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Sample records for fossil calibrations codon

  1. Fossil butterflies, calibration points and the molecular clock (Lepidoptera: Papilionoidea).

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    Jong, Rienk DE

    2017-05-25

    Fossil butterflies are extremely rare. Yet, they are the only direct evidence of the first appearance of particular characters and as such, they are crucial for calibrating a molecular clock, from which divergence ages are estimated. In turn, these estimates, in combination with paleogeographic information, are most important in paleobiogeographic considerations. The key issue here is the correct allocation of fossils on the phylogenetic tree from which the molecular clock is calibrated.The allocation of a fossil on a tree should be based on an apomorphic character found in a tree based on extant species, similar to the allocation of a new extant species. In practice, the latter is not done, at least not explicitly, on the basis of apomorphy, but rather on overall similarity or on a phylogenetic analysis, which is not possible for most butterfly fossils since they usually are very fragmentary. Characters most often preserved are in the venation of the wings. Therefore, special attention is given to possible apomorphies in venational characters in extant butterflies. For estimation of divergence times, not only the correct allocation of the fossil on the tree is important, but also the tree itself influences the outcome as well as the correct determination of the age of the fossil. These three aspects are discussed.        All known butterfly fossils, consisting of 49 taxa, are critically reviewed and their relationship to extant taxa is discussed as an aid for correctly calibrating a molecular clock for papilionoid Lepidoptera. In this context some aspects of age estimation and biogeographic conclusions are briefly mentioned in review. Specific information has been summarized in four appendices.

  2. Early penguin fossils, plus mitochondrial genomes, calibrate avian evolution.

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    Slack, Kerryn E; Jones, Craig M; Ando, Tatsuro; Harrison, G L Abby; Fordyce, R Ewan; Arnason, Ulfur; Penny, David

    2006-06-01

    Testing models of macroevolution, and especially the sufficiency of microevolutionary processes, requires good collaboration between molecular biologists and paleontologists. We report such a test for events around the Late Cretaceous by describing the earliest penguin fossils, analyzing complete mitochondrial genomes from an albatross, a petrel, and a loon, and describe the gradual decline of pterosaurs at the same time modern birds radiate. The penguin fossils comprise four naturally associated skeletons from the New Zealand Waipara Greensand, a Paleocene (early Tertiary) formation just above a well-known Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary site. The fossils, in a new genus (Waimanu), provide a lower estimate of 61-62 Ma for the divergence between penguins and other birds and thus establish a reliable calibration point for avian evolution. Combining fossil calibration points, DNA sequences, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analysis, the penguin calibrations imply a radiation of modern (crown group) birds in the Late Cretaceous. This includes a conservative estimate that modern sea and shorebird lineages diverged at least by the Late Cretaceous about 74 +/- 3 Ma (Campanian). It is clear that modern birds from at least the latest Cretaceous lived at the same time as archaic birds including Hesperornis, Ichthyornis, and the diverse Enantiornithiformes. Pterosaurs, which also coexisted with early crown birds, show notable changes through the Late Cretaceous. There was a decrease in taxonomic diversity, and small- to medium-sized species disappeared well before the end of the Cretaceous. A simple reading of the fossil record might suggest competitive interactions with birds, but much more needs to be understood about pterosaur life histories. Additional fossils and molecular data are still required to help understand the role of biotic interactions in the evolution of Late Cretaceous birds and thus to test that the mechanisms of microevolution are sufficient to explain

  3. Untapped Fossil Fuel and the Green Paradox: A classroom calibration of the optimal carbon tax

    OpenAIRE

    Rick van der Ploeg

    2013-01-01

    A classroom model of global warming, fossil fuel depletion and the optimal carbon tax is formulated and calibrated. It features iso-elastic fossil fuel demand, stock-dependent fossil fuel extraction costs, an exogenous interest rate and no decay of the atmospheric stock of carbon. The optimal carbon tax reduces emissions from burning fossil fuel, both in the short and medium run. Furthermore, it brings forward the date that renewables take over from fossil fuel and encourages the market to ke...

  4. The Fossil Calibration Database-A New Resource for Divergence Dating.

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    Ksepka, Daniel T; Parham, James F; Allman, James F; Benton, Michael J; Carrano, Matthew T; Cranston, Karen A; Donoghue, Philip C J; Head, Jason J; Hermsen, Elizabeth J; Irmis, Randall B; Joyce, Walter G; Kohli, Manpreet; Lamm, Kristin D; Leehr, Dan; Patané, Josés L; Polly, P David; Phillips, Matthew J; Smith, N Adam; Smith, Nathan D; Van Tuinen, Marcel; Ware, Jessica L; Warnock, Rachel C M

    2015-09-01

    Fossils provide the principal basis for temporal calibrations, which are critical to the accuracy of divergence dating analyses. Translating fossil data into minimum and maximum bounds for calibrations is the most important-often least appreciated-step of divergence dating. Properly justified calibrations require the synthesis of phylogenetic, paleontological, and geological evidence and can be difficult for nonspecialists to formulate. The dynamic nature of the fossil record (e.g., new discoveries, taxonomic revisions, updates of global or local stratigraphy) requires that calibration data be updated continually lest they become obsolete. Here, we announce the Fossil Calibration Database (http://fossilcalibrations.org), a new open-access resource providing vetted fossil calibrations to the scientific community. Calibrations accessioned into this database are based on individual fossil specimens and follow best practices for phylogenetic justification and geochronological constraint. The associated Fossil Calibration Series, a calibration-themed publication series at Palaeontologia Electronica, will serve as a key pipeline for peer-reviewed calibrations to enter the database. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Genomic fossils calibrate the long-term evolution of hepadnaviruses.

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    Clément Gilbert

    Full Text Available Because most extant viruses mutate rapidly and lack a true fossil record, their deep evolution and long-term substitution rates remain poorly understood. In addition to retroviruses, which rely on chromosomal integration for their replication, many other viruses replicate in the nucleus of their host's cells and are therefore prone to endogenization, a process that involves integration of viral DNA into the host's germline genome followed by long-term vertical inheritance. Such endogenous viruses are highly valuable as they provide a molecular fossil record of past viral invasions, which may be used to decipher the origins and long-term evolutionary characteristics of modern pathogenic viruses. Hepadnaviruses (Hepadnaviridae are a family of small, partially double-stranded DNA viruses that include hepatitis B viruses. Here we report the discovery of endogenous hepadnaviruses in the genome of the zebra finch. We used a combination of cross-species analysis of orthologous insertions, molecular dating, and phylogenetic analyses to demonstrate that hepadnaviruses infiltrated repeatedly the germline genome of passerine birds. We provide evidence that some of the avian hepadnavirus integration events are at least 19 My old, which reveals a much deeper ancestry of Hepadnaviridae than could be inferred based on the coalescence times of modern hepadnaviruses. Furthermore, the remarkable sequence similarity between endogenous and extant avian hepadnaviruses (up to 75% identity suggests that long-term substitution rates for these viruses are on the order of 10(-8 substitutions per site per year, which is a 1,000-fold slower than short-term rates estimated based on the sequences of circulating hepadnaviruses. Together, these results imply a drastic shift in our understanding of the time scale of hepadnavirus evolution, and suggest that the rapid evolutionary dynamics characterizing modern avian hepadnaviruses do not reflect their mode of evolution on a deep

  6. Beyond fossil calibrations: Realities of molecular clock practices in evolutionary biology

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    Christy Anna Hipsley

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Molecular-based divergence dating methods, or molecular clocks, are the primary neontological tool for estimating the temporal origins of clades. While the appropriate use of vertebrate fossils as external clock calibrations has stimulated heated discussions in the paleontological community, less attention has been given to the quality and implementation of other calibration types. In lieu of appropriate fossils, many studies rely on alternative sources of age constraints based on geological events, substitution rates and heterochronous sampling, as well as dates secondarily derived from previous analyses. To illustrate the breadth and frequency of calibration types currently employed, we conducted a literature survey of over 600 articles published from 2007 to 2013. Over half of all analyses implemented one or more fossil dates as constraints, followed by geological events and secondary calibrations (15% each. Vertebrate taxa were subjects of nearly half of all studies, while invertebrates and plants together accounted for 43%, followed by viruses, protists and fungi (3% each. Current patterns in calibration practices were disproportionate to the number of discussions on their proper use, particularly regarding plants and secondarily derived dates, which are both relatively neglected. Based on our survey, we provide a comprehensive overview of the latest approaches in clock calibration, and outline strengths and weaknesses associated with each. This critique should serve as a call to action for researchers across multiple communities, particularly those working on clades for which fossil records are poor, to develop their own guidelines regarding selection and implementation of alternative calibration types. This issue is particularly relevant now, as time-calibrated phylogenies are used for more than dating evolutionary origins, but often serve as the backbone of investigations into biogeography, diversity dynamics and rates of phenotypic

  7. Beyond fossil calibrations: realities of molecular clock practices in evolutionary biology.

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    Hipsley, Christy A; Müller, Johannes

    2014-01-01

    Molecular-based divergence dating methods, or molecular clocks, are the primary neontological tool for estimating the temporal origins of clades. While the appropriate use of vertebrate fossils as external clock calibrations has stimulated heated discussions in the paleontological community, less attention has been given to the quality and implementation of other calibration types. In lieu of appropriate fossils, many studies rely on alternative sources of age constraints based on geological events, substitution rates and heterochronous sampling, as well as dates secondarily derived from previous analyses. To illustrate the breadth and frequency of calibration types currently employed, we conducted a literature survey of over 600 articles published from 2007 to 2013. Over half of all analyses implemented one or more fossil dates as constraints, followed by geological events and secondary calibrations (15% each). Vertebrate taxa were subjects in nearly half of all studies, while invertebrates and plants together accounted for 43%, followed by viruses, protists and fungi (3% each). Current patterns in calibration practices were disproportionate to the number of discussions on their proper use, particularly regarding plants and secondarily derived dates, which are both relatively neglected in methodological evaluations. Based on our survey, we provide a comprehensive overview of the latest approaches in clock calibration, and outline strengths and weaknesses associated with each. This critique should serve as a call to action for researchers across multiple communities, particularly those working on clades for which fossil records are poor, to develop their own guidelines regarding selection and implementation of alternative calibration types. This issue is particularly relevant now, as time-calibrated phylogenies are used for more than dating evolutionary origins, but often serve as the backbone of investigations into biogeography, diversity dynamics and rates of

  8. Are pollen fossils useful for calibrating relaxed molecular clock dating of phylogenies? A comparative study using Myrtaceae.

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    Thornhill, Andrew H; Popple, Lindsay W; Carter, Richard J; Ho, Simon Y W; Crisp, Michael D

    2012-04-01

    The identification and application of reliable fossil calibrations represents a key component of many molecular studies of evolutionary timescales. In studies of plants, most paleontological calibrations are associated with macrofossils. However, the pollen record can also inform age calibrations if fossils matching extant pollen groups are found. Recent work has shown that pollen of the myrtle family, Myrtaceae, can be classified into a number of morphological groups that are synapomorphic with molecular groups. By assembling a data matrix of pollen morphological characters from extant and fossil Myrtaceae, we were able to measure the fit of 26 pollen fossils to a molecular phylogenetic tree using parsimony optimisation of characters. We identified eight Myrtaceidites fossils as appropriate for calibration based on the most parsimonious placements of these fossils on the tree. These fossils were used to inform age constraints in a Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of a sequence alignment comprising two sequences from the chloroplast genome (matK and ndhF) and one nuclear locus (ITS), sampled from 106 taxa representing 80 genera. Three additional analyses were calibrated by placing pollen fossils using geographic and morphological information (eight calibrations), macrofossils (five calibrations), and macrofossils and pollen fossils in combination (12 calibrations). The addition of new fossil pollen calibrations led to older crown ages than have previously been found for tribes such as Eucalypteae and Myrteae. Estimates of rate variation among lineages were affected by the choice of calibrations, suggesting that the use of multiple calibrations can improve estimates of rate heterogeneity among lineages. This study illustrates the potential of including pollen-based calibrations in molecular studies of divergence times.

  9. Xenopus in Space and Time: Fossils, Node Calibrations, Tip-Dating, and Paleobiogeography.

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    Cannatella, David

    2015-01-01

    Published data from DNA sequences, morphology of 11 extant and 15 extinct frog taxa, and stratigraphic ranges of fossils were integrated to open a window into the deep-time evolution of Xenopus. The ages and morphological characters of fossils were used as independent datasets to calibrate a chronogram. We found that DNA sequences, either alone or in combination with morphological data and fossils, tended to support a close relationship between Xenopus and Hymenochirus, although in some analyses this topology was not significantly better than the Pipa + Hymenochirus topology. Analyses that excluded DNA data found strong support for the Pipa + Hymenochirus tree. The criterion for selecting the maximum age of the calibration prior influenced the age estimates, and our age estimates of early divergences in the tree of frogs are substantially younger than those of published studies. Node-dating and tip-dating calibrations, either alone or in combination, yielded older dates for nodes than did a root calibration alone. Our estimates of divergence times indicate that overwater dispersal, rather than vicariance due to the splitting of Africa and South America, may explain the presence of Xenopus in Africa and its closest fossil relatives in South America.

  10. Multi-locus fossil-calibrated phylogeny of Atheriniformes (Teleostei, Ovalentaria).

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    Campanella, Daniela; Hughes, Lily C; Unmack, Peter J; Bloom, Devin D; Piller, Kyle R; Ortí, Guillermo

    2015-05-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among families within the order Atheriniformes have been difficult to resolve on the basis of morphological evidence. Molecular studies so far have been fragmentary and based on a small number taxa and loci. In this study, we provide a new phylogenetic hypothesis based on sequence data collected for eight molecular markers for a representative sample of 103 atheriniform species, covering 2/3 of the genera in this order. The phylogeny is calibrated with six carefully chosen fossil taxa to provide an explicit timeframe for the diversification of this group. Our results support the subdivision of Atheriniformes into two suborders (Atherinopsoidei and Atherinoidei), the nesting of Notocheirinae within Atherinopsidae, and the monophyly of tribe Menidiini, among others. We propose taxonomic changes for Atherinopsoidei, but a few weakly supported nodes in our phylogeny suggests that further study is necessary to support a revised taxonomy of Atherinoidei. The time-calibrated phylogeny was used to infer ancestral habitat reconstructions to explain the current distribution of marine and freshwater taxa. Based on these results, the current distribution of Atheriniformes is likely due to widespread marine dispersal along the margins of continents, infrequent trans-oceanic dispersal, and repeated invasion of freshwater habitats. This conclusion is supported by post-Gondwanan divergence times among families within the order, and a high probability of a marine ancestral habitat. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Effects of taxon sampling on molecular dating for within-genus divergence events, when deep fossils are used for calibration

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    Richard I. MILNE

    2009-01-01

    A universal method of molecular dating that can be applied to all families and genera regardless of their fossil records, or lack thereof, is highly desirable. A possible method for eudicots is to use a large phylogeny calibrated using deep fossils including tricolpate pollen as a fixed (124 mya) calibration point. This method was used to calculate node ages within three species-poor disjunct basal eudicot genera, Caulophyllum, Podophyllum and Pachysandra, and sensitivity of these ages to effects such as taxon sampling were then quantified. By deleting from one to three accessions related to each genus in 112 different combinations, a confidence range describing variation due only to taxon sampling was generated. Ranges for Caulophyllum, Podophyllum and Pachysandra were 8.4-10.6, 7.6-20.0, and 17.6-25.0 mya, respectively. However, the confidence ranges calculated using bootstrapping were much wider, at 3-19, 0-32 and 11-32 mya, respectively. Furthermore, deleting 10 adjacent taxa had a large effect in Pachysandra only, indicating that undersampling effects are significant among Buxales. Changes to sampling density in neighboring clades, or to the position of the fixed fossil calibration point had small to negligible effects. Non-parametric rate smoothing was more sensitive to taxon sampling effects than was penalized likelihood. The wide range for Podophyllum, compared to the other two genera, was probably due to a high degree of rate heterogeneity within this genus. Confidence ranges calculated by this method could be narrowed by sampling more individuals within the genus of interest, and by sequencing multiple DNA regions from all species in the phylogeny.

  12. Phylogenetic analysis of pelecaniformes (aves based on osteological data: implications for waterbird phylogeny and fossil calibration studies.

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    Nathan D Smith

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Debate regarding the monophyly and relationships of the avian order Pelecaniformes represents a classic example of discord between morphological and molecular estimates of phylogeny. This lack of consensus hampers interpretation of the group's fossil record, which has major implications for understanding patterns of character evolution (e.g., the evolution of wing-propelled diving and temporal diversification (e.g., the origins of modern families. Relationships of the Pelecaniformes were inferred through parsimony analyses of an osteological dataset encompassing 59 taxa and 464 characters. The relationships of the Plotopteridae, an extinct family of wing-propelled divers, and several other fossil pelecaniforms (Limnofregata, Prophaethon, Lithoptila, ?Borvocarbo stoeffelensis were also assessed. The antiquity of these taxa and their purported status as stem members of extant families makes them valuable for studies of higher-level avian diversification. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Pelecaniform monophyly is not recovered, with Phaethontidae recovered as distantly related to all other pelecaniforms, which are supported as a monophyletic Steganopodes. Some anatomical partitions of the dataset possess different phylogenetic signals, and partitioned analyses reveal that these discrepancies are localized outside of Steganopodes, and primarily due to a few labile taxa. The Plotopteridae are recovered as the sister taxon to Phalacrocoracoidea, and the relationships of other fossil pelecaniforms representing key calibration points are well supported, including Limnofregata (sister taxon to Fregatidae, Prophaethon and Lithoptila (successive sister taxa to Phaethontidae, and ?Borvocarbo stoeffelensis (sister taxon to Phalacrocoracidae. These relationships are invariant when 'backbone' constraints based on recent avian phylogenies are imposed. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Relationships of extant pelecaniforms inferred from morphology are more

  13. Phylogenetic analysis of pelecaniformes (aves) based on osteological data: implications for waterbird phylogeny and fossil calibration studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Nathan D

    2010-10-14

    Debate regarding the monophyly and relationships of the avian order Pelecaniformes represents a classic example of discord between morphological and molecular estimates of phylogeny. This lack of consensus hampers interpretation of the group's fossil record, which has major implications for understanding patterns of character evolution (e.g., the evolution of wing-propelled diving) and temporal diversification (e.g., the origins of modern families). Relationships of the Pelecaniformes were inferred through parsimony analyses of an osteological dataset encompassing 59 taxa and 464 characters. The relationships of the Plotopteridae, an extinct family of wing-propelled divers, and several other fossil pelecaniforms (Limnofregata, Prophaethon, Lithoptila, ?Borvocarbo stoeffelensis) were also assessed. The antiquity of these taxa and their purported status as stem members of extant families makes them valuable for studies of higher-level avian diversification. Pelecaniform monophyly is not recovered, with Phaethontidae recovered as distantly related to all other pelecaniforms, which are supported as a monophyletic Steganopodes. Some anatomical partitions of the dataset possess different phylogenetic signals, and partitioned analyses reveal that these discrepancies are localized outside of Steganopodes, and primarily due to a few labile taxa. The Plotopteridae are recovered as the sister taxon to Phalacrocoracoidea, and the relationships of other fossil pelecaniforms representing key calibration points are well supported, including Limnofregata (sister taxon to Fregatidae), Prophaethon and Lithoptila (successive sister taxa to Phaethontidae), and ?Borvocarbo stoeffelensis (sister taxon to Phalacrocoracidae). These relationships are invariant when 'backbone' constraints based on recent avian phylogenies are imposed. Relationships of extant pelecaniforms inferred from morphology are more congruent with molecular phylogenies than previously assumed, though notable conflicts

  14. A reappraisal of the evolution of Asian snakehead fishes (Pisces, Channidae) using molecular data from multiple genes and fossil calibration.

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    Adamson, Eleanor A S; Hurwood, David A; Mather, Peter B

    2010-08-01

    Freshwater snakehead fishes (Channidae) provide an interesting target for phylogenetic analysis for the following reasons, their unusual biology, potential for cryptic diversity and availability of a good fossil record. Here, a multi-locus molecular phylogeny was constructed and calibrated using two fossil dates to estimate divergence times within the family. Sampling aimed to explore interspecific divergence of Channa species across Southeast Asia and intra-specific variation where species possessed natural geographical ranges that were extensive. Results contradict divergence times estimated previously independently from single locus mitochondrial data or the fossil record and suggest that after divergence from African taxa 40-50 Ma, evolution of Asian snakeheads has been heavily influenced by multiple broad scale dispersal events across India and Southeast Asia. A similar pattern of divergence within multiple clades suggests that west-east dispersal was limited for many taxa during the Miocene. Deep intra-specific divergence was inferred for C. striata, indicating that long historical periods of isolation ( approximately 8Ma) have not resulted in the evolution of reproductive isolation within this species. Results support suggestions that C. marulia like fishes in northern Cambodia may constitute an undescribed species, and that Indian C. diplogramma warrants taxonomic recognition as being distinct from Southeast Asian C. micropeltes, with the two taxa last sharing a common ancestor in the mid- to late-Miocene.

  15. Colonization and diversification in the African 'sky islands': insights from fossil-calibrated molecular dating of Lychnis (Caryophyllaceae).

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    Gizaw, Abel; Brochmann, Christian; Nemomissa, Sileshi; Wondimu, Tigist; Masao, Catherine Aloyce; Tusiime, Felly Mugizi; Abdi, Ahmed Abdikadir; Oxelman, Bengt; Popp, Magnus; Dimitrov, Dimitar

    2016-07-01

    The flora on the isolated high African mountains or 'sky islands' is remarkable for its peculiar adaptations, local endemism and striking biogeographical connections to remote parts of the world. Ages of the plant lineages and the timing of their radiations have frequently been debated but remain contentious as there are few estimates based on explicit models and fossil-calibrated molecular clocks. We used the plastid region maturaseK (matK) and a Caryophylloflora paleogenica fossil to infer the age of the genus Lychnis, and constructed a data set of three plastid (matK; a ribosomal protein S16 (rps16); and an intergenic spacer (psbE-petL)) and two nuclear (internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and a region spanning exon 18-24 in the second largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (RPB2)) loci for joint estimation of the species tree and divergence time of the African representatives. The time of divergence of the African high-altitude Lychnis was placed in the late Miocene to early Pliocene. A single speciation event was inferred in the early Pliocene; subsequent speciation took place sporadically from the late Pliocene to the middle Pleistocene. We provide further support for a Eurasian origin of the African 'sky islands' floral elements, which seem to have been recruited via dispersals at different times: some old, as in Lychnis, and others very recent. We show that dispersal and diversification within Africa play an important role in shaping these isolated plant communities.

  16. Multi-locus fossil-calibrated phylogeny, biogeography and a subgeneric revision of the Margaritiferidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionoida).

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    Bolotov, Ivan N; Vikhrev, Ilya V; Bespalaya, Yulia V; Gofarov, Mikhail Y; Kondakov, Alexander V; Konopleva, Ekaterina S; Bolotov, Nikita N; Lyubas, Artyom A

    2016-10-01

    The taxonomy and biogeographic history of the bivalve family Margaritiferidae are controversial because previous molecular studies did not provide a well-resolved phylogenetic framework for these enigmatic freshwater mussels that have extensive but disjunct distribution in North America, Eurasia and North Africa. In this study, we present a new, fossil-calibrated phylogenetic hypothesis based on five molecular markers (∼4kb of total length) for ten species. Our results indicate that all recent margaritiferids are in the single genus, Margaritifera Schumacher, 1816. Additionally, we identified three relatively well-supported phylogenetic clades that are valid subgenera, i.e., Margaritifera s. str. (Holarctic), Margaritanopsis (=Cumberlandia) (southeast North America-southeast Asia disjunct) and Pseudunio (Mediterranean). We suggest that the crown lineage of the Margaritiferidae most likely originated in the Cretaceous (mean age 93Ma, 95% CI 66-126Ma). The combined results of ancestral area reconstructions based on the three different approaches (S-DIVA, DEC and S-DEC) showed that ancient vicariance events could have played an important role in speciation within the family. The rates of mitochondrial evolution of margaritiferids are notably slow, which may be associated with their longevity, long generation time and low metabolic rates. Our findings highlight the complex biogeographic history of the Margaritiferidae as an intermixing of ancient vicariance and dispersal events, which were most likely associated with some inland barriers, continental movements and a sea level dynamic.

  17. Empirical codon substitution matrix

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    Gonnet Gaston H

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Codon substitution probabilities are used in many types of molecular evolution studies such as determining Ka/Ks ratios, creating ancestral DNA sequences or aligning coding DNA. Until the recent dramatic increase in genomic data enabled construction of empirical matrices, researchers relied on parameterized models of codon evolution. Here we present the first empirical codon substitution matrix entirely built from alignments of coding sequences from vertebrate DNA and thus provide an alternative to parameterized models of codon evolution. Results A set of 17,502 alignments of orthologous sequences from five vertebrate genomes yielded 8.3 million aligned codons from which the number of substitutions between codons were counted. From this data, both a probability matrix and a matrix of similarity scores were computed. They are 64 × 64 matrices describing the substitutions between all codons. Substitutions from sense codons to stop codons are not considered, resulting in block diagonal matrices consisting of 61 × 61 entries for the sense codons and 3 × 3 entries for the stop codons. Conclusion The amount of genomic data currently available allowed for the construction of an empirical codon substitution matrix. However, more sequence data is still needed to construct matrices from different subsets of DNA, specific to kingdoms, evolutionary distance or different amount of synonymous change. Codon mutation matrices have advantages for alignments up to medium evolutionary distances and for usages that require DNA such as ancestral reconstruction of DNA sequences and the calculation of Ka/Ks ratios.

  18. New Eocene Coleoid (Cephalopoda Diversity from Statolith Remains: Taxonomic Assignation, Fossil Record Analysis, and New Data for Calibrating Molecular Phylogenies.

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    Pascal Neige

    Full Text Available New coleoid cephalopods are described from statolith remains from the Middle Eocene (Middle Lutetian of the Paris Basin. Fifteen fossil statoliths are identified and assigned to the Sepiidae (Sepia boletzkyi sp. nov.,? Sepia pira sp. nov., Loliginidae (Loligo clarkei sp. nov., and Ommastrephidae (genus indet. families. The sediments containing these fossils indicate permanent aquatic settings in the infralittoral domain. These sediments range in age from 46 Mya to 43 Mya. Analysis of the fossil record of statoliths (from findings described here, together with a review of previously published data indicates marked biases in our knowledge. Fossil statoliths are known from as far back as the Early Jurassic (199.3 to 190.8 Mya but surprisingly, to the best of our knowledge, no record occurs in the Cretaceous. This is a "knowledge bias" and clearly calls for further studies. Finally, we attempt to compare findings described here with fossils previously used to constrain divergence and/or diversification ages of some coleoid subclades in molecular phylogenies. This comparison clearly indicates that the new records detailed here will challenge some estimated divergence times of coleoid cephalopod subclades.

  19. Age estimates for the buckwheat family Polygonaceae based on sequence data calibrated by fossils and with a focus on the amphi-Pacific Muehlenbeckia.

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    Tanja M Schuster

    Full Text Available The buckwheat family Polygonaceae is a diverse group of plants and is a good model for investigating biogeography, breeding systems, coevolution with symbionts such as ants and fungi, functional trait evolution, hybridization, invasiveness, morphological plasticity, pollen morphology and wood anatomy. The main goal of this study was to obtain age estimates for Polygonaceae by calibrating a Bayesian phylogenetic analysis, using a relaxed molecular clock with fossil data. Based on the age estimates, we also develop hypotheses about the historical biogeography of the Southern Hemisphere group Muehlenbeckia. We are interested in addressing whether vicariance or dispersal could account for the diversification of Muehlenbeckia, which has a "Gondwanan" distribution. Eighty-one species of Polygonaceae were analysed with MrBayes to infer species relationships. One nuclear (nrITS and three chloroplast markers (the trnL-trnF spacer region, matK and ndhF genes were used. The molecular data were also analysed with Beast to estimate divergence times. Seven calibration points including fossil pollen and a leaf fossil of Muehlenbeckia were used to infer node ages. Results of the Beast analyses indicate an age of 110.9 (exponential/lognormal priors/118.7 (uniform priors million years (Myr with an uncertainty interval of (90.7-125.0 Myr for the stem age of Polygonaceae. This age is older than previously thought (Maastrichtian, approximately 65.5-70.6 Myr. The estimated divergence time for Muehlenbeckia is 41.0/41.6 (39.6-47.8 Myr and its crown clade is 20.5/22.3 (14.2-33.5 Myr old. Because the breakup of Gondwana occurred from 95-30 Myr ago, diversification of Muehlenbeckia is best explained by oceanic long-distance and maybe stepping-stone dispersal rather than vicariance. This study is the first to give age estimates for clades of Polygonaceae and functions as a jumping-off point for future studies on the historical biogeography of the family.

  20. Numerical dating of the Eckfeld maar fossil site, Eifel, Germany: a calibration mark for the Eocene time scale.

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    Mertz, D F; Swisher, C C; Franzen, J L; Neuffer, F O; Lutz, H

    2000-06-01

    Sediments of the Eckfeld maar (Eifel, Germany) bear a well-preserved Eocene fauna and flora. Biostratigraphically, Eckfeld corresponds to the Middle Eocene mammal reference level MP (Mammals Paleogene) 13 of the ELMA (European Land Mammal Age) Geiseltalian. In the maar crater, basalt fragments were drilled, representing explosion crater eruption products. By 40Ar/39Ar dating of the basalt, for the first time a direct numerical calibration mark for an Eocene European mammal locality has been established. The Eckfeld basalt inverse isochron date of 44.3 +/- 0.4 Ma suggests an age for the Geiseltalian/Robiacian boundary at 44 Ma and, together with the 1995 time scale of Berggren et al., a time span ranging from 49 to 44 Ma for the Geiseltalian and from 44 to 37 Ma for the Robiacian, respectively. Additional 40Ar/39Ar dating on a genetically related basalt occurrence close to the maar confirms a period of volcanism of ca. 0.6 m.y. in the Eckfeld area, matching the oldest Eocene volcanic activity of the Hocheifel volcanic field.

  1. A fossil-calibrated relaxed clock for Ephedra indicates an Oligocene age for the divergence of Asian and New World clades and Miocene dispersal into South America

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Stefanie M. ICKERT-BOND; Catarina RYDIN; Susanne S. RENNER

    2009-01-01

    Ephedra comprises approximately 50 species, which are roughly equally distributed between the Old and New World deserts, but not in the intervening regions (amphitropical range). Great heterogeneity in the substitution rates of Gnetales (Ephedra, Gnetum, and Welwitschia) has made it difficult to infer the ages of the major divergence events in Ephedra, such as the timing of the Beringian disjunction in the genus and the entry into South America. Here, we use data from as many Gnetales species and genes as available from GenBank and from a recent study to investigate the timing of the major divergence events. Because of the tradeoff between the amount of missing data and taxon/gene sampling, we reduced the initial matrix of 265 accessions and 12 loci to 95 accessions and 10 loci, and further to 42 species (and 7736 aligned nucleotides) to achieve stationary distributions in the Bayesian molecular clock runs. Results from a relaxed clock with an uncorrelated rates model and fossil-based calibration reveal that New World species are monophyletic and diverged from their mostly Asian sister clade some 30 mya, fitting with many other Beringian disjunctions. The split between the single North American and the single South American clade occurred approximately 25 mya, well before the closure of the Panamanian Isthmus. Overall, the biogeographic history of Ephedra appears dominated by long-distance dispersal, but finer-scale studies are needed to test this hypothesis.

  2. Codon Adaptation of Plastid Genes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Haruo; Morton, Brian R.

    2016-01-01

    Codon adaptation is codon usage bias that results from selective pressure to increase the translation efficiency of a gene. Codon adaptation has been studied across a wide range of genomes and some early analyses of plastids have shown evidence for codon adaptation in a limited set of highly expressed plastid genes. Here we study codon usage bias across all fully sequenced plastid genomes which includes representatives of the Rhodophyta, Alveolata, Cryptophyta, Euglenozoa, Glaucocystophyceae, Rhizaria, Stramenopiles and numerous lineages within the Viridiplantae, including Chlorophyta and Embryophyta. We show evidence that codon adaptation occurs in all genomes except for two, Theileria parva and Heicosporidium sp., both of which have highly reduced gene contents and no photosynthesis genes. We also show evidence that selection for codon adaptation increases the representation of the same set of codons, which we refer to as the adaptive codons, across this wide range of taxa, which is probably due to common features descended from the initial endosymbiont. We use various measures to estimate the relative strength of selection in the different lineages and show that it appears to be fairly strong in certain Stramenopiles and Chlorophyta lineages but relatively weak in many members of the Rhodophyta, Euglenozoa and Embryophyta. Given these results we propose that codon adaptation in plastids is widespread and displays the same general features as adaptation in eubacterial genomes. PMID:27196606

  3. Codon Adaptation of Plastid Genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haruo Suzuki

    Full Text Available Codon adaptation is codon usage bias that results from selective pressure to increase the translation efficiency of a gene. Codon adaptation has been studied across a wide range of genomes and some early analyses of plastids have shown evidence for codon adaptation in a limited set of highly expressed plastid genes. Here we study codon usage bias across all fully sequenced plastid genomes which includes representatives of the Rhodophyta, Alveolata, Cryptophyta, Euglenozoa, Glaucocystophyceae, Rhizaria, Stramenopiles and numerous lineages within the Viridiplantae, including Chlorophyta and Embryophyta. We show evidence that codon adaptation occurs in all genomes except for two, Theileria parva and Heicosporidium sp., both of which have highly reduced gene contents and no photosynthesis genes. We also show evidence that selection for codon adaptation increases the representation of the same set of codons, which we refer to as the adaptive codons, across this wide range of taxa, which is probably due to common features descended from the initial endosymbiont. We use various measures to estimate the relative strength of selection in the different lineages and show that it appears to be fairly strong in certain Stramenopiles and Chlorophyta lineages but relatively weak in many members of the Rhodophyta, Euglenozoa and Embryophyta. Given these results we propose that codon adaptation in plastids is widespread and displays the same general features as adaptation in eubacterial genomes.

  4. Fossil Explorers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Sean; McLaughlin, Cheryl; MacFadden, Bruce; Jacobbe, Elizabeth; Poole, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Many young learners are fascinated with fossils, particularly charismatic forms such as dinosaurs and giant sharks. Fossils provide tangible, objective evidence of life that lived millions of years ago. They also provide a timescale of evolution not typically appreciated by young learners. Fossils and the science of paleontology can, therefore,…

  5. Marquee Fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clary, Renee; Wandersee, James

    2008-01-01

    Professors of an online graduate-level paleontology class developed the concept of marquee fossils--fossils that have one or more unique characteristics that capture the attention and direct observation of students. In the classroom, Marquee fossils integrate the geology, biology, and environmental science involved in the study of fossilized…

  6. Fossil Explorers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Sean; McLaughlin, Cheryl; MacFadden, Bruce; Jacobbe, Elizabeth; Poole, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Many young learners are fascinated with fossils, particularly charismatic forms such as dinosaurs and giant sharks. Fossils provide tangible, objective evidence of life that lived millions of years ago. They also provide a timescale of evolution not typically appreciated by young learners. Fossils and the science of paleontology can, therefore,…

  7. Ediacara Fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Now, a research team from Virginia Tech and Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology has discovered uniquely well-preserved fossil forms from 550-million-year-old rocks of the Ediacaran Period. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The discovery of these unusually preserved fossils reveals unprecedented…

  8. Fossil Fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with fossil fuels. Some topics covered are historic facts, development of fuels, history of oil production, current and future trends of the oil industry, refining fossil fuels, and environmental problems. Material in each unit may…

  9. Fossil Fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crank, Ron

    This instructional unit is one of 10 developed by students on various energy-related areas that deals specifically with fossil fuels. Some topics covered are historic facts, development of fuels, history of oil production, current and future trends of the oil industry, refining fossil fuels, and environmental problems. Material in each unit may…

  10. Probable relationship between partitions of the set of codons and the origin of the genetic code.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salinas, Dino G; Gallardo, Mauricio O; Osorio, Manuel I

    2014-03-01

    Here we study the distribution of randomly generated partitions of the set of amino acid-coding codons. Some results are an application from a previous work, about the Stirling numbers of the second kind and triplet codes, both to the cases of triplet codes having four stop codons, as in mammalian mitochondrial genetic code, and hypothetical doublet codes. Extending previous results, in this work it is found that the most probable number of blocks of synonymous codons, in a genetic code, is similar to the number of amino acids when there are four stop codons, as well as it could be for a primigenious doublet code. Also it is studied the integer partitions associated to patterns of synonymous codons and it is shown, for the canonical code, that the standard deviation inside an integer partition is one of the most probable. We think that, in some early epoch, the genetic code might have had a maximum of the disorder or entropy, independent of the assignment between codons and amino acids, reaching a state similar to "code freeze" proposed by Francis Crick. In later stages, maybe deterministic rules have reassigned codons to amino acids, forming the natural codes, such as the canonical code, but keeping the numerical features describing the set partitions and the integer partitions, like a "fossil numbers"; both kinds of partitions about the set of amino acid-coding codons. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Suitability of thin-layer chromatography-flame ionization detection with regard to quantitative characterization of different fossil fuel products. II. Calibration methods concerning quantitative hydrocarbon-group type analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vela, J.; Membrado, L.; Cebolla, V.L.; Ferrando, A.C. [CSIC, Zaragoza (Spain). Inst. de Carboquimica, Dept. de Procesos Quimicos

    1998-10-01

    Time-consuming external standard-based calibration methods are usually performed for hydrocarbon group type analysis (HGTA) of fossil fuels, regardless of the instrumental chromatographic technique. HGTA of a broad variety of coal and petroleum products was performed using a modern thin-layer chromatography-flame ionization detection (TLC-FID) system and a rapid method based on internal normalization. Repeatability, linear intervals, and sample load ranges for quantitative application of this method are given, namely a heavy oil and its derived hydrocracked products, raw and chemically-modified petroleum asphaltenes, a coal-tar pitch, several coal extracts, and coal hydroliquefaction products. Results from external standard calibration and a normalization method (both obtained by TLC-FID) are in agreement, and they are validated using TLC-ultraviolet scanning. The use of the latter demonstrates that TLC-FID can also be applied to products such as coal extracts and hydroliquefaction products, despite these products being more volatile than petroleum asphaltenes or heavy oils. 14 refs., 3 figs., 5 tabs.

  12. Comparative analysis of codon usage bias and codon context patterns between dipteran and hymenopteran sequenced genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susanta K Behura

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Codon bias is a phenomenon of non-uniform usage of codons whereas codon context generally refers to sequential pair of codons in a gene. Although genome sequencing of multiple species of dipteran and hymenopteran insects have been completed only a few of these species have been analyzed for codon usage bias. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we use bioinformatics approaches to analyze codon usage bias and codon context patterns in a genome-wide manner among 15 dipteran and 7 hymenopteran insect species. Results show that GAA is the most frequent codon in the dipteran species whereas GAG is the most frequent codon in the hymenopteran species. Data reveals that codons ending with C or G are frequently used in the dipteran genomes whereas codons ending with A or T are frequently used in the hymenopteran genomes. Synonymous codon usage orders (SCUO vary within genomes in a pattern that seems to be distinct for each species. Based on comparison of 30 one-to-one orthologous genes among 17 species, the fruit fly Drosophila willistoni shows the least codon usage bias whereas the honey bee (Apis mellifera shows the highest bias. Analysis of codon context patterns of these insects shows that specific codons are frequently used as the 3'- and 5'-context of start and stop codons, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Codon bias pattern is distinct between dipteran and hymenopteran insects. While codon bias is favored by high GC content of dipteran genomes, high AT content of genes favors biased usage of synonymous codons in the hymenopteran insects. Also, codon context patterns vary among these species largely according to their phylogeny.

  13. Is there a close relationship between synonymous codon bias and codon-anticodon binding strength in human genes?

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Synonymous codon bias has been examined in 78 human genes (19967 codons) and measured by relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU). Relative frequencies of all kinds of dinucleotides in 2,3 or 3,4 codon positions have been calculated, and codon-anticodon binding strength has been estimated by the stacking energies of codon-anticodon bases in Watson-Crick pairs. The data show common features in synonymous codon bias for all codon families in human genes: all C-ending codons, which possess the strongest co-don-anticodon binding energies, are the most favored codons in almost all codon families, and those codons with medium codon-anticodon binding energies are avoided. Data analysis suggests that besides isochore and genome signature , codon-anticodon binding strength may be closely related to syn-onymous codon choice in human genes. The join-effect of these factors on human genes results in the common features in codon bias.

  14. Are the oldest 'fossils', fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopf, J. W.

    1976-01-01

    A comparative statistical study has been carried out on populations of modern algae, Precambrian algal microfossils, the 'organized elements' of the Orgueil carbonaceous meteorite, and the oldest microfossil-like objects now known (spheroidal bodies from the Fig Tree and Onverwacht Groups of the Swaziland Supergroup, South Africa). The distribution patterns exhibited by the more than 3000 m.y.-old Swaziland microstructures bear considerable resemblance to those of the abiotic 'organized elements' but differ rather markedly from those exhibited by younger, assuredly biogenic, populations. Based on these comparisons, it is concluded that the Swaziland spheroids could be, at least in part, of nonbiologic origin; these oldest known fossil-like microstructures should not be regarded as constituting firm evidence of Archean life.

  15. Genome landscapes and bacteriophage codon usage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julius B Lucks

    2008-02-01

    Full Text Available Across all kingdoms of biological life, protein-coding genes exhibit unequal usage of synonymous codons. Although alternative theories abound, translational selection has been accepted as an important mechanism that shapes the patterns of codon usage in prokaryotes and simple eukaryotes. Here we analyze patterns of codon usage across 74 diverse bacteriophages that infect E. coli, P. aeruginosa, and L. lactis as their primary host. We use the concept of a "genome landscape," which helps reveal non-trivial, long-range patterns in codon usage across a genome. We develop a series of randomization tests that allow us to interrogate the significance of one aspect of codon usage, such as GC content, while controlling for another aspect, such as adaptation to host-preferred codons. We find that 33 phage genomes exhibit highly non-random patterns in their GC3-content, use of host-preferred codons, or both. We show that the head and tail proteins of these phages exhibit significant bias towards host-preferred codons, relative to the non-structural phage proteins. Our results support the hypothesis of translational selection on viral genes for host-preferred codons, over a broad range of bacteriophages.

  16. Tectonic calibrations in molecular dating

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ullasa KODANDARAMAIAH

    2011-01-01

    Molecular dating techniques require the use of calibrations, which are usually fossil or geological vicariance-based.Fossil calibrations have been criticised because they result only in minimum age estimates. Based on a historical biogeographic perspective, Ⅰ suggest that vicariance-based calibrations are more dangerous. Almost all analytical methods in historical biogeography are strongly biased towards inferring vicariance, hence vicariance identified through such methods is unreliable. Other studies, especially of groups found on Gondwanan fragments, have simply assumed vicariance. Although it was previously believed that vicariance was the predominant mode of speciation, mounting evidence now indicates that speciation by dispersal is common, dominating vicariance in several groups. Moreover, the possibility of speciation having occurred before the said geological event cannot be precluded. Thus, geological calibrations can under- or overestimate times, whereas fossil calibrations always result in minimum estimates. Another major drawback of vicariant calibrations is the problem of circular reasoning when the resulting estimates are used to infer ages of biogeographic events. Ⅰ argue that fossil-based dating is a superior alternative to vicariance, primarily because the strongest assumption in the latter, that speciation was caused by the said geological process, is more often than not the most tenuous. When authors prefer to use a combination of fossil and vicariant calibrations, one suggestion is to report results both with and without inclusion of the geological constraints. Relying solely on vicariant calibrations should be strictly avoided.

  17. Codon information value and codon transition-probability distributions in short-term evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Montaño, M. A.; Coronel-Brizio, H. F.; Hernández-Montoya, A. R.; Ramos-Fernández, A.

    2016-07-01

    To understand the way the Genetic Code and the physical-chemical properties of coded amino acids affect accepted amino acid substitutions in short-term protein evolution, taking into account only overall amino acid conservation, we consider an underlying codon-level model. This model employs codon pair-substitution frequencies from an empirical matrix in the literature, modified for single-base mutations only. Ordering the degenerated codons according to their codon information value (Volkenstein, 1979), we found that three-fold and most of four-fold degenerated codons, which have low codon values, were best fitted to rank-frequency distributions with constant failure rate (exponentials). In contrast, almost all two-fold degenerated codons, which have high codon values, were best fitted to rank-frequency distributions with variable failure rate (inverse power-laws). Six-fold degenerated codons are considered to be doubly assigned. The exceptional behavior of some codons, including non-degenerate codons, is discussed.

  18. Codon Bias and Mutability in HIV Sequences

    CERN Document Server

    Waelbroeck, H

    1997-01-01

    A survey of the patterns of synonymous codon preferences in the HIV env gene reveals a relation between the codon bias and the mutability requirements in different regions in the protein. At hypervariable regions in $gp120$, one finds a greater proportion of codons that tend to mutate non-synonymously, but to a target that is similar in hydrophobicity and volume. We argue that this strategy results from a compromise between the selective pressure placed on the virus by the induced immune response, which favours amino acid substitutions in the complementarity determining regions, and the negative selection against missense mutations that violate structural constraints of the env protein.

  19. The non-uniformity of fossil preservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holland, Steven M

    2016-07-19

    The fossil record provides the primary source of data for calibrating the origin of clades. Although minimum ages of clades are given by the oldest preserved fossil, these underestimate the true age, which must be bracketed by probabilistic methods based on multiple fossil occurrences. Although most of these methods assume uniform preservation rates, this assumption is unsupported over geological timescales. On geologically long timescales (more than 10 Myr), the origin and cessation of sedimentary basins, and long-term variations in tectonic subsidence, eustatic sea level and sedimentation rate control the availability of depositional facies that preserve the environments in which species lived. The loss of doomed sediments, those with a low probability of preservation, imparts a secular trend to fossil preservation. As a result, the fossil record is spatially and temporally non-uniform. Models of fossil preservation should reflect this non-uniformity by using empirical estimates of fossil preservation that are spatially and temporally partitioned, or by using indirect proxies of fossil preservation. Geologically, realistic models of preservation will provide substantially more reliable estimates of the origination of clades.This article is part of the themed issue 'Dating species divergences using rocks and clocks'.

  20. Correlation matrix for quartet codon usage

    CERN Document Server

    Frappat, L; Sorba, Paul

    2005-01-01

    It has been argued that the sum of usage probabilities for codons, belonging to quartets, that have as third nucleotide C or A, is independent of the biological species for vertebrates. The comparison between the theoretical correlation matrix derived from these sum rules and the experimentally computed matrix for 26 species shows a satisfactory agreement. The Shannon entropy, weakly depending on the biological species, gives further support. Suppression of codons containing the dinucleotides CG or AU is put in evidence.

  1. Codon Constraints on Closed 2D Shapes,

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-26

    yields the "vase" of Rubin’s famous figure-ground illusion observed as erly as 1819 by Turton .] Thus, knowing which side is figure determines the...inflections), then the segment is designated as a type 0 codon (see Fig. 4). Those with two zeroes are called type 2 codons. If a segment has exactly one...34: Marr, D. (1976) Early processing of visual information. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond., 275:483-524. Marr, D. (1982) Vision: A Computational

  2. Ediacaran Macro Body Fossils

    OpenAIRE

    Huang, Timothy D.; Jei-Fu Shaw; Liang Zheng; Chun-Lan Huang; YiLung Chang; ChuanWei Yang

    2010-01-01

    This paper, Ediacaran Macro Body Fossils, reports a new discovery of well preserved three dimensional macro body fossils of the Ediacaran Period in central YunNan province in the People's Republic of China. These body fossils will enable more detailed and in-depth exploration of the evolution of multi-cellular macro organisms on this planet, whereas in the past, researches could only rely on cast or imprint fossils.

  3. The Fossile Episode

    OpenAIRE

    Hassler, John; Sinn, Hans-Werner

    2012-01-01

    We build a two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model with one-sided substitutability between fossil carbon and biocarbon. One shock only, the discovery of the technology to use fossil fuels, leads to a transition from an inital pre-industrial phase to three following phases: a pure fossil carbon phase, a mixed fossil and biocarbon phase and an absorbing biocarbon phase. The increased competition for biocarbon during phase 3 and 4 leads to increasing food prices. We provide closed form expr...

  4. The Fossil Episode

    OpenAIRE

    Hassler, John; Sinn, Hans-Werner

    2012-01-01

    We build a two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model with one-sided substitutability between fossil carbon and biocarbon. One shock only, the discovery of the technology to use fossil fuels, leads to a transition from an initial pre-industrial phase to three following phases: a pure fossil carbon phase, a mixed fossil and biocarbon phase and an absorbing biocarbon phase. The increased competition for biocarbon during phase 3 and 4 leads to increasing food prices. We provide closed form exp...

  5. Emergent rules for codon choice elucidated by editing rare arginine codons in Escherichia coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    Napolitano, Michael G.; Landon, Matthieu; Gregg, Christopher J.; Lajoie, Marc J.; Govindarajan, Lakshmi; Mosberg, Joshua A.; Kuznetsov, Gleb; Goodman, Daniel B.; Vargas-Rodriguez, Oscar; Isaacs, Farren J.; Söll, Dieter; Church, George M.

    2016-01-01

    The degeneracy of the genetic code allows nucleic acids to encode amino acid identity as well as noncoding information for gene regulation and genome maintenance. The rare arginine codons AGA and AGG (AGR) present a case study in codon choice, with AGRs encoding important transcriptional and translational properties distinct from the other synonymous alternatives (CGN). We created a strain of Escherichia coli with all 123 instances of AGR codons removed from all essential genes. We readily replaced 110 AGR codons with the synonymous CGU codons, but the remaining 13 “recalcitrant” AGRs required diversification to identify viable alternatives. Successful replacement codons tended to conserve local ribosomal binding site-like motifs and local mRNA secondary structure, sometimes at the expense of amino acid identity. Based on these observations, we empirically defined metrics for a multidimensional “safe replacement zone” (SRZ) within which alternative codons are more likely to be viable. To evaluate synonymous and nonsynonymous alternatives to essential AGRs further, we implemented a CRISPR/Cas9-based method to deplete a diversified population of a wild-type allele, allowing us to evaluate exhaustively the fitness impact of all 64 codon alternatives. Using this method, we confirmed the relevance of the SRZ by tracking codon fitness over time in 14 different genes, finding that codons that fall outside the SRZ are rapidly depleted from a growing population. Our unbiased and systematic strategy for identifying unpredicted design flaws in synthetic genomes and for elucidating rules governing codon choice will be crucial for designing genomes exhibiting radically altered genetic codes. PMID:27601680

  6. Universality and Shannon entropy of codon usage

    CERN Document Server

    Frappat, L; Sciarrino, A; Sorba, Paul

    2003-01-01

    The distribution functions of the codon usage probabilities, computed over all the available GenBank data, for 40 eukaryotic biological species and 5 chloroplasts, do not follow a Zipf law, but are best fitted by the sum of a constant, an exponential and a linear function in the rank of usage. For mitochondriae the analysis is not conclusive. A quantum-mechanics-inspired model is proposed to describe the observed behaviour. These functions are characterized by parameters that strongly depend on the total GC content of the coding regions of biological species. It is predicted that the codon usage is the same in all exonic genes with the same GC content. The Shannon entropy for codons, also strongly depending on the exonic GC content, is computed.

  7. Analysis of synonymous codon usage patterns in the genus Rhizobium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xinxin; Wu, Liang; Zhou, Ping; Zhu, Shengfeng; An, Wei; Chen, Yu; Zhao, Lin

    2013-11-01

    The codon usage patterns of rhizobia have received increasing attention. However, little information is available regarding the conserved features of the codon usage patterns in a typical rhizobial genus. The codon usage patterns of six completely sequenced strains belonging to the genus Rhizobium were analysed as model rhizobia in the present study. The relative neutrality plot showed that selection pressure played a role in codon usage in the genus Rhizobium. Spearman's rank correlation analysis combined with correspondence analysis (COA) showed that the codon adaptation index and the effective number of codons (ENC) had strong correlation with the first axis of the COA, which indicated the important role of gene expression level and the ENC in the codon usage patterns in this genus. The relative synonymous codon usage of Cys codons had the strongest correlation with the second axis of the COA. Accordingly, the usage of Cys codons was another important factor that shaped the codon usage patterns in Rhizobium genomes and was a conserved feature of the genus. Moreover, the comparison of codon usage between highly and lowly expressed genes showed that 20 unique preferred codons were shared among Rhizobium genomes, revealing another conserved feature of the genus. This is the first report of the codon usage patterns in the genus Rhizobium.

  8. The effects of codon context on in vivo translation speed.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabienne F V Chevance

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available We developed a bacterial genetic system based on translation of the his operon leader peptide gene to determine the relative speed at which the ribosome reads single or multiple codons in vivo. Low frequency effects of so-called "silent" codon changes and codon neighbor (context effects could be measured using this assay. An advantage of this system is that translation speed is unaffected by the primary sequence of the His leader peptide. We show that the apparent speed at which ribosomes translate synonymous codons can vary substantially even for synonymous codons read by the same tRNA species. Assaying translation through codon pairs for the 5'- and 3'- side positioning of the 64 codons relative to a specific codon revealed that the codon-pair orientation significantly affected in vivo translation speed. Codon pairs with rare arginine codons and successive proline codons were among the slowest codon pairs translated in vivo. This system allowed us to determine the effects of different factors on in vivo translation speed including Shine-Dalgarno sequence, rate of dipeptide bond formation, codon context, and charged tRNA levels.

  9. Discrepancy among the synonymous codons with respect to their selection as optimal codon in bacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satapathy, Siddhartha Sankar; Powdel, Bhesh Raj; Buragohain, Alak Kumar; Ray, Suvendra Kumar

    2016-01-01

    The different triplets encoding the same amino acid, termed as synonymous codons, are not equally abundant in a genome. Factors such as G + C% and tRNA are known to influence their abundance in a genome. However, the order of the nucleotide in each codon per se might also be another factor impacting on its abundance values. Of the synonymous codons for specific amino acids, some are preferentially used in the high expression genes that are referred to as the ‘optimal codons’ (OCs). In this study, we compared OCs of the 18 amino acids in 221 species of bacteria. It is observed that there is amino acid specific influence for the selection of OCs. There is also influence of phylogeny in the choice of OCs for some amino acids such as Glu, Gln, Lys and Leu. The phenomenon of codon bias is also supported by the comparative studies of the abundance values of the synonymous codons with same G + C. It is likely that the order of the nucleotides in the triplet codon is also perhaps involved in the phenomenon of codon usage bias in organisms. PMID:27426467

  10. Factors contributing to fossilization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐菁

    2010-01-01

    As the most prominent feature of interlanguage, fossilization is a complex and essential topic in the field of SLA research. Various causes, in spite quantity of them are only theories, have been studied by different researchers from multiple points of view. Daiwei Dong(1990) has pointed out that virtually every inaccurate cause leads to language fossilization. This paper tries to conclude update causes of fossilization.

  11. Modes of fossil preservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schopf, J.M.

    1975-01-01

    The processes of geologic preservation are important for understanding the organisms represented by fossils. Some fossil differences are due to basic differences in organization of animals and plants, but the interpretation of fossils has also tended to be influenced by modes of preservation. Four modes of preservation generally can be distinguished: (1) Cellular permineralization ("petrifaction") preserves anatomical detail, and, occasionally, even cytologic structures. (2) Coalified compression, best illustrated by structures from coal but characteristic of many plant fossils in shale, preserves anatomical details in distorted form and produces surface replicas (impressions) on enclosing matrix. (3) Authigenic preservation replicates surface form or outline (molds and casts) prior to distortion by compression and, depending on cementation and timing, may intergrade with fossils that have been subject to compression. (4) Duripartic (hard part) preservation is characteristic of fossil skeletal remains, predominantly animal. Molds, pseudomorphs, or casts may form as bulk replacements following dissolution of the original fossil material, usually by leaching. Classification of the kinds of preservation in fossils will aid in identifying the processes responsible for modifying the fossil remains of both animals and plants. ?? 1975.

  12. Bayesian comparisons of codon substitution models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigue, Nicolas; Lartillot, Nicolas; Philippe, Hervé

    2008-11-01

    In 1994, Muse and Gaut (MG) and Goldman and Yang (GY) proposed evolutionary models that recognize the coding structure of the nucleotide sequences under study, by defining a Markovian substitution process with a state space consisting of the 61 sense codons (assuming the universal genetic code). Several variations and extensions to their models have since been proposed, but no general and flexible framework for contrasting the relative performance of alternative approaches has yet been applied. Here, we compute Bayes factors to evaluate the relative merit of several MG and GY styles of codon substitution models, including recent extensions acknowledging heterogeneous nonsynonymous rates across sites, as well as selective effects inducing uneven amino acid or codon preferences. Our results on three real data sets support a logical model construction following the MG formulation, allowing for a flexible account of global amino acid or codon preferences, while maintaining distinct parameters governing overall nucleotide propensities. Through posterior predictive checks, we highlight the importance of such a parameterization. Altogether, the framework presented here suggests a broad modeling project in the MG style, stressing the importance of combining and contrasting available model formulations and grounding developments in a sound probabilistic paradigm.

  13. Codon usage bias and the evolution of influenza A viruses. Codon Usage Biases of Influenza Virus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wong Emily HM

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The influenza A virus is an important infectious cause of morbidity and mortality in humans and was responsible for 3 pandemics in the 20th century. As the replication of the influenza virus is based on its host's machinery, codon usage of its viral genes might be subject to host selection pressures, especially after interspecies transmission. A better understanding of viral evolution and host adaptive responses might help control this disease. Results Relative Synonymous Codon Usage (RSCU values of the genes from segment 1 to segment 6 of avian and human influenza viruses, including pandemic H1N1, were studied via Correspondence Analysis (CA. The codon usage patterns of seasonal human influenza viruses were distinct among their subtypes and different from those of avian viruses. Newly isolated viruses could be added to the CA results, creating a tool to investigate the host origin and evolution of viral genes. It was found that the 1918 pandemic H1N1 virus contained genes with mammalian-like viral codon usage patterns, indicating that the introduction of this virus to humans was not through in toto transfer of an avian influenza virus. Many human viral genes had directional changes in codon usage over time of viral isolation, indicating the effect of host selection pressures. These changes reduced the overall GC content and the usage of G at the third codon position in the viral genome. Limited evidence of translational selection pressure was found in a few viral genes. Conclusions Codon usage patterns from CA allowed identification of host origin and evolutionary trends in influenza viruses, providing an alternative method and a tool to understand the evolution of influenza viruses. Human influenza viruses are subject to selection pressure on codon usage which might assist in understanding the characteristics of newly emerging viruses.

  14. Recent synchronous radiation of a living fossil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagalingum, N S; Marshall, C R; Quental, T B; Rai, H S; Little, D P; Mathews, S

    2011-11-11

    Modern survivors of previously more diverse lineages are regarded as living fossils, particularly when characterized by morphological stasis. Cycads are often cited as a classic example, reaching their greatest diversity during the Jurassic-Cretaceous (199.6 to 65.5 million years ago) then dwindling to their present diversity of ~300 species as flowering plants rose to dominance. Using fossil-calibrated molecular phylogenies, we show that cycads underwent a near synchronous global rediversification beginning in the late Miocene, followed by a slowdown toward the Recent. Although the cycad lineage is ancient, our timetrees indicate that living cycad species are not much older than ~12 million years. These data reject the hypothesized role of dinosaurs in generating extant diversity and the designation of today's cycad species as living fossils.

  15. Preferred and avoided codon pairs in three domains of life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tenson Tanel

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alternative synonymous codons are not used with equal frequencies. In addition, the contexts of codons – neighboring nucleotides and neighboring codons – can have certain patterns. The codon context can influence both translational accuracy and elongation rates. However, it is not known how strong or conserved the codon context preferences in different organisms are. We analyzed 138 organisms (bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes to find conserved patterns of codon pairs. Results After removing the effects of single codon usage and dipeptide biases we discovered a set of neighboring codons for which avoidances or preferences were conserved in all three domains of life. Such biased codon pairs could be divided into subtypes on the basis of the nucleotide patterns that influence the bias. The most frequently avoided type of codon pair was nnUAnn. We discovered that 95.7% of avoided nnUAnn type patterns contain out-frame UAA or UAG triplets on the sense and/or antisense strand. On average, nnUAnn codon pairs are more frequently avoided in ORFeomes than in genomes. Thus we assume that translational selection plays a major role in the avoidance of these codon pairs. Among the preferred codon pairs, nnGCnn was the major type. Conclusion Translational selection shapes codon pair usage in protein coding sequences by rules that are common to all three domains of life. The most frequently avoided codon pairs contain the patterns nnUAnn, nnGGnn, nnGnnC, nnCGCn, GUCCnn, CUCCnn, nnCnnA or UUCGnn. The most frequently preferred codon pairs contain the patterns nnGCnn, nnCAnn or nnUnCn.

  16. Stop codon reassignments in the wild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, Natalia N; Schwientek, Patrick; Tripp, H James; Rinke, Christian; Pati, Amrita; Huntemann, Marcel; Visel, Axel; Woyke, Tanja; Kyrpides, Nikos C; Rubin, Edward M

    2014-05-23

    The canonical genetic code is assumed to be deeply conserved across all domains of life with very few exceptions. By scanning 5.6 trillion base pairs of metagenomic data for stop codon reassignment events, we detected recoding in a substantial fraction of the >1700 environmental samples examined. We observed extensive opal and amber stop codon reassignments in bacteriophages and of opal in bacteria. Our data indicate that bacteriophages can infect hosts with a different genetic code and demonstrate phage-host antagonism based on code differences. The abundance and diversity of genetic codes present in environmental organisms should be considered in the design of engineered organisms with altered genetic codes in order to preclude the exchange of genetic information with naturally occurring species.

  17. Stop Codon Reassignment in the Wild

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ivanova, Natalia [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; Schwientek, Patrick [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; Tripp, H. James [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; Rinke, Christian [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; Pati, Amrita [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; Huntemann, Marcel [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; Visel, Axel [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; Woyke, Tanja [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; Kyrpides, Nikos [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.; Rubin, Edward [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Walnut Creek, CA (United States). Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Inst.

    2014-03-21

    Since the discovery of the genetic code and protein translation mechanisms (1), a limited number of variations of the standard assignment between unique base triplets (codons) and their encoded amino acids and translational stop signals have been found in bacteria and phages (2-3). Given the apparent ubiquity of the canonical genetic code, the design of genomically recoded organisms with non-canonical codes has been suggested as a means to prevent horizontal gene transfer between laboratory and environmental organisms (4). It is also predicted that genomically recoded organisms are immune to infection by viruses, under the assumption that phages and their hosts must share a common genetic code (5). This paradigm is supported by the observation of increased resistance of genomically recoded bacteria to phages with a canonical code (4). Despite these assumptions and accompanying lines of evidence, it remains unclear whether differential and non-canonical codon usage represents an absolute barrier to phage infection and genetic exchange between organisms. Our knowledge of the diversity of genetic codes and their use by viruses and their hosts is primarily derived from the analysis of cultivated organisms. Advances in single-cell sequencing and metagenome assembly technologies have enabled the reconstruction of genomes of uncultivated bacterial and archaeal lineages (6). These initial findings suggest that large scale systematic studies of uncultivated microorganisms and viruses may reveal the extent and modes of divergence from the canonical genetic code operating in nature. To explore alternative genetic codes, we carried out a systematic analysis of stop codon reassignments from the canonical TAG amber, TGA opal, and TAA ochre codons in assembled metagenomes from environmental and host-associated samples, single-cell genomes of uncultivated bacteria and archaea, and a collection of phage sequences

  18. A critical analysis of codon optimization in human therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauro, Vincent P; Chappell, Stephen A

    2014-11-01

    Codon optimization describes gene engineering approaches that use synonymous codon changes to increase protein production. Applications for codon optimization include recombinant protein drugs and nucleic acid therapies, including gene therapy, mRNA therapy, and DNA/RNA vaccines. However, recent reports indicate that codon optimization can affect protein conformation and function, increase immunogenicity, and reduce efficacy. We critically review this subject, identifying additional potential hazards including some unique to nucleic acid therapies. This analysis highlights the evolved complexity of codon usage and challenges the scientific bases for codon optimization. Consequently, codon optimization may not provide the optimal strategy for increasing protein production and may decrease the safety and efficacy of biotech therapeutics. We suggest that the use of this approach is reconsidered, particularly for in vivo applications. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Fossil turbulence revisited

    CERN Document Server

    Gibson, C H

    1999-01-01

    A theory of fossil turbulence presented in the 11th Liege Colloquium on Marine turbulence is "revisited" in the 29th Liege Colloquium "Marine Turbulence Revisited". The Gibson (1980) theory applied universal similarity theories of turbulence and turbulent mixing to the vertical evolution of an isolated patch of turbulence in a stratified fluid as it is constrained and fossilized by buoyancy forces. Towed oceanic microstructure measurements of Schedvin (1979) confirmed the predicted universal constants. Universal constants, spectra, hydrodynamic phase diagrams (HPDs) and other predictions of the theory have been reconfirmed by a wide variety of field and laboratory observations. Fossil turbulence theory has many applications; for example, in marine biology, laboratory and field measurements suggest phytoplankton species with different swimming abilities adjust their growth strategies differently by pattern recognition of several days of turbulence-fossil-turbulence dissipation and persistence times above thres...

  20. Codon optimization of genes for efficient protein expression in mammalian cells by selection of only preferred human codons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inouye, Satoshi; Sahara-Miura, Yuiko; Sato, Jun-ichi; Suzuki, Takahiro

    2015-05-01

    A simple design method for codon optimization of genes to express a heterologous protein in mammalian cells is described. Codon optimization was performed by choosing only codons preferentially used in humans and with over 60% GC content, and the method was named the "preferred human codon-optimized method." To test our simple rule for codon optimization, the preferred human codon-optimized genes for six proteins containing photoproteins (aequorin and clytin II) and luciferases (Gaussia luciferase, Renilla luciferase, and firefly luciferases from Photinus pyralis and Luciola cruciata) were chemically synthesized and transiently expressed in Chinese hamster ovary-K1 cells. All preferred human codon-optimized genes showed higher luminescence activity than the corresponding wild-type genes. Our simple design method could be used to improve protein expression in mammalian cells efficiently. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Testing the molecular clock using mechanistic models of fossil preservation and molecular evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Molecular sequence data provide information about relative times only, and fossil-based age constraints are the ultimate source of information about absolute times in molecular clock dating analyses. Thus, fossil calibrations are critical to molecular clock dating, but competing methods are difficult to evaluate empirically because the true evolutionary time scale is never known. Here, we combine mechanistic models of fossil preservation and sequence evolution in simulations to evaluate different approaches to constructing fossil calibrations and their impact on Bayesian molecular clock dating, and the relative impact of fossil versus molecular sampling. We show that divergence time estimation is impacted by the model of fossil preservation, sampling intensity and tree shape. The addition of sequence data may improve molecular clock estimates, but accuracy and precision is dominated by the quality of the fossil calibrations. Posterior means and medians are poor representatives of true divergence times; posterior intervals provide a much more accurate estimate of divergence times, though they may be wide and often do not have high coverage probability. Our results highlight the importance of increased fossil sampling and improved statistical approaches to generating calibrations, which should incorporate the non-uniform nature of ecological and temporal fossil species distributions. PMID:28637852

  2. First fossil chimpanzee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBrearty, Sally; Jablonski, Nina G

    2005-09-01

    There are thousands of fossils of hominins, but no fossil chimpanzee has yet been reported. The chimpanzee (Pan) is the closest living relative to humans. Chimpanzee populations today are confined to wooded West and central Africa, whereas most hominin fossil sites occur in the semi-arid East African Rift Valley. This situation has fuelled speculation regarding causes for the divergence of the human and chimpanzee lineages five to eight million years ago. Some investigators have invoked a shift from wooded to savannah vegetation in East Africa, driven by climate change, to explain the apparent separation between chimpanzee and human ancestral populations and the origin of the unique hominin locomotor adaptation, bipedalism. The Rift Valley itself functions as an obstacle to chimpanzee occupation in some scenarios. Here we report the first fossil chimpanzee. These fossils, from the Kapthurin Formation, Kenya, show that representatives of Pan were present in the East African Rift Valley during the Middle Pleistocene, where they were contemporary with an extinct species of Homo. Habitats suitable for both hominins and chimpanzees were clearly present there during this period, and the Rift Valley did not present an impenetrable barrier to chimpanzee occupation.

  3. Codon Deviation Coefficient: A novel measure for estimating codon usage bias and its statistical significance

    KAUST Repository

    Zhang, Zhang

    2012-03-22

    Background: Genetic mutation, selective pressure for translational efficiency and accuracy, level of gene expression, and protein function through natural selection are all believed to lead to codon usage bias (CUB). Therefore, informative measurement of CUB is of fundamental importance to making inferences regarding gene function and genome evolution. However, extant measures of CUB have not fully accounted for the quantitative effect of background nucleotide composition and have not statistically evaluated the significance of CUB in sequence analysis.Results: Here we propose a novel measure--Codon Deviation Coefficient (CDC)--that provides an informative measurement of CUB and its statistical significance without requiring any prior knowledge. Unlike previous measures, CDC estimates CUB by accounting for background nucleotide compositions tailored to codon positions and adopts the bootstrapping to assess the statistical significance of CUB for any given sequence. We evaluate CDC by examining its effectiveness on simulated sequences and empirical data and show that CDC outperforms extant measures by achieving a more informative estimation of CUB and its statistical significance.Conclusions: As validated by both simulated and empirical data, CDC provides a highly informative quantification of CUB and its statistical significance, useful for determining comparative magnitudes and patterns of biased codon usage for genes or genomes with diverse sequence compositions. 2012 Zhang et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  4. Codon Deviation Coefficient: a novel measure for estimating codon usage bias and its statistical significance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Zhang

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Genetic mutation, selective pressure for translational efficiency and accuracy, level of gene expression, and protein function through natural selection are all believed to lead to codon usage bias (CUB. Therefore, informative measurement of CUB is of fundamental importance to making inferences regarding gene function and genome evolution. However, extant measures of CUB have not fully accounted for the quantitative effect of background nucleotide composition and have not statistically evaluated the significance of CUB in sequence analysis. Results Here we propose a novel measure--Codon Deviation Coefficient (CDC--that provides an informative measurement of CUB and its statistical significance without requiring any prior knowledge. Unlike previous measures, CDC estimates CUB by accounting for background nucleotide compositions tailored to codon positions and adopts the bootstrapping to assess the statistical significance of CUB for any given sequence. We evaluate CDC by examining its effectiveness on simulated sequences and empirical data and show that CDC outperforms extant measures by achieving a more informative estimation of CUB and its statistical significance. Conclusions As validated by both simulated and empirical data, CDC provides a highly informative quantification of CUB and its statistical significance, useful for determining comparative magnitudes and patterns of biased codon usage for genes or genomes with diverse sequence compositions.

  5. A common periodic table of codons and amino acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biro, J C; Benyó, B; Sansom, C; Szlávecz, A; Fördös, G; Micsik, T; Benyó, Z

    2003-06-27

    A periodic table of codons has been designed where the codons are in regular locations. The table has four fields (16 places in each) one with each of the four nucleotides (A, U, G, C) in the central codon position. Thus, AAA (lysine), UUU (phenylalanine), GGG (glycine), and CCC (proline) were placed into the corners of the fields as the main codons (and amino acids) of the fields. They were connected to each other by six axes. The resulting nucleic acid periodic table showed perfect axial symmetry for codons. The corresponding amino acid table also displaced periodicity regarding the biochemical properties (charge and hydropathy) of the 20 amino acids and the position of the stop signals. The table emphasizes the importance of the central nucleotide in the codons and predicts that purines control the charge while pyrimidines determine the polarity of the amino acids. This prediction was experimentally tested.

  6. Fossilization of feathers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Paul G.; Briggs, Derek E. G.

    1995-09-01

    Scanning electron microscopy of feathers has revealed evidence that a bacterial glycocalyx (a network of exocellular polysaccharide fibers) played a role in promoting their fossilization in some cases. This mode of preservation has not been reported in other soft tissues. The majority of fossil feathers are preserved as carbonized traces. More rarely, bacteria on the surface are replicated by authigenic minerals (bacterial autolithification). The feathers of Archaeopteryx are preserved mainly by imprintation following early lithification of the substrate and decay of the feather. Lacustrine settings provide the most important taphonomic window for feather preservation. Preservation in terrestrial and normal-marine settings involves very different processes (in amber and in authigenically mineralized coprolites, respectively). Therefore, there may be a significant bias in the avian fossil record in favor of inland water habitats.

  7. On the fossil record of the Gekkota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daza, Juan D; Bauer, Aaron M; Snively, Eric D

    2014-03-01

    Gekkota is often interpreted as sister to all remaining squamates, exclusive of dibamids, or as sister to Autarchoglossa. It is the only diverse lineage of primarily nocturnal lizards and includes some of the smallest amniotes. The skeleton of geckos has often been interpreted as paedomorphic and/or "primitive" but these lizards also display a wide range of structural specializations of the postcranium, including modifications associated with both scansorial locomotion and limb reduction. Although the concept of "Gekkota" has been variously applied by different authors, we here apply a rigorous apomorphy based definition, recent advances in gekkotan morphology and phylogenetics, and diverse comparative material to provide a comprehensive assessment of 28 known pre-Quaternary geckos, updating the last such review, published three decades ago. Fossils evaluated include both sedimentary fossils and amber-embedded specimens. Known Cretaceous geckos are exclusively Asian and exhibit character combinations not seen in any living forms. Cenozoic gekkotans derive from sites around the world, although Europe is especially well represented. Paleogene geckos are largely known from disarticulated remains and show similarities to Sphaerodactylidae and Diplodactylidae, although resemblances may be plesiomorphic in some cases. Many Neogene gekkotans are referable to living families or even genera, but their geographic occurrences are often extralimital to those of modern groups, as is consistent with paleoclimatic conditions. The phylogenetic placement of fossil gekkotans has important repercusions for timetree calibration, but at present only a small number of fossils can be confidently assigned to even family level groupings, limiting their utility in this regard.

  8. Codon Pair Bias Is a Direct Consequence of Dinucleotide Bias

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dusan Kunec

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Codon pair bias is a remarkably stable characteristic of a species. Although functionally uncharacterized, robust virus attenuation was achieved by recoding of viral proteins using underrepresented codon pairs. Because viruses replicate exclusively inside living cells, we posited that their codon pair preferences reflect those of their host(s. Analysis of many human viruses showed, however, that the encoding of viruses is influenced only marginally by host codon pair preferences. Furthermore, examination of codon pair preferences of vertebrate, insect, and arthropod-borne viruses revealed that the latter do not utilize codon pairs overrepresented in arthropods more frequently than other viruses. We found, however, that codon pair bias is a direct consequence of dinucleotide bias. We conclude that codon pair bias does not play a major role in the encoding of viral proteins and that virus attenuation by codon pair deoptimization has the same molecular underpinnings as attenuation based on an increase in CpG/TpA dinucleotides.

  9. On ribosome load, codon bias and protein abundance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Klumpp

    Full Text Available Different codons encoding the same amino acid are not used equally in protein-coding sequences. In bacteria, there is a bias towards codons with high translation rates. This bias is most pronounced in highly expressed proteins, but a recent study of synthetic GFP-coding sequences did not find a correlation between codon usage and GFP expression, suggesting that such correlation in natural sequences is not a simple property of translational mechanisms. Here, we investigate the effect of evolutionary forces on codon usage. The relation between codon bias and protein abundance is quantitatively analyzed based on the hypothesis that codon bias evolved to ensure the efficient usage of ribosomes, a precious commodity for fast growing cells. An explicit fitness landscape is formulated based on bacterial growth laws to relate protein abundance and ribosomal load. The model leads to a quantitative relation between codon bias and protein abundance, which accounts for a substantial part of the observed bias for E. coli. Moreover, by providing an evolutionary link, the ribosome load model resolves the apparent conflict between the observed relation of protein abundance and codon bias in natural sequences and the lack of such dependence in a synthetic gfp library. Finally, we show that the relation between codon usage and protein abundance can be used to predict protein abundance from genomic sequence data alone without adjustable parameters.

  10. Analysis of Synonymous Codon Usage Bias in Chlamydia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui L(ü); Wei-Ming ZHAO; Yan ZHENG; Hong WANG; Mei QI; Xiu-Ping YU

    2005-01-01

    Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular bacterial pathogens that cause ocular and sexually transmitted diseases, and are associated with cardiovascular diseases. The analysis of codon usage may improve our understanding of the evolution and pathogenesis of Chlamydia and allow reengineering of target genes to improve their expression for gene therapy. Here, we analyzed the codon usage of C. muridarum, C.trachomatis (here indicating biovar trachoma and LGV), C. pneumoniae, and C. psittaci using the codon usage database and the CUSP (Create a codon usage table) program of EMBOSS (The European Molecular Biology Open Software Suite). The results show that the four genomes have similar codon usage patterns,with a strong bias towards the codons with A and T at the third codon position. Compared with Homo sapiens, the four chlamydial species show discordant seven or eight preferred codons. The ENC (effective number of codons used in a gene)-plot reveals that the genetic heterogeneity in Chlamydia is constrained by the G+C content, while translational selection and gene length exert relatively weaker influences. Moreover,mutational pressure appears to be the major determinant of the codon usage variation among the chlamydial genes. In addition, we compared the codon preferences of C. trachomatis with those of E. coli, yeast,adenovirus and Homo sapiens. There are 23 codons showing distinct usage differences between C. trachomatis and E. coli, 24 between C. trachomatis and adenovirus, 21 between C. trachomatis and Homo sapiens, but only six codons between C. trachomatis and yeast. Therefore, the yeast system may be more suitable for the expression of chlamydial genes. Finally, we compared the codon preferences of C. trachomatis with those of six eukaryotes, eight prokaryotes and 23 viruses. There is a strong positive correlation between the differences in coding GC content and the variations in codon bias (r=0.905, P<0.001). We conclude that the variation of codon bias

  11. Complex Codon Usage Pattern and Compositional Features of Retroviruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sourav RoyChoudhury

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Retroviruses infect a wide range of organisms including humans. Among them, HIV-1, which causes AIDS, has now become a major threat for world health. Some of these viruses are also potential gene transfer vectors. In this study, the patterns of synonymous codon usage in retroviruses have been studied through multivariate statistical methods on ORFs sequences from the available 56 retroviruses. The principal determinant for evolution of the codon usage pattern in retroviruses seemed to be the compositional constraints, while selection for translation of the viral genes plays a secondary role. This was further supported by multivariate analysis on relative synonymous codon usage. Thus, it seems that mutational bias might have dominated role over translational selection in shaping the codon usage of retroviruses. Codon adaptation index was used to identify translationally optimal codons among genes from retroviruses. The comparative analysis of the preferred and optimal codons among different retroviral groups revealed that four codons GAA, AAA, AGA, and GGA were significantly more frequent in most of the retroviral genes inspite of some differences. Cluster analysis also revealed that phylogenetically related groups of retroviruses have probably evolved their codon usage in a concerted manner under the influence of their nucleotide composition.

  12. Mineralization of fossil wood

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buurman, P.

    1972-01-01

    Several pieces of fossil wood have been analyzed with X-ray diffraction and were grouped on the basis of mineralogical composition. Various mineralizations were studied in thin sections and by means of the scanning electron microscope. Wood-opals appear to show a structure preservation that points t

  13. Fossils and decapod phylogeny

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schram, Frederick R.; Dixon, Christopher

    2003-01-01

    An expanded series of morphological characters developed for a cladistic analysis of extant decapods has yielded a new hypothesis for the phylogeny of the group. Application of this database to selected fossil genera produces some interesting results and demonstrates the feasibility of treating foss

  14. Fossil Dot Com

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2011-01-01

    , and the transformation has moved 50% of us to live in cities, whereas a mere 3% dwelled in cities in 1800. However, this 200 year long fossil fuelled bubble is coming to an end, which affects societies around the world and the way we design products and services for these societies beyond imagination. With rich...

  15. Fossil energy research meeting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kropschot, R. H.; Phillips, G. C.

    1977-12-01

    U.S. ERDA's research programs in fossil energy are reviewed with brief descriptions, budgets, etc. Of general interest are discussions related to the capabilities for such research of national laboratories, universities, energy centers, etc. Of necessity many items are treated briefly, but a general overview of the whole program is provided. (LTN)

  16. Analysis of codon usage and nucleotide composition bias in polioviruses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gu Yuan-xing

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Poliovirus, the causative agent of poliomyelitis, is a human enterovirus and a member of the family of Picornaviridae and among the most rapidly evolving viruses known. Analysis of codon usage can reveal much about the molecular evolution of the viruses. However, little information about synonymous codon usage pattern of polioviruses genome has been acquired to date. Methods The relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU values, effective number of codon (ENC values, nucleotide contents and dinucleotides were investigated and a comparative analysis of codon usage pattern for open reading frames (ORFs among 48 polioviruses isolates including 31 of genotype 1, 13 of genotype 2 and 4 of genotype 3. Results The result shows that the overall extent of codon usage bias in poliovirus samples is low (mean ENC = 53.754 > 40. The general correlation between base composition and codon usage bias suggests that mutational pressure rather than natural selection is the main factor that determines the codon usage bias in those polioviruses. Depending on the RSCU data, it was found that there was a significant variation in bias of codon usage among three genotypes. Geographic factor also has some effect on the codon usage pattern (exists in the genotype-1 of polioviruses. No significant effect in gene length or vaccine derived polioviruses (DVPVs, wild viruses and live attenuated virus was observed on the variations of synonymous codon usage in the virus genes. The relative abundance of dinucleotide (CpG in the ORFs of polioviruses are far below expected values especially in DVPVs and attenuated virus of polioviruses genotype 1. Conclusion The information from this study may not only have theoretical value in understanding poliovirus evolution, especially for DVPVs genotype 1, but also have potential value for the development of poliovirus vaccines.

  17. Gender-specific selection on codon usage in plant genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krochko Joan E

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Currently, there is little data available regarding the role of gender-specific gene expression on synonymous codon usage (translational selection in most organisms, and particularly plants. Using gender-specific EST libraries (with > 4000 ESTs from Zea mays and Triticum aestivum, we assessed whether gender-specific gene expression per se and gender-specific gene expression level are associated with selection on codon usage. Results We found clear evidence of a greater bias in codon usage for genes expressed in female than in male organs and gametes, based on the variation in GC content at third codon positions and the frequency of species-preferred codons. This finding holds true for both highly and for lowly expressed genes. In addition, we found that highly expressed genes have greater codon bias than lowly expressed genes for both female- and male-specific genes. Moreover, in both species, genes with female-specific expression show a greater usage of species-specific preferred codons for each of the 18 amino acids having synonymous codons. A supplemental analysis of Brassica napus suggests that bias in codon usage could also be higher in genes expressed in male gametophytic tissues than in heterogeneous (flower tissues. Conclusion This study reports gender-specific bias in codon usage in plants. The findings reported here, based on the analysis of 1 497 876 codons, are not caused either by differences in the biological functions of the genes or by differences in protein lengths, nor are they likely attributable to mutational bias. The data are best explained by gender-specific translational selection. Plausible explanations for these findings and the relevance to these and other organisms are discussed.

  18. Emergent Rules for Codon Choice Elucidated by Editing Rare Arginine Codons in Escherichia coli

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-20

    case study in codon choice, with AGRs encoding important transcriptional and translational properties distinct from the other synonymous alternatives...controlling the ef- ficiency of protein translation . Cell 141(2):344–354. 15. Li GW (2015) How do bacteria tune translation efficiency? Curr Opin Microbiol...17. Gingold H, et al. (2014) A dual program for translation regulation in cellular pro- liferation and differentiation. Cell 158(6):1281–1292. 18

  19. Sustainability of Fossil Fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lackner, K. S.

    2002-05-01

    For a sustainable world economy, energy is a bottleneck. Energy is at the basis of a modern, technological society, but unlike materials it cannot be recycled. Energy or more precisely "negentropy" (the opposite of entropy) is always consumed. Thus, one either accepts the use of large but finite resources or must stay within the limits imposed by dilute but self-renewing resources like sunlight. The challenge of sustainable energy is exacerbated by likely growth in world energy demand due to increased population and increased wealth. Most of the world still has to undergo the transition to a wealthy, stable society with the near zero population growth that characterizes a modern industrial society. This represents a huge unmet demand. If ten billion people were to consume energy like North Americans do today, world energy demand would be ten times higher. In addition, technological advances while often improving energy efficiency tend to raise energy demand by offering more opportunity for consumption. Energy consumption still increases at close to the 2.3% per year that would lead to a tenfold increase over the course of the next century. Meeting future energy demands while phasing out fossil fuels appears extremely difficult. Instead, the world needs sustainable or nearly sustainable fossil fuels. I propose the following definition of sustainable under which fossil fuels would well qualify: The use of a technology or resource is sustainable if the intended and unintended consequences will not force its abandonment within a reasonable planning horizon. Of course sustainable technologies must not be limited by resource depletion but this is only one of many concerns. Environmental impacts, excessive land use, and other constraints can equally limit the use of a technology and thus render it unsustainable. In the foreseeable future, fossil fuels are not limited by resource depletion. However, environmental concerns based on climate change and other environmental

  20. Two new beta0-thalassemic mutations: a deletion (-CC) at codon 142 or overlapping codons 142-143, and an insertion (+T) at codon 45 or overlapping codons 44-45/45-46 of the beta-globin gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacan, Philippe; Aubry, Martine; Couprie, Nicole; Francina, Alain

    2007-01-01

    We report here two new beta(0)-thalassemic mutations. In the first case, a deletion of two nucleotides (-CC) at codon 142 was found in a French Caucasian woman. In the second case, an insertion of a single nucleotide (+T) at codon 45 was found in a Turkish girl. In both cases, no dominant thalassemia-like phenotype was observed.

  1. Calibration uncertainty

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heydorn, Kaj; Anglov, Thomas

    2002-01-01

    Methods recommended by the International Standardization Organisation and Eurachem are not satisfactory for the correct estimation of calibration uncertainty. A novel approach is introduced and tested on actual calibration data for the determination of Pb by ICP-AES. The improved calibration unce...

  2. The Review of Interlanguage Fossilization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李霄露

    2011-01-01

    Interlanguage fossilization is a common phenomenon in second language acquisition. This paper reyiews the important achievements in the study of interlanguage fossilization, analyzing its definition, types and causes. And then find some ways to re- duce the interference of interlanguage fossilization in second language learning.

  3. The largest fossil rodent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinderknecht, Andrés; Blanco, R. Ernesto

    2008-01-01

    The discovery of an exceptionally well-preserved skull permits the description of the new South American fossil species of the rodent, Josephoartigasia monesi sp. nov. (family: Dinomyidae; Rodentia: Hystricognathi: Caviomorpha). This species with estimated body mass of nearly 1000 kg is the largest yet recorded. The skull sheds new light on the anatomy of the extinct giant rodents of the Dinomyidae, which are known mostly from isolated teeth and incomplete mandible remains. The fossil derives from San José Formation, Uruguay, usually assigned to the Pliocene–Pleistocene (4–2 Myr ago), and the proposed palaeoenvironment where this rodent lived was characterized as an estuarine or deltaic system with forest communities. PMID:18198140

  4. Efficient translation initiation dictates codon usage at gene start

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentele, Kajetan; Saffert, Paul; Rauscher, Robert; Ignatova, Zoya; Blüthgen, Nils

    2013-01-01

    The genetic code is degenerate; thus, protein evolution does not uniquely determine the coding sequence. One of the puzzles in evolutionary genetics is therefore to uncover evolutionary driving forces that result in specific codon choice. In many bacteria, the first 5–10 codons of protein-coding genes are often codons that are less frequently used in the rest of the genome, an effect that has been argued to arise from selection for slowed early elongation to reduce ribosome traffic jams. However, genome analysis across many species has demonstrated that the region shows reduced mRNA folding consistent with pressure for efficient translation initiation. This raises the possibility that unusual codon usage is a side effect of selection for reduced mRNA structure. Here we discriminate between these two competing hypotheses, and show that in bacteria selection favours codons that reduce mRNA folding around the translation start, regardless of whether these codons are frequent or rare. Experiments confirm that primarily mRNA structure, and not codon usage, at the beginning of genes determines the translation rate. PMID:23774758

  5. DNA G+C content of the third codon position and codon usage biases of human genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sueoka, N; Kawanishi, Y

    2000-12-30

    The human genome, as in other eukaryotes, has a wide heterogeneity in the DNA base composition. The evolutionary basis for this heterogeneity has been unknown. A previous study of the human genome (846 genes analyzed) has shown that, in the major range of the G+C content in the third codon position (0.25-0.75), biases from the Parity Rule 2 (PR2) among the synonymous codons of the four-codon amino acids are similar except in the highest G+C range (Sueoka, N., 1999. Translation-coupled violation of Parity Rule 2 in human genes is not the cause of heterogeneity of the DNA G+C content of third codon position. Gene 238, 53-58.). PR2 is an intra-strand rule where A=T and G=C are expected when there are no biases between the two complementary strands of DNA in mutation and selection rates (substitution rates). In this study, 14,026 human genes were analyzed. In addition, the third codon positions of two-codon amino acids were analyzed. New results show the following: (a) The G+C contents of the third codon position of human genes are scattered in the G+C range of 0.22-0.96 in the third codon position. (b) The PR2 biases are similar in the range of 0.25-0.75, whereas, in the high G+C range (0.75-0.96; 13% of the genes), the PR2-bias fingerprints are different from those of the major range. (c) Unlike the PR2 biases, the G+C contents of the third codon position for both four-codon and two-codon amino acids are all correlated almost perfectly with the G+C content of the third codon position over the total G+C ranges. These results support the notion that the directional mutation pressure, rather than the directional selection pressure, is mainly responsible for the heterogeneity of the G+C content of the third codon position.

  6. A thermodynamic theory of codon bias in viral genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, G W; Trainor, L E

    1983-03-21

    The relationship between degeneracy in the genetic code and the occurrence of a strong codon bias is examined, with particular reference to a group of viral genomes. The present paper shows how codon bias may have been imposed by thermodynamic considerations at the time the primitive DNA first formed in the primordial soup. Using a four-state Ising-like model with stacking interactions between successive base pairs, we show how primeval periodic DNA polymers could have arisen the remnants of which are still observed in codon biases today.

  7. New record of a fossil haplotilapiine cichlid from Central Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefanie B. R. Penk

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available African freshwater cichlids (Cichlidae: Pseudocrenilabrinae are well known for their exceptionally great diversity and their capability of rapid speciation as well as diverse adaptations. The extant Pseudocrenilabrinae can be grouped into 27 tribes, with more than 2000 species harbored in the Great Lakes and surrounding water bodies of the East African Rift System. However, this unique diversity is not reflected in the fossil record because fossil cichlids were predominantly reported based on isolated teeth and bones. Moreover, the few articulated specimens that are known have not been analyzed sufficiently with regard to their systematic position due to lack of comparative material. Here we present a new extraordinarily well-preserved cichlid fish fossil from the Middle Miocene (c. 12.5 Ma Lagerstaette Kabchore, which was recovered during recent fieldwork in the Tugen Hills (Baringo County, Central Kenya Rift. Based on the evidence of tricuspid teeth, the Kabchore fossil can be assigned to the subclade of the Haplotilapiines within the Pseudocrenilabrinae. The multivariate analysis of a large meristic data set, derived from 1014 extant specimens (encompassing all main lineages of Haplotilapiines and usage of available osteological data suggest that this fossil is most likely related to one of the three haplotilapiine tribes Tilapiini, Haplochromini or Oreochromini. Moreover, the fossil specimen closely resembles the extinct cichlid Oreochromis martyni (Van Couvering, 1982, previously described as species of Sarotherodon from the Middle Miocene alkaline Kapkiamu Lake in the Tugen Hills. The analysis of the greatly preserved fossil fish specimen from Kabchore definitely supplements the fragmentary fossil record of Africa’s Cichlidae and will afford new insights into its evolutionary history. We also expect that this fossil will be useful as calibration point for new divergence-time estimates.

  8. Improving large-scale groundwater models by considering fossil gradients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulz, Stephan; Walther, Marc; Michelsen, Nils; Rausch, Randolf; Dirks, Heiko; Al-Saud, Mohammed; Merz, Ralf; Kolditz, Olaf; Schüth, Christoph

    2017-05-01

    Due to limited availability of surface water, many arid to semi-arid countries rely on their groundwater resources. Despite the quasi-absence of present day replenishment, some of these groundwater bodies contain large amounts of water, which was recharged during pluvial periods of the Late Pleistocene to Early Holocene. These mostly fossil, non-renewable resources require different management schemes compared to those which are usually applied in renewable systems. Fossil groundwater is a finite resource and its withdrawal implies mining of aquifer storage reserves. Although they receive almost no recharge, some of them show notable hydraulic gradients and a flow towards their discharge areas, even without pumping. As a result, these systems have more discharge than recharge and hence are not in steady state, which makes their modelling, in particular the calibration, very challenging. In this study, we introduce a new calibration approach, composed of four steps: (i) estimating the fossil discharge component, (ii) determining the origin of fossil discharge, (iii) fitting the hydraulic conductivity with a pseudo steady-state model, and (iv) fitting the storage capacity with a transient model by reconstructing head drawdown induced by pumping activities. Finally, we test the relevance of our approach and evaluated the effect of considering or ignoring fossil gradients on aquifer parameterization for the Upper Mega Aquifer (UMA) on the Arabian Peninsula.

  9. Cycles in fossil diversity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rohde, Robert A.; Muller, Richard A.

    2004-10-20

    It is well-known that the diversity of life appears to fluctuate during the course the Phanerozoic, the eon during which hard shells and skeletons left abundant fossils (0-542 Ma). Using Sepkoski's compendium of the first and last stratigraphic appearances of 36380 marine genera, we report a strong 62 {+-} 3 Myr cycle, which is particularly strong in the shorter-lived genera. The five great extinctions enumerated by Raup and Sepkoski may be an aspect of this cycle. Because of the high statistical significance, we also consider contributing environmental factors and possible causes.

  10. Biodesulfurization of fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Kevin A; Mrachko, Gregory T; Squires, Charles H

    2003-06-01

    Biotechnological techniques enabling the specific removal of sulfur from fossil fuels have been developed. In the past three years there have been important advances in the elucidation of the mechanisms of biodesulfurization; some of the most significant relate to the role of a flavin reductase, DszD, in the enzymology of desulfurization, and to the use of new tools that enable enzyme enhancement via DNA manipulation to influence both the rate and the substrate range of Dsz. Also, a clearer understanding of the unique desulfinase step in the pathway has begun to emerge.

  11. The Effect of Codon Mismatch on the Protein Translation System.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dinglin Zhang

    Full Text Available Incorrect protein translation, caused by codon mismatch, is an important problem of living cells. In this work, a computational model was introduced to quantify the effects of codon mismatch and the model was used to study the protein translation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. According to simulation results, the probability of codon mismatch will increase when the supply of amino acids is unbalanced, and the longer is the codon sequence, the larger is the probability for incorrect translation to occur, making the synthesis of long peptide chain difficult. By comparing to simulation results without codon mismatch effects taken into account, the fraction of mRNAs with bound ribosome decrease faster along the mRNAs, making the 5' ramp phenomenon more obvious. It was also found in our work that the premature mechanism resulted from codon mismatch can reduce the proportion of incorrect translation when the amino acid supply is extremely unbalanced, which is one possible source of high fidelity protein synthesis after peptidyl transfer.

  12. Distribution of ADAT-Dependent Codons in the Human Transcriptome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Àlbert Rafels-Ybern

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Nucleotide modifications in the anticodons of transfer RNAs (tRNA play a central role in translation efficiency, fidelity, and regulation of translation, but, for most of these modifications, the details of their function remain unknown. The heterodimeric adenosine deaminases acting on tRNAs (ADAT2-ADAT3, or ADAT are enzymes present in eukaryotes that convert adenine (A to inosine (I in the first anticodon base (position 34 by hydrolytic deamination. To explore the influence of ADAT activity on mammalian translation, we have characterized the human transcriptome and proteome in terms of frequency and distribution of ADAT-related codons. Eight different tRNAs can be modified by ADAT and, once modified, these tRNAs will recognize NNC, NNU and NNA codons, but not NNG codons. We find that transcripts coding for proteins highly enriched in these eight amino acids (ADAT-aa are specifically enriched in NNC, NNU and NNA codons. We also show that the proteins most enriched in ADAT-aa are composed preferentially of threonine, alanine, proline, and serine (TAPS. We propose that the enrichment in ADAT-codons in these proteins is due to the similarities in the codons that correspond to TAPS.

  13. Codon Usage Bias and Determining Forces in Taenia solium Genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xing; Ma, Xusheng; Luo, Xuenong; Ling, Houjun; Zhang, Xichen; Cai, Xuepeng

    2015-12-01

    The tapeworm Taenia solium is an important human zoonotic parasite that causes great economic loss and also endangers public health. At present, an effective vaccine that will prevent infection and chemotherapy without any side effect remains to be developed. In this study, codon usage patterns in the T. solium genome were examined through 8,484 protein-coding genes. Neutrality analysis showed that T. solium had a narrow GC distribution, and a significant correlation was observed between GC12 and GC3. Examination of an NC (ENC vs GC3s)-plot showed a few genes on or close to the expected curve, but the majority of points with low-ENC (the effective number of codons) values were detected below the expected curve, suggesting that mutational bias plays a major role in shaping codon usage. The Parity Rule 2 plot (PR2) analysis showed that GC and AT were not used proportionally. We also identified 26 optimal codons in the T. solium genome, all of which ended with either a G or C residue. These optimal codons in the T. solium genome are likely consistent with tRNAs that are highly expressed in the cell, suggesting that mutational and translational selection forces are probably driving factors of codon usage bias in the T. solium genome.

  14. Mutation-selection models of codon substitution and their use to estimate selective strengths on codon usage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Ziheng; Nielsen, Rasmus

    2008-01-01

    Current models of codon substitution are formulated at the levels of nucleotide substitution and do not explicitly consider the separate effects of mutation and selection. They are thus incapable of inferring whether mutation or selection is responsible for evolution at silent sites. Here we...... to examine the null hypothesis that codon usage is due to mutation bias alone, not influenced by natural selection. Application of the test to the mammalian data led to rejection of the null hypothesis in most genes, suggesting that natural selection may be a driving force in the evolution of synonymous...... codon usage in mammals. Estimates of selection coefficients nevertheless suggest that selection on codon usage is weak and most mutations are nearly neutral. The sensitivity of the analysis on the assumed mutation model is discussed....

  15. Radioactivity in fossils at the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, C Neal; Kathren, Ronald L; Christensen, Craig

    2008-08-01

    Since 1996, higher than background levels of naturally occurring radioactivity have been documented in both fossil and mineral deposits at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument in south-central Idaho. Radioactive fossil sites occur primarily within an elevation zone of 900-1000 m above sea level and are most commonly found associated with ancient river channels filled with sand. Fossils found in clay rich deposits do not exhibit discernable levels of radioactivity. Out of 300 randomly selected fossils, approximately three-fourths exhibit detectable levels of natural radioactivity ranging from 1 to 2 orders of magnitude above ambient background levels when surveyed with a portable hand held Geiger-Muller survey instrument. Mineral deposits in geologic strata also show above ambient background levels of radioactivity. Radiochemical lab analysis has documented the presence of numerous natural radioactive isotopes. It is postulated that ancient groundwater transported radioactive elements through sand bodies containing fossils which precipitated out of solution during the fossilization process. The elevated levels of natural radioactivity in fossils may require special precautions to ensure that exposures to personnel from stored or displayed items are kept as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA).

  16. Fossil turbulence and fossil turbulence waves can be dangerous

    CERN Document Server

    Gibson, Carl H

    2012-01-01

    Turbulence is defined as an eddy-like state of fluid motion where the inertial-vortex forces of the eddies are larger than any other forces that tend to damp the eddies out. By this definition, turbulence always cascades from small scales where vorticity is created to larger scales where turbulence fossilizes. Fossil turbulence is any perturbation in a hydrophysical field produced by turbulence that persists after the fluid is no longer turbulent at the scale of the perturbation. Fossil turbulence patterns and fossil turbulence waves preserve and propagate energy and information about previous turbulence. Ignorance of fossil turbulence properties can be dangerous. Examples include the Osama bin Laden helicopter crash and the Air France 447 Airbus crash, both unfairly blamed on the pilots. Observations support the proposed definitions, and suggest even direct numerical simulations of turbulence require caution.

  17. Likelihood of tree topologies with fossils and diversification rate estimation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Didier, Gilles; Fau, Marine; Laurin, Michel

    2017-04-18

    Since the diversification process cannot be directly observed at the human scale, it has to be studied from the information available, namely the extant taxa and the fossil record. In this sense, phylogenetic trees including both extant taxa and fossils are the most complete representations of the diversification process that one can get. Such phylogenetic trees can be reconstructed from molecular and morphological data, to some extent. Among the temporal information of such phylogenetic trees, fossil ages are by far the most precisely known (divergence times are inferences calibrated mostly with fossils). We propose here a method to compute the likelihood of a phylogenetic tree with fossils in which the only considered time information is the fossil ages, and apply it to the estimation of the diversification rates from such data. Since it is required in our computation, we provide a method for determining the probability of a tree topology under the standard diversification model.Testing 21 our approach on simulated data shows that the maximum likelihood rate estimates from the phylogenetic tree topology and the fossil dates are almost as accurate as those obtained by taking into account all the data, including the divergence times. Moreover, they are substantially more accurate than the estimates obtained only from the exact divergence times (without taking into account the fossil record).We also provide an empirical example composed of 50 Permo-carboniferous eupelycosaur (early synapsid) taxa ranging in age from about 315 Ma (Late Carboniferous) to 270 Ma (shortly after the end of the Early Permian). Our analyses suggest a speciation (cladogenesis, or birth) rate of about 0.1 per lineage and per My, a marginally lower extinction rate, and a considerable hidden paleobiodiversity of early synapsids. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email

  18. Biogeographic calibrations for the molecular clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Simon Y W; Tong, K Jun; Foster, Charles S P; Ritchie, Andrew M; Lo, Nathan; Crisp, Michael D

    2015-09-01

    Molecular estimates of evolutionary timescales have an important role in a range of biological studies. Such estimates can be made using methods based on molecular clocks, including models that are able to account for rate variation across lineages. All clock models share a dependence on calibrations, which enable estimates to be given in absolute time units. There are many available methods for incorporating fossil calibrations, but geological and climatic data can also provide useful calibrations for molecular clocks. However, a number of strong assumptions need to be made when using these biogeographic calibrations, leading to wide variation in their reliability and precision. In this review, we describe the nature of biogeographic calibrations and the assumptions that they involve. We present an overview of the different geological and climatic events that can provide informative calibrations, and explain how such temporal information can be incorporated into dating analyses.

  19. Using more than the oldest fossils: dating osmundaceae with three Bayesian clock approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Guido W; Kapli, Paschalia; Bomfleur, Benjamin; McLoughlin, Stephen; Renner, Susanne S

    2015-05-01

    A major concern in molecular clock dating is how to use information from the fossil record to calibrate genetic distances from DNA sequences. Here we apply three Bayesian dating methods that differ in how calibration is achieved-"node dating" (ND) in BEAST, "total evidence" (TE) dating in MrBayes, and the "fossilized birth-death" (FBD) in FDPPDiv-to infer divergence times in the royal ferns. Osmundaceae have 16-17 species in four genera, two mainly in the Northern Hemisphere and two in South Africa and Australasia; they are the sister clade to the remaining leptosporangiate ferns. Their fossil record consists of at least 150 species in ∼17 genera. For ND, we used the five oldest fossils, whereas for TE and FBD dating, which do not require forcing fossils to nodes and thus can use more fossils, we included up to 36 rhizomes and frond compression/impression fossils, which for TE dating were scored for 33 morphological characters. We also subsampled 10%, 25%, and 50% of the 36 fossils to assess model sensitivity. FBD-derived divergence ages were generally greater than those inferred from ND; two of seven TE-derived ages agreed with FBD-obtained ages, the others were much younger or much older than ND or FBD ages. We prefer the FBD-derived ages because they best fit the Osmundales fossil record (including Triassic fossils not used in our study). Under the preferred model, the clade encompassing extant Osmundaceae (and many fossils) dates to the latest Paleozoic to Early Triassic; divergences of the extant species occurred during the Neogene. Under the assumption of constant speciation and extinction rates, the FBD approach yielded speciation and extinction rates that overlapped those obtained from just neontological data. However, FBD estimates of speciation and extinction are sensitive to violations in the assumption of continuous fossil sampling; therefore, these estimates should be treated with caution.

  20. First fossil insectivores from Flores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoek Ostende, van den L.W.; Berch, van der G.; Awe Due, R.

    2006-01-01

    The hominid bearing strata from the Liang Bua cave on Flores have yielded a large amount of microvertebrate remains. Among these are three mandibles of shrews, the first record of fossil insectivores from the island. The fossils, representing two different species, are not referable to any of the

  1. Codon Preference Optimization Increases Prokaryotic Cystatin C Expression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Wang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Gene expression is closely related to optimal vector-host system pairing in many prokaryotes. Redesign of the human cystatin C (cysC gene using the preferred codons of the prokaryotic system may significantly increase cysC expression in Escherichia coli (E. coli. Specifically, cysC expression may be increased by removing unstable sequences and optimizing GC content. According to E. coli expression system codon preferences, the gene sequence was optimized while the amino acid sequence was maintained. The codon-optimized cysC (co-cysC and wild-type cysC (wt-cysC were expressed by cloning the genes into a pET-30a plasmid, thus transforming the recombinant plasmid into E. coli BL21. Before and after the optimization process, the prokaryotic expression vector and host bacteria were examined for protein expression and biological activation of CysC. The recombinant proteins in the lysate of the transformed bacteria were purified using Ni2+-NTA resin. Recombinant protein expression increased from 10% to 46% based on total protein expression after codon optimization. Recombinant CysC purity was above 95%. The significant increase in cysC expression in E. coli expression produced by codon optimization techniques may be applicable to commercial production systems.

  2. Genome-Wide Analysis of Codon Usage Bias in Epichloë festucae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiuzhang Li

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Analysis of codon usage data has both practical and theoretical applications in understanding the basics of molecular biology. Differences in codon usage patterns among genes reflect variations in local base compositional biases and the intensity of natural selection. Recently, there have been several reports related to codon usage in fungi, but little is known about codon usage bias in Epichloë endophytes. The present study aimed to assess codon usage patterns and biases in 4870 sequences from Epichloë festucae, which may be helpful in revealing the constraint factors such as mutation or selection pressure and improving the bioreactor on the cloning, expression, and characterization of some special genes. The GC content with 56.41% is higher than the AT content (43.59% in E. festucae. The results of neutrality and effective number of codons plot analyses showed that both mutational bias and natural selection play roles in shaping codon usage in this species. We found that gene length is strongly correlated with codon usage and may contribute to the codon usage patterns observed in genes. Nucleotide composition and gene expression levels also shape codon usage bias in E. festucae. E. festucae exhibits codon usage bias based on the relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU values of 61 sense codons, with 25 codons showing an RSCU larger than 1. In addition, we identified 27 optimal codons that end in a G or C.

  3. Fossilization of melanosomes via sulfurization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria E; van Dongen, Bart E; Lockyer, Nick P; Bull, Ian D; Orr, Patrick J

    2016-05-01

    Fossil melanin granules (melanosomes) are an important resource for inferring the evolutionary history of colour and its functions in animals. The taphonomy of melanin and melanosomes, however, is incompletely understood. In particular, the chemical processes responsible for melanosome preservation have not been investigated. As a result, the origins of sulfur-bearing compounds in fossil melanosomes are difficult to resolve. This has implications for interpretations of original colour in fossils based on potential sulfur-rich phaeomelanosomes. Here we use pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Py-GCMS), fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) to assess the mode of preservation of fossil microstructures, confirmed as melanosomes based on the presence of melanin, preserved in frogs from the Late Miocene Libros biota (NE Spain). Our results reveal a high abundance of organosulfur compounds and non-sulfurized fatty acid methyl esters in both the fossil tissues and host sediment; chemical signatures in the fossil tissues are inconsistent with preservation of phaeomelanin. Our results reflect preservation via the diagenetic incorporation of sulfur, i.e. sulfurization (natural vulcanization), and other polymerization processes. Organosulfur compounds and/or elevated concentrations of sulfur have been reported from melanosomes preserved in various invertebrate and vertebrate fossils and depositional settings, suggesting that preservation through sulfurization is likely to be widespread. Future studies of sulfur-rich fossil melanosomes require that the geochemistry of the host sediment is tested for evidence of sulfurization in order to constrain interpretations of potential phaeomelanosomes and thus of original integumentary colour in fossils.

  4. A model for codon position bias in RNA editing

    CERN Document Server

    Liu, T; Liu, Tsunglin; Bundschuh, Ralf

    2005-01-01

    RNA editing can be crucial for the expression of genetic information via inserting, deleting, or substituting a few nucleotides at specific positions in an RNA sequence. Within coding regions in an RNA sequence, editing usually occurs with a certain bias in choosing the positions of the editing sites. In the mitochondrial genes of {\\it Physarum polycephalum}, many more editing events have been observed at the third codon position than at the first and second, while in some plant mitochondria the second codon position dominates. Here we propose an evolutionary model that explains this bias as the basis of selection at the protein level. The model predicts a distribution of the three positions rather close to the experimental observation in {\\it Physarum}. This suggests that the codon position bias in {\\it Physarum} is mainly a consequence of selection at the protein level.

  5. P-value based visualization of codon usage data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fricke Wolfgang

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Two important and not yet solved problems in bacterial genome research are the identification of horizontally transferred genes and the prediction of gene expression levels. Both problems can be addressed by multivariate analysis of codon usage data. In particular dimensionality reduction methods for visualization of multivariate data have shown to be effective tools for codon usage analysis. We here propose a multidimensional scaling approach using a novel similarity measure for codon usage tables. Our probabilistic similarity measure is based on P-values derived from the well-known chi-square test for comparison of two distributions. Experimental results on four microbial genomes indicate that the new method is well-suited for the analysis of horizontal gene transfer and translational selection. As compared with the widely-used correspondence analysis, our method did not suffer from outlier sensitivity and showed a better clustering of putative alien genes in most cases.

  6. Aeromonas phages encode tRNAs for their overused codons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabhakaran, Ramanandan; Chithambaram, Shivapriya; Xia, Xuhua

    2014-01-01

    The GC-rich bacterial species, Aeromonas salmonicida, is parasitised by both GC-rich phages (Aeromonas phages - phiAS7 and vB_AsaM-56) and GC-poor phages (Aeromonas phages - 25, 31, 44RR2.8t, 65, Aes508, phiAS4 and phiAS5). Both the GC-rich Aeromonas phage phiAS7 and Aeromonas phage vB_AsaM-56 have nearly identical codon usage bias as their host. While all the remaining seven GC-poor Aeromonas phages differ dramatically in codon usage from their GC-rich host. Here, we investigated whether tRNA encoded in the genome of Aeromonas phages facilitate the translation of phage proteins. We found that tRNAs encoded in the phage genome correspond to synonymous codons overused in the phage genes but not in the host genes.

  7. FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: FOSSIL2 documentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1980-10-01

    This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large, as is appropriate for a system dynamics simulation model. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. Volumes II and III of this report list the equations that comprise the FOSSIL2 model, along with variable definitions and a cross-reference list of the model variables. Volume III lists the model equations and a one line definition for equations, in a short, readable format.

  8. Novel Ciliate Genetic Code Variants Including the Reassignment of All Three Stop Codons to Sense Codons in Condylostoma magnum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heaphy, Stephen M; Mariotti, Marco; Gladyshev, Vadim N; Atkins, John F; Baranov, Pavel V

    2016-11-01

    mRNA translation in many ciliates utilizes variant genetic codes where stop codons are reassigned to specify amino acids. To characterize the repertoire of ciliate genetic codes, we analyzed ciliate transcriptomes from marine environments. Using codon substitution frequencies in ciliate protein-coding genes and their orthologs, we inferred the genetic codes of 24 ciliate species. Nine did not match genetic code tables currently assigned by NCBI. Surprisingly, we identified a novel genetic code where all three standard stop codons (TAA, TAG, and TGA) specify amino acids in Condylostoma magnum We provide evidence suggesting that the functions of these codons in C. magnum depend on their location within mRNA. They are decoded as amino acids at internal positions, but specify translation termination when in close proximity to an mRNA 3' end. The frequency of stop codons in protein coding sequences of closely related Climacostomum virens suggests that it may represent a transitory state. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  9. Codon optimality is a major determinant of mRNA stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Presnyak, Vladimir; Alhusaini, Najwa; Chen, Ying-Hsin; Martin, Sophie; Morris, Nathan; Kline, Nicholas; Olson, Sara; Weinberg, David; Baker, Kristian E; Graveley, Brenton R; Coller, Jeff

    2015-03-12

    mRNA degradation represents a critical regulated step in gene expression. Although the major pathways in turnover have been identified, accounting for disparate half-lives has been elusive. We show that codon optimality is one feature that contributes greatly to mRNA stability. Genome-wide RNA decay analysis revealed that stable mRNAs are enriched in codons designated optimal, whereas unstable mRNAs contain predominately non-optimal codons. Substitution of optimal codons with synonymous, non-optimal codons results in dramatic mRNA destabilization, whereas the converse substitution significantly increases stability. Further, we demonstrate that codon optimality impacts ribosome translocation, connecting the processes of translation elongation and decay through codon optimality. Finally, we show that optimal codon content accounts for the similar stabilities observed in mRNAs encoding proteins with coordinated physiological function. This work demonstrates that codon optimization exists as a mechanism to finely tune levels of mRNAs and, ultimately, proteins.

  10. Gene expression, nucleotide composition and codon usage bias of genes associated with human Y chromosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Monisha Nath; Uddin, Arif; Chakraborty, Supriyo

    2017-06-01

    Analysis of codon usage pattern is important to understand the genetic and evolutionary characteristics of genomes. We have used bioinformatic approaches to analyze the codon usage bias (CUB) of the genes located in human Y chromosome. Codon bias index (CBI) indicated that the overall extent of codon usage bias was low. The relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU) analysis suggested that approximately half of the codons out of 59 synonymous codons were most frequently used, and possessed a T or G at the third codon position. The codon usage pattern was different in different genes as revealed from correspondence analysis (COA). A significant correlation between effective number of codons (ENC) and various GC contents suggests that both mutation pressure and natural selection affect the codon usage pattern of genes located in human Y chromosome. In addition, Y-linked genes have significant difference in GC contents at the second and third codon positions, expression level, and codon usage pattern of some codons like the SPANX genes in X chromosome.

  11. In Arabidopsis thaliana codon volatility scores reflect GC3 composition rather than selective pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O'Connell Mary J

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Synonymous codon usage bias has typically been correlated with, and attributed to translational efficiency. However, there are other pressures on genomic sequence composition that can affect codon usage patterns such as mutational biases. This study provides an analysis of the codon usage patterns in Arabidopsis thaliana in relation to gene expression levels, codon volatility, mutational biases and selective pressures. Results We have performed synonymous codon usage and codon volatility analyses for all genes in the A. thaliana genome. In contrast to reports for species from other kingdoms, we find that neither codon usage nor volatility are correlated with selection pressure (as measured by dN/dS, nor with gene expression levels on a genome wide level. Our results show that codon volatility and usage are not synonymous, rather that they are correlated with the abundance of G and C at the third codon position (GC3. Conclusions Our results indicate that while the A. thaliana genome shows evidence for synonymous codon usage bias, this is not related to the expression levels of its constituent genes. Neither codon volatility nor codon usage are correlated with expression levels or selective pressures but, because they are directly related to the composition of G and C at the third codon position, they are the result of mutational bias. Therefore, in A. thaliana codon volatility and usage do not result from selection for translation efficiency or protein functional shift as measured by positive selection.

  12. The legacy of fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armaroli, Nicola; Balzani, Vincenzo

    2011-03-01

    Currently, over 80% of the energy used by mankind comes from fossil fuels. Harnessing coal, oil and gas, the energy resources contained in the store of our spaceship, Earth, has prompted a dramatic expansion in energy use and a substantial improvement in the quality of life of billions of individuals in some regions of the world. Powering our civilization with fossil fuels has been very convenient, but now we know that it entails severe consequences. We treat fossil fuels as a resource that anyone anywhere can extract and use in any fashion, and Earth's atmosphere, soil and oceans as a dump for their waste products, including more than 30 Gt/y of carbon dioxide. At present, environmental legacy rather than consistence of exploitable reserves, is the most dramatic problem posed by the relentless increase of fossil fuel global demand. Harmful effects on the environment and human health, usually not incorporated into the pricing of fossil fuels, include immediate and short-term impacts related to their discovery, extraction, transportation, distribution, and burning as well as climate change that are spread over time to future generations or over space to the entire planet. In this essay, several aspects of the fossil fuel legacy are discussed, such as alteration of the carbon cycle, carbon dioxide rise and its measurement, greenhouse effect, anthropogenic climate change, air pollution and human health, geoengineering proposals, land and water degradation, economic problems, indirect effects on the society, and the urgent need of regulatory efforts and related actions to promote a gradual transition out of the fossil fuel era. While manufacturing sustainable solar fuels appears to be a longer-time perspective, alternatives energy sources already exist that have the potential to replace fossil fuels as feedstocks for electricity production. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  13. Increased incidence of rare codon clusters at 5' and 3' gene termini:implications for function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clark Patricia L

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The process of translation can be affected by the use of rare versus common codons within the mRNA transcript. Results Here, we show that rare codons are enriched at the 5' and 3' termini of genes from E. coli and other prokaryotes. Genes predicted to be secreted show significant enrichment in 5' rare codon clusters, but not 3' rare codon clusters. Surprisingly, no correlation between 5' mRNA structure and rare codon usage was observed. Conclusions Potential functional roles for the enrichment of rare codons at terminal positions are explored.

  14. Dating fossil opal phytoliths

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lentfer, C.; Boyd, B. [Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW (Australia). School of Resource Science and Management; Torrence, R. [Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW (Australia). Division of Anthropology

    1999-11-01

    Full text: Opal phytoliths are microscopic silica bodies formed by the precipitation of hydrated silica dioxide (SiO{sub 2}nH{sub 2}0) in, around and between cell walls. They are relatively resistant to degradation in most environments and thus, can occur in large quantities in palaeosediments. Consequently, they are valuable tools for environmental reconstruction. Furthermore, phytoliths are often the only recoverable organic material in well oxidised sediments, the occluded carbon provides the opportunity for dating sediment whose ages have previously been difficult to determine, and thus, increase the potential for fine resolution determination of environmental change. This poster describes the results of an investigation assessing the viability of AMS radiocarbon dating of fossil phytolith inclusions using samples from Garua Island, West New Britain, PNG. Thirteen phytolith samples, isolated from sediments previously dated using tephrastratigraphy and C14 dating of macroremains of nutshells and wood charcoal, were used in the analysis. As a control measure, thirteen parallel samples of microscopic charcoal were also dated using AMS. The results show that the AMS dates for the microscopic charcoal samples are consistent with ages anticipated from the other dating methods, for all but one sample. However, the dates for eight of the thirteen phytolith samples are considerably younger than expected. This bias could be explained by several factors, including downwashing of phytolith through soils, bioturbation, carbon exchange through the siliceous matrix of the phytolith bodies, and contamination from extraneous sources of modern carbon retained in the samples. Research is currently focusing on the investigation of these issues and selected samples are in the process of being retreated with strong oxidising agents to clear contaminants prior to re-dating. Further to this, a full investigation of one profile with a long sequence is underway. High concentrations of

  15. Codon usage determines translation rate in Escherichia coli

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Michael Askvad; Kurland, C G; Pedersen, Steen

    1989-01-01

    We wish to determine whether differences in translation rate are correlated with differences in codon usage or with differences in mRNA secondary structure. We therefore inserted a small DNA fragment in the lacZ gene either directly or flanked by a few frame-shifting bases, leaving the reading...

  16. A revised checklist of Nepticulidae fossils (Lepidoptera) indicates an Early Cretaceous origin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doorenweerd, Camiel; Nieukerken, Erik J Van; Sohn, Jae-Cheon; Labandeira, Conrad C

    2015-05-27

    With phylogenetic knowledge of Lepidoptera rapidly increasing, catalysed by increasingly powerful molecular techniques, the demand for fossil calibration points to estimate an evolutionary timeframe for the order is becoming an increasingly pressing issue. The family Nepticulidae is a species rich, basal branch within the phylogeny of the Lepidoptera, characterized by larval leaf-mining habits, and thereby represents a potentially important lineage whose evolutionary history can be established more thoroughly with the potential use of fossil calibration points. Using our experience with extant global Nepticulidae, we discuss a list of characters that may be used to assign fossil leaf mines to Nepticulidae, and suggest useful methods for classifying relevant fossil material. We present a checklist of 79 records of Nepticulidae representing adult and leaf-mine fossils mentioned in literature, often with multiple exemplars constituting a single record. We provide our interpretation of these fossils. Two species now are included in the collective generic name Stigmellites: Stigmellites resupinata (Krassilov, 2008) comb. nov. (from Ophiheliconoma) and Stigmellites almeidae (Martins-Neto, 1989) comb. nov. (from Nepticula). Eleven records are for the first time attributed to Nepticulidae. After discarding several dubious records, including one possibly placing the family at a latest Jurassic position, we conclude that the oldest fossils likely attributable to Nepticulidae are several exemplars representing a variety of species from the Dakota Formation (USA). The relevant strata containing these earliest fossils are now dated at 102 Ma (million years ago) in age, corresponding to the latest Albian Stage of the Early Cretaceous. Integration of all records in the checklist shows that a continuous presence of nepticulid-like leaf mines preserved as compression-impression fossils and by amber entombment of adults have a fossil record extending to the latest Early Cretaceous.

  17. Genome-wide analysis of the synonymous codon usage patterns in apple

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Ning; SUN Mei-hong; JIANG Ze-sheng; SHU Huai-rui; ZHANG Shi-zhong

    2016-01-01

    Apple (Malus×domestica) has been proposed as an important woody plant and the major cultivated fruit trees in temperate regions. Apple whole genome sequencing has been completed, which provided an excelent opportunity for genome-wide analysis of the synonymous codon usage patterns. In this study, a multivariate bioinformatics analysis was performed to reveal the characteristics of synonymous codon usage and the main factors affecting codon bias in apple. The neutrality, correspondence, and correlation analyses were performed by CodonW and SPSS (Statistical Product and Service Solu-tions) programs, indicating that the apple genome codon usage patterns were affected by mutational pressure and selective constraint. Meanwhile, coding sequence length and the hydrophobicity of proteins could also inlfuence the codon usage patterns. In short, codon usage pattern analysis and determination of optimal codons has laid an important theoretical basis for genetic engineering, gene prediction and molecular evolution studies in apple.

  18. Travels with the Fossil Hunters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whybrow, Peter J.

    2000-04-01

    Whether dodging bullets in West Africa, or rabid dogs in Pakistan, surviving yak-butter tea in Tibet, or eating raw fish in China, the life of a globe-trotting fossil hunter is often hazardous and always filled with surprises. Travels with the Fossil Hunters lets readers share the wonder, joys of discovery, and excitement of these intrepid scientists. Packed with more than 100 beautiful, full-color photographs, the volume takes readers on twelve expeditions to remote parts of the world in search of diverse fossil remains, from those of dinosaurs to human ancestors. Each expedition by paleontologists from London's Natural History Museum reveals the problems and challenges of working in extreme conditions, from the deserts of the Sahara and Yemen to the frozen wastes of Antarctica, from the mountains of India to the forests of Latvia. Along the way they also describe the paleontology and geology of the countries they visit and the scientific reasons for their expeditions. With a foreword from Sir David Attenborough and an introduction from Richard Fortey, this fascinating book will appeal to amateur and professional fossil hunters alike and to readers interested in accounts of exotic locales. Peter Whybrow is a research scientist at the Natural History Museum, London. His research interests include Arabian Miocene vertebrates, paleoclimates, paleogeography, and biotic diversity. He is senior editor with A. Hill of Fossil Vertebrates of Arabia (Yale University Press, New Haven, 1999).

  19. A total-evidence approach to dating with fossils, applied to the early radiation of the hymenoptera.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronquist, Fredrik; Klopfstein, Seraina; Vilhelmsen, Lars; Schulmeister, Susanne; Murray, Debra L; Rasnitsyn, Alexandr P

    2012-12-01

    Phylogenies are usually dated by calibrating interior nodes against the fossil record. This relies on indirect methods that, in the worst case, misrepresent the fossil information. Here, we contrast such node dating with an approach that includes fossils along with the extant taxa in a Bayesian total-evidence analysis. As a test case, we focus on the early radiation of the Hymenoptera, mostly documented by poorly preserved impression fossils that are difficult to place phylogenetically. Specifically, we compare node dating using nine calibration points derived from the fossil record with total-evidence dating based on 343 morphological characters scored for 45 fossil (4--20 complete) and 68 extant taxa. In both cases we use molecular data from seven markers (∼5 kb) for the extant taxa. Because it is difficult to model speciation, extinction, sampling, and fossil preservation realistically, we develop a simple uniform prior for clock trees with fossils, and we use relaxed clock models to accommodate rate variation across the tree. Despite considerable uncertainty in the placement of most fossils, we find that they contribute significantly to the estimation of divergence times in the total-evidence analysis. In particular, the posterior distributions on divergence times are less sensitive to prior assumptions and tend to be more precise than in node dating. The total-evidence analysis also shows that four of the seven Hymenoptera calibration points used in node dating are likely to be based on erroneous or doubtful assumptions about the fossil placement. With respect to the early radiation of Hymenoptera, our results suggest that the crown group dates back to the Carboniferous, ∼309 Ma (95% interval: 291--347 Ma), and diversified into major extant lineages much earlier than previously thought, well before the Triassic. [Bayesian inference; fossil dating; morphological evolution; relaxed clock; statistical phylogenetics.].

  20. Turbulence and diffusion fossil turbulence

    CERN Document Server

    Gibson, C H

    2000-01-01

    Fossil turbulence processes are central to turbulence, turbulent mixing, and turbulent diffusion in the ocean and atmosphere, in astrophysics and cosmology, and in most other natural flows. George Gamov suggested in 1954 that galaxies might be fossils of primordial turbulence produced by the Big Bang. John Woods showed that breaking internal waves on horizontal dye sheets in the interior of the stratified ocean form highly persistent remnants of these turbulent events, which he called fossil turbulence. The dark mixing paradox of the ocean refers to undetected mixing that must exist somewhere to explain why oceanic scalar fields like temperature and salinity are so well mixed, just as the dark matter paradox of galaxies refers to undetected matter that must exist to explain why rotating galaxies don't fly apart by centrifugal forces. Both paradoxes result from sampling techniques that fail to account for the extreme intermittency of random variables involved in self-similar, nonlinear, cascades over a wide ra...

  1. A Galactic Fossil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-05-01

    How old are the oldest stars? Using ESO's VLT, astronomers recently measured the age of a star located in our Galaxy. The star, a real fossil, is found to be 13.2 billion years old, not very far from the 13.7 billion years age of the Universe. The star, HE 1523-0901, was clearly born at the dawn of time. "Surprisingly, it is very hard to pin down the age of a star", the lead author of the paper reporting the results, Anna Frebel, explains. "This requires measuring very precisely the abundance of the radioactive elements thorium or uranium, a feat only the largest telescopes such as ESO's VLT can achieve." ESO PR Photo 23a/07 ESO PR Photo 23a/07 The 'Cosmic Clock' This technique is analogous to the carbon-14 dating method that has been so successful in archaeology over time spans of up to a few tens of thousands of years. In astronomy, however, this technique must obviously be applied to vastly longer timescales. For the method to work well, the right choice of radioactive isotope is critical. Unlike other, stable elements that formed at the same time, the abundance of a radioactive (unstable) isotope decreases all the time. The faster the decay, the less there will be left of the radioactive isotope after a certain time, so the greater will be the abundance difference when compared to a stable isotope, and the more accurate is the resulting age. Yet, for the clock to remain useful, the radioactive element must not decay too fast - there must still be enough left of it to allow an accurate measurement, even after several billion years. "Actual age measurements are restricted to the very rare objects that display huge amounts of the radioactive elements thorium or uranium," says Norbert Christlieb, co-author of the report. ESO PR Photo 23b/07 ESO PR Photo 23b/07 Uranium Line in the Spectrum of an Old Star Large amounts of these elements have been found in the star HE 1523-0901, an old, relatively bright star that was discovered within the Hamburg/ESO survey [1]. The

  2. Evolution of synonymous codon usage in Neurospora tetrasperma and Neurospora discreta.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittle, C A; Sun, Y; Johannesson, H

    2011-01-01

    Neurospora comprises a primary model system for the study of fungal genetics and biology. In spite of this, little is known about genome evolution in Neurospora. For example, the evolution of synonymous codon usage is largely unknown in this genus. In the present investigation, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of synonymous codon usage and its relationship to gene expression and gene length (GL) in Neurospora tetrasperma and Neurospora discreta. For our analysis, we examined codon usage among 2,079 genes per organism and assessed gene expression using large-scale expressed sequenced tag (EST) data sets (279,323 and 453,559 ESTs for N. tetrasperma and N. discreta, respectively). Data on relative synonymous codon usage revealed 24 codons (and two putative codons) that are more frequently used in genes with high than with low expression and thus were defined as optimal codons. Although codon-usage bias was highly correlated with gene expression, it was independent of selectively neutral base composition (introns); thus demonstrating that translational selection drives synonymous codon usage in these genomes. We also report that GL (coding sequences [CDS]) was inversely associated with optimal codon usage at each gene expression level, with highly expressed short genes having the greatest frequency of optimal codons. Optimal codon frequency was moderately higher in N. tetrasperma than in N. discreta, which might be due to variation in selective pressures and/or mating systems.

  3. Looking into the genome of Thermosynechococcus elongatus (thermophilic cyanobacteria) with codon selection and usage perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prabha, Ratna; Singh, Dhananjaya P; Rai, Anil

    2015-01-01

    Genome analysis of thermophilic cyanobacterium, Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1 revealed factors ruling choices of codons in this organism. Multiple parameters like Nc, GC3s, RSCU, Codon Adaptation Index (CAI), optimal and rare codons, codon-pair context and amino acid usage were analysed and compositional constraint was identified as major factor. Wide range of Nc values for the same GC3 content suggested the role of translational selection. Mutational bias is suggested at synonymous position. Among optimal codons for translation, most were GC-ending. Seven codons (AGA, AGG, AUA, UAA, UAG, UCA and UGA) were found to have least occurrence in the entire genome and except stop codons all were A-ending (exception AGG). Most widely used codon-pair in the genome are G-ending or C-ending and A-ending or U-ending codons make pair with G-ending or C-ending codons. Amino acids which are largely distributed in T. elongatus tend to use G-ending or C-ending codons most frequently. Findings showed cumulative role of translational selection, translational accuracy and gene expression levels with mutational bias as key player in codon selection pattern of this organism.

  4. Codon-triplet context unveils unique features of the Candida albicans protein coding genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliveira José L

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The evolutionary forces that determine the arrangement of synonymous codons within open reading frames and fine tune mRNA translation efficiency are not yet understood. In order to tackle this question we have carried out a large scale study of codon-triplet contexts in 11 fungal species to unravel associations or relationships between codons present at the ribosome A-, P- and E-sites during each decoding cycle. Results Our analysis unveiled high bias within the context of codon-triplets, in particular strong preference for triplets of identical codons. We have also identified a surprisingly large number of codon-triplet combinations that vanished from fungal ORFeomes. Candida albicans exacerbated these features, showed an unbalanced tRNA population for decoding its pool of codons and used near-cognate decoding for a large set of codons, suggesting that unique evolutionary forces shaped the evolution of its ORFeome. Conclusion We have developed bioinformatics tools for large-scale analysis of codon-triplet contexts. These algorithms identified codon-triplets context biases, allowed for large scale comparative codon-triplet analysis, and identified rules governing codon-triplet context. They could also detect alterations to the standard genetic code.

  5. The AGG codon is translated slowly in E. coli even at very low expression levels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonekamp, Fons; Jensen, Kaj Frank

    1988-01-01

    Data are presented which indicate that AGG codons for arginine are translated significantly more slowly than the CGU codons for the same amino acid even when their expression level from the probe is very low. The two types of codons were inser ted (three in tandem) on a multicopy plasmid in an ar...

  6. Fossil Group Origins VII. Galaxy substructures in fossil systems

    CERN Document Server

    Zarattini, S; Aguerri, J A L; Boschin, W; Barrena, R; del Burgo, C; Castro-Rodriguez, N; Corsini, E M; D'Onghia, E; Kundert, A; Méndez-Abreu, J; Sánchez-Janssen, R

    2016-01-01

    Fossil groups are expected to be the final product of galaxy merging within galaxy groups. In simulations, they are predicted to assemble their mass at high redshift. This early formation allows for the innermost $M^\\ast$ galaxies to merge into a massive central galaxy. Then, they are expected to maintain their fossil status because of the few interactions with the large-scale structure. In this context, the magnitude gap between the two brightest galaxies of the system is considered a good indicator of its dynamical status. As a consequence, the systems with the largest gaps should be dynamically relaxed. In order to examine the dynamical status of these systems, we systematically analyze, for the first time, the presence of galaxy substructures in a sample of 12 spectroscopically-confirmed fossil systems with redshift $z \\le 0.25$. We apply a number of tests in order to investigate the substructure in fossil systems in the two-dimensional space of projected positions out to $R_{200}$. Moreover, for a subsam...

  7. FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: FOSSIL2 documentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1980-10-01

    This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large, as is appropriate for a system dynamics simulation model. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. Volumes II and III of this report list the equations that comprise the FOSSIL2 model, along with variable definitions and a cross-reference list of the model variables. Volume II provides the model equations with each of their variables defined, while Volume III lists the equations, and a one line definition for equations, in a shorter, more readable format.

  8. Reduced Protein Expression in a Virus Attenuated by Codon Deoptimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin R. Jack

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available A general means of viral attenuation involves the extensive recoding of synonymous codons in the viral genome. The mechanistic underpinnings of this approach remain unclear, however. Using quantitative proteomics and RNA sequencing, we explore the molecular basis of attenuation in a strain of bacteriophage T7 whose major capsid gene was engineered to carry 182 suboptimal codons. We do not detect transcriptional effects from recoding. Proteomic observations reveal that translation is halved for the recoded major capsid gene, and a more modest reduction applies to several coexpressed downstream genes. We observe no changes in protein abundances of other coexpressed genes that are encoded upstream. Viral burst size, like capsid protein abundance, is also decreased by half. Together, these observations suggest that, in this virus, reduced translation of an essential polycistronic transcript and diminished virion assembly form the molecular basis of attenuation.

  9. The Fungus Candida albicans Tolerates Ambiguity at Multiple Codons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, João; Bezerra, Ana R; Moura, Gabriela R; Araújo, Hugo; Gut, Ivo; Bayes, Mónica; Santos, Manuel A S

    2016-01-01

    The ascomycete Candida albicans is a normal resident of the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other warm-blooded animals. It occurs in a broad range of body sites and has high capacity to survive and proliferate in adverse environments with drastic changes in oxygen, carbon dioxide, pH, osmolarity, nutrients, and temperature. Its biology is unique due to flexible reassignment of the leucine CUG codon to serine and synthesis of statistical proteins. Under standard growth conditions, CUG sites incorporate leucine (3% of the times) and serine (97% of the times) on a proteome wide scale, but leucine incorporation fluctuates in response to environmental stressors and can be artificially increased up to 98%. In order to determine whether such flexibility also exists at other codons, we have constructed several serine tRNAs that decode various non-cognate codons. Expression of these tRNAs had minor effects on fitness, but growth of the mistranslating strains at different temperatures, in medium with different pH and nutrients composition was often enhanced relatively to the wild type (WT) strain, supporting our previous data on adaptive roles of CUG ambiguity in variable growth conditions. Parallel evolution of the recombinant strains (100 generations) followed by full genome resequencing identified various strain specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) and one SNP in the deneddylase (JAB1) gene in all strains. Since JAB1 is a subunit of the COP9 signalosome complex, which interacts with cullin (Cdc53p) to mediate degradation of a variety of cellular proteins, our data suggest that neddylation plays a key role in tolerance and adaptation to codon ambiguity in C. albicans.

  10. Human SNPs resulting in premature stop codons and protein truncation

    OpenAIRE

    Savas Sevtap; Tuzmen Sukru; Ozcelik Hilmi

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) constitute the most common type of genetic variation in humans. SNPs introducing premature termination codons (PTCs), herein called X-SNPs, can alter the stability and function of transcripts and proteins and thus are considered to be biologically important. Initial studies suggested a strong selection against such variations/mutations. In this study, we undertook a genome-wide systematic screening to identify human X-SNPs using the dbSNP databa...

  11. The fungus Candida albicans tolerates ambiguity at multiple codons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Salvador Simões

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The ascomycete Candida albicans is a normal resident of the gastrointestinal tract of humans and other warm-blooded animals. It occurs in a broad range of body sites and has high capacity to survive and proliferate in adverse environments with drastic changes in oxygen, carbon dioxide, pH, osmolarity, nutrients and temperature. Its biology is unique due to flexible reassignment of the leucine CUG codon to serine and synthesis of statistical proteins. Under standard growth conditions 3% of leucine and 97% of serine are incorporated at CUG sites on a proteome wide scale, but leucine incorporation fluctuates in response to environmental stressors and can be artificially increased up to 98%. In order to determine whether such flexibility also exists at other codons, we have constructed several serine tRNAs that decode various non-cognate codons. Expression of these tRNAs had minor effects on fitness, but growth of the mistranslating strains at different temperatures, in medium with different pH and nutrients composition was often enhanced relatively to the wild type (WT strain, supporting our previous data on adaptive roles of CUG ambiguity in variable growth conditions. Parallel evolution of the recombinant strains (100 generations followed by full genome resequencing identified various strain specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP and one SNP in the deneddylase (JAB1 gene in all strains. Since JAB1 is a subunit of the COP9 signalosome complex, which interacts with cullin (Cdc53p to mediate degradation of a variety of cellular proteins, our data suggest that neddylation plays a key role in tolerance and adaptation to codon ambiguity in C. albicans.

  12. Multiple Evolutionary Selections Involved in Synonymous Codon Usages in the Streptococcus agalactiae Genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yan-Ping; Ke, Hao; Liang, Zhi-Ling; Liu, Zhen-Xing; Hao, Le; Ma, Jiang-Yao; Li, Yu-Gu

    2016-02-24

    Streptococcus agalactiae is an important human and animal pathogen. To better understand the genetic features and evolution of S. agalactiae, multiple factors influencing synonymous codon usage patterns in S. agalactiae were analyzed in this study. A- and U-ending rich codons were used in S. agalactiae function genes through the overall codon usage analysis, indicating that Adenine (A)/Thymine (T) compositional constraints might contribute an important role to the synonymous codon usage pattern. The GC3% against the effective number of codon (ENC) value suggested that translational selection was the important factor for codon bias in the microorganism. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that (i) mutational pressure was the most important factor in shaping codon usage of all open reading frames (ORFs) in the S. agalactiae genome; (ii) strand specific mutational bias was not capable of influencing the codon usage bias in the leading and lagging strands; and (iii) gene length was not the important factor in synonymous codon usage pattern in this organism. Additionally, the high correlation between tRNA adaptation index (tAI) value and codon adaptation index (CAI), frequency of optimal codons (Fop) value, reinforced the role of natural selection for efficient translation in S. agalactiae. Comparison of synonymous codon usage pattern between S. agalactiae and susceptible hosts (human and tilapia) showed that synonymous codon usage of S. agalactiae was independent of the synonymous codon usage of susceptible hosts. The study of codon usage in S. agalactiae may provide evidence about the molecular evolution of the bacterium and a greater understanding of evolutionary relationships between S. agalactiae and its hosts.

  13. Tracing specific synonymous codon-secondary structure correlations through evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oresic, Matej; Dehn, Michael; Korenblum, Daniel; Shalloway, David

    2003-04-01

    We previously showed that GAU codons are preferred (relative to synonymous GAC codons) for encoding aspartates specifically at the N-termini of alpha-helices in human, but not in E. coli, proteins. To test if this difference reflected a general difference between eucaryotes and procaryotes, we now extended the analysis to include the proteins and coding sequences of mammals, vertebrates, S. cerevisiae, and plants. We found that the GAU-alpha-helix correlation is also strong in non-human mammalian and vertebrate proteins but is much weaker or insignificant in S. cerevisiae and plants. The vertebrate correlations are of sufficient strength to enhance alpha-helix N-terminus prediction. Additional results, including the observation that the correlation is significantly enhanced when proteins that are known to be correctly expressed in recombinant procaryotic systems are excluded, suggest that the correlation is induced at the level of protein translation and folding and not at the nucleic acid level. To the best of our knowledge, it is not explicable by the canonical picture of protein expression and folding, suggesting the existence of a novel evolutionary selection mechanism. One possible explanation is that some alpha-helix N-terminal GAU codons may facilitate correct co-translational folding in vertebrates.

  14. Fossil Polypodiaceae and their spores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uffelen, van Gerda A.

    1991-01-01

    In this publication emphasis is laid on the modern definition of the family Polypodiaceae (Filicales), which is based on an extensive study of Recent material and which is much restricted with respect to older circumscriptions of the family as usually applied by palaeobotanists. Fossils of fems belo

  15. Equatorial spread F fossil plumes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. L. Ossakow

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Behaviour of equatorial spread F (ESF fossil plumes, i.e., ESF plumes that have stopped rising, is examined using the NRL SAMI3/ESF three-dimensional simulation code. We find that fossil bubbles, plasma density depletions associated with fossil plumes, can persist as high-altitude equatorial depletions even while being "blown" by zonal winds. Corresponding airglow-proxy images of fossil plumes, plots of electron density versus longitude and latitude at a constant altitude of 288 km, are shown to partially "fill in" in most cases, beginning with the highest altitude field lines within the plume. Specifically, field lines upon which the E field has fallen entirely to zero are affected and only the low altitude (≤600 km portion if each field line fills in. This suggests that it should be possible to observe a bubble at high altitude on a field line for which the corresponding airglow image no longer shows a depletion. In all cases ESF plumes stop rising when the flux-tube-integrated ion mass density inside the upper edge of the bubble is equal to that of the nearby background, further supporting the result of Krall et al. (2010b.

  16. Fossil Polypodiaceae and their spores

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uffelen, van Gerda A.

    1991-01-01

    In this publication emphasis is laid on the modern definition of the family Polypodiaceae (Filicales), which is based on an extensive study of Recent material and which is much restricted with respect to older circumscriptions of the family as usually applied by palaeobotanists. Fossils of fems

  17. Codon usage in mammalian genes is biased by sequence slippage mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bains, W

    1993-01-01

    The codons for some conserved amino acids are found to be the same between homologous genes from different species when the statistics of codon usage would suggest that they should be different. I examine whether this 'coincidence' of codon usage could be due to genetic mechanisms homogenising the DNA around specific sites. This paper describes the further analysis of the coincident codons in 19 genes (a total of 96 homologues) for slippage. Coincident codons arise in contexts of increased sequence simplicity, and have a high chance of occurring within sequences similar to the recombination-prone minisatellite 'core' sequence. This suggests a role of genetic homogenisation in their generation.

  18. DNA and morphology unite two species and 10 million year old fossils.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon F K Hills

    Full Text Available Species definition and delimitation is a non-trivial problem in evolutionary biology that is particularly problematic for fossil organisms. This is especially true when considering the continuity of past and present species, because species defined in the fossil record are not necessarily equivalent to species defined in the living fauna. Correctly assigned fossil species are critical for sensitive downstream analysis (e.g., diversification studies and molecular-clock calibration. The marine snail genus Alcithoe exemplifies many of the problems with species identification. The paucity of objective diagnostic characters, prevalence of morphological convergence between species and considerable variability within species that are observed in Alcithoe are typical of a broad range of fossilised organisms. Using a synthesis of molecular and morphometric approaches we show that two taxa currently recognised as distinct are morphological variants of a single species. Furthermore, we validate the fossil record for one of these morphotypes by finding a concordance between the palaeontological record and divergence time of the lineage inferred using molecular-clock analysis. This work demonstrates the utility of living species represented in the fossil record as candidates for molecular-clock calibration, as the veracity of fossil species assignment can be more rigorously tested.

  19. Fossil Energy: Drivers and Challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann, Julio

    2007-04-01

    Concerns about rapid economic growth, energy security, and global climate change have created a new landscape for fossil energy exploration, production, and utilization. Since 85% of primary energy supply comes from fossil fuels, and 85% of greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuel consumption, new and difficult technical and political challenges confront commercial, governmental, and public stakeholders. As such, concerns over climate change are explicitly weighed against security of international and domestic energy supplies, with economic premiums paid for either or both. Efficiency improvements, fuel conservation, and deployment of nuclear and renewable supplies will help both concerns, but are unlikely to offset growth in the coming decades. As such, new technologies and undertakings must both provide high quality fossil energy with minimal environmental impacts. The largest and most difficult of these undertakings is carbon management, wherein CO2 emissions are sequestered indefinitely at substantial incremental cost. Geological formations provide both high confidence and high capacity for CO2 storage, but present scientific and technical challenges. Oil and gas supply can be partially sustained and replaced through exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels such as tar-sands, methane hydrates, coal-to-liquids, and oil shales. These fuels provide enormous reserves that can be exploited at current costs, but generally require substantial energy to process. In most cases, the energy return on investment (EROI) is dropping, and unconventional fuels are generally more carbon intensive than conventional, presenting additional carbon management challenges. Ultimately, a large and sustained science and technology program akin to the Apollo project will be needed to address these concerns. Unfortunately, real funding in energy research has dropped dramatically (75%) in the past three decades, and novel designs in fission and fusion are not likely to provide any

  20. The distribution of synonymous codon choice in the translation initiation region of dengue virus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-hua Zhou

    Full Text Available Dengue is the most common arthropod-borne viral (Arboviral illness in humans. The genetic features concerning the codon usage of dengue virus (DENV were analyzed by the relative synonymous codon usage, the effective number of codons and the codon adaptation index. The evolutionary distance between DENV and the natural hosts (Homo sapiens, Pan troglodytes, Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti was estimated by a novel formula. Finally, the synonymous codon usage preference for the translation initiation region of this virus was also analyzed. The result indicates that the general trend of the 59 synonymous codon usage of the four genotypes of DENV are similar to each other, and this pattern has no link with the geographic distribution of the virus. The effect of codon usage pattern of Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti on the formation of codon usage of DENV is stronger than that of the two primates. Turning to the codon usage preference of the translation initiation region of this virus, some codons pairing to low tRNA copy numbers in the two primates have a stronger tendency to exist in the translation initiation region than those in the open reading frame of DENV. Although DENV, like other RNA viruses, has a high mutation to adapt its hosts, the regulatory features about the synonymous codon usage have been 'branded' on the translation initiation region of this virus in order to hijack the translational mechanisms of the hosts.

  1. Codon usage bias in phylum Actinobacteria: relevance to environmental adaptation and host pathogenicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lal, Devi; Verma, Mansi; Behura, Susanta K; Lal, Rup

    2016-10-01

    Actinobacteria are Gram-positive bacteria commonly found in soil, freshwater and marine ecosystems. In this investigation, bias in codon usages of ninety actinobacterial genomes was analyzed by estimating different indices of codon bias such as Nc (effective number of codons), SCUO (synonymous codon usage order), RSCU (relative synonymous codon usage), as well as sequence patterns of codon contexts. The results revealed several characteristic features of codon usage in Actinobacteria, as follows: 1) C- or G-ending codons are used frequently in comparison with A- and U ending codons; 2) there is a direct relationship of GC content with use of specific amino acids such as alanine, proline and glycine; 3) there is an inverse relationship between GC content and Nc estimates, 4) there is low SCUO value (Actinobacteria, extreme GC content and codon bias are driven by mutation rather than natural selection; (2) traits like aerobicity are associated with effective natural selection and therefore low GC content and low codon bias, demonstrating the role of both mutational bias and translational selection in shaping the habitat and phenotype of actinobacterial species. Copyright © 2016 Institut Pasteur. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  2. Control of ribosome traffic by position-dependent choice of synonymous codons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mitarai, Namiko; Pedersen, Steen

    2013-01-01

    Messenger RNA (mRNA) encodes a sequence of amino acids by using codons. For most amino acids, there are multiple synonymous codons that can encode the amino acid. The translation speed can vary from one codon to another, thus there is room for changing the ribosome speed while keeping the amino...... acid sequence and hence the resulting protein. Recently, it has been noticed that the choice of the synonymous codon, via the resulting distribution of slow- and fast-translated codons, affects not only on the average speed of one ribosome translating the mRNA but also might have an effect on nearby...... ribosomes by affecting the appearance of 'traffic jams' where multiple ribosomes collide and form queues. To test this 'context effect' further, we here investigate the effect of the sequence of synonymous codons on the ribosome traffic by using a ribosome traffic model with codon-dependent rates, estimated...

  3. Sanitary effects of fossil fuels; Effets sanitaires des combustibles fossiles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nifenecker, H. [Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (IN2P3/CNRS), 38 - Grenoble (France)

    2006-07-01

    In this compilation are studied the sanitary effects of fossil fuels, behavioral and environmental sanitary risks. The risks in connection with the production, the transport and the distribution(casting) are also approached for the oil(petroleum), the gas and the coal. Accidents in the home are evoked. The risks due to the atmospheric pollution are seen through the components of the atmospheric pollution as well as the sanitary effects of this pollution. (N.C.)

  4. Impact of bias discrepancy and amino acid usage on estimates of the effective number of codons used in a gene, and a test for selection on codon usage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fuglsang, Anders

    2007-01-01

    The effective number of codons (Nc) used in a gene is one of the most commonly used measures of synonymous codon usage bias, owing much of its popularity to the fact that it is species independent and that simulation studies have shown that it is less dependent of gene length than other measures....... that exists for Buchnera sp. APS and Borrelia burgdorferi....

  5. Looking at Fossils in New Ways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flannery, Maura C.

    2005-01-01

    Existing fossils could be studied from a different prospective with the use of new methods of analysis for gathering more information. The new techniques of studying fossils binds the new and the old techniques and information and provides another way to look at fossils.

  6. Cycads: Fossil evidence of late paleozoic origin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamay, S.H.

    1969-01-01

    Plant fossils from Lower Permian strata of the southwestern United States have been interpreted as cycadalean megasporophylls. They are evidently descended from spermopterid elements of the Pennsylvanian Taeniopteris complex; thus the known fossil history of the cycads is extended from the Late Triassic into the late Paleozoic. Possible implications of the Permian fossils toward evolution of the angiosperm carpel are considered.

  7. Codon bias and gene ontology in holometabolous and hemimetabolous insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlini, David B; Makowski, Matthew

    2015-12-01

    The relationship between preferred codon use (PCU), developmental mode, and gene ontology (GO) was investigated in a sample of nine insect species with sequenced genomes. These species were selected to represent two distinct modes of insect development, holometabolism and hemimetabolism, with an aim toward determining whether the differences in developmental timing concomitant with developmental mode would be mirrored by differences in PCU in their developmental genes. We hypothesized that the developmental genes of holometabolous insects should be under greater selective pressure for efficient translation, manifest as increased PCU, than those of hemimetabolous insects because holometabolism requires abundant protein expression over shorter time intervals than hemimetabolism, where proteins are required more uniformly in time. Preferred codon sets were defined for each species, from which the frequency of PCU for each gene was obtained. Although there were substantial differences in the genomic base composition of holometabolous and hemimetabolous insects, both groups exhibited a general preference for GC-ending codons, with the former group having higher PCU averaged across all genes. For each species, the biological process GO term for each gene was assigned that of its Drosophila homolog(s), and PCU was calculated for each GO term category. The top two GO term categories for PCU enrichment in the holometabolous insects were anatomical structure development and cell differentiation. The increased PCU in the developmental genes of holometabolous insects may reflect a general strategy to maximize the protein production of genes expressed in bursts over short time periods, e.g., heat shock proteins. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 324B: 686-698, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Exploring Codon Usage Patterns of Alternatively Spliced Genes in Human Chromosome 1

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马飞; 庄永龙; 黄颖; 李衍达

    2004-01-01

    In this study, 414 whole protein-coding sequences (238 004 codons) of alternatively spliced genes of human chromosome 1 have been employed to explore the patterns of codon usage bias among genes. Overall codon usage data analysis indicates that G- and C-ending codons are predominant in the genes. The base usage in all three codon positions suggests a selection-mutation balance. Multivariate statistical analysis reveals that the codon usage variation has a strong positive correlation with the expressivities of the genes (r=0.5790, P<0.0001). All 27 codons identified as optimal are G- and C-ending codons.Correlation analysis shows a strong negative correlation between the gene length and codon adaptation index value (r=-0.2252, P<0.0001), and a significantly positive correlation between the gene length and Nc values (r=0.1876, P<0.0001). These results suggest that the comparatively shorter genes in the genes have higher codon usage bias to maximize translational efficiency, and selection may also contribute to the reduction of highly expressed proteins.

  9. Patterns of synonymous codon usage bias in chloroplast genomes of seed plants

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Codon usage in chloroplast genome of six seed plants (Arabidopsis thaliana, Populus alba, Zea mays, Triticum aestivum,Pinus koraiensis and Cycas taitungensis) was analyzed to find general patterns of codon usage in chloroplast genomes of seed plants.The results show that chloroplast genomes of the six seed plants had similar codon usage patterns, with a strong bias towards a high representation of NNA and NNT codons. In chloroplast genomes of the six seed plants, the effective number of codons (ENC) for most genes was similar to that of the expected ENC based on the GC content at the third codon position, but several genes with low ENC values were laying below the expected curve. All of these data indicate that codon usage was dominated by a mutational bias in chloroplast genomes of seed plants and that selection appeared to be limited to a subset of genes and to only subtly affect codon us-age. Meantime, four, six, eight, nine, ten and 12 codons were defined as the optimal codons in chloroplast genomes of the six seed plants.

  10. Development of the BestCodon software for calculating diversified codon usages%开发可统计任意密码子用法的软件BestCodon

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    余劲聪; 方柏山

    2011-01-01

    密码子偏好是自然现象,分析密码子的用法可以优化表达基因,即密码子优化,从而调节目的基因在特定宿主中的表达水平.现有密码子用法分析软件多数只限于单个密码子,适用于密码子对和密码子三联体的较少见.本文提出1种可统计任意密码子用法的软件结构,开发出1个密码子用法统计软件"BestCodon",拥有序列检查和密码子用法统计2个模块.检查模块可代替人工校对,剔除输入序列中非规范字符,为后续分析提供正确的、符合规范的数据.统计模块根据用户指定的密码子组合类型,结果返回特定的密码子用法表.本文还探讨序列检查和密码子用法统计中计算机的运算特性,结果表明该软件检查1条长达150000 bp的序列仪耗时约0.2 s,而从中统计密码子十联体的用法仅耗时约0.1 g.%Codon bias is the universal phenomenon in the nature.Optimizing the genetic expression can be available based on comparative analysis of the related codon usages, as codon optimization, by which regulating the expression level of target genes will be achieved.Most of existed software for counting codon usages is simply competent for single codon usage.Few of them can count codon pair or codon triplet usages.In this study,therefore, the software architecture that satisfies the requirement for calculating diversified codon usages has been presented and the codon usage counting software named "BestCodon" has been developed, which consists of the Sequences Checking Module (SCM) and the Codon Usage Counting Module (CUCM).The illegal characters potentially existed in the input sequences would be eliminated through SC instead of manual proofreading.Then the checked sequences are applicable to the follow-up processes.With the type of user-defined codon combination, the required codon usage table (CUT) can be gained by CUCM.Operating characteristics of checking sequence and counting codon usage and were discussed

  11. Traceable Pyrgeometer Calibrations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dooraghi, Mike; Kutchenreiter, Mark; Reda, Ibrahim; Habte, Aron; Sengupta, Manajit; Andreas, Afshin; Newman, Martina

    2016-05-02

    This poster presents the development, implementation, and operation of the Broadband Outdoor Radiometer Calibrations (BORCAL) Longwave (LW) system at the Southern Great Plains Radiometric Calibration Facility for the calibration of pyrgeometers that provide traceability to the World Infrared Standard Group.

  12. Traceable Pyrgeometer Calibrations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dooraghi, Mike; Kutchenreiter, Mark; Reda, Ibrahim; Habte, Aron; Sengupta, Manajit; Andreas, Afshin; Newman, Martina

    2016-05-02

    This poster presents the development, implementation, and operation of the Broadband Outdoor Radiometer Calibrations (BORCAL) Longwave (LW) system at the Southern Great Plains Radiometric Calibration Facility for the calibration of pyrgeometers that provide traceability to the World Infrared Standard Group.

  13. Calibration of sound calibrators: an overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milhomem, T. A. B.; Soares, Z. M. D.

    2016-07-01

    This paper presents an overview of calibration of sound calibrators. Initially, traditional calibration methods are presented. Following, the international standard IEC 60942 is discussed emphasizing parameters, target measurement uncertainty and criteria for conformance to the requirements of the standard. Last, Regional Metrology Organizations comparisons are summarized.

  14. TP53 codon 72 polymorphism in pigmentary phenotypes

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Kárita Antunes Costa; Lidia Andreu Guillo

    2012-03-01

    The p53 protein exerts different cellular functions, and recent findings have demonstrated its influence on the cascade of skin pigmentation during UV exposure. Among TP53 gene polymorphisms, the most studied is the G to C transversion in exon 4 at codon 72, which results in three distinct genotypes, Arg/Arg, Pro/Pro and Arg/Pro, each one encoding different p53 isoforms. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the relationship between TP53 codon 72 polymorphism and skin protection against sunburn. Genomic DNA was extracted from peripheral blood samples and genotyping was performed by PCR and confirmed by restriction enzyme digestion. The genotype frequency was 50% for Arg/Arg and 14.6% for Pro/Pro genotype. The frequency of heterozygous subjects was 35.4%. In our population, p53 genotypes were in Hardy–Weinberg (HW) equilibrium ($\\chi^{2}_{\\text{HM}}$ < 3.84), showing a predominance of arginine allele (total Arg allele frequency of 68%). No significant association between p53 genotype and skin colour, hair or eye colour and susceptibility to sun exposure was found. However, further analysis demonstrated a significant association between the genotype Pro/Pro and blue/green eyes among participants who presented redness (=0.016). Our findings indicate susceptibility to sun exposure when this phenotype (eye colour) occurs simultaneously with Pro/Pro genotype.

  15. Codes in the codons: construction of a codon/amino acid periodic table and a study of the nature of specific nucleic acid-protein interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benyo, B; Biro, J C; Benyo, Z

    2004-01-01

    The theory of "codon-amino acid coevolution" was first proposed by Woese in 1967. It suggests that there is a stereochemical matching - that is, affinity - between amino acids and certain of the base triplet sequences that code for those amino acids. We have constructed a common periodic table of codons and amino acids, where the nucleic acid table showed perfect axial symmetry for codons and the corresponding amino acid table also displayed periodicity regarding the biochemical properties (charge and hydrophobicity) of the 20 amino acids and the position of the stop signals. The table indicates that the middle (2/sup nd/) amino acid in the codon has a prominent role in determining some of the structural features of the amino acids. The possibility that physical contact between codons and amino acids might exist was tested on restriction enzymes. Many recognition site-like sequences were found in the coding sequences of these enzymes and as many as 73 examples of codon-amino acid co-location were observed in the 7 known 3D structures (December 2003) of endonuclease-nucleic acid complexes. These results indicate that the smallest possible units of specific nucleic acid-protein interaction are indeed the stereochemically compatible codons and amino acids.

  16. Characterization of Synonymous Codon Usage Bias in the Pseudorabies Virus US1 Gene

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Meili Li; Zhiyao Zhao; Jianhong Chen; Bingyun Wang; Zi Li; Jian Li; Mingsheng Cai

    2012-01-01

    In the present study,we examined the codon usage bias between pseudorabies virus (PRV) US1 gene and the US1-like genes of 20 reference alphaherpesviruses.Comparative analysis showed noticeable disparities of the synonymous codon usage bias in the 21 alphaherpesviruses,indicated by codon adaptation index,effective number of codons (ENc) and GC3s value.The codon usage pattern of PRV US1 gene was phylogenetically conserved and similar to that of the US1-like genes of the genus Varicellovirus of alphaherpesvirus,with a strong bias towards the codons with C and G at the third codon position.Cluster analysis of codon usage pattern of PRV US1 gene with its reference alphaherpesviruses demonstrated that the codon usage bias of US1-like genes of 21 alphaherpesviruses had a very close relation with their gene functions.ENc-plot revealed that the genetic heterogeneity in PRV US1 gene and the 20 reference alphaherpesviruses was constrained by G+C content,as well as the gene length.In addition,comparison of codon preferences in the US1 gene of PRV with those of E.coli,yeast and human revealed that there were 50 codons showing distinct usage differences between PRV and yeast,49 between PRV and human,but 48 between PRV and E.coli.Although there were slightly fewer differences in codon usages between E.coli and PRV,the difference is unlikely to be statistically significant,and experimental studies are necessary to establish the most suitable expression system for PRV US1.In conclusion,these results may improve our understanding of the evolution,pathogenesis and functional studies of PRV,as well as contributing to the area of herpesvirus research or even studies with other viruses.

  17. Eukaryotic evolutionary transitions are associated with extreme codon bias in functionally-related proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J Hudson

    Full Text Available Codon bias in the genome of an organism influences its phenome by changing the speed and efficiency of mRNA translation and hence protein abundance. We hypothesized that differences in codon bias, either between-species differences in orthologous genes, or within-species differences between genes, may play an evolutionary role. To explore this hypothesis, we compared the genome-wide codon bias in six species that occupy vital positions in the Eukaryotic Tree of Life. We acquired the entire protein coding sequences for these organisms, computed the codon bias for all genes in each organism and explored the output for relationships between codon bias and protein function, both within- and between-lineages. We discovered five notable coordinated patterns, with extreme codon bias most pronounced in traits considered highly characteristic of a given lineage. Firstly, the Homo sapiens genome had stronger codon bias for DNA-binding transcription factors than the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome, whereas the opposite was true for ribosomal proteins--perhaps underscoring transcriptional regulation in the origin of complexity. Secondly, both mammalian species examined possessed extreme codon bias in genes relating to hair--a tissue unique to mammals. Thirdly, Arabidopsis thaliana showed extreme codon bias in genes implicated in cell wall formation and chloroplast function--which are unique to plants. Fourthly, Gallus gallus possessed strong codon bias in a subset of genes encoding mitochondrial proteins--perhaps reflecting the enhanced bioenergetic efficiency in birds that co-evolved with flight. And lastly, the G. gallus genome had extreme codon bias for the Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor--which may help to explain their spontaneous recovery from deafness. We propose that extreme codon bias in groups of genes that encode functionally related proteins has a pathway-level energetic explanation.

  18. Characterization of codon usage bias in the dUTPase gene of duck enteritis virus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lichan Zhao; Anchun Cheng; Mingshu Wang; Guiping Yuan; Mingsheng Cai

    2008-01-01

    A comparative analysis of the codon usage bias in the newly discovered dUTPase gene(Assigned Accession No.:DQ4861491 of the duck enteritis virus(DEV)and the dUTPase gene of 32 reference herpesviruses was performed.The results indicated that the DEV dUT-Pase gene encodes a protein of 477 amino acids,which includes five conserved motifs with a 3-1-2-4-5 arrangement.The codon adap-tation index(CAI),effective number of codons(ENC),and GC3s values indicated synonymous codon usage bias in the dUTPase gene of herpesviruses,and this synonymous bias was correlated with host evolution.The codon usage pattens of the DEV dUTPase gene were phylogenetically conserved and similar to that of the dUTPase genes of the avian alphaherpesvirus.Although codon usage in each micro-orgamsm was different,there were no strain-specific differences among them.Sixty-one codons in the predicted polypeptide.with a strong bias towards A and T at the third codon position,were used.Comparison of the codon usage in the dUTPase gene of different organisms revealed that there were 19 codons showing distinct codon usage differences between the DEV and Escherichia coli dUTPase genes;16 between the DEV and yeast dUTPase genes;and 15 between the DEV and human dUTPase genes.Analysis of variance(ANOVA) showed significant differences between the DEV and yeast dUTPase genes(r=0.536,P<0.01).The extent of codon usage bias in the DEV dUTPase gene was highly correlated with the gene expression level,therefore the results may provide usefu information for gene classification and functional studies.

  19. Mapping codon usage of the translation initiation region in porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dou Yong-xi

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Porcine reproductive and respitatory syndrome virus (PRRSV is a recently emerged pathogen and severely affects swine populations worldwide. The replication of PRRSV is tightly controlled by viral gene expression and the codon usage of translation initiation region within each gene could potentially regulate the translation rate. Therefore, a better understanding of the codon usage pattern of the initiation translation region would shed light on the regulation of PRRSV gene expression. Results In this study, the codon usage in the translation initiation region and in the whole coding sequence was compared in PRRSV ORF1a and ORFs2-7. To investigate the potential role of codon usage in affecting the translation initiation rate, we established a codon usage model for PRRSV translation initiation region. We observed that some non-preferential codons are preferentially used in the translation initiation region in particular ORFs. Although some positions vary with codons, they intend to use codons with negative CUB. Furthermore, our model of codon usage showed that the conserved pattern of CUB is not directly consensus with the conserved sequence, but shaped under the translation selection. Conclusions The non-variation pattern with negative CUB in the PRRSV translation initiation region scanned by ribosomes is considered the rate-limiting step in the translation process.

  20. Complex Mutation and Weak Selection together Determined the Codon Usage Bias in Bryophyte Mitochondrial Genomes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bin Wang; Jing Liu; Liang Jin; Xue-Ying Feng; Jian-Qun Chen

    2010-01-01

    Mutation and selection are two major forces causing codon usage biases. How these two forces influence the codon usages in green plant mitochondrial genomes has not been well investigated. In the present study, we surveyed five bryophyte mitochondrial genomes to reveal their codon usagepatterns as well as the determining forces. Three interesting findings were made. First, comparing to Chara vulgaris, an algal species sister to all extant land plants, bryophytes have more G, C-ending codon usages in their mitochondrial genes. This is consistent with the generally higher genomic GC content in bryophyte mitochondria, suggesting an increased mutational pressure toward GC. Second, as indicated by Wright's Nc-GC3s plot, mutation, not selection, is the major force affecting codon usages of bryophyte mitochondrial genes. However, the real mutational dynamics seem very complex. Context-dependent analysis indicated that nucleotide at the 2nd codon position would slightly affect synonymous codon choices. Finally, in bryophyte mitochondria, tRNA genes would apply a weak selection force to finetune the synonymous codon frequencies, as revealed by data of Ser4-Pro-Thr-Val families. In summary,complex mutation and weak selection together determined the codon usages in bryophyte mitochondrial genomes.

  1. Codon 219 polymorphism of PRNP in healthy caucasians and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petraroli, R.; Pocchiari, M. [Instituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome (Italy)

    1996-04-01

    A number of point and insert mutations of the PrP gene (PRNP) have been linked to familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease (GSS). Moreover, the methionine/valine homozygosity at the polymorphic codon 129 of PRNP may cause a predisposition to sporadic and iatrogenic CJD or may control the age at onset of familial cases carrying either the 144-bp insertion or codon 178, codon 198, and codon 210 pathogenic mutations in PRNP. In addition, the association of methionine or valine at codon 129 and the point mutation at codon 178 on the same allele seem to play an important role in determining either fatal familial insomnia or CJD. However, it is noteworthy that a relationship between codon 129 polymorphism and accelerated pathogenesis (early age at onset or shorter duration of the disease) has not been seen in familial CJD patients with codon 200 mutation or in GSS patients with codon 102 mutation, arguing that other, as yet unidentified, gene products or environmental factors, or both, may influence the clinical expression of these diseases. 17 refs.

  2. Latent methane in fossil coals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A.D. Alexeev; E.V. Ulyanova; G.P. Starikov; N.N. Kovriga [Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Donetsk (Ukraine). Institute for Physics of Mining Processes

    2004-07-01

    It is established experimentally using 1H NMR wide line spectroscopy that methane can exist in coals not only in open or closed porosity and fracture systems but also in solid solutions in coal substance, in particular, under methane pressure 2 MPa or higher. Methane dissolved in coal minerals reversibly modifies their lattice parameters as determined from X-ray diffraction analysis. Co-existence of these methane forms in fossil coals causes multi-step desorption kinetics. It is shown experimentally that the long-term latent methane desorption is effected mainly by closed porosity, which in turn is determined by coal rank. 21 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  3. Dinosaur fossils predict body temperatures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James F Gillooly

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Perhaps the greatest mystery surrounding dinosaurs concerns whether they were endotherms, ectotherms, or some unique intermediate form. Here we present a model that yields estimates of dinosaur body temperature based on ontogenetic growth trajectories obtained from fossil bones. The model predicts that dinosaur body temperatures increased with body mass from approximately 25 degrees C at 12 kg to approximately 41 degrees C at 13,000 kg. The model also successfully predicts observed increases in body temperature with body mass for extant crocodiles. These results provide direct evidence that dinosaurs were reptiles that exhibited inertial homeothermy.

  4. Fossil energy program. Summary document

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1980-05-01

    This program summary document presents a comprehensive overview of the research, development, and demonstration (RD and D) activities that will be performed in FY 1981 by the Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy (ASFE), US Department of Energy (DOE). The ASFE technology programs for the fossil resources of coal, petroleum (including oil shale) and gas have been established with the goal of making substantive contributions to the nation's future supply and efficienty use of energy. On April 29, 1977, the Administration submitted to Congress the National Energy Plan (NEP) and accompanying legislative proposals designed to establish a coherent energy policy structure for the United States. Congress passed the National Energy Act (NEA) on October 15, 1978, which allows implementation of the vital parts of the NEP. The NEP was supplemented by additional energy policy statements culminating in the President's address on July 15, 1979, presenting a program to further reduce dependence on imported petroleum. The passage of the NEA-related energy programs represent specific steps by the Administration and Congress to reorganize, redirect, and clarify the role of the Federal Government in the formulation and execution of national energy policy and programs. The energy technology RD and D prog4rams carried out by ASFE are an important part of the Federal Government's effort to provide the combination and amounts of energy resources needed to ensure national security and continued economic growth.

  5. A Comprehensive Analysis of Codon Usage Patterns in Blunt Snout Bream (Megalobrama amblycephala Based on RNA-Seq Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoke Duan

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala is an important fish species for its delicacy and high economic value in China. Codon usage analysis could be helpful to understand its codon biology, mRNA translation and vertebrate evolution. Based on RNA-Seq data for M. amblycephala, high-frequency codons (CUG, AGA, GUG, CAG and GAG, as well as low-frequency ones (NUA and NCG codons were identified. A total of 724 high-frequency codon pairs were observed. Meanwhile, 14 preferred and 199 avoided neighboring codon pairs were also identified, but bias was almost not shown with one or more intervening codons inserted between the same pairs. Codon usage bias in the regions close to start and stop codons indicated apparent heterogeneity, which even occurs in the flanking nucleotide sequence. Codon usage bias (RSCU and SCUO was related to GC3 (GC content of 3rd nucleotide in codon bias. Six GO (Gene ontology categories and the number of methylation targets were influenced by GC3. Codon usage patterns comparison among 23 vertebrates showed species specificities by using GC contents, codon usage and codon context analysis. This work provided new insights into fish biology and new information for breeding projects.

  6. Nucleotide composition bias and codon usage trends of gene populations in Mycoplasma capricolum subsp. capricolum and M. agalactiae

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Xiao-Xia Ma; Yu-Ping Feng; Jia-Ling Bai; De-Rong Zhang; Xin-Shi Lin; Zhong-Ren Ma

    2015-06-01

    Because of the low GC content of the gene population, amino acids of the two mycoplasmas tend to be encoded by synonymous codons with an A or T end. Compared with the codon usage of ovine, Mycoplasma capricolum and M. agalactiae tend to select optimal codons, which are rare codons in ovine. Due to codon usage pattern caused by genes with key biological functions, the overall codon usage trends represent a certain evolutionary direction in the life cycle of the two mycoplasmas. The overall codon usage trends of a gene population of M. capricolum subsp. capricolum can be obviously separated from other mycoplasmas, and the overall codon usage trends of M. agalactiae are highly similar to those of M. bovis. These results partly indicate the independent evolution of the two mycoplasmas without the limits of the host cell’s environment. The GC and AT skews estimate nucleotide composition bias at different positions of nucleotide triplets and the protein consideration caused by the nucleotide composition bias at codon positions 1 and 2 largely take part in synonymous codon usage patterns of the two mycoplasmas. The correlation between the codon adaptation index and codon usage variation indicates that the effect of codon usage on gene expression in M. capricolum subsp. capricolum is opposite to that of M. agalactiae, further suggesting independence of the evolutionary process influencing the overall codon usage trends of gene populations of mycoplasmas.

  7. Protein evolution via amino acid and codon elimination

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goltermann, Lise; Larsen, Marie Sofie Yoo; Banerjee, Rajat;

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Global residue-specific amino acid mutagenesis can provide important biological insight and generate proteins with altered properties, but at the risk of protein misfolding. Further, targeted libraries are usually restricted to a handful of amino acids because there is an exponential...... correlation between the number of residues randomized and the size of the resulting ensemble. Using GFP as the model protein, we present a strategy, termed protein evolution via amino acid and codon elimination, through which simplified, native-like polypeptides encoded by a reduced genetic code were obtained...... simultaneously), while retaining varying levels of activity. Combination of these substitutions to generate a Phe-free variant of GFP abolished fluorescence. Combinatorial re-introduction of five Phe residues, based on the activities of the respective single amino acid replacements, was sufficient to restore GFP...

  8. Codon Optimization to Enhance Expression Yields Insights into Chloroplast Translation1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Hui-Ting; Williams-Carrier, Rosalind; Barkan, Alice

    2016-01-01

    Codon optimization based on psbA genes from 133 plant species eliminated 105 (human clotting factor VIII heavy chain [FVIII HC]) and 59 (polio VIRAL CAPSID PROTEIN1 [VP1]) rare codons; replacement with only the most highly preferred codons decreased transgene expression (77- to 111-fold) when compared with the codon usage hierarchy of the psbA genes. Targeted proteomic quantification by parallel reaction monitoring analysis showed 4.9- to 7.1-fold or 22.5- to 28.1-fold increase in FVIII or VP1 codon-optimized genes when normalized with stable isotope-labeled standard peptides (or housekeeping protein peptides), but quantitation using western blots showed 6.3- to 8-fold or 91- to 125-fold increase of transgene expression from the same batch of materials, due to limitations in quantitative protein transfer, denaturation, solubility, or stability. Parallel reaction monitoring, to our knowledge validated here for the first time for in planta quantitation of biopharmaceuticals, is especially useful for insoluble or multimeric proteins required for oral drug delivery. Northern blots confirmed that the increase of codon-optimized protein synthesis is at the translational level rather than any impact on transcript abundance. Ribosome footprints did not increase proportionately with VP1 translation or even decreased after FVIII codon optimization but is useful in diagnosing additional rate-limiting steps. A major ribosome pause at CTC leucine codons in the native gene of FVIII HC was eliminated upon codon optimization. Ribosome stalls observed at clusters of serine codons in the codon-optimized VP1 gene provide an opportunity for further optimization. In addition to increasing our understanding of chloroplast translation, these new tools should help to advance this concept toward human clinical studies. PMID:27465114

  9. Social Perspective on Fossilization of Interlanguage

    OpenAIRE

    Ren Hulin

    2013-01-01

    The paper is to investigate the role of social factors that influence the fossilization of learners’ interlanguage. In this context, "fossilization" refers to the stopping in the acquisition of a second language (L2) short of native-like proficiency(Towell and Hawkins, 1994). The paper begins with Wolfson’s (1989) overview of social settings that influence the fossilization of learners’ interlanguage and Ellis (2005) discussion of the impact of social factors on L2 proficiency evidenced with ...

  10. Experimental taphonomy and the anatomy and diversity of the earliest fossil vertebrates (Chengjiang Biota, Cambrian, China)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purnell, Mark; Gabbott, Sarah; Murdock, Duncan; Cong, Peiyun

    2016-04-01

    The oldest fossil vertebrates are from the Lower Cambrian Chengjiang biota of China, which contains four genera of fish-like, primitive vertebrates: Haikouichthys, Myllokunmingia, Zhongjianichthys and Zhongxiniscus. These fossils play key roles in calibrating molecular clocks and informing our view of the anatomy of animals close to the origin of vertebrates, potentially including transitional forms between vertebrates and their nearest relatives. Despite the evident importance of these fossils, the degree to which taphonomic processes have affected their anatomical completeness has not been investigated. For example, some or all might have been affected by stemward slippage - the pattern observed in experimental decay of non-biomineralised chordates in which preferential decay of synapomorphies and retention of plesiomorphic characters would cause fossil taxa to erroneously occupy more basal positions than they should. This hypothesis is based on experimental data derived from decay of non-biomineralised chordates under laboratory conditions. We have expanded this analysis to include a broader range of potentially significant environmental variables; we have also compared and combined the results of experiments from several taxa to identify general patterns of chordate decay. Examination of the Chengjiang vertebrates in the light of these results demonstrates that, contrary to some assertions, experimentally derived models of phylogenetic bias are applicable to fossils. Anatomical and phylogenetic interpretations of early vertebrates that do not take taphonomic biases into account risk overestimating diversity and the evolutionary significance of differences between fossil specimens.

  11. RET codon 609 mutations: a contribution for better clinical managing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caterina Mian

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Medullary thyroid carcinoma currently accounts for 5-8% of all thyroid cancers. The clinical course of this disease varies from extremely indolent tumors that can go unchanged for years to an extremely aggressive variant that is associated with a high mortality rate. As many as 75% of all medullary thyroid carcinomas are sporadic, with an average age at presentation reported as 60 years, and the remaining 25% are hereditary with an earlier age of presentation, ranging from 20 to 40 years. Germline RET proto-oncogene mutations are the genetic causes of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 and a strong genotype-phenotype correlation exists, particularly between a specific RET codon mutation and the (a age-related onset and (b thyroid tumor progression, from C-cell hyperplasia to medullary thyroid carcinoma and, ultimately, to nodal metastases. RET mutations predispose an individual to the development of medullary thyroid carcinomas and can also influence the individual response to RET protein receptor-targeted therapies. RET codon 609point mutations are rare genetic events belonging to the intermediate risk category for the onset of medullary thyroid carcinoma. A large genealogy resulting in a less aggressive form of medullary thyroid carcinoma is associated with the high penetrance of pheochromocytoma and has been reported in the literature. In this short review article, we comment on our previous report of a large multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A kindred with the same Cys609Ser germline RET mutation in which, conversely, the syndrome was characterized by a slightly aggressive, highly penetrant form of medullary thyroid carcinoma that was associated with low penetrance of pheochromocytoma and primary hyperparathyroidism.

  12. Analyses of clinicopathological, molecular, and prognostic associations of KRAS codon 61 and codon 146 mutations in colorectal cancer: cohort study and literature review

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background KRAS mutations in codons 12 and 13 are established predictive biomarkers for anti-EGFR therapy in colorectal cancer. Previous studies suggest that KRAS codon 61 and 146 mutations may also predict resistance to anti-EGFR therapy in colorectal cancer. However, clinicopathological, molecular, and prognostic features of colorectal carcinoma with KRAS codon 61 or 146 mutation remain unclear. Methods We utilized a molecular pathological epidemiology database of 1267 colon and rectal cancers in the Nurse’s Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. We examined KRAS mutations in codons 12, 13, 61 and 146 (assessed by pyrosequencing), in relation to clinicopathological features, and tumor molecular markers, including BRAF and PIK3CA mutations, CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), LINE-1 methylation, and microsatellite instability (MSI). Survival analyses were performed in 1067 BRAF-wild-type cancers to avoid confounding by BRAF mutation. Cox proportional hazards models were used to compute mortality hazard ratio, adjusting for potential confounders, including disease stage, PIK3CA mutation, CIMP, LINE-1 hypomethylation, and MSI. Results KRAS codon 61 mutations were detected in 19 cases (1.5%), and codon 146 mutations in 40 cases (3.2%). Overall KRAS mutation prevalence in colorectal cancers was 40% (=505/1267). Of interest, compared to KRAS-wild-type, overall, KRAS-mutated cancers more frequently exhibited cecal location (24% vs. 12% in KRAS-wild-type; P colorectal cancer-specific mortality hazard ratio (HR) = 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.29-2.26 for codon 61 mutation; colorectal cancer-specific mortality HR = 0.86, 95% CI = 0.42-1.78 for codon 146 mutation]. Conclusions Tumors with KRAS mutations in codons 61 and 146 account for an appreciable proportion (approximately 5%) of colorectal cancers, and their clinicopathological and molecular features appear generally similar to KRAS codon 12 or 13 mutated cancers. To

  13. An AFM Observation on Fossil Cytoplasm

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Xin; YU Junping; FANG Xiaohong

    2008-01-01

    Fossil cytoplasm is a new research topic of interest in paleobotany. Atomic force microscope (AFM) is a new technology applied widely in physics and biology; however, it is rarely used in paleontology. Here we applied AFM for the first time to study fossil cytoplasm. The results indicate that the fossil cytoplasm is heterogeneous and full of ultrastructures, just like extant cytoplasm, and that the application of AFM, especially in combination with other techniques, can reveal the subcellular details of fossil plants with more confidence.

  14. The relationship between third-codon position nucleotide content, codon bias, mRNA secondary structure and gene expression in the drosophilid alcohol dehydrogenase genes Adh and Adhr.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlini, D B; Chen, Y; Stephan, W

    2001-01-01

    To gain insights into the relationship between codon bias, mRNA secondary structure, third-codon position nucleotide distribution, and gene expression, we predicted secondary structures in two related drosophilid genes, Adh and Adhr, which differ in degree of codon bias and level of gene expression. Individual structural elements (helices) were inferred using the comparative method. For each gene, four types of randomization simulations were performed to maintain/remove codon bias and/or to maintain or alter third-codon position nucleotide composition (N3). In the weakly expressed, weakly biased gene Adhr, the potential for secondary structure formation was found to be much stronger than in the highly expressed, highly biased gene Adh. This is consistent with the observation of approximately equal G and C percentages in Adhr ( approximately 31% across species), whereas in Adh the N3 distribution is shifted toward C (42% across species). Perturbing the N3 distribution to approximately equal amounts of A, G, C, and T increases the potential for secondary structure formation in Adh, but decreases it in Adhr. On the other hand, simulations that reduce codon bias without changing N3 content indicate that codon bias per se has only a weak effect on the formation of secondary structures. These results suggest that, for these two drosophilid genes, secondary structure is a relatively independent, negative regulator of gene expression. Whereas the degree of codon bias is positively correlated with level of gene expression, strong individual secondary structural elements may be selected for to retard mRNA translation and to decrease gene expression. PMID:11606539

  15. Comparative analysis of codon usage bias in Crenarchaea and Euryarchaea genome reveals differential preference of synonymous codons to encode highly expressed ribosomal and RNA polymerase proteins

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    VISHWA JYOTI BARUAH; SIDDHARTHA SANKAR SATAPATHY; BHESH RAJ POWDEL; ROCKTOTPAL KONWARH; ALAK KUMAR BURAGOHAIN; SUVENDRA KUMAR RAY

    2016-09-01

    The present study was undertaken to investigate the pattern of optimal codon usage in Archaea. Comparative analysis was executed to understand the pattern of codon usage bias between the high expression genes (HEG) and the whole genomes in two Archaeal phyla, Crenarchaea and Euryarchaea. The G+C% of the HEG was found to be less in comparison to the genome G+ C% in Crenarchaea, whereas reverse was the case in Euryarchaea. The preponderance of U/A ending codons that code for HEG in Crenarchaea was in sharp contrast to the C/G ended ones in Euryarchaea. The analysis revealed prevalence of U-ending codons even within the WWY (nucleotide ambiguity code) families in Crenarchaea vis-à-vis Euryarchaea, bacteria and Eukarya. No plausible interpretation of the observed disparity could be made either in the context of tRNA gene composition or genome G +C%. The results in this study attested that the preferential biasness for codons in HEG of Crenarchaea might be different from Euryarchaea. The main highlights are (i) varied CUB in the HEG and in the whole genomes in Euryarchaea and Crenarchaea. (ii) Crenarchaea was found to have some unusual optimal codons (OCs) compared to other organisms. (iii) G+ C% (and GC 3) of the HEG were different from the genome G + C% in the two phyla. (iv) Genome G + C% and tRNAgene number failed to explain CUB in Crenarchaea. (v) Translational selection is possibly responsible for A + T rich OCs in Crenarchaea.

  16. Fossilization Processes in Thermal Springs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Cady, Sherry; Desmarais, David J.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    To create a comparative framework for the study of ancient examples, we have been carrying out parallel studies of the microbial biosedimentology, taphonomy and geochemistry of modem and sub-Recent thermal spring deposits. One goal of the research is the development of integrated litho- and taphofacies models for siliceous and travertline sinters. Thermal springs are regarded as important environments for the origin and early evolution of life on Earth, and we seek to utilize information from the fossil record to reconstruct the evolution of high temperature ecosystems. Microbial contributions to the fabric of thermal spring sinters occur when population growth rates keep pace with, or exceed rates of inorganic precipitation, allowing for the development of continuous biofilms or mats. In siliceous thermal springs, microorganisms are typically entombed while viable. Modes of preservation reflect the balance between rates of organic matter degradation, silica precipitation and secondary infilling. Subaerial sinters are initially quite porous and permeable and at temperatures higher than about 20 C, organic materials are usually degraded prior to secondary infilling of sinter frameworks. Thus, organically-preserved microfossils are rare and fossil information consists of characteristic biofabrics formed by the encrustation and underplating of microbial mat surfaces. This probably accounts for the typically low total organic carbon values observed in thermal spring deposits. In mid-temperature, (approx. 35 - 59 C) ponds and outflows, the surface morphology of tufted Phormidium mats is preserved through mat underplating by thin siliceous: crusts. Microbial taxes lead to clumping of ceils and/or preferred filament orientations that together define higher order composite fabrics in thermal spring stromatolites (e.g. network, coniform, and palisade). At lower temperatures (less than 35 C), Calothrix mats cover shallow terracette pools forming flat carpets or pustular

  17. Calibration of atmospheric hydrogen measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Jordan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Interest in atmospheric hydrogen (H2 has been growing in recent years with the prospect of H2 being a potential alternative to fossil fuels as an energy carrier. This has intensified research for a quantitative understanding of the atmospheric hydrogen cycle and its total budget, including the expansion of the global atmospheric measurement network. However, inconsistencies in published observational data constitute a major limitation in exploring such data sets. The discrepancies can be mainly attributed to difficulties in the calibration of the measurements. In this study various factors that may interfere with accurate quantification of atmospheric H2 were investigated including drifts of standard gases in high pressure cylinders. As an experimental basis a procedure to generate precise mixtures of H2 within the atmospheric concentration range was established. Application of this method has enabled a thorough linearity characterization of the commonly used GC-HgO reduction detector. We discovered that the detector response was sensitive to the composition of the matrix gas. Addressing these systematic errors, a new calibration scale has been generated defined by thirteen standards with dry air mole fractions ranging from 139–1226 nmol mol−1. This new scale has been accepted as the official World Meteorological Organisation's (WMO Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW H2 mole fraction scale.

  18. Improved production of membrane proteins in Escherichia coli by selective codon substitutions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørholm, Morten H.H.; Toddo, Stephen; Virkki, Minttu T.I.

    2013-01-01

    K) for membrane transporters. For both coding sequences, synonymous codon substitutions in the region adjacent to the AUG start led to significant improvements in expression, whereas multi-parameter sequence optimization of codons throughout the coding sequence failed. We conclude that coding sequences can be re...

  19. Selective Factors Associated with the Evolution of Codon Usage in Natural Populations of Arboviruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velazquez-Salinas, Lauro; Zarate, Selene; Eschbaumer, Michael; Pereira Lobo, Francisco; Gladue, Douglas P; Arzt, Jonathan; Novella, Isabel S; Rodriguez, Luis L

    2016-01-01

    Arboviruses (arthropod borne viruses) have life cycles that include both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts with substantial differences in vector and host specificity between different viruses. Most arboviruses utilize RNA for their genetic material and are completely dependent on host tRNAs for their translation, suggesting that virus codon usage could be a target for selection. In the current study we analyzed the relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU) patterns of 26 arboviruses together with 25 vectors and hosts, including 8 vertebrates and 17 invertebrates. We used hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA) to identify trends in codon usage. HCA demonstrated that the RSCU of arboviruses reflects that of their natural hosts, but not that of dead-end hosts. Of the two major components identified by PCA, the first accounted for 62.1% of the total variance, and among the 59 codons analyzed in this study, the leucine codon CTG had the highest correlation with the first principal component, however isoleucine had the highest correlation during amino acid analysis. Nucleotide and dinucleotide composition were the variables that explained most of the total codon usage variance. The results suggest that the main factors driving the evolution of codon usage in arboviruses is based on the nucleotide and dinucleotide composition present in the host. Comparing codon usage of arboviruses and potential vector hosts can help identifying potential vectors for emerging arboviruses.

  20. Codon optimization of the adenoviral fiber negatively impacts structural protein expression and viral fitness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villanueva, Eneko; Martí-Solano, Maria; Fillat, Cristina

    2016-06-01

    Codon usage adaptation of lytic viruses to their hosts is determinant for viral fitness. In this work, we analyzed the codon usage of adenoviral proteins by principal component analysis and assessed their codon adaptation to the host. We observed a general clustering of adenoviral proteins according to their function. However, there was a significant variation in the codon preference between the host-interacting fiber protein and the rest of structural late phase proteins, with a non-optimal codon usage of the fiber. To understand the impact of codon bias in the fiber, we optimized the Adenovirus-5 fiber to the codon usage of the hexon structural protein. The optimized fiber displayed increased expression in a non-viral context. However, infection with adenoviruses containing the optimized fiber resulted in decreased expression of the fiber and of wild-type structural proteins. Consequently, this led to a drastic reduction in viral release. The insertion of an exogenous optimized protein as a late gene in the adenovirus with the optimized fiber further interfered with viral fitness. These results highlight the importance of balancing codon usage in viral proteins to adequately exploit cellular resources for efficient infection and open new opportunities to regulate viral fitness for virotherapy and vaccine development.

  1. Selective Factors Associated with the Evolution of Codon Usage in Natural Populations of Arboviruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velazquez-Salinas, Lauro; Zarate, Selene; Eschbaumer, Michael; Pereira Lobo, Francisco; Gladue, Douglas P.; Arzt, Jonathan; Novella, Isabel S.; Rodriguez, Luis L.

    2016-01-01

    Arboviruses (arthropod borne viruses) have life cycles that include both vertebrate and invertebrate hosts with substantial differences in vector and host specificity between different viruses. Most arboviruses utilize RNA for their genetic material and are completely dependent on host tRNAs for their translation, suggesting that virus codon usage could be a target for selection. In the current study we analyzed the relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU) patterns of 26 arboviruses together with 25 vectors and hosts, including 8 vertebrates and 17 invertebrates. We used hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA) to identify trends in codon usage. HCA demonstrated that the RSCU of arboviruses reflects that of their natural hosts, but not that of dead-end hosts. Of the two major components identified by PCA, the first accounted for 62.1% of the total variance, and among the 59 codons analyzed in this study, the leucine codon CTG had the highest correlation with the first principal component, however isoleucine had the highest correlation during amino acid analysis. Nucleotide and dinucleotide composition were the variables that explained most of the total codon usage variance. The results suggest that the main factors driving the evolution of codon usage in arboviruses is based on the nucleotide and dinucleotide composition present in the host. Comparing codon usage of arboviruses and potential vector hosts can help identifying potential vectors for emerging arboviruses. PMID:27455096

  2. New insights into the interplay between codon bias determinants in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camiolo, S; Melito, S; Porceddu, A

    2015-12-01

    Codon bias is the non-random use of synonymous codons, a phenomenon that has been observed in species as diverse as bacteria, plants and mammals. The preferential use of particular synonymous codons may reflect neutral mechanisms (e.g. mutational bias, G|C-biased gene conversion, genetic drift) and/or selection for mRNA stability, translational efficiency and accuracy. The extent to which these different factors influence codon usage is unknown, so we dissected the contribution of mutational bias and selection towards codon bias in genes from 15 eudicots, 4 monocots and 2 mosses. We analysed the frequency of mononucleotides, dinucleotides and trinucleotides and investigated whether the compositional genomic background could account for the observed codon usage profiles. Neutral forces such as mutational pressure and G|C-biased gene conversion appeared to underlie most of the observed codon bias, although there was also evidence for the selection of optimal translational efficiency and mRNA folding. Our data confirmed the compositional differences between monocots and dicots, with the former featuring in general a lower background compositional bias but a higher overall codon bias. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

  3. Quantitative relationship between synonymous codon usage bias and GC composition across unicellular genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kleinhofs Andris

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Codon usage bias has been widely reported to correlate with GC composition. However, the quantitative relationship between codon usage bias and GC composition across species has not been reported. Results Based on an informatics method (SCUO we developed previously using Shannon informational theory and maximum entropy theory, we investigated the quantitative relationship between codon usage bias and GC composition. The regression based on 70 bacterial and 16 archaeal genomes showed that in bacteria, SCUO = -2.06 * GC3 + 2.05*(GC32 + 0.65, r = 0.91, and that in archaea, SCUO = -1.79 * GC3 + 1.85*(GC32 + 0.56, r = 0.89. We developed an analytical model to quantify synonymous codon usage bias by GC compositions based on SCUO. The parameters within this model were inferred by inspecting the relationship between codon usage bias and GC composition across 70 bacterial and 16 archaeal genomes. We further simplified this relationship using only GC3. This simple model was supported by computational simulation. Conclusions The synonymous codon usage bias could be simply expressed as 1+ (p/2log2(p/2 + ((1-p/2log2((l-p/2, where p = GC3. The software we developed for measuring SCUO (codonO is available at http://digbio.missouri.edu/~wanx/cu/codonO.

  4. Comparative Analysis of Codon Usage Patterns Among Mitochondrion, Chloroplast and Nuclear Genes in Triticum aestivum L.

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wen-Juan Zhang; Jie Zhou; Zuo-Feng Li; Li Wang; Xun Gu; Yang Zhong

    2007-01-01

    In many organisms, the difference in codon usage patterns among genes reflects variation in local base compositional biases and the intensity of natural selection. In this study, a comparative analysis was performed to investigate the characteristics of codon bias and factors in shaping the codon usage patterns among mitochondrion,chloroplast and nuclear genes in common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). GC contents in nuclear genes were higher than that in mitochondrion and chloroplast genes. The neutrality and correspondence analyses indicated that the codon usage in nuclear genes would be a result of relative strong mutational bias, while the codon usage patterns of rnitochondrion and chloroplast genes were more conserved in GC content and influenced by translation level.The Parity Rule 2 (PR2) plot analysis showed that pyrimidines were used more frequently than purines at the third codon position in the three genomes. In addition, using a new alterative strategy, 11, 12, and 24 triplets were defined as preferred codons in the mitochondrion, chloroplast and nuclear genes, respectively. These findings suggested that the mitochondrion, chloroplast and nuclear genes shared particularly different features of codon usage and evolutionary constraints.

  5. Species based synonymous codon usage in fusion protein gene of Newcastle disease virus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chandra Shekhar Kumar

    Full Text Available Newcastle disease is highly pathogenic to poultry and many other avian species. However, the Newcastle disease virus (NDV has also been reported from many non-avian species. The NDV fusion protein (F is a major determinant of its pathogenicity and virulence. The functionalities of F gene have been explored for the development of vaccine and diagnostics against NDV. Although the F protein is well studied but the codon usage and its nucleotide composition from NDV isolated from different species have not yet been explored. In present study, we have analyzed the factors responsible for the determination of codon usage in NDV isolated from four major avian host species. The F gene of NDV is analyzed for its base composition and its correlation with the bias in codon usage. Our result showed that random mutational pressure is responsible for codon usage bias in F protein of NDV isolates. Aromaticity, GC3s, and aliphatic index were not found responsible for species based synonymous codon usage bias in F gene of NDV. Moreover, the low amount of codon usage bias and expression level was further confirmed by a low CAI value. The phylogenetic analysis of isolates was found in corroboration with the relatedness of species based on codon usage bias. The relationship between the host species and the NDV isolates from the host does not represent a significant correlation in our study. The present study provides a basic understanding of the mechanism involved in codon usage among species.

  6. Vertebrate codon bias indicates a highly GC-rich ancestral genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabiyouni, Maryam; Prakash, Ashwin; Fedorov, Alexei

    2013-04-25

    Two factors are thought to have contributed to the origin of codon usage bias in eukaryotes: 1) genome-wide mutational forces that shape overall GC-content and create context-dependent nucleotide bias, and 2) positive selection for codons that maximize efficient and accurate translation. Particularly in vertebrates, these two explanations contradict each other and cloud the origin of codon bias in the taxon. On the one hand, mutational forces fail to explain GC-richness (~60%) of third codon positions, given the GC-poor overall genomic composition among vertebrates (~40%). On the other hand, positive selection cannot easily explain strict regularities in codon preferences. Large-scale bioinformatic assessment, of nucleotide composition of coding and non-coding sequences in vertebrates and other taxa, suggests a simple possible resolution for this contradiction. Specifically, we propose that the last common vertebrate ancestor had a GC-rich genome (~65% GC). The data suggest that whole-genome mutational bias is the major driving force for generating codon bias. As the bias becomes prominent, it begins to affect translation and can result in positive selection for optimal codons. The positive selection can, in turn, significantly modulate codon preferences.

  7. Enhanced expression of codon optimized Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis antigens in Lactobacillus salivarius

    Science.gov (United States)

    We have previously identified the mycobacterial high G+C codon usage bias as a limiting factor in heterologous expression of MAP proteins from Lb.salivarius, and demonstrated that codon optimisation of a synthetic coding gene greatly enhances MAP protein production. Here, we effectively demonstrate ...

  8. Codon Usage Patterns in Corynebacterium glutamicum: Mutational Bias, Natural Selection and Amino Acid Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guiming Liu

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The alternative synonymous codons in Corynebacterium glutamicum, a well-known bacterium used in industry for the production of amino acid, have been investigated by multivariate analysis. As C. glutamicum is a GC-rich organism, G and C are expected to predominate at the third position of codons. Indeed, overall codon usage analyses have indicated that C and/or G ending codons are predominant in this organism. Through multivariate statistical analysis, apart from mutational selection, we identified three other trends of codon usage variation among the genes. Firstly, the majority of highly expressed genes are scattered towards the positive end of the first axis, whereas the majority of lowly expressed genes are clustered towards the other end of the first axis. Furthermore, the distinct difference in the two sets of genes was that the C ending codons are predominate in putatively highly expressed genes, suggesting that the C ending codons are translationally optimal in this organism. Secondly, the majority of the putatively highly expressed genes have a tendency to locate on the leading strand, which indicates that replicational and transciptional selection might be invoked. Thirdly, highly expressed genes are more conserved than lowly expressed genes by synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions among orthologous genes fromthe genomes of C. glutamicum and C. diphtheriae. We also analyzed other factors such as the length of genes and hydrophobicity that might influence codon usage and found their contributions to be weak.

  9. Paleoradiology. Imaging mummies and fossils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chhem, Rethy K. [Western Ontario Univ. London Health Sciences Centre, ON (Canada). Dept. of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine; Brothwell, Don R. [York Univ. (United Kingdom). Dept. of Archaeology

    2008-07-01

    This is an important work on a topic of huge interest to archaeologists and related scientists, since the use of imaging techniques in the field has been expanding rapidly in recent decades. Paleoradiology involves the use of X-rays and advanced medical imaging modalities to evaluate ancient human and animal skeletons as well as biological materials from archaeological sites. Paleoradiological studies have been performed on mummies, skeletal remains and fossils to determine their sex and age at death. Diagnostic paleoradiology is the use of X-ray studies to detect ancient diseases. The broad range of themes and imaging techniques in this volume reflects four decades of research undertaken by Don Brothwell in the fields of anthropology, human paleopathology, and zooarchaeology, combined with two decades of skeletal radiology experience during which Rethy Chhem read over 150,000 skeletal X-ray and CT studies. (orig.)

  10. Differences in codon bias cannot explain differences in translational power among microbes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dethlefsen Les

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Translational power is the cellular rate of protein synthesis normalized to the biomass invested in translational machinery. Published data suggest a previously unrecognized pattern: translational power is higher among rapidly growing microbes, and lower among slowly growing microbes. One factor known to affect translational power is biased use of synonymous codons. The correlation within an organism between expression level and degree of codon bias among genes of Escherichia coli and other bacteria capable of rapid growth is commonly attributed to selection for high translational power. Conversely, the absence of such a correlation in some slowly growing microbes has been interpreted as the absence of selection for translational power. Because codon bias caused by translational selection varies between rapidly growing and slowly growing microbes, we investigated whether observed differences in translational power among microbes could be explained entirely by differences in the degree of codon bias. Although the data are not available to estimate the effect of codon bias in other species, we developed an empirically-based mathematical model to compare the translation rate of E. coli to the translation rate of a hypothetical strain which differs from E. coli only by lacking codon bias. Results Our reanalysis of data from the scientific literature suggests that translational power can differ by a factor of 5 or more between E. coli and slowly growing microbial species. Using empirical codon-specific in vivo translation rates for 29 codons, and several scenarios for extrapolating from these data to estimates over all codons, we find that codon bias cannot account for more than a doubling of the translation rate in E. coli, even with unrealistic simplifying assumptions that exaggerate the effect of codon bias. With more realistic assumptions, our best estimate is that codon bias accelerates translation in E. coli by no more than

  11. Reducing codon redundancy and screening effort of combinatorial protein libraries created by saturation mutagenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kille, Sabrina; Acevedo-Rocha, Carlos G; Parra, Loreto P; Zhang, Zhi-Gang; Opperman, Diederik J; Reetz, Manfred T; Acevedo, Juan Pablo

    2013-02-15

    Saturation mutagenesis probes define sections of the vast protein sequence space. However, even if randomization is limited this way, the combinatorial numbers problem is severe. Because diversity is created at the codon level, codon redundancy is a crucial factor determining the necessary effort for library screening. Additionally, due to the probabilistic nature of the sampling process, oversampling is required to ensure library completeness as well as a high probability to encounter all unique variants. Our trick employs a special mixture of three primers, creating a degeneracy of 22 unique codons coding for the 20 canonical amino acids. Therefore, codon redundancy and subsequent screening effort is significantly reduced, and a balanced distribution of codon per amino acid is achieved, as demonstrated exemplarily for a library of cyclohexanone monooxygenase. We show that this strategy is suitable for any saturation mutagenesis methodology to generate less-redundant libraries.

  12. Evolutionary conservation of codon optimality reveals hidden signatures of cotranslational folding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pechmann, Sebastian; Frydman, Judith

    2013-02-01

    The choice of codons can influence local translation kinetics during protein synthesis. Whether codon preference is linked to cotranslational regulation of polypeptide folding remains unclear. Here, we derive a revised translational efficiency scale that incorporates the competition between tRNA supply and demand. Applying this scale to ten closely related yeast species, we uncover the evolutionary conservation of codon optimality in eukaryotes. This analysis reveals universal patterns of conserved optimal and nonoptimal codons, often in clusters, which associate with the secondary structure of the translated polypeptides independent of the levels of expression. Our analysis suggests an evolved function for codon optimality in regulating the rhythm of elongation to facilitate cotranslational polypeptide folding, beyond its previously proposed role of adapting to the cost of expression. These findings establish how mRNA sequences are generally under selection to optimize the cotranslational folding of corresponding polypeptides.

  13. Variation in the Correlation of G + C Composition with Synonymous Codon Usage Bias among Bacteria

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    Suzuki Haruo

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available G + C composition at the third codon position (GC3 is widely reported to be correlated with synonymous codon usage bias. However, no quantitative attempt has been made to compare the extent of this correlation among different genomes. Here, we applied Shannon entropy from information theory to measure the degree of GC3 bias and that of synonymous codon usage bias of each gene. The strength of the correlation of GC3 with synonymous codon usage bias, quantified by a correlation coefficient, varied widely among bacterial genomes, ranging from 0.07 to 0.95. Previous analyses suggesting that the relationship between GC3 and synonymous codon usage bias is independent of species are thus inconsistent with the more detailed analyses obtained here for individual species.

  14. Variation in the Correlation of G + C Composition with Synonymous Codon Usage Bias among Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haruo Suzuki

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available G + C composition at the third codon position (GC3 is widely reported to be correlated with synonymous codon usage bias. However, no quantitative attempt has been made to compare the extent of this correlation among different genomes. Here, we applied Shannon entropy from information theory to measure the degree of GC3 bias and that of synonymous codon usage bias of each gene. The strength of the correlation of GC3 with synonymous codon usage bias, quantified by a correlation coefficient, varied widely among bacterial genomes, ranging from −0.07 to 0.95. Previous analyses suggesting that the relationship between GC3 and synonymous codon usage bias is independent of species are thus inconsistent with the more detailed analyses obtained here for individual species.

  15. Factors affecting mito-nuclear codon usage interactions in the OXPHOS system of Drosophila melanogaster

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Codon usage bias varies considerably among genomes and even within the genes of the same genome.In eukaryotic organisms,energy production in the form of oxidative phosphorylation(OXPHOS)is the only process under control of both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes.Although factors affecting codon usage in a single genome have been studied,this has not occurred when both interactional genomes are involved.Consequently, we investigated whether or not other factors influence codon usage of coevolved genes.We used Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism.Our χ2 test on the number of codons of nuclear and mitochondrial genes involved in the OXPHOS system was significantly different (χ2=7945.16,P<0.01).A plot of effective number of codons against GC3s content of nuclear genes showed that few genes lie on the expected curve,indicating that codon usage was random.Correspondence analysis indicated a significant correlation between axis 1 and codon adaptation index(R=0.947,P<0.01)in every nuclear gene sequence.Thus,codon usage bias of nuclear genes appeared to be affected by translational selection.Correlation between axis 1 coordinates and GC content(R=0.814.P<0.01)indicated that the codon usage of nuclear genes was also affected by GC composition.Analysis of mitochondrial genes did not reveal a significant correlation between axis 1 and any parameter.Statistical analyses indicated that codon usages of both nDNA and mtDNA were subjected to context-dependent mutations.

  16. Estimating body mass of fossil rodents

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Freudenthal, M.; Martín-Suárez, E.

    2013-01-01

    Reconstructing the body mass of a fossil animal is an essential step toward understanding its palaeoecological role. Length × width (L×W) of the first lower molar (m1) is frequently used as a proxy for body mass in fossil mammals. However, among rodents, Muroidea have no premolar and an elongated m1

  17. Fossil evidence of the zygomycetous fungi

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krings, M.; Taylor, T.N.; Dotzler, N.

    2013-01-01

    Molecular clock data indicate that the first zygomycetous fungi occurred on Earth during the Precambrian, however, fossil evidence of these organisms has been slow to accumulate. In this paper, the fossil record of the zygomycetous fungi is compiled, with a focus on structurally preserved Carbonifer

  18. Treating fossils as terminal taxa in divergence time estimation reveals ancient vicariance patterns in the palpimanoid spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Hannah Marie; Matzke, Nicholas J; Gillespie, Rosemary G; Griswold, Charles E

    2013-03-01

    Incorporation of fossils into biogeographic studies can have a profound effect on the conclusions that result, particularly when fossil ranges are nonoverlapping with extant ranges. This is the case in archaeid spiders, where there are known fossils from the Northern Hemisphere, yet all living members are restricted to the Southern Hemisphere. To better understand the biogeographic patterns of archaeid spiders and their palpimanoid relatives, we estimate a dated phylogeny using a relaxed clock on a combined molecular and morphological data set. Dating information is compared with treating the archaeid fossil taxa as both node calibrations and as noncontemporaneous terminal tips, both with and without additional calibration points. Estimation of ancestral biogeographic ranges is then performed, using likelihood and Bayesian methods to take into account uncertainty in phylogeny and in dating. We find that treating the fossils as terminal tips within a Bayesian framework, as opposed to dating the phylogeny based only on molecular data with the dates coming from node calibrations, removes the subjectivity involved in assigning priors, which has not been possible with previous methods. Our analyses suggest that the diversification of the northern and southern archaeid lineages was congruent with the breakup of Pangaea into Laurasia and Gondwanaland. This analysis provides a rare example, and perhaps the most strongly supported, where a dated phylogeny confirms a biogeographical hypothesis based on vicariance due to the breakup of the ancient continental plates.

  19. The Importance of Fossils in Understanding the Evolution of Parasites and Their Vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Baets, Kenneth; Littlewood, D Timothy J

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge concerning the diversity of parasitism and its reach across our current understanding of the tree of life has benefitted considerably from novel molecular phylogenetic methods. However, the timing of events and the resolution of the nature of the intimate relationships between parasites and their hosts in deep time remain problematic. Despite its vagaries, the fossil record provides the only direct evidence of parasites and parasitism in the fossil record of extant and extinct lineages. Here, we demonstrate the potential of the fossil record and other lines of geological evidence to calibrate the origin and evolution of parasitism by combining different kinds of dating evidence with novel molecular clock methodologies. Other novel methods promise to provide additional evidence for the presence or the life habit of pathogens and their vectors, including the discovery and analysis of ancient DNA and other biomolecules, as well as computed tomographic methods.

  20. Radio properties of fossil galaxy groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miraghaei, H.; Khosroshahi, H. G.

    2016-09-01

    We study 1.4 GHz radio properties of a sample of fossil galaxy groups using GMRT radio observations and the FIRST survey catalog. Fossil galaxy groups, having no recent major mergers in their dominant galaxies and also group scale mergers, give us the opportunity to investigate the effect of galaxy merger on AGN activity. In this work, we compare the radio properties of a rich sample of fossil groups with a sample of normal galaxy groups and clusters and show that the brightest group galaxies in fossil groups are under luminous at 1.4 GHz, relative to the general population of the brightest group galaxies, indicating that the dynamically relaxed nature of fossil groups has influenced the AGN activity in their dominant galaxy.

  1. Trinocular Calibration Method Based on Binocular Calibration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CAO Dan-Dan

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available In order to solve the self-occlusion problem in plane-based multi-camera calibration system and expand the measurement range, a tri-camera vision system based on binocular calibration is proposed. The three cameras are grouped into two pairs, while the public camera is taken as the reference to build the global coordinate. By calibration of the measured absolute distance and the true absolute distance, global calibration is realized. The MRE (mean relative error of the global calibration of the two camera pairs in the experiments can be as low as 0.277% and 0.328% respectively. Experiment results show that this method is feasible, simple and effective, and has high precision.

  2. A Comparative Analysis of Synonymous Codon Usage Bias Pattern in Human Albumin Superfamily

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    Hoda Mirsafian

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Synonymous codon usage bias is an inevitable phenomenon in organismic taxa across the three domains of life. Though the frequency of codon usage is not equal across species and within genome in the same species, the phenomenon is non random and is tissue-specific. Several factors such as GC content, nucleotide distribution, protein hydropathy, protein secondary structure, and translational selection are reported to contribute to codon usage preference. The synonymous codon usage patterns can be helpful in revealing the expression pattern of genes as well as the evolutionary relationship between the sequences. In this study, synonymous codon usage bias patterns were determined for the evolutionarily close proteins of albumin superfamily, namely, albumin, α-fetoprotein, afamin, and vitamin D-binding protein. Our study demonstrated that the genes of the four albumin superfamily members have low GC content and high values of effective number of codons (ENC suggesting high expressivity of these genes and less bias in codon usage preferences. This study also provided evidence that the albumin superfamily members are not subjected to mutational selection pressure.

  3. Versatile dual reporter gene systems for investigating stop codon readthrough in plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nga T Lao

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Translation is most often terminated when a ribosome encounters the first in-frame stop codon (UAA, UAG or UGA in an mRNA. However, many viruses (and some cellular mRNAs contain "stop" codons that cause a proportion of ribosomes to terminate and others to incorporate an amino acid and continue to synthesize a "readthrough", or C-terminally extended, protein. This dynamic redefinition of codon meaning is dependent on specific sequence context. METHODOLOGY: We describe two versatile dual reporter systems which facilitate investigation of stop codon readthrough in vivo in intact plants, and identification of the amino acid incorporated at the decoded stop codon. The first is based on the reporter enzymes NAN and GUS for which sensitive fluorogenic and histochemical substrates are available; the second on GST and GFP. CONCLUSIONS: We show that the NAN-GUS system can be used for direct in planta measurements of readthrough efficiency following transient expression of reporter constructs in leaves, and moreover, that the system is sufficiently sensitive to permit measurement of readthrough in stably transformed plants. We further show that the GST-GFP system can be used to affinity purify readthrough products for mass spectrometric analysis and provide the first definitive evidence that tyrosine alone is specified in vivo by a 'leaky' UAG codon, and tyrosine and tryptophan, respectively, at decoded UAA, and UGA codons in the Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV readthrough context.

  4. Gaining insights into the codon usage patterns of TP53 gene across eight mammalian species.

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    Tarikul Huda Mazumder

    Full Text Available TP53 gene is known as the "guardian of the genome" as it plays a vital role in regulating cell cycle, cell proliferation, DNA damage repair, initiation of programmed cell death and suppressing tumor growth. Non uniform usage of synonymous codons for a specific amino acid during translation of protein known as codon usage bias (CUB is a unique property of the genome and shows species specific deviation. Analysis of codon usage bias with compositional dynamics of coding sequences has contributed to the better understanding of the molecular mechanism and the evolution of a particular gene. In this study, the complete nucleotide coding sequences of TP53 gene from eight different mammalian species were used for CUB analysis. Our results showed that the codon usage patterns in TP53 gene across different mammalian species has been influenced by GC bias particularly GC3 and a moderate bias exists in the codon usage of TP53 gene. Moreover, we observed that nature has highly favored the most over represented codon CTG for leucine amino acid but selected against the ATA codon for isoleucine in TP53 gene across all mammalian species during the course of evolution.

  5. Comparative evolutionary genomics of Corynebacterium with special reference to codon and amino acid usage diversities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, Shilpee; Sarkar, Indrani; Roy, Ayan; Mohapatra, Pradeep K Das; Mondal, Keshab C; Sen, Arnab

    2017-09-18

    The present study has been aimed to the comparative analysis of high GC composition containing Corynebacterium genomes and their evolutionary study by exploring codon and amino acid usage patterns. Phylogenetic study by MLSA approach, indel analysis and BLAST matrix differentiated Corynebacterium species in pathogenic and non-pathogenic clusters. Correspondence analysis on synonymous codon usage reveals that, gene length, optimal codon frequencies and tRNA abundance affect the gene expression of Corynebacterium. Most of the optimal codons as well as translationally optimal codons are C ending i.e. RNY (R-purine, N-any nucleotide base, and Y-pyrimidine) and reveal translational selection pressure on codon bias of Corynebacterium. Amino acid usage is affected by hydrophobicity, aromaticity, protein energy cost, etc. Highly expressed genes followed the cost minimization hypothesis and are less diverged at their synonymous positions of codons. Functional analysis of core genes shows significant difference in pathogenic and non-pathogenic Corynebacterium. The study reveals close relationship between non-pathogenic and opportunistic pathogenic Corynebaterium as well as between molecular evolution and survival niches of the organism.

  6. Transcription attenuation in Salmonella typhimurium: the significance of rare leucine codons in the leu leader.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, P W; Bartkus, J M; Calvo, J M

    1986-11-01

    The leucine operon of Salmonella typhimurium is controlled by a transcription attenuation mechanism. Four adjacent leucine codons within a 160-nucleotide leu leader RNA are thought to play a central role in this mechanism. Three of the four codons are CUA, a rarely used leucine codon within enteric bacteria. To determine whether the nature of the leucine codon affects the regulation of the leucine operon, we used oligonucleotide-directed mutagenesis to first convert one CUA of the leader to CUG and then convert all three CUA codons to CUG. CUG is the most frequently used leucine codon in enteric bacteria. A mutant having (CUA)2CUGCUC in place of (CUA)3CUC has an altered response to leucine limitation, requiring a slightly higher degree of limitation to effect derepression. Changing (CUA)3CUC to (CUG)3CUC has more dramatic effects upon operon expression. First, the basal level of expression is lowered to the point that the mutant grows more slowly than the parent in a minimal medium lacking leucine. Second, the response of the mutant to a leucine limitation is dramatically altered such that even a strong limitation elicits only a modest degree of derepression. If the mutant is grown under conditions of leucyl-tRNA limitation rather than leucine limitation, complete derepression can be achieved, but only at a much higher degree of limitation than for the wild-type operon. These results provide a clear-cut example of codon usage having a dramatic effect upon gene expression.

  7. Mutation and selection cause codon usage and bias in mitochondrial genomes of ribbon worms (Nemertea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Haixia; Sun, Shichun; Norenburg, Jon L; Sundberg, Per

    2014-01-01

    The phenomenon of codon usage bias is known to exist in many genomes and it is mainly determined by mutation and selection. To understand the patterns of codon usage in nemertean mitochondrial genomes, we use bioinformatic approaches to analyze the protein-coding sequences of eight nemertean species. Neutrality analysis did not find a significant correlation between GC12 and GC3. ENc-plot showed a few genes on or close to the expected curve, but the majority of points with low-ENc values are below it. ENc-plot suggested that mutational bias plays a major role in shaping codon usage. The Parity Rule 2 plot (PR2) analysis showed that GC and AT were not used proportionally and we propose that codons containing A or U at third position are used preferentially in nemertean species, regardless of whether corresponding tRNAs are encoded in the mitochondrial DNA. Context-dependent analysis indicated that the nucleotide at the second codon position slightly affects synonymous codon choices. These results suggested that mutational and selection forces are probably acting to codon usage bias in nemertean mitochondrial genomes.

  8. Mutation and selection cause codon usage and bias in mitochondrial genomes of ribbon worms (Nemertea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haixia Chen

    Full Text Available The phenomenon of codon usage bias is known to exist in many genomes and it is mainly determined by mutation and selection. To understand the patterns of codon usage in nemertean mitochondrial genomes, we use bioinformatic approaches to analyze the protein-coding sequences of eight nemertean species. Neutrality analysis did not find a significant correlation between GC12 and GC3. ENc-plot showed a few genes on or close to the expected curve, but the majority of points with low-ENc values are below it. ENc-plot suggested that mutational bias plays a major role in shaping codon usage. The Parity Rule 2 plot (PR2 analysis showed that GC and AT were not used proportionally and we propose that codons containing A or U at third position are used preferentially in nemertean species, regardless of whether corresponding tRNAs are encoded in the mitochondrial DNA. Context-dependent analysis indicated that the nucleotide at the second codon position slightly affects synonymous codon choices. These results suggested that mutational and selection forces are probably acting to codon usage bias in nemertean mitochondrial genomes.

  9. Genome-Wide Analysis of the Synonymous Codon Usage Patterns in Riemerella anatipestifer

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    Jibin Liu

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Riemerella anatipestifer (RA belongs to the Flavobacteriaceae family and can cause a septicemia disease in poultry. The synonymous codon usage patterns of bacteria reflect a series of evolutionary changes that enable bacteria to improve tolerance of the various environments. We detailed the codon usage patterns of RA isolates from the available 12 sequenced genomes by multiple codon and statistical analysis. Nucleotide compositions and relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU analysis revealed that A or U ending codons are predominant in RA. Neutrality analysis found no significant correlation between GC12 and GC3 (p > 0.05. Correspondence analysis and ENc-plot results showed that natural selection dominated over mutation in the codon usage bias. The tree of cluster analysis based on RSCU was concordant with dendrogram based on genomic BLAST by neighbor-joining method. By comparative analysis, about 50 highly expressed genes that were orthologs across all 12 strains were found in the top 5% of high CAI value. Based on these CAI values, we infer that RA contains a number of predicted highly expressed coding sequences, involved in transcriptional regulation and metabolism, reflecting their requirement for dealing with diverse environmental conditions. These results provide some useful information on the mechanisms that contribute to codon usage bias and evolution of RA.

  10. Identification of compounds that decrease the fidelity of start codon recognition by the eukaryotic translational machinery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takacs, Julie E; Neary, Timothy B; Ingolia, Nicholas T; Saini, Adesh K; Martin-Marcos, Pilar; Pelletier, Jerry; Hinnebusch, Alan G; Lorsch, Jon R

    2011-03-01

    Translation initiation in eukaryotes involves more than a dozen protein factors. Alterations in six factors have been found to reduce the fidelity of start codon recognition by the ribosomal preinitiation complex in yeast, a phenotype referred to as Sui(-). No small molecules are known that affect the fidelity of start codon recognition. Such compounds would be useful tools for probing the molecular mechanics of translation initiation and its regulation. To find compounds with this effect, we set up a high-throughput screen using a dual luciferase assay in S. cerevisiae. Screening of over 55,000 compounds revealed two structurally related molecules that decrease the fidelity of start codon selection by approximately twofold in the dual luciferase assay. This effect was confirmed using additional in vivo assays that monitor translation from non-AUG start codons. Both compounds increase translation of a natural upstream open reading frame previously shown to initiate translation at a UUG. The compounds were also found to exacerbate increased use of UUG as a start codon (Sui(-) phenotype) conferred by haploinsufficiency of wild-type eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 1, or by mutation in eIF1. Furthermore, the effects of the compounds are suppressed by overexpressing eIF1, which is known to restore the fidelity of start codon selection in strains harboring Sui(-) mutations in various other initiation factors. Together, these data strongly suggest that the compounds affect the translational machinery itself to reduce the accuracy of selecting AUG as the start codon.

  11. Approaches to bioremediation of fossil fuel contaminated soil: An ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Biological methods for combating pollutants generated within the fossil fuels ... metabolism of fossil fuel contaminants in soil and water bodies is presented. ... Keywords: Fossil fuels, coal, petroleum hydrocarbons, biodegradation, pollutants

  12. The M129V polymorphism of codon 129 in the prion gene (PRNP) in the Danish population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dyrbye, Henrik; Broholm, Helle; Dziegiel, Morten Hanefeld

    2008-01-01

    the distribution of the codon 129 polymorphism. The occurrence of three other relevant polymorphisms were investigated: An alanine (Ala) silent mutation on codon 117, an aspargine-serine (Asn-Ser) mutation on codon 171 and deletions or insertions in the moeity known as the octapeptide region of PRNP. DNA...

  13. Iberian Plio-Pleistocene biochronology: micromammalian evidence for MNs and ELMAs calibration in southwestern Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández Fernández, Manuel; Azanza, Beatriz; Ángeles Álvarez Sierra, María

    2004-09-01

    A multivariate biochronological analysis of the Plio-Pleistocene Iberian rodent fossil record is presented. Among more than 300 fossil sites, 49 sites have been selected. The ordination of the fossil sites selected from the Iberian Peninsula has been achieved by the appearance event ordination method. After calibration of this ordination with geochronological dates at some of the localities, numerical dates are proposed for all the localities studied. Hence, mammal fossil sites non-datable by other means (palaeomagnetism, radiometric dating, etc.) have been dated with a relatively high degree of confidence. Final results allow dating of boundaries between the Plio-Pleistocene European Land Mammal Ages (ELMAS) or the Mammal Neogene (MN) units. These boundaries agree with previous studies using magnetostratigraphical calibration of these scales. Copyright

  14. Codon 201Gly Polymorphic Type of the DCC Gene is Related to Disseminated Neuroblastoma

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    Xiao-Tang Kong

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The deleted in colorectal carcinoma (DCC gene is a potential tumor- suppressor gene on chromosome 18821.3. The relatively high frequency of loss of heterozygosity (LOH and loss of expression of this gene in neuroblastoma, especially in the advanced stages, imply the possibility of involvement of the DCC gene in progression of neuroblastoma. However, only few typical mutations have been identified in this gene, indicating that other possible mechanisms for the inactivation of this gene may exist. A polymorphic change (Arg to Gly at DCC codon 201 is related to advanced colorectal carcinoma and increases in the tumors with absent DCC protein expression. In order to understand whether this change is associated with the development or progression of neuroblastoma, we investigated codon 201 polymorphism of the DCC gene in 102 primary neuroblastomas by polymerase chain reaction single-strand conformation polymorphism. We found no missense or nonsense mutations, but a polymorphic change from CGA (Arg to GGA (Gly at codon 201 resulting in three types of polymorphism: codon 201Gly type, codon 201Arg/Gly type, and codon 201Arg type. The codon 201Gly type occurred more frequently in disseminated (stages IV and IVs neuroblastomas (72% than in localized (stages I, II, and III tumors (48% (P=.035, and normal controls (38% (P=.024. In addition, the codon 201Gly type was significantly more common in tumors found clinically (65% than in those found by mass screening (35% (P=.002. The results suggested that the codon 201Gly type of the DCC gene might be associated with a higher risk of disseminating neuroblastoma.

  15. P53 codon 11, 72, and 248 gene polymorphisms in endometriosis

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    Yao-Yuan Hsieh , Chich-Sheng Lin

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: Mutated p53 gene is related to the instability of cell growth and cell cycle progression. We aimed to evaluate the association between endometriosis and p53 codon 11, 72 and 248 gene polymorphisms. Patients and methods: Women were divided into two groups: (1 moderate/severe endometriosis (n=148, and (2 non-endometriosis groups (n=150. P53 gene polymorphisms include codon11 Glu/Gln or Lys (GAG->CAG or AAG, codon 72 Arg/Pro (CGC->CCC, and codon 248 Arg/Thr (CGG->TCG. These gene polymorphisms were amplified by polymerase chain reaction and detected by electrophoresis after restriction enzyme (Taq I, BstU I, Hap II digestions. Associations between the endometriosis and p53 polymorphisms were evaluated. Results: The distributions of p53 codon 72 polymorphisms in both groups were significantly different. The proportions of Arg homozygotes/heterozygotes/Pro homozygotes in both groups were 9.5/66.2/24.3% and 30.7/50/19.3%. The proportions of Arg/Pro alleles were 42.6/57.4% and 56/44%. The distributions of p53 codon 11 and 248 polymorphisms in both groups were non-significantly different. All individuals appeared the wild genotypes (Glu11 and Arg248 homozygotes. Conclusion: Association between endometriosis and p53 codon 72 polymorphism exists. P53 codon 72*Pro-related genotype and allele are related with higher susceptibility of endometriosis. P53 codon 11 and 248 polymorphisms are not related with endometriosis susceptibility.

  16. Efficient Reassignment of a Frequent Serine Codon in Wild-Type Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Joanne M; Reynolds, Noah M; Rivera, Keith; Connolly, Morgan; Guo, Li-Tao; Ling, Jiqiang; Pappin, Darryl J; Church, George M; Söll, Dieter

    2016-02-19

    Expansion of the genetic code through engineering the translation machinery has greatly increased the chemical repertoire of the proteome. This has been accomplished mainly by read-through of UAG or UGA stop codons by the noncanonical aminoacyl-tRNA of choice. While stop codon read-through involves competition with the translation release factors, sense codon reassignment entails competition with a large pool of endogenous tRNAs. We used an engineered pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase to incorporate 3-iodo-l-phenylalanine (3-I-Phe) at a number of different serine and leucine codons in wild-type Escherichia coli. Quantitative LC-MS/MS measurements of amino acid incorporation yields carried out in a selected reaction monitoring experiment revealed that the 3-I-Phe abundance at the Ser208AGU codon in superfolder GFP was 65 ± 17%. This method also allowed quantification of other amino acids (serine, 33 ± 17%; phenylalanine, 1 ± 1%; threonine, 1 ± 1%) that compete with 3-I-Phe at both the aminoacylation and decoding steps of translation for incorporation at the same codon position. Reassignments of different serine (AGU, AGC, UCG) and leucine (CUG) codons with the matching tRNA(Pyl) anticodon variants were met with varying success, and our findings provide a guideline for the choice of sense codons to be reassigned. Our results indicate that the 3-iodo-l-phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase (IFRS)/tRNA(Pyl) pair can efficiently outcompete the cellular machinery to reassign select sense codons in wild-type E. coli.

  17. ChloroMitoCU: Codon patterns across organelle genomes for functional genomics and evolutionary applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sablok, Gaurav; Chen, Ting-Wen; Lee, Chi-Ching; Yang, Chi; Gan, Ruei-Chi; Wegrzyn, Jill L; Porta, Nicola L; Nayak, Kinshuk C; Huang, Po-Jung; Varotto, Claudio; Tang, Petrus

    2017-06-01

    Organelle genomes are widely thought to have arisen from reduction events involving cyanobacterial and archaeal genomes, in the case of chloroplasts, or α-proteobacterial genomes, in the case of mitochondria. Heterogeneity in base composition and codon preference has long been the subject of investigation of topics ranging from phylogenetic distortion to the design of overexpression cassettes for transgenic expression. From the overexpression point of view, it is critical to systematically analyze the codon usage patterns of the organelle genomes. In light of the importance of codon usage patterns in the development of hyper-expression organelle transgenics, we present ChloroMitoCU, the first-ever curated, web-based reference catalog of the codon usage patterns in organelle genomes. ChloroMitoCU contains the pre-compiled codon usage patterns of 328 chloroplast genomes (29,960 CDS) and 3,502 mitochondrial genomes (49,066 CDS), enabling genome-wide exploration and comparative analysis of codon usage patterns across species. ChloroMitoCU allows the phylogenetic comparison of codon usage patterns across organelle genomes, the prediction of codon usage patterns based on user-submitted transcripts or assembled organelle genes, and comparative analysis with the pre-compiled patterns across species of interest. ChloroMitoCU can increase our understanding of the biased patterns of codon usage in organelle genomes across multiple clades. ChloroMitoCU can be accessed at: http://chloromitocu.cgu.edu.tw/. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute.

  18. Towards Reassignment of the Methionine Codon AUG to Two Different Noncanonical Amino Acids in Bacterial Translation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro De Simone

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Genetic encoding of noncanonical amino acids (ncAAs through sense codon reassignment is an efficient tool for expanding the chemical functionality of proteins. Incorporation of multiple ncAAs, however, is particularly challenging. This work describes the first attempts to reassign the sense methionine (Met codon AUG to two different ncAAs in bacterial protein translation. Escherichia coli methionyl-tRNA synthetase (MetRS charges two tRNAs with Met: tRNAfMet initiates protein synthesis (starting AUG codon, whereas elongator tRNAMet participates in protein elongation (internal AUG codon(s. Preliminary in vitro experiments show that these tRNAs can be charged with the Met analogues azidohomoalanine (Aha and ethionine (Eth by exploiting the different substrate specificities of EcMetRS and the heterologous MetRS / tRNAMet pair from the archaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius, respectively. Here, we explored whether this configuration would allow a differential decoding during in vivo protein initiation and elongation. First, we eliminated the elongator tRNAMet from a methionine auxotrophic E. coli strain, which was then equipped with a rescue plasmid harboring the heterologous pair. Although the imported pair was not fully orthogonal, it was possible to incorporate preferentially Eth at internal AUG codons in a model protein, suggesting that in vivo AUG codon reassignment is possible. To achieve full orthogonality during elongation, we imported the known orthogonal pair of Methanosarcina mazei pyrrolysyl-tRNA synthetase (PylRS / tRNAPyl and devised a genetic selection system based on the suppression of an amber stop codon in an important glycolytic gene, pfkA, which restores enzyme functionality and normal cellular growth. Using an evolved PylRS able to accept Met analogues, it should be possible to reassign the AUG codon to two different ncAAs by using directed evolution. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

  19. Selective Preservation of Fossil Ghost Fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meacham, Amanda

    2016-04-01

    A unique type of fossil fish preservation has been discovered in the Angelo Member (Fossil Lake) of the Green River Formation. The Angelo Member is a predominately evaporative deposit dominated by dolomite, but contains facies of fossiliferous laminated calcimicrite. Fossil fish occurring in two beds conspicuously lack bones. Fish in the lower bed are only preserved as organic material, including skin, pigments, and eyes. Fish in the upper bed have three-dimensional etching where bones once existed but also contain skin, pigments, and eyes. The top third of the upper bed often contains calcite crystals that are pseudomorphs after trona and possibly halite. Preliminary mineralogical analysis and mapping of evaporate facies suggests that this unique preservation may be related to lake geochemical conditions, such as high pH and alkalinity. To our knowledge, this is the first time this type of preservation has been observed and studied. Fossils and sediments within these beds are being studied both vertically and laterally through the one-meter thick sequence containing the fossil fish using XRD, isotopic, SEM, thin section, and total organic carbon analysis. Nine quarries, 0.5-1 meter square, were excavated for both fossils and rock samples along with 17 additional rock sample locations across an approximately 25-kilometer square region. This investigation has the capability of reconstructing the paleoenvironment and lake chemistry of Fossil Lake during the deposition of the "ghost-fish" beds and solving the mystery of the "missing bones" and the unusual process of preservation.

  20. Summary statistics for fossil spider species taxonomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Penney

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Spiders (Araneae are one of the most species-rich orders on Earth today, and also have one of the longest geological records of any terrestrial animal groups, as demonstrated by their extensive fossil record. There are currently around 1150 described fossil spider species, representing 2.6% of all described spiders (i.e. extinct and extant. Data for numbers of fossil and living spider taxa described annually (and various other metrics for the fossil taxa were compiled from current taxonomic catalogues. Data for extant taxa showed a steady linear increase of approximately 500 new species per year over the last decade, reflecting a rather constant research activity in this area by a large number of scientists, which can be expected to continue. The results for fossil species were very different, with peaks of new species descriptions followed by long troughs, indicating minimal new published research activity for most years. This pattern is indicative of short bursts of research by a limited number of authors. Given the frequent discovery of new fossil deposits containing spiders, a wealth of new material coming to light from previously worked deposits, and the application of new imaging techniques in palaeoarachnology that allow us to extract additional data from historical specimens, e.g. X-ray computed tomography, it is important not only to ensure a sustained research activity on fossil spiders (and other arachnids through training and enthusing the next generation of palaeoarachnologists, but preferably to promote increased research and expertise in this field.

  1. The fossil record of evolution: Data on diversification and extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepkoski, J. J., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    Understanding of the evolution of complex life, and of the roles that changing terrestrial and extraterrestrial environments played in life's history, is dependent upon synthetic knowledge of the fossil record. Paleontologists have been describing fossils for more that two centuries. However, much of this information is dispersed in monographs and journal articles published throughout the world. Over the past several years, this literature was surveyed, and a data base on times of origination and extinction of fossil genera was compiled. The data base, which now holds approximately 32,000 genera, covers all taxonomic groups of marine animals, incorporates the most recent taxonomic assignments, and uses a detailed global time framework that can resolve originations and extinctions to intervals averaging three million years in duration. These data can be used to compile patterns of global biodiversity, measure rates of taxic evolution, and test hypotheses concerning adaptive radiations, mass extinctions, etc. Thus far, considerable effort was devoted to using the data to test the hypothesis of periodicity of mass extinction. Rates of extinction measured from the data base have also been used to calibrate models of evolutionary radiations in marine environments. It was observed that new groups, or clades of animals (i.e., orders and classes) tend to reach appreciable diversity first in nearshore environments and then to radiate in more offshore environments; during decline, these clades may disappear from the nearshore while persisting in offshore, deep water habitats. These observations have led to suggestions that there is something special about stressful or perturbed environments that promotes the evolution of novel kinds of animals that can rapidly replace their predecessors. The numerical model that is being investigated to study this phenomenon treats environments along onshore-offshore gradients as if they were discrete habitats. Other aspects of this

  2. Bayesian phylogenetic estimation of fossil ages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, Alexei J.; Stadler, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances have allowed for both morphological fossil evidence and molecular sequences to be integrated into a single combined inference of divergence dates under the rule of Bayesian probability. In particular, the fossilized birth–death tree prior and the Lewis-Mk model of discrete morphological evolution allow for the estimation of both divergence times and phylogenetic relationships between fossil and extant taxa. We exploit this statistical framework to investigate the internal consistency of these models by producing phylogenetic estimates of the age of each fossil in turn, within two rich and well-characterized datasets of fossil and extant species (penguins and canids). We find that the estimation accuracy of fossil ages is generally high with credible intervals seldom excluding the true age and median relative error in the two datasets of 5.7% and 13.2%, respectively. The median relative standard error (RSD) was 9.2% and 7.2%, respectively, suggesting good precision, although with some outliers. In fact, in the two datasets we analyse, the phylogenetic estimate of fossil age is on average less than 2 Myr from the mid-point age of the geological strata from which it was excavated. The high level of internal consistency found in our analyses suggests that the Bayesian statistical model employed is an adequate fit for both the geological and morphological data, and provides evidence from real data that the framework used can accurately model the evolution of discrete morphological traits coded from fossil and extant taxa. We anticipate that this approach will have diverse applications beyond divergence time dating, including dating fossils that are temporally unconstrained, testing of the ‘morphological clock', and for uncovering potential model misspecification and/or data errors when controversial phylogenetic hypotheses are obtained based on combined divergence dating analyses. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Dating species divergences

  3. Fossil fuel support mechanisms in Finland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lampinen, Ari

    2013-10-15

    Fossil fuel subsidies and other state support for fossil fuels are forbidden by the Kyoto Protocol and other international treaties. However, they are still commonly used. This publication presents and analyses diverse state support mechanisms for fossil fuels in Finland in 2003-2010. Total of 38 support mechanisms are covered in quantitative analysis and some other mechanisms are mentioned qualitatively only. For some mechanisms the study includes a longer historical perspective. This is the case for tax subsidies for crude oil based traffic fuels that have been maintained in Finland since 1965.

  4. Global Inventory of Gas Geochemistry Data from Fossil Fuel, Microbial and Burning Sources, version 2017

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Owen A.; Schwietzke, Stefan; Arling, Victoria A.; Etiope, Giuseppe

    2017-08-01

    The concentration of atmospheric methane (CH4) has more than doubled over the industrial era. To help constrain global and regional CH4 budgets, inverse (top-down) models incorporate data on the concentration and stable carbon (δ13C) and hydrogen (δ2H) isotopic ratios of atmospheric CH4. These models depend on accurate δ13C and δ2H end-member source signatures for each of the main emissions categories. Compared with meticulous measurement and calibration of isotopic CH4 in the atmosphere, there has been relatively less effort to characterize globally representative isotopic source signatures, particularly for fossil fuel sources. Most global CH4 budget models have so far relied on outdated source signature values derived from globally nonrepresentative data. To correct this deficiency, we present a comprehensive, globally representative end-member database of the δ13C and δ2H of CH4 from fossil fuel (conventional natural gas, shale gas, and coal), modern microbial (wetlands, rice paddies, ruminants, termites, and landfills and/or waste) and biomass burning sources. Gas molecular compositional data for fossil fuel categories are also included with the database. The database comprises 10 706 samples (8734 fossil fuel, 1972 non-fossil) from 190 published references. Mean (unweighted) δ13C signatures for fossil fuel CH4 are significantly lighter than values commonly used in CH4 budget models, thus highlighting potential underestimation of fossil fuel CH4 emissions in previous CH4 budget models. This living database will be updated every 2-3 years to provide the atmospheric modeling community with the most complete CH4 source signature data possible. Database digital object identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.15138/G3201T.

  5. The calibration of PIXIE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fixsen, D. J.; Chuss, D. T.; Kogut, Alan; Mirel, Paul; Wollack, E. J.

    2016-07-01

    The FIRAS instrument demonstrated the use of an external calibrator to compare the sky to an instrumented blackbody. The PIXIE calibrator is improved from -35 dB to -65 dB. Another significant improvement is the ability to insert the calibrator into either input of the FTS. This allows detection and correction of additional errors, reduces the effective calibration noise by a factor of 2, eliminates an entire class of systematics and allows continuous observations. This paper presents the design and use of the PIXIE calibrator.

  6. The effect of multiple evolutionary selections on synonymous codon usage of genes in the Mycoplasma bovis genome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian-hua Zhou

    Full Text Available Mycoplasma bovis is a major pathogen causing arthritis, respiratory disease and mastitis in cattle. A better understanding of its genetic features and evolution might represent evidences of surviving host environments. In this study, multiple factors influencing synonymous codon usage patterns in M. bovis (three strains' genomes were analyzed. The overall nucleotide content of genes in the M. bovis genome is AT-rich. Although the G and C contents at the third codon position of genes in the leading strand differ from those in the lagging strand (p<0.05, the 59 synonymous codon usage patterns of genes in the leading strand are highly similar to those in the lagging strand. The over-represented codons and the under-represented codons were identified. A comparison of the synonymous codon usage pattern of M. bovis and cattle (susceptible host indicated the independent formation of synonymous codon usage of M. bovis. Principal component analysis revealed that (i strand-specific mutational bias fails to affect the synonymous codon usage pattern in the leading and lagging strands, (ii mutation pressure from nucleotide content plays a role in shaping the overall codon usage, and (iii the major trend of synonymous codon usage has a significant correlation with the gene expression level that is estimated by the codon adaptation index. The plot of the effective number of codons against the G+C content at the third codon position also reveals that mutation pressure undoubtedly contributes to the synonymous codon usage pattern of M. bovis. Additionally, the formation of the overall codon usage is determined by certain evolutionary selections for gene function classification (30S protein, 50S protein, transposase, membrane protein, and lipoprotein and translation elongation region of genes in M. bovis. The information could be helpful in further investigations of evolutionary mechanisms of the Mycoplasma family and heterologous expression of its functionally

  7. Calibration of Geodetic Instruments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Bajtala

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available The problem of metrology and security systems of unification, correctness and standard reproducibilities belong to the preferred requirements of theory and technical practice in geodesy. Requirements on the control and verification of measured instruments and equipments increase and the importance and up-to-date of calibration get into the foreground. Calibration possibilities of length-scales (of electronic rangefinders and angle-scales (of horizontal circles of geodetic instruments. Calibration of electronic rangefinders on the linear comparative baseline in terrain. Primary standard of planar angle – optical traverse and its exploitation for calibration of the horizontal circles of theodolites. The calibration equipment of the Institute of Slovak Metrology in Bratislava. The Calibration process and results from the calibration of horizontal circles of selected geodetic instruments.

  8. The characteristics of the synonymous codon usage in hepatitis B virus and the effects of host on the virus in codon usage pattern

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ma Ming-ren

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hepatitis B virus (HBV infection is one of the main human health problem and causes a large-scale of patients chronic infection worldwide.. As the replication of HBV depends on its host cell system, codon usage pattern for the viral gene might be susceptible to two main selections, namely mutation pressure and translation selection. In this case, a deeper investigation between HBV evolution and host adaptive response might assist control this disease. Result Relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU values for the whole HBV coding sequence were studied by Principal component analysis (PCA. The characteristics of the synonymous codon usage patterns, nucleotide contents and the comparison between ENC values of the whole HBV coding sequence indicated that the interaction between virus mutation pressure and host translation selection exists in the processes of HBV evolution. The synonymous codon usage pattern of HBV is a mixture of coincidence and antagonism to that of host cell. But the difference of genetic characteristic of HBV failed to be observed to its different epidemic areas or subtypes, suggesting that geographic factor is limited to influence the evolution of this virus, while genetic characteristic based on HBV genotypes could be divided into three groups, namely (i genotyps A and E, (ii genotype B, (iii genotypes C, D and G. Conclusion Codon usage patterns from PCA for identification of evolutionary trends in HBV provide an alternative approach to understand the evolution of HBV. Further more, a combined selection of mutation pressure with translation selection on codon usage might shed a light on understanding the evolutionary trends of HBV genotypes.

  9. Enhancing functional expression of codon-optimized heterologous enzymes in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3) by selective introduction of synonymous rare codons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Chao; Wei, Ping; Zhang, Yi-Heng Percival

    2017-05-01

    Rare codon in a heterologous gene may cause premature termination of protein synthesis, misincorporation of amino acids, and/or slow translation of mRNA, decreasing the heterologous protein expression. However, its hypothetical function pertaining to functional protein folding has been barely reported. Here, we investigated the effects of selective introduction of synonymous rare codons (SRCs) to two codon-optimized (i.e., rare codon-free) genes sucrose phosphorylase (SP) gene from Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum and amidohydrolase gene from Streptomyces caatingaensis on their expression levels in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). We investigated the introduction of a single SRC to the coding regions of alpha-helix, beta-strand, or linker in the first half of rare codon-free sp and ah gene. The introduction of a single SRC in the beginning of the coding regions of beta-strand greatly enhanced their soluble expression levels as compared to the other regions. Also, we applied directed evolution to test multi-SRC-containing sp gene mutants for enhanced soluble SP expression levels. To easily identify the soluble SP expression level of colonies growing on Petri dishes, mCherry fluorescent protein was used as a SP-folding reporter when it was fused to the 3' end of the sp gene mutant libraries. After three rounds of screening, the best sp gene mutant containing nine SRCs exhibited an approximately six-fold enhancement in soluble protein expression level as compared to the wild-type and rare codon-free sp control. This study suggests that the selective introduction of SRCs can attenuate translation at specific points and such discontinuous attenuation can temporally separate the translation of segments of the peptide chains and actively coordinates their co-translational folding, resulting in enhanced functional protein expression. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 1054-1064. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Trace fossils in coal-bearing sequences

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pollard, J.E.

    1988-03-01

    In the past decade trace fossils have been recorded extensively from coal-bearing sediments, differing widely in facies, age and location. Westphalian or Stephanian 'coal-measures' in Britain, Europe and Eastern Canada contain an ichnofauna produced by invertebrates and/or vertebrates in upper delta plain sediments. This contrasts with the marine-related lower delta plain ichnofaunas known from Pennsylvanian rocks of the United States and Permian Gondwana 'coal-measures' of South Africa. Deltaic complexes of Middle Jurassic age in the North Sea basin and Upper Cretaceous age in North America contain marine trace fossils and dinosaur footprints in coastal coal- bearing facies. These case histories illustrate the importance of trace fossils both in facies analysis of coal-bearing sequences and in recording the presence of animals rarely known as body fossils in such clastic sediments. 80 refs., 5 figs.

  11. Evolution: Fossil Ears and Underwater Sonar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Olivier

    2016-08-22

    A key innovation in the history of whales was the evolution of a sonar system together with high-frequency hearing. Fossils of an archaic toothed whale's inner ear bones provide clues for a stepwise emergence of underwater echolocation ability.

  12. Fossil energy program. Progress report, July 1980

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McNeese, L. E.

    1980-10-01

    This report - the seventy-second of a series - is a compendium of monthly progress reports for the ORNL research and development programs that are in support of the increased utilization of coal and other fossil fuel alternatives to oil and gas as sources of clean energy. The projects reported this month include those for coal conversion development, chemical research and development, materials technology, component development and process evaluation, technical support to major liquefaction projects, process and program analysis, fossil energy environmental analysis, coal preparation and waste utilization, coal preparation plant automation, atmospheric fluidized bed coal combustor for cogeneration, technical support to the TVA fluidized bed combustion demonstration plant program, fossil energy applications assessments, performance assurance system support for fossil energy projects, international assessment of atmospheric fluidized bed combustion technology, and PFBC systems analysis.

  13. Biodiversity Risks from Fossil Fuel Extraction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    N. Butt; H. L. Beyer; J. R. Bennett; D. Biggs; R. Maggini; M. Mills; A. R. Renwick; L. M. Seabrook; H. P. Possingham

    2013-01-01

    .... Although fossil fuel (FF) extraction has traditionally been seen as a temporary and spatially limited perturbation to ecosystems , even local or limited biodiversity loss can have large cascade effects on ecosystem function and productivity...

  14. Lack of correlation between p53 codon 72 polymorphism and anal cancer risk

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Simone S Contu; Grasiela Agnes; Andrea P Damin; Paulo C Contu; Mário A Rosito; Claudio O Alexandre; Daniel C Damin

    2009-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the potential role of p53 codon 72 polymorphism as a risk factor for development of anal cancer.METHODS: Thirty-two patients with invasive anal carcinoma and 103 healthy blood donors were included in the study. p53 codon 72 polymorphism was analyzed in blood samples through polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism and DNA sequencing.RESULTS: The relative frequency of each allele was 0.60 for Arg and 0.40 for Pro in patients with anal cancer,and 0.61 for Arg and 0.39 for Pro in normal controls.No significant differences in distribution of the codon 72 genotypes between patients and controls were found.CONCLUSION: These results do not support a role for the p53 codon 72 polymorphism in anal carcinogenesis.

  15. Precise Manipulation of Chromosomes in Vivo Enables Genome-Wide Codon Replacement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaacs, Farren J.; Carr, Peter A.; Wang, Harris H.; Lajoie, Marc J.; Sterling, Bram; Kraal, Laurens; Tolonen, Andrew C.; Gianoulis, Tara A.; Goodman, Daniel B.; Reppas, Nikos B.; Emig, Christopher J.; Bang, Duhee; Hwang, Samuel J.; Jewett, Michael C.; Jacobson, Joseph M.; Church, George M.

    2016-01-01

    We present genome engineering technologies that are capable of fundamentally reengineering genomes from the nucleotide to the megabase scale. We used multiplex automated genome engineering (MAGE) to site-specifically replace all 314 TAG stop codons with synonymous TAA codons in parallel across 32 Escherichia coli strains. This approach allowed us to measure individual recombination frequencies, confirm viability for each modification, and identify associated phenotypes. We developed hierarchical conjugative assembly genome engineering (CAGE) to merge these sets of codon modifications into genomes with 80 precise changes, which demonstrate that these synonymous codon substitutions can be combined into higher-order strains without synthetic lethal effects. Our methods treat the chromosome as both an editable and an evolvable template, permitting the exploration of vast genetic landscapes. PMID:21764749

  16. Comparison of two codon optimization strategies to enhance recombinant protein production in Escherichia coli

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Menzella, Hugo G

    2011-01-01

    Variations in codon usage between species are one of the major causes affecting recombinant protein expression levels, with a significant impact on the economy of industrial enzyme production processes...

  17. Mutation analysis of codons 345 and 347 of rhodopsin gene in Indian retinitis pigmentosa patients

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Madhurima Dikshit; Rakhi Agarwal

    2001-08-01

    More than 100 mutations have been reported till date in the rhodopsin gene in patients with retinitis pigmentosa. The present study was undertaken to detect the reported rhodopsin gene point mutations in Indian retinitis pigmentosa patients. We looked for presence or absence of codon 345 and 347 mutations in exon 5 of the gene using the technique of allele-specific polymerase chain reaction by designing primers for each mutation. We have examined 100 patients from 76 families irrespective of genetic categories. Surprisingly, in our sample the very widely reported highly frequent mutations of codon 347 (P → S/A/R/Q/L/T) were absent while the codon 345 mutation V → M was seen in three cases in one family (autosomal dominant form) and in one sporadic case (total two families). This is the first report on codon 345 and 347 mutation in Indian retinitis pigmentosa subjects.

  18. Exploring uncertainty in the calibration of the molecular clock.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warnock, Rachel C M; Yang, Ziheng; Donoghue, Philip C J

    2012-02-23

    Calibration is a critical step in every molecular clock analysis but it has been the least considered. Bayesian approaches to divergence time estimation make it possible to incorporate the uncertainty in the degree to which fossil evidence approximates the true time of divergence. We explored the impact of different approaches in expressing this relationship, using arthropod phylogeny as an example for which we established novel calibrations. We demonstrate that the parameters distinguishing calibration densities have a major impact upon the prior and posterior of the divergence times, and it is critically important that users evaluate the joint prior distribution of divergence times used by their dating programmes. We illustrate a procedure for deriving calibration densities in Bayesian divergence dating through the use of soft maximum constraints.

  19. Fossil fuels in the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lincoln, Stephen F

    2005-12-01

    An overview of the importance of fossil fuels in supplying the energy requirements of the 21st century, their future supply, and the impact of their use on global climate is presented. Current and potential alternative energy sources are considered. It is concluded that even with substantial increases in energy derived from other sources, fossil fuels will remain a major energy source for much of the 21st century and the sequestration of CO2 will be an increasingly important requirement.

  20. Comparative studies on codon usage pattern of chloroplasts and their host nuclear genes in four plant species

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Qingpo Liu; Qingzhong Xue

    2005-04-01

    A detailed comparison was made of codon usage of chloroplast genes with their host (nuclear) genes in the four angiosperm species Oryza sativa, Zea mays, Triticum aestivum and Arabidopsis thaliana. The average GC content of the entire genes, and at the three codon positions individually, was higher in nuclear than in chloroplast genes, suggesting different genomic organization and mutation pressures in nuclear and chloroplast genes. The results of Nc-plots and neutrality plots suggested that nucleotide compositional constraint had a large contribution to codon usage bias of nuclear genes in O. sativa, Z. mays, and T. aestivum, whereas natural selection was likely to be playing a large role in codon usage bias in chloroplast genomes. Correspondence analysis and chi-test showed that regardless of the genomic environment (species) of the host, the codon usage pattern of chloroplast genes differed from nuclear genes of their host species by their AU-richness. All the chloroplast genomes have predominantly A- and/or U-ending codons, whereas nuclear genomes have G-, C- or U-ending codons as their optimal codons. These findings suggest that the chloroplast genome might display particular characteristics of codon usage that are different from its host nuclear genome. However, one feature common to both chloroplast and nuclear genomes in this study was that pyrimidines were found more frequently than purines at the synonymous codon position of optimal codons.

  1. Understanding the influence of codon translation rates on cotranslational protein folding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Edward P; Ciryam, Prajwal; Vendruscolo, Michele; Dobson, Christopher M

    2014-05-20

    Protein domains can fold into stable tertiary structures while they are synthesized by the ribosome in a process known as cotranslational folding. If a protein does not fold cotranslationally, however, it has the opportunity to do so post-translationally, that is, after the nascent chain has been fully synthesized and released from the ribosome. The rate at which a ribosome adds an amino acid encoded by a particular codon to the elongating nascent chain can vary significantly and is called the codon translation rate. Recent experiments have illustrated the profound impact that codon translation rates can have on the cotranslational folding process and the acquisition of function by nascent proteins. Synonymous codon mutations in an mRNA molecule change the chemical identity of a codon and its translation rate without changing the sequence of the synthesized protein. This change in codon translation rate can, however, cause a nascent protein to malfunction as a result of cotranslational misfolding. In some situations, such dysfunction can have profound implications; for example, it can alter the substrate specificity of an ABC transporter protein, resulting in patients who are nonresponsive to chemotherapy treatment. Thus, codon translation rates are crucial in coordinating protein folding in a cellular environment and can affect downstream cellular processes that depend on the proper functioning of newly synthesized proteins. As the importance of codon translation rates makes clear, a necessary aspect of fully understanding cotranslational folding lies in considering the kinetics of the process in addition to its thermodynamics. In this Account, we examine the contributions that have been made to elucidating the mechanisms of cotranslational folding by using the theoretical and computational tools of chemical kinetics, molecular simulations, and systems biology. These efforts have extended our ability to understand, model, and predict the influence of codon

  2. Primate diversification inferred from phylogenies and fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, James P

    2017-09-14

    Biodiversity arises from the balance between speciation and extinction. Fossils record the origins and disappearance of organisms, and the branching patterns of molecular phylogenies allow estimation of speciation and extinction rates, but the patterns of diversification are frequently incongruent between these two data sources. I tested two hypotheses about the diversification of primates based on ∼600 fossil species and 90% complete phylogenies of living species: 1) diversification rates increased through time; 2) a significant extinction event occurred in the Oligocene. Consistent with the first hypothesis, analyses of phylogenies consistently supported increasing speciation rates and negligible extinction rates. In contrast, fossils showed that while speciation rates increased, speciation and extinction rates tended to be nearly equal, resulting in zero net diversification. Partially supporting the second hypothesis, the fossil data recorded a clear pattern of diversity decline in the Oligocene, although diversification rates were near zero. The phylogeny supported increased extinction ∼34 Ma, but also elevated extinction ∼10 Ma, coinciding with diversity declines in some fossil clades. The results demonstrated that estimates of speciation and extinction ignoring fossils are insufficient to infer diversification and information on extinct lineages should be incorporated into phylogenetic analyses. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  3. The shadow price of fossil groundwater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bierkens, Marc F. P.; Reinhard, Stijn; de Bruijn, Jens A.; Wada, Yoshihide

    2017-04-01

    The expansion of irrigated agriculture into areas with limited precipitation and surface water during the growing season has greatly increased the use of fossil groundwater (Wada et al., 2012). As a result, the depletion rate of fossil groundwater resources has shown an increasing rate during the last decades (Wada et al, 2010; Konikow, 2011; Wada et al., 2012; De Graaf et al. 2015; Ritchy et al., 2015). Although water pricing has been used extensively to stimulate efficient application of water to create maximum value (e.g. Medellín-Azuara et al., 2012; Rinaudo et al., 2012; Dinar et al., 2015), it does not preclude the use of non-renewable water resources. Here, we use a global hydrological model and historical crop production and price data to assess the shadow price of non-renewable or fossil groundwater applied to major crops in countries that use large quantities of fossil groundwater. Our results show that shadow prices for many crops are very low, indicating economically inefficient or even wasteful use of fossil groundwater resources. Using India as an example, we show that small changes in the crop mix could lead to large reductions in fossil groundwater use or alternatively, create additional financial means to invest in water saving technologies. Our study thus provides a hydro-economic basis to further the sustainable use of finite groundwater resources.

  4. Analysis of Codon Usage Patterns in Herbaceous Peony (Paeonia lactiflora Pall. Based on Transcriptome Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanqing Wu

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Codon usage bias, which exists in many genomes, is mainly determined by mutation and selection. To elucidate the genetic features and evolutionary history of herbaceous peony (Paeonia lactiflora, a well-known symbol of prosperity in China, we examined synonymous codon usage in 24,216 reconstructed genes from the P. lactiflora transcriptome. The mean GC content was 44.4%, indicating that the nucleotide content of P. lactiflora genes is slightly AT rich and GC poor. The P. lactiflora genome has a wide range of GC3 (GC content at the third synonymous codon position distribution, with a significant correlation between GC12 and GC3. ENC (effective number of codons analysis suggested that mutational bias played a major role in shaping codon usage. Parity Rule 2 (PR2 analysis revealed that GC and AU were not used proportionally. We identified 22 “optimal codons”, most ending with an A or U. Our results suggested that nucleotide composition mutation bias and translational selection were the main driving factors of codon usage bias in P. lactiflora. These results lay the foundation for exploring the evolutionary mechanisms and heterologous expression of functionally-important proteins in P. lactiflora.

  5. Analysis of synonymous codon usage in chloroplast genome of Populus alba

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHOU Meng; LONG Wei; LI Xia

    2008-01-01

    The pattern of codon usage in the chloroplast genome of Populus alba was investigated.Correspondence analysis (a commonly used multivariate statistical approach) and method of effective number of codons (ENc)-plot were conducted to analyze synonymous codon usage.The results of correspondence analysis showed that the distribution of genes on the major axis was significantly correlated with the frequency of use of G+C in synonymously variable third position of sense codon (GC3S),(r=0.349),and the positions of genes on the axis 2 and axis 3 were significantly correlated with CAI (r=-0.348,p<0.01 and r=0.602,p<0.01).The ENc for most genes was similar to that for the expected ENc based on the GC3S,but several genes with low ENC values were lying below the expected curve.All of these data indicated that codon usage was dominated by a mutational bias in chloroplast genome of P.alba.The selection in nature for translational efficiency only played a minor role in shaping codon usage in the chloroplast genome of P.alba.

  6. Codon sextets with leading role of serine create "ideal" symmetry classification scheme of the genetic code.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosandić, Marija; Paar, Vladimir

    2014-06-10

    The standard classification scheme of the genetic code is organized for alphabetic ordering of nucleotides. Here we introduce the new, "ideal" classification scheme in compact form, for the first time generated by codon sextets encoding Ser, Arg and Leu amino acids. The new scheme creates the known purine/pyrimidine, codon-anticodon, and amino/keto type symmetries and a novel A+U rich/C+G rich symmetry. This scheme is built from "leading" and "nonleading" groups of 32 codons each. In the ensuing 4 × 16 scheme, based on trinucleotide quadruplets, Ser has a central role as initial generator. Six codons encoding Ser and six encoding Arg extend continuously along a linear array in the "leading" group, and together with four of six Leu codons uniquely define construction of the "leading" group. The remaining two Leu codons enable construction of the "nonleading" group. The "ideal" genetic code suggests the evolution of genetic code with serine as an initiator. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Codon 129 polymorphism of prion protein gene in is not a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerusa Smid

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Interaction of prion protein and amyloid-b oligomers has been demonstrated recently. Homozygosity at prion protein gene (PRNP codon 129 is associated with higher risk for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. This polymorphism has been addressed as a possible risk factor in Alzheimer disease (AD. Objective To describe the association between codon 129 polymorphisms and AD. Methods We investigated the association of codon 129 polymorphism of PRNP in 99 AD patients and 111 controls, and the association between this polymorphism and cognitive performance. Other polymorphisms of PRNP and additive effect of apolipoprotein E gene (ApoE were evaluated. Results Codon 129 genotype distribution in AD 45.5% methionine (MM, 42.2% methionine valine (MV, 12.1% valine (VV; and 39.6% MM, 50.5% MV, 9.9% VV among controls (p>0.05. There were no differences of cognitive performance concerning codon 129. Stratification according to ApoE genotype did not reveal difference between groups. Conclusion Codon 129 polymorphism is not a risk factor for AD in Brazilian patients.

  8. Evolution of codon usage in Zika virus genomes is host and vector specific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butt, Azeem Mehmood; Nasrullah, Izza; Qamar, Raheel; Tong, Yigang

    2016-10-12

    The codon usage patterns of viruses reflect the evolutionary changes that allow them to optimize their survival and adapt their fitness to the external environment and, most importantly, their hosts. Here we report the genotype-specific codon usage patterns of Zika virus (ZIKV) strains from the current and previous outbreaks. Several genotype-specific and common codon usage traits were noted in the ZIKV coding sequences, indicating their independent evolutionary origins from a common ancestor. The overall influence of natural selection was more profound than that of mutation pressure, acting on a specific set of viral genes in the Asian-genotype ZIKV strains from the recent outbreak. An interplay between codon adaptation and deoptimization may have allowed the virus to adapt to multiple host and vectors and is reported for the first time in ZIKV genomes. Combining our codon analysis with geographical data on Aedes populations in the Americas suggested that ZIKV has evolved host- and vector-specific codon usage patterns to maintain successful replication and transmission chains within multiple hosts and vectors.

  9. Codon Usage Bias and Determining Forces in Green Plant Mitochondrial Genomes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bin Wang; Jing Yuan; Jing Liu; Liang Jin; Jian-Qun Chen

    2011-01-01

    The phenomenon of codon usage bias has been observed in a wide range of organisms. As organisms evolve, how their codon usage pattern change is still an intriguing question. In this article, we focused on the green plant mitochondrial genomes to analyze the codon usage patterns in different lineages,and more importantly, to investigate the possible change of determining forces during the plant evolution. Two patterns were observed between the separate lineages of green plants: Chlorophyta and Streptophyta. In Chlorophyta lineages, their codon usages showed substantial variation (from strongly A, T-biased to strongly G, C-biased); while in Streptophyta lineages, especially in the land plants, the overall codon usages are interestingly stable. Further, based on the Nc-GC3s plots and Akashi's scaled XZ-tests, we found that lineages within Chlorophyta exhibit much stronger evidence of deviating from neutrality; while lineages within Streptophyta rarely do so. Such differences, together with previous reports based on the chloroplast data, suggests that after plants colonized the land, their codon usages in organellar genomes are more reluctant to be shaped by selection force.

  10. tRNA-mediated codon-biased translation in mycobacterial hypoxic persistence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chionh, Yok Hian; McBee, Megan; Babu, I. Ramesh; Hia, Fabian; Lin, Wenwei; Zhao, Wei; Cao, Jianshu; Dziergowska, Agnieszka; Malkiewicz, Andrzej; Begley, Thomas J.; Alonso, Sylvie; Dedon, Peter C.

    2016-11-01

    Microbial pathogens adapt to the stress of infection by regulating transcription, translation and protein modification. We report that changes in gene expression in hypoxia-induced non-replicating persistence in mycobacteria--which models tuberculous granulomas--are partly determined by a mechanism of tRNA reprogramming and codon-biased translation. Mycobacterium bovis BCG responded to each stage of hypoxia and aerobic resuscitation by uniquely reprogramming 40 modified ribonucleosides in tRNA, which correlate with selective translation of mRNAs from families of codon-biased persistence genes. For example, early hypoxia increases wobble cmo5U in tRNAThr(UGU), which parallels translation of transcripts enriched in its cognate codon, ACG, including the DosR master regulator of hypoxic bacteriostasis. Codon re-engineering of dosR exaggerates hypoxia-induced changes in codon-biased DosR translation, with altered dosR expression revealing unanticipated effects on bacterial survival during hypoxia. These results reveal a coordinated system of tRNA modifications and translation of codon-biased transcripts that enhance expression of stress response proteins in mycobacteria.

  11. On the age of eukaryotes: evaluating evidence from fossils and molecular clocks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eme, Laura; Sharpe, Susan C; Brown, Matthew W; Roger, Andrew J

    2014-08-01

    Our understanding of the phylogenetic relationships among eukaryotic lineages has improved dramatically over the few past decades thanks to the development of sophisticated phylogenetic methods and models of evolution, in combination with the increasing availability of sequence data for a variety of eukaryotic lineages. Concurrently, efforts have been made to infer the age of major evolutionary events along the tree of eukaryotes using fossil-calibrated molecular clock-based methods. Here, we review the progress and pitfalls in estimating the age of the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) and major lineages. After reviewing previous attempts to date deep eukaryote divergences, we present the results of a Bayesian relaxed-molecular clock analysis of a large dataset (159 proteins, 85 taxa) using 19 fossil calibrations. We show that for major eukaryote groups estimated dates of divergence, as well as their credible intervals, are heavily influenced by the relaxed molecular clock models and methods used, and by the nature and treatment of fossil calibrations. Whereas the estimated age of LECA varied widely, ranging from 1007 (943-1102) Ma to 1898 (1655-2094) Ma, all analyses suggested that the eukaryotic supergroups subsequently diverged rapidly (i.e., within 300 Ma of LECA). The extreme variability of these and previously published analyses preclude definitive conclusions regarding the age of major eukaryote clades at this time. As more reliable fossil data on eukaryotes from the Proterozoic become available and improvements are made in relaxed molecular clock modeling, we may be able to date the age of extant eukaryotes more precisely.

  12. Distributed Radio Interferometric Calibration

    CERN Document Server

    Yatawatta, Sarod

    2015-01-01

    Increasing data volumes delivered by a new generation of radio interferometers require computationally efficient and robust calibration algorithms. In this paper, we propose distributed calibration as a way of improving both computational cost as well as robustness in calibration. We exploit the data parallelism across frequency that is inherent in radio astronomical observations that are recorded as multiple channels at different frequencies. Moreover, we also exploit the smoothness of the variation of calibration parameters across frequency. Data parallelism enables us to distribute the computing load across a network of compute agents. Smoothness in frequency enables us reformulate calibration as a consensus optimization problem. With this formulation, we enable flow of information between compute agents calibrating data at different frequencies, without actually passing the data, and thereby improving robustness. We present simulation results to show the feasibility as well as the advantages of distribute...

  13. Absolute in vivo translation rates of individual codons in Escherichia coli: The two glutamic acid codons GAA and GAG are translated with a threefold difference in rate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, M.A.; Pedersen, Steen

    1991-01-01

    We have determined the absolute translation rates for four individual codons in Escherichia coli. We used our previously described system for direct measurements of in vivo translation rates using small, in-frame inserts in the lacZ gene. The inserts consisted of multiple synthetic 30 base-pair D...

  14. A Brief Analysis of Oral Fossilization of English Major Students

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    SUN Jian-xia

    2014-01-01

    This paper on the basis of former studies and researches has analyzed fossilization particularly oral fossilization. Further more, this paper has analyzed the reasons of fossilization and at the same time put forward some tentative solutions to reduce or avoid fossilization. Hope that this paper can offer some help for both the second language learners and teachers.

  15. The Science of Calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, S. M.

    2016-05-01

    This paper presents a broad overview of the many issues involved in calibrating astronomical data, covering the full electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves to gamma rays, and considering both ground-based and space-based missions. These issues include the science drivers for absolute and relative calibration, the physics behind calibration and the mechanisms used to transfer it from the laboratory to an astronomical source, the need for networks of calibrated astronomical standards, and some of the challenges faced by large surveys and missions.

  16. Comparing primate crania: The importance of fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleagle, John G; Gilbert, Christopher C; Baden, Andrea L

    2016-10-01

    Extant primate crania represent a small subset of primate crania that have existed. The main objective here is to examine how the inclusion of fossil crania changes our understanding of primate cranial diversity relative to analyses of extant primates. We hypothesize that fossil taxa will change the major axes of cranial shape, occupy new areas of morphospace, change the relative diversity of major primate clades, and fill in notable gaps separating major primate taxa/clades. Eighteen 3D landmarks were collected on 157 extant and fossil crania representing 90 genera. Data were subjected to a Generalized Procrustes Analysis then principal components analysis. Relative diversity between clades was assessed using an F-statistic. Fossil taxa do not significantly alter major axes of cranial shape, but they do occupy unique areas of morphospace, change the relative diversity between clades, and fill in notable gaps in primate cranial evolution. Strepsirrhines remain significantly less diverse than anthropoids. Fossil hominins fill the gap in cranial morphospace between extant great apes and modern humans. The morphospace outlined by living primates largely includes that occupied by fossil taxa, suggesting that the cranial diversity of living primates generally encompasses the total diversity that has evolved in this Order. The evolution of the anthropoid cranium was a significant event allowing anthropoids to achieve significantly greater cranial diversity compared to strepsirrhines. Fossil taxa fill in notable gaps within and between clades, highlighting their transitional nature and eliminating the appearance of large morphological distances between extant taxa, particularly in the case of extant hominids. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Do anticodons of misacylated tRNAs preferentially mismatch codons coding for the misloaded amino acid?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seligmann Hervé

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Accurate amino acid insertion during peptide elongation requires tRNAs loaded by cognate amino acids and that anticodons match codons. However, tRNA misloading does not necessarily cause misinsertions: misinsertion is avoided when anticodons mismatch codons coding for misloaded amino acids. Presentation of the hypothesis Occasional compensation of misacylation by codon-anticodon mismatch necessarily occurs. Putatively, occasional error compensation may be enhanced beyond the random combination of independent errors in tRNA loading and codon-anticodon interactions: tRNA misacylation might alter potentials for codon-anticodon mismatches, perhaps specifically increasing potentials for mismatching those codons coding for the misacylated non-cognate amino acid. This hypothetical phenomenon is called 'error coordination', in distinction from 'error compensation' that assumes independence between misacylation and mismatch. Testing the hypothesis Eventually, the hypothesis should be tested for each combination of amino acid misacylation and codon-anticodon mismatch, by comparing stabilities or frequencies of mismatched codon-anticodon duplexes formed by tRNAs loaded by their cognate amino acid with stabilities formed by that tRNA when misloaded with the amino acid coded by the mismatched codon. Competitive mismatching experiments between misloaded and correctly loaded tRNAs could also be useful, yet more sophisticated experiments. Implications of the hypothesis Detecting error coordination implies estimating error compensation, which also promotes protein synthesis accuracy. Hence even in the absence of evidence for error coordination, experiments would yield very useful insights into misacylation and mismatch processes. In case experiments consider post-transcriptional RNA modifications (especially at wobble positions, results on codon-anticodon mismatches would enable significant improvements and sophistications of secondary

  18. Macroevolutionary developmental biology: Embryos, fossils, and phylogenies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Organ, Chris L; Cooper, Lisa Noelle; Hieronymus, Tobin L

    2015-10-01

    The field of evolutionary developmental biology is broadly focused on identifying the genetic and developmental mechanisms underlying morphological diversity. Connecting the genotype with the phenotype means that evo-devo research often considers a wide range of evidence, from genetics and morphology to fossils. In this commentary, we provide an overview and framework for integrating fossil ontogenetic data with developmental data using phylogenetic comparative methods to test macroevolutionary hypotheses. We survey the vertebrate fossil record of preserved embryos and discuss how phylogenetic comparative methods can integrate data from developmental genetics and paleontology. Fossil embryos provide limited, yet critical, developmental data from deep time. They help constrain when developmental innovations first appeared during the history of life and also reveal the order in which related morphologies evolved. Phylogenetic comparative methods provide a powerful statistical approach that allows evo-devo researchers to infer the presence of nonpreserved developmental traits in fossil species and to detect discordant evolutionary patterns and processes across levels of biological organization.

  19. Fossil fuels in a trillion tonne world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Vivian; Haszeldine, R. Stuart; Tett, Simon F. B.; Oschlies, Andreas

    2015-05-01

    The useful energy services and energy density value of fossil carbon fuels could be retained for longer timescales into the future if their combustion is balanced by CO2 recapture and storage. We assess the global balance between fossil carbon supply and the sufficiency (size) and capability (technology, security) of candidate carbon stores. A hierarchy of value for extraction-to-storage pairings is proposed, which is augmented by classification of CO2 containment as temporary (100,000 yr). Using temporary stores is inefficient and defers an intergenerational problem. Permanent storage capacity is adequate to technically match current fossil fuel reserves. However, rates of storage creation cannot balance current and expected rates of fossil fuel extraction and CO2 consequences. Extraction of conventional natural gas is uniquely holistic because it creates the capacity to re-inject an equivalent tonnage of carbon for storage into the same reservoir and can re-use gas-extraction infrastructure for storage. By contrast, balancing the extraction of coal, oil, biomass and unconventional fossil fuels requires the engineering and validation of additional carbon storage. Such storage is, so far, unproven in sufficiency.

  20. Major Radiations in the Evolution of Caviid Rodents: Reconciling Fossils, Ghost Lineages, and Relaxed Molecular Clocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez, María Encarnación; Pol, Diego

    2012-01-01

    Background Caviidae is a diverse group of caviomorph rodents that is broadly distributed in South America and is divided into three highly divergent extant lineages: Caviinae (cavies), Dolichotinae (maras), and Hydrochoerinae (capybaras). The fossil record of Caviidae is only abundant and diverse since the late Miocene. Caviids belongs to Cavioidea sensu stricto (Cavioidea s.s.) that also includes a diverse assemblage of extinct taxa recorded from the late Oligocene to the middle Miocene of South America (“eocardiids”). Results A phylogenetic analysis combining morphological and molecular data is presented here, evaluating the time of diversification of selected nodes based on the calibration of phylogenetic trees with fossil taxa and the use of relaxed molecular clocks. This analysis reveals three major phases of diversification in the evolutionary history of Cavioidea s.s. The first two phases involve two successive radiations of extinct lineages that occurred during the late Oligocene and the early Miocene. The third phase consists of the diversification of Caviidae. The initial split of caviids is dated as middle Miocene by the fossil record. This date falls within the 95% higher probability distribution estimated by the relaxed Bayesian molecular clock, although the mean age estimate ages are 3.5 to 7 Myr older. The initial split of caviids is followed by an obscure period of poor fossil record (refered here as the Mayoan gap) and then by the appearance of highly differentiated modern lineages of caviids, which evidentially occurred at the late Miocene as indicated by both the fossil record and molecular clock estimates. Conclusions The integrated approach used here allowed us identifying the agreements and discrepancies of the fossil record and molecular clock estimates on the timing of the major events in cavioid evolution, revealing evolutionary patterns that would not have been possible to gather using only molecular or paleontological data alone. PMID

  1. Synonymous codon usage affects the expression of wild type and F508del CFTR.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Kalpit; Cheng, Yi; Hahn, Brian; Bridges, Robert; Bradbury, Neil A; Mueller, David M

    2015-03-27

    The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is an anion channel composed of 1480 amino acids. The major mutation responsible for cystic fibrosis results in loss of amino acid residue, F508 (F508del). Loss of F508 in CFTR alters the folding pathway resulting in endoplasmic-reticulum-associated degradation. This study investigates the role of synonymous codon in the expression of CFTR and CFTR F508del in human HEK293 cells. DNA encoding the open reading frame (ORF) for CFTR containing synonymous codon replacements was expressed using a heterologous vector integrated into the genome. The results indicate that the codon usage greatly affects the expression of CFTR. While the promoter strength driving expression of the ORFs was largely unchanged and the mRNA half-lives were unchanged, the steady-state levels of the mRNA varied by as much as 30-fold. Experiments support that this apparent inconsistency is attributed to nonsense mediated decay independent of exon junction complex. The ratio of CFTR/mRNA indicates that mRNA containing native codons was more efficient in expressing mature CFTR as compared to mRNA containing synonymous high-expression codons. However, when F508del CFTR was expressed after codon optimization, a greater percentage of the protein escaped endoplasmic-reticulum-associated degradation resulting in considerable levels of mature F508del CFTR on the plasma membrane, which showed channel activity. These results indicate that codon usage has an effect on mRNA levels and protein expression, for CFTR, and likely on chaperone-assisted folding pathway, for F508del CFTR.

  2. Advantages of a mechanistic codon substitution model for evolutionary analysis of protein-coding sequences.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanzo Miyazawa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: A mechanistic codon substitution model, in which each codon substitution rate is proportional to the product of a codon mutation rate and the average fixation probability depending on the type of amino acid replacement, has advantages over nucleotide, amino acid, and empirical codon substitution models in evolutionary analysis of protein-coding sequences. It can approximate a wide range of codon substitution processes. If no selection pressure on amino acids is taken into account, it will become equivalent to a nucleotide substitution model. If mutation rates are assumed not to depend on the codon type, then it will become essentially equivalent to an amino acid substitution model. Mutation at the nucleotide level and selection at the amino acid level can be separately evaluated. RESULTS: The present scheme for single nucleotide mutations is equivalent to the general time-reversible model, but multiple nucleotide changes in infinitesimal time are allowed. Selective constraints on the respective types of amino acid replacements are tailored to each gene in a linear function of a given estimate of selective constraints. Their good estimates are those calculated by maximizing the respective likelihoods of empirical amino acid or codon substitution frequency matrices. Akaike and Bayesian information criteria indicate that the present model performs far better than the other substitution models for all five phylogenetic trees of highly-divergent to highly-homologous sequences of chloroplast, mitochondrial, and nuclear genes. It is also shown that multiple nucleotide changes in infinitesimal time are significant in long branches, although they may be caused by compensatory substitutions or other mechanisms. The variation of selective constraint over sites fits the datasets significantly better than variable mutation rates, except for 10 slow-evolving nuclear genes of 10 mammals. An critical finding for phylogenetic analysis is that

  3. Phylogeny, historical biogeography, and patterns of diversification for Pinus (Pinaceae): phylogenetic tests of fossil-based hypotheses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckert, Andrew J; Hall, Benjamin D

    2006-07-01

    Pines comprise one of the largest coniferous genera, are distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and have an abundant fossil record. Distributions of fossils have been used to derive a three-step hypothesis of early pine evolution, which postulates a Mesozoic origin for the genus, east-west expansions across Laurasia, and retraction into Eocene refugia. Here, we present phylogenetic tests of this hypothesis using chloroplast sequence data from four loci for 83 pine species. We used the fossil-based hypothesis to derive null expectations concerning monophyly of taxonomic groups, dates of cladogenesis, and patterns of diversification. Phylogenetic analyses using several algorithms subsequently provided rigorous tests of these expectations. Our inferred phylogenies illustrated broad congruence with taxonomic groups, but highlighted consistent problems within subgenus Strobus. Estimated minimum dates of divergence derived from relaxed clock methods were largely consistent with the fossil record and yielded a date for the ingroup node of Pinus of 128+/-4 mya, depending upon the calibration used for subgenus Pinus. Ancestral area reconstructions showed Pinus to have most likely originated in Eurasia. Major clades differed in biogeographic patterns, but were consistent with the fossil-based hypothesis. We found weak support, however, for a change in diversification rate in the Eocene as interpretations of fossil distributions would have predicted.

  4. Handheld temperature calibrator

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Martella, Melanie

    2003-01-01

    ... you sign on. What are you waiting for? JOFRA ETC Series dry-block calibrators from AMETEK Test & Calibration Instruments, Largo, FL, are small enough to be handheld and feature easy-to-read displays, multiple bore blocks, programmable test setup, RS-232 communications, and software. Two versions are available: the ETC 125A that ranges from -10[degrees]C to 125[d...

  5. OLI Radiometric Calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markham, Brian; Morfitt, Ron; Kvaran, Geir; Biggar, Stuart; Leisso, Nathan; Czapla-Myers, Jeff

    2011-01-01

    Goals: (1) Present an overview of the pre-launch radiance, reflectance & uniformity calibration of the Operational Land Imager (OLI) (1a) Transfer to orbit/heliostat (1b) Linearity (2) Discuss on-orbit plans for radiance, reflectance and uniformity calibration of the OLI

  6. WFPC2 Polarization Calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biretta, J.; McMaster, M.

    1997-12-01

    We derive a detailed calibration for WFPC2 polarization data which is accurate to about 1.5%. We begin by computing polarizer flats, and show how they are applied to data. A physical model for the polarization effects of the WFPC2 optics is then created using Mueller matricies. This model includes corrections for the instrumental polarization (diattenuation and phase retardance) of the pick-off mirror, as well as the high cross-polarization transmission of the polarizer filter. We compare this model against the on-orbit observations of polarization calibrators, and show it predicts relative counts in the different polarizer/aperture settings to 1.5% RMS accuracy. We then show how this model can be used to calibrate GO data, and present two WWW tools which allow observers to easily calibrate their data. Detailed examples are given illustrationg the calibration and display of WFPC2 polarization data. In closing we describe future plans and possible improvements.

  7. Sandia WIPP calibration traceability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuhen, M.D. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Dean, T.A. [RE/SPEC, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1996-05-01

    This report summarizes the work performed to establish calibration traceability for the instrumentation used by Sandia National Laboratories at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) during testing from 1980-1985. Identifying the calibration traceability is an important part of establishing a pedigree for the data and is part of the qualification of existing data. In general, the requirement states that the calibration of Measuring and Test equipment must have a valid relationship to nationally recognized standards or the basis for the calibration must be documented. Sandia recognized that just establishing calibration traceability would not necessarily mean that all QA requirements were met during the certification of test instrumentation. To address this concern, the assessment was expanded to include various activities.

  8. On The Nature of Fossil Galaxy Groups

    CERN Document Server

    La Barbera, F; De la Rosa, I G; Sorrentino, G; Gal, R R; Kohl-Moreira, J L

    2009-01-01

    We present a new sample of 25 fossil groups (FGs) at z < 0.1, along with a control sample of seventeen bright ellipticals located in non-fossil systems. Both the global properties of FGs (e.g. X-ray luminosity) as well as the photometric properties (i.e. isophotal shape parameter, a4) and spectroscopic parameters (e.g. the alpha-enhancement) of their first-ranked ellipticals are consistent with those of the control sample. This result favors a scenario where FGs are not a distinct class of systems, but rather a common phase in the life of galaxy groups. We also find no evidence for an evolutionary sequence explaining the formation of galaxies in fossil systems through the merging of galaxies in compact groups.

  9. Effect of exonic splicing regulation on synonymous codon usage in alternatively spliced exons of Dscam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takahashi Aya

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Synonymous codon usage is typically biased towards translationally superior codons in many organisms. In Drosophila, genomic data indicates that translationally optimal codons and splice optimal codons are mostly mutually exclusive, and adaptation to translational efficiency is reduced in the intron-exon boundary regions where potential exonic splicing enhancers (ESEs reside. In contrast to genomic scale analyses on large datasets, a refined study on a well-controlled set of samples can be effective in demonstrating the effects of particular splice-related factors. Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (Dscam has the largest number of alternatively spliced exons (ASEs known to date, and the splicing frequency of each ASE is accessible from the relative abundance of the transcript. Thus, these ASEs comprise a unique model system for studying the effect of splicing regulation on synonymous codon usage. Results Codon Bias Indices (CBI in the 3' boundary regions were reduced compared to the rest of the exonic regions among 48 and 33 ASEs of exon 6 and 9 clusters, respectively. These regional differences in CBI were affected by splicing frequency and distance from adjacent exons. Synonymous divergence levels between the 3' boundary region and the remaining exonic region of exon 6 ASEs were similar. Additionally, another sensitive comparison of paralogous exonic regions in recently retrotransposed processed genes and their parental genes revealed that, in the former, the differences in CBI between what were formerly the central regions and the boundary regions gradually became smaller over time. Conclusion Analyses of the multiple ASEs of Dscam allowed direct tests of the effect of splice-related factors on synonymous codon usage and provided clear evidence that synonymous codon usage bias is restricted by exonic splicing signals near the intron-exon boundary. A similar synonymous divergence level between the different exonic

  10. Cerium anomaly at microscale in fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gueriau, Pierre; Mocuta, Cristian; Bertrand, Loïc

    2015-09-01

    Patterns in rare earth element (REE) concentrations are essential instruments to assess geochemical processes in Earth and environmental sciences. Excursions in the "cerium anomaly" are widely used to inform on past redox conditions in sediments. This proxy resources to the specificity of cerium to adopt both the +III and +IV oxidation states, while most rare earths are purely trivalent and share very similar reactivity and transport properties. In practical terms, the level of cerium anomaly is established through elemental point quantification and profiling. All these models rely on a supposed homogeneity of the cerium oxidation state within the samples. However, this has never been demonstrated, whereas the cerium concentration can significantly vary within a sample, as shown for fossils, which would vastly complicate interpretation of REE patterns. Here, we report direct micrometric mapping of Ce speciation through synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy and production of local rare earth patterns in paleontological fossil tissues through X-ray fluorescence mapping. The sensitivity of the approach is demonstrated on well-preserved fishes and crustaceans from the Late Cretaceous (ca. 95 million years (Myr) old). The presence of Ce under the +IV form within the fossil tissues is attributed to slightly oxidative local conditions of burial and agrees well with the limited negative cerium anomaly observed in REE patterns. The [Ce(IV)]/[Ce(tot)] ratio appears remarkably stable at the microscale within each fossil and is similar between fossils from the locality. Speciation maps were obtained from an original combination of synchrotron microbeam X-ray fluorescence, absorption spectroscopy, and diffraction, together with light and electron microscopy. This work also highlights the need for more systematic studies of cerium geochemistry at the microscale in paleontological contexts, in particular across fossil histologies.

  11. Divergence time estimation using fossils as terminal taxa and the origins of Lissamphibia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyron, R Alexander

    2011-07-01

    Were molecular data available for extinct taxa, questions regarding the origins of many groups could be settled in short order. As this is not the case, various strategies have been proposed to combine paleontological and neontological data sets. The use of fossil dates as node age calibrations for divergence time estimation from molecular phylogenies is commonplace. In addition, simulations suggest that the addition of morphological data from extinct taxa may improve phylogenetic estimation when combined with molecular data for extant species, and some studies have merged morphological and molecular data to estimate combined evidence phylogenies containing both extinct and extant taxa. However, few, if any, studies have attempted to estimate divergence times using phylogenies containing both fossil and living taxa sampled for both molecular and morphological data. Here, I infer both the phylogeny and the time of origin for Lissamphibia and a number of stem tetrapods using Bayesian methods based on a data set containing morphological data for extinct taxa, molecular data for extant taxa, and molecular and morphological data for a subset of extant taxa. The results suggest that Lissamphibia is monophyletic, nested within Lepospondyli, and originated in the late Carboniferous at the earliest. This research illustrates potential pitfalls for the use of fossils as post hoc age constraints on internal nodes and highlights the importance of explicit phylogenetic analysis of extinct taxa. These results suggest that the application of fossils as minima or maxima on molecular phylogenies should be supplemented or supplanted by combined evidence analyses whenever possible.

  12. Codon optimization of bacterial luciferase (lux) for expression in mammalian cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, Stacey S; Dionisi, Hebe M; Gupta, Rakesh K; Sayler, Gary S

    2005-03-01

    Expression of the bacterial luciferase (lux) system in mammalian cells would culminate in a new generation of bioreporters for in vivo monitoring and diagnostics technology. Past efforts to express bacterial luciferase in mammalian cells have resulted in only modest gains due in part to low overall expression of the bacterial genes. To optimize expression, we have designed and synthesized codon-optimized versions of the luxA and luxB genes from Photorhabdus luminsecens. To evaluate these genes in vivo, stable HEK293 cell lines were created harboring wild type luxA and luxB (WTA/WTB), codon-optimized luxA and wild type luxB (COA/WTB), and codon-optimized versions of both luxA and luxB genes (COA/COB). Although mRNA levels within these clones remained approximately equal, LuxA protein levels increased significantly after codon optimization. On average, bioluminescence levels were increased by more than six-fold [5x10(5) vs 2.9x10(6) relative light units (RLU)/mg total protein] with the codon-optimized luxA and wild type luxB. Bioluminescence was further enhanced upon expression of both optimized genes (2.7x10(7) RLU/mg total protein). These results show promise toward the potential development of an autonomous light generating lux reporter system in mammalian cells.

  13. Synonymous codon changes in the oncogenes of the cottontail rabbit papillomavirus lead to increased oncogenicity and immunogenicity of the virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cladel, Nancy M.; Budgeon, Lynn R.; Hu, Jiafen; Balogh, Karla K.; Christensen, Neil D.

    2013-01-01

    Papillomaviruses use rare codons with respect to the host. The reasons for this are incompletely understood but among the hypotheses is the concept that rare codons result in low protein production and this allows the virus to escape immune surveillance. We changed rare codons in the oncogenes E6 and E7 of the cottontail rabbit papillomavirus to make them more mammalian-like and tested the mutant genomes in our in vivo animal model. While the amino acid sequences of the proteins remained unchanged, the oncogenic potential of some of the altered genomes increased dramatically. In addition, increased immunogenicity, as measured by spontaneous regression, was observed as the numbers of codon changes increased. This work suggests that codon usage may modify protein production in ways that influence disease outcome and that evaluation of synonymous codons should be included in the analysis of genetic variants of infectious agents and their association with disease. PMID:23433866

  14. In vivo introduction of unpreferred synonymous codons into the Drosophila Adh gene results in reduced levels of ADH protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlini, David B; Stephan, Wolfgang

    2003-01-01

    The evolution of codon bias, the unequal usage of synonymous codons, is thought to be due to natural selection for the use of preferred codons that match the most abundant species of isoaccepting tRNA, resulting in increased translational efficiency and accuracy. We examined this hypothesis by introducing 1, 6, and 10 unpreferred codons into the Drosophila alcohol dehydrogenase gene (Adh). We observed a significant decrease in ADH protein production with number of unpreferred codons, confirming the importance of natural selection as a mechanism leading to codon bias. We then used this empirical relationship to estimate the selection coefficient (s) against unpreferred synonymous mutations and found the value (s >or= 10(-5)) to be approximately one order of magnitude greater than previous estimates from population genetics theory. The observed differences in protein production appear to be too large to be consistent with current estimates of the strength of selection on synonymous sites in D. melanogaster. PMID:12586711

  15. The preferential codon usages in variable and constant regions of immunoglobulin genes are quite distinct from each other.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyata, T; Hayashida, H; Yasunaga, T; Hasegawa, M

    1979-12-20

    The pattern of codon utilization in the variable and constant regions of immunoglobulin genes are compared. It is shown that, in these regions, codon utilizations are quite distinct from one another: For most degenerate codons, there is a selective bias that prefers C and/or G ending codons to U and/or A ending codons in the constant region compared with the bias in the variable region. This would strongly suggest that, in immunoglobulin genes, the bias in code word usage is determined by other factors than those concerning with the translational mechanism such as tRNA availability and codon-anticodon interaction. A possibility is also suggested that this differance of code word usage between them is due to the existence of secondary structure in the constant region but not in the variable region.

  16. Microbial Fossils Detected in Desert Varnish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flood, B. E.; Allen, C.; Longazo, T.

    2003-01-01

    Mars Global Surveyor Thermal Emission Spectrometer data indicate regions with significant levels of hematite (_Fe2O3). Fe-oxides, like hematite, can form as aqueous mineral precipitates and as such may preserve microscopic fossils or other biosignatures. Several potential terrestrial analogues to martian hematite like hydrothermal vents have preserved microfossils. Microbial fossilization in Fe-oxides is often a function of biomineralization. For example, goethite (FeO2H) encrustation of fungal mycelia from the mid-Tertiary preserved fungal morphologies such that their genera could be determined.

  17. Insect diversity in the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labandeira, C. C.; Sepkoski, J. J. Jr; Sepkoski JJ, J. r. (Principal Investigator)

    1993-01-01

    Insects possess a surprisingly extensive fossil record. Compilation of the geochronologic ranges of insect families demonstrates that their diversity exceeds that of preserved vertebrate tetrapods through 91 percent of their evolutionary history. The great diversity of insects was achieved not by high origination rates but rather by low extinction rates comparable to the low rates of slowly evolving marine invertebrate groups. The great radiation of modern insects began 245 million years ago and was not accelerated by the expansion of angiosperms during the Cretaceous period. The basic trophic machinery of insects was in place nearly 100 million years before angiosperms appeared in the fossil record.

  18. Dinosaur Footprint Fossils Discovered in Xinjiang

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    @@ Recently,a Chinese-German science fieldwork investigation team,composed of staff from the SinoGerman Paleontology and Geography Joint Lab and the Xinjiang Geological Work Station,announced that they discovered a batch of dinosaur footprint fossils in the dessert 20 kilometers to the east of Shanshan County in the Turpan Basin,Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.These fossils spread around an area of 100 square meters and scientists believed that these footprints were left behind by carnivore dinosaurs.This major discovery has been published in Global Geology,an English journal published by the NorthEast Asia Geology Center.

  19. Fossils, Genes and The Origin of Organs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shubin, Neil (University of Chicago)

    2011-04-20

    A toolkit of experimental and comparative biology can be applied to understand the great transformations in the history of life. Expeditionary paleontology can be used to target key nodes of the tree of life for which new fossils can provide insights into major morphological transformations. These fossils often have intermediate conditions that allow extant creatures to be compared in new ways. The tools of developmental genetics can then be used to explore these new comparisons to understand the genetic basis for macroevolutionary change. These different approaches can be used to predict new discoveries and this is only possible because of the empirical content of the tree of life.

  20. Segment Based Camera Calibration

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马颂德; 魏国庆; 等

    1993-01-01

    The basic idea of calibrating a camera system in previous approaches is to determine camera parmeters by using a set of known 3D points as calibration reference.In this paper,we present a method of camera calibration in whih camera parameters are determined by a set of 3D lines.A set of constraints is derived on camea parameters in terms of perspective line mapping.Form these constraints,the same perspective transformation matrix as that for point mapping can be computed linearly.The minimum number of calibration lines is 6.This result generalizes that of Liu,Huang and Faugeras[12] for camera location determination in which at least 8 line correspondences are required for linear computation of camera location.Since line segments in an image can be located easily and more accurately than points,the use of lines as calibration reference tends to ease the computation in inage preprocessing and to improve calibration accuracy.Experimental results on the calibration along with stereo reconstruction are reported.

  1. Large-scale analysis of conserved rare codon clusters suggests an involvement in co-translational molecular recognition events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chartier, Matthieu; Gaudreault, Francis; Najmanovich, Rafael

    2012-06-01

    An increasing amount of evidence from experimental and computational analysis suggests that rare codon clusters are functionally important for protein activity. Most of the studies on rare codon clusters were performed on a limited number of proteins or protein families. In the present study, we present the Sherlocc program and how it can be used for large scale protein family analysis of evolutionarily conserved rare codon clusters and their relation to protein function and structure. This large-scale analysis was performed using the whole Pfam database covering over 70% of the known protein sequence universe. Our program Sherlocc, detects statistically relevant conserved rare codon clusters and produces a user-friendly HTML output. Statistically significant rare codon clusters were detected in a multitude of Pfam protein families. The most statistically significant rare codon clusters were predominantly identified in N-terminal Pfam families. Many of the longest rare codon clusters are found in membrane-related proteins which are required to interact with other proteins as part of their function, for example in targeting or insertion. We identified some cases where rare codon clusters can play a regulating role in the folding of catalytically important domains. Our results support the existence of a widespread functional role for rare codon clusters across species. Finally, we developed an online filter-based search interface that provides access to Sherlocc results for all Pfam families. The Sherlocc program and search interface are open access and are available at http://bcb.med.usherbrooke.ca

  2. Site Calibration report

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gómez Arranz, Paula; Vesth, Allan

    This report describes the site calibration carried out at Østerild, during a given period. The site calibration was performed with two Windcube WLS7 (v1) lidars at ten measurements heights. The lidar is not a sensor approved by the current version of the IEC 61400-12-1 [1] and therefore the site...... calibration with lidars does not comply with the standard. However, the measurements are carried out following the guidelines of IEC 61400-12-1 where possible, but with some deviations presented in the following chapters....

  3. Lidar to lidar calibration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez Garcia, Sergio; Villanueva, Héctor

    This report presents the result of the lidar to lidar calibration performed for ground-based lidar. Calibration is here understood as the establishment of a relation between the reference lidar wind speed measurements with measurement uncertainties provided by measurement standard and corresponding...... lidar wind speed indications with associated measurement uncertainties. The lidar calibration concerns the 10 minute mean wind speed measurements. The comparison of the lidar measurements of the wind direction with that from the reference lidar measurements are given for information only....

  4. Lidar to lidar calibration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Georgieva Yankova, Ginka; Courtney, Michael

    This report presents the result of the lidar to lidar calibration performed for ground-based lidar. Calibration is here understood as the establishment of a relation between the reference lidar wind speed measurements with measurement uncertainties provided by measurement standard and corresponding...... lidar wind speed indications with associated measurement uncertainties. The lidar calibration concerns the 10 minute mean wind speed measurements. The comparison of the lidar measurements of the wind direction with that from the reference lidar measurements are given for information only....

  5. Combinatorial codon scrambling enables scalable gene synthesis and amplification of repetitive proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Nicholas C.; Chilkoti, Ashutosh

    2016-04-01

    Most genes are synthesized using seamless assembly methods that rely on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). However, PCR of genes encoding repetitive proteins either fails or generates nonspecific products. Motivated by the need to efficiently generate new protein polymers through high-throughput gene synthesis, here we report a codon-scrambling algorithm that enables the PCR-based gene synthesis of repetitive proteins by exploiting the codon redundancy of amino acids and finding the least-repetitive synonymous gene sequence. We also show that the codon-scrambling problem is analogous to the well-known travelling salesman problem, and obtain an exact solution to it by using De Bruijn graphs and a modern mixed integer linear programme solver. As experimental proof of the utility of this approach, we use it to optimize the synthetic genes for 19 repetitive proteins, and show that the gene fragments are amenable to PCR-based gene assembly and recombinant expression.

  6. Combinatorial codon scrambling enables scalable gene synthesis and amplification of repetitive proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Nicholas C; Chilkoti, Ashutosh

    2016-04-01

    Most genes are synthesized using seamless assembly methods that rely on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). However, PCR of genes encoding repetitive proteins either fails or generates nonspecific products. Motivated by the need to efficiently generate new protein polymers through high-throughput gene synthesis, here we report a codon-scrambling algorithm that enables the PCR-based gene synthesis of repetitive proteins by exploiting the codon redundancy of amino acids and finding the least-repetitive synonymous gene sequence. We also show that the codon-scrambling problem is analogous to the well-known travelling salesman problem, and obtain an exact solution to it by using De Bruijn graphs and a modern mixed integer linear programme solver. As experimental proof of the utility of this approach, we use it to optimize the synthetic genes for 19 repetitive proteins, and show that the gene fragments are amenable to PCR-based gene assembly and recombinant expression.

  7. Codon-optimized antibiotic resistance gene improves efficiency of transient transformation in Frankia

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ken-ichi Kucho; Kentaro Kakoi; Masatoshi Yamaura; Mari Iwashita; Mikiko Abe; Toshiki Uchiumi

    2013-11-01

    Frankia is a unique actinobacterium having abilities to fix atmospheric dinitrogen and to establish endosymbiosis with trees, but molecular bases underlying these interesting characteristics are poorly understood because of a lack of stable transformation system. Extremely high GC content of Frankia genome (> 70%) can be a hindrance to successful transformation. We generated a synthetic gentamicin resistance gene whose codon usage is optimized to Frankia (fgmR) and evaluated its usefulness as a selection marker using a transient transformation system. Success rate of transient transformation and cell growth in selective culture were significantly increased by use of fgmR instead of a native gentamicin resistance gene, suggesting that codon optimization improved translation efficiency of the marker gene and increased antibiotic resistance. Our result shows that similarity in codon usage pattern is an important factor to be taken into account when exogenous transgenes are expressed in Frankia cells.

  8. Translational selection frequently overcomes genetic drift in shaping synonymous codon usage patterns in vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Aoife; McInerney, James O

    2013-10-01

    Synonymous codon usage patterns are shaped by a balance between mutation, drift, and natural selection. To date, detection of translational selection in vertebrates has proven to be a challenging task, obscured by small long-term effective population sizes in larger animals and the existence of isochores in some species. The consensus is that, in such species, natural selection is either completely ineffective at overcoming mutational pressures and genetic drift or perhaps is effective but so weak that it is not detectable. The aim of this research is to understand the interplay between mutation, selection, and genetic drift in vertebrates. We observe that although variation in mutational bias is undoubtedly the dominant force influencing codon usage, translational selection acts as a weak additional factor influencing synonymous codon usage. These observations indicate that translational selection is a widespread phenomenon in vertebrates and is not limited to a few species.

  9. ANT: Software for Generating and Evaluating Degenerate Codons for Natural and Expanded Genetic Codes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engqvist, Martin K M; Nielsen, Jens

    2015-08-21

    The Ambiguous Nucleotide Tool (ANT) is a desktop application that generates and evaluates degenerate codons. Degenerate codons are used to represent DNA positions that have multiple possible nucleotide alternatives. This is useful for protein engineering and directed evolution, where primers specified with degenerate codons are used as a basis for generating libraries of protein sequences. ANT is intuitive and can be used in a graphical user interface or by interacting with the code through a defined application programming interface. ANT comes with full support for nonstandard, user-defined, or expanded genetic codes (translation tables), which is important because synthetic biology is being applied to an ever widening range of natural and engineered organisms. The Python source code for ANT is freely distributed so that it may be used without restriction, modified, and incorporated in other software or custom data pipelines.

  10. Analysis of the codon usage of the ORF2 gene of feline calicivirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zang, Minghui; He, Wanting; Du, Fanshu; Wu, Gongjian; Wu, Bohao; Zhou, Zhenlei

    2017-10-01

    Feline calicivirus (FCV) is a highly prevalent pathogen of the domestic cat that causes acute infections of the oral and upper respiratory tract. The E region of the ORF2 protein is responsible for the induction of virus-neutralizing antibodies, thus it is important to understand the codon usage of this gene. Here, analysed 90 coding sequences of ORF2 and show that it undergoes a low codon usage bias. In addition, although mutational bias is one of the factors shaping the codon usage bias of this gene, natural selection plays a more significant role. Our results reveal part of the mechanisms driving FCV evolution, which will lay foundation for the further research of FCV. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Correlation between prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism and late-onset Alzheimer's disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hairong Qian; Luning Wang; Xiaokun Qi; Jianwei Liu; Jing Liu; Ling Ye; Hengge Xie; Wei Wang; Feng Qiu

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND:Studies addressing the correlation between prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism,Alzheimer's disease,and cognitive disorders have mainly focused on Caucasians.However,prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism is thought to also affect the Chinese Han and Wei populations.OBJECTIVE:To analyze the differences of prion protein gene codon 129 distribution among the elderly Chinese Han,East Asian,and Caucasian populations,and to study the correlation between prion protein gene codon 129 distribution and late-onset Alzheimer's disease.DESIGN,TIME AND SETTING:A gene polymorphism analysis was performed in the Institute of Geriatrics,General Hospital of Chinese PLA between January 2006 and January 2007.PARTICIPANTS:A total of 152 elderly Chinese Han people were selected from the Beijing Troop Cadre's Sanitarium.Among them,60 patients with late-onset Alzheimer's disease,with a mean age of (82±7) years (range 67-94 years) and disease course of (5.9±4.4) years,comprising 44 males with a mean age of (83±7) years and 16 females with a mean age of (78±7) years,were selected for the case group.An additional 92 healthy elderly subjects,with a mean of (76±9) years (range 60-94 years),comprising 76 males with a mean age of (77±9) years and 16 females with a mean age of (70±8) years,were selected for the control group.There were no significant differences in age and gender between the two groups (P>0.05).METHODS:DNA was extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes using routine phenol/chloroform methodology.Prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism and ApoE polymorphism were measured using PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism.The ApoEε allele was considered the standard for analyzing correlations between prion protein gene codon 129 polymorphism and late-onset Alzheimer's disease.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Prion protein gene codon 129 distribution;correlation between genotypic frequency and allele frequency of prion protein gene codon 129 with Alzheimer

  12. Constraining the Deep Origin of Parasitic Flatworms and Host-Interactions with Fossil Evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Baets, Kenneth; Dentzien-Dias, Paula; Upeniece, Ieva; Verneau, Olivier; Donoghue, Philip C J

    2015-01-01

    Novel fossil discoveries have contributed to our understanding of the evolutionary appearance of parasitism in flatworms. Furthermore, genetic analyses with greater coverage have shifted our views on the coevolution of parasitic flatworms and their hosts. The putative record of parasitic flatworms is consistent with extant host associations and so can be used to put constraints on the evolutionary origin of the parasites themselves. The future lies in new molecular clock analyses combined with additional discoveries of exceptionally preserved flatworms associated with hosts and coprolites. Besides direct evidence, the host fossil record and biogeography have the potential to constrain their evolutionary history, albeit with caution needed to avoid circularity, and a need for calibrations to be implemented in the most conservative way. This might result in imprecise, but accurate divergence estimates for the evolution of parasitic flatworms.

  13. Calibration Fixture For Anemometer Probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Charles R.; Nagel, Robert T.

    1993-01-01

    Fixture facilitates calibration of three-dimensional sideflow thermal anemometer probes. With fixture, probe oriented at number of angles throughout its design range. Readings calibrated as function of orientation in airflow. Calibration repeatable and verifiable.

  14. Dating placentalia: Morphological clocks fail to close the molecular fossil gap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puttick, Mark N.; Thomas, Gavin H.; Benton, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Dating the origin of Placentalia has been a contentious issue for biologists and paleontologists. Although it is likely that crown‐group placentals originated in the Late Cretaceous, nearly all molecular clock estimates point to a deeper Cretaceous origin. An approach with the potential to reconcile this discrepancy could be the application of a morphological clock. This would permit the direct incorporation of fossil data in node dating, and would break long internal branches of the tree, so leading to improved estimates of node ages. Here, we use a large morphological dataset and the tip‐calibration approach of MrBayes. We find that the estimated date for the origin of crown mammals is much older, ∼130–145 million years ago (Ma), than fossil and molecular clock data (∼80–90 Ma). Our results suggest that tip calibration may result in estimated dates that are more ancient than those obtained from other sources of data. This can be partially overcome by constraining the ages of internal nodes on the tree; however, when this was applied to our dataset, the estimated dates were still substantially more ancient than expected. We recommend that results obtained using tip calibration, and possibly morphological dating more generally, should be treated with caution. PMID:26990798

  15. Fossil fuels supplies modeling and research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leiby, P.N.

    1996-06-01

    The fossil fuel supplies modeling and research effort focuses on models for US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) planning and management. Topics covered included new SPR oil valuation models, updating models for SPR risk analysis, and fill-draw planning. Another task in this program area is the development of advanced computational tools for three-dimensional seismic analysis.

  16. Fossil Energy Materials Program conference proceedings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Judkins, R.R. (comp.)

    1987-08-01

    The US Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy has recognized the need for materials research and development to assure the adequacy of materials of construction for advanced fossil energy systems. The principal responsibility for identifying needed materials research and for establishing a program to address these needs resides within the Office of Technical Coordination. That office has established the Advanced Research and Technology Development (AR and TD) Fossil Energy Materials Program to fulfill that responsibility. In addition to the AR and TD Materials Program, which is designed to address in a generic way the materials needs of fossil energy systems, specific materials support activities are also sponsored by the various line organizations such as the Office of Coal Gasification. A conference was held at Oak Ridge, Tennessee on May 19-21, 1987, to present and discuss the results of program activities during the past year. The conference program was organized in accordance with the research thrust areas we have established. These research thrust areas include structural ceramics (particularly fiber-reinforced ceramic composites), corrosion and erosion, and alloy development and mechanical properties. Eighty-six people attended the conference. Papers have been entered individually into EDB and ERA. (LTN)

  17. The Fascinating Story of Fossil Fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asimov, Isaac

    1973-01-01

    How this energy source was created, its meaning to mankind, our drastically reduced supply, and why we cannot wait for nature to make more are considered. Today fossil fuels supply 96 percent of the energy used but we must find alternate energy options if we are to combat the energy crisis. (BL)

  18. The Fascinating Story of Fossil Fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asimov, Isaac

    1973-01-01

    How this energy source was created, its meaning to mankind, our drastically reduced supply, and why we cannot wait for nature to make more are considered. Today fossil fuels supply 96 percent of the energy used but we must find alternate energy options if we are to combat the energy crisis. (BL)

  19. Fossil Hunting: Intracluster Stars in Virgo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Murphy, Eric; Bridge, Carrie; Desai, Vandana; Kenney, Jeffrey; Krick, Jessica; Surace, Jason; van Gorkom, Jacqueline

    2009-01-01

    In dense clusters, galaxy interactions and mergers play a significant role in galaxy evolution. During these interactions, tidal forces can lead to the ejection of stars from their parent galaxies; these stars are a fossil record of environmentally-driven galaxy evolution. We propose to map the intr

  20. Codon-Anticodon Recognition in the Bacillus subtilis glyQS T Box Riboswitch: RNA-DEPENDENT CODON SELECTION OUTSIDE THE RIBOSOME.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caserta, Enrico; Liu, Liang-Chun; Grundy, Frank J; Henkin, Tina M

    2015-09-18

    Many amino acid-related genes in Gram-positive bacteria are regulated by the T box riboswitch. The leader RNA of genes in the T box family controls the expression of downstream genes by monitoring the aminoacylation status of the cognate tRNA. Previous studies identified a three-nucleotide codon, termed the "Specifier Sequence," in the riboswitch that corresponds to the amino acid identity of the downstream genes. Pairing of the Specifier Sequence with the anticodon of the cognate tRNA is the primary determinant of specific tRNA recognition. This interaction mimics codon-anticodon pairing in translation but occurs in the absence of the ribosome. The goal of the current study was to determine the effect of a full range of mismatches for comparison with codon recognition in translation. Mutations were individually introduced into the Specifier Sequence of the glyQS leader RNA and tRNA(Gly) anticodon to test the effect of all possible pairing combinations on tRNA binding affinity and antitermination efficiency. The functional role of the conserved purine 3' of the Specifier Sequence was also verifiedin this study. We found that substitutions at the Specifier Sequence resulted in reduced binding, the magnitude of which correlates well with the predicted stability of the RNA-RNA pairing. However, the tolerance for specific mismatches in antitermination was generally different from that during decoding, which reveals a unique tRNA recognition pattern in the T box antitermination system.

  1. Dependence of nucleotide physical properties on their placement in codons and determinative degree

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2005-01-01

    Various physical properties such as dipole moment, heat of formation and energy of the most stable formation of nucleotides and bases were calculated by PM3 (modified neglect of diatomic overlap, parametric method number 3) and AM1 (austin model 1) methods. As distinct from previous calculations, for nucleotides the interaction with neighbours is taken into account up to gradient of convergence equaling 1. The dependencies of these variables from the place in the codon and the determinative degree were obtained. The difference of these variables for codons and anticodons is shown.

  2. A 2-D graphical representation of protein sequences based on nucleotide triplet codons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Fenglan; Wang, Tianming

    2005-09-01

    Graphical representation of DNA provides a simple way of viewing, sorting and comparing various gene structures. A 2-D graphical representation of protein sequences based on nucleotide triplet codons has been derived for similarity analysis of protein sequences. This approach is based on a graphical representation of triplets of DNA in which the interior of the left half plane of the complex plane is used to accommodate 64 sites for the 64 codons. We associate a directed curve, numerical value, or matrix with a protein as a descriptor. The approach is illustrated on the Homo sapiens X-linked nuclear protein (ATRX) gene.

  3. Calibrating nacelle lidars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Courtney, Michael

    Nacelle mounted, forward looking wind lidars are beginning to be used to provide reference wind speed measurements for the power performance testing of wind turbines. In such applications, a formal calibration procedure with a corresponding uncertainty assessment will be necessary. This report...... presents four concepts for performing such a nacelle lidar calibration. Of the four methods, two are found to be immediately relevant and are pursued in some detail. The first of these is a line of sight calibration method in which both lines of sight (for a two beam lidar) are individually calibrated...... a representative distribution of radial wind speeds. An alternative method is to place the nacelle lidar on the ground and incline the beams upwards to bisect a mast equipped with reference instrumentation at a known height and range. This method will be easier and faster to implement and execute but the beam...

  4. SRHA calibration curve

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — an UV calibration curve for SRHA quantitation. This dataset is associated with the following publication: Chang, X., and D. Bouchard. Surfactant-Wrapped Multiwalled...

  5. Air Data Calibration Facility

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — This facility is for low altitude subsonic altimeter system calibrations of air vehicles. Mission is a direct support of the AFFTC mission. Postflight data merge is...

  6. SPOTS Calibration Example

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patterson E.

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The results are presented using the procedure outlined by the Standardisation Project for Optical Techniques of Strain measurement to calibrate a digital image correlation system. The process involves comparing the experimental data obtained with the optical measurement system to the theoretical values for a specially designed specimen. The standard states the criteria which must be met in order to achieve successful calibration, in addition to quantifying the measurement uncertainty in the system. The system was evaluated at three different displacement load levels, generating strain ranges from 289 µstrain to 2110 µstrain. At the 289 µstrain range, the calibration uncertainty was found to be 14.1 µstrain, and at the 2110 µstrain range it was found to be 28.9 µstrain. This calibration procedure was performed without painting a speckle pattern on the surface of the metal. Instead, the specimen surface was prepared using different grades of grit paper to produce the desired texture.

  7. Calibrated Properties Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C. Ahlers; H. Liu

    2000-03-12

    The purpose of this Analysis/Model Report (AMR) is to document the Calibrated Properties Model that provides calibrated parameter sets for unsaturated zone (UZ) flow and transport process models for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). This work was performed in accordance with the ''AMR Development Plan for U0035 Calibrated Properties Model REV00. These calibrated property sets include matrix and fracture parameters for the UZ Flow and Transport Model (UZ Model), drift seepage models, drift-scale and mountain-scale coupled-processes models, and Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) models as well as Performance Assessment (PA) and other participating national laboratories and government agencies. These process models provide the necessary framework to test conceptual hypotheses of flow and transport at different scales and predict flow and transport behavior under a variety of climatic and thermal-loading conditions.

  8. Traceable Pyrgeometer Calibrations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dooraghi, Mike; Kutchenreiter, Mark; Reda, Ibrahim; Habte, Aron; Sengupta, Manajit; Andreas, Afshin; Newman, Martina; Webb, Craig

    2016-05-02

    This presentation provides a high-level overview of the progress on the Broadband Outdoor Radiometer Calibrations for all shortwave and longwave radiometers that are deployed by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program.

  9. Exceptional fossil preservation and the cambrian explosion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterfield, Nicholas J

    2003-02-01

    Exceptionally preserved, non-biomineralizing fossils contribute importantly to resolving details of the Cambrian explosion, but little to its overall patterns. Six distinct "types" of exceptional preservation are identified for the terminal Proterozoic-Cambrian interval, each of which is dependent on particular taphonomic circumstances, typically restricted both in space and time. Taphonomic pathways yielding exceptional preservation were particularly variable through the Proterozoic-Cambrian transition, at least in part a consequence of contemporaneous evolutionary innovations. Combined with the reasonably continuous record of "Doushantuo-type preservation," and the fundamentally more robust records of shelly fossils, phytoplankton cysts and trace fossils, these taphonomic perturbations contribute to the documentation of major evolutionary and biogeochemical shifts through the terminal Proterozoic and early Cambrian.Appreciation of the relationship between taphonomic pathway and fossil expression serves as a useful tool for interpreting exceptionally preserved, often problematic, early Cambrian fossils. In shale facies, for example, flattened non-biomineralizing structures typically represent the remains of degradation-resistant acellular and extracellular "tissues" such as chaetae and cuticles, whereas three-dimensional preservation represents labile cellular tissues with a propensity for attracting and precipitating early diagenetic minerals. Such distinction helps to identify the acuticular integument of hyolithids, the chaetae-like nature of Wiwaxia sclerites, the chaetognath-like integument of Amiskwia, the midgut glands of various Burgess Shale arthropods, and the misidentification of deposit-feeding arthropods in the Chengjiang biota. By the same reasoning, putative lobopods in the Sirius Passet biota and putative deuterostomes in the Chengiang biota are better interpreted as arthropods.

  10. Calibrating nacelle lidars

    OpenAIRE

    Courtney, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Nacelle mounted, forward looking wind lidars are beginning to be used to provide reference wind speed measurements for the power performance testing of wind turbines. In such applications, a formal calibration procedure with a corresponding uncertainty assessment will be necessary. This report presents four concepts for performing such a nacelle lidar calibration. Of the four methods, two are found to be immediately relevant and are pursued in some detail.The first of these is a line of sight...

  11. Scanner calibration revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozhitkov, Alexander E

    2010-07-01

    Calibration of a microarray scanner is critical for accurate interpretation of microarray results. Shi et al. (BMC Bioinformatics, 2005, 6, Art. No. S11 Suppl. 2.) reported usage of a Full Moon BioSystems slide for calibration. Inspired by the Shi et al. work, we have calibrated microarray scanners in our previous research. We were puzzled however, that most of the signal intensities from a biological sample fell below the sensitivity threshold level determined by the calibration slide. This conundrum led us to re-investigate the quality of calibration provided by the Full Moon BioSystems slide as well as the accuracy of the analysis performed by Shi et al. Signal intensities were recorded on three different microarray scanners at various photomultiplier gain levels using the same calibration slide from Full Moon BioSystems. Data analysis was conducted on raw signal intensities without normalization or transformation of any kind. Weighted least-squares method was used to fit the data. We found that initial analysis performed by Shi et al. did not take into account autofluorescence of the Full Moon BioSystems slide, which led to a grossly distorted microarray scanner response. Our analysis revealed that a power-law function, which is explicitly accounting for the slide autofluorescence, perfectly described a relationship between signal intensities and fluorophore quantities. Microarray scanners respond in a much less distorted fashion than was reported by Shi et al. Full Moon BioSystems calibration slides are inadequate for performing calibration. We recommend against using these slides.

  12. Scanner calibration revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pozhitkov Alexander E

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Calibration of a microarray scanner is critical for accurate interpretation of microarray results. Shi et al. (BMC Bioinformatics, 2005, 6, Art. No. S11 Suppl. 2. reported usage of a Full Moon BioSystems slide for calibration. Inspired by the Shi et al. work, we have calibrated microarray scanners in our previous research. We were puzzled however, that most of the signal intensities from a biological sample fell below the sensitivity threshold level determined by the calibration slide. This conundrum led us to re-investigate the quality of calibration provided by the Full Moon BioSystems slide as well as the accuracy of the analysis performed by Shi et al. Methods Signal intensities were recorded on three different microarray scanners at various photomultiplier gain levels using the same calibration slide from Full Moon BioSystems. Data analysis was conducted on raw signal intensities without normalization or transformation of any kind. Weighted least-squares method was used to fit the data. Results We found that initial analysis performed by Shi et al. did not take into account autofluorescence of the Full Moon BioSystems slide, which led to a grossly distorted microarray scanner response. Our analysis revealed that a power-law function, which is explicitly accounting for the slide autofluorescence, perfectly described a relationship between signal intensities and fluorophore quantities. Conclusions Microarray scanners respond in a much less distorted fashion than was reported by Shi et al. Full Moon BioSystems calibration slides are inadequate for performing calibration. We recommend against using these slides.

  13. TWSTFT Link Calibration Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-01

    box calibrator with unknown but constant total delay during a calibration tour Total Delay: The total electrical delay from the antenna phase center...to the UTCp including all the devices/cables that the satellite and clock signals pass through. It numerically equals the sum of all the sub-delays...PTB. To average out the dimnal effects and measurement noise , 5-7 days of continuous measurements is required. 3 Setups at the Lab(k) The setup

  14. Approximation Behooves Calibration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    da Silva Ribeiro, André Manuel; Poulsen, Rolf

    2013-01-01

    Calibration based on an expansion approximation for option prices in the Heston stochastic volatility model gives stable, accurate, and fast results for S&P500-index option data over the period 2005–2009.......Calibration based on an expansion approximation for option prices in the Heston stochastic volatility model gives stable, accurate, and fast results for S&P500-index option data over the period 2005–2009....

  15. Energy calibration via correlation

    CERN Document Server

    Maier, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    The main task of an energy calibration is to find a relation between pulse-height values and the corresponding energies. Doing this for each pulse-height channel individually requires an elaborated input spectrum with an excellent counting statistics and a sophisticated data analysis. This work presents an easy to handle energy calibration process which can operate reliably on calibration measurements with low counting statistics. The method uses a parameter based model for the energy calibration and concludes on the optimal parameters of the model by finding the best correlation between the measured pulse-height spectrum and multiple synthetic pulse-height spectra which are constructed with different sets of calibration parameters. A CdTe-based semiconductor detector and the line emissions of an 241 Am source were used to test the performance of the correlation method in terms of systematic calibration errors for different counting statistics. Up to energies of 60 keV systematic errors were measured to be le...

  16. Calibrating nacelle lidars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Courtney, M.

    2013-01-15

    Nacelle mounted, forward looking wind lidars are beginning to be used to provide reference wind speed measurements for the power performance testing of wind turbines. In such applications, a formal calibration procedure with a corresponding uncertainty assessment will be necessary. This report presents four concepts for performing such a nacelle lidar calibration. Of the four methods, two are found to be immediately relevant and are pursued in some detail. The first of these is a line of sight calibration method in which both lines of sight (for a two beam lidar) are individually calibrated by accurately aligning the beam to pass close to a reference wind speed sensor. A testing procedure is presented, reporting requirements outlined and the uncertainty of the method analysed. It is seen that the main limitation of the line of sight calibration method is the time required to obtain a representative distribution of radial wind speeds. An alternative method is to place the nacelle lidar on the ground and incline the beams upwards to bisect a mast equipped with reference instrumentation at a known height and range. This method will be easier and faster to implement and execute but the beam inclination introduces extra uncertainties. A procedure for conducting such a calibration is presented and initial indications of the uncertainties given. A discussion of the merits and weaknesses of the two methods is given together with some proposals for the next important steps to be taken in this work. (Author)

  17. Multi Media Dry Imager and printer: Codonics Medical Disc Publisher: Virtua

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Tual

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Multi media dry imager and printer: Codonics"nCodonics, a privately held corporation headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, has been pioneering medical hardcopy solutions for over a decade, and is the industry leader in multi-media imagers. The first to introduce color DICOM printers, we are now represented in over 80 countries by thousands of people with over 25,000 installations worldwide. "nNow, Codonics revolutionizes the medical industry with the introduction of the Horizon Multi-media imager. Horizon instantly delivers diagnostic film, stunning color prints, and cost-saving white films. This all-in-one imager is an enormous breakthrough in performance, cost and quality for healthcare facilities. Horizon's unprecedented variety in printing options creates a new freedom of choice and allows users to match the output with the need, resulting in solutions capable of immediately reducing costs, minimizing waste and maximizing workflow. Horizon packs this all into one compact device, weighing less than 70 pounds and taking up less than two feet of desk space, eliminating costly sitting requirements. "nCodonics delivers a lot more than state-of-the-art medical imagers. Our focus is providing a greater value to your radiology department. Codonics was the first to introduce an exclusive medical-intended film alternative, DirectVista Paper. Printed the same way as our diagnostic film with no toners, wax or ribbons to ever replace, white film can be room light viewed and is preferred by referring physicians. "nCodonics implements design and test methodologies used in the aerospace industry to deliver the most reliable products in the world with the industry's lowest service and maintenance costs. The small size and light weight of Codonics imagers allow for further ground breaking innovation in the area of medical imager service. Codonics provides a replacement unit if any problem cannot be solved by our 24/7 technical support team. This

  18. An early Oligocene fossil demonstrates treeshrews are slowly evolving "living fossils".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Qiang; Ni, Xijun

    2016-01-14

    Treeshrews are widely considered a "living model" of an ancestral primate, and have long been called "living fossils". Actual fossils of treeshrews, however, are extremely rare. We report a new fossil species of Ptilocercus treeshrew recovered from the early Oligocene (~34 Ma) of China that represents the oldest definitive fossil record of the crown group of treeshrews and nearly doubles the temporal length of their fossil record. The fossil species is strikingly similar to the living Ptilocercus lowii, a species generally recognized as the most plesiomorphic extant treeshrew. It demonstrates that Ptilocercus treeshrews have undergone little evolutionary change in their morphology since the early Oligocene. Morphological comparisons and phylogenetic analysis support the long-standing idea that Ptilocercus treeshrews are morphologically conservative and have probably retained many characters present in the common stock that gave rise to archontans, which include primates, flying lemurs, plesiadapiforms and treeshrews. This discovery provides an exceptional example of slow morphological evolution in a mammalian group over a period of 34 million years. The persistent and stable tropical environment in Southeast Asia through the Cenozoic likely played a critical role in the survival of such a morphologically conservative lineage.

  19. The First Observation on Plant Cell Fossils in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Xin; CUI Jinzhong

    2007-01-01

    For a long time, paleontologists have been focusing on hard parts of organisms during different geological periods while soft parts are rarely reported. Well-preserved plant cells, if found in fossils, are treated only as a rarity. Recent progress in research on fossil cytoplasm indicates that plant cytoplasm not only has excellent ultrastructures preserved but also may be a quite commonly seen fossil in strata. However, up to now there is no report of plant cell fossils in China yet. Here plant cell fossils are reported from Huolinhe Coal Mine (the early Cretaceous), Inner Mongolia, China. The presence of plant cytoplasm fossils in two cones on the same specimen not only provides further support for the recently proposed hypothesis on plant cytoplasm fossilization but also marks the first record of plant cytoplasm fossils in China, which suggests a great research potential in this new area.

  20. [Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs from different regions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qun; Wang, Yi-lin

    2007-12-01

    Raman microscopic spectra in the higher wave number region were obtained from 7 fossil dinosaurs specimens from different regions. The specimens of fossil dinosaurs are different parts of bone. The Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs indicate the high similarity among peak positions of different fossil dinosaurs; but important differences exist in the spectral peak figures. In the wave number region of 1000-1800 cm(-1) the Raman spectra of the same bone part fossils from different regions are very similar, example similarities between spectra of Lufeing backbone head and Yua nmou backbone head; Lufeng limb bone and Wuding limb bone. There are relations between the same bone part spectra of different fossil dinosaurs. The characteristic does not relate to regions. Raman spectra of fossil dinosaurs cannot be used to distinguish fossil source, although the part of bone can be used as an indicator to narrow the range of possible geographical origins.

  1. First known fossil bird tracks on San Salvador island, Bahamas

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Martin, A.J; Whitten, M.J

    2015-01-01

    ...) are the first known vertebrate trace fossils on this well-studied island. The trace fossils, preserved as bedding-plane impressions in an oolitic-bioclastic grainstone, match the size and form of tracks made by modern gulls...

  2. Fossils and palaeontological distributions of Macaranga and Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nucete, M.; van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, J.H.A.; van Welzen, P.C.

    2012-01-01

    The correct identification of described plant fossils from the sister genera Macaranga and Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae) needs to be confirmed in order to correctly date their phylogeny and map their palaeontological distributions. Previous identifications of fossil specimens often appear to be

  3. Calibration of the Albian/Cenomanian Boundary by Ammonite Biostratigraphy: U.S. Western Interior

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    Calibration of numerical ages to the geological time scale is a long scientific pursuit that requires the integration of multiple data sets. A case study of the Albian/Cenomanian stage boundary,also the Lower/Upper Cretaceous series boundary, illustrates the calibration process. The numerical age of this boundary has shifted from 96 Ma to 99 Ma over a time span of nearly fifty years. Recalibration resulted first from improvements in radiometric dating, and later from inferences about ammonite phylogeny, and most recently from radiometric dates of newly discovered volcanic beds interbedded with diagnostic guide fossils. However, the calibration process continues with study of cosmopolitan dinoflagellates.

  4. Instrumentation and process control for fossil demonstration plants. Quarterly technical progress report, April--June 1977

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LeSage, L.G.

    1977-07-01

    Work has been performed on updating the study of the state-of-the-art of instrumentation for Fossil Demonstration Plants (FDP), development of mass-flow and other on-line instruments for FDP, process control analysis for FDP, and organization of a symposium on instrumentation and control for FDP. A Solids/Gas Flow Test Facility (S/GFTF) under construction for instrument development, testing, evaluation, and calibration is described. The development work for several mass-flow and other on-line instruments is described: acoustic flowmeter, capacitive density flowmeter, neutron activation flowmeter and composition analysis system, gamma ray correlation flowmeter, optical flowmeter, and capacitive liquid interface level meter.

  5. Quaternary fossil fauna from the Luangwa Valley, Zambia.

    OpenAIRE

    Bishop, LC; Barham, LS; Ditchfield, P.; Elton, S; Harcourt-Smith, WH; Dawkins, P

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes a large collection of Quaternary fossil fauna from the Luangwa rift valley, Zambia. Stone Age artefacts have been recovered from stratified fluvial contexts, but no in situ fossil fauna have yet been recovered. We report on 500 fossil specimens collected from the surface of point bars exposed seasonally along the banks of the main Luangwa river channel. We used non-destructive x-ray fluorescence analysis of the fossils' chemical signatures to determine whether they derive...

  6. The fossil trade: paying a price for human origins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

    Fossils have been traded for centuries. Over the past two hundred years the market has developed into an organised enterprise with fossils serving multiple functions as scientific objects of study, collectors’ items and investments. Finding fossils, digging them up or purchasing them, transporting...

  7. Probe into the Internal Mechanism of Interlanguage Fossilization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Qian

    2009-01-01

    Interlanguage fossilization is normal for second language acquisition. It is also a hotspot for studies on theory of foreign language acquisition. Many reasons cause the interlanguage fossilization. This paper probes into the internal mechanism of interlanguage fossilization from five aspects, namely the physiological aspect, the psychological…

  8. PCR-RFLP to Detect Codon 248 Mutation in Exon 7 of "p53" Tumor Suppressor Gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Liming; Ge, Chongtao; Wu, Haizhen; Li, Suxia; Zhang, Huizhan

    2009-01-01

    Individual genome DNA was extracted fast from oral swab and followed up with PCR specific for codon 248 of "p53" tumor suppressor gene. "Msp"I restriction mapping showed the G-C mutation in codon 248, which closely relates to cancer susceptibility. Students learn the concepts, detection techniques, and research significance of point mutations or…

  9. Pangenome evidence for higher codon usage bias and stronger translational selection in core genes of Escherichia coli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shixiang Sun

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Codon usage bias, as a combined interplay from mutation and selection, has been intensively studied in Escherichia coli. However, codon usage analysis in an E. coli pangenome remains unexplored and the relative importance of mutation and selection acting on core genes and strain-specific genes is unknown. Here we perform comprehensive codon usage analyses based on a collection of multiple complete genome sequences of E. coli. Our results show that core genes that are present in all strains have higher codon usage bias than strain-specific genes that are unique to single strains. We further explore the forces in influencing codon usage and investigate the difference of the major force between core and strain-specific genes. Our results demonstrate that although mutation may exert genome-wide influences on codon usage acting similarly in different gene sets, selection dominates as an important force to shape biased codon usage as genes are present in an increased number of strains. Together, our results provide important insights for better understanding genome plasticity and complexity as well as evolutionary mechanisms behind codon usage bias.

  10. Pangenome Evidence for Higher Codon Usage Bias and Stronger Translational Selection in Core Genes of Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Shixiang; Xiao, Jingfa; Zhang, Huiyong; Zhang, Zhang

    2016-01-01

    Codon usage bias, as a combined interplay from mutation and selection, has been intensively studied in Escherichia coli. However, codon usage analysis in an E. coli pangenome remains unexplored and the relative importance of mutation and selection acting on core genes and strain-specific genes is unknown. Here we perform comprehensive codon usage analyses based on a collection of multiple complete genome sequences of E. coli. Our results show that core genes that are present in all strains have higher codon usage bias than strain-specific genes that are unique to single strains. We further explore the forces in influencing codon usage and investigate the difference of the major force between core and strain-specific genes. Our results demonstrate that although mutation may exert genome-wide influences on codon usage acting similarly in different gene sets, selection dominates as an important force to shape biased codon usage as genes are present in an increased number of strains. Together, our results provide important insights for better understanding genome plasticity and complexity as well as evolutionary mechanisms behind codon usage bias.

  11. PCR-RFLP to Detect Codon 248 Mutation in Exon 7 of "p53" Tumor Suppressor Gene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Liming; Ge, Chongtao; Wu, Haizhen; Li, Suxia; Zhang, Huizhan

    2009-01-01

    Individual genome DNA was extracted fast from oral swab and followed up with PCR specific for codon 248 of "p53" tumor suppressor gene. "Msp"I restriction mapping showed the G-C mutation in codon 248, which closely relates to cancer susceptibility. Students learn the concepts, detection techniques, and research significance of point mutations or…

  12. Genes adopt non-optimal codon usage to generate cell cycle-dependent oscillations in protein levels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frenkel-Morgenstern, Milana; Danon, Tamar; Christian, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    The cell cycle is a temporal program that regulates DNA synthesis and cell division. When we compared the codon usage of cell cycle-regulated genes with that of other genes, we discovered that there is a significant preference for non-optimal codons. Moreover, genes encoding proteins that cycle a...

  13. Four-base codons ACCA, ACCU and ACCC are recognized by frameshift suppressor sufJ.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bossi, L; Roth, J R

    1981-08-01

    The frameshift suppressor sufJ acts to correct a set of +1 frameshift mutations having very different sequences at their mutant sites. This suppressor acts by reading a 4 base codon located near, but not at, the site of each suppressible mutation. Suppression thus necessitates out-of-phase translation of the short stretch of mRNA between the site of action of the suppressor tRNA and the site of the frameshift mutation. We have identified the site read by sufJ by mutationally creating a series of such sites in the neighborhood of a previously nonsuppressible frameshift mutation. Each of the newly generated sites was formed by base substitution. Four independently generated sites were analyzed by DNA sequencing. At each site the quadruplet codon ACCX was generated (where X is A, U or C). Thus sufJ is able to read a 4 base codon in which any of three bases is acceptable in the fourth position. This is the first frameshift suppressor that does not read a run of three repeated bases in the first three positions of its codon.

  14. Mutational and selective pressures on codon and amino acid usage in Buchnera, endosymbiotic bacteria of aphids

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rispe, C.; Delmotte, F.; Ham, van R.C.H.J.; Moya, A.

    2004-01-01

    We have explored compositional variation at synonymous (codon usage) and nonsynonymous (amino acid usage) positions in three complete genomes of Buchnera, endosymbiotic bacteria of aphids, and also in their orthologs in Escherichia coli, a close free-living relative. We sought to discriminate genes

  15. High frequency of the HRAS oncogene codon 12 mutation in Macedonian patients with urinary bladder cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sasho Panov

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Point mutations at codon 12 of the HRAS (v-Ha-ras Harvey rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog oncogene are one of the best defined and widely studied molecular genetic events in transitional cell carcinoma (TCC of the urinary bladder. The aim of this study was to use the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP analysis of paraffin-embedded tissue-derived DNA to determine the frequency of the HRAS oncogene G ->T codon 12 mutation in TCC patients being treated at the University Urology Clinic in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. DNA isolated from paraffin-embedded tissue (PET surgically removed TCC specimens of 62 (81.58% out of 76 patients were successfully amplified, the remaining 14 (18.42% showing compromised DNA integrity. The codon 12 mutation of the HRAS oncogene was found in 24 (38.71% out of 62 successfully tested TCC urinary bladder samples. No significant relationship between the mutation frequency and the histopathological grade of tumor differentiation was detected (chi² = 0.044; p = 0.978. The relatively high frequency of mutations found in our study was comparable with some of the previously reported data obtained by this and/or other PCR-based methods. This highly sensitive and specific PCR-RFLP analysis was demonstrated to be a suitable method for the detection of mutations at codon 12 of the HRAS oncogene in PET samples of urinary bladder TCC.

  16. Codon Usage and 3' UTR Length Determine Maternal mRNA Stability in Zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishima, Yuichiro; Tomari, Yukihide

    2016-03-17

    The control of mRNA stability plays a central role in regulating gene expression. In metazoans, the earliest stages of development are driven by maternally supplied mRNAs. The degradation of these maternal mRNAs is critical for promoting the maternal-to-zygotic transition of developmental programs, although the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood in vertebrates. Here, we characterized maternal mRNA degradation pathways in zebrafish using a transcriptome analysis and systematic reporter assays. Our data demonstrate that ORFs enriched with uncommon codons promote deadenylation by the CCR4-NOT complex in a translation-dependent manner. This codon-mediated mRNA decay is conditional on the context of the 3' UTR, with long 3' UTRs conferring resistance to deadenylation. These results indicate that the combined effect of codon usage and 3' UTR length determines the stability of maternal mRNAs in zebrafish embryos. Our study thus highlights the codon-mediated mRNA decay as a conserved regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes.

  17. Effects of codon optimization on the mRNA levels of heterologous genes in filamentous fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Mizuki; Tokuoka, Masafumi; Gomi, Katsuya

    2014-05-01

    Filamentous fungi, particularly Aspergillus species, have recently attracted attention as host organisms for recombinant protein production. Because the secretory yields of heterologous proteins are generally low compared with those of homologous proteins or proteins from closely related fungal species, several strategies to produce substantial amounts of recombinant proteins have been conducted. Codon optimization is a powerful tool for improving the production levels of heterologous proteins. Although codon optimization is generally believed to improve the translation efficiency of heterologous genes without affecting their mRNA levels, several studies have indicated that codon optimization causes an increase in the steady-state mRNA levels of heterologous genes in filamentous fungi. However, the mechanism that determines the low mRNA levels when native heterologous genes are expressed was poorly understood. We recently showed that the transcripts of heterologous genes are polyadenylated prematurely within the coding region and that the heterologous gene transcripts can be stabilized significantly by codon optimization, which is probably attributable to the prevention of premature polyadenylation in Aspergillus oryzae. In this review, we describe the detailed mechanism of premature polyadenylation and the rapid degradation of mRNA transcripts derived from heterologous genes in filamentous fungi.

  18. Exonic splicing regulatory elements skew synonymous codon usage near intron-exon boundaries in mammals.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Parmley, J.L.; Hurst, L.D.

    2007-01-01

    In mammals there is a bias in amino acid usage near splice sites that is explained, in large part, by the high density of exonic splicing enhancers (ESEs) in these regions. Is there a similar bias for the relative use of synonymous codons, and can any such bias be predicted by their abundance in ESE

  19. Unassigned Codons, Nonsense Suppression, and Anticodon Modifications in the Evolution of the Genetic Code

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.T.S. van der Gulik (Peter); W.D. Hoff (Wouter)

    2011-01-01

    htmlabstractThe origin of the genetic code is a central open problem regarding the early evolution of life. Here, we consider two undeveloped but important aspects of possible scenarios for the evolutionary pathway of the translation machinery: the role of unassigned codons in early stages

  20. Enhanced expression of codon optimized Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis antigens in Lactobacillus salivarius

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher D Johnston

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available It is well documented that open reading frames containing high GC content show poor expression in A+T rich hosts. Specifically, G+C-rich codon usage is a limiting factor in heterologous expression of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP proteins using Lactobacillus salivarius. However, re-engineering opening reading frames through synonymous substitutions can offset codon bias and greatly enhance MAP protein production in this host. In this report, we demonstrate that codon-usage manipulation of two MAP genes (MAP2121c and MAP3733c can enhance the heterologous expression of two antigens (MMP and MptD respectively, analogous to the form to which they are produced natively by MAP bacilli. When heterologously over-expressed, antigenic determinants were preserved in synthetic MMP proteins as shown by monoclonal antibody mediated ELISA. Moreover, MMP is a membrane protein in MAP, which is also targeted to the cellular surface of recombinant L. salivarius at levels comparable to MAP. Additionally, codon optimised MptD displayed the tendency to associate with the cytoplasmic membrane boundary under confocal microscopy and the intracellularly accumulated protein selectively adhered with the MptD-specific bacteriophage fMptD. This work demonstrates there is potential for L. salivarius as a viable antigen delivery vehicle for MAP, which may provide an effective mucosal vaccine against Johne’s disease.

  1. Conservation of CFTR codon frequency through primates suggests synonymous mutations could have a functional effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pizzo, Lucilla; Iriarte, Andrés; Alvarez-Valin, Fernando; Marín, Mónica

    2015-05-01

    Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system, with a prevalence of about 1:3000 people. Cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in CFTR gene, which lead to a defective function of the chloride channel, the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). Up-to-date, more than 1900 mutations have been reported in CFTR. However for an important proportion of them, their functional effects and the relation to disease are still not understood. Many of these mutations are silent (or synonymous), namely they do not alter the encoded amino acid. These synonymous mutations have been considered as neutral to protein function. However, more recent evidence in bacterial and human proteins has put this concept under revision. With the aim of understanding possible functional effects of synonymous mutations in CFTR, we analyzed human and primates CFTR codon usage and divergence patterns. We report the presence of regions enriched in rare and frequent codons. This spatial pattern of codon preferences is conserved in primates, but this cannot be explained by sequence conservation alone. In sum, the results presented herein suggest a functional implication of these regions of the gene that may be maintained by purifying selection acting to preserve a particular codon usage pattern along the sequence. Overall these results support the idea that several synonymous mutations in CFTR may have functional importance, and could be involved in the disease.

  2. Analysis of Low Frequency Protein Truncating Stop-Codon Variants and Fasting Concentration of Growth Hormone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik Hallengren

    Full Text Available The genetic background of Growth Hormone (GH secretion is not well understood. Mutations giving rise to a stop codon have a high likelihood of affecting protein function.To analyze likely functional stop codon mutations that are associated with fasting plasma concentration of Growth Hormone.We analyzed stop codon mutations in 5451 individuals in the Malmö Diet and Cancer study by genotyping the Illumina Exome Chip. To enrich for stop codon mutations with likely functional effects on protein function, we focused on those disrupting >80% of the predicted amino acid sequence, which were carried by ≥ 10 individuals. Such mutations were related to GH concentration, measured with a high sensitivity assay (hs-GH and, if nominally significant, to GH related phenotypes, using linear regression analysis.Two stop codon mutations were associated with the fasting concentration of hs-GH. rs121909305 (NP_005370.1:p.R93* [Minor Allele Frequency (MAF = 0.8%] in the Myosin 1A gene (MYO1A was associated with a 0.36 (95%CI, 0.04 to 0.54; p=0.02 increment of the standardized value of the natural logarithm of hs-GH per 1 minor allele and rs35699176 (NP_067040.1:p.Q100* in the Zink Finger protein 77 gene (ZNF77 (MAF = 4.8% was associated with a 0.12 (95%CI, 0.02 to 0.22; p = 0.02 increase of hs-GH. The mutated high hs-GH associated allele of MYO1A was related to lower BMI (β-coefficient, -0.22; p = 0.05, waist (β-coefficient, -0.22; p = 0.04, body fat percentage (β-coefficient, -0.23; p = 0.03 and with higher HDL (β-coefficient, 0.23; p = 0.04. The ZNF77 stop codon was associated with height (β-coefficient, 0.11; p = 0.02 but not with cardiometabolic risk factors.We here suggest that a stop codon of MYO1A, disrupting 91% of the predicted amino acid sequence, is associated with higher hs-GH and GH-related traits suggesting that MYO1A is involved in GH metabolism and possibly body fat distribution. However, our results are preliminary and need replication in

  3. HAWC Timing Calibration

    CERN Document Server

    Huentemeyer, Petra; Dingus, Brenda

    2009-01-01

    The High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Experiment is a second-generation highsensitivity gamma-ray and cosmic-ray detector that builds on the experience and technology of the Milagro observatory. Like Milagro, HAWC utilizes the water Cherenkov technique to measure extensive air showers. Instead of a pond filled with water (as in Milagro) an array of closely packed water tanks is used. The event direction will be reconstructed using the times when the PMTs in each tank are triggered. Therefore, the timing calibration will be crucial for reaching an angular resolution as low as 0.25 degrees.We propose to use a laser calibration system, patterned after the calibration system in Milagro. Like Milagro, the HAWC optical calibration system will use ~1 ns laser light pulses. Unlike Milagro, the PMTs are optically isolated and require their own optical fiber calibration. For HAWC the laser light pulses will be directed through a series of optical fan-outs and fibers to illuminate the PMTs in approximately one half o...

  4. Calibration Under Uncertainty.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Swiler, Laura Painton; Trucano, Timothy Guy

    2005-03-01

    This report is a white paper summarizing the literature and different approaches to the problem of calibrating computer model parameters in the face of model uncertainty. Model calibration is often formulated as finding the parameters that minimize the squared difference between the model-computed data (the predicted data) and the actual experimental data. This approach does not allow for explicit treatment of uncertainty or error in the model itself: the model is considered the %22true%22 deterministic representation of reality. While this approach does have utility, it is far from an accurate mathematical treatment of the true model calibration problem in which both the computed data and experimental data have error bars. This year, we examined methods to perform calibration accounting for the error in both the computer model and the data, as well as improving our understanding of its meaning for model predictability. We call this approach Calibration under Uncertainty (CUU). This talk presents our current thinking on CUU. We outline some current approaches in the literature, and discuss the Bayesian approach to CUU in detail.

  5. Danmarks Største Fossiler

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindow, Bent Erik Kramer; Cuny, Gilles Guy Roger

    2008-01-01

    For 8 millioner år siden myldrede Nordsøen af en mangfoldighed af hajer, hvaler, havskildpadder og sæler, mange flere end i dag. Blandt dem finder man Danmarks største fossiler som er udstillet på Museum Sønderjylland - Naturhistorie og Palæontologi i Gram.......For 8 millioner år siden myldrede Nordsøen af en mangfoldighed af hajer, hvaler, havskildpadder og sæler, mange flere end i dag. Blandt dem finder man Danmarks største fossiler som er udstillet på Museum Sønderjylland - Naturhistorie og Palæontologi i Gram....

  6. Cassini State Transitions with a Fossil Figure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsuyama, Isamu; Tuttle Keane, James

    2016-10-01

    The Moon has experienced large obliquity variations during Cassini state transitions which greatly impact tidal heating, and the long-term stability of polar volatiles. It has been known for centuries that the lunar rotational and tidal bulges are much larger than expected. The South Pole-Aitken basin can explain a large fraction of the excess deformation. Accounting for the contribution of this basin (and other large basins), the remaining excess deformation arises due to a fossil figure established when the Moon orbited much closer to Earth than it does today. Previous studies assume that the present, excess deformation is entirely preserved throughout Cassini state transitions. This ignores basin contributions to the excess deformation, and requires an interior with infinite rigidity. We consider Cassini state transition models that take into account basin contributions to the excess deformation, and the effect of finite rigidity on the fossil figure.

  7. Fossil energy waste management. Technology status report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bossart, S.J.; Newman, D.A.

    1995-02-01

    This report describes the current status and recent accomplishments of the Fossil Energy Waste Management (FE WM) projects sponsored by the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) of the US Department of Energy (DOE). The primary goal of the Waste Management Program is to identify and develop optimal strategies to manage solid by-products from advanced coal technologies for the purpose of ensuring the competitiveness of advanced coal technologies as a future energy source. The projects in the Fossil Energy Waste Management Program are divided into three types of activities: Waste Characterization, Disposal Technologies, and Utilization Technologies. This technology status report includes a discussion on barriers to increased use of coal by-products. Also, the major technical and nontechnical challenges currently being addressed by the FE WM program are discussed. A bibliography of 96 citations and a list of project contacts is included if the reader is interested in obtaining additional information about the FE WM program.

  8. Fossil Biodiversity: Red Noise Plus Signal

    CERN Document Server

    Melott, A L; Melott, Adrian L.; Lieberman, Bruce S.

    2006-01-01

    We have examined the Fourier power spectrum as well as the Hurst exponent of extinction, origination, and total biodiversity in the marine fossil record, using a recently improved geologic timescale. We find all of them strongly inconsistent with past claims of self-similarity as well as inconsistent with random walk behavior. Instead, they are dominated by low-frequency power, with approximate f^-2 power over one decade in frequency. The spectrum turns over at about 10^5 y, lending plausibility to connections with galactic dynamics. Even in the background of this low-frequency dominance, a previously noted 62 My biodiversity cycle stands out with better than 99% confidence above the noise level, accounting for about 35% of the total variance in the fossil biodiversity record.

  9. Diatoms: a fossil fuel of the future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levitan, Orly; Dinamarca, Jorge; Hochman, Gal; Falkowski, Paul G

    2014-03-01

    Long-term global climate change, caused by burning petroleum and other fossil fuels, has motivated an urgent need to develop renewable, carbon-neutral, economically viable alternatives to displace petroleum using existing infrastructure. Algal feedstocks are promising candidate replacements as a 'drop-in' fuel. Here, we focus on a specific algal taxon, diatoms, to become the fossil fuel of the future. We summarize past attempts to obtain suitable diatom strains, propose future directions for their genetic manipulation, and offer biotechnological pathways to improve yield. We calculate that the yields obtained by using diatoms as a production platform are theoretically sufficient to satisfy the total oil consumption of the US, using between 3 and 5% of its land area. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Decarbonisation of fossil energy via methane pyrolysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kreysa, G.; Agar, D.W.; Schultz, I. [Technische Univ. Dortmund (Germany)

    2010-12-30

    Despite the rising consumption of energy over the last few decades, the proven reserves of fossil fuels have steadily increased. Additionally, there are potentially tremendous reserves of methane hydrates available, which remain to be exploited. The use of fossil energy sources is thus increasingly being dictated less by supply than by the environmental concerns raised by climate change. In the context of the decarbonisation of the global energy system that this has stimulated, new means must be explored for using methane as energy source. Noncatalytic thermal pyrolysis of methane is proposed here as a promising concept for utilising methane with low to zero carbon dioxide emissions. Following cracking, only the energy content of the hydrogen is used, while the carbon can be stored safely and retrievably in disused coal mines. The thermodynamics and different process engineering concepts for the technical realisation of such a carbon moratorium technology are discussed. The possible contribution of methane pyrolysis to carbon negative geoengineering is also addressed. (orig.)

  11. Future Fossil Fuel Alternative; DME (A review)

    OpenAIRE

    Erdener, Hülya; Arinan, Ayca; Orman, Sultan

    2016-01-01

    The world energy consumption is steadily growing with the industrial improvements of the developing countries and the readily available fossil fuel reserves lack in fulfilling this energy requirement. The depletion of the easily achievable reserves; gives rise to the concept of oil production from oil shale and tar sands. However, the high cost and the operational difficulties stand as the major drawbacks in front of these technologies. Along with these circumstances, and the environmental co...

  12. Adaptation, plant evolution, and the fossil record

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, A. H.; Niklas, K. J.

    1987-01-01

    The importance of adaptation in determining patterns of evolution has become an important focus of debate in evolutionary biology. As it pertains to paleobotany, the issue is whether or not adaptive evolution mediated by natural selection is sufficient to explain the stratigraphic distributions of taxa and character states observed in the plant fossil record. One means of addressing this question is the functional evaluation of stratigraphic series of plant organs set in the context of paleoenvironmental change and temporal patterns of floral composition within environments. For certain organ systems, quantitative estimates of biophysical performance can be made on the basis of structures preserved in the fossil record. Performance estimates for plants separated in time or space can be compared directly. Implicit in different hypotheses of the forces that shape the evolutionary record (e.g. adaptation, mass extinction, rapid environmental change, chance) are predictions about stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental trends in the efficacy of functional performance. Existing data suggest that following the evolution of a significant structural innovation, adaptation for improved functional performance can be a major determinant of evolutionary changes in plants; however, there are structural and development limits to functional improvement, and once these are reached, the structure in question may no longer figure strongly in selection until and unless a new innovation evolves. The Silurian-Devonian paleobotanical record is consistent with the hypothesis that the succession of lowland floodplain dominants preserved in the fossil record of this interval was determined principally by the repeated evolution of new taxa that rose to ecological importance because of competitive advantages conferred by improved biophysical performance. This does not seem to be equally true for Carboniferous-Jurassic dominants of swamp and lowland floodplain environments. In these cases

  13. The phylogeny of fossil whip spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garwood, Russell J; Dunlop, Jason A; Knecht, Brian J; Hegna, Thomas A

    2017-04-21

    Arachnids are a highly successful group of land-dwelling arthropods. They are major contributors to modern terrestrial ecosystems, and have a deep evolutionary history. Whip spiders (Arachnida, Amblypygi), are one of the smaller arachnid orders with ca. 190 living species. Here we restudy one of the oldest fossil representatives of the group, Graeophonus anglicus Pocock, 1911 from the Late Carboniferous (Duckmantian, ca. 315 Ma) British Middle Coal Measures of the West Midlands, UK. Using X-ray microtomography, our principal aim was to resolve details of the limbs and mouthparts which would allow us to test whether this fossil belongs in the extant, relict family Paracharontidae; represented today by a single, blind species Paracharon caecus Hansen, 1921. Tomography reveals several novel and significant character states for G. anglicus; most notably in the chelicerae, pedipalps and walking legs. These allowed it to be scored into a phylogenetic analysis together with the recently described Paracharonopsis cambayensis Engel & Grimaldi, 2014 from the Eocene (ca. 52 Ma) Cambay amber, and Kronocharon prendinii Engel & Grimaldi, 2014 from Cretaceous (ca. 99 Ma) Burmese amber. We recovered relationships of the form ((Graeophonus (Paracharonopsis + Paracharon)) + (Charinus (Stygophrynus (Kronocharon (Charon (Musicodamon + Paraphrynus)))))). This tree largely reflects Peter Weygoldt's 1996 classification with its basic split into Paleoamblypygi and Euamblypygi lineages; we were able to score several of his characters for the first time in fossils. Our analysis draws into question the monophyly of the family Charontidae. Our data suggest that Graeophonus is a crown group amblypygid, and falls within a monophyletic Paleoamblypgi clade, but outside the family Paracharontidae (= Paracharonopsis + Paracharon). Our results also suggest a new placement for the Burmese amber genus Kronocharon, a node further down from its original position. Overall, we offer a

  14. Gene composer: database software for protein construct design, codon engineering, and gene synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorimer, Don; Raymond, Amy; Walchli, John; Mixon, Mark; Barrow, Adrienne; Wallace, Ellen; Grice, Rena; Burgin, Alex; Stewart, Lance

    2009-04-21

    To improve efficiency in high throughput protein structure determination, we have developed a database software package, Gene Composer, which facilitates the information-rich design of protein constructs and their codon engineered synthetic gene sequences. With its modular workflow design and numerous graphical user interfaces, Gene Composer enables researchers to perform all common bio-informatics steps used in modern structure guided protein engineering and synthetic gene engineering. An interactive Alignment Viewer allows the researcher to simultaneously visualize sequence conservation in the context of known protein secondary structure, ligand contacts, water contacts, crystal contacts, B-factors, solvent accessible area, residue property type and several other useful property views. The Construct Design Module enables the facile design of novel protein constructs with altered N- and C-termini, internal insertions or deletions, point mutations, and desired affinity tags. The modifications can be combined and permuted into multiple protein constructs, and then virtually cloned in silico into defined expression vectors. The Gene Design Module uses a protein-to-gene algorithm that automates the back-translation of a protein amino acid sequence into a codon engineered nucleic acid gene sequence according to a selected codon usage table with minimal codon usage threshold, defined G:C% content, and desired sequence features achieved through synonymous codon selection that is optimized for the intended expression system. The gene-to-oligo algorithm of the Gene Design Module plans out all of the required overlapping oligonucleotides and mutagenic primers needed to synthesize the desired gene constructs by PCR, and for physically cloning them into selected vectors by the most popular subcloning strategies. We present a complete description of Gene Composer functionality, and an efficient PCR-based synthetic gene assembly procedure with mis-match specific endonuclease

  15. UGA is an additional glycine codon in uncultured SR1 bacteria from the human microbiota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, James H; O'Donoghue, Patrick; Campbell, Alisha G; Schwientek, Patrick; Sczyrba, Alexander; Woyke, Tanja; Söll, Dieter; Podar, Mircea

    2013-04-02

    The composition of the human microbiota is recognized as an important factor in human health and disease. Many of our cohabitating microbes belong to phylum-level divisions for which there are no cultivated representatives and are only represented by small subunit rRNA sequences. For one such taxon (SR1), which includes bacteria with elevated abundance in periodontitis, we provide a single-cell genome sequence from a healthy oral sample. SR1 bacteria use a unique genetic code. In-frame TGA (opal) codons are found in most genes (85%), often at loci normally encoding conserved glycine residues. UGA appears not to function as a stop codon and is in equilibrium with the canonical GGN glycine codons, displaying strain-specific variation across the human population. SR1 encodes a divergent tRNA(Gly)UCA with an opal-decoding anticodon. SR1 glycyl-tRNA synthetase acylates tRNA(Gly)UCA with glycine in vitro with similar activity compared with normal tRNA(Gly)UCC. Coexpression of SR1 glycyl-tRNA synthetase and tRNA(Gly)UCA in Escherichia coli yields significant β-galactosidase activity in vivo from a lacZ gene containing an in-frame TGA codon. Comparative genomic analysis with Human Microbiome Project data revealed that the human body harbors a striking diversity of SR1 bacteria. This is a surprising finding because SR1 is most closely related to bacteria that live in anoxic and thermal environments. Some of these bacteria share common genetic and metabolic features with SR1, including UGA to glycine reassignment and an archaeal-type ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (RubisCO) involved in AMP recycling. UGA codon reassignment renders SR1 genes untranslatable by other bacteria, which impacts horizontal gene transfer within the human microbiota.

  16. Gene Composer: database software for protein construct design, codon engineering, and gene synthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mixon Mark

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background To improve efficiency in high throughput protein structure determination, we have developed a database software package, Gene Composer, which facilitates the information-rich design of protein constructs and their codon engineered synthetic gene sequences. With its modular workflow design and numerous graphical user interfaces, Gene Composer enables researchers to perform all common bio-informatics steps used in modern structure guided protein engineering and synthetic gene engineering. Results An interactive Alignment Viewer allows the researcher to simultaneously visualize sequence conservation in the context of known protein secondary structure, ligand contacts, water contacts, crystal contacts, B-factors, solvent accessible area, residue property type and several other useful property views. The Construct Design Module enables the facile design of novel protein constructs with altered N- and C-termini, internal insertions or deletions, point mutations, and desired affinity tags. The modifications can be combined and permuted into multiple protein constructs, and then virtually cloned in silico into defined expression vectors. The Gene Design Module uses a protein-to-gene algorithm that automates the back-translation of a protein amino acid sequence into a codon engineered nucleic acid gene sequence according to a selected codon usage table with minimal codon usage threshold, defined G:C% content, and desired sequence features achieved through synonymous codon selection that is optimized for the intended expression system. The gene-to-oligo algorithm of the Gene Design Module plans out all of the required overlapping oligonucleotides and mutagenic primers needed to synthesize the desired gene constructs by PCR, and for physically cloning them into selected vectors by the most popular subcloning strategies. Conclusion We present a complete description of Gene Composer functionality, and an efficient PCR-based synthetic gene

  17. Enhancement of premature stop codon readthrough in the CFTR gene by Ataluren (PTC124) derivatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pibiri, Ivana; Lentini, Laura; Melfi, Raffaella; Gallucci, Giulia; Pace, Andrea; Spinello, Angelo; Barone, Giampaolo; Di Leonardo, Aldo

    2015-08-28

    Premature stop codons are the result of nonsense mutations occurring within the coding sequence of a gene. These mutations lead to the synthesis of a truncated protein and are responsible for several genetic diseases. A potential pharmacological approach to treat these diseases is to promote the translational readthrough of premature stop codons by small molecules aiming to restore the full-length protein. The compound PTC124 (Ataluren) was reported to promote the readthrough of the premature UGA stop codon, although its activity was questioned. The potential interaction of PTC124 with mutated mRNA was recently suggested by molecular dynamics (MD) studies highlighting the importance of H-bonding and stacking π-π interactions. To improve the readthrough activity we changed the fluorine number and position in the PTC124 fluoroaryl moiety. The readthrough ability of these PTC124 derivatives was tested in human cells harboring reporter plasmids with premature stop codons in H2BGFP and FLuc genes as well as in cystic fibrosis (CF) IB3.1 cells with a nonsense mutation. Maintaining low toxicity, three of these molecules showed higher efficacy than PTC124 in the readthrough of the UGA premature stop codon and in recovering the expression of the CFTR protein in IB3.1 cells from cystic fibrosis patient. Molecular dynamics simulations performed with mutated CFTR mRNA fragments and active or inactive derivatives are in agreement with the suggested interaction of PTC124 with mRNA. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  18. Selective constraints on amino acids estimated by a mechanistic codon substitution model with multiple nucleotide changes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanzo Miyazawa

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Empirical substitution matrices represent the average tendencies of substitutions over various protein families by sacrificing gene-level resolution. We develop a codon-based model, in which mutational tendencies of codon, a genetic code, and the strength of selective constraints against amino acid replacements can be tailored to a given gene. First, selective constraints averaged over proteins are estimated by maximizing the likelihood of each 1-PAM matrix of empirical amino acid (JTT, WAG, and LG and codon (KHG substitution matrices. Then, selective constraints specific to given proteins are approximated as a linear function of those estimated from the empirical substitution matrices. RESULTS: Akaike information criterion (AIC values indicate that a model allowing multiple nucleotide changes fits the empirical substitution matrices significantly better. Also, the ML estimates of transition-transversion bias obtained from these empirical matrices are not so large as previously estimated. The selective constraints are characteristic of proteins rather than species. However, their relative strengths among amino acid pairs can be approximated not to depend very much on protein families but amino acid pairs, because the present model, in which selective constraints are approximated to be a linear function of those estimated from the JTT/WAG/LG/KHG matrices, can provide a good fit to other empirical substitution matrices including cpREV for chloroplast proteins and mtREV for vertebrate mitochondrial proteins. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The present codon-based model with the ML estimates of selective constraints and with adjustable mutation rates of nucleotide would be useful as a simple substitution model in ML and Bayesian inferences of molecular phylogenetic trees, and enables us to obtain biologically meaningful information at both nucleotide and amino acid levels from codon and protein sequences.

  19. The Properties of Fossil Groups of Galaxies

    CERN Document Server

    Eigenthaler, Paul

    2009-01-01

    Numerical simulations as well as optical and X-ray observations over the last few years have shown that poor groups of galaxies can evolve to what is called a fossil group. Dynamical friction as the driving process leads to the coalescence of individual galaxies in ordinary poor groups leaving behind nothing more than a central, massive elliptical galaxy supposed to contain the merger history of the whole group. Due to merging timescales for less-massive galaxies and gas cooling timescales of the X-ray intragroup medium exceeding a Hubble time, a surrounding faint-galaxy population having survived this galactic cannibalism as well as an extended X-ray halo similar to that found in ordinary groups, is expected. Recent studies suggest that fossil groups are very abundant and could be the progenitors of brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) in the centers of rich galaxy clusters. However, only a few objects are known to the literature. This article aims to summarize the results of observational fossil group research...

  20. Fossil harvestmen (Arachnida, Opiliones from Bitterfeld amber

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Dunlop

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Fossil harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones: Dyspnoi and Eupnoi are described from Bitterfeld amber, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany deposited in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin. The exact age of this amber has been in dispute, but recent work suggests it is youngest Palaeogene (Oligocene: Chattian. Histricostoma tuberculatum (Koch & Berendt, 1854, Caddo dentipalpus (Koch & Berendt, 1854, Dicranopalpus ramiger (Koch & Berendt, 1854 and Leiobunum longipes Menge, 1854 – all of which are also known from Eocene Baltic amber – are reported from Bitterfeld amber for the first time. They support the idea that both ambers sampled a similar terrestrial arthropod fauna: irrespective of any difference in age. Mitostoma gruberi sp. n. and Amilenus deltshevi sp. n. are described as new. One fossil is, in our opinion, morphologically indistinguishable from the extant species Lacinius erinaceus Staręga, 1966 from the Caucuses, and is tentatively assigned to this taxon. The Bitterfeld material thus includes the first fossil record of the extant genera Amilenus Martens, 1969 and Lacinius Thorell, 1876 respectively.

  1. TARGETLESS CAMERA CALIBRATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Barazzetti

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available In photogrammetry a camera is considered calibrated if its interior orientation parameters are known. These encompass the principal distance, the principal point position and some Additional Parameters used to model possible systematic errors. The current state of the art for automated camera calibration relies on the use of coded targets to accurately determine the image correspondences. This paper presents a new methodology for the efficient and rigorous photogrammetric calibration of digital cameras which does not require any longer the use of targets. A set of images depicting a scene with a good texture are sufficient for the extraction of natural corresponding image points. These are automatically matched with feature-based approaches and robust estimation techniques. The successive photogrammetric bundle adjustment retrieves the unknown camera parameters and their theoretical accuracies. Examples, considerations and comparisons with real data and different case studies are illustrated to show the potentialities of the proposed methodology.

  2. Calibration Systems Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Myers, Tanya L.; Broocks, Bryan T.; Phillips, Mark C.

    2006-02-01

    The Calibration Systems project at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is aimed towards developing and demonstrating compact Quantum Cascade (QC) laser-based calibration systems for infrared imaging systems. These on-board systems will improve the calibration technology for passive sensors, which enable stand-off detection for the proliferation or use of weapons of mass destruction, by replacing on-board blackbodies with QC laser-based systems. This alternative technology can minimize the impact on instrument size and weight while improving the quality of instruments for a variety of missions. The potential of replacing flight blackbodies is made feasible by the high output, stability, and repeatability of the QC laser spectral radiance.

  3. Ibis ground calibration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bird, A.J.; Barlow, E.J.; Tikkanen, T. [Southampton Univ., School of Physics and Astronomy (United Kingdom); Bazzano, A.; Del Santo, M.; Ubertini, P. [Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica Cosmica - IASF/CNR, Roma (Italy); Blondel, C.; Laurent, P.; Lebrun, F. [CEA Saclay - Sap, 91 - Gif sur Yvette (France); Di Cocco, G.; Malaguti, E. [Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica-Bologna - IASF/CNR (Italy); Gabriele, M.; La Rosa, G.; Segreto, A. [Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica- IASF/CNR, Palermo (Italy); Quadrini, E. [Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale e Fisica-Cosmica, EASF/CNR, Milano (Italy); Volkmer, R. [Institut fur Astronomie und Astrophysik, Tubingen (Germany)

    2003-11-01

    We present an overview of results obtained from IBIS ground calibrations. The spectral and spatial characteristics of the detector planes and surrounding passive materials have been determined through a series of calibration campaigns. Measurements of pixel gain, energy resolution, detection uniformity, efficiency and imaging capability are presented. The key results obtained from the ground calibration have been: - optimization of the instrument tunable parameters, - determination of energy linearity for all detection modes, - determination of energy resolution as a function of energy through the range 20 keV - 3 MeV, - demonstration of imaging capability in each mode, - measurement of intrinsic detector non-uniformity and understanding of the effects of passive materials surrounding the detector plane, and - discovery (and closure) of various leakage paths through the passive shielding system.

  4. On the ages of resonant, eroded and fossil asteroid families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milani, Andrea; Knežević, Zoran; Spoto, Federica; Cellino, Alberto; Novaković, Bojan; Tsirvoulis, Georgios

    2017-05-01

    In this work we have estimated 10 collisional ages of 9 families for which for different reasons our previous attempts failed. In general, these are difficult cases that required dedicated effort, such as a new family classifications for asteroids in mean motion resonances, in particular the 1/1 and 2/1 with Jupiter, as well as a revision of the classification inside the 3/2 resonance. Of the families locked in mean motion resonances, by employing a numerical calibration to estimate the Yarkovsky effect in proper eccentricity, we succeeded in determining ages of the families of (1911) Schubart and of the ;super-Hilda; family, assuming this is actually a severely eroded original family of (153) Hilda. In the Trojan region we found families with almost no Yarkovsky evolution, for which we could compute only physically implausible ages. Hence, we interpreted their modest dispersions of proper elements as implying that the Trojan asteroid families are fossil families, frozen at their proper elements determined by the original ejection velocity field. We have found a new family, among the Griquas locked in the 2/1 resonance with Jupiter, the family of (11097) 1994 UD1. We have estimated the ages of 6 families affected by secular resonances: families of (5) Astraea, (25) Phocaea, (283) Emma, (363) Padua, (686) Gersuind, and (945) Barcelona. By using in all these cases a numerical calibration method, we have shown that the secular resonances do not affect significantly the secular change of proper a. We have confirmed the existence of the family resulting from cratering on (5) Astraea by computing a new set of resonant proper elements adapted to the resonance g +g5 - 2g6 : this new family has a much larger membership and has a shape compatible with simple collisional models. For the family of (145) Adeona we could estimate the age only after removal of a number of assumed interlopers. With the present paper we have concluded the series dedicated to the determination of

  5. Consequences of Secondary Calibrations on Divergence Time Estimates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John J Schenk

    Full Text Available Secondary calibrations (calibrations based on the results of previous molecular dating studies are commonly applied in divergence time analyses in groups that lack fossil data; however, the consequences of applying secondary calibrations in a relaxed-clock approach are not fully understood. I tested whether applying the posterior estimate from a primary study as a prior distribution in a secondary study results in consistent age and uncertainty estimates. I compared age estimates from simulations with 100 randomly replicated secondary trees. On average, the 95% credible intervals of node ages for secondary estimates were significantly younger and narrower than primary estimates. The primary and secondary age estimates were significantly different in 97% of the replicates after Bonferroni corrections. Greater error in magnitude was associated with deeper than shallower nodes, but the opposite was found when standardized by median node age, and a significant positive relationship was determined between the number of tips/age of secondary trees and the total amount of error. When two secondary calibrated nodes were analyzed, estimates remained significantly different, and although the minimum and median estimates were associated with less error, maximum age estimates and credible interval widths had greater error. The shape of the prior also influenced error, in which applying a normal, rather than uniform, prior distribution resulted in greater error. Secondary calibrations, in summary, lead to a false impression of precision and the distribution of age estimates shift away from those that would be inferred by the primary analysis. These results suggest that secondary calibrations should not be applied as the only source of calibration in divergence time analyses that test time-dependent hypotheses until the additional error associated with secondary calibrations is more properly modeled to take into account increased uncertainty in age estimates.

  6. Calibrating Legal Judgments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederick Schauer

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective to study the notion and essence of legal judgments calibration the possibilities of using it in the lawenforcement activity to explore the expenses and advantages of using it. Methods dialectic approach to the cognition of social phenomena which enables to analyze them in historical development and functioning in the context of the integrity of objective and subjective factors it determined the choice of the following research methods formallegal comparative legal sociological methods of cognitive psychology and philosophy. Results In ordinary life people who assess other peoplersaquos judgments typically take into account the other judgments of those they are assessing in order to calibrate the judgment presently being assessed. The restaurant and hotel rating website TripAdvisor is exemplary because it facilitates calibration by providing access to a raterrsaquos previous ratings. Such information allows a user to see whether a particular rating comes from a rater who is enthusiastic about every place she patronizes or instead from someone who is incessantly hard to please. And even when less systematized as in assessing a letter of recommendation or college transcript calibration by recourse to the decisional history of those whose judgments are being assessed is ubiquitous. Yet despite the ubiquity and utility of such calibration the legal system seems perversely to reject it. Appellate courts do not openly adjust their standard of review based on the previous judgments of the judge whose decision they are reviewing nor do judges in reviewing legislative or administrative decisions magistrates in evaluating search warrant representations or jurors in assessing witness perception. In most legal domains calibration by reference to the prior decisions of the reviewee is invisible either because it does not exist or because reviewing bodies are unwilling to admit using what they in fact know and employ. Scientific novelty for the first

  7. Iterative Magnetometer Calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sedlak, Joseph

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents an iterative method for three-axis magnetometer (TAM) calibration that makes use of three existing utilities recently incorporated into the attitude ground support system used at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The method combines attitude-independent and attitude-dependent calibration algorithms with a new spinning spacecraft Kalman filter to solve for biases, scale factors, nonorthogonal corrections to the alignment, and the orthogonal sensor alignment. The method is particularly well-suited to spin-stabilized spacecraft, but may also be useful for three-axis stabilized missions given sufficient data to provide observability.

  8. A new classification of viviparous brotulas (Bythitidae) – with family status for Dinematichthyidae – based on molecular, morphological and fossil data

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Peter Rask; Knudsen, Steen Wilhelm; Schwarzhans, Werner

    2016-01-01

    The order Ophidiiformes is a large but not very well known group of fishes, unique among teleosts for showing high diversity in both deep sea and shallow reef habitats. The current classification includes more than 500 species, 115 genera and four families, based primarily on mode of reproduction...... status. Here we study the viviparous families phylogenetically with partial mitochondrial (nd4, 16s) and nuclear(Rag1) DNA sequences (2194 bp). We use a fossil calibration of otolith-based taxa to calibrate the age of the clade comprising bythitid and dinematicththyid representatives, together...... with fossil calibrations adopted from previous phylogenetic studies. The separation of the order into two major lineages, the viviparous Bythitoidei and the oviparous Ophidioidei is confirmed. At the familial level, however, a new classification is presented for the viviparous clades, placing Aphyonidae...

  9. Fossil Groups Origins III. Characterization of the sample and observational properties of fossil systems

    CERN Document Server

    Zarattini, S; Girardi, M; Castro-Rodriguez, N; Boschin, W; Aguerri, J A L; Méndez-Abreu, J; Sánchez-Janssen, R; Catalán-Torrecilla, C; Corsini, E M; del Burgo, C; D'Onghia, E; Herrera-Ruiz, N; Iglesias-Páramo, J; Bailon, E Jimenez; Muñoz, M Lozada; Napolitano, N; Vilchez, J M

    2014-01-01

    (Abridged) Fossil systems are group- or cluster-sized objects whose luminosity is dominated by a very massive central galaxy. In the current cold dark matter scenario, these objects formed hierarchically at an early epoch of the Universe and then slowly evolved until present day. That is the reason why they are called {\\it fossils}. We started an extensive observational program to characterize a sample of 34 fossil group candidates spanning a broad range of physical properties. Deep $r-$band images were taken for each candidate and optical spectroscopic observations were obtained for $\\sim$ 1200 galaxies. This new dataset was completed with SDSS DR7 archival data to obtain robust cluster membership and global properties of each fossil group candidate. For each system, we recomputed the magnitude gaps between the two brightest galaxies ($\\Delta m_{12}$) and the first and fourth ranked galaxies ($\\Delta m_{14}$) within 0.5 $R_{{\\rm 200}}$. We consider fossil systems those with $\\Delta m_{12} \\ge 2$ mag or $\\Del...

  10. Traversing the mountaintop: world fossil fuel production to 2050.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nehring, Richard

    2009-10-27

    During the past century, fossil fuels--petroleum liquids, natural gas and coal--were the dominant source of world energy production. From 1950 to 2005, fossil fuels provided 85-93% of all energy production. All fossil fuels grew substantially during this period, their combined growth exceeding the increase in world population. This growth, however, was irregular, providing for rapidly growing per capita production from 1950 to 1980, stable per capita production from 1980 to 2000 and rising per capita production again after 2000. During the past half century, growth in fossil fuel production was essentially limited by energy demand. During the next half century, fossil fuel production will be limited primarily by the amount and characteristics of remaining fossil fuel resources. Three possible scenarios--low, medium and high--are developed for the production of each of the fossil fuels to 2050. These scenarios differ primarily by the amount of ultimate resources estimated for each fossil fuel. Total fossil fuel production will continue to grow, but only slowly for the next 15-30 years. The subsequent peak plateau will last for 10-15 years. These production peaks are robust; none of the fossil fuels, even with highly optimistic resource estimates, is projected to keep growing beyond 2050. World fossil fuel production per capita will thus begin an irreversible decline between 2020 and 2030.

  11. Fossil Energy Program semiannual progress report, October 1990--March 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Judkins, R.R.

    1992-07-01

    This report covers progress made during the period October 1, 1990, through March 31, 1991, for research and development projects that contribute to the advancement of various fossil energy technologies. Projects on the Fossil Energy Program are supported by the DOE Office of Fossil Energy, the DOE Morgantown Energy Technology Center, the DOE Pittsburgh Energy Technology Center, the DOE Fossil Energy Clean Coal Technology Program, the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences, the DOE Fossil Energy Office of Petroleum Reserves, the DOE Fossil Energy Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves, and the US Agency for International Development. The Fossil, Energy Program organization chart is shown in the appendix. Topics include: alloys, ceramics and composite research and development; corrosion and erosion research; environmental analysis and information systems; coal conversion development; mild gasification product characterization; coal combustion research; strategic petroleum reserve planning and modeling; and coal structure and chemistry.

  12. Distinguishing heat from light in debate over controversial fossils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donoghue, Philip C J; Purnell, Mark A

    2009-02-01

    Fossil organisms offer our only direct insight into how the distinctive body plans of extant organisms were assembled. However, realizing the potential evolutionary significance of fossils can be hampered by controversy over their interpretation. Here, as a guide to evaluating palaeontological debates, we outline the process and pitfalls of fossil interpretation. The physical remains of controversial fossils should be reconstructed before interpreting homologies, and choice of interpretative model should be explicit and justified. Extinct taxa lack characters diagnostic of extant clades because the characters had not yet evolved, because of secondary loss, or because they have rotted away. The latter, if not taken into account, will lead to the spurious assignment of fossils to basally branching clades. Conflicting interpretations of fossils can often be resolved by considering all the steps in the process of anatomical analysis and phylogenetic placement, although we must accept that some fossil organisms are simply too incompletely preserved for their evolutionary significance to be realized.

  13. Smart Calibration of Excavators

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bro, Marie; Døring, Kasper; Ellekilde, Lars-Peter

    2005-01-01

    Excavators dig holes. But where is the bucket? The purpose of this report is to treat four different problems concerning calibrations of position indicators for excavators in operation at concrete construction sites. All four problems are related to the question of how to determine the precise ge...

  14. Calibration with Absolute Shrinkage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Øjelund, Henrik; Madsen, Henrik; Thyregod, Poul

    2001-01-01

    is suggested to cope with the singular design matrix most often seen in chemometric calibration. Furthermore, the proposed algorithm may be generalized to all convex norms like Sigma/beta (j)/(gamma) where gamma greater than or equal to 1, i.e. a method that continuously varies from ridge regression...

  15. Calibrating Communication Competencies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surges Tatum, Donna

    2016-11-01

    The Many-faceted Rasch measurement model is used in the creation of a diagnostic instrument by which communication competencies can be calibrated, the severity of observers/raters can be determined, the ability of speakers measured, and comparisons made between various groups.

  16. NVLAP calibration laboratory program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cigler, J.L.

    1993-12-31

    This paper presents an overview of the progress up to April 1993 in the development of the Calibration Laboratories Accreditation Program within the framework of the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

  17. CALIBRATION OF PHOSWICH DETECTORS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    LEEGTE, HKW; KOLDENHOF, EE; BOONSTRA, AL; WILSCHUT, HW

    1992-01-01

    Two important aspects for the calibration of phoswich detector arrays have been investigated. It is shown that common gate ADCs can be used: The loss in particle identification due to fluctuations in the gate timing in multi-hit events can be corrected for by a simple procedure using the measured ti

  18. Measurement System & Calibration report

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kock, Carsten Weber; Vesth, Allan

    This Measurement System & Calibration report is describing DTU’s measurement system installed at a specific wind turbine. A major part of the sensors has been installed by others (see [1]) the rest of the sensors have been installed by DTU. The results of the measurements, described in this report...

  19. LOFAR facet calibration

    CERN Document Server

    van Weeren, R J; Hardcastle, M J; Shimwell, T W; Rafferty, D A; Sabater, J; Heald, G; Sridhar, S S; Dijkema, T J; Brunetti, G; Brüggen, M; Andrade-Santos, F; Ogrean, G A; Röttgering, H J A; Dawson, W A; Forman, W R; de Gasperin, F; Jones, C; Miley, G K; Rudnick, L; Sarazin, C L; Bonafede, A; Best, P N; Bîrzan, L; Cassano, R; Chyży, K T; Croston, J H; Ensslin, T; Ferrari, C; Hoeft, M; Horellou, C; Jarvis, M J; Kraft, R P; Mevius, M; Intema, H T; Murray, S S; Orrú, E; Pizzo, R; Simionescu, A; Stroe, A; van der Tol, S; White, G J

    2016-01-01

    LOFAR, the Low-Frequency Array, is a powerful new radio telescope operating between 10 and 240 MHz. LOFAR allows detailed sensitive high-resolution studies of the low-frequency radio sky. At the same time LOFAR also provides excellent short baseline coverage to map diffuse extended emission. However, producing high-quality deep images is challenging due to the presence of direction dependent calibration errors, caused by imperfect knowledge of the station beam shapes and the ionosphere. Furthermore, the large data volume and presence of station clock errors present additional difficulties. In this paper we present a new calibration scheme, which we name facet calibration, to obtain deep high-resolution LOFAR High Band Antenna images using the Dutch part of the array. This scheme solves and corrects the direction dependent errors in a number of facets that cover the observed field of view. Facet calibration provides close to thermal noise limited images for a typical 8 hr observing run at $\\sim$ 5arcsec resolu...

  20. Entropic calibration revisited

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brody, Dorje C. [Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, London SW7 2BZ (United Kingdom)]. E-mail: d.brody@imperial.ac.uk; Buckley, Ian R.C. [Centre for Quantitative Finance, Imperial College, London SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Constantinou, Irene C. [Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, London SW7 2BZ (United Kingdom); Meister, Bernhard K. [Blackett Laboratory, Imperial College, London SW7 2BZ (United Kingdom)

    2005-04-11

    The entropic calibration of the risk-neutral density function is effective in recovering the strike dependence of options, but encounters difficulties in determining the relevant greeks. By use of put-call reversal we apply the entropic method to the time reversed economy, which allows us to obtain the spot price dependence of options and the relevant greeks.

  1. Hawaii energy strategy project 2: Fossil energy review. Task 1: World and regional fossil energy dynamics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breazeale, K. [ed.; Isaak, D.T.; Yamaguchi, N.; Fridley, D.; Johnson, C.; Long, S.

    1993-12-01

    This report in the Hawaii Energy Strategy Project examines world and regional fossil energy dynamics. The topics of the report include fossil energy characteristics, the world oil industry including reserves, production, consumption, exporters, importers, refining, products and their uses, history and trends in the global oil market and the Asia-Pacific market; world gas industry including reserves, production, consumption, exporters, importers, processing, gas-based products, international gas market and the emerging Asia-Pacific gas market; the world coal industry including reserves, classification and quality, utilization, transportation, pricing, world coal market, Asia-Pacific coal outlook, trends in Europe and the Americas; and environmental trends affecting fossil fuels. 132 figs., 46 tabs.

  2. Hepatitis B virus pre-S2 start codon mutations in Indonesian liver disease patients

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andi Utama; Marlinang Diarta Siburian; Ismail Fanany; Mariana Destila Bayu Intan; Rama Dhenni; Tri Shinta Kurniasih; Syafruddin AR Lelosuta

    2012-01-01

    AIM:To identify the prevalence of pre-S2 start codon mutations and to assess their association with liver disease progression.METHODS:The mutations were identified by direct sequencing from 73 asymptomatic carriers,66 chronic hepatitis (CH),66 liver cirrhosis (LC) and 63 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients.Statistical significances were determined using Fisher's exact test,x2 test,and t-test analyses whenever appropriate.Pre-S mutation as a risk factor for advanced liver disease was estimated by unconditional logistic regression model adjusted with age,sex,and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg).P <0.05 was considered significant.RESULTS:Mutation of the hepatitis B virus (HBV)pre-S2 start codon was found in 59 samples from 268subjects (22.0%),with higher prevalence in patients with cirrhosis 27/66 (40.9%) followed by HCC 18/63(28.6%),chronic hepatitis 12/66 (18.2%) and asymptomatic carriers 2/73 (2.7%) (P < 0.001).Logistic regression analysis showed that pre-S2 start codon mutation was an independent factor for progressive liver disease.Other mutations,at T130,Q132,and A138,were also associated with LC and HCC,although this was not statistically significant when adjusted for age,sex,and HBeAg.The prevalence of pre-S2 start codon mutation was higher in HBV/B than in HBV/C (23.0%vs 19.1%),whilst the prevalence of T130,Q132,and A138 mutation was higher in HBV/C than in HBV/B.The prevalence of pre-S2 start codon mutation was higher in LC (38.9%) and HCC (40.0%) than CH (5.6%)in HBeAg(+) group,but it was similar between CH,LC and HCC in HBeAg(-) group.CONCLUSION:Pre-S2 start codon mutation was higher in Indonesian patients compared to other Asian countries,and its prevalence was associated with advanced liver disease,particularly in HBeAg(+) patients.

  3. Mercury CEM Calibration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John F. Schabron; Joseph F. Rovani; Susan S. Sorini

    2007-03-31

    The Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) which was published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2005, requires that calibration of mercury continuous emissions monitors (CEMs) be performed with NIST-traceable standards. Western Research Institute (WRI) is working closely with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to facilitate the development of the experimental criteria for a NIST traceability protocol for dynamic elemental mercury vapor generators. The traceability protocol will be written by EPA. Traceability will be based on the actual analysis of the output of each calibration unit at several concentration levels ranging from about 2-40 ug/m{sup 3}, and this analysis will be directly traceable to analyses by NIST using isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry (ID ICP/MS) through a chain of analyses linking the calibration unit in the power plant to the NIST ID ICP/MS. Prior to this project, NIST did not provide a recommended mercury vapor pressure equation or list mercury vapor pressure in its vapor pressure database. The NIST Physical and Chemical Properties Division in Boulder, Colorado was subcontracted under this project to study the issue in detail and to recommend a mercury vapor pressure equation that the vendors of mercury vapor pressure calibration units can use to calculate the elemental mercury vapor concentration in an equilibrium chamber at a particular temperature. As part of this study, a preliminary evaluation of calibration units from five vendors was made. The work was performed by NIST in Gaithersburg, MD and Joe Rovani from WRI who traveled to NIST as a Visiting Scientist.

  4. Empirical and Bayesian approaches to fossil-only divergence times: A study across three reptile clades.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Alan H; Pritchard, Adam C; Matzke, Nicholas J

    2017-01-01

    Estimating divergence times on phylogenies is critical in paleontological and neontological studies. Chronostratigraphically-constrained fossils are the only direct evidence of absolute timing of species divergence. Strict temporal calibration of fossil-only phylogenies provides minimum divergence estimates, and various methods have been proposed to estimate divergences beyond these minimum values. We explore the utility of simultaneous estimation of tree topology and divergence times using BEAST tip-dating on datasets consisting only of fossils by using relaxed morphological clocks and birth-death tree priors that include serial sampling (BDSS) at a constant rate through time. We compare BEAST results to those from the traditional maximum parsimony (MP) and undated Bayesian inference (BI) methods. Three overlapping datasets were used that span 250 million years of archosauromorph evolution leading to crocodylians. The first dataset focuses on early Sauria (31 taxa, 240 chars.), the second on early Archosauria (76 taxa, 400 chars.) and the third on Crocodyliformes (101 taxa, 340 chars.). For each dataset three time-calibrated trees (timetrees) were calculated: a minimum-age timetree with node ages based on earliest occurrences in the fossil record; a 'smoothed' timetree using a range of time added to the root that is then averaged over zero-length internodes; and a tip-dated timetree. Comparisons within datasets show that the smoothed and tip-dated timetrees provide similar estimates. Only near the root node do BEAST estimates fall outside the smoothed timetree range. The BEAST model is not able to overcome limited sampling to correctly estimate divergences considerably older than sampled fossil occurrence dates. Conversely, the smoothed timetrees consistently provide node-ages far older than the strict dates or BEAST estimates for morphologically conservative sister-taxa when they sit on long ghost lineages. In this latter case, the relaxed-clock model appears to

  5. Empirical and Bayesian approaches to fossil-only divergence times: A study across three reptile clades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Alan H.; Pritchard, Adam C.; Matzke, Nicholas J.

    2017-01-01

    Estimating divergence times on phylogenies is critical in paleontological and neontological studies. Chronostratigraphically-constrained fossils are the only direct evidence of absolute timing of species divergence. Strict temporal calibration of fossil-only phylogenies provides minimum divergence estimates, and various methods have been proposed to estimate divergences beyond these minimum values. We explore the utility of simultaneous estimation of tree topology and divergence times using BEAST tip-dating on datasets consisting only of fossils by using relaxed morphological clocks and birth-death tree priors that include serial sampling (BDSS) at a constant rate through time. We compare BEAST results to those from the traditional maximum parsimony (MP) and undated Bayesian inference (BI) methods. Three overlapping datasets were used that span 250 million years of archosauromorph evolution leading to crocodylians. The first dataset focuses on early Sauria (31 taxa, 240 chars.), the second on early Archosauria (76 taxa, 400 chars.) and the third on Crocodyliformes (101 taxa, 340 chars.). For each dataset three time-calibrated trees (timetrees) were calculated: a minimum-age timetree with node ages based on earliest occurrences in the fossil record; a ‘smoothed’ timetree using a range of time added to the root that is then averaged over zero-length internodes; and a tip-dated timetree. Comparisons within datasets show that the smoothed and tip-dated timetrees provide similar estimates. Only near the root node do BEAST estimates fall outside the smoothed timetree range. The BEAST model is not able to overcome limited sampling to correctly estimate divergences considerably older than sampled fossil occurrence dates. Conversely, the smoothed timetrees consistently provide node-ages far older than the strict dates or BEAST estimates for morphologically conservative sister-taxa when they sit on long ghost lineages. In this latter case, the relaxed-clock model appears

  6. Factors Influencing the Synonymous Codon and Amino Acid Usage Bias in AT-rich Pseudomonas aeruginosa Phage PhiKZ

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    K. SAU; S. SAU; S. C. MANDAL; T. C. GHOSH

    2005-01-01

    To reveal how the AT-rich genome of bacteriophage PhiKZ has been shaped in order to carry out its growth in the GC-rich host Pseudomonas aeruginosa, synonymous codon and amino acid usage bias of PhiKZ was investigated and the data were compared with that of P. aeruginosa. It was found that synonymous codon and amino acid usage of PhiKZ was distinct from that of P. aeruginosa. In contrast to P. aeruginosa, the third codon position of the synonymous codons of PhiKZ carries mostly A or T base; codon usage bias in PhiKZ is dictated mainly by mutational bias and, to a lesser extent, by translational selection. A cluster analysis of the relative synonymous codon usage values of 16 myoviruses including PhiKZ shows that PhiKZ is evolutionary much closer to Escherichia coli phage T4. Further analysis reveals that the three factors of mean molecular weight, aromaticity and cysteine content are mostly responsible for the variation of amino acid usage in PhiKZ proteins, whereas amino acid usage of P. aeruginosa proteins is mainly governed by grand average of hydropathicity, aromaticity and cysteine content. Based on these observations, we suggest that codons of the phage-like PhiKZ have evolved to preferentially incorporate the smaller amino acid residues into their proteins during translation, thereby economizing the cost of its development in GC-rich P. aeruginosa.

  7. Abstracts: Eighth Annual Conference on Fossil Energy Materials. Fossil Energy Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-07-01

    Abstracts are presented for about 40 papers. The Fossil Energy Advanced Research and Technology Development Materials program is an integrated materials research activity of the fossil energy coal program, whose objective is to conduct R and D for all advanced coal conversion and utilization technologies. The program is aimed at understanding materials behavior in coal system environments and the development of new materials for improving plant operations and reliability. A generic approach is used for addressing multiple coal technologies; for example, the hot-gas particulate filter development is applicable to pressurized fluidized bed combustion, integrated coal gasification combined-cycle, coal combustion, and indirectly fired combined-cycle systems.

  8. Comparative evaluation of solar, fission, fusion, and fossil energy resources. Part 4: Energy from fossil fuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J. R.

    1974-01-01

    The conversion of fossil-fired power plants now burning oil or gas to burn coal is discussed along with the relaxation of air quality standards and the development of coal gasification processes to insure a continued supply of gas from coal. The location of oil fields, refining areas, natural gas fields, and pipelines in the U.S. is shown. The technologies of modern fossil-fired boilers and gas turbines are defined along with the new technologies of fluid-bed boilers and MHD generators.

  9. Field calibration of cup anemometers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt Paulsen, Uwe; Mortensen, Niels Gylling; Hansen, Jens Carsten

    2007-01-01

    A field calibration method and results are described along with the experience gained with the method. The cup anemometers to be calibrated are mounted in a row on a 10-m high rig and calibrated in the free wind against a reference cup anemometer. The method has been reported [1] to improve...... the statistical bias on the data relative to calibrations carried out in a wind tunnel. The methodology is sufficiently accurate for calibration of cup anemometers used for wind resource assessments and provides a simple, reliable and cost-effective solution to cup anemometer calibration, especially suited...

  10. Abortive translation caused by peptidyl-tRNA drop-off at NGG codons in the early coding region of mRNA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gonzalez de Valdivia, Ernesto I; Isaksson, Leif A

    2005-01-01

    In Escherichia coli the codons CGG, AGG, UGG or GGG (NGG codons) but not GGN or GNG (where N is non-G) are associated with low expression of a reporter gene, if located at positions +2 to +5. Induction of a lacZ reporter gene with any one of the NGG codons at position +2 to +5 does not influence...

  11. A new fossil cichlid from the Middle Miocene in the East African Rift Valley (Tugen Hills, Central Kenya: First record of a putative Ectodini

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Altner

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Identification of fossil cichlids is difficult, because the currently used diagnostic morphological characters for living cichlids are mostly soft tissue based and such characters are hardly preserved in fossils. During our recent fieldwork in the Central Kenya Rift (E-Africa, we discovered several exceptionally well-preserved fossil cichlids, which can be assigned to different lineages among the African Pseudocrenilabrinae. Here we present one of those new specimens. Its most conspicuous character is a lateral line divided into three segments. This specimen was found in the lacustrine sediments of the Middle Miocene site Waril, Tugen Hills, Kenya. The site represents the deposits of an ancient freshwater lake ca. 9-10 million years ago. Previous work on fossil leaves from the same site allow for the reconstruction of open vegetation surrounding the lake and pronounced dry seasons. Among the main further characteristics of the new fossil cichlid is a lachrimal with six lateral line canals, big cycloid scales and a low number of dorsal fin spines (XIII. The latter two characters are traceable in several members of tribes within the Pseudocrenilabrinae. However, a lachrimal with six lateral line canals is exclusively found in certain tribes of the EAR (East African Radiation within the Pseudocrenilabrinae. Moreover, the unique lateral line pattern is solely present in two genera of the EAR tribe Ectodini. However, the fossil shows cycloid scales, while modern Ectodini have ctenoid scales. Taken all evidence together, this fossil may perhaps represent an ancient lineage related to the Ectodini. Up to date, there is no definite fossil record of the members of the EAR. Our fossil may represent the first reliable calibration point for this group, which would be consistent with the previously reconstructed diversification time of the H-lineage (EAR tribes, except Boulengerochromini, Bathybatini, Trematocarini and Lamprologini and the Lamprologini ca

  12. Improving the efficiency of the genetic code by varying the codon length--the perfect genetic code.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doig, A J

    1997-10-07

    The function of DNA is to specify protein sequences. The four-base "alphabet" used in nucleic acids is translated to the 20 base alphabet of proteins (plus a stop signal) via the genetic code. The code is neither overlapping nor punctuated, but has mRNA sequences read in successive triplet codons until reaching a stop codon. The true genetic code uses three bases for every amino acid. The efficiency of the genetic code can be significantly increased if the requirement for a fixed codon length is dropped so that the more common amino acids have shorter codon lengths and rare amino acids have longer codon lengths. More efficient codes can be derived using the Shannon-Fano and Huffman coding algorithms. The compression achieved using a Huffman code cannot be improved upon. I have used these algorithms to derive efficient codes for representing protein sequences using both two and four bases. The length of DNA required to specify the complete set of protein sequences could be significantly shorter if transcription used a variable codon length. The restriction to a fixed codon length of three bases means that it takes 42% more DNA than the minimum necessary, and the genetic code is 70% efficient. One can think of many reasons why this maximally efficient code has not evolved: there is very little redundancy so almost any mutation causes an amino acid change. Many mutations will be potentially lethal frame-shift mutations, if the mutation leads to a change in codon length. It would be more difficult for the machinery of transcription to cope with a variable codon length. Nevertheless, in the strict and narrow sense of coding for protein sequences using the minimum length of DNA possible, the Huffman code derived here is perfect.

  13. Large-scale analysis of conserved rare codon clusters suggests an involvement in co-translational molecular recognition events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chartier, Matthieu; Gaudreault, Francis; Najmanovich, Rafael

    2012-01-01

    Motivation: An increasing amount of evidence from experimental and computational analysis suggests that rare codon clusters are functionally important for protein activity. Most of the studies on rare codon clusters were performed on a limited number of proteins or protein families. In the present study, we present the Sherlocc program and how it can be used for large scale protein family analysis of evolutionarily conserved rare codon clusters and their relation to protein function and structure. This large-scale analysis was performed using the whole Pfam database covering over 70% of the known protein sequence universe. Our program Sherlocc, detects statistically relevant conserved rare codon clusters and produces a user-friendly HTML output. Results: Statistically significant rare codon clusters were detected in a multitude of Pfam protein families. The most statistically significant rare codon clusters were predominantly identified in N-terminal Pfam families. Many of the longest rare codon clusters are found in membrane-related proteins which are required to interact with other proteins as part of their function, for example in targeting or insertion. We identified some cases where rare codon clusters can play a regulating role in the folding of catalytically important domains. Our results support the existence of a widespread functional role for rare codon clusters across species. Finally, we developed an online filter-based search interface that provides access to Sherlocc results for all Pfam families. Availability: The Sherlocc program and search interface are open access and are available at http://bcb.med.usherbrooke.ca Contact: rafael.najmanovich@usherbrooke.ca Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:22467916

  14. Mutations to Less-Preferred Synonymous Codons in a Highly Expressed Gene of Escherichia coli: Fitness and Epistatic Interactions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David J Hauber

    Full Text Available Codon-tRNA coevolution to maximize protein production has been, until recently, the dominant hypothesis to explain codon-usage bias in highly expressed bacterial genes. Two predictions of this hypothesis are 1 selection is weak; and 2 similar silent replacements at different codons should have similar fitness consequence. We used an allele-replacement strategy to change five specific 3rd-codon-position (silent sites in the highly expressed Escherichia coli ribosomal protein gene rplQ from the wild type to a less-preferred alternative. We introduced the five mutations within a 10-codon region. Four of the silent sites were chosen to test the second prediction, with a CTG to CTA mutation being introduced at two closely linked leucine codons and an AAA to AAG mutation being introduced at two closely linked lysine codons. We also introduced a fifth silent mutation, a GTG to GTA mutation at a valine codon in the same genic region. We measured the fitness effect of the individual mutations by competing each single-mutant strain against the parental wild-type strain, using a disrupted form of the araA gene as a selectively neutral phenotypic marker to distinguish between strains in direct competition experiments. Three of the silent mutations had a fitness effect of |s| > 0.02, which is contradictory to the prediction that selection will be weak. The two leucine mutations had significantly different fitness effects, as did the two lysine mutations, contradictory to the prediction that similar mutations at different codons should have similar fitness effects. We also constructed a strain carrying all five silent mutations in combination. Its fitness effect was greater than that predicted from the individual fitness values, suggesting that negative synergistic epistasis acts on the combination allele.

  15. Numeral series hidden in the distribution of atomic mass of amino acids to codon domains in the genetic code.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlin, Åsa

    2015-03-21

    The distribution of codons in the nearly universal genetic code is a long discussed issue. At the atomic level, the numeral series 2x(2) (x=5-0) lies behind electron shells and orbitals. Numeral series appear in formulas for spectral lines of hydrogen. The question here was if some similar scheme could be found in the genetic code. A table of 24 codons was constructed (synonyms counted as one) for 20 amino acids, four of which have two different codons. An atomic mass analysis was performed, built on common isotopes. It was found that a numeral series 5 to 0 with exponent 2/3 times 10(2) revealed detailed congruency with codon-grouped amino acid side-chains, simultaneously with the division on atom kinds, further with main 3rd base groups, backbone chains and with codon-grouped amino acids in relation to their origin from glycolysis or the citrate cycle. Hence, it is proposed that this series in a dynamic way may have guided the selection of amino acids into codon domains. Series with simpler exponents also showed noteworthy correlations with the atomic mass distribution on main codon domains; especially the 2x(2)-series times a factor 16 appeared as a conceivable underlying level, both for the atomic mass and charge distribution. Furthermore, it was found that atomic mass transformations between numeral systems, possibly interpretable as dimension degree steps, connected the atomic mass of codon bases with codon-grouped amino acids and with the exponent 2/3-series in several astonishing ways. Thus, it is suggested that they may be part of a deeper reference system.

  16. Energy Ontologies: Wind, Biomass, and Fossil Transportation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heidi Scott

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This article uses literary sources to draw ontological distinctions among three distinct energy sources: wind power, biomass, and fossil fuels. The primary aim is to demonstrate how radically our fossil fuel regime has changed human ontology in the last two centuries during which we have entered the Anthropocene. Because this radical transformation contains myriad elements, this article will focus on transportation: the speed, quality, and quantity of travel permitted by successive energy sources. To consider the comparative literatures of energy as they relate to transportation, we will begin with wind, then consider muscle-driven biomass giving way to coal locomotion, and conclude with the highest octane fuel, petroleum. The central interest is in how the fuel depicted in literature illuminates historical moments in which the interfaces between self, society, and nature are configured by specific energy regimes. By using literature as a source text, we may arrive at an emotionally and philosophically more robust synthesis of energy history than the social and natural sciences, relying upon objective accounts and statistics, are able to provide. By re-reading literature through the lens of the Anthropocene, we gain perspective on how earlier insights into the relationship between energy and experience can inform our explorations of today’s ontological reality. Energy literature instructs us out of the fossil fuel mindset of world domination and back to a physical realm in which we are small actors in a world guided by capricious forces. Such a reality requires hard muscular work and emotional immersion to restore an ethic of care and sustainability.

  17. Mercury Calibration System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John Schabron; Eric Kalberer; Joseph Rovani; Mark Sanderson; Ryan Boysen; William Schuster

    2009-03-11

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Performance Specification 12 in the Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) states that a mercury CEM must be calibrated with National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST)-traceable standards. In early 2009, a NIST traceable standard for elemental mercury CEM calibration still does not exist. Despite the vacature of CAMR by a Federal appeals court in early 2008, a NIST traceable standard is still needed for whatever regulation is implemented in the future. Thermo Fisher is a major vendor providing complete integrated mercury continuous emissions monitoring (CEM) systems to the industry. WRI is participating with EPA, EPRI, NIST, and Thermo Fisher towards the development of the criteria that will be used in the traceability protocols to be issued by EPA. An initial draft of an elemental mercury calibration traceability protocol was distributed for comment to the participating research groups and vendors on a limited basis in early May 2007. In August 2007, EPA issued an interim traceability protocol for elemental mercury calibrators. Various working drafts of the new interim traceability protocols were distributed in late 2008 and early 2009 to participants in the Mercury Standards Working Committee project. The protocols include sections on qualification and certification. The qualification section describes in general terms tests that must be conducted by the calibrator vendors to demonstrate that their calibration equipment meets the minimum requirements to be established by EPA for use in CAMR monitoring. Variables to be examined include linearity, ambient temperature, back pressure, ambient pressure, line voltage, and effects of shipping. None of the procedures were described in detail in the draft interim documents; however they describe what EPA would like to eventually develop. WRI is providing the data and results to EPA for use in developing revised experimental procedures and realistic acceptance criteria based on

  18. Comparing amber fossil assemblages across the Cenozoic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penney, David; Langan, A Mark

    2006-06-22

    To justify faunistic comparisons of ambers that differ botanically, geographically and by age, we need to determine that resins sampled uniformly. Our pluralistic approach, analysing size distributions of 671 fossilized spider species from different behavioural guilds, demonstrates that ecological information about the communities of two well-studied ambers is retained. Several lines of evidence show that greater structural complexity of Baltic compared to Dominican amber trees explains the presence of larger web-spinners. No size differences occur in active hunters. Consequently, we demonstrate for the first time that resins were trapping organisms uniformly and that comparisons of amber palaeoecosystem structure across deep time are possible.

  19. Central heating: fossil-fired boilers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blazek, C.F.; Baker, N.R.; Tison, R.R.

    1979-05-01

    This evaluation provides performance and cost data for fossil-fuel-fired steam boilers, hot-water generators, and thermal fluid generators currently available from manufacturers. Advanced-technology fluidized-bed boilers also are covered. Performance characteristics investigated include unit efficiencies, turndown capacity, and pollution requirements. Costs are tabulated for equipment and installation of both field-erected and packaged units. The information compiled in this evaluation will assist in the process of selecting energy-conversion units required for industrial, commercial, and residential applications.

  20. Future requirements for fossil power plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Spliethoff H.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The fast increasing installation of technologies to convert renewable energy into power influences the operation of conventional power plants. New requirements on the technology, on the operation and on the economic have to be considered for already running and future power plants. Currently, first experiences with such a production and market situation are available. Technologies are discussed to store power and to reduce CO2 emissions. New compensation models are necessary to enable economic operation of fossil power plants in base load. This article gives a short review about available technologies and future challenges.

  1. Fossil Diatoms in a New Carbonaceous Meteorite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickramasinghe, N. C.; Wallis, J.; Wallis, D. H.; Samaranayake, Anil

    2013-01-01

    We report the discovery for the first time of diatom frustules in a carbonaceous meteorite that fell in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka on 29 December 2012. Contamination is excluded by the circumstance that the elemental abundances within the structures match closely with those of the surrounding matrix. There is also evidence of structures morphologically similar to red rain cells that may have contributed to the episode of red rain that followed within days of the meteorite fall. The new data on "fossil" diatoms provide strong evidence to support the theory of cometary panspermia.

  2. Recent developments in biodesulfurization of fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ping; Feng, Jinhui; Yu, Bo; Li, Fuli; Ma, Cuiqing

    2009-01-01

    The emission of sulfur oxides can have adverse effects on the environment. Biodesulfurization of fossil fuels is attracting more and more attention because such a bioprocess is environmentally friendly. Some techniques of desulfurization have been used or studied to meet the stricter limitation on sulfur content in China. Recent advances have demonstrated the mechanism and developments for biodesulfurization of gasoline, diesel and crude oils by free cells or immobilized cells. Genetic technology was also used to improve sulfur removal efficiencies. In this review, we summarize recent progress mainly in China on petroleum biodesulfurization.

  3. Angelman syndrome due to a termination codon mutation of the UBE3A gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Maawali, Almundher; Machado, Jerry; Fang, Ping; Dupuis, Lucie; Faghfoury, Hannaneh; Mendoza-Londono, Roberto

    2013-03-01

    Angelman syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by global developmental delay, mental retardation, seizures, microcephaly, and severe speech delay. It may be caused by deletion of chromosome region 15q11.2 of the maternally inherited chromosome, mutations in the UBE3A gene, uniparental disomy, or imprinting defects. Most patients with this diagnosis have a severe phenotype, and a few have a mild form of the disease. We report a patient with a novel mutation in the UBE3A gene that consists of a deletion of the termination codon (c.2556-*+6del GTAAAACAAA) and results in an elongated protein E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase. Our patient has a mild phenotype compared with other patients in general and specifically to patients with UBE3A mutations. He has mild developmental delay, moderate speech delay, and no seizures. Recognition of this genotype-phenotype correlation will allow better genetic counseling to other patients with similar stop codon mutations.

  4. Synthesis of Codon-optimized Human Interleukin-18 Gene by Combination of Chemical and Enzymatic Method

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GAO Chao-hui; SHI Xiao-yue; HOU Xin-tong; MENG Qing-fan; Zhang Ying-jiu; TENG Li-rong

    2008-01-01

    According to the amino acid sequence and codon preference of E,coli,the human interleukin-18(IL-18)gene was optimized to avoid the rare codons,The total length of the synthesized gene is 571 bp;18 oligonucleotides,DNA fragments were designed and synthesized by the phosphoramidite four-step chemical method,The whole DNAsequence was synthesized by a one-step total gene synthesis method,and then inserted in pUC18 vector,Five positive clones identified by blue-white colony screening were sent to Shanghai Sangon Biological Engineering Technology and Service Co.,Ltd,for sequencing,The sequencing result shows that one clone contained the complete correct gene in all the five positive clones.

  5. Ribosome collisions and Translation efficiency: Optimization by codon usage and mRNA destabilization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mitarai, Namiko; Sneppen, Kim; Pedersen, Steen

    2008-01-01

    Individual mRNAs are translated by multiple ribosomes that initiate translation with an interval of a few seconds. The ribosome speed is codon dependent, and ribosome queuing has been suggested to explain specific data for translation of some mRNAs in vivo. By modeling the stochastic translation...... process as a traffic problem, we here analyze conditions and consequences of collisions and queuing. The model allowed us to determine the on-rate (0.8 to 1.1 initiations/s) and the time (1 s) the preceding ribosome occludes initiation for Escherichia coli lacZ mRNA in vivo. We find that ribosome...... collisions and queues are inevitable consequences of a stochastic translation mechanism that reduce the translation efficiency substantially on natural mRNAs. The cells minimize collisions by having its mRNAs being unstable and by a highly selected codon usage in the start of the mRNA. The cost of m...

  6. CODON OPTIMIZATION OF THE POTENTIAL ANTIGENS ENCODING GENES FROM MYCOBACTERIUM TUBERCULOSIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Indra Mani

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Current approach for controlling of tuberculosis is going on by recommended doses of vaccines. Codon optimization and simulation techniques are used to improve the protein expression in living organism by increasing their translational efficiency of gene of interest. We have designed; optimized the codon and simulated in nineteen indigenous genes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv in the Escherichia coli. We minimized the G+C content in optimized genes from 64.75% to 59.67% of the studied genes as the richness of G+C content is reflected in a strong bias. CAI and AT of optimized DNA were enhanced by 1.9 (47.8% and 1.1 (12.5% fold more with respect to its native type. Our finding indicates the optimized genes can be useful for over expression in host and the study provides a new insight for the emerging research in synthetic biology.

  7. Codon size reduction as the origin of the triplet genetic code.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel V Baranov

    Full Text Available The genetic code appears to be optimized in its robustness to missense errors and frameshift errors. In addition, the genetic code is near-optimal in terms of its ability to carry information in addition to the sequences of encoded proteins. As evolution has no foresight, optimality of the modern genetic code suggests that it evolved from less optimal code variants. The length of codons in the genetic code is also optimal, as three is the minimal nucleotide combination that can encode the twenty standard amino acids. The apparent impossibility of transitions between codon sizes in a discontinuous manner during evolution has resulted in an unbending view that the genetic code was always triplet. Yet, recent experimental evidence on quadruplet decoding, as well as the discovery of organisms with ambiguous and dual decoding, suggest that the possibility of the evolution of triplet decoding from living systems with non-triplet decoding merits reconsideration and further exploration. To explore this possibility we designed a mathematical model of the evolution of primitive digital coding systems which can decode nucleotide sequences into protein sequences. These coding systems can evolve their nucleotide sequences via genetic events of Darwinian evolution, such as point-mutations. The replication rates of such coding systems depend on the accuracy of the generated protein sequences. Computer simulations based on our model show that decoding systems with codons of length greater than three spontaneously evolve into predominantly triplet decoding systems. Our findings suggest a plausible scenario for the evolution of the triplet genetic code in a continuous manner. This scenario suggests an explanation of how protein synthesis could be accomplished by means of long RNA-RNA interactions prior to the emergence of the complex decoding machinery, such as the ribosome, that is required for stabilization and discrimination of otherwise weak triplet codon

  8. Codon 201 Mutation of DCC Gene and Tumor Biologic Behavior in Human Colorectal Carcinoma

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Objective To explore the relationship between a point mutation of codon 201 in deleted in colorectal carcinoma ( DCC) gene and the biological behavior of colorectal carcinoma. Methods Tumor tissues and matched adjacent normal colon mucosa collected in 35 patients during surgical resection for colorectal carcinoma were analyzed. Forty normal colon mucosa tissues obtained by biopsy from patients who had neither colorectal tumor nor a family history of colorectal cancer during colonscop ic examination were used as control. Codon 201 mutatian was detected with allele-specific PCR and a restriction enzyme digestion method. The tumors were reviewed as clinical data, tumor location, histology,metastasis, and pathological staging (Dukes classification). Results The frequency of mutation at codon 201 in tumor tissue and corresponding adjacent normal mucosa was 71.4 % and 60 %, respectively, and either of the rates was significantly higher than that of normal control(32.5 % ). The point mutation rate in tumor tissues did not differ from that in the corresponding normal adjacent tissues. Statistic analysis showed that the mutation rate had no relationship to the sex, age of the patients, the histological pattern , differentiation, and invasion depth of the tumors. However, 93. 8 % of the mutation rate in colorectal cancer with lymph node invasion and/or distant metastasis is significantly higher than 52. 6 % of mutant rate in colorectal cancer uithout lymph nodes invasion or metastasis ( P <0. 05). Conclusion The point mutation at codon 201 of DCC gene is an early genetic event in colorectal cancer, and play some role in invasion and metastasis of colorectal carcinoma. It may serve as a useful genetic marker for identifying higher risk patients with colorectal carcinoma.

  9. Codon 201 Mutation of DCC Gene and Tumor Biologic Behavior in Human Colorectal Carcinoma

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2000-01-01

    Objective To explore the relationship between a point mutation of codon 201 in deleted in colorectal carcinoma ( DCC) gene and the biological behavior of colorectal carcinoma. Methods Tumor tissues and matched adjacent normal colon mucosa collected in 35 patients during surgical resection for colorectal carcinoma were analyzed. Forty normal colon mucosa tissues obtained by biopsy from patients who had neither colorectal tumor nor a family history of colorectal cancer during colonscop ic examination were used as control. Codon 201 mutatian was detected with allele-specific PCR and a restriction enzyme digestion method. The tumors were reviewed as clinical data, tumor location, histology,metastasis, and pathological staging (Dukes classification). Results The frequency of mutation at codon 201 in tumor tissue and corresponding adjacent normal mucosa was 71.4 % and 60 %, respectively, and either of the rates was significantly higher than that of normal control(32.5 % ). The point mutation rate in tumor tissues did not differ from that in the corresponding normal adjacent tissues. Statistic analysis showed that the mutation rate had no relationship to the sex, age of the patients, the histological pattern , differentiation, and invasion depth of the tumors. However, 93. 8 % of the mutation rate in colorectal cancer with lymph node invasion and/or distant metastasis is significantly higher than 52. 6 % of mutant rate in colorectal cancer uithout lymph nodes invasion or metastasis ( P <0. 05). Conclusion The point mutation at codon 201 of DCC gene is an early genetic event in colorectal cancer, and play some role in invasion and metastasis of colorectal carcinoma. It may serve as a useful genetic marker for identifying higher risk patients with colorectal carcinoma.

  10. TP53 Codon 72 Heterozygosity May Promote MicrosatelliteInstability in Sporadic Colorectal Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Nikbahkt Dastjerdi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The polymorphic variants at codon 72 of the p53 gene, encoding prolineor arginine at residue 72, produce marked changes in the p53 structure. From theevidence that the DNA mismatch repair system and p53 interact to maintain genomicintegrity, we hypothesized that codon 72 variations may influence the prevalence ofmicrosatellite instability (MSI, a feature of malignancies associated with mismatchrepair deficiency in sporadic colorectal cancer.Materials and Methods: We investigated the frequency of MSI in three P53 codon72 genotypes using genomic DNAs from 144 paraffin blocks of sporadic colorectaladenocarcinomas by testing the BAT-26 poly(A marker. We used PCR-SSCP analysisto detect tumor sample MSI for the nonisotopic detection of deletions in the BAT-26 poly (A mononucleotide repeat. Associations between qualitative variables wereevaluated using the χ2-test. Statistical significance level was set to p ≤ 0.05.Results: MSI analysis revealed that 24.3% of the tumors (n=35 were MSI-positiveand 75.7% (n=109 were MSI-negative. The frequency of microsatellite instability inthe arginine/arginine, arginine/proline and proline/proline genotypes were 11 (16.9%,22 (36.1% and 2 (11.1% respectively. A significant difference in distribution of MSIwas found for the arginine/proline genotype compared with the grouped arginine/arginineand proline/proline genotypes (p=0.05.Conclusion: Our findings suggested that colorectal adenocarcinomas arising in individualswith the p53 codon 72 arginine/proline heterozygosity are more prone tomicrosatellite instability than those with other p53 genotypes. In our study, MSI wasimportant in the carcinogenesis of sporadic colorectal cancer arising in pro/arg heterozygotes.

  11. Factors impacting the aminoglycoside-induced UGA stop codon readthrough in selenoprotein translation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martitz, Janine; Hofmann, Peter Josef; Johannes, Jörg; Köhrle, Josef; Schomburg, Lutz; Renko, Kostja

    2016-09-01

    Aminoglycosides (AG) are oligosaccharide antibiotics that interfere with the small ribosomal subunit in aerobic, Gram-negative bacteria, causing pathogen-destructing error rates in their protein biosynthesis. Aminoglycosides also induce mRNA misinterpretation in eukaryotic cells, especially of the UGA (Opal)-stop codon, albeit to a lower extent. UGA recoding is essentially required for the incorporation of selenocysteine (Sec) into growing selenoproteins during translation. Selenocysteine incorporation requires the presence of a selenoprotein-specific stem-loop structure within the 3'-untranslated region of the mRNA, the so-called Sec-insertion sequence (SECIS) element. Interestingly, selenoprotein genes differ in their SECIS-element sequence and in their UGA base context. We hypothesized that the SECIS-element and the specific codon context synergize in controlling the effects of AG on stop codon readthrough. To this end, the SECIS-elements of glutathione peroxidase 1, glutathione peroxidase 4 and selenoprotein P transcripts were cloned into a reporter system and analyzed in combination with different UGA codon contexts. Our results indicate that a cytosine in position 4 (directly downstream of UGA) confers strongest effects on both the Se- and AG-dependent readthrough. Overall selenoprotein biosynthesis rate depends on the Se-status, AG concentration and the specific SECIS-element present in the transcript. These findings help to get a better understanding for the susceptibility of different transcripts towards AG-mediated interference with the biosynthesis of functional Se-containing selenoproteins, and highlight the importance of the Se-status for successful selenoprotein biosynthesis under antibiotic therapy.

  12. Specimen-level phylogenetics in paleontology using the Fossilized Birth-Death model with sampled ancestors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Bayesian phylogenetic methods integrating simultaneously morphological and stratigraphic information have been applied increasingly among paleontologists. Most of these studies have used Bayesian methods as an alternative to the widely-used parsimony analysis, to infer macroevolutionary patterns and relationships among species-level or higher taxa. Among recently introduced Bayesian methodologies, the Fossilized Birth-Death (FBD) model allows incorporation of hypotheses on ancestor-descendant relationships in phylogenetic analyses including fossil taxa. Here, the FBD model is used to infer the relationships among an ingroup formed exclusively by fossil individuals, i.e., dipnoan tooth plates from four localities in the Ain el Guettar Formation of Tunisia. Previous analyses of this sample compared the results of phylogenetic analysis using parsimony with stratigraphic methods, inferred a high diversity (five or more genera) in the Ain el Guettar Formation, and interpreted it as an artifact inflated by depositional factors. In the analysis performed here, the uncertainty on the chronostratigraphic relationships among the specimens was included among the prior settings. The results of the analysis confirm the referral of most of the specimens to the taxa Asiatoceratodus, Equinoxiodus, Lavocatodus and Neoceratodus, but reject those to Ceratodus and Ferganoceratodus. The resulting phylogeny constrained the evolution of the Tunisian sample exclusively in the Early Cretaceous, contrasting with the previous scenario inferred by the stratigraphically-calibrated topology resulting from parsimony analysis. The phylogenetic framework also suggests that (1) the sampled localities are laterally equivalent, (2) but three localities are restricted to the youngest part of the section; both results are in agreement with previous stratigraphic analyses of these localities. The FBD model of specimen-level units provides a novel tool for phylogenetic inference among fossils but also

  13. Specimen-level phylogenetics in paleontology using the Fossilized Birth-Death model with sampled ancestors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Cau

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Bayesian phylogenetic methods integrating simultaneously morphological and stratigraphic information have been applied increasingly among paleontologists. Most of these studies have used Bayesian methods as an alternative to the widely-used parsimony analysis, to infer macroevolutionary patterns and relationships among species-level or higher taxa. Among recently introduced Bayesian methodologies, the Fossilized Birth-Death (FBD model allows incorporation of hypotheses on ancestor-descendant relationships in phylogenetic analyses including fossil taxa. Here, the FBD model is used to infer the relationships among an ingroup formed exclusively by fossil individuals, i.e., dipnoan tooth plates from four localities in the Ain el Guettar Formation of Tunisia. Previous analyses of this sample compared the results of phylogenetic analysis using parsimony with stratigraphic methods, inferred a high diversity (five or more genera in the Ain el Guettar Formation, and interpreted it as an artifact inflated by depositional factors. In the analysis performed here, the uncertainty on the chronostratigraphic relationships among the specimens was included among the prior settings. The results of the analysis confirm the referral of most of the specimens to the taxa Asiatoceratodus, Equinoxiodus, Lavocatodus and Neoceratodus, but reject those to Ceratodus and Ferganoceratodus. The resulting phylogeny constrained the evolution of the Tunisian sample exclusively in the Early Cretaceous, contrasting with the previous scenario inferred by the stratigraphically-calibrated topology resulting from parsimony analysis. The phylogenetic framework also suggests that (1 the sampled localities are laterally equivalent, (2 but three localities are restricted to the youngest part of the section; both results are in agreement with previous stratigraphic analyses of these localities. The FBD model of specimen-level units provides a novel tool for phylogenetic inference among

  14. Specimen-level phylogenetics in paleontology using the Fossilized Birth-Death model with sampled ancestors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cau, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Bayesian phylogenetic methods integrating simultaneously morphological and stratigraphic information have been applied increasingly among paleontologists. Most of these studies have used Bayesian methods as an alternative to the widely-used parsimony analysis, to infer macroevolutionary patterns and relationships among species-level or higher taxa. Among recently introduced Bayesian methodologies, the Fossilized Birth-Death (FBD) model allows incorporation of hypotheses on ancestor-descendant relationships in phylogenetic analyses including fossil taxa. Here, the FBD model is used to infer the relationships among an ingroup formed exclusively by fossil individuals, i.e., dipnoan tooth plates from four localities in the Ain el Guettar Formation of Tunisia. Previous analyses of this sample compared the results of phylogenetic analysis using parsimony with stratigraphic methods, inferred a high diversity (five or more genera) in the Ain el Guettar Formation, and interpreted it as an artifact inflated by depositional factors. In the analysis performed here, the uncertainty on the chronostratigraphic relationships among the specimens was included among the prior settings. The results of the analysis confirm the referral of most of the specimens to the taxa Asiatoceratodus, Equinoxiodus, Lavocatodus and Neoceratodus, but reject those to Ceratodus and Ferganoceratodus. The resulting phylogeny constrained the evolution of the Tunisian sample exclusively in the Early Cretaceous, contrasting with the previous scenario inferred by the stratigraphically-calibrated topology resulting from parsimony analysis. The phylogenetic framework also suggests that (1) the sampled localities are laterally equivalent, (2) but three localities are restricted to the youngest part of the section; both results are in agreement with previous stratigraphic analyses of these localities. The FBD model of specimen-level units provides a novel tool for phylogenetic inference among fossils but also

  15. The Calibration Reference Data System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenfield, P.; Miller, T.

    2016-07-01

    We describe a software architecture and implementation for using rules to determine which calibration files are appropriate for calibrating a given observation. This new system, the Calibration Reference Data System (CRDS), replaces what had been previously used for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) calibration pipelines, the Calibration Database System (CDBS). CRDS will be used for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) calibration pipelines, and is currently being used for HST calibration pipelines. CRDS can be easily generalized for use in similar applications that need a rules-based system for selecting the appropriate item for a given dataset; we give some examples of such generalizations that will likely be used for JWST. The core functionality of the Calibration Reference Data System is available under an Open Source license. CRDS is briefly contrasted with a sampling of other similar systems used at other observatories.

  16. General trends in selectively driven codon usage biases in the domain archaea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iriarte, Andrés; Jara, Eugenio; Leytón, Lucía; Diana, Leticia; Musto, Héctor

    2014-10-01

    Since the advent of rapid techniques for sequencing DNA in the mid 70's, it became clear that all codons coding for the same amino acid are not used according to neutral expectations. In the last 30 years, several theories were proposed for explaining this fact. However, the most important concepts were the result of analyses carried out in Bacteria, and unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes like mammals (in other words, in two of the three Domains of life). In this communication, we study the main forces that shape codon usage in Archaeae under an evolutionary perspective. This is important because, as known, the orthologous genes related with the informational system in this Domain (replication, transcription and translation) are more similar to eukaryotes than to Bacteria. Our results show that the effect of selection acting at the level of translation is present in the Domain but mainly restricted to only a phylum (Euryarchaeota) and therefore is not as extended as in Bacteria. Besides, we describe the phylogenetic distribution of translational optimal codons and estimate the effect of selection acting at the level of accuracy. Finally, we discuss these results under some peculiarities that characterize this Domain.

  17. Codon-based phylogenetics introduces novel flagellar gene markers to oomycete systematics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robideau, Gregg P; Rodrigue, Nicolas; André Lévesque, C

    2014-10-01

    Oomycete systematics has traditionally been reliant on ribosomal RNA and mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase sequences. Here we report the use of two single-copy protein-coding flagellar genes, PF16 and OCM1, in oomycete systematics, showing their utility in phylogenetic reconstruction and species identification. Applying a recently proposed mutation-selection model of codon substitution, the phylogenetic relationships inferred by flagellar genes are largely in agreement with the current views of oomycete evolution, whereas nucleotide- and amino acid-level models produce biologically implausible reconstructions. Interesting parallels exist between the phylogeny inferred from the flagellar genes and zoospore ontology, providing external support for the tree obtained using the codon model. The resolution achieved for species identification is ample using PF16, and quite robust using OCM1, and the described PCR primers are able to amplify both genes for a range of oomycete genera. Altogether, when analyzed with a rich codon substitution model, these flagellar genes provide useful markers for the oomycete molecular toolbox.

  18. A model-independent approach to infer hierarchical codon substitution dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Görnerup, Olof; Jacobi, Martin Nilsson

    2010-04-23

    Codon substitution constitutes a fundamental process in molecular biology that has been studied extensively. However, prior studies rely on various assumptions, e.g. regarding the relevance of specific biochemical properties, or on conservation criteria for defining substitution groups. Ideally, one would instead like to analyze the substitution process in terms of raw dynamics, independently of underlying system specifics. In this paper we propose a method for doing this by identifying groups of codons and amino acids such that these groups imply closed dynamics. The approach relies on recently developed spectral and agglomerative techniques for identifying hierarchical organization in dynamical systems. We have applied the techniques on an empirically derived Markov model of the codon substitution process that is provided in the literature. Without system specific knowledge of the substitution process, the techniques manage to "blindly" identify multiple levels of dynamics; from amino acid substitutions (via the standard genetic code) to higher order dynamics on the level of amino acid groups. We hypothesize that the acquired groups reflect earlier versions of the genetic code. The results demonstrate the applicability of the techniques. Due to their generality, we believe that they can be used to coarse grain and identify hierarchical organization in a broad range of other biological systems and processes, such as protein interaction networks, genetic regulatory networks and food webs.

  19. A model-independent approach to infer hierarchical codon substitution dynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacobi Martin

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Codon substitution constitutes a fundamental process in molecular biology that has been studied extensively. However, prior studies rely on various assumptions, e.g. regarding the relevance of specific biochemical properties, or on conservation criteria for defining substitution groups. Ideally, one would instead like to analyze the substitution process in terms of raw dynamics, independently of underlying system specifics. In this paper we propose a method for doing this by identifying groups of codons and amino acids such that these groups imply closed dynamics. The approach relies on recently developed spectral and agglomerative techniques for identifying hierarchical organization in dynamical systems. Results We have applied the techniques on an empirically derived Markov model of the codon substitution process that is provided in the literature. Without system specific knowledge of the substitution process, the techniques manage to "blindly" identify multiple levels of dynamics; from amino acid substitutions (via the standard genetic code to higher order dynamics on the level of amino acid groups. We hypothesize that the acquired groups reflect earlier versions of the genetic code. Conclusions The results demonstrate the applicability of the techniques. Due to their generality, we believe that they can be used to coarse grain and identify hierarchical organization in a broad range of other biological systems and processes, such as protein interaction networks, genetic regulatory networks and food webs.

  20. Effect of Codon Optimisation on the Production of Recombinant Fish Growth Hormone in Pichia pastoris

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussin A. Rothan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study was established to test the hypothesis of whether the codon optimization of fish growth hormone gene (FGH based on P. pastoris preferred codon will improve the quantity of secreted rFGH in culture supernatant that can directly be used as fish feed supplements. The optimized FGH coding sequence (oFGH and native sequence (nFGH of giant grouper fish (Epinephelus lanceolatus were cloned into P. pastoris expression vector (pPICZαA downstream of alcohol oxidase gene (AOX1 for efficient induction of extracellular rFGH by adding 1% of absolute methanol. The results showed that recombinant P. pastoris was able to produce 2.80±0.27 mg of oFGH compared to 1.75±0.25 of nFGH in one litre of culture supernatant. The total body weight of tiger grouper fingerlings fed with oFGH increased significantly at third (P<0.05 and fourth weeks (P<0.01 of four-week experiment period compared to those fed with nFGH. Both oFGH and nFGH significantly enhanced the final biomass and fish survival percentage. In conclusion, codon optimization of FGH fragment was useful to increase rFGH quantity in the culture supernatant of P. pastoris that can be directly used as fish feed supplements. Further studies are still required for large scale production of rFGH and practical application in aquaculture production.

  1. Comparison of two codon optimization strategies enhancing recombinant Sus scrofa lysozyme production in Pichia pastoris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, D; Cai, G; Wu, D; Lu, J

    2015-05-16

    Lysozyme has played an important role in animal feed additive industry, food additive industry and biological engineering. For improving expression efficiency of recombinant lysozyme from Sus scrofa, two genes respectively designed by the most used codon optimization strategies, "one amino acid one codon" and "codon randomization", were synthesized and expressed in Pichia pastoris X—33. At shaking flask level, Sus scrofa lysozyme (SSL) under two conditions had a highest activity of 153.33±10.41 and 538.33±15.18 U/mL after a 5 days induction of 1% methanol, with secreted protein concentration 80.03±1.94 and 239.60±4.16 mg/L, respectively. Compared with the original SSL gene, the expression of optimized SSL gene by the second strategy showed a 2.6 fold higher level, while the first method had no obvious improvement in production. In total secreted protein, the proportions of recombinant SSL encoded by the original gene, first method optimized gene and the second—strategy optimized one were 75.06±0.25%, 74.56±0.14% and 79.00±0.14%, respectively, with the same molecular weight about 18 kDa, optimum acidity pH 6.0 and optimum temperature 35degC.

  2. Environmental shaping of codon usage and functional adaptation across microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roller, Masa; Lucić, Vedran; Nagy, István; Perica, Tina; Vlahovicek, Kristian

    2013-10-01

    Microbial communities represent the largest portion of the Earth's biomass. Metagenomics projects use high-throughput sequencing to survey these communities and shed light on genetic capabilities that enable microbes to inhabit every corner of the biosphere. Metagenome studies are generally based on (i) classifying and ranking functions of identified genes; and (ii) estimating the phyletic distribution of constituent microbial species. To understand microbial communities at the systems level, it is necessary to extend these studies beyond the species' boundaries and capture higher levels of metabolic complexity. We evaluated 11 metagenome samples and demonstrated that microbes inhabiting the same ecological niche share common preferences for synonymous codons, regardless of their phylogeny. By exploring concepts of translational optimization through codon usage adaptation, we demonstrated that community-wide bias in codon usage can be used as a prediction tool for lifestyle-specific genes across the entire microbial community, effectively considering microbial communities as meta-genomes. These findings set up a 'functional metagenomics' platform for the identification of genes relevant for adaptations of entire microbial communities to environments. Our results provide valuable arguments in defining the concept of microbial species through the context of their interactions within the community.

  3. Effect of correlated tRNA abundances on translation errors and evolution of codon usage bias.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Premal Shah

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Despite the fact that tRNA abundances are thought to play a major role in determining translation error rates, their distribution across the genetic code and the resulting implications have received little attention. In general, studies of codon usage bias (CUB assume that codons with higher tRNA abundance have lower missense error rates. Using a model of protein translation based on tRNA competition and intra-ribosomal kinetics, we show that this assumption can be violated when tRNA abundances are positively correlated across the genetic code. Examining the distribution of tRNA abundances across 73 bacterial genomes from 20 different genera, we find a consistent positive correlation between tRNA abundances across the genetic code. This work challenges one of the fundamental assumptions made in over 30 years of research on CUB that codons with higher tRNA abundances have lower missense error rates and that missense errors are the primary selective force responsible for CUB.

  4. Effect of correlated tRNA abundances on translation errors and evolution of codon usage bias.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Premal; Gilchrist, Michael A

    2010-09-16

    Despite the fact that tRNA abundances are thought to play a major role in determining translation error rates, their distribution across the genetic code and the resulting implications have received little attention. In general, studies of codon usage bias (CUB) assume that codons with higher tRNA abundance have lower missense error rates. Using a model of protein translation based on tRNA competition and intra-ribosomal kinetics, we show that this assumption can be violated when tRNA abundances are positively correlated across the genetic code. Examining the distribution of tRNA abundances across 73 bacterial genomes from 20 different genera, we find a consistent positive correlation between tRNA abundances across the genetic code. This work challenges one of the fundamental assumptions made in over 30 years of research on CUB that codons with higher tRNA abundances have lower missense error rates and that missense errors are the primary selective force responsible for CUB.

  5. Lidar calibration experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ejsing Jørgensen, Hans; Mikkelsen, T.; Streicher, J.

    1997-01-01

    A series of atmospheric aerosol diffusion experiments combined with lidar detection was conducted to evaluate and calibrate an existing retrieval algorithm for aerosol backscatter lidar systems. The calibration experiments made use of two (almost) identical mini-lidar systems for aerosol cloud...... detection to test the reproducibility and uncertainty of lidars. Lidar data were obtained from both single-ended and double-ended Lidar configurations. A backstop was introduced in one of the experiments and a new method was developed where information obtained from the backstop can be used in the inversion...... algorithm. Independent in-situ aerosol plume concentrations were obtained from a simultaneous tracer gas experiment with SF6, and comparisons with the two lidars were made. The study shows that the reproducibility of the lidars is within 15%, including measurements from both sides of a plume...

  6. HIRDLS monochromator calibration equipment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hepplewhite, Christopher L.; Barnett, John J.; Djotni, Karim; Whitney, John G.; Bracken, Justain N.; Wolfenden, Roger; Row, Frederick; Palmer, Christopher W. P.; Watkins, Robert E. J.; Knight, Rodney J.; Gray, Peter F.; Hammond, Geoffory

    2003-11-01

    A specially designed and built monochromator was developed for the spectral calibration of the HIRDLS instrument. The High Resolution Dynamics Limb Sounder (HIRDLS) is a precision infra-red remote sensing instrument with very tight requirements on the knowledge of the response to received radiation. A high performance, vacuum compatible monochromator, was developed with a wavelength range from 4 to 20 microns to encompass that of the HIRDLS instrument. The monochromator is integrated into a collimating system which is shared with a set of tiny broad band sources used for independent spatial response measurements (reported elsewhere). This paper describes the design and implementation of the monochromator and the performance obtained during the period of calibration of the HIRDLS instrument at Oxford University in 2002.

  7. Optical tweezers absolute calibration

    CERN Document Server

    Dutra, R S; Neto, P A Maia; Nussenzveig, H M

    2014-01-01

    Optical tweezers are highly versatile laser traps for neutral microparticles, with fundamental applications in physics and in single molecule cell biology. Force measurements are performed by converting the stiffness response to displacement of trapped transparent microspheres, employed as force transducers. Usually, calibration is indirect, by comparison with fluid drag forces. This can lead to discrepancies by sizable factors. Progress achieved in a program aiming at absolute calibration, conducted over the past fifteen years, is briefly reviewed. Here we overcome its last major obstacle, a theoretical overestimation of the peak stiffness, within the most employed range for applications, and we perform experimental validation. The discrepancy is traced to the effect of primary aberrations of the optical system, which are now included in the theory. All required experimental parameters are readily accessible. Astigmatism, the dominant effect, is measured by analyzing reflected images of the focused laser spo...

  8. Earth's early fossil record: Why not look for similar fossils on Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awramik, Stanley M.

    1989-01-01

    The oldest evidence of life on Earth is discussed with attention being given to the structure and formation of stromatolites and microfossils. Fossilization of microbes in calcium carbonate or chert media is discussed. In searching for fossil remains on Mars, some lessons learned from the study of Earth's earliest fossil record can be applied. Certain sedimentary rock types and sedimentary rock configurations should be targeted for investigation and returned by the Martian rover and ultimately by human explorers. Domical, columnar to wavy laminated stratiform sedimentary rocks that resemble stromatolites should be actively sought. Limestone, other carbonates, and chert are the favored lithology. Being macroscopic, stromatolites might be recognized by an intelligent unmanned rover. In addition, black, waxy chert with conchoidal fracture should be sought. Chert is by far the preferred lithology for the preservation of microbes and chemical fossils. Even under optimal geological conditions (little or no metamorphism or tectonic alteration, excellent outcrops, and good black chert) and using experienced field biogeologists, the chances of finding well preserved microbial remains in chert are very low.

  9. FOSSIL2 energy policy model documentation: generic structures of the FOSSIL2 model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1980-10-01

    This report discusses the structure, derivations, assumptions, and mathematical formulation of the FOSSIL2 model. Each major facet of the model - supply/demand interactions, industry financing, and production - has been designed to parallel closely the actual cause/effect relationships determining the behavior of the United States energy system. The data base for the FOSSIL2 program is large. When possible, all data were obtained from sources well known to experts in the energy field. Cost and resource estimates are based on DOE data whenever possible. This report presents the FOSSIL2 model at several levels. In Volume I, an overview of the basic structures, assumptions, and behavior of the FOSSIL2 model is presented so that the reader can understand the results of various policy tests. The discussion covers the three major building blocks, or generic structures, used to construct the model: supply/demand balance; finance and capital formation; and energy production. These structures reflect the components and interactions of the major processes within each energy industry that directly affect the dynamics of fuel supply, demand, and price within the energy system as a whole.

  10. Calibration Facilities for NIF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perry, T.S.

    2000-06-15

    The calibration facilities will be dynamic and will change to meet the needs of experiments. Small sources, such as the Manson Source should be available to everyone at any time. Carrying out experiments at Omega is providing ample opportunity for practice in pre-shot preparation. Hopefully, the needs that are demonstrated in these experiments will assure the development of (or keep in service) facilities at each of the laboratories that will be essential for in-house preparation for experiments at NIF.

  11. Mesoscale hybrid calibration artifact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Hy D.; Claudet, Andre A.; Oliver, Andrew D.

    2010-09-07

    A mesoscale calibration artifact, also called a hybrid artifact, suitable for hybrid dimensional measurement and the method for make the artifact. The hybrid artifact has structural characteristics that make it suitable for dimensional measurement in both vision-based systems and touch-probe-based systems. The hybrid artifact employs the intersection of bulk-micromachined planes to fabricate edges that are sharp to the nanometer level and intersecting planes with crystal-lattice-defined angles.

  12. Astrid-2 SSC ASUMagnetic Calibration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Primdahl, Fritz

    1997-01-01

    Report of the inter calibration between the starcamera and the fluxgate magnetometer onboard the ASTRID-2 satellite. This calibration was performed in the night between the 15. and 16. May 1997 at the Lovö magnetic observatory.......Report of the inter calibration between the starcamera and the fluxgate magnetometer onboard the ASTRID-2 satellite. This calibration was performed in the night between the 15. and 16. May 1997 at the Lovö magnetic observatory....

  13. Atmospheric Lifetime of Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, David; Eby, Michael; Brovkin, Victor; Ridgwell, Andy; Cao, Long; Mikolajewicz, Uwe; Caldeira, Ken; Matsumoto, Katsumi; Munhoven, Guy; Montenegro, Alvaro; Tokos, Kathy

    2009-05-01

    CO2 released from combustion of fossil fuels equilibrates among the various carbon reservoirs of the atmosphere, the ocean, and the terrestrial biosphere on timescales of a few centuries. However, a sizeable fraction of the CO2 remains in the atmosphere, awaiting a return to the solid earth by much slower weathering processes and deposition of CaCO3. Common measures of the atmospheric lifetime of CO2, including the e-folding time scale, disregard the long tail. Its neglect in the calculation of global warming potentials leads many to underestimate the longevity of anthropogenic global warming. Here, we review the past literature on the atmospheric lifetime of fossil fuel CO2 and its impact on climate, and we present initial results from a model intercomparison project on this topic. The models agree that 20-35% of the CO2 remains in the atmosphere after equilibration with the ocean (2-20 centuries). Neutralization by CaCO3 draws the airborne fraction down further on timescales of 3 to 7 kyr.

  14. Species longevity in North American fossil mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prothero, Donald R

    2014-08-01

    Species longevity in the fossil record is related to many paleoecological variables and is important to macroevolutionary studies, yet there are very few reliable data on average species durations in Cenozoic fossil mammals. Many of the online databases (such as the Paleobiology Database) use only genera of North American Cenozoic mammals and there are severe problems because key groups (e.g. camels, oreodonts, pronghorns and proboscideans) have no reliable updated taxonomy, with many invalid genera and species and/or many undescribed genera and species. Most of the published datasets yield species duration estimates of approximately 2.3-4.3 Myr for larger mammals, with small mammals tending to have shorter species durations. My own compilation of all the valid species durations in families with updated taxonomy (39 families, containing 431 genera and 998 species, averaging 2.3 species per genus) yields a mean duration of 3.21 Myr for larger mammals. This breaks down to 4.10-4.39 Myr for artiodactyls, 3.14-3.31 Myr for perissodactyls and 2.63-2.95 Myr for carnivorous mammals (carnivorans plus creodonts). These averages are based on a much larger, more robust dataset than most previous estimates, so they should be more reliable for any studies that need species longevity to be accurately estimated. © 2013 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  15. Cladistics and the hominid fossil record.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinkaus, E

    1990-09-01

    Cladistic methodology has become common in phylogenetic analyses of the hominid fossil record. Even though it has correctly placed emphasis on morphology for the primary determination of affinities between groups and on explicit statements regarding traits and methods employed in making phylogenetic assessments, cladistics nonetheless has limitations when applied to the hominid fossil record. These include 1) the uncritical assumption of parsimony, 2) uncertainties in the identification of homoplasies, 3) difficulties in the appropriate delimitation of samples for analysis, 4) failure to account for normal patterns of variation, 5) methodological problems with the appropriate identification of morphological traits involving issues of biological relevance, intercorrelation, primary versus secondary characters, and the use of continuous variables, 6) issues of polarity identification, and 7) problems in hypothesis testing. While cladistics has focused attention on alternative phylogenetic reconstructions in hominid paleontology and on explicit statements regarding their morphological and methodological underpinnings, its biological limitations are too abundant for it to be more than a heuristic device for the preliminary ordering of complex human paleontological and neonatological data.

  16. Molecular Fossils as Time Indicators for the Evolution of Diatoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rampen, S. W.; Schouten, S.; Muyzer, G.; Abbas, B.; Rowland, S. J.; Moldowan, M.; Sinninghe Damsté, J. S.

    2004-12-01

    Bacillariophyta (diatoms) are one of the most abundant divisions of phytoplankton, and contribute to almost 50% of the primary productivity of today's oceans. However, their ecological dominance is relatively young and little is known about the exact pace of their rapid evolution. DNA analyses on diatoms and the use of molecular clock calculations can help to reconstruct their evolution, but this molecular clock rate needs to be calibrated against the fossil record to determine the mutation rate. Until now, diatom silica skeletons have been used for reconstructing the evolution of diatoms, but their use is limited due to destruction by diagenesis. Molecular fossils may prove to be more useful for time reconstruction. To search for suitable compounds, we have analyzed both the lipid composition and 18S rRNA sequences of ca. 100 marine diatoms. This revealed that some specific phylogenetic clusters within the diatoms produce specific organic compounds, so-called diatom biomarkers. One group of diatom biomarkers are the C25 highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) alkenes (1,2). HBI biosynthesis evolved independently at least twice in the diatoms. The first group of HBI producers consists of the centric diatoms of the genus Rhizosolenia, the second group comprises pennate diatoms of the genera Haslea, Navicula and Pleurosigma. Based on the constructed phylogenetic tree it is likely that the HBI biosynthesis evolved first in the older group of centric diatoms (i.e. the Rhizosolenia genus). The fossil record was studied to determine the geological occurrence of C25 HBI alkenes, and this data set shows that HBI biosynthesis evolved ca. 91.5 My ago, so we can date the evolution of the genus Rizosolenia to ca. 91.5 My. With this information, we can now accurately predict the mutation rate of the 18S rDNA gene to 1% per 14.8 My for Rhizosolenia, which is substantially faster than the 1% per 18-26 My reported previously for diatoms in general. Another specific biomarker is 24

  17. A Study of Interlanguage Fossilization in College Students' English writing

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王茹

    2014-01-01

    English writing is the college students’synthetical application about the knowledge of English. English writing, how-ever, is the weak segment of the college students' English learning all the time. Based on the researches home and abroad, the pa-per makes an implicational study on interlanguage fossilization in English writing of Chinese college students. Though probing the causes of fossilization in English writing, the paper proposes some measures to reduce the fossilization. In the chapter one, the paper introduces simply the interlanguage fossilization. In the chapter two, the paper analyzes college students English writing and get the causal factors of fossilization:unfavorite learning motivation of students, ineffective feedback to errors, interference of the mother tongue. Then , at the last chapter, the paper put up some measures to overcome and avoid the fossilization in college stu-dents' English writing:promoting students' motivation, providing right feedback, avoiding mother tongue interference.

  18. Fossil energy biotechnology: A research needs assessment. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-11-01

    The Office of Program Analysis of the US Department of Energy commissioned this study to evaluate and prioritize research needs in fossil energy biotechnology. The objectives were to identify research initiatives in biotechnology that offer timely and strategic options for the more efficient and effective uses of the Nation`s fossil resource base, particularly the early identification of new and novel applications of biotechnology for the use or conversion of domestic fossil fuels. Fossil energy biotechnology consists of a number of diverse and distinct technologies, all related by the common denominator -- biocatalysis. The expert panel organized 14 technical subjects into three interrelated biotechnology programs: (1) upgrading the fuel value of fossil fuels; (2) bioconversion of fossil feedstocks and refined products to added value chemicals; and, (3) the development of environmental management strategies to minimize and mitigate the release of toxic and hazardous petrochemical wastes.

  19. Calibration of Underwater Sound Transducers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.R.S. Sastry

    1983-07-01

    Full Text Available The techniques of calibration of underwater sound transducers for farfield, near-field and closed environment conditions are reviewed in this paper .The design of acoustic calibration tank is mentioned. The facilities available at Naval Physical & Oceanographic Laboratory, Cochin for calibration of transducers are also listed.

  20. Origin of noncoding DNA sequences: molecular fossils of genome evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naora, H; Miyahara, K; Curnow, R N

    1987-09-01

    The total amount of noncoding sequences on chromosomes of contemporary organisms varies significantly from species to species. We propose a hypothesis for the origin of these noncoding sequences that assumes that (i) an approximately equal to 0.55-kilobase (kb)-long reading frame composed the primordial gene and (ii) a 20-kb-long single-stranded polynucleotide is the longest molecule (as a genome) that was polymerized at random and without a specific template in the primordial soup/cell. The statistical distribution of stop codons allows examination of the probability of generating reading frames of approximately equal to 0.55 kb in this primordial polynucleotide. This analysis reveals that with three stop codons, a run of at least 0.55-kb equivalent length of nonstop codons would occur in 4.6% of 20-kb-long polynucleotide molecules. We attempt to estimate the total amount of noncoding sequences that would be present on the chromosomes of contemporary species assuming that present-day chromosomes retain the prototype primordial genome structure. Theoretical estimates thus obtained for most eukaryotes do not differ significantly from those reported for these specific organisms, with only a few exceptions. Furthermore, analysis of possible stop-codon distributions suggests that life on earth would not exist, at least in its present form, had two or four stop codons been selected early in evolution.

  1. Origin of noncoding DNA sequences: molecular fossils of genome evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Naora, H.; Miyahara, K.; Curnow, R.N.

    1987-09-01

    The total amount of noncoding sequences on chromosomes of contemporary organisms varies significantly from species to species. The authors propose a hypothesis for the origin of these noncoding sequences that assumes that (i) an approx. 0.55-kilobase (kb)-long reading frame composed the primordial gene and (ii) a 20-kb-long single-stranded polynucleotide is the longest molecule (as a genome) that was polymerized at random and without a specific template in the primordial soup/cell. The statistical distribution of stop codons allows examination of the probability of generating reading frames of approx. 0.55 kb in this primordial polynucleotide. This analysis reveals that with three stop codons, a run of at least 0.55-kb equivalent length of nonstop codons would occur in 4.6% of 20-kb-long polynucleotide molecules. They attempt to estimate the total amount of noncoding sequences that would be present on the chromosomes of contemporary species assuming that present-day chromosomes retain the prototype primordial genome structure. Theoretical estimates thus obtained for most eukaryotes do not differ significantly from those reported for these specific organisms, with only a few exceptions. Furthermore, analysis of possible stop-codon distributions suggests that life on earth would not exist, at least in its present form, had two or four stop codons been selected early in evolution.

  2. Sustainability of fossil fuels and alternative energies for Turkey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tasdemiroglu, E.

    1989-01-01

    Reserves and production of fossil fuels in Turkey are discussed, as well as projections of production rates to the year 2010. Sustainability of fossil-fuel production has been estimated on the basis of presently known data. Fossil fuels will have a very limited lifetime. Bitumens, hydropower, geothermal energy, solar energy, wind power, biomass, and nuclear energy are appropriate alternative technologies. The potentials of these alternatives are given and recommendations made to enhance their contributions. 19 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  3. Internet-based calibration of a multifunction calibrator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    BUNTING BACA,LISA A.; DUDA JR.,LEONARD E.; WALKER,RUSSELL M.; OLDHAM,NILE; PARKER,MARK

    2000-04-17

    A new way of providing calibration services is evolving which employs the Internet to expand present capabilities and make the calibration process more interactive. Sandia National Laboratories and the National Institute of Standards and Technology are collaborating to set up and demonstrate a remote calibration of multifunction calibrators using this Internet-based technique that is becoming known as e-calibration. This paper describes the measurement philosophy and the Internet resources that can provide real-time audio/video/data exchange, consultation and training, as well as web-accessible test procedures, software and calibration reports. The communication system utilizes commercial hardware and software that should be easy to integrate into most calibration laboratories.

  4. TP53 Codon 72 Polymorphism and P53 Protein Expression in Colorectal Cancer Specimens in Isfahan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Nikbahkt Dastjerdi

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The TP53 tumor suppressor gene plays important roles in genomic stability. A common polymorphism at codon 72 of TP53 gene has been associated with increased risk for many human cancers. The p53 protein is expressed in colorectal cancer, but the reported prevalence of its expression varies widely. In the present study, the p53 protein expression in different genotypes of its codon 72 , was investigated. We undertook a case-control study on 250 controls and 250 paraffin block specimens of sporadic colorectal adenocarcinomas from the city of Isfahan. PCR amplification of TP53 codon 72 polymorphism: TP53 codon 72 genotypes were detected by PCR using specific primer pairs for amplifying the proline or the arginine Alleles. The PCR reaction was done separately for each of the two polymorphic variants. The amplified products were subjected to electrophoresis on 1% agarose gel in 1× TBE buffer and visualized on a transilluminator using ethidium bromide. Immunohistochemical Staining: We evaluated the expression patterns of p53 protein, as potential prognostic marker in colorectal cancer specimens by immunohistochemical staining. Statistical analyses: The χ2-test was used to assess the significance of any difference in the prevalence of TP53 codon 72 polymorphism between colorectal cancer patients and controls. The odds ratio and 95% CI (confidence intervals was used as a measure of the strength of the association. Statistical significance level was set to P≤0.05. In control samples, the genotype distribution for TP53 polymorphism showed 30.4%, 45.2% and 24.4% for the arginine/arginine, arginine/proline and proline/proline genotypes, respectively. Allelic frequencies corresponded to 0.663 for the arginine allele and 0.338 for the proline allele. In the cancer group 38.8% of the cases were arginine/arginine, 40.4% were arginine/proline and 20.8% were proline/proline. The corresponding frequencies were 0.590 for the arginine allele and 0.410 for the

  5. Does the clinical phenotype of fatal familial insomnia depend on PRNP codon 129 methionine-valine polymorphism?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rupprecht, Sven; Grimm, Alexander; Schultze, Torsten; Zinke, Jan; Karvouniari, Panagiota; Axer, Hubertus; Witte, Otto W; Schwab, Matthias

    2013-12-15

    Fatal familial insomnia (FFI) is a rare, hereditary prion-protein disease. Methionine-valine polymorphism at codon 129 of the prion-protein gene (PRNP) determines the phenotype in other hereditary prion-protein diseases, but association with the clinical phenotype in FFI remains uncertain. Early clinical findings in FFI comprise disturbances of the sleep-wake cycle and mild neuropsychiatric changes which typically emerge during middle to late adulthood. Here we describe an unusually early onset and rapid progression of FFI associated with dorsal midbrain involvement in a female patient with PRNP mutation at codon 178 and homozygote methionine polymorphism at codon 129. Early dorsal midbrain involvement became apparent by total loss of REM sleep and isolated bilateral trochlear nerve palsy. Early onset and rapid progression disease type associated with dorsal midbrain involvement may indicate a different spatiotemporal distribution of the neurodegenerative process in FFI patients with PRNP mutation and codon 129 methionine homozygosity compared to methioninevaline heterozygosity.

  6. Mutations in the codon for a conserved arginine-1563 in the COL4A5 collagen gene in Alport syndrome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhou, J; Gregory, M C; Hertz, Jens Michael

    1993-01-01

    We have screened 110 unrelated Alport syndrome kindreds for mutations in the exon 48 region of the COL4A5 collagen gene. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of the PCR-amplified region of exon 48 revealed sequence variants in DNA from affected males and carriers of three unrelated...... for arginine to the translation stop codon TGA. In Utah kindred 2123 and in the Danish kindred A13, there was a C-->T mutation in the noncoding strand changing the same codon to CAA for glutamine. Both mutations were confirmed by allele-specific hybridization on PCR-amplified DNA from other family members....... kindreds. All three kindreds have classical Alport syndrome of the juvenile type. DNA-sequencing analyses demonstrated two different single base changes in the codon for arginine-1563 located in exon 48. In Utah kindred 2103, there was a substitution of C by T resulting in the change of the CGA codon...

  7. Immunogenicity and efficacy of codon optimized DNA vaccines encoding the F-protein of respiratory syncytial virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ternette, Nicola; Tippler, Bettina; Uberla, Klaus; Grunwald, Thomas

    2007-10-10

    Respiratory syncytial virus F-protein (RSV-F) is poorly expressed from DNA expression plasmids containing the wild type RSV-F open reading frame. By codon optimization, premature polyadenylation signals were deleted and a striking enhancement of RSV-F expression levels was achieved. Therefore, the immunogenicity and efficacy of wild type DNA vaccines were compared to codon optimized expression plasmids encoding full-length RSV-F or its ectodomain. Mice were immunized twice with the different DNA vaccines followed by an RSV challenge. Only codon optimized DNA vaccines and in particular the one encoding the ectodomain of RSV-F induced substantial antibody levels and reduced viral load 13-170-fold. Thus, codon optimization enhances the immunogenicity and efficacy of RSV encoding DNA vaccines.

  8. Investigating the cores of fossil systems with Chandra

    CERN Document Server

    Bharadwaj, V; Sanders, J S; Schellenberger, G

    2016-01-01

    We investigate the cores of fossil galaxy groups and clusters (`fossil systems') using archival Chandra data for a sample of 17 fossil systems. We determined the cool-core fraction for fossils via three observable diagnostics, the central cooling time, cuspiness, and concentration parameter. We quantified the dynamical state of the fossils by the X-ray peak/brightest cluster galaxy (BCG), and the X-ray peak/emission weighted centre separations. We studied the X-ray emission coincident with the BCG to detect the presence of potential thermal coronae. A deprojection analysis was performed for z < 0.05 fossils to obtain cooling time and entropy profiles, and to resolve subtle temperature structures. We investigated the Lx-T relation for fossils from the 400d catalogue to see if the scaling relation deviates from that of other groups. Most fossils are identified as cool-core objects via at least two cool-core diagnostics. All fossils have their dominant elliptical galaxy within 50 kpc of the X-ray peak, and mo...

  9. Reconstructing Carotenoid-Based and Structural Coloration in Fossil Skin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Maria E; Orr, Patrick J; Kearns, Stuart L; Alcalá, Luis; Anadón, Pere; Peñalver, Enrique

    2016-04-25

    Evidence of original coloration in fossils provides insights into the visual communication strategies used by ancient animals and the functional evolution of coloration over time [1-7]. Hitherto, all reconstructions of the colors of reptile integument and the plumage of fossil birds and feathered dinosaurs have been of melanin-based coloration [1-6]. Extant animals also use other mechanisms for producing color [8], but these have not been identified in fossils. Here we report the first examples of carotenoid-based coloration in the fossil record, and of structural coloration in fossil integument. The fossil skin, from a 10 million-year-old colubrid snake from the Late Miocene Libros Lagerstätte (Teruel, Spain) [9, 10], preserves dermal pigment cells (chromatophores)-xanthophores, iridophores, and melanophores-in calcium phosphate. Comparison with chromatophore abundance and position in extant reptiles [11-15] indicates that the fossil snake was pale-colored in ventral regions; dorsal and lateral regions were green with brown-black and yellow-green transverse blotches. Such coloration most likely functioned in substrate matching and intraspecific signaling. Skin replicated in authigenic minerals is not uncommon in exceptionally preserved fossils [16, 17], and dermal pigment cells generate coloration in numerous reptile, amphibian, and fish taxa today [18]. Our discovery thus represents a new means by which to reconstruct the original coloration of exceptionally preserved fossil vertebrates.

  10. Energy properties of solid fossil fuels and solid biofuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Holubcik, Michal, E-mail: michal.holubcik@fstroj.uniza.sk; Jandacka, Jozef, E-mail: jozef.jandacka@fstroj.uniza.sk [University of Žilina, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Power Engineering, Univerzitná 8215/1, 010 26 Žilina (Slovakia); Kolkova, Zuzana, E-mail: zuzana.kolkova@rc.uniza.sk [Research centre, University of Žilina, Univerzitna 8215/1, 010 26 Žilina (Slovakia)

    2016-06-30

    The paper deals about the problematic of energy properties of solid biofuels in comparison with solid fossil fuels. Biofuels are alternative to fossil fuels and their properties are very similar. During the experiments were done in detail experiments to obtain various properties of spruce wood pellets and wheat straw pellets like biofuels in comparison with brown coal and black coal like fossil fuels. There were tested moisture content, volatile content, fixed carbon content, ash content, elementary analysis (C, H, N, S content) and ash fusion temperatures. The results show that biofuels have some advantages and also disadvantages in comparison with solid fossil fuels.

  11. Energy properties of solid fossil fuels and solid biofuels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holubcik, Michal; Kolkova, Zuzana; Jandacka, Jozef

    2016-06-01

    The paper deals about the problematic of energy properties of solid biofuels in comparison with solid fossil fuels. Biofuels are alternative to fossil fuels and their properties are very similar. During the experiments were done in detail experiments to obtain various properties of spruce wood pellets and wheat straw pellets like biofuels in comparison with brown coal and black coal like fossil fuels. There were tested moisture content, volatile content, fixed carbon content, ash content, elementary analysis (C, H, N, S content) and ash fusion temperatures. The results show that biofuels have some advantages and also disadvantages in comparison with solid fossil fuels.

  12. Triassic leech cocoon from Antarctica contains fossil bell animal

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bomfleur, Benjamin; Kerp, Hans; Taylor, Thomas N.

    2012-01-01

    Our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth is limited by the imperfection of the fossil record. One reason for this imperfect record is that organisms without hard parts, such as bones, shells, and wood, have a very low potential to enter the fossil record. Occasionally, however......, exceptional fossil deposits that preserve soft-bodied organisms provide a rare glimpse of the true biodiversity during past periods of Earth history. We here present an extraordinary find of a fossil ciliate that is encased inside the wall layer of a more than 200 Ma leech cocoon from Antarctica...

  13. Experimentally increased codon bias in the Drosophila Adh gene leads to an increase in larval, but not adult, alcohol dehydrogenase activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hense, Winfried; Anderson, Nathan; Hutter, Stephan; Stephan, Wolfgang; Parsch, John; Carlini, David B

    2010-02-01

    Although most amino acids can be encoded by more than one codon, the synonymous codons are not used with equal frequency. This phenomenon is known as codon bias and appears to be a universal feature of genomes. The translational selection hypothesis posits that the use of optimal codons, which match the most abundant species of isoaccepting tRNAs, results in increased translational efficiency and accuracy. Previous work demonstrated that the experimental reduction of codon bias in the Drosophila alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) gene led to a significant decrease in ADH protein expression. In this study we performed the converse experiment: we replaced seven suboptimal leucine codons that occur naturally in the Drosophila melanogaster Adh gene with the optimal codon. We then compared the in vivo ADH activities imparted by the wild-type and mutant alleles. The introduction of optimal leucine codons led to an increase in ADH activity in third-instar larvae. In adult flies, however, the introduction of optimal codons led to a decrease in ADH activity. There is no evidence that other selectively constrained features of the Adh gene, or its rate of transcription, were altered by the synonymous replacements. These results are consistent with translational selection for codon bias being stronger in the larval stage and suggest that there may be a selective conflict over optimal codon usage between different developmental stages.

  14. Comparative genome sequence analysis of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and 9 other isolates of its genus for factors influencing codon and amino acid usage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nayak, Kinshuk Chandra

    2013-01-15

    In the present study, major constraints for codon and amino acid usage of Sulfolobus acidocaldarius, Sulfolobus solfataricus, Sulfolobus tokodali, Sulfolobus islandis and 6 other isolates from islandicus species of genus Sulfolobus were investigated. Correspondence analysis revealed high significant correlation between the major trend of synonymous codon usage and gene expression level, as assessed by the "Codon Adaptation Index" (CAI). There is a significant negative correlation between Nc (Effective number of codons) and CAI demonstrating role of codon bias as an important determinant of codon usage. The significant correlation between major trend of synonymous codon usage and GC3s (G+C at third synonymous position) indicated dominant role of mutational bias in codon usage pattern. The result was further supported from SCUO (synonymous codon usage order) analysis. The amino acid usage was found to be significantly influenced by aromaticity and hydrophobicity of proteins. However, translational selection which causes a preference for codons that are most rapidly translated by current tRNA with multiple copy numbers was not found to be highly dominating for all studied isolates. Notably, 26 codons that were found to be optimally used by genes of S. acidocaldarius at higher expression level and its comparative analysis with 9 other isolates may provide some useful clues for further in vivo genetic studies on this genus.

  15. A new measure to study phylogenetic relations in the brown algal order Ectocarpales: The ``codon impact parameter"

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Smarajit Das; Jayprokas Chakrabarti; Zhumur Ghosh; Satyabrata Sahoo; Bibekanand Mallick

    2005-12-01

    We analyse forty-seven chloroplast genes of the large subunit of RuBisCO, from the algal order Ectocarpales, sourced from GenBank. Codon-usage weighted by the nucleotide base-bias defines our score called the codon-impact-parameter. This score is used to obtain phylogenetic relations amongst the 47 Ectocarpales. We compare our classification with the ones done earlier.

  16. Heterologous Proteins Production in Escherichia coli: An Investigation on the Effect of Codon Usage and Expression Host Optimization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan Mirzahoseini

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: The production of heterologous proteins in Escherichia coli is strongly affectedby codon bias. This phenomenon occurs when the codon usage of mRNA coding for theforeign protein differs from that of the bacterium. The ribosome pauses upon encounteringa rare codon and may detach from mRNA, thereby the yield of recombinant protein productionreduces. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of these codon numbersreductions on the recombinant protein production.Materials and Methods: Since most amino acids are encoded by more than one codon,codons were changed in order to their usage in a special host such as E. coli without anytransformation in amino acids sequence. Silent mutations in 5' codons of human basicfibroblast growth factor cDNA carried out by site-directed mutagenesis and the expressionlevel of the recombinant protein is analyzed by means of sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamidegel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE and Western blot.Results: Expression level in mutant and wild-type genes indicated a considerable difference.In contrast with the remarkable bands of wild-type gene in all the strains particularly in codonplus strain, there were no significant bands related to mutant gene in SDS-PAGE analysis.Conclusion: Because of the same conditions of mutant and wild-type genes during thetranslation and transcription, this significant difference may relate to mRNA efficiency fortranslation. Our results indicate that increased stability of 5' mRNA secondary structuresin E. coli prevents efficient translation initiation. Furthermore, wild-type gene significantbands in codon plus strain support the hypothesis that the possible elimination of translationalpauses that increase translation rate leads to over expression.

  17. Mercury CEM Calibration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John Schabron; Joseph Rovani; Mark Sanderson

    2008-02-29

    Mercury continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS) are being implemented in over 800 coal-fired power plant stacks. The power industry desires to conduct at least a full year of monitoring before the formal monitoring and reporting requirement begins on January 1, 2009. It is important for the industry to have available reliable, turnkey equipment from CEM vendors. Western Research Institute (WRI) is working closely with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to facilitate the development of the experimental criteria for a NIST traceability protocol for dynamic elemental mercury vapor generators. The generators are used to calibrate mercury CEMs at power plant sites. The Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR) which was published in the Federal Register on May 18, 2005 requires that calibration be performed with NIST-traceable standards (Federal Register 2007). Traceability procedures will be defined by EPA. An initial draft traceability protocol was issued by EPA in May 2007 for comment. In August 2007, EPA issued an interim traceability protocol for elemental mercury generators (EPA 2007). The protocol is based on the actual analysis of the output of each calibration unit at several concentration levels ranging initially from about 2-40 {micro}g/m{sup 3} elemental mercury, and in the future down to 0.2 {micro}g/m{sup 3}, and this analysis will be directly traceable to analyses by NIST. The document is divided into two separate sections. The first deals with the qualification of generators by the vendors for use in mercury CEM calibration. The second describes the procedure that the vendors must use to certify the generator models that meet the qualification specifications. The NIST traceable certification is performance based, traceable to analysis using isotope dilution inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry performed by NIST in Gaithersburg, MD. The

  18. The DEAD-Box Protein Dhh1p Couples mRNA Decay and Translation by Monitoring Codon Optimality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radhakrishnan, Aditya; Chen, Ying-Hsin; Martin, Sophie; Alhusaini, Najwa; Green, Rachel; Coller, Jeff

    2016-09-22

    A major determinant of mRNA half-life is the codon-dependent rate of translational elongation. How the processes of translational elongation and mRNA decay communicate is unclear. Here, we establish that the DEAD-box protein Dhh1p is a sensor of codon optimality that targets an mRNA for decay. First, we find mRNAs whose translation elongation rate is slowed by inclusion of non-optimal codons are specifically degraded in a Dhh1p-dependent manner. Biochemical experiments show Dhh1p is preferentially associated with mRNAs with suboptimal codon choice. We find these effects on mRNA decay are sensitive to the number of slow-moving ribosomes on an mRNA. Moreover, we find Dhh1p overexpression leads to the accumulation of ribosomes specifically on mRNAs (and even codons) of low codon optimality. Lastly, Dhh1p physically interacts with ribosomes in vivo. Together, these data argue that Dhh1p is a sensor for ribosome speed, targeting an mRNA for repression and subsequent decay.

  19. Stop codons in the hepatitis B surface proteins are enriched during antiviral therapy and are associated with host cell apoptosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colledge, Danielle; Soppe, Sally; Yuen, Lilly; Selleck, Lucy; Walsh, Renae; Locarnini, Stephen; Warner, Nadia

    2017-01-15

    Premature stop codons in the hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface protein can be associated with nucleos(t)ide analogue resistance due to overlap of the HBV surface and polymerase genes. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of the replication of three common surface stop codon variants on the hepatocyte. Cell lines were transfected with infectious HBV clones encoding surface stop codons rtM204I/sW196*, rtA181T/sW172*, rtV191I/sW182*, and a panel of substitutions in the surface proteins. HBsAg was measured by Western blotting. Proliferation and apoptosis were measured using flow cytometry. All three surface stop codon variants were defective in HBsAg secretion. Cells transfected with these variants were less proliferative and had higher levels of apoptosis than those transfected with variants that did not encode surface stop codons. The most cytopathic variant was rtM204I/sW196*. Replication of HBV encoding surface stop codons was toxic to the cell and promoted apoptosis, exacerbating disease progression.

  20. Evaluation of codon biology in citrus and Poncirus trifoliata based on genomic features and frame corrected expressed sequence tags.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Touqeer; Sablok, Gaurav; Tatarinova, Tatiana V; Xu, Qiang; Deng, Xiu-Xin; Guo, Wen-Wu

    2013-04-01

    Citrus, as one of the globally important fruit trees, has been an object of interest for understanding genetics and evolutionary process in fruit crops. Meta-analyses of 19 Citrus species, including 4 globally and economically important Citrus sinensis, Citrus clementina, Citrus reticulata, and 1 Citrus relative Poncirus trifoliata, were performed. We observed that codons ending with A- or T- at the wobble position were preferred in contrast to C- or G- ending codons, indicating a close association with AT richness of Citrus species and P. trifoliata. The present study postulates a large repertoire of a set of optimal codons for the Citrus genus and P. trifoliata and demonstrates that GCT and GGT are evolutionary conserved optimal codons. Our observation suggested that mutational bias is the dominating force in shaping the codon usage bias (CUB) in Citrus and P. trifoliata. Correspondence analysis (COA) revealed that the principal axis [axis 1; COA/relative synonymous codon usage (RSCU)] contributes only a minor portion (∼10.96%) of the recorded variance. In all analysed species, except P. trifoliata, Gravy and aromaticity played minor roles in resolving CUB. Compositional constraints were found to be strongly associated with the amino acid signatures in Citrus species and P. trifoliata. Our present analysis postulates compositional constraints in Citrus species and P. trifoliata and plausible role of the stress with GC3 and coevolution pattern of amino acid.

  1. Accuracy of initial codon selection by aminoacyl-tRNAs on the mRNA-programmed bacterial ribosome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jingji; Ieong, Ka-Weng; Johansson, Magnus; Ehrenberg, Måns

    2015-08-04

    We used a cell-free system with pure Escherichia coli components to study initial codon selection of aminoacyl-tRNAs in ternary complex with elongation factor Tu and GTP on messenger RNA-programmed ribosomes. We took advantage of the universal rate-accuracy trade-off for all enzymatic selections to determine how the efficiency of initial codon readings decreased linearly toward zero as the accuracy of discrimination against near-cognate and wobble codon readings increased toward the maximal asymptote, the d value. We report data on the rate-accuracy variation for 7 cognate, 7 wobble, and 56 near-cognate codon readings comprising about 15% of the genetic code. Their d values varied about 400-fold in the 200-80,000 range depending on type of mismatch, mismatch position in the codon, and tRNA isoacceptor type. We identified error hot spots (d = 200) for U:G misreading in second and U:U or G:A misreading in third codon position by His-tRNA(His) and, as also seen in vivo, Glu-tRNA(Glu). We suggest that the proofreading mechanism has evolved to attenuate error hot spots in initial selection such as those found here.

  2. Comparative analysis of codon usage patterns and identification of predicted highly expressed genes in five Salmonella genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mondal U

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To anlyse codon usage patterns of five complete genomes of Salmonella , predict highly expressed genes, examine horizontally transferred pathogenicity-related genes to detect their presence in the strains, and scrutinize the nature of highly expressed genes to infer upon their lifestyle. Methods: Protein coding genes, ribosomal protein genes, and pathogenicity-related genes were analysed with Codon W and CAI (codon adaptation index Calculator. Results: Translational efficiency plays a role in codon usage variation in Salmonella genes. Low bias was noticed in most of the genes. GC3 (guanine cytosine at third position composition does not influence codon usage variation in the genes of these Salmonella strains. Among the cluster of orthologous groups (COGs, translation, ribosomal structure biogenesis [J], and energy production and conversion [C] contained the highest number of potentially highly expressed (PHX genes. Correspondence analysis reveals the conserved nature of the genes. Highly expressed genes were detected. Conclusions: Selection for translational efficiency is the major source of variation of codon usage in the genes of Salmonella . Evolution of pathogenicity-related genes as a unit suggests their ability to infect and exist as a pathogen. Presence of a lot of PHX genes in the information and storage-processing category of COGs indicated their lifestyle and revealed that they were not subjected to genome reduction.

  3. Self-Calibrating Pressure Transducer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lueck, Dale E. (Inventor)

    2006-01-01

    A self-calibrating pressure transducer is disclosed. The device uses an embedded zirconia membrane which pumps a determined quantity of oxygen into the device. The associated pressure can be determined, and thus, the transducer pressure readings can be calibrated. The zirconia membrane obtains oxygen .from the surrounding environment when possible. Otherwise, an oxygen reservoir or other source is utilized. In another embodiment, a reversible fuel cell assembly is used to pump oxygen and hydrogen into the system. Since a known amount of gas is pumped across the cell, the pressure produced can be determined, and thus, the device can be calibrated. An isolation valve system is used to allow the device to be calibrated in situ. Calibration is optionally automated so that calibration can be continuously monitored. The device is preferably a fully integrated MEMS device. Since the device can be calibrated without removing it from the process, reductions in costs and down time are realized.

  4. CALIBRATED HYDRODYNAMIC MODEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sezar Gülbaz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The land development and increase in urbanization in a watershed affect water quantityand water quality. On one hand, urbanization provokes the adjustment of geomorphicstructure of the streams, ultimately raises peak flow rate which causes flood; on theother hand, it diminishes water quality which results in an increase in Total SuspendedSolid (TSS. Consequently, sediment accumulation in downstream of urban areas isobserved which is not preferred for longer life of dams. In order to overcome thesediment accumulation problem in dams, the amount of TSS in streams and inwatersheds should be taken under control. Low Impact Development (LID is a BestManagement Practice (BMP which may be used for this purpose. It is a land planningand engineering design method which is applied in managing storm water runoff inorder to reduce flooding as well as simultaneously improve water quality. LID includestechniques to predict suspended solid loads in surface runoff generated over imperviousurban surfaces. In this study, the impact of LID-BMPs on surface runoff and TSS isinvestigated by employing a calibrated hydrodynamic model for Sazlidere Watershedwhich is located in Istanbul, Turkey. For this purpose, a calibrated hydrodynamicmodel was developed by using Environmental Protection Agency Storm WaterManagement Model (EPA SWMM. For model calibration and validation, we set up arain gauge and a flow meter into the field and obtain rainfall and flow rate data. Andthen, we select several LID types such as retention basins, vegetative swales andpermeable pavement and we obtain their influence on peak flow rate and pollutantbuildup and washoff for TSS. Consequently, we observe the possible effects ofLID on surface runoff and TSS in Sazlidere Watershed.

  5. Paleoarchean trace fossils in altered volcanic glass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staudigel, Hubert; Furnes, Harald; DeWit, Maarten

    2015-01-01

    Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed Paleoarchean pillow lavas have been interpreted as evidence for a deep biosphere dating back in time through the earliest periods of preserved life on earth. This interpretation has been recently challenged for Paleoarchean titanite replacement textures based on textural and geochronological data from pillow lavas in the Hooggenoeg Complex of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We use this controversy to explore the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in support or rejection of the biogenicity interpretation of bioalteration trace fossils in Cenozoic basalt glasses and their putative equivalents in Paleoarchean greenstones. Our analysis suggests that biogenicity cannot be taken for granted for all titanite-based textures in metamorphosed basalt glass, but a cautious and critical evaluation of evidence suggests that biogenicity remains the most likely interpretation for previously described titanite microtextures in Paleoarchean pillow lavas. PMID:26038543

  6. Paleoarchean trace fossils in altered volcanic glass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staudigel, Hubert; Furnes, Harald; DeWit, Maarten

    2015-06-02

    Microbial corrosion textures in volcanic glass from Cenozoic seafloor basalts and the corresponding titanite replacement microtextures in metamorphosed Paleoarchean pillow lavas have been interpreted as evidence for a deep biosphere dating back in time through the earliest periods of preserved life on earth. This interpretation has been recently challenged for Paleoarchean titanite replacement textures based on textural and geochronological data from pillow lavas in the Hooggenoeg Complex of the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. We use this controversy to explore the strengths and weaknesses of arguments made in support or rejection of the biogenicity interpretation of bioalteration trace fossils in Cenozoic basalt glasses and their putative equivalents in Paleoarchean greenstones. Our analysis suggests that biogenicity cannot be taken for granted for all titanite-based textures in metamorphosed basalt glass, but a cautious and critical evaluation of evidence suggests that biogenicity remains the most likely interpretation for previously described titanite microtextures in Paleoarchean pillow lavas.

  7. Paleophysiology: From Fossils to the Future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vermeij, Geerat J

    2015-10-01

    Future environments may resemble conditions that have not existed for millions of years. To assess the adaptive options available to organisms evolving under such circumstances, it is instructive to probe paleophysiology, the ways in which ancient life coped with its physical and chemical surroundings. To do this, we need reliable proxies that are based on fundamental principles, quantitatively verified in living species, and observable in fossil remains. Insights have already come from vertebrates and plants, and others will likely emerge for marine animals if promising proxies are validated. Many questions remain about the circumstances for the evolution of environmental tolerances, metabolic rates, biomineralization, and physiological responses to interacting species, and about how living organisms will perform under exceptional conditions.

  8. Hygroscopic motions of fossil conifer cones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Nestle, Nikolaus; Šandor, Andrea; Reible, Bruno; Masselter, Tom; Bruchmann, Bernd; Speck, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Conifer cones represent natural, woody compliant structures which move their scales as passive responses to changes in environmental humidity. Here we report on water-driven opening and closing motions in coalified conifer cones from the Eemian Interglacial (approx. 126,000–113,000 years BP) and from the Middle Miocene (approx. 16.5 to 11.5 million years BP). These cones represent by far the oldest documented evidence of plant parts showing full functionality of such passive hydraulically actuated motion. The functional resilience of these structures is far beyond the biological purpose of seed dispersal and protection and is because of a low level of mineralization of the fossils. Our analysis emphasizes the functional-morphological integrity of these biological compliant mechanisms which, in addition to their biological fascination, are potentially also role models for resilient and maintenance-free biomimetic applications (e.g., adaptive and autonomously moving structures including passive hydraulic actuators).

  9. Fossil birds of the Kibish Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louchart, Antoine; Haile-Selassie, Y; Vignaud, P; Likius, A; Brunet, M

    2008-09-01

    The Kibish Formation has yielded a small collection of bird fossils, which are identified here as belonging to five species in four different families: Pelecanidae (pelicans), Anhingidae (darters), Ardeidae (herons) and Phasianidae (gamefowl). Two species of pelicans are identified: Pelecanus cf. P. onocrotalus, and P. aff. P. rufescens. The darter is referrable to Anhinga melanogaster. The heron is identifiable as Ardea sp., and the gamefowl as Numidinae indet. (guineafowl). Pelecanus cf. P. onocrotalus is represented by, among other remains, a well-preserved partial skull. Four of the birds are thus referrable to extant taxa that provide some paleoenvironmental clues for Member I of the Kibish Formation. The two species of pelican, the darter, and the heron indicate the presence of local freshwater bodies, a lake or a slow river, supporting resources of fish. The guineafowl is poorly informative ecologically, but probably excludes the notion that the local terrestrial landscape was treeless.

  10. Hygroscopic motions of fossil conifer cones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poppinga, Simon; Nestle, Nikolaus; Šandor, Andrea; Reible, Bruno; Masselter, Tom; Bruchmann, Bernd; Speck, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Conifer cones represent natural, woody compliant structures which move their scales as passive responses to changes in environmental humidity. Here we report on water-driven opening and closing motions in coalified conifer cones from the Eemian Interglacial (approx. 126,000–113,000 years BP) and from the Middle Miocene (approx. 16.5 to 11.5 million years BP). These cones represent by far the oldest documented evidence of plant parts showing full functionality of such passive hydraulically actuated motion. The functional resilience of these structures is far beyond the biological purpose of seed dispersal and protection and is because of a low level of mineralization of the fossils. Our analysis emphasizes the functional-morphological integrity of these biological compliant mechanisms which, in addition to their biological fascination, are potentially also role models for resilient and maintenance-free biomimetic applications (e.g., adaptive and autonomously moving structures including passive hydraulic actuators). PMID:28074936

  11. The future of oil: unconventional fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chew, Kenneth J

    2014-01-13

    Unconventional fossil hydrocarbons fall into two categories: resource plays and conversion-sourced hydrocarbons. Resource plays involve the production of accumulations of solid, liquid or gaseous hydro-carbons that have been generated over geological time from organic matter in source rocks. The character of these hydrocarbons may have been modified subsequently, especially in the case of solids and extra-heavy liquids. These unconventional hydrocarbons therefore comprise accumulations of hydrocarbons that are trapped in an unconventional manner and/or whose economic exploitation requires complex and technically advanced production methods. This review focuses primarily on unconventional liquid hydro-carbons. The future potential of unconventional gas, especially shale gas, is also discussed, as it is revolutionizing the energy outlook in North America and elsewhere.

  12. Microbial biocatalyst developments to upgrade fossil fuels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilbane, John J

    2006-06-01

    Steady increases in the average sulfur content of petroleum and stricter environmental regulations concerning the sulfur content have promoted studies of bioprocessing to upgrade fossil fuels. Bioprocesses can potentially provide a solution to the need for improved and expanded fuel upgrading worldwide, because bioprocesses for fuel upgrading do not require hydrogen and produce far less carbon dioxide than thermochemical processes. Recent advances have demonstrated that biodesulfurization is capable of removing sulfur from hydrotreated diesel to yield a product with an ultra-low sulfur concentration that meets current environmental regulations. However, the technology has not yet progressed beyond laboratory-scale testing, as more efficient biocatalysts are needed. Genetic studies to obtain improved biocatalysts for the selective removal of sulfur and nitrogen from petroleum provide the focus of current research efforts.

  13. FAST FOSSIL ROTATION OF NEUTRON STAR CORES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Melatos, A., E-mail: amelatos@unimelb.edu.au [School of Physics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, VIC 3010 (Australia)

    2012-12-10

    It is argued that the superfluid core of a neutron star super-rotates relative to the crust, because stratification prevents the core from responding to the electromagnetic braking torque, until the relevant dissipative (viscous or Eddington-Sweet) timescale, which can exceed {approx}10{sup 3} yr and is much longer than the Ekman timescale, has elapsed. Hence, in some young pulsars, the rotation of the core today is a fossil record of its rotation at birth, provided that magnetic crust-core coupling is inhibited, e.g., by buoyancy, field-line topology, or the presence of uncondensed neutral components in the superfluid. Persistent core super-rotation alters our picture of neutron stars in several ways, allowing for magnetic field generation by ongoing dynamo action and enhanced gravitational wave emission from hydrodynamic instabilities.

  14. Dynamic Torque Calibration Unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agronin, Michael L.; Marchetto, Carl A.

    1989-01-01

    Proposed dynamic torque calibration unit (DTCU) measures torque in rotary actuator components such as motors, bearings, gear trains, and flex couplings. Unique because designed specifically for testing components under low rates. Measures torque in device under test during controlled steady rotation or oscillation. Rotor oriented vertically, supported by upper angular-contact bearing and lower radial-contact bearing that floats axially to prevent thermal expansion from loading bearings. High-load capacity air bearing available to replace ball bearings when higher load capacity or reduction in rate noise required.

  15. ALTEA: The instrument calibration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zaconte, V. [INFN and University of Rome Tor Vergata, Department of Physics, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Rome (Italy)], E-mail: livio.narici@roma2.infn.it; Belli, F.; Bidoli, V.; Casolino, M.; Di Fino, L.; Narici, L.; Picozza, P.; Rinaldi, A. [INFN and University of Rome Tor Vergata, Department of Physics, Via della Ricerca Scientifica 1, 00133 Rome (Italy); Sannita, W.G. [DISM, University of Genova, Genova (Italy); Department of Psychiatry, SUNY, Stoony Brook, NY (United States); Finetti, N.; Nurzia, G.; Rantucci, E.; Scrimaglio, R.; Segreto, E. [Department of Physics, University and INFN, L' Aquila (Italy); Schardt, D. [GSI/Biophysik, Darmstadt (Germany)

    2008-05-15

    The ALTEA program is an international and multi-disciplinary project aimed at studying particle radiation in space environment and its effects on astronauts' brain functions, as the anomalous perception of light flashes first reported during Apollo missions. The ALTEA space facility includes a 6-silicon telescopes particle detector, and is onboard the International Space Station (ISS) since July 2006. In this paper, the detector calibration at the heavy-ion synchrotron SIS18 at GSI Darmstadt will be presented and compared to the Geant 3 Monte Carlo simulation. Finally, the results of a neural network analysis that was used for ion discrimination on fragmentation data will also be presented.

  16. The eukaryotic fossil record in deep time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterfield, N.

    2011-12-01

    Eukaryotic organisms are defining constituents of the Phanerozoic biosphere, but they also extend well back into the Proterozoic record, primarily in the form of microscopic body fossils. Criteria for identifying pre-Ediacaran eukaryotes include large cell size, morphologically complex cell walls and/or the recognition of diagnostically eukaryotic cell division patterns. The oldest unambiguous eukaryote currently on record is an acanthomorphic acritarch (Tappania) from the Palaeoproterozoic Semri Group of central India. Older candidate eukaryotes are difficult to distinguish from giant bacteria, prokaryotic colonies or diagenetic artefacts. In younger Meso- and Neoproterozoic strata, the challenge is to recognize particular grades and clades of eukaryotes, and to document their macro-evolutionary expression. Distinctive unicellular forms include mid-Neoproterozoic testate amoebae and phosphate biomineralizing 'scale-microfossils' comparable to an extant green alga. There is also a significant record of seaweeds, possible fungi and problematica from this interval, documenting multiple independent experiments in eukaryotic multicellularity. Taxonomically resolved forms include a bangiacean red alga and probable vaucheriacean chromalveolate algae from the late Mesoproterozoic, and populations of hydrodictyacean and siphonocladalean green algae of mid Neoproterozoic age. Despite this phylogenetic breadth, however, or arguments from molecular clocks, there is no convincing evidence for pre-Ediacaran metazoans or metaphytes. The conspicuously incomplete nature of the Proterozoic record makes it difficult to resolve larger-scale ecological and evolutionary patterns. Even so, both body fossils and biomarker data point to a pre-Ediacaran biosphere dominated overwhelming by prokaryotes. Contemporaneous eukaryotes appear to be limited to conspicuously shallow water environments, and exhibit fundamentally lower levels of morphological diversity and evolutionary turnover than

  17. Fossil Leaves and Fossil Leaf n-Alkanes: Reconstructing the First Closed Canopied Rainforests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, H. V.; Freeman, K. H.

    2013-12-01

    Although the age and location is disputed, the rise of the first closed-canopy forest is likely linked with the expansion of angiosperms in the late Cretacous or early Cenozoic. The carbon isotope 'canopy effect' reflects the extent of canopy closure, and is well documented in δ13C values of the leaves and leaf lipids in modern forests. To test the extent of canopy closure among the oldest documented angiosperm tropical forests, we analyzed isotopic characteristics of leaf fossils and leaf waxes from the Guaduas and Cerrejón Formations. The Guaduas Fm. (Maastrichtian) contains some of the earliest angiosperm fossils in the Neotropics, and both leaf morphology and pollen records at this site suggest an open-canopy structure. The Cerrejón Fm. (Paleocene) contains what are believed to be the first recorded fossil leaves from a closed-canopy forest. We analyzed the bulk carbon isotope content (δ13Cleaf) of 199 fossil leaves, as well as the n-alkane concentration and chain-length distribution, and δ13C of alkanes (δ13Clipid) of 73 fossil leaves and adjacent sediment samples. Fossil leaves are dominated by eudicots and include ten modern plant families (Apocynaceae, Bombaceae, Euphorbaceae, Fabaceae, Lauraceae, Malvaceae, Meliaceae, Menispermaceae, Moraceae, Sapotaceae). We interpreted extent of canopy coverage based on the range of δ13Cleaf values. The narrow range of δ13C values in leaves from the Guaduas Fm (2.7‰) is consistent with an open canopy. A significantly wider range in values (6.3‰) suggests a closed-canopy signature for site 0315 of the Cerrejón Fm,. In contrast, at Site 0318, a lacustrine deposit, leaves had a narrow range (3.3‰) in δ13C values, and this is not consistent with a closed-canopy, but is consistent with leaf assemblages from a forest edge. Leaves that accumulate in lake sediments tend to be biased toward plants living at the lake edge, which do not experience closed-canopy conditions, and do not express the isotopic

  18. Dataset for analysing the relationships among economic growth, fossil fuel and non-fossil fuel consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asafu-Adjaye, John; Byrne, Dominic; Alvarez, Maximiliano

    2017-02-01

    The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled 'Economic Growth, Fossil Fuel and Non-Fossil Consumption: A Pooled Mean Group Analysis using Proxies for Capital' (J. Asafu-Adjaye, D. Byrne, M. Alvarez, 2016) [1]. This article describes data modified from three publicly available data sources: the World Bank׳s World Development Indicators (http://databank.worldbank.org/data/reports.aspx?source=world-development-indicators), the U.S. Energy Information Administration׳s International Energy Statistics (http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=44&pid=44&aid=2) and the Barro-Lee Educational Attainment Dataset (http://www.barrolee.com). These data can be used to examine the relationships between economic growth and different forms of energy consumption. The dataset is made publicly available to promote further analyses.

  19. Individuals' decision to co-donate or donate alone: an archival study of married whole body donors in Hawaii.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michel Anteby

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Human cadavers are crucial to numerous aspects of health care, including initial and continuing training of medical doctors and advancement of medical research. Concerns have periodically been raised about the limited number of whole body donations. Little is known, however, about a unique form of donation, namely co-donations or instances when married individuals decide to register at the same time as their spouse as whole body donors. Our study aims to determine the extent of whole body co-donation and individual factors that might influence co-donation. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We reviewed all records of registrants to the University of Hawaii Medical School's whole body donation program from 1967 through 2006 to identify married registrants. We then examined the 806 married individuals' characteristics to understand their decision to register alone or with their spouse. We found that married individuals who registered at the same time as their spouse accounted for 38.2 percent of married registrants. Sex differences provided an initial lens to understand co-donation. Wives were more likely to co-donate than to register alone (p = 0.002. Moreover, registrants' main occupational background had a significant effect on co-donations (p = 0.001. Married registrants (regardless of sex in female-gendered occupations were more likely to co-donate than to donate alone (p = 0.014. Female-gendered occupations were defined as ones in which women represented more than 55 percent of the workforce (e.g., preschool teachers. Thus, variations in donors' occupational backgrounds explained co-donation above and beyond sex differences. CONCLUSIONS: Efforts to secure whole body donations have historically focused on individual donations regardless of donors' marital status. More attention needs to be paid, however, to co-donations since they represent a non-trivial number of total donations. Also, targeted outreach efforts to male and female members of

  20. A Simple Accelerometer Calibrator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salam, R. A.; Islamy, M. R. F.; Munir, M. M.; Latief, H.; Irsyam, M.; Khairurrijal

    2016-08-01

    High possibility of earthquake could lead to the high number of victims caused by it. It also can cause other hazards such as tsunami, landslide, etc. In that case it requires a system that can examine the earthquake occurrence. Some possible system to detect earthquake is by creating a vibration sensor system using accelerometer. However, the output of the system is usually put in the form of acceleration data. Therefore, a calibrator system for accelerometer to sense the vibration is needed. In this study, a simple accelerometer calibrator has been developed using 12 V DC motor, optocoupler, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and AVR 328 microcontroller as controller system. The system uses the Pulse Wave Modulation (PWM) form microcontroller to control the motor rotational speed as response to vibration frequency. The frequency of vibration was read by optocoupler and then those data was used as feedback to the system. The results show that the systems could control the rotational speed and the vibration frequencies in accordance with the defined PWM.

  1. Literature Review of Fossilization Research in Interlanguage Development

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    鞠维露

    2015-01-01

    Fossilization has always been a hot area of research for many years, the overcoming of which has been many scholars' top concerns. This thesis reviews the definition, classification, causes and characteristics of fossilization. Also, the research limitations are presented with suggestions for more empirical future study provided.

  2. Microalgal and terrestrial transport biofuels to displace fossil fuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.

    2009-01-01

    Terrestrial transport biofuels differ in their ability to replace fossil fuels. When both the conversion of solar energy into biomass and the life cycle inputs of fossil fuels are considered, ethanol from sugarcane and biodiesel from palm oil do relatively well, if compared with ethanol from corn, s

  3. Microalgal and terrestrial transport biofuels to displace fossil fuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijnders, L.

    2009-01-01

    Terrestrial transport biofuels differ in their ability to replace fossil fuels. When both the conversion of solar energy into biomass and the life cycle inputs of fossil fuels are considered, ethanol from sugarcane and biodiesel from palm oil do relatively well, if compared with ethanol from corn,

  4. Size variation in samples of fossil and recent murid teeth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Freudenthal, M.; Martín Suárez, E.

    1990-01-01

    The variability coefficient proposed by Freudenthal & Cuenca Bescós (1984) for samples of fossil cricetid teeth, is calculated for about 200 samples of fossil and recent murid teeth. The results are discussed, and compared with those obtained for the Cricetidae.

  5. Fossils and palaeontological distributions of Macaranga and Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nucete, M.; van Konijnenburg-van Cittert, J.H.A.; van Welzen, P.C.

    2012-01-01

    The correct identification of described plant fossils from the sister genera Macaranga and Mallotus (Euphorbiaceae) needs to be confirmed in order to correctly date their phylogeny and map their palaeontological distributions. Previous identifications of fossil specimens often appear to be unreliabl

  6. Divesting from Fossil Fuels Makes Sense Morally… and Financially

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleveland, Cutler J.; Reibstein, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Should university endowments divest from fossil fuels? A public discussion of this question has seen some university presidents issuing statements that they would not divest--that investments should not be used for "political action." Many universities hold large endowments that have significant positions in fossil fuel companies or…

  7. Fossil remains of fungi, algae and other organisms from Jamaica

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Germeraad, J.H.

    1979-01-01

    Fungal remains and other fossils from Cainophytic strata of Jamaica have been compared with species described in mycological and algological publications. Only in a few cases morphologically related taxons have been encountered. The stratigraphie significance of these Jamaican fossils is unknown as

  8. Development of concepts for a zero-fossil-energy greenhouse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ooster, A. van 't; Henten, E.J. van; Janssen, E.G.O.N.; Bot, G.P.A.; Dekker, E.

    2008-01-01

    Dutch government and greenhouse horticultural practice aim for strongly reduced fossil energy use and of environmental loads in 2010 and energy neutral greenhouses in 2020. This research aims to design a greenhouse concept with minimal use of fossil energy and independent of nearby greenhouses. The

  9. Maximum fossil fuel feedstock replacement potential of petrochemicals via biorefineries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brehmer, B.; Boom, R.M.; Sanders, J.P.M.

    2009-01-01

    The search for feedstock replacement options within the petrochemical industry should logically be based upon non-fossil resources. Retaining the functionality of the biochemicals in biomass for use as chemical products and precursors can lead to a sizeable reduction of fossil fuel consumption. This

  10. Size variation in samples of fossil and recent murid teeth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Freudenthal, M.; Martín Suárez, E.

    1990-01-01

    The variability coefficient proposed by Freudenthal & Cuenca Bescós (1984) for samples of fossil cricetid teeth, is calculated for about 200 samples of fossil and recent murid teeth. The results are discussed, and compared with those obtained for the Cricetidae.

  11. The financial impact of divestment from fossil fuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Plantinga, Auke; Scholtens, Bert

    2016-01-01

    Divesting from fossil companies has been put forward as a means to address climate change. We study the impact of such divesting on investment portfolio performance. To this extent, we systematically investigate the investment performance of portfolios with and without fossil fuel company stocks. We

  12. Fossil Odobenidae in some Dutch collections (Mammalia, Carnivora)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosscha Erdbrink, D.P.; Bree, van P.J.H.

    1986-01-01

    Eight cranial and five postcranial fossil specimens are described and identified as remains of Odobenidae. Two of these (one, from Rhenen, certainly, and the other tentatively) are ascribed to the fossil, Early Pleistocene Odobenus huxleyi (Lankester, 1865), the others to the recent form, O.

  13. Fossilization of Oral Comoetence and Enlightenments on Oral English Teaching

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    马桂花

    2009-01-01

    This thesis is going m demonstrate the fossilized or fossilizing tendency in oral productions, to explore its underlying causes and to probe possible approaches to postpone or defossilize these phenomena in oral language training and teaching so that the overall level of oral competence for English learners can be further promoted.

  14. Maximum fossil fuel feedstock replacement potential of petrochemicals via biorefineries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brehmer, B.; Boom, R.M.; Sanders, J.P.M.

    2009-01-01

    The search for feedstock replacement options within the petrochemical industry should logically be based upon non-fossil resources. Retaining the functionality of the biochemicals in biomass for use as chemical products and precursors can lead to a sizeable reduction of fossil fuel consumption. This

  15. The preliminary study of urbanization, fossil fuels consumptions and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2010-03-29

    Mar 29, 2010 ... As a result the demand of more energy in form of fossil fuels increased for domestic ... Key words: Urbanization, fossil fuels, CO2 emission, energy consumption, population growth. ..... energy and biofuels. It will help to reduce ...

  16. Divesting from Fossil Fuels Makes Sense Morally… and Financially

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleveland, Cutler J.; Reibstein, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Should university endowments divest from fossil fuels? A public discussion of this question has seen some university presidents issuing statements that they would not divest--that investments should not be used for "political action." Many universities hold large endowments that have significant positions in fossil fuel companies or…

  17. Carbon monoxide : A quantitative tracer for fossil fuel CO2?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gamnitzer, Ulrike; Karstens, Ute; Kromer, Bernd; Neubert, Rolf E. M.; Meijer, Harro A. J.; Schroeder, Hartwig; Levin, Ingeborg

    2006-01-01

    Carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and radiocarbon ((CO2)-C-14) measurements have been made in Heidelberg from 2001 to 2004 in order to determine the regional fossil fuel CO2 component and to investigate the application of CO as a quantitative tracer for fossil fuel CO2 (CO2(foss)). The obs

  18. The financial impact of divestment from fossil fuels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Plantinga, Auke; Scholtens, Bert

    2016-01-01

    Divesting from fossil companies has been put forward as a means to address climate change. We study the impact of such divesting on investment portfolio performance. To this extent, we systematically investigate the investment performance of portfolios with and without fossil fuel company stocks. We

  19. Implication of IL Fossilization in Second Language Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xueping

    2008-01-01

    Since the phenomenon of fossilization in interlanguage is proposed by Selinker in 1972, it has drawn much attention and commonly acknowledged at home and abroad. This paper introduces the definition, classification, presentation, and causal factors of fossilization in an attempt to help Chinese students better understand the phenomenon and avoid…

  20. Development of concepts for a zero-fossil-energy greenhouse

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ooster, A. van 't; Henten, E.J. van; Janssen, E.G.O.N.; Bot, G.P.A.; Dekker, E.

    2008-01-01

    Dutch government and greenhouse horticultural practice aim for strongly reduced fossil energy use and of environmental loads in 2010 and energy neutral greenhouses in 2020. This research aims to design a greenhouse concept with minimal use of fossil energy and independent of nearby greenhouses. The