Chun Jing1,2, Lisa Anderson3, Marcel J.G. Sturre1, Jacques Hille1 and Paul P. Dijkwel1,* 1Molecular Biology of Plants, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and

  10. Characterization and evolutionary analysis of tributyltin-binding protein and pufferfish saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin-binding protein genes in toxic and nontoxic pufferfishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashiguchi, Y; Lee, J M; Shiraishi, M; Komatsu, S; Miki, S; Shimasaki, Y; Mochioka, N; Kusakabe, T; Oshima, Y

    2015-05-01

    Understanding the evolutionary mechanisms of toxin accumulation in pufferfishes has been long-standing problem in toxicology and evolutionary biology. Pufferfish saxitoxin and tetrodotoxin-binding protein (PSTBP) is involved in the transport and accumulation of tetrodotoxin and is one of the most intriguing proteins related to the toxicity of pufferfishes. PSTBPs are fusion proteins consisting of two tandem repeated tributyltin-binding protein type 2 (TBT-bp2) domains. In this study, we examined the evolutionary dynamics of TBT-bp2 and PSTBP genes to understand the evolution of toxin accumulation in pufferfishes. Database searches and/or PCR-based cDNA cloning in nine pufferfish species (6 toxic and 3 nontoxic) revealed that all species possessed one or more TBT-bp2 genes, but PSTBP genes were found only in 5 toxic species belonging to genus Takifugu. These toxic Takifugu species possessed two or three copies of PSTBP genes. Phylogenetic analysis of TBT-bp2 and PSTBP genes suggested that PSTBPs evolved in the common ancestor of Takifugu species by repeated duplications and fusions of TBT-bp2 genes. In addition, a detailed comparison of Takifugu TBT-bp2 and PSTBP gene sequences detected a signature of positive selection under the pressure of gene conversion. The complicated evolutionary dynamics of TBT-bp2 and PSTBP genes may reflect the diversity of toxicity in pufferfishes. © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2015 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  11. Evidence of Positive Selection of Aquaporins Genes from Pontoporia blainvillei during the Evolutionary Process of Cetaceans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Lima São Pedro

    Full Text Available Marine mammals are well adapted to their hyperosmotic environment. Several morphological and physiological adaptations for water conservation and salt excretion are known to be present in cetaceans, being responsible for regulating salt balance. However, most previous studies have focused on the unique renal physiology of marine mammals, but the molecular bases of these mechanisms remain poorly explored. Many genes have been identified to be involved in osmotic regulation, including the aquaporins. Considering that aquaporin genes were potentially subject to strong selective pressure, the aim of this study was to analyze the molecular evolution of seven aquaporin genes (AQP1, AQP2, AQP3, AQP4, AQP6, AQP7, and AQP9 comparing the lineages of cetaceans and terrestrial mammals.Our results demonstrated strong positive selection in cetacean-specific lineages acting only in the gene for AQP2 (amino acids 23, 83, 107,179, 180, 181, 182, whereas no selection was observed in terrestrial mammalian lineages. We also analyzed the changes in the 3D structure of the aquaporin 2 protein. Signs of strong positive selection in AQP2 sites 179, 180, 181, and 182 were unexpectedly identified only in the baiji lineage, which was the only river dolphin examined in this study. Positive selection in aquaporins AQP1 (45, AQP4 (74, AQP7 (342, 343, 356 was detected in cetaceans and artiodactyls, suggesting that these events are not related to maintaining water and electrolyte homeostasis in seawater.Our results suggest that the AQP2 gene might reflect different selective pressures in maintaining water balance in cetaceans, contributing to the passage from the terrestrial environment to the aquatic. Further studies are necessary, especially those including other freshwater dolphins, who exhibit osmoregulatory mechanisms different from those of marine cetaceans for the same essential task of maintaining serum electrolyte balance.

  12. 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 ...

  13. Update of the human secretoglobin (SCGB gene superfamily and an example of 'evolutionary bloom' of androgen-binding protein genes within the mouse Scgb gene superfamily

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson Brian C

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The secretoglobins (SCGBs comprise a family of small, secreted proteins found in animals exclusively of mammalian lineage. There are 11 human SCGB genes and five pseudogenes. Interestingly, mice have 68 Scgb genes, four of which are highly orthologous to human SCGB genes; the remainder represent an 'evolutionary bloom' and make up a large gene family represented by only six counterparts in humans. SCGBs are found in high concentrations in many mammalian secretions, including fluids of the lung, lacrimal gland, salivary gland, prostate and uterus. Whereas the biological activities of most individual SCGBs have not been fully characterised, what already has been discovered suggests that this family has an important role in the modulation of inflammation, tissue repair and tumorigenesis. In mice, the large Scgb1b and Scgb2b gene families encode the androgen-binding proteins, which have been shown to play a role in mate selection. Although much has been learned about SCGBs in recent years, clearly more research remains to be done to allow a better understanding of the roles of these proteins in human health and disease. Such information is predicted to reveal valuable novel drug targets for the treatment of inflammation, as well as designing biomarkers that might identify tissue damage or cancer.

  14. Inactivation of tumor suppressor genes and cancer therapy: An evolutionary game theory approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khadem, Heydar; Kebriaei, Hamed; Veisi, Zahra

    2017-06-01

    Inactivation of alleles in tumor suppressor genes (TSG) is one of the important issues resulting in evolution of cancerous cells. In this paper, the evolution of healthy, one and two missed allele cells is modeled using the concept of evolutionary game theory and replicator dynamics. The proposed model also takes into account the interaction rates of the cells as designing parameters of the system. Different combinations of the equilibrium points of the parameterized nonlinear system is studied and categorized into some cases. In each case, the interaction rates' values are suggested in a way that the equilibrium points of the replicator dynamics are located on an appropriate region of the state space. Based on the suggested interaction rates, it is proved that the system doesn't have any undesirable interior equilibrium point as well. Therefore, the system will converge to the desirable region, where there is a scanty level of cancerous cells. In addition, the proposed conditions for interaction rates guarantee that, when a trajectory of the system reaches the boundaries, then it will stay there forever which is a desirable property since the equilibrium points have been already located on the boundaries, appropriately. The simulation results show the effectiveness of the suggestions in the elimination of the cancerous cells in different scenarios. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Evaluation of the conserve flavin reductase gene from three ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-12-15

    Dec 15, 2009 ... means of PCR technique. The nucleic acid sequences of the PCR primers were designed using conserved nucleic acid sequences of the flavin reductase enzyme from. Rhodococcus sp. strain IGTS8. The oligonucleotide primers were as follows: 5'-GAA TTC ATG TCT GAC. AAG CCG AAT GCC-3' (forward) ...

  16. From genes to landscapes: conserving biodiversity at multiple scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sally. Duncan

    2000-01-01

    Biodiversity has at last become a familiar term outside of scientific circles. Ways of measuring it and mapping it are advancing and becoming more complex, but ways of deciding how to conserve it remain mixed at best, and the resources available to manage dimishing biodiversity are themselves scarce. One significant problem is that policy decisions are frequently at...

  17. Eucaryotic operon genes can define highly conserved syntenies

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Trachtulec, Zdeněk

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 50, - (2004), s. 1-6 ISSN 0015-5500 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA204/01/0997; GA MŠk LN00A079 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5052915 Keywords : eukaryotic operon * conserved synteny Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 0.507, year: 2004

  18. Horizontal gene transfer: essentiality and evolvability in prokaryotes, and roles in evolutionary transitions [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eugene V. Koonin

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The wide spread of gene exchange and loss in the prokaryotic world has prompted the concept of ‘lateral genomics’ to the point of an outright denial of the relevance of phylogenetic trees for evolution. However, the pronounced coherence congruence of the topologies of numerous gene trees, particularly those for (nearly universal genes, translates into the notion of a statistical tree of life (STOL, which reflects a central trend of vertical evolution. The STOL can be employed as a framework for reconstruction of the evolutionary processes in the prokaryotic world. Quantitatively, however, horizontal gene transfer (HGT dominates microbial evolution, with the rate of gene gain and loss being comparable to the rate of point mutations and much greater than the duplication rate. Theoretical models of evolution suggest that HGT is essential for the survival of microbial populations that otherwise deteriorate due to the Muller’s ratchet effect. Apparently, at least some bacteria and archaea evolved dedicated vehicles for gene transfer that evolved from selfish elements such as plasmids and viruses. Recent phylogenomic analyses suggest that episodes of massive HGT were pivotal for the emergence of major groups of organisms such as multiple archaeal phyla as well as eukaryotes. Similar analyses appear to indicate that, in addition to donating hundreds of genes to the emerging eukaryotic lineage, mitochondrial endosymbiosis severely curtailed HGT. These results shed new light on the routes of evolutionary transitions, but caution is due given the inherent uncertainty of deep phylogenies.

  19. Characterization of Conserved and Non-conserved Imprinted Genes in Swine

    Science.gov (United States)

    In order to increase our understanding of the role of imprinted genes in swine reproduction we used two complementary approaches, analysis of imprinting by pyrosequencing, and expression profiling of parthenogenetic fetuses, to carry out a comprehensive analysis of this gene family in swine. Using A...

  20. Conservation in Mammals of Genes Associated with Aggression-Related Behavioral Phenotypes in Honey Bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hui; Robinson, Gene E; Jakobsson, Eric

    2016-06-01

    The emerging field of sociogenomics explores the relations between social behavior and genome structure and function. An important question is the extent to which associations between social behavior and gene expression are conserved among the Metazoa. Prior experimental work in an invertebrate model of social behavior, the honey bee, revealed distinct brain gene expression patterns in African and European honey bees, and within European honey bees with different behavioral phenotypes. The present work is a computational study of these previous findings in which we analyze, by orthology determination, the extent to which genes that are socially regulated in honey bees are conserved across the Metazoa. We found that the differentially expressed gene sets associated with alarm pheromone response, the difference between old and young bees, and the colony influence on soldier bees, are enriched in widely conserved genes, indicating that these differences have genomic bases shared with many other metazoans. By contrast, the sets of differentially expressed genes associated with the differences between African and European forager and guard bees are depleted in widely conserved genes, indicating that the genomic basis for this social behavior is relatively specific to honey bees. For the alarm pheromone response gene set, we found a particularly high degree of conservation with mammals, even though the alarm pheromone itself is bee-specific. Gene Ontology identification of human orthologs to the strongly conserved honey bee genes associated with the alarm pheromone response shows overrepresentation of protein metabolism, regulation of protein complex formation, and protein folding, perhaps associated with remodeling of critical neural circuits in response to alarm pheromone. We hypothesize that such remodeling may be an adaptation of social animals to process and respond appropriately to the complex patterns of conspecific communication essential for social organization.

  1. Conservation in Mammals of Genes Associated with Aggression-Related Behavioral Phenotypes in Honey Bees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Liu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The emerging field of sociogenomics explores the relations between social behavior and genome structure and function. An important question is the extent to which associations between social behavior and gene expression are conserved among the Metazoa. Prior experimental work in an invertebrate model of social behavior, the honey bee, revealed distinct brain gene expression patterns in African and European honey bees, and within European honey bees with different behavioral phenotypes. The present work is a computational study of these previous findings in which we analyze, by orthology determination, the extent to which genes that are socially regulated in honey bees are conserved across the Metazoa. We found that the differentially expressed gene sets associated with alarm pheromone response, the difference between old and young bees, and the colony influence on soldier bees, are enriched in widely conserved genes, indicating that these differences have genomic bases shared with many other metazoans. By contrast, the sets of differentially expressed genes associated with the differences between African and European forager and guard bees are depleted in widely conserved genes, indicating that the genomic basis for this social behavior is relatively specific to honey bees. For the alarm pheromone response gene set, we found a particularly high degree of conservation with mammals, even though the alarm pheromone itself is bee-specific. Gene Ontology identification of human orthologs to the strongly conserved honey bee genes associated with the alarm pheromone response shows overrepresentation of protein metabolism, regulation of protein complex formation, and protein folding, perhaps associated with remodeling of critical neural circuits in response to alarm pheromone. We hypothesize that such remodeling may be an adaptation of social animals to process and respond appropriately to the complex patterns of conspecific communication essential for

  2. New Genome Similarity Measures based on Conserved Gene Adjacencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doerr, Daniel; Kowada, Luis Antonio B; Araujo, Eloi; Deshpande, Shachi; Dantas, Simone; Moret, Bernard M E; Stoye, Jens

    2017-06-01

    Many important questions in molecular biology, evolution, and biomedicine can be addressed by comparative genomic approaches. One of the basic tasks when comparing genomes is the definition of measures of similarity (or dissimilarity) between two genomes, for example, to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships between species. The power of different genome comparison methods varies with the underlying formal model of a genome. The simplest models impose the strong restriction that each genome under study must contain the same genes, each in exactly one copy. More realistic models allow several copies of a gene in a genome. One speaks of gene families, and comparative genomic methods that allow this kind of input are called gene family-based. The most powerful-but also most complex-models avoid this preprocessing of the input data and instead integrate the family assignment within the comparative analysis. Such methods are called gene family-free. In this article, we study an intermediate approach between family-based and family-free genomic similarity measures. Introducing this simpler model, called gene connections, we focus on the combinatorial aspects of gene family-free genome comparison. While in most cases, the computational costs to the general family-free case are the same, we also find an instance where the gene connections model has lower complexity. Within the gene connections model, we define three variants of genomic similarity measures that have different expression powers. We give polynomial-time algorithms for two of them, while we show NP-hardness for the third, most powerful one. We also generalize the measures and algorithms to make them more robust against recent local disruptions in gene order. Our theoretical findings are supported by experimental results, proving the applicability and performance of our newly defined similarity measures.

  3. Evolutionary approaches for the reverse-engineering of gene regulatory networks: A study on a biologically realistic dataset

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gidrol Xavier

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inferring gene regulatory networks from data requires the development of algorithms devoted to structure extraction. When only static data are available, gene interactions may be modelled by a Bayesian Network (BN that represents the presence of direct interactions from regulators to regulees by conditional probability distributions. We used enhanced evolutionary algorithms to stochastically evolve a set of candidate BN structures and found the model that best fits data without prior knowledge. Results We proposed various evolutionary strategies suitable for the task and tested our choices using simulated data drawn from a given bio-realistic network of 35 nodes, the so-called insulin network, which has been used in the literature for benchmarking. We assessed the inferred models against this reference to obtain statistical performance results. We then compared performances of evolutionary algorithms using two kinds of recombination operators that operate at different scales in the graphs. We introduced a niching strategy that reinforces diversity through the population and avoided trapping of the algorithm in one local minimum in the early steps of learning. We show the limited effect of the mutation operator when niching is applied. Finally, we compared our best evolutionary approach with various well known learning algorithms (MCMC, K2, greedy search, TPDA, MMHC devoted to BN structure learning. Conclusion We studied the behaviour of an evolutionary approach enhanced by niching for the learning of gene regulatory networks with BN. We show that this approach outperforms classical structure learning methods in elucidating the original model. These results were obtained for the learning of a bio-realistic network and, more importantly, on various small datasets. This is a suitable approach for learning transcriptional regulatory networks from real datasets without prior knowledge.

  4. Cytogenetics, conserved synteny and evolution of chicken fucosyltransferase genes compared to human

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coullin, P.; Crooijmans, R.P.M.A.; Fillon, V.; Mollicone, R.; Groenen, M.A.M.; Adrien-Dehais, C.; Bernheim, A.; Zoorob, R.; Oriol, R.; Candelier, J.J.

    2003-01-01

    Fucosyltransferases appeared early in evolution, since they are present from bacteria to primates and the genes are well conserved. The aim of this work was to study these genes in the bird group, which is particularly attractive for the comprehension of the evolution of the vertebrate genome.

  5. Gene co-regulation is highly conserved in the evolution of eukaryotes and prokaryotes.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snel, B.; Noort, V. van; Huynen, M.A.

    2004-01-01

    Differences between species have been suggested to largely reside in the network of connections among the genes. Nevertheless, the rate at which these connections evolve has not been properly quantified. Here, we measure the extent to which co-regulation between pairs of genes is conserved over

  6. Muscle differentiation in a colonial ascidian: organisation, gene expression and evolutionary considerations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burighel Paolo

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ascidians are tunicates, the taxon recently proposed as sister group to the vertebrates. They possess a chordate-like swimming larva, which metamorphoses into a sessile adult. Several ascidian species form colonies of clonal individuals by asexual reproduction. During their life cycle, ascidians present three muscle types: striated in larval tail, striated in the heart, and unstriated in the adult body-wall. Results In the colonial ascidian Botryllus schlosseri, we investigated organisation, differentiation and gene expression of muscle beginning from early buds to adults and during zooid regression. We characterised transcripts for troponin T (BsTnT-c, adult muscle-type (BsMA2 and cytoplasmic-type (BsCA1 actins, followed by in situ hybridisation (ISH on sections to establish the spatio-temporal expression of BsTnT-c and BsMA2 during asexual reproduction and in the larva. Moreover, we characterised actin genomic sequences, which by comparison with other metazoans revealed conserved intron patterns. Conclusion Integration of data from ISH, phalloidin staining and TEM allowed us to follow the phases of differentiation of the three muscle kinds, which differ in expression pattern of the two transcripts. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses provided evidence for the close relationship between tunicate and vertebrate muscle genes. The characteristics and plasticity of muscles in tunicates are discussed.

  7. Genome-wide evolutionary characterization and expression analyses of major latex protein (MLP) family genes in Vitis vinifera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ningbo; Li, Ruimin; Shen, Wei; Jiao, Shuzhen; Zhang, Junxiang; Xu, Weirong

    2018-04-27

    The major latex protein/ripening-related protein (MLP/RRP) subfamily is known to be involved in a wide range of biological processes of plant development and various stress responses. However, the biological function of MLP/RRP proteins is still far from being clear and identification of them may provide important clues for understanding their roles. Here, we report a genome-wide evolutionary characterization and gene expression analysis of the MLP family in European Vitis species. A total of 14 members, was found in the grape genome, all of which are located on chromosome 1, where are predominantly arranged in tandem clusters. We have noticed, most surprisingly, promoter-sharing by several non-identical but highly similar gene members to a greater extent than expected by chance. Synteny analysis between the grape and Arabidopsis thaliana genomes suggested that 3 grape MLP genes arose before the divergence of the two species. Phylogenetic analysis provided further insights into the evolutionary relationship between the genes, as well as their putative functions, and tissue-specific expression analysis suggested distinct biological roles for different members. Our expression data suggested a couple of candidate genes involved in abiotic stresses and phytohormone responses. The present work provides new insight into the evolution and regulation of Vitis MLP genes, which represent targets for future studies and inclusion in tolerance-related molecular breeding programs.

  8. Conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noteboom, H.P.

    1985-01-01

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

  9. Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

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

  10. Inferring the conservative causal core of gene regulatory networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmert-Streib Frank

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Inferring gene regulatory networks from large-scale expression data is an important problem that received much attention in recent years. These networks have the potential to gain insights into causal molecular interactions of biological processes. Hence, from a methodological point of view, reliable estimation methods based on observational data are needed to approach this problem practically. Results In this paper, we introduce a novel gene regulatory network inference (GRNI algorithm, called C3NET. We compare C3NET with four well known methods, ARACNE, CLR, MRNET and RN, conducting in-depth numerical ensemble simulations and demonstrate also for biological expression data from E. coli that C3NET performs consistently better than the best known GRNI methods in the literature. In addition, it has also a low computational complexity. Since C3NET is based on estimates of mutual information values in conjunction with a maximization step, our numerical investigations demonstrate that our inference algorithm exploits causal structural information in the data efficiently. Conclusions For systems biology to succeed in the long run, it is of crucial importance to establish methods that extract large-scale gene networks from high-throughput data that reflect the underlying causal interactions among genes or gene products. Our method can contribute to this endeavor by demonstrating that an inference algorithm with a neat design permits not only a more intuitive and possibly biological interpretation of its working mechanism but can also result in superior results.

  11. Inferring the conservative causal core of gene regulatory networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altay, Gökmen; Emmert-Streib, Frank

    2010-09-28

    Inferring gene regulatory networks from large-scale expression data is an important problem that received much attention in recent years. These networks have the potential to gain insights into causal molecular interactions of biological processes. Hence, from a methodological point of view, reliable estimation methods based on observational data are needed to approach this problem practically. In this paper, we introduce a novel gene regulatory network inference (GRNI) algorithm, called C3NET. We compare C3NET with four well known methods, ARACNE, CLR, MRNET and RN, conducting in-depth numerical ensemble simulations and demonstrate also for biological expression data from E. coli that C3NET performs consistently better than the best known GRNI methods in the literature. In addition, it has also a low computational complexity. Since C3NET is based on estimates of mutual information values in conjunction with a maximization step, our numerical investigations demonstrate that our inference algorithm exploits causal structural information in the data efficiently. For systems biology to succeed in the long run, it is of crucial importance to establish methods that extract large-scale gene networks from high-throughput data that reflect the underlying causal interactions among genes or gene products. Our method can contribute to this endeavor by demonstrating that an inference algorithm with a neat design permits not only a more intuitive and possibly biological interpretation of its working mechanism but can also result in superior results.

  12. Identification of a conserved set of upregulated genes in mouse skeletal muscle hypertrophy and regrowth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaillou, Thomas; Jackson, Janna R; England, Jonathan H; Kirby, Tyler J; Richards-White, Jena; Esser, Karyn A; Dupont-Versteegden, Esther E; McCarthy, John J

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the gene expression profile of mouse skeletal muscle undergoing two forms of growth (hypertrophy and regrowth) with the goal of identifying a conserved set of differentially expressed genes. Expression profiling by microarray was performed on the plantaris muscle subjected to 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, and 14 days of hypertrophy or regrowth following 2 wk of hind-limb suspension. We identified 97 differentially expressed genes (≥2-fold increase or ≥50% decrease compared with control muscle) that were conserved during the two forms of muscle growth. The vast majority (∼90%) of the differentially expressed genes was upregulated and occurred at a single time point (64 out of 86 genes), which most often was on the first day of the time course. Microarray analysis from the conserved upregulated genes showed a set of genes related to contractile apparatus and stress response at day 1, including three genes involved in mechanotransduction and four genes encoding heat shock proteins. Our analysis further identified three cell cycle-related genes at day and several genes associated with extracellular matrix (ECM) at both days 3 and 10. In conclusion, we have identified a core set of genes commonly upregulated in two forms of muscle growth that could play a role in the maintenance of sarcomere stability, ECM remodeling, cell proliferation, fast-to-slow fiber type transition, and the regulation of skeletal muscle growth. These findings suggest conserved regulatory mechanisms involved in the adaptation of skeletal muscle to increased mechanical loading. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  13. Climate-Driven Reshuffling of Species and Genes: Potential Conservation Roles for Species Translocations and Recombinant Hybrid Genotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scriber, Jon Mark

    2013-12-24

    Comprising 50%-75% of the world's fauna, insects are a prominent part of biodiversity in communities and ecosystems globally. Biodiversity across all levels of biological classifications is fundamentally based on genetic diversity. However, the integration of genomics and phylogenetics into conservation management may not be as rapid as climate change. The genetics of hybrid introgression as a source of novel variation for ecological divergence and evolutionary speciation (and resilience) may generate adaptive potential and diversity fast enough to respond to locally-altered environmental conditions. Major plant and herbivore hybrid zones with associated communities deserve conservation consideration. This review addresses functional genetics across multi-trophic-level interactions including "invasive species" in various ecosystems as they may become disrupted in different ways by rapid climate change. "Invasive genes" (into new species and populations) need to be recognized for their positive creative potential and addressed in conservation programs. "Genetic rescue" via hybrid translocations may provide needed adaptive flexibility for rapid adaptation to environmental change. While concerns persist for some conservationists, this review emphasizes the positive aspects of hybrids and hybridization. Specific implications of natural genetic introgression are addressed with a few examples from butterflies, including transgressive phenotypes and climate-driven homoploid recombinant hybrid speciation. Some specific examples illustrate these points using the swallowtail butterflies (Papilionidae) with their long-term historical data base (phylogeographical diversity changes) and recent (3-decade) climate-driven temporal and genetic divergence in recombinant homoploid hybrids and relatively recent hybrid speciation of Papilio appalachiensis in North America. Climate-induced "reshuffling" (recombinations) of species composition, genotypes, and genomes may become

  14. Evolutionary Divergence of Gene and Protein Expression in the Brains of Humans and Chimpanzees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauernfeind, Amy L; Soderblom, Erik J; Turner, Meredith E; Moseley, M Arthur; Ely, John J; Hof, Patrick R; Sherwood, Chet C; Wray, Gregory A; Babbitt, Courtney C

    2015-07-10

    Although transcriptomic profiling has become the standard approach for exploring molecular differences in the primate brain, very little is known about how the expression levels of gene transcripts relate to downstream protein abundance. Moreover, it is unknown whether the relationship changes depending on the brain region or species under investigation. We performed high-throughput transcriptomic (RNA-Seq) and proteomic (liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry) analyses on two regions of the human and chimpanzee brain: The anterior cingulate cortex and caudate nucleus. In both brain regions, we found a lower correlation between mRNA and protein expression levels in humans and chimpanzees than has been reported for other tissues and cell types, suggesting that the brain may engage extensive tissue-specific regulation affecting protein abundance. In both species, only a few categories of biological function exhibited strong correlations between mRNA and protein expression levels. These categories included oxidative metabolism and protein synthesis and modification, indicating that the expression levels of mRNA transcripts supporting these biological functions are more predictive of protein expression compared with other functional categories. More generally, however, the two measures of molecular expression provided strikingly divergent perspectives into differential expression between human and chimpanzee brains: mRNA comparisons revealed significant differences in neuronal communication, ion transport, and regulatory processes, whereas protein comparisons indicated differences in perception and cognition, metabolic processes, and organization of the cytoskeleton. Our results highlight the importance of examining protein expression in evolutionary analyses and call for a more thorough understanding of tissue-specific protein expression levels. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular

  15. Characterization of Conserved and Nonconserved Imprinted Genes in Swine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genomic imprinting results in the silencing of a subset of mammalian alleles due to parent-of-origin inheritance. Due to the nature of their expression patterns they play a critical role in placental and early embryonic development. In order to increase our understanding of imprinted genes specifi...

  16. Conservation and sex-specific splicing of the doublesex gene

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Genetic control of sex determination in insects has been best characterized in Drosophila melanogaster, where the master gene Sxl codes for RNA that is sex specifically spliced to produce a functional protein only in females. SXL regulates the sex-specific splicing of transformer (tra) RNA which, in turn, regulates the ...

  17. Human cytomegalovirus UL145 gene is highly conserved among ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    PRAKASH KUMAR

    capable of causing infections that persist lifelong, and normally ... 1 Virus Laboratory, Affiliated ShengJing Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang 110004, P. R. China. 2Department of .... Elmer, USA), and negative controls were included in each round of .... variability of the UL145 gene in field isolates. To answer this.

  18. Constraints on genes shape long-term conservation of macro-synteny in metazoan genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Putnam Nicholas H

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many metazoan genomes conserve chromosome-scale gene linkage relationships (“macro-synteny” from the common ancestor of multicellular animal life 1234, but the biological explanation for this conservation is still unknown. Double cut and join (DCJ is a simple, well-studied model of neutral genome evolution amenable to both simulation and mathematical analysis 5, but as we show here, it is not sufficent to explain long-term macro-synteny conservation. Results We examine a family of simple (one-parameter extensions of DCJ to identify models and choices of parameters consistent with the levels of macro- and micro-synteny conservation observed among animal genomes. Our software implements a flexible strategy for incorporating genomic context into the DCJ model to incorporate various types of genomic context (“DCJ-[C]”, and is available as open source software from http://github.com/putnamlab/dcj-c. Conclusions A simple model of genome evolution, in which DCJ moves are allowed only if they maintain chromosomal linkage among a set of constrained genes, can simultaneously account for the level of macro-synteny conservation and for correlated conservation among multiple pairs of species. Simulations under this model indicate that a constraint on approximately 7% of metazoan genes is sufficient to constrain genome rearrangement to an average rate of 25 inversions and 1.7 translocations per million years.

  19. Evolutionary dynamics of the Pgk1 gene in the polyploid genus Kengyilia (Triticeae: Poaceae and its diploid relatives.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xing Fan

    Full Text Available The level and pattern of nucleotide variation in duplicate gene provide important information on the evolutionary history of polyploids and divergent process between homoeologous loci within lineages. Kengyilia is a group of allohexaploid species with the StYP genomic constitutions in the wheat tribe. To investigate the evolutionary dynamics of the Pgk1 gene in Kengyilia and its diploid relatives, three copies of Pgk1 homoeologues were isolated from all sampled hexaploid Kengyilia species and analyzed with the Pgk1 sequences from 47 diploid taxa representing 18 basic genomes in Triticeae. Sequence diversity patterns and genealogical analysis suggested that (1 Kengyilia species from the Central Asia and the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau have independent origins with geographically differentiated P genome donors and diverged levels of nucleotide diversity at Pgk1 locus; (2 a relatively long-time sweep event has allowed the Pgk1 gene within Agropyron to adapt to cold climate triggered by the recent uplifts of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; (3 sweep event and population expansion might result in the difference in the d(N/d(S value of the Pgk1 gene in allopatric Agropyron populations, and this difference may be genetically transmitted to Kengyilia lineages via independent polyploidization events; (4 an 83 bp MITE element insertion has shaped the Pgk1 loci in the P genome lineage with different geographical regions; (5 the St and P genomes in Kengyilia were donated by Pseudoroegneria and Agropyron, respectively, and the Y genome is closely related to the Xp genome of Peridictyon sanctum. The interplay of evolutionary forces involving diverged natural selection, population expansion, and transposable events in geographically differentiated P genome donors could attribute to geographical differentiation of Kengyilia species via independent origins.

  20. Evidence for intron length conservation in a set of mammalian genes associated with embryonic development

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    2011-10-05

    Abstract Background We carried out an analysis of intron length conservation across a diverse group of nineteen mammalian species. Motivated by recent research suggesting a role for time delays associated with intron transcription in gene expression oscillations required for early embryonic patterning, we searched for examples of genes that showed the most extreme conservation of total intron content in mammals. Results Gene sets annotated as being involved in pattern specification in the early embryo or containing the homeobox DNA-binding domain, were significantly enriched among genes with highly conserved intron content. We used ancestral sequences reconstructed with probabilistic models that account for insertion and deletion mutations to distinguish insertion and deletion events on lineages leading to human and mouse from their last common ancestor. Using a randomization procedure, we show that genes containing the homeobox domain show less change in intron content than expected, given the number of insertion and deletion events within their introns. Conclusions Our results suggest selection for gene expression precision or the existence of additional development-associated genes for which transcriptional delay is functionally significant.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Ancient Exaptation of a CORE-SINE Retroposon into a Highly Conserved Mammalian Neuronal Enhancer of the Proopiomelanocortin Gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumaschny, Viviana F; Low, Malcolm J; Rubinstein, Marcelo

    2007-01-01

    The proopiomelanocortin gene (POMC) is expressed in the pituitary gland and the ventral hypothalamus of all jawed vertebrates, producing several bioactive peptides that function as peripheral hormones or central neuropeptides, respectively. We have recently determined that mouse and human POMC expression in the hypothalamus is conferred by the action of two 5′ distal and unrelated enhancers, nPE1 and nPE2. To investigate the evolutionary origin of the neuronal enhancer nPE2, we searched available vertebrate genome databases and determined that nPE2 is a highly conserved element in placentals, marsupials, and monotremes, whereas it is absent in nonmammalian vertebrates. Following an in silico paleogenomic strategy based on genome-wide searches for paralog sequences, we discovered that opossum and wallaby nPE2 sequences are highly similar to members of the superfamily of CORE-short interspersed nucleotide element (SINE) retroposons, in particular to MAR1 retroposons that are widely present in marsupial genomes. Thus, the neuronal enhancer nPE2 originated from the exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon in the lineage leading to mammals and remained under purifying selection in all mammalian orders for the last 170 million years. Expression studies performed in transgenic mice showed that two nonadjacent nPE2 subregions are essential to drive reporter gene expression into POMC hypothalamic neurons, providing the first functional example of an exapted enhancer derived from an ancient CORE-SINE retroposon. In addition, we found that this CORE-SINE family of retroposons is likely to still be active in American and Australian marsupial genomes and that several highly conserved exonic, intronic and intergenic sequences in the human genome originated from the exaptation of CORE-SINE retroposons. Together, our results provide clear evidence of the functional novelties that transposed elements contributed to their host genomes throughout evolution. PMID:17922573

  3. Ancient exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon into a highly conserved mammalian neuronal enhancer of the proopiomelanocortin gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea M Santangelo

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available The proopiomelanocortin gene (POMC is expressed in the pituitary gland and the ventral hypothalamus of all jawed vertebrates, producing several bioactive peptides that function as peripheral hormones or central neuropeptides, respectively. We have recently determined that mouse and human POMC expression in the hypothalamus is conferred by the action of two 5' distal and unrelated enhancers, nPE1 and nPE2. To investigate the evolutionary origin of the neuronal enhancer nPE2, we searched available vertebrate genome databases and determined that nPE2 is a highly conserved element in placentals, marsupials, and monotremes, whereas it is absent in nonmammalian vertebrates. Following an in silico paleogenomic strategy based on genome-wide searches for paralog sequences, we discovered that opossum and wallaby nPE2 sequences are highly similar to members of the superfamily of CORE-short interspersed nucleotide element (SINE retroposons, in particular to MAR1 retroposons that are widely present in marsupial genomes. Thus, the neuronal enhancer nPE2 originated from the exaptation of a CORE-SINE retroposon in the lineage leading to mammals and remained under purifying selection in all mammalian orders for the last 170 million years. Expression studies performed in transgenic mice showed that two nonadjacent nPE2 subregions are essential to drive reporter gene expression into POMC hypothalamic neurons, providing the first functional example of an exapted enhancer derived from an ancient CORE-SINE retroposon. In addition, we found that this CORE-SINE family of retroposons is likely to still be active in American and Australian marsupial genomes and that several highly conserved exonic, intronic and intergenic sequences in the human genome originated from the exaptation of CORE-SINE retroposons. Together, our results provide clear evidence of the functional novelties that transposed elements contributed to their host genomes throughout evolution.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. An evolutionary-game model of tumour-cell interactions: possible relevance to gene therapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bach, L.A.; Bentzen, S.M.; Alsner, Jan

    2001-01-01

    Evolutionary games have been applied as simple mathematical models of populations where interactions between individuals control the dynamics. Recently, it has been proposed to use this type of model to describe the evolution of tumour cell populations with interactions between cells. We extent...

  7. Significant Microsynteny with New Evolutionary Highlights Is Detected through Comparative Genomic Sequence Analysis of Maize CCCH IX Gene Subfamily

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Jun Chen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available CCCH zinc finger proteins, which are characterized by the presence of three cysteine residues and one histidine residue, play important roles in RNA processing in plants. Subfamily IX CCCH proteins were recently shown to function in stress tolerances. In this study, we analyzed CCCH IX genes in Zea mays, Oryza sativa, and Sorghum bicolor. These genes, which are almost intronless, were divided into four groups based on phylogenetic analysis. Microsynteny analysis revealed microsynteny in regions of some gene pairs, indicating that segmental duplication has played an important role in the expansion of this gene family. In addition, we calculated the dates of duplication by Ks analysis, finding that all microsynteny blocks were formed after the monocot-eudicot divergence. We found that deletions, multiplications, and inversions were shown to have occurred over the course of evolution. Moreover, the Ka/Ks ratios indicated that the genes in these three grass species are under strong purifying selection. Finally, we investigated the evolutionary patterns of some gene pairs conferring tolerance to abiotic stress, laying the foundation for future functional studies of these transcription factors.

  8. Phylogeny and phylogeography of functional genes shared among seven terrestrial subsurface metagenomes reveal N-cycling and microbial evolutionary relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maggie CY Lau

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Comparative studies on community phylogenetics and phylogeography of microorganisms living in extreme environments are rare. Terrestrial subsurface habitats are valuable for studying microbial biogeographical patterns due to their isolation and the restricted dispersal mechanisms. Since the taxonomic identity of a microorganism does not always correspond well with its functional role in a particular community, the use of taxonomic assignments or patterns may give limited inference on how microbial functions are affected by historical, geographical and environmental factors. With seven metagenomic libraries generated from fracture water samples collected from five South African mines, this study was carried out to (1 screen for ubiquitous functions or pathways of biogeochemical cycling of CH4, S and N; (2 to characterize the biodiversity represented by the common functional genes; (3 to investigate the subsurface biogeography as revealed by this subset of genes; and (4 to explore the possibility of using metagenomic data for evolutionary study. The ubiquitous functional genes are NarV, NPD, PAP reductase, NifH, NifD, NifK, NifE and NifN genes. Although these 8 common functional genes were taxonomically and phylogenetically diverse and distinct from each other, the dissimilarity between samples did not correlate strongly with either geographical, environmental or residence time of the water. Por genes homologous to those of Thermodesulfovibrio yellowstonii detected in all metagenomes were deep lineages of Nitrospirae, suggesting that subsurface habitats have preserved ancestral genetic signatures that inform the study of the origin and evolution of prokaryotes.

  9. Functional and evolutionary analysis of alternatively spliced genes is consistent with an early eukaryotic origin of alternative splicing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Penny David

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alternative splicing has been reported in various eukaryotic groups including plants, apicomplexans, diatoms, amoebae, animals and fungi. However, whether widespread alternative splicing has evolved independently in the different eukaryotic groups or was inherited from their last common ancestor, and may therefore predate multicellularity, is still unknown. To better understand the origin and evolution of alternative splicing and its usage in diverse organisms, we studied alternative splicing in 12 eukaryotic species, comparing rates of alternative splicing across genes of different functional classes, cellular locations, intron/exon structures and evolutionary origins. Results For each species, we find that genes from most functional categories are alternatively spliced. Ancient genes (shared between animals, fungi and plants show high levels of alternative splicing. Genes with products expressed in the nucleus or plasma membrane are generally more alternatively spliced while those expressed in extracellular location show less alternative splicing. We find a clear correspondence between incidence of alternative splicing and intron number per gene both within and between genomes. In general, we find several similarities in patterns of alternative splicing across these diverse eukaryotes. Conclusion Along with previous studies indicating intron-rich genes with weak intron boundary consensus and complex spliceosomes in ancestral organisms, our results suggest that at least a simple form of alternative splicing may already have been present in the unicellular ancestor of plants, fungi and animals. A role for alternative splicing in the evolution of multicellularity then would largely have arisen by co-opting the preexisting process.

  10. Expression conservation within the circadian clock of a monocot: natural variation at barley Ppd-H1 affects circadian expression of flowering time genes, but not clock orthologs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campoli, Chiara; Shtaya, Munqez; Davis, Seth J; von Korff, Maria

    2012-06-21

    The circadian clock is an endogenous mechanism that coordinates biological processes with daily changes in the environment. In plants, circadian rhythms contribute to both agricultural productivity and evolutionary fitness. In barley, the photoperiod response regulator and flowering-time gene Ppd-H1 is orthologous to the Arabidopsis core-clock gene PRR7. However, relatively little is known about the role of Ppd-H1 and other components of the circadian clock in temperate crop species. In this study, we identified barley clock orthologs and tested the effects of natural genetic variation at Ppd-H1 on diurnal and circadian expression of clock and output genes from the photoperiod-response pathway. Barley clock orthologs HvCCA1, HvGI, HvPRR1, HvPRR37 (Ppd-H1), HvPRR73, HvPRR59 and HvPRR95 showed a high level of sequence similarity and conservation of diurnal and circadian expression patterns, when compared to Arabidopsis. The natural mutation at Ppd-H1 did not affect diurnal or circadian cycling of barley clock genes. However, the Ppd-H1 mutant was found to be arrhythmic under free-running conditions for the photoperiod-response genes HvCO1, HvCO2, and the MADS-box transcription factor and vernalization responsive gene Vrn-H1. We suggest that the described eudicot clock is largely conserved in the monocot barley. However, genetic differentiation within gene families and differences in the function of Ppd-H1 suggest evolutionary modification in the angiosperm clock. Our data indicates that natural variation at Ppd-H1 does not affect the expression level of clock genes, but controls photoperiodic output genes. Circadian control of Vrn-H1 in barley suggests that this vernalization responsive gene is also controlled by the photoperiod-response pathway. Structural and functional characterization of the barley circadian clock will set the basis for future studies of the adaptive significance of the circadian clock in Triticeae species.

  11. Paradoxical DNA repair and peroxide resistance gene conservation in Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Gioia

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Bacillus spores are notoriously resistant to unfavorable conditions such as UV radiation, gamma-radiation, H2O2, desiccation, chemical disinfection, or starvation. Bacillus pumilus SAFR-032 survives standard decontamination procedures of the Jet Propulsion Lab spacecraft assembly facility, and both spores and vegetative cells of this strain exhibit elevated resistance to UV radiation and H2O2 compared to other Bacillus species. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The genome of B. pumilus SAFR-032 was sequenced and annotated. Lists of genes relevant to DNA repair and the oxidative stress response were generated and compared to B. subtilis and B. licheniformis. Differences in conservation of genes, gene order, and protein sequences are highlighted because they potentially explain the extreme resistance phenotype of B. pumilus. The B. pumilus genome includes genes not found in B. subtilis or B. licheniformis and conserved genes with sequence divergence, but paradoxically lacks several genes that function in UV or H2O2 resistance in other Bacillus species. SIGNIFICANCE: This study identifies several candidate genes for further research into UV and H2O2 resistance. These findings will help explain the resistance of B. pumilus and are applicable to understanding sterilization survival strategies of microbes.

  12. Seed storage protein gene promoters contain conserved DNA motifs in Brassicaceae, Fabaceae and Poaceae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fauteux, François; Strömvik, Martina V

    2009-01-01

    Background Accurate computational identification of cis-regulatory motifs is difficult, particularly in eukaryotic promoters, which typically contain multiple short and degenerate DNA sequences bound by several interacting factors. Enrichment in combinations of rare motifs in the promoter sequence of functionally or evolutionarily related genes among several species is an indicator of conserved transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. This provides a basis for the computational identification of cis-regulatory motifs. Results We have used a discriminative seeding DNA motif discovery algorithm for an in-depth analysis of 54 seed storage protein (SSP) gene promoters from three plant families, namely Brassicaceae (mustards), Fabaceae (legumes) and Poaceae (grasses) using backgrounds based on complete sets of promoters from a representative species in each family, namely Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh.), soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.) and rice (Oryza sativa L.) respectively. We have identified three conserved motifs (two RY-like and one ACGT-like) in Brassicaceae and Fabaceae SSP gene promoters that are similar to experimentally characterized seed-specific cis-regulatory elements. Fabaceae SSP gene promoter sequences are also enriched in a novel, seed-specific E2Fb-like motif. Conserved motifs identified in Poaceae SSP gene promoters include a GCN4-like motif, two prolamin-box-like motifs and an Skn-1-like motif. Evidence of the presence of a variant of the TATA-box is found in the SSP gene promoters from the three plant families. Motifs discovered in SSP gene promoters were used to score whole-genome sets of promoters from Arabidopsis, soybean and rice. The highest-scoring promoters are associated with genes coding for different subunits or precursors of seed storage proteins. Conclusion Seed storage protein gene promoter motifs are conserved in diverse species, and different plant families are characterized by a distinct combination of conserved motifs

  13. Seed storage protein gene promoters contain conserved DNA motifs in Brassicaceae, Fabaceae and Poaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fauteux François

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Accurate computational identification of cis-regulatory motifs is difficult, particularly in eukaryotic promoters, which typically contain multiple short and degenerate DNA sequences bound by several interacting factors. Enrichment in combinations of rare motifs in the promoter sequence of functionally or evolutionarily related genes among several species is an indicator of conserved transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. This provides a basis for the computational identification of cis-regulatory motifs. Results We have used a discriminative seeding DNA motif discovery algorithm for an in-depth analysis of 54 seed storage protein (SSP gene promoters from three plant families, namely Brassicaceae (mustards, Fabaceae (legumes and Poaceae (grasses using backgrounds based on complete sets of promoters from a representative species in each family, namely Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana (L. Heynh., soybean (Glycine max (L. Merr. and rice (Oryza sativa L. respectively. We have identified three conserved motifs (two RY-like and one ACGT-like in Brassicaceae and Fabaceae SSP gene promoters that are similar to experimentally characterized seed-specific cis-regulatory elements. Fabaceae SSP gene promoter sequences are also enriched in a novel, seed-specific E2Fb-like motif. Conserved motifs identified in Poaceae SSP gene promoters include a GCN4-like motif, two prolamin-box-like motifs and an Skn-1-like motif. Evidence of the presence of a variant of the TATA-box is found in the SSP gene promoters from the three plant families. Motifs discovered in SSP gene promoters were used to score whole-genome sets of promoters from Arabidopsis, soybean and rice. The highest-scoring promoters are associated with genes coding for different subunits or precursors of seed storage proteins. Conclusion Seed storage protein gene promoter motifs are conserved in diverse species, and different plant families are characterized by a distinct combination

  14. Evolutionary anthropology and genes: investigating the genetics of human evolution from excavated skeletal remains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastasiou, Evilena; Mitchell, Piers D

    2013-10-01

    The development of molecular tools for the extraction, analysis and interpretation of DNA from the remains of ancient organisms (paleogenetics) has revolutionised a range of disciplines as diverse as the fields of human evolution, bioarchaeology, epidemiology, microbiology, taxonomy and population genetics. The paper draws attention to some of the challenges associated with the extraction and interpretation of ancient DNA from archaeological material, and then reviews the influence of paleogenetics on the field of human evolution. It discusses the main contributions of molecular studies to reconstructing the evolutionary and phylogenetic relationships between extinct hominins (human ancestors) and anatomically modern humans. It also explores the evidence for evolutionary changes in the genetic structure of anatomically modern humans in recent millennia. This breadth of research has led to discoveries that would never have been possible using traditional approaches to human evolution. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Genes, communities & invasive species: understanding the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdon, J J; Thrall, P H; Ericson, L

    2013-08-01

    Reciprocal interactions between hosts and pathogens drive ecological, epidemiological and co-evolutionary trajectories, resulting in complex patterns of diversity at population, species and community levels. Recent results confirm the importance of negative frequency-dependent rather than 'arms-race' processes in the evolution of individual host-pathogen associations. At the community level, complex relationships between species abundance and diversity dampen or alter pathogen impacts. Invasive pathogens challenge these controls reflecting the earliest stages of evolutionary associations (akin to arms-race) where disease effects may be so great that they overwhelm the host's and community's ability to respond. Viewing these different stabilization/destabilization phases as a continuum provides a valuable perspective to assessment of the role of genetics and ecology in the dynamics of both natural and invasive host-pathogen associations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Transcriptional dynamics of a conserved gene expression network associated with craniofacial divergence in Arctic charr.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahi, Ehsan Pashay; Kapralova, Kalina Hristova; Pálsson, Arnar; Maier, Valerie Helene; Gudbrandsson, Jóhannes; Snorrason, Sigurdur S; Jónsson, Zophonías O; Franzdóttir, Sigrídur Rut

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the molecular basis of craniofacial variation can provide insights into key developmental mechanisms of adaptive changes and their role in trophic divergence and speciation. Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) is a polymorphic fish species, and, in Lake Thingvallavatn in Iceland, four sympatric morphs have evolved distinct craniofacial structures. We conducted a gene expression study on candidates from a conserved gene coexpression network, focusing on the development of craniofacial elements in embryos of two contrasting Arctic charr morphotypes (benthic and limnetic). Four Arctic charr morphs were studied: one limnetic and two benthic morphs from Lake Thingvallavatn and a limnetic reference aquaculture morph. The presence of morphological differences at developmental stages before the onset of feeding was verified by morphometric analysis. Following up on our previous findings that Mmp2 and Sparc were differentially expressed between morphotypes, we identified a network of genes with conserved coexpression across diverse vertebrate species. A comparative expression study of candidates from this network in developing heads of the four Arctic charr morphs verified the coexpression relationship of these genes and revealed distinct transcriptional dynamics strongly correlated with contrasting craniofacial morphologies (benthic versus limnetic). A literature review and Gene Ontology analysis indicated that a significant proportion of the network genes play a role in extracellular matrix organization and skeletogenesis, and motif enrichment analysis of conserved noncoding regions of network candidates predicted a handful of transcription factors, including Ap1 and Ets2, as potential regulators of the gene network. The expression of Ets2 itself was also found to associate with network gene expression. Genes linked to glucocorticoid signalling were also studied, as both Mmp2 and Sparc are responsive to this pathway. Among those, several transcriptional

  17. Revealing less derived nature of cartilaginous fish genomes with their evolutionary time scale inferred with nuclear genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adina J Renz

    Full Text Available Cartilaginous fishes, divided into Holocephali (chimaeras and Elasmoblanchii (sharks, rays and skates, occupy a key phylogenetic position among extant vertebrates in reconstructing their evolutionary processes. Their accurate evolutionary time scale is indispensable for better understanding of the relationship between phenotypic and molecular evolution of cartilaginous fishes. However, our current knowledge on the time scale of cartilaginous fish evolution largely relies on estimates using mitochondrial DNA sequences. In this study, making the best use of the still partial, but large-scale sequencing data of cartilaginous fish species, we estimate the divergence times between the major cartilaginous fish lineages employing nuclear genes. By rigorous orthology assessment based on available genomic and transcriptomic sequence resources for cartilaginous fishes, we selected 20 protein-coding genes in the nuclear genome, spanning 2973 amino acid residues. Our analysis based on the Bayesian inference resulted in the mean divergence time of 421 Ma, the late Silurian, for the Holocephali-Elasmobranchii split, and 306 Ma, the late Carboniferous, for the split between sharks and rays/skates. By applying these results and other documented divergence times, we measured the relative evolutionary rate of the Hox A cluster sequences in the cartilaginous fish lineages, which resulted in a lower substitution rate with a factor of at least 2.4 in comparison to tetrapod lineages. The obtained time scale enables mapping phenotypic and molecular changes in a quantitative framework. It is of great interest to corroborate the less derived nature of cartilaginous fish at the molecular level as a genome-wide phenomenon.

  18. Evolutionary changes of multiple visual pigment genes in the complete genome of Pacific bluefin tuna

    OpenAIRE

    Nakamura, Yoji; Mori, Kazuki; Saitoh, Kenji; Oshima, Kenshiro; Mekuchi, Miyuki; Sugaya, Takuma; Shigenobu, Yuya; Ojima, Nobuhiko; Muta, Shigeru; Fujiwara, Atushi; Yasuike, Motoshige; Oohara, Ichiro; Hirakawa, Hideki; Chowdhury, Vishwajit Sur; Kobayashi, Takanori

    2013-01-01

    Tunas are migratory fishes in offshore habitats and top predators with unique features. Despite their ecological importance and high market values, the open-ocean lifestyle of tuna, in which effective sensing systems such as color vision are required for capture of prey, has been poorly understood. To elucidate the genetic and evolutionary basis of optic adaptation of tuna, we determined the genome sequence of the Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis), using next-generation sequencing tec...

  19. An evolutionary explanation model on the transformation of culture by cultural genes*

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Han

    2009-01-01

    This article seeks to explain how cultural transformation takes place through the evolution of cultural genes. This explanation posits that just as the evolution of an organism takes place at the genetic level, so also does the transformation of culture. As such, this paper must answer the four following questions: 1) Are there cultural genes that correspond to biological genes? 2) How can we prove that the fundamental characteristic of such cultural genes is to replicate themselves? 3) Will ...

  20. New insights into the evolutionary origins of the recombination-activating gene proteins and V(D)J recombination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmona, Lina Marcela; Schatz, David G

    2017-06-01

    The adaptive immune system of jawed vertebrates relies on V(D)J recombination as one of the main processes to generate the diverse array of receptors necessary for the recognition of a wide range of pathogens. The DNA cleavage reaction necessary for the assembly of the antigen receptor genes from an array of potential gene segments is mediated by the recombination-activating gene proteins RAG1 and RAG2. The RAG proteins have been proposed to originate from a transposable element (TE) as they share mechanistic and structural similarities with several families of transposases and are themselves capable of mediating transposition. A number of RAG-like proteins and TEs with sequence similarity to RAG1 and RAG2 have been identified, but only recently has their function begun to be characterized, revealing mechanistic links to the vertebrate RAGs. Of particular significance is the discovery of ProtoRAG, a transposon superfamily found in the genome of the basal chordate amphioxus. ProtoRAG has many of the sequence and mechanistic features predicted for the ancestral RAG transposon and is likely to be an evolutionary relative of RAG1 and RAG2. In addition, early observations suggesting that RAG1 is able to mediate V(D)J recombination in the absence of RAG2 have been confirmed, implying independent evolutionary origins for the two RAG genes. Here, recent progress in identifying and characterizing RAG-like proteins and the TEs that encode them is summarized and a refined model for the evolution of V(D)J recombination and the RAG proteins is presented. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  1. Selfish operons: the evolutionary impact of gene clustering in prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, J

    1999-12-01

    The Selfish Operon Model postulates that the organization of bacterial genes into operons is beneficial to the constituent genes in that proximity allows horizontal cotransfer of all genes required for a selectable phenotype; eukaryotic operons formed for very different reasons. Horizontal transfer of selfish operons most probably promotes bacterial diversification.

  2. The Pectin Methylesterase Gene Complement of Phytophthora sojae: Structural and Functional Analyses, and the Evolutionary Relationships with Its Oomycete Homologs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horowitz, Brent B; Ospina-Giraldo, Manuel D

    2015-01-01

    Phytophthora sojae is an oomycete pathogen that causes the disease known as root and stem rot in soybean plants, frequently leading to massive economic damage. Additionally, P. sojae is increasingly being utilized as a model for phytopathogenic oomycete research. Despite the economic and scientific importance of P. sojae, the mechanism by which it penetrates the host roots is not yet fully understood. It has been found that oomycetes are not capable of penetrating the cell wall solely through mechanical force, suggesting that alternative factors facilitate breakdown of the host cell wall. Pectin methylesterases have been suggested to be important for Phytophthora pathogenicity, but no data exist on their role in the P. sojae infection process. We have scanned the newly revised version of the annotated P. sojae genome for the presence of putative pectin methylesterases genes and conducted a sequence analysis of all gene models found. We also searched for potential regulatory motifs in the promoter region of the proposed P. sojae models, and investigated the gene expression levels throughout the early course of infection on soybean plants. We found that P. sojae contains a large repertoire of pectin methylesterase-coding genes and that most of these genes display similar motifs in the promoter region, indicating the possibility of a shared regulatory mechanism. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed the evolutionary relatedness of the pectin methylesterase-coding genes within and across Phytophthora spp. In addition, the gene duplication events that led to the emergence of this gene family appear to have occurred prior to many speciation events in the genus Phytophthora. Our results also indicate that the highest levels of expression occurred in the first 24 hours post inoculation, with expression falling after this time. Our study provides evidence that pectin methylesterases may be important for the early action of the P. sojae infection process.

  3. Pooled Enrichment Sequencing Identifies Diversity and Evolutionary Pressures at NLR Resistance Genes within a Wild Tomato Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stam, Remco; Scheikl, Daniela; Tellier, Aurélien

    2016-06-02

    Nod-like receptors (NLRs) are nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeats containing proteins that are important in plant resistance signaling. Many of the known pathogen resistance (R) genes in plants are NLRs and they can recognize pathogen molecules directly or indirectly. As such, divergence and copy number variants at these genes are found to be high between species. Within populations, positive and balancing selection are to be expected if plants coevolve with their pathogens. In order to understand the complexity of R-gene coevolution in wild nonmodel species, it is necessary to identify the full range of NLRs and infer their evolutionary history. Here we investigate and reveal polymorphism occurring at 220 NLR genes within one population of the partially selfing wild tomato species Solanum pennellii. We use a combination of enrichment sequencing and pooling ten individuals, to specifically sequence NLR genes in a resource and cost-effective manner. We focus on the effects which different mapping and single nucleotide polymorphism calling software and settings have on calling polymorphisms in customized pooled samples. Our results are accurately verified using Sanger sequencing of polymorphic gene fragments. Our results indicate that some NLRs, namely 13 out of 220, have maintained polymorphism within our S. pennellii population. These genes show a wide range of πN/πS ratios and differing site frequency spectra. We compare our observed rate of heterozygosity with expectations for this selfing and bottlenecked population. We conclude that our method enables us to pinpoint NLR genes which have experienced natural selection in their habitat. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  4. Pooled Enrichment Sequencing Identifies Diversity and Evolutionary Pressures at NLR Resistance Genes within a Wild Tomato Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stam, Remco; Scheikl, Daniela; Tellier, Aurélien

    2016-01-01

    Nod-like receptors (NLRs) are nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeats containing proteins that are important in plant resistance signaling. Many of the known pathogen resistance (R) genes in plants are NLRs and they can recognize pathogen molecules directly or indirectly. As such, divergence and copy number variants at these genes are found to be high between species. Within populations, positive and balancing selection are to be expected if plants coevolve with their pathogens. In order to understand the complexity of R-gene coevolution in wild nonmodel species, it is necessary to identify the full range of NLRs and infer their evolutionary history. Here we investigate and reveal polymorphism occurring at 220 NLR genes within one population of the partially selfing wild tomato species Solanum pennellii. We use a combination of enrichment sequencing and pooling ten individuals, to specifically sequence NLR genes in a resource and cost-effective manner. We focus on the effects which different mapping and single nucleotide polymorphism calling software and settings have on calling polymorphisms in customized pooled samples. Our results are accurately verified using Sanger sequencing of polymorphic gene fragments. Our results indicate that some NLRs, namely 13 out of 220, have maintained polymorphism within our S. pennellii population. These genes show a wide range of πN/πS ratios and differing site frequency spectra. We compare our observed rate of heterozygosity with expectations for this selfing and bottlenecked population. We conclude that our method enables us to pinpoint NLR genes which have experienced natural selection in their habitat. PMID:27189991

  5. Segmental duplications and evolutionary acquisition of UV damage response in the SPATA31 gene family of primates and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bekpen, Cemalettin; Künzel, Sven; Xie, Chen; Eaaswarkhanth, Muthukrishnan; Lin, Yen-Lung; Gokcumen, Omer; Akdis, Cezmi A; Tautz, Diethard

    2017-03-06

    Segmental duplications are an abundant source for novel gene functions and evolutionary adaptations. This mechanism of generating novelty was very active during the evolution of primates particularly in the human lineage. Here, we characterize the evolution and function of the SPATA31 gene family (former designation FAM75A), which was previously shown to be among the gene families with the strongest signal of positive selection in hominoids. The mouse homologue for this gene family is a single copy gene expressed during spermatogenesis. We show that in primates, the SPATA31 gene duplicated into SPATA31A and SPATA31C types and broadened the expression into many tissues. Each type became further segmentally duplicated in the line towards humans with the largest number of full-length copies found for SPATA31A in humans. Copy number estimates of SPATA31A based on digital PCR show an average of 7.5 with a range of 5-11 copies per diploid genome among human individuals. The primate SPATA31 genes also acquired new protein domains that suggest an involvement in UV response and DNA repair. We generated antibodies and show that the protein is re-localized from the nucleolus to the whole nucleus upon UV-irradiation suggesting a UV damage response. We used CRISPR/Cas mediated mutagenesis to knockout copies of the gene in human primary fibroblast cells. We find that cell lines with reduced functional copies as well as naturally occurring low copy number HFF cells show enhanced sensitivity towards UV-irradiation. The acquisition of new SPATA31 protein functions and its broadening of expression may be related to the evolution of the diurnal life style in primates that required a higher UV tolerance. The increased segmental duplications in hominoids as well as its fast evolution suggest the acquisition of further specific functions particularly in humans.

  6. The Pectin Methylesterase Gene Complement of Phytophthora sojae: Structural and Functional Analyses, and the Evolutionary Relationships with Its Oomycete Homologs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent B Horowitz

    Full Text Available Phytophthora sojae is an oomycete pathogen that causes the disease known as root and stem rot in soybean plants, frequently leading to massive economic damage. Additionally, P. sojae is increasingly being utilized as a model for phytopathogenic oomycete research. Despite the economic and scientific importance of P. sojae, the mechanism by which it penetrates the host roots is not yet fully understood. It has been found that oomycetes are not capable of penetrating the cell wall solely through mechanical force, suggesting that alternative factors facilitate breakdown of the host cell wall. Pectin methylesterases have been suggested to be important for Phytophthora pathogenicity, but no data exist on their role in the P. sojae infection process. We have scanned the newly revised version of the annotated P. sojae genome for the presence of putative pectin methylesterases genes and conducted a sequence analysis of all gene models found. We also searched for potential regulatory motifs in the promoter region of the proposed P. sojae models, and investigated the gene expression levels throughout the early course of infection on soybean plants. We found that P. sojae contains a large repertoire of pectin methylesterase-coding genes and that most of these genes display similar motifs in the promoter region, indicating the possibility of a shared regulatory mechanism. Phylogenetic analyses confirmed the evolutionary relatedness of the pectin methylesterase-coding genes within and across Phytophthora spp. In addition, the gene duplication events that led to the emergence of this gene family appear to have occurred prior to many speciation events in the genus Phytophthora. Our results also indicate that the highest levels of expression occurred in the first 24 hours post inoculation, with expression falling after this time. Our study provides evidence that pectin methylesterases may be important for the early action of the P. sojae infection process.

  7. Similarity-based gene detection: using COGs to find evolutionarily-conserved ORFs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hutchison Clyde A

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Experimental verification of gene products has not kept pace with the rapid growth of microbial sequence information. However, existing annotations of gene locations contain sufficient information to screen for probable errors. Furthermore, comparisons among genomes become more informative as more genomes are examined. We studied all open reading frames (ORFs of at least 30 codons from the genomes of 27 sequenced bacterial strains. We grouped the potential peptide sequences encoded from the ORFs by forming Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs. We used this grouping in order to find homologous relationships that would not be distinguishable from noise when using simple BLAST searches. Although COG analysis was initially developed to group annotated genes, we applied it to the task of grouping anonymous DNA sequences that may encode proteins. Results "Mixed COGs" of ORFs (clusters in which some sequences correspond to annotated genes and some do not are attractive targets when seeking errors of gene predicion. Examination of mixed COGs reveals some situations in which genes appear to have been missed in current annotations and a smaller number of regions that appear to have been annotated as gene loci erroneously. This technique can also be used to detect potential pseudogenes or sequencing errors. Our method uses an adjustable parameter for degree of conservation among the studied genomes (stringency. We detail results for one level of stringency at which we found 83 potential genes which had not previously been identified, 60 potential pseudogenes, and 7 sequences with existing gene annotations that are probably incorrect. Conclusion Systematic study of sequence conservation offers a way to improve existing annotations by identifying potentially homologous regions where the annotation of the presence or absence of a gene is inconsistent among genomes.

  8. Similarity-based gene detection: using COGs to find evolutionarily-conserved ORFs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Bradford C; Hutchison, Clyde A

    2006-01-19

    Experimental verification of gene products has not kept pace with the rapid growth of microbial sequence information. However, existing annotations of gene locations contain sufficient information to screen for probable errors. Furthermore, comparisons among genomes become more informative as more genomes are examined. We studied all open reading frames (ORFs) of at least 30 codons from the genomes of 27 sequenced bacterial strains. We grouped the potential peptide sequences encoded from the ORFs by forming Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs). We used this grouping in order to find homologous relationships that would not be distinguishable from noise when using simple BLAST searches. Although COG analysis was initially developed to group annotated genes, we applied it to the task of grouping anonymous DNA sequences that may encode proteins. "Mixed COGs" of ORFs (clusters in which some sequences correspond to annotated genes and some do not) are attractive targets when seeking errors of gene prediction. Examination of mixed COGs reveals some situations in which genes appear to have been missed in current annotations and a smaller number of regions that appear to have been annotated as gene loci erroneously. This technique can also be used to detect potential pseudogenes or sequencing errors. Our method uses an adjustable parameter for degree of conservation among the studied genomes (stringency). We detail results for one level of stringency at which we found 83 potential genes which had not previously been identified, 60 potential pseudogenes, and 7 sequences with existing gene annotations that are probably incorrect. Systematic study of sequence conservation offers a way to improve existing annotations by identifying potentially homologous regions where the annotation of the presence or absence of a gene is inconsistent among genomes.

  9. Diversity Surveys and Evolutionary Relationships of aoxB Genes in Aerobic Arsenite-Oxidizing Bacteria▿ †

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quéméneur, Marianne; Heinrich-Salmeron, Audrey; Muller, Daniel; Lièvremont, Didier; Jauzein, Michel; Bertin, Philippe N.; Garrido, Francis; Joulian, Catherine

    2008-01-01

    A new primer set was designed to specifically amplify ca. 1,100 bp of aoxB genes encoding the As(III) oxidase catalytic subunit from taxonomically diverse aerobic As(III)-oxidizing bacteria. Comparative analysis of AoxB protein sequences showed variable conservation levels and highlighted the conservation of essential amino acids and structural motifs. AoxB phylogeny of pure strains showed well-discriminated taxonomic groups and was similar to 16S rRNA phylogeny. Alphaproteobacteria-, Betaproteobacteria-, and Gammaproteobacteria-related sequences were retrieved from environmental surveys, demonstrating their prevalence in mesophilic As-contaminated soils. Our study underlines the usefulness of the aoxB gene as a functional marker of aerobic As(III) oxidizers. PMID:18502920

  10. The evolutionary process of mammalian sex determination genes focusing on marsupial SRYs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsura, Yukako; Kondo, Hiroko X; Ryan, Janelle; Harley, Vincent; Satta, Yoko

    2018-01-16

    Maleness in mammals is genetically determined by the Y chromosome. On the Y chromosome SRY is known as the mammalian male-determining gene. Both placental mammals (Eutheria) and marsupial mammals (Metatheria) have SRY genes. However, only eutherian SRY genes have been empirically examined by functional analyses, and the involvement of marsupial SRY in male gonad development remains speculative. In order to demonstrate that the marsupial SRY gene is similar to the eutherian SRY gene in function, we first examined the sequence differences between marsupial and eutherian SRY genes. Then, using a parsimony method, we identify 7 marsupial-specific ancestral substitutions, 13 eutherian-specific ancestral substitutions, and 4 substitutions that occurred at the stem lineage of therian SRY genes. A literature search and molecular dynamics computational simulations support that the lineage-specific ancestral substitutions might be involved with the functional differentiation between marsupial and eutherian SRY genes. To address the function of the marsupial SRY gene in male determination, we performed luciferase assays on the testis enhancer of Sox9 core (TESCO) using the marsupial SRY. The functional assay shows that marsupial SRY gene can weakly up-regulate the luciferase expression via TESCO. Despite the sequence differences between the marsupial and eutherian SRY genes, our functional assay indicates that the marsupial SRY gene regulates SOX9 as a transcription factor in a similar way to the eutherian SRY gene. Our results suggest that SRY genes obtained the function of male determination in the common ancestor of Theria (placental mammals and marsupials). This suggests that the marsupial SRY gene has a function in male determination, but additional experiments are needed to be conclusive.

  11. Clusters of conserved beta cell marker genes for assessment of beta cell phenotype

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martens, Geert A; Jiang, Lei; Hellemans, Karine H

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study was to establish a gene expression blueprint of pancreatic beta cells conserved from rodents to humans and to evaluate its applicability to assess shifts in the beta cell differentiated state. Genome-wide mRNA expression profiles of isolated beta cells were compared to those...... of a large panel of other tissue and cell types, and transcripts with beta cell-abundant and -selective expression were identified. Iteration of this analysis in mouse, rat and human tissues generated a panel of conserved beta cell biomarkers. This panel was then used to compare isolated versus laser capture...

  12. Conservation, Divergence, and Genome-Wide Distribution of PAL and POX A Gene Families in Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawal, H C; Singh, N K; Sharma, T R

    2013-01-01

    Genome-wide identification and phylogenetic and syntenic comparison were performed for the genes responsible for phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and peroxidase A (POX A) enzymes in nine plant species representing very diverse groups like legumes (Glycine max and Medicago truncatula), fruits (Vitis vinifera), cereals (Sorghum bicolor, Zea mays, and Oryza sativa), trees (Populus trichocarpa), and model dicot (Arabidopsis thaliana) and monocot (Brachypodium distachyon) species. A total of 87 and 1045 genes in PAL and POX A gene families, respectively, have been identified in these species. The phylogenetic and syntenic comparison along with motif distributions shows a high degree of conservation of PAL genes, suggesting that these genes may predate monocot/eudicot divergence. The POX A family genes, present in clusters at the subtelomeric regions of chromosomes, might be evolving and expanding with higher rate than the PAL gene family. Our analysis showed that during the expansion of POX A gene family, many groups and subgroups have evolved, resulting in a high level of functional divergence among monocots and dicots. These results will act as a first step toward the understanding of monocot/eudicot evolution and functional characterization of these gene families in the future.

  13. Conservation, Divergence, and Genome-Wide Distribution of PAL and POX A Gene Families in Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. C. Rawal

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Genome-wide identification and phylogenetic and syntenic comparison were performed for the genes responsible for phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL and peroxidase A (POX A enzymes in nine plant species representing very diverse groups like legumes (Glycine max and Medicago truncatula, fruits (Vitis vinifera, cereals (Sorghum bicolor, Zea mays, and Oryza sativa, trees (Populus trichocarpa, and model dicot (Arabidopsis thaliana and monocot (Brachypodium distachyon species. A total of 87 and 1045 genes in PAL and POX A gene families, respectively, have been identified in these species. The phylogenetic and syntenic comparison along with motif distributions shows a high degree of conservation of PAL genes, suggesting that these genes may predate monocot/eudicot divergence. The POX A family genes, present in clusters at the subtelomeric regions of chromosomes, might be evolving and expanding with higher rate than the PAL gene family. Our analysis showed that during the expansion of POX A gene family, many groups and subgroups have evolved, resulting in a high level of functional divergence among monocots and dicots. These results will act as a first step toward the understanding of monocot/eudicot evolution and functional characterization of these gene families in the future.

  14. What is a gene? From molecules to metaphysics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolston, Holmes

    2006-01-01

    Mendelian genes have become molecular genes, with increasing puzzlement about locating them, due to increasing complexity in genomic webworks. Genome science finds modular and conserved units of inheritance, identified as homologous genes. Such genes are cybernetic, transmitting information over generations; this too requires multi-leveled analysis, from DNA transcription to development and reproduction of the whole organism. Genes are conserved; genes are also dynamic and creative in evolutionary speciation-most remarkably producing humans capable of wondering about what genes are.

  15. A pipeline to determine RT-QPCR control genes for evolutionary studies: application to primate gene expression across multiple tissues.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Fedrigo

    Full Text Available Because many species-specific phenotypic differences are assumed to be caused by differential regulation of gene expression, many recent investigations have focused on measuring transcript abundance. Despite the availability of high-throughput platforms, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-QPCR is often the method of choice because of its low cost and wider dynamic range. However, the accuracy of this technique heavily relies on the use of multiple valid control genes for normalization. We created a pipeline for choosing genes potentially useful as RT-QPCR control genes for measuring expression between human and chimpanzee samples across multiple tissues, using published microarrays and a measure of tissue-specificity. We identified 13 genes from the pipeline and from commonly used control genes: ACTB, USP49, ARGHGEF2, GSK3A, TBP, SDHA, EIF2B2, GPDH, YWHAZ, HPTR1, RPL13A, HMBS, and EEF2. We then tested these candidate genes and validated their expression stability across species. We established the rank order of the most preferable set of genes for single and combined tissues. Our results suggest that for at least three tissues (cerebral cortex, liver, and skeletal muscle, EIF2B2, EEF2, HMBS, and SDHA are useful genes for normalizing human and chimpanzee expression using RT-QPCR. Interestingly, other commonly used control genes, including TBP, GAPDH, and, especially ACTB do not perform as well. This pipeline could be easily adapted to other species for which expression data exist, providing taxonomically appropriate control genes for comparisons of gene expression among species.

  16. The evolutionary dynamics of variant antigen genes in Babesia reveal a history of genomic innovation underlying host-parasite interaction

    KAUST Repository

    Jackson, Andrew P.

    2014-05-05

    Babesia spp. are tick-borne, intraerythrocytic hemoparasites that use antigenic variation to resist host immunity, through sequential modification of the parasite-derived variant erythrocyte surface antigen (VESA) expressed on the infected red blood cell surface. We identified the genomic processes driving antigenic diversity in genes encoding VESA (ves1) through comparative analysis within and between three Babesia species, (B. bigemina, B. divergens and B. bovis). Ves1 structure diverges rapidly after speciation, notably through the evolution of shortened forms (ves2) from 5? ends of canonical ves1 genes. Phylogenetic analyses show that ves1 genes are transposed between loci routinely, whereas ves2 genes are not. Similarly, analysis of sequence mosaicism shows that recombination drives variation in ves1 sequences, but less so for ves2, indicating the adoption of different mechanisms for variation of the two families. Proteomic analysis of the B. bigemina PR isolate shows that two dominant VESA1 proteins are expressed in the population, whereas numerous VESA2 proteins are co-expressed, consistent with differential transcriptional regulation of each family. Hence, VESA2 proteins are abundant and previously unrecognized elements of Babesia biology, with evolutionary dynamics consistently different to those of VESA1, suggesting that their functions are distinct. 2014 The Author(s) 2014.

  17. The evolutionary dynamics of variant antigen genes in Babesia reveal a history of genomic innovation underlying host-parasite interaction

    KAUST Repository

    Jackson, Andrew P.; Otto, Thomas D.; Darby, Alistair; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Xia, Dong; Echaide, Ignacio Eduardo; Farber, Marisa; Gahlot, Sunayna; Gamble, John; Gupta, Dinesh; Gupta, Yask; Jackson, Louise; Malandrin, Laurence; Malas, Tareq B.; Moussa, Ehab; Nair, Mridul; Reid, Adam J.; Sanders, Mandy; Sharma, Jyotsna; Tracey, Alan; Quail, Mike A.; Weir, William; Wastling, Jonathan M.; Hall, Neil; Willadsen, Peter; Lingelbach, Klaus; Shiels, Brian; Tait, Andy; Berriman, Matt; Allred, David R.; Pain, Arnab

    2014-01-01

    Babesia spp. are tick-borne, intraerythrocytic hemoparasites that use antigenic variation to resist host immunity, through sequential modification of the parasite-derived variant erythrocyte surface antigen (VESA) expressed on the infected red blood cell surface. We identified the genomic processes driving antigenic diversity in genes encoding VESA (ves1) through comparative analysis within and between three Babesia species, (B. bigemina, B. divergens and B. bovis). Ves1 structure diverges rapidly after speciation, notably through the evolution of shortened forms (ves2) from 5? ends of canonical ves1 genes. Phylogenetic analyses show that ves1 genes are transposed between loci routinely, whereas ves2 genes are not. Similarly, analysis of sequence mosaicism shows that recombination drives variation in ves1 sequences, but less so for ves2, indicating the adoption of different mechanisms for variation of the two families. Proteomic analysis of the B. bigemina PR isolate shows that two dominant VESA1 proteins are expressed in the population, whereas numerous VESA2 proteins are co-expressed, consistent with differential transcriptional regulation of each family. Hence, VESA2 proteins are abundant and previously unrecognized elements of Babesia biology, with evolutionary dynamics consistently different to those of VESA1, suggesting that their functions are distinct. 2014 The Author(s) 2014.

  18. The evolutionary dynamics of variant antigen genes in Babesia reveal a history of genomic innovation underlying host–parasite interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Andrew P.; Otto, Thomas D.; Darby, Alistair; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Xia, Dong; Echaide, Ignacio Eduardo; Farber, Marisa; Gahlot, Sunayna; Gamble, John; Gupta, Dinesh; Gupta, Yask; Jackson, Louise; Malandrin, Laurence; Malas, Tareq B.; Moussa, Ehab; Nair, Mridul; Reid, Adam J.; Sanders, Mandy; Sharma, Jyotsna; Tracey, Alan; Quail, Mike A.; Weir, William; Wastling, Jonathan M.; Hall, Neil; Willadsen, Peter; Lingelbach, Klaus; Shiels, Brian; Tait, Andy; Berriman, Matt; Allred, David R.; Pain, Arnab

    2014-01-01

    Babesia spp. are tick-borne, intraerythrocytic hemoparasites that use antigenic variation to resist host immunity, through sequential modification of the parasite-derived variant erythrocyte surface antigen (VESA) expressed on the infected red blood cell surface. We identified the genomic processes driving antigenic diversity in genes encoding VESA (ves1) through comparative analysis within and between three Babesia species, (B. bigemina, B. divergens and B. bovis). Ves1 structure diverges rapidly after speciation, notably through the evolution of shortened forms (ves2) from 5′ ends of canonical ves1 genes. Phylogenetic analyses show that ves1 genes are transposed between loci routinely, whereas ves2 genes are not. Similarly, analysis of sequence mosaicism shows that recombination drives variation in ves1 sequences, but less so for ves2, indicating the adoption of different mechanisms for variation of the two families. Proteomic analysis of the B. bigemina PR isolate shows that two dominant VESA1 proteins are expressed in the population, whereas numerous VESA2 proteins are co-expressed, consistent with differential transcriptional regulation of each family. Hence, VESA2 proteins are abundant and previously unrecognized elements of Babesia biology, with evolutionary dynamics consistently different to those of VESA1, suggesting that their functions are distinct. PMID:24799432

  19. The evolutionary dynamics of variant antigen genes in Babesia reveal a history of genomic innovation underlying host-parasite interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Andrew P; Otto, Thomas D; Darby, Alistair; Ramaprasad, Abhinay; Xia, Dong; Echaide, Ignacio Eduardo; Farber, Marisa; Gahlot, Sunayna; Gamble, John; Gupta, Dinesh; Gupta, Yask; Jackson, Louise; Malandrin, Laurence; Malas, Tareq B; Moussa, Ehab; Nair, Mridul; Reid, Adam J; Sanders, Mandy; Sharma, Jyotsna; Tracey, Alan; Quail, Mike A; Weir, William; Wastling, Jonathan M; Hall, Neil; Willadsen, Peter; Lingelbach, Klaus; Shiels, Brian; Tait, Andy; Berriman, Matt; Allred, David R; Pain, Arnab

    2014-06-01

    Babesia spp. are tick-borne, intraerythrocytic hemoparasites that use antigenic variation to resist host immunity, through sequential modification of the parasite-derived variant erythrocyte surface antigen (VESA) expressed on the infected red blood cell surface. We identified the genomic processes driving antigenic diversity in genes encoding VESA (ves1) through comparative analysis within and between three Babesia species, (B. bigemina, B. divergens and B. bovis). Ves1 structure diverges rapidly after speciation, notably through the evolution of shortened forms (ves2) from 5' ends of canonical ves1 genes. Phylogenetic analyses show that ves1 genes are transposed between loci routinely, whereas ves2 genes are not. Similarly, analysis of sequence mosaicism shows that recombination drives variation in ves1 sequences, but less so for ves2, indicating the adoption of different mechanisms for variation of the two families. Proteomic analysis of the B. bigemina PR isolate shows that two dominant VESA1 proteins are expressed in the population, whereas numerous VESA2 proteins are co-expressed, consistent with differential transcriptional regulation of each family. Hence, VESA2 proteins are abundant and previously unrecognized elements of Babesia biology, with evolutionary dynamics consistently different to those of VESA1, suggesting that their functions are distinct. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  20. Clusters of conserved beta cell marker genes for assessment of beta cell phenotype

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martens, Geert A; Jiang, Lei; Hellemans, Karine H

    2011-01-01

    The aim of this study was to establish a gene expression blueprint of pancreatic beta cells conserved from rodents to humans and to evaluate its applicability to assess shifts in the beta cell differentiated state. Genome-wide mRNA expression profiles of isolated beta cells were compared to those...... of a large panel of other tissue and cell types, and transcripts with beta cell-abundant and -selective expression were identified. Iteration of this analysis in mouse, rat and human tissues generated a panel of conserved beta cell biomarkers. This panel was then used to compare isolated versus laser capture...... microdissected beta cells, monitor adaptations of the beta cell phenotype to fasting, and retrieve possible conserved transcriptional regulators....

  1. Comparative Annotation of Viral Genomes with Non-Conserved Gene Structure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Groot, Saskia; Mailund, Thomas; Hein, Jotun

    2007-01-01

    Motivation: Detecting genes in viral genomes is a complex task. Due to the biological necessity of them being constrained in length, RNA viruses in particular tend to code in overlapping reading frames. Since one amino acid is encoded by a triplet of nucleic acids, up to three genes may be coded...... allows for coding in unidirectional nested and overlapping reading frames, to annotate two homologous aligned viral genomes. Our method does not insist on conserved gene structure between the two sequences, thus making it applicable for the pairwise comparison of more distantly related sequences. Results...... and HIV2, as well as of two different Hepatitis Viruses, attaining results of ~87% sensitivity and ~98.5% specificity. We subsequently incorporate prior knowledge by "knowing" the gene structure of one sequence and annotating the other conditional on it. Boosting accuracy close to perfect we demonstrate...

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-22

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

  4. Genome-wide evolutionary characterization and expression analyses of WRKY family genes in Brachypodium distachyon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Feng; Zhu, Hong; Li, Peng; Jiang, Min; Mao, Wenqing; Ong, Chermaine; Chu, Zhaoqing

    2014-06-01

    Members of plant WRKY gene family are ancient transcription factors that function in plant growth and development and respond to biotic and abiotic stresses. In our present study, we have investigated WRKY family genes in Brachypodium distachyon, a new model plant of family Poaceae. We identified a total of 86 WRKY genes from B. distachyon and explored their chromosomal distribution and evolution, domain alignment, promoter cis-elements, and expression profiles. Combining the analysis of phylogenetic tree of BdWRKY genes and the result of expression profiling, results showed that most of clustered gene pairs had higher similarities in the WRKY domain, suggesting that they might be functionally redundant. Neighbour-joining analysis of 301 WRKY domains from Oryza sativa, Arabidopsis thaliana, and B. distachyon suggested that BdWRKY domains are evolutionarily more closely related to O. sativa WRKY domains than those of A. thaliana. Moreover, tissue-specific expression profile of BdWRKY genes and their responses to phytohormones and several biotic or abiotic stresses were analysed by quantitative real-time PCR. The results showed that the expression of BdWRKY genes was rapidly regulated by stresses and phytohormones, and there was a strong correlation between promoter cis-elements and the phytohormones-induced BdWRKY gene expression. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

  5. An evolutionary-game model of tumour-cell interactions: possible relevance to gene therapy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bach, Lars Arve; Bentzen, Søren; Alsner, Jan

    2001-01-01

    interpretations of gene therapy. Two prototypical strategies for gene therapy are suggested, both of them leading to extinction of the malignant phenotype: one approach would be to reduce the relative proportion of the cooperating malignant cell type below a certain critical value. Another approach would...

  6. Comparative ecological transcriptomics and the contribution of gene expression to the evolutionary potential of a threatened fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauer, Chris J; Unmack, Peter J; Beheregaray, Luciano B

    2017-12-01

    Understanding whether small populations with low genetic diversity can respond to rapid environmental change via phenotypic plasticity is an outstanding research question in biology. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) has recently provided the opportunity to examine variation in gene expression, a surrogate for phenotypic variation, in nonmodel species. We used a comparative RNA-seq approach to assess expression variation within and among adaptively divergent populations of a threatened freshwater fish, Nannoperca australis, found across a steep hydroclimatic gradient in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. These populations evolved under contrasting selective environments (e.g., dry/hot lowland; wet/cold upland) and represent opposite ends of the species' spectrum of genetic diversity and population size. We tested the hypothesis that environmental variation among isolated populations has driven the evolution of divergent expression at ecologically important genes using differential expression (DE) analysis and an anova-based comparative phylogenetic expression variance and evolution model framework based on 27,425 de novo assembled transcripts. Additionally, we tested whether gene expression variance within populations was correlated with levels of standing genetic diversity. We identified 290 DE candidate transcripts, 33 transcripts with evidence for high expression plasticity, and 50 candidates for divergent selection on gene expression after accounting for phylogenetic structure. Variance in gene expression appeared unrelated to levels of genetic diversity. Functional annotation of the candidate transcripts revealed that variation in water quality is an important factor influencing expression variation for N. australis. Our findings suggest that gene expression variation can contribute to the evolutionary potential of small populations. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. CORECLUST: identification of the conserved CRM grammar together with prediction of gene regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikulova, Anna A; Favorov, Alexander V; Sutormin, Roman A; Makeev, Vsevolod J; Mironov, Andrey A

    2012-07-01

    Identification of transcriptional regulatory regions and tracing their internal organization are important for understanding the eukaryotic cell machinery. Cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) of higher eukaryotes are believed to possess a regulatory 'grammar', or preferred arrangement of binding sites, that is crucial for proper regulation and thus tends to be evolutionarily conserved. Here, we present a method CORECLUST (COnservative REgulatory CLUster STructure) that predicts CRMs based on a set of positional weight matrices. Given regulatory regions of orthologous and/or co-regulated genes, CORECLUST constructs a CRM model by revealing the conserved rules that describe the relative location of binding sites. The constructed model may be consequently used for the genome-wide prediction of similar CRMs, and thus detection of co-regulated genes, and for the investigation of the regulatory grammar of the system. Compared with related methods, CORECLUST shows better performance at identification of CRMs conferring muscle-specific gene expression in vertebrates and early-developmental CRMs in Drosophila.

  8. Evolutionary Co-Option of Floral Meristem Identity Genes for Patterning of the Flower-Like Asteraceae Inflorescence1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broholm, Suvi K.; Tähtiharju, Sari

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary success of Asteraceae, the largest family of flowering plants, has been attributed to the unique inflorescence architecture of the family, which superficially resembles an individual flower. Here, we show that Asteraceae inflorescences (flower heads, or capitula) resemble solitary flowers not only morphologically but also at the molecular level. By conducting functional analyses for orthologs of the flower meristem identity genes LEAFY (LFY) and UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS (UFO) in Gerbera hybrida, we show that GhUFO is the master regulator of flower meristem identity, while GhLFY has evolved a novel, homeotic function during the evolution of head-like inflorescences. Resembling LFY expression in a single flower meristem, uniform expression of GhLFY in the inflorescence meristem defines the capitulum as a determinate structure that can assume floral fate upon ectopic GhUFO expression. We also show that GhLFY uniquely regulates the ontogeny of outer, expanded ray flowers but not inner, compact disc flowers, indicating that the distinction of different flower types in Asteraceae is connected with their independent evolutionary origins from separate branching systems. PMID:27382139

  9. Evolutionary Co-Option of Floral Meristem Identity Genes for Patterning of the Flower-Like Asteraceae Inflorescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yafei; Zhang, Teng; Broholm, Suvi K; Tähtiharju, Sari; Mouhu, Katriina; Albert, Victor A; Teeri, Teemu H; Elomaa, Paula

    2016-09-01

    The evolutionary success of Asteraceae, the largest family of flowering plants, has been attributed to the unique inflorescence architecture of the family, which superficially resembles an individual flower. Here, we show that Asteraceae inflorescences (flower heads, or capitula) resemble solitary flowers not only morphologically but also at the molecular level. By conducting functional analyses for orthologs of the flower meristem identity genes LEAFY (LFY) and UNUSUAL FLORAL ORGANS (UFO) in Gerbera hybrida, we show that GhUFO is the master regulator of flower meristem identity, while GhLFY has evolved a novel, homeotic function during the evolution of head-like inflorescences. Resembling LFY expression in a single flower meristem, uniform expression of GhLFY in the inflorescence meristem defines the capitulum as a determinate structure that can assume floral fate upon ectopic GhUFO expression. We also show that GhLFY uniquely regulates the ontogeny of outer, expanded ray flowers but not inner, compact disc flowers, indicating that the distinction of different flower types in Asteraceae is connected with their independent evolutionary origins from separate branching systems. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  10. Exploring climate niches of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) haplotypes in the western United States: Implications for evolutionary history and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) occupies montane environments throughout western North America, where it is both an ecologically and economically important tree species. A recent study using mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated substantial genetic variation among ponderosa pine populations in the western U.S., identifying 10 haplotypes with unique evolutionary lineages that generally correspond spatially with distributions of the Pacific (P. p. var. ponderosa) and Rocky Mountain (P. p. var. scopulorum) varieties. To elucidate the role of climate in shaping the phylogeographic history of ponderosa pine, we used nonparametric multiplicative regression to develop predictive climate niche models for two varieties and 10 haplotypes and to hindcast potential distribution of the varieties during the last glacial maximum (LGM), ~22,000 yr BP. Our climate niche models performed well for the varieties, but haplotype models were constrained in some cases by small datasets and unmeasured microclimate influences. The models suggest strong relationships between genetic lineages and climate. Particularly evident was the role of seasonal precipitation balance in most models, with winter- and summer-dominated precipitation regimes strongly associated with P. p. vars. ponderosa and scopulorum, respectively. Indeed, where present-day climate niches overlap between the varieties, introgression of two haplotypes also occurs along a steep clinal divide in western Montana. Reconstructed climate niches for the LGM suggest potentially suitable climate existed for the Pacific variety in the California Floristic province, the Great Basin, and Arizona highlands, while suitable climate for the Rocky Mountain variety may have existed across the southwestern interior highlands. These findings underscore potentially unique phylogeographic origins of modern ponderosa pine evolutionary lineages, including potential adaptations to Pleistocene climates associated with

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) occupies montane environments throughout western North America, where it is both an ecologically and economically important tree species. A recent study using mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated substantial genetic variation among ponderosa pine populations in the western U.S., identifying 10 haplotypes with unique evolutionary lineages that generally correspond spatially with distributions of the Pacific (P. p. var. ponderosa) and Rocky Mountain (P. p. var. scopulorum) varieties. To elucidate the role of climate in shaping the phylogeographic history of ponderosa pine, we used nonparametric multiplicative regression to develop predictive climate niche models for two varieties and 10 haplotypes and to hindcast potential distribution of the varieties during the last glacial maximum (LGM), ~22,000 yr BP. Our climate niche models performed well for the varieties, but haplotype models were constrained in some cases by small datasets and unmeasured microclimate influences. The models suggest strong relationships between genetic lineages and climate. Particularly evident was the role of seasonal precipitation balance in most models, with winter- and summer-dominated precipitation regimes strongly associated with P. p. vars. ponderosa and scopulorum, respectively. Indeed, where present-day climate niches overlap between the varieties, introgression of two haplotypes also occurs along a steep clinal divide in western Montana. Reconstructed climate niches for the LGM suggest potentially suitable climate existed for the Pacific variety in the California Floristic province, the Great Basin, and Arizona highlands, while suitable climate for the Rocky Mountain variety may have existed across the southwestern interior highlands. These findings underscore potentially unique phylogeographic origins of modern ponderosa pine evolutionary lineages, including potential adaptations to Pleistocene climates associated with discrete

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas J Shinneman

    Full Text Available Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson occupies montane environments throughout western North America, where it is both an ecologically and economically important tree species. A recent study using mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated substantial genetic variation among ponderosa pine populations in the western U.S., identifying 10 haplotypes with unique evolutionary lineages that generally correspond spatially with distributions of the Pacific (P. p. var. ponderosa and Rocky Mountain (P. p. var. scopulorum varieties. To elucidate the role of climate in shaping the phylogeographic history of ponderosa pine, we used nonparametric multiplicative regression to develop predictive climate niche models for two varieties and 10 haplotypes and to hindcast potential distribution of the varieties during the last glacial maximum (LGM, ~22,000 yr BP. Our climate niche models performed well for the varieties, but haplotype models were constrained in some cases by small datasets and unmeasured microclimate influences. The models suggest strong relationships between genetic lineages and climate. Particularly evident was the role of seasonal precipitation balance in most models, with winter- and summer-dominated precipitation regimes strongly associated with P. p. vars. ponderosa and scopulorum, respectively. Indeed, where present-day climate niches overlap between the varieties, introgression of two haplotypes also occurs along a steep clinal divide in western Montana. Reconstructed climate niches for the LGM suggest potentially suitable climate existed for the Pacific variety in the California Floristic province, the Great Basin, and Arizona highlands, while suitable climate for the Rocky Mountain variety may have existed across the southwestern interior highlands. These findings underscore potentially unique phylogeographic origins of modern ponderosa pine evolutionary lineages, including potential adaptations to Pleistocene climates associated

  13. High incidence of interchromosomal transpositions in the evolutionary history of a subset of or genes in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conceição, Inês C; Aguadé, Montserrat

    2008-04-01

    In insects, the odorant receptor (Or) multigene family is an intermediate-sized family with genes present in all chromosomes, indicating that duplication followed by interchromosomal transposition played an important role in the early stages of the family evolution. Here, we have explored the occurrence of interchromosomal transpositions in more recent stages through the comparative analysis of a subset of Or genes in Drosophila, where the gene content of chromosomal arms is highly conserved. The studied subset consisted of 11 Or genes located on the left arm of chromosome 3 (Muller's D element) in D. melanogaster. Our study focused on the number and chromosomal arm location of these members of the family across the 12 Drosophila species with complete genome sequences. In contrast to previous results from in situ hybridization comparative mapping that were mainly based on single-copy genes, our study, based on members of a multigene family of moderate size, revealed repeated interchromosomal transposition events and a complex history of some of the studied genes.

  14. Folding behavior of four silks of giant honey bee reflects the evolutionary conservation of aculeate silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maitip, Jakkrawut; Trueman, Holly E; Kaehler, Benjamin D; Huttley, Gavin A; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Sutherland, Tara D

    2015-04-01

    Multiple gene duplication events in the precursor of the Aculeata (bees, ants, hornets) gave rise to four silk genes. Whilst these homologs encode proteins with similar amino acid composition and coiled coil structure, the retention of all four homologs implies they each are important. In this study we identified, produced and characterized the four silk proteins from Apis dorsata, the giant Asian honeybee. The proteins were readily purified, allowing us to investigate the folding behavior of solutions of individual proteins in comparison to mixtures of all four proteins at concentrations where they assemble into their native coiled coil structure. In contrast to solutions of any one protein type, solutions of a mixture of the four proteins formed coiled coils that were stable against dilution and detergent denaturation. The results are consistent with the formation of a heteromeric coiled coil protein complex. The mechanism of silk protein coiled coil formation and evolution is discussed in light of these results. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Tracing the Evolutionary History of the CAP Superfamily of Proteins Using Amino Acid Sequence Homology and Conservation of Splice Sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Anup; Chandler, Douglas E

    2017-10-01

    Proteins of the CAP superfamily play numerous roles in reproduction, innate immune responses, cancer biology, and venom toxicology. Here we document the breadth of the CAP (Cysteine-RIch Secretory Protein (CRISP), Antigen 5, and Pathogenesis-Related) protein superfamily and trace the major events in its evolution using amino acid sequence homology and the positions of exon/intron borders within their genes. Seldom acknowledged in the literature, we find that many of the CAP subfamilies present in mammals, where they were originally characterized, have distinct homologues in the invertebrate phyla. Early eukaryotic CAP genes contained only one exon inherited from prokaryotic predecessors and as evolution progressed an increasing number of introns were inserted, reaching 2-5 in the invertebrate world and 5-15 in the vertebrate world. Focusing on the CRISP subfamily, we propose that these proteins evolved in three major steps: (1) origination of the CAP/PR/SCP domain in bacteria, (2) addition of a small Hinge domain to produce the two-domain SCP-like proteins found in roundworms and anthropoids, and (3) addition of an Ion Channel Regulatory domain, borrowed from invertebrate peptide toxins, to produce full length, three-domain CRISP proteins, first seen in insects and later to diversify into multiple subtypes in the vertebrate world.

  16. Application of DETECTER, an evolutionary genomic tool to analyze genetic variation, to the cystic fibrosis gene family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    De Kee Danny W

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The medical community requires computational tools that distinguish missense genetic differences having phenotypic impact within the vast number of sense mutations that do not. Tools that do this will become increasingly important for those seeking to use human genome sequence data to predict disease, make prognoses, and customize therapy to individual patients. Results An approach, termed DETECTER, is proposed to identify sites in a protein sequence where amino acid replacements are likely to have a significant effect on phenotype, including causing genetic disease. This approach uses a model-dependent tool to estimate the normalized replacement rate at individual sites in a protein sequence, based on a history of those sites extracted from an evolutionary analysis of the corresponding protein family. This tool identifies sites that have higher-than-average, average, or lower-than-average rates of change in the lineage leading to the sequence in the population of interest. The rates are then combined with sequence data to determine the likelihoods that particular amino acids were present at individual sites in the evolutionary history of the gene family. These likelihoods are used to predict whether any specific amino acid replacements, if introduced at the site in a modern human population, would have a significant impact on fitness. The DETECTER tool is used to analyze the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR gene family. Conclusion In this system, DETECTER retrodicts amino acid replacements associated with the cystic fibrosis disease with greater accuracy than alternative approaches. While this result validates this approach for this particular family of proteins only, the approach may be applicable to the analysis of polymorphisms generally, including SNPs in a human population.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

    The extracellular concentration of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, GABA and glycine is tightly controlled by plasma membrane transporters belonging to the SLC6 gene family. A very large number of putative transport proteins with a remarkable homology to the SLC6...... proximity between TM 7 and 8 in the tertiary structure of TnaT as previously suggested for the mammalian counterparts. Furthermore, the inhibition of uptake upon cross-linking the two cysteines provides indirect support for a conserved conformational role of these transmembrane domains in the transport...

  18. An Evolutionary Genomic Approach to Identify Genes Involved in Human Birth Timing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orabona, Guilherme; Morgan, Thomas; Haataja, Ritva; Hallman, Mikko; Puttonen, Hilkka; Menon, Ramkumar; Kuczynski, Edward; Norwitz, Errol; Snegovskikh, Victoria; Palotie, Aarno; Fellman, Vineta; DeFranco, Emily A.; Chaudhari, Bimal P.; McGregor, Tracy L.; McElroy, Jude J.; Oetjens, Matthew T.; Teramo, Kari; Borecki, Ingrid; Fay, Justin; Muglia, Louis

    2011-01-01

    Coordination of fetal maturation with birth timing is essential for mammalian reproduction. In humans, preterm birth is a disorder of profound global health significance. The signals initiating parturition in humans have remained elusive, due to divergence in physiological mechanisms between humans and model organisms typically studied. Because of relatively large human head size and narrow birth canal cross-sectional area compared to other primates, we hypothesized that genes involved in parturition would display accelerated evolution along the human and/or higher primate phylogenetic lineages to decrease the length of gestation and promote delivery of a smaller fetus that transits the birth canal more readily. Further, we tested whether current variation in such accelerated genes contributes to preterm birth risk. Evidence from allometric scaling of gestational age suggests human gestation has been shortened relative to other primates. Consistent with our hypothesis, many genes involved in reproduction show human acceleration in their coding or adjacent noncoding regions. We screened >8,400 SNPs in 150 human accelerated genes in 165 Finnish preterm and 163 control mothers for association with preterm birth. In this cohort, the most significant association was in FSHR, and 8 of the 10 most significant SNPs were in this gene. Further evidence for association of a linkage disequilibrium block of SNPs in FSHR, rs11686474, rs11680730, rs12473870, and rs1247381 was found in African Americans. By considering human acceleration, we identified a novel gene that may be associated with preterm birth, FSHR. We anticipate other human accelerated genes will similarly be associated with preterm birth risk and elucidate essential pathways for human parturition. PMID:21533219

  19. Molecular genetic and molecular evolutionary studies on the bacteriochlorophyll synthesis genes of Rhodobacter capsulatus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burke-Agueero, D.H.

    1992-08-01

    Rhodobacter capsulatus, purple bacterium capable of either aerobic or photosynthetic growth, has proven to be very useful in genetic studies of photosynthesis. Forty-four genes clustered together within a 46 kilobase region are required to establish photosynthetic ability in R. capsulatus. Approximately twenty of these genes are involved in bacteriochlorophyll synthesis of which eight bch'' genes are the subject of this thesis. Six of these genes were found to code for the two ring reductases. The first converts protochlorophyllide (PChlide) into a chlorin, the immediate precursor to chlorophyll a, and then into a bacteriochlorin. Each reductase is shown to be made up of three subunits. PChlide reductase is coded by the genes bchN, bchB, and bchL. Proteins with amino acid sequences markedly similar to those of bchN and bchL have been shown in other organisms to be required for chlorophyll synthesis; hence, their designation as chlN and chlB. A third chloroplast-encoded gene of heretofore unknown function shares amino acid identities with bchB and is probably the third subunit of the plant PChlide reductase. The bchA locus, which encodes the chlorin reductase, is found to be made up of three separate, translationally coupled genes, referred to as bchX, bchY, and bchZ. Amino acid similarities between bchX, bchL, and the nitrogenase reductase protein nifH suggest that all three classes of proteins share certain three-dimensional structural features, including elements that are central to the enzymatic mechanism of nifH. PChlide reductase and chlorin reductase are clearly derived from a common ancestor. Several lines of analysis suggests the ancestor of both enzyme systems reduced PChlide twice to produce bacteriochlorophyll supporting the concept bacteriochlorophyll as the ancestral reaction center pigment.

  20. Molecular genetic and molecular evolutionary studies on the bacteriochlorophyll synthesis genes of Rhodobacter capsulatus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burke-Agueero, Donald H. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    1992-08-01

    Rhodobacter capsulatus, purple bacterium capable of either aerobic or photosynthetic growth, has proven to be very useful in genetic studies of photosynthesis. Forty-four genes clustered together within a 46 kilobase region are required to establish photosynthetic ability in R. capsulatus. Approximately twenty of these genes are involved in bacteriochlorophyll synthesis of which eight ``bch`` genes are the subject of this thesis. Six of these genes were found to code for the two ring reductases. The first converts protochlorophyllide (PChlide) into a chlorin, the immediate precursor to chlorophyll a, and then into a bacteriochlorin. Each reductase is shown to be made up of three subunits. PChlide reductase is coded by the genes bchN, bchB, and bchL. Proteins with amino acid sequences markedly similar to those of bchN and bchL have been shown in other organisms to be required for chlorophyll synthesis; hence, their designation as chlN and chlB. A third chloroplast-encoded gene of heretofore unknown function shares amino acid identities with bchB and is probably the third subunit of the plant PChlide reductase. The bchA locus, which encodes the chlorin reductase, is found to be made up of three separate, translationally coupled genes, referred to as bchX, bchY, and bchZ. Amino acid similarities between bchX, bchL, and the nitrogenase reductase protein nifH suggest that all three classes of proteins share certain three-dimensional structural features, including elements that are central to the enzymatic mechanism of nifH. PChlide reductase and chlorin reductase are clearly derived from a common ancestor. Several lines of analysis suggests the ancestor of both enzyme systems reduced PChlide twice to produce bacteriochlorophyll supporting the concept bacteriochlorophyll as the ancestral reaction center pigment.

  1. Distinguishing the Transcription Regulation Patterns in Promoters of Human Genes with Different Function or Evolutionary Age

    KAUST Repository

    Alam, Tanvir

    2012-07-01

    Distinguishing transcription regulatory patterns of different gene groups is a common problem in various bioinformatics studies. In this work we developed a methodology to deal with such a problem based on machine learning techniques. We applied our method to two biologically important problems related to detecting a difference in transcription regulation of: a/ protein-coding and long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in human, as well as b/ a difference between primate-specific and non-primate-specific long non-coding RNAs. Our method is capable to classify RNAs using various regulatory features of genes that transcribe into these RNAs, such as nucleotide frequencies, transcription factor binding sites, de novo sequence motifs, CpG islands, repetitive elements, histone modification marks, and others. Ten-fold cross-validation tests suggest that our model can distinguish protein-coding and non-coding RNAs with accuracy above 80%. Twenty-fold cross-validation tests suggest that our model can distinguish primate-specific from non-primate-specific promoters of lncRNAs with accuracy above 80%. Consequently, we can hypothesize that transcription of the groups of genes mentioned above are regulated by different mechanisms. Feature selection techniques allowed us to reduce the number of features significantly while keeping the accuracy around 80%. Consequently, we can conclude that selected features play significant role in transcription regulation of coding and non-coding genes, as well as primate-specific and non-primate-specific lncRNA genes.

  2. Fanconi anemia core complex gene promoters harbor conserved transcription regulatory elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, Daniel; Schindler, Detlev

    2011-01-01

    The Fanconi anemia (FA) gene family is a recent addition to the complex network of proteins that respond to and repair certain types of DNA damage in the human genome. Since little is known about the regulation of this novel group of genes at the DNA level, we characterized the promoters of the eight genes (FANCA, B, C, E, F, G, L and M) that compose the FA core complex. The promoters of these genes show the characteristic attributes of housekeeping genes, such as a high GC content and CpG islands, a lack of TATA boxes and a low conservation. The promoters functioned in a monodirectional way and were, in their most active regions, comparable in strength to the SV40 promoter in our reporter plasmids. They were also marked by a distinctive transcriptional start site (TSS). In the 5' region of each promoter, we identified a region that was able to negatively regulate the promoter activity in HeLa and HEK 293 cells in isolation. The central and 3' regions of the promoter sequences harbor binding sites for several common and rare transcription factors, including STAT, SMAD, E2F, AP1 and YY1, which indicates that there may be cross-connections to several established regulatory pathways. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and siRNA experiments confirmed the shared regulatory responses between the prominent members of the TGF-β and JAK/STAT pathways and members of the FA core complex. Although the promoters are not well conserved, they share region and sequence specific regulatory motifs and transcription factor binding sites (TBFs), and we identified a bi-partite nature to these promoters. These results support a hypothesis based on the co-evolution of the FA core complex genes that was expanded to include their promoters.

  3. Fanconi anemia core complex gene promoters harbor conserved transcription regulatory elements.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Meier

    Full Text Available The Fanconi anemia (FA gene family is a recent addition to the complex network of proteins that respond to and repair certain types of DNA damage in the human genome. Since little is known about the regulation of this novel group of genes at the DNA level, we characterized the promoters of the eight genes (FANCA, B, C, E, F, G, L and M that compose the FA core complex. The promoters of these genes show the characteristic attributes of housekeeping genes, such as a high GC content and CpG islands, a lack of TATA boxes and a low conservation. The promoters functioned in a monodirectional way and were, in their most active regions, comparable in strength to the SV40 promoter in our reporter plasmids. They were also marked by a distinctive transcriptional start site (TSS. In the 5' region of each promoter, we identified a region that was able to negatively regulate the promoter activity in HeLa and HEK 293 cells in isolation. The central and 3' regions of the promoter sequences harbor binding sites for several common and rare transcription factors, including STAT, SMAD, E2F, AP1 and YY1, which indicates that there may be cross-connections to several established regulatory pathways. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and siRNA experiments confirmed the shared regulatory responses between the prominent members of the TGF-β and JAK/STAT pathways and members of the FA core complex. Although the promoters are not well conserved, they share region and sequence specific regulatory motifs and transcription factor binding sites (TBFs, and we identified a bi-partite nature to these promoters. These results support a hypothesis based on the co-evolution of the FA core complex genes that was expanded to include their promoters.

  4. A gene-based radiation hybrid map of the gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata refines and exploits conserved synteny with Tetraodon nigroviridis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsalavouta Matina

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparative teleost studies are of great interest since they are important in aquaculture and in evolutionary issues. Comparing genomes of fully sequenced model fish species with those of farmed fish species through comparative mapping offers shortcuts for quantitative trait loci (QTL detections and for studying genome evolution through the identification of regions of conserved synteny in teleosts. Here a comparative mapping study is presented by radiation hybrid (RH mapping genes of the gilthead sea bream Sparus aurata, a non-model teleost fish of commercial and evolutionary interest, as it represents the worldwide distributed species-rich family of Sparidae. Results An additional 74 microsatellite markers and 428 gene-based markers appropriate for comparative mapping studies were mapped on the existing RH map of Sparus aurata. The anchoring of the RH map to the genetic linkage map resulted in 24 groups matching the karyotype of Sparus aurata. Homologous sequences to Tetraodon were identified for 301 of the gene-based markers positioned on the RH map of Sparus aurata. Comparison between Sparus aurata RH groups and Tetraodon chromosomes (karyotype of Tetraodon consists of 21 chromosomes in this study reveals an unambiguous one-to-one relationship suggesting that three Tetraodon chromosomes correspond to six Sparus aurata radiation hybrid groups. The exploitation of this conserved synteny relationship is furthermore demonstrated by in silico mapping of gilthead sea bream expressed sequence tags (EST that give a significant similarity hit to Tetraodon. Conclusion The addition of primarily gene-based markers increased substantially the density of the existing RH map and facilitated comparative analysis. The anchoring of this gene-based radiation hybrid map to the genome maps of model species broadened the pool of candidate genes that mainly control growth, disease resistance, sex determination and reversal, reproduction as well

  5. Blueprint for a minimal photoautotrophic cell: conserved and variable genes in Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peretó Juli

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Simpler biological systems should be easier to understand and to engineer towards pre-defined goals. One way to achieve biological simplicity is through genome minimization. Here we looked for genomic islands in the fresh water cyanobacteria Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 (genome size 2.7 Mb that could be used as targets for deletion. We also looked for conserved genes that might be essential for cell survival. Results By using a combination of methods we identified 170 xenologs, 136 ORFans and 1401 core genes in the genome of S. elongatus PCC 7942. These represent 6.5%, 5.2% and 53.6% of the annotated genes respectively. We considered that genes in genomic islands could be found if they showed a combination of: a unusual G+C content; b unusual phylogenetic similarity; and/or c a small number of the highly iterated palindrome 1 (HIP1 motif plus an unusual codon usage. The origin of the largest genomic island by horizontal gene transfer (HGT could be corroborated by lack of coverage among metagenomic sequences from a fresh water microbialite. Evidence is also presented that xenologous genes tend to cluster in operons. Interestingly, most genes coding for proteins with a diguanylate cyclase domain are predicted to be xenologs, suggesting a role for horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of Synechococcus sensory systems. Conclusions Our estimates of genomic islands in PCC 7942 are larger than those predicted by other published methods like SIGI-HMM. Our results set a guide to non-essential genes in S. elongatus PCC 7942 indicating a path towards the engineering of a model photoautotrophic bacterial cell.

  6. Microsatellites in the Eukaryotic DNA Mismatch Repair Genes as Modulators of Evolutionary Mutation Rate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Dong Kyung; Metzgar, David; Wills, Christopher; Boland, C. Richard

    2003-01-01

    All "minor" components of the human DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system-MSH3, MSH6, PMS2, and the recently discovered MLH3-contain mononucleotide microsatellites in their coding sequences. This intriguing finding contrasts with the situation found in the major components of the DNA MMR system-MSH2 and MLH1-and, in fact, most human genes. Although eukaryotic genomes are rich in microsatellites, non-triplet microsatellites are rare in coding regions. The recurring presence of exonal mononucleotide repeat sequences within a single family of human genes would therefore be considered exceptional.

  7. Remarkable sequence conservation of the last intron in the PKD1 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodova, Marianna; Islam, M Rafiq; Peterson, Kenneth R; Calvet, James P

    2003-10-01

    The last intron of the PKD1 gene (intron 45) was found to have exceptionally high sequence conservation across four mammalian species: human, mouse, rat, and dog. This conservation did not extend to the comparable intron in pufferfish. Pairwise comparisons for intron 45 showed 91% identity (human vs. dog) to 100% identity (mouse vs. rat) for an average for all four species of 94% identity. In contrast, introns 43 and 44 of the PKD1 gene had average pairwise identities of 57% and 54%, and exons 43, 44, and 45 and the coding region of exon 46 had average pairwise identities of 80%, 84%, 82%, and 80%. Intron 45 is 90 to 95 bp in length, with the major region of sequence divergence being in a central 4-bp to 9-bp variable region. RNA secondary structure analysis of intron 45 predicts a branching stem-loop structure in which the central variable region lies in one loop and the putative branch point sequence lies in another loop, suggesting that the intron adopts a specific stem-loop structure that may be important for its removal. Although intron 45 appears to conform to the class of small, G-triplet-containing introns that are spliced by a mechanism utilizing intron definition, its high sequence conservation may be a reflection of constraints imposed by a unique mechanism that coordinates splicing of this last PKD1 intron with polyadenylation.

  8. Analysis of tomato plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase gene family suggests a mycorrhiza-mediated regulatory mechanism conserved in diverse plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Junli; Liu, Jianjian; Chen, Aiqun; Ji, Minjie; Chen, Jiadong; Yang, Xiaofeng; Gu, Mian; Qu, Hongye; Xu, Guohua

    2016-10-01

    In plants, the plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase (HA) is considered to play a crucial role in regulating plant growth and respoding to environment stresses. Multiple paralogous genes encoding different isozymes of HA have been identified and characterized in several model plants, while limited information of the HA gene family is available to date for tomato. Here, we describe the molecular and expression features of eight HA-encoding genes (SlHA1-8) from tomato. All these genes are interrupted by multiple introns with conserved positions. SlHA1, 2, and 4 were widely expressed in all tissues, while SlHA5, 6, and 7 were almost only expressed in flowers. SlHA8, the transcripts of which were barely detectable under normal or nutrient-/salt-stress growth conditions, was strongly activated in arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal-colonized roots. Extreme lack of SlHA8 expression in M161, a mutant defective to AM fungal colonization, provided genetic evidence towards the dependence of its expression on AM symbiosis. A 1521-bp SlHA8 promoter could direct the GUS reporter expression specifically in colonized cells of transgenic tobacco, soybean, and rice mycorrhizal roots. Promoter deletion assay revealed a 223-bp promoter fragment of SlHA8 containing a variant of AM-specific cis-element MYCS (vMYCS) sufficient to confer the AM-induced activity. Targeted deletion of this motif in the corresponding promoter region causes complete abolishment of GUS staining in mycorrhizal roots. Together, these results lend cogent evidence towards the evolutionary conservation of a potential regulatory mechanism mediating the activation of AM-responsive HA genes in diverse mycorrhizal plant species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-05

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

  10. Signatures of selection acting on the innate immunity gene Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) during the evolutionary history of rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tschirren, B; Råberg, L; Westerdahl, H

    2011-06-01

    Patterns of selection acting on immune defence genes have recently been the focus of considerable interest. Yet, when it comes to vertebrates, studies have mainly focused on the acquired branch of the immune system. Consequently, the direction and strength of selection acting on genes of the vertebrate innate immune defence remain poorly understood. Here, we present a molecular analysis of selection on an important receptor of the innate immune system of vertebrates, the Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), across 17 rodent species. Although purifying selection was the prevalent evolutionary force acting on most parts of the rodent TLR2, we found that codons in close proximity to pathogen-binding and TLR2-TLR1 heterodimerization sites have been subject to positive selection. This indicates that parasite-mediated selection is not restricted to acquired immune system genes like the major histocompatibility complex, but also affects innate defence genes. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of evolutionary processes in host-parasite systems, both innate and acquired immunity thus need to be considered. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  11. Fancy a gene? A surprisingly complex evolutionary history/nof peroxiredoxins

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Zíková, Alena; Oborník, Miroslav; Lukeš, Julius

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 2, č. 2 (2015), s. 33-37 E-ISSN 2311-2638 EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 316304 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : horizontal gene transfer * Apicomplexa * endosymbiont * Plasmodium * Chromera * peroxiredoxin * oxidative stress Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology

  12. Gene evolutionary trajectories and GC patterns driven by recombination in Zea mays

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recombination occurring during meiosis is critical for creating genetic variation and plays an essential role in plant evolution. In addition to creating novel gene combinations, recombination can affect genome structure through altering GC patterns. In maize (Zea mays) and other grasses, another in...

  13. Evolutionary history of the phl gene cluster in the plant-associated bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Moynihan, J.A.; Morrissey, J.P.; Coppoolse, E.; Stiekema, W.J.; O'Gara, F.; Boyd, E.F.

    2009-01-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens is of agricultural and economic importance as a biological control agent largely because of its plant-association and production of secondary metabolites, in particular 2, 4-diacetylphloroglucinol (2, 4-DAPG). This polyketide, which is encoded by the eight gene phl cluster,

  14. Population haplotype analysis and evolutionary relations of the COL2A1 gene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meulenbelt, I.; Williams, G.J.; Koppele, J.M.T.E.; Giessen, G.C.D.E. van; Slagboom, P.E.

    1996-01-01

    We have determined the allele frequencies mad pairwise linkage disequilibria of restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) distributed over the entire COL2A1 gene (spanning 23 · 6 kb) in a population of unrelated Dutch Caucasians. Pairwise linkage disequilibrium analysis of RFLP sites between

  15. The UDP glucuronosyltransferase gene superfamily: suggested nomenclature based on evolutionary divergence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burchell, B.; Nebert, D. W.; Nelson, D. R.; Bock, K. W.; Iyanagi, T.; Jansen, P. L.; Lancet, D.; Mulder, G. J.; Chowdhury, J. R.; Siest, G.

    1991-01-01

    A nomenclature system for the UDP glucuronosyltransferase superfamily is proposed, based on divergent evolution of the genes. A total of 26 distinct cDNAs in five mammalian species have been sequenced to date. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences leads to the definition of two families and

  16. Domain movement within a gene: a novel evolutionary mechanism for protein diversification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshikazu Furuta

    Full Text Available A protein function is carried out by a specific domain localized at a specific position. In the present study, we report that, within a gene, a specific amino acid sequence can move between a certain position and another position. This was discovered when the sequences of restriction-modification systems within the bacterial species Helicobacter pylori were compared. In the specificity subunit of Type I restriction-modification systems, DNA sequence recognition is mediated by target recognition domain 1 (TRD1 and TRD2. To our surprise, several sequences are shared by TRD1 and TRD2 of genes (alleles at the same locus (chromosomal location; these domains appear to have moved between the two positions. The gene/protein organization can be represented as x-(TRD1-y-x-(TRD2-y, where x and y represent repeat sequences. Movement probably occurs by recombination at these flanking DNA repeats. In accordance with this hypothesis, recombination at these repeats also appears to decrease two TRDs into one TRD or increase these two TRDs to three TRDs (TRD1-TRD2-TRD2 and to allow TRD movement between genes even at different loci. Similar movement of domains between TRD1 and TRD2 was observed for the specificity subunit of a Type IIG restriction enzyme. Similar movement of domain between TRD1 and TRD2 was observed for Type I restriction-modification enzyme specificity genes in two more eubacterial species, Streptococcus pyogenes and Mycoplasma agalactiae. Lateral domain movements within a protein, which we have designated DOMO (domain movement, represent novel routes for the diversification of proteins.

  17. TOPAZ1, a novel germ cell-specific expressed gene conserved during evolution across vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrienne Baillet

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: We had previously reported that the Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH approach was relevant for the isolation of new mammalian genes involved in oogenesis and early follicle development. Some of these transcripts might be potential new oocyte and granulosa cell markers. We have now characterized one of them, named TOPAZ1 for the Testis and Ovary-specific PAZ domain gene. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Sheep and mouse TOPAZ1 mRNA have 4,803 bp and 4,962 bp open reading frames (20 exons, respectively, and encode putative TOPAZ1 proteins containing 1,600 and 1653 amino acids. They possess PAZ and CCCH domains. In sheep, TOPAZ1 mRNA is preferentially expressed in females during fetal life with a peak during prophase I of meiosis, and in males during adulthood. In the mouse, Topaz1 is a germ cell-specific gene. TOPAZ1 protein is highly conserved in vertebrates and specifically expressed in mouse and sheep gonads. It is localized in the cytoplasm of germ cells from the sheep fetal ovary and mouse adult testis. CONCLUSIONS: We have identified a novel PAZ-domain protein that is abundantly expressed in the gonads during germ cell meiosis. The expression pattern of TOPAZ1, and its high degree of conservation, suggests that it may play an important role in germ cell development. Further characterization of TOPAZ1 may elucidate the mechanisms involved in gametogenesis, and particularly in the RNA silencing process in the germ line.

  18. Human Management of a Wild Plant Modulates the Evolutionary Dynamics of a Gene Determining Recessive Resistance to Virus Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulicard, Nils; Pacios, Luis Fernández; Gallois, Jean-Luc; Piñero, Daniel; García-Arenal, Fernando

    2016-08-01

    This work analyses the genetic variation and evolutionary patterns of recessive resistance loci involved in matching-allele (MA) host-pathogen interactions, focusing on the pvr2 resistance gene to potyviruses of the wild pepper Capsicum annuum glabriusculum (chiltepin). Chiltepin grows in a variety of wild habitats in Mexico, and its cultivation in home gardens started about 25 years ago. Potyvirus infection of Capsicum plants requires the physical interaction of the viral VPg with the pvr2 product, the translation initiation factor eIF4E1. Mutations impairing this interaction result in resistance, according to the MA model. The diversity of pvr2/eIF4E1 in wild and cultivated chiltepin populations from six biogeographical provinces in Mexico was analysed in 109 full-length coding sequences from 97 plants. Eleven alleles were found, and their interaction with potyvirus VPg in yeast-two-hybrid assays, plus infection assays of plants, identified six resistance alleles. Mapping resistance mutations on a pvr2/eIF4E1 model structure showed that most were around the cap-binding pocket and strongly altered its surface electrostatic potential, suggesting resistance-associated costs due to functional constraints. The pvr2/eIF4E1 phylogeny established that susceptibility was ancestral and resistance was derived. The spatial structure of pvr2/eIF4E1 diversity differed from that of neutral markers, but no evidence of selection for resistance was found in wild populations. In contrast, the resistance alleles were much more frequent, and positive selection stronger, in cultivated chiltepin populations, where diversification of pvr2/eIF4E1 was higher. This analysis of the genetic variation of a recessive resistance gene involved in MA host-pathogen interactions in populations of a wild plant show that evolutionary patterns differ according to the plant habitat, wild or cultivated. It also demonstrates that human management of the plant population has profound effects on the

  19. Human Management of a Wild Plant Modulates the Evolutionary Dynamics of a Gene Determining Recessive Resistance to Virus Infection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nils Poulicard

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This work analyses the genetic variation and evolutionary patterns of recessive resistance loci involved in matching-allele (MA host-pathogen interactions, focusing on the pvr2 resistance gene to potyviruses of the wild pepper Capsicum annuum glabriusculum (chiltepin. Chiltepin grows in a variety of wild habitats in Mexico, and its cultivation in home gardens started about 25 years ago. Potyvirus infection of Capsicum plants requires the physical interaction of the viral VPg with the pvr2 product, the translation initiation factor eIF4E1. Mutations impairing this interaction result in resistance, according to the MA model. The diversity of pvr2/eIF4E1 in wild and cultivated chiltepin populations from six biogeographical provinces in Mexico was analysed in 109 full-length coding sequences from 97 plants. Eleven alleles were found, and their interaction with potyvirus VPg in yeast-two-hybrid assays, plus infection assays of plants, identified six resistance alleles. Mapping resistance mutations on a pvr2/eIF4E1 model structure showed that most were around the cap-binding pocket and strongly altered its surface electrostatic potential, suggesting resistance-associated costs due to functional constraints. The pvr2/eIF4E1 phylogeny established that susceptibility was ancestral and resistance was derived. The spatial structure of pvr2/eIF4E1 diversity differed from that of neutral markers, but no evidence of selection for resistance was found in wild populations. In contrast, the resistance alleles were much more frequent, and positive selection stronger, in cultivated chiltepin populations, where diversification of pvr2/eIF4E1 was higher. This analysis of the genetic variation of a recessive resistance gene involved in MA host-pathogen interactions in populations of a wild plant show that evolutionary patterns differ according to the plant habitat, wild or cultivated. It also demonstrates that human management of the plant population has profound

  20. The population and evolutionary dynamics of homologous gene recombination in bacterial populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruce R Levin

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available In bacteria, recombination is a rare event, not a part of the reproductive process. Nevertheless, recombination -- broadly defined to include the acquisition of genes from external sources, i.e., horizontal gene transfer (HGT -- plays a central role as a source of variation for adaptive evolution in many species of bacteria. Much of niche expansion, resistance to antibiotics and other environmental stresses, virulence, and other characteristics that make bacteria interesting and problematic, is achieved through the expression of genes and genetic elements obtained from other populations of bacteria of the same and different species, as well as from eukaryotes and archaea. While recombination of homologous genes among members of the same species has played a central role in the development of the genetics and molecular biology of bacteria, the contribution of homologous gene recombination (HGR to bacterial evolution is not at all clear. Also, not so clear are the selective pressures responsible for the evolution and maintenance of transformation, the only bacteria-encoded form of HGR. Using a semi-stochastic simulation of mutation, recombination, and selection within bacterial populations and competition between populations, we explore (1 the contribution of HGR to the rate of adaptive evolution in these populations and (2 the conditions under which HGR will provide a bacterial population a selective advantage over non-recombining or more slowly recombining populations. The results of our simulation indicate that, under broad conditions: (1 HGR occurring at rates in the range anticipated for bacteria like Streptococcus pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Haemophilus influenzae, and Bacillus subtilis will accelerate the rate at which a population adapts to environmental conditions; (2 once established in a population, selection for this capacity to increase rates of adaptive evolution can maintain bacteria-encoded mechanisms of recombination and prevent

  1. Analyses of Evolutionary Characteristics of the Hemagglutinin-Esterase Gene of Influenza C Virus during a Period of 68 Years Reveals Evolutionary Patterns Different from Influenza A and B Viruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuki Furuse

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Infections with the influenza C virus causing respiratory symptoms are common, particularly among children. Since isolation and detection of the virus are rarely performed, compared with influenza A and B viruses, the small number of available sequences of the virus makes it difficult to analyze its evolutionary dynamics. Recently, we reported the full genome sequence of 102 strains of the virus. Here, we exploited the data to elucidate the evolutionary characteristics and phylodynamics of the virus compared with influenza A and B viruses. Along with our data, we obtained public sequence data of the hemagglutinin-esterase gene of the virus; the dataset consists of 218 unique sequences of the virus collected from 14 countries between 1947 and 2014. Informatics analyses revealed that (1 multiple lineages have been circulating globally; (2 there have been weak and infrequent selective bottlenecks; (3 the evolutionary rate is low because of weak positive selection and a low capability to induce mutations; and (4 there is no significant positive selection although a few mutations affecting its antigenicity have been induced. The unique evolutionary dynamics of the influenza C virus must be shaped by multiple factors, including virological, immunological, and epidemiological characteristics.

  2. Neutral polymorphisms in putative housekeeping genes and tandem repeats unravels the population genetics and evolutionary history of Plasmodium vivax in India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Surendra K Prajapati

    Full Text Available The evolutionary history and age of Plasmodium vivax has been inferred as both recent and ancient by several studies, mainly using mitochondrial genome diversity. Here we address the age of P. vivax on the Indian subcontinent using selectively neutral housekeeping genes and tandem repeat loci. Analysis of ten housekeeping genes revealed a substantial number of SNPs (n = 75 from 100 P. vivax isolates collected from five geographical regions of India. Neutrality tests showed a majority of the housekeeping genes were selectively neutral, confirming the suitability of housekeeping genes for inferring the evolutionary history of P. vivax. In addition, a genetic differentiation test using housekeeping gene polymorphism data showed a lack of geographical structuring between the five regions of India. The coalescence analysis of the time to the most recent common ancestor estimate yielded an ancient TMRCA (232,228 to 303,030 years and long-term population history (79,235 to 104,008 of extant P. vivax on the Indian subcontinent. Analysis of 18 tandem repeat loci polymorphisms showed substantial allelic diversity and heterozygosity per locus, and analysis of potential bottlenecks revealed the signature of a stable P. vivax population, further corroborating our ancient age estimates. For the first time we report a comparable evolutionary history of P. vivax inferred by nuclear genetic markers (putative housekeeping genes to that inferred from mitochondrial genome diversity.

  3. Neutral polymorphisms in putative housekeeping genes and tandem repeats unravels the population genetics and evolutionary history of Plasmodium vivax in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prajapati, Surendra K; Joshi, Hema; Carlton, Jane M; Rizvi, M Alam

    2013-01-01

    The evolutionary history and age of Plasmodium vivax has been inferred as both recent and ancient by several studies, mainly using mitochondrial genome diversity. Here we address the age of P. vivax on the Indian subcontinent using selectively neutral housekeeping genes and tandem repeat loci. Analysis of ten housekeeping genes revealed a substantial number of SNPs (n = 75) from 100 P. vivax isolates collected from five geographical regions of India. Neutrality tests showed a majority of the housekeeping genes were selectively neutral, confirming the suitability of housekeeping genes for inferring the evolutionary history of P. vivax. In addition, a genetic differentiation test using housekeeping gene polymorphism data showed a lack of geographical structuring between the five regions of India. The coalescence analysis of the time to the most recent common ancestor estimate yielded an ancient TMRCA (232,228 to 303,030 years) and long-term population history (79,235 to 104,008) of extant P. vivax on the Indian subcontinent. Analysis of 18 tandem repeat loci polymorphisms showed substantial allelic diversity and heterozygosity per locus, and analysis of potential bottlenecks revealed the signature of a stable P. vivax population, further corroborating our ancient age estimates. For the first time we report a comparable evolutionary history of P. vivax inferred by nuclear genetic markers (putative housekeeping genes) to that inferred from mitochondrial genome diversity.

  4. The evolutionary history of ferns inferred from 25 low-copy nuclear genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothfels, Carl J; Li, Fay-Wei; Sigel, Erin M; Huiet, Layne; Larsson, Anders; Burge, Dylan O; Ruhsam, Markus; Deyholos, Michael; Soltis, Douglas E; Stewart, C Neal; Shaw, Shane W; Pokorny, Lisa; Chen, Tao; dePamphilis, Claude; DeGironimo, Lisa; Chen, Li; Wei, Xiaofeng; Sun, Xiao; Korall, Petra; Stevenson, Dennis W; Graham, Sean W; Wong, Gane K-S; Pryer, Kathleen M

    2015-07-01

    • Understanding fern (monilophyte) phylogeny and its evolutionary timescale is critical for broad investigations of the evolution of land plants, and for providing the point of comparison necessary for studying the evolution of the fern sister group, seed plants. Molecular phylogenetic investigations have revolutionized our understanding of fern phylogeny, however, to date, these studies have relied almost exclusively on plastid data.• Here we take a curated phylogenomics approach to infer the first broad fern phylogeny from multiple nuclear loci, by combining broad taxon sampling (73 ferns and 12 outgroup species) with focused character sampling (25 loci comprising 35877 bp), along with rigorous alignment, orthology inference and model selection.• Our phylogeny corroborates some earlier inferences and provides novel insights; in particular, we find strong support for Equisetales as sister to the rest of ferns, Marattiales as sister to leptosporangiate ferns, and Dennstaedtiaceae as sister to the eupolypods. Our divergence-time analyses reveal that divergences among the extant fern orders all occurred prior to ∼200 MYA. Finally, our species-tree inferences are congruent with analyses of concatenated data, but generally with lower support. Those cases where species-tree support values are higher than expected involve relationships that have been supported by smaller plastid datasets, suggesting that deep coalescence may be reducing support from the concatenated nuclear data.• Our study demonstrates the utility of a curated phylogenomics approach to inferring fern phylogeny, and highlights the need to consider underlying data characteristics, along with data quantity, in phylogenetic studies. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  5. Prevalence of Tobacco mosaic virus in Iran and Evolutionary Analyses of the Coat Protein Gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Athar Alishiri

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The incidence and distribution of Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV and related tobamoviruses was determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay on 1,926 symptomatic horticultural crops and 107 asymptomatic weed samples collected from 78 highly infected fields in the major horticultural crop-producing areas in 17 provinces throughout Iran. The results were confirmed by host range studies and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. The overall incidence of infection by these viruses in symptomatic plants was 11.3%. The coat protein (CP gene sequences of a number of isolates were determined and disclosed to be a high identity (up to 100% among the Iranian isolates. Phylogenetic analysis of all known TMV CP genes showed three clades on the basis of nucleotide sequences with all Iranian isolates distinctly clustered in clade II. Analysis using the complete CP amino acid sequence showed one clade with two subgroups, IA and IB, with Iranian isolates in both subgroups. The nucleotide diversity within each sub-group was very low, but higher between the two clades. No correlation was found between genetic distance and geographical origin or host species of isolation. Statistical analyses suggested a negative selection and demonstrated the occurrence of gene flow from the isolates in other clades to the Iranian population.

  6. Assembly of the Boechera retrofracta Genome and Evolutionary Analysis of Apomixis-Associated Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergei Kliver

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Closely related to the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the genus Boechera is known to contain both sexual and apomictic species or accessions. Boechera retrofracta is a diploid sexually reproducing species and is thought to be an ancestral parent species of apomictic species. Here we report the de novo assembly of the B. retrofracta genome using short Illumina and Roche reads from 1 paired-end and 3 mate pair libraries. The distribution of 23-mers from the paired end library has indicated a low level of heterozygosity and the presence of detectable duplications and triplications. The genome size was estimated to be equal 227 Mb. N50 of the assembled scaffolds was 2.3 Mb. Using a hybrid approach that combines homology-based and de novo methods 27,048 protein-coding genes were predicted. Also repeats, transfer RNA (tRNA and ribosomal RNA (rRNA genes were annotated. Finally, genes of B. retrofracta and 6 other Brassicaceae species were used for phylogenetic tree reconstruction. In addition, we explored the histidine exonuclease APOLLO locus, related to apomixis in Boechera, and proposed model of its evolution through the series of duplications. An assembled genome of B. retrofracta will help in the challenging assembly of the highly heterozygous genomes of hybrid apomictic species.

  7. Monte Carlo simulation of a simple gene network yields new evolutionary insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrecut, M; Cloud, D; Kauffman, S A

    2008-02-07

    Monte Carlo simulations of a genetic toggle switch show that its behavior can be more complex than analytic models would suggest. We show here that as a result of the interplay between frequent and infrequent reaction events, such a switch can have more stable states than an analytic model would predict, and that the number and character of these states depend to a large extent on the propensity of transcription factors to bind to and dissociate from promoters. The effects of gene duplications differ even more; in analytic models, these seem to result in the disappearance of bi-stability and thus a loss of the switching function, but a Monte Carlo simulation shows that they can result in the appearance of new stable states without the loss of old ones, and thus in an increase of the complexity of the switch's behavior which may facilitate the evolution of new cellular functions. These differences are of interest with respect to the evolution of gene networks, particularly in clonal lines of cancer cells, where the duplication of active genes is an extremely common event, and often seems to result in the appearance of viable new cellular phenotypes.

  8. 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.

  9. Genome-Wide Identification, Evolutionary Analysis, and Stress Responses of the GRAS Gene Family in Castor Beans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Xu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Plant-specific GRAS transcription factors play important roles in regulating growth, development, and stress responses. Castor beans (Ricinus communis are important non-edible oilseed plants, cultivated worldwide for its seed oils and its adaptability to growth conditions. In this study, we identified and characterized a total of 48 GRAS genes based on the castor bean genome. Combined with phylogenetic analysis, the castor bean GRAS members were divided into 13 distinct groups. Functional divergence analysis revealed the presence of mostly Type-I functional divergence. The gene structures and conserved motifs, both within and outside the GRAS domain, were characterized. Gene expression analysis, performed in various tissues and under a range of abiotic stress conditions, uncovered the potential functions of GRAS members in regulating plant growth development and stress responses. The results obtained from this study provide valuable information toward understanding the potential molecular mechanisms of GRAS proteins in castor beans. These findings also serve as a resource for identifying the genes that allow castor beans to grow in stressful conditions and to enable further breeding and genetic improvements in agriculture.

  10. Extensive evolutionary changes in regulatory element activity during human origins are associated with altered gene expression and positive selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoichiro Shibata

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the molecular basis for phenotypic differences between humans and other primates remains an outstanding challenge. Mutations in non-coding regulatory DNA that alter gene expression have been hypothesized as a key driver of these phenotypic differences. This has been supported by differential gene expression analyses in general, but not by the identification of specific regulatory elements responsible for changes in transcription and phenotype. To identify the genetic source of regulatory differences, we mapped DNaseI hypersensitive (DHS sites, which mark all types of active gene regulatory elements, genome-wide in the same cell type isolated from human, chimpanzee, and macaque. Most DHS sites were conserved among all three species, as expected based on their central role in regulating transcription. However, we found evidence that several hundred DHS sites were gained or lost on the lineages leading to modern human and chimpanzee. Species-specific DHS site gains are enriched near differentially expressed genes, are positively correlated with increased transcription, show evidence of branch-specific positive selection, and overlap with active chromatin marks. Species-specific sequence differences in transcription factor motifs found within these DHS sites are linked with species-specific changes in chromatin accessibility. Together, these indicate that the regulatory elements identified here are genetic contributors to transcriptional and phenotypic differences among primate species.

  11. Gene expression in chicken reveals correlation with structural genomic features and conserved patterns of transcription in the terrestrial vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haisheng Nie

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The chicken is an important agricultural and avian-model species. A survey of gene expression in a range of different tissues will provide a benchmark for understanding expression levels under normal physiological conditions in birds. With expression data for birds being very scant, this benchmark is of particular interest for comparative expression analysis among various terrestrial vertebrates. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We carried out a gene expression survey in eight major chicken tissues using whole genome microarrays. A global picture of gene expression is presented for the eight tissues, and tissue specific as well as common gene expression were identified. A Gene Ontology (GO term enrichment analysis showed that tissue-specific genes are enriched with GO terms reflecting the physiological functions of the specific tissue, and housekeeping genes are enriched with GO terms related to essential biological functions. Comparisons of structural genomic features between tissue-specific genes and housekeeping genes show that housekeeping genes are more compact. Specifically, coding sequence and particularly introns are shorter than genes that display more variation in expression between tissues, and in addition intergenic space was also shorter. Meanwhile, housekeeping genes are more likely to co-localize with other abundantly or highly expressed genes on the same chromosomal regions. Furthermore, comparisons of gene expression in a panel of five common tissues between birds, mammals and amphibians showed that the expression patterns across tissues are highly similar for orthologous genes compared to random gene pairs within each pair-wise comparison, indicating a high degree of functional conservation in gene expression among terrestrial vertebrates. CONCLUSIONS: The housekeeping genes identified in this study have shorter gene length, shorter coding sequence length, shorter introns, and shorter intergenic regions, there seems

  12. Conserved syntenic clusters of protein coding genes are missing in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovell, Peter V; Wirthlin, Morgan; Wilhelm, Larry; Minx, Patrick; Lazar, Nathan H; Carbone, Lucia; Warren, Wesley C; Mello, Claudio V

    2014-01-01

    Birds are one of the most highly successful and diverse groups of vertebrates, having evolved a number of distinct characteristics, including feathers and wings, a sturdy lightweight skeleton and unique respiratory and urinary/excretion systems. However, the genetic basis of these traits is poorly understood. Using comparative genomics based on extensive searches of 60 avian genomes, we have found that birds lack approximately 274 protein coding genes that are present in the genomes of most vertebrate lineages and are for the most part organized in conserved syntenic clusters in non-avian sauropsids and in humans. These genes are located in regions associated with chromosomal rearrangements, and are largely present in crocodiles, suggesting that their loss occurred subsequent to the split of dinosaurs/birds from crocodilians. Many of these genes are associated with lethality in rodents, human genetic disorders, or biological functions targeting various tissues. Functional enrichment analysis combined with orthogroup analysis and paralog searches revealed enrichments that were shared by non-avian species, present only in birds, or shared between all species. Together these results provide a clearer definition of the genetic background of extant birds, extend the findings of previous studies on missing avian genes, and provide clues about molecular events that shaped avian evolution. They also have implications for fields that largely benefit from avian studies, including development, immune system, oncogenesis, and brain function and cognition. With regards to the missing genes, birds can be considered ‘natural knockouts’ that may become invaluable model organisms for several human diseases.

  13. Conservation of gene cassettes among diverse viruses of the human gut.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Minot

    Full Text Available Viruses are a crucial component of the human microbiome, but large population sizes, high sequence diversity, and high frequencies of novel genes have hindered genomic analysis by high-throughput sequencing. Here we investigate approaches to metagenomic assembly to probe genome structure in a sample of 5.6 Gb of gut viral DNA sequence from six individuals. Tests showed that a new pipeline based on DeBruijn graph assembly yielded longer contigs that were able to recruit more reads than the equivalent non-optimized, single-pass approach. To characterize gene content, the database of viral RefSeq proteins was compared to the assembled viral contigs, generating a bipartite graph with functional cassettes linking together viral contigs, which revealed a high degree of connectivity between diverse genomes involving multiple genes of the same functional class. In a second step, open reading frames were grouped by their co-occurrence on contigs in a database-independent manner, revealing conserved cassettes of co-oriented ORFs. These methods reveal that free-living bacteriophages, while usually dissimilar at the nucleotide level, often have significant similarity at the level of encoded amino acid motifs, gene order, and gene orientation. These findings thus connect contemporary metagenomic analysis with classical studies of bacteriophage genomic cassettes. Software is available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/optitdba/.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  15. Evolutionary acquisition and loss of saxitoxin biosynthesis in dinoflagellates: the second "core" gene, sxtG.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orr, Russell J S; Stüken, Anke; Murray, Shauna A; Jakobsen, Kjetill S

    2013-04-01

    Saxitoxin and its derivatives are potent neurotoxins produced by several cyanobacteria and dinoflagellate species. SxtA is the initial enzyme in the biosynthesis of saxitoxin. The dinoflagellate full mRNA and partial genomic sequences have previously been characterized, and it appears that sxtA originated in dinoflagellates through a horizontal gene transfer from a bacterium. So far, little is known about the remaining genes involved in this pathway in dinoflagellates. Here we characterize sxtG, an amidinotransferase enzyme gene that putatively encodes the second step in saxitoxin biosynthesis. In this study, the entire sxtG transcripts from Alexandrium fundyense CCMP1719 and Alexandrium minutum CCMP113 were amplified and sequenced. The transcripts contained typical dinoflagellate spliced leader sequences and eukaryotic poly(A) tails. In addition, partial sxtG transcript fragments were amplified from four additional Alexandrium species and Gymnodinium catenatum. The phylogenetic inference of dinoflagellate sxtG, congruent with sxtA, revealed a bacterial origin. However, it is not known if sxtG was acquired independently of sxtA. Amplification and sequencing of the corresponding genomic sxtG region revealed noncanonical introns. These introns show a high interspecies and low intraspecies variance, suggesting multiple independent acquisitions and losses. Unlike sxtA, sxtG was also amplified from Alexandrium species not known to synthesize saxitoxin. However, amplification was not observed for 22 non-saxitoxin-producing dinoflagellate species other than those of the genus Alexandrium or G. catenatum. This result strengthens our hypothesis that saxitoxin synthesis has been secondarily lost in conjunction with sxtA for some descendant species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-05

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

  17. No evidence of inhibition of horizontal gene transfer by CRISPR-Cas on evolutionary timescales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gophna, Uri; Kristensen, David M; Wolf, Yuri I; Popa, Ovidiu; Drevet, Christine; Koonin, Eugene V

    2015-09-01

    The CRISPR (clustered, regularly, interspaced, short, palindromic repeats)-Cas (CRISPR-associated genes) systems of archaea and bacteria provide adaptive immunity against viruses and other selfish elements and are believed to curtail horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Limiting acquisition of new genetic material could be one of the sources of the fitness cost of CRISPR-Cas maintenance and one of the causes of the patchy distribution of CRISPR-Cas among bacteria, and across environments. We sought to test the hypothesis that the activity of CRISPR-Cas in microbes is negatively correlated with the extent of recent HGT. Using three independent measures of HGT, we found no significant dependence between the length of CRISPR arrays, which reflects the activity of the immune system, and the estimated number of recent HGT events. In contrast, we observed a significant negative dependence between the estimated extent of HGT and growth temperature of microbes, which could be explained by the lower genetic diversity in hotter environments. We hypothesize that the relevant events in the evolution of resistance to mobile elements and proclivity for HGT, to which CRISPR-Cas systems seem to substantially contribute, occur on the population scale rather than on the timescale of species evolution.

  18. Evolutionary study of vertebrate and invertebrate members of the dystrophin and utrophin gene family

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roberts, R.G.; Nicholson, L.; Bobrow, M. [Paediatric Research Unit, London (United Kingdom)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Vertebrates express two members of the dystrophin gene family. The prototype, dystrophin, is expressed in muscle and neural tissue, and is defective in the human disorders Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD, BMD). The dystrophin homologue utrophin is more generally expressed but has not yet been associated with a genetic disorder. The function of neither protein is clear. A comparison of human utrophin with the known dystrophins (human, mouse, chicken, Torpedo) suggests that dystrophin and utrophin diverged before the vertebrate radiation. We have used reverse-transcript PCR (RT-PCR) directed by degenerate primers to characterize dystrophin and utrophin transcripts from a range of vertebrate and invertebrate animals. Our results suggest that the duplication leading to distinct dystrophin and utrophin genes occurred close to the point of divergence of urochordates from the cephalochordate-vertebrate lineage. This divergence may have occurred to fulfill a novel role which arose at this point, or may reflect a need for separate regulation of the neuromuscular and other functions of the ancient dystrophin. Our data include sequences of the first non-human utrophins to be characterized, and show these to be substantially more divergent than their cognate dystrophins. In addition, our results provide a large body of information regarding the tolerance of amino acid positions in the cysteine-rich and C-terminal domains to substitution. This will aid the interpretations of DMD and BMD missense mutations in these regions.

  19. Phenotypic Plasticity through Transcriptional Regulation of the Evolutionary Hotspot Gene tan in Drosophila melanogaster.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Michel Gibert

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a given genotype to produce different phenotypes in response to distinct environmental conditions. Phenotypic plasticity can be adaptive. Furthermore, it is thought to facilitate evolution. Although phenotypic plasticity is a widespread phenomenon, its molecular mechanisms are only beginning to be unravelled. Environmental conditions can affect gene expression through modification of chromatin structure, mainly via histone modifications, nucleosome remodelling or DNA methylation, suggesting that phenotypic plasticity might partly be due to chromatin plasticity. As a model of phenotypic plasticity, we study abdominal pigmentation of Drosophila melanogaster females, which is temperature sensitive. Abdominal pigmentation is indeed darker in females grown at 18°C than at 29°C. This phenomenon is thought to be adaptive as the dark pigmentation produced at lower temperature increases body temperature. We show here that temperature modulates the expression of tan (t, a pigmentation gene involved in melanin production. t is expressed 7 times more at 18°C than at 29°C in female abdominal epidermis. Genetic experiments show that modulation of t expression by temperature is essential for female abdominal pigmentation plasticity. Temperature modulates the activity of an enhancer of t without modifying compaction of its chromatin or level of the active histone mark H3K27ac. By contrast, the active mark H3K4me3 on the t promoter is strongly modulated by temperature. The H3K4 methyl-transferase involved in this process is likely Trithorax, as we show that it regulates t expression and the H3K4me3 level on the t promoter and also participates in female pigmentation and its plasticity. Interestingly, t was previously shown to be involved in inter-individual variation of female abdominal pigmentation in Drosophila melanogaster, and in abdominal pigmentation divergence between Drosophila species. Sensitivity of t

  20. Differential conservation and divergence of fertility genes boule and dazl in the rainbow trout.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingyou Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The genes boule and dazl are members of the DAZ (Deleted in Azoospermia family encoding RNA binding proteins essential for germ cell development. Although dazl exhibits bisexual expression in mitotic and meiotic germ cells in diverse animals, boule shows unisexual meiotic expression in invertebrates and mammals but a bisexual mitotic and meiotic expression in medaka. How boule and dazl have evolved different expression patterns in diverse organisms has remained unknown. METHODOLOGY AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we chose the fish rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss as a second lower vertebrate model to investigate the expression of boule and dazl. By molecular cloning and sequence comparison, we identified cDNAs encoding the trout Boule and Dazl proteins, which have a conserved RNA-recognition motif and a maximal similarity to their homologs. By RT-PCR analysis, adult RNA expression of trout boule and dazl is restricted to the gonads of both sexes. By chromogenic and two-color fluorescence in situ hybridization, we revealed bisexual and germline-specific expression of boule and dazl. We found that dazl displays conserved expression throughout gametogenesis and concentrates in the Balbinani's body of early oocytes and the chromatoid body of sperm. Surprisingly, boule exhibits mitotic and meiotic expression in the male but meiosis-specific expression in the female. CONCLUSIONS: Our data underscores differential conservation and divergence of DAZ family genes during vertebrate evolution. We propose a model in which the diversity of boule expression in sex and stage specificity might have resulted from selective loss or gain of its expression in one sex and mitotic germ cells.

  1. Genes of the most conserved WOX clade in plants affect root and flower development in Arabidopsis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moreau Hervé

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Wuschel related homeobox (WOX family proteins are key regulators implicated in the determination of cell fate in plants by preventing cell differentiation. A recent WOX phylogeny, based on WOX homeodomains, showed that all of the Physcomitrella patens and Selaginella moellendorffii WOX proteins clustered into a single orthologous group. We hypothesized that members of this group might preferentially share a significant part of their function in phylogenetically distant organisms. Hence, we first validated the limits of the WOX13 orthologous group (WOX13 OG using the occurrence of other clade specific signatures and conserved intron insertion sites. Secondly, a functional analysis using expression data and mutants was undertaken. Results The WOX13 OG contained the most conserved plant WOX proteins including the only WOX detected in the highly proliferating basal unicellular and photosynthetic organism Ostreococcus tauri. A large expansion of the WOX family was observed after the separation of mosses from other land plants and before monocots and dicots have arisen. In Arabidopsis thaliana, AtWOX13 was dynamically expressed during primary and lateral root initiation and development, in gynoecium and during embryo development. AtWOX13 appeared to affect the floral transition. An intriguing clade, represented by the functional AtWOX14 gene inside the WOX13 OG, was only found in the Brassicaceae. Compared to AtWOX13, the gene expression profile of AtWOX14 was restricted to the early stages of lateral root formation and specific to developing anthers. A mutational insertion upstream of the AtWOX14 homeodomain sequence led to abnormal root development, a delay in the floral transition and premature anther differentiation. Conclusion Our data provide evidence in favor of the WOX13 OG as the clade containing the most conserved WOX genes and established a functional link to organ initiation and development in Arabidopsis, most

  2. 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.

  3. Chromosomal divergence and evolutionary inferences in Rhodniini based on the chromosomal location of ribosomal genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Pita

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we used fluorescence in situ hybridisation to determine the chromosomal location of 45S rDNA clusters in 10 species of the tribe Rhodniini (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae. The results showed striking inter and intraspecific variability, with the location of the rDNA clusters restricted to sex chromosomes with two patterns: either on one (X chromosome or both sex chromosomes (X and Y chromosomes. This variation occurs within a genus that has an unchanging diploid chromosome number (2n = 22, including 20 autosomes and 2 sex chromosomes and a similar chromosome size and genomic DNA content, reflecting a genome dynamic not revealed by these chromosome traits. The rDNA variation in closely related species and the intraspecific polymorphism in Rhodnius ecuadoriensis suggested that the chromosomal position of rDNA clusters might be a useful marker to identify recently diverged species or populations. We discuss the ancestral position of ribosomal genes in the tribe Rhodniini and the possible mechanisms involved in the variation of the rDNA clusters, including the loss of rDNA loci on the Y chromosome, transposition and ectopic pairing. The last two processes involve chromosomal exchanges between both sex chromosomes, in contrast to the widely accepted idea that the achiasmatic sex chromosomes of Heteroptera do not interchange sequences.

  4. Predicting human miRNA target genes using a novel evolutionary methodology

    KAUST Repository

    Aigli, Korfiati; Kleftogiannis, Dimitrios A.; Konstantinos, Theofilatos; Spiros, Likothanassis; Athanasios, Tsakalidis; Seferina, Mavroudi

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of miRNAs had great impacts on traditional biology. Typically, miRNAs have the potential to bind to the 3'untraslated region (UTR) of their mRNA target genes for cleavage or translational repression. The experimental identification of their targets has many drawbacks including cost, time and low specificity and these are the reasons why many computational approaches have been developed so far. However, existing computational approaches do not include any advanced feature selection technique and they are facing problems concerning their classification performance and their interpretability. In the present paper, we propose a novel hybrid methodology which combines genetic algorithms and support vector machines in order to locate the optimal feature subset while achieving high classification performance. The proposed methodology was compared with two of the most promising existing methodologies in the problem of predicting human miRNA targets. Our approach outperforms existing methodologies in terms of classification performances while selecting a much smaller feature subset. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  5. Predicting human miRNA target genes using a novel evolutionary methodology

    KAUST Repository

    Aigli, Korfiati

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of miRNAs had great impacts on traditional biology. Typically, miRNAs have the potential to bind to the 3\\'untraslated region (UTR) of their mRNA target genes for cleavage or translational repression. The experimental identification of their targets has many drawbacks including cost, time and low specificity and these are the reasons why many computational approaches have been developed so far. However, existing computational approaches do not include any advanced feature selection technique and they are facing problems concerning their classification performance and their interpretability. In the present paper, we propose a novel hybrid methodology which combines genetic algorithms and support vector machines in order to locate the optimal feature subset while achieving high classification performance. The proposed methodology was compared with two of the most promising existing methodologies in the problem of predicting human miRNA targets. Our approach outperforms existing methodologies in terms of classification performances while selecting a much smaller feature subset. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  6. Genomic resources for gene discovery, functional genome annotation, and evolutionary studies of maize and its close relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chao; Shi, Xue; Liu, Lin; Li, Haiyan; Ammiraju, Jetty S S; Kudrna, David A; Xiong, Wentao; Wang, Hao; Dai, Zhaozhao; Zheng, Yonglian; Lai, Jinsheng; Jin, Weiwei; Messing, Joachim; Bennetzen, Jeffrey L; Wing, Rod A; Luo, Meizhong

    2013-11-01

    Maize is one of the most important food crops and a key model for genetics and developmental biology. A genetically anchored and high-quality draft genome sequence of maize inbred B73 has been obtained to serve as a reference sequence. To facilitate evolutionary studies in maize and its close relatives, much like the Oryza Map Alignment Project (OMAP) (www.OMAP.org) bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) resource did for the rice community, we constructed BAC libraries for maize inbred lines Zheng58, Chang7-2, and Mo17 and maize wild relatives Zea mays ssp. parviglumis and Tripsacum dactyloides. Furthermore, to extend functional genomic studies to maize and sorghum, we also constructed binary BAC (BIBAC) libraries for the maize inbred B73 and the sorghum landrace Nengsi-1. The BAC/BIBAC vectors facilitate transfer of large intact DNA inserts from BAC clones to the BIBAC vector and functional complementation of large DNA fragments. These seven Zea Map Alignment Project (ZMAP) BAC/BIBAC libraries have average insert sizes ranging from 92 to 148 kb, organellar DNA from 0.17 to 2.3%, empty vector rates between 0.35 and 5.56%, and genome equivalents of 4.7- to 8.4-fold. The usefulness of the Parviglumis and Tripsacum BAC libraries was demonstrated by mapping clones to the reference genome. Novel genes and alleles present in these ZMAP libraries can now be used for functional complementation studies and positional or homology-based cloning of genes for translational genomics.

  7. Delineating the structural, functional and evolutionary relationships of sucrose phosphate synthase gene family II in wheat and related grasses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalil Zaynali

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS is an important component of the plant sucrose biosynthesis pathway. In the monocotyledonous Poaceae, five SPS genes have been identified. Here we present a detailed analysis of the wheat SPSII family in wheat. A set of homoeologue-specific primers was developed in order to permit both the detection of sequence variation, and the dissection of the individual contribution of each homoeologue to the global expression of SPSII. Results The expression in bread wheat over the course of development of various sucrose biosynthesis genes monitored on an Affymetrix array showed that the SPS genes were regulated over time and space. SPSII homoeologue-specific assays were used to show that the three homoeologues contributed differentially to the global expression of SPSII. Genetic mapping placed the set of homoeoloci on the short arms of the homoeologous group 3 chromosomes. A resequencing of the A and B genome copies allowed the detection of four haplotypes at each locus. The 3B copy includes an unspliced intron. A comparison of the sequences of the wheat SPSII orthologues present in the diploid progenitors einkorn, goatgrass and Triticum speltoides, as well as in the more distantly related species barley, rice, sorghum and purple false brome demonstrated that intronic sequence was less well conserved than exonic. Comparative sequence and phylogenetic analysis of SPSII gene showed that false purple brome was more similar to Triticeae than to rice. Wheat - rice synteny was found to be perturbed at the SPS region. Conclusion The homoeologue-specific assays will be suitable to derive associations between SPS functionality and key phenotypic traits. The amplicon sequences derived from the homoeologue-specific primers are informative regarding the evolution of SPSII in a polyploid context.

  8. Functional conservation of coenzyme Q biosynthetic genes among yeasts, plants, and humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuhiro Hayashi

    Full Text Available Coenzyme Q (CoQ is an essential factor for aerobic growth and oxidative phosphorylation in the electron transport system. The biosynthetic pathway for CoQ has been proposed mainly from biochemical and genetic analyses of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae; however, the biosynthetic pathway in higher eukaryotes has been explored in only a limited number of studies. We previously reported the roles of several genes involved in CoQ synthesis in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Here, we expand these findings by identifying ten genes (dps1, dlp1, ppt1, and coq3-9 that are required for CoQ synthesis. CoQ10-deficient S. pombe coq deletion strains were generated and characterized. All mutant fission yeast strains were sensitive to oxidative stress, produced a large amount of sulfide, required an antioxidant to grow on minimal medium, and did not survive at the stationary phase. To compare the biosynthetic pathway of CoQ in fission yeast with that in higher eukaryotes, the ability of CoQ biosynthetic genes from humans and plants (Arabidopsis thaliana to functionally complement the S. pombe coq deletion strains was determined. With the exception of COQ9, expression of all other human and plant COQ genes recovered CoQ10 production by the fission yeast coq deletion strains, although the addition of a mitochondrial targeting sequence was required for human COQ3 and COQ7, as well as A. thaliana COQ6. In summary, this study describes the functional conservation of CoQ biosynthetic genes between yeasts, humans, and plants.

  9. Pleiotropic Regulation of Virulence Genes in Streptococcus mutans by the Conserved Small Protein SprV.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shankar, Manoharan; Hossain, Mohammad S; Biswas, Indranil

    2017-04-15

    Streptococcus mutans , an oral pathogen associated with dental caries, colonizes tooth surfaces as polymicrobial biofilms known as dental plaque. S. mutans expresses several virulence factors that allow the organism to tolerate environmental fluctuations and compete with other microorganisms. We recently identified a small hypothetical protein (90 amino acids) essential for the normal growth of the bacterium. Inactivation of the gene, SMU.2137, encoding this protein caused a significant growth defect and loss of various virulence-associated functions. An S. mutans strain lacking this gene was more sensitive to acid, temperature, osmotic, oxidative, and DNA damage-inducing stresses. In addition, we observed an altered protein profile and defects in biofilm formation, bacteriocin production, and natural competence development, possibly due to the fitness defect associated with SMU.2137 deletion. Transcriptome sequencing revealed that nearly 20% of the S. mutans genes were differentially expressed upon SMU.2137 deletion, thereby suggesting a pleiotropic effect. Therefore, we have renamed this hitherto uncharacterized gene as sprV ( s treptococcal p leiotropic r egulator of v irulence). The transcript levels of several relevant genes in the sprV mutant corroborated the phenotypes observed upon sprV deletion. Owing to its highly conserved nature, inactivation of the sprV ortholog in Streptococcus gordonii also resulted in poor growth and defective UV tolerance and competence development as in the case of S. mutans Our experiments suggest that SprV is functionally distinct from its homologs identified by structure and sequence homology. Nonetheless, our current work is aimed at understanding the importance of SprV in the S. mutans biology. IMPORTANCE Streptococcus mutans employs several virulence factors and stress resistance mechanisms to colonize tooth surfaces and cause dental caries. Bacterial pathogenesis is generally controlled by regulators of fitness that are

  10. Molecular phylogeny of the higher and lower taxonomy of the Fusarium genus and differences in the evolutionary histories of multiple genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background Species of the Fusarium genus are important fungi which is associated with health hazards in human and animals. The taxonomy of this genus has been a subject of controversy for many years. Although many researchers have applied molecular phylogenetic analysis to examine the taxonomy of Fusarium species, their phylogenetic relationships remain unclear only few comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of the Fusarium genus and a lack of suitable nucleotides and amino acid substitution rates. A previous stugy with whole genome comparison among Fusairum species revealed the possibility that each gene in Fusarium genomes has a unique evolutionary history, and such gene may bring difficulty to the reconstruction of phylogenetic tree of Fusarium. There is a need not only to check substitution rates of genes but also to perform the exact evaluation of each gene-evolution. Results We performed phylogenetic analyses based on the nucleotide sequences of the rDNA cluster region (rDNA cluster), and the β-tubulin gene (β-tub), the elongation factor 1α gene (EF-1α), and the aminoadipate reductase gene (lys2). Although incongruence of the tree topologies between lys2 and the other genes was detected, all genes supported the classification of Fusarium species into 7 major clades, I to VII. To obtain a reliable phylogeny for Fusarium species, we excluded the lys2 sequences from our dataset, and re-constructed a maximum likelihood (ML) tree based on the combined data of the rDNA cluster, β-tub, and EF-1α. Our ML tree indicated some interesting relationships in the higher and lower taxa of Fusarium species and related genera. Moreover, we observed a novel evolutionary history of lys2. We suggest that the unique tree topologies of lys2 are not due to an analytical artefact, but due to differences in the evolutionary history of genomes caused by positive selection of particular lineages. Conclusion This study showed the reliable species tree of the higher and lower taxonomy

  11. Duplication of the IGFBP-2 gene in teleost fish: protein structure and functionality conservation and gene expression divergence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianfeng Zhou

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2 is a secreted protein that binds and regulates IGF actions in controlling growth, development, reproduction, and aging. Elevated expression of IGFBP-2 is often associated with progression of many types of cancers. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We report the identification and characterization of two IGFBP-2 genes in zebrafish and four other teleost fish. Comparative genomics and structural analyses suggest that they are co-orthologs of the human IGFBP-2 gene. Biochemical assays show that both zebrafish igfbp-2a and -2b encode secreted proteins that bind IGFs. These two genes exhibit distinct spatiotemporal expression patterns. During embryogenesis, IGFBP-2a mRNA is initially detected in the lens, then in the brain boundary vasculature, and subsequently becomes highly expressed in the liver. In the adult stage, liver has the highest levels of IGFBP-2a mRNA, followed by the brain. Low levels of IGFBP-2a mRNA were detected in muscle and in the gonad in male adults only. IGFBP-2b mRNA is detected initially in all tissues at low levels, but later becomes abundant in the liver. In adult males, IGFBP-2b mRNA is only detected in the liver. In adult females, it is also found in the gut, kidney, ovary, and muscle. To gain insights into how the IGFBP-2 genes may have evolved through partitioning of ancestral functions, functional and mechanistic studies were carried out. Expression of zebrafish IGFBP-2a and -2b caused significant decreases in the growth and developmental rates and their effects are comparable to that of human IGFBP-2. IGFBP-2 mutants with altered IGF binding-, RGD-, and heparin-binding sites were generated and their actions examined. While mutating the RGD and heparin binding sites had little effect, altering the IGF binding site abolished its biological activity. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These results suggest that IGFBP-2 is a conserved regulatory protein and it inhibits

  12. Conservation of lipid metabolic gene transcriptional regulatory networks in fish and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carmona-Antoñanzas, Greta; Tocher, Douglas R; Martinez-Rubio, Laura; Leaver, Michael J

    2014-01-15

    Lipid content and composition in aquafeeds have changed rapidly as a result of the recent drive to replace ecologically limited marine ingredients, fishmeal and fish oil (FO). Terrestrial plant products are the most economic and sustainable alternative; however, plant meals and oils are devoid of physiologically important cholesterol and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosahexaenoic (DHA) and arachidonic (ARA) acids. Although replacement of dietary FO with vegetable oil (VO) has little effect on growth in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), several studies have shown major effects on the activity and expression of genes involved in lipid homeostasis. In vertebrates, sterols and LC-PUFA play crucial roles in lipid metabolism by direct interaction with lipid-sensing transcription factors (TFs) and consequent regulation of target genes. The primary aim of the present study was to elucidate the role of key TFs in the transcriptional regulation of lipid metabolism in fish by transfection and overexpression of TFs. The results show that the expression of genes of LC-PUFA biosynthesis (elovl and fads2) and cholesterol metabolism (abca1) are regulated by Lxr and Srebp TFs in salmon, indicating highly conserved regulatory mechanism across vertebrates. In addition, srebp1 and srebp2 mRNA respond to replacement of dietary FO with VO. Thus, Atlantic salmon adjust lipid metabolism in response to dietary lipid composition through the transcriptional regulation of gene expression. It may be possible to further increase efficient and effective use of sustainable alternatives to marine products in aquaculture by considering these important molecular interactions when formulating diets. © 2013.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  14. Assessment of polymorphic variants in the melanocortin-1 receptor gene with cutaneous pigmentation using an evolutionary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanetsky, Peter A; Ge, Fan; Najarian, Derek; Swoyer, Jennifer; Panossian, Saarene; Schuchter, Lynn; Holmes, Robin; Guerry, DuPont; Rebbeck, Timothy R

    2004-05-01

    The melanocortin-1 receptor gene (MC1R) encodes a membrane-bound receptor protein that is central to melanin synthesis. The coding region of MC1R is highly polymorphic and associations of variants with pigmentation phenotypes and risk for cutaneous neoplasms have been reported. We sought to determine the distribution and frequency of MC1R variants and their relationship to pigmentation characteristics in 179 Caucasian controls from the United States. One hundred thirty-five (75.4%) subjects carried one or more variants, and we determined that carriage of the previously designated "red hair color" (RHC) alleles, R151C, R160W, and D294H was strongly associated with fair pigmentation phenotypes including light hair and eye color, tendency to burn, decreased tendency to tan, and freckling. We used SIFT software to define MC1R protein positions that were predicted intolerant to amino acid substitutions; detected variants that corresponded to intolerant substitutions were D84E, R142H, R151C, I155T, R160W, and D294H. Carriage of one or more of these putative functionally important variants or the frameshift variant ins86A was significantly associated with fair pigmentation phenotypes. Analyses limited to carriage of ins86A and the three non-RHC alleles identified by SIFT were attenuated and no longer reached statistical significance. This is the first study to describe MC1R variants among control subjects from the U.S. Our results indicate that the frequency of variants is similar to that previously observed among non-U.S. Caucasians. Risk variants defined by either the published literature or by evolutionary criteria are strongly and significantly associated with all fair pigmentation phenotypes that were measured.

  15. Single-copy genes define a conserved order between rice and wheat for understanding differences caused by duplication, deletion, and transposition of genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Nagendra K; Dalal, Vivek; Batra, Kamlesh; Singh, Binay K; Chitra, G; Singh, Archana; Ghazi, Irfan A; Yadav, Mahavir; Pandit, Awadhesh; Dixit, Rekha; Singh, Pradeep K; Singh, Harvinder; Koundal, Kirpa R; Gaikwad, Kishor; Mohapatra, Trilochan; Sharma, Tilak R

    2007-01-01

    The high-quality rice genome sequence is serving as a reference for comparative genome analysis in crop plants, especially cereals. However, early comparisons with bread wheat showed complex patterns of conserved synteny (gene content) and colinearity (gene order). Here, we show the presence of ancient duplicated segments in the progenitor of wheat, which were first identified in the rice genome. We also show that single-copy (SC) rice genes, those representing unique matches with wheat expressed sequence tag (EST) unigene contigs in the whole rice genome, show more than twice the proportion of genes mapping to syntenic wheat chromosome as compared to the multicopy (MC) or duplicated rice genes. While 58.7% of the 1,244 mapped SC rice genes were located in single syntenic wheat chromosome groups, the remaining 41.3% were distributed randomly to the other six non-syntenic wheat groups. This could only be explained by a background dispersal of genes in the genome through transposition or other unknown mechanism. The breakdown of rice-wheat synteny due to such transpositions was much greater near the wheat centromeres. Furthermore, the SC rice genes revealed a conserved primordial gene order that gives clues to the origin of rice and wheat chromosomes from a common ancestor through polyploidy, aneuploidy, centromeric fusions, and translocations. Apart from the bin-mapped wheat EST contigs, we also compared 56,298 predicted rice genes with 39,813 wheat EST contigs assembled from 409,765 EST sequences and identified 7,241 SC rice gene homologs of wheat. Based on the conserved colinearity of 1,063 mapped SC rice genes across the bins of individual wheat chromosomes, we predicted the wheat bin location of 6,178 unmapped SC rice gene homologs and validated the location of 213 of these in the telomeric bins of 21 wheat chromosomes with 35.4% initial success. This opens up the possibility of directed mapping of a large number of conserved SC rice gene homologs in wheat

  16. Genomic regression of claw keratin, taste receptor and light-associated genes provides insights into biology and evolutionary origins of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerling, Christopher A

    2017-10-01

    Regressive evolution of anatomical traits often corresponds with the regression of genomic loci underlying such characters. As such, studying patterns of gene loss can be instrumental in addressing questions of gene function, resolving conflicting results from anatomical studies, and understanding the evolutionary history of clades. The evolutionary origins of snakes involved the regression of a number of anatomical traits, including limbs, taste buds and the visual system, and by analyzing serpent genomes, I was able to test three hypotheses associated with the regression of these features. The first concerns two keratins that are putatively specific to claws. Both genes that encode these keratins are pseudogenized/deleted in snake genomes, providing additional evidence of claw-specificity. The second hypothesis is that snakes lack taste buds, an issue complicated by conflicting results in the literature. I found evidence that different snakes have lost one or more taste receptors, but all snakes examined retained at least one gustatory channel. The final hypothesis addressed is that the earliest snakes were adapted to a dim light niche. I found evidence of deleted and pseudogenized genes with light-associated functions in snakes, demonstrating a pattern of gene loss similar to other dim light-adapted clades. Molecular dating estimates suggest that dim light adaptation preceded the loss of limbs, providing some bearing on interpretations of the ecological origins of snakes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Calculation of evolutionary correlation between individual genes and full-length genome: a method useful for choosing phylogenetic markers for molecular epidemiology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Wang

    Full Text Available Individual genes or regions are still commonly used to estimate the phylogenetic relationships among viral isolates. The genomic regions that can faithfully provide assessments consistent with those predicted with full-length genome sequences would be preferable to serve as good candidates of the phylogenetic markers for molecular epidemiological studies of many viruses. Here we employed a statistical method to evaluate the evolutionary relationships between individual viral genes and full-length genomes without tree construction as a way to determine which gene can match the genome well in phylogenetic analyses. This method was performed by calculation of linear correlations between the genetic distance matrices of aligned individual gene sequences and aligned genome sequences. We applied this method to the phylogenetic analyses of porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2, measles virus (MV, hepatitis E virus (HEV and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV. Phylogenetic trees were constructed for comparisons and the possible factors affecting the method accuracy were also discussed in the calculations. The results revealed that this method could produce results consistent with those of previous studies about the proper consensus sequences that could be successfully used as phylogenetic markers. And our results also suggested that these evolutionary correlations could provide useful information for identifying genes that could be used effectively to infer the genetic relationships.

  18. Cloning, characterisation and comparative analysis of a starch synthase IV gene in wheat: functional and evolutionary implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Broglie Karen E

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Starch is of great importance to humans as a food and biomaterial, and the amount and structure of starch made in plants is determined in part by starch synthase (SS activity. Five SS isoforms, SSI, II, III, IV and Granule Bound SSI, have been identified, each with a unique catalytic role in starch synthesis. The basic mode of action of SSs is known; however our knowledge of several aspects of SS enzymology at the structural and mechanistic level is incomplete. To gain a better understanding of the differences in SS sequences that underscore their specificity, the previously uncharacterised SSIVb from wheat was cloned and extensive bioinformatics analyses of this and other SSs sequences were done. Results The wheat SSIV cDNA is most similar to rice SSIVb with which it shows synteny and shares a similar exon-intron arrangement. The wheat SSIVb gene was preferentially expressed in leaf and was not regulated by a circadian clock. Phylogenetic analysis showed that in plants, SSIV is closely related to SSIII, while SSI, SSII and Granule Bound SSI clustered together and distinctions between the two groups can be made at the genetic level and included chromosomal location and intron conservation. Further, identified differences at the amino acid level in their glycosyltransferase domains, predicted secondary structures, global conformations and conserved residues might be indicative of intragroup functional associations. Conclusion Based on bioinformatics analysis of the catalytic region of 36 SSs and 3 glycogen synthases (GSs, it is suggested that the valine residue in the highly conserved K-X-G-G-L motif in SSIII and SSIV may be a determining feature of primer specificity of these SSs as compared to GBSSI, SSI and SSII. In GBSSI, the Ile485 residue may partially explain that enzyme's unique catalytic features. The flexible 380s Loop in the starch catalytic domain may be important in defining the specificity of action for each

  19. Conservation, spillover and gene flow within a network of Northern European marine protected areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mats Brockstedt Olsen Huserbråten

    Full Text Available To ensure that marine protected areas (MPAs benefit conservation and fisheries, the effectiveness of MPA designs has to be evaluated in field studies. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we empirically assessed the design of a network of northern MPAs where fishing for European lobster (Homarusgammarus is prohibited. First, we demonstrate a high level of residency and survival (50% for almost a year (363 days within MPAs, despite small MPA sizes (0.5-1 km(2. Second, we demonstrate limited export (4.7% of lobsters tagged within MPAs (N = 1810 to neighbouring fished areas, over a median distance of 1.6 km out to maximum 21 km away from MPA centres. In comparison, median movement distance of lobsters recaptured within MPAs was 164 m, and recapture rate was high (40%. Third, we demonstrate a high level of gene flow within the study region, with an estimated F ST of less than 0.0001 over a ≈ 400 km coastline. Thus, the restricted movement of older life stages, combined with a high level of gene flow suggests that connectivity is primarily driven by larval drift. Larval export from the MPAs can most likely affect areas far beyond their borders. Our findings are of high importance for the design of MPA networks for sedentary species with pelagic early life stages.

  20. Approaches to gene pool conservation of medicinal plant Oxytropis lanata (Pall. DC. (Fabaceae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. B. Kholina

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In order to preserve the gene pool of medicinal plant Oxytropis lanata (Pall. DC. we analyzed allozyme polymorphism and identified reliable and informative marker enzyme systems of this species; also we studied the response of seeds to deep freezing in liquid nitrogen (–196 ºС. Population has an average level of polymorphism (P95 = 41,2 %, P99 = 52,9 %, A = 1,58, Ho = 0,158, He = 0,171 in general typical for herbaceous legumes, and can serve as a source of material for gene pool conservation of the species. Deep freezing has not led to the death of the seeds; it was marked stimulatory effect of ultralow temperatures, expressed as an acceleration of germination and sharp increase of germinability (98,6 ± 2,3 % compared to the control (12,0 ± 3,5 % that is associated with overcoming physical dormancy. There were no abnormalities in the development of seedlings from seeds passed cryopreservation.

  1. Comprehensive analysis of coding-lncRNA gene co-expression network uncovers conserved functional lncRNAs in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wen; Zhang, Xuan; Li, Jing; Huang, Shulan; Xiang, Shuanglin; Hu, Xiang; Liu, Changning

    2018-05-09

    Zebrafish is a full-developed model system for studying development processes and human disease. Recent studies of deep sequencing had discovered a large number of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in zebrafish. However, only few of them had been functionally characterized. Therefore, how to take advantage of the mature zebrafish system to deeply investigate the lncRNAs' function and conservation is really intriguing. We systematically collected and analyzed a series of zebrafish RNA-seq data, then combined them with resources from known database and literatures. As a result, we obtained by far the most complete dataset of zebrafish lncRNAs, containing 13,604 lncRNA genes (21,128 transcripts) in total. Based on that, a co-expression network upon zebrafish coding and lncRNA genes was constructed and analyzed, and used to predict the Gene Ontology (GO) and the KEGG annotation of lncRNA. Meanwhile, we made a conservation analysis on zebrafish lncRNA, identifying 1828 conserved zebrafish lncRNA genes (1890 transcripts) that have their putative mammalian orthologs. We also found that zebrafish lncRNAs play important roles in regulation of the development and function of nervous system; these conserved lncRNAs present a significant sequential and functional conservation, with their mammalian counterparts. By integrative data analysis and construction of coding-lncRNA gene co-expression network, we gained the most comprehensive dataset of zebrafish lncRNAs up to present, as well as their systematic annotations and comprehensive analyses on function and conservation. Our study provides a reliable zebrafish-based platform to deeply explore lncRNA function and mechanism, as well as the lncRNA commonality between zebrafish and human.

  2. Evolutionary history and functional divergence of the cytochrome P450 gene superfamily between Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica species uncover effects of whole genome and tandem duplications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jingyin; Tehrim, Sadia; Wang, Linhai; Dossa, Komivi; Zhang, Xiurong; Ke, Tao; Liao, Boshou

    2017-09-18

    The cytochrome P450 monooxygenase (P450) superfamily is involved in the biosynthesis of various primary and secondary metabolites. However, little is known about the effects of whole genome duplication (WGD) and tandem duplication (TD) events on the evolutionary history and functional divergence of P450s in Brassica after splitting from a common ancestor with Arabidopsis thaliana. Using Hidden Markov Model search and manual curation, we detected that Brassica species have nearly 1.4-fold as many P450 members as A. thaliana. Most P450s in A. thaliana and Brassica species were located on pseudo-chromosomes. The inferred phylogeny indicated that all P450s were clustered into two different subgroups. Analysis of WGD event revealed that different P450 gene families had appeared after evolutionary events of species. For the TD event analyses, the P450s from TD events in Brassica species can be divided into ancient and recent parts. Our comparison of influence of WGD and TD events on the P450 gene superfamily between A. thaliana and Brassica species indicated that the family-specific evolution in the Brassica lineage can be attributed to both WGD and TD, whereas WGD was recognized as the major mechanism for the recent evolution of the P450 super gene family. Expression analysis of P450s from A. thaliana and Brassica species indicated that WGD-type P450s showed the same expression pattern but completely different expression with TD-type P450s across different tissues in Brassica species. Selection force analysis suggested that P450 orthologous gene pairs between A. thaliana and Brassica species underwent negative selection, but no significant differences were found between P450 orthologous gene pairs in A. thaliana-B. rapa and A. thaliana-B. oleracea lineages, as well as in different subgenomes in B. rapa or B. oleracea compared with A. thaliana. This study is the first to investigate the effects of WGD and TD on the evolutionary history and functional divergence of P450

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Conserved repertoire of orthologous vomeronasal type 1 receptor genes in ruminant species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Okamura Hiroaki

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In mammals, pheromones play an important role in social and innate reproductive behavior within species. In rodents, vomeronasal receptor type 1 (V1R, which is specifically expressed in the vomeronasal organ, is thought to detect pheromones. The V1R gene repertoire differs dramatically between mammalian species, and the presence of species-specific V1R subfamilies in mouse and rat suggests that V1R plays a profound role in species-specific recognition of pheromones. In ruminants, however, the molecular mechanism(s for pheromone perception is not well understood. Interestingly, goat male pheromone, which can induce out-of-season ovulation in anestrous females, causes the same pheromone response in sheep, and vice versa, suggesting that there may be mechanisms for detecting "inter-species" pheromones among ruminant species. Results We isolated 23 goat and 21 sheep intact V1R genes based on sequence similarity with 32 cow V1R genes in the cow genome database. We found that all of the goat and sheep V1R genes have orthologs in their cross-species counterparts among these three ruminant species and that the sequence identity of V1R orthologous pairs among these ruminants is much higher than that of mouse-rat V1R orthologous pairs. Furthermore, all goat V1Rs examined thus far are expressed not only in the vomeronasal organ but also in the main olfactory epithelium. Conclusion Our results suggest that, compared with rodents, the repertoire of orthologous V1R genes is remarkably conserved among the ruminants cow, sheep and goat. We predict that these orthologous V1Rs can detect the same or closely related chemical compound(s within each orthologous set/pair. Furthermore, all identified goat V1Rs are expressed in the vomeronasal organ and the main olfactory epithelium, suggesting that V1R-mediated ligand information can be detected and processed by both the main and accessory olfactory systems. The fact that ruminant and rodent V1Rs

  6. Functional and evolutionary analysis of the AP1/SEP/AGL6 superclade of MADS-box genes in the basal eudicot Epimedium sagittatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Wei; Huang, Wenjun; Li, Zhineng; Song, Chi; Liu, Di; Liu, Yongliang; Hayward, Alice; Liu, Yifei; Huang, Hongwen; Wang, Ying

    2014-03-01

    MADS-box transcriptional regulators play important roles during plant development. Based on phylogenetic reconstruction, the AP1/SEP/AGL6 superclade of floral MADS-box genes underwent one or two duplication events in the common ancestor of the core eudicots. However, the functional evolution of the AP1/SEP/AGL6 superclade in basal eudicots remains uncharacterized. Epimedium sagittatum is a basal eudicot species valued for its medicinal properties and showing unique floral morphology. In this study, structural and functional variation of FUL-like (AP1 subfamily), SEP-like and AGL6-like genes in this species was investigated to further our understanding of flower evolution in angiosperms. Detailed investigations into the microsynteny and evolutionary history of the floral A and E class MADS-box genes in eudicots were undertaken and used to trace their genomic rearrangements. One AP1-like gene, two SEP-like genes and one AGL6-like gene were cloned from E. sagittatum. Their expression patterns were examined using quantitative RT-PCR in different vegetative and reproductive organs at two developmental stages. Yeast two-hybrid assays were carried out among AP1/SEP/AGL6 superclade, AP3/PI and AGAMOUS subfamily members for elucidation of dimerization patterns. In addition, possible formation of a ternary complex involving B class proteins with the A class protein EsFUL-like, the E class SEP-like protein EsAGL2-1 or the AGL6-class protein EsAGL6 were detected using yeast three-hybrid assays. Transgenic Arabidopsis or tobacco plants expressing EsFUL-like, EsAGL2-1 and EsAGL6-like under the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter were generated and analysed. Genomic studies of AP1 syntenic regions in arabidopsis, columbine, strawberry, papaya, peach, grapevine and tomato were conducted for microsyntenic analyses. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses showed that EsFUL-like is a member of the AP1 (A class) subfamily, EsAGL2-1 and EsAGL2-2 belong to the SEP-like (E class

  7. TAS3 miR390-dependent loci in non-vascular land plants: towards a comprehensive reconstruction of the gene evolutionary history

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergey Y. Morozov

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Trans-acting small interfering RNAs (ta-siRNAs are transcribed from protein non-coding genomic TAS loci and belong to a plant-specific class of endogenous small RNAs. These siRNAs have been found to regulate gene expression in most taxa including seed plants, gymnosperms, ferns and mosses. In this study, bioinformatic and experimental PCR-based approaches were used as tools to analyze TAS3 and TAS6 loci in transcriptomes and genomic DNAs from representatives of evolutionary distant non-vascular plant taxa such as Bryophyta, Marchantiophyta and Anthocerotophyta. We revealed previously undiscovered TAS3 loci in plant classes Sphagnopsida and Anthocerotopsida, as well as TAS6 loci in Bryophyta classes Tetraphidiopsida, Polytrichopsida, Andreaeopsida and Takakiopsida. These data further unveil the evolutionary pathway of the miR390-dependent TAS3 loci in land plants. We also identified charophyte alga sequences coding for SUPPRESSOR OF GENE SILENCING 3 (SGS3, which is required for generation of ta-siRNAs in plants, and hypothesized that the appearance of TAS3-related sequences could take place at a very early step in evolutionary transition from charophyte algae to an earliest common ancestor of land plants.

  8. TAS3 miR390-dependent loci in non-vascular land plants: towards a comprehensive reconstruction of the gene evolutionary history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morozov, Sergey Y; Milyutina, Irina A; Erokhina, Tatiana N; Ozerova, Liudmila V; Troitsky, Alexey V; Solovyev, Andrey G

    2018-01-01

    Trans-acting small interfering RNAs (ta-siRNAs) are transcribed from protein non-coding genomic TAS loci and belong to a plant-specific class of endogenous small RNAs. These siRNAs have been found to regulate gene expression in most taxa including seed plants, gymnosperms, ferns and mosses. In this study, bioinformatic and experimental PCR-based approaches were used as tools to analyze TAS3 and TAS6 loci in transcriptomes and genomic DNAs from representatives of evolutionary distant non-vascular plant taxa such as Bryophyta, Marchantiophyta and Anthocerotophyta. We revealed previously undiscovered TAS3 loci in plant classes Sphagnopsida and Anthocerotopsida, as well as TAS6 loci in Bryophyta classes Tetraphidiopsida, Polytrichopsida, Andreaeopsida and Takakiopsida. These data further unveil the evolutionary pathway of the miR390-dependent TAS3 loci in land plants. We also identified charophyte alga sequences coding for SUPPRESSOR OF GENE SILENCING 3 (SGS3), which is required for generation of ta-siRNAs in plants, and hypothesized that the appearance of TAS3-related sequences could take place at a very early step in evolutionary transition from charophyte algae to an earliest common ancestor of land plants.

  9. Is capitalism in our genes? Competition, cooperation and the idea of homo oeconomicus from an evolutionary perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Portera Mariagrazia

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the last few years a growing number of academic disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences have turned to the evolutionary approach: Evolutionary Economics, among these disciplines, is a thriving subfield of Economics, which adopts Darwin’s evolutionary ideas and concepts for the understanding of economic system and modes of production. Evolutionary hypotheses such as the „selfish gene“ idea, the ideas of „inclusive fitness“, „struggle for life“ and „survival of the fittest“ may suggest - and have indeed suggested - that humans are rational self-interest individuals, doing what they can to increase their own reproductive chances or at least the chances of their close relatives („inclusive fitness“. To put it differently, evolutionary theory seems to suggest that capitalism (in a broad sense is a system that has co-evolved with humans and best fits our evolved psychology. Is this the whole story? Is capitalism „in our genes“? In this paper I argue that conclusions such as „we are born to be rational self-interested agents“ or „capitalism is encoded in our genome“ are the result of a misleading application of Darwin’s evolutionary theory to human socio-economic processes, mainly to justify a (Western society based on selfish principles, but which is not naturally selfish in itself. Evolution seems to be the result of cooperative, not only (or not mainly competitive processes, and the model of Homo oeconomicus, that is the idea that humans are rational self-interested agents always trying to maximize profit, is, also from an bio-evolutionary perspective, nothing more than a fictional exercise.

  10. Dynamic Gene-Resource Landscape Management of Norway Spruce: Combining Utilization and Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milan Lstibůrek

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Traditional gene-resource management programs for forest trees are long-term endeavors requiring sustained organizational commitment covering extensive landscapes. While successful in maintaining adaptation, genetic diversity and capturing traditional growth attributes gains, these programs are dependent on rigid methods requiring elaborate mating schemes, thus making them slow in coping with climate change challenges. Here, we review the significance of Norway spruce in the boreal region and its current management practices. Next, we discuss opportunities offered by novel technologies and, with the use of computer simulations, we propose and evaluate a dynamic landscape gene-resource management in Norway. Our suggested long-term management approach capitalizes on: (1 existing afforestation activities, natural crosses, and DNA-based pedigree assembly to create structured pedigree for evaluation, thus traditional laborious control crosses are avoided and (2 landscape level genetic evaluation, rather than localized traditional progeny trials, allowing for screening of adapted individuals across multiple environmental gradients under changing climate. These advantages lead to greater genetic response to selection in adaptive traits without the traditional breeding and testing scheme, facilitating conservation of genetic resources within the breeding population of the most important forest tree species in Norway. The use of in situ selection from proven material exposed to realistic conditions over vast territories has not been conducted in forestry before. Our proposed approach is in contrast to worldwide current programs, where genetic evaluation is constrained by the range of environments where testing is conducted, which may be insufficient to capture the broad environmental variation necessary to tackle adaptation under changing climate.

  11. Variable gene dispersal conditions and spatial deforestation patterns can interact to affect tropical tree conservation outcomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yamini Kashimshetty

    Full Text Available Tropical lowland rain forest (TLRF biodiversity is under threat from anthropogenic factors including deforestation which creates forest fragments of different sizes that can further undergo various internal patterns of logging. Such interventions can modify previous equilibrium abundance and spatial distribution patterns of offspring recruitment and/or pollen dispersal. Little is known about how these aspects of deforestation and fragmentation might synergistically affect TLRF tree recovery demographics and population genetics in newly formed forest fragments. To investigate these TLRF anthropogenic disturbance processes we used the computer program NEWGARDEN (NG, which models spatially-explicit, individual-based plant populations, to simulate 10% deforestation in six different spatial logging patterns for the plant functional type of a long-lived TLRF canopy tree species. Further, each logging pattern was analyzed under nine varying patterns of offspring versus pollen dispersal distances that could have arisen post-fragmentation. Results indicated that gene dispersal condition (especially via offspring had a greater effect on population growth and genetic diversity retention (explaining 98.5% and 88.8% of the variance respectively than spatial logging pattern (0.2% and 4.7% respectively, with 'Near' distance dispersal maximizing population growth and genetic diversity relative to distant dispersal. Within logged regions of the fragment, deforestation patterns closer to fragment borders more often exhibited lower population recovery rates and founding genetic diversity retention relative to more centrally located logging. These results suggest newly isolated fragments have populations that are more sensitive to the way in which their offspring and pollen dispersers are affected than the spatial pattern in which subsequent logging occurs, and that large variation in the recovery rates of different TLRF tree species attributable to altered gene

  12. Variable gene dispersal conditions and spatial deforestation patterns can interact to affect tropical tree conservation outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kashimshetty, Yamini; Pelikan, Stephan; Rogstad, Steven H

    2015-01-01

    Tropical lowland rain forest (TLRF) biodiversity is under threat from anthropogenic factors including deforestation which creates forest fragments of different sizes that can further undergo various internal patterns of logging. Such interventions can modify previous equilibrium abundance and spatial distribution patterns of offspring recruitment and/or pollen dispersal. Little is known about how these aspects of deforestation and fragmentation might synergistically affect TLRF tree recovery demographics and population genetics in newly formed forest fragments. To investigate these TLRF anthropogenic disturbance processes we used the computer program NEWGARDEN (NG), which models spatially-explicit, individual-based plant populations, to simulate 10% deforestation in six different spatial logging patterns for the plant functional type of a long-lived TLRF canopy tree species. Further, each logging pattern was analyzed under nine varying patterns of offspring versus pollen dispersal distances that could have arisen post-fragmentation. Results indicated that gene dispersal condition (especially via offspring) had a greater effect on population growth and genetic diversity retention (explaining 98.5% and 88.8% of the variance respectively) than spatial logging pattern (0.2% and 4.7% respectively), with 'Near' distance dispersal maximizing population growth and genetic diversity relative to distant dispersal. Within logged regions of the fragment, deforestation patterns closer to fragment borders more often exhibited lower population recovery rates and founding genetic diversity retention relative to more centrally located logging. These results suggest newly isolated fragments have populations that are more sensitive to the way in which their offspring and pollen dispersers are affected than the spatial pattern in which subsequent logging occurs, and that large variation in the recovery rates of different TLRF tree species attributable to altered gene dispersal

  13. Primary structure and promoter analysis of leghemoglobin genes of the stem-nodulated tropical legume Sesbania rostrata: conserved coding sequences, cis-elements and trans-acting factors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Metz, B A; Welters, P; Hoffmann, H J

    1988-01-01

    The primary structure of a leghemoglobin (lb) gene from the stem-nodulated, tropical legume Sesbania rostrata and two lb gene promoter regions was analysed. The S. rostrata lb gene structure and Lb amino acid composition were found to be highly conserved with previously described lb genes and Lb ...

  14. Structure of genes for dermaseptins B, antimicrobial peptides from frog skin. Exon 1-encoded prepropeptide is conserved in genes for peptides of highly different structures and activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vouille, V; Amiche, M; Nicolas, P

    1997-09-01

    We cloned the genes of two members of the dermaseptin family, broad-spectrum antimicrobial peptides isolated from the skin of the arboreal frog Phyllomedusa bicolor. The dermaseptin gene Drg2 has a 2-exon coding structure interrupted by a small 137-bp intron, wherein exon 1 encoded a 22-residue hydrophobic signal peptide and the first three amino acids of the acidic propiece; exon 2 contained the 18 additional acidic residues of the propiece plus a typical prohormone processing signal Lys-Arg and a 32-residue dermaseptin progenitor sequence. The dermaseptin genes Drg2 and Drg1g2 have conserved sequences at both untranslated ends and in the first and second coding exons. In contrast, Drg1g2 comprises a third coding exon for a short version of the acidic propiece and a second dermaseptin progenitor sequence. Structural conservation between the two genes suggests that Drg1g2 arose recently from an ancestral Drg2-like gene through amplification of part of the second coding exon and 3'-untranslated region. Analysis of the cDNAs coding precursors for several frog skin peptides of highly different structures and activities demonstrates that the signal peptides and part of the acidic propieces are encoded by conserved nucleotides encompassed by the first coding exon of the dermaseptin genes. The organization of the genes that belong to this family, with the signal peptide and the progenitor sequence on separate exons, permits strikingly different peptides to be directed into the secretory pathway. The recruitment of such a homologous 'secretory' exon by otherwise non-homologous genes may have been an early event in the evolution of amphibian.

  15. G-NEST: A gene neighborhood scoring tool to identify co-conserved, co-expressed genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    In previous studies, gene neighborhoods--spatial clusters of co-expressed genes in the genome--have been defined using arbitrary rules such as requiring adjacency, a minimum number of genes, a fixed window size, or a minimum expression level. In the current study, we developed a Gene Neighborhood Sc...

  16. Mouse Nkrp1-Clr gene cluster sequence and expression analyses reveal conservation of tissue-specific MHC-independent immunosurveillance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Zhang

    Full Text Available The Nkrp1 (Klrb1-Clr (Clec2 genes encode a receptor-ligand system utilized by NK cells as an MHC-independent immunosurveillance strategy for innate immune responses. The related Ly49 family of MHC-I receptors displays extreme allelic polymorphism and haplotype plasticity. In contrast, previous BAC-mapping and aCGH studies in the mouse suggest the neighboring and related Nkrp1-Clr cluster is evolutionarily stable. To definitively compare the relative evolutionary rate of Nkrp1-Clr vs. Ly49 gene clusters, the Nkrp1-Clr gene clusters from two Ly49 haplotype-disparate inbred mouse strains, BALB/c and 129S6, were sequenced. Both Nkrp1-Clr gene cluster sequences are highly similar to the C57BL/6 reference sequence, displaying the same gene numbers and order, complete pseudogenes, and gene fragments. The Nkrp1-Clr clusters contain a strikingly dissimilar proportion of repetitive elements compared to the Ly49 clusters, suggesting that certain elements may be partly responsible for the highly disparate Ly49 vs. Nkrp1 evolutionary rate. Focused allelic polymorphisms were found within the Nkrp1b/d (Klrb1b, Nkrp1c (Klrb1c, and Clr-c (Clec2f genes, suggestive of possible immune selection. Cell-type specific transcription of Nkrp1-Clr genes in a large panel of tissues/organs was determined. Clr-b (Clec2d and Clr-g (Clec2i showed wide expression, while other Clr genes showed more tissue-specific expression patterns. In situ hybridization revealed specific expression of various members of the Clr family in leukocytes/hematopoietic cells of immune organs, various tissue-restricted epithelial cells (including intestinal, kidney tubular, lung, and corneal progenitor epithelial cells, as well as myocytes. In summary, the Nkrp1-Clr gene cluster appears to evolve more slowly relative to the related Ly49 cluster, and likely regulates innate immunosurveillance in a tissue-specific manner.

  17. Similar but not the same: insights into the evolutionary history of paralogous sex-determining genes of the dwarf honey bee Apis florea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biewer, M; Lechner, S; Hasselmann, M

    2016-01-01

    Studying the fate of duplicated genes provides informative insight into the evolutionary plasticity of biological pathways to which they belong. In the paralogous sex-determining genes complementary sex determiner (csd) and feminizer (fem) of honey bee species (genus Apis), only heterozygous csd initiates female development. Here, the full-length coding sequences of the genes csd and fem of the phylogenetically basal dwarf honey bee Apis florea are characterized. Compared with other Apis species, remarkable evolutionary changes in the formation and localization of a protein-interacting (coiled-coil) motif and in the amino acids coding for the csd characteristic hypervariable region (HVR) are observed. Furthermore, functionally different csd alleles were isolated as genomic fragments from a random population sample. In the predicted potential specifying domain (PSD), a high ratio of πN/πS=1.6 indicated positive selection, whereas signs of balancing selection, commonly found in other Apis species, are missing. Low nucleotide diversity on synonymous and genome-wide, non-coding sites as well as site frequency analyses indicated a strong impact of genetic drift in A. florea, likely linked to its biology. Along the evolutionary trajectory of ~30 million years of csd evolution, episodic diversifying selection seems to have acted differently among distinct Apis branches. Consistently low amino-acid differences within the PSD among pairs of functional heterozygous csd alleles indicate that the HVR is the most important region for determining allele specificity. We propose that in the early history of the lineage-specific fem duplication giving rise to csd in Apis, A. florea csd stands as a remarkable example for the plasticity of initial sex-determining signals.

  18. The First Myriapod Genome Sequence Reveals Conservative Arthropod Gene Content and Genome Organisation in the Centipede Strigamia maritima

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chipman, Ariel D.; Ferrier, David E. K.; Brena, Carlo; Qu, Jiaxin; Hughes, Daniel S. T.; Schröder, Reinhard; Torres-Oliva, Montserrat; Znassi, Nadia; Jiang, Huaiyang; Almeida, Francisca C.; Alonso, Claudio R.; Apostolou, Zivkos; Aqrawi, Peshtewani; Arthur, Wallace; Barna, Jennifer C. J.; Blankenburg, Kerstin P.; Brites, Daniela; Capella-Gutiérrez, Salvador; Coyle, Marcus; Dearden, Peter K.; Du Pasquier, Louis; Duncan, Elizabeth J.; Ebert, Dieter; Eibner, Cornelius; Erikson, Galina; Evans, Peter D.; Extavour, Cassandra G.; Francisco, Liezl; Gabaldón, Toni; Gillis, William J.; Goodwin-Horn, Elizabeth A.; Green, Jack E.; Griffiths-Jones, Sam; Grimmelikhuijzen, Cornelis J. P.; Gubbala, Sai; Guigó, Roderic; Han, Yi; Hauser, Frank; Havlak, Paul; Hayden, Luke; Helbing, Sophie; Holder, Michael; Hui, Jerome H. L.; Hunn, Julia P.; Hunnekuhl, Vera S.; Jackson, LaRonda; Javaid, Mehwish; Jhangiani, Shalini N.; Jiggins, Francis M.; Jones, Tamsin E.; Kaiser, Tobias S.; Kalra, Divya; Kenny, Nathan J.; Korchina, Viktoriya; Kovar, Christie L.; Kraus, F. Bernhard; Lapraz, François; Lee, Sandra L.; Lv, Jie; Mandapat, Christigale; Manning, Gerard; Mariotti, Marco; Mata, Robert; Mathew, Tittu; Neumann, Tobias; Newsham, Irene; Ngo, Dinh N.; Ninova, Maria; Okwuonu, Geoffrey; Ongeri, Fiona; Palmer, William J.; Patil, Shobha; Patraquim, Pedro; Pham, Christopher; Pu, Ling-Ling; Putman, Nicholas H.; Rabouille, Catherine; Ramos, Olivia Mendivil; Rhodes, Adelaide C.; Robertson, Helen E.; Robertson, Hugh M.; Ronshaugen, Matthew; Rozas, Julio; Saada, Nehad; Sánchez-Gracia, Alejandro; Scherer, Steven E.; Schurko, Andrew M.; Siggens, Kenneth W.; Simmons, DeNard; Stief, Anna; Stolle, Eckart; Telford, Maximilian J.; Tessmar-Raible, Kristin; Thornton, Rebecca; van der Zee, Maurijn; von Haeseler, Arndt; Williams, James M.; Willis, Judith H.; Wu, Yuanqing; Zou, Xiaoyan; Lawson, Daniel; Muzny, Donna M.; Worley, Kim C.; Gibbs, Richard A.; Akam, Michael; Richards, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Myriapods (e.g., centipedes and millipedes) display a simple homonomous body plan relative to other arthropods. All members of the class are terrestrial, but they attained terrestriality independently of insects. Myriapoda is the only arthropod class not represented by a sequenced genome. We present an analysis of the genome of the centipede Strigamia maritima. It retains a compact genome that has undergone less gene loss and shuffling than previously sequenced arthropods, and many orthologues of genes conserved from the bilaterian ancestor that have been lost in insects. Our analysis locates many genes in conserved macro-synteny contexts, and many small-scale examples of gene clustering. We describe several examples where S. maritima shows different solutions from insects to similar problems. The insect olfactory receptor gene family is absent from S. maritima, and olfaction in air is likely effected by expansion of other receptor gene families. For some genes S. maritima has evolved paralogues to generate coding sequence diversity, where insects use alternate splicing. This is most striking for the Dscam gene, which in Drosophila generates more than 100,000 alternate splice forms, but in S. maritima is encoded by over 100 paralogues. We see an intriguing linkage between the absence of any known photosensory proteins in a blind organism and the additional absence of canonical circadian clock genes. The phylogenetic position of myriapods allows us to identify where in arthropod phylogeny several particular molecular mechanisms and traits emerged. For example, we conclude that juvenile hormone signalling evolved with the emergence of the exoskeleton in the arthropods and that RR-1 containing cuticle proteins evolved in the lineage leading to Mandibulata. We also identify when various gene expansions and losses occurred. The genome of S. maritima offers us a unique glimpse into the ancestral arthropod genome, while also displaying many adaptations to its specific

  19. 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

  20. Landscape genetics as a tool for conservation planning: predicting the effects of landscape change on gene flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Strien, Maarten J; Keller, Daniela; Holderegger, Rolf; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Kienast, Felix; Bolliger, Janine

    2014-03-01

    For conservation managers, it is important to know whether landscape changes lead to increasing or decreasing gene flow. Although the discipline of landscape genetics assesses the influence of landscape elements on gene flow, no studies have yet used landscape-genetic models to predict gene flow resulting from landscape change. A species that has already been severely affected by landscape change is the large marsh grasshopper (Stethophyma grossum), which inhabits moist areas in fragmented agricultural landscapes in Switzerland. From transects drawn between all population pairs within maximum dispersal distance (landscape composition as well as some measures of habitat configuration. Additionally, a complete sampling of all populations in our study area allowed incorporating measures of population topology. These measures together with the landscape metrics formed the predictor variables in linear models with gene flow as response variable (F(ST) and mean pairwise assignment probability). With a modified leave-one-out cross-validation approach, we selected the model with the highest predictive accuracy. With this model, we predicted gene flow under several landscape-change scenarios, which simulated construction, rezoning or restoration projects, and the establishment of a new population. For some landscape-change scenarios, significant increase or decrease in gene flow was predicted, while for others little change was forecast. Furthermore, we found that the measures of population topology strongly increase model fit in landscape genetic analysis. This study demonstrates the use of predictive landscape-genetic models in conservation and landscape planning.

  1. Multi-species sequence comparison reveals conservation of ghrelin gene-derived splice variants encoding a truncated ghrelin peptide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seim, Inge; Jeffery, Penny L; Thomas, Patrick B; Walpole, Carina M; Maugham, Michelle; Fung, Jenny N T; Yap, Pei-Yi; O'Keeffe, Angela J; Lai, John; Whiteside, Eliza J; Herington, Adrian C; Chopin, Lisa K

    2016-06-01

    The peptide hormone ghrelin is a potent orexigen produced predominantly in the stomach. It has a number of other biological actions, including roles in appetite stimulation, energy balance, the stimulation of growth hormone release and the regulation of cell proliferation. Recently, several ghrelin gene splice variants have been described. Here, we attempted to identify conserved alternative splicing of the ghrelin gene by cross-species sequence comparisons. We identified a novel human exon 2-deleted variant and provide preliminary evidence that this splice variant and in1-ghrelin encode a C-terminally truncated form of the ghrelin peptide, termed minighrelin. These variants are expressed in humans and mice, demonstrating conservation of alternative splicing spanning 90 million years. Minighrelin appears to have similar actions to full-length ghrelin, as treatment with exogenous minighrelin peptide stimulates appetite and feeding in mice. Forced expression of the exon 2-deleted preproghrelin variant mirrors the effect of the canonical preproghrelin, stimulating cell proliferation and migration in the PC3 prostate cancer cell line. This is the first study to characterise an exon 2-deleted preproghrelin variant and to demonstrate sequence conservation of ghrelin gene-derived splice variants that encode a truncated ghrelin peptide. This adds further impetus for studies into the alternative splicing of the ghrelin gene and the function of novel ghrelin peptides in vertebrates.

  2. 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.

  3. Combining Human Epigenetics and Sleep Studies in Caenorhabditis elegans: A Cross-Species Approach for Finding Conserved Genes Regulating Sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Huiyan; Zhu, Yong; Eliot, Melissa N; Knopik, Valerie S; McGeary, John E; Carskadon, Mary A; Hart, Anne C

    2017-06-01

    We aimed to test a combined approach to identify conserved genes regulating sleep and to explore the association between DNA methylation and sleep length. We identified candidate genes associated with shorter versus longer sleep duration in college students based on DNA methylation using Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip arrays. Orthologous genes in Caenorhabditis elegans were identified, and we examined whether their loss of function affected C. elegans sleep. For genes whose perturbation affected C. elegans sleep, we subsequently undertook a small pilot study to re-examine DNA methylation in an independent set of human participants with shorter versus longer sleep durations. Eighty-seven out of 485,577 CpG sites had significant differential methylation in young adults with shorter versus longer sleep duration, corresponding to 52 candidate genes. We identified 34 C. elegans orthologs, including NPY/flp-18 and flp-21, which are known to affect sleep. Loss of five additional genes alters developmentally timed C. elegans sleep (B4GALT6/bre-4, DOCK180/ced-5, GNB2L1/rack-1, PTPRN2/ida-1, ZFYVE28/lst-2). For one of these genes, ZFYVE28 (also known as hLst2), the pilot replication study again found decreased DNA methylation associated with shorter sleep duration at the same two CpG sites in the first intron of ZFYVE28. Using an approach that combines human epigenetics and C. elegans sleep studies, we identified five genes that play previously unidentified roles in C. elegans sleep. We suggest sleep duration in humans may be associated with differential DNA methylation at specific sites and that the conserved genes identified here likely play roles in C. elegans sleep and in other species. © Sleep Research Society 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) occupies montane environments throughout western North America, where it is both an ecologically and economically important tree species. A recent study using mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated substantial genetic variation among ponderosa pine populations in the western U.S., identifying 10 haplotypes with unique evolutionary lineages that generally correspond spatially with distributions of the Pacific (P. p. var. ponderosa) and Rocky ...

  5. Integrating gene flow, crop biology, and farm management in on-farm conservation of avocado (Persea americana, Lauraceae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birnbaum, Kenneth; Desalle, Rob; Peters, Charles M; Benfey, Philip N

    2003-11-01

    Maintaining crop diversity on farms where cultivars can evolve is a conservation goal, but few tools are available to assess the long-term maintenance of genetic diversity on farms. One important issue for on-farm conservation is gene flow from crops with a narrow genetic base into related populations that are genetically diverse. In a case study of avocado (Persea americana var. americana) in one of its centers of diversity (San Jerónimo, Costa Rica), we used 10 DNA microsatellite markers in a parentage analysis to estimate gene flow from commercialized varieties into a traditional crop population. Five commercialized genotypes comprised nearly 40% of orchard trees, but they contributed only about 14.5% of the gametes to the youngest cohort of trees. Although commercialized varieties and the diverse population were often planted on the same farm, planting patterns appeared to keep the two types of trees separated on small scales, possibly explaining the limited gene flow. In a simulation that combined gene flow estimates, crop biology, and graft tree management, loss of allelic diversity was less than 10% over 150 yr, and selection was effective in retaining desirable alleles in the diverse subpopulation. Simulations also showed that, in addition to gene flow, managing the genetic makeup and life history traits of the invasive commercialized varieties could have a significant impact on genetic diversity in the target population. The results support the feasibility of on-farm crop conservation, but simulations also showed that higher levels of gene flow could lead to severe losses of genetic diversity even if farmers continue to plant diverse varieties.

  6. A survey of the gene repertoire of Gigaspora rosea unravels conserved features among Glomeromycota for obligate biotrophy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nianwu eTANG

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM fungi are a diverse group of soil fungi (Glomeromycota that form the most ancient mutualistic association termed arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis with a majority of land plants, improving their nutrition uptake and resistance to stresses. In contrast to their great ecological implications, the knowledge of the molecular biological mechanisms involved is still scant, partly due to the limited genomic resources available. Here, we describe the gene repertoire of a new AM fungus Gigaspora rosea (Diversisporales. Among the 86332 nonredundant virtual transcripts assembled, 15346 presented similarities with proteins in the Refseq database and 10175 were assigned with GO terms. KOG and Interpro domain annotations clearly showed an enrichment of genes involved in signal transduction in G. rosea. KEGG pathway analysis indicates that most primary metabolic processes are active in G. rosea. However, as for R. irregularis, several metabolic genes were not found, including the fatty acid synthase gene. This finding supports the hypothesis that AM fungi depend on the lipids produced by their hosts. Furthermore, the presence of a large number of transporters and hundreds of secreted proteins, together with the reduced number of plant cell wall degrading enzymes could be interpreted as an evolutionary adaptation to its mutualistic obligate biotrophy. The detection of meiosis-related genes suggests that G. rosea might use a cryptic sexual process. Lastly, a phylogeny of basal fungi clearly shows Glomeromycota as a sister clade to Mucoromycotina, not only to the Mucorales or Mortierellales. The characterization of the gene repertoire from an AM fungal species belonging to the order of Diversisporales and its comparison with the gene sets of R. irregularis (Glomerales and Gigaspora margarita (Diversisporales, reveal that AM fungi share several features linked to mutualistic obligate biotrophy. This work contributes to lay the foundation

  7. 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

  8. Climate-Driven Reshuffling of Species and Genes: Potential Conservation Roles for Species Translocations and Recombinant Hybrid Genotypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Mark Scriber

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Comprising 50%–75% of the world’s fauna, insects are a prominent part of biodiversity in communities and ecosystems globally. Biodiversity across all levels of biological classifications is fundamentally based on genetic diversity. However, the integration of genomics and phylogenetics into conservation management may not be as rapid as climate change. The genetics of hybrid introgression as a source of novel variation for ecological divergence and evolutionary speciation (and resilience may generate adaptive potential and diversity fast enough to respond to locally-altered environmental conditions. Major plant and herbivore hybrid zones with associated communities deserve conservation consideration. This review addresses functional genetics across multi-trophic-level interactions including “invasive species” in various ecosystems as they may become disrupted in different ways by rapid climate change. “Invasive genes” (into new species and populations need to be recognized for their positive creative potential and addressed in conservation programs. “Genetic rescue” via hybrid translocations may provide needed adaptive flexibility for rapid adaptation to environmental change. While concerns persist for some conservationists, this review emphasizes the positive aspects of hybrids and hybridization. Specific implications of natural genetic introgression are addressed with a few examples from butterflies, including transgressive phenotypes and climate-driven homoploid recombinant hybrid speciation. Some specific examples illustrate these points using the swallowtail butterflies (Papilionidae with their long-term historical data base (phylogeographical diversity changes and recent (3-decade climate-driven temporal and genetic divergence in recombinant ho