WorldWideScience

Sample records for evolutionary conserved regions

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haddley Kate

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  4. Regional systems of innovation: an evolutionary perspective

    OpenAIRE

    P Cooke; M G Uranga; G Etxebarria

    1998-01-01

    The authors develop the concept of regional systems of innovation and relate it to preexisting research on national systems of innovation. They argue that work conducted in the 'new regional science' field is complementary to systems of innovation approaches. They seek to link new regional work to evolutionary economics, and argue for the development of evolutionary regional science. Common elements of interest to evolutionary innovation research and new regional science are important in unde...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-12-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  8. 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.

  9. Strategies for measuring evolutionary conservation of RNA secondary structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hofacker Ivo L

    2008-02-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Structural Diversity in Conserved Regions Like the DRY-Motif among Viral 7TM Receptors-A Consequence of Evolutionary Pressure?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mølleskov-Jensen, Ann-Sofie; Sparre-Ulrich, Alexander Hovard; Davis-Poynter, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    Several herpes- and poxviruses have captured chemokine receptors from their hosts and modified these to their own benefit. The human and viral chemokine receptors belong to class A 7 transmembrane (TM) receptors which are characterized by several structural motifs like the DRY-motif in TM3...... and the C-terminal tail. In the DRY-motif, the arginine residue serves important purposes by being directly involved in G protein coupling. Interestingly, among the viral receptors there is a greater diversity in the DRY-motif compared to their endogenous receptor homologous. The C-terminal receptor tail...... constitutes another regulatory region that through a number of phosphorylation sites is involved in signaling, desensitization, and internalization. Also this region is more variable among virus-encoded 7TM receptors compared to human class A receptors. In this review we will focus on these two structural...

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilucca, Maddalena; Cimini, Giulio; Giansanti, Andrea

    2018-07-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnson Todd A

    2006-12-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Evolutionary conservation of plant gibberellin signalling pathway components

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    Reski Ralf

    2007-11-01

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

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

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    Thien-Phong eVu Manh

    2015-06-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catania, Francesco; Lynch, Michael

    2010-05-04

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

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

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    Schapira Marc

    2007-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-26

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

  6. 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.

  7. An Evolutionary Approach to Regional Systems of Innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunnarsson, Jan Sture Gunnar; Wallin, Torsten

    This article examines how the birth and the development of regional systems of innovation are connected with economic selection and points to implications for regional-level policies. The research questions are explored using an evolutionary model, which emphasises geographical spaces and product......This article examines how the birth and the development of regional systems of innovation are connected with economic selection and points to implications for regional-level policies. The research questions are explored using an evolutionary model, which emphasises geographical spaces...

  8. An evolutionary approach to regional systems of innovation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gunnarsson, Jan Sture Gunnar; Wallin, Torsten

    2011-01-01

    This article examines how the birth and the development of regional systems of innovation are connected with economic selection and points to implications for regional-level policies. The research questions are explored using an evolutionary model, which emphasises geographical spaces and product......This article examines how the birth and the development of regional systems of innovation are connected with economic selection and points to implications for regional-level policies. The research questions are explored using an evolutionary model, which emphasises geographical spaces...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  10. Periostin shows increased evolutionary plasticity in its alternatively spliced region

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    Hoersch Sebastian

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Periostin (POSTN is a secreted extracellular matrix protein of poorly defined function that has been related to bone and heart development as well as to cancer. In human and mouse, it is known to undergo alternative splicing in its C-terminal region, which is devoid of known protein domains. Differential expression of periostin, sometimes of specific splicing isoforms, is observed in a broad range of human cancers, including breast, pancreatic, and colon cancer. Here, we combine genomic and transcriptomic sequence data from vertebrate organisms to study the evolution of periostin and particularly of its C-terminal region. Results We found that the C-terminal part of periostin is markedly more variable among vertebrates than the rest of periostin in terms of exon count, length, and splicing pattern, which we interpret as a consequence of neofunctionalization after the split between periostin and its paralog transforming growth factor, beta-induced (TGFBI. We also defined periostin's sequential 13-amino acid repeat units - well conserved in teleost fish, but more obscure in higher vertebrates - whose secondary structure is predicted to be consecutive beta strands. We suggest that these beta strands may mediate binding interactions with other proteins through an extended beta-zipper in a manner similar to the way repeat units in bacterial cell wall proteins have been reported to bind human fibronectin. Conclusions Our results, obtained with the help of the increasingly large collection of complete vertebrate genomes, document the evolutionary plasticity of periostin's C-terminal region, and for the first time suggest a basis for its functional role.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Chen

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

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

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    Aldo Villalón

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

  16. 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

  17. Effectiveness of conservation easements in agricultural regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braza, Mark

    2017-08-01

    Conservation easements are a standard technique for preventing habitat loss, particularly in agricultural regions with extensive cropland cultivation, yet little is known about their effectiveness. I developed a spatial econometric approach to propensity-score matching and used the approach to estimate the amount of habitat loss prevented by a grassland conservation easement program of the U.S. federal government. I used a spatial autoregressive probit model to predict tract enrollment in the easement program as of 2001 based on tract agricultural suitability, habitat quality, and spatial interactions among neighboring tracts. Using the predicted values from the model, I matched enrolled tracts with similar unenrolled tracts to form a treatment group and a control group. To measure the program's impact on subsequent grassland loss, I estimated cropland cultivation rates for both groups in 2014 with a second spatial probit model. Between 2001 and 2014, approximately 14.9% of control tracts were cultivated and 0.3% of treated tracts were cultivated. Therefore, approximately 14.6% of the protected land would have been cultivated in the absence of the program. My results demonstrate that conservation easements can significantly reduce habitat loss in agricultural regions; however, the enrollment of tracts with low cropland suitability may constrain the amount of habitat loss they prevent. My results also show that spatial econometric models can improve the validity of control groups and thereby strengthen causal inferences about program effectiveness in situations when spatial interactions influence conservation decisions. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkov, Christopher I; Sutter, Mitchell L

    2011-01-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gautier, Aude; Le Gac, Florence; Lareyre, Jean-Jacques

    2011-02-01

    The gonadal soma-derived factor (GSDF) belongs to the transforming growth factor-β superfamily and is conserved in teleostean fish species. Gsdf is specifically expressed in the gonads, and gene expression is restricted to the granulosa and Sertoli cells in trout and medaka. The gsdf gene expression is correlated to early testis differentiation in medaka and was shown to stimulate primordial germ cell and spermatogonia proliferation in trout. In the present study, we show that the gsdf gene localizes to a syntenic chromosomal fragment conserved among vertebrates although no gsdf-related gene is detected on the corresponding genomic region in tetrapods. We demonstrate using quantitative RT-PCR that most of the genes localized in the synteny are specifically expressed in medaka gonads. Gsdf is the only gene of the synteny with a much higher expression in the testis compared to the ovary. In contrast, gene expression pattern analysis of the gsdf surrounding genes (nup54, aff1, klhl8, sdad1, and ptpn13) indicates that these genes are preferentially expressed in the female gonads. The tissue distribution of these genes is highly similar in medaka and zebrafish, two teleostean species that have diverged more than 110 million years ago. The cellular localization of these genes was determined in medaka gonads using the whole-mount in situ hybridization technique. We confirm that gsdf gene expression is restricted to Sertoli and granulosa cells in contact with the premeiotic and meiotic cells. The nup54 gene is expressed in spermatocytes and previtellogenic oocytes. Transcripts corresponding to the ovary-specific genes (aff1, klhl8, and sdad1) are detected only in previtellogenic oocytes. No expression was detected in the gonocytes in 10 dpf embryos. In conclusion, we show that the gsdf gene localizes to a syntenic chromosomal fragment harboring evolutionary conserved genes in vertebrates. These genes are preferentially expressed in previtelloogenic oocytes, and thus, they

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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,

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Ostaszewski

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirai Leila T

    2012-02-01

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

  12. 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....

  13. Different habitats within a region contain evolutionary heritage from different epochs depending on the abiotic environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bartish, I.V.; Ozinga, W.A.; Bartish, M.I.; Wamelink, G.W.W.; Hennekens, S.M.; Prinzing, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Aim: Biodiversity hot-spots are regions containing evolutionary heritage from ancient or recent geological epochs, i.e. evolutionary 'museums' or 'cradles', respectively. We hypothesize that: (1) there are also 'museums' and 'cradles' within regions - some species pools of particular habitat

  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. 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'.

  16. Maximizing species conservation in continental Ecuador: a case of systematic conservation planning for biodiverse regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lessmann, Janeth; Muñoz, Jesús; Bonaccorso, Elisa

    2014-01-01

    Ecuador has the largest number of species by area worldwide, but also a low representation of species within its protected areas. Here, we applied systematic conservation planning to identify potential areas for conservation in continental Ecuador, with the aim of increasing the representation of terrestrial species diversity in the protected area network. We selected 809 terrestrial species (amphibians, birds, mammals, and plants), for which distributions were estimated via species distribution models (SDMs), using Maxent. For each species we established conservation goals based on conservation priorities, and estimated new potential protected areas using Marxan conservation planning software. For each selected area, we determined their conservation priority and feasibility of establishment, two important aspects in the decision-making processes. We found that according to our conservation goals, the current protected area network contains large conservation gaps. Potential areas for conservation almost double the surface area of currently protected areas. Most of the newly proposed areas are located in the Coast, a region with large conservation gaps and irreversible changes in land use. The most feasible areas for conservation were found in the Amazon and Andes regions, which encompass more undisturbed habitats, and already harbor most of the current reserves. Our study allows defining a viable strategy for preserving Ecuador's biodiversity, by combining SDMs, GIS-based decision-support software, and priority and feasibility assessments of the selected areas. This approach is useful for complementing protected area networks in countries with great biodiversity, insufficient biological information, and limited resources for conservation. PMID:25360277

  17. Comparative phylogeography reveals deep lineages and regional evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Dustin A.; Vandergast, Amy G.; Barr, Kelly R.; Inman, Richard D.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Aim: We explored lineage diversification within desert-dwelling fauna. Our goals were (1) to determine whether phylogenetic lineages and population expansions were consistent with younger Pleistocene climate fluctuation hypotheses or much older events predicted by pre-Pleistocene vicariance hypotheses, (2) to assess concordance in spatial patterns of genetic divergence and diversity among species and (3) to identify regional evolutionary hotspots of divergence and diversity and assess their conservation status. Location: Mojave, Colorado, and Sonoran Deserts, USA. Methods: We analysed previously published gene sequence data for twelve species. We used Bayesian gene tree methods to estimate lineages and divergence times. Within each lineage, we tested for population expansion and age of expansion using coalescent approaches. We mapped interpopulation genetic divergence and intra-population genetic diversity in a GIS to identify hotspots of highest genetic divergence and diversity and to assess whether protected lands overlapped with evolutionary hotspots. Results: In seven of the 12 species, lineage divergence substantially predated the Pleistocene. Historical population expansion was found in eight species, but expansion events postdated the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in only four. For all species assessed, six hotspots of high genetic divergence and diversity were concentrated in the Colorado Desert, along the Colorado River and in the Mojave/Sonoran ecotone. At least some proportion of the land within each recovered hotspot was categorized as protected, yet four of the six also overlapped with major areas of human development. Main conclusions: Most of the species studied here diversified into distinct Mojave and Sonoran lineages prior to the LGM – supporting older diversification hypotheses. Several evolutionary hotspots were recovered but are not strategically paired with areas of protected land. Long-term preservation of species-level biodiversity would

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-24

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haberer Georg

    2009-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scharfe Maren

    2010-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  7. 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).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Xiaobo; Supiwong, Weerayuth; Weise, Anja; Mrasek, Kristin; Kosyakova, Nadezda; Tanomtong, Alongkoad; Pinthong, Krit; Trifonov, Vladimir A; Cioffi, Marcelo de Bello; Grothmann, Pierre; Liehr, Thomas; Oliveira, Edivaldo H C de

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaobo Fan

    2015-11-01

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

  10. Developments in conservation tillage in rainfed regions of North China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wang, X.B.; Cai, D.X.; Hoogmoed, W.B.; Oenema, O.; Perdok, U.D.

    2007-01-01

    Dryland regions in northern China account for over 50% of the nation's total area, where farming development is constrained by adverse weather, topography and water resource conditions, low fertility soils, and poor soil management. Conservation tillage research and application in dryland regions of

  11. 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.

  12. Integration of Regional Mitigation Assessment and Conservation Planning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James H. Thorne

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Government agencies that develop infrastructure such as roads, waterworks, and energy delivery often impact natural ecosystems, but they also have unique opportunities to contribute to the conservation of regional natural resources through compensatory mitigation. Infrastructure development requires a planning, funding, and implementation cycle that can frequently take a decade or longer, but biological mitigation is often planned and implemented late in this process, in a project-by-project piecemeal manner. By adopting early regional mitigation needs assessment and planning for habitat-level impacts from multiple infrastructure projects, agencies could secure time needed to proactively integrate these obligations into regional conservation objectives. Such practice can be financially and ecologically beneficial due to economies of scale, and because earlier mitigation implementation means potentially developable critical parcels may still be available for conservation. Here, we compare the integration of regional conservation designs, termed greenprints, with early multi-project mitigation assessment for two areas in California, USA. The expected spatial extent of habitat impacts and associated mitigation requirements from multiple projects were identified for each area. We used the reserve-selection algorithm MARXAN to identify a regional greenprint for each site and to seek mitigation solutions through parcel acquisition that would contribute to the greenprint, as well as meet agency obligations. The two areas differed in the amount of input data available, the types of conservation objectives identified, and local land-management capacity. They are representative of the range of conditions that conservation practitioners may encounter, so contrasting the two illustrates how regional advanced mitigation can be generalized for use in a wide variety of settings. Environmental organizations can benefit from this approach because it provides a

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Evolutionary Systems Theory, Universities, and Endogenous Regional Economic Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, William M.

    2007-01-01

    Universities today are increasingly being viewed in terms of serving the purpose of economic development. This paper postulates that their chief purpose is to advance knowledge and that in doing so they effectuate regional economic growth and development through processes specified in the endogenous economic growth model. To achieve this purpose…

  19. 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.

  20. Fungal conservation: Protected species of fungi in South Serbia region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadiković, D.

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Protection and conservation of fungi has only recently became an issue of concern. Main motives for increased attention are uncontrolled, mass collecting of edible wild mushrooms and environmental pollution which leads to the rapid decline of their natural habitats, some of which are rich with rare and endangered species. By Serbian Nature Conservation Law 2010. there are 38 strictly protected fungal species of which 17 species are recorded in this paper. 11 of those recorded species are on European and/or National Red List of endangered fungal species. All investigated territories were in South Serbia region. This study is a contribution to conservation of protected and threatened fungi and their respective habitats in Serbia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  3. Lessons from Transportation Agency Participation In Regional Conservation Initiatives

    OpenAIRE

    Lederman, Jaimee

    2017-01-01

    Transportation agencies struggle to maximize the benefits of transportation infrastructure while minimizing environmental harm. This dissertation examines institutional collaborations that integrate capital investments (e.g. highway and rail projects) with regional Habitat Conservation Plans (RHCPs) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). It addresses ways of maintaining these collaborations over time. The ESA requires that public and private project developers mitigate any harm to endangered...

  4. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiancheng Liu

    2015-01-01

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

  6. CORAL: aligning conserved core regions across domain families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Jessica H; Marchler-Bauer, Aron

    2009-08-01

    Homologous protein families share highly conserved sequence and structure regions that are frequent targets for comparative analysis of related proteins and families. Many protein families, such as the curated domain families in the Conserved Domain Database (CDD), exhibit similar structural cores. To improve accuracy in aligning such protein families, we propose a profile-profile method CORAL that aligns individual core regions as gap-free units. CORAL computes optimal local alignment of two profiles with heuristics to preserve continuity within core regions. We benchmarked its performance on curated domains in CDD, which have pre-defined core regions, against COMPASS, HHalign and PSI-BLAST, using structure superpositions and comprehensive curator-optimized alignments as standards of truth. CORAL improves alignment accuracy on core regions over general profile methods, returning a balanced score of 0.57 for over 80% of all domain families in CDD, compared with the highest balanced score of 0.45 from other methods. Further, CORAL provides E-values to aid in detecting homologous protein families and, by respecting block boundaries, produces alignments with improved 'readability' that facilitate manual refinement. CORAL will be included in future versions of the NCBI Cn3D/CDTree software, which can be downloaded at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Structure/cdtree/cdtree.shtml. Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

  7. The relevance of the Mediterranean Region to colonial waterbird conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erwin, R.M.; Crivelli, Alain J.; Hafner, Heinz; Fasola, Mauro; Erwin, R. Michael; McCrimmon, Donald A.=

    1996-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is the largest partially enclosed sea in the world and provides habitat to more than 100 species of waterbirds from the Palearctic-North African-Middle Eastern regions. Even though the Mediterranean suffers from pollution, has little tidal influence, and is oligotrophic, more than half of the western Palearctic populations of numerous waterfowl species winter in the region. Thirty-three species of colonial waterbirds breed along the 46,000 km Mediterranean coastline with nine species considered threatened or endangered, mostly because of wetland loss and degradation. The long history of human activity and scientific investigations in the region has taught some valuable lessons. In the area of colonial waterbird biology and conservation, we have learned important lessons about the value of long-term monitoring and research on selected populations. From marking studies of Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus) and Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta) results have been used to derive useful information about metapopulation dynamics. Involvement of both African and European biologists allowed year-round Studies of these species that yielded valuable spin-offs for training in avian and wetland conservation. We have also learned the value of man-made wetlands as feeding and nesting sites for some colonial waterbirds. Careful evaluations of the habitat quality of different types of wetlands are required, as in contaminant levels such as lead shot and pesticides. Wetland conservationists have also learned from some instructive mistakes. Dam construction and agricultural incentive programs sponsored by the European Community, the World Bank, and others from the past have largely ignored impacts on wetlands and wildlife. In some areas, economic ventures such as aquaculture operations and salt mining have not involved waterbird habitat needs in their planning. Research and conservation needs include: (1) establishing regional monitoring programs and

  8. A pronounced evolutionary shift of the pseudoautosomal region boundary in house mice

    OpenAIRE

    White, Michael A.; Ikeda, Akihiro; Payseur, Bret A.

    2012-01-01

    The pseudoautosomal region (PAR) is essential for the accurate pairing and segregation of the X and Y chromosomes during meiosis. Despite its functional significance, the PAR shows substantial evolutionary divergence in structure and sequence between mammalian species. An instructive example of PAR evolution is the house mouse Mus musculus domesticus (represented by the C57BL/6J strain), which has the smallest PAR among those that have been mapped. In C57BL/6J, the PAR boundary is located jus...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. A pronounced evolutionary shift of the pseudoautosomal region boundary in house mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Michael A; Ikeda, Akihiro; Payseur, Bret A

    2012-08-01

    The pseudoautosomal region (PAR) is essential for the accurate pairing and segregation of the X and Y chromosomes during meiosis. Despite its functional significance, the PAR shows substantial evolutionary divergence in structure and sequence between mammalian species. An instructive example of PAR evolution is the house mouse Mus musculus domesticus (represented by the C57BL/6J strain), which has the smallest PAR among those that have been mapped. In C57BL/6J, the PAR boundary is located just ~700 kb from the distal end of the X chromosome, whereas the boundary is found at a more proximal position in Mus spretus, a species that diverged from house mice 2-4 million years ago. In this study we used a combination of genetic and physical mapping to document a pronounced shift in the PAR boundary in a second house mouse subspecies, Mus musculus castaneus (represented by the CAST/EiJ strain), ~430 kb proximal of the M. m. domesticus boundary. We demonstrate molecular evolutionary consequences of this shift, including a marked lineage-specific increase in sequence divergence within Mid1, a gene that resides entirely within the M. m. castaneus PAR but straddles the boundary in other subspecies. Our results extend observations of structural divergence in the PAR to closely related subspecies, pointing to major evolutionary changes in this functionally important genomic region over a short time period.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chandonia, John-Marc; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2006-03-15

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

  13. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor R. Costa

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Essential amino acids (EAA consist of a group of nine amino acids that animals are unable to synthesize via de novo pathways. Recently, it has been found that most metazoans lack the same set of enzymes responsible for the de novo EAA biosynthesis. Here we investigate the sequence conservation and evolution of all the metazoan remaining genes for EAA pathways. Initially, the set of all 49 enzymes responsible for the EAA de novo biosynthesis in yeast was retrieved. These enzymes were used as BLAST queries to search for similar sequences in a database containing 10 complete metazoan genomes. Eight enzymes typically attributed to EAA pathways were found to be ubiquitous in metazoan genomes, suggesting a conserved functional role. In this study, we address the question of how these genes evolved after losing their pathway partners. To do this, we compared metazoan genes with their fungal and plant orthologs. Using phylogenetic analysis with maximum likelihood, we found that acetolactate synthase (ALS and betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase (BHMT diverged from the expected Tree of Life (ToL relationships. High sequence conservation in the paraphyletic group Plant-Fungi was identified for these two genes using a newly developed Python algorithm. Selective pressure analysis of ALS and BHMT protein sequences showed higher non-synonymous mutation ratios in comparisons between metazoans/fungi and metazoans/plants, supporting the hypothesis that these two genes have undergone non-ToL evolution in animals.

  15. Regional effects of agricultural conservation practices on nutrient transport

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anna Maria Garcia; Richard B. Alexander; Jeffrey G. Arnold; Lee Norfleet; Mike White; Dale M. Robertson; Gregory Schwarz

    2016-01-01

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP), initiated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has the goal of quantifying the environmental benefits of agricultural conservation practices. As part of this effort, detailed farmer surveyswere compiled to document the adoption of conservation practices. Survey data showed that up to 38...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Designing conservation strategies to preserve the genetic diversity of Astragalus edulis Bunge, an endangered species from western Mediterranean region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Peñas

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Astragalus edulis (Fabaceae is an endangered annual species from the western Mediterranean region that colonized the SE Iberian Peninsula, NE and SW Morocco, and the easternmost Macaronesian islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Although in Spain some conservation measures have been adopted, it is still necessary to develop an appropriate management plan to preserve genetic diversity across the entire distribution area of the species. Our main objective was to use population genetics as well as ecological and phylogeographic data to select Relevant Genetic Units for Conservation (RGUCs as the first step in designing conservation plans for A. edulis. We identified six RGUCs for in situ conservation, based on estimations of population genetic structure and probabilities of loss of rare alleles. Additionally, further population parameters, i.e. occupation area, population size, vulnerability, legal status of the population areas, and the historical haplotype distribution, were considered in order to establish which populations deserve conservation priority. Three populations from the Iberian Peninsula, two from Morocco, and one from the Canary Islands represent the total genetic diversity of the species and the rarest allelic variation. Ex situ conservation is recommended to complement the preservation of A. edulis, given that effective in situ population protection is not feasible in all cases. The consideration of complementary phylogeographic and ecological data is useful for management efforts to preserve the evolutionary potential of the species.

  19. Designing conservation strategies to preserve the genetic diversity of Astragalus edulis Bunge, an endangered species from western Mediterranean region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñas, Julio; Barrios, Sara; Bobo-Pinilla, Javier; Lorite, Juan; Martínez-Ortega, M Montserrat

    2016-01-01

    Astragalus edulis (Fabaceae) is an endangered annual species from the western Mediterranean region that colonized the SE Iberian Peninsula, NE and SW Morocco, and the easternmost Macaronesian islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura). Although in Spain some conservation measures have been adopted, it is still necessary to develop an appropriate management plan to preserve genetic diversity across the entire distribution area of the species. Our main objective was to use population genetics as well as ecological and phylogeographic data to select Relevant Genetic Units for Conservation (RGUCs) as the first step in designing conservation plans for A. edulis. We identified six RGUCs for in situ conservation, based on estimations of population genetic structure and probabilities of loss of rare alleles. Additionally, further population parameters, i.e. occupation area, population size, vulnerability, legal status of the population areas, and the historical haplotype distribution, were considered in order to establish which populations deserve conservation priority. Three populations from the Iberian Peninsula, two from Morocco, and one from the Canary Islands represent the total genetic diversity of the species and the rarest allelic variation. Ex situ conservation is recommended to complement the preservation of A. edulis, given that effective in situ population protection is not feasible in all cases. The consideration of complementary phylogeographic and ecological data is useful for management efforts to preserve the evolutionary potential of the species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Löffelhardt Wolfgang

    2008-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-21

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

  8. Bird Conservation Planning and Implementation in Canada's Intermountain Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilia Hartasanchez; Krista De Groot; Andre Breault; Rob W. Butler

    2005-01-01

    Bird conservation planning in British Columbia and Yukon has been carried out by each of the major bird initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to provide a status report of planning activities and to discuss how integration of the initiatives is being accomplished for efficient and effective implementation of bird conservation actions.

  9. SPECIES DISTRIBUTIONS, SURROGACY, AND IMPORTANT CONSERVATION REGIONS IN CANADA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation actions could be more efficient if there is congruence among taxa in the distribution of species. Patterns in the geographic distribution of species of six taxa were used to identify nationally important sites for conservation in Canada. Species richness and a meas...

  10. Oligomerisation status and evolutionary conservation of interfaces of protein structural domain superfamilies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukhwal, Anshul; Sowdhamini, Ramanathan

    2013-07-01

    Protein-protein interactions are important in carrying out many biological processes and functions. These interactions may be either permanent or of temporary nature. Several studies have employed tools like solvent accessibility and graph theory to identify these interactions, but still more studies need to be performed to quantify and validate them. Although we now have many databases available with predicted and experimental results on protein-protein interactions, we still do not have many databases which focus on providing structural details of the interacting complexes, their oligomerisation state and homologues. In this work, protein-protein interactions have been thoroughly investigated within the structural regime and quantified for their strength using calculated pseudoenergies. The PPCheck server, an in-house webserver, has been used for calculating the pseudoenergies like van der Waals, hydrogen bonds and electrostatic energy based on distances between atoms of amino acids from two interacting proteins. PPCheck can be visited at . Based on statistical data, as obtained by studying established protein-protein interacting complexes from earlier studies, we came to a conclusion that an average protein-protein interface consisted of about 51 to 150 amino acid residues and the generalized energy per residue ranged from -2 kJ mol(-1) to -6 kJ mol(-1). We found that some of the proteins have an exceptionally higher number of amino acids at the interface and it was purely because of their elaborate interface or extended topology i.e. some of their secondary structure regions or loops were either inter-mixing or running parallel to one another or they were taking part in domain swapping. Residue networks were prepared for all the amino acids of the interacting proteins involved in different types of interactions (like van der Waals, hydrogen-bonding, electrostatic or intramolecular interactions) and were analysed between the query domain-interacting partner pair

  11. Turning strategy into action: implementing a conservation action plan in the Cape Floristic Region

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Gelderblom, CM

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available for conservation. These pressures are predicted to intensify, as the region acts as a magnet for settlement and development. This paper thus describes the development of a conservation action plan for the region, arising from the Cape Action Plan...

  12. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Wetland Conservation Effects Assessment Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Megan Lang; Greg McCarty; Mark Walbridge; Patrick Hunt; Tom Ducey; Clinton Church; Jarrod Miller; Laurel Kluber; Ali Sadeghi; Martin Rabenhorst; Amir Sharifi; In-Young Yeo; Andrew Baldwin; Margaret Palmer; Tom Fisher; Dan Fenstermaher; Sanchul Lee; Owen McDonough; Metthea Yepsen; Liza McFarland; Anne Gustafson; Rebecca Fox; Chris Palardy; William Effland; Mari-Vaughn Johnson; Judy Denver; Scott Ator; Joseph Mitchell; Dennis Whigham

    2016-01-01

    Wetlands impart many important ecosystem services, including maintenance of water quality, regulation of the climate and hydrological flows, and enhancement of biodiversity through the provision of food and habitat. The conversion of natural lands to agriculture has led to broad scale historic wetland loss, but current US Department of Agriculture conservation programs...

  13. 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

  14. USING ECO-EVOLUTIONARY INDIVIDUAL-BASED MODELS TO INVESTIGATE SPATIALLY-DEPENDENT PROCESSES IN CONSERVATION GENETICS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eco-evolutionary population simulation models are powerful new forecasting tools for exploring management strategies for climate change and other dynamic disturbance regimes. Additionally, eco-evo individual-based models (IBMs) are useful for investigating theoretical feedbacks ...

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noteboom, H.P.

    1985-01-01

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

  18. Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

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

  19. Variability or conservation of hepatitis C virus hypervariable region 1 ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    in an agammaglobulinemic patient; Gastroenterology 10. 1072–1075. Lesniewsky R R, Boardway K M, Casey J M, Desai S M,. Devare S G and Leung T K 1993 Hypervariable region 5′- terminus of hepatitis C virus E2/NS1 encodes antigenically distinct variants; J. Med. Virol. 40 150–156. Li C, Candotti D and Allain J-P ...

  20. Variability or conservation of hepatitis C virus hypervariable region 1?

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The hypervariable region 1 (HVR1) of the E2 protein of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is highly heterogeneous in its primary sequence and is responsible for significant inter- and intra-individual variation of the infecting virus, which may represent an important pathogenetic mechanism leading to immune escape and persistent ...

  1. Towards conserving regional mammalian species diversity: a case ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    1995-03-03

    Mar 3, 1995 ... Species richness maps were derived for the Transvaal region from two different databases, namely a primary point database based on ... of biological diversity is internationally supported, there is no agreement on the ..... example is that of the Rodentia. where greatest species diver- sity. based on survey ...

  2. Regional effects of agricultural conservation practices on nutrient transport in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Ana Maria.; Alexander, Richard B.; Arnold, Jeffrey G.; Norfleet, Lee; White, Michael J.; Robertson, Dale M.; Schwarz, Gregory E.

    2016-01-01

    Despite progress in the implementation of conservation practices, related improvements in water quality have been challenging to measure in larger river systems. In this paper we quantify these downstream effects by applying the empirical U.S. Geological Survey water-quality model SPARROW to investigate whether spatial differences in conservation intensity were statistically correlated with variations in nutrient loads. In contrast to other forms of water quality data analysis, the application of SPARROW controls for confounding factors such as hydrologic variability, multiple sources and environmental processes. A measure of conservation intensity was derived from the USDA-CEAP regional assessment of the Upper Mississippi River and used as an explanatory variable in a model of the Upper Midwest. The spatial pattern of conservation intensity was negatively correlated (p = 0.003) with the total nitrogen loads in streams in the basin. Total phosphorus loads were weakly negatively correlated with conservation (p = 0.25). Regional nitrogen reductions were estimated to range from 5 to 34% and phosphorus reductions from 1 to 10% in major river basins of the Upper Mississippi region. The statistical associations between conservation and nutrient loads are consistent with hydrological and biogeochemical processes such as denitrification. The results provide empirical evidence at the regional scale that conservation practices have had a larger statistically detectable effect on nitrogen than on phosphorus loadings in streams and rivers of the Upper Mississippi Basin.

  3. Regional Effects of Agricultural Conservation Practices on Nutrient Transport in the Upper Mississippi River Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Ana María; Alexander, Richard B; Arnold, Jeffrey G; Norfleet, Lee; White, Michael J; Robertson, Dale M; Schwarz, Gregory

    2016-07-05

    Despite progress in the implementation of conservation practices, related improvements in water quality have been challenging to measure in larger river systems. In this paper we quantify these downstream effects by applying the empirical U.S. Geological Survey water-quality model SPARROW to investigate whether spatial differences in conservation intensity were statistically correlated with variations in nutrient loads. In contrast to other forms of water quality data analysis, the application of SPARROW controls for confounding factors such as hydrologic variability, multiple sources and environmental processes. A measure of conservation intensity was derived from the USDA-CEAP regional assessment of the Upper Mississippi River and used as an explanatory variable in a model of the Upper Midwest. The spatial pattern of conservation intensity was negatively correlated (p = 0.003) with the total nitrogen loads in streams in the basin. Total phosphorus loads were weakly negatively correlated with conservation (p = 0.25). Regional nitrogen reductions were estimated to range from 5 to 34% and phosphorus reductions from 1 to 10% in major river basins of the Upper Mississippi region. The statistical associations between conservation and nutrient loads are consistent with hydrological and biogeochemical processes such as denitrification. The results provide empirical evidence at the regional scale that conservation practices have had a larger statistically detectable effect on nitrogen than on phosphorus loadings in streams and rivers of the Upper Mississippi Basin.

  4. A statistically rigorous sampling design to integrate avian monitoring and management within Bird Conservation Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlacky, David C; Lukacs, Paul M; Blakesley, Jennifer A; Skorkowsky, Robert C; Klute, David S; Hahn, Beth A; Dreitz, Victoria J; George, T Luke; Hanni, David J

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring is an essential component of wildlife management and conservation. However, the usefulness of monitoring data is often undermined by the lack of 1) coordination across organizations and regions, 2) meaningful management and conservation objectives, and 3) rigorous sampling designs. Although many improvements to avian monitoring have been discussed, the recommendations have been slow to emerge in large-scale programs. We introduce the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR) program designed to overcome the above limitations. Our objectives are to outline the development of a statistically defensible sampling design to increase the value of large-scale monitoring data and provide example applications to demonstrate the ability of the design to meet multiple conservation and management objectives. We outline the sampling process for the IMBCR program with a focus on the Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17). We provide two examples for the Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri) in BCR 17 demonstrating the ability of the design to 1) determine hierarchical population responses to landscape change and 2) estimate hierarchical habitat relationships to predict the response of the Brewer's sparrow to conservation efforts at multiple spatial scales. The collaboration across organizations and regions provided economy of scale by leveraging a common data platform over large spatial scales to promote the efficient use of monitoring resources. We designed the IMBCR program to address the information needs and core conservation and management objectives of the participating partner organizations. Although it has been argued that probabilistic sampling designs are not practical for large-scale monitoring, the IMBCR program provides a precedent for implementing a statistically defensible sampling design from local to bioregional scales. We demonstrate that integrating conservation and management objectives with rigorous statistical

  5. A statistically rigorous sampling design to integrate avian monitoring and management within Bird Conservation Regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David C Pavlacky

    Full Text Available Monitoring is an essential component of wildlife management and conservation. However, the usefulness of monitoring data is often undermined by the lack of 1 coordination across organizations and regions, 2 meaningful management and conservation objectives, and 3 rigorous sampling designs. Although many improvements to avian monitoring have been discussed, the recommendations have been slow to emerge in large-scale programs. We introduce the Integrated Monitoring in Bird Conservation Regions (IMBCR program designed to overcome the above limitations. Our objectives are to outline the development of a statistically defensible sampling design to increase the value of large-scale monitoring data and provide example applications to demonstrate the ability of the design to meet multiple conservation and management objectives. We outline the sampling process for the IMBCR program with a focus on the Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17. We provide two examples for the Brewer's sparrow (Spizella breweri in BCR 17 demonstrating the ability of the design to 1 determine hierarchical population responses to landscape change and 2 estimate hierarchical habitat relationships to predict the response of the Brewer's sparrow to conservation efforts at multiple spatial scales. The collaboration across organizations and regions provided economy of scale by leveraging a common data platform over large spatial scales to promote the efficient use of monitoring resources. We designed the IMBCR program to address the information needs and core conservation and management objectives of the participating partner organizations. Although it has been argued that probabilistic sampling designs are not practical for large-scale monitoring, the IMBCR program provides a precedent for implementing a statistically defensible sampling design from local to bioregional scales. We demonstrate that integrating conservation and management objectives with rigorous

  6. Species of conservation concern and environmental stressors: Local, regional and global effects [Chapter 6] (Executive Summary)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven M. Ostoja; Matthew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers; Burton K. Pendleton

    2013-01-01

    Southern Nevada’s unique landscapes and landforms provide habitat for a diversity of plant and wildlife species of conservation concern including many locally and regionally endemic species. The high population density and urbanization of the Las Vegas metropolitan area is the source of many local and regional stressors that affect these species and their habitats:...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Optimal portfolio design to reduce climate-related conservation uncertainty in the Prairie Pothole Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ando, Amy W; Mallory, Mindy L

    2012-04-24

    Climate change is likely to alter the spatial distributions of species and habitat types but the nature of such change is uncertain. Thus, climate change makes it difficult to implement standard conservation planning paradigms. Previous work has suggested some approaches to cope with such uncertainty but has not harnessed all of the benefits of risk diversification. We adapt Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) to optimal spatial targeting of conservation activity, using wetland habitat conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) as an example. This approach finds the allocations of conservation activity among subregions of the planning area that maximize the expected conservation returns for a given level of uncertainty or minimize uncertainty for a given expected level of returns. We find that using MPT instead of simple diversification in the PPR can achieve a value of the conservation objective per dollar spent that is 15% higher for the same level of risk. MPT-based portfolios can also have 21% less uncertainty over benefits or 6% greater expected benefits than the current portfolio of PPR conservation. Total benefits from conservation investment are higher if returns are defined in terms of benefit-cost ratios rather than benefits alone. MPT-guided diversification can work to reduce the climate-change-induced uncertainty of future ecosystem-service benefits from many land policy and investment initiatives, especially when outcomes are negatively correlated between subregions of a planning area.

  9. Optimal portfolio design to reduce climate-related conservation uncertainty in the Prairie Pothole Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ando, Amy W.; Mallory, Mindy L.

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is likely to alter the spatial distributions of species and habitat types but the nature of such change is uncertain. Thus, climate change makes it difficult to implement standard conservation planning paradigms. Previous work has suggested some approaches to cope with such uncertainty but has not harnessed all of the benefits of risk diversification. We adapt Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) to optimal spatial targeting of conservation activity, using wetland habitat conservation in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) as an example. This approach finds the allocations of conservation activity among subregions of the planning area that maximize the expected conservation returns for a given level of uncertainty or minimize uncertainty for a given expected level of returns. We find that using MPT instead of simple diversification in the PPR can achieve a value of the conservation objective per dollar spent that is 15% higher for the same level of risk. MPT-based portfolios can also have 21% less uncertainty over benefits or 6% greater expected benefits than the current portfolio of PPR conservation. Total benefits from conservation investment are higher if returns are defined in terms of benefit–cost ratios rather than benefits alone. MPT-guided diversification can work to reduce the climate-change–induced uncertainty of future ecosystem-service benefits from many land policy and investment initiatives, especially when outcomes are negatively correlated between subregions of a planning area. PMID:22451914

  10. Genetic structure and evolutionary history of three alpine sclerophyllous oaks in East Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains and adjacent regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Feng

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The East Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains (EH-HM region has a high biodiversity and harbours numerous endemic alpine plants. This is probably the result of combined orographic and climate oscillations occurring since late Tertiary. Here, we determined the genetic structure and evolutionary history of alpine oak species (including Q. spinosa, Q. aquifolioides and Q. rehderiana using both cytoplasmic-nuclear markers and ecological niche models (ENMs, and elucidated the impacts of climate oscillations and environmental heterogeneity on their population demography. Our results indicate there were mixed genetic structure and asymmetric contemporary gene flow within them. The ENMs revealed a similar demographic history for the three species expanded their ranges from the last interglacial (LIG to the last glacial maximum (LGM, which was consistent with effective population sizes changes. Effects of genetic drift and fragmentation of habitats were responsible for the high differentiation and the lack of phylogeographic structure. Our results support that geological and climatic factors since Miocene triggered the differentiation, evolutionary origin and range shifts of the three oak species in the studied area and also emphasize that a multidisciplinary approach combining molecular markers, ENMs and population genetics can yield deep insights into diversification and evolutionary dynamics of species.

  11. Evolutionary history of a keystone pollinator parallels the biome occupancy of angiosperms in the Greater Cape Floristic Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Jager, Marinus L; Ellis, Allan G

    2017-02-01

    The Greater Cape Floristic Region (GCFR) in South Africa has been extensively investigated for its phenomenal angiosperm diversity. A key emergent pattern is the occurrence of older plant lineages in the southern Fynbos biome and younger lineages in the northern Succulent Karoo biome. We know practically nothing, however, about the evolutionary history of the animals that pollinate this often highly-specialized flora. In this study, we explore the evolutionary history of an important GCFR fly pollinator, Megapalpus capensis, and ask whether it exhibits broadly congruent genetic structuring and timing of diversification to flowering plants within these biomes. We find that the oldest M. capensis lineages originated in Fynbos during the Miocene, while younger Succulent Karoo lineages diverged in the Pliocene and correspond to the proposed age of this recent biome. A strong signature of population expansion is also recovered for flies in this arid biome, consistent with recent colonization. Our first investigation into the evolutionary history of GCFR pollinators thus supports a recent origin of the SK biome, as inferred from angiosperm phylogenies, and suggests that plants and pollinators may have co-diverged within this remarkable area. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Genetic Structure and Evolutionary History of Three Alpine Sclerophyllous Oaks in East Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains and Adjacent Regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Li; Zheng, Qi-Jian; Qian, Zeng-Qiang; Yang, Jia; Zhang, Yan-Ping; Li, Zhong-Hu; Zhao, Gui-Fang

    2016-01-01

    The East Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains (EH-HM) region has a high biodiversity and harbors numerous endemic alpine plants. This is probably the result of combined orographic and climate oscillations occurring since late Tertiary. Here, we determined the genetic structure and evolutionary history of alpine oak species (including Quercus spinosa, Quercus aquifolioides , and Quercus rehderiana ) using both cytoplasmic-nuclear markers and ecological niche models (ENMs), and elucidated the impacts of climate oscillations and environmental heterogeneity on their population demography. Our results indicate there were mixed genetic structure and asymmetric contemporary gene flow within them. The ENMs revealed a similar demographic history for the three species expanded their ranges from the last interglacial (LIG) to the last glacial maximum (LGM), which was consistent with effective population sizes changes. Effects of genetic drift and fragmentation of habitats were responsible for the high differentiation and the lack of phylogeographic structure. Our results support that geological and climatic factors since Miocene triggered the differentiation, evolutionary origin and range shifts of the three oak species in the studied area and also emphasize that a multidisciplinary approach combining molecular markers, ENMs and population genetics can yield deep insights into diversification and evolutionary dynamics of species.

  13. Making the Most of World Natural Heritage—Linking Conservation and Sustainable Regional Development?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina Conradin

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Today, more than 1000 World Heritage (WH sites are inscribed on UNESCO’s list, 228 of which are natural and mixed heritage sites. Once focused primarily on conservation, World Natural Heritage (WNH sites are increasingly seen as promoters of sustainable regional development. Sustainability-oriented regions, it is assumed, are safeguards for conservation and positively influence local conservation goals. Within UNESCO, discussions regarding the integration of sustainable development in official policies have recently gained momentum. In this article, we investigate the extent to which WNH sites trigger sustainability-oriented approaches in surrounding regions, and how such approaches in turn influence the WNH site and its protection. The results of the study are on the one hand based on a global survey with more than 60% of the WNH sites listed in 2011, and on the other hand on a complementary literature research. Furthermore, we analyze the policy framework necessary to support WNH sites in this endeavor. We conclude that a regional approach to WNH management is necessary to ensure that WNH sites support sustainable regional development effectively, but that the core focus of WNH status must remain environmental conservation.

  14. 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.

  15. Global conservation model for a mushy region over a moving substrate

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kyselica, Juraj; Šimkanin, Ján

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 276, March (2018), s. 60-67 ISSN 0031-9201 Institutional support: RVO:67985530 Keywords : solidification * binary alloy * mushy region * global conservation * boundary-layer flow Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography Impact factor: 2.075, year: 2016

  16. Regional assessment of the status, distribution and conservation needs of cheetahs in southern Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Purchase, Gianetta; Marker, Laurie; Marnewick, Kelly; Klein, Rebecca; Williams, Samual

    2007-01-01

    A country by country assessment of the status, distribution and conservation needs for cheetah Acinonyx jubatus in the southern African region indicates that this area holds a significant proportion of the global population of cheetahs, at least 4 500 adults. The largest proportion of this regional population occurs in four range states, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe where it is under threat as a result of conflict with livestock and wildlife ranchers, removal of animals (both ...

  17. Barriers to knowledge spillovers and regional convergence in an evolutionary model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Caniëls, M.C.J.; Verspagen, B.

    2001-01-01

    This paper will present a multi-region/multi-country model in which inter-regional knowledge spillovers determine the growth of regions. Key parameters in the model are the learning capability of a region and the rate of knowledge generation (R&D). The intensity of spillovers depends on geographical

  18. A trans-national monarch butterfly population model and implications for regional conservation priorities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberhauser, Karen; Wiederholt, Ruscena; Diffendorfer, James E.; Semmens, Darius J.; Ries, Leslie; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Lopez-Hoffman, Laura; Semmens, Brice

    2017-01-01

    1. The monarch has undergone considerable population declines over the past decade, and the governments of Mexico, Canada, and the United States have agreed to work together to conserve the species.2. Given limited resources, understanding where to focus conservation action is key for widespread species like monarchs. To support planning for continental-scale monarch habitat restoration, we address the question of where restoration efforts are likely to have the largest impacts on monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus Linn.) population growth rates.3. We present a spatially explicit demographic model simulating the multi-generational annual cycle of the eastern monarch population, and use the model to examine management scenarios, some of which focus on particular regions of North America.4. Improving the monarch habitat in the north central or southern parts of the monarch range yields a slightly greater increase in the population growth rate than restoration in other regions. However, combining restoration efforts across multiple regions yields population growth rates above 1 with smaller simulated improvements in habitat per region than single-region strategies.5. Synthesis and applications: These findings suggest that conservation investment in projects across the full monarch range will be more effective than focusing on one or a few regions, and will require international cooperation across many land use categories.

  19. Fast discovery and visualization of conserved regions in DNA sequences using quasi-alignment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagar, Anurag; Hahsler, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Next Generation Sequencing techniques are producing enormous amounts of biological sequence data and analysis becomes a major computational problem. Currently, most analysis, especially the identification of conserved regions, relies heavily on Multiple Sequence Alignment and its various heuristics such as progressive alignment, whose run time grows with the square of the number and the length of the aligned sequences and requires significant computational resources. In this work, we present a method to efficiently discover regions of high similarity across multiple sequences without performing expensive sequence alignment. The method is based on approximating edit distance between segments of sequences using p-mer frequency counts. Then, efficient high-throughput data stream clustering is used to group highly similar segments into so called quasi-alignments. Quasi-alignments have numerous applications such as identifying species and their taxonomic class from sequences, comparing sequences for similarities, and, as in this paper, discovering conserved regions across related sequences. In this paper, we show that quasi-alignments can be used to discover highly similar segments across multiple sequences from related or different genomes efficiently and accurately. Experiments on a large number of unaligned 16S rRNA sequences obtained from the Greengenes database show that the method is able to identify conserved regions which agree with known hypervariable regions in 16S rRNA. Furthermore, the experiments show that the proposed method scales well for large data sets with a run time that grows only linearly with the number and length of sequences, whereas for existing multiple sequence alignment heuristics the run time grows super-linearly. Quasi-alignment-based algorithms can detect highly similar regions and conserved areas across multiple sequences. Since the run time is linear and the sequences are converted into a compact clustering model, we are able to

  20. WeederH: an algorithm for finding conserved regulatory motifs and regions in homologous sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pesole Graziano

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This work addresses the problem of detecting conserved transcription factor binding sites and in general regulatory regions through the analysis of sequences from homologous genes, an approach that is becoming more and more widely used given the ever increasing amount of genomic data available. Results We present an algorithm that identifies conserved transcription factor binding sites in a given sequence by comparing it to one or more homologs, adapting a framework we previously introduced for the discovery of sites in sequences from co-regulated genes. Differently from the most commonly used methods, the approach we present does not need or compute an alignment of the sequences investigated, nor resorts to descriptors of the binding specificity of known transcription factors. The main novel idea we introduce is a relative measure of conservation, assuming that true functional elements should present a higher level of conservation with respect to the rest of the sequence surrounding them. We present tests where we applied the algorithm to the identification of conserved annotated sites in homologous promoters, as well as in distal regions like enhancers. Conclusion Results of the tests show how the algorithm can provide fast and reliable predictions of conserved transcription factor binding sites regulating the transcription of a gene, with better performances than other available methods for the same task. We also show examples on how the algorithm can be successfully employed when promoter annotations of the genes investigated are missing, or when regulatory sites and regions are located far away from the genes.

  1. Energy Conservation and Development Plan. Southern Tier Central Region, New York

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1979-07-01

    A summary is presented of the work of 40 volunteers working with regional planners to imagine, assess, and prescribe for the development of local energy resources (wind, solar, biomass, and water) and for conservation of all forms of energy. The plan contains a brief summary of the process the citizens followed in formulating the plan, the plans themselves, and appendices which contain more detailed comments by citizens on the possible consequences of the development of each resource. The areas (Chemung, Steuben, and Schuyler counties) experienced severe natural gas curtailments during the winter of 1976-1977. The formulation of an emergency energy conservation plan is also presented.

  2. Regional Conservation Status of Scleractinian Coral Biodiversity in the Republic of the Marshall Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoe Richards

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Preventing the loss of biodiversity is a major challenge in mega-diverse ecosystems such as coral reefs where there is a critical shortage of baseline demographic data. Threatened species assessments play a valuable role in guiding conservation action to manage and mitigate biodiversity loss, but they must be undertaken with precise information at an appropriate spatial scale to provide accurate classifications. Here we explore the regional conservation status of scleractinian corals on isolated Pacific Ocean atolls in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. We compile an integrated regional species list based upon new and historical records, and compare how well the regional threat classifications reflect species level priorities at a global scale. A similar proportion of the 240 species of hard coral recorded in the current survey are classified as Vulnerable at the regional scale as the global scale using the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List criteria (23% and 20% respectively, however there are distinct differences in the composition of species. When local abundance data is taken into account, a far greater proportion of the regional diversity (up to 80% may face an elevated risk of local extinction. These results suggest coral communities on isolated Pacific coral reefs, which are often predicted to be at low risk, are still vulnerable due to the small and fragmented nature of their populations. This reinforces that to adequately protect biodiversity, ongoing threatened species monitoring and the documentation of species-level changes in abundance and distribution is imperative.

  3. Using evolutionary tools to refine the new hypervariable region 3 within the envelope 2 protein of hepatitis C virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Puente, Manuela; Cuevas, José M; Jiménez-Hernández, Nuria; Bracho, María Alma; García-Robles, Inmaculada; Wrobel, Borys; Carnicer, Fernando; del Olmo, Juan; Ortega, Enrique; Moya, Andrés; González-Candelas, Fernando

    2008-01-01

    The envelope 2 protein of hepatitis C virus (HCV) presents three hypervariable regions, named HVR1, HVR2 and HVR3, in which the presence of antigenic sites has been described. Genetic variability in these regions may reflect the generation of escape mutants as a consequence of the immune response. Therefore, these regions would tend to accumulate amino acid changes along the infection process, an effect that could be accelerated by antiviral treatments. In this study, we have analyzed the E1-E2 region of 23 HCV patients non-responders to antiviral treatment, 7 of which were infected with subtype 1a, 15 with subtype 1b, and 1 with a new HCV-1 subtype, before and after 6 and/or 12 months of peg-interferon+ribavirin treatment. We have sequenced about 100 clones from each sample, analyzing a total of 4906 sequences. A detailed analysis of the evolutionary forces acting along the genome region studied confirmed the existence of the three hypervariable regions, characterized by significant changes in amino acid composition between samples taken at different times from the same patient and a high number of sites evolving under positive selection. Moreover, for the recently described HVR3, our results suggest that its location could be restricted to residues 434-450, instead of the originally postulated 431-466.

  4. Evolutionary changes in the capsid P2 region of Australian strains of the norovirus GII.Pe_GII.4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruggink, Leesa D; Moselen, Jean M; Roberts, Jason A; Marshall, John A

    2017-07-01

    The protruding (P) 2 region of the norovirus capsid is thought to include hypervariable sites involved in receptor binding. This study examines the changes that occurred in the P2 region of GII.Pe_GII.4 norovirus in the course of its evolution from a precursor phase (2008-2009), to an intermediate phase (2010) and finally to an epidemic phase (2012-2015). Twenty-two P2 region amino acid (aa) sequences (166 aa long) from all phases of the evolution of the virus were compared and the changes analysed.Results/key findings. Twenty sites in the P2 region underwent aa change and of these, 10 corresponded to previously proposed hypervariable sites and 10 to novel hypervariable sites. It was notable that aa changes at two sites, X and Y, only emerged as the epidemic phase progressed. 3D computer modelling of the P2 region indicated that neither X nor Y were in the uppermost 'crown', but further down in the 'neck' portion. The location of X and Y and the nature of aa change at Y suggest these sites were important in enhancing the structural integrity of the capsid, which in turn may have facilitated the longer term viability of the virus. The current study helps establish the validity of previously proposed hypervariable sites in the P2 region as well as indicating new ones. It also provides quantitative and qualitative data on how these sites changed over the evolutionary history of a particular norovirus strain.

  5. Roles of the conserved cytoplasmic region and non-conserved carboxy-terminal region of SecE in Escherichia coli protein translocase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kontinen, V P; Yamanaka, M; Nishiyama, K; Tokuda, H

    1996-06-01

    SecE, an essential membrane component of the Escherichia coli protein translocase, consists of 127 amino acid residues. Only a part of the second putative cytoplasmic region comprising some 13 residues is essential for the SecE function as long as the proper topological arrangement is retained. The Trp84 and Pro85 residues of this region are conserved in all eubacterial SecE homologues. The conservation of positively charged residues corresponding to Arg80 and Lys81 is also substantial. We deleted or replaced these residues to assess their roles in the SecE function. Deletion of the Arg80-Lys81 dipeptide did not abolish the SecE function whereas that of Trp84 or Pro85 caused a loss of the function. Strikingly, however, replacement of Pro85 with either Gly, Ser, or Ala, and that of Trp84 with Lys did not abolish the SecE function. These results indicate that the strong conservation of these residues does not reflect their obligatory requirement for the SecE function. A chimeric SecE possessing the cytoplasmic region of the E. coli SecE and the following region of the Bacillus subtilis SecE was able to form the translocation machinery together with SecA, SecY, and SecG. Although a Leu to Arg mutation at position 108 has been thought to cause a loss of signal recognition fidelity and thereby suppress a signal sequence defect, the same mutation at position 111 caused a complete loss of the function. The levels of SecY and SecG in the secEcsE501 mutant, which expresses SecE at a decreased level and is sensitive to low temperature, increased upon the expression of functional SecE derivatives, irrespective of the site of mutation, suggesting that the levels of SecY and SecG are co-operatively determined by the level of functional, but not non-functional, SecE. Based on these results, the SecE function in the translocase is discussed.

  6. Motor fuel taxation, energy conservation, and economic development: A regional approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    England, Richard W.

    2007-01-01

    Combustion of motor fuels has a variety of environmental impacts on local, regional and global scales. Taxing motor fuels more heavily would mitigate those environmental impacts. However, many governments are reluctant to increase motor fuel taxes because they fear that the tax incidence will be regressive and that economic development will be impeded. Using data for the New England region of the United States, this paper argues that an oil-importing region can conserve energy, avoid regressive impacts and encourage economic development by taxing motor fuels more heavily and rebating the incremental revenues to owners of motor vehicles. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-15

    Drastic changes in hormone titers, in particular of steroid hormones, are intuitively interpreted as necessary and beneficial for optimal functioning of animals. Peaks in progesterone- and estradiol titers that accompany the estrus cycle in female vertebrates as well as in ecdysteroids at each molt and during metamorphosis of holometabolous insects are prominent examples. A recent analysis of insect metamorphosis yielded the view that, in general, a sharp rise in sex steroid hormone titer signals that somewhere in the body some tissue(s) is undergoing programmed cell death/apoptosis. Increased steroid production is part of this process. Typical examples are ovarian follicle cells in female vertebrates and invertebrates and the prothoracic gland cells, the main production site of ecdysteroids in larval insects. A duality emerges: programmed cell death-apoptosis is deleterious at the cellular level, but it may yield beneficial effects at the organismal level. Reconciling both opposites requires reevaluating the probable evolutionary origin and role of peptidic brain hormones that direct steroid hormone synthesis. Do e.g. Luteinizing Hormone in vertebrates and Prothoracicotropic Hormone (PTTH: acting through the Torso receptor) in insects still retain an ancient role as toxins in the early immune system? Does the functional link of some neuropeptides with Ca(2+)-induced apoptosis make sense in endocrine archeology? The endocrine system as a remnant of the ancient immune system is undoubtedly counterintuitive. Yet, we will argue that such paradigm enables the logical framing of many aspects, the endocrine one inclusive of both male and female reproductive physiology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-22

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

  10. Conservation status of the American horseshoe crab, (Limulus polyphemus): A regional assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, David R.; Brockmann, H. Jane; Beekey, Mark A.; King, Timothy L.; Millard, Michael J.; Zaldívar-Rae, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Horseshoe crabs have persisted for more than 200 million years, and fossil forms date to 450 million years ago. The American horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus), one of four extant horseshoe crab species, is found along the Atlantic coastline of North America ranging from Alabama to Maine, USA with another distinct population on the coasts of Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo in the Yucatán Peninsula, México. Although the American horseshoe crab tolerates broad environmental conditions, exploitation and habitat loss threaten the species. We assessed the conservation status of the American horseshoe crab by comprehensively reviewing available scientific information on its range, life history, genetic structure, population trends and analyses, major threats, and conservation. We structured the status assessment by six genetically-informed regions and accounted for sub-regional differences in environmental conditions, threats, and management. The transnational regions are Gulf of Maine (USA), Mid-Atlantic (USA), Southeast (USA), Florida Atlantic (USA), Northeast Gulf of México (USA), and Yucatán Peninsula (México). Our conclusion is that the American horseshoe crab species is vulnerable to local extirpation and that the degree and extent of risk vary among and within the regions. The risk is elevated in the Gulf of Maine region due to limited and fragmented habitat. The populations of horseshoe crabs in the Mid-Atlantic region are stable in the Delaware Bay area, and regulatory controls are in place, but the risk is elevated in the New England area as evidenced by continuing declines understood to be caused by over-harvest. The populations of horseshoe crabs in the Southeast region are stable or increasing. The populations of horseshoe crabs in the Florida Atlantic region show mixed trends among areas, and continuing population reductions at the embayment level have poorly understood causes. Within the Northeast Gulf of Mexico, causes of population trends are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas J Shinneman

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

  14. Exploring spatial patterns of vulnerability for diverse biodiversity descriptors in regional conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vimal, Ruppert; Pluvinet, Pascal; Sacca, Céline; Mazagol, Pierre-Olivier; Etlicher, Bernard; Thompson, John D

    2012-03-01

    In this study, we developed a multi-criteria assessment of spatial variability of the vulnerability of three different biodiversity descriptors: sites of high conservation interest by virtue of the presence of rare or remarkable species, extensive areas of high ecological integrity, and landscape diversity in grid cells across an entire region. We assessed vulnerability in relation to (a) direct threats in and around sites to a distance of 2 km associated with intensive agriculture, building and road infrastructure and (b) indirect effects of human population density on a wider scale (50 km). The different combinations of biodiversity and threat indicators allowed us to set differential priorities for biodiversity conservation and assess their spatial variation. For example, with this method we identified sites and grid cells which combined high biodiversity with either high threat values or low threat values for the three different biodiversity indicators. In these two classes the priorities for conservation planning will be different, reduce threat values in the former and restrain any increase in the latter. We also identified low priority sites (low biodiversity with either high or low threats). This procedure thus allows for the integration of a spatial ranking of vulnerability into priority setting for regional conservation planning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Genetic diversity, evolutionary history and implications for conservation of the lion (Panthera leo) in West and Central Africa

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bertola, L.D.; Hooft, van W.F.; Vrieling, K.; Weerd, de D.R.U.; York, D.S.; Bauer, H.; Prins, H.H.T.; Funston, P.J.; Haes, de H.A.U.; Leirs, H.; Haeringen, van W.A.; Sogbohossou, E.; Tumenta, P.N.; Iongh, de H.H.

    2011-01-01

    Aim In recent decades there has been a marked decline in the numbers of African lions (Panthera leo), especially in West Africa where the species is regionally endangered. Based on the climatological history of western Africa, we hypothesize that West and Central African lions have a unique

  16. Development of a landscape integrity model framework to support regional conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walston, Leroy J; Hartmann, Heidi M

    2018-01-01

    Land managers increasingly rely upon landscape assessments to understand the status of natural resources and identify conservation priorities. Many of these landscape planning efforts rely on geospatial models that characterize the ecological integrity of the landscape. These general models utilize measures of habitat disturbance and human activity to map indices of ecological integrity. We built upon these modeling frameworks by developing a Landscape Integrity Index (LII) model using geospatial datasets of the human footprint, as well as incorporation of other indicators of ecological integrity such as biodiversity and vegetation departure. Our LII model serves as a general indicator of ecological integrity in a regional context of human activity, biodiversity, and change in habitat composition. We also discuss the application of the LII framework in two related coarse-filter landscape conservation approaches to expand the size and connectedness of protected areas as regional mitigation for anticipated land-use changes.

  17. The research on regional conservation planning of urban historical and cultural areas based on GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shangli; Xu, Jian; Li, Qian

    2017-06-01

    With the rapid economic development and the growth of population happening in the urban historical and cultural areas, heritage and historical buildings along with their natural and artificial surrounding environments are suffering constructive destruction. Due to the lack of precise partition of protection region and construction control region in the local cultural relics protection law, traditional regional conservation planning cannot engaged with the urban controllability detailed planning very well. According to the several protection regulations about heritage and historical buildings from latest laws, we choose Baxian Temple area to study on the improvments of traditional regional conservation planning. The technical methods of this study mainly rely on GIS, which can complete the fundamental work of each stage. With the analytic hierarchy process(AHP), the comprehensive architectural value assessments can be calculated according to the investigation results. Based on the calculation results and visual corridor analysis, the precise range of protection region and construction control region can be decided and the specific protection measures can be formulated.

  18. Global conservation model for a mushy region over a moving substrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyselica, J.; Šimkanin, J.

    2018-03-01

    We study solidification over a cool substrate moving with a relative velocity with respect to the rest of the fluid. A mathematical model based on global conservation of solute is presented. The explicit solutions of the governing equations are found and analysed via the asymptotic methods. The assessment of how the boundary-layer flow influences the physical characteristics of the mushy region is given, together with the discussion of a possible connection with the solidification at the inner core boundary.

  19. CO2 emissions reduction using energy conservation measures: EPA Region IV's experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berish, C.; Day, R.; Sibold, K.; Tiller, J.

    1994-01-01

    EPA Region 4 concluded in a recent comparative environmental risk evaluation that global climate change could substantially impact the Southeast. To address this risk, Region 4 developed an action plan to promote cost-effective pollution prevention and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, The regional plan contains programs that aye specific to Region 4 as well as geographic components of the national Climate Change Action Plan. Sources of carbon dioxide emissions were targeted for pollution prevention based on an energy model that allows the user to create energy efficiency scenarios in four sectors: residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation. Activities were selected using the modeled information on sector reduction potentials and resource and cost-effectiveness criteria. Given the high level of uncertainty associated with climate change projections, the programs developed are all cost effective, prevent pollution and/or result in sound adaptation policies. Currently, policy makers at national, regional, and local levels are deciding on what types of energy efficiency programs to implement. The region's action plan is composed of several programs and approaches. The authors have developed implemented, and/or participated in the following: energy scenario model. EARTHWALK (residential energy conservation); energy conservation in affordable homes (new residences); Cool Communities Program (strategic tree planting and light colored surfaces); EPA's Green Lights Program; WAVE (water conservation), the Plant Protection Center; QUEST TO SAVE THE EARTH (outreach tools); energy and water use planning for the 1996 Olympic Games, and planning for sea-level rise. Reviewing the practices of the above programs will be the focus of this paper

  20. Regional management units for marine turtles: a novel framework for prioritizing conservation and research across multiple scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Bryan P; DiMatteo, Andrew D; Hurley, Brendan J; Finkbeiner, Elena M; Bolten, Alan B; Chaloupka, Milani Y; Hutchinson, Brian J; Abreu-Grobois, F Alberto; Amorocho, Diego; Bjorndal, Karen A; Bourjea, Jerome; Bowen, Brian W; Dueñas, Raquel Briseño; Casale, Paolo; Choudhury, B C; Costa, Alice; Dutton, Peter H; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Girard, Alexandre; Girondot, Marc; Godfrey, Matthew H; Hamann, Mark; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; Marcovaldi, Maria Angela; Mortimer, Jeanne A; Musick, John A; Nel, Ronel; Pilcher, Nicolas J; Seminoff, Jeffrey A; Troëng, Sebastian; Witherington, Blair; Mast, Roderic B

    2010-12-17

    Resolving threats to widely distributed marine megafauna requires definition of the geographic distributions of both the threats as well as the population unit(s) of interest. In turn, because individual threats can operate on varying spatial scales, their impacts can affect different segments of a population of the same species. Therefore, integration of multiple tools and techniques--including site-based monitoring, genetic analyses, mark-recapture studies and telemetry--can facilitate robust definitions of population segments at multiple biological and spatial scales to address different management and research challenges. To address these issues for marine turtles, we collated all available studies on marine turtle biogeography, including nesting sites, population abundances and trends, population genetics, and satellite telemetry. We georeferenced this information to generate separate layers for nesting sites, genetic stocks, and core distributions of population segments of all marine turtle species. We then spatially integrated this information from fine- to coarse-spatial scales to develop nested envelope models, or Regional Management Units (RMUs), for marine turtles globally. The RMU framework is a solution to the challenge of how to organize marine turtles into units of protection above the level of nesting populations, but below the level of species, within regional entities that might be on independent evolutionary trajectories. Among many potential applications, RMUs provide a framework for identifying data gaps, assessing high diversity areas for multiple species and genetic stocks, and evaluating conservation status of marine turtles. Furthermore, RMUs allow for identification of geographic barriers to gene flow, and can provide valuable guidance to marine spatial planning initiatives that integrate spatial distributions of protected species and human activities. In addition, the RMU framework--including maps and supporting metadata--will be an

  1. Regional Management Units for Marine Turtles: A Novel Framework for Prioritizing Conservation and Research across Multiple Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Bryan P.; DiMatteo, Andrew D.; Hurley, Brendan J.; Finkbeiner, Elena M.; Bolten, Alan B.; Chaloupka, Milani Y.; Hutchinson, Brian J.; Abreu-Grobois, F. Alberto; Amorocho, Diego; Bjorndal, Karen A.; Bourjea, Jerome; Bowen, Brian W.; Dueñas, Raquel Briseño; Casale, Paolo; Choudhury, B. C.; Costa, Alice; Dutton, Peter H.; Fallabrino, Alejandro; Girard, Alexandre; Girondot, Marc; Godfrey, Matthew H.; Hamann, Mark; López-Mendilaharsu, Milagros; Marcovaldi, Maria Angela; Mortimer, Jeanne A.; Musick, John A.; Nel, Ronel; Pilcher, Nicolas J.; Seminoff, Jeffrey A.; Troëng, Sebastian; Witherington, Blair; Mast, Roderic B.

    2010-01-01

    Background Resolving threats to widely distributed marine megafauna requires definition of the geographic distributions of both the threats as well as the population unit(s) of interest. In turn, because individual threats can operate on varying spatial scales, their impacts can affect different segments of a population of the same species. Therefore, integration of multiple tools and techniques — including site-based monitoring, genetic analyses, mark-recapture studies and telemetry — can facilitate robust definitions of population segments at multiple biological and spatial scales to address different management and research challenges. Methodology/Principal Findings To address these issues for marine turtles, we collated all available studies on marine turtle biogeography, including nesting sites, population abundances and trends, population genetics, and satellite telemetry. We georeferenced this information to generate separate layers for nesting sites, genetic stocks, and core distributions of population segments of all marine turtle species. We then spatially integrated this information from fine- to coarse-spatial scales to develop nested envelope models, or Regional Management Units (RMUs), for marine turtles globally. Conclusions/Significance The RMU framework is a solution to the challenge of how to organize marine turtles into units of protection above the level of nesting populations, but below the level of species, within regional entities that might be on independent evolutionary trajectories. Among many potential applications, RMUs provide a framework for identifying data gaps, assessing high diversity areas for multiple species and genetic stocks, and evaluating conservation status of marine turtles. Furthermore, RMUs allow for identification of geographic barriers to gene flow, and can provide valuable guidance to marine spatial planning initiatives that integrate spatial distributions of protected species and human activities. In addition

  2. Rewilding the tropics, and other conservation translocations strategies in the tropical Asia-Pacific region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louys, Julien; Corlett, Richard T; Price, Gilbert J; Hawkins, Stuart; Piper, Philip J

    2014-01-01

    Alarm over the prospects for survival of species in a rapidly changing world has encouraged discussion of translocation conservation strategies that move beyond the focus of ‘at-risk’ species. These approaches consider larger spatial and temporal scales than customary, with the aim of recreating functioning ecosystems through a combination of large-scale ecological restoration and species introductions. The term ‘rewilding’ has come to apply to this large-scale ecosystem restoration program. While reintroductions of species within their historical ranges have become standard conservation tools, introductions within known paleontological ranges—but outside historical ranges—are more controversial, as is the use of taxon substitutions for extinct species. Here, we consider possible conservation translocations for nine large-bodied taxa in tropical Asia-Pacific. We consider the entire spectrum of conservation translocation strategies as defined by the IUCN in addition to rewilding. The taxa considered are spread across diverse taxonomic and ecological spectra and all are listed as ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ by the IUCN in our region of study. They all have a written and fossil record that is sufficient to assess past changes in range, as well as ecological and environmental preferences, and the reasons for their decline, and they have all suffered massive range restrictions since the late Pleistocene. General principles, problems, and benefits of translocation strategies are reviewed as case studies. These allowed us to develop a conservation translocation matrix, with taxa scored for risk, benefit, and feasibility. Comparisons between taxa across this matrix indicated that orangutans, tapirs, Tasmanian devils, and perhaps tortoises are the most viable taxa for translocations. However, overall the case studies revealed a need for more data and research for all taxa, and their ecological and environmental needs. Rewilding the Asian

  3. Conservation in metropolitan regions: assessing trends and threats of urban development and climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, J. H.; Santos, M. J.; Bjorkman, J.

    2011-12-01

    Two global challenges to successful conservation are urban expansion and climate change. Rapid urban growth threatens biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, while climate change may make currently protected areas unsuitable for species that exist within them. We examined three measures of landscape change for 8800 km2 of the San Francisco Bay metropolitan region over 80 years past and future: urban growth, protected area establishment, and natural vegetation type extents. The Bay Area is a good test bed for conservation assessment of the impacts of temporal and spatial of urban growth and land cover change. The region is geographically rather small, with over 40% of its lands already dedicated to protected park and open space lands, they are well-documented, and, the area has had extensive population growth in the past and is projected to continue to grow. The ten-county region within which our study area is a subset has grown from 1.78 million people in 1930, to 6.97 million in 2000 and is estimated to grow to 10.94 million by 2050. With such an influx of people into a small geographic area, it is imperative to both examine the past urban expansion and estimate how the future population will be accommodated into the landscape. We quantify these trends to assess conservation 'success' through time. We used historical and current landcover maps to assess trend, and a GIS-based urban modeling (UPlan) to assess future urban growth impacts in the region, under three policy scenarios- business as usual, smart growth, and urban redevelopment. Impacts are measured by the amount of open space targeted by conservation planners in the region that will be urbanized under each urban growth policy. Impacts are also measured by estimates of the energy consumption projected for each of the scenarios on household and business unit level. The 'business as usual' and 'smart growth' scenarios differed little in their impacts to targeted conservation lands, because so little

  4. Visions of the past and dreams of the future in the Orient: the Irano-Turanian region from classical botany to evolutionary studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manafzadeh, Sara; Staedler, Yannick M; Conti, Elena

    2017-08-01

    Ever since the 19th century, the immense arid lands of the Orient, now called the Irano-Turanian (IT) floristic region, attracted the interest of European naturalists with their tremendous plant biodiversity. Covering approximately 30% of the surface of Eurasia (16000000 km 2 ), the IT region is one of the largest floristic regions of the world. The IT region represents one of the hotspots of evolutionary and biological diversity in the Old World, and serves as a source of xerophytic taxa for neighbouring regions. Moreover, it is the cradle of the numerous species domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. Over the last 200 years, naturalists outlined different borders for the IT region. Yet, the delimitation and evolutionary history of this area remain one of the least well-understood fields of global biogeography, even though it is crucial to explaining the distribution of life in Eurasia. No comprehensive review of the biogeographical delimitations nor of the role of geological and climatic changes in the evolution of the IT region is currently available. After considering the key role of floristic regions in biogeography, we review the history of evolving concepts about the borders and composition of the IT region over the past 200 years and outline a tentative circumscription for it. We also summarise current knowledge on the geological and climatic history of the IT region. We then use this knowledge to generate specific evolutionary hypotheses to explain how different geological, palaeoclimatic, and ecological factors contributed to range expansion and contraction, thus shaping patterns of speciation in the IT region over time and space. Both historical and ecological biogeography should be applied to understand better the floristic diversification of the region. This will ultimately require evolutionary comparative analyses based on integrative phylogenetic, geological, climatic, ecological, and species distribution studies on the region. Furthermore, an

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-05

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

  7. An evolutionarily conserved intronic region controls the spatiotemporal expression of the transcription factor Sox10

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavan William J

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A major challenge lies in understanding the complexities of gene regulation. Mutation of the transcription factor SOX10 is associated with several human diseases. The disease phenotypes reflect the function of SOX10 in diverse tissues including the neural crest, central nervous system and otic vesicle. As expected, the SOX10 expression pattern is complex and highly dynamic, but little is known of the underlying mechanisms regulating its spatiotemporal pattern. SOX10 expression is highly conserved between all vertebrates characterised. Results We have combined in vivo testing of DNA fragments in zebrafish and computational comparative genomics to identify the first regulatory regions of the zebrafish sox10 gene. Both approaches converged on the 3' end of the conserved 1st intron as being critical for spatial patterning of sox10 in the embryo. Importantly, we have defined a minimal region crucial for this function. We show that this region contains numerous binding sites for transcription factors known to be essential in early neural crest induction, including Tcf/Lef, Sox and FoxD3. We show that the identity and relative position of these binding sites are conserved between zebrafish and mammals. A further region, partially required for oligodendrocyte expression, lies in the 5' region of the same intron and contains a putative CSL binding site, consistent with a role for Notch signalling in sox10 regulation. Furthermore, we show that β-catenin, Notch signalling and Sox9 can induce ectopic sox10 expression in early embryos, consistent with regulatory roles predicted from our transgenic and computational results. Conclusion We have thus identified two major sites of sox10 regulation in vertebrates and provided evidence supporting a role for at least three factors in driving sox10 expression in neural crest, otic epithelium and oligodendrocyte domains.

  8. Evolutionary history of enigmatic bears in the Tibetan Plateau–Himalaya region and the identity of the yeti

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Tianying; Gill, Stephanie; Bellemain, Eva; Bischof, Richard; Nawaz, Muhammad Ali

    2017-01-01

    Although anecdotally associated with local bears (Ursus arctos and U. thibetanus), the exact identity of ‘hominid’-like creatures important to folklore and mythology in the Tibetan Plateau–Himalaya region is still surrounded by mystery. Recently, two purported yeti samples from the Himalayas showed genetic affinity with an ancient polar bear, suggesting they may be from previously unrecognized, possibly hybrid, bear species, but this preliminary finding has been under question. We conducted a comprehensive genetic survey of field-collected and museum specimens to explore their identity and ultimately infer the evolutionary history of bears in the region. Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences determined clade affinities of the purported yeti samples in this study, strongly supporting the biological basis of the yeti legend to be local, extant bears. Complete mitochondrial genomes were assembled for Himalayan brown bear (U. a. isabellinus) and black bear (U. t. laniger) for the first time. Our results demonstrate that the Himalayan brown bear is one of the first-branching clades within the brown bear lineage, while Tibetan brown bears diverged much later. The estimated times of divergence of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayan bear lineages overlap with Middle to Late Pleistocene glaciation events, suggesting that extant bears in the region are likely descendants of populations that survived in local refugia during the Pleistocene glaciations. PMID:29187630

  9. Evolutionary history of enigmatic bears in the Tibetan Plateau-Himalaya region and the identity of the yeti.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Tianying; Gill, Stephanie; Bellemain, Eva; Bischof, Richard; Nawaz, Muhammad Ali; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2017-12-13

    Although anecdotally associated with local bears ( Ursus arctos and U. thibetanus ), the exact identity of 'hominid'-like creatures important to folklore and mythology in the Tibetan Plateau-Himalaya region is still surrounded by mystery. Recently, two purported yeti samples from the Himalayas showed genetic affinity with an ancient polar bear, suggesting they may be from previously unrecognized, possibly hybrid, bear species, but this preliminary finding has been under question. We conducted a comprehensive genetic survey of field-collected and museum specimens to explore their identity and ultimately infer the evolutionary history of bears in the region. Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences determined clade affinities of the purported yeti samples in this study, strongly supporting the biological basis of the yeti legend to be local, extant bears. Complete mitochondrial genomes were assembled for Himalayan brown bear ( U. a. isabellinus ) and black bear ( U. t. laniger ) for the first time. Our results demonstrate that the Himalayan brown bear is one of the first-branching clades within the brown bear lineage, while Tibetan brown bears diverged much later. The estimated times of divergence of the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayan bear lineages overlap with Middle to Late Pleistocene glaciation events, suggesting that extant bears in the region are likely descendants of populations that survived in local refugia during the Pleistocene glaciations. © 2017 The Authors.

  10. Evolutionarily conserved regions of the human c-myc protein can be uncoupled from transforming activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarid, J.; Halazonetis, T.D.; Murphy, W.; Leder, P.

    1987-01-01

    The myc family of oncogenes contains coding sequences that have been preserved in different species for over 400 million years. This conservation (which implies functional selection) is broadly represented throughout the C-terminal portion of the human c-myc protein but is largely restricted to three cluster of amino acid sequences in the N-terminal region. The authors have examined the role that the latter three regions of the c-myc protein might play in the transforming function of the c-myc gene. Several mutations, deletions and frameshifts, were introduced into the c-myc gene, and these mutant genes were tested for their ability to collaborate with the EJ-ras oncogene to transform rat embryo fibroblasts. Complete elimination of the first two N-terminal conserved segments abolished transforming activity. In contrast, genes altered in a portion of the second or the entire third conserved segment retained their transforming activity. Thus, the latter two segments are not required for the transformation process, suggesting that they serve another function related only to the normal expression of the c-myc gene

  11. Plant diversity and conservation status of Himalayan Region Poonch Valley Azad Kashmir (Pakistan).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Muhammad Azam; Khan, Mir Ajab; Hussain, Mazhar; Mujtaba, Ghulam

    2014-09-01

    The plant diversity of Himalayan region has been reduced to greater extent due to environmental degradation and human exploitation. Anthropogenic disturbance was the major factor responsible for fragmentation of forest vegetation into small patches. Little research has been conducted in the Himalayan region of Poonch Valley of North eastern Pakistan with reference to plants biodiversity and its conservation. The present research was carried out to provide a checklist of vegetation for biodiversity conservation. A total of 430 vascular and 5 nonvascular plant species with 5 species of Bryophytes (5 families), 13 species of Pteridophytes (6 families), 4 species of Gymnosperms (1 family) and 413 species of angiosperms (95 families) were enumerated from the Poonch valley Azad Kashmir. The genera were classified into three categories according to the number of species. 25 plant communities with phytosociological parameters and diversity indices were reported. Present study revealed that there were 145 threatened, 30 endangered, 68 vulnerable and 47 rare species. It is recorded that extensive grazing, uprooting of plants and soil slope erosion intensify the environmental problems. Since there is maximum exploitation of vegetation, the valley showed a decline in plant diversity. The study was also indicated that the main threats to the biodiversity are expansion of settlement and army installations in the forest area of the valley. For sustainable use In-situ and Ex-situ conservation, controlled harvesting and afforestation may be the solution. Moreover, forest area should be declared prohibited for settlements and army installations.

  12. Building on IUCN regional red lists to produce lists of species of conservation priority: a model with Irish bees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Una; Murray, Tomás E; Paxton, Robert J; Brown, Mark J F

    2007-10-01

    A World Conservation Union (IUCN) regional red list is an objective assessment of regional extinction risk and is not the same as a list of conservation priority species. Recent research reveals the widespread, but incorrect, assumption that IUCN Red List categories represent a hierarchical list of priorities for conservation action. We developed a simple eight-step priority-setting process and applied it to the conservation of bees in Ireland. Our model is based on the national red list but also considers the global significance of the national population; the conservation status at global, continental, and regional levels; key biological, economic, and societal factors; and is compatible with existing conservation agreements and legislation. Throughout Ireland, almost one-third of the bee fauna is threatened (30 of 100 species), but our methodology resulted in a reduced list of only 17 priority species. We did not use the priority species list to broadly categorize species to the conservation action required; instead, we indicated the individual action required for all threatened, near-threatened, and data-deficient species on the national red list based on the IUCN's conservation-actions template file. Priority species lists will strongly influence prioritization of conservation actions at national levels, but action should not be exclusive to listed species. In addition, all species on this list will not necessarily require immediate action. Our method is transparent, reproducible, and readily applicable to other taxa and regions.

  13. Characterization of chromosomal regions conserved in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and lost by Yersinia pestis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pouillot, Flavie; Fayolle, Corinne; Carniel, Elisabeth

    2008-10-01

    The transformation of the enteropathogenic bacterium Yersinia pseudotuberculosis into the plague bacillus, Yersinia pestis, has been accompanied by extensive genetic loss. This study focused on chromosomal regions conserved in Y. pseudotuberculosis and lost during its transformation into Y. pestis. An extensive PCR screening of 78 strains of the two species identified five regions (R1 to R5) and four open reading frames (ORFs; orf1 to orf4) that were conserved in Y. pseudotuberculosis and absent from Y. pestis. Their conservation in Y. pseudotuberculosis suggests a positive selective pressure and a role during the life cycle of this species. Attempts to delete two ORFs (orf3 and orf4) from the chromosome of strain IP32953 were unsuccessful, indicating that they are essential for its viability. The seven remaining loci were individually deleted from the IP32953 chromosome, and the ability of each mutant to grow in vitro and to kill mice upon intragastric infection was evaluated. Four loci (orf1, R2, R4, and R5) were not required for optimal growth or virulence of Y. pseudotuberculosis. In contrast, orf2, encoding a putative pseudouridylate synthase involved in RNA stability, was necessary for the optimal growth of IP32953 at 37 degrees C in a chemically defined medium (M63S). Deletion of R1, a region predicted to encode the methionine salvage pathway, altered the mutant pathogenicity, suggesting that the availability of free methionine is severely restricted in vivo. R3, a region composed mostly of genes of unknown functions, was necessary for both optimal growth of Y. pseudotuberculosis at 37 degrees C in M63S and for virulence. Therefore, despite their loss in Y. pestis, five of the nine Y. pseudotuberculosis-specific chromosomal loci studied play a role in the survival, growth, or virulence of this species.

  14. Conserved regions of ribonucleoprotein ribonuclease MRP are involved in interactions with its substrate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esakova, Olga; Perederina, Anna; Berezin, Igor; Krasilnikov, Andrey S

    2013-08-01

    Ribonuclease (RNase) MRP is a ubiquitous and essential site-specific eukaryotic endoribonuclease involved in the metabolism of a wide range of RNA molecules. RNase MRP is a ribonucleoprotein with a large catalytic RNA moiety that is closely related to the RNA component of RNase P, and multiple proteins, most of which are shared with RNase P. Here, we report the results of an ultraviolet-cross-linking analysis of interactions between a photoreactive RNase MRP substrate and the Saccharomyces cerevisiae RNase MRP holoenzyme. The results show that the substrate interacts with phylogenetically conserved RNA elements universally found in all enzymes of the RNase P/MRP family, as well as with a phylogenetically conserved RNA region that is unique to RNase MRP, and demonstrate that four RNase MRP protein components, all shared with RNase P, interact with the substrate. Implications for the structural organization of RNase MRP and the roles of its components are discussed.

  15. The bioenergy potential of conservation areas and roadsides for biogas in an urbanized region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Meerbeek, Koenraad; Ottoy, Sam; De Meyer, Annelies; Van Schaeybroeck, Tom; Van Orshoven, Jos; Muys, Bart; Hermy, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • We assessed the bioenergy potential of conservation areas and roadsides in Flanders. • An area of 31,055 ha produces 203 kton DM of herbaceous biomass annually. • The associated biomass supply chain was optimized with OPTIMASS in four scenarios. • The net energy balance of the studied systems was 7 GJ ha −1 in the 2020 scenarios. • We show that this biomass can play a role to meet the increased biomass demand in 2020. - Abstract: In many urbanized areas the roadside and nature conservation management offers a biomass-for-bioenergy resource potential which is barely valorized, because of the fragmented biomass production sites and the scarcity of accurate data on the spatial availability of the biomass. In this study, a GIS based assessment was performed to determine the regional non-woody biomass-for-bioenergy potential for biogas from conservation areas and roadsides in Flanders, Belgium. These systems, with an area of 31,055 ha, have an annual herbaceous biomass production of 203 kton dry matter. The full associated biomass-to-bioenergy supply chain was optimized in four scenarios to maximize the net energy output and the profit. The scenario analysis was performed with OPTIMASS, a recently developed GIS based strategic decision support system. The analysis showed that the energetic valorization of conservation and roadside biomass through anaerobic digestion had a positive net energy balance, although there is still much room for improvements. Economically, however, it is a less interesting biomass resource. Most likely, the economic picture would change when other ecosystem services delivered by the protected biodiversity would be taken into account. Future technical advances and governmental incentives, like green energy certificates, will be necessary to incorporate the biomass into the energy chain. By tackling the existing barriers and providing a detailed methodology for biomass potential assessments, this study tries to

  16. Hot Spots and Hot Times: Wildlife Road Mortality in a Regional Conservation Corridor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrah, Evelyn; Danby, Ryan K.; Eberhardt, Ewen; Cunnington, Glenn M.; Mitchell, Scott

    2015-10-01

    Strategies to reduce wildlife road mortality have become a significant component of many conservation efforts. However, their success depends on knowledge of the temporal and spatial patterns of mortality. We studied these patterns along the 1000 Islands Parkway in Ontario, Canada, a 37 km road that runs adjacent to the St. Lawrence River and bisects the Algonquin-to-Adirondacks international conservation corridor. Characteristics of all vertebrate road kill were recorded during 209 bicycle surveys conducted from 2008 to 2011. We estimate that over 16,700 vertebrates are killed on the road from April to October each year; most are amphibians, but high numbers of birds, mammals, and reptiles were also found, including six reptiles considered at-risk in Canada. Regression tree analysis was used to assess the importance of seasonality, weather, and traffic on road kill magnitude. All taxa except mammals exhibited distinct temporal peaks corresponding to phases in annual life cycles. Variations in weather and traffic were only important outside these peak times. Getis-Ord analysis was used to identify spatial clusters of mortality. Hot spots were found in all years for all taxa, but locations varied annually. A significant spatial association was found between multiyear hot spots and wetlands. The results underscore the notion that multi-species conservation efforts must account for differences in the seasonality of road mortality among species and that multiple years of data are necessary to identify locations where the greatest conservation good can be achieved. This information can be used to inform mitigation strategies with implications for conservation at regional scales.

  17. Challenges of transfrontier conservation areas: Natural resources nationalism, security and regionalism in the southern African development community region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oswell Rusinga

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs initiatives in the Southern African Development Community (SADC region offer hope for providing a mechanism for resolving political tensions and conflicts which are not only related to environmental issues but to security concerns as well. The geopolitical implications of TFCAs in the SADC region cannot be overemphasised with regard to international relations and regional integration. The SADS region is characterised by histories of contested military balance of power and geopolitical rivalries which have a potential to degenerate into military confrontation. Although there is a strong belief in multilateral co-operation among SADC member countries, most of them often engage the international community at the bilateral level. Moreover, there is disharmony in constitutional applications of the rule of law, respect of human rights and good governance. However, TFCAs initiatives in Southern Africa have been seen as offering an opportunity to heal the wounds of pre- and post-independence wars of destabilisation through the encouragement of inter-state collaboration and co-operation by giving governments an opportunity for mutual action on issues of common interest.

  18. Regional Genetic Structuring and Evolutionary History of the Impala Aepyceros melampus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lorenzen, Eline Deirdre; Arctander, Peter; Siegismund, Hans Redlef

    2006-01-01

    Samples of 162 impala antelope (Aepyceros melampus) from throughout its distribution range in sub-Saharan Africa were surveyed using eight polymorphic microsatellite loci. Furthermore, 155 previously published mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences from the same localities were reanalyzed. Two...... subspecies of impala are presently recognized-the isolated black-faced impala (Aepyceros melampus petersi) in southwest Africa and the common impala (Aepyceros melampus melampus) abundant in southern and east Africa. All tests performed indicated significant genetic differentiation at the subspecific level....... Furthermore, individual-based analyses split the common impala subspecies into two distinct genetic groups, conforming with regional geographic affiliation to southern or east Africa. This was supported by assignment tests, genetic distance measures, pairwise values, and analysis of molecular variance. We...

  19. [Preparation and characterization of mouse polyclonal antibody against conserved region of human FOXO3].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lei; Lyu, Dan

    2017-06-01

    Objective To purify the recombinant protein specific to conserved region of forkhead box O3 (FOXO3) and prepare mouse anti-human FOXO3 polyclonal antibody. Methods The DNA fragment (aa290-472) encoding conserved domain of FOXO3 was amplified by PCR, and subsequently cloned into pET28a vector. Following transformation into E.coli BL21, the soluble fusion protein His-FOXO3 was induced by IPTG and purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. The purified protein was used to immunize BALB/c mice to generate polyclonal antibody. The characteristics of the polyclonal antibody were assessed by ELISA, Western blotting and immunoprecipitation assays. Results We successfully prepared the expression vector pET28a-FOXO3 (aa290-472) and expressed the purified fusion protein in a soluble form. By immunizing mice with the fusion protein, we obtained anti-human FOXO3 polyclonal antibody. ELISA and Western blotting showed that the mouse antibody could recognize specifically the endogenous FOXO3 protein. Conclusion The polyclonal antibody against conserved domain of FOXO3 can identify the endogenous FOXO3 protein. It can be used to analyze the endogenous FOXO3 expression level.

  20. Evolutionary analysis of a novel zinc ribbon in the N-terminal region of threonine synthase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Gurmeet; Subramanian, Srikrishna

    2017-10-18

    Threonine synthase (TS) catalyzes the terminal reaction in the biosynthetic pathway of threonine and requires pyridoxal phosphate as a cofactor. TSs share a common catalytic domain with other fold type II PALP dependent enzymes. TSs are broadly grouped into two classes based on their sequence, quaternary structure, and enzyme regulation. We report the presence of a novel zinc ribbon domain in the N-terminal region preceding the catalytic core in TS. The zinc ribbon domain is present in TSs belonging to both classes. Our sequence analysis reveals that archaeal TSs possess all zinc chelating residues to bind a metal ion that are lacking in the structurally characterized homologs. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that TSs with an N-terminal zinc ribbon likely represents the ancestral state of the enzyme while TSs without a zinc ribbon must have diverged later in specific lineages. The zinc ribbon and its N- and C-terminal extensions are important for enzyme stability, activity and regulation. It is likely that the zinc ribbon domain is involved in higher order oligomerization or mediating interactions with other biomolecules leading to formation of larger metabolic complexes.

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

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    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.

  2. Remembering the evolutionary Freud.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Allan

    2006-03-01

    Throughout his career as a writer, Sigmund Freud maintained an interest in the evolutionary origins of the human mind and its neurotic and psychotic disorders. In common with many writers then and now, he believed that the evolutionary past is conserved in the mind and the brain. Today the "evolutionary Freud" is nearly forgotten. Even among Freudians, he is regarded to be a red herring, relevant only to the extent that he diverts attention from the enduring achievements of the authentic Freud. There are three ways to explain these attitudes. First, the evolutionary Freud's key work is the "Overview of the Transference Neurosis" (1915). But it was published at an inopportune moment, forty years after the author's death, during the so-called "Freud wars." Second, Freud eventually lost interest in the "Overview" and the prospect of a comprehensive evolutionary theory of psychopathology. The publication of The Ego and the Id (1923), introducing Freud's structural theory of the psyche, marked the point of no return. Finally, Freud's evolutionary theory is simply not credible. It is based on just-so stories and a thoroughly discredited evolutionary mechanism, Lamarckian use-inheritance. Explanations one and two are probably correct but also uninteresting. Explanation number three assumes that there is a fundamental difference between Freud's evolutionary narratives (not credible) and the evolutionary accounts of psychopathology that currently circulate in psychiatry and mainstream journals (credible). The assumption is mistaken but worth investigating.

  3. The evolutionary rates of HCV estimated with subtype 1a and 1b sequences over the ORF length and in different genomic regions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manqiong Yuan

    Full Text Available Considerable progress has been made in the HCV evolutionary analysis, since the software BEAST was released. However, prior information, especially the prior evolutionary rate, which plays a critical role in BEAST analysis, is always difficult to ascertain due to various uncertainties. Providing a proper prior HCV evolutionary rate is thus of great importance.176 full-length sequences of HCV subtype 1a and 144 of 1b were assembled by taking into consideration the balance of the sampling dates and the even dispersion in phylogenetic trees. According to the HCV genomic organization and biological functions, each dataset was partitioned into nine genomic regions and two routinely amplified regions. A uniform prior rate was applied to the BEAST analysis for each region and also the entire ORF. All the obtained posterior rates for 1a are of a magnitude of 10(-3 substitutions/site/year and in a bell-shaped distribution. Significantly lower rates were estimated for 1b and some of the rate distribution curves resulted in a one-sided truncation, particularly under the exponential model. This indicates that some of the rates for subtype 1b are less accurate, so they were adjusted by including more sequences to improve the temporal structure.Among the various HCV subtypes and genomic regions, the evolutionary patterns are dissimilar. Therefore, an applied estimation of the HCV epidemic history requires the proper selection of the rate priors, which should match the actual dataset so that they can fit for the subtype, the genomic region and even the length. By referencing the findings here, future evolutionary analysis of the HCV subtype 1a and 1b datasets may become more accurate and hence prove useful for tracing their patterns.

  4. Federal Conservation Units in Brazil: The Situation of Biomes and Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Pacca Luna Mattar

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Federal conservation units (FCU are areas legally established by the government, in order to meet the needs of protection and sustainable exploitation of biodiversity. A way to ensure the efficiency of public management is to systematize data. Therefore, the present study grouped and analyzed public data about FCU. Brazil has 309 federal conservation units, which represent 9.06% of the national territory and 45305 residents households. The Northern Region covers 84.80% of these families and 79.20% of its area belongs to FCU. The Amazônia biome has 14.57% of its territory occupied by FCU; on the other hand, Pantanal has only 0.98% of its area protected. There is a higher concentration of public agents in the FCU of the Southeastern region and in the Mata Atlântica biome. The analysis of this information reveals significant differences between the biomes and the federation units, a fact that reflects the importance of the organization of public data.

  5. Local knowledge of the flora of a region: implications in biodiversity conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria da Conceição Pereira

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The flora of a region is important in aesthetic, environmental and economic terms. Academic degree holders are fundamental for the sustainable development of a geographically isolated region such as the Azores, the University of Azores (UAc contributing to that goal. We assessed the perception of the UAc students about the origin and the importance of the Azorean flora for conservation, culture and economy, by applying a questionnaire to 309 students in different scientific areas, addressing origin, symbolic importance, economic importance, and environmental functions. Students showed some knowledge about the concepts of endemic, native, introduced and invasive species, but often failed to connect those to specific plant taxa. Most species cited as symbolic were animals, and the plants mentioned were mainly exotic/invasive. Respondents had a sense of the most important crops and forest species, and attributed several functions related to biodiversity and environmental conservation to the flora. Despite the many actions already implemented, more initiatives are required to increase the connection between Azoreans and Azorean flora.

  6. Rational sub-division of plant trypanosomes (Phytomonas spp.) based on minicircle conserved region analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sturm, Nancy R; Dollet, Michel; Lukes, Julius; Campbell, David A

    2007-09-01

    The sequences of minicircle conserved regions from various plant trypanosomatids have been determined and analyzed. The goal of this study was to add another tool to the arsenal of molecular probes for distinguishing between the different trypanosomatids occurring in plants: systemic trypanosomatids multiplying in the sap, those from the laticiferous tubes, and those developing in fruits, seeds or flowers but not in the plant itself and that are frequently considered as opportunistic insect trypanosomatids. As some plant intraphloemic trypanosomatids are the causative agents of important diseases, a clear definition of the different types of trypanosomatids is critical. The conserved region of the mitochondrial minicircle provides several specific features in a small sequence region containing three functionally elements required for minicircle replication. Trees generated from the analysis recapitulated trees drawn from analyses of isoenzymes, RAPD, and particular gene sequences, supporting the validity of the small region used in this work. Three groups of isolates were significant and in accordance with previous work. The peculiarity of phloem-restricted trypanosomatids associated with wilts of coconut and oil palm in Latin America - group H - is confirmed. In agreement with previous studies on their biological and serological properties the results highlighted this group called 'phloemicola'. It always differentiated from all other latex and fruit isolates or opportunistic trypanosomatids, like insect trypanosomatids. We can assert that phloemicola is the only well-defined taxon among all plant trypanosomatids. A group of non-pathogenic latex isolates from South American euphorbs (G), and a heterogenous group (A) including one fruit, one possible latex and one insect isolate are clearly distinct groups. The group of Mediterranean isolates from latex (D), even with a low boostrap, stood out well from other groups. The remainder of the isolates fell into a

  7. The biodiversity hotspot as evolutionary hot-bed: spectacular radiation of Erica in the Cape Floristic Region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirie, M D; Oliver, E G H; Mugrabi de Kuppler, A; Gehrke, B; Le Maitre, N C; Kandziora, M; Bellstedt, D U

    2016-09-17

    The disproportionate species richness of the world's biodiversity hotspots could be explained by low extinction (the evolutionary "museum") and/or high speciation (the "hot-bed") models. We test these models using the largest of the species rich plant groups that characterise the botanically diverse Cape Floristic Region (CFR): the genus Erica L. We generate a novel phylogenetic hypothesis informed by nuclear and plastid DNA sequences of c. 60 % of the c. 800 Erica species (of which 690 are endemic to the CFR), and use this to estimate clade ages (using RELTIME; BEAST), net diversification rates (GEIGER), and shifts in rates of diversification in different areas (BAMM; MuSSE). The diversity of Erica species in the CFR is the result of a single radiation within the last c. 15 million years. Compared to ancestral lineages in the Palearctic, the rate of speciation accelerated across Africa and Madagascar, with a further burst of speciation within the CFR that also exceeds the net diversification rates of other Cape clades. Erica exemplifies the "hotbed" model of assemblage through recent speciation, implying that with the advent of the modern Cape a multitude of new niches opened and were successively occupied through local species diversification.

  8. Conservation status and regional habitat priorities for the Orinoco crocodile: Past, present, and future.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio A Balaguera-Reina

    Full Text Available Conservation of large predator species has historically been a challenge because they often overlap in resource utilization with humans; furthermore, there is a general lack of in-depth knowledge of their ecology and natural history. We assessed the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius, defining regional habitat priorities/crocodile conservation units (RHP/CCU and regional research priorities (RRP for this species. We also estimated a species distribution model (SDM to define current suitable areas where the species might inhabit and/or that might be successfully colonized. The SDM area obtained with a suitable habitat probability ≥ 0.5 was 23,621 km2. Out of 2,562 km2 are included within protected areas in both Colombia (1,643 km2 and Venezuela (919 km2, which represents only 10.8% of C. intermedius' potential range. Areas such as Laguna de Chigüichigüe (flood plain lagoon exhibited an increase in population abundance. In contrast, localities such as the Cojedes and Manapire Rivers reported a significant reduction in relative abundance values. In Colombia, disparity in previous survey methods prevented accurate estimation of population trends. Only one study in this country described an increase over a 13 years span in the Ele, Lipa, and Cravo Norte River populations based on nest surveys. We defined 34 critical areas (16 in Colombia, 17 in Venezuela, and one covering both countries where we need to preserve/research/monitor and/or generate management actions, 10 RHP/CCU (six from Venezuela and four from Colombia and 24 RRP (11 from Venezuela, 12 from Colombia, and one in both countries. Caño Guaritico (Creek and the Capanaparo River in Venezuela and the Ele, Lipa, Cravo Norte River System and the Guayabero River in Colombia were defined as areas with the most optimal conditions for long-term preservation and maintenance of C. intermedius populations. We conclude that the conservation status of this species

  9. Conservation status and regional habitat priorities for the Orinoco crocodile: Past, present, and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa-Blanco, Ariel S.; Morales-Betancourt, Mónica A.; Seijas, Andrés E.; Lasso, Carlos A.; Antelo, Rafael; Densmore, Llewellyn D.

    2017-01-01

    Conservation of large predator species has historically been a challenge because they often overlap in resource utilization with humans; furthermore, there is a general lack of in-depth knowledge of their ecology and natural history. We assessed the conservation status of the Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius), defining regional habitat priorities/crocodile conservation units (RHP/CCU) and regional research priorities (RRP) for this species. We also estimated a species distribution model (SDM) to define current suitable areas where the species might inhabit and/or that might be successfully colonized. The SDM area obtained with a suitable habitat probability ≥ 0.5 was 23,621 km2. Out of 2,562 km2 are included within protected areas in both Colombia (1,643 km2) and Venezuela (919 km2), which represents only 10.8% of C. intermedius’ potential range. Areas such as Laguna de Chigüichigüe (flood plain lagoon) exhibited an increase in population abundance. In contrast, localities such as the Cojedes and Manapire Rivers reported a significant reduction in relative abundance values. In Colombia, disparity in previous survey methods prevented accurate estimation of population trends. Only one study in this country described an increase over a 13 years span in the Ele, Lipa, and Cravo Norte River populations based on nest surveys. We defined 34 critical areas (16 in Colombia, 17 in Venezuela, and one covering both countries) where we need to preserve/research/monitor and/or generate management actions, 10 RHP/CCU (six from Venezuela and four from Colombia) and 24 RRP (11 from Venezuela, 12 from Colombia, and one in both countries). Caño Guaritico (Creek) and the Capanaparo River in Venezuela and the Ele, Lipa, Cravo Norte River System and the Guayabero River in Colombia were defined as areas with the most optimal conditions for long-term preservation and maintenance of C. intermedius populations. We conclude that the conservation status of this species is

  10. Diversity and distribution of aquatic insects in Southern Brazil wetlands: implications for biodiversity conservation in a Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Maltchik

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The selection of priority areas is an enormous challenge for biodiversity conservation. Some biogeographic methods have been used to identify the priority areas to conservation, and panbiogeography is one of them. This study aimed at the utilization of panbiogeographic tools, to identify the distribution patterns of aquatic insect genera, in wetland systems of an extensive area in the Neotropical region (~280 000km², and to compare the distribution of the biogeographic units identified by the aquatic insects, with the conservation units of Southern Brazil. We analyzed the distribution pattern of 82 genera distributed in four orders of aquatic insects (Diptera, Odonata, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera in Southern Brazil wetlands. Therefore, 32 biogeographic nodes corresponded to the priority areas for conservation of the aquatic insect diversity. Among this total, 13 were located in the Atlantic Rainforest, 16 in the Pampa and three amongst both biomes. The distribution of nodes showed that only 15% of the dispersion centers of insects were inserted in conservation units. The four priority areas pointed by node cluster criterion must be considered in further inclusions of areas for biodiversity conservation in Southern Brazil wetlands, since such areas present species from differrent ancestral biota. The inclusion of such areas into the conservation units would be a strong way to conserve the aquatic biodiversity in this region.

  11. Diversity and distribution of aquatic insects in Southern Brazil wetlands: implications for biodiversity conservation in a Neotropical region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maltchik, Leonardo; Dalzochio, Marina Schmidt; Stenert, Cristina; Rolon, Ana Silvia

    2012-03-01

    The selection of priority areas is an enormous challenge for biodiversity conservation. Some biogeographic methods have been used to identify the priority areas to conservation, and panbiogeography is one of them. This study aimed at the utilization of panbiogeographic tools, to identify the distribution patterns of aquatic insect genera, in wetland systems of an extensive area in the Neotropical region (approximately 280 000km2), and to compare the distribution of the biogeographic units identified by the aquatic insects, with the conservation units of Southern Brazil. We analyzed the distribution pattern of 82 genera distributed in four orders of aquatic insects (Diptera, Odonata, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera) in Southern Brazil wetlands. Therefore, 32 biogeographic nodes corresponded to the priority areas for conservation of the aquatic insect diversity. Among this total, 13 were located in the Atlantic Rainforest, 16 in the Pampa and three amongst both biomes. The distribution of nodes showed that only 15% of the dispersion centers of insects were inserted in conservation units. The four priority areas pointed by node cluster criterion must be considered in further inclusions of areas for biodiversity conservation in Southern Brazil wetlands, since such areas present species from different ancestral biota. The inclusion of such areas into the conservation units would be a strong way to conserve the aquatic biodiversity in this region.

  12. Conserving Prairie Pothole Region wetlands and surrounding grasslands: evaluating effects on amphibians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.

    2014-01-01

    The maintenance of viable and genetically diverse populations of amphibians in the Prairie Pothole Region of the United States depends on upland as well as wetland over-wintering and landscape level habitat features.Prairie pothole wetlands provide important amphibian breeding habitat while grasslands surrounding these wetlands provide foraging habitat for adults, overwintering habitat for some species, and important connectivity among breeding wetlands.Grasslands surrounding wetlands were found to be especially important for wood frogs and northern leopard frogs, while croplands dominated habitat utilized by Great Plains toads and Woodhouse’s toads.Habitat suitability mapping highlighted (1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for four of five anuran species encountered; (2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the northern leopard frog and wood frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and (3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of northern leopard frog and wood frog habitat.Currently, there are approximately 7.2 million acres (2.9 million hectares, ha) of habitat in the PPR identified as suitable for amphibians. WRP and CRP wetland and grassland habitats accounted for approximately 1.9 million acres (0.75 million ha) or 26 percent of this total area.Continued loss of amphibian habitat resulting from an ongoing trend of returning PPR conservation lands to crop production, will likely have significant negative effects on the region’s ability to maintain amphibian biodiversity. Conversely, increases in conservation wetlands and surrounding grasslands on the PPR landscape have great potential to positively influence the region’s amphibian populations.

  13. Evaluating the impact of water conservation on fate of outdoor water use: a study in an arid region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qaiser, Kamal; Ahmad, Sajjad; Johnson, Walter; Batista, Jacimaria

    2011-08-01

    In this research, the impact of several water conservation policies and return flow credits on the fate of water used outdoors in an arid region is evaluated using system dynamics modeling approach. Return flow credits is a strategy where flow credits are obtained for treated wastewater returned to a water body, allowing for the withdrawal of additional water equal to the amount returned as treated wastewater. In the return credit strategy, treated wastewater becomes a resource. This strategy creates a conundrum in which conservation may lead to an apparent decrease in water supply because less wastewater is generated and returned to water body. The water system of the arid Las Vegas Valley in Nevada, USA is used as basis for the dynamic model. The model explores various conservation scenarios to attain the daily per capita demand target of 752 l by 2035: (i) status quo situation where conservation is not implemented, (ii) conserving water only on the outdoor side, (iii) conserving water 67% outdoor and 33% indoor, (iv) conserving equal water both in the indoor and outdoor use (v) conserving water only on the indoor side. The model is validated on data from 1993 to 2008 and future simulations are carried out up to 2035. The results show that a substantial portion of the water used outdoor either evapo-transpires (ET) or infiltrates to shallow groundwater (SGW). Sensitivity analysis indicated that seepage to groundwater is more susceptible to ET compared to any other variable. The all outdoor conservation scenario resulted in the highest return flow credits and the least ET and SGW. A major contribution of this paper is in addressing the water management issues that arise when wastewater is considered as a resource and developing appropriate conservation policies in this backdrop. The results obtained can be a guide in developing outdoor water conservation policies in arid regions. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Exploring Conservation Options in the Broad-Leaved Korean Pine Mixed Forest of the Changbai Mountain Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Ma

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The broad-leaved Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis mixed forest (BKPF is one of the most biodiverse zonal communities in the northern temperate zone. Changbai Mountain in northeastern China contains one of the largest BKPFs in the region. The government of China has established a network of 23 nature reserves to protect the BKPF and the species that depend on it for habitat, including the endangered Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica. This study used the conservation planning software C-Plan to calculate the irreplaceability value of each unit to assess how efficiently and comprehensively the existing conservation network supports biodiversity and to identify gap areas that, if integrated into the network, would expand its protection capability. Results show a number of high-conservation-value planning units concentrated along certain ridges. The existing conservation network is structured such that the habitats of only 24 species (out of a total of 75 achieve established conservation targets. Of the other 51 species, 20 achieve less than 50% of their conservation targets. However, expanding the network to include high-conservation-value gap areas could achieve conservation targets for 64 species and could provide different degrees of protection to the other 11 species. Using C-Plan software can guide decision-making to expand the conservation network in this most precious of mountainous ecological zones.

  15. How to maximally support local and regional biodiversity in applied conservation? Insights from pond management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmens, Pieter; Mergeay, Joachim; De Bie, Tom; Van Wichelen, Jeroen; De Meester, Luc; Declerck, Steven A J

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity and nature values in anthropogenic landscapes often depend on land use practices and management. Evaluations of the association between management and biodiversity remain, however, comparatively scarce, especially in aquatic systems. Furthermore, studies also tend to focus on a limited set of organism groups at the local scale, whereas a multi-group approach at the landscape scale is to be preferred. This study aims to investigate the effect of pond management on the diversity of multiple aquatic organism groups (e.g. phytoplankton, zooplankton, several groups of macro-invertebrates, submerged and emergent macrophytes) at local and regional spatial scales. For this purpose, we performed a field study of 39 shallow man-made ponds representing five different management types. Our results indicate that fish stock management and periodic pond drainage are crucial drivers of pond biodiversity. Furthermore, this study provides insight in how the management of eutrophied ponds can contribute to aquatic biodiversity. A combination of regular draining of ponds with efforts to keep ponds free of fish seems to be highly beneficial for the biodiversity of many groups of aquatic organisms at local and regional scales. Regular draining combined with a stocking of fish at low biomass is also preferable to infrequent draining and lack of fish stock control. These insights are essential for the development of conservation programs that aim long-term maintenance of regional biodiversity in pond areas across Europe.

  16. Economic efficiency and cost implications of habitat conservation: An example in the context of the Edwards Aquifer region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillig, Dhazn; McCarl, Bruce A.; Jones, Lonnie L.; Boadu, Frederick

    2004-04-01

    Groundwater management in the Edwards Aquifer in Texas is in the process of moving away from a traditional right of capture economic regime toward a more environmentally sensitive scheme designed to preserve endangered species habitats. This study explores economic and environmental implications of proposed groundwater management and water development strategies under a proposed regional Habitat Conservation Plan. Results show that enhancing the habitat by augmenting water flow costs $109-1427 per acre-foot and that regional water development would be accelerated by the more extreme possibilities under the Habitat Conservation Plan. The findings also indicate that a water market would improve regional welfare and lower water development but worsen environmental attributes.

  17. Fire mosaics and reptile conservation in a fire-prone region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimmo, D G; Kelly, L T; Spence-Bailey, L M; Watson, S J; Taylor, R S; Clarke, M F; Bennett, A F

    2013-04-01

    Fire influences the distribution of fauna in terrestrial biomes throughout the world. Use of fire to achieve a mosaic of vegetation in different stages of succession after burning (i.e., patch-mosaic burning) is a dominant conservation practice in many regions. Despite this, knowledge of how the spatial attributes of vegetation mosaics created by fire affect fauna is extremely scarce, and it is unclear what kind of mosaic land managers should aim to achieve. We selected 28 landscapes (each 12.6 km(2) ) that varied in the spatial extent and diversity of vegetation succession after fire in a 104,000 km(2) area in the semiarid region of southeastern Australia. We surveyed for reptiles at 280 sites nested within the 28 landscapes. The landscape-level occurrence of 9 of the 22 species modeled was associated with the spatial extent of vegetation age classes created by fire. Biogeographic context and the extent of a vegetation type influenced 7 and 4 species, respectively. No species were associated with the diversity of vegetation ages within a landscape. Negative relations between reptile occurrence and both extent of recently burned vegetation (≤10 years postfire, n = 6) and long unburned vegetation (>35 years postfire, n = 4) suggested that a coarse-grained mosaic of areas (e.g. >1000 ha) of midsuccessional vegetation (11-35 years postfire) may support the fire-sensitive reptile species we modeled. This age class coincides with a peak in spinifex cover, a keystone structure for reptiles in semiarid and arid Australia. Maintaining over the long term a coarse-grained mosaic of large areas of midsuccessional vegetation in mallee ecosystems will need to be balanced against the short-term negative effects of large fires on many reptile species and a documented preference by species from other taxonomic groups, particularly birds, for older vegetation. © 2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. Importance of regional variation in conservation planning: A rangewide example of the Greater Sage-Grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Kevin E.; Evans, Jeffrey S.; Coates, Peter S.; Juliusson, Lara; Fedy, Bradley C.

    2016-01-01

    We developed rangewide population and habitat models for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) that account for regional variation in habitat selection and relative densities of birds for use in conservation planning and risk assessments. We developed a probabilistic model of occupied breeding habitat by statistically linking habitat characteristics within 4 miles of an occupied lek using a nonlinear machine learning technique (Random Forests). Habitat characteristics used were quantified in GIS and represent standard abiotic and biotic variables related to sage-grouse biology. Statistical model fit was high (mean correctly classified = 82.0%, range = 75.4–88.0%) as were cross-validation statistics (mean = 80.9%, range = 75.1–85.8%). We also developed a spatially explicit model to quantify the relative density of breeding birds across each Greater Sage-Grouse management zone. The models demonstrate distinct clustering of relative abundance of sage-grouse populations across all management zones. On average, approximately half of the breeding population is predicted to be within 10% of the occupied range. We also found that 80% of sage-grouse populations were contained in 25–34% of the occupied range within each management zone. Our rangewide population and habitat models account for regional variation in habitat selection and the relative densities of birds, and thus, they can serve as a consistent and common currency to assess how sage-grouse habitat and populations overlap with conservation actions or threats over the entire sage-grouse range. We also quantified differences in functional habitat responses and disturbance thresholds across the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) management zones using statistical relationships identified during habitat modeling. Even for a species as specialized as Greater Sage-Grouse, our results show that ecological context matters in both the strength of habitat selection (i

  19. Secondary structure of the rRNA ITS2 region reveals key evolutionary patterns in acroporid corals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, Annette W; van Oppen, Madeleine J H

    2008-10-01

    This study investigates the ribosomal RNA transcript secondary structure in corals as confirmed by compensatory base changes in Isopora/Acropora species. These species are unique versus all other corals in the absence of a eukaryote-wide conserved structural component, the helix III in internal transcriber spacer (ITS) 2, and their variability in the 5.8S-LSU helix basal to ITS2, a helix with pairings identical among all other scleractinian corals. Furthermore, Isopora/Acropora individuals display at least two, and as many as three, ITS sequence isotypes in their genome which appear to be capable of function. From consideration of the conserved elements in ITS2 and flanking regions, it appears that there are three major groups within the IsoporaAcropora lineage: the Isopora + Acropora "longi" group, the large group including Caribbean Acropora + the Acropora "carib" types plus the bulk of the Indo-Pacific Acropora species, and the remaining enigmatic "pseudo" group found in the Pacific. Interbreeding is possible among Caribbean A. palmata and A. cervicornis and among some species of Indo-Pacific Acropora. Recombinant ITS sequences are obvious among these latter, such that morphology (as represented by species name) does not correlate with common ITS sequence. The combination of characters revealed by RNA secondary structure analyses suggests a recent past/current history of interbreeding among the Indo-Pacific Acropora species and a shared ancestry of some of these with the Caribbean Acropora. The unusual absence of helix III of ITS2 of Isopora/Acropora species may have some causative role in the equally unusual instability in the 5.8S-LSU helix basal to ITS2 of this species complex.

  20. 2nd East Africa Regional Workshop Report: Conservation Agriculture in AFRICA - Analysing and Foreseeing its Impact - Comprehending its Adoption

    OpenAIRE

    Apina, T.; Mkomwa, S.; Mutai, W.; Njeri, A.

    2011-01-01

    This resource provides a summary of the 2nd East Africa Sub-regional workshop held in Nanyuki, Kenya, on 28-30 March 2011. Attendees included the African Conservation Tillage Network (ACT), Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute (TSBF/AFNET), Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD), LEIBNIZ-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Agricultural Research Institute (ARI) UYOLE, SELIAN Agricultural Research Institute (SARI-MAFC), Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Agr...

  1. Identification of conserved regions and residues within Hedgehog acyltransferase critical for palmitoylation of Sonic Hedgehog.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John A Buglino

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Sonic hedgehog (Shh is a palmitoylated protein that plays key roles in mammalian development and human cancers. Palmitoylation of Shh is required for effective long and short range Shh-mediated signaling. Attachment of palmitate to Shh is catalyzed by Hedgehog acyltransferase (Hhat, a member of the membrane bound O-acyl transferase (MBOAT family of multipass membrane proteins. The extremely hydrophobic composition of MBOAT proteins has limited their biochemical characterization. Except for mutagenesis of two conserved residues, there has been no structure-function analysis of Hhat, and the regions of the protein required for Shh palmitoylation are unknown.Here we undertake a systematic approach to identify residues within Hhat that are required for protein stability and/or enzymatic activity. We also identify a second, novel MBOAT homology region (residues 196-234 that is required for Hhat activity. In total, ten deletion mutants and eleven point mutants were generated and analyzed. Truncations at the N- and C-termini of Hhat yielded inactive proteins with reduced stability. Four Hhat mutants with deletions within predicted loop regions and five point mutants retained stability but lost palmitoylation activity. We purified two point mutants, W378A and H379A, with defective Hhat activity. Kinetic analyses revealed alterations in apparent K(m and V(max for Shh and/or palmitoyl CoA, changes that likely explain the catalytic defects observed for these mutants.This study has pinpointed specific regions and multiple residues that regulate Hhat stability and catalysis. Our findings should be applicable to other MBOAT proteins that mediate lipid modification of Wnt proteins and ghrelin, and should serve as a model for understanding how secreted morphogens are modified by palmitoyl acyltransferases.

  2. Conserving the Greater Sage-grouse: A social-ecological systems case study from the California-Nevada region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duvall, Alison L; Metcalf, Alexander L.; Coates, Peter S.

    2016-01-01

    The Endangered Species Act (ESA) continues to serve as one of the most powerful and contested federal legislative mandates for conservation. In the midst of heated debates, researchers, policy makers, and conservation practitioners champion the importance of cooperative conservation and social-ecological systems approaches, which forge partnerships at multiple levels and scales to address complex ecosystem challenges. However, few real-world examples exist to demonstrate how multifaceted collaborations among stakeholders who share a common goal of conserving at-risk species may be nested within a systems framework to achieve social and ecological goals. Here, we present a case study of Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) conservation efforts in the “Bi-State” region of California and Nevada, United States. Using key-informant interviews, we explored dimensions and drivers of this landscape-scale conservation effort. Three themes emerged from the interviews, including 1) ESA action was transformed into opportunity for system-wide conservation; 2) a diverse, locally based partnership anchored collaboration and engagement across multiple levels and scales; and 3) best-available science combined with local knowledge led to “certainty of effectiveness and implementation”—the criteria used by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate conservation efforts when making listing decisions. Ultimately, collaborative conservation through multistakeholder engagement at various levels and scales led to proactive planning and implementation of conservation measures and precluded the need for an ESA listing of the Bi-State population of Greater Sage-grouse. This article presents a potent example of how a systems approach integrating policy, management, and learning can be used to successfully overcome the conflict-laden and “wicked” challenges that surround at-risk species conservation.

  3. Association between adjuvant regional radiotherapy and cognitive function in breast cancer patients treated with conservation therapy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shibayama, Osamu; Yoshiuchi, Kazuhiro; Inagaki, Masatoshi; Matsuoka, Yutaka; Yoshikawa, Eisho; Sugawara, Yuriko; Akechi, Tatsuo; Wada, Noriaki; Imoto, Shigeru; Murakami, Koji; Ogawa, Asao; Akabayashi, Akira; Uchitomi, Yosuke

    2014-01-01

    Although protracted cognitive impairment has been reported to occur after radiotherapy even when such therapy is not directed to brain areas, the mechanism remains unclear. This study investigated whether breast cancer patients exposed to local radiotherapy showed lower cognitive function mediated by higher plasma interleukin (IL)-6 levels than those unexposed. We performed the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised (WMS-R) and measured plasma IL-6 levels for 105 breast cancer surgical patients within 1 year after the initial therapy. The group differences in each of the indices of WMS-R were investigated between cancer patients exposed to adjuvant regional radiotherapy (n = 51) and those unexposed (n = 54) using analysis of covariance. We further investigated a mediation effect by plasma IL-6 levels on the relationship between radiotherapy and the indices of WMS-R using the bootstrapping method. The radiotherapy group showed significantly lower Immediate Verbal Memory Index and Delayed Recall Index (P = 0.001, P = 0.008, respectively). Radiotherapy exerted an indirect effect on the lower Delayed Recall Index of WMS-R through elevation of plasma IL-6 levels (bootstrap 95% confidence interval = −2.6626 to −0.0402). This study showed that breast cancer patients exposed to adjuvant regional radiotherapy in conservation therapy might have cognitive impairment even several months after their treatment. The relationship between the therapy and the cognitive impairment could be partially mediated by elevation of plasma IL-6 levels

  4. Conservation value of a native forest fragment in a region of extensive agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiarello

    2000-05-01

    A survey of mammals and birds was carried out in a semi-deciduous forest fragment of 150 ha located in a zone of intensive agriculture in Ribeirão Preto, State of São Paulo, south-eastern Brazil. Line transect sampling was used to census mammals and birds during six days, totalling 27.8 km of trails and 27.8 hours of observation. Twenty mammal species were confirmed in the area (except bats and small mammals), including rare or endangered species, such as the mountain lion (Puma concolor), the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus), and the ocelot (Leopardus pardalis). The brown capuchin monkey (Cebus apella) and the black-tufted-ear marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) were found frequently, suggesting high population density in the fragment. Regarding the avifauna, 49 bird species were recorded, most of them typical of open areas or forest edges. Some confirmed species, however, are becoming increasingly rare in the region, as for example the muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) and the toco toucan (Ramphastos toco). The results demonstrate that forest fragment of this size are refuges for native fauna in a region dominated almost exclusively by sugar-cane plantations. Besides faunal aspects, the conservation of these fragments is of great importance for the establishment of studies related to species preservation in the long term, including reintroduction and translocation projects, as well as studies related to genetic health of isolated populations.

  5. Conserved Binding Regions Provide the Clue for Peptide-Based Vaccine Development: A Chemical Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hernando Curtidor

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Synthetic peptides have become invaluable biomedical research and medicinal chemistry tools for studying functional roles, i.e., binding or proteolytic activity, naturally-occurring regions’ immunogenicity in proteins and developing therapeutic agents and vaccines. Synthetic peptides can mimic protein sites; their structure and function can be easily modulated by specific amino acid replacement. They have major advantages, i.e., they are cheap, easily-produced and chemically stable, lack infectious and secondary adverse reactions and can induce immune responses via T- and B-cell epitopes. Our group has previously shown that using synthetic peptides and adopting a functional approach has led to identifying Plasmodium falciparum conserved regions binding to host cells. Conserved high activity binding peptides’ (cHABPs physicochemical, structural and immunological characteristics have been taken into account for properly modifying and converting them into highly immunogenic, protection-inducing peptides (mHABPs in the experimental Aotus monkey model. This article describes stereo–electron and topochemical characteristics regarding major histocompatibility complex (MHC-mHABP-T-cell receptor (TCR complex formation. Some mHABPs in this complex inducing long-lasting, protective immunity have been named immune protection-inducing protein structures (IMPIPS, forming the subunit components in chemically synthesized vaccines. This manuscript summarizes this particular field and adds our recent findings concerning intramolecular interactions (H-bonds or π-interactions enabling proper IMPIPS structure as well as the peripheral flanking residues (PFR to stabilize the MHCII-IMPIPS-TCR interaction, aimed at inducing long-lasting, protective immunological memory.

  6. Neutralizing activities of caprine antibodies towards conserved regions of the HCV envelope glycoprotein E2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El-Shenawy Reem

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Anti HCV vaccine is not currently available and the present antiviral therapies fail to cure approximately half of the treated HCV patients. This study was designed to assess the immunogenic properties of genetically conserved peptides derived from the C-terminal region of HVR-1 and test their neutralizing activities in a step towards developing therapeutic and/or prophylactic immunogens against HCV infection. Antibodies were generated by vaccination of goats with synthetic peptides derived from HCV E2. Viral neutralizing capacity of the generated anti E2 antibodies was tested using in vitro assays. Goats immunized with E2 synthetic peptides termed p412 [a.a 412-419], p430 [a.a 430-447] and p517 [a.a 517-531] generated high titers of antibody responses 2 to 4.5 fold higher than comparable titers of antibodies to the same epitopes in chronic HCV patients. In post infection experiments of native HCV into cultured Huh7.5 cells anti p412 and anti p 517 were proven to be neutralizing to HCV genotype 4a from patients' sera (87.5% and 75% respectively. On the contrary anti p430 exhibited weak viral neutralization capacity on the same samples (31.25%. Furthermore Ab mixes containing anti p430 exhibited reduced viral neutralization properties. From these experiments one could predict that neutralization by Abs towards different E2-epitopes varies considerably and success in the enrichment of neutralization epitope-specific antibodies may be accompanied by favorable results in combating HCV infection. Also, E2 conserved peptides p517 and p412 represent potential components of a candidate peptide vaccine against HCV infection.

  7. [Geographic distribution of birds in the Sierra Madre Oriental of San Luis Potosi, Mexico: a regional analysis of conservation status].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahagún Sánchez, Francisco Javier; Navarro, Jaime Castro; Reyes Hernández, Humberto

    2013-06-01

    The Sierra Madre Oriental region in the mexican state of San Luis Potosi is a relevant place for bird conservation at a country level. Therefore the main goal of this study was to analyze the geographic patterns of distribution and the conservation current state of the birds, to support the needs to expand the conservation areas in the future. Data was collected from various databases of zoological museums and collections, and field sampling methods conducted from January 2009 to May 2011. Potential distributions were modeled for 284 species using GARP software and then a map was developed to determine areas with favorable environmental characteristics for the distribution of species richness. Finally, the importance of conservation areas for the potential distribution of birds in the region was evaluated. A total of 359 species were recorded of which 71.4% are permanent residents, 19% are winter migrants and 4% are summer residents. From this total, 41 species were endemic, 47 were species at risk and 149 were neotropical migrants. The largest species richness correspond to oak forests, cloud forests, and tropical moist forests located at altitudes from 100m to 1 500m. Their potential distribution was concentrated towards the center and Southeast of the study area. Only 10% of areas with a high potential conservation was included in areas of priority for bird conservation (AICA) and just 3% of all potential areas were under some governmental category of protection. However, no conservation area has a management plan currently applied and monitored. The information generated is important for the development of management proposals for birds conservation in the region.

  8. Passive seismic experiment in the Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli region (Ngorongoro Conservation Area), Northern Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parisi, Laura; Lombardo, Luigi; Tang, Zheng; Mai, P. Martin

    2017-04-01

    The Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli basins, located within the Ngorogoro Conservation Area (NCA), are a cornerstone for understanding the evolution of early humans and are two paleo-antropological excavation sites of global importance. NCA is located at the boundary between the Tanzanian Craton and East African Rift (EAR), in the vicinity of Ngorongoro Crater and other major volcanic edifices. Thus, understanding the geology and tectonics of the NCA may shed light onto the question why early Hominins settled in this region. Environmental and geological conditions in the Olduvai and Laetoli region that promoted human settlement and development are still debated by geologists and paleo-anthropologists. Paleo-geographical reconstructions of the study area of the last 2 million years may take advantage of modern passive seismology. Therefore, we installed a dense seismic network covering a surface of approximately 30 x 40 km within the NCA to map the depth extent of known faults, and to identify seismically active faults that have no surface expression. Our ten seismic stations, equipped with Trillium Compact 120 s sensors, started to operate in June 2016 and will continue for a total of 2 years. At the end of the first year, other 5 stations will densify our network. Here we analyse data quality of the first four months of continuous recordings. Our network provides good quality 3-C waveforms in the frequency range of 0.7-50 Hz. Vertical component seismograms record frequencies reliably down to 8 mHz. Preliminary results of the seismicity obtained with standard location procedures show that NCA is characterised by frequent tectonic seismicity (not volcano-related) with Ml between 0.5 and 2.0. Seismic activity is more frequent in the South (Laetoli region) where major fault systems have not been recognised at the surface yet.

  9. A unique genomic sequence in the Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome [WHS] region of humans is conserved in the great apes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarzami, S T; Kringstein, A M; Conte, R A; Verma, R S

    1996-10-01

    The Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) is caused by a partial deletion in the short arm of chromosome 4 band 16.3 (4p 16.3). A unique-sequence human DNA probe (39 kb) localized within this region has been used to search for sequence homology in the apes' equivalent chromosome 3 by FISH-technique. The WHS loci are conserved in higher primates at the expected position. Nevertheless, a control probe, which detects alphoid sequences of the pericentromeric region of humans, is diverged in chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan. The conservation of WHS loci and divergence of DNA alphoid sequences have further added to the controversy concerning human descent.

  10. Prey preferences of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia: regional diet specificity holds global significance for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Salvador Lyngdoh

    Full Text Available The endangered snow leopard is a large felid that is distributed over 1.83 million km(2 globally. Throughout its range it relies on a limited number of prey species in some of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet where high rates of human persecution exist for both predator and prey. We reviewed 14 published and 11 unpublished studies pertaining to snow leopard diet throughout its range. We calculated prey consumption in terms of frequency of occurrence and biomass consumed based on 1696 analysed scats from throughout the snow leopard's range. Prey biomass consumed was calculated based on the Ackerman's linear correction factor. We identified four distinct physiographic and snow leopard prey type zones, using cluster analysis that had unique prey assemblages and had key prey characteristics which supported snow leopard occurrence there. Levin's index showed the snow leopard had a specialized dietary niche breadth. The main prey of the snow leopard were Siberian ibex (Capra sibrica, blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur, Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus, argali (Ovis ammon and marmots (Marmota spp. The significantly preferred prey species of snow leopard weighed 55±5 kg, while the preferred prey weight range of snow leopard was 36-76 kg with a significant preference for Siberian ibex and blue sheep. Our meta-analysis identified critical dietary resources for snow leopards throughout their distribution and illustrates the importance of understanding regional variation in species ecology; particularly prey species that have global implications for conservation.

  11. Prey preferences of the snow leopard (Panthera uncia): regional diet specificity holds global significance for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyngdoh, Salvador; Shrotriya, Shivam; Goyal, Surendra P; Clements, Hayley; Hayward, Matthew W; Habib, Bilal

    2014-01-01

    The endangered snow leopard is a large felid that is distributed over 1.83 million km(2) globally. Throughout its range it relies on a limited number of prey species in some of the most inhospitable landscapes on the planet where high rates of human persecution exist for both predator and prey. We reviewed 14 published and 11 unpublished studies pertaining to snow leopard diet throughout its range. We calculated prey consumption in terms of frequency of occurrence and biomass consumed based on 1696 analysed scats from throughout the snow leopard's range. Prey biomass consumed was calculated based on the Ackerman's linear correction factor. We identified four distinct physiographic and snow leopard prey type zones, using cluster analysis that had unique prey assemblages and had key prey characteristics which supported snow leopard occurrence there. Levin's index showed the snow leopard had a specialized dietary niche breadth. The main prey of the snow leopard were Siberian ibex (Capra sibrica), blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur), Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), argali (Ovis ammon) and marmots (Marmota spp). The significantly preferred prey species of snow leopard weighed 55±5 kg, while the preferred prey weight range of snow leopard was 36-76 kg with a significant preference for Siberian ibex and blue sheep. Our meta-analysis identified critical dietary resources for snow leopards throughout their distribution and illustrates the importance of understanding regional variation in species ecology; particularly prey species that have global implications for conservation.

  12. Evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Performance of 12 DIR algorithms in low-contrast regions for mass and density conserving deformation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yeo, U. J.; Supple, J. R.; Franich, R. D.; Taylor, M. L.; Smith, R.; Kron, T.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: Deformable image registration (DIR) has become a key tool for adaptive radiotherapy to account for inter- and intrafraction organ deformation. Of contemporary interest, the application to deformable dose accumulation requires accurate deformation even in low contrast regions where dose gradients may exist within near-uniform tissues. One expects high-contrast features to generally be deformed more accurately by DIR algorithms. The authors systematically assess the accuracy of 12 DIR algorithms and quantitatively examine, in particular, low-contrast regions, where accuracy has not previously been established.Methods: This work investigates DIR algorithms in three dimensions using deformable gel (DEFGEL) [U. J. Yeo, M. L. Taylor, L. Dunn, R. L. Smith, T. Kron, and R. D. Franich, “A novel methodology for 3D deformable dosimetry,” Med. Phys. 39, 2203–2213 (2012)], for application to mass- and density-conserving deformations. CT images of DEFGEL phantoms with 16 fiducial markers (FMs) implanted were acquired in deformed and undeformed states for three different representative deformation geometries. Nonrigid image registration was performed using 12 common algorithms in the public domain. The optimum parameter setup was identified for each algorithm and each was tested for deformation accuracy in three scenarios: (I) original images of the DEFGEL with 16 FMs; (II) images with eight of the FMs mathematically erased; and (III) images with all FMs mathematically erased. The deformation vector fields obtained for scenarios II and III were then applied to the original images containing all 16 FMs. The locations of the FMs estimated by the algorithms were compared to actual locations determined by CT imaging. The accuracy of the algorithms was assessed by evaluation of three-dimensional vectors between true marker locations and predicted marker locations.Results: The mean magnitude of 16 error vectors per sample ranged from 0.3 to 3.7, 1.0 to 6.3, and 1.3 to 7

  14. Species of conservation concern and environmental stressors: Local regional and global effects [Chapter 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven M. Ostoja; Mathew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers; Burton K. Pendleton

    2013-01-01

    Species conservation has traditionally been based on individual species within the context of their requisite habitat, which is generally defined as the communities and ecosystems deemed necessary for their persistence. Conservation decisions are hampered by the fact that environmental stressors that potentially threaten the persistence of species can operate at...

  15. Evolutionary Nephrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevalier, Robert L

    2017-05-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) occupies montane environments throughout western North America, where it is both an ecologically and economically important tree species. A recent study using mitochondrial DNA analysis demonstrated substantial genetic variation among ponderosa pine populations in the western U.S., identifying 10 haplotypes with unique evolutionary lineages that generally correspond spatially with distributions of the Pacific (P. p. var. ponderosa) and Rocky ...

  17. 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...

  18. RNA expression in a cartilaginous fish cell line reveals ancient 3′ noncoding regions highly conserved in vertebrates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forest, David; Nishikawa, Ryuhei; Kobayashi, Hiroshi; Parton, Angela; Bayne, Christopher J.; Barnes, David W.

    2007-01-01

    We have established a cartilaginous fish cell line [Squalus acanthias embryo cell line (SAE)], a mesenchymal stem cell line derived from the embryo of an elasmobranch, the spiny dogfish shark S. acanthias. Elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) first appeared >400 million years ago, and existing species provide useful models for comparative vertebrate cell biology, physiology, and genomics. Comparative vertebrate genomics among evolutionarily distant organisms can provide sequence conservation information that facilitates identification of critical coding and noncoding regions. Although these genomic analyses are informative, experimental verification of functions of genomic sequences depends heavily on cell culture approaches. Using ESTs defining mRNAs derived from the SAE cell line, we identified lengthy and highly conserved gene-specific nucleotide sequences in the noncoding 3′ UTRs of eight genes involved in the regulation of cell growth and proliferation. Conserved noncoding 3′ mRNA regions detected by using the shark nucleotide sequences as a starting point were found in a range of other vertebrate orders, including bony fish, birds, amphibians, and mammals. Nucleotide identity of shark and human in these regions was remarkably well conserved. Our results indicate that highly conserved gene sequences dating from the appearance of jawed vertebrates and representing potential cis-regulatory elements can be identified through the use of cartilaginous fish as a baseline. Because the expression of genes in the SAE cell line was prerequisite for their identification, this cartilaginous fish culture system also provides a physiologically valid tool to test functional hypotheses on the role of these ancient conserved sequences in comparative cell biology. PMID:17227856

  19. Management of the Regional Lymph Nodes Following Breast-Conservation Therapy for Early-Stage Breast Cancer: An Evolving Paradigm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Warren, Laura E.G. [Harvard Radiation Oncology Program, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Punglia, Rinaa S.; Wong, Julia S. [Department of Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women' s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts (United States); Bellon, Jennifer R., E-mail: jbellon@lroc.harvard.edu [Department of Radiation Oncology, Brigham and Women' s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts (United States)

    2014-11-15

    Radiation therapy to the breast following breast conservation surgery has been the standard of care since randomized trials demonstrated equivalent survival compared to mastectomy and improved local control and survival compared to breast conservation surgery alone. Recent controversies regarding adjuvant radiation therapy have included the potential role of additional radiation to the regional lymph nodes. This review summarizes the evolution of regional nodal management focusing on 2 topics: first, the changing paradigm with regard to surgical evaluation of the axilla; second, the role for regional lymph node irradiation and optimal design of treatment fields. Contemporary data reaffirm prior studies showing that complete axillary dissection may not provide additional benefit relative to sentinel lymph node biopsy in select patient populations. Preliminary data also suggest that directed nodal radiation therapy to the supraclavicular and internal mammary lymph nodes may prove beneficial; publication of several studies are awaited to confirm these results and to help define subgroups with the greatest likelihood of benefit.

  20. DisoMCS: Accurately Predicting Protein Intrinsically Disordered Regions Using a Multi-Class Conservative Score Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiheng Wang

    Full Text Available The precise prediction of protein intrinsically disordered regions, which play a crucial role in biological procedures, is a necessary prerequisite to further the understanding of the principles and mechanisms of protein function. Here, we propose a novel predictor, DisoMCS, which is a more accurate predictor of protein intrinsically disordered regions. The DisoMCS bases on an original multi-class conservative score (MCS obtained by sequence-order/disorder alignment. Initially, near-disorder regions are defined on fragments located at both the terminus of an ordered region connecting a disordered region. Then the multi-class conservative score is generated by sequence alignment against a known structure database and represented as order, near-disorder and disorder conservative scores. The MCS of each amino acid has three elements: order, near-disorder and disorder profiles. Finally, the MCS is exploited as features to identify disordered regions in sequences. DisoMCS utilizes a non-redundant data set as the training set, MCS and predicted secondary structure as features, and a conditional random field as the classification algorithm. In predicted near-disorder regions a residue is determined as an order or a disorder according to the optimized decision threshold. DisoMCS was evaluated by cross-validation, large-scale prediction, independent tests and CASP (Critical Assessment of Techniques for Protein Structure Prediction tests. All results confirmed that DisoMCS was very competitive in terms of accuracy of prediction when compared with well-established publicly available disordered region predictors. It also indicated our approach was more accurate when a query has higher homologous with the knowledge database.The DisoMCS is available at http://cal.tongji.edu.cn/disorder/.

  1. Quantifying the National Significance of Local Areas for Regional Conservation Planning: North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Travis Belote

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Conservation scientists recognize that additional protected areas are needed to maintain biological diversity and ecological processes. As regional conservation planners embark on recommending additional areas for protection in formal ecological reserves, it is important to evaluate candidate lands for their role in building a resilient protected areas system of the future. Here, we evaluate North Carolina’s Mountain Treasures with respect to their (1 ecological integrity, (2 role in connecting existing core protected areas, (3 potential to diversify the ecosystem representation of reserves, and (4 role in maintaining hotspots of biologically-rich areas that are not well protected. Mountain Treasures represent a citizen inventory of roadless areas and serve as candidates for elevated levels of conservation protection on U.S. federal lands. We compared Mountain Treasures to other candidate lands throughout the country to evaluate their potential national significance. While the Mountain Treasures tended to be more impacted by human modifications than other roadless areas, they are as important as other roadless areas with respect to their role in connecting existing protected areas and diversifying representation of ecosystems in conservation reserves. However, Mountain Treasures tended to have a much higher biodiversity priority index than other roadless areas leading to an overall higher composite score compared to other roadless areas. Our analysis serves as an example of how using broad-scale datasets can help conservation planners assess the national significance of local areas.

  2. A Regional Assessment of the Effects of Conservation Practices on In-stream Water Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, A. M.; Alexander, R. B.; Arnold, J.; Norfleet, L.; Robertson, D. M.; White, M.

    2011-12-01

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Program (CEAP), initiated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), has the goal of quantifying the environmental benefits of agricultural conservation practices. As part of this effort, detailed farmer surveys were compiled to document the adoption of conservation practices. Survey data showed that up to 38 percent of cropland in the Upper Mississippi River basin is managed to reduce sediment, nutrient and pesticide loads from agricultural activities. The broader effects of these practices on downstream water quality are challenging to quantify. The USDA-NRCS recently reported results of a study that combined farmer surveys with process-based models to deduce the effect of conservation practices on sediment and chemical loads in farm runoff and downstream waters. As a follow-up collaboration, USGS and USDA scientists conducted a semi-empirical assessment of the same suite of practices using the USGS SPARROW (SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes) modeling framework. SPARROW is a hybrid statistical and mechanistic stream water quality model of annual conditions that has been used extensively in studies of nutrient sources and delivery. In this assessment, the USDA simulations of the effects of conservation practices on loads in farm runoff were used as an explanatory variable (i.e., change in farm loads per unit area) in a component of an existing a SPARROW model of the Upper Midwest. The model was then re-calibrated and tested to determine whether the USDA estimate of conservation adoption intensity explained a statistically significant proportion of the spatial variability in stream nutrient loads in the Upper Mississippi River basin. The results showed that the suite of conservation practices that NRCS has catalogued as complete nutrient and sediment management are a statistically significant feature in the Midwestern landscape associated with phosphorous runoff and delivery to downstream waters

  3. Improving spatial prioritisation for remote marine regions: optimising biodiversity conservation and sustainable development trade-offs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Cordelia H.; Radford, Ben T.; Possingham, Hugh P.; Heyward, Andrew J.; Stewart, Romola R.; Watts, Matthew E.; Prescott, Jim; Newman, Stephen J.; Harvey, Euan S.; Fisher, Rebecca; Bryce, Clay W.; Lowe, Ryan J.; Berry, Oliver; Espinosa-Gayosso, Alexis; Sporer, Errol; Saunders, Thor

    2016-08-01

    Creating large conservation zones in remote areas, with less intense stakeholder overlap and limited environmental information, requires periodic review to ensure zonation mitigates primary threats and fill gaps in representation, while achieving conservation targets. Follow-up reviews can utilise improved methods and data, potentially identifying new planning options yielding a desirable balance between stakeholder interests. This research explored a marine zoning system in north-west Australia-a biodiverse area with poorly documented biota. Although remote, it is economically significant (i.e. petroleum extraction and fishing). Stakeholder engagement was used to source the best available biodiversity and socio-economic data and advanced spatial analyses produced 765 high resolution data layers, including 674 species distributions representing 119 families. Gap analysis revealed the current proposed zoning system as inadequate, with 98.2% of species below the Convention on Biological Diversity 10% representation targets. A systematic conservation planning algorithm Maxan provided zoning options to meet representation targets while balancing this with industry interests. Resulting scenarios revealed that conservation targets could be met with minimal impacts on petroleum and fishing industries, with estimated losses of 4.9% and 7.2% respectively. The approach addressed important knowledge gaps and provided a powerful and transparent method to reconcile industry interests with marine conservation.

  4. AlignMiner: a Web-based tool for detection of divergent regions in multiple sequence alignments of conserved sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claros M Gonzalo

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Multiple sequence alignments are used to study gene or protein function, phylogenetic relations, genome evolution hypotheses and even gene polymorphisms. Virtually without exception, all available tools focus on conserved segments or residues. Small divergent regions, however, are biologically important for specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction, genotyping, molecular markers and preparation of specific antibodies, and yet have received little attention. As a consequence, they must be selected empirically by the researcher. AlignMiner has been developed to fill this gap in bioinformatic analyses. Results AlignMiner is a Web-based application for detection of conserved and divergent regions in alignments of conserved sequences, focusing particularly on divergence. It accepts alignments (protein or nucleic acid obtained using any of a variety of algorithms, which does not appear to have a significant impact on the final results. AlignMiner uses different scoring methods for assessing conserved/divergent regions, Entropy being the method that provides the highest number of regions with the greatest length, and Weighted being the most restrictive. Conserved/divergent regions can be generated either with respect to the consensus sequence or to one master sequence. The resulting data are presented in a graphical interface developed in AJAX, which provides remarkable user interaction capabilities. Users do not need to wait until execution is complete and can.even inspect their results on a different computer. Data can be downloaded onto a user disk, in standard formats. In silico and experimental proof-of-concept cases have shown that AlignMiner can be successfully used to designing specific polymerase chain reaction primers as well as potential epitopes for antibodies. Primer design is assisted by a module that deploys several oligonucleotide parameters for designing primers "on the fly". Conclusions AlignMiner can be used

  5. Evolutionary Nephrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Chevalier

    2017-05-01

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

  6. Structure-sequence based analysis for identification of conserved regions in proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zemla, Adam T; Zhou, Carol E; Lam, Marisa W; Smith, Jason R; Pardes, Elizabeth

    2013-05-28

    Disclosed are computational methods, and associated hardware and software products for scoring conservation in a protein structure based on a computationally identified family or cluster of protein structures. A method of computationally identifying a family or cluster of protein structures in also disclosed herein.

  7. Aligning conservation goals: are patterns of species richness and endemism concordant at regional scales?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ricketts, T. H.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Biodiversity conservation strategies commonly target areas of high species richness and/or high endemism. However, the correlation between richness and endemism at scales relevant to conservation is unclear; these two common goals of conservation plans may therefore be in conflict. Here the spatial concordance between richness and endemism is tested using five taxa in North America: butterflies, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. This concordance is also tested using overall indices of richness and endemism (incorporating all five taxa. For all taxa except birds, richness and endemism were significantly correlated, with amphibians, reptiles, and the overall indices showing the highest correlations (rs = 0.527-0.676. However, 'priority sets' of ecoregions (i.e., the top 10% of ecoregions based on richness generally overlapped poorly with those based on endemism (< 50% overlap for all but reptiles. These results offer only limited support for the idea that richness and endemism are correlated at broad scales and indicate that land managers will need to balance these dual, and often conflicting, goals of biodiversity conservation.

  8. Evolutionary thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Evolutionary Demography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levitis, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    of biological and cultural evolution. Demographic variation within and among human populations is influenced by our biology, and therefore by natural selection and our evolutionary background. Demographic methods are necessary for studying populations of other species, and for quantifying evolutionary fitness......Demography is the quantitative study of population processes, while evolution is a population process that influences all aspects of biological organisms, including their demography. Demographic traits common to all human populations are the products of biological evolution or the interaction...

  10. Predicting 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

  11. Differences in neurogenesis differentiate between core and shell regions of auditory nuclei in the turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis): evolutionary implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Shao-Ju; Xi, Chao; Zhang, Xin-Wen; Zuo, Ming-Xue

    2007-01-01

    There is a clear core-versus-shell distinction in cytoarchitecture, electrophysiological properties and neural connections in the mesencephalic and diencephalic auditory nuclei of amniotes. Determining whether the embryogenesis of auditory nuclei shows a similar organization is helpful for further understanding the constituent organization and evolution of auditory nuclei. Therefore in the present study, we injected [(3)H]-thymidine into turtle embryos (Pelodiscus sinensis) at various stages of development. Upon hatching, [(3)H]-thymidine labeling was examined in both the core and shell auditory regions in the midbrain, diencephalon and dorsal ventricular ridge. Met-enkephalin and substance P immunohistochemistry was used to distinguish the core and shell regions. In the mesencephalic auditory nucleus, the occurrence of heavily labeled neurons in the nucleus centralis of the torus semicircularis reached its peak at embryonic day 9, one day later than the surrounding shell. In the diencephalic auditory nucleus, the production of heavily labeled neurons in the central region of the reuniens (Re) was highest at embryonic day (E) 8, one day later than that in the shell region of reuniens. In the region of the dorsal ventricular ridge that received inputs from the central region of Re, the appearance of heavily labeled neurons also reached a peak one day later than that in the area receiving inputs from the shell region of reuniens. Thus, there is a core-versus-shell organization of neuronal generation in reptilian auditory areas. Copyright (c) 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  12. Possible conservation units of the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) in Sarawak based on variation of mtDNA control region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onuma, Manabu; Suzuki, Masatsugu; Ohtaishi, Noriyuki

    2006-11-01

    The mitochondrial DNA control region of the sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) was sequenced using 21 DNA samples collected from confiscated sun bears to identify conservation units, such as evolutionarily significant units and management units, in Sarawak, Borneo Island. A total of 10 haplotypes were observed, indicating the presence of at least two lineages in the sun bear population in Sarawak. Presumably, these two lineages could represent evolutionarily significant units. However, the geographical distributions of the two lineages remained unknown due to the lack of information regarding the exact capture locations of the confiscated sun bears. It is essential to elucidate the geographical distributions of these lineages in order to create a proper conservation plan for the sun bears in Sarawak. Therefore, further studies examining the haplotype distributions using DNA samples from known localities are essential.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxim N. Krot

    2015-06-01

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

  15. The Neutron-Moisture Meter in Studies of the Effect of Fallow on Water Conservation in Arid Regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oezbek, Nurinnisa; Aksoy, Tevfik; Celebi, Gurkan [Radiophysiology and Soil Fertility Department, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ankara, Ankara (Turkey)

    1967-11-15

    For a long time it has been a common practice for the Central Anatolian farmers to leave half the land fallow the whole year in order to increase the amount of water conserved. The main object of these studies was to ascertain whether fallow has an effect on moisture conservation in soils of this region and if so what was its degree of efficiency on a yearly basis. In view of the intensity and distribution of rainfall Ankara, Konya and Eski$ehir were selected for moisture-measurement areas. Altogether 60 holes were dug and 60 access tubes were used for moisture measurements by a neutron- moisture meter, and they were placed at six different locations on either state farms or a dry-farming experimental station. In each location the first group of access tubes were placed in fallow soil, the second in a wheat field and the third in a wheat field after harvest. Each treatment had three replicates. In all holes the moisture measurements were made at five different depths at intervals of either 15 days or one month. At the beginning of the moisture measurements a separate calibration curve was prepared for each location and for each treatment. The measurements were begun in 1964 and are continuing, but with some variations in the sampling technique. Some physical properties of the soils that were sampled from measurement areas, such as texture, field capacity and wilting point, were determined. Some bulk-density measurements were also made by gamma-ray transmission. The results obtained are averaged and illustrated in tables and figures. Necessary calculations and comparisons were made to show the efficiency of the fallow system in the moisture conservation in this dry soil. The results can be summarized as follows: (1) The total amount of water conserved in the soil down to a depth of 1.80 cm was higher in fallow soil than in the other two cases. This was true for all locations over a period of two years. (2) The amounts of water conserved by the effect of fallow

  16. Molecular studies of Callithrix pygmaea (Primates, Platyrrhini based on transferrin intronic and ND1 regions: implications for taxonomy and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tagliaro Claudia Helena

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Traditional classifications of Platyrrhini monkeys, based mainly on morphological features, are being contested by recent molecular data. The subfamily Callitrichinae (Platyrrhini, Primates consists of a diverse group of species, many of them considered endangered. Our analysis of two DNA regions, a mtDNA gene (ND1 and a nuclear gene (intronic regions of the transferrin gene, suggests that Callithrix pygmaea may have sufficient variability to justify the existence of subspecies or even separate species. Phylogenetic dendrograms based on the ND1 region show that this species is more closely related to Amazonian than to Atlantic forest marmosets. These results reopen the discussion about diversity and conservation programs based exclusively on traditional classifications.

  17. A computational method for identification of vaccine targets from protein regions of conserved human leukocyte antigen binding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Lars Rønn; Simon, Christian; Kudahl, Ulrich J.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Computational methods for T cell-based vaccine target discovery focus on selection of highly conserved peptides identified across pathogen variants, followed by prediction of their binding of human leukocyte antigen molecules. However, experimental studies have shown that T cells often...... target diverse regions in highly variable viral pathogens and this diversity may need to be addressed through redefinition of suitable peptide targets. Methods: We have developed a method for antigen assessment and target selection for polyvalent vaccines, with which we identified immune epitopes from...... variable regions, where all variants bind HLA. These regions, although variable, can thus be considered stable in terms of HLA binding and represent valuable vaccine targets. Results: We applied this method to predict CD8+ T-cell targets in influenza A H7N9 hemagglutinin and significantly increased...

  18. Computational modeling of Repeat1 region of INI1/hSNF5: An evolutionary link with ubiquitin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhutoria, Savita

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The structure of a protein can be very informative of its function. However, determining protein structures experimentally can often be very challenging. Computational methods have been used successfully in modeling structures with sufficient accuracy. Here we have used computational tools to predict the structure of an evolutionarily conserved and functionally significant domain of Integrase interactor (INI)1/hSNF5 protein. INI1 is a component of the chromatin remodeling SWI/SNF complex, a tumor suppressor and is involved in many protein‐protein interactions. It belongs to SNF5 family of proteins that contain two conserved repeat (Rpt) domains. Rpt1 domain of INI1 binds to HIV‐1 Integrase, and acts as a dominant negative mutant to inhibit viral replication. Rpt1 domain also interacts with oncogene c‐MYC and modulates its transcriptional activity. We carried out an ab initio modeling of a segment of INI1 protein containing the Rpt1 domain. The structural model suggested the presence of a compact and well defined ββαα topology as core structure in the Rpt1 domain of INI1. This topology in Rpt1 was similar to PFU domain of Phospholipase A2 Activating Protein, PLAA. Interestingly, PFU domain shares similarity with Ubiquitin and has ubiquitin binding activity. Because of the structural similarity between Rpt1 domain of INI1 and PFU domain of PLAA, we propose that Rpt1 domain of INI1 may participate in ubiquitin recognition or binding with ubiquitin or ubiquitin related proteins. This modeling study may shed light on the mode of interactions of Rpt1 domain of INI1 and is likely to facilitate future functional studies of INI1. PMID:27261671

  19. Evolutionary Expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, Ulrik William

    2014-01-01

    , they are correlated among people who share environments because these individuals satisfice within their cognitive bounds by using cues in order of validity, as opposed to using cues arbitrarily. Any difference in expectations thereby arise from differences in cognitive ability, because two individuals with identical...... cognitive bounds will perceive business opportunities identically. In addition, because cues provide information about latent causal structures of the environment, changes in causality must be accompanied by changes in cognitive representations if adaptation is to be maintained. The concept of evolutionary......The concept of evolutionary expectations descends from cue learning psychology, synthesizing ideas on rational expectations with ideas on bounded rationality, to provide support for these ideas simultaneously. Evolutionary expectations are rational, but within cognitive bounds. Moreover...

  20. [Evolutionary medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wjst, M

    2013-12-01

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

  1. Evolutionary Awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Gorelik

    2014-10-01

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

  2. Marginal/peripheral populations of forest tree species and their conservation status: report for Atlantic region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin T. Kelleher

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available This report is a synthesis of information from the national reports, prepared as part of the COST Action FP1202 Strengthening conservation: a key issue for adaptation of marginal/peripheral populations of forest trees to climate change in Europe (MaPFGR. The individual national reports can be found as part of the supplemental data to the COST action. The data compiled in this report indicate that the Atlantic area has sufficient resources in terms of knowledge and capacity to assess the potential impact of climate change on marginal and peripheral (MaP sites within the area. Maps of vegetation, soil, climate and climatic predictions are publicly available for most countries and often are of high quality and resolution. These can be utilized to help identify MaP sites and populations in the Atlantic area. In addition, some species have been characterized genetically and the genetic data can also be utilized to identify and characterize sites. However, genetic data is not universally available and in particular may be absent for peripheral sites. There are many data sources for phenotypic traits, such as data from provenance trials but these have not been assessed for MaP populations. There may not be sufficient legislative capacity for the conservation of MaP populations in comparison to, for example, annex habitats of the EU Habitats Directive. Although some of the MaP sites lie within Natura 2000 boundaries, many are not in protected areas. If MaP populations are not characterized and conserved there is a risk of losing traits that may be of potential in adaptation to climate change. A detailed spatial analysis incorporating all of the data is needed to give a comprehensive assessment of the potential threats to MaP populations in this area.

  3. Conservation of Repeats at the Mammalian KCNQ1OT1-CDKN1C Region Suggests a Role in Genomic Imprinting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos De Donato

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available KCNQ1OT1 is located in the region with the highest number of genes showing genomic imprinting, but the mechanisms controlling the genes under its influence have not been fully elucidated. Therefore, we conducted a comparative analysis of the KCNQ1/KCNQ1OT1-CDKN1C region to study its conservation across the best assembled eutherian mammalian genomes sequenced to date and analyzed potential elements that may be implicated in the control of genomic imprinting in this region. The genomic features in these regions from human, mouse, cattle, and dog show a higher number of genes and CpG islands (detected using cpgplot from EMBOSS, but lower number of repetitive elements (including short interspersed nuclear elements and long interspersed nuclear elements, compared with their whole chromosomes (detected by RepeatMasker. The KCNQ1OT1-CDKN1C region contains the highest number of conserved noncoding sequences (CNS among mammals, where we found 16 regions containing about 38 different highly conserved repetitive elements (using mVista, such as LINE1 elements: L1M4, L1MB7, HAL1, L1M4a, L1Med, and an LTR element: MLT1H. From these elements, we found 74 CNS showing high sequence identity (>70% between human, cattle, and mouse, from which we identified 13 motifs (using Multiple Em for Motif Elicitation/Motif Alignment and Search Tool with a significant probability of occurrence, 3 of which were the most frequent and were used to find transcription factor–binding sites. We detected several transcription factors (using JASPAR suite from the families SOX, FOX, and GATA. A phylogenetic analysis of these CNS from human, marmoset, mouse, rat, cattle, dog, horse, and elephant shows branches with high levels of support and very similar phylogenetic relationships among these groups, confirming previous reports. Our results suggest that functional DNA elements identified by comparative genomics in a region densely populated with imprinted mammalian genes may be

  4. Using regional bird density distribution models to evaluate protected area networks and inform conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    John D. Alexander; Jaime L. Stephens; Sam Veloz; Leo Salas; Josée S. Rousseau; C. John Ralph; Daniel A. Sarr

    2017-01-01

    As data about populations of indicator species become available, proactive strategies that improve representation of biological diversity within protected area networks should consider finer-scaled evaluations, especially in regions identified as important through course-scale analyses. We use density distribution models derived from a robust regional bird...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PATRICIA DELGADO

    2002-03-01

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

  7. The non-conserved region of MRP is involved in the virulence of Streptococcus suis serotype 2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Quan; Fu, Yang; Ma, Caifeng; He, Yanan; Yu, Yanfei; Du, Dechao; Yao, Huochun; Lu, Chengping; Zhang, Wei

    2017-10-03

    Muramidase-released protein (MRP) of Streptococcus suis serotype 2 (SS2) is an important epidemic virulence marker with an unclear role in bacterial infection. To investigate the biologic functions of MRP, 3 mutants named Δmrp, Δmrp domain 1 (Δmrp-d1), and Δmrp domain 2 (Δmrp-d2) were constructed to assess the phenotypic changes between the parental strain and the mutant strains. The results indicated that MRP domain 1 (MRP-D1, the non-conserved region of MRP from a virulent strain, a.a. 242-596) played a critical role in adherence of SS2 to host cells, compared with MRP domain 1* (MRP-D1*, the non-conserved region of MRP from a low virulent strain, a.a. 239-598) or MRP domain 2 (MRP-D2, the conserved region of MRP, a.a. 848-1222). We found that MRP-D1 but not MRP-D2, could bind specifically to fibronectin (FN), factor H (FH), fibrinogen (FG), and immunoglobulin G (IgG). Additionally, we confirmed that mrp-d1 mutation significantly inhibited bacteremia and brain invasion in a mouse infection model. The mrp-d1 mutation also attenuated the intracellular survival of SS2 in RAW246.7 macrophages, shortened the growth ability in pig blood and decreased the virulence of SS2 in BALB/c mice. Furthermore, antiserum against MRP-D1 was found to dramatically impede SS2 survival in pig blood. Finally, immunization with recombinant MRP-D1 efficiently enhanced murine viability after SS2 challenge, indicating its potential use in vaccination strategies. Collectively, these results indicated that MRP-D1 is involved in SS2 virulence and eloquently demonstrate the function of MRP in pathogenesis of infection.

  8. Tripartite Evolutionary Game Analysis on Selection Behavior of Trans-Regional Hospitals and Patients in Telemedicine System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuxuan Gao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This study applies the game theory to the discussion and analysis of trans-regional Telemedicine System, builds the game model of the selection strategies of trans-regional hospitals and patients and analyzes evolving paths, equilibrium states and influencing factors of the three parties. It is derived that medical insurance reimbursement proportion of specialized hospitals, government support for general hospitals and medical expenses in specialized hospitals, operating costs of general hospitals are the influential factors in the Telemedicine System. Finally, a numerical stimulation is conducted with Matlapb based on the data from ligChina Health and Family Planning Statistical Yearbook 2015l/ig.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Strauß

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  11. Bactericidal activity of M protein conserved region antibodies against group A streptococcal isolates from the Northern Thai population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pruksachatkunakorn Chulabhorn

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Most group A streptococcal (GAS vaccine strategies have focused on the surface M protein, a major virulence factor of GAS. The amino-terminus of the M protein elicits antibodies, that are both opsonic and protective, but which are type specific. J14, a chimeric peptide that contains 14 amino acids from the M protein conserved C-region at the carboxy-terminus, offers the possibility of a vaccine which will elicit protective opsonic antibodies against multiple different GAS strains. In this study, we searched for J14 and J14-like sequences and the number of their repeats in the C-region of the M protein from GAS strains isolated from the Northern Thai population. Then, we examined the bactericidal activity of J14, J14.1, J14-R1 and J14-R2 antisera against multiple Thai GAS strains. Results The emm genes of GAS isolates were sequenced and grouped as 14 different J14-types. The most diversity of J14-types was found in the C1-repeat. The J14.1 type was the major sequence in the C2 and C3-repeats. We have shown that antisera raised against the M protein conserved C-repeat region peptides, J14, J14.1, J14-R1 and J14-R2, commonly found in GAS isolates from the Northern Thai population, are able to kill GAS of multiple different emm types derived from an endemic area. The mean percent of bactericidal activities for all J14 and J14-like peptide antisera against GAS isolates were more than 70%. The mean percent of bactericidal activity was highest for J14 antisera followed by J14-R2, J14.1 and J14-R1 antisera. Conclusion Our study demonstrated that antisera raised against the M protein conserved C-repeat region are able to kill multiple different strains of GAS isolated from the Northern Thai population. Therefore, the four conserved "J14" peptides have the potential to be used as GAS vaccine candidates to prevent streptococcal infections in an endemic area.

  12. Evolutionary robotics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    In evolutionary robotics, a suitable robot control system is developed automatically through evolution due to the interactions between the robot and its environment. It is a complicated task, as the robot and the environment constitute a highly dynamical system. Several methods have been tried by various investigators to ...

  13. Diversity and distribution of aquatic insects in Southern Brazil wetlands: implications for biodiversity conservation in a Neotropical region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Maltchik

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The selection of priority areas is an enormous challenge for biodiversity conservation. Some biogeographic methods have been used to identify the priority areas to conservation, and panbiogeography is one of them. This study aimed at the utilization of panbiogeographic tools, to identify the distribution patterns of aquatic insect genera, in wetland systems of an extensive area in the Neotropical region (~280 000km², and to compare the distribution of the biogeographic units identified by the aquatic insects, with the conservation units of Southern Brazil. We analyzed the distribution pattern of 82 genera distributed in four orders of aquatic insects (Diptera, Odonata, Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera in Southern Brazil wetlands. Therefore, 32 biogeographic nodes corresponded to the priority areas for conservation of the aquatic insect diversity. Among this total, 13 were located in the Atlantic Rainforest, 16 in the Pampa and three amongst both biomes. The distribution of nodes showed that only 15% of the dispersion centers of insects were inserted in conservation units. The four priority areas pointed by node cluster criterion must be considered in further inclusions of areas for biodiversity conservation in Southern Brazil wetlands, since such areas present species from differrent ancestral biota. The inclusion of such areas into the conservation units would be a strong way to conserve the aquatic biodiversity in this region.La selección de áreas prioritarias es un enorme desafío para la conservación de la biodiversidad. Métodos biogeográficos se han utilizado para identificar áreas prioritarias para la conservación, como la panbiogeografía. Este estudio tuvo como objetivo el empleo de herramientas panbiogeográficas, para identificar los patrones de distribución de los géneros de insectos acuáticos, en los sistemas de humedales de una extensa área de la región Neotropical (~280 000km², y así comparar la distribución de las

  14. Northwest power gamble: Washington utilities go for broke on nuclear; region's citizens make conservation bid

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brummer, J.

    1981-01-01

    The Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) is asking for a reactor construction moratorium in an effort to get fast relief from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), which is authorized to guarantee power purchases from new power plants. Supporters of nuclear power plants as well as those of the soft energy path are watching to see how BPA will handle its mandate against acquiring new thermal plants until conservation and renewable energy potentials are exhausted. BPA can subvert the Pacific Northwest Power Act with 20-year contracts based on conventional forecasts despite evidence that new plants are unneeded. There is also evidence that the public rejects the idea of a moral obligation to bail out nuclear power cost overruns at taxpayer expense. The negotiations involve not only WPPSS and BPA, but Moody's Investor Service and environmental groups

  15. Diversity, natural history and conservation of amphibians and reptiles from the San Vito Region, southwestern Costa Rica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesus; Mendoza-Quijano, Fernando; Bolaños, Federico; Cháves, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2008-06-01

    We present an inventory of the amphibians and reptiles of the San Vito de Coto Brus region, including the Las Cruces Biological Station, in southern Costa Rica, which is the result of a survey of the herpetofauna occurring in mountain forest fragments, pastures, coffee plantations, and other disturbed areas. We found 67 species, included 26 species of amphibians and of 41 of reptiles. We describe the distribution patterns of the community on the basis of the life zones, elevation, fragmentation, and degree of anthropogenic impact. We also provide some nouvelle data on the systematics of some select taxa, their geographical ranges, microhabitats, activity, and other relevant ecological and natural history features. Finally, we comment on the present conservation status of the herpetofauna in the region. Previous literature and collection records indicate a higher number of species occurring in this area, which suggests that some declines have occurred, especially of amphibians, in last decades.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Matern

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abhishek Kumar

    2015-06-01

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

  19. Conserved peptides within the E2 region of Hepatitis C virus induce humoral and cellular responses in goats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    El Shenawy Reem

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The reason(s why human antibodies raised against hepatitis C virus (HCV E2 epitopes do not offer protection against multiple viral infections may be related to either genetic variations among viral strains particularly within the hypervariable region-1 (HVR-1, low titers of anti E2 antibodies or interference of non neutralizing antibodies with the function of neutralizing antibodies. This study was designed to assess the immunogenic properties of genetically conserved peptides derived from the C-terminal region of HVR-1 as potential therapeutic and/or prophylactic vaccines against HCV infection. Goats immunized with E2-conserved synthetic peptides termed p36 (a.a 430–446, p37(a.a 517–531 and p38 (a.a 412–419 generated high titers of anti-p36, anti-p37 and anti-P38 antibody responses of which only anti- p37 and anti- p38 were neutralizing to HCV particles in sera from patients infected predominantly with genotype 4a. On the other hand anti-p36 exhibited weak viral neutralization capacity on the same samples. Animals super-immunized with single epitopes generated 2 to 4.5 fold higher titers than similar antibodies produced in chronic HCV patients. Also the studied peptides elicited approximately 3 fold increase in cell proliferation of specific antibody-secreting peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC from immunized goats. These results indicate that, besides E1 derived peptide p35 (a.a 315–323 described previously by this laboratory, E2 conserved peptides p37 and p38 represent essential components of a candidate peptide vaccine against HCV infection.

  20. Insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States—A regional synthesis to support biodiversity conservation in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartwright, Jennifer M.; Wolfe, William J.

    2016-08-11

    In the southeastern United States, insular ecosystems—such as rock outcrops, depression wetlands, high-elevation balds, flood-scoured riparian corridors, and insular prairies and barrens—occupy a small fraction of land area but constitute an important source of regional and global biodiversity, including concentrations of rare and endemic plant taxa. Maintenance of this biodiversity depends upon regimes of abiotic stress and disturbance, incorporating factors such as soil surface temperature, widely fluctuating hydrologic conditions, fires, flood scouring, and episodic droughts that may be subject to alteration by climate change. Over several decades, numerous localized, site-level investigations have yielded important information about the floristics, physical environments, and ecological dynamics of these insular ecosystems; however, the literature from these investigations has generally remained fragmented. This report consists of literature syntheses for eight categories of insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States, concerning (1) physical geography, (2) ecological determinants of community structures including vegetation dynamics and regimes of abiotic stress and disturbance, (3) contributions to regional and global biodiversity, (4) historical and current anthropogenic threats and conservation approaches, and (5) key knowledge gaps relevant to conservation, particularly in terms of climate-change effects on biodiversity. This regional synthesis was undertaken to discern patterns across ecosystems, identify knowledge gaps, and lay the groundwork for future analyses of climate-change vulnerability. Findings from this synthesis indicate that, despite their importance to regional and global biodiversity, insular ecosystems of the southeastern United States have been subjected to a variety of direct and indirect human alterations. In many cases, important questions remain concerning key determinants of ecosystem function. In particular, few

  1. Aspen in the Sierra Nevada: Regional conservation of a continental species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul C. Rogers; Wayne D. Shepperd; Dale L. Bartos

    2007-01-01

    Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) a common species in North America, is a minor species in the Sierra Nevada of California. However, the limited coverage of aspen in this area appears to carry a disproportionate biodiversity load: numerous species are dependent on the unique components of aspen forests habitat. Land managers in the region...

  2. Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Thomas M; Akçakaya, H Resit; Burgess, Neil D; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Kingston, Naomi; MacSharry, Brian; Parr, Mike; Perianin, Laurence; Regan, Eugenie C; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Rondinini, Carlo; Shennan-Farpon, Yara; Young, Bruce E

    2016-02-16

    Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird &Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments.

  3. 75 FR 59143 - Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; Regional Fishery Management Councils...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-27

    ... collection-of-information requirements contained in this rule may be submitted to Alan Risenhoover, Director... basis for salary of Council executive directors be put on par with that of NMFS Regional Administrators... broadened and clarified to include any income, grant, or other monetary or in-kind remuneration received by...

  4. Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Thomas M.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Burgess, Neil D.; Butchart, Stuart H.M.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Kingston, Naomi; MacSharry, Brian; Parr, Mike; Perianin, Laurence; Regan, Eugenie C.; Rodrigues, Ana S.L.; Rondinini, Carlo; Shennan-Farpon, Yara; Young, Bruce E.

    2016-01-01

    Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments. PMID:26881749

  5. An overview of the floristic richness and conservation of the arid regions of northern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Arriaga; Elizabeth Moreno; Claudia Aguilar

    2005-01-01

    The arid and semiarid regions of Northern Mexico harbor diverse, highly endemic, and geographically complex ecosystems. These share topographic and biogeographic similarities that can be used as an analytical framework to assess biodiversity patterns. This study presents the current status of vascular plant inventories for Mexican Aridamerica. The spatial distribution...

  6. Analysing biodiversity and conservation knowledge products to support regional environmental assessments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Thomas M.; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Burgess, Neil D.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Hoffmann, Michael; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Kingston, Naomi; Macsharry, Brian; Parr, Mike; Perianin, Laurence; Regan, Eugenie C.; Rodrigues, Ana S. L.; Rondinini, Carlo; Shennan-Farpon, Yara; Young, Bruce E.

    2016-02-01

    Two processes for regional environmental assessment are currently underway: the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) and Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Both face constraints of data, time, capacity, and resources. To support these assessments, we disaggregate three global knowledge products according to their regions and subregions. These products are: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, Key Biodiversity Areas (specifically Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas [IBAs], and Alliance for Zero Extinction [AZE] sites), and Protected Planet. We present fourteen Data citations: numbers of species occurring and percentages threatened; numbers of endemics and percentages threatened; downscaled Red List Indices for mammals, birds, and amphibians; numbers, mean sizes, and percentage coverages of IBAs and AZE sites; percentage coverage of land and sea by protected areas; and trends in percentages of IBAs and AZE sites wholly covered by protected areas. These data will inform the regional/subregional assessment chapters on the status of biodiversity, drivers of its decline, and institutional responses, and greatly facilitate comparability and consistency between the different regional/subregional assessments.

  7. Conservation of indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants of Western Himalayan region Rawalakot, Azad Kashmir, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hussain, Sajjad; Murtaza, Ghulam; Mehmood, Ansar; Qureshi, Rizwana Aleem

    2017-05-01

    The aim of present was to document indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants traditionally used by inhabitants of Rawalakot Azad Kashmir and to screen selected medicinal plants for their antibacterial potential. Several field surveys were conducted to document indigenous knowledge of medicinal plants through interviews from local inhabitants during 2010-2013. During the study, 58 plant species, belonging to 37 families, were identified and their medicinal uses were recorded. Ethnobotanical data indicates that inhabitants of Rawalakot use medicinal plant mainly for the treatment of stomach, liver and sexual disorders. Usually fresh plant materials were used for medicinal preparations and administrated orally. Among all the species studied, three most frequently used medicinal plants Achillea millefolium, Berberis lycium and Zanthoxylum armatum were screened for their antibacterial potential by using disc diffusion method. The crude aqueous, petroleum ether and ethanolic extracts were found to be very active against selected bacterial strains. The present study contributes significantly to the medicinal plant knowledge and shows that medicinal plant knowledge is deteriorating among younger generations. Therefore, further research is needed to document indigenous knowledge, to find conservation status of medicinal plant species and to find antimicrobial compounds for more sophisticated usage of medicinal plants in future.

  8. Evolutionary institutionalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürstenberg, Dr Kai

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

  9. Conservation of the primary structure, organization, and function of the human and mouse β-globin locus-activating regions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moon, A.M.; Ley, T.J.

    1990-01-01

    DNA sequences located in a region 6-18 kilobases (kb) upstream from the human ε-globin gene are known as the locus-activating region (LAR) or dominant control region. This region is thought to play a key role in chromatin organization of the β-like globin gene cluster during erythroid development. Since the human β-globin LAR is functional in mice, the authors reasoned that critical LAR sequence elements might be conserved between mice and humans. They therefore cloned murine genomic sequences homologous to one portion of the human LAR. They found that this murine DNA fragment (mouse LAR site II) and sequences homologous to human LAR sites I and III are located upstream from the mouse β-like globin gene cluster and determined that their locations relative to the cluster are similar to that of their human counterparts. The homologous site II sequences are 70% identical between mice and humans over a stretch of ∼800 base pairs. These results suggest that primary structural elements endash and the spatial organization of these elements endash are important for function of the β-globin LAR

  10. Conserved regional patterns of GABA-related transcript expression in the neocortex of subjects with schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Takanori; Bazmi, H Holly; Mirnics, Karoly; Wu, Qiang; Sampson, Allan R; Lewis, David A

    2008-04-01

    Individuals with schizophrenia exhibit disturbances in a number of cognitive, affective, sensory, and motor functions that depend on the circuitry of different cortical areas. The cognitive deficits associated with dysfunction of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex result, at least in part, from abnormalities in GABA neurotransmission, as reflected in a specific pattern of altered expression of GABA-related genes. Consequently, the authors sought to determine whether this pattern of altered gene expression is restricted to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex or could also contribute to the dysfunction of other cortical areas in subjects with schizophrenia. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction was used to assess the levels of eight GABA-related transcripts in four cortical areas (dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and primary motor and primary visual cortices) of subjects (N=12) with schizophrenia and matched normal comparison subjects. Expression levels of seven transcripts were lower in subjects with schizophrenia, with the magnitude of reduction for each transcript comparable across the four areas. The largest reductions were detected for mRNA encoding somatostatin and parvalbumin, followed by moderate decreases in mRNA expression for the 67-kilodalton isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase, the GABA membrane transporter GAT-1, and the alpha 1 and delta subunits of GABA(A) receptors. In contrast, the expression of calretinin mRNA did not differ between the subject groups in any of the four areas. Because the areas examined represent the major functional domains (e.g., association, limbic, motor, and sensory) of the cerebral cortex, our findings suggest that a conserved set of molecular alterations affecting GABA neurotransmission contribute to the pathophysiology of different clinical features of schizophrenia.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinning Gao

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Role of forest conservation in lessening land degradation in a temperate region: the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzo-Delgado, Lilia; López-García, José; Alcántara-Ayala, Irasema

    2014-06-01

    With international concern about the rates of deforestation worldwide, particular attention has been paid to Latin America. Forest conservation programmes in Mexico include Payment for Environmental Services (PES), a scheme that has been successfully introduced in the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. To seek further evidence of the role of PES in lessening land degradation processes in a temperate region, the conservation state of the Cerro Prieto ejido within the Reserve was assessed by an analysis of changes in vegetation cover and land-use between 1971 and 2013. There were no changes in the total forest surface area, but the relative proportions of the different classes of cover density had changed. In 1971, closed and semi-closed forest occupied 247.81 ha and 5.38 ha, 82.33% and 1.79% of the total area of the ejido, respectively. By 2013, closed forest had decreased to 230.38 ha (76.54% of the ejido), and semi-closed cover was 17.23 ha (5.72% of the ejido), suggesting that some semi-closed forest had achieved closed status. The final balance between forest losses and recovery was: 29.63 ha were lost, whereas 13.72 ha were recovered. Losses were mainly linked to a sanitation harvest programme to control the bark beetle Scolytus mundus. Ecotourism associated with forest conservation in the Cerro Prieto ejido has been considered by inhabitants as a focal alternative for economic development. Consequently, it is essential to develop a well-planned and solidly structured approach based on social cohesion to foster a community-led sustainable development at local level. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. An evolutionary rearrangement of the Xp11.3-11.23 region in 3p21.3, a region frequently deleted in a variety of cancers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Timmer, T; Terpstra, P; van den Berg, Anke; Veldhuis, PMJF; Ter Elst, A; van der Veen, AY; Kok, K; Naylor, SL; Buys, CHCM

    1999-01-01

    In searching for a tumor suppressor gene in the 3p21.3 region, we isolated two genes, RBM5 and RBM6. Sequence analysis indicated that these genes share similarity. RBM5 and-to a lesser extent-RBM6 also have similarity to DXS8237E at Xp11.3-11.23, which maps less than 20 kb upstream of UBE1. A

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Rice Cellulose SynthaseA8 Plant-Conserved Region Is a Coiled-Coil at the Catalytic Core Entrance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rushton, Phillip S.; Olek, Anna T.; Makowski, Lee; Badger, John; Steussy, C. Nicklaus; Carpita, Nicholas C.; Stauffacher, Cynthia V. (NEU); (Purdue)

    2016-11-22

    The crystallographic structure of a rice (Oryza sativa) cellulose synthase, OsCesA8, plant-conserved region (P-CR), one of two unique domains in the catalytic domain of plant CesAs, was solved to 2.4 Å resolution. Two antiparallel α-helices form a coiled-coil domain linked by a large extended connector loop containing a conserved trio of aromatic residues. The P-CR structure was fit into a molecular envelope for the P-CR domain derived from small-angle X-ray scattering data. The P-CR structure and molecular envelope, combined with a homology-based chain trace of the CesA8 catalytic core, were modeled into a previously determined CesA8 small-angle X-ray scattering molecular envelope to produce a detailed topological model of the CesA8 catalytic domain. The predicted position for the P-CR domain from the molecular docking models places the P-CR connector loop into a hydrophobic pocket of the catalytic core, with the coiled-coil aligned near the entrance of the substrate UDP-glucose into the active site. In this configuration, the P-CR coiled-coil alone is unlikely to regulate substrate access to the active site, but it could interact with other domains of CesA, accessory proteins, or other CesA catalytic domains to control substrate delivery.

  17. Mitigation and Compensation under EU Nature Conservation Law in the Flemish Region: Beyond the Deadlock for Development Projects?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendrik Schoukens

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available For years, the predicament of many of the European protected habitats and species in the Flemish Region, as in many other Member States, passed relatively unnoticed. The lack of proper rules and clear implementation rules fuelled the impression amongst project developers and planning authorities that the impacts of project developments on biodiversity did not really warrant closer assessment. However, in the past ten years, strict national case law has significantly altered this view. Faced with tighter judicial scrutiny, the Habitats and Birds Directives were seen as an important obstacle to project development. Hence mitigation and compensation have now come up as novel approaches to better align spatial aspirations with the conservation of nature. In reality, mitigation was often used as a cover-up for projects that would not fit the strict requirements enshrined in the derogatory clauses. Interestingly, the Belgian Council of State showed itself quite cautious in reasserting the lax view of some planning authorities on mitigation and compensation. In reviewing the legality of several new approaches to mitigation and compensation, the Belgian Council of State, which was initially very cautious in quashing decisions that would actually jeopardise major infrastructure developments, has rendered some compelling rulings on the specific application of mitigation and compensatory measures in a spatial planning context. By letting the objectives of EU nature conservation law prevail in the face of economic interests, the recent case law of the Belgian Council of State can be seen as a remarkable example of judicial environmental activism.

  18. Covalent protein modification with ISG15 via a conserved cysteine in the hinge region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronika N Bade

    Full Text Available The ubiquitin-like protein ISG15 (interferon-stimulated gene of 15 kDa is strongly induced by type I interferons and displays antiviral activity. As other ubiquitin-like proteins (Ubls, ISG15 is post-translationally conjugated to substrate proteins by an isopeptide bond between the C-terminal glycine of ISG15 and the side chains of lysine residues in the substrates (ISGylation. ISG15 consists of two ubiquitin-like domains that are separated by a hinge region. In many orthologs, this region contains a single highly reactive cysteine residue. Several hundred potential substrates for ISGylation have been identified but only a few of them have been rigorously verified. In order to investigate the modification of several ISG15 substrates, we have purified ISG15 conjugates from cell extracts by metal-chelate affinity purification and immunoprecipitations. We found that the levels of proteins modified by human ISG15 can be decreased by the addition of reducing agents. With the help of thiol blocking reagents, a mutational analysis and miRNA mediated knock-down of ISG15 expression, we revealed that this modification occurs in living cells via a disulphide bridge between the substrates and Cys78 in the hinge region of ISG15. While the ISG15 activating enzyme UBE1L is conjugated by ISG15 in the classical way, we show that the ubiquitin conjugating enzyme Ubc13 can either be classically conjugated by ISG15 or can form a disulphide bridge with ISG15 at the active site cysteine 87. The latter modification would interfere with its function as ubiquitin conjugating enzyme. However, we found no evidence for an ISG15 modification of the dynamin-like GTPases MxA and hGBP1. These findings indicate that the analysis of potential substrates for ISG15 conjugation must be performed with great care to distinguish between the two types of modification since many assays such as immunoprecipitation or metal-chelate affinity purification are performed with little or no

  19. Desalination as Groundwater Conservation: The Cost of Protecting Cultural and Environmental Resources in Chile's Region II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, E. C.; Cristi, O.; Libecap, G. D.

    2012-12-01

    of the empirical work, the theoretical development provides an important perspective into groundwater management and the important role of understanding the physical system in water marketing. Worldwide, subsidized and scarce water is allocated to farmers for social and political reasons. The losses from this type of allocation are often ignored or marginalized. The Chilean case demonstrates that the losses due to economically inefficient allocation are real, because the alternative is greater consumption of other resources (fossil fuels in this case), not conservation. The Chilean case also demonstrates the difficulty of adequately defining water rights for efficient markets due to the physical properties of hydrologic systems. Because groundwater and surface water systems are linked and water is partially recycled, water markets may over allocate water to consumptive users or those with preferable extraction locations. This paper provides a theoretical exposition of how water rights that fail incorporate important properties of the physical system may lead to inefficient water markets.

  20. New Comparative Experiments of Different Soil Types for Farmland Water Conservation in Arid Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiben Cheng

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Irrigated farmland is the main food source of desert areas, and moisture is the main limiting factor of desert farmland crop productivity. Study on the influence of irrigation on desert farmland soil moisture can guide the agricultural water resource utilization and agricultural production in those regions. At present, the efficiency of irrigation water usage in Northwest China is as low as approximately 40% of the irrigated water. To understand the response of farmland soil moisture in different soil types on irrigation in the Ulan Buh Desert of Inner Mongolia of China, this experimental study takes advantage of different infiltration characteristics and hydraulic conductivities of sand, clay, and loam to determine an optimized soil combination scheme with the purpose of establishing a hydraulic barrier that reduces infiltration. This study includes three comparative experiments with each consisting of a 100 cm thick of filled sand, or clay, or loam soil underneath a 50 cm plough soil, with a total thickness of 150 cm soil profile. A new type of lysimeter is installed below the above-mentioned 150 cm soil profile to continuously measure deep soil recharge (DSR, and the ECH2O-5 soil moisture sensors are installed at different depths over the 150 cm soil profile to simultaneously monitor the soil moisture above the lysimeter. The study analyzes the characteristics of soil moisture dynamics, the irrigation-related recharge on soil moisture, and the DSR characteristics before and after irrigation, during the early sowing period from 2 April to 2 May 2017. Research results show that: (1 Irrigation significantly influences the soil moisture of 0–150 cm depths. The soil moisture increase after the irrigation follows the order from high to low when it is in the order of loam, sand, and clay. (2 Irrigation-induced soil moisture recharge occurs on all three soil combinations at 0–150 cm layers, and the order of soil moisture recharge from high to low

  1. Evolutionary paths of streptococcal and staphylococcal superantigens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Okumura Kayo

    2012-08-01

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

  2. Incorporating evolutionary principles into environmental management and policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    As policymakers and managers work to mitigate the effects of rapid anthropogenic environmental changes, they need to consider organisms’ responses. In light of recent evidence that evolution can be quite rapid, this now includes evolutionary responses. Evolutionary principles have a long history...... 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...

  3. Energy conservation programs of Pemex exploration and production, south region; Programas de ahorro de energia en Pemex exploracion y produccion, region sur

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzalez Milla, Guillermo; Garcia Juarez, Francisco; Alarcon Aleman, Jose Mauricio [Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, Cuernavaca (Mexico)

    1999-12-31

    The technological developments of energy economizing equipment constitute a powerful tool for the conservation and saving of the electric energy in new or existing installations. Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Exploration and Production initiated in 1997 a program for energy economizing in the South region, for which the Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, through its Unit for the Use of Energy, collaborated performing energy assessments in 115 buildings of the above mentioned region. This paper describes the employed methodology to carry on the energy assessment, which consisted in an analysis of each building and different options for energy economizing were presented, which was accompanied with cost-benefit studies. The results obtained show that the air conditioning equipment and lighting represent the most important loads permanently connected, therefore the study was concentrated in these two loads [Espanol] Los desarrollos tecnologicos de equipos ahorradores de energia constituyen una poderosa herramienta para la conservacion y el ahorro de energia electrica en instalaciones nuevas o existentes. Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Exploracion y Produccion inicio en 1997 un programa para el ahorro de energia en la region sur, para lo cual el Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, a traves de la Unidad de Uso de Energia, colaboro realizando diagnosticos energeticos en 115 edificios de dicha region. En este documento se describe la metodologia utilizada para realizar el diagnostico energetico, el cual consistio en un analisis de cada edificio y se presentaron diversas opciones para ahorrar energia, lo cual se acompano de estudios de costo-beneficio. Los resultados obtenidos muestran que los equipos de aire acondicionado e iluminacion representan la parte mas importante de las cargas conectadas permanentemente, por lo que el estudio se concentro en estas dos cargas

  4. Energy conservation programs of Pemex exploration and production, south region; Programas de ahorro de energia en Pemex exploracion y produccion, region sur

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzalez Milla, Guillermo; Garcia Juarez, Francisco; Alarcon Aleman, Jose Mauricio [Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, Cuernavaca (Mexico)

    1998-12-31

    The technological developments of energy economizing equipment constitute a powerful tool for the conservation and saving of the electric energy in new or existing installations. Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Exploration and Production initiated in 1997 a program for energy economizing in the South region, for which the Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, through its Unit for the Use of Energy, collaborated performing energy assessments in 115 buildings of the above mentioned region. This paper describes the employed methodology to carry on the energy assessment, which consisted in an analysis of each building and different options for energy economizing were presented, which was accompanied with cost-benefit studies. The results obtained show that the air conditioning equipment and lighting represent the most important loads permanently connected, therefore the study was concentrated in these two loads [Espanol] Los desarrollos tecnologicos de equipos ahorradores de energia constituyen una poderosa herramienta para la conservacion y el ahorro de energia electrica en instalaciones nuevas o existentes. Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) Exploracion y Produccion inicio en 1997 un programa para el ahorro de energia en la region sur, para lo cual el Instituto de Investigaciones Electricas, a traves de la Unidad de Uso de Energia, colaboro realizando diagnosticos energeticos en 115 edificios de dicha region. En este documento se describe la metodologia utilizada para realizar el diagnostico energetico, el cual consistio en un analisis de cada edificio y se presentaron diversas opciones para ahorrar energia, lo cual se acompano de estudios de costo-beneficio. Los resultados obtenidos muestran que los equipos de aire acondicionado e iluminacion representan la parte mas importante de las cargas conectadas permanentemente, por lo que el estudio se concentro en estas dos cargas

  5. Are women in the MENA region really that different from women in Europe? Globalization, conservative values and female labor market participation.

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, Justina AV; Aydıner-Avşar, Nursel

    2015-01-01

    This article aims to compare women in the MENA region with women in Europe as to how globalization affects their conservative values and attitudes, and, thereby, their labor market participation. The authors define conservative values as both religious values and socio-political attitudes relating to family issues and leadership. Using micro data from the World Values Survey covering over 80 countries between 1981 and 2014, we employ three distinct indicators of globalization that reflect, fi...

  6. Conserved region at the COOH terminus of human immunodeficiency virus gp120 envelope protein contains an immunodominant epitope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Palker, T.J.; Matthews, T.J.; Clark, M.E.

    1987-01-01

    A highly immunogenic epitope from a conserved COOH-terminal region of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gp120 envelope protein has been identified with antisera from HIV-seropositive subjects and a synthetic peptide (SP-22) containing 15 amino acids from this region (Ala-Pro-Thr-Lys-Ala-Lys-Arg-Arg-Val-Val-Gln-Arg-Glu-Lys-Arg). Peptide SP-22 absorbed up to 100% of anti-gp120 antibody reactivity from select HIV + patient sera in immunoblot assays and up to 79% of serum anti-gp120 antibody reactivity in competition RIA. In RIA, 45% of HIV-seropositive subjects had antibodies that bound to peptide SP-22. Human anti-SP-22 antibodies that bound to and were eluted from an SP-22 affinity column reacted with gp120 in RIA and immunoblot assays but did not neutralize HIV or inhibit HIV-induced syncytium formation in vitro, even though these antibodies comprised 70% of all anti-gp120 antibodies in the test serum. In contrast, the remaining 30% of SP-22 nonreactive anti-gp120 antibodies did not react with gp120 in immunoblot assays but did react in RIA and neutralized HIV in vitro. Thus, ≅ 50% of HIV-seropositive patients make high titers of nonneutralizing antibodies to an immunodominant antigen on gp120 defined by SP-22. Moreover, the COOH terminus of gp120 contains the major antigen or antigens identified by human anti-gp120 antibodies in immunoblot assays

  7. Short Communication: An apospory-specific genomic region is conserved between Buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris L.) and Pennisetum squamulatum Fresen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roche; Cong; Chen; Hanna; Gustine; Sherwood; Ozias-Akins

    1999-07-01

    Twelve molecular markers linked to pseudogamous apospory, a form of gametophytic apomixis, were previously isolated from Pennisetum squamulatum Fresen. No recombination between these markers was found in a segregating population of 397 individuals (Ozias-Akins et al. 1998, Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 95, 5127-5132). The objective of the present study was to test if these markers were also linked to the aposporous mode of reproduction in two small segregating populations of Cenchrus ciliaris (= Pennisetum ciliare (L.)Link), another apomictic grass species. Among 12 markers (sequence characterized amplified regions, SCARs), six were scored as dominant markers between aposporous and sexual C. ciliaris genotypes (presence/absence, respectively). Five were always linked to apospory and one showed a low level of recombination in 84 progenies. Restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) were observed between sexual and apomictic phenotypes for three of the six remaining SCARs from P. squamulatum when used as probes. No recombination was observed in the F1 progenies. Preliminary data from megabase DNA analysis and sequencing in both species indicate that an apospory-specific genomic region (ASGR) is highly conserved between the two species. Although C. ciliaris has a smaller genome size to P. squamulatum, a higher copy number for markers linked to apospory found in the former may impair the progress of positional cloning of gene(s) for apomixis in this species.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  11. In Silico Design and Experimental Validation of siRNAs Targeting Conserved Regions of Multiple Hepatitis C Virus Genotypes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahmoud ElHefnawi

    Full Text Available RNA interference (RNAi is a post-transcriptional gene silencing mechanism that mediates the sequence-specific degradation of targeted RNA and thus provides a tremendous opportunity for development of oligonucleotide-based drugs. Here, we report on the design and validation of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs targeting highly conserved regions of the hepatitis C virus (HCV genome. To aim for therapeutic applications by optimizing the RNAi efficacy and reducing potential side effects, we considered different factors such as target RNA variations, thermodynamics and accessibility of the siRNA and target RNA, and off-target effects. This aim was achieved using an in silico design and selection protocol complemented by an automated MysiRNA-Designer pipeline. The protocol included the design and filtration of siRNAs targeting highly conserved and accessible regions within the HCV internal ribosome entry site, and adjacent core sequences of the viral genome with high-ranking efficacy scores. Off-target analysis excluded siRNAs with potential binding to human mRNAs. Under this strict selection process, two siRNAs (HCV353 and HCV258 were selected based on their predicted high specificity and potency. These siRNAs were tested for antiviral efficacy in HCV genotype 1 and 2 replicon cell lines. Both in silico-designed siRNAs efficiently inhibited HCV RNA replication, even at low concentrations and for short exposure times (24h; they also exceeded the antiviral potencies of reference siRNAs targeting HCV. Furthermore, HCV353 and HCV258 siRNAs also inhibited replication of patient-derived HCV genotype 4 isolates in infected Huh-7 cells. Prolonged treatment of HCV replicon cells with HCV353 did not result in the appearance of escape mutant viruses. Taken together, these results reveal the accuracy and strength of our integrated siRNA design and selection protocols. These protocols could be used to design highly potent and specific RNAi-based therapeutic

  12. 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.

  13. Incorporation of an evolutionary algorithm to estimate transfer-functions for a parameter regionalization scheme of a rainfall-runoff model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klotz, Daniel; Herrnegger, Mathew; Schulz, Karsten

    2016-04-01

    This contribution presents a framework, which enables the use of an Evolutionary Algorithm (EA) for the calibration and regionalization of the hydrological model COSEROreg. COSEROreg uses an updated version of the HBV-type model COSERO (Kling et al. 2014) for the modelling of hydrological processes and is embedded in a parameter regionalization scheme based on Samaniego et al. (2010). The latter uses subscale-information to estimate model via a-priori chosen transfer functions (often derived from pedotransfer functions). However, the transferability of the regionalization scheme to different model-concepts and the integration of new forms of subscale information is not straightforward. (i) The usefulness of (new) single sub-scale information layers is unknown beforehand. (ii) Additionally, the establishment of functional relationships between these (possibly meaningless) sub-scale information layers and the distributed model parameters remain a central challenge in the implementation of a regionalization procedure. The proposed method theoretically provides a framework to overcome this challenge. The implementation of the EA encompasses the following procedure: First, a formal grammar is specified (Ryan et al., 1998). The construction of the grammar thereby defines the set of possible transfer functions and also allows to incorporate hydrological domain knowledge into the search itself. The EA iterates over the given space by combining parameterized basic functions (e.g. linear- or exponential functions) and sub-scale information layers into transfer functions, which are then used in COSEROreg. However, a pre-selection model is applied beforehand to sort out unfeasible proposals by the EA and to reduce the necessary model runs. A second optimization routine is used to optimize the parameters of the transfer functions proposed by the EA. This concept, namely using two nested optimization loops, is inspired by the idea of Lamarckian Evolution and Baldwin Effect

  14. Fallout radionuclide based techniques for assessing the effectiveness of soil conservation measures in different eroded regions of China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yu Hanqing; Li Yong; Liu Guoqiang; Li Junjie; Nguyen, M.L.; Funk, R.

    2012-01-01

    Using fallout radionuclide techniques (FRN), we investigated the extent of soil erosion and to quantify the beneficial effects of soil conservation measures at four sites (Xichang city in the Yangtze upriver, Yan'an in the Loess Plateau, Fengning in the wind erosion region of northern China, and Baiquan in black soil region of north-eastern China) extending from South West (SW) to North East (NE) China. At the Xichang site of SW-China, the combined use of FRN 137 Cs and 210 Pbex measurements demonstrated that the effectiveness of vegetation species in reducing soil erosion decreased in the following order: shrubs > trees with litter layer > grasses > trees without litter layer. At the Yan'an site of Loess Plateau, sediment production estimated by 137 Cs declined by 49% due to terracing and by 80% due to vegetated (with grass forest) compared to the cultivated hillslopes. Vegetated hillslope with grasses and forest increased soil organic matter (SOM) by 255%, soil available N (AN) by 198%, and soil available P (AP) by 18% while terracing increased SOM by 121%, soil AN by 103%, and soil AP by 162% compared with the entire cultivated hillslope. Both terracing and vegetating hillslopes were found to enhance soil porosity as shown by a decrease in soil bulk density (1.6% and 6.4%, respectively). At the Fengning site, data from 7 Be measurements indicated that four years of no tillage with high crop residues (50 ∼ 56 cm depth) reduced soil erosion by 44% and no tillage with low residues (25 cm depth) reduced soil erosion rates by 33% when compared with conventional tillage practices. At the Baiquan site in NE-China, soil loss as measured by 137 Cs tracer, decreased by 14% due to terracing and by 34% due to contoured tillage. Our results suggested that shrub cover and composite structure of forest and grass are the effective practices to control hillslope erosion in SW-China, while terracing forest-grass structure can greatly reduce soil erosion and improve soil quality

  15. A practical study for Treatment and Conservation a group of Silver Coins from Dhamar Regional Museum, Dhamar, Yemen.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed M. Megahed

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available A big group of silver coins{35 coins} was discovered in Banawa excavation , Dhamar , season 2002, and now it is situated in Dhamar Regional Museum ,Yemen. They were covered with a thin grey and black corrosion layers that disfigured them and hid their figures and inscriptions , also Some coins miss parts and others lost their circular.The aims of this work are identified the metallic composition of the coins , investigate the nature of corrosion grown during the long-term burial and identify its products that will help us to understand the corrosive factors and the degradation mechanisms , cleaning the group of coins from the superficial dirt and the corrosion products in order to discover as much as possible the surface topography, and to reveal the surfaces details , finally to establish them against further deterioration .To achieve that samples from the coins were examined by Metallographic Microscope {ME} , Scanning Electron Microscope {SEM}, the corrosion products were analyzed by X-ray diffraction{XRD} , and X-ray fluorescence { XRF} was used to determine the coins metallic constituents. Chemical cleaning was chosen for treating the coins and they were isolated to preserve them against further attack. After treatment and conservation, the coins figures and inscriptions that could be identified showed that this group of coins dates back to Umayyad period , exactly the reign of caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan{ 65- 86 A.H}{685-705A.D} and his descendants till 106 A.H. 

  16. Osmostress induces autophosphorylation of Hog1 via a C-terminal regulatory region that is conserved in p38α.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inbal Maayan

    Full Text Available Many protein kinases require phosphorylation at their activation loop for induction of catalysis. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs are activated by a unique mode of phosphorylation, on neighboring Tyrosine and Threonine residues. Whereas many kinases obtain their activation via autophosphorylation, MAPKs are usually phosphorylated by specific, dedicated, MAPK kinases (MAP2Ks. Here we show however, that the yeast MAPK Hog1, known to be activated by the MAP2K Pbs2, is activated in pbs2Δ cells via an autophosphorylation activity that is induced by osmotic pressure. We mapped a novel domain at the Hog1 C-terminal region that inhibits this activity. Removal of this domain provides a Hog1 protein that is partially independent of MAP2K, namely, partially rescues osmostress sensitivity of pbs2Δ cells. We further mapped a short domain (7 amino acid residues long that is critical for induction of autophosphorylation. Its removal abolishes autophosphorylation, but maintains Pbs2-mediated phosphorylation. This 7 amino acids stretch is conserved in the human p38α. Similar to the case of Hog1, it's removal from p38α abolishes p38α's autophosphorylation capability, but maintains, although reduces, its activation by MKK6. This study joins a few recent reports to suggest that, like many protein kinases, MAPKs are also regulated via induced autoactivation.

  17. Osmostress induces autophosphorylation of Hog1 via a C-terminal regulatory region that is conserved in p38α.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maayan, Inbal; Beenstock, Jonah; Marbach, Irit; Tabachnick, Shira; Livnah, Oded; Engelberg, David

    2012-01-01

    Many protein kinases require phosphorylation at their activation loop for induction of catalysis. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are activated by a unique mode of phosphorylation, on neighboring Tyrosine and Threonine residues. Whereas many kinases obtain their activation via autophosphorylation, MAPKs are usually phosphorylated by specific, dedicated, MAPK kinases (MAP2Ks). Here we show however, that the yeast MAPK Hog1, known to be activated by the MAP2K Pbs2, is activated in pbs2Δ cells via an autophosphorylation activity that is induced by osmotic pressure. We mapped a novel domain at the Hog1 C-terminal region that inhibits this activity. Removal of this domain provides a Hog1 protein that is partially independent of MAP2K, namely, partially rescues osmostress sensitivity of pbs2Δ cells. We further mapped a short domain (7 amino acid residues long) that is critical for induction of autophosphorylation. Its removal abolishes autophosphorylation, but maintains Pbs2-mediated phosphorylation. This 7 amino acids stretch is conserved in the human p38α. Similar to the case of Hog1, it's removal from p38α abolishes p38α's autophosphorylation capability, but maintains, although reduces, its activation by MKK6. This study joins a few recent reports to suggest that, like many protein kinases, MAPKs are also regulated via induced autoactivation.

  18. c-Abl phosphorylation of Yin Yang 1's conserved tyrosine 254 in the spacer region modulates its transcriptional activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daraiseh, Susan I; Kassardjian, Ari; Alexander, Karen E; Rizkallah, Raed; Hurt, Myra M

    2018-05-25

    Yin Yang 1 (YY1) is a multifunctional transcription factor that can activate or repress transcription depending on the promotor and/or the co-factors recruited. YY1 is phosphorylated in various signaling pathways and is critical for different biological functions including embryogenesis, apoptosis, proliferation, cell-cycle regulation and tumorigenesis. Here we report that YY1 is a substrate for c-Abl kinase phosphorylation at conserved residue Y254 in the spacer region. Pharmacological inhibition of c-Abl kinase by imatinib, nilotinib and GZD824, knock-down of c-Abl using siRNA, and the use of c-Abl kinase-dead drastically reduces tyrosine phosphorylation of YY1. Both radioactive and non-radioactive in vitro kinase assays, as well as co-immunoprecipitation in different cell lines, show that the target of c-Abl phosphorylation is tyrosine residue 254. c-Abl phosphorylation has little effect on YY1 DNA binding ability or cellular localization in asynchronous cells. However, functional studies reveal that c-Abl mediated phosphorylation of YY1 regulates YY1's transcriptional ability in vivo. In conclusion, we demonstrate the novel role of c-Abl kinase in regulation of YY1's transcriptional activity, linking YY1 regulation with c-Abl tyrosine kinase signaling pathways. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. The conserved structures of the 5' nontranslated region of Citrus tristeza virus are involved in replication and virion assembly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gowda, Siddarame; Satyanarayana, Tatineni; Ayllon, Maria A.; Moreno, Pedro; Flores, Ricardo; Dawson, William O.

    2003-01-01

    The genomic RNA of different isolates of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) reveals an unusual pattern of sequence diversity: the 3' halves are highly conserved (homology >90%), while the 5' halves show much more dissimilarity, with the 5' nontranslated region (NTR) containing the highest diversity (homology as low as 42%). Yet, positive-sense sequences of the 5' NTR were predicted to fold into nearly identical structures consisting of two stem-loops (SL1 and SL2) separated by a short spacer region. The predicted most stable secondary structures of the negative-sense sequences were more variable. We introduced mutations into the 5' NTR of a CTV replicon to alter the sequence and/or the predicted secondary structures with or without additional compensatory changes designed to restore predicted secondary structures, and examined their effect on replication in transfected protoplasts. The results suggested that the predicted secondary structures of the 5' NTR were more important for replication than the primary structure. Most mutations that were predicted to disrupt the secondary structures fail to replicate, while compensatory mutations were allowed replication to resume. The 5' NTR mutations that were tolerated by the CTV replicon were examined in the full-length virus for effects on replication and production of the multiple subgenomic RNAs. Additionally, the ability of these mutants to produce virions was monitored by electron microscopy and by passaging the progeny nucleocapsids to another batch of protoplasts. Some of the mutants with compensatory sequence alterations predicted to rebuild similar secondary structures allowed replication at near wild-type levels but failed to passage, suggesting that the 5' NTR contains sequences required for both replication and virion assembly

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Salvage treatment for local or local-regional recurrence after initial breast conservation treatment with radiation for ductal carcinoma in situ

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Solin, Lawrence J.; Fourquet, Alain; Vicini, Frank A.; Taylor, Marie; Haffty, Bruce; Strom, Eric A.; Wai, Elaine; Pierce, Lori J.; Marks, Lawrence B.; Bartelink, Harry; Campana, Francois; McNeese, Marsha D.; Jhingran, Anuja; Olivotto, Ivo A.; Bijker, Nina; Hwang, Wei-Ting

    2005-01-01

    The present study evaluated the outcome of salvage treatment for women with local or local-regional recurrence after initial breast conservation treatment with radiation for mammographically detected ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS; intraductal carcinoma) of the breast. The study cohort consisted of

  3. Multiscale habitat suitability index models for priority landbirds in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R., III Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; William B., III Uihlein

    2009-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models were developed to assess habitat quality for 40 priority bird species in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions. The models incorporated both site and landscape environmental variables from one of six nationally consistent datasets. Potential habitat was first defined from unique...

  4. 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...

  5. Regional Extinctions and Quaternary Shifts in the Geographic Range of Lestodelphys halli, the Southernmost Living Marsupial: Clues for Its Conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anahí E Formoso

    Full Text Available The Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli, the southernmost living marsupial, inhabits dry and open environments, mainly in the Patagonian steppe (between ~32 °S and ~49 °S. Its rich fossil record shows its occurrence further north in Central Argentina during the Quaternary. The paleoenvironmental meaning of the past distribution of L. halli has been mostly addressed in a subjective framework without an explicit connection with the climatic "space" currently occupied by this animal. Here, we assessed the potential distribution of this species and the changes occurred in its geographic range during late Pleistocene-Holocene times and linked the results obtained with conservation issues. To this end, we generated three potential distribution models with fossil records and three with current ones, using MaxEnt software. These models showed a decrease in the suitable habitat conditions for the species, highlighting a range shift from Central-Eastern to South-Western Argentina. Our results support that the presence of L. halli in the Pampean region during the Pleistocene-Holocene can be related to precipitation and temperature variables and that its current presence in Patagonia is more related to temperature and dominant soils. The models obtained suggest that the species has been experiencing a reduction in its geographic range since the middle Holocene, a process that is in accordance with a general increase in moisture and temperature in Central Argentina. Considering the findings of our work and the future scenario of global warming projected for Patagonia, we might expect a harsh impact on the distribution range of this opossum in the near future.

  6. Regional Extinctions and Quaternary Shifts in the Geographic Range of Lestodelphys halli, the Southernmost Living Marsupial: Clues for Its Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Formoso, Anahí E.; Martin, Gabriel M.; Teta, Pablo; Carbajo, Aníbal E.; Sauthier, Daniel E. Udrizar; Pardiñas, Ulyses F. J.

    2015-01-01

    The Patagonian opossum (Lestodelphys halli), the southernmost living marsupial, inhabits dry and open environments, mainly in the Patagonian steppe (between ~32°S and ~49°S). Its rich fossil record shows its occurrence further north in Central Argentina during the Quaternary. The paleoenvironmental meaning of the past distribution of L. halli has been mostly addressed in a subjective framework without an explicit connection with the climatic “space” currently occupied by this animal. Here, we assessed the potential distribution of this species and the changes occurred in its geographic range during late Pleistocene-Holocene times and linked the results obtained with conservation issues. To this end, we generated three potential distribution models with fossil records and three with current ones, using MaxEnt software. These models showed a decrease in the suitable habitat conditions for the species, highlighting a range shift from Central-Eastern to South-Western Argentina. Our results support that the presence of L. halli in the Pampean region during the Pleistocene-Holocene can be related to precipitation and temperature variables and that its current presence in Patagonia is more related to temperature and dominant soils. The models obtained suggest that the species has been experiencing a reduction in its geographic range since the middle Holocene, a process that is in accordance with a general increase in moisture and temperature in Central Argentina. Considering the findings of our work and the future scenario of global warming projected for Patagonia, we might expect a harsh impact on the distribution range of this opossum in the near future. PMID:26203650

  7. [Analysis of soil respiration and influence factors in wheat farmland under conservation tillage in southwest hilly region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Sai; Zhang, Xiao-Yu; Wang, Long-Chang; Luo, Hai-Xiu; Zhou, Hang-Fei; Ma, Zhong-Lian; Zhang, Cui-Wei

    2013-07-01

    In order to investigate the effect of conservation tillage on soil respiration in dry cropping farmland in southwest purple hilly region, the LI6400-09 respiratory chamber was adopted in the experiment conducted in the experimental field in Southwest University in Beibei, Chongqing. The respiration and the hydrothermal and biotic factors of soil were measured and analyzed during the growth period of wheat in the triple intercropping system of wheat/maize/soybean. There were four treatments including T (traditional tillage), R (ridge tillage), TS (traditional tillage + straw mulching) and RS (ridge tillage + straw mulching), which were all in triplicates. The results indicated that the soil respiration rate changed in the range of 1.100-2.508 micromol x (m2 x s)(-1) during the reproductive growth stage of wheat. There were significant differences in soil respiration rate among different treatments, which could be ranked as RS > R > TS > T. The soil temperature in the 10cm layer was ranked as T > R > TS > RS. The relationship between soil respiration and soil temperature fitted well with an exponential function, in which the Q10 values were 1.25, 1.20, 1.31 and 1.26, respectively. The soil moisture in the 5cm layer was ranked as TS > RS > T > R. The best fitting model between soil moisture and soil respiration was a parabolic curve, indicating the presence of soil moisture with the strongest soil respiration. The response threshold of wheat to soil moisture was 14.80%-17.47% during the reproductive stage. The dominant groups of soil animals were Collembola and Acarina, which were correlated with soil respiration to some extent. The correlation was high in the treatments T and R, ranged from 0.669-0.921, whereas there was no remarkable correlation in the other treatments.

  8. Conservation of Sand Dune Vegetation in Coastal areas of the Valencian Region (Spain); Estado de conservacion de la vegetacion dunar en las costas de la comunidad Valenciana

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Albertos, B.; San Miguel, E.; Draper, I.; Garilleti, R.; Lara, F.; Varela, J. M.

    2010-07-01

    The state of conservation of the coastal dune vegetation in Valencia region has been assessed within a survey of the vegetal communities present in these systems.The conservation status has been evaluated through a qualitative scale which integrates criteria such as dune extension, structure and diversity of the vegetal communities, level of ruderalization, presence of invasive species, and floristic rarity. Special attention has been paid to the usual aggressions to this type of ecosystem and the situation of the most aggressive invasive plants. (Author) 15 refs.

  9. The conserved 12-amino acid stretch in the inter-bromodomain region of BET family proteins functions as a nuclear localization signal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukazawa, Hidesuke; Masumi, Atsuko

    2012-01-01

    The bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) family is a group of chromatin-binding proteins characterized by two bromodomains, an extraterminal (ET) domain, and several other conserved regions of unknown function. In humans, the BET family consists of four members, BRD2, BRD3, BRD4 and BRDT, that all normally localize to the nucleus. We identified a 12-amino acid stretch in the inter-bromodomain region that is perfectly conserved among the BET family members. We deleted these residues and expressed the mutant proteins in HEK293T cells to investigate the function of this motif. We found that the deletion of this motif alters the localization of BET proteins. Mutated BRD3 and BRD4 were excluded from the nucleus, and BRDT was found to be diffused throughout the nucleus and cytoplasm. Although the mutant BRD2 remained predominantly in the nucleus, a punctate distribution was also observed in the cytosol. It has been reported that a conserved motif between the second bromodomain and the ET domain serves as a nuclear localization signal for BRD2. Nevertheless, BET mutants lacking the reported nuclear localization signal motif but retaining the 12-amino acid stretch resided in the nucleus. Furthermore, these mutants were diffused throughout the cytoplasm when the 12 residues were removed. These results indicate that the conserved amino acid stretch in the inter-bromodomain region of the BET family functions as a nuclear localization signal.

  10. Evolutionary analysis of FAM83H in vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wushuang Huang

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

  11. 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.

  12. Review of the Diversity, Ecology, and Conservation of Elasmobranchs in the Azores Region, Mid-North Atlantic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diya Das

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available A vulnerable species group, such as, the elasmobranchs, in a data-deficient context presents a complicated management problem. Evidence suggests that the Azores islands, a remote archipelago on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, serve essential functions in the life-history of species across taxa. The diversity of marine resources within its EEZ are exploited by local to international fleets, and the full extent of fishing pressure can often be underestimated. Although sharks and rays appear to be of minor importance in the fishery, the possibilities of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing raises concerns about these threatened species. However, this group has failed to attract management attention, visible in the lack of regional studies focused on biodiversity, ecology, or threats of elasmobranchs. Our work attempts to review and update the information on elasmobranchs of the Azores and identify potential threats, mainly by the local fisheries. We aim to highlight knowledge gaps that require further research and conservation actions. We (1 update the annotated checklist of elasmobranch species, (2 compare species distribution across a biogeographically similar section of the North Atlantic, and (3 analyze the interaction of elasmobranch species with local fisheries. We confirm 61 chondrichthyan species for the Azores (39 sharks, 17 rays, and 5 chimaeras, adding 19 species to the previous annotated checklist of 1997. The Azores elasmobranch species assemblage most resembles Madeira, the neighboring Macaronesian archipelago. Biogeographic affinities between the chosen regions of the North Atlantic are reflected in the taxonomic structure of families. Although underestimated in the local fisheries, elasmobranchs constitute a regular but highly variable portion of total landings. Misreporting and misidentification is perhaps the greatest concern in the local fisheries records, further aggravated by few existing catch regulations for elasmobranchs

  13. Spatial Analysis of Conservation Priorities Based on Ecosystem Services in the Atlantic Forest Region of Misiones, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew L. Clark

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the spatial pattern of ecosystem services is important for effective environmental policy and decision-making. In this study, we use a geospatial decision-support tool (Marxan to identify conservation priorities for habitat and a suite of ecosystem services (storage carbon, soil retention and water yield in the Upper Paraná Atlantic Forest from Misiones, Argentina—an area of global conservation priority. Using these results, we then evaluate the efficiency of existing protected areas in conserving both habitat and ecosystem services. Selected areas for conserving habitat had an overlap of carbon and soil ecosystem services. Yet, selected areas for water yield did not have this overlap. Furthermore, selected areas with relatively high overlap of ecosystem services tended to be inside protected areas; however, other important areas for ecosystem services (i.e., central highlands do not have legal protection, revealing the importance of enforcing existing environmental regulations in these areas.

  14. Red states, blue states, and divorce: understanding the impact of conservative Protestantism on regional variation in divorce rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Jennifer; Levchak, Philip

    2014-01-01

    Why do states with larger proportions of religious conservatives have higher divorce rates than states with lower proportions of religious conservatives? This project examines whether earlier transitions to marriage and parenthood among conservative Protestants (known risk factors for divorce) contribute to this paradox while attending to other plausible explanations. County-level demographic information from all 50 states is combined from a variety of public data sources and merged with individual records from the National Surveys of Family Growth to estimate both aggregated county and multilevel individual models of divorce. Results show that individual religious conservatism is positively related to individual divorce risk, solely through the earlier transitions to adulthood and lower incomes of conservative Protestants. However, the proportion of conservative Protestants in a county is also independently and positively associated with both the divorce rate in that county and an individual's likelihood of divorcing. The earlier family formation and lower levels of educational attainment and income in counties with a higher proportion of conservative Protestants can explain a substantial portion of this association. Little support is found for alternative explanations of the association between religious conservatism and divorce rates, including the relative popularity of marriage versus cohabitation across counties.

  15. Ranching and conservation in the Santa Cruz River Region, Sonora: Milpillas Case Study (Ganaderia y Conservacion en la Region del Rio Santa Cruz, Sonora: El Caso del Grupo Milpillas)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar

    2006-01-01

    The Sonoran Institute (SI) is a non-profit organization working with people toward common conservation goals. Two objectives guide the work of the Sonoran Institute in the Santa Cruz River Region in Sonora, Mexico: to establish projects with community participation that can result in tangible and long-lasting benefits to the environment, and to ensure success by...

  16. Diversity, natural history and conservation of amphibians and reptiles from the San Vito Region, southwestern Costa Rica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgina Santos-Barrera

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available We present an inventory of the amphibians and reptiles of the San Vito de Coto Brus region, including the Las Cruces Biological Station, in southern Costa Rica, which is the result of a survey of the herpetofauna occurring in mountain forest fragments, pastures, coffee plantations, and other disturbed areas. We found 67 species, included 26 species of amphibians and of 41of reptiles. We describe the distribution patterns of the community on the basis of the life zones, elevation, fragmentation, and degree of anthropogenic impact. We also provide some nouvelle data on the systematics of some select taxa, their geographical ranges, microhabitats, activity, and other relevant ecological and natural history features. Finally, we comment on the present conservation status of the herpetofauna in the region. Previous literature and collection records indicate a higher number of species occurring in this area, which suggests that some declines have occurred, especially of amphibians, in last decades. Rev. Biol. Trop. 56 (2: 755-778. Epub 2008 June 30.En este artículo se presenta un inventario de los anfibios y reptiles de la región de San Vito de Coto Brus incluyendo la Estación de Biología Las Cruces, en el sur de Costa Rica. Se llevó a cabo una evaluación de las poblaciones de anfibios y reptiles presentes en los parches de bosque, potreros, cafetales y otras áreas perturbadas de la región. Como resultado de esta evaluación se registraron 26 especies de anfibios y 41 de reptiles lo que suma un total de 67 especies. Asimismo se describen los patrones generales de distribución de las especies basándose en los tipos de vegetación así como en la altitud, fragmentación y grado de perturbación antrópica en el área. Se proporcionan algunos datos sobre la sistemática de las especies, su distribución geográfica, el microhábitat que ocupan, su actividad y otros datos ecológicos y biológicos relevantes. Finalmente, se presenta una breve

  17. [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.

  18. The Political Economy of Conservation at Mount Elgon, Uganda: Between Local Deprivation, Regional Sustainability, and Global Public Goods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Vedeld

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a case study from Mount Elgon National Park, Uganda, examining and deepening an understanding of direct incomes and costs of conservation for local people close to protected areas. In the early 1990s, collaborative arrangements were introduced to Mount Elgon National Park to improve people-park relations and enhance rural livelihoods after a period of violent evictions and severe resource access restrictions. In areas with such arrangements – including resource access agreements, Taungya farming, and beekeeping schemes – we observe a marginal increase in annual incomes for involved households. Other incomes accrue from tourism revenue sharing schemes, a community revolving fund, and payments for carbon sequestration. However, these incomes are economically marginal (1.2% of household income, unevenly distributed and instrumentally used to reward compliance with park regulations. They do not necessarily accrue to those incurring costs due to eviction and exclusion, crop raiding, resource access restrictions and conflicts. By contrast, costs constitute at least 20.5 % of total household incomes, making it difficult to see how conservation, poverty alleviation and development can be locally reconciled if local populations continue to bear the economic brunt of conservation. We recommend a shift in policy towards donor and state responsibility for compensating costs on a relevant scale. Such a shift would be an important step towards a more substantive rights-based model of conservation, and would enhance the legitimacy of protected area management in the context of both extreme poverty and natural resource dependence.

  19. Attractive evolutionary equilibria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tybur, Joshua M; Navarrete, Carlos David

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Evolutionary Stable Strategy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  2. Culture Development Planning in the Special Region of Yogyakarta (Management Planning of Cultural Heritage in Kotagede District based on Community Empowerment Conservation Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eko Suryanti

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The Special Region of Yogyakarta is a cultural rich city with excellent cultural resources. Yogyakarta should manage their assets with long-term planning to keep the sustainability. There is a very unique planning process due to a combination of political, technocratic, participatory, top down and bottom up approaches. This planning process is comprehensive or integrated because its involved many actor from multisectoral, multidisciplinary, multi regulatory, and multi planning documents, etc. Local wisdoms have been coloring the planning documents. This study describe and analyze the cultural development planning in Yogyakarta especially on the Management Planning in Kotagede Cultural Heritage District. We used qualitative descriptive approach methods and Miles and Huberman analysis methods. Participation of community and Non Governmental Organization (NGO in conservation planning of cultural heritage in this area is very significant in simplify the government task because people have been more literate in planning, have database of cultural assets, and capable of making their own decisions for the future of the region. Participatory rural appraisal (PRA dan Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA were integrated in the planning process of Kotagede Heritage District management, thus it becomes a model of cultural heritage with community empowerment-based conservation. Keywords: culture development planning, comprehensive planning, heritage cultural district, community empowerment-based conservation.

  3. Effects of Long-term Conservation Tillage on Soil Nutrients in Sloping Fields in Regions Characterized by Water and Wind Erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Chunjian; Cao, Xue; Yuan, Shuai; Wang, Weiyu; Feng, Yongzhong; Qiao, Bo

    2015-12-01

    Conservation tillage is commonly used in regions affected by water and wind erosion. To understand the effects of conservation tillage on soil nutrients and yield, a long-term experiment was set up in a region affected by water and wind erosion on the Loess Plateau. The treatments used were traditional tillage (CK), no tillage (NT), straw mulching (SM), plastic-film mulching (PM), ridging and plastic-film mulching (RPM) and intercropping (In). Our results demonstrate that the available nutrients in soils subjected to non-traditional tillage treatments decreased during the first several years and then remained stable over the last several years of the experiment. The soil organic matter and total nitrogen content increased gradually over 6 years in all treatments except CK. The nutrient content of soils subjected to conservative tillage methods, such as NT and SM, were significantly higher than those in soils under the CK treatment. Straw mulching and film mulching effectively reduced an observed decrease in soybean yield. Over the final 6 years of the experiment, soybean yields followed the trend RPM > PM > SM > NT > CK > In. This trend has implications for controlling soil erosion and preventing non-point source pollution in sloping fields by sacrificing some food production.

  4. Bird diversity in the Serra do Aracá region, northwestern Brazilian Amazon: preliminary check-list with considerations on biogeography and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sérgio Henrique Borges

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available We inventoried the birds from Serra do Aracá region, state of Amazonas. The region encompasses a high diversity of vegetation types, including white sand forests and campinas, terra firme and flooded forests, montane forests and tepuis. We recorded 416 bird taxa in 69 families through captures with mist nets, tape recording of bird voices, and collection of voucher specimens. A large proportion of them (61% were recorded in a single vegetation type. Qualitative estimates suggest that approximately 580 bird species occur in the region. The avifauna of the Aracá region has a mixed biogeographic composition, with species typical of both margins of the Rio Negro occurring sympatrically. Additionally, species whose distributions are restricted to three areas of endemism for Amazonian birds (Imeri, Guiana and Pantepui were recorded in the region. Rare landscapes in the Brazilian Amazon are found in the Serra do Aracá region. Additionally, we recorded endemic and rare birds, highlighting the value of the region for conservation. The Serra do Aracá State Park officially protects montane forests, terra firme forests and tepuis. We suggest that the large extension of white sand campinas and igapó forests at the southern portion of Serra do Aracá should be also preserved in order to improve the representation of the rich natural heritage of the region.

  5. Sequence analysis of the L protein of the Ebola 2014 outbreak: Insight into conserved regions and mutations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayub, Gohar; Waheed, Yasir

    2016-06-01

    The 2014 Ebola outbreak was one of the largest that have occurred; it started in Guinea and spread to Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Phylogenetic analysis of the current virus species indicated that this outbreak is the result of a divergent lineage of the Zaire ebolavirus. The L protein of Ebola virus (EBOV) is the catalytic subunit of the RNA‑dependent RNA polymerase complex, which, with VP35, is key for the replication and transcription of viral RNA. Earlier sequence analysis demonstrated that the L protein of all non‑segmented negative‑sense (NNS) RNA viruses consists of six domains containing conserved functional motifs. The aim of the present study was to analyze the presence of these motifs in 2014 EBOV isolates, highlight their function and how they may contribute to the overall pathogenicity of the isolates. For this purpose, 81 2014 EBOV L protein sequences were aligned with 475 other NNS RNA viruses, including Paramyxoviridae and Rhabdoviridae viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of all EBOV outbreak L protein sequences was also performed. Analysis of the amino acid substitutions in the 2014 EBOV outbreak was conducted using sequence analysis. The alignment demonstrated the presence of previously conserved motifs in the 2014 EBOV isolates and novel residues. Notably, all the mutations identified in the 2014 EBOV isolates were tolerant, they were pathogenic with certain examples occurring within previously determined functional conserved motifs, possibly altering viral pathogenicity, replication and virulence. The phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that all sequences with the exception of the 2014 EBOV sequences were clustered together. The 2014 EBOV outbreak has acquired a great number of mutations, which may explain the reasons behind this unprecedented outbreak. Certain residues critical to the function of the polymerase remain conserved and may be targets for the development of antiviral therapeutic agents.

  6. A computational method for identification of vaccine targets from protein regions of conserved human leukocyte antigen binding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Lars Rønn; Simon, Christian; Kudahl, Ulrich J.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Computational methods for T cell-based vaccine target discovery focus on selection of highly conserved peptides identified across pathogen variants, followed by prediction of their binding of human leukocyte antigen molecules. However, experimental studies have shown that T cells ofte...... or proteome using human leukocyte antigen binding predictions and made a web-accessible software implementation freely available at http://met-hilab.cbs.dtu.dk/blockcons/....

  7. Connecting Asian Heritage Conservation to the Idea of Performative Regionalism: A Case of Community-Enhancing Design Interventions in the Historical Art District of Liulichang Beijing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Thamrin

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The active and sometimes ruthless modernisation in Asia has triggered an urgent need to secure the protection and continuation of its rich heritage and diverse regional attributes. However, as in the case of China, the Asian perspective of conservation is different from the West in terms of the nature or ways of design interventions produced and its purposes. This phenomenon has frequently triggered criticisms from heritage conservation professionals. Hence, the objective of this paper is to explore the interventions done on Asian heritage sites, taking the Liulichang Art District in Beijing as the case study, and analyze the positive influence they have brought. The paper starts by distinguishing the Asian concept and values of authenticity in conservation that differ from the West and how these principles have been applied in Liulichang, a famous ancient street known for the selling and practice of classical Chinese arts, mostly for Chinese painting. Using the phenomenological method of analysis, the paper further elaborates on the importance of community building in learning and appreciating the art of Chinese painting and discusses the positive impact made by the design interventions in Liulichang, particularly in terms of community engagement and creation of novel ways to accommodate traditional cultural practices of Chinese painting. Results reflect that the Asian perspective of conservation do not always follow the principle of minimum intervention favoured by the West, but how contemporary interventions could be merged into the heritage site to revive regional communities and cultural activities, connecting Asian architectural conservation with the design approach coined by Barbara Allen (2005 as Performative Regionalism, hence developing the idea and practice of this approach as a result of the discussion. Rather than merely following textual or scientific procedures like in the West, this approach requires a more experiential way of

  8. Assessment of soil erosion and conservation on agricultural sloping lands using plot data in the semi-arid hilly loess region of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.X. Zhu

    2014-11-01

    New hydrological insights for the region: The results revealed that runoff per unit area slightly increased with slope angle on SSP, but reached a maximum at 15° and then decreased with slope angle on LSP. Soil loss per unit area increased with slope angle on both SSP and LSP. An average of 36.4% less runoff but only 3.6% less soil loss per unit area was produced on LSP than on SSP. The S factor calculated using the slope factor equations in USLE/RUSLE was significantly greater than that estimated from the measured soil loss on the plots. Rainstorms with recurrence intervals greater than 2 years were responsible for more than two thirds of the total soil and water loss. The effectiveness in reducing surface runoff by five types of conservation practices was mixed. However, all the conservation practices yielded much less soil loss than cropland.

  9. Threats, conservation strategies, and prognosis for suckers (Catostomidae) in North America: insights from regional case studies of a diverse family of non-game fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooke, Steven J.; Bunt, Christopher M.; Hamilton, Steven J.; Jennings, Cecil A.; Pearson, Micheal P.; Cooperman, Michael S.; Markle, Douglas F.

    2005-01-01

    Catostomid fishes are a diverse family of 76+ freshwater species that are distributed across North America in many different habitats. This group of fish is facing a variety of impacts and conservation issues that are somewhat unique relative to more economically valuable and heavily managed fish species. Here, we present a brief series of case studies to highlight the threats such as migration barriers, flow regulation, environmental contamination, habitat degradation, exploitation and impacts from introduced (non-native) species that are facing catostomids in different regions. Collectively, the case studies reveal that individual species usually are not threatened by a single, isolated factor. Instead, species in general face numerous stressors that threaten multiple stages of their life history. Several factors have retarded sucker conservation including widespread inabilities of field workers to distinguish some species, lack of basic natural history and ecological knowledge of life history, and the misconception that suckers are tolerant of degraded conditions and are of little social or ecological value. Without a specific constituent group lobbying for conservation of non-game fishes, all such species, including members of the catostomid family, will continue to face serious risks because of neglect, ignorance, and misunderstanding. We suggest that conservation strategies should incorporate research and education/outreach components. Other conservation strategies that would be effective for protecting suckers include freshwater protected areas for critical habitat, restoration of degraded habitat, and design of catostomid-friendly fish bypass facilities. We believe that the plight of the catostomids is representative of the threats facing many other non-game freshwater fishes with diverse life-history strategies globally.

  10. Evolutionary molecular medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  11. DNA in the conservation and management of African antelope

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lorenzen, Eline

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoki Takata

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

  13. 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.

  14. Conserved CPEs in the p53 3' untranslated region influence mRNA stability and protein synthesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenstierne, Maiken W; Vinther, Jeppe; Mittler, Gerhard

    2008-01-01

    CaT skin and MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines were established. Quantitative PCR and an enzymatic assay were used to quantify the reporter mRNA and protein levels, respectively. Proteins binding to the CPEs were identified by RNA-immunoprecipitation (IP) and quantitative mass spectroscopy. RESULTS: The wild...... irradiation. Several proteins (including GAPDH, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) D and A/B) were identified from the MCF-7 cytoplasmic extracts that bound specifically to the CPEs. CONCLUSION: Two conserved CPEs in the p53 3'UTR regulate stability and translation of a reporter mRNA in non...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Molecular dissection of a contiguous gene syndrome: Frequent submicroscopic deletions, evolutionarily conserved sequences, and a hypomethylated island in the Miller-Dieker chromosome region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ledbetter, D.H.; Ledbetter, S.A.; vanTuinen, P.

    1989-01-01

    The Miller-Dieker syndrome (MDS), composed of characteristic facial abnormalities and a severe neuronal migration disorder affecting the cerebral cortex, is caused by visible or submicroscopic deletions of chromosome band 17p13. Twelve anonymous DNA markers were tested against a panel of somatic cell hybrids containing 17p deletions from seven MDS patients. All patients, including three with normal karyotypes, are deleted for a variable set of 5-12 markers. Two highly polymorphic VNTR (variable number of tandem repeats) probes, YNZ22 and YNH37, are codeleted in all patients tested and make molecular diagnosis for this disorder feasible. By pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, YNZ22 and YNH37 were shown to be within 30 kilobases (kb) of each other. Cosmid clones containing both VNTR sequences were identified, and restriction mapping showed them to be 100 kb were completely deleted in all patients, providing a minimum estimate of the size of the MDS critical region. A hypomethylated island and evolutionarily conserved sequences were identified within this 100-kb region, indications of the presence of one or more expressed sequences potentially involved in the pathophysiology of this disorder. The conserved sequences were mapped to mouse chromosome 11 by using mouse-rat somatic cell hybrids, extending the remarkable homology between human chromosome 17 and mouse chromosome 11 by 30 centimorgans, into the 17p telomere region

  17. Movement patterns of Antillean manatees in Chetumal Bay (Mexico) and coastal Belize: A challenge for regional conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castelblanco-Martínez, Delma Nataly; Padilla-Saldivar, J.; Hernández-Arana, Héctor Abuid; Slone, D.H.; Reid, J.P.; Morales-Vela, B.

    2013-01-01

    Information from 15 satellite-tracked Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) was analyzed in order to assess individual movements, home ranges, and high-use areas for conservation decisions. Manatees were captured in Chetumal Bay, Mexico, and tagged with Argos-monitored satellite transmitters. Location of the manatees and physical characteristics were assessed to describe habitat properties. Most manatees traveled to freshwater sources. The Maximum Area Size (MAS) for each manatee was determined using the observation-area method. Additional kernel densities of 95% home range and 50% Center of Activity (COA) were also calculated, with manatees having 1–3 COAs. Manatees exhibited two different movement patterns: remaining in Chetumal Bay, and long-distance (up to 240 km in 89 d). The residence time in Chetumal Bay was higher for females (89.6% of time) than for males (72.0%), but the daily travel rate (0.4–0.5 km/d) was similar for both sexes. Most of the COAs fell within Natural Protected Areas (NPA). However, manatees also travel for long distances into unprotected areas, where they face uncontrolled boat traffic, fishing activities, and habitat loss. Conservation of movement corridors may promote long-distance movements and facilitate genetic exchange.

  18. ADAPTIF CONSERVATION (ACM MODEL IN INCREASING FAMILY SUPPORT AND COMPLIANCE TREATMENT IN PATIENT WITH PULONARY TUBERCULOSIS IN SURABAYA CITY REGION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Siti Nur Kholifah

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Tuberculosis (TB in Indonesia is still health problem and the prevalence rate is high. Discontinuing medication and lack of family support are the causalities. Numbers of strategies to overcome are seemingly not succeeded. Roles and responsibilities of family nursing are crucial to improve participation, motivation of individual, family and community in prevention, including pulmonary tuberculosis. Unfortunately, models of pulmonary tuberculosis currently unavailable. The combination of adaptation and conservation in complementarily improving family support and compliance in medication is introduced in this study. Method: This research intended to analyze Adaptive Conservation Model (ACM in extending family support and treatment compliance. Modeling steps including model analysis, expert validation, field trial, implementation and recommending the output model. Research subject involves 15 families who implement family Assistance and supervision in Medication (ASM and other 15 families with ACM. Result: The study revealed ACM is better than ASM on the case of family support and medication compliances. It supports the role of environment as influential factor on individual health belief, values and decision making. Therefore, it is advised to apply ACM in enhancing family support and compliance of pulmonary TB patients. Discussion: Social and family supports to ACM group obtained by developing interaction through communication. Family interaction necessary to improve family support to pulmonary tuberculosis patients. And social support plays as motivator to maintain compliance on medication

  19. The non-random clustering of non-synonymous substitutions and its relationship to evolutionary rate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stone Eric A

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein sequences are subject to a mosaic of constraint. Changes to functional domains and buried residues, for example, are more apt to disrupt protein structure and function than are changes to residues participating in loops or exposed to solvent. Regions of constraint on the tertiary structure of a protein often result in loose segmentation of its primary structure into stretches of slowly- and rapidly-evolving amino acids. This clustering can be exploited, and existing methods have done so by relying on local sequence conservation as a signature of selection to help identify functionally important regions within proteins. We invert this paradigm by leveraging the regional nature of protein structure and function to both illuminate and make use of genome-wide patterns of local sequence conservation. Results Our hypothesis is that the regional nature of structural and functional constraints will assert a positive autocorrelation on the evolutionary rates of neighboring sites, which, in a pairwise comparison of orthologous proteins, will manifest itself as the clustering of non-synonymous changes across the amino acid sequence. We introduce a dispersion ratio statistic to test this and related hypotheses. Using genome-wide interspecific comparisons of orthologous protein pairs, we reveal a strong log-linear relationship between the degree of clustering and the intensity of constraint. We further demonstrate how this relationship varies with the evolutionary distance between the species being compared. We provide some evidence that proteins with a history of positive selection deviate from genome-wide trends. Conclusions We find a significant association between the evolutionary rate of a protein and the degree to which non-synonymous changes cluster along its primary sequence. We show that clustering is a non-redundant predictor of evolutionary rate, and we speculate that conflicting signals of clustering and constraint may

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

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    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.

  1. Cytoplasmic protein binding to highly conserved sequences in the 3' untranslated region of mouse protamine 2 mRNA, a translationally regulated transcript of male germ cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwon, Y.K.; Hecht, N.B.

    1991-01-01

    The expression of the protamines, the predominant nuclear proteins of mammalian spermatozoa, is regulated translationally during male germ-cell development. The 3' untranslated region (UTR) of protamine 1 mRNA has been reported to control its time of translation. To understand the mechanisms controlling translation of the protamine mRNAs, we have sought to identify cis elements of the 3' UTR of protamine 2 mRNA that are recognized by cytoplasmic factors. From gel retardation assays, two sequence elements are shown to form specific RNA-protein complexes. Protein binding sites of the two complexes were determined by RNase T1 mapping, by blocking the putative binding sites with antisense oligonucleotides, and by competition assays. The sequences of these elements, located between nucleotides + 537 and + 572 in protamine 2 mRNA, are highly conserved among postmeiotic translationally regulated nuclear proteins of the mammalian testis. Two closely linked protein binding sites were detected. UV-crosslinking studies revealed that a protein of about 18 kDa binds to one of the conserved sequences. These data demonstrate specific protein binding to a highly conserved 3' UTR of translationally regulated testicular mRNA

  2. Conservation potential of agricultural water conservation subsidies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huffaker, Ray

    2008-07-01

    A current policy subsidizes farmers to invest in improved on-farm irrigation efficiency, expecting water to be conserved off farm. Contrary to expectation, water has been increasingly depleted in some regions after such improvements. This paper investigates the policy's failure to conserve water consistently by (1) formulating an economic model of irrigated crop production to determine a profit-maximizing irrigator's range of responses to a subsidy and (2) embedding these responses into hypothetical streamflow diagrams to ascertain their potential to conserve water under various hydrologic regimes. Testable hypotheses are developed to predict the conservation potential of a subsidy in real-world application.

  3. Complete genome sequence of a Chinese isolate of pepper vein yellows virus and evolutionary analysis based on the CP, MP and RdRp coding regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Maoyan; Liu, Xiangning; Li, Xun; Zhang, Deyong; Dai, Liangyin; Tang, Qianjun

    2016-03-01

    The genome sequence of pepper vein yellows virus (PeVYV) (PeVYV-HN, accession number KP326573), isolated from pepper plants (Capsicum annuum L.) grown at the Hunan Vegetables Institute (Changsha, Hunan, China), was determined by deep sequencing of small RNAs. The PeVYV-HN genome consists of 6244 nucleotides, contains six open reading frames (ORFs), and is similar to that of an isolate (AB594828) from Japan. Its genomic organization is similar to that of members of the genus Polerovirus. Sequence analysis revealed that PeVYV-HN shared 92% sequence identity with the Japanese PeVYV genome at both the nucleotide and amino acid levels. Evolutionary analysis based on the coat protein (CP), movement protein (MP), and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) showed that PeVYV could be divided into two major lineages corresponding to their geographical origins. The Asian isolates have a higher population expansion frequency than the African isolates. Negative selection and genetic drift (founder effect) were found to be the potential drivers of the molecular evolution of PeVYV. Moreover, recombination was not the distinct cause of PeVYV evolution. This is the first report of a complete genomic sequence of PeVYV in China.

  4. [Three regions of Rpb10 mini-subunit of nuclear RNA polymerases are strictly conserved in all eukaryotes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shpakovskiĭ, G V; Lebedenko, E N

    1996-12-01

    The rpb10+ cDNA from the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe was cloned using two independent approaches (PCR and genetic suppression). The cloned cDNA encoded the Rpb10 subunit common for all three RNA polymerases. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of the Sz. pombe Rbp10 subunit (71 amino acid residues) with those of the homologous subunits of RNA polymerases I, II, and III from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Home sapiens revealed that heptapeptides RCFT/SCGK (residues 6-12), RYCCRRM (residues 43-49), and HVDLIEK (residues 53-59) were evolutionarily the most conserved structural motifs of these subunits. It is shown that the Rbp10 subunit from Sz. pombe can substitute its homolog (ABC10 beta) in the baker's yeast S. cerevisiae.

  5. Assessment of Sustainable Use of Coastal Resources of Regional Waters Conservation Area Biak Numfor Regency, Papua Province, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sutaman Sutaman

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Efforts to exploit fish resources optimally, continuous and sustainable is an urgent demand for the greatest prosperity of the people, especially to improve the welfare of fishermen and fish farmers. The level of sustainable use of coastal resources in water conservation is very important, so that the utilization does not exceed the carrying capacity of the environment. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of sustainable use of coastal resources Biak Numfor, associated with the utilization of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism. The study was conducted in June to December 2015 and October to November 2016. The primary data obtained by interview and direct discussion through Focus Group Disscution (FGD with fishermen community, tourist and tourist entrepreneurs as well as related officials in the Office of Fisheries and Marine Affairs, and Tourism Office of Biak Numfor Regency. Methods of data analysis approach sustainability analysis conducted by the method of MDS (Multi-Dimensional Scaling with the help of software Rapfish. Based on the survey results revealed that the value of fisheries ordinated to achieve 57.66%, 44.80% aquaculture, and tourism 46.25%. With these achievements ordinated value, it can be concluded that the use of sustainable capture fisheries are still classified by the lever sustainability attributes include; the type of fishing gear, vessel types used and the catch per unit effort (CPUE. Meanwhile the relatively less sustainable aquaculture with the sustainability lever attributes include; cultivation technology, the number of business units with different types and species of fish. For tourism utilization is still considered less sustainable with levers sustainability attributes include the number of tourists, the type and number of amenities and facilities and infrastructure   Keywords: Sustainability, utilization, waters conservation area (KKPD, MDS-Rapfish

  6. Conserved microstructure of the Brassica B Genome of Brassica nigra in relation to homologous regions of Arabidopsis thaliana, B. rapa and B. oleracea

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The Brassica B genome is known to carry several important traits, yet there has been limited analyses of its underlying genome structure, especially in comparison to the closely related A and C genomes. A bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library of Brassica nigra was developed and screened with 17 genes from a 222 kb region of A. thaliana that had been well characterised in both the Brassica A and C genomes. Results Fingerprinting of 483 apparently non-redundant clones defined physical contigs for the corresponding regions in B. nigra. The target region is duplicated in A. thaliana and six homologous contigs were found in B. nigra resulting from the whole genome triplication event shared by the Brassiceae tribe. BACs representative of each region were sequenced to elucidate the level of microscale rearrangements across the Brassica species divide. Conclusions Although the B genome species separated from the A/C lineage some 6 Mya, comparisons between the three paleopolyploid Brassica genomes revealed extensive conservation of gene content and sequence identity. The level of fractionation or gene loss varied across genomes and genomic regions; however, the greatest loss of genes was observed to be common to all three genomes. One large-scale chromosomal rearrangement differentiated the B genome suggesting such events could contribute to the lack of recombination observed between B genome species and those of the closely related A/C lineage. PMID:23586706

  7. Utilization of manual therapy to the lumbar spine in conjunction with traditional conservative care for individuals with bilateral lower extremity complex regional pain syndrome: A case series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walston, Zachary; Hernandez, Luis; Yake, Dale

    2018-06-06

    Conservative therapies for complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) have traditionally focused on exercise and desensitization techniques targeted at the involved extremity. The primary purpose of this case series is to report on the potential benefit of utilizing manual therapy to the lumbar spine in conjunction with traditional conservative care when treating patients with lower extremity CRPS. Two patients with the diagnosis of lower extremity CRPS were treated with manual therapy to the lumbar spine in conjunction with education, exercise, desensitization, and soft tissue techniques for the extremity. Patient 1 received 13 sessions over 6 weeks resulting in a 34-point improvement in oswestry disability index (ODI) and 35-point improvement in lower extremity functional scale (LEFS). Patient 2 received 21 sessions over 12 weeks resulting in a 28-point improvement in ODI and a 41-point improvement in LEFS. Both patients exhibited reductions in pain and clinically meaningful improvements in function. Manual therapies when applied to the lumbar spine in these patients as part of a comprehensive treatment plan resulted in improved spinal mobility, decreased pain, and reduction is distal referred symptoms. Although one cannot infer a cause and effect relationship from a case series, this report identifies meaningful clinical outcomes potentially associated with manual physical therapy to the lumbar spine for two patients with complex regional pain syndrome type 1.

  8. Results of the global conservation assessment of the freshwater crabs (Brachyura, Pseudothelphusidae and Trichodactylidae: The Neotropical region, with an update on diversity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Cumberlidge

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The freshwater crabs of the Neotropics comprise 311 species in two families (Pseudothelphusidae and Trichodactylidae and one or both of these families are found in all of the countries in the Neotropical region (except for Chile and some of the Caribbean islands. Colombia (102 species, 81% endemic and Mexico (67 species, 95% endemic are the biodiversity hotspots of freshwater crab species richness and country-level endemism for this region. The results of the IUCN Red List conservation assessments show that 34% of pseudothelphusids and 10% of trichodactylids have an elevated risk of extinction, 29% of pseudothelphusids and 75% of trichodactylids are not at-risk (Least Concern, and although none are actually extinct, 56% of pseudothelphusids and 17% of trichodactylids are too poorly known to assess (Data Deficient. Colombia (14 species, Venezuela (7 species, Mexico (6 species, and Ecuador (5 species are the countries with the highest number of threatened species of Neotropical freshwater crabs. The majority of threatened species are restricted-range semiterrestrial endemics living in habitats subjected to deforestation, alteration of drainage patterns, and pollution. This underlines the need to prioritize and develop conservation measures before species decline to levels from which they cannot recover. These results represent a baseline that can be used to design strategies to save threatened Neotropical species of freshwater crabs.

  9. Coupled social and ecological outcomes of land use change and agricultural intensification in Costa Rica and the future of biodiversity conservation in tropical agricultural regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanfiorenzo, A. R.; Shaver, I.; Chain Guadarrama, A.; Cleary, K.; Santiago-Garcia, R.; Finegan, B.; Hormel, L.; Sibelet, N.; Vierling, L. A.; Bosque-Perez, N.; DeClerck, F.; Fagan, M. E.; Waits, L.

    2017-12-01

    Tropical ecosystem conversion to agriculture has caused widespread habitat loss and created fragmented landscapes composed of remnant forest patches embedded in a matrix of agricultural land uses. Non- traditional agricultural export (NTAE) crops such as pineapple are rapidly replacing multiuse landscapes characterized by a diverse matrix of pasture and smallholder crops with intensive, large-scale, monoculture plantations. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we conduct a case study to examine the coupled social and ecological implications of LUCC and agricultural intensification in this region, with larger application to regions experiencing similar patterns. Guided by frameworks from both political and landscape ecology, we: (1) describe the social and economic implications of pineapple expansion, specifically the concentration of land, labor and financial resources, (2) quantify pineapple cultivation's spatial characteristics, and (3) assess the effects of pineapple expansion on surrounding forest ecosystems, on the agricultural matrix and on biodiversity conservation. Our results indicate that pineapple production concentrates land, labor, and financial resources, which has a homogenizing effect on the agricultural economy in the study region. This constrains farm-based livelihoods, with larger implications for food security and agricultural diversity. Landscape ecology analyses further reveal how pineapple production simplifies and homogenizes the agricultural matrix between forest patches, which is likely to have a negative effect on biodiversity. To offset the effects of pineapple expansion on social and environmental systems, we recommend developing landscape level land use planning capacity. Furthermore, agricultural and conservation policy reform is needed to promote landscape heterogeneity and economic diversity within the agricultural sector. Our interdisciplinary research provides a detailed examination of the social and ecological impacts of

  10. 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

  11. Current knowledge and future research directions to link soil health and water conservation in the Ogallala Aquifer region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Ogallala Aquifer is one of the largest freshwater aquifers in the world. It acts as a valuable resource in agriculture, animal production, and public water supplies across eight Great Plains states. However, with high irrigation demand, low recharge rates across most of the region, and extreme c...

  12. Regional estimates of ecological services derived from U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faulkner, Stephen P.; Baldwin, Michael J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Waddle, Hardin; Keeland, Bobby D.; Walls, Susan C.; James, Dale; Moorman, Tom

    2010-01-01

    The Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) is the Nation?s largest floodplain and this once predominantly forested ecosystem provided significant habitat for a diverse flora and fauna, sequestered carbon in trees and soil, and stored floodwater, sediments, and nutrients within the floodplain. This landscape has been substantially altered by the conversion of nearly 75% of the riparian forests, predominantly to agricultural cropland, with significant loss and degradation of important ecosystem services. Large-scale efforts have been employed to restore the forest and wetland resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) represent some of the most extensive restoration programs in the MAV. The objective of the WRP is to restore and protect the functions and values of wetlands in agricultural landscapes with an emphasis on habitat for migratory birds and wetland-dependent wildlife, protection and improvement of water quality, flood attenuation, ground water recharge, protection of native flora and fauna, and educational and scientific scholarship.

  13. Molecular Dynamics Simulations of the STAS Domains of Rat Prestin and Human Pendrin Reveal Conformational Motions in Conserved Flexible Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alok K. Sharma

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Background: Molecular dynamics (MD simulations provide valuable information on the conformational changes that accompany time-dependent motions in proteins. The reported crystal structure of rat prestin (PDB 3LLO is remarkable for an α1-α2 inter-helical angle that differs substantially from those observed in bacterial STAS domains of SulP anion transporters and anti-sigma factor antagonists. However, NMR data on the rat prestin STAS domain in solution suggests dynamic features at or near the α1-α2 helical region (Pasqualetto et al JMB, 2010. We therefore performed a 100 ns 300K MD simulation study comparing the STAS domains of rat prestin and (modeled human pendrin, to explore possible conformational flexibility in the region of the α1 and α2 helices. Methods: The conformation of the loop missing in the crystal structure of rat prestin STAS (11 amino acids between helix α1 and strand β3 was built using Modeller. MD simulations were performed with GROMACSv4.6 using GROMOS96 53a6 all-atom force field. Results: A subset of secondary structured elements of the STAS domains exhibits significant conformational changes during the simulation time course. The conformationally perturbed segments include the majority of loop regions, as well as the α1 and α2 helices. A significant decrease in the α1-α2 inter-helical angle observed across the simulation trajectory leads to closer helical packing at their C-termini. The end-simulation conformations of the prestin and pendrin STAS domains, including their decreased α1-α2 inter-helical angles, resemble more closely the packing of corresponding helices in the STAS structures of bacterial SulP transporters Rv1739c and ychM, as well as those of the anti-sigma factor antagonists. Several structural segments of the modeled human pendrin STAS domain exhibit larger atomic motions and greater conformational deviations than the corresponding regions of rat prestin, predicting that the human pendrin STAS

  14. Attractive evolutionary equilibria

    OpenAIRE

    Roorda, Berend; Joosten, Reinoud

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Polymorphic Evolutionary Games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Michael A

    2016-06-07

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

  16. High conservation level of CD8(+) T cell immunogenic regions within an unusual H1N2 human influenza variant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komadina, Naomi; Quiñones-Parra, Sergio M; Kedzierska, Katherine; McCaw, James M; Kelso, Anne; Leder, Karin; McVernon, Jodie

    2016-10-01

    Current seasonal influenza vaccines require regular updates due to antigenic drift causing loss of effectiveness and therefore providing little or no protection against novel influenza A subtypes. Next generation vaccines capable of eliciting CD8(+) T cell (CTL) mediated cross-protective immunity may offer a long-term alternative strategy. However, measuring pre- and existing levels of CTL cross-protection in humans is confounded by differences in infection histories across individuals. During 2000-2003, H1N2 viruses circulated persistently in the human population for the first time and we hypothesized that the viral nucleoprotein (NP) contained novel CTL epitopes that may have contributed to the survival of the viruses. This study describes the immunogenic NP peptides of H1N1, H2N2, and H3N2 influenza viruses isolated from humans over the past century, 1918-2003, by comparing this historical dataset to reference NP peptides from H1N2 that circulated in humans during 2000-2003. Observed peptides sequences ranged from highly conserved (15%) to highly variable (12%), with variation unrelated to reported immunodominance. No unique NP peptides which were exclusive to the H1N2 viruses were noted. However, the virus had inherited the NP from a recently emerged H3N2 variant containing novel peptides, which may have assisted its persistence. Any advantage due to this novelty was subsequently lost with emergence of a newer H3N2 variant in 2003. Our approach has potential to provide insight into the population context in which influenza viruses emerge, and may help to inform immunogenic peptide selection for CTL-inducing influenza vaccines. J. Med. Virol. 88:1725-1732, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Widespread Shortening of 3' Untranslated Regions and Increased Exon Inclusion Are Evolutionarily Conserved Features of Innate Immune Responses to Infection.

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    Athma A Pai

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The contribution of pre-mRNA processing mechanisms to the regulation of immune responses remains poorly studied despite emerging examples of their role as regulators of immune defenses. We sought to investigate the role of mRNA processing in the cellular responses of human macrophages to live bacterial infections. Here, we used mRNA sequencing to quantify gene expression and isoform abundances in primary macrophages from 60 individuals, before and after infection with Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella typhimurium. In response to both bacteria we identified thousands of genes that significantly change isoform usage in response to infection, characterized by an overall increase in isoform diversity after infection. In response to both bacteria, we found global shifts towards (i the inclusion of cassette exons and (ii shorter 3' UTRs, with near-universal shifts towards usage of more upstream polyadenylation sites. Using complementary data collected in non-human primates, we show that these features are evolutionarily conserved among primates. Following infection, we identify candidate RNA processing factors whose expression is associated with individual-specific variation in isoform abundance. Finally, by profiling microRNA levels, we show that 3' UTRs with reduced abundance after infection are significantly enriched for target sites for particular miRNAs. These results suggest that the pervasive usage of shorter 3' UTRs is a mechanism for particular genes to evade repression by immune-activated miRNAs. Collectively, our results suggest that dynamic changes in RNA processing may play key roles in the regulation of innate immune responses.

  18. Fossil and modern sponge fauna of southern Australia and adjacent regions compared: interpretation, evolutionary and biogeographic significance of the late Eocene ‘soft’ sponges

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Łukowiak, M.

    2016-01-01

    The late Eocene ‘soft’ sponge fauna of southern Australia is reconstructed based on disassociated spicules and is used to interpret the paleoecology and environmental context of shallow marine communities in this region. The reconstructed sponge association was compared with coeval sponge

  19. Interactive effects of climate change with nutrients, mercury, and freshwater acidification on key taxa in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinkney, Alfred E.; Driscoll, Charles T.; Evers, David C.; Hooper, Michael J.; Horan, Jeffrey; Jones, Jess W.; Lazarus, Rebecca S.; Marshall, Harold G.; Milliken, Andrew; Rattner, Barnett A.; Schmerfeld, John J.; Sparling, Donald W.

    2015-01-01

    The North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative LCC (NA LCC) is a public–private partnership that provides information to support conservation decisions that may be affected by global climate change (GCC) and other threats. The NA LCC region extends from southeast Virginia to the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Within this region, the US National Climate Assessment documented increases in air temperature, total precipitation, frequency of heavy precipitation events, and rising sea level, and predicted more drastic changes. Here, we synthesize literature on the effects of GCC interacting with selected contaminant, nutrient, and environmental processes to adversely affect natural resources within this region. Using a case study approach, we focused on 3 stressors with sufficient NA LCC region-specific information for an informed discussion. We describe GCC interactions with a contaminant (Hg) and 2 complex environmental phenomena—freshwater acidification and eutrophication. We also prepared taxa case studies on GCC- and GCC-contaminant/nutrient/process effects on amphibians and freshwater mussels. Several avian species of high conservation concern have blood Hg concentrations that have been associated with reduced nesting success. Freshwater acidification has adversely affected terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the Adirondacks and other areas of the region that are slowly recovering due to decreased emissions of N and sulfur oxides. Eutrophication in many estuaries within the region is projected to increase from greater storm runoff and less denitrification in riparian wetlands. Estuarine hypoxia may be exacerbated by increased stratification. Elevated water temperature favors algal species that produce harmful algal blooms (HABs). In several of the region's estuaries, HABs have been associated with bird die-offs. In the NA LCC region, amphibian populations appear to be declining. Some species may be adversely affected by GCC through higher temperatures

  20. Identification of Common Epitopes on a Conserved Region of NSs Proteins Among Tospoviruses of Watermelon silver mottle virus Serogroup.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Tsung-Chi; Huang, Ching-Wen; Kuo, Yan-Wen; Liu, Fang-Lin; Yuan, Chao-Hsiu Hsuan; Hsu, Hei-Ti; Yeh, Shyi-Dong

    2006-12-01

    ABSTRACT The NSs protein of Watermelon silver mottle virus (WSMoV) was expressed by a Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) vector in squash. The expressed NSs protein with a histidine tag and an additional NIa protease cleavage sequence was isolated by Ni(2+)-NTA resins as a free-form protein and further eluted after sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis for production of rabbit antiserum and mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). The rabbit antiserum strongly reacted with the NSs crude antigen of WSMoV and weakly reacted with that of a high-temperature-recovered gloxinia isolate (HT-1) of Capsicum chlorosis virus (CaCV), but not with that of Calla lily chlorotic spot virus (CCSV). In contrast, the MAbs reacted strongly with all crude NSs antigens of WSMoV, CaCV, and CCSV. Various deletions of the NSs open reading frame were constructed and expressed by ZYMV vector. Results indicate that all three MAbs target the 89- to 125-amino-acid (aa) region of WSMoV NSs protein. Two indispensable residues of cysteine and lysine were essential for MAbs recognition. Sequence comparison of the deduced MAbs-recognized region with the reported tospoviral NSs proteins revealed the presence of a consensus sequence VRKPGVKNTGCKFTMHNQIFNPN (denoted WNSscon), at the 98- to 120-aa position of NSs proteins, sharing 86 to 100% identities among those of WSMoV, CaCV, CCSV, and Peanut bud necrosis virus. A synthetic WNSscon peptide reacted with the MAbs and verified that the epitopes are present in the 98- to 120-aa region of WSMoV NSs protein. The WSMoV sero-group-specific NSs MAbs provide a means for reliable identification of tospoviruses in this large serogroup.

  1. A practical study for Treatment and Conservation a group of Silver Coins from Dhamar Regional Museum, Dhamar, Yemen.

    OpenAIRE

    Mohamed M. Megahed

    2014-01-01

    A big group of silver coins{35 coins} was discovered in Banawa excavation , Dhamar , season 2002, and now it is situated in Dhamar Regional Museum ,Yemen. They were covered with a thin grey and black corrosion layers that disfigured them and hid their figures and inscriptions , also Some coins miss parts and others lost their circular.The aims of this work are identified the metallic composition of the coins , investigate the nature of corrosion grown during the long-term burial and identify ...

  2. Groundwater conservation and monitoring activities in the middle Brenta River plain (Veneto Region, Northern Italy: preliminary results about aquifer recharge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Sottani

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In the middle Brenta River plain there is a unconfined aquifer that represents an important groundwater resource in Veneto region. In this area the main groundwater recharge factor is related to the stream seepage: the water dispersion from the Brenta river is active with variable intensity from the foothill to the alignment Nove di Bassano - Cartigliano (Province of Vicenza. In order to mitigate the expected groundwater effects, due to future important waterworks withdrawals provided by the regional water resources management plans, an experimental project of Managed Aquifer Recharge has started, by means of the realization of some river transversal ramps. The construction of pilot works, partially completed, were preceded by a specific hydrogeological monitoring program, aimed to the evaluation of the effectiveness of the MAR actions in terms of comparison between pre-and post-operam conditions. Thanks to the development of a site-specific methodology, aimed to the quantification of the artificial infiltration rate, and after some years of monitoring controls of the hydrological and hydrogeological regimes, it is now possible to evaluate the extent and the rate of the recharge effects in groundwater due to ramps realization. The monitoring plan will be continued in the medium-long term. Some innovative approaches, based for example on the use of groundwater temperature measurements as recharge tracer, will help to validate the preliminary results.

  3. Conserved cis-regulatory regions in a large genomic landscape control SHH and BMP-regulated Gremlin1 expression in mouse limb buds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuniga Aimée

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mouse limb bud is a prime model to study the regulatory interactions that control vertebrate organogenesis. Major aspects of limb bud development are controlled by feedback loops that define a self-regulatory signalling system. The SHH/GREM1/AER-FGF feedback loop forms the core of this signalling system that operates between the posterior mesenchymal organiser and the ectodermal signalling centre. The BMP antagonist Gremlin1 (GREM1 is a critical node in this system, whose dynamic expression is controlled by BMP, SHH, and FGF signalling and key to normal progression of limb bud development. Previous analysis identified a distant cis-regulatory landscape within the neighbouring Formin1 (Fmn1 locus that is required for Grem1 expression, reminiscent of the genomic landscapes controlling HoxD and Shh expression in limb buds. Results Three highly conserved regions (HMCO1-3 were identified within the previously defined critical genomic region and tested for their ability to regulate Grem1 expression in mouse limb buds. Using a combination of BAC and conventional transgenic approaches, a 9 kb region located ~70 kb downstream of the Grem1 transcription unit was identified. This region, termed Grem1 Regulatory Sequence 1 (GRS1, is able to recapitulate major aspects of Grem1 expression, as it drives expression of a LacZ reporter into the posterior and, to a lesser extent, in the distal-anterior mesenchyme. Crossing the GRS1 transgene into embryos with alterations in the SHH and BMP pathways established that GRS1 depends on SHH and is modulated by BMP signalling, i.e. integrates inputs from these pathways. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed interaction of endogenous GLI3 proteins with the core cis-regulatory elements in the GRS1 region. As GLI3 is a mediator of SHH signal transduction, these results indicated that SHH directly controls Grem1 expression through the GRS1 region. Finally, all cis-regulatory regions within the Grem1

  4. Untranslatable tospoviral NSs fragment coupled with L conserved region enhances transgenic resistance against the homologous virus and a serologically unrelated tospovirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yazhisai, Uthaman; Rajagopalan, Prem Anand; Raja, Joseph A J; Chen, Tsung-Chi; Yeh, Shyi-Dong

    2015-08-01

    Tospoviruses cause severe damages to important crops worldwide. In this study, Nicotiana benthamiana transgenic lines carrying individual untranslatable constructs comprised of the conserved region of the L gene (denoted as L), the 5' half of NSs coding sequence (NSs) or the antisense fragment of whole N coding sequence (N) of Watermelon silver mottle virus (WSMoV), individually or in combination, were generated. A total of 15-17 transgenic N. benthamiana lines carrying individual transgenes were evaluated against WSMoV and the serologically unrelated Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). Among lines carrying single or chimeric transgenes, the level of resistance ranged from susceptible to completely resistant against WSMoV. From the lines carrying individual transgenes and highly resistant to WSMoV (56-63% of lines assayed), 30% of the L lines (3/10 lines assayed) and 11% of NSs lines (1/9 lines assayed) were highly resistant against TSWV. The chimeric transgenes provided higher degrees of resistance against WSMoV (80-88%), and the NSs fragment showed an additive effect to enhance the resistance to TSWV. Particularly, the chimeric transgenes with the triple combination of fragments, namely L/NSs/N or HpL/NSs/N (a hairpin construct), provided a higher degree of resistance (both 50%, with 7/14 lines assayed) against TSWV. Our results indicate that the untranslatable NSs fragment is able to enhance the transgenic resistance conferred by the L conserved region. The better performance of L/NSs/N and HpL/NSs/N in transgenic N. benthamiana lines suggests their potential usefulness in generating high levels of enhanced transgenic resistance against serologically unrelated tospoviruses in agronomic crops.

  5. Adenovirus delivered short hairpin RNA targeting a conserved site in the 5' non-translated region inhibits all four serotypes of dengue viruses.

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    Anil Babu Korrapati

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by four closely related serotypes of Dengue viruses (DENVs. This disease whose symptoms range from mild fever to potentially fatal haemorrhagic fever and hypovolemic shock, threatens nearly half the global population. There is neither a preventive vaccine nor an effective antiviral therapy against dengue disease. The difference between severe and mild disease appears to be dependent on the viral load. Early diagnosis may enable timely therapeutic intervention to blunt disease severity by reducing the viral load. Harnessing the therapeutic potential of RNA interference (RNAi to attenuate DENV replication may offer one approach to dengue therapy. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We screened the non-translated regions (NTRs of the RNA genomes of representative members of the four DENV serotypes for putative siRNA targets mapping to known transcription/translation regulatory elements. We identified a target site in the 5' NTR that maps to the 5' upstream AUG region, a highly conserved cis-acting element essential for viral replication. We used a replication-defective human adenovirus type 5 (AdV5 vector to deliver a short-hairpin RNA (shRNA targeting this site into cells. We show that this shRNA matures to the cognate siRNA and is able to inhibit effectively antigen secretion, viral RNA replication and infectious virus production by all four DENV serotypes. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The data demonstrate the feasibility of using AdV5-mediated delivery of shRNAs targeting conserved sites in the viral genome to achieve inhibition of all four DENV serotypes. This paves the way towards exploration of RNAi as a possible therapeutic strategy to curtail DENV infection.

  6. Coupled social and ecological outcomes of agricultural intensification in Costa Rica and the future of biodiversity conservation in tropical agricultural regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanfiorenzo, A. R.; Waits, L.; Finegan, B.; Shaver, I.; Chain Guadarrama, A.; Cleary, K.; Santiago-Garcia, R.; Hormel, L.; Vierling, L. A.; Bosque-Perez, N.; DeClerck, F.; Fagan, M. E.; Sibelet, N.

    2016-12-01

    Tropical ecosystem conversion to agriculture has caused widespread habitat loss and created fragmented landscapes composed of remnant forest patches embedded in a matrix of agricultural land uses. Non-traditional agricultural export (NTAE) crops such as pineapple are rapidly replacing multiuse landscapes characterized by a diverse matrix of pasture and smallholder crops with intensive, large-scale, monoculture plantations. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we examine the coupled social and ecological implications of agricultural intensification Guided by frameworks from political economy, landscape ecology and landscape genetics we: (1) describe the social and economic implications of pineapple expansion, specifically the concentration of land, labor and financial resources, (2) quantify pineapple cultivation's spatial characteristics, and (3) assess the effects of pineapple expansion on surrounding forest ecosystems, on the agricultural matrix and on biodiversity conservation. Our results indicate that pineapple production concentrates land, labor, and financial resources, which has a homogenizing effect on the agricultural economy in the study region. This constrains farm-based livelihoods, with larger implications for food security and agricultural diversity. Landscape ecology and genetics analyses further reveal how pineapple production simplifies and homogenizes the agricultural matrix between forest patches, which increase the genetic structure and reduce the genetic diversity of Symphonia globulifera a forest understory tree species. To offset the effects of agricultural intensification on social and environmental systems, we recommend developing landscape level land use planning capacity. Furthermore, agricultural and conservation policy reform is needed to promote landscape heterogeneity and economic diversity within the agricultural sector. Our interdisciplinary research provides a detailed examination of the social and ecological impacts of

  7. 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.

  8. Delta-associated molluscan life and death assemblages in the northern Adriatic Sea: Implications for paleoecology, regional diversity and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Kristina; Zuschin, Martin

    2013-01-15

    Life-death (LD) studies of shelly macrofauna are important to evaluate how well a fossil assemblage can reflect the original living community, but can also serve as a proxy for recent ecological shifts in marine habitats and in practice this has to be distinguished using taphonomic preservation pattern and estimates of time-averaging. It remains to be rigorously evaluated, however, how to distinguish between sources of LD disagreement. In addition, death assemblages (DAs) also preserve important information on regional diversity which is not available from single censuses of the life assemblages (LAs). The northern Adriatic Sea is an ecosystem under anthropogenic pressure, and we studied the distribution and abundance of living and dead bivalve and gastropod species in the physically stressful environments (tidal flat and shallow sublittoral soft bottoms) associated with the delta of the Isonzo River (Gulf of Trieste). Specifically we evaluated the fidelity of richness, evenness, abundance, habitat discrimination and beta diversity. A total of 10,740 molluscs from fifteen tidal flat and fourteen sublittoral sites were analyzed for species composition and distribution of living and dead molluscs. Of 78 recorded species, only eleven were numerically abundant. There were many more dead than living individuals and rarefied species richness in the DA was higher at all spatial scales, but the differences are lower in habitats and in the region than at individual stations. Evenness was always higher in death assemblages, and probably due to temporally more variable LAs the differences are stronger in the sublittoral habitats. Distinct assemblages characterized intertidal and sublittoral habitats, and the distribution and abundance of empty shells generally corresponded to that of the living species. Death assemblages have lower beta diversity than life assemblages, but empty shells capture compositional differences between habitats to a higher degree than living shells

  9. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-03-15

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

  10. Evolutionary relationships among Astroviridae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lukashov, Vladimir V.; Goudsmit, Jaap

    2002-01-01

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

  11. Identification and evolutionary dynamics of cacta DNA transposons in brassica

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nouroz, F.; Noreen, S.; Harrison, J.S.H.

    2017-01-01

    Transposable elements are the major drivers of genome evolution and plasticity. Due to their transposition mode, they are classified into two major classes as Retrotransposons and DNA transposons. The En/Spm or CACTA elements are diverse group of DNA transposons proliferating in plant genomes. Various bioinformatics and molecular approaches were used for identification and distribution of CACTA transposons in Brassica genome. A combination of dot plot analysis and BLASTN searches yielded 35 autonomous and 7 non-autonomous CACTA elements in Brassica. The elements ranged in sizes from 1.2 kb non-autonomous elements to 11kb autonomous elements, terminated by 3 bp Target Site Duplication (TSD) and ~15 bp conserved Terminal Inverted Repeat (TIR) motifs (5'-CACTACAAGAAAACA-3'), with heterogeneous internal regions. The transposase (TNP) was identified from autonomous CACTA elements, while other protein domains from Brassica and other plants CACTA revealed similar organizations with minor differences. Both transposases (TNPD, TNPA) are present in most CACTA, while a few CACTA harboured an additional ATHILA ORF1-like domain. The PCR analysis amplified the CACTA transposases from 40 Brassica accessions (A, B, and C-genome) suggesting their distribution among various Brassica crops. A detailed characterization and evolutionary analysis of the identified CACTA elements allowed some to be placed in genome-specific groups, while most of them (Brassica-Arabidopsis elements) have followed the same evolutionary line. The distribution of CACTA in Brassica concluded that 3 bp TSDs generating CACTA transposons contributed significantly to genome size and evolution of Brassica genome. (author)

  12. Evolutionary Multiplayer Games

    OpenAIRE

    Gokhale, Chaitanya S.; Traulsen, Arne

    2014-01-01

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

  13. SubClonal Hierarchy Inference from Somatic Mutations: Automatic Reconstruction of Cancer Evolutionary Trees from Multi-region Next Generation Sequencing.

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    Noushin Niknafs

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Recent improvements in next-generation sequencing of tumor samples and the ability to identify somatic mutations at low allelic fractions have opened the way for new approaches to model the evolution of individual cancers. The power and utility of these models is increased when tumor samples from multiple sites are sequenced. Temporal ordering of the samples may provide insight into the etiology of both primary and metastatic lesions and rationalizations for tumor recurrence and therapeutic failures. Additional insights may be provided by temporal ordering of evolving subclones--cellular subpopulations with unique mutational profiles. Current methods for subclone hierarchy inference tightly couple the problem of temporal ordering with that of estimating the fraction of cancer cells harboring each mutation. We present a new framework that includes a rigorous statistical hypothesis test and a collection of tools that make it possible to decouple these problems, which we believe will enable substantial progress in the field of subclone hierarchy inference. The methods presented here can be flexibly combined with methods developed by others addressing either of these problems. We provide tools to interpret hypothesis test results, which inform phylogenetic tree construction, and we introduce the first genetic algorithm designed for this purpose. The utility of our framework is systematically demonstrated in simulations. For most tested combinations of tumor purity, sequencing coverage, and tree complexity, good power (≥ 0.8 can be achieved and Type 1 error is well controlled when at least three tumor samples are available from a patient. Using data from three published multi-region tumor sequencing studies of (murine small cell lung cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, in which the authors reconstructed subclonal phylogenetic trees by manual expert curation, we show how different configurations of our tools can

  14. SubClonal Hierarchy Inference from Somatic Mutations: Automatic Reconstruction of Cancer Evolutionary Trees from Multi-region Next Generation Sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niknafs, Noushin; Beleva-Guthrie, Violeta; Naiman, Daniel Q; Karchin, Rachel

    2015-10-01

    Recent improvements in next-generation sequencing of tumor samples and the ability to identify somatic mutations at low allelic fractions have opened the way for new approaches to model the evolution of individual cancers. The power and utility of these models is increased when tumor samples from multiple sites are sequenced. Temporal ordering of the samples may provide insight into the etiology of both primary and metastatic lesions and rationalizations for tumor recurrence and therapeutic failures. Additional insights may be provided by temporal ordering of evolving subclones--cellular subpopulations with unique mutational profiles. Current methods for subclone hierarchy inference tightly couple the problem of temporal ordering with that of estimating the fraction of cancer cells harboring each mutation. We present a new framework that includes a rigorous statistical hypothesis test and a collection of tools that make it possible to decouple these problems, which we believe will enable substantial progress in the field of subclone hierarchy inference. The methods presented here can be flexibly combined with methods developed by others addressing either of these problems. We provide tools to interpret hypothesis test results, which inform phylogenetic tree construction, and we introduce the first genetic algorithm designed for this purpose. The utility of our framework is systematically demonstrated in simulations. For most tested combinations of tumor purity, sequencing coverage, and tree complexity, good power (≥ 0.8) can be achieved and Type 1 error is well controlled when at least three tumor samples are available from a patient. Using data from three published multi-region tumor sequencing studies of (murine) small cell lung cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, in which the authors reconstructed subclonal phylogenetic trees by manual expert curation, we show how different configurations of our tools can identify either a single

  15. Evolutionary history of Phakopsora pachyrhizi (the Asian soybean rust in Brazil based on nucleotide sequences of the internal transcribed spacer region of the nuclear ribosomal DNA

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    Maíra C. M. Freire

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Phakopsora pachyrhizi has dispersed globally and brought severe economic losses to soybean growers. The fungus has been established in Brazil since 2002 and is found nationwide. To gather information on the temporal and spatial patterns of genetic variation in P. pachyrhizi , we sequenced the nuclear internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS1 and ITS2. Total genomic DNA was extracted using either lyophilized urediniospores or lesions removed from infected leaves sampled from 26 soybean fields in Brazil and one field in South Africa. Cloning prior to sequencing was necessary because direct sequencing of PCR amplicons gave partially unreadable electrophoretograms with peak displacements suggestive of multiple sequences with length polymorphism. Sequences were determined from four clones per field. ITS sequences from African or Asian isolates available from the GenBank were included in the analyses. Independent sequence alignments of the ITS1 and ITS2 datasets identified 27 and 19 ribotypes, respectively. Molecular phylogeographic analyses revealed that ribotypes of widespread distribution in Brazil displayed characteristics of ancestrality and were shared with Africa and Asia, while ribotypes of rare occurrence in Brazil were indigenous. The results suggest P. pachyrhizi found in Brazil as originating from multiple, independent long-distance dispersal events.

  16. Patterns and processes underlying evolutionary significant units in the Platypleura stridula L. species complex (Hemiptera: Cicadidae) in the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Price, B W; Barker, N P; Villet, M H

    2007-06-01

    Cicadas have been shown to be useful organisms for examining the effects of distribution, plant association and geographical barriers on gene flow between populations. The cicadas of the Platypleura stridula species complex are restricted to the biologically diverse Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa. They are thus an excellent study group for elucidating the mechanisms by which hemipteran diversity is generated and maintained in the CFR. Phylogeographical analysis of this species complex using mitochondrial DNA Cytochrome Oxidase I (COI) and ribosomal 16S sequence data, coupled with preliminary morphological and acoustic data, resolves six clades, each of which has specific host-plant associations and distinct geographical ranges. The phylogeographical structure implies simultaneous or near-simultaneous radiation events, coupled with shifts in host-plant associations. When calibrated using published COI and 16S substitution rates typical for related insects, these lineages date back to the late Pliocene - early Pleistocene, coincident with vegetation change, altered drainage patterns and accelerated erosion in response to neotectonic crustal uplift and cyclic Pleistocene climate change, and glaciation-associated changes in climate and sea level.

  17. Atmospheric loss from the dayside open polar region and its dependence on geomagnetic activity: implications for atmospheric escape on evolutionary timescales

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    R. Slapak

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available We have investigated the total O+ escape rate from the dayside open polar region and its dependence on geomagnetic activity, specifically Kp. Two different escape routes of magnetospheric plasma into the solar wind, the plasma mantle, and the high-latitude dayside magnetosheath have been investigated separately. The flux of O+ in the plasma mantle is sufficiently fast to subsequently escape further down the magnetotail passing the neutral point, and it is nearly 3 times larger than that in the dayside magnetosheath. The contribution from the plasma mantle route is estimated as  ∼ 3. 9 × 1024exp(0. 45 Kp [s−1] with a 1 to 2 order of magnitude range for a given geomagnetic activity condition. The extrapolation of this result, including escape via the dayside magnetosheath, indicates an average O+ escape of 3 × 1026 s−1 for the most extreme geomagnetic storms. Assuming that the range is mainly caused by the solar EUV level, which was also larger in the past, the average O+ escape could have reached 1027–28 s−1 a few billion years ago. Integration over time suggests a total oxygen escape from ancient times until the present roughly equal to the atmospheric oxygen content today.

  18. The Central Conserved Region (CCR) of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) G Protein Modulates Host miRNA Expression and Alters the Cellular Response to Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakre, Abhijeet A; Harcourt, Jennifer L; Haynes, Lia M; Anderson, Larry J; Tripp, Ralph A

    2017-07-03

    Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infects respiratory epithelial cells and deregulates host gene expression by many mechanisms including expression of RSV G protein (RSV G). RSV G protein encodes a central conserved region (CCR) containing a CX3C motif that functions as a fractalkine mimic. Disruption of the CX3C motif (a.a. 182-186) located in the CCR of the G protein has been shown to affect G protein function in vitro and the severity of RSV disease pathogenesis in vivo. We show that infection of polarized Calu3 respiratory cells with recombinant RSV having point mutations in Cys173 and 176 (C173/176S) (rA2-GC12), or Cys186 (C186S) (rA2-GC4) is associated with a decline in the integrity of polarized Calu-3 cultures and decreased virus production. This is accompanied with downregulation of miRNAs let-7f and miR-24 and upregulation of interferon lambda (IFNλ), a primary antiviral cytokine for RSV in rA2-GC12/rA2-GC4 infected cells. These results suggest that residues in the cysteine noose region of RSV G protein can modulate IFN λ expression accompanied by downregulation of miRNAs, and are important for RSV G protein function and targeting.

  19. The Participatory Construction of Agro-Ecological Knowledge As A Soil Conservation Strategy In The Mountain Region of Rio de Janeiro State (Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Assis Renato Linhares

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture in the mountain region of Rio de Janeiro State is characterized by intensive soil use and input. Such mountainous environments are vulnerable to climate events; thus, the current article presents a report on methods applied to exchange academic and traditional knowledge. The aim is to expand farmers’ perception about the need of implementing agro-ecological practices, mainly soil management practices, which are important for agricultural sustainability in mountainous environments. The study was conducted in a Nova Friburgo family production unit, in the mountain region of Rio de Janeiro State (Brazil. It consisted of implementing three observation and soil organic-matter management units. The idea was to reduce the incidence of clubroot of crucifers disease caused by Plasmidiophora brassicae. The soil fauna was discussed with local farmers, with emphasis on the association between ecological processes and soil management. The present study improved the discussion with farmers and the need of introducing other innovative conservation practices such as no-tillage system and participatory research based on agro-ecological propositions.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Inability to induce consistent T-cell responses recognizing conserved regions within HIIV-1 antigens: a potential mechanism for lack of vaccine efficacy in the step study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Korber, Bette [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Szinger, James [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    T cell based vaccines are based upon the induction of CD8+ T cell memory responses that would be effective in inhibiting infection and subsequent replication of an infecting HIV-1 strain, a process that requires a high probability of matching the epitope induced by vaccination with the infecting viral strain. We compared the frequency and specificity of the CTL epitopes elicited by the replication defective AdS gag/pol/nef vaccine used in the STEP trial with the likelihood of encountering those epitopes among recently sequenced Clade B isolates of HIV-1. On average vaccination elicited only one epitope per gene. Importantly, the highly conserved epitopes in gag, pol, and nef (> 80% of strains in the current collection of the Los Alamos database [www.hiv.lanl.gov]) were rarely elicited by vaccination. Moreover there was a statistically significant skewing of the T cell response to relative variable epitopes of each gene; only 20% of persons possessed > 3 T cell responses to epitopes likely to be found in circulating strains in the CladeB populations in which the Step trial was conducted. This inability to elicit T cell responses likely to be found in circulating viral strains is a likely factor in the lack of efficacy of the vaccine utilized in the STEP trial. Modeling of the epitope specific responses elicited by vaccination, we project that a median of 8-10 CD8+ T cell epitopes are required to provide >80% likelihood of eliciting at least 3 CD8+ T cell epitopes that would be found on a circulating population of viruses. Development of vaccine regimens which elicit either a greater breadth of responses or elicit responses to conserved regions of the HIV-1 genome are needed to fully evaluate the concept of whether induction of T cell immunity can alter HIV-1 in vivo.

  4. The highly conserved 5' untranslated region as an effective target towards the inhibition of Enterovirus 71 replication by unmodified and appropriate 2'-modified siRNAs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deng Jun-Xia

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Enterovirus 71 (EV71 is a highly infectious agent that plays an etiological role in hand, foot, and mouth disease. It is associated with severe neurological complications and has caused significant mortalities in recent large-scale outbreaks. Currently, no effective vaccine or specific clinical therapy is available against EV71. Methods Unmodified 21 nucleotide small interfering RNAs (siRNAs and classic 2′-modified (2′-O-methylation or 2′-fluoro modification siRNAs were designed to target highly conserved 5′ untranslated region (UTR of the EV71 genome and employed as anti-EV71 agents. Real-time TaqMan RT-PCR, western blot analysis and plaque assays were carried out to evaluate specific viral inhibition by the siRNAs. Results Transfection of rhabdomyosarcoma (RD cells with siRNAs targeting the EV71 genomic 5′ UTR significantly delayed and alleviated the cytopathic effects of EV71 infection, increased cell viability in EV71-infected RD cells. The inhibitory effect on EV71 replication was sequence-specific and dosage-dependent, with significant corresponding decreases in viral RNA, VP1 protein and viral titer. Appropriate 2′-modified siRNAs exhibited similar RNA interference (RNAi activity with dramatically increased serum stability in comparison with unmodified counterparts. Conclusion Sequences were identified within the highly conserved 5′ UTR that can be targeted to effectively inhibit EV71 replication through RNAi strategies. Appropriate 2′-modified siRNAs provide a promising approach to optimizing siRNAs to overcome barriers on RNAi-based antiviral therapies for broader administration.

  5. Substitutions in conserved regions preceding and within the linker affect activity and flexibility of tRNase ZL, the long form of tRNase Z.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Makenzie Saoura

    Full Text Available The enzyme tRNase Z, a member of the metallo-β-lactamase family, endonucleolytically removes 3' trailers from precursor tRNAs, preparing them for CCA addition and aminoacylation. The short form of tRNase Z, tRNase ZS, functions as a homodimer and is found in all prokaryotes and some eukaryotes. The long form, tRNase ZL, related to tRNase ZS through tandem duplication and found only in eukaryotes, possesses ~2,000-fold greater catalytic efficiency than tRNase ZS. tRNase ZL consists of related but diverged amino and carboxy domains connected by a flexible linker (also referred to as a flexible tether and functions as a monomer. The amino domain retains the flexible arm responsible for substrate recognition and binding while the carboxy domain retains the active site. The linker region was explored by Ala-scanning through two conserved regions of D. melanogaster tRNase Z: NdomTprox, located at the carboxy end of the amino domain proximal to the linker, and Tflex, a flexible site in the linker. Periodic substitutions in a hydrophobic patch (F329 and L332 at the carboxy end of NdomTprox show 2,700 and 670-fold impairment relative to wild type, respectively, accompanied by reduced linker flexibility at N-T inside the Ndom- linker boundary. The Ala substitution for N378 in the Tflex region has 10-fold higher catalytic efficiency than wild type and locally decreased flexibility, while the Ala substitution at R382 reduces catalytic efficiency ~50-fold. These changes in pre-tRNA processing kinetics and protein flexibility are interpreted in light of a recent crystal structure for S. cerevisiae tRNase Z, suggesting transmission of local changes in hydrophobicity into the skeleton of the amino domain.

  6. Wetting of nonconserved residue-backbones: A feature indicative of aggregation associated regions of proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pradhan, Mohan R; Pal, Arumay; Hu, Zhongqiao; Kannan, Srinivasaraghavan; Chee Keong, Kwoh; Lane, David P; Verma, Chandra S

    2016-02-01

    Aggregation is an irreversible form of protein complexation and often toxic to cells. The process entails partial or major unfolding that is largely driven by hydration. We model the role of hydration in aggregation using "Dehydrons." "Dehydrons" are unsatisfied backbone hydrogen bonds in proteins that seek shielding from water molecules by associating with ligands or proteins. We find that the residues at aggregation interfaces have hydrated backbones, and in contrast to other forms of protein-protein interactions, are under less evolutionary pressure to be conserved. Combining evolutionary conservation of residues and extent of backbone hydration allows us to distinguish regions on proteins associated with aggregation (non-conserved dehydron-residues) from other interaction interfaces (conserved dehydron-residues). This novel feature can complement the existing strategies used to investigate protein aggregation/complexation. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  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. Applying evolutionary anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Applying Evolutionary Anthropology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also hold great, largely untapped, potential to guide the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and public health policy. Focusing on the key anthropological themes of reproduction, production, and distribution we highlight classic and recent research demonstrating the value of an evolutionary perspective to improving human well-being. The challenge now comes in transforming relevance into action and, for that, evolutionary behavioral anthropologists will need to forge deeper connections with other applied social scientists and policy-makers. We are hopeful that these developments are underway and that, with the current tide of enthusiasm for evidence-based approaches to policy, evolutionary anthropology is well positioned to make a strong contribution. PMID:25684561

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miklós, István; Zádori, Zoltán

    2012-02-01

    HD amino acid duplex has been found in the active center of many different enzymes. The dyad plays remarkably different roles in their catalytic processes that usually involve metal coordination. An HD motif is positioned directly on the amyloid beta fragment (Aβ) and on the carboxy-terminal region of the extracellular domain (CAED) of the human amyloid precursor protein (APP) and a taxonomically well defined group of APP orthologues (APPOs). In human Aβ HD is part of a presumed, RGD-like integrin-binding motif RHD; however, neither RHD nor RXD demonstrates reasonable conservation in APPOs. The sequences of CAEDs and the position of the HD are not particularly conserved either, yet we show with a novel statistical method using evolutionary modeling that the presence of HD on CAEDs cannot be the result of neutral evolutionary forces (pHD motif is underrepresented in the proteomes of all species of the animal kingdom. Position migration can be explained by high probability occurrence of multiple copies of HD on intermediate sequences, from which only one is kept by selective evolutionary forces, in a similar way as in the case of the "transcription binding site turnover." CAED of all APP orthologues and homologues are predicted to bind metal ions including Amyloid-like protein 1 (APLP1) and Amyloid-like protein 2 (APLP2). Our results suggest that HDs on the CAEDs are most probably key components of metal-binding domains, which facilitate and/or regulate inter- or intra-molecular interactions in a metal ion-dependent or metal ion concentration-dependent manner. The involvement of naturally occurring mutations of HD (Tottori (D7N) and English (H6R) mutations) in early onset Alzheimer's disease gives additional support to our finding that HD has an evolutionary preserved function on APPOs.

  11. Paleo-drainage basin connectivity predicts evolutionary relationships across three Southeast Asian biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bruyn, Mark; Rüber, Lukas; Nylinder, Stephan; Stelbrink, Björn; Lovejoy, Nathan R; Lavoué, Sébastien; Tan, Heok Hui; Nugroho, Estu; Wowor, Daisy; Ng, Peter K L; Siti Azizah, M N; Von Rintelen, Thomas; Hall, Robert; Carvalho, Gary R

    2013-05-01

    Understanding factors driving diversity across biodiversity hotspots is critical for formulating conservation priorities in the face of ongoing and escalating environmental deterioration. While biodiversity hotspots encompass a small fraction of Earth's land surface, more than half the world's plants and two-thirds of terrestrial vertebrate species are endemic to these hotspots. Tropical Southeast (SE) Asia displays extraordinary species richness, encompassing four biodiversity hotspots, though disentangling multiple potential drivers of species richness is confounded by the region's dynamic geological and climatic history. Here, we use multilocus molecular genetic data from dense multispecies sampling of freshwater fishes across three biodiversity hotspots, to test the effect of Quaternary climate change and resulting drainage rearrangements on aquatic faunal diversification. While Cenozoic geological processes have clearly shaped evolutionary history in SE Asian halfbeak fishes, we show that paleo-drainage re-arrangements resulting from Quaternary climate change played a significant role in the spatiotemporal evolution of lowland aquatic taxa, and provide priorities for conservation efforts.

  12. 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

  13. Revisiting the evolutionary events in Allium subgenus Cyathophora (Amaryllidaceae): Insights into the effect of the Hengduan Mountains Region (HMR) uplift and Quaternary climatic fluctuations to the environmental changes in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Min-Jie; Tan, Jin-Bo; Xie, Deng-Feng; Huang, De-Qing; Gao, Yun-Dong; He, Xing-Jin

    2016-01-01

    The respective roles that the Hengduan Mountains Region (HMR) uplift around 4-3 Ma and Quaternary climatic oscillations played in causing the environmental changes in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) remain unknown. Here, we reconstruct the evolutionary history of two varieties of Allium cyathophorum and A. spicatum of subgenus Cyathophora, restricted to the HMR and the western QTP, respectively. Forty-five populations were surveyed for chloroplast and nuclear sequence variation to evaluate phylogenetic relationships, dates of divergence and ancestral area/inflorescence reconstructions. In addition, analyses were conducted on discernable micromorphologies, cytotypes and seed size variation. Our results indicated that two varieties of A. cyathophorum are separate species, i.e. A. farreri and A. cyathophorum, and the initial split of Cyathophora was triggered by the HMR uplift around 4-3 Ma. Subsequently, A. spicatum originated through the strengthened aridification in the western QTP induced vicariance of the ancestral populations in the HMR during the early Pleistocene. A self-sustaining allotetraploid species from A. farreri and A. cyathophorum was established during an interglacial period of penultimate glaciation of the QTP. Seed size variation also supports these by the colonization-competition tradeoff among small and large seeds. Our findings appear to suggest that the HMR uplift could have strengthened the development of the Asian monsoon regimes in this region and aridification in the western QTP, while the Quaternary climatic oscillations spurred the allopatric species' range shifts and created new open microhabitat for the alloploid species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Archaeogenetics in evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwman, Abigail; Rühli, Frank

    2016-09-01

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

  15. Part E: Evolutionary Computation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

    of Computational Intelligence. First, comprehensive surveys of genetic algorithms, genetic programming, evolution strategies, parallel evolutionary algorithms are presented, which are readable and constructive so that a large audience might find them useful and – to some extent – ready to use. Some more general...... kinds of evolutionary algorithms, have been prudently analyzed. This analysis was followed by a thorough analysis of various issues involved in stochastic local search algorithms. An interesting survey of various technological and industrial applications in mechanical engineering and design has been...... topics like the estimation of distribution algorithms, indicator-based selection, etc., are also discussed. An important problem, from a theoretical and practical point of view, of learning classifier systems is presented in depth. Multiobjective evolutionary algorithms, which constitute one of the most...

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  18. Evolutionary Statistical Procedures

    CERN Document Server

    Baragona, Roberto; Poli, Irene

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Age remains the first prognostic factor for loco-regional breast cancer recurrence in young (<40 years) women treated with breast conserving surgery first

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bollet, Marc A.; Sigal-Zafrani, Brigitte; Mazeau, Valerie; Savignoni, Alexia; Rochefordiere, Anne de la; Vincent-Salomon, Anne; Salmon, Remy; Campana, Francois; Kirova, Youlia M.; Dendale, Remi; Fourquet, Alain

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: To ascertain the loco-regional recurrence (LRR) rate and its major prognostic factors in patients younger than 40 and to determine the influence of age on the features of breast cancer and its treatment in two age groups: ≤35 years and [36-39] years. Methods and materials: Between 1985 and 1995, 209 premenopausal women, younger than 40, were treated for early breast cancers with primary breast conserving surgery followed by radiotherapy ± chemotherapy. Median age was 37 years with 66 patients (32%) ≤35 years and 143 older (68%). Median follow-up was 12 years. Tumours' characteristics were: cT1 in 75%, pN0 in 60%. Results: LRR rate was 38% at 10 years, contralateral breast cancer rate 12%. Age was the only prognostic factor for LRR. The relative risk of LRR increased by 7% for every decreasing year of age. The annual risk of local recurrence peaked between 2 and 3 years after the initial diagnosis and returned to the level of contra-lateral breast cancer at 10 years. The younger population had infiltrating carcinomas that were significantly more commonly ductal, less commonly lobular, and of higher grade - they received chemotherapy more often. Conclusion: Using conventional methods we could find no explanation as to why age remained the most important prognostic factor for breast cancer LRR. Known prognostic factors such as involved surgical margins seemed erased by adequate radiotherapy doses

  20. Conservation and genetic characterisation of common bean landraces from Cilento region (southern Italy): high differentiation in spite of low genetic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Daniele; Cennamo, Paola; Del Guacchio, Emanuele; Di Novella, Riccardo; Caputo, Paolo

    2018-02-01

    Since its introduction from Central-South America to Italy almost 500 years ago, the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) was largely cultivated across the peninsula in hundreds of different landraces. However, globalisation and technological modernisation of agricultural practices in the last decades promoted the cultivation of few varieties at the expense of traditional and local agro-ecotypes, which have been confined to local markets or have completely disappeared. The aim of this study was to evaluate the genetic diversity and differentiation in 12 common bean landraces once largely cultivated in the Cilento region (Campania region, southern Italy), and now the object of a recovery program to save them from extinction. The analysis conducted using 13 nuclear microsatellite loci in 140 individuals revealed a high degree of homozygosity within each landrace and a strong genetic differentiation that was reflected in the success in assigning individuals to the source landrace. On the contrary, internal transcribed spacers 1 and 2, analysed in one individual per landrace, were highly similar among common bean landraces but allowed the identification of a cowpea variety (Vigna unguiculata Walp.), a crop largely cultivated in the Old World before the arrival of common bean from Americas. In conclusion, our study highlighted that conservation of landraces is important not only for the cultural and socio-economic value that they have for local communities, but also because the time and conditions in which they have been selected have led to that genetic distinctiveness that is at the basis of many potential agronomical applications and dietary benefits.

  1. Levels of trace elements, methylmercury and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in foraging green turtles in the South China region and their conservation implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Connie Ka Yan; Lam, James Chung Wah; Zhang, Xiao Hua; Gu, He Xiang; Li, Tsung Hsien; Ye, Min Bin; Xia, Zhong Rong; Zhang, Fei Yan; Duan, Jin Xia; Wang, Wen Xiong; Lam, Isaac Kam Sum; Balazs, George H; Lam, Paul K S; Murphy, Margaret B

    2018-03-01

    Sea turtles are globally endangered and face daily anthropogenic threats, including pollution. However, there is a lack of ecotoxicological information on sea turtles, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. This study aims to determine pollutant levels of foraging green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in South China, including Hong Kong, Guangdong and Taiwan, as a basis for their conservation. Scute, liver and muscle tissues of stranded green turtles were analysed for levels of 17 trace elements and methylmercury (MeHg) (n = 86 for scute and n = 14 for liver) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) (n = 11 for muscle and n = 13 for liver). Ten-fold higher levels of Pb, Ba, V and Tl and 40-fold greater Cd levels were measured in green turtle livers in South China relative to other studies conducted over 10 years ago. Measured PBDE levels were also 27-fold and 50-fold greater than those reported in Australia and Japan. These results warrant further investigation of potential toxicological risks to green turtles in South China and their source rookeries in Malaysia, Micronesia, Indonesia, Marshall Islands, Japan and Taiwan. Research should target monitoring pollutant levels in sea turtles within the West Pacific/Southeast Asia regional management unit spanning East Asia to Southeast Asia to fill in knowledge gaps, in particular in areas such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines where less or no data is available and where foraging grounds of sea turtles have been identified. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Identification of new TSGA10 transcript variants in human testis with conserved regulatory RNA elements in 5'untranslated region and distinct expression in breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salehipour, Pouya; Nematzadeh, Mahsa; Mobasheri, Maryam Beigom; Afsharpad, Mandana; Mansouri, Kamran; Modarressi, Mohammad Hossein

    2017-09-01

    Testis specific gene antigen 10 (TSGA10) is a cancer testis antigen involved in the process of spermatogenesis. TSGA10 could also play an important role in the inhibition of angiogenesis by preventing nuclear localization of HIF-1α. Although it has been shown that TSGA10 messenger RNA (mRNA) is mainly expressed in testis and some tumors, the transcription pattern and regulatory mechanisms of this gene remain largely unknown. Here, we report that human TSGA10 comprises at least 22 exons and generates four different transcript variants. It was identified that using two distinct promoters and splicing of exons 4 and 7 produced these transcript variants, which have the same coding sequence, but the sequence of 5'untanslated region (5'UTR) is different between them. This is significant because conserved regulatory RNA elements like upstream open reading frame (uORF) and putative internal ribosome entry site (IRES) were found in this region which have different combinations in each transcript variant and it may influence translational efficiency of them in normal or unusual environmental conditions like hypoxia. To indicate the transcription pattern of TSGA10 in breast cancer, expression of identified transcript variants was analyzed in 62 breast cancer samples. We found that TSGA10 tends to express variants with shorter 5'UTR and fewer uORF elements in breast cancer tissues. Our study demonstrates for the first time the expression of different TSGA10 transcript variants in testis and breast cancer tissues and provides a first clue to a role of TSGA10 5'UTR in regulation of translation in unusual environmental conditions like hypoxia. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. [Impact of rural land market on farm household's behavior of soil & water conservation and its regional difference: A case study of Xingguo, Shangrao, and Yujiang County in Jiangxi province ecologically vulnerable districts].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Tai-Yang; Huang, Xian-jin

    2006-02-01

    The paper analyzed the farm households' decision-making progress of soil & water conservation and its two-stage conceptual model. It also discussed the impacts of rural land market on the farm households' behavior of soil & water conservation. Given that, the article established models for the relations between the land market and soil & water conservation, and the models' parameters were estimated with Heckman's two-stage approach by using the farm household questionnaires in Xingguo, Shangrao and Yujiang counties of Jiangxi province. The paper analyzed the impact o f rural land market on farm household's behavior of soil & water conservation and its regional difference with the result of model estimation. The results show that the perception of soil & water loss and the tax & fee on the farm land have significant influence upon the soil and water conservation from the view of the population; however, because of different social and economic condition, and soil & water loss, there are differences of the influence among the three sample counties. These differences go as follows in detail: In Xingguo County, the rent-in land area and its cost have remarkable effect on the farm households' soil & water conservation behavior; In Yujiang County, the rent-in land area, rent-in cost and rent-out land area remarkably influence the farm households' behavior of soil and water conservation, with the influence of the rent-in land area being greater than Xingguo County; In Shangrao County, only rent-out land area has significant influence on the behaviors of soil & water conservation; In all samples, Xingguo County and Yujiang County samples, the rent-out income has no significant influence on the farm household's decision-making behavior soil and water conservation. Finally, the paper put forward some suggestions on how to bring the soil & water loss under control and use land resource in sustainable ways.

  6. EVOLUTIONARY FOUNDATIONS FOR MOLECULAR MEDICINE

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Landscape change and conservation priorities: Mexican herpetofaunal perspectives at local and regional scales Cambios en el paisaje y prioridades de conservación: una perspectiva herpetofaunística mexicana a escalas local y regional

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Jesús Sigala-Rodríguez

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have demonstrated historical human impact on biodiversity at local and regional scales, largely due to lack of baseline information and long term monitoring for most taxa. In 1958 and 1959 researchers from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ visited the Mexican state of Aguascalientes and increased its documented amphibian and reptile fauna from 21 to 30 species. Using MVZ collections, field notes, and landscape photographs taken during that expedition, we resurveyed those same localities in 2004 to document herpetofaunal changes coincident with greatly increased human activities. Despite its small area, Aguascalientes encompasses several biogeographic regions and the threat of local extinction at species' distributional limits has broader implications for regional biotas. New discoveries raise to 71 the number of species known for that state, but our comparisons suggest a gloomy future for amphibians and reptiles in Aguascalientes. Paradoxically, human impact is managed primarily at state and municipal levels, often devoid of locally relevant context. Our findings illustrate the conservation value of intensive small-scale studies, focused on the natural history of particular species and localities, as complements to large-scale biodiversity assessments on country wide and continental scales.Pocos estudios han demostrado el impacto humano histórico en la biodiversidad a escalas local y regional debido a la carencia de monitoreo para la mayoría de los grupos taxonómicos. En 1958 y 1959 investigadores del Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ visitaron Aguascalientes, México y elevaron de 21 hasta 30 el número de especies de anfibios y reptiles para el estado. Usando la colección, notas de campo y fotografías de paisaje tomadas durante esas expediciones, visitamos esas localidades en 2004 para documentar cambios en la herpetofauna asociados con el incremento en actividades humanas. En Aguascalientes se encuentran varias regiones

  8. Evolutionary trends in Heteroptera

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cobben, R.H.

    1968-01-01

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

    2. Chapter 3 evaluates facts

  9. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Applications of Evolutionary Computation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Evolutionary perspectives on ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichard, Martin

    2017-10-01

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

  12. Editorial overview: Evolutionary psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Biochemistry and evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  14. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  15. Learning: An Evolutionary Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, Joanna

    2009-01-01

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

  16. Complex systems, evolutionary planning?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  17. Molluscan Evolutionary Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Evolutionary genomics and HIV restriction factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyndiah, Nitisha; Telenti, Amalio; Rausell, Antonio

    2015-03-01

    To provide updated insights into innate antiviral immunity and highlight prototypical evolutionary features of well characterized HIV restriction factors. Recently, a new HIV restriction factor, Myxovirus resistance 2, has been discovered and the region/residue responsible for its activity identified using an evolutionary approach. Furthermore, IFI16, an innate immunity protein known to sense several viruses, has been shown to contribute to the defense to HIV-1 by causing cell death upon sensing HIV-1 DNA. Restriction factors against HIV show characteristic signatures of positive selection. Different patterns of accelerated sequence evolution can distinguish antiviral strategies--offense or defence--as well as the level of specificity of the antiviral properties. Sequence analysis of primate orthologs of restriction factors serves to localize functional domains and sites responsible for antiviral action. We use recent discoveries to illustrate how evolutionary genomic analyses help identify new antiviral genes and their mechanisms of action.

  1. 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.

  2. Conservation Value

    OpenAIRE

    Tisdell, Clement A.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin R Jack

    2016-05-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Landsat classification of surface-water presence during multiple years to assess response of playa wetlands to climatic variability across the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manier, Daniel J.; Rover, Jennifer R.

    2018-02-15

    To improve understanding of the distribution of ecologically important, ephemeral wetland habitats across the Great Plains, the occurrence and distribution of surface water in playa wetland complexes were documented for four different years across the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) region. This information is important because it informs land and wildlife managers about the timing and location of habitat availability. Data with an accurate timestamp that indicate the presence of water, the percent of the area inundated with water, and the spatial distribution of playa wetlands with water are needed for a host of resource inventory, monitoring, and research applications. For example, the distribution of inundated wetlands forms the spatial pattern of available habitat for resident shorebirds and water birds, stop-over habitats for migratory birds, connectivity and clustering of wetland habitats, and surface waters that recharge the Ogallala aquifer; there is considerable variability in the distribution of playa wetlands holding water through time. Documentation of these spatially and temporally intricate processes, here, provides data required to assess connections between inundation and multiple environmental drivers, such as climate, land use, soil, and topography. Climate drivers are understood to interact with land cover, land use and soil attributes in determining the amount of water that flows overland into playa wetlands. Results indicated significant spatial variability represented by differences in the percent of playas inundated among States within the GPLCC. Further, analysis-of-variance comparison of differences in inundation between years showed significant differences in all cases. Although some connections with seasonal moisture patterns may be observed, the complex spatial-temporal gradients of precipitation, temperature, soils, and land use need to be combined as covariates in multivariate models to effectively account for

  6. 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 ...

  7. Factors affecting marsh vegetation at the Liberty Island Conservation Bank in the Cache Slough region of the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlando, James L.; Drexler, Judith Z.

    2017-07-07

    The Liberty Island Conservation Bank (LICB) is a tidal freshwater marsh restored for the purpose of mitigating adverse effects on sensitive fish populations elsewhere in the region. The LICB was completed in 2012 and is in the northern Cache Slough region of the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. The wetland vegetation at the LICB is stunted and yellow-green in color (chlorotic) compared to nearby wetlands. A study was done to investigate three potential causes of the stunted and chlorotic vegetation: (1) improper grading of the marsh plain, (2) pesticide contamination from agricultural and urban inputs upstream from the site, (3) nitrogen-deficient soil, or some combination of these. Water samples were collected from channels at five sites, and soil samples were collected from four wetlands, including the LICB, during the summer of 2015. Real-time kinematic global positioning system (RTK-GPS) elevation surveys were completed at the LICB and north Little Holland Tract, a closely situated natural marsh that has similar hydrodynamics as the LICB, but contains healthy marsh vegetation.The results showed no significant differences in carbon or nitrogen content in the surface soils or in pesticides in water among the sites. The elevation survey indicated that the mean elevation of the LICB was about 26 centimeters higher than that of the north Little Holland Tract marsh. Because marsh plain elevation largely determines the hydroperiod of a marsh, these results indicated that the LICB has a hydroperiod that differs from that of neighboring north Little Holland Tract marsh. This difference in hydroperiod contributed to the lower stature and decreased vigor of wetland vegetation at the LICB. Although the LICB cannot be regraded without great expense, it could be possible to reduce the sharp angle of the marsh edge to facilitate deeper and more frequent tidal flooding along the marsh periphery. Establishing optimal elevations for restored wetlands is necessary for obtaining

  8. Evolutionary conservatism and convergence both lead to striking similarity in ecology, morphology and performance across continents in frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moen, Daniel S; Irschick, Duncan J; Wiens, John J

    2013-12-22

    Many clades contain ecologically and phenotypically similar species across continents, yet the processes generating this similarity are largely unstudied, leaving fundamental questions unanswered. Is similarity in morphology and performance across assemblages caused by evolutionary convergence or by biogeographic dispersal of evolutionarily conserved ecotypes? Does convergence to new ecological conditions erase evidence of past adaptation? Here, we analyse ecology, morphology and performance in frog assemblages from three continents (Asia, Australia and South America), assessing the importance of dispersal and convergent evolution in explaining similarity across regions. We find three striking results. First, species using the same microhabitat type are highly similar in morphology and performance across both clades and continents. Second, some species on different continents owe their similarity to dispersal and evolutionary conservatism (rather than evolutionary convergence), even over vast temporal and spatial scales. Third, in one case, an ecologically specialized ancestor radiated into diverse ecotypes that have converged with those on other continents, largely erasing traces of past adaptation to their ancestral ecology. Overall, our study highlights the roles of both evolutionary conservatism and convergence in explaining similarity in species traits over large spatial and temporal scales and demonstrates a statistical framework for addressing these questions in other systems.

  9. Evolutionary constrained optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Deb, Kalyanmoy

    2015-01-01

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

  10. EDEN: evolutionary dynamics within environments

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Introduction to Evolutionary Algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    Yu, Xinjie

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Evolutionary games on graphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, György; Fáth, Gábor

    2007-07-01

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

  13. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-19

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

  14. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary game theory is a powerful framework for studying evolution in populations of interacting individuals. A common assumption in evolutionary game theory is that interactions are symmetric, which means that the players are distinguished by only their strategies. In nature, however, the microscopic interactions between players are nearly always asymmetric due to environmental effects, differing baseline characteristics, and other possible sources of heterogeneity. To model these phenomena, we introduce into evolutionary game theory two broad classes of asymmetric interactions: ecological and genotypic. Ecological asymmetry results from variation in the environments of the players, while genotypic asymmetry is a consequence of the players having differing baseline genotypes. We develop a theory of these forms of asymmetry for games in structured populations and use the classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Snowdrift Game, for illustrations. Interestingly, asymmetric games reveal essential differences between models of genetic evolution based on reproduction and models of cultural evolution based on imitation that are not apparent in symmetric games. PMID:26308326

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

    The allocation of land to biological diversity conservation competes with other land uses and the needs of society for development, food, and extraction of natural resources. Trade-offs between biological diversity conservation and alternative land uses are unavoidable, given the realities of limited conservation resources and the competing demands of society. We developed a conservation-planning assessment for the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, which forms the central component of the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biological diversity hotspot. Our objective was to enhance biological diversity protection while promoting sustainable development and providing spatial guidance in the resolution of potential policy conflicts over priority areas for conservation at risk of transformation. The conservation-planning assessment combined spatial-distribution models for 646 conservation features, spatial economic-return models for 28 alternative land uses, and spatial maps for 4 threats. Nature-based tourism businesses were competitive with other land uses and could provide revenues of >US$60 million/year to local stakeholders and simultaneously help meeting conservation goals for almost half the conservation features in the planning region. Accounting for opportunity costs substantially decreased conflicts between biological diversity, agricultural use, commercial forestry, and mining. Accounting for economic benefits arising from conservation and reducing potential policy conflicts with alternative plans for development can provide opportunities for successful strategies that combine conservation and sustainable development and facilitate conservation action. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Even at the uttermost ends of the Earth: how seabirds telecouple the Beagle Channel with regional and global processes that affect environmental conservation and social-ecological sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea N. Raya Rey

    2017-12-01

    places, ironically we found few linkages between Argentina and Chile, despite both countries sharing political sovereignty over this single biogeographical unit. Recognizing and studying the telecouplings identified in this study would help multilateral efforts to incorporate the spillover systems (especially with Chile and sending systems (i.e., transnational tourists' countries of origin into extant regional policies (e.g., state protected areas and global initiatives (e.g., the United Nations' sustainable development goals. It would also enable more informed decisions regarding specific proposals based on market-based incentives (e.g., payment for ecosystem services, certification schemes (e.g., Distintivo Onashaga and participatory approaches (e.g., comanagement of natural resources with local communities. Integrating these scales into the management of the BC would help ensure that humans continue to enjoy meaningful relationships with this unique and charismatic wildlife and at the same time reinforce responsible tourism as a local-global strategy for sustainable development and global conservation.

  17. Multispecies genetic objectives in spatial conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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.

  18. Anaplasma marginale major surface protein 2 CD4+-T-cell epitopes are evenly distributed in conserved and hypervariable regions (HVR), whereas linear B-cell epitopes are predominantly located in the HVR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Jeffrey R; Palmer, Guy H; Howard, Chris J; Hope, Jayne C; Brown, Wendy C

    2004-12-01

    Organisms in the genus Anaplasma express an immunodominant major surface protein 2 (MSP2), composed of a central hypervariable region (HVR) flanked by highly conserved regions. Throughout Anaplasma marginale infection, recombination results in the sequential appearance of novel MSP2 variants and subsequent control of rickettsemia by the immune response, leading to persistent infection. To determine whether immune evasion and selection for variant organisms is associated with a predominant response against HVR epitopes, T-cell and linear B-cell epitopes were localized by measuring peripheral blood gamma interferon-secreting cells, proliferation, and antibody binding to 27 overlapping peptides spanning MSP2 in 16 cattle. Similar numbers of MSP2-specific CD4(+) T-cell epitopes eliciting responses of similar magnitude were found in conserved and hypervariable regions. T-cell epitope clusters recognized by the majority of animals were identified in the HVR (amino acids [aa] 171 to 229) and conserved regions (aa 101 to 170 and 272 to 361). In contrast, linear B-cell epitopes were concentrated in the HVR, residing within hydrophilic sequences. The pattern of recognition of epitope clusters by T cells and of HVR epitopes by B cells is consistent with the influence of protein structure on epitope recognition.

  19. The Another Assimilation System for WRF-Chem (AAS4WRF): a new mass-conserving emissions pre-processor for WRF-Chem regional modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vara Vela, A. L.; Muñoz, A.; Lomas, A., Sr.; González, C. M.; Calderon, M. G.; Andrade, M. D. F.

    2017-12-01

    The Weather Research and Forecasting with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) community model have been widely used for the study of pollutants transport, formation of secondary pollutants, as well as for the assessment of air quality policies implementation. A key factor to improve the WRF-Chem air quality simulations over urban areas is the representation of anthropogenic emission sources. There are several tools that are available to assist users in creating their own emissions based on global emissions information (e.g. anthro_emiss, prep_chem_src); however, there is no single tool that will construct local emissions input datasets for any particular domain at this time. Because the official emissions pre-processor (emiss_v03) is designed to work with domains located over North America, this work presents the Another Assimilation System for WRF-Chem (AAS4WRF), a ncl based mass-conserving emissions pre-processor designed to create WRF-Chem ready emissions files from local inventories on a lat/lon projection. AAS4WRF is appropriate to scale emission rates from both surface and elevated sources, providing the users an alternative way to assimilate their emissions to WRF-Chem. Since it was successfully tested for the first time for the city of Lima, Peru in 2014 (managed by SENAMHI, the National Weather Service of the country), several studies on air quality modelling have applied this utility to convert their emissions to those required for WRF-Chem. Two case studies performed in the metropolitan areas of Sao Paulo and Manizales in Brazil and Colombia, respectively, are here presented in order to analyse the influence of using local or global emission inventories in the representation of regulated air pollutants such as O3 and PM2.5. Although AAS4WRF works with local emissions information at the moment, further work is being conducted to make it compatible with global/regional emissions data file format. The tool is freely available upon request to the corresponding author.

  20. 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.

  1. Influence of Conservation Tillage on some Soil Physical Properties and Crop Yield in Vetch-Wheat Rotation in Dryland Cold Region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I Eskandari

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Winter wheat is an important, well-adapted grain crop under dryland condition of the northwest of Iran. Soil water is the most limiting resource for crop growth in dryland areas. Therefore, farmers need to use crop residues and minimum tillage to control the soil erosion and effectively store and to use the limited precipitation received for crop production. Crop rotation and tillage system could affect crop yield due to their effects on water conservation and soil chemical and physical properties. Galantini et al., (2000 studied the effect of crop rotation on wheat productivity in the Pampean semi-arid region of Argentina and found that a wheat–vetch (Vicia sativa L. rotation resulted in higher yield and protein content, and greater yield components than the other rotations.Payne et al. (2000 stated that where precipitation amount is marginal (400 mm, dry field pea offers a potential alternative to summer fallowing. The purpose of this study was to identify the optimal tillage system for increasing crop productivity in a vetch–wheat rotation in dryland farming of the northwest of Iran. Materials and Methods The field experiment was carried out from 2010 to 2014 at the Dryland Agricultural Research Station (latitude37° 12´N; longitude 46◦20´E; 1730 m a.s.l., 25 km east of Maragheh, East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. The long-term (10 years average precipitation, temperature and relative humidity of the station are 336.5 mm, 9.4 ◦C and 47.5%, respectively. The soil (Fine Mixed, Mesic, Vertic Calcixerepts, USDA system; Calcisols, FAO system at the study site had a clay loam texture in the 0–15 cm surface layer and a clay texture in the 15–80 cm depth. This study was conducted in vetch (Vicia pannonica- wheat (Triticum aestivum L. rotation. The experiment was arranged in a randomized complete block design with four replications. The tillage treatments consisted of (1 conventional tillage: moldboard plowing followed by one

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2007-01-01

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

  3. Evolutionary distance from human homologs reflects allergenicity of animal food proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, John A; Breiteneder, Heimo; Mills, E N Clare

    2007-12-01

    In silico analysis of allergens can identify putative relationships among protein sequence, structure, and allergenic properties. Such systematic analysis reveals that most plant food allergens belong to a restricted number of protein superfamilies, with pollen allergens behaving similarly. We have investigated the structural relationships of animal food allergens and their evolutionary relatedness to human homologs to define how closely a protein must resemble a human counterpart to lose its allergenic potential. Profile-based sequence homology methods were used to classify animal food allergens into Pfam families, and in silico analyses of their evolutionary and structural relationships were performed. Animal food allergens could be classified into 3 main families--tropomyosins, EF-hand proteins, and caseins--along with 14 minor families each composed of 1 to 3 allergens. The evolutionary relationships of each of these allergen superfamilies showed that in general, proteins with a sequence identity to a human homolog above approximately 62% were rarely allergenic. Single substitutions in otherwise highly conserved regions containing IgE epitopes in EF-hand parvalbumins may modulate allergenicity. These data support the premise that certain protein structures are more allergenic than others. Contrasting with plant food allergens, animal allergens, such as the highly conserved tropomyosins, challenge the capability of the human immune system to discriminate between foreign and self-proteins. Such immune responses run close to becoming autoimmune responses. Exploiting the closeness between animal allergens and their human homologs in the development of recombinant allergens for immunotherapy will need to consider the potential for developing unanticipated autoimmune responses.

  4. Studies in evolutionary agroecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wille, Wibke

    of population performance will increase in frequency. Yield, one of the fundamental agronomic variables, is not an individual, but a population characteristic. A farmer wants a high yield per hectare; he is not interested in the performance of individual plants. When individual selection and population...... of Evolutionary Agroecology that the highest yielding individuals do not necessarily perform best as a population. The investment of resources into strategies and structures increasing individual competitive ability carries a cost. If a whole population consists of individuals investing resources to compete...

  5. Towards Adaptive Evolutionary Architecture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Species of conservation concern and environmental stressors: local regional and global effects: Chapter 6 in The Southern Nevada Agency Partnership science and research synthesis: science to support land management in southern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostoja, Steven M.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pendleton, Burton

    2013-01-01

    Species conservation has traditionally been based on individual species within the context of their requisite habitat, which is generally defined as the communities and ecosystems deemed necessary for their presence. Conservation decisions are hampered by the fact that environmental stressors that poetically threaten the persistence of species can operate at organizational levels larger than the habitat or home range of a focal species. Resource managers must therefore simultaneously consider local, regional, and/or global scale stressors for effective conservation and management of species of concern. The wide ranging effects associated with global stressors such as climate change may exceed or exacerbate the effects of local or regional stressors, they still need to understand the direct and interactive effects of global stressors and ultimately how they affect the lands they manage. Conservation of species in southern Nevada is further complication by the fact that the region includes one of the largest and fastest growing urban centers in North America. To accomplish the goal of species conservation, resource managers must identify actionable management options that mitigate the effects of local and regional stressor in the context of the effects of global stressors that are beyond their control. Species conservation is typically focused on a subset often referred to as species of conservation concern that have either demonstrated considerable decline or are naturally rare or have limited distributions. Stressors can directly and indirectly impact species in a variety of ways and through a diversity of mechanisms. Some stressors have been more intense in the past (e.g., livestock grazing) whereas other are now only emerging as new stressors (e.g., solar energy development, climate change). The primary stressors affecting southern Nevada ecosystems are listed in table 2.1 and reviewed in detail in Chapter 2. This chapter addresses Dub-goal 1.4 in the SNAP

  7. The role of integrative taxonomy in the conservation management of cryptic species: the taxonomic status of endangered earless dragons (Agamidae: Tympanocryptis in the grasslands of Queensland, Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jane Melville

    Full Text Available Molecular phylogenetics is increasingly highlighting the prevalence of cryptic species, where morphologically similar organisms have long independent evolutionary histories. When such cryptic species are known to be declining in numbers and are at risk of extinction due to a range of threatening processes, the disjunction between molecular systematics research and conservation policy becomes a significant problem. We investigate the taxonomic status of Tympanocryptis populations in Queensland, which have previously been assigned to T. tetraporophora, using three species delimitation approaches. The taxonomic uncertainties in this species-group are of particular importance in the Darling Downs Earless Dragon (T. cf. tetraporophora, which is ranked as an endangered 'species' of high priority for conservation by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. We undertook a morphological study, integrated with a comprehensive genetic study and species delimitation analyses, to investigate the species status of populations in the region. Phylogenetic analyses of two gene regions (mtDNA: ND2; nuclear: RAG1 revealed high levels of genetic divergence between populations, indicating isolation over long evolutionary time frames, and strongly supporting two independent evolutionary lineages in southeastern Queensland, from the Darling Downs, and a third in the Gulf Region of northern Queensland. Of the three species delimitation protocols used, we found integrative taxonomy the most applicable to this cryptic species complex. Our study demonstrates the utility of integrative taxonomy as a species delimitation approach in cryptic complexes of species with conservation significance, where limited numbers of specimens are available.

  8. The role of integrative taxonomy in the conservation management of cryptic species: the taxonomic status of endangered earless dragons (Agamidae: Tympanocryptis) in the grasslands of Queensland, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melville, Jane; Smith, Katie; Hobson, Rod; Hunjan, Sumitha; Shoo, Luke

    2014-01-01

    Molecular phylogenetics is increasingly highlighting the prevalence of cryptic species, where morphologically similar organisms have long independent evolutionary histories. When such cryptic species are known to be declining in numbers and are at risk of extinction due to a range of threatening processes, the disjunction between molecular systematics research and conservation policy becomes a significant problem. We investigate the taxonomic status of Tympanocryptis populations in Queensland, which have previously been assigned to T. tetraporophora, using three species delimitation approaches. The taxonomic uncertainties in this species-group are of particular importance in the Darling Downs Earless Dragon (T. cf. tetraporophora), which is ranked as an endangered 'species' of high priority for conservation by the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. We undertook a morphological study, integrated with a comprehensive genetic study and species delimitation analyses, to investigate the species status of populations in the region. Phylogenetic analyses of two gene regions (mtDNA: ND2; nuclear: RAG1) revealed high levels of genetic divergence between populations, indicating isolation over long evolutionary time frames, and strongly supporting two independent evolutionary lineages in southeastern Queensland, from the Darling Downs, and a third in the Gulf Region of northern Queensland. Of the three species delimitation protocols used, we found integrative taxonomy the most applicable to this cryptic species complex. Our study demonstrates the utility of integrative taxonomy as a species delimitation approach in cryptic complexes of species with conservation significance, where limited numbers of specimens are available.

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Core principles of evolutionary medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  12. Practical advantages of evolutionary computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, David B.

    1997-10-01

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

  13. Positive impacts in soil and water conservation in an Andean region of South America: Case scenarios from a USAID multidisciplinary cooperative project

    Science.gov (United States)

    The USAID-SANREM-Virginia Polytechnic Institute project has made and continues to make an excellent impact, specifically showcasing the positive results of soil and water conservation (Barrera et al. 2010a; 2010b). This project has strong international cooperation between the USA, Ecuador and Bolivi...

  14. Conserving forest biodiversity across multiple land ownerships: lessons from the Northwest Forest Plan and the Southeast Queensland Regional Forests Agreement (Australia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    C.A. McAlpine; T.A. Spies; P. Norman; A. Peterson

    2007-01-01

    As the area of the world's forests shrinks, the management of production forests is becoming increasingly paramount for biodiversity conservation. In the United States and Australia, public debate and controversy about the management of production forests during the later decades of the 20th century resulted in governments adopting sweeping top-down changes to...

  15. Bridging the gap between bird conservation and sustainable development : perceptions and participation of rural people in Burkina Faso’s Sahel region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bergh, van den M.

    2016-01-01

    The links between conservation and livelihood concerns remain much debated, and there is no agreement about the degree to which these concerns are linked, and how they should be tackled together. The main objectives of this study are to uncover the local values of birds, the environment and

  16. Identifying designatable units for intraspecific conservation prioritization: a hierarchical approach applied to the lake whitefish species complex (Coregonus spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mee, Jonathan A; Bernatchez, Louis; Reist, Jim D; Rogers, Sean M; Taylor, Eric B

    2015-06-01

    The concept of the designatable unit (DU) affords a practical approach to identifying diversity below the species level for conservation prioritization. However, its suitability for defining conservation units in ecologically diverse, geographically widespread and taxonomically challenging species complexes has not been broadly evaluated. The lake whitefish species complex (Coregonus spp.) is geographically widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, and it contains a great deal of variability in ecology and evolutionary legacy within and among populations, as well as a great deal of taxonomic ambiguity. Here, we employ a set of hierarchical criteria to identify DUs within the Canadian distribution of the lake whitefish species complex. We identified 36 DUs based on (i) reproductive isolation, (ii) phylogeographic groupings, (iii) local adaptation and (iv) biogeographic regions. The identification of DUs is required for clear discussion regarding the conservation prioritization of lake whitefish populations. We suggest conservation priorities among lake whitefish DUs based on biological consequences of extinction, risk of extinction and distinctiveness. Our results exemplify the need for extensive genetic and biogeographic analyses for any species with broad geographic distributions and the need for detailed evaluation of evolutionary history and adaptive ecological divergence when defining intraspecific conservation units.

  17. Genome-wide detection of selection and other evolutionary forces

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Xu, Zhuofei; Zhou, Rui

    2015-01-01

    As is well known, pathogenic microbes evolve rapidly to escape from the host immune system and antibiotics. Genetic variations among microbial populations occur frequently during the long-term pathogen–host evolutionary arms race, and individual mutation beneficial for the fitness can be fixed...... to scan genome-wide alignments for evidence of positive Darwinian selection, recombination, and other evolutionary forces operating on the coding regions. In this chapter, we describe an integrative analysis pipeline and its application to tracking featured evolutionary trajectories on the genome...

  18. Conservation endocrinology

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, Stephen; Romero, L. Michael

    2017-01-01

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

  19. The origin, current diversity and future conservation of the modern lion (Panthera leo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Ross; Yamaguchi, Nobuyuki; Barnes, Ian; Cooper, Alan

    2006-01-01

    Understanding the phylogeographic processes affecting endangered species is crucial both to interpreting their evolutionary history and to the establishment of conservation strategies. Lions provide a key opportunity to explore such processes; however, a lack of genetic diversity and shortage of suitable samples has until now hindered such investigation. We used mitochondrial control region DNA (mtDNA) sequences to investigate the phylogeographic history of modern lions, using samples from across their entire range. We find the sub-Saharan African lions are basal among modern lions, supporting a single African origin model of modern lion evolution, equivalent to the ‘recent African origin’ model of modern human evolution. We also find the greatest variety of mtDNA haplotypes in the centre of Africa, which may be due to the distribution of physical barriers and continental-scale habitat changes caused by Pleistocene glacial oscillations. Our results suggest that the modern lion may currently consist of three geographic populations on the basis of their recent evolutionary history: North African–Asian, southern African and middle African. Future conservation strategies should take these evolutionary subdivisions into consideration. PMID:16901830

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.