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Sample records for evolutionary conserved genes

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

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

    2016-01-26

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

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

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

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

    2015-11-24

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

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

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

    2003-12-31

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

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

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    Wei Liu

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

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

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    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.

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

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    Tobias Bergmiller

    2012-06-01

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

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

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    Catania, Francesco; Lynch, Michael

    2010-05-04

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

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

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    Lynch Michael

    2010-05-01

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

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

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    Scharfe Maren

    2010-04-01

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

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

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    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

  12. Strategies for measuring evolutionary conservation of RNA secondary structures

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    Hofacker Ivo L

    2008-02-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

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    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

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

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    Sommer Simone

    2005-10-01

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

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

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    Dilucca, Maddalena; Cimini, Giulio; Giansanti, Andrea

    2018-07-15

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

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    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.

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

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    Bilsland Elizabeth

    2007-08-01

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

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

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    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.

  4. Evolutionary Conservation in Genes Underlying Human Psychiatric Disorders

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    Lisa Michelle Ogawa

    2014-05-01

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

  5. 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.

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

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    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.

  7. 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.

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

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    Haddley Kate

    2011-05-01

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

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

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    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 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

  11. 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...

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

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    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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Metazoan Remaining Genes for Essential Amino Acid Biosynthesis: Sequence Conservation and Evolutionary Analyses

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    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.

  17. Patterns of intron gain and conservation in eukaryotic genes

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    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

  18. 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.

  19. Evolutionary rate patterns of the Gibberellin pathway genes

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    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.

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

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    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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandien, K; Sommer, R J

    2001-08-15

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-09-10

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

  7. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tominaga Makoto

    2009-09-01

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

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

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    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.

  9. 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...

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

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    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.

  11. 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.

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

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    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

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    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.

  16. 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'.

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

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    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

  18. 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.

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

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    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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    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.

  7. 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.

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

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    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

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    Aldo Villalón

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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,

  20. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nolan Priedigkeit

    2015-02-01

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

  2. Evolutionary 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.

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

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    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-09-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  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. 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 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Exploring the miRNA regulatory network using evolutionary correlations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedikt Obermayer

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uma Gaur

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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Comparative Genomic Analyses Provide New Insights into the Evolutionary Dynamics of Heterochromatin in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caizzi, Ruggiero; Moschetti, Roberta; Piacentini, Lucia; Fanti, Laura; Marsano, Renè Massimiliano; Dimitri, Patrizio

    2016-08-01

    The term heterochromatin has been long considered synonymous with gene silencing, but it is now clear that the presence of transcribed genes embedded in pericentromeric heterochromatin is a conserved feature in the evolution of eukaryotic genomes. Several studies have addressed the epigenetic changes that enable the expression of genes in pericentric heterochromatin, yet little is known about the evolutionary processes through which this has occurred. By combining genome annotation analysis and high-resolution cytology, we have identified and mapped 53 orthologs of D. melanogaster heterochromatic genes in the genomes of two evolutionarily distant species, D. pseudoobscura and D. virilis. Our results show that the orthologs of the D. melanogaster heterochromatic genes are clustered at three main genomic regions in D. virilis and D. pseudoobscura. In D. virilis, the clusters lie in the middle of euchromatin, while those in D. pseudoobscura are located in the proximal portion of the chromosome arms. Some orthologs map to the corresponding Muller C element in D. pseudoobscura and D. virilis, while others localize on the Muller B element, suggesting that chromosomal rearrangements that have been instrumental in the fusion of two separate elements involved the progenitors of genes currently located in D. melanogaster heterochromatin. These results demonstrate an evolutionary repositioning of gene clusters from ancestral locations in euchromatin to the pericentromeric heterochromatin of descendent D. melanogaster chromosomes. Remarkably, in both D. virilis and D. pseudoobscura the gene clusters show a conserved association with the HP1a protein, one of the most highly evolutionarily conserved epigenetic marks. In light of these results, we suggest a new scenario whereby ancestral HP1-like proteins (and possibly other epigenetic marks) may have contributed to the evolutionary repositioning of gene clusters into heterochromatin.

  17. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. The constancy of gene conservation across divergent bacterial orders

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    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.

  1. Evolutionary hierarchy of vertebrate-like heterotrimeric G protein families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishnan, Arunkumar; Mustafa, Arshi; Almén, Markus Sällman; Fredriksson, Robert; Williams, Michael J; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2015-10-01

    Heterotrimeric G proteins perform a crucial role as molecular switches controlling various cellular responses mediated by G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling pathway. Recent data have shown that the vertebrate-like G protein families are found across metazoans and their closest unicellular relatives. However, an overall evolutionary hierarchy of vertebrate-like G proteins, including gene family annotations and in particular mapping individual gene gain/loss events across diverse holozoan lineages is still incomplete. Here, with more expanded invertebrate taxon sampling, we have reconstructed phylogenetic trees for each of the G protein classes/families and provide a robust classification and hierarchy of vertebrate-like heterotrimeric G proteins. Our results further extend the evidence that the common ancestor (CA) of holozoans had at least five ancestral Gα genes corresponding to all major vertebrate Gα classes and contain a total of eight genes including two Gβ and one Gγ. Our results also indicate that the GNAI/O-like gene likely duplicated in the last CA of metazoans to give rise to GNAI- and GNAO-like genes, which are conserved across invertebrates. Moreover, homologs of GNB1-4 paralogon- and GNB5 family-like genes are found in most metazoans and that the unicellular holozoans encode two ancestral Gβ genes. Similarly, most bilaterian invertebrates encode two Gγ genes which include a representative of the GNG gene cluster and a putative homolog of GNG13. Interestingly, our results also revealed key evolutionary events such as the Drosophila melanogaster eye specific Gβ subunit that is found conserved in most arthropods and several previously unidentified species specific expansions within Gαi/o, Gαs, Gαq, Gα12/13 classes and the GNB1-4 paralogon. Also, we provide an overall proposed evolutionary scenario on the expansions of all G protein families in vertebrate tetraploidizations. Our robust classification/hierarchy is essential to further

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-07

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

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    Ricardo D’Oliveira Albanus

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

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    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.

  9. 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.

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

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    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

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

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    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

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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'.

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

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    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

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    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.

  6. 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.

  7. Next generation sequencing and analysis of a conserved transcriptome of New Zealand's kiwi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subramanian, Sankar; Huynen, Leon; Millar, Craig D; Lambert, David M

    2010-12-15

    Kiwi is a highly distinctive, flightless and endangered ratite bird endemic to New Zealand. To understand the patterns of molecular evolution of the nuclear protein-coding genes in brown kiwi (Apteryx australis mantelli) and to determine the timescale of avian history we sequenced a transcriptome obtained from a kiwi embryo using next generation sequencing methods. We then assembled the conserved protein-coding regions using the chicken proteome as a scaffold. Using 1,543 conserved protein coding genes we estimated the neutral evolutionary divergence between the kiwi and chicken to be ~45%, which is approximately equal to the divergence computed for the human-mouse pair using the same set of genes. A large fraction of genes was found to be under high selective constraint, as most of the expressed genes appeared to be involved in developmental gene regulation. Our study suggests a significant relationship between gene expression levels and protein evolution. Using sequences from over 700 nuclear genes we estimated the divergence between the two basal avian groups, Palaeognathae and Neognathae to be 132 million years, which is consistent with previous studies using mitochondrial genes. The results of this investigation revealed patterns of mutation and purifying selection in conserved protein coding regions in birds. Furthermore this study suggests a relatively cost-effective way of obtaining a glimpse into the fundamental molecular evolutionary attributes of a genome, particularly when no closely related genomic sequence is available.

  8. Next generation sequencing and analysis of a conserved transcriptome of New Zealand's kiwi

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    Huynen Leon

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Kiwi is a highly distinctive, flightless and endangered ratite bird endemic to New Zealand. To understand the patterns of molecular evolution of the nuclear protein-coding genes in brown kiwi (Apteryx australis mantelli and to determine the timescale of avian history we sequenced a transcriptome obtained from a kiwi embryo using next generation sequencing methods. We then assembled the conserved protein-coding regions using the chicken proteome as a scaffold. Results Using 1,543 conserved protein coding genes we estimated the neutral evolutionary divergence between the kiwi and chicken to be ~45%, which is approximately equal to the divergence computed for the human-mouse pair using the same set of genes. A large fraction of genes was found to be under high selective constraint, as most of the expressed genes appeared to be involved in developmental gene regulation. Our study suggests a significant relationship between gene expression levels and protein evolution. Using sequences from over 700 nuclear genes we estimated the divergence between the two basal avian groups, Palaeognathae and Neognathae to be 132 million years, which is consistent with previous studies using mitochondrial genes. Conclusions The results of this investigation revealed patterns of mutation and purifying selection in conserved protein coding regions in birds. Furthermore this study suggests a relatively cost-effective way of obtaining a glimpse into the fundamental molecular evolutionary attributes of a genome, particularly when no closely related genomic sequence is available.

  9. Conservation and co-option in developmental programmes: the importance of homology relationships

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    Becker May-Britt

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract One of the surprising insights gained from research in evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo is that increasing diversity in body plans and morphology in organisms across animal phyla are not reflected in similarly dramatic changes at the level of gene composition of their genomes. For instance, simplicity at the tissue level of organization often contrasts with a high degree of genetic complexity. Also intriguing is the observation that the coding regions of several genes of invertebrates show high sequence similarity to those in humans. This lack of change (conservation indicates that evolutionary novelties may arise more frequently through combinatorial processes, such as changes in gene regulation and the recruitment of novel genes into existing regulatory gene networks (co-option, and less often through adaptive evolutionary processes in the coding portions of a gene. As a consequence, it is of great interest to examine whether the widespread conservation of the genetic machinery implies the same developmental function in a last common ancestor, or whether homologous genes acquired new developmental roles in structures of independent phylogenetic origin. To distinguish between these two possibilities one must refer to current concepts of phylogeny reconstruction and carefully investigate homology relationships. Particularly problematic in terms of homology decisions is the use of gene expression patterns of a given structure. In the future, research on more organisms other than the typical model systems will be required since these can provide insights that are not easily obtained from comparisons among only a few distantly related model species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, Meytal; Rosenberg, Nurit

    2011-03-01

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

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

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    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

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2011-07-07

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

  14. Evolutionary paths of streptococcal and staphylococcal superantigens

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    Okumura Kayo

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Streptococcus pyogenes (GAS harbors several superantigens (SAgs in the prophage region of its genome, although speG and smez are not located in this region. The diversity of SAgs is thought to arise during horizontal transfer, but their evolutionary pathways have not yet been determined. We recently completed sequencing the entire genome of S. dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis (SDSE, the closest relative of GAS. Although speG is the only SAg gene of SDSE, speG was present in only 50% of clinical SDSE strains and smez in none. In this study, we analyzed the evolutionary paths of streptococcal and staphylococcal SAgs. Results We compared the sequences of the 12–60 kb speG regions of nine SDSE strains, five speG+ and four speG–. We found that the synteny of this region was highly conserved, whether or not the speG gene was present. Synteny analyses based on genome-wide comparisons of GAS and SDSE indicated that speG is the direct descendant of a common ancestor of streptococcal SAgs, whereas smez was deleted from SDSE after SDSE and GAS split from a common ancestor. Cumulative nucleotide skew analysis of SDSE genomes suggested that speG was located outside segments of steeper slopes than the stable region in the genome, whereas the region flanking smez was unstable, as expected from the results of GAS. We also detected a previously undescribed staphylococcal SAg gene, selW, and a staphylococcal SAg -like gene, ssl, in the core genomes of all Staphylococcus aureus strains sequenced. Amino acid substitution analyses, based on dN/dS window analysis of the products encoded by speG, selW and ssl suggested that all three genes have been subjected to strong positive selection. Evolutionary analysis based on the Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method showed that each clade included at least one direct descendant. Conclusions Our findings reveal a plausible model for the comprehensive evolutionary pathway of streptococcal and

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

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    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.

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

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    Liang Chen

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

  17. 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.

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

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    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Modular organization of the white spruce (Picea glauca) transcriptome reveals functional organization and evolutionary signatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raherison, Elie S M; Giguère, Isabelle; Caron, Sébastien; Lamara, Mebarek; MacKay, John J

    2015-07-01

    Transcript profiling has shown the molecular bases of several biological processes in plants but few studies have developed an understanding of overall transcriptome variation. We investigated transcriptome structure in white spruce (Picea glauca), aiming to delineate its modular organization and associated functional and evolutionary attributes. Microarray analyses were used to: identify and functionally characterize groups of co-expressed genes; investigate expressional and functional diversity of vascular tissue preferential genes which were conserved among Picea species, and identify expression networks underlying wood formation. We classified 22 857 genes as variable (79%; 22 coexpression groups) or invariant (21%) by profiling across several vegetative tissues. Modular organization and complex transcriptome restructuring among vascular tissue preferential genes was revealed by their assignment to coexpression groups with partially overlapping profiles and partially distinct functions. Integrated analyses of tissue-based and temporally variable profiles identified secondary xylem gene networks, showed their remodelling over a growing season and identified PgNAC-7 (no apical meristerm (NAM), Arabidopsis transcription activation factor (ATAF) and cup-shaped cotyledon (CUC) transcription factor 007 in Picea glauca) as a major hub gene specific to earlywood formation. Reference profiling identified comprehensive, statistically robust coexpressed groups, revealing that modular organization underpins the evolutionary conservation of the transcriptome structure. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  2. Evolutionary principles and their practical application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. ChIP-seq Identification of Weakly Conserved Heart Enhancers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The evolutionarily conserved transcription factor PRDM12 controls sensory neuron development and pain perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Vanja; Cole, Tiffany; Van Campenhout, Claude; Khoung, Thang M; Leung, Calvin; Vermeiren, Simon; Novatchkova, Maria; Wenzel, Daniel; Cikes, Domagoj; Polyansky, Anton A; Kozieradzki, Ivona; Meixner, Arabella; Bellefroid, Eric J; Neely, G Gregory; Penninger, Josef M

    2015-01-01

    PR homology domain-containing member 12 (PRDM12) belongs to a family of conserved transcription factors implicated in cell fate decisions. Here we show that PRDM12 is a key regulator of sensory neuronal specification in Xenopus. Modeling of human PRDM12 mutations that cause hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy (HSAN) revealed remarkable conservation of the mutated residues in evolution. Expression of wild-type human PRDM12 in Xenopus induced the expression of sensory neuronal markers, which was reduced using various human PRDM12 mutants. In Drosophila, we identified Hamlet as the functional PRDM12 homolog that controls nociceptive behavior in sensory neurons. Furthermore, expression analysis of human patient fibroblasts with PRDM12 mutations uncovered possible downstream target genes. Knockdown of several of these target genes including thyrotropin-releasing hormone degrading enzyme (TRHDE) in Drosophila sensory neurons resulted in altered cellular morphology and impaired nociception. These data show that PRDM12 and its functional fly homolog Hamlet are evolutionary conserved master regulators of sensory neuronal specification and play a critical role in pain perception. Our data also uncover novel pathways in multiple species that regulate evolutionary conserved nociception.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Genome-Wide Identification of the Alba Gene Family in Plants and Stress-Responsive Expression of the Rice Alba Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verma, Jitendra Kumar; Wardhan, Vijay; Singh, Deepali; Chakraborty, Subhra; Chakraborty, Niranjan

    2018-03-28

    Architectural proteins play key roles in genome construction and regulate the expression of many genes, albeit the modulation of genome plasticity by these proteins is largely unknown. A critical screening of the architectural proteins in five crop species, viz., Oryza sativa , Zea mays , Sorghum bicolor , Cicer arietinum , and Vitis vinifera , and in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana along with evolutionary relevant species such as Chlamydomonas reinhardtii , Physcomitrella patens , and Amborella trichopoda , revealed 9, 20, 10, 7, 7, 6, 1, 4, and 4 Alba (acetylation lowers binding affinity) genes, respectively. A phylogenetic analysis of the genes and of their counterparts in other plant species indicated evolutionary conservation and diversification. In each group, the structural components of the genes and motifs showed significant conservation. The chromosomal location of the Alba genes of rice ( OsAlba ), showed an unequal distribution on 8 of its 12 chromosomes. The expression profiles of the OsAlba genes indicated a distinct tissue-specific expression in the seedling, vegetative, and reproductive stages. The quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis of the OsAlba genes confirmed their stress-inducible expression under multivariate environmental conditions and phytohormone treatments. The evaluation of the regulatory elements in 68 Alba genes from the 9 species studied led to the identification of conserved motifs and overlapping microRNA (miRNA) target sites, suggesting the conservation of their function in related proteins and a divergence in their biological roles across species. The 3D structure and the prediction of putative ligands and their binding sites for OsAlba proteins offered a key insight into the structure-function relationship. These results provide a comprehensive overview of the subtle genetic diversification of the OsAlba genes, which will help in elucidating their functional role in plants.

  16. Evolutionary principles and their practical application.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  17. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saito Shigeru

    2010-05-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  1. The sequence, structure and evolutionary features of HOTAIR in mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background An increasing number of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been identified recently. Different from all the others that function in cis to regulate local gene expression, the newly identified HOTAIR is located between HoxC11 and HoxC12 in the human genome and regulates HoxD expression in multiple tissues. Like the well-characterised lncRNA Xist, HOTAIR binds to polycomb proteins to methylate histones at multiple HoxD loci, but unlike Xist, many details of its structure and function, as well as the trans regulation, remain unclear. Moreover, HOTAIR is involved in the aberrant regulation of gene expression in cancer. Results To identify conserved domains in HOTAIR and study the phylogenetic distribution of this lncRNA, we searched the genomes of 10 mammalian and 3 non-mammalian vertebrates for matches to its 6 exons and the two conserved domains within the 1800 bp exon6 using Infernal. There was just one high-scoring hit for each mammal, but many low-scoring hits were found in both mammals and non-mammalian vertebrates. These hits and their flanking genes in four placental mammals and platypus were examined to determine whether HOTAIR contained elements shared by other lncRNAs. Several of the hits were within unknown transcripts or ncRNAs, many were within introns of, or antisense to, protein-coding genes, and conservation of the flanking genes was observed only between human and chimpanzee. Phylogenetic analysis revealed discrete evolutionary dynamics for orthologous sequences of HOTAIR exons. Exon1 at the 5' end and a domain in exon6 near the 3' end, which contain domains that bind to multiple proteins, have evolved faster in primates than in other mammals. Structures were predicted for exon1, two domains of exon6 and the full HOTAIR sequence. The sequence and structure of two fragments, in exon1 and the domain B of exon6 respectively, were identified to robustly occur in predicted structures of exon1, domain B of exon6 and the full HOTAIR in mammals

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. Evolutionary analysis of FAM83H in vertebrates.

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    Wushuang Huang

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

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

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    Benjamin R Jack

    2016-05-01

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

  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. 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...

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

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    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

  10. The strength of intron donor splice sites in human genes displays a bell-shaped pattern

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Kai; Wernersson, Rasmus; Brunak, Søren

    2011-01-01

    introns. Interestingly, when analysing the intron containing gene pool from mouse consisting of >15 000 genes, we found the convex pattern to be conserved despite >75 million years of evolutionary divergence between the two organisms. We also analysed an interesting, novel class of chimeric genes which...

  11. The four cornerstones of Evolutionary Toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bickham, John W

    2011-05-01

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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Dale N.; Wiehe, Thomas

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

  14. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John A Capra

    2010-07-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Genomic Imprinting Was Evolutionarily Conserved during Wheat Polyploidization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Guanghui; Liu, Zhenshan; Gao, Lulu; Yu, Kuohai; Feng, Man; Yao, Yingyin; Peng, Huiru; Hu, Zhaorong; Sun, Qixin; Ni, Zhongfu; Xin, Mingming

    2018-01-01

    Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon that causes genes to be differentially expressed depending on their parent of origin. To evaluate the evolutionary conservation of genomic imprinting and the effects of ploidy on this process, we investigated parent-of-origin-specific gene expression patterns in the endosperm of diploid ( Aegilops spp), tetraploid, and hexaploid wheat ( Triticum spp) at various stages of development via high-throughput transcriptome sequencing. We identified 91, 135, and 146 maternally or paternally expressed genes (MEGs or PEGs, respectively) in diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid wheat, respectively, 52.7% of which exhibited dynamic expression patterns at different developmental stages. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis suggested that MEGs and PEGs were involved in metabolic processes and DNA-dependent transcription, respectively. Nearly half of the imprinted genes exhibited conserved expression patterns during wheat hexaploidization. In addition, 40% of the homoeolog pairs originating from whole-genome duplication were consistently maternally or paternally biased in the different subgenomes of hexaploid wheat. Furthermore, imprinted expression was found for 41.2% and 50.0% of homolog pairs that evolved by tandem duplication after genome duplication in tetraploid and hexaploid wheat, respectively. These results suggest that genomic imprinting was evolutionarily conserved between closely related Triticum and Aegilops species and in the face of polyploid hybridization between species in these genera. © 2018 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Fixism and conservation science.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  7. Virophages, polintons, and transpovirons: a complex evolutionary network of diverse selfish genetic elements with different reproduction strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yutin, Natalya; Raoult, Didier; Koonin, Eugene V

    2013-05-23

    Recent advances of genomics and metagenomics reveal remarkable diversity of viruses and other selfish genetic elements. In particular, giant viruses have been shown to possess their own mobilomes that include virophages, small viruses that parasitize on giant viruses of the Mimiviridae family, and transpovirons, distinct linear plasmids. One of the virophages known as the Mavirus, a parasite of the giant Cafeteria roenbergensis virus, shares several genes with large eukaryotic self-replicating transposon of the Polinton (Maverick) family, and it has been proposed that the polintons evolved from a Mavirus-like ancestor. We performed a comprehensive phylogenomic analysis of the available genomes of virophages and traced the evolutionary connections between the virophages and other selfish genetic elements. The comparison of the gene composition and genome organization of the virophages reveals 6 conserved, core genes that are organized in partially conserved arrays. Phylogenetic analysis of those core virophage genes, for which a sufficient diversity of homologs outside the virophages was detected, including the maturation protease and the packaging ATPase, supports the monophyly of the virophages. The results of this analysis appear incompatible with the origin of polintons from a Mavirus-like agent but rather suggest that Mavirus evolved through recombination between a polinton and an unknown virus. Altogether, virophages, polintons, a distinct Tetrahymena transposable element Tlr1, transpovirons, adenoviruses, and some bacteriophages form a network of evolutionary relationships that is held together by overlapping sets of shared genes and appears to represent a distinct module in the vast total network of viruses and mobile elements. The results of the phylogenomic analysis of the virophages and related genetic elements are compatible with the concept of network-like evolution of the virus world and emphasize multiple evolutionary connections between bona fide

  8. The evolutionary landscape of intergenic trans-splicing events in insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Yimeng; Zhou, Hongxia; Yu, Yao; Chen, Longxian; Hao, Pei; Li, Xuan

    2015-01-01

    To explore the landscape of intergenic trans-splicing events and characterize their functions and evolutionary dynamics, we conduct a mega-data study of a phylogeny containing eight species across five orders of class Insecta, a model system spanning 400 million years of evolution. A total of 1,627 trans-splicing events involving 2,199 genes are identified, accounting for 1.58% of the total genes. Homology analysis reveals that mod(mdg4)-like trans-splicing is the only conserved event that is consistently observed in multiple species across two orders, which represents a unique case of functional diversification involving trans-splicing. Thus, evolutionarily its potential for generating proteins with novel function is not broadly utilized by insects. Furthermore, 146 non-mod trans-spliced transcripts are found to resemble canonical genes from different species. Trans-splicing preserving the function of ‘breakup' genes may serve as a general mechanism for relaxing the constraints on gene structure, with profound implications for the evolution of genes and genomes. PMID:26521696

  9. 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.

  10. Evidence of an evolutionary hourglass pattern in herbivory-induced transcriptomic responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durrant, Matthew; Boyer, Justin; Zhou, Wenwu; Baldwin, Ian T; Xu, Shuqing

    2017-08-01

    Herbivory-induced defenses are specific and activated in plants when elicitors, frequently found in the herbivores' oral secretions, are introduced into wounds during attack. While complex signaling cascades are known to be involved, it remains largely unclear how natural selection has shaped the evolution of these induced defenses. We analyzed herbivory-induced transcriptomic responses in wild tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata, using a phylotranscriptomic approach that measures the origin and sequence divergence of herbivory-induced genes. Highly conserved and evolutionarily ancient genes of primary metabolism were activated at intermediate time points (2-6 h) after elicitation, while less constrained and young genes associated with defense signaling and biosynthesis of specialized metabolites were activated at early (before 2 h) and late (after 6 h) stages of the induced response, respectively - a pattern resembling the evolutionary hourglass pattern observed during embryogenesis in animals and the developmental process in plants and fungi. The hourglass patterns found in herbivory-induced defense responses and developmental process are both likely to be a result of signaling modularization and differential evolutionary constraints on the modules involved in the signaling cascade. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Genome-Scale Co-Expression Network Comparison across Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Reveals Significant Conservation at the Regulon Level of Local Regulators Despite Their Dissimilar Lifestyles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarrineh, Peyman; Sánchez-Rodríguez, Aminael; Hosseinkhan, Nazanin; Narimani, Zahra; Marchal, Kathleen; Masoudi-Nejad, Ali

    2014-01-01

    Availability of genome-wide gene expression datasets provides the opportunity to study gene expression across different organisms under a plethora of experimental conditions. In our previous work, we developed an algorithm called COMODO (COnserved MODules across Organisms) that identifies conserved expression modules between two species. In the present study, we expanded COMODO to detect the co-expression conservation across three organisms by adapting the statistics behind it. We applied COMODO to study expression conservation/divergence between Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, and Bacillus subtilis. We observed that some parts of the regulatory interaction networks were conserved between E. coli and S. enterica especially in the regulon of local regulators. However, such conservation was not observed between the regulatory interaction networks of B. subtilis and the two other species. We found co-expression conservation on a number of genes involved in quorum sensing, but almost no conservation for genes involved in pathogenicity across E. coli and S. enterica which could partially explain their different lifestyles. We concluded that despite their different lifestyles, no significant rewiring have occurred at the level of local regulons involved for instance, and notable conservation can be detected in signaling pathways and stress sensing in the phylogenetically close species S. enterica and E. coli. Moreover, conservation of local regulons seems to depend on the evolutionary time of divergence across species disappearing at larger distances as shown by the comparison with B. subtilis. Global regulons follow a different trend and show major rewiring even at the limited evolutionary distance that separates E. coli and S. enterica. PMID:25101984

  19. 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

  20. 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....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  5. Comparative genomics reveals conservation of filaggrin and loss of caspase-14 in dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strasser, Bettina; Mlitz, Veronika; Fischer, Heinz; Tschachler, Erwin; Eckhart, Leopold

    2015-05-01

    The expression of filaggrin and its stepwise proteolytic degradation are critical events in the terminal differentiation of epidermal keratinocytes and in the formation of the skin barrier to the environment. Here, we investigated whether the evolutionary transition from a terrestrial to a fully aquatic lifestyle of cetaceans, that is dolphins and whales, has been associated with changes in genes encoding filaggrin and proteins involved in the processing of filaggrin. We used comparative genomics, PCRs and re-sequencing of gene segments to screen for the presence and integrity of genes coding for filaggrin and proteases implicated in the maturation of (pro)filaggrin. Filaggrin has been conserved in dolphins (bottlenose dolphin, orca and baiji) but has been lost in whales (sperm whale and minke whale). All other S100 fused-type genes have been lost in cetaceans. Among filaggrin-processing proteases, aspartic peptidase retroviral-like 1 (ASPRV1), also known as saspase, has been conserved, whereas caspase-14 has been lost in all cetaceans investigated. In conclusion, our results suggest that filaggrin is dispensable for the acquisition of fully aquatic lifestyles of whales, whereas it appears to confer an evolutionary advantage to dolphins. The discordant evolution of filaggrin, saspase and caspase-14 in cetaceans indicates that the biological roles of these proteins are not strictly interdependent. © 2015 The Authors. Experimental Dermatology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. 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.

  7. Birth and death of gene overlaps in vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Makałowska Izabela

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Between five and fourteen per cent of genes in the vertebrate genomes do overlap sharing some intronic and/or exonic sequence. It was observed that majority of these overlaps are not conserved among vertebrate lineages. Although several mechanisms have been proposed to explain gene overlap origination the evolutionary basis of these phenomenon are still not well understood. Here, we present results of the comparative analysis of several vertebrate genomes. The purpose of this study was to examine overlapping genes in the context of their evolution and mechanisms leading to their origin. Results Based on the presence and arrangement of human overlapping genes orthologs in rodent and fish genomes we developed 15 theoretical scenarios of overlapping genes evolution. Analysis of these theoretical scenarios and close examination of genomic sequences revealed new mechanisms leading to the overlaps evolution and confirmed that many of the vertebrate gene overlaps are not conserved. This study also demonstrates that repetitive elements contribute to the overlapping genes origination and, for the first time, that evolutionary events could lead to the loss of an ancient overlap. Conclusion Birth as well as most probably death of gene overlaps occurred over the entire time of vertebrate evolution and there wasn't any rapid origin or 'big bang' in the course of overlapping genes evolution. The major forces in the gene overlaps origination are transposition and exaptation. Our results also imply that origin of overlapping genes is not an issue of saving space and contracting genomes size.

  8. Two fundamentally different classes of microbial genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Yuri I; Makarova, Kira S; Lobkovsky, Alexander E; Koonin, Eugene V

    2016-11-07

    The evolution of bacterial and archaeal genomes is highly dynamic and involves extensive horizontal gene transfer and gene loss 1-4 . Furthermore, many microbial species appear to have open pangenomes, where each newly sequenced genome contains more than 10% ORFans, that is, genes without detectable homologues in other species 5,6 . Here, we report a quantitative analysis of microbial genome evolution by fitting the parameters of a simple, steady-state evolutionary model to the comparative genomic data on the gene content and gene order similarity between archaeal genomes. The results reveal two sharply distinct classes of microbial genes, one of which is characterized by effectively instantaneous gene replacement, and the other consists of genes with finite, distributed replacement rates. These findings imply a conservative estimate of the size of the prokaryotic genomic universe, which appears to consist of at least a billion distinct genes. Furthermore, the same distribution of constraints is shown to govern the evolution of gene complement and gene order, without the need to invoke long-range conservation or the selfish operon concept 7 .

  9. 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 ...

  10. Analysis of Schizosaccharomyces pombe mediator reveals a set of essential subunits conserved between yeast and metazoan cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Spåhr, H; Samuelsen, C O; Baraznenok, V

    2001-01-01

    . cerevisiae share an essential protein module, which associates with nonessential speciesspecific subunits. In support of this view, sequence analysis of the conserved yeast Mediator components Med4 and Med8 reveals sequence homology to the metazoan Mediator components Trap36 and Arc32. Therefore, 8 of 10...... essential genes conserved between S. pombe and S. cerevisiae also have a metazoan homolog, indicating that an evolutionary conserved Mediator core is present in all eukaryotic cells. Our data suggest a closer functional relationship between yeast and metazoan Mediator than previously anticipated....

  11. IL26 gene inactivation in Equidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakhsi-Niaei, M; Drögemüller, M; Jagannathan, V; Gerber, V; Leeb, T

    2013-12-01

    Interleukin-26 (IL26) is a member of the IL10 cytokine family. The IL26 gene is located between two other well-known cytokines genes of this family encoding interferon-gamma (IFNG) and IL22 in an evolutionary conserved gene cluster. In contrast to humans and most other mammals, mice lack a functional Il26 gene. We analyzed the genome sequences of other vertebrates for the presence or absence of functional IL26 orthologs and found that the IL26 gene has also become inactivated in several equid species. We detected a one-base pair frameshift deletion in exon 2 of the IL26 gene in the domestic horse (Equus caballus), Przewalski horse (Equus przewalskii) and donkey (Equus asinus). The remnant IL26 gene in the horse is still transcribed and gives rise to at least five alternative transcripts. None of these transcripts share a conserved open reading frame with the human IL26 gene. A comparative analysis across diverse vertebrates revealed that the IL26 gene has also independently been inactivated in a few other mammals, including the African elephant and the European hedgehog. The IL26 gene thus appears to be highly variable, and the conserved open reading frame has been lost several times during mammalian evolution. © 2013 The Authors, Animal Genetics © 2013 Stichting International Foundation for Animal Genetics.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  13. Conserved sex chromosomes across adaptively radiated Anolis lizards.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  14. 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.

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

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    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.

  16. 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..

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Conservation and diversification of the miR166 family in soybean and potential roles of newly identified miR166s.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xuyan; Xie, Xin; Li, Ji; Cui, Yuhai; Hou, Yanming; Zhai, Lulu; Wang, Xiao; Fu, Yanli; Liu, Ranran; Bian, Shaomin

    2017-02-01

    microRNA166 (miR166) is a highly conserved family of miRNAs implicated in a wide range of cellular and physiological processes in plants. miR166 family generally comprises multiple miR166 members in plants, which might exhibit functional redundancy and specificity. The soybean miR166 family consists of 21 members according to the miRBase database. However, the evolutionary conservation and functional diversification of miR166 family members in soybean remain poorly understood. We identified five novel miR166s in soybean by data mining approach, thus enlarging the size of miR166 family from 21 to 26 members. Phylogenetic analyses of the 26 miR166s and their precursors indicated that soybean miR166 family exhibited both evolutionary conservation and diversification, and ten pairs of miR166 precursors with high sequence identity were individually grouped into a discrete clade in the phylogenetic tree. The analysis of genomic organization and evolution of MIR166 gene family revealed that eight segmental duplications and four tandem duplications might occur during evolution of the miR166 family in soybean. The cis-elements in promoters of MIR166 family genes and their putative targets pointed to their possible contributions to the functional conservation and diversification. The targets of soybean miR166s were predicted, and the cleavage of ATHB14-LIKE transcript was experimentally validated by RACE PCR. Further, the expression patterns of the five newly identified MIR166s and 12 target genes were examined during seed development and in response to abiotic stresses, which provided important clues for dissecting their functions and isoform specificity. This study enlarged the size of soybean miR166 family from 21 to 26 members, and the 26 soybean miR166s exhibited evolutionary conservation and diversification. These findings have laid a foundation for elucidating functional conservation and diversification of miR166 family members, especially during seed development or

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-24

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Altered interactions between unicellular and multicellular genes drive hallmarks of transformation in a diverse range of solid tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigos, Anna S; Pearson, Richard B; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Goode, David L

    2017-06-13

    Tumors of distinct tissues of origin and genetic makeup display common hallmark cellular phenotypes, including sustained proliferation, suppression of cell death, and altered metabolism. These phenotypic commonalities have been proposed to stem from disruption of conserved regulatory mechanisms evolved during the transition to multicellularity to control fundamental cellular processes such as growth and replication. Dating the evolutionary emergence of human genes through phylostratigraphy uncovered close association between gene age and expression level in RNA sequencing data from The Cancer Genome Atlas for seven solid cancers. Genes conserved with unicellular organisms were strongly up-regulated, whereas genes of metazoan origin were primarily inactivated. These patterns were most consistent for processes known to be important in cancer, implicating both selection and active regulation during malignant transformation. The coordinated expression of strongly interacting multicellularity and unicellularity processes was lost in tumors. This separation of unicellular and multicellular functions appeared to be mediated by 12 highly connected genes, marking them as important general drivers of tumorigenesis. Our findings suggest common principles closely tied to the evolutionary history of genes underlie convergent changes at the cellular process level across a range of solid cancers. We propose altered activity of genes at the interfaces between multicellular and unicellular regions of human gene regulatory networks activate primitive transcriptional programs, driving common hallmark features of cancer. Manipulation of cross-talk between biological processes of different evolutionary origins may thus present powerful and broadly applicable treatment strategies for cancer.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Identification of novel light-induced genes in the suprachiasmatic nucleus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piontkivska Helen

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The transmission of information about the photic environment to the circadian clock involves a complex array of neurotransmitters, receptors, and second messenger systems. Exposure of an animal to light during the subjective night initiates rapid transcription of a number of immediate-early genes in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. Some of these genes have known roles in entraining the circadian clock, while others have unknown functions. Using laser capture microscopy, microarray analysis, and quantitative real-time PCR, we performed a comprehensive screen for changes in gene expression immediately following a 30 minute light pulse in suprachiasmatic nucleus of mice. Results The results of the microarray screen successfully identified previously known light-induced genes as well as several novel genes that may be important in the circadian clock. Newly identified light-induced genes include early growth response 2, proviral integration site 3, growth-arrest and DNA-damage-inducible 45 beta, and TCDD-inducible poly(ADP-ribose polymerase. Comparative analysis of promoter sequences revealed the presence of evolutionarily conserved CRE and associated TATA box elements in most of the light-induced genes, while other core clock genes generally lack this combination of promoter elements. Conclusion The photic signalling cascade in the suprachiasmatic nucleus activates an array of immediate-early genes, most of which have unknown functions in the circadian clock. Detected evolutionary conservation of CRE and TATA box elements in promoters of light-induced genes suggest that the functional role of these elements has likely remained the same over evolutionary time across mammalian orders.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Coevolution Pattern and Functional Conservation or Divergence of miR167s and their targets across Diverse Plant Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barik, Suvakanta; Kumar, Ashutosh; Sarkar Das, Shabari; Yadav, Sandeep; Gautam, Vibhav; Singh, Archita; Singh, Sharmila; Sarkar, Ananda K

    2015-10-13

    microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of endogenously produced small non-coding RNAs of 20-21 nt length, processed from precursor miRNAs, regulate many developmental processes by negatively regulating the target genes in both animals and plants. The coevolutionary pattern of a miRNA family and their targets underscores its functional conservation or diversification. The miR167 regulates various aspects of plant development in Arabidopsis by targeting ARF6 and ARF8. The evolutionary conservation or divergence of miR167s and their target genes are poorly understood till now. Here we show the evolutionary relationship among 153 MIR167 genes obtained from 33 diverse plant species. We found that out of the 153 of miR167 sequences retrieved from the "miRBase", 27 have been annotated to be processed from the 3' end, and have diverged distinctively from the other miR167s produced from 5' end. Our analysis reveals that gma-miR167h/i and mdm-miR167a are processed from 3' end and have evolved separately, diverged most resulting in novel targets other than their known ones, and thus led to functional diversification, especially in apple and soybean. We also show that mostly conserved miR167 sequences and their target AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORS (ARFs) have gone through parallel evolution leading to functional diversification among diverse plant species.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. New genes expressed in human brains: implications for annotating evolving genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yong E; Landback, Patrick; Vibranovski, Maria; Long, Manyuan

    2012-11-01

    New genes have frequently formed and spread to fixation in a wide variety of organisms, constituting abundant sets of lineage-specific genes. It was recently reported that an excess of primate-specific and human-specific genes were upregulated in the brains of fetuses and infants, and especially in the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in cognition. These findings reveal the prevalent addition of new genetic components to the transcriptome of the human brain. More generally, these findings suggest that genomes are continually evolving in both sequence and content, eroding the conservation endowed by common ancestry. Despite increasing recognition of the importance of new genes, we highlight here that these genes are still seriously under-characterized in functional studies and that new gene annotation is inconsistent in current practice. We propose an integrative approach to annotate new genes, taking advantage of functional and evolutionary genomic methods. We finally discuss how the refinement of new gene annotation will be important for the detection of evolutionary forces governing new gene origination. Copyright © 2012 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Structure versus time in the evolutionary diversification of avian carotenoid metabolic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Erin S; Badyaev, Alexander V

    2018-05-01

    Historical associations of genes and proteins are thought to delineate pathways available to subsequent evolution; however, the effects of past functional involvements on contemporary evolution are rarely quantified. Here, we examined the extent to which the structure of a carotenoid enzymatic network persists in avian evolution. Specifically, we tested whether the evolution of carotenoid networks was most concordant with phylogenetically structured expansion from core reactions of common ancestors or with subsampling of biochemical pathway modules from an ancestral network. We compared structural and historical associations in 467 carotenoid networks of extant and ancestral species and uncovered the overwhelming effect of pre-existing metabolic network structure on carotenoid diversification over the last 50 million years of avian evolution. Over evolutionary time, birds repeatedly subsampled and recombined conserved biochemical modules, which likely maintained the overall structure of the carotenoid metabolic network during avian evolution. These findings explain the recurrent convergence of evolutionary distant species in carotenoid metabolism and weak phylogenetic signal in avian carotenoid evolution. Remarkable retention of an ancient metabolic structure throughout extensive and prolonged ecological diversification in avian carotenoid metabolism illustrates a fundamental requirement of organismal evolution - historical continuity of a deterministic network that links past and present functional associations of its components. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. Ancient signals: comparative genomics of plant MAPK and MAPKK gene families

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hamel, Louis-Philippe; Nicole, Marie-Claude; Sritubtim, Somrudee

    2006-01-01

    MAPK signal transduction modules play crucial roles in regulating many biological processes in plants, and their components are encoded by highly conserved genes. The recent availability of genome sequences for rice and poplar now makes it possible to examine how well the previously described...... Arabidopsis MAPK and MAPKK gene family structures represent the broader evolutionary situation in plants, and analysis of gene expression data for MPK and MKK genes in all three species allows further refinement of those families, based on functionality. The Arabidopsis MAPK nomenclature appears sufficiently...

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Anne

    2015-06-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    Tybur, Joshua M; Navarrete, Carlos David

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

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    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.

  15. The evolutionary dynamics of major regulators for sexual development among Hymenoptera species

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    Matthias eBiewer

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available All hymenopteran species, such as bees, wasps and ants, are characterized by the common principle of haplodiploid sex determination in which haploid males arise from unfertilized eggs and females from fertilized eggs. The underlying molecular mechanism has been studied in detail in the western honey bee Apis mellifera, in which the gene complementary sex determiner (csd acts as primary signal of the sex determining pathway, initiating female development by csd-heterozygotes. Csd arose from gene duplication of the feminizer (fem gene, a transformer (tra ortholog, and mediates in conjunction with transformer2 (tra2 sex-specific splicing of fem. Comparative molecular analyses identified fem/tra and its downstream target doublesex (dsx as conserved unit within the sex determining pathway of holometabolous insects. In this study, we aim to examine evolutionary differences among these key regulators. Our main hypothesis is that sex determining key regulators in Hymenoptera species show signs of coevolution within single phylogenetic lineages. We take advantage of several newly sequenced genomes of bee species to test this hypothesis using bioinformatic approaches. We found evidences that duplications of fem are restricted to certain bee lineages and notable amino acid differences of tra2 between Apis and non-Apis species propose structural changes in Tra2 protein affecting co-regulatory function on target genes. These findings may help to gain deeper insights into the ancestral mode of hymenopteran sex determination and support the common view of the remarkable evolutionary flexibility in this regulatory pathway.

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

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    Funk, W Chris; Murphy, Melanie A

    2010-02-01

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

  17. Conservation and divergence of ADAM family proteins in the Xenopus genome

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    Shah Anoop

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Members of the disintegrin metalloproteinase (ADAM family play important roles in cellular and developmental processes through their functions as proteases and/or binding partners for other proteins. The amphibian Xenopus has long been used as a model for early vertebrate development, but genome-wide analyses for large gene families were not possible until the recent completion of the X. tropicalis genome sequence and the availability of large scale expression sequence tag (EST databases. In this study we carried out a systematic analysis of the X. tropicalis genome and uncovered several interesting features of ADAM genes in this species. Results Based on the X. tropicalis genome sequence and EST databases, we identified Xenopus orthologues of mammalian ADAMs and obtained full-length cDNA clones for these genes. The deduced protein sequences, synteny and exon-intron boundaries are conserved between most human and X. tropicalis orthologues. The alternative splicing patterns of certain Xenopus ADAM genes, such as adams 22 and 28, are similar to those of their mammalian orthologues. However, we were unable to identify an orthologue for ADAM7 or 8. The Xenopus orthologue of ADAM15, an active metalloproteinase in mammals, does not contain the conserved zinc-binding motif and is hence considered proteolytically inactive. We also found evidence for gain of ADAM genes in Xenopus as compared to other species. There is a homologue of ADAM10 in Xenopus that is missing in most mammals. Furthermore, a single scaffold of X. tropicalis genome contains four genes encoding ADAM28 homologues, suggesting genome duplication in this region. Conclusions Our genome-wide analysis of ADAM genes in X. tropicalis revealed both conservation and evolutionary divergence of these genes in this amphibian species. On the one hand, all ADAMs implicated in normal development and health in other species are conserved in X. tropicalis. On the other hand, some

  18. The complete mitochondrial genome of Gossypium hirsutum and evolutionary analysis of higher plant mitochondrial genomes.

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    Liu, Guozheng; Cao, Dandan; Li, Shuangshuang; Su, Aiguo; Geng, Jianing; Grover, Corrinne E; Hu, Songnian; Hua, Jinping

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondria are the main manufacturers of cellular ATP in eukaryotes. The plant mitochondrial genome contains large number of foreign DNA and repeated sequences undergone frequently intramolecular recombination. Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is one of the main natural fiber crops and also an important oil-producing plant in the world. Sequencing of the cotton mitochondrial (mt) genome could be helpful for the evolution research of plant mt genomes. We utilized 454 technology for sequencing and combined with Fosmid library of the Gossypium hirsutum mt genome screening and positive clones sequencing and conducted a series of evolutionary analysis on Cycas taitungensis and 24 angiosperms mt genomes. After data assembling and contigs joining, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of G. hirsutum was obtained. The completed G.hirsutum mt genome is 621,884 bp in length, and contained 68 genes, including 35 protein genes, four rRNA genes and 29 tRNA genes. Five gene clusters are found conserved in all plant mt genomes; one and four clusters are specifically conserved in monocots and dicots, respectively. Homologous sequences are distributed along the plant mt genomes and species closely related share the most homologous sequences. For species that have both mt and chloroplast genome sequences available, we checked the location of cp-like migration and found several fragments closely linked with mitochondrial genes. The G. hirsutum mt genome possesses most of the common characters of higher plant mt genomes. The existence of syntenic gene clusters, as well as the conservation of some intergenic sequences and genic content among the plant mt genomes suggest that evolution of mt genomes is consistent with plant taxonomy but independent among different species.

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

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    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. Allele frequencies of variants in ultra conserved elements identify selective pressure on transcription factor binding.

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    Toomas Silla

    Full Text Available Ultra-conserved genes or elements (UCGs/UCEs in the human genome are extreme examples of conservation. We characterized natural variations in 2884 UCEs and UCGs in two distinct populations; Singaporean Chinese (n = 280 and Italian (n = 501 by using a pooled sample, targeted capture, sequencing approach. We identify, with high confidence, in these regions the abundance of rare SNVs (MAF5% are more often found in relatively less-conserved nucleotides within UCEs, compared to rare variants. Moreover, prevalent variants are less likely to overlap transcription factor binding site. Using SNPfold we found no significant influence of RNA secondary structure on UCE conservation. All together, these results suggest UCEs are not under selective pressure as a stretch of DNA but are under differential evolutionary pressure on the single nucleotide level.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

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    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

  4. 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

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

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    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.

  6. Genética de poblaciones amazónicas: la historia evolutiva del jaguar, ocelote, delfín rosado, mono lanudo y piurí, reconstruida a partir de sus genes

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    Ruiz-García, M.

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Amazon population genetics: the evolutionary history of the jaguar, ocelot, pink river dolphin, woolly monkey and wattled curassow reconstructed through their genes The Amazon has more than the half of the world’s biodiversity. Nevertheless, the major fraction of the Amazon species has unknown evolutionary histories. This is also certain for mammals and birds. Population genetics, employing molecular markers and theoretical mathematics models, can reconstruct these evolutionary histories and offer very powerful tools for the application of correct conservation politics. Herein, we show a comparative view of population genetics results obtained for Amazon populations of jaguar, ocelot, pink river dolphin, woolly monkey and wattled curassow and provide recommendation for their biological conservation. Each species showed its own specific evolutionary particularities, characteristics that were not shared by the other species. This finding should be taken into consideration for any effective biological conservation program.

  7. Domain architecture conservation in orthologs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Genome-wide investigation reveals high evolutionary rates in annual model plants.

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    Yue, Jia-Xing; Li, Jinpeng; Wang, Dan; Araki, Hitoshi; Tian, Dacheng; Yang, Sihai

    2010-11-09

    Rates of molecular evolution vary widely among species. While significant deviations from molecular clock have been found in many taxa, effects of life histories on molecular evolution are not fully understood. In plants, annual/perennial life history traits have long been suspected to influence the evolutionary rates at the molecular level. To date, however, the number of genes investigated on this subject is limited and the conclusions are mixed. To evaluate the possible heterogeneity in evolutionary rates between annual and perennial plants at the genomic level, we investigated 85 nuclear housekeeping genes, 10 non-housekeeping families, and 34 chloroplast genes using the genomic data from model plants including Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula for annuals and grape (Vitis vinifera) and popular (Populus trichocarpa) for perennials. According to the cross-comparisons among the four species, 74-82% of the nuclear genes and 71-97% of the chloroplast genes suggested higher rates of molecular evolution in the two annuals than those in the two perennials. The significant heterogeneity in evolutionary rate between annuals and perennials was consistently found both in nonsynonymous sites and synonymous sites. While a linear correlation of evolutionary rates in orthologous genes between species was observed in nonsynonymous sites, the correlation was weak or invisible in synonymous sites. This tendency was clearer in nuclear genes than in chloroplast genes, in which the overall evolutionary rate was small. The slope of the regression line was consistently lower than unity, further confirming the higher evolutionary rate in annuals at the genomic level. The higher evolutionary rate in annuals than in perennials appears to be a universal phenomenon both in nuclear and chloroplast genomes in the four dicot model plants we investigated. Therefore, such heterogeneity in evolutionary rate should result from factors that have genome-wide influence, most likely those

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

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    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.

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

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    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

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

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    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

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

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    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.

  15. 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

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    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.

  16. Genome Wide Identification, Phylogeny, and Expression of Aquaporin Genes in Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio.

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    Chuanju Dong

    Full Text Available Aquaporins (Aqps are integral membrane proteins that facilitate the transport of water and small solutes across cell membranes. Among vertebrate species, Aqps are highly conserved in both gene structure and amino acid sequence. These proteins are vital for maintaining water homeostasis in living organisms, especially for aquatic animals such as teleost fish. Studies on teleost Aqps are mainly limited to several model species with diploid genomes. Common carp, which has a tetraploidized genome, is one of the most common aquaculture species being adapted to a wide range of aquatic environments. The complete common carp genome has recently been released, providing us the possibility for gene evolution of aqp gene family after whole genome duplication.In this study, we identified a total of 37 aqp genes from common carp genome. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that most of aqps are highly conserved. Comparative analysis was performed across five typical vertebrate genomes. We found that almost all of the aqp genes in common carp were duplicated in the evolution of the gene family. We postulated that the expansion of the aqp gene family in common carp was the result of an additional whole genome duplication event and that the aqp gene family in other teleosts has been lost in their evolution history with the reason that the functions of genes are redundant and conservation. Expression patterns were assessed in various tissues, including brain, heart, spleen, liver, intestine, gill, muscle, and skin, which demonstrated the comprehensive expression profiles of aqp genes in the tetraploidized genome. Significant gene expression divergences have been observed, revealing substantial expression divergences or functional divergences in those duplicated aqp genes post the latest WGD event.To some extent, the gene families are also considered as a unique source for evolutionary studies. Moreover, the whole set of common carp aqp gene family provides an

  17. 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...

  18. Combining genetic and demographic data for the conservation of a Mediterranean marine habitat-forming species.

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    Rosana Arizmendi-Mejía

    Full Text Available The integration of ecological and evolutionary data is highly valuable for conservation planning. However, it has been rarely used in the marine realm, where the adequate design of marine protected areas (MPAs is urgently needed. Here, we examined the interacting processes underlying the patterns of genetic structure and demographic strucuture of a highly vulnerable Mediterranean habitat-forming species (i.e. Paramuricea clavata (Risso, 1826, with particular emphasis on the processes of contemporary dispersal, genetic drift, and colonization of a new population. Isolation by distance and genetic discontinuities were found, and three genetic clusters were detected; each submitted to variations in the relative impact of drift and gene flow. No founder effect was found in the new population. The interplay of ecology and evolution revealed that drift is strongly impacting the smallest, most isolated populations, where partial mortality of individuals was highest. Moreover, the eco-evolutionary analyses entailed important conservation implications for P. clavata. Our study supports the inclusion of habitat-forming organisms in the design of MPAs and highlights the need to account for genetic drift in the development of MPAs. Moreover, it reinforces the importance of integrating genetic and demographic data in marine conservation.

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

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    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

  20. 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.

  1. The zebrafish genome: a review and msx gene case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Postlethwait, J H

    2006-01-01

    Zebrafish is one of several important teleost models for understanding principles of vertebrate developmental, molecular, organismal, genetic, evolutionary, and genomic biology. Efficient investigation of the molecular genetic basis of induced mutations depends on knowledge of the zebrafish genome. Principles of zebrafish genomic analysis, including gene mapping, ortholog identification, conservation of syntenies, genome duplication, and evolution of duplicate gene function are discussed here using as a case study the zebrafish msxa, msxb, msxc, msxd, and msxe genes, which together constitute zebrafish orthologs of tetrapod Msx1, Msx2, and Msx3. Genomic analysis suggests orthologs for this difficult to understand group of paralogs.

  2. Widespread evolutionary conservation of alternatively spliced exons in caenorhabditis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    OpenAIRE

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

    2009-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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 .

  7. The qacC gene has recently spread between rolling circle plasmids of Staphylococcus, indicative of a novel gene transfer mechanism

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    Trudy M. Wassenaar

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Resistance of Staphylococcus species to quaternary ammonium compounds, frequently used as disinfectants and biocides, can be attributed to qac genes. These qac gene products belong to the Small Multidrug Resistant (SMR protein family, and are often encoded by rolling-circle (RC replicating plasmids. Four classes of SMR-type qac gene families have been described in Staphylococcus species: qacC, qacG, qacJ and qacH. Within their class, these genes are highly conserved, but qacC genes are extremely conserved, although they are found in variable plasmid backgrounds. The lower degree of sequence identity of these plasmids compared to the strict nucleotide conservation of their qacC means that this gene has recently spread. In the absence of insertion sequences or other genetic elements explaining the mobility, we sought for an explanation of mobilization by sequence comparison. Publically available sequences of qac genes, their flanking genes and the replication gene that is invariably present in RC-plasmids were compared to reconstruct the evolutionary history of these plasmids and to explain the recent spread of qacC. Here we propose a new model that explains how qacC is mobilized and transferred to acceptor RC-plasmids without assistance of other genes, by means of its location in between the Double Strand replication Origin (DSO and the Single-Strand replication Origin (SSO. The proposed mobilization model of this DSO-qacC-SSO element represents a novel mechanism of gene mobilization in RC-plasmids, which has also been employed by other genes, such as lnuA (conferring lincomycin resistance. The proposed gene mobility has aided to the wide spread of clinically relevant resistance genes in Staphylococcus populations.

  8. 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.

  9. Evolutionary rate variation and RNA secondary structure prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Genome-wide survey and developmental expression mapping of zebrafish SET domain-containing genes.

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    Xiao-Jian Sun

    Full Text Available SET domain-containing proteins represent an evolutionarily conserved family of epigenetic regulators, which are responsible for most histone lysine methylation. Since some of these genes have been revealed to be essential for embryonic development, we propose that the zebrafish, a vertebrate model organism possessing many advantages for developmental studies, can be utilized to study the biological functions of these genes and the related epigenetic mechanisms during early development. To this end, we have performed a genome-wide survey of zebrafish SET domain genes. 58 genes total have been identified. Although gene duplication events give rise to several lineage-specific paralogs, clear reciprocal orthologous relationship reveals high conservation between zebrafish and human SET domain genes. These data were further subject to an evolutionary analysis ranging from yeast to human, leading to the identification of putative clusters of orthologous groups (COGs of this gene family. By means of whole-mount mRNA in situ hybridization strategy, we have also carried out a developmental expression mapping of these genes. A group of maternal SET domain genes, which are implicated in the programming of histone modification states in early development, have been identified and predicted to be responsible for all known sites of SET domain-mediated histone methylation. Furthermore, some genes show specific expression patterns in certain tissues at certain stages, suggesting the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in the development of these systems. These results provide a global view of zebrafish SET domain histone methyltransferases in evolutionary and developmental dimensions and pave the way for using zebrafish to systematically study the roles of these genes during development.

  11. Understanding the mind from an evolutionary perspective: an overview of evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackelford, Todd K; Liddle, James R

    2014-05-01

    The theory of evolution by natural selection provides the only scientific explanation for the existence of complex adaptations. The design features of the brain, like any organ, are the result of selection pressures operating over deep time. Evolutionary psychology posits that the human brain comprises a multitude of evolved psychological mechanisms, adaptations to specific and recurrent problems of survival and reproduction faced over human evolutionary history. Although some mistakenly view evolutionary psychology as promoting genetic determinism, evolutionary psychologists appreciate and emphasize the interactions between genes and environments. This approach to psychology has led to a richer understanding of a variety of psychological phenomena, and has provided a powerful foundation for generating novel hypotheses. Critics argue that evolutionary psychologists resort to storytelling, but as with any branch of science, empirical testing is a vital component of the field, with hypotheses standing or falling with the weight of the evidence. Evolutionary psychology is uniquely suited to provide a unifying theoretical framework for the disparate subdisciplines of psychology. An evolutionary perspective has provided insights into several subdisciplines of psychology, while simultaneously demonstrating the arbitrary nature of dividing psychological science into such subdisciplines. Evolutionary psychologists have amassed a substantial empirical and theoretical literature, but as a relatively new approach to psychology, many questions remain, with several promising directions for future research. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  12. Phylomedicine: An evolutionary telescope to explore and diagnose the universe of disease mutations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Sudhir; Dudley, Joel T.; Filipski, Alan; Liu, Li

    2011-01-01

    Modern technologies have made the sequencing of personal genomes routine. They have revealed thousands of nonsynonymous (amino-acid altering) single nucleotide variants (nSNVs) of protein coding DNA per genome. What do these variants foretell about an individual’s predisposition to diseases? The experimental technologies required to carry out such evaluations at a genomic scale are not yet available. Fortunately, the process of natural selection has lent us an almost infinite set of tests in nature. During the long-term evolution, new mutations and existing variations have been evaluated for their biological consequences in countless species, and outcomes were readily revealed by multispecies genome comparisons. We review studies that have investigated evolutionary characteristics and in silico functional diagnoses of nSNVs found in thousands of disease-associated genes. We conclude that the patterns of long-term evolutionary conservation and permissible divergence are essential and instructive modalities for functional assessment of human genetic variations. PMID:21764165

  13. An evolutionarily conserved sexual signature in the primate brain.

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    Björn Reinius

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available The question of a potential biological sexual signature in the human brain is a heavily disputed subject. In order to provide further insight into this issue, we used an evolutionary approach to identify genes with sex differences in brain expression level among primates. We reasoned that expression patterns important to uphold key male and female characteristics may be conserved during evolution. We selected cortex for our studies because this specific brain region is responsible for many higher behavioral functions. We compared gene expression profiles in the occipital cortex of male and female humans (Homo sapiens, a great ape and cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis, an old world monkey, two catarrhine species that show abundant morphological sexual dimorphism, as well as in common marmosets (Callithrix Jacchus, a new world monkey which are relatively sexually monomorphic. We identified hundreds of genes with sex-biased expression patterns in humans and macaques, while fewer than ten were differentially expressed between the sexes in marmosets. In primates, a general rule is that many of the morphological and behavioral sexual dimorphisms seen in polygamous species, such as macaques, are typically less pronounced in monogamous species such as the marmosets. Our observations suggest that this correlation may also be reflected in the extent of sex-biased gene expression in the brain. We identified 85 genes with common sex-biased expression, in both human and macaque and 2 genes, X inactivation-specific transcript (XIST and Heat shock factor binding protein 1 (HSBP1, that were consistently sex-biased in the female direction in human, macaque, and marmoset. These observations imply a conserved signature of sexual gene expression dimorphism in cortex of primates. Further, we found that the coding region of female-biased genes is more evolutionarily constrained compared to the coding region of both male-biased and non sex-biased brain

  14. How conserved are the conserved 16S-rRNA regions?

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    Marcel Martinez-Porchas

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The 16S rRNA gene has been used as master key for studying prokaryotic diversity in almost every environment. Despite the claim of several researchers to have the best universal primers, the reality is that no primer has been demonstrated to be truly universal. This suggests that conserved regions of the gene may not be as conserved as expected. The aim of this study was to evaluate the conservation degree of the so-called conserved regions flanking the hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Data contained in SILVA database (release 123 were used for the study. Primers reported as matches of each conserved region were assembled to form contigs; sequences sizing 12 nucleotides (12-mers were extracted from these contigs and searched into the entire set of SILVA sequences. Frequency analysis shown that extreme regions, 1 and 10, registered the lowest frequencies. 12-mer frequencies revealed segments of contigs that were not as conserved as expected (≤90%. Fragments corresponding to the primer contigs 3, 4, 5b and 6a were recovered from all sequences in SILVA database. Nucleotide frequency analysis in each consensus demonstrated that only a small fraction of these so-called conserved regions is truly conserved in non-redundant sequences. It could be concluded that conserved regions of the 16S rRNA gene exhibit considerable variation that has to be considered when using this gene as biomarker.

  15. Evidence for widespread degradation of gene control regions in hominid genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter D Keightley

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Although sequences containing regulatory elements located close to protein-coding genes are often only weakly conserved during evolution, comparisons of rodent genomes have implied that these sequences are subject to some selective constraints. Evolutionary conservation is particularly apparent upstream of coding sequences and in first introns, regions that are enriched for regulatory elements. By comparing the human and chimpanzee genomes, we show here that there is almost no evidence for conservation in these regions in hominids. Furthermore, we show that gene expression is diverging more rapidly in hominids than in murids per unit of neutral sequence divergence. By combining data on polymorphism levels in human noncoding DNA and the corresponding human-chimpanzee divergence, we show that the proportion of adaptive substitutions in these regions in hominids is very low. It therefore seems likely that the lack of conservation and increased rate of gene expression divergence are caused by a reduction in the effectiveness of natural selection against deleterious mutations because of the low effective population sizes of hominids. This has resulted in the accumulation of a large number of deleterious mutations in sequences containing gene control elements and hence a widespread degradation of the genome during the evolution of humans and chimpanzees.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silberman Jeffrey D

    2006-11-01

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

  18. APOL1 Nephropathy: A Population Genetics and Evolutionary Medicine Detective Story.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruzel-Davila, Etty; Wasser, Walter G; Skorecki, Karl

    2017-11-01

    Common DNA sequence variants rarely have a high-risk association with a common disease. When such associations do occur, evolutionary forces must be sought, such as in the association of apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene risk variants with nondiabetic kidney diseases in populations of African ancestry. The variants originated in West Africa and provided pathogenic resistance in the heterozygous state that led to high allele frequencies owing to an adaptive evolutionary selective sweep. However, the homozygous state is disadvantageous and is associated with a markedly increased risk of a spectrum of kidney diseases encompassing hypertension-attributed kidney disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, human immunodeficiency virus nephropathy, sickle cell nephropathy, and progressive lupus nephritis. This scientific success story emerged with the help of the tools developed over the past 2 decades in human genome sequencing and population genomic databases. In this introductory article to a timely issue dedicated to illuminating progress in this area, we describe this unique population genetics and evolutionary medicine detective story. We emphasize the paradox of the inheritance mode, the missing heritability, and unresolved associations, including cardiovascular risk and diabetic nephropathy. We also highlight how genetic epidemiology elucidates mechanisms and how the principles of evolution can be used to unravel conserved pathways affected by APOL1 that may lead to novel therapies. The APOL1 gene provides a compelling example of a common variant association with common forms of nondiabetic kidney disease occurring in a continental population isolate with subsequent global admixture. Scientific collaboration using multiple experimental model systems and approaches should further clarify pathomechanisms further, leading to novel therapies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Evolutionary loss of melanogenesis in the tunicate Molgula occulta

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    Claudia Racioppi

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Analyzing close species with diverse developmental modes is instrumental for investigating the evolutionary significance of physiological, anatomical and behavioral features at a molecular level. Many examples of trait loss are known in metazoan populations living in dark environments. Tunicates are the closest living relatives of vertebrates and typically present a lifecycle with distinct motile larval and sessile adult stages. The nervous system of the motile larva contains melanized cells associated with geotactic and light-sensing organs. It has been suggested that these are homologous to vertebrate neural crest-derived melanocytes. Probably due to ecological adaptation to distinct habitats, several species of tunicates in the Molgulidae family have tailless (anural larvae that fail to develop sensory organ-associated melanocytes. Here we studied the evolution of Tyrosinase family genes, indispensible for melanogenesis, in the anural, unpigmented Molgula occulta and in the tailed, pigmented Molgula oculata by using phylogenetic, developmental and molecular approaches. Results We performed an evolutionary reconstruction of the tunicate Tyrosinase gene family: in particular, we found that M. oculata possesses genes predicted to encode one Tyrosinase (Tyr and three Tyrosinase-related proteins (Tyrps while M. occulta has only Tyr and Tyrp.a pseudogenes that are not likely to encode functional proteins. Analysis of Tyr sequences from various M. occulta individuals indicates that different alleles independently acquired frameshifting short indels and/or larger mobile genetic element insertions, resulting in pseudogenization of the Tyr locus. In M. oculata, Tyr is expressed in presumptive pigment cell precursors as in the model tunicate Ciona robusta. Furthermore, a M. oculata Tyr reporter gene construct was active in the pigment cell precursors of C. robusta embryos, hinting at conservation of the regulatory network underlying

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Multispecies genetic objectives in spatial conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Highly conserved non-coding sequences are associated with vertebrate development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Woolfe

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In addition to protein coding sequence, the human genome contains a significant amount of regulatory DNA, the identification of which is proving somewhat recalcitrant to both in silico and functional methods. An approach that has been used with some success is comparative sequence analysis, whereby equivalent genomic regions from different organisms are compared in order to identify both similarities and differences. In general, similarities in sequence between highly divergent organisms imply functional constraint. We have used a whole-genome comparison between humans and the pufferfish, Fugu rubripes, to identify nearly 1,400 highly conserved non-coding sequences. Given the evolutionary divergence between these species, it is likely that these sequences are found in, and furthermore are essential to, all vertebrates. Most, and possibly all, of these sequences are located in and around genes that act as developmental regulators. Some of these sequences are over 90% identical across more than 500 bases, being more highly conserved than coding sequence between these two species. Despite this, we cannot find any similar sequences in invertebrate genomes. In order to begin to functionally test this set of sequences, we have used a rapid in vivo assay system using zebrafish embryos that allows tissue-specific enhancer activity to be identified. Functional data is presented for highly conserved non-coding sequences associated with four unrelated developmental regulators (SOX21, PAX6, HLXB9, and SHH, in order to demonstrate the suitability of this screen to a wide range of genes and expression patterns. Of 25 sequence elements tested around these four genes, 23 show significant enhancer activity in one or more tissues. We have identified a set of non-coding sequences that are highly conserved throughout vertebrates. They are found in clusters across the human genome, principally around genes that are implicated in the regulation of development

  8. 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.

  9. Genome-Wide Analysis Suggests the Relaxed Purifying Selection Affect the Evolution of WOX Genes in Pyrus bretschneideri, Prunus persica, Prunus mume, and Fragaria vesca

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunpeng Cao

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available WUSCHEL-related homeobox (WOX family is one of the largest group of transcription factors (TFs specifically found in plant kingdom. WOX TFs play an important role in plant development processes and evolutionary novelties. Although the roles of WOXs in Arabidopsis and rice have been well-studied, however, little are known about the relationships among the main clades in the molecular evolution of these genes in Rosaceae. Here, we carried out a genome-wide analysis and identified 14, 10, 10, and 9 of WOX genes from four Rosaceae species (Fragaria vesca, Prunus persica, Prunus mume, and Pyrus bretschneideri, respectively. According to evolutionary analysis, as well as amino acid sequences of their homodomains, these genes were divided into three clades with nine subgroups. Furthermore, due to the conserved structural patterns among these WOX genes, it was proposed that there should exist some highly conserved regions of microsynteny in the four Rosaceae species. Moreover, most of WOX gene pairs were presented with the conserved orientation among syntenic genome regions. In addition, according to substitution models analysis using PMAL software, no significant positive selection was detected, but type I functional divergence was identified among certain amino acids in WOX protein. These results revealed that the relaxed purifying selection might be the main driving force during the evolution of WOX genes in the tested Rosaceae species. Our result will be useful for further precise research on evolution of the WOX genes in family Rosaceae.

  10. 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).

  11. Combinatorial binding in human and mouse embryonic stem cells identifies conserved enhancers active in early embryonic development.

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    Jonathan Göke

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Transcription factors are proteins that regulate gene expression by binding to cis-regulatory sequences such as promoters and enhancers. In embryonic stem (ES cells, binding of the transcription factors OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG is essential to maintain the capacity of the cells to differentiate into any cell type of the developing embryo. It is known that transcription factors interact to regulate gene expression. In this study we show that combinatorial binding is strongly associated with co-localization of the transcriptional co-activator Mediator, H3K27ac and increased expression of nearby genes in embryonic stem cells. We observe that the same loci bound by Oct4, Nanog and Sox2 in ES cells frequently drive expression in early embryonic development. Comparison of mouse and human ES cells shows that less than 5% of individual binding events for OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG are shared between species. In contrast, about 15% of combinatorial binding events and even between 53% and 63% of combinatorial binding events at enhancers active in early development are conserved. Our analysis suggests that the combination of OCT4, SOX2 and NANOG binding is critical for transcription in ES cells and likely plays an important role for embryogenesis by binding at conserved early developmental enhancers. Our data suggests that the fast evolutionary rewiring of regulatory networks mainly affects individual binding events, whereas "gene regulatory hotspots" which are bound by multiple factors and active in multiple tissues throughout early development are under stronger evolutionary constraints.

  12. 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

  13. TAS3 miR390-dependent loci in non-vascular land plants: towards a comprehensive reconstruction of the gene evolutionary history

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    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.

  14. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  16. Genomic evidence of gene duplication and adaptive evolution of Toll like receptors (TLR2 and TLR4) in reptiles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Shuai; Zhong, Huaming; Wu, Xiaoyang; Wei, Qinguo; Zhang, Huanxin; Chen, Jun; Chen, Yao; Tang, Xuexi; Zhang, Honghai

    2018-04-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) encoded by the TLR multigene family play an important role in initial pathogen recognition in vertebrates. Among the TLRs, TLR2 and TLR4 may be of particular importance to reptiles. In order to study the evolutionary patterns and structural characteristics of TLRs, we explored the available genomes of several representative members of reptiles. 25 TLR2 genes and 19 TLR4 genes from reptiles were obtained in this study. Phylogenetic results showed that the TLR2 gene duplication occurred in several species. Evolutionary analysis by at least two methods identified 30 and 13 common positively selected codons in TLR2 and TLR4, respectively. Most positively selected sites of TLR2 and TLR4 were located in the Leucine-rich repeat (LRRs). Branch model analysis showed that TLR2 genes were under different evolutionary forces in reptiles, while the TLR4 genes showed no significant selection pressure. The different evolutionary adaptation of TLR2 and TLR4 among the reptiles might be due to their different function in recognizing bacteria. Overall, we explored the structure and evolution of TLR2 and TLR4 genes in reptiles for the first time. Our study revealed valuable information regarding TLR2 and TLR4 in reptiles, and provided novel insights into the conservation concern of natural populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Suppression subtractive hybridization and comparative expression analysis to identify developmentally regulated genes in filamentous fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gesing, Stefan; Schindler, Daniel; Nowrousian, Minou

    2013-09-01

    Ascomycetes differentiate four major morphological types of fruiting bodies (apothecia, perithecia, pseudothecia and cleistothecia) that are derived from an ancestral fruiting body. Thus, fruiting body differentiation is most likely controlled by a set of common core genes. One way to identify such genes is to search for genes with evolutionary conserved expression patterns. Using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), we selected differentially expressed transcripts in Pyronema confluens (Pezizales) by comparing two cDNA libraries specific for sexual and for vegetative development, respectively. The expression patterns of selected genes from both libraries were verified by quantitative real time PCR. Expression of several corresponding homologous genes was found to be conserved in two members of the Sordariales (Sordaria macrospora and Neurospora crassa), a derived group of ascomycetes that is only distantly related to the Pezizales. Knockout studies with N. crassa orthologues of differentially regulated genes revealed a functional role during fruiting body development for the gene NCU05079, encoding a putative MFS peptide transporter. These data indicate conserved gene expression patterns and a functional role of the corresponding genes during fruiting body development; such genes are candidates of choice for further functional analysis. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Phytochrome Interacting Factors (PIFs in Solanum lycopersicum: Diversity, Evolutionary History and Expression Profiling during Different Developmental Processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniele Rosado

    Full Text Available Although the importance of light for tomato plant yield and edible fruit quality is well known, the PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTORS (PIFs, main components of phytochrome-mediated light signal transduction, have been studied almost exclusively in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, the diversity, evolution and expression profile of PIF gene subfamily in Solanum lycopersicum was characterized. Eight tomato PIF loci were identified, named SlPIF1a, SlPIF1b, SlPIF3, SlPIF4, SlPIF7a, SlPIF7b, SlPIF8a and SlPIF8b. The duplication of SlPIF1, SlPIF7 and SlPIF8 genes were dated and temporally coincided with the whole-genome triplication event that preceded tomato and potato divergence. Different patterns of mRNA accumulation in response to light treatments were observed during seedling deetiolation, dark-induced senescence, diel cycle and fruit ripening. SlPIF4 showed similar expression profile as that reported for A. thaliana homologs, indicating an evolutionary conserved function of PIF4 clade. A comprehensive analysis of the evolutionary and transcriptional data allowed proposing that duplicated SlPIFs have undergone sub- and neofunctionalization at mRNA level, pinpointing the importance of transcriptional regulation for the maintenance of duplicated genes. Altogether, the results indicate that genome polyploidization and functional divergence have played a major role in diversification of the Solanum PIF gene subfamily.

  19. Remarkable interkingdom conservation of intron positions and massive, lineage-specific intron loss and gain in eukaryotic evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogozin, Igor B; Wolf, Yuri I; Sorokin, Alexander V; Mirkin, Boris G; Koonin, Eugene V

    2003-09-02

    Sequencing of eukaryotic genomes allows one to address major evolutionary problems, such as the evolution of gene structure. We compared the intron positions in 684 orthologous gene sets from 8 complete genomes of animals, plants, fungi, and protists and constructed parsimonious scenarios of evolution of the exon-intron structure for the respective genes. Approximately one-third of the introns in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum are shared with at least one crown group eukaryote; this number indicates that these introns have been conserved through >1.5 billion years of evolution that separate Plasmodium from the crown group. Paradoxically, humans share many more introns with the plant Arabidopsis thaliana than with the fly or nematode. The inferred evolutionary scenario holds that the common ancestor of Plasmodium and the crown group and, especially, the common ancestor of animals, plants, and fungi had numerous introns. Most of these ancestral introns, which are retained in the genomes of vertebrates and plants, have been lost in fungi, nematodes, arthropods, and probably Plasmodium. In addition, numerous introns have been inserted into vertebrate and plant genes, whereas, in other lineages, intron gain was much less prominent.

  20. phyloXML: XML for evolutionary biology and comparative genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Mira V; Zmasek, Christian M

    2009-10-27

    Evolutionary trees are central to a wide range of biological studies. In many of these studies, tree nodes and branches need to be associated (or annotated) with various attributes. For example, in studies concerned with organismal relationships, tree nodes are associated with taxonomic names, whereas tree branches have lengths and oftentimes support values. Gene trees used in comparative genomics or phylogenomics are usually annotated with taxonomic information, genome-related data, such as gene names and functional annotations, as well as events such as gene duplications, speciations, or exon shufflings, combined with information related to the evolutionary tree itself. The data standards currently used for evolutionary trees have limited capacities to incorporate such annotations of different data types. We developed a XML language, named phyloXML, for describing evolutionary trees, as well as various associated data items. PhyloXML provides elements for commonly used items, such as branch lengths, support values, taxonomic names, and gene names and identifiers. By using "property" elements, phyloXML can be adapted to novel and unforeseen use cases. We also developed various software tools for reading, writing, conversion, and visualization of phyloXML formatted data. PhyloXML is an XML language defined by a complete schema in XSD that allows storing and exchanging the structures of evolutionary trees as well as associated data. More information about phyloXML itself, the XSD schema, as well as tools implementing and supporting phyloXML, is available at http://www.phyloxml.org.

  1. Eco-evolutionary spatial dynamics in the Glanville fritillary butterfly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanski, Ilkka A

    2011-08-30

    Demographic population dynamics, gene flow, and local adaptation may influence each other and lead to coupling of ecological and evolutionary dynamics, especially in species inhabiting fragmented heterogeneous environments. Here, I review long-term research on eco-evolutionary spatial dynamics in the Glanville fritillary butterfly inhabiting a large network of approximately 4,000 meadows in Finland. The metapopulation persists in a balance between frequent local extinctions and recolonizations. The genetic spatial structure as defined by neutral markers is much more coarse-grained than the demographic spatial structure determined by the fragmented habitat, yet small-scale spatial structure has important consequences for the dynamics. I discuss three examples of eco-evolutionary spatial dynamics. (i) Extinction-colonization metapopulation dynamics influence allele frequency changes in the phosphoglucose isomerase (Pgi) gene, which leads to strong associations between genetic variation in Pgi and dispersal, recolonization, and local population dynamics. (ii) Inbreeding in local populations increases their risk for extinction, whereas reciprocal effects between inbreeding, population size, and emigration represent likely eco-evolutionary feedbacks. (iii) Genetically determined female oviposition preference for two host plant species exhibits a cline paralleling a gradient in host plant relative abundances, and host plant preference of dispersing females in relation to the host plant composition of habitat patches influences immigration (gene flow) and recolonization (founder events). Eco-evolutionary spatial dynamics in heterogeneous environments may not lead to directional evolutionary changes unless the environment itself changes, but eco-evolutionary dynamics may contribute to the maintenance of genetic variation attributable to fluctuating selection in space and time.

  2. The α1,6-fucosyltransferase gene (fut8 from the Sf9 lepidopteran insect cell line: insights into fut8 evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvie Juliant

    Full Text Available The core alpha1,6-fucosyltransferase (FUT8 catalyzes the transfer of a fucosyl moiety from GDP-fucose to the innermost asparagine-linked N-acetylglucosamine residue of glycoproteins. In mammals, this glycosylation has an important function in many fundamental biological processes and although no essential role has been demonstrated yet in all animals, FUT8 amino acid (aa sequence and FUT8 activity are very well conserved throughout the animal kingdom. We have cloned the cDNA and the complete gene encoding the FUT8 in the Sf9 (Spodoptera frugiperda lepidopteran cell line. As in most animal genomes, fut8 is a single-copy gene organized in different exons. The open reading frame contains 12 exons, a characteristic that seems to be shared by all lepidopteran fut8 genes. We chose to study the gene structure as a way to characterize the evolutionary relationships of the fut8 genes in metazoans. Analysis of the intron-exon organization in 56 fut8 orthologs allowed us to propose a model for fut8 evolution in metazoans. The presence of a highly variable number of exons in metazoan fut8 genes suggests a complex evolutionary history with many intron gain and loss events, particularly in arthropods, but not in chordata. Moreover, despite the high conservation of lepidoptera FUT8 sequences also in vertebrates and hymenoptera, the exon-intron organization of hymenoptera fut8 genes is order-specific with no shared exons. This feature suggests that the observed intron losses and gains may be linked to evolutionary innovations, such as the appearance of new orders.

  3. 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.

  4. Lariat sequencing in a unicellular yeast identifies regulated alternative splicing of exons that are evolutionarily conserved with humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awan, Ali R; Manfredo, Amanda; Pleiss, Jeffrey A

    2013-07-30

    Alternative splicing is a potent regulator of gene expression that vastly increases proteomic diversity in multicellular eukaryotes and is associated with organismal complexity. Although alternative splicing is widespread in vertebrates, little is known about the evolutionary origins of this process, in part because of the absence of phylogenetically conserved events that cross major eukaryotic clades. Here we describe a lariat-sequencing approach, which offers high sensitivity for detecting splicing events, and its application to the unicellular fungus, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, an organism that shares many of the hallmarks of alternative splicing in mammalian systems but for which no previous examples of exon-skipping had been demonstrated. Over 200 previously unannotated splicing events were identified, including examples of regulated alternative splicing. Remarkably, an evolutionary analysis of four of the exons identified here as subject to skipping in S. pombe reveals high sequence conservation and perfect length conservation with their homologs in scores of plants, animals, and fungi. Moreover, alternative splicing of two of these exons have been documented in multiple vertebrate organisms, making these the first demonstrations of identical alternative-splicing patterns in species that are separated by over 1 billion y of evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prisilla, A; Prathiviraj, R; Chellapandi, P

    2017-04-01

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

  6. Updated clusters of orthologous genes for Archaea: a complex ancestor of the Archaea and the byways of horizontal gene transfer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolf Yuri I

    2012-12-01

    of arCOGs is expected to become a key resource for comparative genomics, evolutionary reconstruction and functional annotation of new archaeal genomes. Given that, in spite of the major increase in the number of genomes, the conserved core of archaeal genes appears to be stabilizing, the major evolutionary trends revealed here have a chance to stand the test of time. Reviewers This article was reviewed by (for complete reviews see the Reviewers’ Reports section: Dr. PLG, Prof. PF, Dr. PL (nominated by Prof. JPG.

  7. Selfish genetic elements, genetic conflict, and evolutionary innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werren, John H

    2011-06-28

    Genomes are vulnerable to selfish genetic elements (SGEs), which enhance their own transmission relative to the rest of an individual's genome but are neutral or harmful to the individual as a whole. As a result, genetic conflict occurs between SGEs and other genetic elements in the genome. There is growing evidence that SGEs, and the resulting genetic conflict, are an important motor for evolutionary change and innovation. In this review, the kinds of SGEs and their evolutionary consequences are described, including how these elements shape basic biological features, such as genome structure and gene regulation, evolution of new genes, origin of new species, and mechanisms of sex determination and development. The dynamics of SGEs are also considered, including possible "evolutionary functions" of SGEs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-15

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  11. The relationship of protein conservation and sequence length

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panchenko Anna R

    2002-11-01

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

  12. The evolutionary portrait of metazoan NAD salvage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carneiro, João; Duarte-Pereira, Sara; Azevedo, Luísa; Castro, L Filipe C; Aguiar, Paulo; Moreira, Irina S; Amorim, António; Silva, Raquel M

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-15

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

  16. 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....

  17. Molecular Evolution of the Glycosyltransferase 6 Gene Family in Primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eliane Evanovich

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Glycosyltransferase 6 gene family includes ABO, Ggta1, iGb3S, and GBGT1 genes and by three putative genes restricted to mammals, GT6m6, GTm6, and GT6m7, only the latter is found in primates. GT6 genes may encode functional and nonfunctional proteins. Ggta1 and GBGT1 genes, for instance, are pseudogenes in catarrhine primates, while iGb3S gene is only inactive in human, bonobo, and chimpanzee. Even inactivated, these genes tend to be conversed in primates. As some of the GT6 genes are related to the susceptibility or resistance to parasites, we investigated (i the selective pressure on the GT6 paralogs genes in primates; (ii the basis of the conservation of iGb3S in human, chimpanzee, and bonobo; and (iii the functional potential of the GBGT1 and GT6m7 in catarrhines. We observed that the purifying selection is prevalent and these genes have a low diversity, though ABO and Ggta1 genes have some sites under positive selection. GT6m7, a putative gene associated with aggressive periodontitis, may have regulatory function, but experimental studies are needed to assess its function. The evolutionary conservation of iGb3S in humans, chimpanzee, and bonobo seems to be the result of proximity to genes with important biological functions.

  18. Allele frequencies of variants in ultra conserved elements identify selective pressure on transcription factor binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silla, Toomas; Kepp, Katrin; Tai, E Shyong; Goh, Liang; Davila, Sonia; Catela Ivkovic, Tina; Calin, George A; Voorhoeve, P Mathijs

    2014-01-01

    Ultra-conserved genes or elements (UCGs/UCEs) in the human genome are extreme examples of conservation. We characterized natural variations in 2884 UCEs and UCGs in two distinct populations; Singaporean Chinese (n = 280) and Italian (n = 501) by using a pooled sample, targeted capture, sequencing approach. We identify, with high confidence, in these regions the abundance of rare SNVs (MAFpower for association studies. By combining our data with 1000 Genome Project data, we show in three independent datasets that prevalent UCE variants (MAF>5%) are more often found in relatively less-conserved nucleotides within UCEs, compared to rare variants. Moreover, prevalent variants are less likely to overlap transcription factor binding site. Using SNPfold we found no significant influence of RNA secondary structure on UCE conservation. All together, these results suggest UCEs are not under selective pressure as a stretch of DNA but are under differential evolutionary pressure on the single nucleotide level.

  19. Cooperation and conflict in cancer: An evolutionary perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Featherston

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary approaches to carcinogenesis have gained prominence in the literature and enhanced our understanding of cancer. However, an appreciation of neoplasia in the context of evolutionary transitions, particularly the transition from independent genes to a fullyintegrated genome, is largely absent. In the gene–genome evolutionary transition, mobile genetic elements (MGEs can be studied as the extant exemplars of selfish autonomous lowerlevel units that cooperated to form a higher-level, functionally integrated genome. Here,we discuss levels of selection in cancer cells. In particular, we examine the tension between gene and genome units of selection by examining the expression profiles of MGE domains in an array of human cancers. Overall, across diverse cancers, there is an aberrant expression of several families of mobile elements, including the most common MGE in the human genome, retrotransposon LINE 1. These results indicate an alternative life-history strategy for MGEs in the cancers studied. Whether the aberrant expression is the cause or effect oftumourigenesis is unknown, although some evidence suggests that dysregulation of MGEs can play a role in cancer origin and progression. These data are interpreted in combination with phylostratigraphic reports correlating the origin of cancer genes with multicellularity and other potential increases in complexity in cancer cell populations. Cooperation and conflict between individuals at the gene, genome and cell level provide an evolutionary medicineperspective of cancer that enhances our understanding of disease pathogenesis and treatment.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. The pyrH gene of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris encoding UMP kinase is transcribed as part of an operon including the frr1 gene encoding ribosomal recycling factor

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wadskov-Hansen, Steen Lüders; Martinussen, Jan; Hammer, Karin

    2000-01-01

    establishing the ability of the encoded protein to synthesize UDP. The pyrH gene in L. lactis is flanked downstream by frr1 encoding ribosomal recycling factor 1 and upstream by an open reading frame, orfA, of unknown function. The three genes were shown to constitute an operon transcribed in the direction orf......A-pyrH-frr1 from a promoter immediately in front of orfA. This operon belongs to an evolutionary highly conserved gene cluster, since the organization of pyrH on the chromosomal level in L. lactis shows a high resemblance to that found in Bacillus subtilis as well as in Escherichia coli and several other...

  3. Single locus affects embryonic segment polarity and multiple aspects of an adult evolutionary novelty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saenko Suzanne V

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The characterization of the molecular changes that underlie the origin and diversification of morphological novelties is a key challenge in evolutionary developmental biology. The evolution of such traits is thought to rely largely on co-option of a toolkit of conserved developmental genes that typically perform multiple functions. Mutations that affect both a universal developmental process and the formation of a novelty might shed light onto the genetics of traits not represented in model systems. Here we describe three pleiotropic mutations with large effects on a novel trait, butterfly eyespots, and on a conserved stage of embryogenesis, segment polarity. Results We show that three mutations affecting eyespot size and/or colour composition in Bicyclus anynana butterflies occurred in the same locus, and that two of them are embryonic recessive lethal. Using surgical manipulations and analysis of gene expression patterns in developing wings, we demonstrate that the effects on eyespot morphology are due to changes in the epidermal response component of eyespot induction. Our analysis of morphology and of gene expression in mutant embryos shows that they have a typical segment polarity phenotype, consistent with the mutant locus encoding a negative regulator of Wingless signalling. Conclusions This study characterizes the segregation and developmental effects of alleles at a single locus that controls the morphology of a lineage-specific trait (butterfly eyespots and a conserved process (embryonic segment polarity and, specifically, the regulation of Wingless signalling. Because no gene with such function was found in the orthologous, highly syntenic genomic regions of two other lepidopterans, we hypothesize that our locus is a yet undescribed, possibly lineage-specific, negative regulator of the conserved Wnt/Wg pathway. Moreover, the fact that this locus interferes with multiple aspects of eyespot morphology and maps to a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Green Eric D

    2009-07-01

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

  6. Evidence of at least two evolutionary lineages in Melipona subnitida (Apidae, Meliponini) suggested by mtDNA variability and geometric morphometrics of forewings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonatti, Vanessa; Simões, Zilá Luz Paulino; Franco, Fernando Faria; Francoy, Tiago Mauricio

    2014-01-01

    Melipona subnitida, a tropical stingless bee, is an endemic species of the Brazilian northeast and exhibits great potential for honey and pollen production in addition to its role as one of the main pollinators of the Caatinga biome. To understand the genetic structure and better assist in the conservation of this species, we characterized the population variability of M. subnitida using geometric morphometrics of the forewing and cytochrome c oxidase I gene fragment sequencing. We collected workers from six localities in the northernmost distribution. Both methodologies indicated that the variability among the sampled populations is related both to the environment in which samples were collected and the geographical distance between the sampling sites, indicating that differentiation among the populations is due to the existence of at least evolutionary lineages. Molecular clock data suggest that this differentiation may have begun in the middle Pleistocene, approximately 396 kya. The conservation of all evolutionary lineages is important since they can present differential resistance to environmental changes, as resistance to drought and diseases.

  7. Gain, loss and divergence in primate zinc-finger genes: a rich resource for evolution of gene regulatory differences between species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja Nowick

    Full Text Available The molecular changes underlying major phenotypic differences between humans and other primates are not well understood, but alterations in gene regulation are likely to play a major role. Here we performed a thorough evolutionary analysis of the largest family of primate transcription factors, the Krüppel-type zinc finger (KZNF gene family. We identified and curated gene and pseudogene models for KZNFs in three primate species, chimpanzee, orangutan and rhesus macaque, to allow for a comparison with the curated set of human KZNFs. We show that the recent evolutionary history of primate KZNFs has been complex, including many lineage-specific duplications and deletions. We found 213 species-specific KZNFs, among them 7 human-specific and 23 chimpanzee-specific genes. Two human-specific genes were validated experimentally. Ten genes have been lost in humans and 13 in chimpanzees, either through deletion or pseudogenization. We also identified 30 KZNF orthologs with human-specific and 42 with chimpanzee-specific sequence changes that are predicted to affect DNA binding properties of the proteins. Eleven of these genes show signatures of accelerated evolution, suggesting positive selection between humans and chimpanzees. During primate evolution the most extensive re-shaping of the KZNF repertoire, including most gene additions, pseudogenizations, and structural changes occurred within the subfamily homininae. Using zinc finger (ZNF binding predictions, we suggest potential impact these changes have had on human gene regulatory networks. The large species differences in this family of TFs stands in stark contrast to the overall high conservation of primate genomes and potentially represents a potent driver of primate evolution.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris S. Booker

    2014-09-01

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

  9. The sociobiology of genes: the gene's eye view as a unifying behavioural-ecological framework for biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Tiège, Alexis; Van de Peer, Yves; Braeckman, Johan; Tanghe, Koen B

    2017-11-22

    Although classical evolutionary theory, i.e., population genetics and the Modern Synthesis, was already implicitly 'gene-centred', the organism was, in practice, still generally regarded as the individual unit of which a population is composed. The gene-centred approach to evolution only reached a logical conclusion with the advent of the gene-selectionist or gene's eye view in the 1960s and 1970s. Whereas classical evolutionary theory can only work with (genotypically represented) fitness differences between individual organisms, gene-selectionism is capable of working with fitness differences among genes within the same organism and genome. Here, we explore the explanatory potential of 'intra-organismic' and 'intra-genomic' gene-selectionism, i.e., of a behavioural-ecological 'gene's eye view' on genetic, genomic and organismal evolution. First, we give a general outline of the framework and how it complements the-to some extent-still 'organism-centred' approach of classical evolutionary theory. Secondly, we give a more in-depth assessment of its explanatory potential for biological evolution, i.e., for Darwin's 'common descent with modification' or, more specifically, for 'historical continuity or homology with modular evolutionary change' as it has been studied by evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) during the last few decades. In contrast with classical evolutionary theory, evo-devo focuses on 'within-organism' developmental processes. Given the capacity of gene-selectionism to adopt an intra-organismal gene's eye view, we outline the relevance of the latter model for evo-devo. Overall, we aim for the conceptual integration between the gene's eye view on the one hand, and more organism-centred evolutionary models (both classical evolutionary theory and evo-devo) on the other.

  10. The mitochondrial genome of the ascalaphid owlfly Libelloides macaronius and comparative evolutionary mitochondriomics of neuropterid insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Background The insect order Neuroptera encompasses more than 5,700 described species. To date, only three neuropteran mitochondrial genomes have been fully and one partly sequenced. Current knowledge on neuropteran mitochondrial genomes is limited, and new data are strongly required. In the present work, the mitochondrial genome of the ascalaphid owlfly Libelloides macaronius is described and compared with the known neuropterid mitochondrial genomes: Megaloptera, Neuroptera and Raphidioptera. These analyses are further extended to other endopterygotan orders. Results The mitochondrial genome of L. macaronius is a circular molecule 15,890 bp long. It includes the entire set of 37 genes usually present in animal mitochondrial genomes. The gene order of this newly sequenced genome is unique among Neuroptera and differs from the ancestral type of insects in the translocation of trnC. The L. macaronius genome shows the lowest A+T content (74.50%) among known neuropterid genomes. Protein-coding genes possess the typical mitochondrial start codons, except for cox1, which has an unusual ACG. Comparisons among endopterygotan mitochondrial genomes showed that A+T content and AT/GC-skews exhibit a broad range of variation among 84 analyzed taxa. Comparative analyses showed that neuropterid mitochondrial protein-coding genes experienced complex evolutionary histories, involving features ranging from codon usage to rate of substitution, that make them potential markers for population genetics/phylogenetics studies at different taxonomic ranks. The 22 tRNAs show variable substitution patterns in Neuropterida, with higher sequence conservation in genes located on the α strand. Inferred secondary structures for neuropterid rrnS and rrnL genes largely agree with those known for other insects. For the first time, a model is provided for domain I of an insect rrnL. The control region in Neuropterida, as in other insects, is fast-evolving genomic region, characterized by AT

  11. Identification of evolutionarily conserved non-AUG-initiated N-terminal extensions in human coding sequences.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Ivanov, Ivaylo P

    2011-05-01

    In eukaryotes, it is generally assumed that translation initiation occurs at the AUG codon closest to the messenger RNA 5\\' cap. However, in certain cases, initiation can occur at codons differing from AUG by a single nucleotide, especially the codons CUG, UUG, GUG, ACG, AUA and AUU. While non-AUG initiation has been experimentally verified for a handful of human genes, the full extent to which this phenomenon is utilized--both for increased coding capacity and potentially also for novel regulatory mechanisms--remains unclear. To address this issue, and hence to improve the quality of existing coding sequence annotations, we developed a methodology based on phylogenetic analysis of predicted 5\\' untranslated regions from orthologous genes. We use evolutionary signatures of protein-coding sequences as an indicator of translation initiation upstream of annotated coding sequences. Our search identified novel conserved potential non-AUG-initiated N-terminal extensions in 42 human genes including VANGL2, FGFR1, KCNN4, TRPV6, HDGF, CITED2, EIF4G3 and NTF3, and also affirmed the conservation of known non-AUG-initiated extensions in 17 other genes. In several instances, we have been able to obtain independent experimental evidence of the expression of non-AUG-initiated products from the previously published literature and ribosome profiling data.

  12. Perspectives provided by leopard and other cat genomes: how diet determined the evolutionary history of carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soonok; Cho, Yun Sung; Bhak, Jong; O’Brian, Stephen J.; Yeo, Joo-Hong

    2017-01-01

    Recent advances in genome sequencing technologies have enabled humans to generate and investigate the genomes of wild species. This includes the big cat family, such as tigers, lions, and leopards. Adding the first high quality leopard genome, we have performed an in-depth comparative analysis to identify the genomic signatures in the evolution of felid to become the top predators on land. Our study focused on how the carnivore genomes, as compared to the omnivore or herbivore genomes, shared evolutionary adaptations in genes associated with nutrient metabolism, muscle strength, agility, and other traits responsible for hunting and meat digestion. We found genetic evidence that genomes represent what animals eat through modifying genes. Highly conserved genetically relevant regions were discovered in genomes at the family level. Also, the Felidae family genomes exhibited low levels of genetic diversity associated with decreased population sizes, presumably because of their strict diet, suggesting their vulnerability and critical conservation status. Our findings can be used for human health enhancement, since we share the same genes as cats with some variation. This is an example how wildlife genomes can be a critical resource for human evolution, providing key genetic marker information for disease treatment. PMID:28042784

  13. Genome-wide identification of SAUR genes in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Na; Huang, Xing; Bao, Yaning; Wang, Bo; Zeng, Hongxia; Cheng, Weishun; Tang, Mi; Li, Yuhua; Ren, Jian; Sun, Yuhong

    2017-07-01

    The early auxin responsive SAUR family is an important gene family in auxin signal transduction. We here present the first report of a genome-wide identification of SAUR genes in watermelon genome. We successfully identified 65 ClaSAURs and provide a genomic framework for future study on these genes. Phylogenetic result revealed a Cucurbitaceae-specific SAUR subfamily and contribute to understanding of the evolutionary pattern of SAUR genes in plants. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis demonstrates the existed expression of 11 randomly selected SAUR genes in watermelon tissues. ClaSAUR36 was highly expressed in fruit, for which further study might bring a new prospective for watermelon fruit development. Moreover, correlation analysis revealed the similar expression profiles of SAUR genes between watermelon and Arabidopsis during shoot organogenesis. This work gives us a new support for the conserved auxin machinery in plants.

  14. The evolution of CHROMOMETHYLASES and gene body DNA methylation in plants

    OpenAIRE

    Leebens-Mack, Jim; Griffin, Patrick; Rohr, Nicholas; Niederhuth, Chad; Ji, Lexiang; Bewick, Adam; Schmitz, Robert

    2017-01-01

    Background The evolution of gene body methylation (gbM), its origins, and its functional consequences are poorly understood. By pairing the largest collection of transcriptomes (>1000) and methylomes (77) across Viridiplantae, we provide novel insights into the evolution of gbM and its relationship to CHROMOMETHYLASE (CMT) proteins. Results CMTs are evolutionary conserved DNA methyltransferases in Viridiplantae. Duplication events gave rise to what are now referred to as CMT1, 2 and 3. Indepe...

  15. Assessing fluctuating evolutionary pressure in yeast and mammal evolutionary rate covariation using bioinformatics of meiotic protein genetic sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehipawala, Sunil; Nguyen, A.; Tremberger, G.; Cheung, E.; Holden, T.; Lieberman, D.; Cheung, T.

    2013-09-01

    The evolutionary rate co-variation in meiotic proteins has been reported for yeast and mammal using phylogenic branch lengths which assess retention, duplication and mutation. The bioinformatics of the corresponding DNA sequences could be classified as a diagram of fractal dimension and Shannon entropy. Results from biomedical gene research provide examples on the diagram methodology. The identification of adaptive selection using entropy marker and functional-structural diversity using fractal dimension would support a regression analysis where the coefficient of determination would serve as evolutionary pathway marker for DNA sequences and be an important component in the astrobiology community. Comparisons between biomedical genes such as EEF2 (elongation factor 2 human, mouse, etc), WDR85 in epigenetics, HAR1 in human specificity, clinical trial targeted cancer gene CD47, SIRT6 in spermatogenesis, and HLA-C in mosquito bite immunology demonstrate the diagram classification methodology. Comparisons to the SEPT4-XIAP pair in stem cell apoptosis, testesexpressed taste genes TAS1R3-GNAT3 pair, and amyloid beta APLP1-APLP2 pair with the yeast-mammal DNA sequences for meiotic proteins RAD50-MRE11 pair and NCAPD2-ICK pair have accounted for the observed fluctuating evolutionary pressure systematically. Regression with high R-sq values or a triangular-like cluster pattern for concordant pairs in co-variation among the studied species could serve as evidences for the possible location of common ancestors in the entropy-fractal dimension diagram, consistent with an example of the human-chimp common ancestor study using the FOXP2 regulated genes reported in human fetal brain study. The Deinococcus radiodurans R1 Rad-A could be viewed as an outlier in the RAD50 diagram and also in the free energy versus fractal dimension regression Cook's distance, consistent with a non-Earth source for this radiation resistant bacterium. Convergent and divergent fluctuating evolutionary

  16. Whole genome duplications and expansion of the vertebrate GATA transcription factor gene family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bowerman Bruce

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background GATA transcription factors influence many developmental processes, including the specification of embryonic germ layers. The GATA gene family has significantly expanded in many animal lineages: whereas diverse cnidarians have only one GATA transcription factor, six GATA genes have been identified in many vertebrates, five in many insects, and eleven to thirteen in Caenorhabditis nematodes. All bilaterian animal genomes have at least one member each of two classes, GATA123 and GATA456. Results We have identified one GATA123 gene and one GATA456 gene from the genomic sequence of two invertebrate deuterostomes, a cephalochordate (Branchiostoma floridae and a hemichordate (Saccoglossus kowalevskii. We also have confirmed the presence of six GATA genes in all vertebrate genomes, as well as additional GATA genes in teleost fish. Analyses of conserved sequence motifs and of changes to the exon-intron structure, and molecular phylogenetic analyses of these deuterostome GATA genes support their origin from two ancestral deuterostome genes, one GATA 123 and one GATA456. Comparison of the conserved genomic organization across vertebrates identified eighteen paralogous gene families linked to multiple vertebrate GATA genes (GATA paralogons, providing the strongest evidence yet for expansion of vertebrate GATA gene families via genome duplication events. Conclusion From our analysis, we infer the evolutionary birth order and relationships among vertebrate GATA transcription factors, and define their expansion via multiple rounds of whole genome duplication events. As the genomes of four independent invertebrate deuterostome lineages contain single copy GATA123 and GATA456 genes, we infer that the 0R (pre-genome duplication invertebrate deuterostome ancestor also had two GATA genes, one of each class. Synteny analyses identify duplications of paralogous chromosomal regions (paralogons, from single ancestral vertebrate GATA123 and GATA456

  17. Mutational robustness of gene regulatory networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aalt D J van Dijk

    Full Text Available Mutational robustness of gene regulatory networks refers to their ability to generate constant biological output upon mutations that change network structure. Such networks contain regulatory interactions (transcription factor-target gene interactions but often also protein-protein interactions between transcription factors. Using computational modeling, we study factors that influence robustness and we infer several network properties governing it. These include the type of mutation, i.e. whether a regulatory interaction or a protein-protein interaction is mutated, and in the case of mutation of a regulatory interaction, the sign of the interaction (activating vs. repressive. In addition, we analyze the effect of combinations of mutations and we compare networks containing monomeric with those containing dimeric transcription factors. Our results are consistent with available data on biological networks, for example based on evolutionary conservation of network features. As a novel and remarkable property, we predict that networks are more robust against mutations in monomer than in dimer transcription factors, a prediction for which analysis of conservation of DNA binding residues in monomeric vs. dimeric transcription factors provides indirect evidence.

  18. Do we need an extended evolutionary synthesis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigliucci, Massimo

    2007-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamran Safi

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

  20. [Evolutionary medicine: the future looking at the past].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Serafim; Rosado, Margarida

    2008-01-01

    Evolutionary medicine is an emergent basic science that offers new and varied perspectives to the comprehension of the human health and disease, considering them as a result of a gap between our modern lives and the environment where human beings evolve. This work's goals are to understand the importance of the evolutionary theories on concepts of health and disease, providing a new insight on medicine investigation. This bibliography review is based on Medline and PsycINFO articles research between 1996 and 2007 about review and experimental studies published in English, using the key words evolutionary and medicine, psychiatry, psychology, behaviour, health, disease, gene. There were selected forty-five articles based on and with special interest on the authors' practice. There were also consulted some allusive books. The present human genome and phenotypes are essentially Palaeolithic ones: they are not adapted to the modern life style, thus favouring the so called diseases of civilization. Fitting evolutionary strategies, apparently protective ones, when excessive, are the core syndromes of many emotional disruptive behaviours and diseases. Having the stone age's genes, we are obliged to live in the space age. With the evolutionary approach, postmodern medicine is detecting better the vulnerabilities, restrictions, biases, adaptations and maladaptations of human body, its actual diseases and its preventions and treatment.

  1. Ferritin gene organization: differences between plants and animals suggest possible kingdom-specific selective constraints.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proudhon, D; Wei, J; Briat, J; Theil, E C

    1996-03-01

    Ferritin, a protein widespread in nature, concentrates iron approximately 10(11)-10(12)-fold above the solubility within a spherical shell of 24 subunits; it derives in plants and animals from a common ancestor (based on sequence) but displays a cytoplasmic location in animals compared to the plastid in contemporary plants. Ferritin gene regulation in plants and animals is altered by development, hormones, and excess iron; iron signals target DNA in plants but mRNA in animals. Evolution has thus conserved the two end points of ferritin gene expression, the physiological signals and the protein structure, while allowing some divergence of the genetic mechanisms. Comparison of ferritin gene organization in plants and animals, made possible by the cloning of a dicot (soybean) ferritin gene presented here and the recent cloning of two monocot (maize) ferritin genes, shows evolutionary divergence in ferritin gene organization between plants and animals but conservation among plants or among animals; divergence in the genetic mechanism for iron regulation is reflected by the absence in all three plant genes of the IRE, a highly conserved, noncoding sequence in vertebrate animal ferritin mRNA. In plant ferritin genes, the number of introns (n = 7) is higher than in animals (n = 3). Second, no intron positions are conserved when ferritin genes of plants and animals are compared, although all ferritin gene introns are in the coding region; within kingdoms, the intron positions in ferritin genes are conserved. Finally, secondary protein structure has no apparent relationship to intron/exon boundaries in plant ferritin genes, whereas in animal ferritin genes the correspondence is high. The structural differences in introns/exons among phylogenetically related ferritin coding sequences and the high conservation of the gene structure within plant or animal kingdoms of the gene structure within plant or animal kingdoms suggest that kingdom-specific functional constraints may

  2. 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

  3. Prioritizing orphan proteins for further study using phylogenomics and gene expression profiles in Streptomyces coelicolor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takano Eriko

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Streptomyces coelicolor, a model organism of antibiotic producing bacteria, has one of the largest genomes of the bacterial kingdom, including 7825 predicted protein coding genes. A large number of these genes, nearly 34%, are functionally orphan (hypothetical proteins with unknown function. However, in gene expression time course data, many of these functionally orphan genes show interesting expression patterns. Results In this paper, we analyzed all functionally orphan genes of Streptomyces coelicolor and identified a list of "high priority" orphans by combining gene expression analysis and additional phylogenetic information (i.e. the level of evolutionary conservation of each protein. Conclusions The prioritized orphan genes are promising candidates to be examined experimentally in the lab for further characterization of their function.

  4. 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.

  5. Accurate prediction of the functional significance of single nucleotide polymorphisms and mutations in the ABCA1 gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liam R Brunham

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The human genome contains an estimated 100,000 to 300,000 DNA variants that alter an amino acid in an encoded protein. However, our ability to predict which of these variants are functionally significant is limited. We used a bioinformatics approach to define the functional significance of genetic variation in the ABCA1 gene, a cholesterol transporter crucial for the metabolism of high density lipoprotein cholesterol. To predict the functional consequence of each coding single nucleotide polymorphism and mutation in this gene, we calculated a substitution position-specific evolutionary conservation score for each variant, which considers site-specific variation among evolutionarily related proteins. To test the bioinformatics predictions experimentally, we evaluated the biochemical consequence of these sequence variants by examining the ability of cell lines stably transfected with the ABCA1 alleles to elicit cholesterol efflux. Our bioinformatics approach correctly predicted the functional impact of greater than 94% of the naturally occurring variants we assessed. The bioinformatics predictions were significantly correlated with the degree of functional impairment of ABCA1 mutations (r2 = 0.62, p = 0.0008. These results have allowed us to define the impact of genetic variation on ABCA1 function and to suggest that the in silico evolutionary approach we used may be a useful tool in general for predicting the effects of DNA variation on gene function. In addition, our data suggest that considering patterns of positive selection, along with patterns of negative selection such as evolutionary conservation, may improve our ability to predict the functional effects of amino acid variation.

  6. 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.

  7. Species-Specific Mechanisms of Neuron Subtype Specification Reveal Evolutionary Plasticity of Amniote Brain Development

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    Tadashi Nomura

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Highly ordered brain architectures in vertebrates consist of multiple neuron subtypes with specific neuronal connections. However, the origin of and evolutionary changes in neuron specification mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we report that regulatory mechanisms of neuron subtype specification are divergent in developing amniote brains. In the mammalian neocortex, the transcription factors (TFs Ctip2 and Satb2 are differentially expressed in layer-specific neurons. In contrast, these TFs are co-localized in reptilian and avian dorsal pallial neurons. Multi-potential progenitors that produce distinct neuronal subtypes commonly exist in the reptilian and avian dorsal pallium, whereas a cis-regulatory element of avian Ctip2 exhibits attenuated transcription suppressive activity. Furthermore, the neuronal subtypes distinguished by these TFs are not tightly associated with conserved neuronal connections among amniotes. Our findings reveal the evolutionary plasticity of regulatory gene functions that contribute to species differences in neuronal heterogeneity and connectivity in developing amniote brains. : Neuronal heterogeneity is essential for assembling intricate neuronal circuits. Nomura et al. find that species-specific transcriptional mechanisms underlie diversities of excitatory neuron subtypes in mammalian and non-mammalian brains. Species differences in neuronal subtypes and connections suggest functional plasticity of regulatory genes for neuronal specification during amniote brain evolution. Keywords: Ctip2, Satb2, multi-potential progenitors, transcriptional regulation, neuronal connectivity

  8. Lineage-specific evolution of the vertebrate Otopetrin gene family revealed by comparative genomic analyses

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    Ryan Joseph F

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mutations in the Otopetrin 1 gene (Otop1 in mice and fish produce an unusual bilateral vestibular pathology that involves the absence of otoconia without hearing impairment. The encoded protein, Otop1, is the only functionally characterized member of the Otopetrin Domain Protein (ODP family; the extended sequence and structural preservation of ODP proteins in metazoans suggest a conserved functional role. Here, we use the tools of sequence- and cytogenetic-based comparative genomics to study the Otop1 and the Otop2-Otop3 genes and to establish their genomic context in 25 vertebrates. We extend our evolutionary study to include the gene mutated in Usher syndrome (USH subtype 1G (Ush1g, both because of the head-to-tail clustering of Ush1g with Otop2 and because Otop1 and Ush1g mutations result in inner ear phenotypes. Results We established that OTOP1 is the boundary gene of an inversion polymorphism on human chromosome 4p16 that originated in the common human-chimpanzee lineage more than 6 million years ago. Other lineage-specific evolutionary events included a three-fold expansion of the Otop genes in Xenopus tropicalis and of Ush1g in teleostei fish. The tight physical linkage between Otop2 and Ush1g is conserved in all vertebrates. To further understand the functional organization of the Ushg1-Otop2 locus, we deduced a putative map of binding sites for CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF, a mammalian insulator transcription factor, from genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq data in mouse and human embryonic stem (ES cells combined with detection of CTCF-binding motifs. Conclusions The results presented here clarify the evolutionary history of the vertebrate Otop and Ush1g families, and establish a framework for studying the possible interaction(s of Ush1g and Otop in developmental pathways.

  9. Waiting in the wings: what can we learn about gene co-option from the diversification of butterfly wing patterns?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiggins, Chris D; Wallbank, Richard W R; Hanly, Joseph J

    2017-02-05

    A major challenge is to understand how conserved gene regulatory networks control the wonderful diversity of form that we see among animals and plants. Butterfly wing patterns are an excellent example of this diversity. Butterfly wings form as imaginal discs in the caterpillar and are constructed by a gene regulatory network, much of which is conserved across the holometabolous insects. Recent work in Heliconius butterflies takes advantage of genomic approaches and offers insights into how the diversification of wing patterns is overlaid onto this conserved network. WntA is a patterning morphogen that alters spatial information in the wing. Optix is a transcription factor that acts later in development to paint specific wing regions red. Both of these loci fit the paradigm of conserved protein-coding loci with diverse regulatory elements and developmental roles that have taken on novel derived functions in patterning wings. These discoveries offer insights into the 'Nymphalid Ground Plan', which offers a unifying hypothesis for pattern formation across nymphalid butterflies. These loci also represent 'hotspots' for morphological change that have been targeted repeatedly during evolution. Both convergent and divergent evolution of a great diversity of patterns is controlled by complex alleles at just a few genes. We suggest that evolutionary change has become focused on one or a few genetic loci for two reasons. First, pre-existing complex cis-regulatory loci that already interact with potentially relevant transcription factors are more likely to acquire novel functions in wing patterning. Second, the shape of wing regulatory networks may constrain evolutionary change to one or a few loci. Overall, genomic approaches that have identified wing patterning loci in these butterflies offer broad insight into how gene regulatory networks evolve to produce diversity.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evo-devo in the genomics era, and the origins of morphological

  10. 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...

  11. Evolution by Pervasive Gene Fusion in Antibiotic Resistance and Antibiotic Synthesizing Genes

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    Orla Coleman

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Phylogenetic (tree-based approaches to understanding evolutionary history are unable to incorporate convergent evolutionary events where two genes merge into one. In this study, as exemplars of what can be achieved when a tree is not assumed a priori, we have analysed the evolutionary histories of polyketide synthase genes and antibiotic resistance genes and have shown that their history is replete with convergent events as well as divergent events. We demonstrate that the overall histories of these genes more closely resembles the remodelling that might be seen with the children’s toy Lego, than the standard model of the phylogenetic tree. This work demonstrates further that genes can act as public goods, available for re-use and incorporation into other genetic goods.

  12. Mouse Nkrp1-Clr gene cluster sequence and expression analyses reveal conservation of tissue-specific MHC-independent immunosurveillance.

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    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.

  13. 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

  14. [Identification of new conserved and variable regions in the 16S rRNA gene of acetic acid bacteria and acetobacteraceae family].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakravorty, S; Sarkar, S; Gachhui, R

    2015-01-01

    The Acetobacteraceae family of the class Alpha Proteobacteria is comprised of high sugar and acid tolerant bacteria. The Acetic Acid Bacteria are the economically most significant group of this family because of its association with food products like vinegar, wine etc. Acetobacteraceae are often hard to culture in laboratory conditions and they also maintain very low abundances in their natural habitats. Thus identification of the organisms in such environments is greatly dependent on modern tools of molecular biology which require a thorough knowledge of specific conserved gene sequences that may act as primers and or probes. Moreover unconserved domains in genes also become markers for differentiating closely related genera. In bacteria, the 16S rRNA gene is an ideal candidate for such conserved and variable domains. In order to study the conserved and variable domains of the 16S rRNA gene of Acetic Acid Bacteria and the Acetobacteraceae family, sequences from publicly available databases were aligned and compared. Near complete sequences of the gene were also obtained from Kombucha tea biofilm, a known Acetobacteraceae family habitat, in order to corroborate the domains obtained from the alignment studies. The study indicated that the degree of conservation in the gene is significantly higher among the Acetic Acid Bacteria than the whole Acetobacteraceae family. Moreover it was also observed that the previously described hypervariable regions V1, V3, V5, V6 and V7 were more or less conserved in the family and the spans of the variable regions are quite distinct as well.

  15. Global similarity and local divergence in human and mouse gene co-expression networks

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    Koonin Eugene V

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A genome-wide comparative analysis of human and mouse gene expression patterns was performed in order to evaluate the evolutionary divergence of mammalian gene expression. Tissue-specific expression profiles were analyzed for 9,105 human-mouse orthologous gene pairs across 28 tissues. Expression profiles were resolved into species-specific coexpression networks, and the topological properties of the networks were compared between species. Results At the global level, the topological properties of the human and mouse gene coexpression networks are, essentially, identical. For instance, both networks have topologies with small-world and scale-free properties as well as closely similar average node degrees, clustering coefficients, and path lengths. However, the human and mouse coexpression networks are highly divergent at the local level: only a small fraction ( Conclusion The dissonance between global versus local network divergence suggests that the interspecies similarity of the global network properties is of limited biological significance, at best, and that the biologically relevant aspects of the architectures of gene coexpression are specific and particular, rather than universal. Nevertheless, there is substantial evolutionary conservation of the local network structure which is compatible with the notion that gene coexpression networks are subject to purifying selection.

  16. Passivity and Evolutionary Game Dynamics

    KAUST Repository

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

    2018-01-01

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

  17. Passivity and Evolutionary Game Dynamics

    KAUST Repository

    Park, Shinkyu

    2018-03-21

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

  18. 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

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

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    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.

  20. Estimating true evolutionary distances under the DCJ model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Yu; Moret, Bernard M E

    2008-07-01

    Modern techniques can yield the ordering and strandedness of genes on each chromosome of a genome; such data already exists for hundreds of organisms. The evolutionary mechanisms through which the set of the genes of an organism is altered and reordered are of great interest to systematists, evolutionary biologists, comparative genomicists and biomedical researchers. Perhaps the most basic concept in this area is that of evolutionary distance between two genomes: under a given model of genomic evolution, how many events most likely took place to account for the difference between the two genomes? We present a method to estimate the true evolutionary distance between two genomes under the 'double-cut-and-join' (DCJ) model of genome rearrangement, a model under which a single multichromosomal operation accounts for all genomic rearrangement events: inversion, transposition, translocation, block interchange and chromosomal fusion and fission. Our method relies on a simple structural characterization of a genome pair and is both analytically and computationally tractable. We provide analytical results to describe the asymptotic behavior of genomes under the DCJ model, as well as experimental results on a wide variety of genome structures to exemplify the very high accuracy (and low variance) of our estimator. Our results provide a tool for accurate phylogenetic reconstruction from multichromosomal gene rearrangement data as well as a theoretical basis for refinements of the DCJ model to account for biological constraints. All of our software is available in source form under GPL at http://lcbb.epfl.ch.

  1. Network evolution: rewiring and signatures of conservation in signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark G F Sun

    Full Text Available The analysis of network evolution has been hampered by limited availability of protein interaction data for different organisms. In this study, we investigate evolutionary mechanisms in Src Homology 3 (SH3 domain and kinase interaction networks using high-resolution specificity profiles. We constructed and examined networks for 23 fungal species ranging from Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We quantify rates of different rewiring mechanisms and show that interaction change through binding site evolution is faster than through gene gain or loss. We found that SH3 interactions evolve swiftly, at rates similar to those found in phosphoregulation evolution. Importantly, we show that interaction changes are sufficiently rapid to exhibit saturation phenomena at the observed timescales. Finally, focusing on the SH3 interaction network, we observe extensive clustering of binding sites on target proteins by SH3 domains and a strong correlation between the number of domains that bind a target protein (target in-degree and interaction conservation. The relationship between in-degree and interaction conservation is driven by two different effects, namely the number of clusters that correspond to interaction interfaces and the number of domains that bind to each cluster leads to sequence specific conservation, which in turn results in interaction conservation. In summary, we uncover several network evolution mechanisms likely to generalize across peptide recognition modules.

  2. The evolutionary portrait of metazoan NAD salvage.

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    João Carneiro

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

  3. Genome-wide identification and tissue-specific expression analysis of nucleotide binding site-leucine rich repeat gene family in Cicer arietinum (kabuli chickpea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Ranu; Rawat, Vimal; Suresh, C G

    2017-12-01

    The nucleotide binding site-leucine rich repeat (NBS-LRR) proteins play an important role in the defense mechanisms against pathogens. Using bioinformatics approach, we identified and annotated 104 NBS-LRR genes in chickpea. Phylogenetic analysis points to their diversification into two families namely TIR-NBS-LRR and non-TIR-NBS-LRR. Gene architecture revealed intron gain/loss events in this resistance gene family during their independent evolution into two families. Comparative genomics analysis elucidated its evolutionary relationship with other fabaceae species. Around 50% NBS-LRRs reside in macro-syntenic blocks underlining positional conservation along with sequence conservation of NBS-LRR genes in chickpea. Transcriptome sequencing data provided evidence for their transcription and tissue-specific expression. Four cis -regulatory elements namely WBOX, DRE, CBF, and GCC boxes, that commonly occur in resistance genes, were present in the promoter regions of these genes. Further, the findings will provide a strong background to use candidate disease resistance NBS-encoding genes and identify their specific roles in chickpea.

  4. Evolutionary engineering of industrial microorganisms-strategies and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Zhengming; Zhang, Juan; Ji, Xiaomei; Fang, Zhen; Wu, Zhimeng; Chen, Jian; Du, Guocheng

    2018-06-01

    Microbial cells have been widely used in the industry to obtain various biochemical products, and evolutionary engineering is a common method in biological research to improve their traits, such as high environmental tolerance and improvement of product yield. To obtain better integrate functions of microbial cells, evolutionary engineering combined with other biotechnologies have attracted more attention in recent years. Classical laboratory evolution has been proven effective to letting more beneficial mutations occur in different genes but also has some inherent limitations such as a long evolutionary period and uncontrolled mutation frequencies. However, recent studies showed that some new strategies may gradually overcome these limitations. In this review, we summarize the evolutionary strategies commonly used in industrial microorganisms and discuss the combination of evolutionary engineering with other biotechnologies such as systems biology and inverse metabolic engineering. Finally, we prospect the importance and application prospect of evolutionary engineering as a powerful tool especially in optimization of industrial microbial cell factories.

  5. 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.

  6. Asymmetrical distribution of non-conserved regulatory sequences at PHOX2B is reflected at the ENCODE loci and illuminates a possible genome-wide trend

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McCallion Andrew S

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transcriptional regulatory elements are central to development and interspecific phenotypic variation. Current regulatory element prediction tools rely heavily upon conservation for prediction of putative elements. Recent in vitro observations from the ENCODE project combined with in vivo analyses at the zebrafish phox2b locus suggests that a significant fraction of regulatory elements may fall below commonly applied metrics of conservation. We propose to explore these observations in vivo at the human PHOX2B locus, and also evaluate the potential evidence for genome-wide applicability of these observations through a novel analysis of extant data. Results Transposon-based transgenic analysis utilizing a tiling path proximal to human PHOX2B in zebrafish recapitulates the observations at the zebrafish phox2b locus of both conserved and non-conserved regulatory elements. Analysis of human sequences conserved with previously identified zebrafish phox2b regulatory elements demonstrates that the orthologous sequences exhibit overlapping regulatory control. Additionally, analysis of non-conserved sequences scattered over 135 kb 5' to PHOX2B, provides evidence of non-conserved regulatory elements positively biased with close proximity to the gene. Furthermore, we provide a novel analysis of data from the ENCODE project, finding a non-uniform distribution of regulatory elements consistent with our in vivo observations at PHOX2B. These observations remain largely unchanged when one accounts for the sequence repeat content of the assayed intervals, when the intervals are sub-classified by biological role (developmental versus non-developmental, or by gene density (gene desert versus non-gene desert. Conclusion While regulatory elements frequently display evidence of evolutionary conservation, a fraction appears to be undetected by current metrics of conservation. In vivo observations at the PHOX2B locus, supported by our analyses of in

  7. 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

  8. Evolution of the C-Type Lectin-Like Receptor Genes of the DECTIN-1 Cluster in the NK Gene Complex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanne Sattler

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Pattern recognition receptors are crucial in initiating and shaping innate and adaptive immune responses and often belong to families of structurally and evolutionarily related proteins. The human C-type lectin-like receptors encoded in the DECTIN-1 cluster within the NK gene complex contain prominent receptors with pattern recognition function, such as DECTIN-1 and LOX-1. All members of this cluster share significant homology and are considered to have arisen from subsequent gene duplications. Recent developments in sequencing and the availability of comprehensive sequence data comprising many species showed that the receptors of the DECTIN-1 cluster are not only homologous to each other but also highly conserved between species. Even in Caenorhabditis elegans, genes displaying homology to the mammalian C-type lectin-like receptors have been detected. In this paper, we conduct a comprehensive phylogenetic survey and give an up-to-date overview of the currently available data on the evolutionary emergence of the DECTIN-1 cluster genes.

  9. Ageing genes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rattan, Suresh

    2018-01-01

    The idea of gerontogenes is in line with the evolutionary explanation of ageing as being an emergent phenomenon as a result of the imperfect maintenance and repair systems. Although evolutionary processes did not select for any specific ageing genes that restrict and determine the lifespan...... of an individual, the term ‘gerontogenes’ primarily refers to any genes that may seem to influence ageing and longevity, without being specifically selected for that role. Such genes can also be called ‘virtual gerontogenes’ by virtue of their indirect influence on the rate and process of ageing. More than 1000...... virtual gerontogenes have been associated with ageing and longevity in model organisms and humans. The ‘real’ genes, which do influence the essential lifespan of a species, and have been selected for in accordance with the evolutionary life history of the species, are known as the longevity assurance...

  10. Evolutionary Dynamics and Diversity in Microbial Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Joel; Fisher, Daniel

    2013-03-01

    Diseases such as flu and cancer adapt at an astonishing rate. In large part, viruses and cancers are so difficult to prevent because they are continually evolving. Controlling such ``evolutionary diseases'' requires a better understanding of the underlying evolutionary dynamics. It is conventionally assumed that adaptive mutations are rare and therefore will occur and sweep through the population in succession. Recent experiments using modern sequencing technologies have illuminated the many ways in which real population sequence data does not conform to the predictions of conventional theory. We consider a very simple model of asexual evolution and perform simulations in a range of parameters thought to be relevant for microbes and cancer. Simulation results reveal complex evolutionary dynamics typified by competition between lineages with different sets of adaptive mutations. This dynamical process leads to a distribution of mutant gene frequencies different than expected under the conventional assumption that adaptive mutations are rare. Simulated gene frequencies share several conspicuous features with data collected from laboratory-evolved yeast and the worldwide population of influenza.

  11. Subtype-Specific Genes that Characterize Subpopulations of Callosal Projection Neurons in Mouse Identify Molecularly Homologous Populations in Macaque Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fame, Ryann M; Dehay, Colette; Kennedy, Henry; Macklis, Jeffrey D

    2017-03-01

    Callosal projection neurons (CPN) interconnect the neocortical hemispheres via the corpus callosum and are implicated in associative integration of multimodal information. CPN have undergone differential evolutionary elaboration, leading to increased diversity of cortical neurons-and more extensive and varied connections in neocortical gray and white matter-in primates compared with rodents. In mouse, distinct sets of genes are enriched in discrete subpopulations of CPN, indicating the molecular diversity of rodent CPN. Elements of rodent CPN functional and organizational diversity might thus be present in the further elaborated primate cortex. We address the hypothesis that genes controlling mouse CPN subtype diversity might reflect molecular patterns shared among mammals that arose prior to the divergence of rodents and primates. We find that, while early expression of the examined CPN-enriched genes, and postmigratory expression of these CPN-enriched genes in deep layers are highly conserved (e.g., Ptn, Nnmt, Cited2, Dkk3), in contrast, the examined genes expressed by superficial layer CPN show more variable levels of conservation (e.g., EphA3, Chn2). These results suggest that there has been evolutionarily differential retraction and elaboration of superficial layer CPN subpopulations between mouse and macaque, with independent derivation of novel populations in primates. Together, these data inform future studies regarding CPN subpopulations that are unique to primates and rodents, and indicate putative evolutionary relationships. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  12. Evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-22

    Amniote vertebrates possess various mechanisms of sex determination, but their variability is not equally distributed. The large evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in viviparous mammals and birds was believed to be connected with their endothermy. However, some ectotherm lineages seem to be comparably conserved in sex determination, but previously there was a lack of molecular evidence to confirm this. Here, we document a stability of sex chromosomes in advanced snakes based on the testing of Z-specificity of genes using quantitative PCR (qPCR) across 37 snake species (our qPCR technique is suitable for molecular sexing in potentially all advanced snakes). We discovered that at least part of sex chromosomes is homologous across all families of caenophidian snakes (Acrochordidae, Xenodermatidae, Pareatidae, Viperidae, Homalopsidae, Colubridae, Elapidae and Lamprophiidae). The emergence of differentiated sex chromosomes can be dated back to about 60 Ma and preceded the extensive diversification of advanced snakes, the group with more than 3000 species. The Z-specific genes of caenophidian snakes are (pseudo)autosomal in the members of the snake families Pythonidae, Xenopeltidae, Boidae, Erycidae and Sanziniidae, as well as in outgroups with differentiated sex chromosomes such as monitor lizards, iguanas and chameleons. Along with iguanas, advanced snakes are therefore another example of ectothermic amniotes with a long-term stability of sex chromosomes comparable with endotherms. © 2015 The Author(s).

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mt-rps3 is an ancient gene which provides insight into the evolution of fungal mitochondrial genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korovesi, Artemis G; Ntertilis, Maria; Kouvelis, Vassili N

    2018-05-12

    The nuclear ribosomal protein S3 (Rps3) is implicated in the assembly of the ribosomal small subunit. Fungi and plants present a gene copy in their mitochondrial (mt) genomes. An analysis of 303 complete fungal mt genomes showed that, when rps3 is found, it is