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Sample records for humans evolutionary divergence

  1. Exceptional evolutionary divergence of human muscle and brain metabolomes parallels human cognitive and physical uniqueness

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bozek, Katarzyna; Wei, Yuning; Yan, Zheng

    2014-01-01

    Metabolite concentrations reflect the physiological states of tissues and cells. However, the role of metabolic changes in species evolution is currently unknown. Here, we present a study of metabolome evolution conducted in three brain regions and two non-neural tissues from humans, chimpanzees......, macaque monkeys, and mice based on over 10,000 hydrophilic compounds. While chimpanzee, macaque, and mouse metabolomes diverge following the genetic distances among species, we detect remarkable acceleration of metabolome evolution in human prefrontal cortex and skeletal muscle affecting neural and energy...... metabolism pathways. These metabolic changes could not be attributed to environmental conditions and were confirmed against the expression of their corresponding enzymes. We further conducted muscle strength tests in humans, chimpanzees, and macaques. The results suggest that, while humans are characterized...

  2. Exceptional evolutionary divergence of human muscle and brain metabolomes parallels human cognitive and physical uniqueness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarzyna Bozek

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Metabolite concentrations reflect the physiological states of tissues and cells. However, the role of metabolic changes in species evolution is currently unknown. Here, we present a study of metabolome evolution conducted in three brain regions and two non-neural tissues from humans, chimpanzees, macaque monkeys, and mice based on over 10,000 hydrophilic compounds. While chimpanzee, macaque, and mouse metabolomes diverge following the genetic distances among species, we detect remarkable acceleration of metabolome evolution in human prefrontal cortex and skeletal muscle affecting neural and energy metabolism pathways. These metabolic changes could not be attributed to environmental conditions and were confirmed against the expression of their corresponding enzymes. We further conducted muscle strength tests in humans, chimpanzees, and macaques. The results suggest that, while humans are characterized by superior cognition, their muscular performance might be markedly inferior to that of chimpanzees and macaque monkeys.

  3. Exceptional Evolutionary Divergence of Human Muscle and Brain Metabolomes Parallels Human Cognitive and Physical Uniqueness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bozek, Katarzyna; Wei, Yuning; Yan, Zheng; Liu, Xiling; Xiong, Jieyi; Sugimoto, Masahiro; Tomita, Masaru; Pääbo, Svante; Pieszek, Raik; Sherwood, Chet C.; Hof, Patrick R.; Ely, John J.; Steinhauser, Dirk; Willmitzer, Lothar; Bangsbo, Jens; Hansson, Ola; Call, Josep; Giavalisco, Patrick; Khaitovich, Philipp

    2014-01-01

    Metabolite concentrations reflect the physiological states of tissues and cells. However, the role of metabolic changes in species evolution is currently unknown. Here, we present a study of metabolome evolution conducted in three brain regions and two non-neural tissues from humans, chimpanzees, macaque monkeys, and mice based on over 10,000 hydrophilic compounds. While chimpanzee, macaque, and mouse metabolomes diverge following the genetic distances among species, we detect remarkable acceleration of metabolome evolution in human prefrontal cortex and skeletal muscle affecting neural and energy metabolism pathways. These metabolic changes could not be attributed to environmental conditions and were confirmed against the expression of their corresponding enzymes. We further conducted muscle strength tests in humans, chimpanzees, and macaques. The results suggest that, while humans are characterized by superior cognition, their muscular performance might be markedly inferior to that of chimpanzees and macaque monkeys. PMID:24866127

  4. Evolutionary divergence and functions of the human interleukin (IL) gene family

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Cytokines play a very important role in nearly all aspects of inflammation and immunity. The term 'interleukin' (IL) has been used to describe a group of cytokines with complex immunomodulatory functions -- including cell proliferation, maturation, migration and adhesion. These cytokines also play an important role in immune cell differentiation and activation. Determining the exact function of a particular cytokine is complicated by the influence of the producing cell type, the responding cell type and the phase of the immune response. ILs can also have pro- and anti-inflammatory effects, further complicating their characterisation. These molecules are under constant pressure to evolve due to continual competition between the host's immune system and infecting organisms; as such, ILs have undergone significant evolution. This has resulted in little amino acid conservation between orthologous proteins, which further complicates the gene family organisation. Within the literature there are a number of overlapping nomenclature and classification systems derived from biological function, receptor-binding properties and originating cell type. Determining evolutionary relationships between ILs therefore can be confusing. More recently, crystallographic data and the identification of common structural motifs have led to a more accurate classification system. To date, the known ILs can be divided into four major groups based on distinguishing structural features. These groups include the genes encoding the IL1-like cytokines, the class I helical cytokines (IL4-like, γ-chain and IL6/12-like), the class II helical cytokines (IL10-like and IL28-like) and the IL17-like cytokines. In addition, there are a number of ILs that do not fit into any of the above groups, due either to their unique structural features or lack of structural information. This suggests that the gene family organisation may be subject to further change in the near future. PMID:21106488

  5. Evolutionary divergence of chloroplast FAD synthetase proteins

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    Arilla-Luna Sonia

    2010-10-01

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

  6. Evolutionary divergence of chloroplast FAD synthetase proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Functional divergence and evolutionary turnover in mammalian phosphoproteomes.

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    Luca Freschi

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Protein phosphorylation is a key mechanism to regulate protein functions. However, the contribution of this protein modification to species divergence is still largely unknown. Here, we studied the evolution of mammalian phosphoregulation by comparing the human and mouse phosphoproteomes. We found that 84% of the positions that are phosphorylated in one species or the other are conserved at the residue level. Twenty percent of these conserved sites are phosphorylated in both species. This proportion is 2.5 times more than expected by chance alone, suggesting that purifying selection is preserving phosphoregulation. However, we show that the majority of the sites that are conserved at the residue level are differentially phosphorylated between species. These sites likely result from false-negative identifications due to incomplete experimental coverage, false-positive identifications and non-functional sites. In addition, our results suggest that at least 5% of them are likely to be true differentially phosphorylated sites and may thus contribute to the divergence in phosphorylation networks between mouse and humans and this, despite residue conservation between orthologous proteins. We also showed that evolutionary turnover of phosphosites at adjacent positions (in a distance range of up to 40 amino acids in human or mouse leads to an over estimation of the divergence in phosphoregulation between these two species. These sites tend to be phosphorylated by the same kinases, supporting the hypothesis that they are functionally redundant. Our results support the hypothesis that the evolutionary turnover of phosphorylation sites contributes to the divergence in phosphorylation profiles while preserving phosphoregulation. Overall, our study provides advanced analyses of mammalian phosphoproteomes and a framework for the study of their contribution to phenotypic evolution.

  8. Divergent evolutionary processes associated with colonization of offshore islands.

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    Martínková, Natália; Barnett, Ross; Cucchi, Thomas; Struchen, Rahel; Pascal, Marine; Pascal, Michel; Fischer, Martin C; Higham, Thomas; Brace, Selina; Ho, Simon Y W; Quéré, Jean-Pierre; O'Higgins, Paul; Excoffier, Laurent; Heckel, Gerald; Hoelzel, A Rus; Dobney, Keith M; Searle, Jeremy B

    2013-10-01

    Oceanic islands have been a test ground for evolutionary theory, but here, we focus on the possibilities for evolutionary study created by offshore islands. These can be colonized through various means and by a wide range of species, including those with low dispersal capabilities. We use morphology, modern and ancient sequences of cytochrome b (cytb) and microsatellite genotypes to examine colonization history and evolutionary change associated with occupation of the Orkney archipelago by the common vole (Microtus arvalis), a species found in continental Europe but not in Britain. Among possible colonization scenarios, our results are most consistent with human introduction at least 5100 bp (confirmed by radiocarbon dating). We used approximate Bayesian computation of population history to infer the coast of Belgium as the possible source and estimated the evolutionary timescale using a Bayesian coalescent approach. We showed substantial morphological divergence of the island populations, including a size increase presumably driven by selection and reduced microsatellite variation likely reflecting founder events and genetic drift. More surprisingly, our results suggest that a recent and widespread cytb replacement event in the continental source area purged cytb variation there, whereas the ancestral diversity is largely retained in the colonized islands as a genetic 'ark'. The replacement event in the continental M. arvalis was probably triggered by anthropogenic causes (land-use change). Our studies illustrate that small offshore islands can act as field laboratories for studying various evolutionary processes over relatively short timescales, informing about the mainland source area as well as the island. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Contemporary evolutionary divergence for a protected species following assisted colonization.

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    Michael L Collyer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Contemporary evolution following assisted colonization may increase the probability of persistence for refuge populations established as a bet-hedge for protected species. Such refuge populations are considered "genetic replicates" that might be used for future re-colonization in the event of a catastrophe in the native site. Although maladaptive evolutionary divergence of captive populations is well recognized, evolutionary divergence of wild refuge populations may also occur on contemporary time scales. Thus, refuge populations may lose their "value" as true genetic replicates of the native population. Here, we show contemporary evolutionary divergence in body shape in an approximately 30-year old refuge population of the protected White Sands pupfish (Cyprinodon tularosa resulting in a body-shape mismatch with its native environment. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Geometric morphometic data were collected from C. tularosa cultures raised in experimental mesocosms. Cultures were initiated with fish from the two native populations, plus hybrids, in high or low salinity treatments representing the salinities of the two native habitats. We found that body shape was heritable and that shape variation due to phenotypic plasticity was small compared to shape variation due to population source. C. tularosa from the high salinity population retained slender body shapes and fish from the low salinity population retained deep body shapes, irrespective of mesocosm salinity. These data suggest that the observed divergence of a recently established pupfish population was not explained by plasticity. An analysis of microsatellite variation indicated that no significant genetic drift occurred in the refuge population, further supporting the adaptive nature of changes in body shape. These lines of evidence suggest that body shape divergence of the refuge population reflects a case of contemporary evolution (over a 30-year period. CONCLUSIONS

  10. Seasonality and the evolutionary divergence of plant parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Castel, Magda; poggi, Sylvain; Andrivon, Didier; Mailleret, Ludovic

    2011-01-01

    The coexistence of closely related plant parasites is widespread. Yet, understanding the ecological determinants of evolutionary divergence in plant parasites remains an issue. Niche differentiation through resource specialization has been widely researched, but it hardly explains the coexistence of parasites exploiting the same host plant. Time-partitioning has so far received less attention, although in temperate climates, parasites may specialize on either the early or the late season. Acc...

  11. Seasonality and the evolutionary divergence of plant parasites

    OpenAIRE

    Hamelin, Frédéric,; Castel, Magda; Poggi, Sylvain; Andrivon, Didier; Mailleret, Ludovic

    2011-01-01

    The coexistence of closely related plant parasites is widespread. Yet, understanding the ecological determinants of evolutionary divergence in plant parasites remains an issue. Niche differentiation through resource specialization has been widely researched, but it hardly explains the coexistence of parasites exploiting the same host plant. Time-partitioning has so far received less attention, although in temperate climates, parasites may specialize either in the early or in the late season. ...

  12. Seasonality and the evolutionary divergence of plant parasites.

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    Hamelin, Frédéric M; Castel, Magda; Poggi, Sylvain; Andrivon, Didier; Mailleret, Ludovic

    2011-12-01

    The coexistence of closely related plant parasites is widespread. Yet, understanding the ecological determinants of evolutionary divergence in plant parasites remains an issue. Niche differentiation through resource specialization has been widely researched, but it hardly explains the coexistence of parasites exploiting the same host plant. Time-partitioning has so far received less attention, although in temperate climates, parasites may specialize on either the early or the late season. Accordingly, we investigated whether seasonality can also promote phenotypic divergence. For plant parasites, seasonality generally engenders periodic host absence. To account for abrupt seasonal events, we made use of an epidemic model that combines continuous and discrete dynamics. Based on the assumption of a trade-off between in-season transmission and inter-season survival, we found through an "evolutionary invasion analysis" that evolutionary divergence of the parasite phenotype can occur. Since such a trade-off has been reported, this study provides further ecological bases for the coexistence of closely related plant parasites. Moreover, this study provides original insights into the coexistence of sibling plant pathogens which perform either a single or several infection cycles within a season (mono- and polycyclic diseases, or uni- and multivoltine life cycles).

  13. Structural and evolutionary divergence of eukaryotic protein kinases in Apicomplexa

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    Talevich Eric

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Apicomplexa constitute an evolutionarily divergent phylum of protozoan pathogens responsible for widespread parasitic diseases such as malaria and toxoplasmosis. Many cellular functions in these medically important organisms are controlled by protein kinases, which have emerged as promising drug targets for parasitic diseases. However, an incomplete understanding of how apicomplexan kinases structurally and mechanistically differ from their host counterparts has hindered drug development efforts to target parasite kinases. Results We used the wealth of sequence data recently made available for 15 apicomplexan species to identify the kinome of each species and quantify the evolutionary constraints imposed on each family of apicomplexan kinases. Our analysis revealed lineage-specific adaptations in selected families, namely cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK, calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK and CLK/LAMMER, which have been identified as important in the pathogenesis of these organisms. Bayesian analysis of selective constraints imposed on these families identified the sequence and structural features that most distinguish apicomplexan protein kinases from their homologs in model organisms and other eukaryotes. In particular, in a subfamily of CDKs orthologous to Plasmodium falciparum crk-5, the activation loop contains a novel PTxC motif which is absent from all CDKs outside Apicomplexa. Our analysis also suggests a convergent mode of regulation in a subset of apicomplexan CDPKs and mammalian MAPKs involving a commonly conserved arginine in the αC helix. In all recognized apicomplexan CLKs, we find a set of co-conserved residues involved in substrate recognition and docking that are distinct from metazoan CLKs. Conclusions We pinpoint key conserved residues that can be predicted to mediate functional differences from eukaryotic homologs in three identified kinase families. We discuss the structural, functional and

  14. Evidence for evolutionary divergence of activity-dependent gene expression in developing neurons

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    Qiu, Jing; McQueen, Jamie; Bilican, Bilada; Dando, Owen; Magnani, Dario; Punovuori, Karolina; Selvaraj, Bhuvaneish T; Livesey, Matthew; Haghi, Ghazal; Heron, Samuel; Burr, Karen; Patani, Rickie; Rajan, Rinku; Sheppard, Olivia; Kind, Peter C; Simpson, T Ian; Tybulewicz, Victor LJ; Wyllie, David JA; Fisher, Elizabeth MC; Lowell, Sally; Chandran, Siddharthan; Hardingham, Giles E

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary differences in gene regulation between humans and lower mammalian experimental systems are incompletely understood, a potential translational obstacle that is challenging to surmount in neurons, where primary tissue availability is poor. Rodent-based studies show that activity-dependent transcriptional programs mediate myriad functions in neuronal development, but the extent of their conservation in human neurons is unknown. We compared activity-dependent transcriptional responses in developing human stem cell-derived cortical neurons with those induced in developing primary- or stem cell-derived mouse cortical neurons. While activity-dependent gene-responsiveness showed little dependence on developmental stage or origin (primary tissue vs. stem cell), notable species-dependent differences were observed. Moreover, differential species-specific gene ortholog regulation was recapitulated in aneuploid mouse neurons carrying human chromosome-21, implicating promoter/enhancer sequence divergence as a factor, including human-specific activity-responsive AP-1 sites. These findings support the use of human neuronal systems for probing transcriptional responses to physiological stimuli or indeed pharmaceutical agents. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20337.001 PMID:27692071

  15. Segmenting the human genome based on states of neutral genetic divergence.

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    Kuruppumullage Don, Prabhani; Ananda, Guruprasad; Chiaromonte, Francesca; Makova, Kateryna D

    2013-09-03

    Many studies have demonstrated that divergence levels generated by different mutation types vary and covary across the human genome. To improve our still-incomplete understanding of the mechanistic basis of this phenomenon, we analyze several mutation types simultaneously, anchoring their variation to specific regions of the genome. Using hidden Markov models on insertion, deletion, nucleotide substitution, and microsatellite divergence estimates inferred from human-orangutan alignments of neutrally evolving genomic sequences, we segment the human genome into regions corresponding to different divergence states--each uniquely characterized by specific combinations of divergence levels. We then parsed the mutagenic contributions of various biochemical processes associating divergence states with a broad range of genomic landscape features. We find that high divergence states inhabit guanine- and cytosine (GC)-rich, highly recombining subtelomeric regions; low divergence states cover inner parts of autosomes; chromosome X forms its own state with lowest divergence; and a state of elevated microsatellite mutability is interspersed across the genome. These general trends are mirrored in human diversity data from the 1000 Genomes Project, and departures from them highlight the evolutionary history of primate chromosomes. We also find that genes and noncoding functional marks [annotations from the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE)] are concentrated in high divergence states. Our results provide a powerful tool for biomedical data analysis: segmentations can be used to screen personal genome variants--including those associated with cancer and other diseases--and to improve computational predictions of noncoding functional elements.

  16. Evolutionary divergence of geographic subspecies within the scalloped spiny lobster Panulirus homarus (Linnaeus 1758.

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    Shane D Lavery

    Full Text Available Panulirus homarus is an economically important spiny lobster that is widespread through the Indo-West Pacific Region, but has an uncertain taxonomic status, with three or four geographic subspecies having been described. This study used mitochondrial (16S, COI and control region and nuclear (18S, ITS-1 DNA sequences to examine specimens of all putative subspecies and forms from throughout their range, in order to determine their genetic validity, and understand the evolutionary history of this species. Despite the range of diversity present in the loci examined, the results were consistent across genes. P. h. rubellus from the SW Indian Ocean comprised the most divergent lineage that was reciprocally monophyletic with respect to all other P. homarus (approx. 9% divergence in COI, and has likely evolved reproductive barriers. The putative P. h. "Brown" subspecies from the Marquesas Is in the central Pacific also comprised a somewhat divergent monophyletic lineage (approx. 3% in COI, but may simply be an allopatric population. The widespread P. h. homarus was not diverged at all from the described P. h. megasculpta from the NW Indian Ocean. The degree of evolutionary divergence of populations at the extremes distribution of the species is somewhat surprising, given the long pelagic larval stage, but suggests that allopatric speciation has been an important driver in the evolution of the genus.

  17. The REH theory of protein and nucleic acid divergence - A retrospective update. [Random Evolutionary Hits

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    Holmquist, R.

    1978-01-01

    The random evolutionary hits (REH) theory of evolutionary divergence, originally proposed in 1972, is restated with attention to certain aspects of the theory that have caused confusion. The theory assumes that natural selection and stochastic processes interact and that natural selection restricts those codon sites which may fix mutations. The predicted total number of fixed nucleotide replacements agrees with data for cytochrome c, a-hemoglobin, beta-hemoglobin, and myoglobin. The restatement analyzes the magnitude of possible sources of errors and simplifies calculational methodology by supplying polynomial expressions to replace tables and graphs.

  18. Human adoption in evolutionary perspective.

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    Silk, J B

    1990-03-01

    Exploitation is a fundamental element of the parental strategies of many species of birds. Cuckoos, for example, lay their eggs in the nest of other birds, who often unwittingly rear the alien nestlings as their own. Nest parasitism is an efficient reproductive strategy for cuckoos, who do not have to worry about building a nest, incubating their eggs, or feeding their nestlings. But not all hosts respond passively to such intrusions. In response to parasitic cowbirds, for example, robins have evolved the ability to detect and selectively eject alien young from their nests. Human parenting strategies differ sharply from the strategies of cuckoos and robins. Unlike cuckoos, we are reluctant to allow our children to be raised by others. Unlike robins, we knowingly rear strange young. What makes human behavior toward children so different from that of cuckoos and robins? Humans seem to share a number of predispositions that facilitate successful adoptive relationships, and the desire to raise children seems to be pervasive among modern humans. Despite these commonalities, patterns of adoption transactions vary greatly among contemporary human societies. This paper considers the origins and causes of cross-cultural variation in human adoptive behavior from an evolutionary perspective.

  19. Evolutionary divergence in sexual signals: Insights from within and among barn swallow populations

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    Wilkins, Matthew Reed

    A wealth of studies across diverse animal groups indicate the importance of sexual selection in shaping phenotypes within and across breeding populations. In recent decades, much research has focused on how divergent sexual selection pressures among populations may lead to speciation. For my first dissertation chapter, I performed a literature review on the causes and consequences of evolutionary divergence in acoustic signals and developed the acoustic window conceptual framework for understanding the contributions of selection, genetic drift, and evolutionary constraint to signal divergence. Further, I found that sexual selection explains acoustic differences between recently diverged populations of the best-studied taxa. However, the relative contributions of ecological selection, sexual selection, and drift to acoustic divergence have not typically been considered within the same study systems. The remainder of my dissertation used the Northern Hemisphere-distributed barn swallow ( Hirundo rustica) species complex as a model system to study sender-receiver dynamics, intra- and intersexual selection pressures, and visual and acoustic signal interactions at the local scale, and signal divergence across populations at the global scale. From song recordings taken across 19 sampling sites, spanning five of six described subspecies, I demonstrated considerable conservation in song structure. However, temporal traits were highly divergent across subspecies, and in particular, the speed of the terminal trill of songs. In a detailed study of the multimodal communication system of the barn swallow (including visual and acoustic traits), I demonstrated that males and females use different types of signals to mediate competition and mate choice. One of the only exceptions to this rule was trill rate, which was also implicated in song divergence across populations. In order to test the function of trill rate in communication, I performed a two-year playback study within the

  20. Inferring the evolutionary histories of divergences in Hylobates and Nomascus gibbons through multilocus sequence data

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    2013-01-01

    Background Gibbons (Hylobatidae) are the most diverse group of living apes. They exist as geographically-contiguous species which diverged more rapidly than did their close relatives, the great apes (Hominidae). Of the four extant gibbon genera, the evolutionary histories of two polyspecific genera, Hylobates and Nomascus, have been the particular focus of research but the DNA sequence data used was largely derived from the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) locus. Results To investigate the evolutionary relationships and divergence processes of gibbon species, particularly those of the Hylobates genus, we produced and analyzed a total of 11.5 kb DNA of sequence at 14 biparentally inherited autosomal loci. We find that on average gibbon genera have a high average sequence diversity but a lower degree of genetic differentiation as compared to great ape genera. Our multilocus species tree features H. pileatus in a basal position and a grouping of the four Sundaic island species (H. agilis, H. klossii, H. moloch and H. muelleri). We conducted pairwise comparisons based on an isolation-with-migration (IM) model and detect signals of asymmetric gene flow between H. lar and H. moloch, between H. agilis and H. muelleri, and between N. leucogenys and N. siki. Conclusions Our multilocus analyses provide inferences of gibbon evolutionary histories complementary to those based on single gene data. The results of IM analyses suggest that the divergence processes of gibbons may be accompanied by gene flow. Future studies using analyses of multi-population model with samples of known provenance for Hylobates and Nomascus species would expand the understanding of histories of gene flow during divergences for these two gibbon genera. PMID:23586586

  1. Evolutionary Origin, Gradual Accumulation and Functional Divergence of Heat Shock Factor Gene Family with Plant Evolution

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    Xiaoming Wang

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Plants, as sessile organisms, evolved a complex and functionally diverse heat shock factor (HSF gene family to cope with various environmental stresses. However, the limited evolution studies of the HSF gene family have hindered our understanding of environmental adaptations in plants. In this study, a comprehensive evolution analysis on the HSF gene family was performed in 51 representative plant species. Our results demonstrated that the HSFB group which lacks a typical AHA activation domain, was the most ancient, and is under stronger purifying selection pressure in the subsequent evolutionary processes. While, dramatic gene expansion and functional divergence occurred at evolution timescales corresponding to plant land inhabit, which contribute to the emergence and diversification of the HSFA and HSFC groups in land plants. During the plant evolution, the ancestral functions of HSFs were maintained by strong purifying pressure that acted on the DNA binding domain, while the variable oligomerization domain and motif organization of HSFs underwent functional divergence and generated novel subfamilies. At the same time, variations were further accumulated with plant evolution, and this resulted in remarkable functional diversification among higher plant lineages, including distinct HSF numbers and selection pressures of several HSF subfamilies between monocots and eudicots, highlighting the fundamental differences in different plant lineages in response to environmental stresses. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the evolutionary origin, pattern and selection pressure of plant HSFs and delineates critical clues that aid our understanding of the adaptation processes of plants to terrestrial environments.

  2. Evolutionary expansion and divergence in a large family of primate-specific zinc finger transcription factor genes

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    Hamilton, A T; Huntley, S; Tran-Gyamfi, M; Baggott, D; Gordon, L; Stubbs, L

    2005-09-28

    Although most genes are conserved as one-to-one orthologs in different mammalian orders, certain gene families have evolved to comprise different numbers and types of protein-coding genes through independent series of gene duplications, divergence and gene loss in each evolutionary lineage. One such family encodes KRAB-zinc finger (KRAB-ZNF) genes, which are likely to function as transcriptional repressors. One KRAB-ZNF subfamily, the ZNF91 clade, has expanded specifically in primates to comprise more than 110 loci in the human genome, yielding large gene clusters in human chromosomes 19 and 7 and smaller clusters or isolated copies at other chromosomal locations. Although phylogenetic analysis indicates that many of these genes arose before the split between old world monkeys and new world monkeys, the ZNF91 subfamily has continued to expand and diversify throughout the evolution of apes and humans. The paralogous loci are distinguished by sequence divergence within their zinc finger arrays indicating a selection for proteins with different DNA binding specificities. RT-PCR and in situ hybridization data show that some of these ZNF genes can have tissue-specific expression patterns, however many KRAB-ZNFs that are near-ubiquitous could also be playing very specific roles in halting target pathways in all tissues except for a few, where the target is released by the absence of its repressor. The number of variant KRAB-ZNF proteins is increased not only because of the large number of loci, but also because many loci can produce multiple splice variants, which because of the modular structure of these genes may have separate and perhaps even conflicting regulatory roles. The lineage-specific duplication and rapid divergence of this family of transcription factor genes suggests a role in determining species-specific biological differences and the evolution of novel primate traits.

  3. Evolutionary accounts of human behavioural diversity

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    Brown, Gillian R.; Dickins, Thomas E.; Sear, Rebecca; Laland, Kevin N.

    2011-01-01

    Human beings persist in an extraordinary range of ecological settings, in the process exhibiting enormous behavioural diversity, both within and between populations. People vary in their social, mating and parental behaviour and have diverse and elaborate beliefs, traditions, norms and institutions. The aim of this theme issue is to ask whether, and how, evolutionary theory can help us to understand this diversity. In this introductory article, we provide a background to the debate surrounding how best to understand behavioural diversity using evolutionary models of human behaviour. In particular, we examine how diversity has been viewed by the main subdisciplines within the human evolutionary behavioural sciences, focusing in particular on the human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology and cultural evolution approaches. In addition to differences in focus and methodology, these subdisciplines have traditionally varied in the emphasis placed on human universals, ecological factors and socially learned behaviour, and on how they have addressed the issue of genetic variation. We reaffirm that evolutionary theory provides an essential framework for understanding behavioural diversity within and between human populations, but argue that greater integration between the subfields is critical to developing a satisfactory understanding of diversity. PMID:21199836

  4. Humanism and multiculturalism: an evolutionary alliance.

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    Comas-Diaz, Lillian

    2012-12-01

    Humanism and multiculturalism are partners in an evolutionary alliance. Humanistic and multicultural psychotherapies have historically influenced each other. Humanism represents the third force in psychotherapy, while multiculturalism embodies the fourth developmental stage. Multiculturalism embraces humanistic values grounded in collective and social justice contexts. Examples of multicultural humanistic constructs include contextualism, holism, and liberation. Certainly, the multicultural-humanistic connection is a necessary shift in the evolution of psychotherapy. Humanism and multiculturalism participate in the development of an inclusive and evolutionary psychotherapy. (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved.

  5. Human evolutionary psychology and animal behaviour.

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    Daly; Wilson

    1999-03-01

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

  6. Human nature, cultural diversity and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plotkin, Henry

    2011-02-12

    Incorporating culture into an expanded theory of evolution will provide the foundation for a universal account of human diversity. Two requirements must be met. The first is to see learning as an extension of the processes of evolution. The second is to understand that there are specific components of human culture, viz. higher order knowledge structures and social constructions, which give rise to culture as invented knowledge. These components, which are products of psychological processes and mechanisms, make human culture different from the forms of shared knowledge observed in other species. One serious difficulty for such an expanded theory is that social constructions may not add to the fitness of all humans exposed to them. This may be because human culture has existed for only a relatively short time in evolutionary terms. Or it may be that, as some maintain, adaptation is a limited, even a flawed, aspect of evolutionary theory.

  7. Transient Duplication-Dependent Divergence and Horizontal Transfer Underlie the Evolutionary Dynamics of Bacterial Cell-Cell Signaling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eran Even-Tov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary expansion of signaling pathway families often underlies the evolution of regulatory complexity. Expansion requires the acquisition of a novel homologous pathway and the diversification of pathway specificity. Acquisition can occur either vertically, by duplication, or through horizontal transfer, while divergence of specificity is thought to occur through a promiscuous protein intermediate. The way by which these mechanisms shape the evolution of rapidly diverging signaling families is unclear. Here, we examine this question using the highly diversified Rap-Phr cell-cell signaling system, which has undergone massive expansion in the genus Bacillus. To this end, genomic sequence analysis of >300 Bacilli genomes was combined with experimental analysis of the interaction of Rap receptors with Phr autoinducers and downstream targets. Rap-Phr expansion is shown to have occurred independently in multiple Bacillus lineages, with >80 different putative rap-phr alleles evolving in the Bacillius subtilis group alone. The specificity of many rap-phr alleles and the rapid gain and loss of Rap targets are experimentally demonstrated. Strikingly, both horizontal and vertical processes were shown to participate in this expansion, each with a distinct role. Horizontal gene transfer governs the acquisition of already diverged rap-phr alleles, while intralocus duplication and divergence of the phr gene create the promiscuous intermediate required for the divergence of Rap-Phr specificity. Our results suggest a novel role for transient gene duplication and divergence during evolutionary shifts in specificity.

  8. Using Human Evolution to Teach Evolutionary Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besterman, Hugo; La Velle, Linda Baggott

    2007-01-01

    This paper discusses some traditional approaches to the teaching of evolutionary theory at pre-university level, criticising in particular some of the more commonly used models and exemplars. Curricular demands are described and an alternative approach is suggested, using the emerging story of human evolution. Recent discoveries help to illustrate…

  9. Reproductive traits and evolutionary divergence between Mediterranean crops and their wild relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iriondo, J M; Milla, R; Volis, S; Rubio de Casas, R

    2017-10-04

    Changes in reproductive traits associated with domestication critically determine the evolutionary divergence between crops and their wild relatives, as well as the potential of crop plants to become feral. In this review, we examine the genetic mechanisms of plant domestication and the different types of selection involved, and describe the particularities of domestication of Mediterranean field crops with regard to their reproductive traits, showing illustrative examples. We also explore gene flow patterns between Mediterranean field crops and their wild relatives, along with their ecological, evolutionary and economic implications. Domestication entails multiple selective processes, including direct selection, environmental adaptation and developmental constraints. In contrast to clonal propagation in perennials, sexual reproduction and seed propagation in annuals and biennials have led to a distinct pathway of evolution of reproductive traits. Thus, the initial domestication and further breeding of Mediterranean field crops has brought about changes in reproductive traits, such as higher mean values and variance of seed and fruit sizes, reduced fruit and seed toxicity, non-shattering seeds and loss of seed dormancy. Evolution under domestication is not a linear process, and bi-directional gene flow between wild and crop taxa is a frequent phenomenon. Thus, hybridisation and introgression have played a very important role in determining the genetics of current cultivars. In turn, gene flow from crops to wild relatives can lead to introgression of crop genes into wild populations and potentially alter the characteristics of natural communities. In conclusion, plant evolution under domestication has not only changed the reproductive biology of cultivated taxa, its effects are multifaceted and have implications beyond agriculture. © 2017 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  10. High inbreeding, limited recombination and divergent evolutionary patterns between two sympatric morel species in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Xi-Hui; Zhao, Qi; Xu, Jianping; Yang, Zhu L

    2016-03-01

    As highly prized, popular mushrooms, morels are widely distributed in the northern hemisphere, with China as a modern centre of speciation and diversity. Overharvesting of morels has caused concern over how to effectively preserve their biological and genetic diversity. However, little is known about their population biology and life cycle. In this study, we selected two sympatric phylogenetic species, Mel-13 (124 collections from 11 geographical locations) and Morchella eohespera (156 collections from 14 geographical locations), using fragments of 4 DNA sequences, to analyse their genetic structure. Our results indicated significant differentiation among geographic locations in both species, whereas no obvious correlation between genetic and geographic distance was identified in either species. M. eohespera exhibited a predominantly clonal population structure with limited recombination detected in only 1 of the 14 geographic locations. In contrast, relatively frequent recombination was identified in 6 of the 11 geographic locations of Mel-13. Our analysis indicated that the sympatric species Mel-13 and M. eohespera might have divergent evolutionary patterns, with the former showing signatures of recent population expansion and the latter being relatively stable. Interestingly, we found no heterozygosity but strong evidence for genealogical incongruence, indicating a high level of inbreeding and hybridisation among morel species.

  11. Expression Divergence of Tandemly Arrayed Genes in Human and Mouse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valia Shoja

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Tandemly arrayed genes (TAGs account for about one third of the duplicated genes in eukaryotic genomes, yet there has not been any systematic study of their gene expression patterns. Taking advantage of recently published large-scale microarray data sets, we studied the expression divergence of 361 two-member TAGs in human and 212 two-member TAGs in mouse and examined the effect of sequence divergence, gene orientation, and chromosomal proximity on the divergence of TAG expression patterns. Our results show that there is a weak negative correlation between sequence divergence of TAG members and their expression similarity. There is also a weak negative correlation between chromosomal proximity of TAG members and their expression similarity. We did not detect any significant relationship between gene orientation and expression similarity. We also found that downstream TAG members do not show significantly narrower expression breadth than upstream members, contrary to what we predict based on TAG expression divergence hypothesis that we propose. Finally, we show that both chromosomal proximity and expression correlation in TAGs do not differ significantly from their neighboring non-TAG gene pairs, suggesting that tandem duplication is unlikely to be the cause for the higher-than-random expression association between neighboring genes on a chromosome in human and mouse.

  12. The Divergence of Neandertal and Modern Human Y Chromosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Fernando L; Poznik, G David; Castellano, Sergi; Bustamante, Carlos D

    2016-04-07

    Sequencing the genomes of extinct hominids has reshaped our understanding of modern human origins. Here, we analyze ∼120 kb of exome-captured Y-chromosome DNA from a Neandertal individual from El Sidrón, Spain. We investigate its divergence from orthologous chimpanzee and modern human sequences and find strong support for a model that places the Neandertal lineage as an outgroup to modern human Y chromosomes-including A00, the highly divergent basal haplogroup. We estimate that the time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of Neandertal and modern human Y chromosomes is ∼588 thousand years ago (kya) (95% confidence interval [CI]: 447-806 kya). This is ∼2.1 (95% CI: 1.7-2.9) times longer than the TMRCA of A00 and other extant modern human Y-chromosome lineages. This estimate suggests that the Y-chromosome divergence mirrors the population divergence of Neandertals and modern human ancestors, and it refutes alternative scenarios of a relatively recent or super-archaic origin of Neandertal Y chromosomes. The fact that the Neandertal Y we describe has never been observed in modern humans suggests that the lineage is most likely extinct. We identify protein-coding differences between Neandertal and modern human Y chromosomes, including potentially damaging changes to PCDH11Y, TMSB4Y, USP9Y, and KDM5D. Three of these changes are missense mutations in genes that produce male-specific minor histocompatibility (H-Y) antigens. Antigens derived from KDM5D, for example, are thought to elicit a maternal immune response during gestation. It is possible that incompatibilities at one or more of these genes played a role in the reproductive isolation of the two groups. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Enhanced vulnerability of human proteins towards disease-associated inactivation through divergent evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina-Carmona, Encarnación; Fuchs, Julian E; Gavira, Jose A; Mesa-Torres, Noel; Neira, Jose L; Salido, Eduardo; Palomino-Morales, Rogelio; Burgos, Miguel; Timson, David J; Pey, Angel L

    2017-09-15

    Human proteins are vulnerable towards disease-associated single amino acid replacements affecting protein stability and function. Interestingly, a few studies have shown that consensus amino acids from mammals or vertebrates can enhance protein stability when incorporated into human proteins. Here, we investigate yet unexplored relationships between the high vulnerability of human proteins towards disease-associated inactivation and recent evolutionary site-specific divergence of stabilizing amino acids. Using phylogenetic, structural and experimental analyses, we show that divergence from the consensus amino acids at several sites during mammalian evolution has caused local protein destabilization in two human proteins linked to disease: cancer-associated NQO1 and alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase, mutated in primary hyperoxaluria type I. We demonstrate that a single consensus mutation (H80R) acts as a disease suppressor on the most common cancer-associated polymorphism in NQO1 (P187S). The H80R mutation reactivates P187S by enhancing FAD binding affinity through local and dynamic stabilization of its binding site. Furthermore, we show how a second suppressor mutation (E247Q) cooperates with H80R in protecting the P187S polymorphism towards inactivation through long-range allosteric communication within the structural ensemble of the protein. Our results support that recent divergence of consensus amino acids may have occurred with neutral effects on many functional and regulatory traits of wild-type human proteins. However, divergence at certain sites may have increased the propensity of some human proteins towards inactivation due to disease-associated mutations and polymorphisms. Consensus mutations also emerge as a potential strategy to identify structural hot-spots in proteins as targets for pharmacological rescue in loss-of-function genetic diseases. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please

  14. Human mortality improvement in evolutionary context

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Burger, Oskar; Baudisch, Annette; Vaupel, James W

    2012-01-01

    Life expectancy is increasing in most countries and has exceeded 80 in several, as low-mortality nations continue to make progress in averting deaths. The health and economic implications of mortality reduction have been given substantial attention, but the observed malleability of human mortality...... has not been placed in a broad evolutionary context. We quantify the rate and amount of mortality reduction by comparing a variety of human populations to the evolved human mortality profile, here estimated as the average mortality pattern for ethnographically observed hunter-gatherers. We show...... that human mortality has decreased so substantially that the difference between hunter-gatherers and today's lowest mortality populations is greater than the difference between hunter-gatherers and wild chimpanzees. The bulk of this mortality reduction has occurred since 1900 and has been experienced by only...

  15. Using diagnostic radiology in human evolutionary studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    SPOOR, FRED; JEFFERY, NATHAN; ZONNEVELD, FRANS

    2000-01-01

    This paper reviews the application of medical imaging and associated computer graphics techniques to the study of human evolutionary history, with an emphasis on basic concepts and on the advantages and limitations of each method. Following a short discussion of plain film radiography and pluridirectional tomography, the principles of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and their role in the investigation of extant and fossil morphology are considered in more detail. The second half of the paper deals with techniques of 3-dimensional visualisation based on CT and MRI and with quantitative analysis of digital images. PMID:10999271

  16. Genetic divergence and evolutionary times: calibrating a protein clock for South-European Stenasellus species (Crustacea, Isopoda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerio Ketmaier

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available We studied genetic divergence in a group of exclusively stygobiont isopods of the family Stenasellidae. In particular, we assessed evolutionary relationships among several populations of Stenasellus racovitzai and Stenasellus virei. To place this study in a phylogenetic context. we used another species of Stenasellus, S. assorgiai, as an outgroup. S. racovitzai occurs in Corsica, Sardinia and in the fossil islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, while S. virei is a polytypic species widely distributed in the central France and Pyrenean area. This vicariant distribution is believed to be the result of the disjunction of the Sardinia-Corsica microplate from the Pyrenean region and its subsequent rotation. Since geological data provide time estimates for these events, we can use the genetic distance data to calibrate a molecular clock for this group of stygobiont isopods. The calibration of the molecular clock reveals a roughly linear relationship (r = 0.753 between the genetic distances and absolute divergence times, with a mean divergence rate (19.269 Myr/DNei, different from those previously reported in the literature and provides an opportunity to shed some light on the evolutionary scenarios of other Stenasellus species.

  17. Human evolutionary history and contemporary evolutionary theory provide insight when assessing cultural group selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Agustin; Kissel, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Richerson et al. provide a much needed roadmap for assessing cultural group selection (CGS) theory and for applying it to understanding variation between contemporary human groups. However, the current proposal lacks connection to relevant evidence from the human evolutionary record and requires a better integration with contemporary evolutionary theory. The article also misapplies the F st statistic.

  18. Transcriptional divergence and conservation of human and mouse erythropoiesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pishesha, Novalia; Thiru, Prathapan; Shi, Jiahai; Eng, Jennifer C; Sankaran, Vijay G; Lodish, Harvey F

    2014-03-18

    Mouse models have been used extensively for decades and have been instrumental in improving our understanding of mammalian erythropoiesis. Nonetheless, there are several examples of variation between human and mouse erythropoiesis. We performed a comparative global gene expression study using data from morphologically identical stage-matched sorted populations of human and mouse erythroid precursors from early to late erythroblasts. Induction and repression of major transcriptional regulators of erythropoiesis, as well as major erythroid-important proteins, are largely conserved between the species. In contrast, at a global level we identified a significant extent of divergence between the species, both at comparable stages and in the transitions between stages, especially for the 500 most highly expressed genes during development. This suggests that the response of multiple developmentally regulated genes to key erythroid transcriptional regulators represents an important modification that has occurred in the course of erythroid evolution. In developing a systematic framework to understand and study conservation and divergence between human and mouse erythropoiesis, we show how mouse models can fail to mimic specific human diseases and provide predictions for translating findings from mouse models to potential therapies for human disease.

  19. Evolutionary contributions to the study of human fertility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sear, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Evolutionary history of the human endogenous retrovirus family ERV9.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costas, J; Naveira, H

    2000-02-01

    Several distinct families of endogenous retrovirus-like elements (ERVs) exist in the genomes of primates. Despite the important evolutionary consequences that carrying these intragenomic parasites may have for their hosts, our knowledge about their evolution is still scarce. A matter of particular interest is whether evolution of ERVs occurs via a master lineage or through several lineages coexisting over long periods of time. In this work, the paleogenomic approach has been applied to the study of the evolution of ERV9, one of the human endogenous retrovirus families mobilized during primate evolution. By searching the GenBank database with the first 676 bp of the ERV9 long terminal repeat, we identified 156 different element insertions into the human genome. These elements were grouped into 14 subfamilies based on several characteristic nucleotide differences. The age of each subfamily was roughly estimated based on the average sequence divergence of its members from the subfamily consensus sequence. Determination of the sequential order of diagnostic substitutions led to the identification of four distinct lineages, which retained their capacity of transposition over extended periods of evolution. Strong evidence for mosaic evolution of some of these lineages is presented. Taken altogether, the available data indicate that the possibility of ERV9 still being active in the human lineage can not be discarded.

  1. Mitogenome sequencing reveals shallow evolutionary histories and recent divergence time between morphologically and ecologically distinct European whitefish (Coregonus spp.)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Magnus W.; Hansen, Michael Møller; Orlando, Ludovic

    2012-01-01

    an alternate use of such data to recover relationships and population history of closely related lineages with a shallow evolutionary history. Using a GS-FLX platform, we sequenced 106 mitogenomes from the Coregonus lavaretus (Europe) and Coregonus clupeaformis (North America) species complexes to investigate...... the evolutionary history of the endangered Danish North Sea houting (NSH) and other closely related Danish and Baltic European lake whitefish (ELW). Two well-supported clades were found within both ELW and NSH, probably reflecting historical introgression via Baltic migrants. Although ELW and NSH......-dependency effects. The estimate of c. 2700 bp was remarkably similar to results obtained using microsatellite markers. Within North American C. clupeaformis, the divergence time between the two lineages (Atlantic and Acadian) was estimated as between 20 000 and 60 000 bp. Under the assumption that NSH and ELW...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Modeling the two-locus architecture of divergent pollinator adaptation: how variation in SAD paralogs affects fitness and evolutionary divergence in sexually deceptive orchids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shuqing; Schlüter, Philipp M

    2015-01-01

    Divergent selection by pollinators can bring about strong reproductive isolation via changes at few genes of large effect. This has recently been demonstrated in sexually deceptive orchids, where studies (1) quantified the strength of reproductive isolation in the field; (2) identified genes that appear to be causal for reproductive isolation; and (3) demonstrated selection by analysis of natural variation in gene sequence and expression. In a group of closely related Ophrys orchids, specific floral scent components, namely n-alkenes, are the key floral traits that control specific pollinator attraction by chemical mimicry of insect sex pheromones. The genetic basis of species-specific differences in alkene production mainly lies in two biosynthetic genes encoding stearoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturases (SAD) that are associated with floral scent variation and reproductive isolation between closely related species, and evolve under pollinator-mediated selection. However, the implications of this genetic architecture of key floral traits on the evolutionary processes of pollinator adaptation and speciation in this plant group remain unclear. Here, we expand on these recent findings to model scenarios of adaptive evolutionary change at SAD2 and SAD5, their effects on plant fitness (i.e., offspring number), and the dynamics of speciation. Our model suggests that the two-locus architecture of reproductive isolation allows for rapid sympatric speciation by pollinator shift; however, the likelihood of such pollinator-mediated speciation is asymmetric between the two orchid species O. sphegodes and O. exaltata due to different fitness effects of their predominant SAD2 and SAD5 alleles. Our study not only provides insight into pollinator adaptation and speciation mechanisms of sexually deceptive orchids but also demonstrates the power of applying a modeling approach to the study of pollinator-driven ecological speciation.

  4. Evolutionary change in physiological phenotypes along the human lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vining, Alexander Q; Nunn, Charles L

    2016-01-01

    Research in evolutionary medicine provides many examples of how evolution has shaped human susceptibility to disease. Traits undergoing rapid evolutionary change may result in associated costs or reduce the energy available to other traits. We hypothesize that humans have experienced more such changes than other primates as a result of major evolutionary change along the human lineage. We investigated 41 physiological traits across 50 primate species to identify traits that have undergone marked evolutionary change along the human lineage. We analysed the data using two Bayesian phylogenetic comparative methods. One approach models trait covariation in non-human primates and predicts human phenotypes to identify whether humans are evolutionary outliers. The other approach models adaptive shifts under an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck model of evolution to assess whether inferred shifts are more common on the human branch than on other primate lineages. We identified four traits with strong evidence for an evolutionary increase on the human lineage (amylase, haematocrit, phosphorus and monocytes) and one trait with strong evidence for decrease (neutrophilic bands). Humans exhibited more cases of distinct evolutionary change than other primates. Human physiology has undergone increased evolutionary change compared to other primates. Long distance running may have contributed to increases in haematocrit and mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration, while dietary changes are likely related to increases in amylase. In accordance with the pathogen load hypothesis, human monocyte levels were increased, but many other immune-related measures were not. Determining the mechanisms underlying conspicuous evolutionary change in these traits may provide new insights into human disease. The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.

  5. Widespread divergence of the CEACAM/PSG genes in vertebrates and humans suggests sensitivity to selection.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia Lin Chang

    Full Text Available In mammals, carcinoembryonic antigen cell adhesion molecules (CEACAMs and pregnancy-specific glycoproteins (PSGs play important roles in the regulation of pathogen transmission, tumorigenesis, insulin signaling turnover, and fetal-maternal interactions. However, how these genes evolved and to what extent they diverged in humans remain to be investigated specifically. Based on syntenic mapping of chordate genomes, we reveal that diverging homologs with a prototypic CEACAM architecture-including an extracellular domain with immunoglobulin variable and constant domain-like regions, and an intracellular domain containing ITAM motif-are present from cartilaginous fish to humans, but are absent in sea lamprey, cephalochordate or urochordate. Interestingly, the CEACAM/PSG gene inventory underwent radical divergence in various vertebrate lineages: from zero in avian species to dozens in therian mammals. In addition, analyses of genetic variations in human populations showed the presence of various types of copy number variations (CNVs at the CEACAM/PSG locus. These copy number polymorphisms have 3-80% frequency in select populations, and encompass single to more than six PSG genes. Furthermore, we found that CEACAM/PSG genes contain a significantly higher density of nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP compared to the chromosome average, and many CEACAM/PSG SNPs exhibit high population differentiation. Taken together, our study suggested that CEACAM/PSG genes have had a more dynamic evolutionary history in vertebrates than previously thought. Given that CEACAM/PSGs play important roles in maternal-fetal interaction and pathogen recognition, these data have laid the groundwork for future analysis of adaptive CEACAM/PSG genotype-phenotypic relationships in normal and complicated pregnancies as well as other etiologies.

  6. cDNA cloning and chromosomal mapping of the mouse type VII collagen gene (Col7a1): Evidence for rapid evolutionary divergence of the gene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Kehua; Christiano, A.M.; Chu, Mon Li; Uitto, J. (Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA (United States) Thomas Jefferson Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States)); Copeland, N.G.; Gilbert, D.J. (NCI-Federick Cancer Research and Development Center, Federick, MD (United States))

    1993-06-01

    Type VII collagen is the major component of anchoring fibrils, critical attachment structures at the dermal-epidermal basement membrane zone. Genetic linkage analyses with recently cloned human type VII collagen cDNAs have indicated that the corresponding gene, COL7A1, is the candidate gene in the dystrophic forms of epidermolysis bullosa. To gain insight into the evolutionary conservation of COL7A1, in this study the authors have isolated mouse type VII collagen cDNAs by screening a mouse epidermal keratinocyte cDNA library with a human COL7A1 cDNA. Two overlapping mouse cDNAs were isolated, and Northern hybridization of mouse epidermal keratinocyte RNA with one of them revealed the presence of a mRNA transcript of [approximately]9.5 kb, the approximate size of the human COL7A1 mRNA. Nucleotide sequencing of the mouse cDNAs revealed a 2760-bp open reading frame that encodes the 5[prime] half of the collagenous domain and a segment of the NC-1, the noncollagenous amino-terminal domain of type VII collagen. Comparison of the mouse amino acid sequences with the corresponding human sequences deduced from cDNAs revealed 82.5% identity. The evolutionary divergence of the gene was relatively rapid in comparison to other collagen genes. Despite the high degree of sequence variation, several sequences, including the size and the position of noncollagenous imperfections and interruptions within the Gly-X-Y repeat sequence, were precisely conserved. Finally, the mouse Col7a1 gene was located by interspecific backcross mapping to mouse Chromosome 9, a region that corresponds to human chromosome 3p21, the position of human COL7Al. This assignment confirms and extends the relationship between the mouse and the human chromosomes in this region of the genome. 33 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  7. The complete mitochondrial genome of dhole Cuon alpinus: phylogenetic analysis and dating evolutionary divergence within Canidae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Honghai; Chen, Lei

    2011-03-01

    The dhole (Cuon alpinus) is the only existent species in the genus Cuon (Carnivora: Canidae). In the present study, the complete mitochondrial genome of the dhole was sequenced. The total length is 16672 base pairs which is the shortest in Canidae. Sequence analysis revealed that most mitochondrial genomic functional regions were highly consistent among canid animals except the CSB domain of the control region. The difference in length among the Canidae mitochondrial genome sequences is mainly due to the number of short segments of tandem repeated in the CSB domain. Phylogenetic analysis was progressed based on the concatenated data set of 14 mitochondrial genes of 8 canid animals by using maximum parsimony (MP), maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian (BI) inference methods. The genera Vulpes and Nyctereutes formed a sister group and split first within Canidae, followed by that in the Cuon. The divergence in the genus Canis was the latest. The divarication of domestic dogs after that of the Canis lupus laniger is completely supported by all the three topologies. Pairwise sequence divergence data of different mitochondrial genes among canid animals were also determined. Except for the synonymous substitutions in protein-coding genes, the control region exhibits the highest sequence divergences. The synonymous rates are approximately two to six times higher than those of the non-synonymous sites except for a slightly higher rate in the non-synonymous substitution between Cuon alpinus and Vulpes vulpes. 16S rRNA genes have a slightly faster sequence divergence than 12S rRNA and tRNA genes. Based on nucleotide substitutions of tRNA genes and rRNA genes, the times since divergence between dhole and other canid animals, and between domestic dogs and three subspecies of wolves were evaluated. The result indicates that Vulpes and Nyctereutes have a close phylogenetic relationship and the divergence of Nyctereutes is a little earlier. The Tibetan wolf may be an archaic

  8. Evolutionary divergence in the fungal response to fluconazole revealed by soft clustering

    KAUST Repository

    Kuo, Dwight

    2010-07-23

    Background: Fungal infections are an emerging health risk, especially those involving yeast that are resistant to antifungal agents. To understand the range of mechanisms by which yeasts can respond to anti-fungals, we compared gene expression patterns across three evolutionarily distant species - Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Candida glabrata and Kluyveromyces lactis - over time following fluconazole exposure. Results: Conserved and diverged expression patterns were identified using a novel soft clustering algorithm that concurrently clusters data from all species while incorporating sequence orthology. The analysis suggests complementary strategies for coping with ergosterol depletion by azoles - Saccharomyces imports exogenous ergosterol, Candida exports fluconazole, while Kluyveromyces does neither, leading to extreme sensitivity. In support of this hypothesis we find that only Saccharomyces becomes more azole resistant in ergosterol-supplemented media; that this depends on sterol importers Aus1 and Pdr11; and that transgenic expression of sterol importers in Kluyveromyces alleviates its drug sensitivity. Conclusions: We have compared the dynamic transcriptional responses of three diverse yeast species to fluconazole treatment using a novel clustering algorithm. This approach revealed significant divergence among regulatory programs associated with fluconazole sensitivity. In future, such approaches might be used to survey a wider range of species, drug concentrations and stimuli to reveal conserved and divergent molecular response pathways.

  9. Metabolic Rate Calibrates the Molecular Clock: Reconciling Molecular and Fossil Estimates of Evolutionary Divergence

    OpenAIRE

    Gillooly, James F.; Andrew P. Allen; West, Geoffrey B.; Brown, James H.

    2004-01-01

    Observations that rates of molecular evolution vary widely within and among lineages have cast doubts upon the existence of a single molecular clock. Differences in the timing of evolutionary events estimated from genetic and fossil evidence have raised further questions about the existence of molecular clocks and their use. Here we present a model of nucleotide substitution that combines new theory on metabolic rate with the now classic neutral theory of molecular evolution. The model quanti...

  10. Evolutionary Medicine: The Ongoing Evolution of Human Physiology and Metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rühli, Frank; van Schaik, Katherine; Henneberg, Maciej

    2016-11-01

    The field of evolutionary medicine uses evolutionary principles to understand changes in human anatomy and physiology that have occurred over time in response to environmental changes. Through this evolutionary-based approach, we can understand disease as a consequence of anatomical and physiological "trade-offs" that develop to facilitate survival and reproduction. We demonstrate how diachronic study of human anatomy and physiology is fundamental for an increased understanding of human health and disease. ©2016 Int. Union Physiol. Sci./Am. Physiol. Soc.

  11. The human dark side: evolutionary psychology and original sin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Joseph; Theol, M

    2014-04-01

    Human nature has a dark side, something important to religions. Evolutionary psychology has been used to illuminate the human shadow side, although as a discipline it has attracted criticism. This article seeks to examine the evolutionary psychology's understanding of human nature and to propose an unexpected dialog with an enduring account of human evil known as original sin. Two cases are briefly considered: murder and rape. To further the exchange, numerous theoretical and methodological criticisms and replies of evolutionary psychology are explored jointly with original sin. Evolutionary psychology can partner with original sin since they share some theoretical likenesses and together they offer insights into the nature of what it means to be human.

  12. The fossil record and taphonomy of butterflies and moths (Insecta, Lepidoptera): implications for evolutionary diversity and divergence-time estimates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohn, Jae-Cheon; Labandeira, Conrad C; Davis, Donald R

    2015-02-04

    It is conventionally accepted that the lepidopteran fossil record is significantly incomplete when compared to the fossil records of other, very diverse, extant insect orders. Such an assumption, however, has been based on cumulative diversity data rather than using alternative statistical approaches from actual specimen counts. We reviewed documented specimens of the lepidopteran fossil record, currently consisting of 4,593 known specimens that are comprised of 4,262 body fossils and 331 trace fossils. The temporal distribution of the lepidopteran fossil record shows significant bias towards the late Paleocene to middle Eocene time interval. Lepidopteran fossils also record major shifts in preservational style and number of represented localities at the Mesozoic stage and Cenozoic epoch level of temporal resolution. Only 985 of the total known fossil specimens (21.4%) were assigned to 23 of the 40 extant lepidopteran superfamilies. Absolute numbers and proportions of preservation types for identified fossils varied significantly across superfamilies. The secular increase of lepidopteran family-level diversity through geologic time significantly deviates from the general pattern of other hyperdiverse, ordinal-level lineages. Our statistical analyses of the lepidopteran fossil record show extreme biases in preservation type, age, and taxonomic composition. We highlight the scarcity of identified lepidopteran fossils and provide a correspondence between the latest lepidopteran divergence-time estimates and relevant fossil occurrences at the superfamily level. These findings provide caution in interpreting the lepidopteran fossil record through the modeling of evolutionary diversification and in determination of divergence time estimates.

  13. Evolutionary divergence of the genetic architecture underlying photoperiodism in the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lair, K P; Bradshaw, W E; Holzapfel, C M

    1997-12-01

    We determine the contribution of composite additive, dominance, and epistatic effects to the genetic divergence of photoperiodic response along latitudinal, altitudinal, and longitudinal gradients in the pitcher-plant mosquito, Wyeomyia smithii. Joint scaling tests of crosses between populations showed widespread epistasis as well as additive and dominance differences among populations. There were differences due to epistasis between an alpine population in North Carolina and populations in Florida, lowland North Carolina, and Maine. Longitudinal displacement resulted in differences due to epistasis between Florida and Alabama populations separated by 300 km but not between Maine and Wisconsin populations separated by 2000 km. Genetic differences between New Jersey and Ontario did not involve either dominance or epistasis and we estimated the minimum number of effective factors contributing to a difference in mean critical photoperiod of 5 SD between them as nE = 5. We propose that the genetic similarity of populations within a broad northern region is due to their more recent origin since recession of the Laurentide Ice Sheet and that the unique genetic architecture of each population is the result of both mutation and repeated migration-founder-flush episodes during the dispersal of W. smithii in North America. Our results suggest that differences in composite additive and dominance effects arise early in the genetic divergence of populations while differences due to epistasis accumulate after more prolonged isolation.

  14. Divergent evolution of human p53 binding sites: cell cycle versus apoptosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica M Horvath

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available The p53 tumor suppressor is a sequence-specific pleiotropic transcription factor that coordinates cellular responses to DNA damage and stress, initiating cell-cycle arrest or triggering apoptosis. Although the human p53 binding site sequence (or response element [RE] is well characterized, some genes have consensus-poor REs that are nevertheless both necessary and sufficient for transactivation by p53. Identification of new functional gene regulatory elements under these conditions is problematic, and evolutionary conservation is often employed. We evaluated the comparative genomics approach for assessing evolutionary conservation of putative binding sites by examining conservation of 83 experimentally validated human p53 REs against mouse, rat, rabbit, and dog genomes and detected pronounced conservation differences among p53 REs and p53-regulated pathways. Bona fide NRF2 (nuclear factor [erythroid-derived 2]-like 2 nuclear factor and NFkappaB (nuclear factor of kappa light chain gene enhancer in B cells binding sites, which direct oxidative stress and innate immunity responses, were used as controls, and both exhibited high interspecific conservation. Surprisingly, the average p53 RE was not significantly more conserved than background genomic sequence, and p53 REs in apoptosis genes as a group showed very little conservation. The common bioinformatics practice of filtering RE predictions by 80% rodent sequence identity would not only give a false positive rate of approximately 19%, but miss up to 57% of true p53 REs. Examination of interspecific DNA base substitutions as a function of position in the p53 consensus sequence reveals an unexpected excess of diversity in apoptosis-regulating REs versus cell-cycle controlling REs (rodent comparisons: p < 1.0 e-12. While some p53 REs show relatively high levels of conservation, REs in many genes such as BAX, FAS, PCNA, CASP6, SIVA1, and P53AIP1 show little if any homology to rodent sequences. This

  15. Divergence time, historical biogeography and evolutionary rate estimation of the order Bangiales (Rhodophyta) inferred from multilocus data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Kuipeng; Tang, Xianghai; Wang, Lu; Yu, Xinzi; Sun, Peipei; Mao, Yunxiang

    2017-08-01

    Bangiales is the only order of the Bangiophyceae and has been suggested to be monophyletic. This order contains approximately 190 species and is distributed worldwide. Previous molecular studies have produced robust phylogenies among the red algae, but the divergence times, historical biogeography and evolutionary rates of Bangiales have rarely been studied. Phylogenetic relationships within the Bangiales were examined using the concatenated gene sets from all available organellar genomes. This analysis has revealed the topology ((( Bangia, Porphyra ) Pyropia ) Wildemania ). Molecular dating indicates that Bangiales diversified approximately 246.40 million years ago (95% highest posterior density (HPD)= 194.78u2013318.24 Ma, posterior probability (PP)=0.99) in the Late Permian and Early Triassic, and that the ancestral species most likely originated from eastern Gondwanaland (currently New Zealand and Australia) and subsequently began to spread and evolve worldwide. Based on pairwise comparisons, we found a slower rate of nucleotide substitutions and lower rates of diversification in Bangiales relative to Florideophyceae. Compared with Viridiplantae (green algae and land plants), the evolutionary rates of Bangiales and other Rhodophyte groups were found to be dramatically faster, by more than 3-fold for plastid genome (ptDNA) and 15-fold for mitochondrial genome (mtDNA). In addition, an average 2.5-fold lower dN/dS was found for the algae than for the land plants, which indicates purifying selection of the algae.

  16. Pre- versus post-mass extinction divergence of Mesozoic marine reptiles dictated by time-scale dependence of evolutionary rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motani, Ryosuke; Jiang, Da-Yong; Tintori, Andrea; Ji, Cheng; Huang, Jian-Dong

    2017-05-17

    The fossil record of a major clade often starts after a mass extinction even though evolutionary rates, molecular or morphological, suggest its pre-extinction emergence (e.g. squamates, placentals and teleosts). The discrepancy is larger for older clades, and the presence of a time-scale-dependent methodological bias has been suggested, yet it has been difficult to avoid the bias using Bayesian phylogenetic methods. This paradox raises the question of whether ecological vacancies, such as those after mass extinctions, prompt the radiations. We addressed this problem by using a unique temporal characteristic of the morphological data and a high-resolution stratigraphic record, for the oldest clade of Mesozoic marine reptiles, Ichthyosauromorpha. The evolutionary rate was fastest during the first few million years of ichthyosauromorph evolution and became progressively slower over time, eventually becoming six times slower. Using the later slower rates, estimates of divergence time become excessively older. The fast, initial rate suggests the emergence of ichthyosauromorphs after the end-Permian mass extinction, matching an independent result from high-resolution stratigraphic confidence intervals. These reptiles probably invaded the sea as a new ecosystem was formed after the end-Permian mass extinction. Lack of information on early evolution biased Bayesian clock rates. © 2017 The Author(s).

  17. A highly divergent South African geminivirus species illuminates the ancient evolutionary history of this family

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monjane Aderito L

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We have characterised a new highly divergent geminivirus species, Eragrostis curvula streak virus (ECSV, found infecting a hardy perennial South African wild grass. ECSV represents a new genus-level geminivirus lineage, and has a mixture of features normally associated with other specific geminivirus genera. Results Whereas the ECSV genome is predicted to express a replication associated protein (Rep from an unspliced complementary strand transcript that is most similar to those of begomoviruses, curtoviruses and topocuviruses, its Rep also contains what is apparently a canonical retinoblastoma related protein interaction motif such as that found in mastreviruses. Similarly, while ECSV has the same unusual TAAGATTCC virion strand replication origin nonanucleotide found in another recently described divergent geminivirus, Beet curly top Iran virus (BCTIV, the rest of the transcription and replication origin is structurally more similar to those found in begomoviruses and curtoviruses than it is to those found in BCTIV and mastreviruses. ECSV also has what might be a homologue of the begomovirus transcription activator protein gene found in begomoviruses, a mastrevirus-like coat protein gene and two intergenic regions. Conclusion Although it superficially resembles a chimaera of geminiviruses from different genera, the ECSV genome is not obviously recombinant, implying that the features it shares with other geminiviruses are those that were probably present within the last common ancestor of these viruses. In addition to inferring how the ancestral geminivirus genome may have looked, we use the discovery of ECSV to refine various hypotheses regarding the recombinant origins of the major geminivirus lineages.

  18. Human compulsivity: A perspective from evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Dan J; Hermesh, Haggai; Eilam, David; Segalas, Cosi; Zohar, Joseph; Menchon, Jose; Nesse, Randolph M

    2016-05-01

    Biological explanations address not only proximal mechanisms (for example, the underlying neurobiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder), but also distal mechanisms (that is, a consideration of how particular neurobiological mechanisms evolved). Evolutionary medicine has emphasized a series of explanations for vulnerability to disease, including constraints, mismatch, and tradeoffs. The current paper will consider compulsive symptoms in obsessive-compulsive and related disorders and behavioral addictions from this evolutionary perspective. It will argue that while obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is typically best conceptualized as a dysfunction, it is theoretically and clinically valuable to understand some symptoms of obsessive-compulsive and related disorders in terms of useful defenses. The symptoms of behavioral addictions can also be conceptualized in evolutionary terms (for example, mismatch), which in turn provides a sound foundation for approaching assessment and intervention. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Evolutionary engineering reveals divergent paths when yeast is adapted to different acidic environments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fletcher, Eugene; Feizi, Amir; Bisschops, Markus M. M.

    2017-01-01

    lactate degradation was crucial for tolerance to high concentrations of lactic acid. Our findings highlight the contribution of both the selection pressure and nature of the acid as a driver for directing the evolutionary path towards tolerance to low pH. The choice of carbon source was also an important......Tolerance of yeast to acid stress is important for many industrial processes including organic acid production. Therefore, elucidating the molecular basis of long term adaptation to acidic environments will be beneficial for engineering production strains to thrive under such harsh conditions....... Previous studies using gene expression analysis have suggested that both organic and inorganic acids display similar responses during short term exposure to acidic conditions. However, biological mechanisms that will lead to long term adaptation of yeast to acidic conditions remains unknown and whether...

  20. Contemporary and historical evolutionary processes interact to shape patterns of within-lake phenotypic divergences in polyphenic pumpkinseed sunfish, Lepomis gibbosus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weese, Dylan J; Ferguson, Moira M; Robinson, Beren W

    2012-01-01

    Historical and contemporary evolutionary processes can both contribute to patterns of phenotypic variation among populations of a species. Recent studies are revealing how interactions between historical and contemporary processes better explain observed patterns of phenotypic divergence than either process alone. Here, we investigate the roles of evolutionary history and adaptation to current environmental conditions in structuring phenotypic variation among polyphenic populations of sunfish inhabiting 12 postglacial lakes in eastern North America. The pumpkinseed sunfish polyphenism includes sympatric ecomorphs specialized for littoral or pelagic lake habitats. First, we use population genetic methods to test the evolutionary independence of within-lake phenotypic divergences of ecomorphs and to describe patterns of genetic structure among lake populations that clustered into three geographical groupings. We then used multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) to partition body shape variation (quantified with geometric morphometrics) among the effects of evolutionary history (reflecting phenotypic variation among genetic clusters), the shared phenotypic response of all populations to alternate habitats within lakes (reflecting adaptation to contemporary conditions), and unique phenotypic responses to habitats within lakes nested within genetic clusters. All effects had a significant influence on body form, but the effects of history and the interaction between history and contemporary habitat were larger than contemporary processes in structuring phenotypic variation. This highlights how divergence can be better understood against a known backdrop of evolutionary history. PMID:22822436

  1. Comparative evolutionary histories of kisspeptins and kisspeptin receptors in vertebrates reveal both parallel and divergent features

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    Jérémy ePasquier

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available During the past decade, the kisspeptin system has been identified in various vertebrates, leading to the discovery of multiple genes encoding both peptides (Kiss and receptors (Kissr. The investigation of recently published genomes from species of phylogenetic interest, such as a chondrichthyan, the elephant shark, an early sarcopterygian, the coelacanth, a non-teleost actinopterygian, the spotted gar, and an early teleost, the European eel, allowed us to get new insights into the molecular diversity and evolution of both Kiss and Kissr families. We identified four Kissr in the spotted gar and coelacanth genomes, providing the first evidence of four Kissr genes in vertebrates. We also found three Kiss in the coelacanth and elephant shark genomes revealing two new species, in addition to Xenopus, presenting three Kiss genes. Considering the increasing diversity of kisspeptin system, phylogenetic and synteny analyses enabled us to clarify both Kiss and Kissr classifications. We also could trace back the evolution of both gene families from the early steps of vertebrate history. Four Kissr and four Kiss paralogs may have arisen via the two whole genome duplication rounds (1R & 2R in early vertebrates. This would have been followed by multiple independent Kiss and Kissr gene losses in the sarcopterygian and actinopterygian lineages. In particular, no impact of the teleost-specific 3R could be recorded on the numbers of teleost Kissr or Kiss paralogs. The origin of their diversity via 1R & 2R, as well as the subsequent occurrence of multiple gene losses, represent common features of the evolutionary histories of Kiss and Kissr families in vertebrates. In contrast, comparisons also revealed un-matching numbers of Kiss and Kissr genes in some species, as well as a large variability of Kiss/Kissr couples according to species. These discrepancies support independent features of the Kiss and Kissr evolutionary histories across vertebrate radiation.

  2. Chromosomal divergence and evolutionary inferences in Rhodniini based on the chromosomal location of ribosomal genes

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    Sebastian Pita

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we used fluorescence in situ hybridisation to determine the chromosomal location of 45S rDNA clusters in 10 species of the tribe Rhodniini (Hemiptera: Reduviidae: Triatominae. The results showed striking inter and intraspecific variability, with the location of the rDNA clusters restricted to sex chromosomes with two patterns: either on one (X chromosome or both sex chromosomes (X and Y chromosomes. This variation occurs within a genus that has an unchanging diploid chromosome number (2n = 22, including 20 autosomes and 2 sex chromosomes and a similar chromosome size and genomic DNA content, reflecting a genome dynamic not revealed by these chromosome traits. The rDNA variation in closely related species and the intraspecific polymorphism in Rhodnius ecuadoriensis suggested that the chromosomal position of rDNA clusters might be a useful marker to identify recently diverged species or populations. We discuss the ancestral position of ribosomal genes in the tribe Rhodniini and the possible mechanisms involved in the variation of the rDNA clusters, including the loss of rDNA loci on the Y chromosome, transposition and ectopic pairing. The last two processes involve chromosomal exchanges between both sex chromosomes, in contrast to the widely accepted idea that the achiasmatic sex chromosomes of Heteroptera do not interchange sequences.

  3. Micro-evolutionary divergence patterns of mandible shapes in wild house mouse (Mus musculus populations

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    Tautz Diethard

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Insights into the micro-evolutionary patterns of morphological traits require an assessment of the natural variation of the trait within and between populations and closely related species. The mouse mandible is a particularly suitable morphological trait for such an analysis, since it has long been used as a model to study the quantitative genetics of shape. In addition, many distinct populations, sub-species and closely related species are known for the house mouse. However, morphological comparisons among wild caught animals require an assessment in how far environmental and technical factors could interfere with the shape change measurements. Results Using geometric morphometrics, we have surveyed mandible shapes in 15 natural populations of the genus Mus, with a focus on the subspecies Mus musculus domesticus. In parallel we have carefully assessed possibly confounding technical and biological factors. We find that there are distinct differences on average between populations, subspecies and species, but these differences are smaller than differences between individuals within populations. Populations from summer-dry regions, although more ancestral, are less distinct from each other than are populations from the more recently colonized northern areas. Populations with especially distinct shapes occur in an area of sympatry of M. m. domesticus and M. spretus and on recently colonized sub-antarctic islands. We have also studied a number of inbred strains to assess in how far their mandible shapes resemble those from the wild. We find that they fall indeed into the shape space of natural variation between individuals in populations. Conclusions Although mandible shapes in natural populations can be influenced by environmental variables, these influences are insufficient to explain the average extent of shape differences between populations, such that evolutionary processes must be invoked to explain this level of diversity

  4. Human genomic disease variants: a neutral evolutionary explanation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudley, Joel T; Kim, Yuseob; Liu, Li; Markov, Glenn J; Gerold, Kristyn; Chen, Rong; Butte, Atul J; Kumar, Sudhir

    2012-08-01

    Many perspectives on the role of evolution in human health include nonempirical assumptions concerning the adaptive evolutionary origins of human diseases. Evolutionary analyses of the increasing wealth of clinical and population genomic data have begun to challenge these presumptions. In order to systematically evaluate such claims, the time has come to build a common framework for an empirical and intellectual unification of evolution and modern medicine. We review the emerging evidence and provide a supporting conceptual framework that establishes the classical neutral theory of molecular evolution (NTME) as the basis for evaluating disease- associated genomic variations in health and medicine. For over a decade, the NTME has already explained the origins and distribution of variants implicated in diseases and has illuminated the power of evolutionary thinking in genomic medicine. We suggest that a majority of disease variants in modern populations will have neutral evolutionary origins (previously neutral), with a relatively smaller fraction exhibiting adaptive evolutionary origins (previously adaptive). This pattern is expected to hold true for common as well as rare disease variants. Ultimately, a neutral evolutionary perspective will provide medicine with an informative and actionable framework that enables objective clinical assessment beyond convenient tendencies to invoke past adaptive events in human history as a root cause of human disease.

  5. Human genomic disease variants: A neutral evolutionary explanation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudley, Joel T.; Kim, Yuseob; Liu, Li; Markov, Glenn J.; Gerold, Kristyn; Chen, Rong; Butte, Atul J.; Kumar, Sudhir

    2012-01-01

    Many perspectives on the role of evolution in human health include nonempirical assumptions concerning the adaptive evolutionary origins of human diseases. Evolutionary analyses of the increasing wealth of clinical and population genomic data have begun to challenge these presumptions. In order to systematically evaluate such claims, the time has come to build a common framework for an empirical and intellectual unification of evolution and modern medicine. We review the emerging evidence and provide a supporting conceptual framework that establishes the classical neutral theory of molecular evolution (NTME) as the basis for evaluating disease- associated genomic variations in health and medicine. For over a decade, the NTME has already explained the origins and distribution of variants implicated in diseases and has illuminated the power of evolutionary thinking in genomic medicine. We suggest that a majority of disease variants in modern populations will have neutral evolutionary origins (previously neutral), with a relatively smaller fraction exhibiting adaptive evolutionary origins (previously adaptive). This pattern is expected to hold true for common as well as rare disease variants. Ultimately, a neutral evolutionary perspective will provide medicine with an informative and actionable framework that enables objective clinical assessment beyond convenient tendencies to invoke past adaptive events in human history as a root cause of human disease. PMID:22665443

  6. Morphological and genetic divergence between Agave inaequidens, A. cupreata and the domesticated A. hookeri. Analysis of their evolutionary relationships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueredo-Urbina, Carmen J; Casas, Alejandro; Torres-García, Ignacio

    2017-01-01

    Agave inaequidens and A. cupreata are wild species with some populations under incipient management, while A. hookeri is exclusively cultivated, used for producing the fermented beverage pulque. These species are closely related and sympatric members of the Crenatae group, but taxonomists have previously hypothesized that A. inaequidens is the most probable ancestor of A. hookeri. Our study aims at evaluating patterns of morphological and genetic divergence among populations of the three species, in order to analyze their ecological and possible evolutionary relationships. We studied 24 agave populations, 16 of them of Agave inaequidens, four of A. cupreata and four of A. hookeri. Population morphometric and genetics studies were performed using 39 morphological characters and 10 nuclear microsatellites, respectively. We estimated levels of morphological and genetic diversity and dissimilarity, as well as genetic structure and gene flow among populations and species. The three species were clearly differentiated by general plant size, lateral teeth, terminal spines, flowers and fruit size. The largest plants were those of A. hookeri followed by A. inaequidens and the smallest were A. cupreata. Multivariate analyses indicated greater morphological similarity between A. hookeri and cultivated A. inaequidens, while A. cupreata consistently appeared as a separate group. We identified similar levels of morphological diversity index (MDI) in the three species, but higher genetic diversity in A. inaequidens (MDI = 0.401-0.435; HE = 0.704-0.733), than in A. cupreata (MDI = 0.455-0.523; HE = 0.480-0.510) and the predominantly vegetative propagated crop A. hookeri (MDI = 0.335-0.688; HE = 0.450-0.567), a pattern consistent with our expectations. The morphological and genetic similarities between cultivated A. inaequidens and A. hookeri support the hypothetical evolutionary relationships among these species, but studies with cpDNA and SNPs, and including other member of the

  7. Morphological and genetic divergence between Agave inaequidens, A. cupreata and the domesticated A. hookeri. Analysis of their evolutionary relationships.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen J Figueredo-Urbina

    Full Text Available Agave inaequidens and A. cupreata are wild species with some populations under incipient management, while A. hookeri is exclusively cultivated, used for producing the fermented beverage pulque. These species are closely related and sympatric members of the Crenatae group, but taxonomists have previously hypothesized that A. inaequidens is the most probable ancestor of A. hookeri. Our study aims at evaluating patterns of morphological and genetic divergence among populations of the three species, in order to analyze their ecological and possible evolutionary relationships. We studied 24 agave populations, 16 of them of Agave inaequidens, four of A. cupreata and four of A. hookeri. Population morphometric and genetics studies were performed using 39 morphological characters and 10 nuclear microsatellites, respectively. We estimated levels of morphological and genetic diversity and dissimilarity, as well as genetic structure and gene flow among populations and species. The three species were clearly differentiated by general plant size, lateral teeth, terminal spines, flowers and fruit size. The largest plants were those of A. hookeri followed by A. inaequidens and the smallest were A. cupreata. Multivariate analyses indicated greater morphological similarity between A. hookeri and cultivated A. inaequidens, while A. cupreata consistently appeared as a separate group. We identified similar levels of morphological diversity index (MDI in the three species, but higher genetic diversity in A. inaequidens (MDI = 0.401-0.435; HE = 0.704-0.733, than in A. cupreata (MDI = 0.455-0.523; HE = 0.480-0.510 and the predominantly vegetative propagated crop A. hookeri (MDI = 0.335-0.688; HE = 0.450-0.567, a pattern consistent with our expectations. The morphological and genetic similarities between cultivated A. inaequidens and A. hookeri support the hypothetical evolutionary relationships among these species, but studies with cpDNA and SNPs, and including other

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sorrentino Gina M

    2012-10-01

    generate a secondary body axis, but activate only low expression of organizer-specific genes that are strongly induced by XSmad2. We suggest that in the vertebrate lineage, Smad2 has evolved a specialized role in the induction of the embryonic organizer. Given the high level of sequence identity between Smad orthologs, this work underscores the functional importance of the emergence and fixation of a few divergent amino acids among orthologs during evolution.

  9. Studying Collective Human Decision Making and Creativity with Evolutionary Computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayama, Hiroki; Dionne, Shelley D

    2015-01-01

    We report a summary of our interdisciplinary research project "Evolutionary Perspective on Collective Decision Making" that was conducted through close collaboration between computational, organizational, and social scientists at Binghamton University. We redefined collective human decision making and creativity as evolution of ecologies of ideas, where populations of ideas evolve via continual applications of evolutionary operators such as reproduction, recombination, mutation, selection, and migration of ideas, each conducted by participating humans. Based on this evolutionary perspective, we generated hypotheses about collective human decision making, using agent-based computer simulations. The hypotheses were then tested through several experiments with real human subjects. Throughout this project, we utilized evolutionary computation (EC) in non-traditional ways-(1) as a theoretical framework for reinterpreting the dynamics of idea generation and selection, (2) as a computational simulation model of collective human decision-making processes, and (3) as a research tool for collecting high-resolution experimental data on actual collaborative design and decision making from human subjects. We believe our work demonstrates untapped potential of EC for interdisciplinary research involving human and social dynamics.

  10. Mouse Models as Predictors of Human Responses: Evolutionary Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uhl, Elizabeth W; Warner, Natalie J

    Mice offer a number of advantages and are extensively used to model human diseases and drug responses. Selective breeding and genetic manipulation of mice have made many different genotypes and phenotypes available for research. However, in many cases, mouse models have failed to be predictive. Important sources of the prediction problem have been the failure to consider the evolutionary basis for species differences, especially in drug metabolism, and disease definitions that do not reflect the complexity of gene expression underlying disease phenotypes. Incorporating evolutionary insights into mouse models allow for unique opportunities to characterize the effects of diet, different gene expression profiles, and microbiomics underlying human drug responses and disease phenotypes.

  11. De novo transcriptome assembly and polymorphism detection in two highly divergent evolutionary units of Bosca's newt (Lissotriton boscai) endemic to the Iberian Peninsula.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nourisson, Coralie; Muñoz-Merida, Antonio; Carneiro, Miguel; Sequeira, Fernando

    2017-05-01

    This article reports the de novo transcriptome assemblies of two highly divergent evolutionary units of the Iberian endemic Bosca's newt, Lissotriton boscai. These two units are distributed mostly allopatrically but overlap in the central-southwestern coastal region of Portugal. The resources we provide include the raw sequence reads, the assembled transcripts, the annotation and SNPs called for both lineages. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. A Consensus Tree Approach for Reconstructing Human Evolutionary History and Detecting Population Substructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Ming-Chi; Blelloch, Guy; Ravi, R.; Schwartz, Russell

    The random accumulation of variations in the human genome over time implicitly encodes a history of how human populations have arisen, dispersed, and intermixed since we emerged as a species. Reconstructing that history is a challenging computational and statistical problem but has important applications both to basic research and to the discovery of genotype-phenotype correlations. In this study, we present a novel approach to inferring human evolutionary history from genetic variation data. Our approach uses the idea of consensus trees, a technique generally used to reconcile species trees from divergent gene trees, adapting it to the problem of finding the robust relationships within a set of intraspecies phylogenies derived from local regions of the genome. We assess the quality of the method on two large-scale genetic variation data sets: the HapMap Phase II and the Human Genome Diversity Project. Qualitative comparison to a consensus model of the evolution of modern human population groups shows that our inferences closely match our best current understanding of human evolutionary history. A further comparison with results of a leading method for the simpler problem of population substructure assignment verifies that our method provides comparable accuracy in identifying meaningful population subgroups in addition to inferring the relationships among them.

  13. Shining evolutionary light on human sleep and sleep disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunn, Charles L.; Samson, David R.; Krystal, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    Sleep is essential to cognitive function and health in humans, yet the ultimate reasons for sleep—i.e. ‘why’ sleep evolved—remain mysterious. We integrate findings from human sleep studies, the ethnographic record, and the ecology and evolution of mammalian sleep to better understand sleep along the human lineage and in the modern world. Compared to other primates, sleep in great apes has undergone substantial evolutionary change, with all great apes building a sleeping platform or ‘nest’. Further evolutionary change characterizes human sleep, with humans having the shortest sleep duration, yet the highest proportion of rapid eye movement sleep among primates. These changes likely reflect that our ancestors experienced fitness benefits from being active for a greater portion of the 24-h cycle than other primates, potentially related to advantages arising from learning, socializing and defending against predators and hostile conspecifics. Perspectives from evolutionary medicine have implications for understanding sleep disorders; we consider these perspectives in the context of insomnia, narcolepsy, seasonal affective disorder, circadian rhythm disorders and sleep apnea. We also identify how human sleep today differs from sleep through most of human evolution, and the implications of these changes for global health and health disparities. More generally, our review highlights the importance of phylogenetic comparisons in understanding human health, including well-known links between sleep, cognitive performance and health in humans. PMID:27470330

  14. Shining evolutionary light on human sleep and sleep disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunn, Charles L; Samson, David R; Krystal, Andrew D

    2016-01-01

    Sleep is essential to cognitive function and health in humans, yet the ultimate reasons for sleep-i.e. 'why' sleep evolved-remain mysterious. We integrate findings from human sleep studies, the ethnographic record, and the ecology and evolution of mammalian sleep to better understand sleep along the human lineage and in the modern world. Compared to other primates, sleep in great apes has undergone substantial evolutionary change, with all great apes building a sleeping platform or 'nest'. Further evolutionary change characterizes human sleep, with humans having the shortest sleep duration, yet the highest proportion of rapid eye movement sleep among primates. These changes likely reflect that our ancestors experienced fitness benefits from being active for a greater portion of the 24-h cycle than other primates, potentially related to advantages arising from learning, socializing and defending against predators and hostile conspecifics. Perspectives from evolutionary medicine have implications for understanding sleep disorders; we consider these perspectives in the context of insomnia, narcolepsy, seasonal affective disorder, circadian rhythm disorders and sleep apnea. We also identify how human sleep today differs from sleep through most of human evolution, and the implications of these changes for global health and health disparities. More generally, our review highlights the importance of phylogenetic comparisons in understanding human health, including well-known links between sleep, cognitive performance and health in humans. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.

  15. Evolutionary perspectives on human height variation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stulp, Gert; Barrett, Louise

    Human height is a highly variable trait, both within and between populations, has a high heritability, and influences the manner in which people behave and are treated in society. Although we know much about human height, this information has rarely been brought together in a comprehensive,

  16. Evolutionary Divergence of the C-terminal Domain of Complexin Accounts for Functional Disparities between Vertebrate and Invertebrate Complexins

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    Rachel T. Wragg

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Complexin is a critical presynaptic protein that regulates both spontaneous and calcium-triggered neurotransmitter release in all synapses. Although the SNARE-binding central helix of complexin is highly conserved and required for all known complexin functions, the remainder of the protein has profoundly diverged across the animal kingdom. Striking disparities in complexin inhibitory activity are observed between vertebrate and invertebrate complexins but little is known about the source of these differences or their relevance to the underlying mechanism of complexin regulation. We found that mouse complexin 1 (mCpx1 failed to inhibit neurotransmitter secretion in Caenorhabditis elegans neuromuscular junctions lacking the worm complexin 1 (CPX-1. This lack of inhibition stemmed from differences in the C-terminal domain (CTD of mCpx1. Previous studies revealed that the CTD selectively binds to highly curved membranes and directs complexin to synaptic vesicles. Although mouse and worm complexin have similar lipid binding affinity, their last few amino acids differ in both hydrophobicity and in lipid binding conformation, and these differences strongly impacted CPX-1 inhibitory function. Moreover, function was not maintained if a critical amphipathic helix in the worm CPX-1 CTD was replaced with the corresponding mCpx1 amphipathic helix. Invertebrate complexins generally shared more C-terminal similarity with vertebrate complexin 3 and 4 isoforms, and the amphipathic region of mouse complexin 3 significantly restored inhibitory function to worm CPX-1. We hypothesize that the CTD of complexin is essential in conferring an inhibitory function to complexin, and that this inhibitory activity has been attenuated in the vertebrate complexin 1 and 2 isoforms. Thus, evolutionary changes in the complexin CTD differentially shape its synaptic role across phylogeny.

  17. Evolutionary toggling of Vpx/Vpr specificity results in divergent recognition of the restriction factor SAMHD1.

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    Oliver I Fregoso

    Full Text Available SAMHD1 is a host restriction factor that blocks the ability of lentiviruses such as HIV-1 to undergo reverse transcription in myeloid cells and resting T-cells. This restriction is alleviated by expression of the lentiviral accessory proteins Vpx and Vpr (Vpx/Vpr, which target SAMHD1 for proteasome-mediated degradation. However, the precise determinants within SAMHD1 for recognition by Vpx/Vpr remain unclear. Here we show that evolution of Vpx/Vpr in primate lentiviruses has caused the interface between SAMHD1 and Vpx/Vpr to alter during primate lentiviral evolution. Using multiple HIV-2 and SIV Vpx proteins, we show that Vpx from the HIV-2 and SIVmac lineage, but not Vpx from the SIVmnd2 and SIVrcm lineage, require the C-terminus of SAMHD1 for interaction, ubiquitylation, and degradation. On the other hand, the N-terminus of SAMHD1 governs interactions with Vpx from SIVmnd2 and SIVrcm, but has little effect on Vpx from HIV-2 and SIVmac. Furthermore, we show here that this difference in SAMHD1 recognition is evolutionarily dynamic, with the importance of the N- and C-terminus for interaction of SAMHD1 with Vpx and Vpr toggling during lentiviral evolution. We present a model to explain how the head-to-tail conformation of SAMHD1 proteins favors toggling of the interaction sites by Vpx/Vpr during this virus-host arms race. Such drastic functional divergence within a lentiviral protein highlights a novel plasticity in the evolutionary dynamics of viral antagonists for restriction factors during lentiviral adaptation to its hosts.

  18. Evolutionary foundations of human prosocial sentiments

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    Silk, Joan B.; House, Bailey R.

    2011-01-01

    A growing body of evidence shows that humans are remarkably altruistic primates. Food sharing and division of labor play an important role in all human societies, and cooperation extends beyond the bounds of close kinship and networks of reciprocating partners. In humans, altruism is motivated at least in part by empathy and concern for the welfare of others. Although altruistic behavior is well-documented in other primates, the range of altruistic behaviors in other primate species, including the great apes, is much more limited than it is in humans. Moreover, when altruism does occur among other primates, it is typically limited to familiar group members—close kin, mates, and reciprocating partners. This suggests that there may be fundamental differences in the social preferences that motivate altruism across the primate order, and there is currently considerable interest in how we came to be such unusual apes. A body of experimental studies designed to examine the phylogenetic range of prosocial sentiments and behavior is beginning to shed some light on this issue. In experimental settings, chimpanzees and tamarins do not consistently take advantage of opportunities to deliver food rewards to others, although capuchins and marmosets do deliver food rewards to others in similar kinds of tasks. Although chimpanzees do not satisfy experimental criteria for prosociality in food delivery tasks, they help others complete tasks to obtain a goal. Differences in performance across species and differences in performance across tasks are not yet fully understood and raise new questions for further study. PMID:21690372

  19. Evolutionary foundations of human prosocial sentiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silk, Joan B; House, Bailey R

    2011-06-28

    A growing body of evidence shows that humans are remarkably altruistic primates. Food sharing and division of labor play an important role in all human societies, and cooperation extends beyond the bounds of close kinship and networks of reciprocating partners. In humans, altruism is motivated at least in part by empathy and concern for the welfare of others. Although altruistic behavior is well-documented in other primates, the range of altruistic behaviors in other primate species, including the great apes, is much more limited than it is in humans. Moreover, when altruism does occur among other primates, it is typically limited to familiar group members--close kin, mates, and reciprocating partners. This suggests that there may be fundamental differences in the social preferences that motivate altruism across the primate order, and there is currently considerable interest in how we came to be such unusual apes. A body of experimental studies designed to examine the phylogenetic range of prosocial sentiments and behavior is beginning to shed some light on this issue. In experimental settings, chimpanzees and tamarins do not consistently take advantage of opportunities to deliver food rewards to others, although capuchins and marmosets do deliver food rewards to others in similar kinds of tasks. Although chimpanzees do not satisfy experimental criteria for prosociality in food delivery tasks, they help others complete tasks to obtain a goal. Differences in performance across species and differences in performance across tasks are not yet fully understood and raise new questions for further study.

  20. Evolutionary Response to Human Infectious Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armelagos, George J.; Dewey, John R.

    1970-01-01

    Gives an overview of human history, relating cultural changes with resulting changes in population density and in ecological balance to patterns of infectious diseases in man. Discusses mechanisms of evolution of resistance. Suggests that in populations where infectious diseases can be controlled, attention should shift to degenerative diseases…

  1. An Exon-Based Comparative Variant Analysis Pipeline to Study the Scale and Role of Frameshift and Nonsense Mutation in the Human-Chimpanzee Divergence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GongXin Yu

    2009-01-01

    important biological processes such as T cell lineage development, the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases, and antigen induced cell death. A “less-is-more” model was previously established to illustrate the role of the gene inactivation and disruptions during human evolution. Here this analysis suggested a different model where the chimpanzee-specific exon-disrupting mutations may act as additional evolutionary force that drove the human-chimpanzee divergence. Finally, the analysis revealed a number of sequencing errors in the chimpanzee and human genome sequences and further illustrated that they could be corrected without resequencing.

  2. "Messing with the Mind: Evolutionary Challenges to Human Brain Augmentation

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    ARTHUR eSANIOTIS

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The issue of brain augmentation has received considerable scientific attention over the last two decades. A key factor to brain augmentation that has been widely overlooked are the complex evolutionary processes which have taken place in evolving the human brain to its current state of functioning. Like other bodily organs, the human brain has been subject to the forces of biological adaptation. The structure and function of the brain, is very complex and only now we are beginning to understand some of the basic concepts of cognition. Therefore, this article proposes that brain-machine interfacing and nootropics are not going to produce augmented brains because we do not understand enough about how evolutionary pressures have informed the neural networks which support human cognitive faculties.

  3. Evolutionary divergence in the catalytic activity of the CAM-1, ROR1 and ROR2 kinase domains.

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    Travis W Bainbridge

    Full Text Available Receptor tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptors (ROR 1 and 2 are atypical members of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK family and have been associated with several human diseases. The vertebrate RORs contain an ATP binding domain that deviates from the consensus amino acid sequence, although the impact of this deviation on catalytic activity is not known and the kinase function of these receptors remains controversial. Recently, ROR2 was shown to signal through a Wnt responsive, β-catenin independent pathway and suppress a canonical Wnt/β-catenin signal. In this work we demonstrate that both ROR1 and ROR2 kinase domains are catalytically deficient while CAM-1, the C. elegans homolog of ROR, has an active tyrosine kinase domain, suggesting a divergence in the signaling processes of the ROR family during evolution. In addition, we show that substitution of the non-consensus residues from ROR1 or ROR2 into CAM-1 and MuSK markedly reduce kinase activity, while restoration of the consensus residues in ROR does not restore robust kinase function. We further demonstrate that the membrane-bound extracellular domain alone of either ROR1 or ROR2 is sufficient for suppression of canonical Wnt3a signaling, and that this domain can also enhance Wnt5a suppression of Wnt3a signaling. Based on these data, we conclude that human ROR1 and ROR2 are RTK-like pseudokinases.

  4. Evolutionary origins of human brain and spirituality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneberg, Maciej; Saniotis, Arthur

    2009-12-01

    Evolving brains produce minds. Minds operate on imaginary entities. Thus they can create what does not exist in the physical world. Spirits can be deified. Perception of spiritual entities is emotional--organic. Spirituality is a part of culture while culture is an adaptive mechanism of human groups as it allows for technology and social organization to support survival and reproduction. Humans are not rational, they are emotional. Most of explanations of the world, offered by various cultures, involve an element of "fiat", a will of a higher spiritual being, or a reference to some ideal. From this the rules of behaviour are deduced. These rules are necessary to maintain social peace and allow a complex unit consisting of individuals of both sexes and all ages to function in a way ensuring their reproductive success and thus survival. There is thus a direct biological benefit of complex ideological superstructure of culture. This complex superstructure most often takes a form of religion in which logic is mixed with appeals to emotions based on images of spiritual beings. God is a consequence of natural evolution. Whether a deity is a cause of this evolution is difficult to discover, but existence of a deity cannot be questioned.

  5. Geometric morphometrics and virtual anthropology: advances in human evolutionary studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rein, Thomas R; Harvati, Katerina

    2014-01-01

    Geometric morphometric methods have been increasingly used in paleoanthropology in the last two decades, lending greater power to the analysis and interpretation of the human fossil record. More recently the advent of the wide use of computed tomography and surface scanning, implemented in combination with geometric morphometrics (GM), characterizes a new approach, termed Virtual Anthropology (VA). These methodological advances have led to a number of developments in human evolutionary studies. We present some recent examples of GM and VA related research in human evolution with an emphasis on work conducted at the University of Tübingen and other German research institutions.

  6. Understanding Spatiotemporal Patterns of Human Convergence and Divergence Using Mobile Phone Location Data

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    Xiping Yang

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Investigating human mobility patterns can help researchers and agencies understand the driving forces of human movement, with potential benefits for urban planning and traffic management. Recent advances in location-aware technologies have provided many new data sources (e.g., mobile phone and social media data for studying human space-time behavioral regularity. Although existing studies have utilized these new datasets to characterize human mobility patterns from various aspects, such as predicting human mobility and monitoring urban dynamics, few studies have focused on human convergence and divergence patterns within a city. This study aims to explore human spatial convergence and divergence and their evolutions over time using large-scale mobile phone location data. Using a dataset from Shenzhen, China, we developed a method to identify spatiotemporal patterns of human convergence and divergence. Eight distinct patterns were extracted, and the spatial distributions of these patterns are discussed in the context of urban functional regions. Thus, this study investigates urban human convergence and divergence patterns and their relationships with the urban functional environment, which is helpful for urban policy development, urban planning and traffic management.

  7. A test of evolutionary policing theory with data from human societies.

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    Rolf Kümmerli

    Full Text Available In social groups where relatedness among interacting individuals is low, cooperation can often only be maintained through mechanisms that repress competition among group members. Repression-of-competition mechanisms, such as policing and punishment, seem to be of particular importance in human societies, where cooperative interactions often occur among unrelated individuals. In line with this view, economic games have shown that the ability to punish defectors enforces cooperation among humans. Here, I examine a real-world example of a repression-of-competition system, the police institutions common to modern human societies. Specifically, I test evolutionary policing theory by comparing data on policing effort, per capita crime rate, and similarity (used as a proxy for genetic relatedness among citizens across the 26 cantons of Switzerland. This comparison revealed full support for all three predictions of evolutionary policing theory. First, when controlling for policing efforts, crime rate correlated negatively with the similarity among citizens. This is in line with the prediction that high similarity results in higher levels of cooperative self-restraint (i.e. lower crime rates because it aligns the interests of individuals. Second, policing effort correlated negatively with the similarity among citizens, supporting the prediction that more policing is required to enforce cooperation in low-similarity societies, where individuals' interests diverge most. Third, increased policing efforts were associated with reductions in crime rates, indicating that policing indeed enforces cooperation. These analyses strongly indicate that humans respond to cues of their social environment and adjust cheating and policing behaviour as predicted by evolutionary policing theory.

  8. Diverging pathways for lipopolysaccharide and CD14 in human monocytes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Antal-Szalmas, P; Poppelier, MJJG; Broekhuizen, R; Verhoef, J; van Strijp, JAG; van Kessel, KPM

    2000-01-01

    Background: CD14 is considered to be the major endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide [LPS]) binding molecule on human monocytes. It initiates cellular response, but its role in the clearance of LPS is not well understood. Under conditions that ensure totally CD14-dependent LPS binding on human monocytes,

  9. Canalization of the evolutionary trajectory of the human influenza virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedford, Trevor; Rambaut, Andrew; Pascual, Mercedes

    2012-04-30

    Since its emergence in 1968, influenza A (H3N2) has evolved extensively in genotype and antigenic phenotype. However, despite strong pressure to evolve away from human immunity and to diversify in antigenic phenotype, H3N2 influenza shows paradoxically limited genetic and antigenic diversity present at any one time. Here, we propose a simple model of antigenic evolution in the influenza virus that accounts for this apparent discrepancy. In this model, antigenic phenotype is represented by a N-dimensional vector, and virus mutations perturb phenotype within this continuous Euclidean space. We implement this model in a large-scale individual-based simulation, and in doing so, we find a remarkable correspondence between model behavior and observed influenza dynamics. This model displays rapid evolution but low standing diversity and simultaneously accounts for the epidemiological, genetic, antigenic, and geographical patterns displayed by the virus. We find that evolution away from existing human immunity results in rapid population turnover in the influenza virus and that this population turnover occurs primarily along a single antigenic axis. Selective dynamics induce a canalized evolutionary trajectory, in which the evolutionary fate of the influenza population is surprisingly repeatable. In the model, the influenza population shows a 1- to 2-year timescale of repeatability, suggesting a window in which evolutionary dynamics could be, in theory, predictable.

  10. What makes us human? Answers from evolutionary anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calcagno, James M; Fuentes, Agustín

    2012-01-01

    Today, scholars from numerous and highly diverse fields are not only addressing the question of what makes us human, but also seeking input from other disciplines to inform their answers to this fundamental issue. However, for the most part, evolutionary anthropologists are not particularly prominent in this discussion, or at least not acknowledged to be. Why is this the case? One reason may be that although evolutionary anthropologists are uniquely positioned to provide valuable insight on this subject, the responses from any one of us are likely to be as different as the research specializations and intellectual experiences that we bring to the table. Indeed, one would anticipate that a paleoanthropologist would not only have different views than a primatologist, geneticist, or behavioral ecologist, but from other paleoanthropologists as well. Yet if asked by a theologian, psychologist, or political scientist, and perhaps most importantly, by any curious person outside the walls of academia, do we have a response that most evolutionary anthropologists could agree on as reflecting our contributions to the understanding of being and becoming human? Our introductory textbooks usually begin with this fundamental question, yet seldom produce a concise answer. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Kernel method based human model for enhancing interactive evolutionary optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pei, Yan; Zhao, Qiangfu; Liu, Yong

    2015-01-01

    A fitness landscape presents the relationship between individual and its reproductive success in evolutionary computation (EC). However, discrete and approximate landscape in an original search space may not support enough and accurate information for EC search, especially in interactive EC (IEC). The fitness landscape of human subjective evaluation in IEC is very difficult and impossible to model, even with a hypothesis of what its definition might be. In this paper, we propose a method to establish a human model in projected high dimensional search space by kernel classification for enhancing IEC search. Because bivalent logic is a simplest perceptual paradigm, the human model is established by considering this paradigm principle. In feature space, we design a linear classifier as a human model to obtain user preference knowledge, which cannot be supported linearly in original discrete search space. The human model is established by this method for predicting potential perceptual knowledge of human. With the human model, we design an evolution control method to enhance IEC search. From experimental evaluation results with a pseudo-IEC user, our proposed model and method can enhance IEC search significantly.

  12. Evolutionary Conservation in Genes Underlying Human Psychiatric Disorders

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    Lisa Michelle Ogawa

    2014-05-01

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

  13. Oncogenic potential diverge among human papillomavirus type 16 natural variants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sichero, Laura, E-mail: lsichero@gmail.com [Molecular Biology Laboratory, Center of Translational Oncology, Instituto do Cancer do Estado de Sao Paulo-ICESP, Sao Paulo 01246-000 (Brazil); Department of Virology, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Sao Paulo 01323-903 (Brazil); Simao Sobrinho, Joao [Molecular Biology Laboratory, Center of Translational Oncology, Instituto do Cancer do Estado de Sao Paulo-ICESP, Sao Paulo 01246-000 (Brazil); Department of Virology, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Sao Paulo 01323-903 (Brazil); Lina Villa, Luisa [Molecular Biology Laboratory, Center of Translational Oncology, Instituto do Cancer do Estado de Sao Paulo-ICESP, Sao Paulo 01246-000 (Brazil); Department of Virology, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Sao Paulo 01323-903 (Brazil); Department of Radiology, School of Medicine, University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)

    2012-10-10

    We compared E6/E7 protein properties of three different HPV-16 variants: AA, E-P and E-350G. Primary human foreskin keratinocytes (PHFK) were transduced with HPV-16 E6 and E7 and evaluated for proliferation and ability to grow in soft agar. E-P infected keratinocytes presented the lowest efficiency in colony formation. AA and E-350G keratinocytes attained higher capacity for in vitro transformation. We observed similar degradation of TP53 among HPV-16 variants. Furthermore, we accessed the expression profile in early (p5) and late passage (p30) transduced cells of 84 genes commonly involved in carcinogenesis. Most differences could be attributed to HPV-16 E6/E7 expression. In particular, we detected different expression of ITGA2 and CHEK2 in keratinocytes infected with AA and AA/E-350G late passage cells, respectively, and higher expression of MAP2K1 in E-350G transduced keratinocytes. Our results indicate differences among HPV-16 variants that could explain, at least in part, differences in oncogenic potential attributed to these variants.

  14. Human mobility patterns predict divergent epidemic dynamics among cities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalziel, Benjamin D; Pourbohloul, Babak; Ellner, Stephen P

    2013-09-07

    The epidemic dynamics of infectious diseases vary among cities, but it is unclear how this is caused by patterns of infectious contact among individuals. Here, we ask whether systematic differences in human mobility patterns are sufficient to cause inter-city variation in epidemic dynamics for infectious diseases spread by casual contact between hosts. We analyse census data on the mobility patterns of every full-time worker in 48 Canadian cities, finding a power-law relationship between population size and the level of organization in mobility patterns, where in larger cities, a greater fraction of workers travel to work in a few focal locations. Similarly sized cities also vary in the level of organization in their mobility patterns, equivalent on average to the variation expected from a 2.64-fold change in population size. Systematic variation in mobility patterns is sufficient to cause significant differences among cities in infectious disease dynamics-even among cities of the same size-according to an individual-based model of airborne pathogen transmission parametrized with the mobility data. This suggests that differences among cities in host contact patterns are sufficient to drive differences in infectious disease dynamics and provides a framework for testing the effects of host mobility patterns in city-level disease data.

  15. Detecting evolutionary strata on the human x chromosome in the absence of gametologous y-linked sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pandey, Ravi Shanker; Wilson Sayres, Melissa A; Azad, Rajeev K

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian sex chromosomes arose from a pair of homologous autosomes that differentiated into the X and Y chromosomes following a series of recombination suppression events between the X and Y. The stepwise recombination suppressions from the distal long arm to the distal short arm of the chromosomes are reflected as regions with distinct X-Y divergence, referred to as evolutionary strata on the X. All current methods for stratum detection depend on X-Y comparisons but are severely limited by the paucity of X-Y gametologs. We have developed an integrative method that combines a top-down, recursive segmentation algorithm with a bottom-up, agglomerative clustering algorithm to decipher compositionally distinct regions on the X, which reflect regions of unique X-Y divergence. In application to human X chromosome, our method correctly classified a concatenated set of 35 previously assayed X-linked gene sequences by evolutionary strata. We then extended our analysis, applying this method to the entire sequence of the human X chromosome, in an effort to define stratum boundaries. The boundaries of more recently formed strata on X-added region, namely the fourth and fifth strata, have been defined by previous studies and are recapitulated with our method. The older strata, from the first up to the third stratum, have remained poorly resolved due to paucity of X-Y gametologs. By analyzing the entire X sequence, our method identified seven evolutionary strata in these ancient regions, where only three could previously be assayed, thus demonstrating the robustness of our method in detecting the evolutionary strata.

  16. Divergence Times and the Evolutionary Radiation of New World Monkeys (Platyrrhini, Primates): An Analysis of Fossil and Molecular Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez, S Ivan; Tejedor, Marcelo F; Novo, Nelson M; Aristide, Leandro

    2013-01-01

    The estimation of phylogenetic relationships and divergence times among a group of organisms is a fundamental first step toward understanding its biological diversification. The time of the most recent or last common ancestor (LCA) of extant platyrrhines is one of the most controversial among scholars of primate evolution. Here we use two molecular based approaches to date the initial divergence of the platyrrhine clade, Bayesian estimations under a relaxed-clock model and substitution rate plus generation time and body size, employing the fossil record and genome datasets. We also explore the robustness of our estimations with respect to changes in topology, fossil constraints and substitution rate, and discuss the implications of our findings for understanding the platyrrhine radiation. Our results suggest that fossil constraints, topology and substitution rate have an important influence on our divergence time estimates. Bayesian estimates using conservative but realistic fossil constraints suggest that the LCA of extant platyrrhines existed at ca. 29 Ma, with the 95% confidence limit for the node ranging from 27-31 Ma. The LCA of extant platyrrhine monkeys based on substitution rate corrected by generation time and body size was established between 21-29 Ma. The estimates based on the two approaches used in this study recalibrate the ages of the major platyrrhine clades and corroborate the hypothesis that they constitute very old lineages. These results can help reconcile several controversial points concerning the affinities of key early Miocene fossils that have arisen among paleontologists and molecular systematists. However, they cannot resolve the controversy of whether these fossil species truly belong to the extant lineages or to a stem platyrrhine clade. That question can only be resolved by morphology. Finally, we show that the use of different approaches and well supported fossil information gives a more robust divergence time estimate of a clade.

  17. Divergence Times and the Evolutionary Radiation of New World Monkeys (Platyrrhini, Primates: An Analysis of Fossil and Molecular Data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Ivan Perez

    Full Text Available The estimation of phylogenetic relationships and divergence times among a group of organisms is a fundamental first step toward understanding its biological diversification. The time of the most recent or last common ancestor (LCA of extant platyrrhines is one of the most controversial among scholars of primate evolution. Here we use two molecular based approaches to date the initial divergence of the platyrrhine clade, Bayesian estimations under a relaxed-clock model and substitution rate plus generation time and body size, employing the fossil record and genome datasets. We also explore the robustness of our estimations with respect to changes in topology, fossil constraints and substitution rate, and discuss the implications of our findings for understanding the platyrrhine radiation. Our results suggest that fossil constraints, topology and substitution rate have an important influence on our divergence time estimates. Bayesian estimates using conservative but realistic fossil constraints suggest that the LCA of extant platyrrhines existed at ca. 29 Ma, with the 95% confidence limit for the node ranging from 27-31 Ma. The LCA of extant platyrrhine monkeys based on substitution rate corrected by generation time and body size was established between 21-29 Ma. The estimates based on the two approaches used in this study recalibrate the ages of the major platyrrhine clades and corroborate the hypothesis that they constitute very old lineages. These results can help reconcile several controversial points concerning the affinities of key early Miocene fossils that have arisen among paleontologists and molecular systematists. However, they cannot resolve the controversy of whether these fossil species truly belong to the extant lineages or to a stem platyrrhine clade. That question can only be resolved by morphology. Finally, we show that the use of different approaches and well supported fossil information gives a more robust divergence time

  18. Human-specific protein isoforms produced by novel splice sites in the human genome after the human-chimpanzee divergence

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    Kim Dong Seon

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolution of splice sites is a well-known phenomenon that results in transcript diversity during human evolution. Many novel splice sites are derived from repetitive elements and may not contribute to protein products. Here, we analyzed annotated human protein-coding exons and identified human-specific splice sites that arose after the human-chimpanzee divergence. Results We analyzed multiple alignments of the annotated human protein-coding exons and their respective orthologous mammalian genome sequences to identify 85 novel splice sites (50 splice acceptors and 35 donors in the human genome. The novel protein-coding exons, which are expressed either constitutively or alternatively, produce novel protein isoforms by insertion, deletion, or frameshift. We found three cases in which the human-specific isoform conferred novel molecular function in the human cells: the human-specific IMUP protein isoform induces apoptosis of the trophoblast and is implicated in pre-eclampsia; the intronization of a part of SMOX gene exon produces inactive spermine oxidase; the human-specific NUB1 isoform shows reduced interaction with ubiquitin-like proteins, possibly affecting ubiquitin pathways. Conclusions Although the generation of novel protein isoforms does not equate to adaptive evolution, we propose that these cases are useful candidates for a molecular functional study to identify proteomic changes that might bring about novel phenotypes during human evolution.

  19. Divergence between samples of chimpanzee and human DNA sequences is 5%, counting indels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Britten, Roy J.

    2002-01-01

    Five chimpanzee bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequences (described in GenBank) have been compared with the best matching regions of the human genome sequence to assay the amount and kind of DNA divergence. The conclusion is the old saw that we share 98.5% of our DNA sequence with chimpanzee is probably in error. For this sample, a better estimate would be that 95% of the base pairs are exactly shared between chimpanzee and human DNA. In this sample of 779 kb, the divergence due to base substitution is 1.4%, and there is an additional 3.4% difference due to the presence of indels. The gaps in alignment are present in about equal amounts in the chimp and human sequences. They occur equally in repeated and nonrepeated sequences, as detected by repeatmasker (http://ftp.genome.washington.edu/RM/RepeatMasker.html). PMID:12368483

  20. The evolutionary psychology of human mating: a response to Buller's critique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klasios, John

    2014-09-01

    In this paper, I critique arguments made by philosopher David Buller against central evolutionary-psychological explanations of human mating. Specifically, I aim to rebut his criticisms of Evolutionary Psychology regarding (1) women's long-term mating preferences for high-status men; (2) the evolutionary rationale behind men's provisioning of women; (3) men's mating preferences for young women; (4) women's adaptation for extra-pair sex; (5) the sex-differentiated evolutionary theory of human jealousy; and (6) the notion of mate value. In sum, I aim to demonstrate that Buller's arguments contra Evolutionary Psychologists are left wanting. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Possible evolutionary origins of human female sexual fluidity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanazawa, Satoshi

    2017-08-01

    I propose an evolutionary theory of human female sexual fluidity and argue that women may have been evolutionarily designed to be sexually fluid in order to allow them to have sex with their cowives in polygynous marriage and thus reduce conflict and tension inherent in such marriage. In addition to providing an extensive definition and operationalization of the concept of sexual fluidity and specifying its ultimate function for women, the proposed theory can potentially solve several theoretical and empirical puzzles in evolutionary psychology and sex research. Analyses of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) confirm the theory's predictions that: (i) women (but not men) who experience increased levels of sexual fluidity have a larger number of children (suggesting that female sexual fluidity, if heritable, may be evolutionarily selected); (ii) women (but not men) who experience marriage or parenthood early in adult life subsequently experience increased levels of sexual fluidity; and (iii) sexual fluidity is significantly positively correlated with known markers of unrestricted sexual orientation among women whereas it is significantly negatively correlated with such markers among men. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  2. The repetitive component of the A genome of peanut (Arachis hypogaea) and its role in remodelling intergenic sequence space since its evolutionary divergence from the B genome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertioli, David J.; Vidigal, Bruna; Nielen, Stephan; Ratnaparkhe, Milind B.; Lee, Tae-Ho; Leal-Bertioli, Soraya C. M.; Kim, Changsoo; Guimarães, Patricia M.; Seijo, Guillermo; Schwarzacher, Trude; Paterson, Andrew H.; Heslop-Harrison, Pat; Araujo, Ana C. G.

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is an allotetraploid (AABB-type genome) of recent origin, with a genome of about 2·8 Gb and a high repetitive content. This study reports an analysis of the repetitive component of the peanut A genome using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones from A. duranensis, the most probable A genome donor, and the probable consequences of the activity of these elements since the divergence of the peanut A and B genomes. Methods The repetitive content of the A genome was analysed by using A. duranensis BAC clones as probes for fluorescence in situ hybridization (BAC-FISH), and by sequencing and characterization of 12 genomic regions. For the analysis of the evolutionary dynamics, two A genome regions are compared with their B genome homeologues. Key Results BAC-FISH using 27 A. duranensis BAC clones as probes gave dispersed and repetitive DNA characteristic signals, predominantly in interstitial regions of the peanut A chromosomes. The sequences of 14 BAC clones showed complete and truncated copies of ten abundant long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, characterized here. Almost all dateable transposition events occurred genomes. The most abundant retrotransposon is Feral, apparently parasitic on the retrotransposon FIDEL, followed by Pipa, also non-autonomous and probably parasitic on a retrotransposon we named Pipoka. The comparison of the A and B genome homeologous regions showed conserved segments of high sequence identity, punctuated by predominantly indel regions without significant similarity. Conclusions A substantial proportion of the highly repetitive component of the peanut A genome appears to be accounted for by relatively few LTR retrotransposons and their truncated copies or solo LTRs. The most abundant of the retrotransposons are non-autonomous. The activity of these retrotransposons has been a very significant driver of genome evolution since the evolutionary divergence of the A and B genomes. PMID

  3. Evolutionary rates and patterns for human transcription factor binding sites derived from repetitive DNA

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    McDonald John F

    2008-05-01

    sequence has on the human genome. The unique evolutionary properties of repeat-derived TFBS are perhaps even more intriguing. TE-derived TFBS in particular, while clearly functionally constrained, evolve extremely rapidly relative to non-repeat derived sites. Such rapidly evolving TFBS are likely to confer species-specific regulatory phenotypes, i.e. divergent expression patterns, on the human evolutionary lineage. This result has practical implications with respect to the widespread use of evolutionary conservation as a surrogate for functionally relevant non-coding DNA. Most TE-derived TFBS would be missed using the kinds of sequence conservation-based screens, such as phylogenetic footprinting, that are used to help characterize non-coding DNA. Thus, the very TFBS that are most likely to yield human-specific characteristics will be neglected by the comparative genomic techniques that are currently de rigeur for the identification of novel regulatory sites.

  4. Genetic divergence and evolutionary relationship in Fejervarya cancrivora from Indonesia and other Asian countries inferred from allozyme and MtDNA sequence analyses.

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    Kurniawan, Nia; Islam, Mohammed Mafizul; Djong, Tjong Hon; Igawa, Takeshi; Daicus, M Belabut; Yong, Hoi Sen; Wanichanon, Ratanasate; Khan, Md Mukhlesur Rahman; Iskandar, Djoko T; Nishioka, Midori; Sumida, Masayuki

    2010-03-01

    To elucidate genetic divergence and evolutionary relationship in Fejervarya cancrivora from Indonesia and other Asian countries, allozyme and molecular analyses were carried out using 131 frogs collected from 24 populations in Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In the allozymic survey, seventeen enzymatic loci were examined for 92 frogs from eight representative localities. The results showed that F. cancrivora is subdivided into two main groups, the mangrove type and the large- plus Pelabuhan ratu types. The average Nel's genetic distance between the two groups was 0.535. Molecular phylogenetic trees based on nucleotide sequences of the 16S rRNA and Cyt b genes and constructed with the ML, MP, NJ, and BI methods also showed that the individuals of F. cancrivora analyzed comprised two clades, the mangrove type and the large plus Pelabuhan ratu / Sulawesi types, the latter further split into two subclades, the large type and the Pelabuhan ratu / Sulawesi type. The geographical distribution of individuals of the three F. cancrivora types was examined. Ten Individuals from Bangladesh, Thailand, and the Philippines represented the mangrove type; 34 Individuals from Malaysia and Indonesia represented the large type; and 11 individuals from Indonesia represented the Pelabuhan ratu / Sulawesi type. Average sequence divergences among the three types were 5.78-10.22% for the 16S and 12.88-16.38% for Cyt b. Our results suggest that each of the three types can be regarded as a distinct species.

  5. Interplay between co-divergence and cross-species transmission in the evolutionary history of bat coronaviruses.

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    Leopardi, Stefania; Holmes, Edward C; Gastaldelli, Michele; Tassoni, Luca; Priori, Pamela; Scaravelli, Dino; Zamperin, Gianpiero; De Benedictis, Paola

    2018-01-20

    Coronaviruses (CoVs) have been documented in almost every species of bat sampled. Bat CoVs exhibit both extensive genetic diversity and a broad geographic range, indicative of a long-standing host association. Despite this, the respective roles of long-term virus-host co-divergence and cross-species transmission (host-jumping) in the evolution of bat coronaviruses are unclear. Using a phylogenetic approach we provide evidence that CoV diversity in bats is shaped by both species richness and their geographical distribution, and that CoVs exhibit clustering at the level of bat genera, with these genus-specific clusters largely associated with distinct CoV species. Co-phylogenetic analyses revealed that cross-species transmission has been more common than co-divergence across coronavirus evolution as a whole, and that cross-species transmission events were more likely between sympatric bat hosts. Notably, however, an analysis of the CoV RNA polymerase phylogeny suggested that many such host-jumps likely resulted in short-term spill-over infections, with little evidence for sustained onward transmission in new co-roosting host species. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. What have humans done for evolutionary biology? Contributions from genes to populations.

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    Briga, Michael; Griffin, Robert M; Berger, Vérane; Pettay, Jenni E; Lummaa, Virpi

    2017-11-15

    Many fundamental concepts in evolutionary biology were discovered using non-human study systems. Humans are poorly suited to key study designs used to advance this field, and are subject to cultural, technological, and medical influences often considered to restrict the pertinence of human studies to other species and general contexts. Whether studies using current and recent human populations provide insights that have broader biological relevance in evolutionary biology is, therefore, frequently questioned. We first surveyed researchers in evolutionary biology and related fields on their opinions regarding whether studies on contemporary humans can advance evolutionary biology. Almost all 442 participants agreed that humans still evolve, but fewer agreed that this occurs through natural selection. Most agreed that human studies made valuable contributions to evolutionary biology, although those less exposed to human studies expressed more negative views. With a series of examples, we discuss strengths and limitations of evolutionary studies on contemporary humans. These show that human studies provide fundamental insights into evolutionary processes, improve understanding of the biology of many other species, and will make valuable contributions to evolutionary biology in the future. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Genomic divergences among cattle, dog and human estimated from large-scale alignments of genomic sequences

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    Shade Larry L

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Approximately 11 Mb of finished high quality genomic sequences were sampled from cattle, dog and human to estimate genomic divergences and their regional variation among these lineages. Results Optimal three-way multi-species global sequence alignments for 84 cattle clones or loci (each >50 kb of genomic sequence were constructed using the human and dog genome assemblies as references. Genomic divergences and substitution rates were examined for each clone and for various sequence classes under different functional constraints. Analysis of these alignments revealed that the overall genomic divergences are relatively constant (0.32–0.37 change/site for pairwise comparisons among cattle, dog and human; however substitution rates vary across genomic regions and among different sequence classes. A neutral mutation rate (2.0–2.2 × 10(-9 change/site/year was derived from ancestral repetitive sequences, whereas the substitution rate in coding sequences (1.1 × 10(-9 change/site/year was approximately half of the overall rate (1.9–2.0 × 10(-9 change/site/year. Relative rate tests also indicated that cattle have a significantly faster rate of substitution as compared to dog and that this difference is about 6%. Conclusion This analysis provides a large-scale and unbiased assessment of genomic divergences and regional variation of substitution rates among cattle, dog and human. It is expected that these data will serve as a baseline for future mammalian molecular evolution studies.

  8. Evolutionary Dead End in the Galápagos: Divergence of Sexual Signals in the Rarest of Darwin's Finches

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    Brumm, Henrik; Farrington, Heather; Petren, Kenneth; Fessl, Birgit

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms underlying speciation remains a challenge in evolutionary biology. The adaptive radiation of Darwin's finches is a prime example of species formation, and their study has revealed many important insights into evolutionary processes. Here, we report striking differences in mating signals (songs), morphology and genetics between the two remnant populations of Darwin's mangrove finch Camarhynchus heliobates, one of the rarest species in the world. We also show that territorial males exhibited strong discrimination of sexual signals by locality: in response to foreign songs, males responded weaker than to songs from their own population. Female responses were infrequent and weak but gave approximately similar results. Our findings not only suggest speciation in the mangrove finch, thereby providing strong support for the central role of sexual signals during speciation, but they have also implications for the conservation of this iconic bird. If speciation is complete, the eastern species will face imminent extinction, because it has a population size of only 5–10 individuals. PMID:20585648

  9. An Evolutionary Perspective on Food Review and Human Taste

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    Breslin, Paul A.S.

    2013-01-01

    The sense of taste is stimulated when nutrients or other chemical compounds activate specialized receptor cells within the oral cavity. Taste helps us decide what to eat and influences how efficiently we digest these foods. Human taste abilities have been shaped, in large part, by the ecological niches our evolutionary ancestors occupied and by the nutrients they sought. Early hominoids sought nutrition within a closed tropical forest environment, probably eating mostly fruit and leaves, and early hominids left this environment for the savannah and greatly expanded their dietary repertoire. They would have used their sense of taste to identify nutritious food items. The risks of making poor food selections when foraging not only entail wasted energy and metabolic harm from eating foods of low nutrient and energy content, but also the harmful and potentially lethal ingestion of toxins. The learned consequences of ingested foods may subsequently guide our future food choices. The evolved taste abilities of humans are still useful for the one billion humans living with very low food security by helping them identify nutrients. But for those who have easy access to tasty, energy-dense foods our sensitivities for sugary, salty and fatty foods have also helped cause over nutrition-related diseases, such as obesity and diabetes. PMID:23660364

  10. Early stress and human behavioral development: emerging evolutionary perspectives.

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    Del Giudice, M

    2014-08-01

    Stress experienced early in life exerts a powerful, lasting influence on development. Converging empirical findings show that stressful experiences become deeply embedded in the child's neurobiology, with an astonishing range of long-term effects on cognition, emotion, and behavior. In contrast with the prevailing view that such effects are the maladaptive outcomes of 'toxic' stress, adaptive models regard them as manifestations of evolved developmental plasticity. In this paper, I offer a brief introduction to adaptive models of early stress and human behavioral development, with emphasis on recent theoretical contributions and emerging concepts in the field. I begin by contrasting dysregulation models of early stress with their adaptive counterparts; I then introduce life history theory as a unifying framework, and review recent work on predictive adaptive responses (PARs) in human life history development. In particular, I discuss the distinction between forecasting the future state of the environment (external prediction) and forecasting the future state of the organism (internal prediction). Next, I present the adaptive calibration model, an integrative model of individual differences in stress responsivity based on life history concepts. I conclude by examining how maternal-fetal conflict may shape the physiology of prenatal stress and its adaptive and maladaptive effects on postnatal development. In total, I aim to show how theoretical work from evolutionary biology is reshaping the way we think about the role of stress in human development, and provide researchers with an up-to-date conceptual map of this fascinating and rapidly evolving field.

  11. Three new, early diverging Carex (Cariceae, Cyperaceae) lineages from East and Southeast Asia with important evolutionary and biogeographic implications.

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    Starr, Julian R; Janzen, Francesco H; Ford, Bruce A

    2015-07-01

    Traditional Cariceae and Carex (1966 spp.) classifications recognised five genera (Carex, Cymophyllus, Kobresia, Schoenoxiphium, Uncinia) and four subgenera (Carex, Vignea, Vigneastra, Psyllophora). However, molecular studies have shown that only Carex, divided into five major lineages (the Core Carex, Schoenoxiphium, Core Unispicate, Vignea and Siderostictae Clades), is natural. These studies have also suggested that many early diverging tribal lineages are East Asian in origin, but the sampling of East Asian groups has been poor, and support for relationships within and among major Cariceae clades has been weak. To test deep patterns of relationship in Carex we assembled the longest sequence dataset yet (ITS, ETS 1f, matK, ndhF, rps16; ca. 4400bp) with taxonomic sampling focused on critical East and Southeast Asian Carex sections that have blurred subgeneric limits (Decorae, Graciles, Mundae) or have been at the heart of theories on tribal origins (Hemiscaposae, Indicae, Surculosae, Euprepes, Mapaniifoliae, Hypolytroides). Results indicate that subg. Vigneastra is highly polyphyletic (in five of seven major lineages recognised), and they provide the strongest support yet seen for all previously recognised major Cariceae clades in a single analysis (⩾93% BS). Moreover, results provide strong evidence for three previously unrecognised early diverging East and Southeast Asian lineages: a "Hypolytroides Clade" (sect. Hypolytroides) sister to the Siderostictae Clade, and for a "Dissitiflora Lineage" (sect. Mundae) and a morphologically diverse "Small Core Carex Clade" (sects. Graciles, Decorae, Mapaniifoliae, Euprepes, Indicae) as successive sisters to approximately 1400 species in the Core Carex Clade. Our findings also suggest that morphological diversification may have occurred in clades dominated by Asian species followed by canalization to a narrower range of morphologies in species-rich, cosmopolitan lineages. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  12. Schizophrenia and Human Self-Domestication: An Evolutionary Linguistics Approach.

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    Benítez-Burraco, Antonio; Di Pietro, Lorena; Barba, Marta; Lattanzi, Wanda

    2017-01-01

    Schizophrenia (SZ) is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder that entails social and cognitive deficits, including marked language problems. Its complex multifactorial etiopathogenesis, including genetic and environmental factors, is still widely uncertain. SZ incidence has always been high and quite stable in human populations, across time and regardless of cultural implications, for unclear reasons. It has been hypothesized that SZ pathophysiology may involve the biological components that changed during the recent human evolutionary history, and led to our distinctive mode of cognition, which includes language skills. In this paper we explore this hypothesis, focusing on the self-domestication of the human species. This has been claimed to account for many human-specific distinctive traits, including aspects of our behavior and cognition, and to favor the emergence of complex languages through cultural evolution. The "domestication syndrome" in mammals comprises the constellation of traits exhibited by domesticated strains, seemingly resulting from the hypofunction of the neural crest. It is our intention to show that people with SZ exhibit more marked domesticated traits at the morphological, physiological, and behavioral levels. We also show that genes involved in domestication and neural crest development and function comprise nearly 20% of SZ candidates, most of which exhibit altered expression profiles in the brain of SZ patients, specifically in areas involved in language processing. Based on these observations, we conclude that SZ may represent an abnormal ontogenetic itinerary for the human faculty of language, resulting, at least in part, from changes in genes important for the domestication syndrome and primarily involving the neural crest. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  13. Evolutionary history of human disease genes reveals phenotypic connections and comorbidity among genetic diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Solip; Yang, Jae-Seong; Kim, Jinho; Shin, Young-Eun; Hwang, Jihye; Park, Juyong; Jang, Sung Key; Kim, Sanguk

    2012-10-01

    The extent to which evolutionary changes have impacted the phenotypic relationships among human diseases remains unclear. In this work, we report that phenotypically similar diseases are connected by the evolutionary constraints on human disease genes. Human disease groups can be classified into slowly or rapidly evolving classes, where the diseases in the slowly evolving class are enriched with morphological phenotypes and those in the rapidly evolving class are enriched with physiological phenotypes. Our findings establish a clear evolutionary connection between disease classes and disease phenotypes for the first time. Furthermore, the high comorbidity found between diseases connected by similar evolutionary constraints enables us to improve the predictability of the relative risk of human diseases. We find the evolutionary constraints on disease genes are a new layer of molecular connection in the network-based exploration of human diseases.

  14. Evolutionary divergence of the plant elicitor peptides (Peps) and their receptors: interfamily incompatibility of perception but compatibility of downstream signalling

    KAUST Repository

    Lori, M.

    2015-05-22

    Plant elicitor peptides (Peps) are potent inducers of pattern-triggered immunity and amplify the immune response against diverse pathogens. Peps have been discovered and studied extensively in Arabidopsis and only recently orthologs in maize were also identified and characterized in more detail. Here, the presence of PROPEPs, the Pep precursors, and PEPRs, the Pep receptors, was investigated within the plant kingdom. PROPEPs and PEPRs were identified in most sequenced species of the angiosperms. The conservation and compatibility of the Pep-PEPR-system was analysed by using plants of two distantly related dicot families, Brassicaceae and Solanaceae, and a representative family of monocot plants, the Poaceae. All three plant families contain important crop plants, including maize, rice, tomato, potato, and canola. Peps were not recognized by species outside of their plant family of origin, apparently because of a divergence of the Pep sequences. Three family-specific Pep motifs were defined and the integration of such a motif into the Pep sequence of an unrelated Pep enabled its perception. Transient transformation of Nicotiana benthamiana with the coding sequences of the AtPEPR1 and ZmPEPR1a led to the recognition of Pep peptides of Brassicaceae or Poaceae origin, respectively, and to the proper activation of downstream signalling. It was concluded that signalling machinery downstream of the PEPRs is highly conserved whereas the leucine-rich repeat domains of the PEPRs co-evolved with the Peps, leading to distinct motifs and, with it, interfamily incompatibility.

  15. Putting scales into evolutionary time: the divergence of major scale insect lineages (Hemiptera) predates the radiation of modern angiosperm hosts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vea, Isabelle M.; Grimaldi, David A.

    2016-01-01

    The radiation of flowering plants in the mid-Cretaceous transformed landscapes and is widely believed to have fuelled the radiations of major groups of phytophagous insects. An excellent group to test this assertion is the scale insects (Coccomorpha: Hemiptera), with some 8,000 described Recent species and probably the most diverse fossil record of any phytophagous insect group preserved in amber. We used here a total-evidence approach (by tip-dating) employing 174 morphological characters of 73 Recent and 43 fossil taxa (48 families) and DNA sequences of three gene regions, to obtain divergence time estimates and compare the chronology of the most diverse lineage of scale insects, the neococcoid families, with the timing of the main angiosperm radiation. An estimated origin of the Coccomorpha occurred at the beginning of the Triassic, about 245 Ma [228–273], and of the neococcoids 60 million years later [210–165 Ma]. A total-evidence approach allows the integration of extinct scale insects into a phylogenetic framework, resulting in slightly younger median estimates than analyses using Recent taxa, calibrated with fossil ages only. From these estimates, we hypothesise that most major lineages of coccoids shifted from gymnosperms onto angiosperms when the latter became diverse and abundant in the mid- to Late Cretaceous. PMID:27000526

  16. Putting scales into evolutionary time: the divergence of major scale insect lineages (Hemiptera) predates the radiation of modern angiosperm hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vea, Isabelle M; Grimaldi, David A

    2016-03-22

    The radiation of flowering plants in the mid-Cretaceous transformed landscapes and is widely believed to have fuelled the radiations of major groups of phytophagous insects. An excellent group to test this assertion is the scale insects (Coccomorpha: Hemiptera), with some 8,000 described Recent species and probably the most diverse fossil record of any phytophagous insect group preserved in amber. We used here a total-evidence approach (by tip-dating) employing 174 morphological characters of 73 Recent and 43 fossil taxa (48 families) and DNA sequences of three gene regions, to obtain divergence time estimates and compare the chronology of the most diverse lineage of scale insects, the neococcoid families, with the timing of the main angiosperm radiation. An estimated origin of the Coccomorpha occurred at the beginning of the Triassic, about 245 Ma [228-273], and of the neococcoids 60 million years later [210-165 Ma]. A total-evidence approach allows the integration of extinct scale insects into a phylogenetic framework, resulting in slightly younger median estimates than analyses using Recent taxa, calibrated with fossil ages only. From these estimates, we hypothesise that most major lineages of coccoids shifted from gymnosperms onto angiosperms when the latter became diverse and abundant in the mid- to Late Cretaceous.

  17. Evolutionary History of a Desert Shrub Ephedra przewalskii (Ephedraceae: Allopatric Divergence and Range Shifts in Northwestern China.

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    Zhi-Hao Su

    Full Text Available Based on two chloroplast DNA sequences, psbA-trnH and trnT-trnF, phylogeographical patterns of a desert shrub, Ephedra przewalskii, were examined across most of its geographic range in northwestern China. A total of sixteen haplotypes were detected. There was a common haplotype in each basin, that was haplotype A in Tarim Basin, haplotype G in Junggar Basin, and haplotype M in Qaidam Basin. Genetic variance mainly occurred among populations, geographic regions, and eleven geographic groups subdivided by SAMOVA analysis. E. przewalskii likely had a smaller and more fragmented geographic range during the Last Glacial Maximum, which was determined based on ecological niche modelling. Three groups of E. przewalskii populations were detected to have experience range expansion, and this was based on significant values of Fu's FS, Tajima's D, and unimodel mismatch distributions. The cold and dry climate during the glacial period of the Quaternary is postulated to have been a driver for significant genetic isolation and divergence among populations or groups in E. przewalskii, whereas the warmer and wetter climate during the interglacial period is speculated to have provided favourable conditions for range expansion of the species.

  18. Evolutionary History of a Desert Shrub Ephedra przewalskii (Ephedraceae): Allopatric Divergence and Range Shifts in Northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Zhi-Hao; Zhang, Ming-Li

    2016-01-01

    Based on two chloroplast DNA sequences, psbA-trnH and trnT-trnF, phylogeographical patterns of a desert shrub, Ephedra przewalskii, were examined across most of its geographic range in northwestern China. A total of sixteen haplotypes were detected. There was a common haplotype in each basin, that was haplotype A in Tarim Basin, haplotype G in Junggar Basin, and haplotype M in Qaidam Basin. Genetic variance mainly occurred among populations, geographic regions, and eleven geographic groups subdivided by SAMOVA analysis. E. przewalskii likely had a smaller and more fragmented geographic range during the Last Glacial Maximum, which was determined based on ecological niche modelling. Three groups of E. przewalskii populations were detected to have experience range expansion, and this was based on significant values of Fu's FS, Tajima's D, and unimodel mismatch distributions. The cold and dry climate during the glacial period of the Quaternary is postulated to have been a driver for significant genetic isolation and divergence among populations or groups in E. przewalskii, whereas the warmer and wetter climate during the interglacial period is speculated to have provided favourable conditions for range expansion of the species.

  19. Theories about evolutionary origins of human hepatitis B virus in primates and humans

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    Breno Frederico de Carvalho Dominguez Souza

    Full Text Available Introduction: The human hepatitis B virus causes acute and chronic hepatitis and is considered one of the most serious human health issues by the World Health Organization, causing thousands of deaths per year. There are similar viruses belonging to the Hepadnaviridae family that infect non-human primates and other mammals as well as some birds. The majority of non-human primate virus isolates were phylogenetically close to the human hepatitis B virus, but like the human genotypes, the origins of these viruses remain controversial. However, there is a possibility that human hepatitis B virus originated in primates. Knowing whether these viruses might be common to humans and primates is crucial in order to reduce the risk to humans. Objective: To review the existing knowledge about the evolutionary origins of viruses of the Hepadnaviridae family in primates. Methods: This review was done by reading several articles that provide information about the Hepadnaviridae virus family in non-human primates and humans and the possible origins and evolution of these viruses. Results: The evolutionary origin of viruses of the Hepadnaviridae family in primates has been dated back to several thousand years; however, recent analyses of genomic fossils of avihepadnaviruses integrated into the genomes of several avian species have suggested a much older origin of this genus. Conclusion: Some hypotheses about the evolutionary origins of human hepatitis B virus have been debated since the '90s. One theory suggested a New World origin because of the phylogenetic co-segregation between some New World human hepatitis B virus genotypes F and H and woolly B virus in basal sister-relationship to the Old monkey human hepatitis World non-human primates and human hepatitis B virus variants. Another theory suggests an Old World origin of human hepatitis B virus, and that it would have been spread following prehistoric human migrations over 100,000 years ago. A third theory

  20. Theories about evolutionary origins of human hepatitis B virus in primates and humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souza, Breno Frederico de Carvalho Dominguez; Drexler, Jan Felix; Lima, Renato Santos de; Rosário, Mila de Oliveira Hughes Veiga do; Netto, Eduardo Martins

    2014-01-01

    The human hepatitis B virus causes acute and chronic hepatitis and is considered one of the most serious human health issues by the World Health Organization, causing thousands of deaths per year. There are similar viruses belonging to the Hepadnaviridae family that infect non-human primates and other mammals as well as some birds. The majority of non-human primate virus isolates were phylogenetically close to the human hepatitis B virus, but like the human genotypes, the origins of these viruses remain controversial. However, there is a possibility that human hepatitis B virus originated in primates. Knowing whether these viruses might be common to humans and primates is crucial in order to reduce the risk to humans. To review the existing knowledge about the evolutionary origins of viruses of the Hepadnaviridae family in primates. This review was done by reading several articles that provide information about the Hepadnaviridae virus family in non-human primates and humans and the possible origins and evolution of these viruses. The evolutionary origin of viruses of the Hepadnaviridae family in primates has been dated back to several thousand years; however, recent analyses of genomic fossils of avihepadnaviruses integrated into the genomes of several avian species have suggested a much older origin of this genus. Some hypotheses about the evolutionary origins of human hepatitis B virus have been debated since the '90s. One theory suggested a New World origin because of the phylogenetic co-segregation between some New World human hepatitis B virus genotypes F and H and woolly monkey human hepatitis B virus in basal sister-relationship to the Old World non-human primates and human hepatitis B virus variants. Another theory suggests an Old World origin of human hepatitis B virus, and that it would have been spread following prehistoric human migrations over 100,000 years ago. A third theory suggests a co-speciation of human hepatitis B virus in non-human primate

  1. 'Candidatus Megaira polyxenophila' gen. nov., sp. nov.: considerations on evolutionary history, host range and shift of early divergent rickettsiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrallhammer, Martina; Ferrantini, Filippo; Vannini, Claudia; Galati, Stefano; Schweikert, Michael; Görtz, Hans-Dieter; Verni, Franco; Petroni, Giulio

    2013-01-01

    "Neglected Rickettsiaceae" (i.e. those harboured by non-hematophagous eukaryotic hosts) display greater phylogenetic variability and more widespread dispersal than pathogenic ones; yet, the knowledge about their actual host range and host shift mechanism is scarce. The present work reports the characterization following the full-cycle rRNA approach (SSU rRNA sequence, specific in situ hybridization, and ultrastructure) of a novel rickettsial bacterium, herewith proposed as 'Candidatus Megaira polyxenophila' gen. nov., sp. nov. We found it in association with four different free-living ciliates (Diophrys oligothrix, Euplotes octocarinatus, Paramecium caudatum, and Spirostomum sp., all belonging to Alveolata, Ciliophora); furthermore it was recently observed as intracellular occurring in Carteria cerasiformis and Pleodorina japonica (Chlorophyceae, Chlorophyta). Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated the belonging of the candidate new genus to the family Rickettsiaceae (Alphaproteobacteria, Rickettsiales) as a sister group of the genus Rickettsia. In situ observations revealed the ability of the candidate new species to colonize either nuclear or cytoplasmic compartments, depending on the host organism. The presence of the same bacterial species within different, evolutionary distant, hosts indicates that 'Candidatus Megaira polyxenophila' recently underwent several distinct host shifts, thus suggesting the existence of horizontal transmission pathways. We consider these findings as indicative of an unexpected spread of rickettsial infections in aquatic communities, possibly by means of trophic interactions, and hence propose a new interpretation of the origin and phylogenetic diversification of rickettsial bacteria.

  2. 'Candidatus Megaira polyxenophila' gen. nov., sp. nov.: considerations on evolutionary history, host range and shift of early divergent rickettsiae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Schrallhammer

    Full Text Available "Neglected Rickettsiaceae" (i.e. those harboured by non-hematophagous eukaryotic hosts display greater phylogenetic variability and more widespread dispersal than pathogenic ones; yet, the knowledge about their actual host range and host shift mechanism is scarce. The present work reports the characterization following the full-cycle rRNA approach (SSU rRNA sequence, specific in situ hybridization, and ultrastructure of a novel rickettsial bacterium, herewith proposed as 'Candidatus Megaira polyxenophila' gen. nov., sp. nov. We found it in association with four different free-living ciliates (Diophrys oligothrix, Euplotes octocarinatus, Paramecium caudatum, and Spirostomum sp., all belonging to Alveolata, Ciliophora; furthermore it was recently observed as intracellular occurring in Carteria cerasiformis and Pleodorina japonica (Chlorophyceae, Chlorophyta. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated the belonging of the candidate new genus to the family Rickettsiaceae (Alphaproteobacteria, Rickettsiales as a sister group of the genus Rickettsia. In situ observations revealed the ability of the candidate new species to colonize either nuclear or cytoplasmic compartments, depending on the host organism. The presence of the same bacterial species within different, evolutionary distant, hosts indicates that 'Candidatus Megaira polyxenophila' recently underwent several distinct host shifts, thus suggesting the existence of horizontal transmission pathways. We consider these findings as indicative of an unexpected spread of rickettsial infections in aquatic communities, possibly by means of trophic interactions, and hence propose a new interpretation of the origin and phylogenetic diversification of rickettsial bacteria.

  3. Evolutionary psychology and evolutionary developmental psychology: understanding the evolution of human behavior and development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández Blasi, Carlos; Causey, Kayla

    2010-02-01

    This is an introduction to this special issue on evolutionary psychology (EP) and evolutionary developmental psychology (EDP). We suggest here that, contrary to some common assumptions, mainstream psychology continues to be essentially non Darwinian and that EP and EDP are new approaches that can potentially help us to change this situation. We then present the organization of the special issue (composed of six papers). We conclude that evolution is certainly not the final consideration in psychology, but emphasize its importance as the basis upon which all modern behaviors and development are built.

  4. Historical divergence versus contemporary gene flow: evolutionary history of the calcicole Ranunculus alpestris group (Ranunculaceae) in the European Alps and the Carpathians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paun, O.; Schönswetter, P.; Winkler, M.; Tribsch, A.

    2010-01-01

    Although many species have similar total distributional ranges, they might be restricted to very different habitats and might have different phylogeographic histories. In the European Alps, our excellent knowledge of the evolutionary history of silicate-dwelling (silicicole) plants is contrasted by a virtual lack of data from limestone-dwelling (calcicole) plants. These two categories exhibit fundamentally different distribution patterns within the Alps and are expected to differ strongly with respect to their glacial history. The calcicole Ranunculus alpestris group comprises three diploid species of alpine habitats. Ranunculus alpestris s. str is distributed over the southern European mountain system, while R. bilobus and R. traunfellneri are Southern Alpine narrow endemics. To explore their phylogenetic relationships and phylogeographic history, we investigated the correlation between information given by nuclear and chloroplast DNA data. Analyses of AFLP fingerprints and matK sequences gave incongruent results, indicative for reticulate evolution. Our data highlight historical episodes of range fragmentation and expansion, occasional long distance dispersal and on-going gene flow as important processes shaping the genetic structure of the group. Genetic divergence, expressed as a rarity index (“frequency-down-weighted marker values”) seems a better indicator of historical processes than patterns of genetic diversity, which rather mirror contemporary processes as connectivity of populations and population sizes. Three phylogeographical subgroups have been found within the R. alpestris group, neither following taxonomy nor geography. Genetic heterogeneity in the Southern Alps contrasts with Northern Alpine uniformity. The Carpathians have been stepwise colonised from the Eastern Alpine lineage resulting in a marked diversity loss in the Southern Carpathians. The main divergence within the group, separating the ancestor of the two endemic species from R

  5. Adaptation to fragmentation: evolutionary dynamics driven by human influences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheptou, Pierre-Olivier; Hargreaves, Anna L; Bonte, Dries; Jacquemyn, Hans

    2017-01-19

    Fragmentation-the process by which habitats are transformed into smaller patches isolated from each other-has been identified as a major threat for biodiversity. Fragmentation has well-established demographic and population genetic consequences, eroding genetic diversity and hindering gene flow among patches. However, fragmentation should also select on life history, both predictably through increased isolation, demographic stochasticity and edge effects, and more idiosyncratically via altered biotic interactions. While species have adapted to natural fragmentation, adaptation to anthropogenic fragmentation has received little attention. In this review, we address how and whether organisms might adapt to anthropogenic fragmentation. Drawing on selected case studies and evolutionary ecology models, we show that anthropogenic fragmentation can generate selection on traits at both the patch and landscape scale, and affect the adaptive potential of populations. We suggest that dispersal traits are likely to experience especially strong selection, as dispersal both enables migration among patches and increases the risk of landing in the inhospitable matrix surrounding them. We highlight that suites of associated traits are likely to evolve together. Importantly, we show that adaptation will not necessarily rescue populations from the negative effects of fragmentation, and may even exacerbate them, endangering the entire metapopulation.This article is part of the themed issue 'Human influences on evolution, and the ecological and societal consequences'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Mechanistically Distinct Pathways of Divergent Regulatory DNA Creation Contribute to Evolution of Human-Specific Genomic Regulatory Networks Driving Phenotypic Divergence of Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glinsky, Gennadi V

    2016-09-19

    Thousands of candidate human-specific regulatory sequences (HSRS) have been identified, supporting the hypothesis that unique to human phenotypes result from human-specific alterations of genomic regulatory networks. Collectively, a compendium of multiple diverse families of HSRS that are functionally and structurally divergent from Great Apes could be defined as the backbone of human-specific genomic regulatory networks. Here, the conservation patterns analysis of 18,364 candidate HSRS was carried out requiring that 100% of bases must remap during the alignments of human, chimpanzee, and bonobo sequences. A total of 5,535 candidate HSRS were identified that are: (i) highly conserved in Great Apes; (ii) evolved by the exaptation of highly conserved ancestral DNA; (iii) defined by either the acceleration of mutation rates on the human lineage or the functional divergence from non-human primates. The exaptation of highly conserved ancestral DNA pathway seems mechanistically distinct from the evolution of regulatory DNA segments driven by the species-specific expansion of transposable elements. Genome-wide proximity placement analysis of HSRS revealed that a small fraction of topologically associating domains (TADs) contain more than half of HSRS from four distinct families. TADs that are enriched for HSRS and termed rapidly evolving in humans TADs (revTADs) comprise 0.8-10.3% of 3,127 TADs in the hESC genome. RevTADs manifest distinct correlation patterns between placements of human accelerated regions, human-specific transcription factor-binding sites, and recombination rates. There is a significant enrichment within revTAD boundaries of hESC-enhancers, primate-specific CTCF-binding sites, human-specific RNAPII-binding sites, hCONDELs, and H3K4me3 peaks with human-specific enrichment at TSS in prefrontal cortex neurons (P Homo sapiens is driven by the evolution of human-specific genomic regulatory networks via at least two mechanistically distinct pathways of

  7. Neural, cognitive, and evolutionary foundations of human altruism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Abigail A

    2016-01-01

    This article considers three forms of altruism from both a psychological and a neural perspective, with an emphasis on homologies that can be observed across species and potentially illuminate altruism's evolutionary origins. Kin-based altruism benefits biological relatives and, according to the theory of inclusive fitness, is ultimately beneficial to the altruist from a genetic standpoint. Kin selection adequately explains some altruistic behavior, but it is not applicable to much human altruism. Little is known about the neural processes that support it, but they may include cortical regions involved in processing autobiographical memory and the identities of familiar others. Reciprocity-based altruism is performed in expectation of future rewards and is supported by dopaminergic cortico-striatal networks that guide behavior according to anticipated rewards. Care-based altruism is aimed at improving the well-being of distressed and vulnerable individuals and is closely linked to empathic concern. This form of altruism is thought to rely on the subcortical neural systems that support parental care, particularly structures densely populated with receptors for the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin, including the amygdala, stria terminalis, and striatum. The amygdala may be a particularly important convergence point for care-based altruism because of its dual role in responding both to cues that signal infantile vulnerability and those that signal distress. Research on altruism continues to converge across disciplines, but more research linking molecular-level neural processes to altruistic behavior in humans and other species is needed, as is research on how various forms of altruism intersect. For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Beyond the Pleistocene: Using Phylogeny and Constraint to Inform the Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastwick, Paul W.

    2009-01-01

    Evolutionary psychologists explore the adaptive function of traits and behaviors that characterize modern Homo sapiens. However, evolutionary psychologists have yet to incorporate the phylogenetic relationship between modern Homo sapiens and humans' hominid and pongid relatives (both living and extinct) into their theorizing. By considering the…

  9. The Riddle of a Human Being: A Human Singularity of Co-evolutionary Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helena N. Knyazeva

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: #39;Times New Roman#39;"The theory of self-organization of complex systems studies laws of sustainable co-evolutionary development of structures having different speeds of development as well as laws of assembling of a complex evolutionary whole from parts when some elements of ldquo;memoryrdquo; (the biological memory, i.e. DNA, the memory of culture, i.e. the cultural and historical traditions, etc. must be included. The theory reveals general rules of nonlinear synthesis of complex evolutionary structures. The most important and paradoxical consequences of the holistic view, including an approach to solving the riddle of human personality, are as follows: 1 the explanation why and under what conditions a part (a human can be more complex than a whole (society; 2 in order to reconstruct society it is necessary to change an individual but not by cutting off the supposed undesirable past, since a human being as a microcosm is the synthesis of all previous stages of evolution, and as a result of repression of, it would seem, the wild past one can extinguish a ldquo;divine sparkrdquo; in his soul; 3 in the physical sense, singularity denotes a moment of instability, phase transition; one can talk about the human singularity of co-evolutionary processes, since in such a moment of instability individual actions of a human can play a key role in determining a channel of further development as well as in appearance of a new pattern of collective behavior in society; 4 as the models of nonlinear dynamics, elaborated at the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, show, there is a possibility of a direct influence of the future and even a touch of an infinitely remote future in certain evolutionary regimes and under rigorously definite conditions, more over, it turns out that such a possibility exists only for a human (admittedly, through a specific state of being

  10. Theories about evolutionary origins of human hepatitis B virus in primates and humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breno Frederico de Carvalho Dominguez Souza

    2014-09-01

    Conclusion: Some hypotheses about the evolutionary origins of human hepatitis B virus have been debated since the ‘90s. One theory suggested a New World origin because of the phylogenetic co-segregation between some New World human hepatitis B virus genotypes F and H and woolly monkey human hepatitis B virus in basal sister-relationship to the Old World non-human primates and human hepatitis B virus variants. Another theory suggests an Old World origin of human hepatitis B virus, and that it would have been spread following prehistoric human migrations over 100,000 years ago. A third theory suggests a co-speciation of human hepatitis B virus in non-human primate hosts because of the proximity between the phylogeny of Old and New World non-human primate and their human hepatitis B virus variants. The importance of further research, related to the subject in South American wild fauna, is paramount and highly relevant for understanding the origin of human hepatitis B virus.

  11. How evolutionary principles improve the understanding of human health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gluckman, Peter D; Low, Felicia M; Buklijas, Tatjana; Hanson, Mark A; Beedle, Alan S

    2011-03-01

    An appreciation of the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology provides new insights into major diseases and enables an integrated understanding of human biology and medicine. However, there is a lack of awareness of their importance amongst physicians, medical researchers, and educators, all of whom tend to focus on the mechanistic (proximate) basis for disease, excluding consideration of evolutionary (ultimate) reasons. The key principles of evolutionary medicine are that selection acts on fitness, not health or longevity; that our evolutionary history does not cause disease, but rather impacts on our risk of disease in particular environments; and that we are now living in novel environments compared to those in which we evolved. We consider these evolutionary principles in conjunction with population genetics and describe several pathways by which evolutionary processes can affect disease risk. These perspectives provide a more cohesive framework for gaining insights into the determinants of health and disease. Coupled with complementary insights offered by advances in genomic, epigenetic, and developmental biology research, evolutionary perspectives offer an important addition to understanding disease. Further, there are a number of aspects of evolutionary medicine that can add considerably to studies in other domains of contemporary evolutionary studies.

  12. Balancing selection on a regulatory region exhibiting ancient variation that predates human-neandertal divergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gokcumen, Omer; Zhu, Qihui; Mulder, Lubbertus C F; Iskow, Rebecca C; Austermann, Christian; Scharer, Christopher D; Raj, Towfique; Boss, Jeremy M; Sunyaev, Shamil; Price, Alkes; Stranger, Barbara; Simon, Viviana; Lee, Charles

    2013-04-01

    Ancient population structure shaping contemporary genetic variation has been recently appreciated and has important implications regarding our understanding of the structure of modern human genomes. We identified a ∼36-kb DNA segment in the human genome that displays an ancient substructure. The variation at this locus exists primarily as two highly divergent haplogroups. One of these haplogroups (the NE1 haplogroup) aligns with the Neandertal haplotype and contains a 4.6-kb deletion polymorphism in perfect linkage disequilibrium with 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across diverse populations. The other haplogroup, which does not contain the 4.6-kb deletion, aligns with the chimpanzee haplotype and is likely ancestral. Africans have higher overall pairwise differences with the Neandertal haplotype than Eurasians do for this NE1 locus (pNeandertal admixture contributing to this locus. However, an in-depth assessment of the variation in this region across multiple populations reveals that African NE1 haplotypes, albeit rare, harbor more sequence variation than NE1 haplotypes found in Europeans, indicating an ancient African origin of this haplogroup and refuting recent Neandertal admixture. Population genetic analyses of the SNPs within each of these haplogroups, along with genome-wide comparisons revealed significant FST (p = 0.00003) and positive Tajima's D (p = 0.00285) statistics, pointing to non-neutral evolution of this locus. The NE1 locus harbors no protein-coding genes, but contains transcribed sequences as well as sequences with putative regulatory function based on bioinformatic predictions and in vitro experiments. We postulate that the variation observed at this locus predates Human-Neandertal divergence and is evolving under balancing selection, especially among European populations.

  13. Balancing selection on a regulatory region exhibiting ancient variation that predates human-neandertal divergence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omer Gokcumen

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Ancient population structure shaping contemporary genetic variation has been recently appreciated and has important implications regarding our understanding of the structure of modern human genomes. We identified a ∼36-kb DNA segment in the human genome that displays an ancient substructure. The variation at this locus exists primarily as two highly divergent haplogroups. One of these haplogroups (the NE1 haplogroup aligns with the Neandertal haplotype and contains a 4.6-kb deletion polymorphism in perfect linkage disequilibrium with 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs across diverse populations. The other haplogroup, which does not contain the 4.6-kb deletion, aligns with the chimpanzee haplotype and is likely ancestral. Africans have higher overall pairwise differences with the Neandertal haplotype than Eurasians do for this NE1 locus (p<10⁻¹⁵. Moreover, the nucleotide diversity at this locus is higher in Eurasians than in Africans. These results mimic signatures of recent Neandertal admixture contributing to this locus. However, an in-depth assessment of the variation in this region across multiple populations reveals that African NE1 haplotypes, albeit rare, harbor more sequence variation than NE1 haplotypes found in Europeans, indicating an ancient African origin of this haplogroup and refuting recent Neandertal admixture. Population genetic analyses of the SNPs within each of these haplogroups, along with genome-wide comparisons revealed significant FST (p = 0.00003 and positive Tajima's D (p = 0.00285 statistics, pointing to non-neutral evolution of this locus. The NE1 locus harbors no protein-coding genes, but contains transcribed sequences as well as sequences with putative regulatory function based on bioinformatic predictions and in vitro experiments. We postulate that the variation observed at this locus predates Human-Neandertal divergence and is evolving under balancing selection, especially among European

  14. Evolutionary divergence of plant borate exporters and critical amino acid residues for the polar localization and boron-dependent vacuolar sorting of AtBOR1

    KAUST Repository

    Wakuta, Shinji

    2015-01-24

    Boron (B) is an essential micronutrient for plants but is toxic when accumulated in excess. The plant BOR family encodes plasma membrane-localized borate exporters (BORs) that control translocation and homeostasis of B under a wide range of conditions. In this study, we examined the evolutionary divergence of BORs among terrestrial plants and showed that the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii and angiosperms have evolved two types of BOR (clades I and II). Clade I includes AtBOR1 and homologs previously shown to be involved in efficient transport of B under conditions of limited B availability. AtBOR1 shows polar localization in the plasma membrane and high-B-induced vacuolar sorting, important features for efficient B transport under low-B conditions, and rapid down-regulation to avoid B toxicity. Clade II includes AtBOR4 and barley Bot1 involved in B exclusion for high-B tolerance. We showed, using yeast complementation and B transport assays, that three genes in S. moellendorffii, SmBOR1 in clade I and SmBOR3 and SmBOR4 in clade II, encode functional BORs. Furthermore, amino acid sequence alignments identified an acidic di-leucine motif unique in clade I BORs. Mutational analysis of AtBOR1 revealed that the acidic di-leucine motif is required for the polarity and high-B-induced vacuolar sorting of AtBOR1. Our data clearly indicated that the common ancestor of vascular plants had already acquired two types of BOR for low- and high-B tolerance, and that the BOR family evolved to establish B tolerance in each lineage by adapting to their environments. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists.

  15. Decoupled leaf and root carbon economics is a key component in the ecological diversity and evolutionary divergence of deciduous and evergreen lineages of genus Rhododendron.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medeiros, Juliana S; Burns, Jean H; Nicholson, Jaynell; Rogers, Louisa; Valverde-Barrantes, Oscar

    2017-06-01

    We explored trait-trait and trait-climate relationships for 27 Rhododendron species while accounting for phylogenetic relationships and within-species variation to investigate whether leaf and root traits are coordinated across environments and over evolutionary time, as part of a whole-plant economics spectrum. We examined specific leaf area (SLA) and four root traits: specific root length (SRL), specific root tip abundance (SRTA), first order diameter, and link average length, for plants growing in a cold, seasonal climate (Kirtland, Ohio) and a warmer, less seasonal climate (Federal Way, Washington) in the United States. We estimated a phylogeny and species' climate of origin, determined phylogenetic signal on mean traits and within-species variation, and used phylogenetically informed analysis to compare trait-trait and trait-climate relationships for deciduous and evergreen lineages. Mean SLA and within-species variation in SRL were more similar between close relatives than expected by chance. SLA and root traits differed according to climate of origin and across growth environments, though SLA differed within- and among-species less than roots. A negative SRL-SRTA correlation indicates investment in foraging scale vs. precision as a fundamental trade-off defining the root economic spectrum. Also, the deciduous clade exhibited a strong negative relationship between SLA and SRL, while evergreen clades showed a weaker positive or no relationship. Our work suggests that natural selection has shaped relationships between above- and belowground traits in genus Rhododendron and that leaf and root traits may evolve independently. Morphological decoupling may help explain habitat diversity among Rhododendron species, as well as the changes accompanying the divergence of deciduous and evergreen lineages. © 2017 Botanical Society of America.

  16. Evolutionary Divergence of Plant Borate Exporters and Critical Amino Acid Residues for the Polar Localization and Boron-Dependent Vacuolar Sorting of AtBOR1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wakuta, Shinji; Mineta, Katsuhiko; Amano, Taro; Toyoda, Atsushi; Fujiwara, Toru; Naito, Satoshi; Takano, Junpei

    2015-05-01

    Boron (B) is an essential micronutrient for plants but is toxic when accumulated in excess. The plant BOR family encodes plasma membrane-localized borate exporters (BORs) that control translocation and homeostasis of B under a wide range of conditions. In this study, we examined the evolutionary divergence of BORs among terrestrial plants and showed that the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii and angiosperms have evolved two types of BOR (clades I and II). Clade I includes AtBOR1 and homologs previously shown to be involved in efficient transport of B under conditions of limited B availability. AtBOR1 shows polar localization in the plasma membrane and high-B-induced vacuolar sorting, important features for efficient B transport under low-B conditions, and rapid down-regulation to avoid B toxicity. Clade II includes AtBOR4 and barley Bot1 involved in B exclusion for high-B tolerance. We showed, using yeast complementation and B transport assays, that three genes in S. moellendorffii, SmBOR1 in clade I and SmBOR3 and SmBOR4 in clade II, encode functional BORs. Furthermore, amino acid sequence alignments identified an acidic di-leucine motif unique in clade I BORs. Mutational analysis of AtBOR1 revealed that the acidic di-leucine motif is required for the polarity and high-B-induced vacuolar sorting of AtBOR1. Our data clearly indicated that the common ancestor of vascular plants had already acquired two types of BOR for low- and high-B tolerance, and that the BOR family evolved to establish B tolerance in each lineage by adapting to their environments. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. The evolutionary origins of human patience: temporal preferences in chimpanzees, bonobos, and human adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosati, Alexandra G; Stevens, Jeffrey R; Hare, Brian; Hauser, Marc D

    2007-10-09

    To make adaptive choices, individuals must sometimes exhibit patience, forgoing immediate benefits to acquire more valuable future rewards [1-3]. Although humans account for future consequences when making temporal decisions [4], many animal species wait only a few seconds for delayed benefits [5-10]. Current research thus suggests a phylogenetic gap between patient humans and impulsive, present-oriented animals [9, 11], a distinction with implications for our understanding of economic decision making [12] and the origins of human cooperation [13]. On the basis of a series of experimental results, we reject this conclusion. First, bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) exhibit a degree of patience not seen in other animals tested thus far. Second, humans are less willing to wait for food rewards than are chimpanzees. Third, humans are more willing to wait for monetary rewards than for food, and show the highest degree of patience only in response to decisions about money involving low opportunity costs. These findings suggest that core components of the capacity for future-oriented decisions evolved before the human lineage diverged from apes. Moreover, the different levels of patience that humans exhibit might be driven by fundamental differences in the mechanisms representing biological versus abstract rewards.

  18. From mouse to human: evolutionary genomics analysis of human orthologs of essential genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Georgi

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the core set of genes that are necessary for basic developmental functions is one of the central goals in biology. Studies in model organisms identified a significant fraction of essential genes through the analysis of null-mutations that lead to lethality. Recent large-scale next-generation sequencing efforts have provided unprecedented data on genetic variation in human. However, evolutionary and genomic characteristics of human essential genes have never been directly studied on a genome-wide scale. Here we use detailed phenotypic resources available for the mouse and deep genomics sequencing data from human populations to characterize patterns of genetic variation and mutational burden in a set of 2,472 human orthologs of known essential genes in the mouse. Consistent with the action of strong, purifying selection, these genes exhibit comparatively reduced levels of sequence variation, skew in allele frequency towards more rare, and exhibit increased conservation across the primate and rodent lineages relative to the remainder of genes in the genome. In individual genomes we observed ~12 rare mutations within essential genes predicted to be damaging. Consistent with the hypothesis that mutations in essential genes are risk factors for neurodevelopmental disease, we show that de novo variants in patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder are more likely to occur in this collection of genes. While incomplete, our set of human orthologs shows characteristics fully consistent with essential function in human and thus provides a resource to inform and facilitate interpretation of sequence data in studies of human disease.

  19. Acceptance of evolutionary explanations as they are applied to plants, animals, and humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thanukos, Anastasia

    In four investigations using Likert-scale questionnaires and think-aloud protocols with 173 university students in total, the willingness to accept evolutionary explanations regarding plant, animal, and human characteristics was examined. Participants were presented with evolutionary explanations for features and behaviors and were asked to rate how much they agreed with evolution as an explanation for each scenario. Some were also asked to explain their reasoning in think-aloud protocols or to discuss item ratings with one another. Overall, participants thought evolutionary explanations appropriate, with median ratings in the upper quarter of the rating scale. They were slightly more willing to ascribe evolutionary explanations to plant than to human phenomena; however, this general effect was mediated by more specific aspects of the evolutionary scenarios in question. Participants who were generally negative regarding evolution were particularly negative towards human evolution. Those who were positive or neutral towards evolution in general were more willing to accept human evolution, but were more likely to use evolution to explain similarities between humans and other species than to explain particular human adaptations. For example, they were more likely to agree that evolution is responsible for the DNA similarities between humans and chimpanzees than that evolution is responsible for human behavioral characteristics, such as the fight or flight response. Think-aloud protocols suggest that, while people are more familiar with human evolutionary relationships than plant evolutionary relationships, they may be less likely to see human characteristics as adaptively valuable. One plausible explanation for these patterns is that an evolutionary explanation is judged jointly by its availability in an individual's memory and its plausibility (i.e., its congruence with the individual's worldview). Popular media coverage, with its focus on controversy and litigation

  20. Strong Selective Sweeps on the X Chromosome in the Human-Chimpanzee Ancestor Explain Its Low Divergence.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Y Dutheil

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The human and chimpanzee X chromosomes are less divergent than expected based on autosomal divergence. We study incomplete lineage sorting patterns between humans, chimpanzees and gorillas to show that this low divergence can be entirely explained by megabase-sized regions comprising one-third of the X chromosome, where polymorphism in the human-chimpanzee ancestral species was severely reduced. We show that background selection can explain at most 10% of this reduction of diversity in the ancestor. Instead, we show that several strong selective sweeps in the ancestral species can explain it. We also report evidence of population specific sweeps in extant humans that overlap the regions of low diversity in the ancestral species. These regions further correspond to chromosomal sections shown to be devoid of Neanderthal introgression into modern humans. This suggests that the same X-linked regions that undergo selective sweeps are among the first to form reproductive barriers between diverging species. We hypothesize that meiotic drive is the underlying mechanism causing these two observations.

  1. Evolutionary and anthropological approaches towards understanding human need for psychotropic and mood altering substances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saniotis, Arthur

    2010-12-01

    Human addiction to psychotropic and mood altering substances is an ongoing international problem. While the phenomenon of psychoactive drug use has received considerable theoretical attention there need to be more comparative approaches into this area. Evolutionary and anthropological approaches for understanding human need for psychotropic and mood altering substances offer the reader various insightful angles for analyzing this phenomenon. While evolutionary approaches investigate the evolutionary behaviors and mechanisms of human ancestral psychotropic use, anthropological approaches emphasize the social and religious meanings of individual drug use. While each approach proffers different ideas, a comparative approach, which is utilized in this study, may provide a novel and invaluable insight for understanding human need for psychotropic and mood-altering substances.

  2. Divergences of Two Coupled Human and Natural Systems on the Mongolian Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, J.

    2014-12-01

    Central to the concept of coupled natural and human (CNH) systems is that humans and nature are organized in interacting sub-systems that make a cohesive whole at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Following an overview of the challenges in implementing the CNH concept at the regional level, we used widely available measures of states in the social, economic, and ecological systems, including gross domestic product, population size, net primary productivity, and livestock and their ratios, to examine the CNH dynamics on the Mongolian Plateau during 1981-2010. Our cross-border analysis of the coupled dynamics over the past three decades demonstrated striking contrasts between Inner Mongolia (IM) and Mongolia (MG), with policies playing shifting roles on the above measures. For prioritizing future research on the CNH concept, we propose the hypothesis that while the divergence of IM and MG for 1981-2010 was largely driven by market economic reforms, the importance of socioeconomic forces relative to climate changes will gradually decrease in IM while they remain important in MG.

  3. Functional divergence of the brain-size regulating gene MCPH1 during primate evolution and the origin of humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background One of the key genes that regulate human brain size, MCPH1 has evolved under strong Darwinian positive selection during the evolution of primates. During this evolution, the divergence of MCPH1 protein sequences among primates may have caused functional changes that contribute to brain enlargement. Results To test this hypothesis, we used co-immunoprecipitation and reporter gene assays to examine the activating and repressing effects of MCPH1 on a set of its down-stream genes and then compared the functional outcomes of a series of mutant MCPH1 proteins that carry mutations at the human- and great-ape-specific sites. The results demonstrate that the regulatory effects of human MCPH1 and rhesus macaque MCPH1 are different in three of eight down-stream genes tested (p73, cyclinE1 and p14ARF), suggesting a functional divergence of MCPH1 between human and non-human primates. Further analyses of the mutant MCPH1 proteins indicated that most of the human-specific mutations could change the regulatory effects on the down-stream genes. A similar result was also observed for one of the four great-ape-specific mutations. Conclusions Collectively, we propose that during primate evolution in general and human evolution in particular, the divergence of MCPH1 protein sequences under Darwinian positive selection led to functional modifications, providing a possible molecular mechanism of how MCPH1 contributed to brain enlargement during primate evolution and human origin. PMID:23697381

  4. Gene duplication and neo-functionalization in the evolutionary and functional divergence of the metazoan copper transporters Ctr1 and Ctr2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logeman, Brandon L; Wood, L Kent; Lee, Jaekwon; Thiele, Dennis J

    2017-07-07

    Copper is an essential element for proper organismal development and is involved in a range of processes, including oxidative phosphorylation, neuropeptide biogenesis, and connective tissue maturation. The copper transporter (Ctr) family of integral membrane proteins is ubiquitously found in eukaryotes and mediates the high-affinity transport of Cu(+) across both the plasma membrane and endomembranes. Although mammalian Ctr1 functions as a Cu(+) transporter for Cu acquisition and is essential for embryonic development, a homologous protein, Ctr2, has been proposed to function as a low-affinity Cu transporter, a lysosomal Cu exporter, or a regulator of Ctr1 activity, but its functional and evolutionary relationship to Ctr1 is unclear. Here we report a biochemical, genetic, and phylogenetic comparison of metazoan Ctr1 and Ctr2, suggesting that Ctr2 arose over 550 million years ago as a result of a gene duplication event followed by loss of Cu(+) transport activity. Using a random mutagenesis and growth selection approach, we identified amino acid substitutions in human and mouse Ctr2 proteins that support copper-dependent growth in yeast and enhance copper accumulation in Ctr1(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts. These mutations revert Ctr2 to a more ancestral Ctr1-like state while maintaining endogenous functions, such as stimulating Ctr1 cleavage. We suggest key structural aspects of metazoan Ctr1 and Ctr2 that discriminate between their biological roles, providing mechanistic insights into the evolutionary, biochemical, and functional relationships between these two related proteins. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  5. Evolutionary dynamics of bacteria in a human host environment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yang, Lei; Jelsbak, Lars; Marvig, Rasmus Lykke

    2011-01-01

    the evolutionary dynamics of a lineage of a clinically important opportunistic bacterial pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, as it adapts to the airways of several individual cystic fibrosis patients over 200,000 bacterial generations, and provide estimates of mutation rates of bacteria in a natural environment....... In contrast to predictions based on in vitro evolution experiments, we document limited diversification of the evolving lineage despite a highly structured and complex host environment. Notably, the lineage went through an initial period of rapid adaptation caused by a small number of mutations...... long-term in vitro evolution experiments. The evolved phenotype of the infecting bacteria further suggests that the opportunistic pathogen has transitioned to become a primary pathogen for cystic fibrosis patients....

  6. New perspectives on evolutionary medicine: the relevance of microevolution for human health and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rühli, Frank Jakobus; Henneberg, Maciej

    2013-04-29

    Evolutionary medicine (EM) is a growing field focusing on the evolutionary basis of human diseases and their changes through time. To date, the majority of EM studies have used pure theories of hominin macroevolution to explain the present-day state of human health. Here, we propose a different approach by addressing more empirical and health-oriented research concerning past, current and future microevolutionary changes of human structure, functions and pathologies. Studying generation-to-generation changes of human morphology that occurred in historical times, and still occur in present-day populations under the forces of evolution, helps to explain medical conditions and warns clinicians that their current practices may influence future humans. Also, analyzing historic tissue specimens such as mummies is crucial in order to address the molecular evolution of pathogens, of the human genome, and their coadaptations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anastasiou, Evilena; Mitchell, Piers D

    2013-10-01

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

  8. Divergent expression of claudin -1, -3, -4, -5 and -7 in developing human lung

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lehtonen Siri

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Claudins are the main components of tight junctions, structures which are associated with cell polarity and permeability. The aim of this study was to analyze the expression of claudins 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 in developing human lung tissues from 12 to 40 weeks of gestation. Methods 47 cases were analyzed by immunohistochemisty for claudins 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7. 23 cases were also investigated by quantitative RT-PCR for claudin-1, -3 and -4. Results Claudin-1 was expressed in epithelium of bronchi and large bronchioles from week 12 onwards but it was not detected in epithelium of developing alveoli. Claudin-3, -4 and -7 were strongly expressed in bronchial epithelium from week 12 to week 40, and they were also expressed in alveoli from week 16 to week 40. Claudin-5 was expressed strongly during all periods in endothelial cells. It was expressed also in epithelium of bronchi from week 12 to week 40, and in alveoli during the canalicular period. RT-PCR analyses revealed detectable amounts of RNAs for claudins 1, 3 and 4 in all cases studied. Conclusion Claudin-1, -3, -4, -5, and -7 are expressed in developing human lung from week 12 to week 40 with distinct locations and in divergent quantities. The expression of claudin-1 was restricted to the bronchial epithelium, whereas claudin-3, -4 and -7 were positive also in alveolar epithelium as well as in the bronchial epithelium. All claudins studied are linked to the development of airways, whereas claudin-3, -4, -5 and -7, but not claudin-1, are involved in the development of acinus and the differentiation of alveolar epithelial cells.

  9. Evolutionary and Topological Properties of Genes and Community Structures in Human Gene Regulatory Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szedlak, Anthony; Smith, Nicholas; Liu, Li; Paternostro, Giovanni; Piermarocchi, Carlo

    2016-06-01

    The diverse, specialized genes present in today's lifeforms evolved from a common core of ancient, elementary genes. However, these genes did not evolve individually: gene expression is controlled by a complex network of interactions, and alterations in one gene may drive reciprocal changes in its proteins' binding partners. Like many complex networks, these gene regulatory networks (GRNs) are composed of communities, or clusters of genes with relatively high connectivity. A deep understanding of the relationship between the evolutionary history of single genes and the topological properties of the underlying GRN is integral to evolutionary genetics. Here, we show that the topological properties of an acute myeloid leukemia GRN and a general human GRN are strongly coupled with its genes' evolutionary properties. Slowly evolving ("cold"), old genes tend to interact with each other, as do rapidly evolving ("hot"), young genes. This naturally causes genes to segregate into community structures with relatively homogeneous evolutionary histories. We argue that gene duplication placed old, cold genes and communities at the center of the networks, and young, hot genes and communities at the periphery. We demonstrate this with single-node centrality measures and two new measures of efficiency, the set efficiency and the interset efficiency. We conclude that these methods for studying the relationships between a GRN's community structures and its genes' evolutionary properties provide new perspectives for understanding evolutionary genetics.

  10. The human post-fertile lifespan in comparative evolutionary context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levitis, Daniel A; Burger, Oskar; Lackey, Laurie Bingaman

    2013-01-01

    There persist two widely held but mutually inconsistent views on the evolution of post-fertile lifespan of human females. The first, prevalent within anthropology, sees post-fertile lifespan (PFLS) in the light of adaptive processes, focusing on the social and economic habits of humans that selected for a lengthy PFLS. This view rests on the assumption that human PFLS is distinct from that of other species, and focuses on quantifying the selective causes and consequences of that difference. The second view, prevalent within gerontology and comparative biology, emphasizes that PFLS is a phylogenetically widespread trait or that human PFLS is predictable based on life-history allometries. In this view, human PFLS is part of a broad cross-species pattern and its genesis cannot, therefore, rely on human-specific traits. Those who advocate the second view have questioned the "special pleading" for human specific explanations of PFLS, and have argued that human PFLS is quantitatively greater but not qualitatively different than PFLS in many other animals. Papers asking whether human PFLS is explained by the importance of mothers more than grandmothers, whether paternal or maternal grandparents have more of an effect on child survival, or who is providing the excess calories are associated with the first view that assumes the need to explain the existence of human PFLS on the basis of a uniquely human socioecology. Anthropologists largely see human PFLS as derived, while comparative gerontologists point to evidence that it is one instance of a ubiquitous cross-species pattern. The two groups generally occupy non-overlapping research circles, in terms of conferences and journals, and therefore interact little enough to largely avoid the need to reconcile their views, allowing the persistence of misconceptions in each field. Our goal is to identify and address the most important of these misconceptions and thereby make clear that both of these seemingly incongruent views

  11. When new human-modified habitats favour the expansion of an amphibian pioneer species: Evolutionary history of the natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) in a coal basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faucher, Leslie; Hénocq, Laura; Vanappelghem, Cédric; Rondel, Stéphanie; Quevillart, Robin; Gallina, Sophie; Godé, Cécile; Jaquiéry, Julie; Arnaud, Jean-François

    2017-09-01

    Human activities affect microevolutionary dynamics by inducing environmental changes. In particular, land cover conversion and loss of native habitats decrease genetic diversity and jeopardize the adaptive ability of populations. Nonetheless, new anthropogenic habitats can also promote the successful establishment of emblematic pioneer species. We investigated this issue by examining the population genetic features and evolutionary history of the natterjack toad (Bufo [Epidalea] calamita) in northern France, where populations can be found in native coastal habitats and coalfield habitats shaped by European industrial history, along with an additional set of European populations located outside this focal area. We predicted contrasting patterns of genetic structure, with newly settled coalfield populations departing from migration-drift equilibrium. As expected, coalfield populations showed a mosaic of genetically divergent populations with short-range patterns of gene flow, and native coastal populations indicated an equilibrium state with an isolation-by-distance pattern suggestive of postglacial range expansion. However, coalfield populations exhibited (i) high levels of genetic diversity, (ii) no evidence of local inbreeding or reduced effective population size and (iii) multiple maternal mitochondrial lineages, a genetic footprint depicting independent colonization events. Furthermore, approximate Bayesian computations suggested several evolutionary trajectories from ancient isolation in glacial refugia during the Pleistocene, with biogeographical signatures of recent expansion probably confounded by human-mediated mixing of different lineages. From an evolutionary and conservation perspective, this study highlights the ecological value of industrial areas, provided that ongoing regional gene flow is ensured within the existing lineage boundaries. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. One health-one medicine: unifying human and animal medicine within an evolutionary paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currier, Russell W; Steele, James H

    2011-08-01

    One health is a concept since early civilization, which promoted the view that there was no major distinction between animal and human medicine. Although persisting through the 19th century, this common vision was then all but forgotten in the early 20th century. It is now experiencing a renaissance, coincident with an awakening of the role that evolutionary biology plays in human and animal health, including sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A number of STIs in humans have comparable infections in animals; likewise, both humans and animals have STIs unique to each mammalian camp. These similarities and differences offer opportunities for basic medical and public health studies, including evolutionary insights that can be gleaned from ongoing interdisciplinary investigation--especially with the molecular analytical tools available--in what can become a golden age of mutually helpful discovery. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  13. DrawCompileEvolve: Sparking interactive evolutionary art with human creations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Jinhong; Taarnby, Rasmus; Liapis, Antonios

    2015-01-01

    -initiative art tool. Early results in this paper show the potential of DrawCompileEvolve to jumpstart evolutionary art with meaningful drawings as well as the power of the underlying genetic representation to transform the user’s initial drawing into a different, yet potentially meaningful, artistic rendering......., which can be evolved interactively, allowing the user to change the image’s colors, patterns and ultimately transform it. The human artist has direct control while drawing the initial seed of an evolutionary run and indirect control while interactively evolving it, thus making DrawCompileEvolve a mixed...

  14. Metabolic costs and evolutionary implications of human brain development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzawa, Christopher W.; Chugani, Harry T.; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Lipovich, Leonard; Muzik, Otto; Hof, Patrick R.; Wildman, Derek E.; Sherwood, Chet C.; Leonard, William R.; Lange, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    The high energetic costs of human brain development have been hypothesized to explain distinctive human traits, including exceptionally slow and protracted preadult growth. Although widely assumed to constrain life-history evolution, the metabolic requirements of the growing human brain are unknown. We combined previously collected PET and MRI data to calculate the human brain’s glucose use from birth to adulthood, which we compare with body growth rate. We evaluate the strength of brain–body metabolic trade-offs using the ratios of brain glucose uptake to the body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) and daily energy requirements (DER) expressed in glucose-gram equivalents (glucosermr% and glucoseder%). We find that glucosermr% and glucoseder% do not peak at birth (52.5% and 59.8% of RMR, or 35.4% and 38.7% of DER, for males and females, respectively), when relative brain size is largest, but rather in childhood (66.3% and 65.0% of RMR and 43.3% and 43.8% of DER). Body-weight growth (dw/dt) and both glucosermr% and glucoseder% are strongly, inversely related: soon after birth, increases in brain glucose demand are accompanied by proportionate decreases in dw/dt. Ages of peak brain glucose demand and lowest dw/dt co-occur and subsequent developmental declines in brain metabolism are matched by proportionate increases in dw/dt until puberty. The finding that human brain glucose demands peak during childhood, and evidence that brain metabolism and body growth rate covary inversely across development, support the hypothesis that the high costs of human brain development require compensatory slowing of body growth rate. PMID:25157149

  15. Metabolic costs and evolutionary implications of human brain development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzawa, Christopher W; Chugani, Harry T; Grossman, Lawrence I; Lipovich, Leonard; Muzik, Otto; Hof, Patrick R; Wildman, Derek E; Sherwood, Chet C; Leonard, William R; Lange, Nicholas

    2014-09-09

    The high energetic costs of human brain development have been hypothesized to explain distinctive human traits, including exceptionally slow and protracted preadult growth. Although widely assumed to constrain life-history evolution, the metabolic requirements of the growing human brain are unknown. We combined previously collected PET and MRI data to calculate the human brain's glucose use from birth to adulthood, which we compare with body growth rate. We evaluate the strength of brain-body metabolic trade-offs using the ratios of brain glucose uptake to the body's resting metabolic rate (RMR) and daily energy requirements (DER) expressed in glucose-gram equivalents (glucosermr% and glucoseder%). We find that glucosermr% and glucoseder% do not peak at birth (52.5% and 59.8% of RMR, or 35.4% and 38.7% of DER, for males and females, respectively), when relative brain size is largest, but rather in childhood (66.3% and 65.0% of RMR and 43.3% and 43.8% of DER). Body-weight growth (dw/dt) and both glucosermr% and glucoseder% are strongly, inversely related: soon after birth, increases in brain glucose demand are accompanied by proportionate decreases in dw/dt. Ages of peak brain glucose demand and lowest dw/dt co-occur and subsequent developmental declines in brain metabolism are matched by proportionate increases in dw/dt until puberty. The finding that human brain glucose demands peak during childhood, and evidence that brain metabolism and body growth rate covary inversely across development, support the hypothesis that the high costs of human brain development require compensatory slowing of body growth rate.

  16. Danger lurking in the "unknowns": structure-to-function studies of hypothetical protein Bleg1_2437 from Bacillus lehensis G1 alkaliphile revealed an evolutionary divergent B3 metallo-beta-lactamase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Soo Huei; Normi, Yahaya M; Leow, Adam Thean Chor; Salleh, Abu Bakar; Murad, Abdul Munir Abdul; Mahadi, Nor Muhammad; Rahman, Mohd Basyaruddin Abdul

    2017-02-01

    The effectiveness of β-lactam antibiotics as chemotherapeutic agents to treat bacterial infections is gradually threatened with the emergence of antibiotic resistance mechanism among pathogenic bacteria through the production metallo-β-lactamase (MBL). In this study, we discovered a novel hypothetical protein (HP) termed Bleg1_2437 from the genome of alkaliphilic Bacillus lehensis G1 which exhibited MBL-like properties of B3 subclass; but evolutionary divergent from other circulating B3 MBLs. Domain and sequence analysis of HP Bleg1_2437 revealed that it contains highly conserved Zn2+-binding residues such as H54, H56, D58, H59, H131 and H191, important for catalysis, similar with the subclass B3 of MBL. Built 3-D Bleg1_2437 structure exhibited an αββα sandwich layer similar to the well-conserved global topology of MBL superfamily. Other features include a ceiling and floor in the model which are important for accommodation and orientation of β-lactam antibiotics docked to the protein model showed interactions at varying degrees with residues in the binding pocket of Bleg1_2437. Hydrolysis activity towards several β-lactam antibiotics was proven through an in vitro assay using purified recombinant Bleg1_2437 protein. These findings highlight the presence of a clinically important and evolutionary divergent antibiotics-degrading enzyme within the pools of uncharacterized HPs.

  17. Evolutionary hallmarks of the human proteome: chasing the age and coregulation of protein-coding genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katia de Paiva Lopes

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The development of large-scale technologies for quantitative transcriptomics has enabled comprehensive analysis of the gene expression profiles in complete genomes. RNA-Seq allows the measurement of gene expression levels in a manner far more precise and global than previous methods. Studies using this technology are altering our view about the extent and complexity of the eukaryotic transcriptomes. In this respect, multiple efforts have been done to determine and analyse the gene expression patterns of human cell types in different conditions, either in normal or pathological states. However, until recently, little has been reported about the evolutionary marks present in human protein-coding genes, particularly from the combined perspective of gene expression and protein evolution. Results We present a combined analysis of human protein-coding gene expression profiling and time-scale ancestry mapping, that places the genes in taxonomy clades and reveals eight evolutionary major steps (“hallmarks”, that include clusters of functionally coherent proteins. The human expressed genes are analysed using a RNA-Seq dataset of 116 samples from 32 tissues. The evolutionary analysis of the human proteins is performed combining the information from: (i a database of orthologous proteins (OMA, (ii the taxonomy mapping of genes to lineage clades (from NCBI Taxonomy and (iii the evolution time-scale mapping provided by TimeTree (Timescale of Life. The human protein-coding genes are also placed in a relational context based in the construction of a robust gene coexpression network, that reveals tighter links between age-related protein-coding genes and finds functionally coherent gene modules. Conclusions Understanding the relational landscape of the human protein-coding genes is essential for interpreting the functional elements and modules of our active genome. Moreover, decoding the evolutionary history of the human genes can

  18. Evolutionary perspectives on human personality. Comment on "Personality from a cognitive-biological perspective" by Y. Neuman

    Science.gov (United States)

    Southard, Ashton C.; Zeigler-Hill, Virgil; Shackelford, Todd K.

    2014-12-01

    Yair Neuman [6] presents many provocative ideas in his interdisciplinary approach to human personality. In this commentary, we focus on his ideas regarding (1) the evolutionary basis of personality and (2) human sperm competition.

  19. Some Features of Human Adolescence Viewed in Evolutionary Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisfeld, G. E.; Berger, J. M.

    1983-01-01

    Focuses on some apparently evolved features of human adolescence and their possible functions, including the pubertal growth spurt, sexual size dimorphism and bimaturism, the greater aggressiveness of males, heightened concern with one's social standing and the factors affecting it, intergenerational friction, same-sex aggregations and solidarity,…

  20. Understanding variation in human fertility: what can we learn from evolutionary demography?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sear, Rebecca; Lawson, David W; Kaplan, Hillard; Shenk, Mary K

    2016-04-19

    Decades of research on human fertility has presented a clear picture of how fertility varies, including its dramatic decline over the last two centuries in most parts of the world. Why fertility varies, both between and within populations, is not nearly so well understood. Fertility is a complex phenomenon, partly physiologically and partly behaviourally determined, thus an interdisciplinary approach is required to understand it. Evolutionary demographers have focused on human fertility since the 1980s. The first wave of evolutionary demographic research made major theoretical and empirical advances, investigating variation in fertility primarily in terms of fitness maximization. Research focused particularly on variation within high-fertility populations and small-scale subsistence societies and also yielded a number of hypotheses for why fitness maximization seems to break down as fertility declines during the demographic transition. A second wave of evolutionary demography research on fertility is now underway, paying much more attention to the cultural and psychological mechanisms underpinning fertility. It is also engaging with the complex, multi-causal nature of fertility variation, and with understanding fertility in complex modern and transitioning societies. Here, we summarize the history of evolutionary demographic work on human fertility, describe the current state of the field, and suggest future directions. © 2016 The Author(s).

  1. Evolutionary forces shaping genomic islands of population differentiation in humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hofer Tamara

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Levels of differentiation among populations depend both on demographic and selective factors: genetic drift and local adaptation increase population differentiation, which is eroded by gene flow and balancing selection. We describe here the genomic distribution and the properties of genomic regions with unusually high and low levels of population differentiation in humans to assess the influence of selective and neutral processes on human genetic structure. Methods Individual SNPs of the Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP showing significantly high or low levels of population differentiation were detected under a hierarchical-island model (HIM. A Hidden Markov Model allowed us to detect genomic regions or islands of high or low population differentiation. Results Under the HIM, only 1.5% of all SNPs are significant at the 1% level, but their genomic spatial distribution is significantly non-random. We find evidence that local adaptation shaped high-differentiation islands, as they are enriched for non-synonymous SNPs and overlap with previously identified candidate regions for positive selection. Moreover there is a negative relationship between the size of islands and recombination rate, which is stronger for islands overlapping with genes. Gene ontology analysis supports the role of diet as a major selective pressure in those highly differentiated islands. Low-differentiation islands are also enriched for non-synonymous SNPs, and contain an overly high proportion of genes belonging to the 'Oncogenesis' biological process. Conclusions Even though selection seems to be acting in shaping islands of high population differentiation, neutral demographic processes might have promoted the appearance of some genomic islands since i as much as 20% of islands are in non-genic regions ii these non-genic islands are on average two times shorter than genic islands, suggesting a more rapid erosion by recombination, and iii most loci are

  2. The human socio-cognitive niche and its evolutionary origins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiten, Andrew; Erdal, David

    2012-08-05

    Hominin evolution took a remarkable pathway, as the foraging strategy extended to large mammalian prey already hunted by a guild of specialist carnivores. How was this possible for a moderately sized ape lacking the formidable anatomical adaptations of these competing 'professional hunters'? The long-standing answer that this was achieved through the elaboration of a new 'cognitive niche' reliant on intelligence and technology is compelling, yet insufficient. Here we present evidence from a diversity of sources supporting the hypothesis that a fuller answer lies in the evolution of a new socio-cognitive niche, the principal components of which include forms of cooperation, egalitarianism, mindreading (also known as 'theory of mind'), language and cultural transmission, that go far beyond the most comparable phenomena in other primates. This cognitive and behavioural complex allows a human hunter-gatherer band to function as a unique and highly competitive predatory organism. Each of these core components of the socio-cognitive niche is distinctive to humans, but primate research has increasingly identified related capacities that permit inferences about significant ancestral cognitive foundations to the five pillars of the human social cognitive niche listed earlier. The principal focus of the present study was to review and integrate this range of recent comparative discoveries.

  3. The human acromion viewed from an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voisin, J-L; Ropars, M; Thomazeau, H

    2014-12-01

    The high prevalence of rotator cuff tendinopathy in modern humans may be partly related to the shape acquired by the scapula as species changed throughout evolution. Here, we compared the anatomic features of the scapula across members of the Hominoid group. The results support the hypothesis that the scapula of Homo sapiens sapiens exhibits distinctive anatomic characteristics compared to that of other Hominoids. We studied 89 scapulae from five species. For each scapula, we measured eight parameters and determined six index. We then compared the results across species. We identified two distinctive characteristics of the lateral aspect of the human scapula, namely, a lateral orientation of the glenoid cavity and a narrow coraco-acromial arch. Similar to the gorilla acromion, the human one is steeply sloped and, above all, larger and squarer than the acromion of other Hominoids. These features may explain, in part at least, the pathogenesis of rotator cuff tendinopathy in modern man. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  4. Evolutionary interrogation of human biology in well-annotated genomic framework of rhesus macaque.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shi-Jian; Liu, Chu-Jun; Yu, Peng; Zhong, Xiaoming; Chen, Jia-Yu; Yang, Xinzhuang; Peng, Jiguang; Yan, Shouyu; Wang, Chenqu; Zhu, Xiaotong; Xiong, Jingwei; Zhang, Yong E; Tan, Bertrand Chin-Ming; Li, Chuan-Yun

    2014-05-01

    With genome sequence and composition highly analogous to human, rhesus macaque represents a unique reference for evolutionary studies of human biology. Here, we developed a comprehensive genomic framework of rhesus macaque, the RhesusBase2, for evolutionary interrogation of human genes and the associated regulations. A total of 1,667 next-generation sequencing (NGS) data sets were processed, integrated, and evaluated, generating 51.2 million new functional annotation records. With extensive NGS annotations, RhesusBase2 refined the fine-scale structures in 30% of the macaque Ensembl transcripts, reporting an accurate, up-to-date set of macaque gene models. On the basis of these annotations and accurate macaque gene models, we further developed an NGS-oriented Molecular Evolution Gateway to access and visualize macaque annotations in reference to human orthologous genes and associated regulations (www.rhesusbase.org/molEvo). We highlighted the application of this well-annotated genomic framework in generating hypothetical link of human-biased regulations to human-specific traits, by using mechanistic characterization of the DIEXF gene as an example that provides novel clues to the understanding of digestive system reduction in human evolution. On a global scale, we also identified a catalog of 9,295 human-biased regulatory events, which may represent novel elements that have a substantial impact on shaping human transcriptome and possibly underpin recent human phenotypic evolution. Taken together, we provide an NGS data-driven, information-rich framework that will broadly benefit genomics research in general and serves as an important resource for in-depth evolutionary studies of human biology.

  5. Human Facial Expressions as Adaptations:Evolutionary Questions in Facial Expression Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    SCHMIDT, KAREN L.; COHN, JEFFREY F.

    2007-01-01

    The importance of the face in social interaction and social intelligence is widely recognized in anthropology. Yet the adaptive functions of human facial expression remain largely unknown. An evolutionary model of human facial expression as behavioral adaptation can be constructed, given the current knowledge of the phenotypic variation, ecological contexts, and fitness consequences of facial behavior. Studies of facial expression are available, but results are not typically framed in an evolutionary perspective. This review identifies the relevant physical phenomena of facial expression and integrates the study of this behavior with the anthropological study of communication and sociality in general. Anthropological issues with relevance to the evolutionary study of facial expression include: facial expressions as coordinated, stereotyped behavioral phenotypes, the unique contexts and functions of different facial expressions, the relationship of facial expression to speech, the value of facial expressions as signals, and the relationship of facial expression to social intelligence in humans and in nonhuman primates. Human smiling is used as an example of adaptation, and testable hypotheses concerning the human smile, as well as other expressions, are proposed. PMID:11786989

  6. CD24 tracks divergent pluripotent states in mouse and human cells

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Shakiba, Nika; White, Carl A; Lipsitz, Yonatan Y; Yachie-Kinoshita, Ayako; Tonge, Peter D; Hussein, Samer M I; Puri, Mira C; Elbaz, Judith; Morrissey-Scoot, James; Li, Mira; Munoz Peralta, Javier|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/314121730; Benevento, Marco|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/328200859; Rogers, Ian M; Hanna, Jacob H; Heck, Albert J R|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/105189332; Wollscheid, Bernd; Nagy, Andras; Zandstra, Peter W

    2015-01-01

    Reprogramming is a dynamic process that can result in multiple pluripotent cell types emerging from divergent paths. Cell surface protein expression is a particularly desirable tool to categorize reprogramming and pluripotency as it enables robust quantification and enrichment of live cells. Here we

  7. Genomic imprinting and the evolutionary psychology of human kinship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haig, David

    2011-06-28

    Genomic imprinting is predicted to influence behaviors that affect individuals to whom an actor has different degrees of matrilineal and patrilineal kinship (asymmetric kin). Effects of imprinted genes are not predicted in interactions with nonrelatives or with individuals who are equally related to the actor's maternally and paternally derived genes (unless a gene also has pleiotropic effects on fitness of asymmetric kin). Long-term mating bonds are common in most human populations, but dissolution of marriage has always affected a significant proportion of mated pairs. Children born in a new union are asymmetric kin of children born in a previous union. Therefore, the innate dispositions of children toward parents and sibs are expected to be sensitive to cues of marital stability, and these dispositions may be subject to effects of imprinted genes.

  8. The genetic architecture of normal variation in human pigmentation: an evolutionary perspective and model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McEvoy, Brian; Beleza, Sandra; Shriver, Mark D

    2006-10-15

    Skin pigmentation varies substantially across human populations in a manner largely coincident with ultraviolet radiation intensity. This observation suggests that natural selection in response to sunlight is a major force in accounting for pigmentation variability. We review recent progress in identifying the genes controlling this variation with a particular focus on the trait's evolutionary past and the potential role of testing for signatures of selection in aiding the discovery of functionally important genes. We have analyzed SNP data from the International HapMap project in 77 pigmentation candidate genes for such signatures. On the basis of these results and other similar work, we provide a tentative three-population model (West Africa, East Asia and North Europe) of the evolutionary-genetic architecture of human pigmentation. These results suggest a complex evolutionary history, with selection acting on different gene targets at different times and places in the human past. Some candidate genes may have been selected in the ancestral human population, others in the 'out of Africa' proto European-Asian population, whereas most appear to have selectively evolved solely in either Europeans or East Asians separately despite the pigmentation similarities between these two populations. Selection signatures can provide important clues to aid gene discovery. However, these should be viewed as complements, rather than replacements of, functional studies including linkage and association analyses, which can directly refine our understanding of the trait.

  9. Hunter-gatherer human nature and health system safety: an evolutionary cleft stick?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braithwaite, Jeffrey

    2005-12-01

    The stunning archaeological find of a new species of human dubbed the hobbit, formally named Homo floresiensis, is a reminder that humans and hobbits are evolved for transient lives, subsisting in an environment radically different from that of contemporary societies. Although the problems facing health systems are well documented, few scholars have taken an evolutionary-level approach to understanding them. By considering the nature of humans as adapted not for modern societies but for hunter-gatherer existence, and examining what humans were evolved for, new light can be shed on contemporary behaviours exposed by the medical inquiries into what is going wrong in acute health systems. Investigation of two of these inquiries shows how health professionals under pressure typically default to tribal behaviours, have recourse to hierarchies and engage in turf protection routines. Those who have conducted studies into iatrogenic harm or presided over the medical inquiries have argued that culture change is the solution to health care's ills. This is likely to be much harder to institute than some people realize, especially given our underlying hunter-gatherer nature. This is an evolutionary cleft stick that has not been factored in by those optimistic about health sector reform. The implications are that we need a deep understanding of human nature in addressing health system problems and to recognize that profound culture change is more challenging than many believe. Paradoxically, it is when humans are faced with seemingly intractable problems that a collective way forward might emerge.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-05

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

  11. Divergent neuroactive steroid responses to stress and ethanol in rat and mouse strains: Relevance for human studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porcu, Patrizia; Morrow, A. Leslie

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Neuroactive steroids are endogenous or synthetic steroids that rapidly alter neuronal excitability via membrane receptors, primarily GABAA receptors. Neuroactive steroids regulate many physiological processes including hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function, ovarian cycle, pregnancy, aging, and reward. Moreover, alterations in neuroactive steroid synthesis are implicated in several neuropsychiatric disorders. Objectives This review will summarize the pharmacological properties and physiological regulation of neuroactive steroids, with a particular focus on divergent neuroactive steroid responses to stress and ethanol in rats, mice and humans. Results GABAergic neuroactive steroids exert a homeostatic regulation of the HPA axis in rats and humans, whereby the increase in neuroactive steroid levels following acute stress counteracts HPA axis hyperactivity and restores homeostasis. In contrast, in C57BL/6J mice, acute stress decreases neurosteroidogenesis and neuroactive steroids exert paradoxical excitatory effects upon the HPA axis. Rats, mice and humans also differ in the neuroactive steroid responses to ethanol. Genetic variation in neurosteroidogenesis may explain the different neuroactive steroid responses to stress or ethanol. Conclusions Rats and mouse strains show divergent effects of stress and ethanol on neuroactive steroids in both plasma and brain. The study of genetic variation in the various processes that determine neuroactive steroids levels as well as their effects on cell signaling may underlie these differences and may play a relevant role for the potential therapeutic benefits of neuroactive steroids. PMID:24770626

  12. INACTIVITY OF RECOMBINANT ELA2B PROVIDES A NEW EXAMPLE OF EVOLUTIONARY ELASTASE SILENCING IN HUMANS

    OpenAIRE

    Szepessy, Edit; Sahin-Tóth, Miklós

    2005-01-01

    BACKGROUND. The archetypal mammalian elastase (ELA1) is not expressed in the human pancreas, because evolutionary mutations suppressed transcription of the ELA1 gene. AIMS. In this study we tested the theory that the unique duplication of the ELA2 gene in humans might compensate for the loss of ELA1. METHODS. Recombinant ELA2A and ELA2B were expressed in Escherichia coli, and their activity was tested on Glt-Ala-Ala-Pro-Leu-p-nitroanilide, DQ elastin and bovine milk protein. RESULTS. Surprisi...

  13. The Impact of Evolutionary Driving Forces on Human Complex Diseases: A Population Genetics Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amr T. M. Saeb

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Investigating the molecular evolution of human genome has paved the way to understand genetic adaptation of humans to the environmental changes and corresponding complex diseases. In this review, we discussed the historical origin of genetic diversity among human populations, the evolutionary driving forces that can affect genetic diversity among populations, and the effects of human movement into new environments and gene flow on population genetic diversity. Furthermore, we presented the role of natural selection on genetic diversity and complex diseases. Then we reviewed the disadvantageous consequences of historical selection events in modern time and their relation to the development of complex diseases. In addition, we discussed the effect of consanguinity on the incidence of complex diseases in human populations. Finally, we presented the latest information about the role of ancient genes acquired from interbreeding with ancient hominids in the development of complex diseases.

  14. Evolutionary breakpoint analysis on Y chromosomes of higher primates provides insight into human Y evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wimmer, R; Kirsch, S; Rappold, G A; Schempp, W

    2005-01-01

    Comparative FISH mapping of PAC clones covering almost 3 Mb of the human AZFa region in Yq11.21 to metaphases of human and great apes unravels breakpoints that were involved in species-specific Y chromosome evolution. An astonishing clustering of evolutionary breakpoints was detected in the very proximal region on the long arm of the human Y chromosome in Yq11.21. These breakpoints were involved in deletions, one specific for the human and another for the orang-utan Y chromosome, in a duplicative translocation/transposition specific for bonobo and chimpanzee Y chromosomes and in a pericentric inversion specific for the gorilla Y chromosome. In addition, our comparative results allow the deduction of a model for the human Y chromosome evolution. Copyright (c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  15. The Dating Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Emerging Science of Human Courtship

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan Oesch

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In the New York Times bestselling book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (2006, the world was granted its first exclusive introduction to the steadily growing dating coach and pick-up artist community. Many of its most prominent authorities claim to use insights and information gleaned both through first-hand experience as well as empirical research in evolutionary psychology. One of the industry's most well-respected authorities, the illusionist Erik von Markovik, promotes a three-phase model of human courtship: Attraction, building mutual Comfort and Trust, and Seduction. The following review argues that many of these claims are in fact grounded in solid empirical findings from social, physiological and evolutionary psychology. Two texts which represent much of this literature are critiqued and their implications discussed.

  16. The dating mind: evolutionary psychology and the emerging science of human courtship.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oesch, Nathan; Miklousic, Igor

    2012-12-20

    In the New York Times bestselling book The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists (2006), the world was granted its first exclusive introduction to the steadily growing dating coach and pick-up artist community. Many of its most prominent authorities claim to use insights and information gleaned both through first-hand experience as well as empirical research in evolutionary psychology. One of the industry's most well-respected authorities, the illusionist Erik von Markovik, promotes a three-phase model of human courtship: Attraction, building mutual Comfort and Trust, and Seduction. The following review argues that many of these claims are in fact grounded in solid empirical findings from social, physiological and evolutionary psychology. Two texts which represent much of this literature are critiqued and their implications discussed.

  17. Evolutionary Medicine and Future of Humanity: Will Evolution Have the Final Word?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Henneberg

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary medicine in its classical form assumes that since cultural evolution is faster than biological evolution, ailments of modern people are a result of mismatch between adaptations to the past environments and current situations. A core principle is that we, humans, having evolved for millions of years in a specific natural environment (environment of evolutionary adaptation EEA are biologically adapted to this past environment and the ancient lifestyle. This adaptation to the past produces major mismatch of our bodies with the present, highly anthropic and thus “artificial” living conditions. This article provides two areas of possible future evolution, diet and physical activity levels which have been dramatically altered in industrialised societies. Consequently, micro-evolution is an on-going process.

  18. Identifying selected regions from heterozygosity and divergence using a light-coverage genomic dataset from two human populations.

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    Taras K Oleksyk

    Full Text Available When a selective sweep occurs in the chromosomal region around a target gene in two populations that have recently separated, it produces three dramatic genomic consequences: 1 decreased multi-locus heterozygosity in the region; 2 elevated or diminished genetic divergence (F(ST of multiple polymorphic variants adjacent to the selected locus between the divergent populations, due to the alternative fixation of alleles; and 3 a consequent regional increase in the variance of F(ST (S(2F(ST for the same clustered variants, due to the increased alternative fixation of alleles in the loci surrounding the selection target. In the first part of our study, to search for potential targets of directional selection, we developed and validated a resampling-based computational approach; we then scanned an array of 31 different-sized moving windows of SNP variants (5-65 SNPs across the human genome in a set of European and African American population samples with 183,997 SNP loci after correcting for the recombination rate variation. The analysis revealed 180 regions of recent selection with very strong evidence in either population or both. In the second part of our study, we compared the newly discovered putative regions to those sites previously postulated in the literature, using methods based on inspecting patterns of linkage disequilibrium, population divergence and other methodologies. The newly found regions were cross-validated with those found in nine other studies that have searched for selection signals. Our study was replicated especially well in those regions confirmed by three or more studies. These validated regions were independently verified, using a combination of different methods and different databases in other studies, and should include fewer false positives. The main strength of our analysis method compared to others is that it does not require dense genotyping and therefore can be used with data from population-based genome SNP scans

  19. Evolutionary divergence times in the Annonaceae: evidence of a late Miocene origin of Pseuduvaria in Sundaland with subsequent diversification in New Guinea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Yvonne C F; Saunders, Richard M K

    2009-07-02

    Phylogenetic analyses of the Annonaceae consistently identify four clades: a basal clade consisting of Anaxagorea, and a small 'ambavioid' clade that is sister to two main clades, the 'long branch clade' (LBC) and 'short branch clade' (SBC). Divergence times in the family have previously been estimated using non-parametric rate smoothing (NPRS) and penalized likelihood (PL). Here we use an uncorrelated lognormal (UCLD) relaxed molecular clock in BEAST to estimate diversification times of the main clades within the family with a focus on the Asian genus Pseuduvaria within the SBC. Two fossil calibration points are applied, including the first use of the recently discovered Annonaceae fossil Futabanthus. The taxonomy and morphology of Pseuduvaria have been well documented, although no previous dating or biogeographical studies have been undertaken. Ancestral areas at internal nodes within Pseuduvaria are determined using dispersal-vicariance analysis (DIVA) and weighted ancestral area analysis (WAAA). The divergence times of the main clades within the Annonaceae were found to deviate slightly from previous estimates that used different calibration points and dating methods. In particular, our estimate for the SBC crown (55.2-26.9 Mya) is much younger than previous estimates (62.5-53.1 +/- 3.6 Mya and ca. 58.76 Mya). Early diversification of Pseuduvaria was estimated to have occurred 15-8 Mya, possibly associated with the 'mid-Miocene climatic optimum.' Pseuduvaria is inferred to have originated in Sundaland in the late Miocene, ca. 8 Mya; subsequent migration events were predominantly eastwards towards New Guinea and Australia, although several migratory reversals are also postulated. Speciation of Pseuduvaria within New Guinea may have occurred after ca. 6.5 Mya, possibly coinciding with the formation of the Central Range orogeny from ca. 8 Mya. Our divergence time estimates within the Annonaceae are likely to be more precise as we used a UCLD clock model and

  20. Quantifying the Role of Homophily in Human Cooperation Using Multiplex Evolutionary Game Theory.

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    Alessandro Di Stefano

    Full Text Available Nature shows as human beings live and grow inside social structures. This assumption allows us to explain and explore how it may shape most of our behaviours and choices, and why we are not just blindly driven by instincts: our decisions are based on more complex cognitive reasons, based on our connectedness on different spaces. Thus, human cooperation emerges from this complex nature of social network. Our paper, focusing on the evolutionary dynamics, is intended to explore how and why it happens, and what kind of impact is caused by homophily among people. We investigate the evolution of human cooperation using evolutionary game theory on multiplex. Multiplexity, as an extra dimension of analysis, allows us to unveil the hidden dynamics and observe non-trivial patterns within a population across network layers. More importantly, we find a striking role of homophily, as the higher the homophily between individuals, the quicker is the convergence towards cooperation in the social dilemma. The simulation results, conducted both macroscopically and microscopically across the network layers in the multiplex, show quantitatively the role of homophily in human cooperation.

  1. Quantifying the Role of Homophily in Human Cooperation Using Multiplex Evolutionary Game Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Stefano, Alessandro; Scatà, Marialisa; La Corte, Aurelio; Liò, Pietro; Catania, Emanuele; Guardo, Ermanno; Pagano, Salvatore

    2015-01-01

    Nature shows as human beings live and grow inside social structures. This assumption allows us to explain and explore how it may shape most of our behaviours and choices, and why we are not just blindly driven by instincts: our decisions are based on more complex cognitive reasons, based on our connectedness on different spaces. Thus, human cooperation emerges from this complex nature of social network. Our paper, focusing on the evolutionary dynamics, is intended to explore how and why it happens, and what kind of impact is caused by homophily among people. We investigate the evolution of human cooperation using evolutionary game theory on multiplex. Multiplexity, as an extra dimension of analysis, allows us to unveil the hidden dynamics and observe non-trivial patterns within a population across network layers. More importantly, we find a striking role of homophily, as the higher the homophily between individuals, the quicker is the convergence towards cooperation in the social dilemma. The simulation results, conducted both macroscopically and microscopically across the network layers in the multiplex, show quantitatively the role of homophily in human cooperation.

  2. Parallel evolutionary events in the haptoglobin gene clusters of rhesus monkey and human

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Erickson, L.M.; Maeda, N. [Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (United States)

    1994-08-01

    Parallel occurrences of evolutionary events in the haptoglobin gene clusters of rhesus monkeys and humans were studied. We found six different haplotypes among 11 individuals from two rhesus monkey families. The six haplotypes include two types of haptoglobin gene clusters: one type with a single gene and the other with two genes. DNA sequence analysis indicates that the one-gene and the two-gene clusters were both formed by unequal homologous crossovers between two genes of an ancestral three-gene cluster, near exon 5, the longest exon of the gene. This exon is also the location where a separate unequal homologous crossover occured in the human lineage, forming the human two-gene haptoglobin gene cluster from an ancestral three-gene cluster. The occurrence of independent homologous unequal crossovers in rhesus monkey and in human within the same region of DNA suggests that the evolutionary history of the haptoglobin gene cluster in primates is the consequence of frequent homologous pairings facilitated by the longest and most conserved exon of the gene. 27 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  3. Probing the Evolutionary History of Human Bitter Taste Receptor Pseudogenes by Restoring Their Function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risso, Davide; Behrens, Maik; Sainz, Eduardo; Meyerhof, Wolfgang; Drayna, Dennis

    2017-07-01

    Lineage-specific gene losses can be driven by selection or environmental adaptations. However, a lack of studies on the original function of species-specific pseudogenes leaves a gap in our understanding of their role in evolutionary histories. Pseudogenes are of particular relevance for taste perception genes, which encode for receptors that confer the ability to both identify nutritionally valuable substances and avoid potentially harmful substances. To explore the role of bitter taste pseudogenization events in human origins, we restored the open reading frames of the three human-specific pseudogenes and synthesized the reconstructed functional hTAS2R2, hTAS2R62 and hTAS2R64 receptors. We have identified ligands that differentially activate the human and chimpanzee forms of these receptors and several other human functional TAS2Rs. We show that these receptors are narrowly tuned, suggesting that bitter-taste sensitivities evolved independently in different species, and that these pseudogenization events occurred because of functional redundancy. The restoration of function of lineage-specific pseudogenes can aid in the reconstruction of their evolutionary history, and in understanding the forces that led to their pseudogenization. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution 2017. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.

  4. Are humans prone to autoimmunity? Implications from evolutionary changes in hominin sialic acid biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, Ajit

    2017-09-01

    Given varied intrinsic and extrinsic challenges to the immune system, it is unsurprising that each evolutionary lineage evolves distinctive features of immunoreactivity, and that tolerance mechanisms fail, allowing autoimmunity. Humans appear prone to many autoimmune diseases, with mechanisms both genetic and environmental. Another rapidly evolving biological system involves sialic acids, a family of monosaccharides that are terminal caps on cell surface and secreted molecules of vertebrates, and play multifarious roles in immunity. We have explored multiple genomic changes in sialic acid biology that occurred in human ancestors (hominins), some with implications for enhanced immunoreactivity, and hence for autoimmunity. Human ancestors lost the enzyme synthesizing the common mammalian sialic acid Neu5Gc, with an accumulation of the precursor sialic acid Neu5Ac. Resulting changes include an enhanced reactivity by some immune cells and increased ability of macrophages to kill bacteria, at the cost of increased endotoxin sensitivity. There are also multiple human-specific evolutionary changes in inhibitory and activating Siglecs, immune cell receptors that recognize sialic acids as "self-associated molecular patterns" (SAMPs) to modulate immunity, but can also be hijacked by pathogen molecular mimicry of SAMPs. Altered expression patterns and fixed or polymorphic SIGLEC pseudogenization in humans has modulated both innate and adaptive immunity, sometimes favoring over-reactivity. Meanwhile, dietary intake of Neu5Gc (derived primarily from red meats) allows metabolic incorporation of this non-human molecule into human cells--apparently the first example of "xeno-autoimmunity" involving "xeno-autoantigen" interactions with circulating "xeno-autoantibodies". Taken together, some of these factors may contribute to the apparent human propensity for autoimmunity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Large-Scale Analyses of Angiosperm Nucleotide-Binding Site-Leucine-Rich Repeat Genes Reveal Three Anciently Diverged Classes with Distinct Evolutionary Patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Zhu-Qing; Xue, Jia-Yu; Wu, Ping; Zhang, Yan-Mei; Wu, Yue; Hang, Yue-Yu; Wang, Bin; Chen, Jian-Qun

    2016-04-01

    Nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) genes make up the largest plant disease resistance gene family (R genes), with hundreds of copies occurring in individual angiosperm genomes. However, the expansion history of NBS-LRR genes during angiosperm evolution is largely unknown. By identifying more than 6,000 NBS-LRR genes in 22 representative angiosperms and reconstructing their phylogenies, we present a potential framework of NBS-LRR gene evolution in the angiosperm. Three anciently diverged NBS-LRR classes (TNLs, CNLs, and RNLs) were distinguished with unique exon-intron structures and DNA motif sequences. A total of seven ancient TNL, 14 CNL, and two RNL lineages were discovered in the ancestral angiosperm, from which all current NBS-LRR gene repertoires were evolved. A pattern of gradual expansion during the first 100 million years of evolution of the angiosperm clade was observed for CNLs. TNL numbers remained stable during this period but were eventually deleted in three divergent angiosperm lineages. We inferred that an intense expansion of both TNL and CNL genes started from the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Because dramatic environmental changes and an explosion in fungal diversity occurred during this period, the observed expansions of R genes probably reflect convergent adaptive responses of various angiosperm families. An ancient whole-genome duplication event that occurred in an angiosperm ancestor resulted in two RNL lineages, which were conservatively evolved and acted as scaffold proteins for defense signal transduction. Overall, the reconstructed framework of angiosperm NBS-LRR gene evolution in this study may serve as a fundamental reference for better understanding angiosperm NBS-LRR genes. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  6. Large-Scale Analyses of Angiosperm Nucleotide-Binding Site-Leucine-Rich Repeat Genes Reveal Three Anciently Diverged Classes with Distinct Evolutionary Patterns1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Zhu-Qing; Xue, Jia-Yu; Wu, Ping; Zhang, Yan-Mei; Wu, Yue; Hang, Yue-Yu; Wang, Bin; Chen, Jian-Qun

    2016-01-01

    Nucleotide-binding site-leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) genes make up the largest plant disease resistance gene family (R genes), with hundreds of copies occurring in individual angiosperm genomes. However, the expansion history of NBS-LRR genes during angiosperm evolution is largely unknown. By identifying more than 6,000 NBS-LRR genes in 22 representative angiosperms and reconstructing their phylogenies, we present a potential framework of NBS-LRR gene evolution in the angiosperm. Three anciently diverged NBS-LRR classes (TNLs, CNLs, and RNLs) were distinguished with unique exon-intron structures and DNA motif sequences. A total of seven ancient TNL, 14 CNL, and two RNL lineages were discovered in the ancestral angiosperm, from which all current NBS-LRR gene repertoires were evolved. A pattern of gradual expansion during the first 100 million years of evolution of the angiosperm clade was observed for CNLs. TNL numbers remained stable during this period but were eventually deleted in three divergent angiosperm lineages. We inferred that an intense expansion of both TNL and CNL genes started from the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Because dramatic environmental changes and an explosion in fungal diversity occurred during this period, the observed expansions of R genes probably reflect convergent adaptive responses of various angiosperm families. An ancient whole-genome duplication event that occurred in an angiosperm ancestor resulted in two RNL lineages, which were conservatively evolved and acted as scaffold proteins for defense signal transduction. Overall, the reconstructed framework of angiosperm NBS-LRR gene evolution in this study may serve as a fundamental reference for better understanding angiosperm NBS-LRR genes. PMID:26839128

  7. Evolutionary dynamics and temporal/geographical correlates of recombination in the human enterovirus echovirus types 9, 11, and 30.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWilliam Leitch, E C; Cabrerizo, M; Cardosa, J; Harvala, H; Ivanova, O E; Kroes, A C M; Lukashev, A; Muir, P; Odoom, J; Roivainen, M; Susi, P; Trallero, G; Evans, D J; Simmonds, P

    2010-09-01

    The relationship between virus evolution and recombination in species B human enteroviruses was investigated through large-scale genetic analysis of echovirus type 9 (E9) and E11 isolates (n = 85 and 116) from 16 European, African, and Asian countries between 1995 and 2008. Cluster 1 E9 isolates and genotype D5 and A E11 isolates showed evidence of frequent recombination between the VP1 and 3Dpol regions, the latter falling into 23 (E9) and 43 (E11) clades interspersed phylogenetically with 46 3Dpol clades of E30 and with those of other species B serotypes. Remarkably, only 2 of the 112 3Dpol clades were shared by more than one serotype (E11 and E30), demonstrating an extremely large and genetically heterogeneous recombination pool of species B nonstructural-region variants. The likelihood of recombination increased with geographical separation and time, and both were correlated with VP1 divergence, whose substitution rates allowed recombination half-lives of 1.3, 9.8, and 3.1 years, respectively, for E9, E11, and E30 to be calculated. These marked differences in recombination dynamics matched epidemiological patterns of periodic epidemic cycles of 2 to 3 (E9) and 5 to 6 (E30) years and the longer-term endemic pattern of E11 infections. Phylotemporal analysis using a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method, which placed recombination events within the evolutionary reconstruction of VP1, showed a close relationship with VP1 lineage expansion, with defined recombination events that correlated with their epidemiological periodicity. Whether recombination events contribute directly to changes in transmissibility that drive epidemic behavior or occur stochastically during periodic population bottlenecks is an unresolved issue vital to future understanding of enterovirus molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis.

  8. Evolutionary Dynamics and Temporal/Geographical Correlates of Recombination in the Human Enterovirus Echovirus Types 9, 11, and 30▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWilliam Leitch, E. C.; Cabrerizo, M.; Cardosa, J.; Harvala, H.; Ivanova, O. E.; Kroes, A. C. M.; Lukashev, A.; Muir, P.; Odoom, J.; Roivainen, M.; Susi, P.; Trallero, G.; Evans, D. J.; Simmonds, P.

    2010-01-01

    The relationship between virus evolution and recombination in species B human enteroviruses was investigated through large-scale genetic analysis of echovirus type 9 (E9) and E11 isolates (n = 85 and 116) from 16 European, African, and Asian countries between 1995 and 2008. Cluster 1 E9 isolates and genotype D5 and A E11 isolates showed evidence of frequent recombination between the VP1 and 3Dpol regions, the latter falling into 23 (E9) and 43 (E11) clades interspersed phylogenetically with 46 3Dpol clades of E30 and with those of other species B serotypes. Remarkably, only 2 of the 112 3Dpol clades were shared by more than one serotype (E11 and E30), demonstrating an extremely large and genetically heterogeneous recombination pool of species B nonstructural-region variants. The likelihood of recombination increased with geographical separation and time, and both were correlated with VP1 divergence, whose substitution rates allowed recombination half-lives of 1.3, 9.8, and 3.1 years, respectively, for E9, E11, and E30 to be calculated. These marked differences in recombination dynamics matched epidemiological patterns of periodic epidemic cycles of 2 to 3 (E9) and 5 to 6 (E30) years and the longer-term endemic pattern of E11 infections. Phylotemporal analysis using a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo method, which placed recombination events within the evolutionary reconstruction of VP1, showed a close relationship with VP1 lineage expansion, with defined recombination events that correlated with their epidemiological periodicity. Whether recombination events contribute directly to changes in transmissibility that drive epidemic behavior or occur stochastically during periodic population bottlenecks is an unresolved issue vital to future understanding of enterovirus molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis. PMID:20610722

  9. Comparative genomic analysis of two emergent human adenovirus type 14 respiratory pathogen isolates in China reveals similar yet divergent genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qiwei; Jing, Shuping; Cheng, Zetao; Yu, Zhiwu; Dehghan, Shoaleh; Shamsaddini, Amirhossein; Yan, Yuqian; Li, Min; Seto, Donald

    2017-11-01

    Human adenovirus type 14 (HAdV-B14p) was originally identified as an acute respiratory disease (ARD) pathogen in The Netherlands in 1955. For approximately fifty years, few sporadic infections were observed. In 2005, HAdV-B14p1, a genomic variant, re-emerged and was associated with several large ARD outbreaks across the U.S. and, subsequently, in Canada, the U.K., Ireland, and China. This strain was associated with an unusually higher fatality rate than previously reported for both this prototype and other HAdV types in general. In China, HAdV-B14 was first observed in 2010, when two unrelated HAdV-B14-associated ARD cases were reported in Southern China (GZ01) and Northern China (BJ430), followed by three subsequent outbreaks. While comparative genomic analysis, including indel analysis, shows that the three China isolates, with whole genome data available, are similar to the de Wit prototype, all are divergent from the U.S. strain (303600; 2007). Although the genomes of strains GZ01 and BJ430 are nearly identical, as per their genome type characterization and percent identities, they are subtly divergent in their genome mutation patterns. These genomes indicate possibly two lineages of HAdV-B14 and independent introductions into China from abroad, or subsequent divergence from one; CHN2012 likely represents a separate sub-lineage. Observations of these simultaneously reported emergent strains in China add to the understanding of the circulation, epidemiology, and evolution of these HAdV pathogens, as well as provide a foundation for developing effective vaccines and public health strategies, including nationwide surveillance in anticipation of larger outbreaks with potentially higher fatality rates associated with HAdV-B14p1.

  10. Evolutionary analysis of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 therapies based on conditionally replicating vectors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruian Ke

    Full Text Available Efforts to reduce the viral load of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1 during long-term treatment are challenged by the evolution of anti-viral resistance mutants. Recent studies have shown that gene therapy approaches based on conditionally replicating vectors (CRVs could have many advantages over anti-viral drugs and other approaches to therapy, potentially including the ability to circumvent the problem of evolved resistance. However, research to date has not explored the evolutionary consequences of long-term treatment of HIV-1 infections with conditionally replicating vectors. In this study, we analyze a computational model of the within-host co-evolutionary dynamics of HIV-1 and conditionally replicating vectors, using the recently proposed 'therapeutic interfering particle' as an example. The model keeps track of the stochastic process of viral mutation, and the deterministic population dynamics of T cells as well as different strains of CRV and HIV-1 particles. We show that early in the co-infection, mutant HIV-1 genotypes that escape suppression by CRV therapy appear; this is similar to the dynamics observed in drug treatments and other gene therapies. In contrast to other treatments, however, the CRV population is able to evolve and catch up with the dominant HIV-1 escape mutant and persist long-term in most cases. On evolutionary grounds, gene therapies based on CRVs appear to be a promising tool for long-term treatment of HIV-1. Our model allows us to propose design principles to optimize the efficacy of this class of gene therapies. In addition, because of the analogy between CRVs and naturally-occurring defective interfering particles, our results also shed light on the co-evolutionary dynamics of wild-type viruses and their defective interfering particles during natural infections.

  11. [Human origin and evolution. A review of advances in paleoanthropology, comparative genetics, and evolutionary psychology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markov, A V

    2009-01-01

    In his main work, "On the origin of species", Darwin has refrained from discusion of the origin of man; be only mentioned that his theory would "throw light" on this problem. This famous Darwin's phrase turned out to be one of the most succesful scientific predictions. In the present paper some of the most important recent adavnces in paleoanthroplogy, comparative genetics and evolutionary psychology are reviewed. These three disciplines currently contribute most to our knowledge of anthropogenesis. The review demonstrates that Darwin's ideas not only "threw light" on human origin and evolution; they provided a comprehensive framework for a great variety of studies concerning different aspects of anthropogenesis.

  12. Size counts: evolutionary perspectives on physical activity and body size from early hominids to modern humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, William R

    2010-11-01

    This paper examines the evolutionary origins of human dietary and activity patterns, and their implications for understanding modern health problems. Humans have evolved distinctive nutritional characteristics associated the high metabolic costs of our large brains. The evolution of larger hominid brain size necessitated the adoption of foraging strategies that both provided high quality foods, and required larger ranges and activity budgets. Over time, human subsistence strategies have become ever more efficient in obtaining energy with minimal time and effort. Today, populations of the industrialized world live in environments characterized by low levels of energy expenditure and abundant food supplies contributing to growing rates of obesity. Analyses of trends in dietary intake and body weight in the US over the last 50 years indicate that the dramatic rise in obesity cannot be explained solely by increased energy consumption. Rather, declines in activity are also important. Further, we find that recent recommendations on physical activity have the potential to bring daily energy expenditure levels of industrialized societies surprisingly close to those observed among subsistence-level populations. These findings highlight the importance of physical activity in promoting nutritional health and show the utility of evolutionary approaches for developing public health recommendations.

  13. An evolutionary theory of large-scale human warfare: Group-structured cultural selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zefferman, Matthew R; Mathew, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    When humans wage war, it is not unusual for battlefields to be strewn with dead warriors. These warriors typically were men in their reproductive prime who, had they not died in battle, might have gone on to father more children. Typically, they are also genetically unrelated to one another. We know of no other animal species in which reproductively capable, genetically unrelated individuals risk their lives in this manner. Because the immense private costs borne by individual warriors create benefits that are shared widely by others in their group, warfare is a stark evolutionary puzzle that is difficult to explain. Although several scholars have posited models of the evolution of human warfare, these models do not adequately explain how humans solve the problem of collective action in warfare at the evolutionarily novel scale of hundreds of genetically unrelated individuals. We propose that group-structured cultural selection explains this phenomenon. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. The frequent evolutionary birth and death of functional promoters in mouse and human

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Young, Robert S.; Hayashizaki, Yosihide; Andersson, Robin

    2015-01-01

    losses and resolve the lineage of changes. We also identify expression divergence and functional turnover between orthologous promoters, finding only the latter is associated with local sequence changes. Promoter turnover has occurred at the majority (>56%) of protein-coding genes since humans and mice......Promoters are central to the regulation of gene expression. Changes in gene regulation are thought to underlie much of the adaptive diversification between species and phenotypic variation within populations. In contrast to earlier work emphasizing the importance of enhancer evolution and subtle...... sequence changes at promoters, we show that dramatic changes such as the complete gain and loss (collectively turnover) of functional promoters are common. Using quantitative measures of transcription initiation in both humans and mice across 52 matched tissues we discriminate promoter sequence gains from...

  15. An evolutionary genomic approach to identify genes involved in human birth timing.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jevon Plunkett

    2011-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Divergent haplotypes and human history as revealed in a worldwide survey of X-linked DNA sequence variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimada, Makoto K; Panchapakesan, Karuna; Tishkoff, Sarah A; Nato, Alejandro Q; Hey, Jody

    2007-03-01

    The population genetic history of a 10.1-kbp noncoding region of the human X chromosome was studied using the males of the HGDP-CEPH Human Genome Diversity Panel (672 individuals from 52 populations). The geographic distribution of patterns of variation was roughly consistent with previous studies, with the major exception that 1 highly divergent haplotype (haplotype X, hX) was observed at low frequency in widely scattered non-African populations and not at all observed in sub-Saharan African populations. Microsatellite (short tandem repeat) variation within the sequenced region was low among copies of hX, even though the estimated time of ancestry of hX and other sequences was 1.44 Myr. The estimated age of the common ancestor of all hX copies was 5,230 years (95% consistency index: 2,000-75,480 years). To further address the presence of hX in Africa, additional samples from Chad and Tanzania were screened. Five additional copies of hX were observed, consistent with a history in which hX was present in Africa prior to the migration of modern humans out of Africa and with eastern Africa being the source of non-African modern human populations. Taken together, these features of hX-that it is much older than other haplotypes and uncommon and patchily distributed throughout Africa, Europe, and Asia-present a cautionary tale for interpretations of human history.

  18. Global divergence of the human follicle mite Demodex folliculorum: Persistent associations between host ancestry and mite lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palopoli, Michael F; Fergus, Daniel J; Minot, Samuel; Pei, Dorothy T; Simison, W Brian; Fernandez-Silva, Iria; Thoemmes, Megan S; Dunn, Robert R; Trautwein, Michelle

    2015-12-29

    Microscopic mites of the genus Demodex live within the hair follicles of mammals and are ubiquitous symbionts of humans, but little molecular work has been done to understand their genetic diversity or transmission. Here we sampled mite DNA from 70 human hosts of diverse geographic ancestries and analyzed 241 sequences from the mitochondrial genome of the species Demodex folliculorum. Phylogenetic analyses recovered multiple deep lineages including a globally distributed lineage common among hosts of European ancestry and three lineages that primarily include hosts of Asian, African, and Latin American ancestry. To a great extent, the ancestral geography of hosts predicted the lineages of mites found on them; 27% of the total molecular variance segregated according to the regional ancestries of hosts. We found that D. folliculorum populations are stable on an individual over the course of years and that some Asian and African American hosts maintain specific mite lineages over the course of years or generations outside their geographic region of birth or ancestry. D. folliculorum haplotypes were much more likely to be shared within families and between spouses than between unrelated individuals, indicating that transmission requires close contact. Dating analyses indicated that D. folliculorum origins may predate modern humans. Overall, D. folliculorum evolution reflects ancient human population divergences, is consistent with an out-of-Africa dispersal hypothesis, and presents an excellent model system for further understanding the history of human movement.

  19. Global divergence of the human follicle mite Demodex folliculorum: Persistent associations between host ancestry and mite lineages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palopoli, Michael F.; Fergus, Daniel J.; Minot, Samuel; Pei, Dorothy T.; Simison, W. Brian; Fernandez-Silva, Iria; Thoemmes, Megan S.; Dunn, Robert R.; Trautwein, Michelle

    2015-01-01

    Microscopic mites of the genus Demodex live within the hair follicles of mammals and are ubiquitous symbionts of humans, but little molecular work has been done to understand their genetic diversity or transmission. Here we sampled mite DNA from 70 human hosts of diverse geographic ancestries and analyzed 241 sequences from the mitochondrial genome of the species Demodex folliculorum. Phylogenetic analyses recovered multiple deep lineages including a globally distributed lineage common among hosts of European ancestry and three lineages that primarily include hosts of Asian, African, and Latin American ancestry. To a great extent, the ancestral geography of hosts predicted the lineages of mites found on them; 27% of the total molecular variance segregated according to the regional ancestries of hosts. We found that D. folliculorum populations are stable on an individual over the course of years and that some Asian and African American hosts maintain specific mite lineages over the course of years or generations outside their geographic region of birth or ancestry. D. folliculorum haplotypes were much more likely to be shared within families and between spouses than between unrelated individuals, indicating that transmission requires close contact. Dating analyses indicated that D. folliculorum origins may predate modern humans. Overall, D. folliculorum evolution reflects ancient human population divergences, is consistent with an out-of-Africa dispersal hypothesis, and presents an excellent model system for further understanding the history of human movement. PMID:26668374

  20. Finite Divergence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Michael Edberg; Pandya, P. K.; Chaochen, Zhou

    1995-01-01

    Real-time and hybrid systems have been studied so far under the assumption of finite variability. In this paper, we consider models in which systems exhibiting finite divergence can also be analysed. In such systems, the state of the system can change infinitely often in a finite time. This kind...... of behaviour arises in many representations of hybrid systems, and also in theories of nonlinear systems. The aim is to provide a theory where pathological behaviour such as finite divergence can be analysed-if only to prove that it does not occur in systems of interest. Finite divergence is studied using...

  1. A tale of two haplotypes: the EDA2R/AR Intergenic region is the most divergent genomic segment between Africans and East Asians in the human genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casto, Amanda M; Henn, Brenna M; Kidd, Jeffery M; Bustamante, Carlos D; Feldman, Marcus W

    2012-12-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with large allele frequency differences between human populations are relatively rare. The longest run of SNPs with an allele frequency difference of one between the Yoruba of Nigeria and the Han Chinese is found on the long arm of the X chromosome in the intergenic region separating the EDA2R and AR genes. It has been proposed that the unusual allele frequency distributions of these SNPs are the result of a selective sweep affecting African populations that occurred after the out-of-Africa migration. To investigate the evolutionary history of the EDA2R/AR intergenic region, we characterized the haplotype structure of 52 of its highly differentiated SNPs. Using a publicly available data set of 3,000 X chromosomes from 65 human populations, we found that nearly all human X chromosomes carry one of two modal haplotypes for these 52 SNPs. The predominance of two highly divergent haplotypes at this locus was confirmed by use of a subset of individuals sequenced to high coverage. The first of these haplotypes, the α-haplotype is at high frequencies in most of the African populations surveyed and likely arose before the separation of African populations into distinct genetic entities. The second, the β-haplotype, is frequent or fixed in all non-African populations and likely arose in East Africa before the out-of-Africa migration. We also observed a small group or rare haplotypes with no clear relationship to the α- and β-haplotypes. These haplotypes occur at relatively high frequencies in African hunter-gatherer populations, such as the San and Mbuti Pygmies. Our analysis indicates that these haplotypes are part of a pool of diverse, ancestral haplotypes that have now been almost entirely replaced by the α- and β-haplotypes. We suggest that the rise of the α- and β-haplotypes was the result of the demographic forces that human populations experienced during the formation of modern African populations and the out

  2. ‘Candidatus Megaira polyxenophila’ gen. nov., sp. nov.: Considerations on Evolutionary History, Host Range and Shift of Early Divergent Rickettsiae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vannini, Claudia; Galati, Stefano; Schweikert, Michael; Görtz, Hans-Dieter; Verni, Franco; Petroni, Giulio

    2013-01-01

    “Neglected Rickettsiaceae” (i.e. those harboured by non-hematophagous eukaryotic hosts) display greater phylogenetic variability and more widespread dispersal than pathogenic ones; yet, the knowledge about their actual host range and host shift mechanism is scarce. The present work reports the characterization following the full-cycle rRNA approach (SSU rRNA sequence, specific in situ hybridization, and ultrastructure) of a novel rickettsial bacterium, herewith proposed as 'Candidatus Megaira polyxenophila' gen. nov., sp. nov. We found it in association with four different free-living ciliates (Diophrys oligothrix, Euplotes octocarinatus, Paramecium caudatum, and Spirostomum sp., all belonging to Alveolata, Ciliophora); furthermore it was recently observed as intracellular occurring in Carteria cerasiformis and Pleodorina japonica (Chlorophyceae, Chlorophyta). Phylogenetic analyses demonstrated the belonging of the candidate new genus to the family Rickettsiaceae (Alphaproteobacteria, Rickettsiales) as a sister group of the genus Rickettsia. In situ observations revealed the ability of the candidate new species to colonize either nuclear or cytoplasmic compartments, depending on the host organism. The presence of the same bacterial species within different, evolutionary distant, hosts indicates that 'Candidatus Megaira polyxenophila' recently underwent several distinct host shifts, thus suggesting the existence of horizontal transmission pathways. We consider these findings as indicative of an unexpected spread of rickettsial infections in aquatic communities, possibly by means of trophic interactions, and hence propose a new interpretation of the origin and phylogenetic diversification of rickettsial bacteria. PMID:23977321

  3. Global divergence of the human follicle mite Demodex folliculorum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Palopoli, Michael F.; Fergus, Daniel J.; Minot, Samuel

    2015-01-01

    Microscopic mites of the genus Demodex live within the hair follicles of mammals and are ubiquitous symbionts of humans, but little molecular work has been done to understand their genetic diversity or transmission. Here we sampled mite DNA from 70 human hosts of diverse geographic ancestries and...

  4. A selection index for gene expression evolution and its application to the divergence between humans and chimpanzees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Warnefors

    Full Text Available The importance of gene regulation in animal evolution is a matter of long-standing interest, but measuring the impact of selection on gene expression has proven a challenge. Here, we propose a selection index of gene expression as a straightforward method for assessing the mode and strength of selection operating on gene expression levels. The index is based on the widely used McDonald-Kreitman test and requires the estimation of four quantities: the within-species and between-species expression variances as well as the sequence heterozygosity and divergence of neutrally evolving sequences. We apply the method to data from human and chimpanzee lymphoblastoid cell lines and show that gene expression is in general under strong stabilizing selection. We also demonstrate how the same framework can be used to estimate the proportion of adaptive gene expression evolution.

  5. Diagnosis of human papillomatosis by polymerase chain reaction in cases of divergence between results of hybrid capture and papanicolaou cytology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Carlos Garcez Novaes

    Full Text Available As various types of human papillomavirus (HPV are involved in the pathogenesis of cervical cancer, correct diagnosis is of fundamental importance for screening programs. We evaluated the divergence of results between Papanicolaou cytology and hybrid capture by PCR detection of HPV DNA . A transversal study was conducted on 70 women attending private gynecological clinics in Brasilia, Brazil. PCRs were conducted with specific primers for general and high-risk HPV DNA. Based on the PCR results, hybrid capture was a superior diagnostic technique. When Papanicolaou was compared with the molecular biology methods, it was found that a positive Papanicolaou result does not necessarily indicate the presence of HPV. The agreement between PCR and hybrid capture results can be attributed to the fact that both methods detect latent infection, while Papanicolaou detects only microscopic cellular alterations.

  6. Assessing the evolutionary impact of amino acid mutations in the human genome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boyko, Adam R; Williamson, Scott H; Indap, Amit R

    2008-01-01

    with non-stationary demographic history (such as that of modern humans). Application of our method to 47,576 coding SNPs found by direct resequencing of 11,404 protein coding-genes in 35 individuals (20 European Americans and 15 African Americans) allows us to assess the relative contribution......Quantifying the distribution of fitness effects among newly arising mutations in the human genome is key to resolving important debates in medical and evolutionary genetics. Here, we present a method for inferring this distribution using Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) data from a population...... genetic variation affecting disease phenotype may be missed by this widely used approach for mapping genes underlying complex traits....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    nonoptimal culture conditions but also provide valuable insights into intriguing biological principles, including the balance of proteome resource allocation and the role of gene duplication in evolutionary history. PMID:26560065

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saminathan Subburaj

    2017-05-01

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

  9. Of Hissing Snakes and Angry Voices: Human Infants Are Differentially Responsive to Evolutionary Fear-Relevant Sounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erlich, Nicole; Lipp, Ottmar V.; Slaughter, Virginia

    2013-01-01

    Adult humans demonstrate differential processing of stimuli that were recurrent threats to safety and survival throughout evolutionary history. Recent studies suggest that differential processing of evolutionarily ancient threats occurs in human infants, leading to the proposal of an inborn mechanism for rapid identification of, and response to,…

  10. Functional and evolutionary analyses of Helicobacter pylori HP0231 (DsbK protein with strong oxidative and chaperone activity characterized by a highly diverged dimerization domain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarzyna Marta Bocian-Ostrzycka

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori does not encode the classical DsbA/DsbB oxidoreductases that are crucial for oxidative folding of extracytoplasmic proteins. Instead, this microorganism encodes an untypical two proteins playing a role in disulfide bond formation – periplasmic HP0231, which structure resembles that of EcDsbC/DsbG, and its redox partner, a membrane protein HpDsbI (HP0595 with a -propeller structure. The aim of presented work was to assess relations between HP0231 structure and function.We showed that HP0231 is most closely related evolutionarily to the catalytic domain of DsbG, even though it possesses a catalytic motif typical for canonical DsbA proteins. Similarly, the highly diverged N-terminal dimerization domain is homologous to the dimerization domain of DsbG. To better understand the functioning of this atypical oxidoreductase, we examined its activity using in vivo and in vitro experiments. We found that HP0231 exhibits oxidizing and chaperone activities but no isomerizing activity, even though H. pylori does not contain a classical DsbC. We also show that HP0231 is not involved in the introduction of disulfide bonds into HcpC (Helicobacter cysteine-rich protein C, a protein involved in the modulation of the H. pylori interaction with its host. Additionally, we also constructed a truncated version of HP0231 lacking the dimerization domain, denoted HP0231m, and showed that it acts in E. coli cells in a DsbB-dependent manner. In contrast, HP0231m and classical monomeric EcDsbA (Escherichia coli DsbA protein were both unable to complement the lack of HP0231 in H. pylori cells, though they exist in oxidized forms. HP0231m is inactive in the insulin reduction assay and possesses high chaperone activity, in contrast to EcDsbA. In conclusion, HP0231 combines oxidative functions characteristic of DsbA proteins and chaperone activity characteristic of DsbC/DsbG, and it lacks isomerization activity.

  11. Selectivity and evolutionary divergence of metabotropic glutamate receptors for endogenous ligands and G proteins coupled to phospholipase C or TRP channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Hye Jin; Menlove, Kit; Ma, Jianpeng; Wilkins, Angela; Lichtarge, Olivier; Wensel, Theodore G

    2014-10-24

    To define the upstream and downstream signaling specificities of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR), we have examined the ability of representative mGluR of group I, II, and III to be activated by endogenous amino acids and catalyze activation of G proteins coupled to phospholipase C (PLC), or activation of G(i/o) proteins coupled to the ion channel TRPC4β. Fluorescence-based assays have allowed us to observe interactions not previously reported or clearly identified. We have found that the specificity for endogenous amino acids is remarkably stringent. Even at millimolar levels, structurally similar compounds do not elicit significant activation. As reported previously, the clear exception is L-serine-O-phosphate (L-SOP), which strongly activates group III mGluR, especially mGluR4,-6,-8 but not group I or II mGluR. Whereas L-SOP cannot activate mGluR1 or mGluR2, it acts as a weak antagonist for mGluR1 and a potent antagonist for mGluR2, suggesting that co-recognition of L-glutamate and L-SOP arose early in evolution, and was followed later by divergence of group I and group II mGluR versus group III in l-SOP responses. mGluR7 has low affinity and efficacy for activation by both L-glutamate and L-SOP. Molecular docking studies suggested that residue 74 corresponding to lysine in mGluR4 and asparagine in mGluR7 might play a key role, and, indeed, mutagenesis experiments demonstrated that mutating this residue to lysine in mGluR7 enhances the potency of L-SOP. Experiments with pertussis toxin and dominant-negative Gα(i/o) proteins revealed that mGluR1 couples strongly to TRPC4β through Gα(i/o), in addition to coupling to PLC through Gα(q/11). © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  12. COMT Genetic Reduction Produces Sexually Divergent Effects on Cortical Anatomy and Working Memory in Mice and Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sannino, Sara; Gozzi, Alessandro; Cerasa, Antonio; Piras, Fabrizio; Scheggia, Diego; Managò, Francesca; Damiano, Mario; Galbusera, Alberto; Erickson, Lucy C; De Pietri Tonelli, Davide; Bifone, Angelo; Tsaftaris, Sotirios A; Caltagirone, Carlo; Weinberger, Daniel R; Spalletta, Gianfranco; Papaleo, Francesco

    2015-09-01

    Genetic variations in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) that modulate cortical dopamine have been associated with pleiotropic behavioral effects in humans and mice. Recent data suggest that some of these effects may vary among sexes. However, the specific brain substrates underlying COMT sexual dimorphisms remain unknown. Here, we report that genetically driven reduction in COMT enzyme activity increased cortical thickness in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and postero-parieto-temporal cortex of male, but not female adult mice and humans. Dichotomous changes in PFC cytoarchitecture were also observed: reduced COMT increased a measure of neuronal density in males, while reducing it in female mice. Consistent with the neuroanatomical findings, COMT-dependent sex-specific morphological brain changes were paralleled by divergent effects on PFC-dependent working memory in both mice and humans. These findings emphasize a specific sex-gene interaction that can modulate brain morphological substrates with influence on behavioral outcomes in healthy subjects and, potentially, in neuropsychiatric populations. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Evolutionary, neurobiological, gene-based solution of the ideological "puzzle" of human altruism and cooperation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baschetti, Riccardo

    2007-01-01

    Despite hundreds of published articles about humankind's eusocial behaviours, most scholars still regard the origin of human altruism and cooperation as an enduring puzzle, because it seems incompatible with two central tenets of evolution, namely, the competition between individuals and the consequent selective advantages of selfish traits. This "puzzle", however, rather than being due to insurmountable scientific difficulties, is to be attributed to two powerful ideologies, which are politically opposite, but nevertheless concurred to prevent scholars from solving it. One ideology rejects the concept of genetic determinism, whereas the other dislikes the concept of group selection. As a consequence, these widespread ideologies, which are common in the scientific community, too, kept scholars from realising that the puzzle of human altruism and cooperation can only be solved by proposing a theoretical model that is based precisely on both genetic determinism and group selection. This model, which was never advanced in published papers, is presented here. This article also proposes to regard ancestral environments as determinants of human eusociality. By contrast, virtually all previous articles about it leave primitive habitats unmentioned. To support the hypothesis that human unselfish behaviours represent genetically conserved traits that evolved ancestrally, not products of cultural transmission, this paper also discusses six groups of arguments in the section "Genes versus culture". Finally, this article advances a purely genetic evolutionary explanation for the uniqueness of human eusociality, thereby challenging prevailing cultural explanations for the incomparably developed levels of cooperation in humankind, which are observed in no other social species.

  14. Pseudogenization of testis-specific Lfg5 predates human/Neanderthal divergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariotti, Marco; Smith, Temple F; Sudmant, Peter H; Goldberger, Gabriel

    2014-05-01

    Recent reviews discussed the critical roles of apoptosis in human spermatogenesis and infertility. These reviews highlight the FasL-induced caspase cascade in apoptosis lending importance to our discovery of the pseudogene status of the Lfg5 gene in modern humans, Neanderthal and the Denisovan. This gene is a member of the ancient and highly conserved apoptosis Lifeguard family. This pseudogenization is the result of a premature stop codon at the 3'-end of exon 8 not found in any other ortholog. With the current exception of the domesticated bovine and buffalo, Lfg5's expression in mammals is testis-specific. A full analysis of this gene, its phylogenetic context and its recent hominin changes suggest its inactivation was likely under selection in human evolution.

  15. Evolutionary insights into global patterns of human cranial diversity: population history, climatic and dietary effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen

    2014-01-01

    The study of cranial variation has a long, and somewhat difficult, history within anthropology. Much of this difficulty is rooted in the historical use of craniometric data to justify essentialist typological racial classification schemes. In the post-war era of the "New Physical Anthropology" (sensu Washburn, 1951), anthropologists began to analyse human variation in an explicitly populationist and evolutionary philosophical and analytical framework. However, even within recent decades, substantially different approaches have been employed; some advocate a focus on the analysis of individual traits or clines, while others are explicitly adaptationist, with a focus on natural selection as the preeminent force of phenotypic diversification. In recent years, a series of studies have analysed craniometric data in an explicitly quantitative genetic framework, which emphasises the importance of neutral forces such as migration, gene flow and genetic drift in creating global patterns of phenotypic diversity. This approach has revealed that global patterns of cranial variation can largely be explained on the basis of neutral theory. Therefore, human cranial data can be productively employed as a proxy for neutral genetic data in archaeological contexts. Moreover, there is a growing recognition that regions of the cranium differ in the extent to which they fit a neutral model of microevolutionary expectation, allowing for a more detailed assessment of patterns of adaptation and phenotypic plasticity within the human skull. Taking an historical perspective, the current state of knowledge regarding patterns of cranial adaptation in response to climatic and dietary effects is reviewed. Further insights will be gained by better incorporating the study of cranial and postcranial variation, as well as understanding the impact of neutral versus non-neutral evolution in creating among-species diversity patterns in primates more generally. However, this will most effectively be

  16. Uniqueness of human running coordination: The integration of modern and ancient evolutionary innovations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John eKiely

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Running is a pervasive activity across human cultures and a cornerstone of contemporary health, fitness and sporting activities. Yet for the overwhelming predominance of human existence running was an essential prerequisite for survival. A means to hunt, and a means to escape when hunted. In a very real sense humans have evolved to run. Yet curiously, perhaps due to running’s cultural ubiquity and the natural ease with which we learn to run, we rarely consider the uniqueness of human bipedal running within the animal kingdom. Our unique upright, single stance, bouncing running gait imposes a unique set of coordinative difficulties. Challenges demanding we precariously balance our fragile brains in the very position where they are most vulnerable to falling injury while simultaneously retaining stability, steering direction of travel, and powering the upcoming stride: all within the abbreviated time-frames afforded by short, violent ground contacts separated by long flight times. These running coordination challenges are solved through the tightly-integrated blending of primitive evolutionary legacies, conserved from reptilian and vertebrate lineages, and comparatively modern, more exclusively human, innovations. The integrated unification of these top-down and bottom-up control processes bestows humans with an agile control system, enabling us to readily modulate speeds, change direction, negotiate varied terrains and to instantaneously adapt to changing surface conditions. The seamless integration of these evolutionary processes is facilitated by pervasive, neural and biological, activity-dependent adaptive plasticity. Over time, and with progressive exposure, this adaptive plasticity shapes neural and biological structures to best cope with regularly imposed movement challenges. This pervasive plasticity enables the gradual construction of a robust system of distributed coordinated control, comprised of processes that are so deeply

  17. Divergences in gene repertoire among the reference Prevotella genomes derived from distinct body sites of human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Vinod Kumar; Chaudhari, Narendrakumar M; Iskepalli, Suchismitha; Dutta, Chitra

    2015-03-05

    The community composition of the human microbiome is known to vary at distinct anatomical niches. But little is known about the nature of variations, if any, at the genome/sub-genome levels of a specific microbial community across different niches. The present report aims to explore, as a case study, the variations in gene repertoire of 28 Prevotella reference genomes derived from different body-sites of human, as reported earlier by the Human Microbiome Consortium. The pan-genome for Prevotella remains "open". On an average, 17% of predicted protein-coding genes of any particular Prevotella genome represent the conserved core genes, while the remaining 83% contribute to the flexible and singletons. The study reveals exclusive presence of 11798, 3673, 3348 and 934 gene families and exclusive absence of 17, 221, 115 and 645 gene families in Prevotella genomes derived from human oral cavity, gastro-intestinal tracts (GIT), urogenital tract (UGT) and skin, respectively. Distribution of various functional COG categories differs significantly among the habitat-specific genes. No niche-specific variations could be observed in distribution of KEGG pathways. Prevotella genomes derived from different body sites differ appreciably in gene repertoire, suggesting that these microbiome components might have developed distinct genetic strategies for niche adaptation within the host. Each individual microbe might also have a component of its own genetic machinery for host adaptation, as appeared from the huge number of singletons.

  18. Evolutionary genomic remodelling of the human 4q subtelomere (4q35.2

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    Riva Paola

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In order to obtain insights into the functionality of the human 4q35.2 domain harbouring the facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD locus, we investigated in African apes genomic and chromatin organisations, and the nuclear topology of orthologous regions. Results A basic block consisting of short D4Z4 arrays (10–15 repeats, 4q35.2 specific sequences, and approximately 35 kb of interspersed repeats from different LINE subfamilies was repeated at least twice in the gorilla 4qter. This genomic organisation has undergone evolutionary remodelling, leading to the single representation of both the D4Z4 array and LINE block in chimpanzee, and the loss of the LINE block in humans. The genomic remodelling has had an impact on 4qter chromatin organisation, but not its interphase nuclear topology. In comparison with humans, African apes show very low or undetectable levels of FRG1 and FRG2 histone 4 acetylation and gene transcription, although histone deacetylase inhibition restores gene transcription to levels comparable with those of human cells, thus indicating that the 4qter region is capable of acquiring a more open chromatin structure. Conversely, as in humans, the 4qter region in African apes has a very peripheral nuclear localisation. Conclusion The 4q subtelomere has undergone substantial genomic changes during evolution that have had an impact on chromatin condensation and the region's transcriptional regulation. Consequently, the 4qter genes in African apes and humans seem to be subjected to a different strategy of regulation in which LINE and D4Z4 sequences may play a pivotal role. However, the effect of peripheral nuclear anchoring of 4qter on these regulation mechanisms is still unclear. The observed differences in the regulation of 4qter gene expression between African apes and humans suggest that the human 4q35.2 locus has acquired a novel functional relevance.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Poot

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Understanding complex networks that modulate development in humans is hampered by genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity within and between populations. Here we present a method that exploits natural variation in highly diverse mouse genetic reference panels in which genetic and environmental factors can be tightly controlled. The aim of our study is to test a cross-species genetic mapping strategy, which compares data of gene mapping in human patients with functional data obtained by QTL mapping in recombinant inbred mouse strains in order to prioritize human disease candidate genes.We exploit evolutionary conservation of developmental phenotypes to discover gene variants that influence brain development in humans. We studied corpus callosum volume in a recombinant inbred mouse panel (C57BL/6J×DBA/2J, BXD strains using high-field strength MRI technology. We aligned mouse mapping results for this neuro-anatomical phenotype with genetic data from patients with abnormal corpus callosum (ACC development.From the 61 syndromes which involve an ACC, 51 human candidate genes have been identified. Through interval mapping, we identified a single significant QTL on mouse chromosome 7 for corpus callosum volume with a QTL peak located between 25.5 and 26.7 Mb. Comparing the genes in this mouse QTL region with those associated with human syndromes (involving ACC and those covered by copy number variations (CNV yielded a single overlap, namely HNRPU in humans and Hnrpul1 in mice. Further analysis of corpus callosum volume in BXD strains revealed that the corpus callosum was significantly larger in BXD mice with a B genotype at the Hnrpul1 locus than in BXD mice with a D genotype at Hnrpul1 (F = 22.48, p<9.87*10(-5.This approach that exploits highly diverse mouse strains provides an efficient and effective translational bridge to study the etiology of human developmental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia.

  20. Diverging Cohesion?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Charron, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    Why do increases in globalisation in the face of European expansion lead to sharp levels of regional divergences in wealth in some countries but not in others? The central crux of this paper is that convergence/divergence trends in European states are conditioned by ‘state capacity’. State capacity...... – which we define here as a combination of impartial bureaucratic practices, corruption and the rule of law – limits, and in some cases reverses the tendency towards greater divergence linked to trade. Countries with high levels of state capacity – that is, those that have greater government effectiveness...... globalisation – European Union (EU) member states – using aggregated regional-level data from 1995 to 2008. Strong and robust empirical evidence is found for this claim....

  1. Evolutionary Space Communications Architectures for Human/Robotic Exploration and Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhasin, Kul; Hayden, Jeffrey L.

    2004-01-01

    NASA enterprises have growing needs for an advanced, integrated, communications infrastructure that will satisfy the capabilities needed for multiple human, robotic and scientific missions beyond 2015. Furthermore, the reliable, multipoint infrastructure is required to provide continuous, maximum coverage of areas of concentrated activities, such as around Earth and in the vicinity of the Moon or Mars, with access made available on demand of the human or robotic user. As a first step, the definitions of NASA's future space communications and networking architectures are underway. Architectures that describe the communications and networking needed between the nodal regions consisting of Earth, Moon, Lagrange points, Mars, and the places of interest within the inner and outer solar system have been laid out. These architectures will need the modular flexibility that must be included in the communication and networking technologies to enable the infrastructure to grow in capability with time and to transform from supporting robotic missions in the solar system to supporting human ventures to Mars, Jupiter, Jupiter's moons, and beyond. The protocol-based networking capability seamlessly connects the backbone, access, inter-spacecraft and proximity network elements of the architectures employed in the infrastructure. In this paper, we present the summary of NASA's near and long term needs and capability requirements that were gathered by participative methods. We describe an integrated architecture concept and model that will enable communications for evolutionary robotic and human science missions. We then define the communication nodes, their requirements, and various options to connect them.

  2. Divergent Human Cortical Regions for Processing Distinct Acoustic-Semantic Categories of Natural Sounds: Animal Action Sounds vs. Vocalizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Paula J.; Skipper-Kallal, Laura M.; Frum, Chris A.; Still, Hayley N.; Ward, B. Douglas; Lewis, James W.

    2017-01-01

    A major gap in our understanding of natural sound processing is knowledge of where or how in a cortical hierarchy differential processing leads to categorical perception at a semantic level. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) we sought to determine if and where cortical pathways in humans might diverge for processing action sounds vs. vocalizations as distinct acoustic-semantic categories of real-world sound when matched for duration and intensity. This was tested by using relatively less semantically complex natural sounds produced by non-conspecific animals rather than humans. Our results revealed a striking double-dissociation of activated networks bilaterally. This included a previously well described pathway preferential for processing vocalization signals directed laterally from functionally defined primary auditory cortices to the anterior superior temporal gyri, and a less well-described pathway preferential for processing animal action sounds directed medially to the posterior insulae. We additionally found that some of these regions and associated cortical networks showed parametric sensitivity to high-order quantifiable acoustic signal attributes and/or to perceptual features of the natural stimuli, such as the degree of perceived recognition or intentional understanding. Overall, these results supported a neurobiological theoretical framework for how the mammalian brain may be fundamentally organized to process acoustically and acoustic-semantically distinct categories of ethologically valid, real-world sounds. PMID:28111538

  3. Divergent cortical generators of MEG and EEG during human sleep spindles suggested by distributed source modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehghani, Nima; Cash, Sydney S; Chen, Chih C; Hagler, Donald J; Huang, Mingxiong; Dale, Anders M; Halgren, Eric

    2010-07-07

    Sleep spindles are approximately 1-second bursts of 10-15 Hz activity, occurring during normal stage 2 sleep. In animals, sleep spindles can be synchronous across multiple cortical and thalamic locations, suggesting a distributed stable phase-locked generating system. The high synchrony of spindles across scalp EEG sites suggests that this may also be true in humans. However, prior MEG studies suggest multiple and varying generators. We recorded 306 channels of MEG simultaneously with 60 channels of EEG during naturally occurring spindles of stage 2 sleep in 7 healthy subjects. High-resolution structural MRI was obtained in each subject, to define the shells for a boundary element forward solution and to reconstruct the cortex providing the solution space for a noise-normalized minimum norm source estimation procedure. Integrated across the entire duration of all spindles, sources estimated from EEG and MEG are similar, diffuse and widespread, including all lobes from both hemispheres. However, the locations, phase and amplitude of sources simultaneously estimated from MEG versus EEG are highly distinct during the same spindles. Specifically, the sources estimated from EEG are highly synchronous across the cortex, whereas those from MEG rapidly shift in phase, hemisphere, and the location within the hemisphere. The heterogeneity of MEG sources implies that multiple generators are active during human sleep spindles. If the source modeling is correct, then EEG spindles are generated by a different, diffusely synchronous system. Animal studies have identified two thalamo-cortical systems, core and matrix, that produce focal or diffuse activation and thus could underlie MEG and EEG spindles, respectively. Alternatively, EEG spindles could reflect overlap at the sensors of the same sources as are seen from the MEG. Although our results generally match human intracranial recordings, additional improvements are possible and simultaneous intra- and extra-cranial measures

  4. Divergent cortical generators of MEG and EEG during human sleep spindles suggested by distributed source modeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nima Dehghani

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Sleep spindles are approximately 1-second bursts of 10-15 Hz activity, occurring during normal stage 2 sleep. In animals, sleep spindles can be synchronous across multiple cortical and thalamic locations, suggesting a distributed stable phase-locked generating system. The high synchrony of spindles across scalp EEG sites suggests that this may also be true in humans. However, prior MEG studies suggest multiple and varying generators.We recorded 306 channels of MEG simultaneously with 60 channels of EEG during naturally occurring spindles of stage 2 sleep in 7 healthy subjects. High-resolution structural MRI was obtained in each subject, to define the shells for a boundary element forward solution and to reconstruct the cortex providing the solution space for a noise-normalized minimum norm source estimation procedure. Integrated across the entire duration of all spindles, sources estimated from EEG and MEG are similar, diffuse and widespread, including all lobes from both hemispheres. However, the locations, phase and amplitude of sources simultaneously estimated from MEG versus EEG are highly distinct during the same spindles. Specifically, the sources estimated from EEG are highly synchronous across the cortex, whereas those from MEG rapidly shift in phase, hemisphere, and the location within the hemisphere.The heterogeneity of MEG sources implies that multiple generators are active during human sleep spindles. If the source modeling is correct, then EEG spindles are generated by a different, diffusely synchronous system. Animal studies have identified two thalamo-cortical systems, core and matrix, that produce focal or diffuse activation and thus could underlie MEG and EEG spindles, respectively. Alternatively, EEG spindles could reflect overlap at the sensors of the same sources as are seen from the MEG. Although our results generally match human intracranial recordings, additional improvements are possible and simultaneous intra- and extra

  5. Axiomatising Divergence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lohrey, Markus; d' Argenio, Peter R.; Hermanns, Holger; Widmayer, Peter; Eidenbenz, Stephan; Triguero, Francisco; Morales, Rafael; Conejo, Ricardo; Hennessy, Matthew

    2002-01-01

    This paper develops sound and complete axiomatisations for the divergence sensitive spectrum of weak bisimulation equivalence. The axiomatisations can be extended to a considerable fragment of the linear time - branching time spectrum with silent moves, partially solving an open problem posed in

  6. Exceptional Evolutionary Expansion of Prefrontal Cortex in Great Apes and Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smaers, Jeroen B; Gómez-Robles, Aida; Parks, Ashley N; Sherwood, Chet C

    2017-03-06

    One of the enduring questions that has driven neuroscientific enquiry in the last century has been the nature of differences in the prefrontal cortex of humans versus other animals [1]. The prefrontal cortex has drawn particular interest due to its role in a range of evolutionarily specialized cognitive capacities such as language [2], imagination [3], and complex decision making [4]. Both cytoarchitectonic [5] and comparative neuroimaging [6] studies have converged on the conclusion that the proportion of prefrontal cortex in the human brain is greatly increased relative to that of other primates. However, considering the tremendous overall expansion of the neocortex in human evolution, it has proven difficult to ascertain whether this extent of prefrontal enlargement follows general allometric growth patterns, or whether it is exceptional [1]. Species' adherence to a common allometric relationship suggests conservation through phenotypic integration, while species' deviations point toward the occurrence of shifts in genetic and/or developmental mechanisms. Here we investigate prefrontal cortex scaling across anthropoid primates and find that great ape and human prefrontal cortex expansion are non-allometrically derived features of cortical organization. This result aligns with evidence for a developmental heterochronic shift in human prefrontal growth [7, 8], suggesting an association between neurodevelopmental changes and cortical organization on a macroevolutionary scale. The evolutionary origin of non-allometric prefrontal enlargement is estimated to lie at the root of great apes (∼19-15 mya), indicating that selection for changes in executive cognitive functions characterized both great ape and human cortical organization. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Divergent Expression and Metabolic Functions of Human Glucuronosyltransferases through Alternative Splicing

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    Michèle Rouleau

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Maintenance of cellular homeostasis and xenobiotic detoxification is mediated by 19 human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase enzymes (UGTs encoded by ten genes that comprise the glucuronidation pathway. Deep RNA sequencing of major metabolic organs exposes a substantial expansion of the UGT transcriptome by alternative splicing, with variants representing 20% to 60% of canonical transcript expression. Nearly a fifth of expressed variants comprise in-frame sequences that may create distinct structural and functional features. Follow-up cell-based assays reveal biological functions for these alternative UGT proteins. Some isoforms were found to inhibit or induce inactivation of drugs and steroids in addition to perturbing global cell metabolism (energy, amino acids, nucleotides, cell adhesion, and proliferation. This work highlights the biological relevance of alternative UGT expression, which we propose increases protein diversity through the evolution of metabolic regulators from specific enzymes.

  8. Divergent Expression and Metabolic Functions of Human Glucuronosyltransferases through Alternative Splicing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouleau, Michèle; Tourancheau, Alan; Girard-Bock, Camille; Villeneuve, Lyne; Vaucher, Jonathan; Duperré, Anne-Marie; Audet-Delage, Yannick; Gilbert, Isabelle; Popa, Ion; Droit, Arnaud; Guillemette, Chantal

    2016-09-27

    Maintenance of cellular homeostasis and xenobiotic detoxification is mediated by 19 human UDP-glucuronosyltransferase enzymes (UGTs) encoded by ten genes that comprise the glucuronidation pathway. Deep RNA sequencing of major metabolic organs exposes a substantial expansion of the UGT transcriptome by alternative splicing, with variants representing 20% to 60% of canonical transcript expression. Nearly a fifth of expressed variants comprise in-frame sequences that may create distinct structural and functional features. Follow-up cell-based assays reveal biological functions for these alternative UGT proteins. Some isoforms were found to inhibit or induce inactivation of drugs and steroids in addition to perturbing global cell metabolism (energy, amino acids, nucleotides), cell adhesion, and proliferation. This work highlights the biological relevance of alternative UGT expression, which we propose increases protein diversity through the evolution of metabolic regulators from specific enzymes. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. A Comprehensive Catalog of Human KRAB-associated Zinc Finger Genes: Insights into the Evolutionary History of a Large Family of Transcriptional Repressors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huntley, S; Baggott, D M; Hamilton, A T; Tran-Gyamfi, M; Yang, S; Kim, J; Gordon, L; Branscomb, E; Stubbs, L

    2005-09-30

    Krueppel-type zinc finger (ZNF) motifs are prevalent components of transcription factor proteins in all eukaryotic species. In mammals, most ZNF proteins comprise a single class of transcriptional repressors in which a chromatin interaction domain, called the Krueppel-associated box (KRAB) is attached to a tandem array of DNA-binding zinc-finger motifs. KRAB-ZNF loci are specific to tetrapod vertebrates, but have expanded dramatically in numbers through repeated rounds of segmental duplication to create a gene family with hundreds of members in mammals. To define the full repertoire of human KRAB-ZNF proteins, we searched the human genome for key motifs and used them to construct and manually curate gene models. The resulting KRAB-ZNF gene catalog includes 326 known genes, 243 of which were structurally corrected by manual annotation, and 97 novel KRAB-ZNF genes; this single family therefore comprises 20% of all predicted human transcription factor genes. Many of the genes are alternatively spliced, yielding a total of 743 distinct predicted proteins. Although many human KRAB-ZNF genes are conserved in mammals, at least 136 and potentially more than 200 genes of this type are primate-specific including many recent segmental duplicates. KRAB-ZNF genes are active in a wide variety of human tissues suggesting roles in many key biological processes, but most member genes remain completely uncharacterized. Because of their sheer numbers, wide-ranging tissue-specific expression patterns, and remarkable evolutionary divergence we predict that KRAB-ZNF transcription factors have played critical roles in crafting many aspects of human biology, including both deeply conserved and primate-specific traits.

  10. A high-resolution map of human evolutionary constraint using 29 mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Garber, Manuel; Zuk, Or; Lin, Michael F.; Parker, Brian J.; Washietl, Stefan; Kheradpour, Pouya; Ernst, Jason; Jordan, Gregory; Mauceli, Evan; Ward, Lucas D.; Lowe, Craig B.; Holloway, Alisha K.; Clamp, Michele; Gnerre, Sante; Alfoldi, Jessica; Beal, Kathryn; Chang, Jean; Clawson, Hiram; Cuff, James; Di Palma, Federica; Fitzgerald, Stephen; Flicek, Paul; Guttman, Mitchell; Hubisz, Melissa J; Jaffe, David B.; Jungreis, Irwin; Kent, W James; Kostka, Dennis; Lara, Marcia; Martins, Andre L; Massingham, Tim; Moltke, Ida; Raney, Brian J.; Rasmussen, Matthew D.; Robinson, Jim; Stark, Alexander; Vilella, Albert J.; Wen, Jiayu; Xie, Xiaohui; Zody, Michael C.; Worley, Kim C.; Kovar, Christie L.; Muzny, Donna M.; Gibbs, Richard A.; Warren, Wesley C.; Mardis, Elaine R; Weinstock, George M.; Wilson, Richard K.; Birney, Ewan; Margulies, Elliott H.; Herrero, Javier; Green, Eric D.; Haussler, David; Siepel, Adam; Goldman, Nick; Pollard, Katherine S.; Pedersen, Jakob S.; Lander, Eric S.; Kellis, Manolis

    2011-01-01

    Comparison of related genomes has emerged as a powerful lens for genome interpretation. Here, we report the sequencing and comparative analysis of 29 eutherian genomes. We confirm that at least 5.5% of the human genome has undergone purifying selection, and report constrained elements covering ~4.2% of the genome. We use evolutionary signatures and comparison with experimental datasets to suggest candidate functions for ~60% of constrained bases. These elements reveal a small number of new coding exons, candidate stop codon readthrough events, and over 10,000 regions of overlapping synonymous constraint within protein-coding exons. We find 220 candidate RNA structural families, and nearly a million elements overlapping potential promoter, enhancer and insulator regions. We report specific amino acid residues that have undergone positive selection, 280,000 non-coding elements exapted from mobile elements, and ~1,000 primate- and human-accelerated elements. Overlap with disease-associated variants suggests our findings will be relevant for studies of human biology and health. PMID:21993624

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-06

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

  12. Evolutionary Awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory Gorelik

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. Competence and the Evolutionary Origins of Status and Power in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapais, Bernard

    2015-06-01

    In this paper I propose an evolutionary model of human status that expands upon an earlier model proposed by Henrich and Gil-White Evolution and Human Behavior, 22,165-196 (2001). According to their model, there are two systems of status attainment in humans-"two ways to the top": the dominance route, which involves physical intimidation, a psychology of fear and hubristic pride, and provides coercive power, and the prestige route, which involves skills and knowledge (competence), a psychology of attraction to experts and authentic pride, and translates mainly into influence. The two systems would have evolved in response to different selective pressures, with attraction to experts serving a social learning function and coinciding with the evolution of cumulative culture. In this paper I argue that (1) the only one way to the top is competence because dominance itself involves competence and confers prestige, so there is no such thing as pure dominance status; (2) dominance in primates has two components: a competitive one involving physical coercion and a cooperative one involving competence-based attraction to high-ranking individuals (proto-prestige); (3) competence grants the same general type of power (dependence-based) in humans and other primates; (4) the attractiveness of high rank in primates is homologous with the admiration of experts in humans; (5) upon the evolution of cumulative culture, the attractiveness of high rank was co-opted to generate status differentials in a vast number of culturally generated domains of activity. I also discuss, in this perspective, the origins of hubristic pride, authentic pride, and nonauthoritarian leadership.

  15. Evolutionary Cell Biology of Proteins from Protists to Humans and Plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plattner, Helmut

    2017-07-18

    During evolution, the cell as a fine-tuned machine had to undergo permanent adjustments to match changes in its environment, while "closed for repair work" was not possible. Evolution from protists (protozoa and unicellular algae) to multicellular organisms may have occurred in basically two lineages, Unikonta and Bikonta, culminating in mammals and angiosperms (flowering plants), respectively. Unicellular models for unikont evolution are myxamoebae (Dictyostelium) and increasingly also choanoflagellates, whereas for bikonts, ciliates are preferred models. Information accumulating from combined molecular database search and experimental verification allows new insights into evolutionary diversification and maintenance of genes/proteins from protozoa on, eventually with orthologs in bacteria. However, proteins have rarely been followed up systematically for maintenance or change of function or intracellular localization, acquirement of new domains, partial deletion (e.g. of subunits), and refunctionalization, etc. These aspects are discussed in this review, envisaging "evolutionary cell biology." Protozoan heritage is found for most important cellular structures and functions up to humans and flowering plants. Examples discussed include refunctionalization of voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels in cilia and replacement by other types during evolution. Altogether components serving Ca2+ signaling are very flexible throughout evolution, calmodulin being a most conservative example, in contrast to calcineurin whose catalytic subunit is lost in plants, whereas both subunits are maintained up to mammals for complex functions (immune defense and learning). Domain structure of R-type SNAREs differs in mono- and bikonta, as do Ca2+ -dependent protein kinases. Unprecedented selective expansion of the subunit a which connects multimeric base piece and head parts (V0, V1) of H+ -ATPase/pump may well reflect the intriguing vesicle trafficking system in ciliates, specifically in

  16. From monkey-like action recognition to human language: an evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, Michael A

    2005-04-01

    The article analyzes the neural and functional grounding of language skills as well as their emergence in hominid evolution, hypothesizing stages leading from abilities known to exist in monkeys and apes and presumed to exist in our hominid ancestors right through to modern spoken and signed languages. The starting point is the observation that both premotor area F5 in monkeys and Broca's area in humans contain a "mirror system" active for both execution and observation of manual actions, and that F5 and Broca's area are homologous brain regions. This grounded the mirror system hypothesis of Rizzolatti and Arbib (1998) which offers the mirror system for grasping as a key neural "missing link" between the abilities of our nonhuman ancestors of 20 million years ago and modern human language, with manual gestures rather than a system for vocal communication providing the initial seed for this evolutionary process. The present article, however, goes "beyond the mirror" to offer hypotheses on evolutionary changes within and outside the mirror systems which may have occurred to equip Homo sapiens with a language-ready brain. Crucial to the early stages of this progression is the mirror system for grasping and its extension to permit imitation. Imitation is seen as evolving via a so-called simple system such as that found in chimpanzees (which allows imitation of complex "object-oriented" sequences but only as the result of extensive practice) to a so-called complex system found in humans (which allows rapid imitation even of complex sequences, under appropriate conditions) which supports pantomime. This is hypothesized to have provided the substrate for the development of protosign, a combinatorially open repertoire of manual gestures, which then provides the scaffolding for the emergence of protospeech (which thus owes little to nonhuman vocalizations), with protosign and protospeech then developing in an expanding spiral. It is argued that these stages involve

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Ubadah Sabbagh

    2016-01-01

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

  19. New STLV-3 strains and a divergent SIVmus strain identified in non-human primate bushmeat in Gabon

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    Liégeois Florian

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human retroviral infections such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV or Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV are the result of simian zoonotic transmissions through handling and butchering of Non-Human Primates (NHP or by close contact with pet animals. Recent studies on retroviral infections in NHP bushmeat allowed for the identification of numerous Simian Immunodeficiency Viruses (SIV and Simian T-cell Lymphotropic Viruses (STLV to which humans are exposed. Nevertheless, today, data on simian retroviruses at the primate/hunter interface remain scarce. We conducted a pilot study on 63 blood and/or tissues samples derived from NHP bushmeat seized by the competent authorities in different locations across the country. Results SIV and STLV were detected by antibodies to HIV and HTLV antigens, and PCRs were performed on samples with an HIV or/and HTLV-like or indeterminate profile. Fourteen percent of the samples cross-reacted with HIV antigens and 44% with HTLV antigens. We reported STLV-1 infections in five of the seven species tested. STLV-3 infections, including a new STLV-3 subtype, STLV-1 and -3 co-infections, and triple SIV, STLV-1, STLV-3 infections were observed in red-capped mangabeys (C.torquatus. We confirmed SIV infections by PCR and sequence analyses in mandrills, red-capped mangabeys and showed that mustached monkeys in Gabon are infected with a new SIV strain basal to the SIVgsn/mus/mon lineage that did not fall into the previously described SIVmus lineages reported from the corresponding species in Cameroon. The same monkey (subspecies can thus be carrier of, at least, three distinct SIVs. Overall, the minimal prevalence observed for both STLV and SIV natural infections were 26.9% and 11.1% respectively. Conclusions Overall, these data, obtained from a restricted sampling, highlight the need for further studies on simian retroviruses in sub-Saharan Africa to better understand their evolutionary history and to

  20. Divergent effects of mycobacterial cell wall glycolipids on maturation and function of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells.

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    Jolanta Mazurek

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb is able to evade the immune defenses and may persist for years, decades and even lifelong in the infected host. Mtb cell wall components may contribute to such persistence by modulating several pivotal types of immune cells. Dendritic cells (DCs are the most potent antigen-presenting cells and hence play a crucial role in the initial immune response to infections by connecting the innate with the adaptive immune system. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated the effects of two of the major mycobacterial cell wall-associated types of glycolipids, mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan (ManLAM and phosphatidylinositol mannosides (PIMs purified from the Mtb strains H37Rv and Mycobacterium bovis, on the maturation and cytokine profiles of immature human monocyte-derived DCs. ManLAM from Mtb H37Rv stimulated the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF, IL-12, and IL-6 and expression of co-stimulatory (CD80, CD86 and antigen-presenting molecules (MHC class II. ManLAM from M. bovis also induced TNF, IL-12 and IL-6 but at significantly lower levels. Importantly, while ManLAM was found to augment LPS-induced DC maturation and pro-inflammatory cytokine production, addition of PIMs from both Mtb H37Rv and M. bovis strongly reduced this stimulatory effect. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that the mycobacterial cell wall contains macromolecules of glycolipid nature which are able to induce strong and divergent effects on human DCs; i.e while ManLAM is immune-stimulatory, PIMs act as powerful inhibitors of DC cytokine responses. Thus PIMs may be important Mtb-associated virulence factors contributing to the pathogenesis of tuberculosis disease. These findings may also aid in the understanding of some earlier conflicting reports on the immunomodulatory effects exerted by different ManLAM preparations.

  1. A co-evolutionary arms race: trypanosomes shaping the human genome, humans shaping the trypanosome genome.

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    Capewell, Paul; Cooper, Anneli; Clucas, Caroline; Weir, William; Macleod, Annette

    2015-02-01

    Trypanosoma brucei is the causative agent of African sleeping sickness in humans and one of several pathogens that cause the related veterinary disease Nagana. A complex co-evolution has occurred between these parasites and primates that led to the emergence of trypanosome-specific defences and counter-measures. The first line of defence in humans and several other catarrhine primates is the trypanolytic protein apolipoprotein-L1 (APOL1) found within two serum protein complexes, trypanosome lytic factor 1 and 2 (TLF-1 and TLF-2). Two sub-species of T. brucei have evolved specific mechanisms to overcome this innate resistance, Trypanosoma brucei gambiense and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense. In T. b. rhodesiense, the presence of the serum resistance associated (SRA) gene, a truncated variable surface glycoprotein (VSG), is sufficient to confer resistance to lysis. The resistance mechanism of T. b. gambiense is more complex, involving multiple components: reduction in binding affinity of a receptor for TLF, increased cysteine protease activity and the presence of the truncated VSG, T. b. gambiense-specific glycoprotein (TgsGP). In a striking example of co-evolution, evidence is emerging that primates are responding to challenge by T. b. gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense, with several populations of humans and primates displaying resistance to infection by these two sub-species.

  2. Determining the Effect of Natural Selection on Linked Neutral Divergence across Species

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    Phung, Tanya N.; Lohmueller, Kirk E.

    2016-01-01

    A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across genomes. Studies in a variety of species have shown that neutral genetic diversity (intra-species differences) has been reduced at sites linked to those under direct selection. However, the effect of linked selection on neutral sequence divergence (inter-species differences) remains ambiguous. While empirical studies have reported correlations between divergence and recombination, which is interpreted as evidence for natural selection reducing linked neutral divergence, theory argues otherwise, especially for species that have diverged long ago. Here we address these outstanding issues by examining whether natural selection can affect divergence between both closely and distantly related species. We show that neutral divergence between closely related species (e.g. human-primate) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with human recombination rate. We also find that neutral divergence between distantly related species (e.g. human-rodent) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with estimates of background selection from primates. These patterns persist after accounting for the confounding factors of hypermutable CpG sites, GC content, and biased gene conversion. Coalescent models indicate that even when the contribution of ancestral polymorphism to divergence is small, background selection in the ancestral population can still explain a large proportion of the variance in divergence across the genome, generating the observed correlations. Our findings reveal that, contrary to previous intuition, natural selection can indirectly affect linked neutral divergence between both closely and distantly related species. Though we cannot formally exclude the possibility that the direct effects of purifying selection drive some of these patterns, such a scenario would be possible only

  3. Determining the Effect of Natural Selection on Linked Neutral Divergence across Species.

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    Tanya N Phung

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across genomes. Studies in a variety of species have shown that neutral genetic diversity (intra-species differences has been reduced at sites linked to those under direct selection. However, the effect of linked selection on neutral sequence divergence (inter-species differences remains ambiguous. While empirical studies have reported correlations between divergence and recombination, which is interpreted as evidence for natural selection reducing linked neutral divergence, theory argues otherwise, especially for species that have diverged long ago. Here we address these outstanding issues by examining whether natural selection can affect divergence between both closely and distantly related species. We show that neutral divergence between closely related species (e.g. human-primate is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with human recombination rate. We also find that neutral divergence between distantly related species (e.g. human-rodent is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with estimates of background selection from primates. These patterns persist after accounting for the confounding factors of hypermutable CpG sites, GC content, and biased gene conversion. Coalescent models indicate that even when the contribution of ancestral polymorphism to divergence is small, background selection in the ancestral population can still explain a large proportion of the variance in divergence across the genome, generating the observed correlations. Our findings reveal that, contrary to previous intuition, natural selection can indirectly affect linked neutral divergence between both closely and distantly related species. Though we cannot formally exclude the possibility that the direct effects of purifying selection drive some of these patterns, such a scenario would

  4. Determining the Effect of Natural Selection on Linked Neutral Divergence across Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phung, Tanya N; Huber, Christian D; Lohmueller, Kirk E

    2016-08-01

    A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand how natural selection has shaped patterns of genetic variation across genomes. Studies in a variety of species have shown that neutral genetic diversity (intra-species differences) has been reduced at sites linked to those under direct selection. However, the effect of linked selection on neutral sequence divergence (inter-species differences) remains ambiguous. While empirical studies have reported correlations between divergence and recombination, which is interpreted as evidence for natural selection reducing linked neutral divergence, theory argues otherwise, especially for species that have diverged long ago. Here we address these outstanding issues by examining whether natural selection can affect divergence between both closely and distantly related species. We show that neutral divergence between closely related species (e.g. human-primate) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with human recombination rate. We also find that neutral divergence between distantly related species (e.g. human-rodent) is negatively correlated with functional content and positively correlated with estimates of background selection from primates. These patterns persist after accounting for the confounding factors of hypermutable CpG sites, GC content, and biased gene conversion. Coalescent models indicate that even when the contribution of ancestral polymorphism to divergence is small, background selection in the ancestral population can still explain a large proportion of the variance in divergence across the genome, generating the observed correlations. Our findings reveal that, contrary to previous intuition, natural selection can indirectly affect linked neutral divergence between both closely and distantly related species. Though we cannot formally exclude the possibility that the direct effects of purifying selection drive some of these patterns, such a scenario would be possible only

  5. Brain mechanisms of acoustic communication in humans and nonhuman primates: an evolutionary perspective.

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    Ackermann, Hermann; Hage, Steffen R; Ziegler, Wolfram

    2014-12-01

    Any account of "what is special about the human brain" (Passingham 2008) must specify the neural basis of our unique ability to produce speech and delineate how these remarkable motor capabilities could have emerged in our hominin ancestors. Clinical data suggest that the basal ganglia provide a platform for the integration of primate-general mechanisms of acoustic communication with the faculty of articulate speech in humans. Furthermore, neurobiological and paleoanthropological data point at a two-stage model of the phylogenetic evolution of this crucial prerequisite of spoken language: (i) monosynaptic refinement of the projections of motor cortex to the brainstem nuclei that steer laryngeal muscles, presumably, as part of a "phylogenetic trend" associated with increasing brain size during hominin evolution; (ii) subsequent vocal-laryngeal elaboration of cortico-basal ganglia circuitries, driven by human-specific FOXP2 mutations.;>This concept implies vocal continuity of spoken language evolution at the motor level, elucidating the deep entrenchment of articulate speech into a "nonverbal matrix" (Ingold 1994), which is not accounted for by gestural-origin theories. Moreover, it provides a solution to the question for the adaptive value of the "first word" (Bickerton 2009) since even the earliest and most simple verbal utterances must have increased the versatility of vocal displays afforded by the preceding elaboration of monosynaptic corticobulbar tracts, giving rise to enhanced social cooperation and prestige. At the ontogenetic level, the proposed model assumes age-dependent interactions between the basal ganglia and their cortical targets, similar to vocal learning in some songbirds. In this view, the emergence of articulate speech builds on the "renaissance" of an ancient organizational principle and, hence, may represent an example of "evolutionary tinkering" (Jacob 1977).

  6. Never in neutral: a systems biology and evolutionary perspective on how aneuploidy contributes to human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavelka, N; Rancati, G

    2013-01-01

    Whereas germline-inherited whole-chromosome aneuploidy has long been known to cause miscarriages and developmental abnormalities, somatically acquired aneuploidies have been observed in cancer cells and more recently also in cells of the normal liver and brain. Furthermore, aneuploidy is being increasingly reported in clinical isolates of pathogenic microbes such as fungi and parasites. Whereas many efforts have been devoted to the dissection of the molecular mechanisms that lead to aneuploidy, we have only recently started to investigate how aneuploidy alters the phenotypic makeup of a cell. Here we review recent evidence supporting the idea that aneuploidy is a large-effect mutation that introduces large changes in the cellular phenome. From a systems biology perspective, this can be explained by the extensive changes that aneuploidy brings about in both the transcriptome and the proteome of a cell. We further provide an evolutionary perspective on how aneuploidy-induced phenotypic variation may contribute to the exacerbation of human pathologies such as cancer and infectious diseases, by conferring selectable traits such as increased virulence and drug resistance. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  7. On the Critical Role of Divergent Selection in Evolvability

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    Joel Lehman

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available An ambitious goal in evolutionary robotics is to evolve increasingly complex robotic behaviors with minimal human design effort. Reaching this goal requires evolutionary algorithms that can unlock from genetic encodings their latent potential for evolvability. One issue clouding this goal is conceptual confusion about evolvability, which often obscures the aspects of evolvability that are important or desirable. The danger from such confusion is that it may establish unrealistic goals for evolvability that prove unproductive in practice. An important issue separate from conceptual confusion is the common misalignment between selection and evolvability in evolutionary robotics. While more expressive encodings can represent higher-level adaptations (e.g. sexual reproduction or developmental systems that increase long-term evolutionary potential (i.e. evolvability, realizing such potential requires gradients of fitness and evolvability to align. In other words, selection is often a critical factor limiting increasing evolvability. Thus, drawing from a series of recent papers, this article seeks to both (1 clarify and focus the ways in which the term evolvability is used within artificial evolution, and (2 argue for the importance of one type of selection, i.e. divergent selection, for enabling evolvability. The main argument is that there is a fundamental connection between divergent selection and evolvability (on both the individual and population level that does not hold for typical goal-oriented selection. The conclusion is that selection pressure plays a critical role in realizing the potential for evolvability, and that divergent selection in particular provides a principled mechanism for encouraging evolvability in artificial evolution.

  8. Applying evolutionary anthropology

    OpenAIRE

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary anthropology provides a powerful theoretical framework for understanding how both current environments and legacies of past selection shape human behavioral diversity. This integrative and pluralistic field, combining ethnographic, demographic, and sociological methods, has provided new insights into the ultimate forces and proximate pathways that guide human adaptation and variation. Here, we present the argument that evolutionary anthropological studies of human behavior also h...

  9. The Goal of Evolutionary and Neoclassical Economics as a Consequence of the Changes in Concepts of Human Nature

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    Anna Horodecka

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The economics depends on the concept of human nature very strongly. The concepts of human nature can be understood as a set of assumptions made about the individual (on different levels: behavior, motives, meaning and his interactions with other people, with groups and diverse institutions. It corresponds with the image of world people have. The concept of human nature together with an image of the world builds the basis of thinking about the economics and about such fundamental element of it as its goal. Therefore if those images of men change, the way of thinking about economics and their elements adjust to those changes as well. The goal of the paper is to present the impact of these alterations of image of man on the economics. This impact will be illustrated on the example of the evolutionary economics, which is contrasted with the orthodox concept of human nature persisting in the neoclassical economics – homo economicus. The method applied to this research is, among others, a content analysis of the most important texts developed within neoclassical and evolutionary economics. To reach this goal, the following steps will be conducted: firstly, the concepts of human nature will be defined in regards of their particularity depending on the discipline by which they are defined; secondly, the main differences between concepts of human nature in neoclassical and evolutionary economics will be analyzed, and thirdly the differences in understanding of the goal and field between those two schools will be explained as resulting from the diverse concepts of human nature. The analysis proved that the main differences in those economic schools might be explained by the changed assumptions about the human nature and the image of the world.

  10. Evolutionary profiling reveals the heterogeneous origins of classes of human disease genes: implications for modeling disease genetics in animals.

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    Maxwell, Evan K; Schnitzler, Christine E; Havlak, Paul; Putnam, Nicholas H; Nguyen, Anh-Dao; Moreland, R Travis; Baxevanis, Andreas D

    2014-10-04

    The recent expansion of whole-genome sequence data available from diverse animal lineages provides an opportunity to investigate the evolutionary origins of specific classes of human disease genes. Previous studies have observed that human disease genes are of particularly ancient origin. While this suggests that many animal species have the potential to serve as feasible models for research on genes responsible for human disease, it is unclear whether this pattern has meaningful implications and whether it prevails for every class of human disease. We used a comparative genomics approach encompassing a broad phylogenetic range of animals with sequenced genomes to determine the evolutionary patterns exhibited by human genes associated with different classes of disease. Our results support previous claims that most human disease genes are of ancient origin but, more importantly, we also demonstrate that several specific disease classes have a significantly large proportion of genes that emerged relatively recently within the metazoans and/or vertebrates. An independent assessment of the synonymous to non-synonymous substitution rates of human disease genes found in mammals reveals that disease classes that arose more recently also display unexpected rates of purifying selection between their mammalian and human counterparts. Our results reveal the heterogeneity underlying the evolutionary origins of (and selective pressures on) different classes of human disease genes. For example, some disease gene classes appear to be of uncommonly recent (i.e., vertebrate-specific) origin and, as a whole, have been evolving at a faster rate within mammals than the majority of disease classes having more ancient origins. The novel patterns that we have identified may provide new insight into cases where studies using traditional animal models were unable to produce results that translated to humans. Conversely, we note that the larger set of disease classes do have ancient origins

  11. Evolutionary ecology of human papillomavirus: trade-offs, coexistence, and origins of high-risk and low-risk types.

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    Orlando, Paul A; Gatenby, Robert A; Giuliano, Anna R; Brown, Joel S

    2012-01-15

    We address the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of human papillomavirus (HPV) that lead to the dichotomy between high-risk (HR) and low-risk (LR) types. We hypothesize that HPV faces an evolutionary tradeoff between persistence and per-contact transmission probability. High virion production enhances transmissibility but also provokes an immune response leading to clearance and limited persistence. Alternatively, low virion production increases persistence at the cost of diminished transmission probability per sexual contact. We propose that LR HPV types use the former strategy and that HR types use the latter. Sexual behaviors in a host population determine the success of each strategy. We develop an evolutionary model of HPV epidemiology, which includes host sexual behavior, and we find evolutionarily stable strategies of HPV. A slow turnover of sexual partners favors HR HPV, whereas high frequency of partner turnover selects for LR. When both sexual behaviors exist as subcultures in a population, disruptive selection can result in the coevolution and ecological coexistence of both HR and LR HPV types. Our results indicate that the elimination of HR HPV through vaccines may alter the evolutionary trajectory of the remaining types and promote evolution of new HR HPV types.

  12. Early menarche as an alternative reproductive tactic in human females: an evolutionary approach to reproductive health issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillette, Meghan T; Folinsbee, Kaila E

    2012-12-20

    The age at which a female reaches sexual maturity is critical in determining her future reproductive health and success. Thus, a worldwide decline in menarcheal age (timing of first menstrual period) may have serious long-term consequences. Early menarcheal timing (first menstrual period before age 12) can have a negative effect on fecundity, as well as the quality and quantity of offspring, and may consequently influence population growth or decline. In this paper, we apply an evolutionary framework to modern human health, and assess both proximate and ultimate consequences of declining menarcheal age. Examination of human reproductive health within an evolutionary framework is innovative and essential, because it illuminates the ultimate consequences of a declining age of menarche and facilitates new ways of thinking about the long-term and intergenerational transmission of health and disease; thus, an evolutionary framework lends itself to innovative public health and policy programs. In this paper, we examine whether or not early menarche is an alternative reproductive tactic that modern human females employ in response to a stressful environment, and whether or not early menarche is ultimately beneficial.

  13. Early Menarche as an Alternative Reproductive Tactic in Human Females: An Evolutionary Approach to Reproductive Health Issues

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    Meghan T. Gillette

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The age at which a female reaches sexual maturity is critical in determining her future reproductive health and success. Thus, a worldwide decline in menarcheal age (timing of first menstrual period may have serious long-term consequences. Early menarcheal timing (first menstrual period before age 12 can have a negative effect on fecundity, as well as the quality and quantity of offspring, and may consequently influence population growth or decline. In this paper, we apply an evolutionary framework to modern human health, and assess both proximate and ultimate consequences of declining menarcheal age. Examination of human reproductive health within an evolutionary framework is innovative and essential, because it illuminates the ultimate consequences of a declining age of menarche and facilitates new ways of thinking about the long-term and intergenerational transmission of health and disease; thus, an evolutionary framework lends itself to innovative public health and policy programs. In this paper, we examine whether or not early menarche is an alternative reproductive tactic that modern human females employ in response to a stressful environment, and whether or not early menarche is ultimately beneficial.

  14. Genetic and evolutionary analyses of the human bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2) in the pathophysiology of obesity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleinitz, Dorit; Klöting, Nora; Böttcher, Yvonne; Wolf, Sara; Dietrich, Kerstin; Tönjes, Anke; Breitfeld, Jana; Enigk, Beate; Halbritter, Jan; Körner, Antje; Schön, Michael R; Jenkner, Jost; Tseng, Yu-Hua; Lohmann, Tobias; Dressler, Miriam; Stumvoll, Michael; Blüher, Matthias; Kovacs, Peter

    2011-02-02

    Human bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2) is essential for BMP signalling and may be involved in the regulation of adipogenesis. The BMPR2 locus has been suggested as target of recent selection in human populations. We hypothesized that BMPR2 might have a role in the pathophysiology of obesity. Evolutionary analyses (dN/dS, Fst, iHS) were conducted in vertebrates and human populations. BMPR2 mRNA expression was measured in 190 paired samples of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue. The gene was sequenced in 48 DNA samples. Nine representative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped for subsequent association studies on quantitative traits related to obesity in 1830 German Caucasians. An independent cohort of 925 Sorbs was used for replication. Finally, relation of genotypes to mRNA in fat was examined. The evolutionary analyses indicated signatures of selection on the BMPR2 locus. BMPR2 mRNA expression was significantly increased both in visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue of 37 overweight (BMI>25 and obese (BMI>30 kg/m²) compared with 44 lean subjects (BMIobese subjects, two intronic SNPs (rs6717924, rs13426118) were associated with obesity (adjusted Pobesity. Moreover, rs6717924 was associated with higher BMPR2 mRNA expression in visceral adipose tissue. Combined BMPR2 genotype-phenotype-mRNA expression data as well as evolutionary aspects suggest a role of BMPR2 in the pathophysiology of obesity.

  15. Environmental versus anthropogenic effects on population adaptive divergence in the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis.

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    Anthony Bouétard

    Full Text Available Repeated pesticide contaminations of lentic freshwater systems located within agricultural landscapes may affect population evolution in non-target organisms, especially in species with a fully aquatic life cycle and low dispersal ability. The issue of evolutionary impact of pollutants is therefore conceptually important for ecotoxicologists. The impact of historical exposure to pesticides on genetic divergence was investigated in the freshwater gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis, using a set of 14 populations from contrasted environments in terms of pesticide and other anthropogenic pressures. The hypothesis of population adaptive divergence was tested on 11 life-history traits, using Q(ST-F(ST comparisons. Despite strong neutral differentiation (mean F(ST = 0.291, five adult traits or parameters were found to be under divergent selection. Conversely, two early expressed traits showed a pattern consistent with uniform selection or trait canalization, and four adult traits appeared to evolve neutrally. Divergent selection patterns were mostly consistent with a habitat effect, opposing pond to ditch and channel populations. Comparatively, pesticide and other human pressures had little correspondence with evolutionary patterns, despite hatching rate impairment associated with global anthropogenic pressure. Globally, analyses revealed high genetic variation both at neutral markers and fitness-related traits in a species used as model in ecotoxicology, providing empirical support for the need to account for genetic and evolutionary components of population response in ecological risk assessment.

  16. How the unique configuration of the human head may enhance flavor perception capabilities: an evolutionary perspective

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    Daniel E Lieberman

    2014-07-01

    configuration of the human pharynx (Figure 1. Unlike other mammals, humans have a relatively short and retracted face, which results in a short oral cavity with a rounded tongue whose inferior margin lies well below the margin of the mandible. Because the hyoid and larynx are suspended from the base of the tongue, the human larynx becomes separated early in postnatal life relative to the oral cavity, causing humans to be the only species with a non-intranarial epiglottis in which the epiglottis does not contact the soft palate [3]. As a result, humans have no separation between the airway and foodway in the oropharynx. The non-intranarial epiglottis makes humans more likely to choke on food than other mammals, but helps humans produce more perceptible speech by setting up a two-tube vocal tract whose horizontal and vertical portions are equal in length and whose cross sectional areas can be modified independently by approximately 10-fold by the tongue [5]. Although this configuration almost certainly evolved for speech, it likely has beneficial consequences for retronasal olfaction. Whereas all other mammals, including chimpanzees, store a bolus of food prior to swallowing anterior to the epiglottis and thus removed from the airway, humans must store the bolus superior to the epiglottis in the pathway of expired air. Thus as humans breathe while chewing between swallows, expired air may be more likely to pick up volatile compounds from foods, which are then transported retronasally to the olfactory epithelium. The hypothesis that derived features of the human head and neck enhance retronasal olfaction needs to be tested. Comparative data are especially needed on retronasal airflow in a variety of mammals including other primates. In addition, more data are needed on retronasal olfactory perception in great apes such as chimpanzees. However, if true, then it is possible that humans may have uniquely enhanced abilities to detect flavor from food, raising several evolutionary

  17. Evolutionary developmental pathology and anthropology: A new field linking development, comparative anatomy, human evolution, morphological variations and defects, and medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diogo, Rui; Smith, Christopher M; Ziermann, Janine M

    2015-11-01

    We introduce a new subfield of the recently created field of Evolutionary-Developmental-Anthropology (Evo-Devo-Anth): Evolutionary-Developmental-Pathology-and-Anthropology (Evo-Devo-P'Anth). This subfield combines experimental and developmental studies of nonhuman model organisms, biological anthropology, chordate comparative anatomy and evolution, and the study of normal and pathological human development. Instead of focusing on other organisms to try to better understand human development, evolution, anatomy, and pathology, it places humans as the central case study, i.e., as truly model organism themselves. We summarize the results of our recent Evo-Devo-P'Anth studies and discuss long-standing questions in each of the broader biological fields combined in this subfield, paying special attention to the links between: (1) Human anomalies and variations, nonpentadactyly, homeotic transformations, and "nearest neighbor" vs. "find and seek" muscle-skeleton associations in limb+facial muscles vs. other head muscles; (2) Developmental constraints, the notion of "phylotypic stage," internalism vs. externalism, and the "logic of monsters" vs. "lack of homeostasis" views about human birth defects; (3) Human evolution, reversions, atavisms, paedomorphosis, and peromorphosis; (4) Scala naturae, Haeckelian recapitulation, von Baer's laws, and parallelism between phylogeny and development, here formally defined as "Phylo-Devo parallelism"; and (5) Patau, Edwards, and Down syndrome (trisomies 13, 18, 21), atavisms, apoptosis, heart malformations, and medical implications. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. The 'Red Queen' dilemma--running to stay in the same place: reflections on the evolutionary vector of HBV in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedder, Richard S; Bissett, Sara L; Myers, Richard; Ijaz, Samreen

    2013-01-01

    Estimates for the evolutionary rate of HBV until now have been interpreted as showing that HBV is a relatively recent acquisition for mankind. The existence of defined HBV genotypes is thought to represent past founder effects. We have explored virus mutation in a group of 48 persistently infected blood donors sampled at two points in time and suggest otherwise. HBV-infected donors were detected by hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) screening and staged by hepatitis B e markers. Serum DNA from those persistently infected with HBV was characterized by consensus sequencing and the amino acid sequences inferred. These were compared against consensus genotype sequences and divergence measured at two points in time. Rates of viral mutation were higher across both HBsAg and hepatitis B core antigen in the group of donors seropositive for hepatitis B e antibody (1.36×10⁻³ and 1.54×10⁻³ changes per residue per year, respectively) than in those seropositive for hepatitis B e antigen (4.59×10⁻⁴ and 6.62×10⁻⁴ changes per residue per year, respectively). Codon mutations reverting to the genotype consensus were commonly seen. Codon changes were clustered close to the C-terminal region of HBsAg and were accommodated in overlapping polymerase by synonymous substitutions. It is suggested that in vivo HBV behaves as a self-normalizing meme and mutational rates, although high, do not lead to significant change over time in a persistent infection. This would be compatible with co-evolution within its human host and introduction within humans being an ancient occurrence.

  19. Evolutionary scenarios of Notch proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  20. Brief Communication: Quantitative- and molecular-genetic differentiation in humans and chimpanzees: implications for the evolutionary processes underlying cranial diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weaver, Timothy D

    2014-08-01

    Estimates of the amount of genetic differentiation in humans among major geographic regions (e.g., Eastern Asia vs. Europe) from quantitative-genetic analyses of cranial measurements closely match those from classical- and molecular-genetic markers. Typically, among-region differences account for ∼10% of the total variation. This correspondence is generally interpreted as evidence for the importance of neutral evolutionary processes (e.g., genetic drift) in generating among-region differences in human cranial form, but it was initially surprising because human cranial diversity was frequently assumed to show a strong signature of natural selection. Is the human degree of similarity of cranial and DNA-sequence estimates of among-region genetic differentiation unusual? How do comparisons with other taxa illuminate the evolutionary processes underlying cranial diversification? Chimpanzees provide a useful starting point for placing the human results in a broader comparative context, because common chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus) are the extant species most closely related to humans. To address these questions, I used 27 cranial measurements collected on a sample of 861 humans and 263 chimpanzees to estimate the amount of genetic differentiation between pairs of groups (between regions for humans and between species or subspecies for chimpanzees). Consistent with previous results, the human cranial estimates are quite similar to published DNA-sequence estimates. In contrast, the chimpanzee cranial estimates are much smaller than published DNA-sequence estimates. It appears that cranial differentiation has been limited in chimpanzees relative to humans. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Convergence and divergence across construction methods for human brain white matter networks: an assessment based on individual differences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Suyu; He, Yong; Gong, Gaolang

    2015-05-01

    Using diffusion MRI, a number of studies have investigated the properties of whole-brain white matter (WM) networks with differing network construction methods (node/edge definition). However, how the construction methods affect individual differences of WM networks and, particularly, if distinct methods can provide convergent or divergent patterns of individual differences remain largely unknown. Here, we applied 10 frequently used methods to construct whole-brain WM networks in a healthy young adult population (57 subjects), which involves two node definitions (low-resolution and high-resolution) and five edge definitions (binary, FA weighted, fiber-density weighted, length-corrected fiber-density weighted, and connectivity-probability weighted). For these WM networks, individual differences were systematically analyzed in three network aspects: (1) a spatial pattern of WM connections, (2) a spatial pattern of nodal efficiency, and (3) network global and local efficiencies. Intriguingly, we found that some of the network construction methods converged in terms of individual difference patterns, but diverged with other methods. Furthermore, the convergence/divergence between methods differed among network properties that were adopted to assess individual differences. Particularly, high-resolution WM networks with differing edge definitions showed convergent individual differences in the spatial pattern of both WM connections and nodal efficiency. For the network global and local efficiencies, low-resolution and high-resolution WM networks for most edge definitions consistently exhibited a highly convergent pattern in individual differences. Finally, the test-retest analysis revealed a decent temporal reproducibility for the patterns of between-method convergence/divergence. Together, the results of the present study demonstrated a measure-dependent effect of network construction methods on the individual difference of WM network properties. © 2015 Wiley

  2. Next-generation sequencing of the Trichinella murrelli mitochondrial genome allows comprehensive comparison of its divergence from the principal agent of human trichinellosis, Trichinella spiralis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Kristen M; Rosenthal, Benjamin M

    2011-01-01

    The mitochondrial genome's non-recombinant mode of inheritance and relatively rapid rate of evolution has promoted its use as a marker for studying the biogeographic history and evolutionary interrelationships among many metazoan species. A modest portion of the mitochondrial genome has been defined for 12 species and genotypes of parasites in the genus Trichinella, but its adequacy in representing the mitochondrial genome as a whole remains unclear, as the complete coding sequence has been characterized only for Trichinella spiralis. Here, we sought to comprehensively describe the extent and nature of divergence between the mitochondrial genomes of T. spiralis (which poses the most appreciable zoonotic risk owing to its capacity to establish persistent infections in domestic pigs) and Trichinella murrelli (which is the most prevalent species in North American wildlife hosts, but which poses relatively little risk to the safety of pork). Next generation sequencing methodologies and scaffold and de novo assembly strategies were employed. The entire protein-coding region was sequenced (13,917 bp), along with a portion of the highly repetitive non-coding region (1524 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of T. murrelli with a combined average read depth of 250 reads. The accuracy of base calling, estimated from coding region sequence was found to exceed 99.3%. Genome content and gene order was not found to be significantly different from that of T. spiralis. An overall inter-species sequence divergence of 9.5% was estimated. Significant variation was identified when the amount of variation between species at each gene is compared to the average amount of variation between species across the coding region. Next generation sequencing is a highly effective means to obtain previously unknown mitochondrial genome sequence. Particular to parasites, the extremely deep coverage achieved through this method allows for the detection of sequence heterogeneity between the multiple

  3. Symbioses: a key driver of insect physiological processes, ecological interactions, evolutionary diversification, and impacts on humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.D. Klepzig; A.S. Adams; J. Handelsman; K.F. Raffa

    2009-01-01

    Symbiosis is receiving increased attention among all aspects of biology because of the unifying themes it helps construct across ecological,evolutionary, developmental, semiochemical, and pest management theory. Insects show a vast array of symbiotic relationships with a wide diversity of microorganisms. These relationships may confer a variety of benefits to the host...

  4. Parent-Offspring Conflict Theory: An Evolutionary Framework for Understanding Conflict within Human Families

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlomer, Gabriel L.; Del Giudice, Marco; Ellis, Bruce J.

    2011-01-01

    Decades of research demonstrate that conflict shapes and permeates a broad range of family processes. In the current article, we argue that greater insight, integration of knowledge, and empirical achievement in the study of family conflict can be realized by utilizing a powerful theory from evolutionary biology that is barely known within…

  5. Estimation of divergence times for major lineages of galliform birds ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2010-05-24

    , divergence times analyses were performed with four relaxed molecular clock methods as follows: (1) Bayesian method of Multidivtime; (2) Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) analysis of the Bayesian evolutionary ...

  6. WORMHOLE: Novel Least Diverged Ortholog Prediction through Machine Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutphin, George L; Mahoney, J Matthew; Sheppard, Keith; Walton, David O; Korstanje, Ron

    2016-11-01

    The rapid advancement of technology in genomics and targeted genetic manipulation has made comparative biology an increasingly prominent strategy to model human disease processes. Predicting orthology relationships between species is a vital component of comparative biology. Dozens of strategies for predicting orthologs have been developed using combinations of gene and protein sequence, phylogenetic history, and functional interaction with progressively increasing accuracy. A relatively new class of orthology prediction strategies combines aspects of multiple methods into meta-tools, resulting in improved prediction performance. Here we present WORMHOLE, a novel ortholog prediction meta-tool that applies machine learning to integrate 17 distinct ortholog prediction algorithms to identify novel least diverged orthologs (LDOs) between 6 eukaryotic species-humans, mice, zebrafish, fruit flies, nematodes, and budding yeast. Machine learning allows WORMHOLE to intelligently incorporate predictions from a wide-spectrum of strategies in order to form aggregate predictions of LDOs with high confidence. In this study we demonstrate the performance of WORMHOLE across each combination of query and target species. We show that WORMHOLE is particularly adept at improving LDO prediction performance between distantly related species, expanding the pool of LDOs while maintaining low evolutionary distance and a high level of functional relatedness between genes in LDO pairs. We present extensive validation, including cross-validated prediction of PANTHER LDOs and evaluation of evolutionary divergence and functional similarity, and discuss future applications of machine learning in ortholog prediction. A WORMHOLE web tool has been developed and is available at http://wormhole.jax.org/.

  7. WORMHOLE: Novel Least Diverged Ortholog Prediction through Machine Learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George L Sutphin

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The rapid advancement of technology in genomics and targeted genetic manipulation has made comparative biology an increasingly prominent strategy to model human disease processes. Predicting orthology relationships between species is a vital component of comparative biology. Dozens of strategies for predicting orthologs have been developed using combinations of gene and protein sequence, phylogenetic history, and functional interaction with progressively increasing accuracy. A relatively new class of orthology prediction strategies combines aspects of multiple methods into meta-tools, resulting in improved prediction performance. Here we present WORMHOLE, a novel ortholog prediction meta-tool that applies machine learning to integrate 17 distinct ortholog prediction algorithms to identify novel least diverged orthologs (LDOs between 6 eukaryotic species-humans, mice, zebrafish, fruit flies, nematodes, and budding yeast. Machine learning allows WORMHOLE to intelligently incorporate predictions from a wide-spectrum of strategies in order to form aggregate predictions of LDOs with high confidence. In this study we demonstrate the performance of WORMHOLE across each combination of query and target species. We show that WORMHOLE is particularly adept at improving LDO prediction performance between distantly related species, expanding the pool of LDOs while maintaining low evolutionary distance and a high level of functional relatedness between genes in LDO pairs. We present extensive validation, including cross-validated prediction of PANTHER LDOs and evaluation of evolutionary divergence and functional similarity, and discuss future applications of machine learning in ortholog prediction. A WORMHOLE web tool has been developed and is available at http://wormhole.jax.org/.

  8. Cuidado humanizado no pré-natal: um olhar para além das divergências e convergências Humane prenatal care: beyond convergences and divergences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria de Fátima Mota Zampieri

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available OBJETIVOS: compreender os significados do cuidado humanizado no pré-natal, as divergências, convergências e barreiras para sua efetivação na ótica de gestantes e profissionais. MÉTODOS: pesquisa qualitativa, exploratória, com 19 gestantes e 23 profissionais do ambulatório do Hospital Universitário e de uma unidade básica de saúde, guiada por pressupostos de Edgar Morin e interpretada pela hermenêutica dialética. Os dados foram coletados mediante entrevistas e observação participante. RESULTADOS: destacam-se como significados as categorias: cuidado pré-natal; cuidado centrado no ser humano, no seu protagonismo e na promoção da saúde; atenção integral à saúde da mulher; acessibilidade aos serviços de saúde; relações dialógicas entre gestantes e profissionais; ambiente e profissionais humanizados e postura ética do profissional. As principais barreiras encontradas foram: questões socioeconômicas e pessoais das gestantes; formação biomédica; desarticulação entre os serviços de saúde; desvalorização da atenção primária e do profissional; poder; desatenção e desrespeito à gestante. CONCLUSÕES: o estudo aponta para um modelo de saúde humanístico centrado no ser humano e no seu protagonismo; evidencia o cuidado integral e ético; mostra entraves do sistema de saúde e da sociedade para concretizar o ideário da humanização, superáveis pelo empenho político e profissional, pela formação de redes solidárias entre serviços de saúde e mobilização social; amplia a produção de conhecimento e subsidia mudanças na prática.OBJECTIVES: to investigate how the understanding of pregnant women and health professionals with regard to humane prenatal care diverges or converges and to identify obstacles to its introduction. METHODS: a qualitative, exploratory method was employed with a sample of 19 pregnant women and 23 health professionals at the outpatient clinic of a teaching hospital and at a basic

  9. Genetic and evolutionary analyses of the human bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2 in the pathophysiology of obesity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dorit Schleinitz

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Human bone morphogenetic protein receptor 2 (BMPR2 is essential for BMP signalling and may be involved in the regulation of adipogenesis. The BMPR2 locus has been suggested as target of recent selection in human populations. We hypothesized that BMPR2 might have a role in the pathophysiology of obesity.Evolutionary analyses (dN/dS, Fst, iHS were conducted in vertebrates and human populations. BMPR2 mRNA expression was measured in 190 paired samples of visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue. The gene was sequenced in 48 DNA samples. Nine representative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs were genotyped for subsequent association studies on quantitative traits related to obesity in 1830 German Caucasians. An independent cohort of 925 Sorbs was used for replication. Finally, relation of genotypes to mRNA in fat was examined.The evolutionary analyses indicated signatures of selection on the BMPR2 locus. BMPR2 mRNA expression was significantly increased both in visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue of 37 overweight (BMI>25 and 30 kg/m² compared with 44 lean subjects (BMI< 25 kg/m² (P<0.001. In a case-control study including lean and obese subjects, two intronic SNPs (rs6717924, rs13426118 were associated with obesity (adjusted P<0.05. Combined analyses including the initial cohort and the Sorbs confirmed a consistent effect for rs6717924 (combined P = 0.01 on obesity. Moreover, rs6717924 was associated with higher BMPR2 mRNA expression in visceral adipose tissue.Combined BMPR2 genotype-phenotype-mRNA expression data as well as evolutionary aspects suggest a role of BMPR2 in the pathophysiology of obesity.

  10. Evolutionary institutionalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fürstenberg, Dr Kai

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

  11. Enhancing Divergent Search through Extinction Events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lehman, Joel; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2015-01-01

    driven towards diversity (instead of optimality). Extinctions amplify diversity-generation by creating unpredictable evolutionary bottlenecks. Persisting through multiple such bottlenecks is more likely for lineages that diversify across many niches, resulting in indirect selection pressure...... events may provide a simple and effective mechanism to enhance performance of divergent search algorithms....

  12. Evolutionary history of dog rabies in Brazil

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kobayashi, Yuki; Suzuki, Yoshiyuki; Itou, Takuya; Ito, Fumio H; Sakai, Takeo; Gojobori, Takashi

    2011-01-01

    .... In order to investigate the evolutionary history of dog rabies virus (RABV) in Brazil, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of carnivore RABV isolates from around the world and estimated the divergence times for dog RABV in Brazil...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Podder Soumita

    2012-01-01

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

  15. The theoretical underpinnings of affective temperaments: implications for evolutionary foundations of bipolar disorder and human nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akiskal, Kareen K; Akiskal, Hagop S

    2005-03-01

    We sketch out putative evolutionary roles for affective temperaments within the theoretical framework of mood disorders conceptualized as extremes in an oligogenic model of inheritance, whereby the constituent traits in their dilute phenotypes confer adaptive advantages to individuals and/or their social group. Depressive traits, among other functions, would subserve sensitivity to the suffering of other members of the species, overlapping with those of the generalized anxious temperament, thereby enhancing the survival of not only kin but also other conspecifics. The pursuit of romantic opportunities in cyclothymia suggests that it may have evolved as a mechanism in reproductive success; cyclothymics' creative bent in poetry, music, painting, cooking or fashion design (among men, in particular) also appears useful for sexual seduction. Hyperthymic traits would lend distinct advantages in leadership, exploration, territoriality and mating. These are just some of the possibilities of the rich and complex temperamental traits subserving bipolarity within an evolutionary framework. We test selected aspects of these hypotheses with the use of correlations between the constituent traits of the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS) and correlations between the TEMPS and the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). Such data support the counterbalancing protective influence of harm avoidance on the risk-taking behavior of cyclothymic individuals, in both men and women. Finally, we outline a hypothesis on the evolutionary function of anxious-depressive traits for women.

  16. Hot Topics and Popular Papers in Evolutionary Psychology: Analyses of Title Words and Citation Counts in Evolution and Human Behavior, 1979 – 2008

    OpenAIRE

    Webster, Gregory D.; Jonason, Peter K.; Tatiana Orozco Schember

    2009-01-01

    What do evolutionary psychologists study, which are their most highly cited articles, and which variables predict high citation counts? These are important questions for any emerging science. To help answer these questions, we present new empirical research on publication trends in evolutionary psychology's flagship journal, Evolution and Human Behavior (and its predecessor, Ethology and Sociobiology), from its inception in 1979 to 2008. First, analyses of 8,631 title words published in these...

  17. Using large-scale public health data to explore the evolutionary biology of human pregnancy and child bearing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hollegaard, Birgitte

    Medicine has made a giant leap forward over the last century when it comes to the treatment of human disease, but even the most cutting edge 21st century medicine cannot prevent new diseases arising, nor those thought to be extinct developing resistance to pharmaceuticals and returning. Consequen......Medicine has made a giant leap forward over the last century when it comes to the treatment of human disease, but even the most cutting edge 21st century medicine cannot prevent new diseases arising, nor those thought to be extinct developing resistance to pharmaceuticals and returning...... lead to a series of conflicts. Here, I take an evolutionary perspective to investigate why these conflicts exist, and how they are maintained despite the potentially detrimental effect they can have on the health of the mother and child. The pregnancy induced disease preeclampsia is caused...... by the mother's blood pressure increasing to a harmful level, but the etiology of the disease has remained unknown. Preeclampsia is detrimental to both the mother and offspring, and should in theory therefore have been removed by natural selection. I looked into evolutionary explanations for this, specifically...

  18. Phylogeny of an Albugo sp. infecting Barbarea vulgaris in Denmark and its frequency of symptom development in natural populations of two evolutionary divergent plant types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van Mölken, Tamara; Heimes, Christine; Hauser, Thure Pavlo

    2014-01-01

    crucifer plants, asymptomatic endophytic infections may be important in the epidemiology of others. One of the plant species attacked by Albugo sp. is the wild crucifer Barbarea vulgaris ssp. arcuata, which is diverged into two phytochemically and genetically different types with different geographical...

  19. Does exceptional human longevity come with a high cost of infertility? Testing the evolutionary theories of aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavrilova, Natalia S; Gavrilov, Leonid A; Semyonova, Victoria G; Evdokushkina, Galina N

    2004-06-01

    The purpose of this study is to test the prediction of the evolutionary theory of aging that human longevity comes with the cost of impaired reproductive success (higher infertility rates). Our validation study is based on the analysis of particularly reliable genealogical records for European aristocratic families using a logistic regression model with childlessness as a dependent (outcome) variable, and woman's life span, year of birth, age at marriage, husband's age at marriage, and husband's life span as independent (predictor) variables. We found that the woman's exceptional longevity did not increase her chances of being infertile. It appears that the previous reports by other authors of high infertility among long-lived women (up to 50% infertility) are related to incomplete data, that is, births of children not reported. Thus, the concept of the high cost of infertility for human longevity is not supported by the data when these data are carefully cross-checked, cleaned, and reanalyzed.

  20. The impact of recent population history on the deleterious mutation load in humans and close evolutionary relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Yuval B; Sella, Guy

    2016-12-01

    Over the past decade, there has been both great interest and confusion about whether recent demographic events-notably the Out-of-Africa-bottleneck and recent population growth-have led to differences in mutation load among human populations. The confusion can be traced to the use of different summary statistics to measure load, which lead to apparently conflicting results. We argue, however, that when statistics more directly related to load are used, the results of different studies and data sets consistently reveal little or no difference in the load of non-synonymous mutations among human populations. Theory helps to understand why no such differences are seen, as well as to predict in what settings they are to be expected. In particular, as predicted by modeling, there is evidence for changes in the load of recessive loss of function mutations in founder and inbred human populations. Also as predicted, eastern subspecies of gorilla, Neanderthals and Denisovans, who are thought to have undergone reductions in population sizes that exceed the human Out-of-Africa bottleneck in duration and severity, show evidence for increased load of non-synonymous mutations (relative to western subspecies of gorillas and modern humans, respectively). A coherent picture is thus starting to emerge about the effects of demographic history on the mutation load in populations of humans and close evolutionary relatives. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marek Ostaszewski

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

  2. Alfred Russel Wallace's medical libertarianism: state medicine, human progress, and evolutionary purpose.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flannery, Michael A

    2015-01-01

    Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), naturalist and explorer of South America and the Malay Archipelago, secured his place in history by independently discovering the theory of natural selection. His letter outlining the theory was sent from Ternate in eastern Indonesia and received at Down House, according to Charles Darwin (1809-82), on June 18, 1858, prompting the now-famed evolutionist to rush his languishing manuscript to press. Wallace's contributions to evolutionary biology, biogeography, and anthropology are well known, but his medical views have received far less attention. Within the context of a strident populist antivaccination movement and an ominous elitist eugenics campaign, Wallace took his stand, which revealed itself in a libertarianism that defended traditional socialist constituencies (the working poor, the lumpenproletariat, and feminist reformers) against state-mandated medical interventions. Rather than viewing Wallace as a heterodox contrarian, this article argues that his positions were logical outgrowths of his medical libertarianism and evolutionary and social theories. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Evolutionary perspectives into placental biology and disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chuong, Edward B; Hannibal, Roberta L; Green, Sherril L; Baker, Julie C

    2013-12-01

    In all mammals including humans, development takes place within the protective environment of the maternal womb. Throughout gestation, nutrients and waste products are continuously exchanged between mother and fetus through the placenta. Despite the clear importance of the placenta to successful pregnancy and the health of both mother and offspring, relatively little is understood about the biology of the placenta and its role in pregnancy-related diseases. Given that pre- and peri-natal diseases involving the placenta affect millions of women and their newborns worldwide, there is an urgent need to understand placenta biology and development. Here, we suggest that the placenta is an organ under unique selective pressures that have driven its rapid diversification throughout mammalian evolution. The high divergence of the placenta complicates the use of non-human animal models and necessitates an evolutionary perspective when studying its biology and role in disease. We suggest that diversifying evolution of the placenta is primarily driven by intraspecies evolutionary conflict between mother and fetus, and that many pregnancy diseases are a consequence of this evolutionary force. Understanding how maternal-fetal conflict shapes both basic placental and reproductive biology - in all species - will provide key insights into diseases of pregnancy.

  4. Evolutionary perspectives into placental biology and disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward B. Chuong

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In all mammals including humans, development takes place within the protective environment of the maternal womb. Throughout gestation, nutrients and waste products are continuously exchanged between mother and fetus through the placenta. Despite the clear importance of the placenta to successful pregnancy and the health of both mother and offspring, relatively little is understood about the biology of the placenta and its role in pregnancy-related diseases. Given that pre- and peri-natal diseases involving the placenta affect millions of women and their newborns worldwide, there is an urgent need to understand placenta biology and development. Here, we suggest that the placenta is an organ under unique selective pressures that have driven its rapid diversification throughout mammalian evolution. The high divergence of the placenta complicates the use of non-human animal models and necessitates an evolutionary perspective when studying its biology and role in disease. We suggest that diversifying evolution of the placenta is primarily driven by intraspecies evolutionary conflict between mother and fetus, and that many pregnancy diseases are a consequence of this evolutionary force. Understanding how maternal–fetal conflict shapes both basic placental and reproductive biology – in all species – will provide key insights into diseases of pregnancy.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Evolutionary Musicology Meets Embodied Cognition: Biocultural Coevolution and the Enactive Origins of Human Musicality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Schyff, Dylan; Schiavio, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Despite evolutionary musicology's interdisciplinary nature, and the diverse methods it employs, the field has nevertheless tended to divide into two main positions. Some argue that music should be understood as a naturally selected adaptation, while others claim that music is a product of culture with little or no relevance for the survival of the species. We review these arguments, suggesting that while interesting and well-reasoned positions have been offered on both sides of the debate, the nature-or-culture (or adaptation vs. non-adaptation) assumptions that have traditionally driven the discussion have resulted in a problematic either/or dichotomy. We then consider an alternative "biocultural" proposal that appears to offer a way forward. As we discuss, this approach draws on a range of research in theoretical biology, archeology, neuroscience, embodied and ecological cognition, and dynamical systems theory (DST), positing a more integrated model that sees biological and cultural dimensions as aspects of the same evolving system. Following this, we outline the enactive approach to cognition, discussing the ways it aligns with the biocultural perspective. Put simply, the enactive approach posits a deep continuity between mind and life, where cognitive processes are explored in terms of how self-organizing living systems enact relationships with the environment that are relevant to their survival and well-being. It highlights the embodied and ecologically situated nature of living agents, as well as the active role they play in their own developmental processes. Importantly, the enactive approach sees cognitive and evolutionary processes as driven by a range of interacting factors, including the socio-cultural forms of activity that characterize the lives of more complex creatures such as ourselves. We offer some suggestions for how this approach might enhance and extend the biocultural model. To conclude we briefly consider the implications of this approach for

  7. Evolutionary Musicology Meets Embodied Cognition: Biocultural Coevolution and the Enactive Origins of Human Musicality

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Schyff, Dylan; Schiavio, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Despite evolutionary musicology's interdisciplinary nature, and the diverse methods it employs, the field has nevertheless tended to divide into two main positions. Some argue that music should be understood as a naturally selected adaptation, while others claim that music is a product of culture with little or no relevance for the survival of the species. We review these arguments, suggesting that while interesting and well-reasoned positions have been offered on both sides of the debate, the nature-or-culture (or adaptation vs. non-adaptation) assumptions that have traditionally driven the discussion have resulted in a problematic either/or dichotomy. We then consider an alternative “biocultural” proposal that appears to offer a way forward. As we discuss, this approach draws on a range of research in theoretical biology, archeology, neuroscience, embodied and ecological cognition, and dynamical systems theory (DST), positing a more integrated model that sees biological and cultural dimensions as aspects of the same evolving system. Following this, we outline the enactive approach to cognition, discussing the ways it aligns with the biocultural perspective. Put simply, the enactive approach posits a deep continuity between mind and life, where cognitive processes are explored in terms of how self-organizing living systems enact relationships with the environment that are relevant to their survival and well-being. It highlights the embodied and ecologically situated nature of living agents, as well as the active role they play in their own developmental processes. Importantly, the enactive approach sees cognitive and evolutionary processes as driven by a range of interacting factors, including the socio-cultural forms of activity that characterize the lives of more complex creatures such as ourselves. We offer some suggestions for how this approach might enhance and extend the biocultural model. To conclude we briefly consider the implications of this approach

  8. Evolutionary Musicology Meets Embodied Cognition: Biocultural Coevolution and the Enactive Origins of Human Musicality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dylan van der Schyff

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Despite evolutionary musicology's interdisciplinary nature, and the diverse methods it employs, the field has nevertheless tended to divide into two main positions. Some argue that music should be understood as a naturally selected adaptation, while others claim that music is a product of culture with little or no relevance for the survival of the species. We review these arguments, suggesting that while interesting and well-reasoned positions have been offered on both sides of the debate, the nature-or-culture (or adaptation vs. non-adaptation assumptions that have traditionally driven the discussion have resulted in a problematic either/or dichotomy. We then consider an alternative “biocultural” proposal that appears to offer a way forward. As we discuss, this approach draws on a range of research in theoretical biology, archeology, neuroscience, embodied and ecological cognition, and dynamical systems theory (DST, positing a more integrated model that sees biological and cultural dimensions as aspects of the same evolving system. Following this, we outline the enactive approach to cognition, discussing the ways it aligns with the biocultural perspective. Put simply, the enactive approach posits a deep continuity between mind and life, where cognitive processes are explored in terms of how self-organizing living systems enact relationships with the environment that are relevant to their survival and well-being. It highlights the embodied and ecologically situated nature of living agents, as well as the active role they play in their own developmental processes. Importantly, the enactive approach sees cognitive and evolutionary processes as driven by a range of interacting factors, including the socio-cultural forms of activity that characterize the lives of more complex creatures such as ourselves. We offer some suggestions for how this approach might enhance and extend the biocultural model. To conclude we briefly consider the

  9. Dandruff-associated Malassezia genomes reveal convergent and divergent virulence traits shared with plant and human fungal pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xu, Jun; Saunders, Charles W.; Hu, Ping; Grant, Raymond A.; Boekhout, Teun; Kuramae, Eiko E.; Kronstad, James W.; DeAngelis, Yvonne M.; Reeder, Nancy L.; Johnstone, Kevin R.; Leland, Meredith; Fieno, Angela M.; Begley, William M.; Sun, Yiping; Lacey, Martin P.; Chaudhary, Tanuja; Keough, Thomas; Chu, Lien; Sears, Russell; Yuan, Bo; Dawson, Thomas L.

    2007-01-01

    Fungi in the genus Malassezia are ubiquitous skin residents of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Malassezia are involved in disorders including dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, which together affect > 50% of humans. Despite the importance of Malassezia in common skin diseases, remarkably

  10. Dandruff-associated Malassezia genomes reveal convergent and divergent virulence traits shared with plant and human fungal pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xu, J.; Saunders, C.; Hu, P.; Grant, R.A.; Boekhout, T.; Kuramae, E.E.; Kronstad, J.W.; DeAngelis, Y.M.; Reeder, N.L.; Johnstone, K.R.; Leland, M.; Fieno, A.M.; Begley, W.M.; Sun, Y.; Lacey, M.P.; Chaudhary, T.; Keough, T.; Chu, L.; Sears, R.; Yuan, B.; Dawson Jr., T.L.

    2007-01-01

    Fungi in the genus Malassezia are ubiquitous skin residents of humans and other warm-blooded animals. Malassezia are involved in disorders including dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis, which together affect >50% of humans. Despite the importance of Malassezia in common skin diseases, remarkably

  11. Remembering the evolutionary Freud.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Allan

    2006-03-01

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

  12. Complete mitochondrial genomes of the human follicle mites Demodex brevis and D. folliculorum: novel gene arrangement, truncated tRNA genes, and ancient divergence between species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palopoli, Michael F; Minot, Samuel; Pei, Dorothy; Satterly, Alicia; Endrizzi, Julie

    2014-12-16

    Follicle mites of the genus Demodex are found on a wide diversity of mammals, including humans; surprisingly little is known, however, about the evolution of this association. Additional sequence information promises to facilitate studies of Demodex variation within and between host species. Here we report the complete mitochondrial genome sequences of two species of Demodex known to live on humans--Demodex brevis and D. folliculorum--which are the first such genomes available for any member of the genus. We analyzed these sequences to gain insight into the evolution of mitochondrial genomes within the Acariformes. We also used relaxed molecular clock analyses, based on alignments of mitochondrial proteins, to estimate the time of divergence between these two species. Both Demodex genomes shared a novel gene order that differs substantially from the ancestral chelicerate pattern, with transfer RNA (tRNA) genes apparently having moved much more often than other genes. Mitochondrial tRNA genes of both species were unusually short, with most of them unable to encode tRNAs that could fold into the canonical cloverleaf structure; indeed, several examples lacked both D- and T-arms. Finally, the high level of sequence divergence observed between these species suggests that these two lineages last shared a common ancestor no more recently than about 87 mya. Among Acariformes, rearrangements involving tRNA genes tend to occur much more often than those involving other genes. The truncated tRNA genes observed in both Demodex species would seem to require the evolution of extensive tRNA editing capabilities and/or coevolved interacting factors. The molecular machinery necessary for these unusual tRNAs to function might provide an avenue for developing treatments of skin disorders caused by Demodex. The deep divergence time estimated between these two species sets a lower bound on the time that Demodex have been coevolving with their mammalian hosts, and supports the

  13. The 3D organization of chromatin explains evolutionary fragile genomic regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berthelot, Camille; Muffato, Matthieu; Abecassis, Judith; Roest Crollius, Hugues

    2015-03-24

    Genomic rearrangements are a major source of evolutionary divergence in eukaryotic genomes, a cause of genetic diseases and a hallmark of tumor cell progression, yet the mechanisms underlying their occurrence and evolutionary fixation are poorly understood. Statistical associations between breakpoints and specific genomic features suggest that genomes may contain elusive “fragile regions” with a higher propensity for breakage. Here, we use ancestral genome reconstructions to demonstrate a near-perfect correlation between gene density and evolutionary rearrangement breakpoints. Simulations based on functional features in the human genome show that this pattern is best explained as the outcome of DNA breaks that occur in open chromatin regions coming into 3D contact in the nucleus. Our model explains how rearrangements reorganize the order of genes in an evolutionary neutral fashion and provides a basis for understanding the susceptibility of “fragile regions” to breakage.

  14. The 3D Organization of Chromatin Explains Evolutionary Fragile Genomic Regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camille Berthelot

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Genomic rearrangements are a major source of evolutionary divergence in eukaryotic genomes, a cause of genetic diseases and a hallmark of tumor cell progression, yet the mechanisms underlying their occurrence and evolutionary fixation are poorly understood. Statistical associations between breakpoints and specific genomic features suggest that genomes may contain elusive “fragile regions” with a higher propensity for breakage. Here, we use ancestral genome reconstructions to demonstrate a near-perfect correlation between gene density and evolutionary rearrangement breakpoints. Simulations based on functional features in the human genome show that this pattern is best explained as the outcome of DNA breaks that occur in open chromatin regions coming into 3D contact in the nucleus. Our model explains how rearrangements reorganize the order of genes in an evolutionary neutral fashion and provides a basis for understanding the susceptibility of “fragile regions” to breakage.

  15. Differential Evolutionary Selection and Natural Evolvability Observed in ALT Proteins of Human Filarial Parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil C Devoe

    Full Text Available The abundant larval transcript (ALT-2 protein is present in all members of the Filarioidea, and has been reported as a potential candidate antigen for a subunit vaccine against lymphatic filariasis. To assess the potential for vaccine escape or heterologous protection, we examined the evolutionary selection acting on ALT-2. The ratios of nonsynonymous (K(a to synonymous (K(s mutation frequencies (ω were calculated for the alt-2 genes of the lymphatic filariasis agents Brugia malayi and Wuchereria bancrofti and the agents of river blindness and African eyeworm disease Onchocerca volvulus and Loa loa. Two distinct Bayesian models of sequence evolution showed that ALT-2 of W. bancrofti and L. loa were under significant (P<0.05; P < 0.001 diversifying selection, while ALT-2 of B. malayi and O. volvulus were under neutral to stabilizing selection. Diversifying selection as measured by ω values was notably strongest on the region of ALT-2 encoding the signal peptide of L. loa and was elevated in the variable acidic domain of L. loa and W. bancrofti. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the ALT-2 consensus sequences formed three clades: the first consisting of B. malayi, the second consisting of W. bancrofti, and the third containing both O. volvulus and L. loa. ALT-2 selection was therefore not predictable by phylogeny or pathology, as the two species parasitizing the eye were selected differently, as were the two species parasitizing the lymphatic system. The most immunogenic regions of L. loa and W. bancrofti ALT-2 sequence as modeled by antigenicity prediction analysis did not correspond with elevated levels of diversifying selection, and were not selected differently than predicted antigenic epitopes in B. malayi and O. volvulus. Measurements of ALT-2 evolvability made by χ2 analysis between alleles that were stable (O. volvulus and B. malayi and those that were under diversifying selection (W. bancrofti and L. loa indicated significant (P<0

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-06

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

  17. The Human Frontal Lobes and Frontal Network Systems: An Evolutionary, Clinical, and Treatment Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Frontal lobe syndromes, better termed as frontal network systems, are relatively unique in that they may manifest from almost any brain region, due to their widespread connectivity. The understandings of the manifold expressions seen clinically are helped by considering evolutionary origins, the contribution of the state-dependent ascending monoaminergic neurotransmitter systems, and cerebral connectivity. Hence, the so-called networktopathies may be a better term for the syndromes encountered clinically. An increasing array of metric tests are becoming available that complement that long standing history of qualitative bedside assessments pioneered by Alexander Luria, for example. An understanding of the vast panoply of frontal systems' syndromes has been pivotal in understanding and diagnosing the most common dementia syndrome under the age of 60, for example, frontotemporal lobe degeneration. New treatment options are also progressively becoming available, with recent evidence of dopaminergic augmentation, for example, being helpful in traumatic brain injury. The latter include not only psychopharmacological options but also device-based therapies including mirror visual feedback therapy. PMID:23577266

  18. The Fibularis (Peroneus Tertius Muscle in Humans: A Meta-Analysis of Anatomical Studies with Clinical and Evolutionary Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaissar Yammine

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Being considered an exclusive human structure for a long time, fibularis tertius (FT is believed to have a secondary function of foot dorsiflexion and eversion. This study is an attempt to approach the issue from an anatomical perspective. A systematic literature search identified 35 studies (7601 legs which met the inclusion criteria. The weighted results of FT presence were as follows: an “adult cadaveric” frequency of 93.2% and a clinical frequency of 80%. The most common FT origin and insertion sites were the distal half of fibula and the base of the 5th metatarsal, respectively. In 95% of cases, an accessory fibular muscle was detected when FT was lacking. We demonstrated that the discrepancy found between the adult cadaveric and clinical frequency values would point out a probable bias in interpreting previous kinesiological results. On an evolutionary level, comparative anatomy demonstrated a very low FT prevalence among monkeys while reaching a frequency of 30% in gorillas, the only non-human apes having an almost exclusive terrestrial locomotion. The consistent prevalence among humans and the presence of similar functional muscles when it is missing would support an essential role of FT during the phylogenetic development of the erect bipedal posture and probably during gait.

  19. Does the evolutionary conservation of microsatellite loci imply function?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shriver, M.D.; Deka, R.; Ferrell, R.E. [Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Microsatellites are highly polymorphic tandem arrays of short (1-6 bp) sequence motifs which have been found widely distributed in the genomes of all eukaryotes. We have analyzed allele frequency data on 16 microsatellite loci typed in the great apes (human, chimp, orangutan, and gorilla). The majority of these loci (13) were isolated from human genomic libraries; three were cloned from chimpanzee genomic DNA. Most of these loci are not only present in all apes species, but are polymorphic with comparable levels of heterozygosity and have alleles which overlap in size. The extent of divergence of allele frequencies among these four species were studies using the stepwise-weighted genetic distance (Dsw), which was previously shown to conform to linearity with evolutionary time since divergence for loci where mutations exist in a stepwise fashion. The phylogenetic tree of the great apes constructed from this distance matrix was consistent with the expected topology, with a high bootstrap confidence (82%) for the human/chimp clade. However, the allele frequency distributions of these species are 10 times more similar to each other than expected when they were calibrated with a conservative estimate of the time since separation of humans and the apes. These results are in agreement with sequence-based surveys of microsatellites which have demonstrated that they are highly (90%) conserved over short periods of evolutionary time (< 10 million years) and moderately (30%) conserved over long periods of evolutionary time (> 60-80 million years). This evolutionary conservation has prompted some authors to speculate that there are functional constraints on microsatellite loci. In contrast, the presence of directional bias of mutations with constraints and/or selection against aberrant sized alleles can explain these results.

  20. A high-resolution map of human evolutionary constraint using 29 mammals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Garber, Manuel; Zuk, Or

    2011-01-01

    The comparison of related genomes has emerged as a powerful lens for genome interpretation. Here we report the sequencing and comparative analysis of 29 eutherian genomes. We confirm that at least 5.5% of the human genome has undergone purifying selection, and locate constrained elements covering...... from mobile elements and more than 1,000 primate- and human-accelerated elements. Overlap with disease-associated variants indicates that our findings will be relevant for studies of human biology, health and disease.......The comparison of related genomes has emerged as a powerful lens for genome interpretation. Here we report the sequencing and comparative analysis of 29 eutherian genomes. We confirm that at least 5.5% of the human genome has undergone purifying selection, and locate constrained elements covering...

  1. Evolutionary relationships within the human rhinovirus genus: comparison of serotypes 89, 2, and 14

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duechler, M.; Skern, T.; Sommergruber, W.; Neubauer, C.; Gruendler, P.; Fogy, I.; Blaas, D.; Kuechler, E.

    1987-05-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence of the genome of human rhinovirus type 89 was determined from the cDNA that had been cloned into Escherichia coli. The genome is 7152 nucleotides long and contains a single large open reading frame of 2164 codons. Translation commences at position 619 and ends 42 nucleotides before the poly(a) tract. The positions of three proteolytic cleavage sites in the polyprotein were determined by N-terminal amino acid sequencing of the capsid proteins; the remainder were predicted from comparisons with other picornaviruses. Extensive similarity between the derived amino acid sequences of human rhinovirus types 89 and 2 was found, whereas the similarity between human rhinovirus types 89 and 14 was considerably less. It is apparent that human rhinoviruses may be more closely related than has been previously thought.

  2. Where Did You Come From? Where Will You Go? Human Evolutionary Biology Education and American Students' Academic Interests and Achievements, Professional Goals, and Socioscientific Decision-Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrein, Caitlin M.

    2014-01-01

    In the United States, there is a national agenda to increase the number of qualified science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) professionals and a movement to promote science literacy among the general public. This project explores the association between formal human evolutionary biology education (HEB) and high school science class…

  3. Hot Topics and Popular Papers in Evolutionary Psychology: Analyses of Title Words and Citation Counts in Evolution and Human Behavior, 1979 – 2008

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory D. Webster

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available What do evolutionary psychologists study, which are their most highly cited articles, and which variables predict high citation counts? These are important questions for any emerging science. To help answer these questions, we present new empirical research on publication trends in evolutionary psychology's flagship journal, Evolution and Human Behavior (and its predecessor, Ethology and Sociobiology, from its inception in 1979 to 2008. First, analyses of 8,631 title words published in these journals between 1979 and 2008 (808 articles show an increasing interest in researching sex, sex differences, faces, and attractiveness. For example, during the Ethology and Sociobiology era (1979–1996, the most frequent title words were “evolutionary,” “human,” “behavior,” “reproductive,” “evolution,” “selection,” and “altruism,” whereas during the Evolution and Human Behavior era (1997–2008, they were “sex,” “attractiveness,” “differences,” “sexual,” “human,” “male,” and “facial.” Second, we reveal the 20 most-cited articles in these journals, which show the importance of research teams. Third, citation analyses for these journals between 1979 and 2002 (562 articles suggest articles that cite more references are in turn cited more themselves (r = .44, R2 = .19. Lastly, we summarize recent research that suggests evolutionary psychology is not only surviving, but also thriving, as a new interdisciplinary science.

  4. Tracking the evolutionary origins of dog-human cooperation: the “Canine Cooperation Hypothesis”

    Science.gov (United States)

    Range, Friederike; Virányi, Zsófia

    2015-01-01

    At present, beyond the fact that dogs can be easier socialized with humans than wolves, we know little about the motivational and cognitive effects of domestication. Despite this, it has been suggested that during domestication dogs have become socially more tolerant and attentive than wolves. These two characteristics are crucial for cooperation, and it has been argued that these changes allowed dogs to successfully live and work with humans. However, these domestication hypotheses have been put forward mainly based on dog-wolf differences reported in regard to their interactions with humans. Thus, it is possible that these differences reflect only an improved capability of dogs to accept humans as social partners instead of an increase of their general tolerance, attentiveness and cooperativeness. At the Wolf Science Center, in order to detangle these two explanations, we raise and keep dogs and wolves similarly socializing them with conspecifics and humans and then test them in interactions not just with humans but also conspecifics. When investigating attentiveness toward human and conspecific partners using different paradigms, we found that the wolves were at least as attentive as the dogs to their social partners and their actions. Based on these findings and the social ecology of wolves, we propose the Canine Cooperation Hypothesis suggesting that wolves are characterized with high social attentiveness and tolerance and are highly cooperative. This is in contrast with the implications of most domestication hypotheses about wolves. We argue, however, that these characteristics of wolves likely provided a good basis for the evolution of dog-human cooperation. PMID:25642203

  5. Tracking the evolutionary origins of dog-human cooperation: The ‘Canine Cooperation Hypothesis’

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Friederike eRange

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available At present, beyond the fact that dogs can be easier socialized with humans than wolves, we know little about the motivational and cognitive effects of domestication. Despite this, it has been suggested that during domestication dogs have become socially more tolerant and attentive than wolves. These two characteristics are crucial for cooperation, and it has been argued that these changes allowed dogs to successfully live and work with humans. However, these domestication hypotheses have been put forward mainly based on dog-wolf differences reported in regard to their interactions with humans. Thus, it is possible that these differences reflect only an improved capability of dogs to accept humans as social partners instead of an increase of their general tolerance, attentiveness and cooperativeness.At the Wolf Science Center, in order to detangle these two explanations, we raise and keep dogs and wolves similarly socializing them with conspecifics and humans and then test them in interactions not just with humans but also conspecifics. When investigating attentiveness towards human and conspecific partners using different paradigms, we found that the wolves were at least as attentive as the dogs to their social partners and their actions. Based on these findings and the social ecology of wolves, we propose the Canine Cooperation Hypothesis suggesting that wolves are characterized with high social attentiveness and tolerance and are highly cooperative. This is in contrast with the implications of most domestication hypotheses about wolves. We argue, however, that these characteristics of wolves likely provided a good basis for the evolution of dog-human cooperation.

  6. Tracking the evolutionary origins of dog-human cooperation: the "Canine Cooperation Hypothesis".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Range, Friederike; Virányi, Zsófia

    2014-01-01

    At present, beyond the fact that dogs can be easier socialized with humans than wolves, we know little about the motivational and cognitive effects of domestication. Despite this, it has been suggested that during domestication dogs have become socially more tolerant and attentive than wolves. These two characteristics are crucial for cooperation, and it has been argued that these changes allowed dogs to successfully live and work with humans. However, these domestication hypotheses have been put forward mainly based on dog-wolf differences reported in regard to their interactions with humans. Thus, it is possible that these differences reflect only an improved capability of dogs to accept humans as social partners instead of an increase of their general tolerance, attentiveness and cooperativeness. At the Wolf Science Center, in order to detangle these two explanations, we raise and keep dogs and wolves similarly socializing them with conspecifics and humans and then test them in interactions not just with humans but also conspecifics. When investigating attentiveness toward human and conspecific partners using different paradigms, we found that the wolves were at least as attentive as the dogs to their social partners and their actions. Based on these findings and the social ecology of wolves, we propose the Canine Cooperation Hypothesis suggesting that wolves are characterized with high social attentiveness and tolerance and are highly cooperative. This is in contrast with the implications of most domestication hypotheses about wolves. We argue, however, that these characteristics of wolves likely provided a good basis for the evolution of dog-human cooperation.

  7. Spatially explicit models of divergence and genome hitchhiking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flaxman, S M; Feder, J L; Nosil, P

    2012-12-01

    Strong barriers to genetic exchange can exist at divergently selected loci, whereas alleles at neutral loci flow more readily between populations, thus impeding divergence and speciation in the face of gene flow. However, 'divergence hitchhiking' theory posits that divergent selection can generate large regions of differentiation around selected loci. 'Genome hitchhiking' theory suggests that selection can also cause reductions in average genome-wide rates of gene flow, resulting in widespread genomic divergence (rather than divergence only around specific selected loci). Spatial heterogeneity is ubiquitous in nature, yet previous models of genetic barriers to gene flow have explored limited combinations of spatial and selective scenarios. Using simulations of secondary contact of populations, we explore barriers to gene flow in various selective and spatial contexts in continuous, two-dimensional, spatially explicit environments. In general, the effects of hitchhiking are strongest in environments with regular spatial patterning of starkly divergent habitat types. When divergent selection is very strong, the absence of intermediate habitat types increases the effects of hitchhiking. However, when selection is moderate or weak, regular (vs. random) spatial arrangement of habitat types becomes more important than the presence of intermediate habitats per se. We also document counterintuitive processes arising from the stochastic interplay between selection, gene flow and drift. Our results indicate that generalization of results from two-deme models requires caution and increase understanding of the genomic and geographic basis of population divergence. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  8. Genetic variability among complete human respiratory syncytial virus subgroup A genomes: bridging molecular evolutionary dynamics and epidemiology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lydia Tan

    Full Text Available Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV is an important cause of severe lower respiratory tract infections in infants and the elderly. In the vast majority of cases, however, RSV infections run mild and symptoms resemble those of a common cold. The immunological, clinical, and epidemiological profile of severe RSV infections suggests a disease caused by a virus with typical seasonal transmission behavior, lacking clear-cut virulence factors, but instead causing disease by modifying the host's immune response in a way that stimulates pathogenesis. Yet, the interplay between RSV-evoked immune responses and epidemic behavior, and how this affects the genomic evolutionary dynamics of the virus, remains poorly understood. Here, we present a comprehensive collection of 33 novel RSV subgroup A genomes from strains sampled over the last decade, and provide the first measurement of RSV-A genomic diversity through time in a phylodynamic framework. In addition, we map amino acid substitutions per protein to determine mutational hotspots in specific domains. Using Bayesian genealogical inference, we estimated the genomic evolutionary rate to be 6.47 × 10(-4 (credible interval: 5.56 × 10(-4, 7.38 × 10(-4 substitutions/site/year, considerably slower than previous estimates based on G gene sequences only. The G gene is however marked by elevated substitution rates compared to other RSV genes, which can be attributed to relaxed selective constraints. In line with this, site-specific selection analyses identify the G gene as the major target of diversifying selection. Importantly, statistical analysis demonstrates that the immune driven positive selection does not leave a measurable imprint on the genome phylogeny, implying that RSV lineage replacement mainly follows nonselective epidemiological processes. The roughly 50 years of RSV-A genomic evolution are characterized by a constant population size through time and general co-circulation of lineages over

  9. Divergent selection on, but no genetic conflict over, female and male timing and rate of reproduction in a human population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolund, Elisabeth; Bouwhuis, Sandra; Pettay, Jenni E; Lummaa, Virpi

    2013-12-07

    The sexes often have different phenotypic optima for important life-history traits, and because of a largely shared genome this can lead to a conflict over trait expression. In mammals, the obligate costs of reproduction are higher for females, making reproductive timing and rate especially liable to conflict between the sexes. While studies from wild vertebrates support such sexual conflict, it remains unexplored in humans. We used a pedigreed human population from preindustrial Finland to estimate sexual conflict over age at first and last reproduction, reproductive lifespan and reproductive rate. We found that the phenotypic selection gradients differed between the sexes. We next established significant heritabilities in both sexes for all traits. All traits, except reproductive rate, showed strongly positive intersexual genetic correlations and were strongly genetically correlated with fitness in both sexes. Moreover, the genetic correlations with fitness were almost identical in men and women. For reproductive rate, the intersexual correlation and the correlation with fitness were weaker but again similar between the sexes. Thus, in this population, an apparent sexual conflict at the phenotypic level did not reflect an underlying genetic conflict over the studied reproductive traits. These findings emphasize the need for incorporating genetic perspectives into studies of human life-history evolution.

  10. Evolutionary anatomies of positions and types of disease-associated and neutral amino acid mutations in the human genome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subramanian Sankar

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Amino acid mutations in a large number of human proteins are known to be associated with heritable genetic disease. These disease-associated mutations (DAMs are known to occur predominantly in positions essential to the structure and function of the proteins. Here, we examine how the relative perpetuation and conservation of amino acid positions modulate the genome-wide patterns of 8,627 human disease-associated mutations (DAMs reported in 541 genes. We compare these patterns with 5,308 non-synonymous Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (nSNPs in 2,592 genes from primary SNP resources. Results The abundance of DAMs shows a negative relationship with the evolutionary rate of the amino acid positions harboring them. An opposite trend describes the distribution of nSNPs. DAMs are also preferentially found in the amino acid positions that are retained (or present in multiple vertebrate species, whereas the nSNPs are over-abundant in the positions that have been lost (or absent in the non-human vertebrates. These observations are consistent with the effect of purifying selection on natural variation, which also explains the existence of lower minor nSNP allele frequencies at highly-conserved amino acid positions. The biochemical severity of the inter-specific amino acid changes is also modulated by natural selection, with the fast-evolving positions containing more radical amino acid differences among species. Similarly, DAMs associated with early-onset diseases are more radical than those associated with the late-onset diseases. A small fraction of DAMs (10% overlap with the amino acid differences between species within the same position, but are biochemically the most conservative group of amino acid differences in our datasets. Overlapping DAMs are found disproportionately in fast-evolving amino acid positions, which, along with the conservative nature of the amino acid changes, may have allowed some of them to escape natural

  11. A Prospect for Evolutionary Adequacy: Merge and the Evolution and Development of Human Language

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koji Fujita

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Biolinguistic minimalism seeks a deeper explanation of the design, development and evolution of human language by reducing its core domain to the bare minimum including the set-formation operation Merge. In an attempt to open an avenue of research that may lead to an evolutionarily adequate theory of language, this article makes the following proposals: (i Merge is the elementary combinatorial device that requires no more decomposition; (ii the precursor to Merge may be found in the uniquely human capacity for hierarchical object manipulation; (iii the uniqueness of the human lexicon may also be captured in terms of Merge. Empirical validations of these proposals should constitute one major topic for the biolinguistic program.

  12. Evolutionary History of Helicobacter pylori Sequences Reflect Past Human Migrations in Southeast Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breurec, Sebastien; Guillard, Bertrand; Hem, Sopheak; Brisse, Sylvain; Dieye, Fatou Bintou; Huerre, Michel; Oung, Chakravuth; Raymond, Josette; Sreng Tan, Tek; Thiberge, Jean-Michel; Vong, Sirenda; Monchy, Didier; Linz, Bodo

    2011-01-01

    The human population history in Southeast Asia was shaped by numerous migrations and population expansions. Their reconstruction based on archaeological, linguistic or human genetic data is often hampered by the limited number of informative polymorphisms in classical human genetic markers, such as the hypervariable regions of the mitochondrial DNA. Here, we analyse housekeeping gene sequences of the human stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori from various countries in Southeast Asia and we provide evidence that H. pylori accompanied at least three ancient human migrations into this area: i) a migration from India introducing hpEurope bacteria into Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia; ii) a migration of the ancestors of Austro-Asiatic speaking people into Vietnam and Cambodia carrying hspEAsia bacteria; and iii) a migration of the ancestors of the Thai people from Southern China into Thailand carrying H. pylori of population hpAsia2. Moreover, the H. pylori sequences reflect iv) the migrations of Chinese to Thailand and Malaysia within the last 200 years spreading hspEasia strains, and v) migrations of Indians to Malaysia within the last 200 years distributing both hpAsia2 and hpEurope bacteria. The distribution of the bacterial populations seems to strongly influence the incidence of gastric cancer as countries with predominantly hspEAsia isolates exhibit a high incidence of gastric cancer while the incidence is low in countries with a high proportion of hpAsia2 or hpEurope strains. In the future, the host range expansion of hpEurope strains among Asian populations, combined with human motility, may have a significant impact on gastric cancer incidence in Asia. PMID:21818291

  13. Evolutionary history of Helicobacter pylori sequences reflect past human migrations in Southeast Asia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastien Breurec

    Full Text Available The human population history in Southeast Asia was shaped by numerous migrations and population expansions. Their reconstruction based on archaeological, linguistic or human genetic data is often hampered by the limited number of informative polymorphisms in classical human genetic markers, such as the hypervariable regions of the mitochondrial DNA. Here, we analyse housekeeping gene sequences of the human stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori from various countries in Southeast Asia and we provide evidence that H. pylori accompanied at least three ancient human migrations into this area: i a migration from India introducing hpEurope bacteria into Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia; ii a migration of the ancestors of Austro-Asiatic speaking people into Vietnam and Cambodia carrying hspEAsia bacteria; and iii a migration of the ancestors of the Thai people from Southern China into Thailand carrying H. pylori of population hpAsia2. Moreover, the H. pylori sequences reflect iv the migrations of Chinese to Thailand and Malaysia within the last 200 years spreading hspEasia strains, and v migrations of Indians to Malaysia within the last 200 years distributing both hpAsia2 and hpEurope bacteria. The distribution of the bacterial populations seems to strongly influence the incidence of gastric cancer as countries with predominantly hspEAsia isolates exhibit a high incidence of gastric cancer while the incidence is low in countries with a high proportion of hpAsia2 or hpEurope strains. In the future, the host range expansion of hpEurope strains among Asian populations, combined with human motility, may have a significant impact on gastric cancer incidence in Asia.

  14. [Evolutionary history of human locomotor system--from walking to long-distance running].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viranta-Kovanen, Suvi

    2015-01-01

    Bipedality evolved in hominids more than 4 million years ago. Bipedals were a diverse group including the lineage of obligatory walkers that finally lead to humans. Important anatomical changes in this group were: enhanced lumbar lordosis, shortening of the ilium, and emphasize on the parasagittal movements. Long-distance running evolved much later and it was associated with well-developed plantar arches, strengthening of muscles supporting the erect trunk, and decoupling of the pectoral girdle and head. In addition to anatomical changes, humans have many physiological adaptations to long-distance running. It is likely that the ability to run long-distance has been important for the survival of our species.

  15. Estimation of the elastic parameters of human liver biomechanical models by means of medical images and evolutionary computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Martínez, F; Rupérez, M J; Martín-Guerrero, J D; Monserrat, C; Lago, M A; Pareja, E; Brugger, S; López-Andújar, R

    2013-09-01

    This paper presents a method to computationally estimate the elastic parameters of two biomechanical models proposed for the human liver. The method is aimed at avoiding the invasive measurement of its mechanical response. The chosen models are a second order Mooney-Rivlin model and an Ogden model. A novel error function, the geometric similarity function (GSF), is formulated using similarity coefficients widely applied in the field of medical imaging (Jaccard coefficient and Hausdorff coefficient). This function is used to compare two 3D images. One of them corresponds to a reference deformation carried out over a finite element (FE) mesh of a human liver from a computer tomography image, whilst the other one corresponds to the FE simulation of that deformation in which variations in the values of the model parameters are introduced. Several search strategies, based on GSF as cost function, are developed to accurately find the elastics parameters of the models, namely: two evolutionary algorithms (scatter search and genetic algorithm) and an iterative local optimization. The results show that GSF is a very appropriate function to estimate the elastic parameters of the biomechanical models since the mean of the relative mean absolute errors committed by the three algorithms is lower than 4%. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Host-Specific and Segment-Specific Evolutionary Dynamics of Avian and Human Influenza A Viruses: A Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kiyeon; Omori, Ryosuke; Ueno, Keisuke; Iida, Sayaka; Ito, Kimihito

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the evolutionary dynamics of influenza viruses is essential to control both avian and human influenza. Here, we analyze host-specific and segment-specific Tajima's D trends of influenza A virus through a systematic review using viral sequences registered in the National Center for Biotechnology Information. To avoid bias from viral population subdivision, viral sequences were stratified according to their sampling locations and sampling years. As a result, we obtained a total of 580 datasets each of which consists of nucleotide sequences of influenza A viruses isolated from a single population of hosts at a single sampling site within a single year. By analyzing nucleotide sequences in the datasets, we found that Tajima's D values of viral sequences were different depending on hosts and gene segments. Tajima's D values of viruses isolated from chicken and human samples showed negative, suggesting purifying selection or a rapid population growth of the viruses. The negative Tajima's D values in rapidly growing viral population were also observed in computer simulations. Tajima's D values of PB2, PB1, PA, NP, and M genes of the viruses circulating in wild mallards were close to zero, suggesting that these genes have undergone neutral selection in constant-sized population. On the other hand, Tajima's D values of HA and NA genes of these viruses were positive, indicating HA and NA have undergone balancing selection in wild mallards. Taken together, these results indicated the existence of unknown factors that maintain viral subtypes in wild mallards.

  17. Studies in evolutionary agroecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wille, Wibke

    Darwinian evolution by natural selection is driven primarily by differential survival and reproduction among individuals in a population. When the evolutionary interest of an individual is in conflict with the interests of the population, the genes increasing individual fitness at the cost...... performance are not in conflict, it is unlikely that plant breeding can radically improve the results of millions of years of evolution through natural selection. However, efforts to improve crops can be very successful, when breeding is directed towards goals diverging from natural selection. The potential...... of Evolutionary Agroecology that the highest yielding individuals do not necessarily perform best as a population. The investment of resources into strategies and structures increasing individual competitive ability carries a cost. If a whole population consists of individuals investing resources to compete...

  18. Development of a human vasopressin V1a-receptor antagonist from an evolutionary-related insect neuropeptide

    Science.gov (United States)

    di Giglio, Maria Giulia; Muttenthaler, Markus; Harpsøe, Kasper; Liutkeviciute, Zita; Keov, Peter; Eder, Thomas; Rattei, Thomas; Arrowsmith, Sarah; Wray, Susan; Marek, Ales; Elbert, Tomas; Alewood, Paul F.; Gloriam, David E.; Gruber, Christian W.

    2017-02-01

    Characterisation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) relies on the availability of a toolbox of ligands that selectively modulate different functional states of the receptors. To uncover such molecules, we explored a unique strategy for ligand discovery that takes advantage of the evolutionary conservation of the 600-million-year-old oxytocin/vasopressin signalling system. We isolated the insect oxytocin/vasopressin orthologue inotocin from the black garden ant (Lasius niger), identified and cloned its cognate receptor and determined its pharmacological properties on the insect and human oxytocin/vasopressin receptors. Subsequently, we identified a functional dichotomy: inotocin activated the insect inotocin and the human vasopressin V1b receptors, but inhibited the human V1aR. Replacement of Arg8 of inotocin by D-Arg8 led to a potent, stable and competitive V1aR-antagonist ([D-Arg8]-inotocin) with a 3,000-fold binding selectivity for the human V1aR over the other three subtypes, OTR, V1bR and V2R. The Arg8/D-Arg8 ligand-pair was further investigated to gain novel insights into the oxytocin/vasopressin peptide-receptor interaction, which led to the identification of key residues of the receptors that are important for ligand functionality and selectivity. These observations could play an important role for development of oxytocin/vasopressin receptor modulators that would enable clear distinction of the physiological and pathological responses of the individual receptor subtypes.

  19. Evolutionary Mechanisms for Loneliness

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Evolutionary trajectory of the VP1 gene of human enterovirus 71 genogroup B and C viruses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S.M.G. van der Sanden (Sabine); H.G.A.M. van der Avoort (Harrie); P. Lemey (Philippe); G. Uslu (Gökhan); M.P.G. Koopmans D.V.M. (Marion)

    2010-01-01

    textabstractFrom 1963 to 1986, human enterovirus 71 (HEV71) infections in the Netherlands were successively caused by viruses of subgenogroups B0, B1 and B2. A genogroup shift occurred in 1987, after which viruses of subgenogroups C1 and C2 were detected exclusively. This is in line with HEV71

  1. Evolutionary considerations on complex emotions and music-induced emotions. Comment on "The quartet theory of human emotions: An integrative and neurofunctional model" by S. Koelsch et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingras, Bruno; Marin, Manuela M.

    2015-06-01

    Recent efforts to uncover the neural underpinnings of emotional experiences have provided a foundation for novel neurophysiological theories of emotions, adding to the existing body of psychophysiological, motivational, and evolutionary theories. Besides explicitly modeling human-specific emotions and considering the interactions between emotions and language, Koelsch et al.'s original contribution to this challenging endeavor is to identify four brain areas as distinct "affect systems" which differ in terms of emotional qualia and evolutionary pathways [1]. Here, we comment on some features of this promising Quartet Theory of Emotions, focusing particularly on evolutionary and biological aspects related to the four affect systems and their relation to prevailing emotion theories, as well as on the role of music-induced emotions.

  2. Human impact on fish sensory systems in the long term: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakon, Harold H

    2015-01-01

    Humans have severely impacted global ecosystems and this shows few signs of abating. Many aspects of an animal's biology, including its sensory systems, may be adversely influenced by pollutants and environmental noise. This review focuses on whether and/or how various environmental disturbances disrupt the sensory systems of fishes. As critical as it is to document and understand the current effects of the human footprint, it is also important to consider how organisms might adapt to these impacts over the long term. The present paper outlines the sources of genetic and genomic variation upon which natural selection can act and then reviews examples of known genetic contributions of variation in fish chemosensory, visual and acoustico-lateralis systems. © 2014 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd.

  3. Evolutionary Nephrology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevalier, Robert L

    2017-05-01

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

  4. Substitution rate variation at human CpG sites correlates with non-CpG divergence, methylation level and GC content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugal, Carina F; Ellegren, Hans

    2011-06-22

    A major goal in the study of molecular evolution is to unravel the mechanisms that induce variation in the germ line mutation rate and in the genome-wide mutation profile. The rate of germ line mutation is considerably higher for cytosines at CpG sites than for any other nucleotide in the human genome, an increase commonly attributed to cytosine methylation at CpG sites. The CpG mutation rate, however, is not uniform across the genome and, as methylation levels have recently been shown to vary throughout the genome, it has been hypothesized that methylation status may govern variation in the rate of CpG mutation. Here, we use genome-wide methylation data from human sperm cells to investigate the impact of DNA methylation on the CpG substitution rate in introns of human genes. We find that there is a significant correlation between the extent of methylation and the substitution rate at CpG sites. Further, we show that the CpG substitution rate is positively correlated with non-CpG divergence, suggesting susceptibility to factors responsible for the general mutation rate in the genome, and negatively correlated with GC content. We only observe a minor contribution of gene expression level, while recombination rate appears to have no significant effect. Our study provides the first direct empirical support for the hypothesis that variation in the level of germ line methylation contributes to substitution rate variation at CpG sites. Moreover, we show that other genomic features also impact on CpG substitution rate variation.

  5. Human lipoproteins have divergent neutralizing effects on E. coli LPS, N. meningitidis LPS, and complete Gram-negative bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sprong, Tom; Netea, Mihai G; van der Ley, Peter; Verver-Jansen, Trees J G; Jacobs, Liesbeth E H; Stalenhoef, Anton; van der Meer, Jos W M; van Deuren, Marcel

    2004-04-01

    The use of lipoproteins has been suggested as a treatment for Gram-negative sepsis because they inhibit lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated cytokine production. However, little is known about the neutralizing effects of lipoproteins on cytokine production by meningococcal LPS or whole Gram-negative bacteria. We assessed the neutralizing effect of LDLs, HDLs, and VLDLs on LPS- or whole bacteria-induced cytokines in human mononuclear cells. A strong inhibition of Escherichia coli LPS-induced interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and IL-10 by LDL and HDL was seen, whereas VLDL had a less pronounced effect. In contrast, Neisseria meningitidis LPS, in similar concentrations, was neutralized much less effectively than E. coli LPS. Effective neutralization of meningococcal LPS required a longer interaction time, a lower concentration of LPS, or higher concentrations of lipoproteins. The difference in neutralization was independent of the saccharide tail, suggesting that the lipid A moiety accounted for the difference. Minimal neutralizing effects of the lipoproteins were observed on whole E. coli or N. meningitidis bacteria under all conditions tested. These results indicate that efficient neutralization of LPS depends on the type of LPS, but a sufficiently long interaction time, a low LPS concentration, or high lipoprotein concentration also inhibited cytokines by the less efficiently neutralized N. meningitidis LPS. Irrespective of these differences, whole bacteria showed no neutralization by lipoproteins.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  7. Deciphering the cause of evolutionary variance within intrinsically disordered regions in human proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Sanghita; Chakraborty, Sandip; De, Rajat K

    2017-02-01

    Why the intrinsically disordered regions evolve within human proteome has became an interesting question for a decade. Till date, it remains an unsolved yet an intriguing issue to investigate why some of the disordered regions evolve rapidly while the rest are highly conserved across mammalian species. Identifying the key biological factors, responsible for the variation in the conservation rate of different disordered regions within the human proteome, may revisit the above issue. We emphasized that among the other biological features (multifunctionality, gene essentiality, protein connectivity, number of unique domains, gene expression level and expression breadth) considered in our study, the number of unique protein domains acts as a strong determinant that negatively influences the conservation of disordered regions. In this context, we justified that proteins having a fewer types of domains preferably need to conserve their disordered regions to enhance their structural flexibility which in turn will facilitate their molecular interactions. In contrast, the selection pressure acting on the stretches of disordered regions is not so strong in the case of multi-domains proteins. Therefore, we reasoned that the presence of conserved disordered stretches may compensate the functions of multiple domains within a single domain protein. Interestingly, we noticed that the influence of the unique domain number and expression level acts differently on the evolution of disordered regions from that of well-structured ones.

  8. Mice with missense and nonsense NF1 mutations display divergent phenotypes compared with human neurofibromatosis type I

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kairong Li

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1 is a common genetic disorder characterized by the occurrence of nerve sheath tumors and considerable clinical heterogeneity. Some translational studies have been limited by the lack of animal models available for assessing patient-specific mutations. In order to test therapeutic approaches that might restore function to the mutated gene or gene product, we developed mice harboring NF1 patient-specific mutations including a nonsense mutation (c.2041C>T; p.Arg681* and a missense mutation (c.2542G>C; p.Gly848Arg. The latter is associated with the development of multiple plexiform neurofibromas along spinal nerve roots. We demonstrate that the human nonsense NF1Arg681* and missense NF1Gly848Arg mutations have different effects on neurofibromin expression in the mouse and each recapitulates unique aspects of the NF1 phenotype, depending upon the genetic context when assessed in the homozygous state or when paired with a conditional knockout allele. Whereas the missense Nf1Gly848Arg mutation fails to produce an overt phenotype in the mouse, animals homozygous for the nonsense Nf1Arg681* mutation are not viable. Mice with one Nf1Arg681* allele in combination with a conditional floxed Nf1 allele and the DhhCre transgene (Nf14F/Arg681*; DhhCre display disorganized nonmyelinating axons and neurofibromas along the spinal column, which leads to compression of the spinal cord and paralysis. This model will be valuable for preclinical testing of novel nonsense suppression therapies using drugs to target in-frame point mutations that create premature termination codons in individuals with NF1.

  9. Evolutionary history of dog rabies in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobayashi, Yuki; Suzuki, Yoshiyuki; Itou, Takuya; Ito, Fumio H; Sakai, Takeo; Gojobori, Takashi

    2011-01-01

    Although dogs are considered to be the principal transmitter of rabies in Brazil, dog rabies had never been recorded in South America before European colonization. In order to investigate the evolutionary history of dog rabies virus (RABV) in Brazil, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of carnivore RABV isolates from around the world and estimated the divergence times for dog RABV in Brazil. Our estimate for the time of introduction of dog RABV into Brazil was the late-19th to early-20th century, which was later than the colonization period but corresponded to a period of increased immigration from Europe to Brazil. In addition, dog RABVs appeared to have spread to indigenous animals in Brazil during the latter half of the 20th century, when the development and urbanization of Brazil occurred. These results suggest that the movement of rabid dogs, along with human activities since the 19th century, promoted the introduction and expansion of dog RABV in Brazil.

  10. Resolution of deep angiosperm phylogeny using conserved nuclear genes and estimates of early divergence times.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Liping; Zhang, Qiang; Sun, Renran; Kong, Hongzhi; Zhang, Ning; Ma, Hong

    2014-09-24

    Angiosperms are the most successful plants and support human livelihood and ecosystems. Angiosperm phylogeny is the foundation of studies of gene function and phenotypic evolution, divergence time estimation and biogeography. The relationship of the five divergent groups of the Mesangiospermae (~99.95% of extant angiosperms) remains uncertain, with multiple hypotheses reported in the literature. Here transcriptome data sets are obtained from 26 species lacking sequenced genomes, representing each of the five groups: eudicots, monocots, magnoliids, Chloranthaceae and Ceratophyllaceae. Phylogenetic analyses using 59 carefully selected low-copy nuclear genes resulted in highly supported relationships: sisterhood of eudicots and a clade containing Chloranthaceae and Ceratophyllaceae, with magnoliids being the next sister group, followed by monocots. Our topology allows a re-examination of the evolutionary patterns of 110 morphological characters. The molecular clock estimates of Mesangiospermae diversification during the late to middle Jurassic correspond well to the origins of some insects, which may have been a factor facilitating early angiosperm radiation.

  11. An evolutionary perspective of how infection drives human genome diversity: the case of malaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangano, Valentina D; Modiano, David

    2014-10-01

    Infection with malaria parasites has imposed a strong selective pressure on the human genome, promoting the convergent evolution of a diverse range of genetic adaptations, many of which are harboured by the red blood cell, which hosts the pathogenic stage of the Plasmodium life cycle. Recent genome-wide and multi-centre association studies of severe malaria have consistently identified ATP2B4, encoding the major Ca(2+) pump of erythrocytes, as a novel resistance locus. Evidence is also accumulating that interaction occurs among resistance loci, the most recent example being negative epistasis among alpha-thalassemia and haptoglobin type 2. Finally, studies on the effect of haemoglobin S and C on parasite transmission to mosquitoes have suggested that protective variants could increase in frequency enhancing parasite fitness. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Evolutionary constraint and disease associations of post-translational modification sites in human genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jüri Reimand

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Interpreting the impact of human genome variation on phenotype is challenging. The functional effect of protein-coding variants is often predicted using sequence conservation and population frequency data, however other factors are likely relevant. We hypothesized that variants in protein post-translational modification (PTM sites contribute to phenotype variation and disease. We analyzed fraction of rare variants and non-synonymous to synonymous variant ratio (Ka/Ks in 7,500 human genomes and found a significant negative selection signal in PTM regions independent of six factors, including conservation, codon usage, and GC-content, that is widely distributed across tissue-specific genes and function classes. PTM regions are also enriched in known disease mutations, suggesting that PTM variation is more likely deleterious. PTM constraint also affects flanking sequence around modified residues and increases around clustered sites, indicating presence of functionally important short linear motifs. Using target site motifs of 124 kinases, we predict that at least ∼180,000 motif-breaker amino acid residues that disrupt PTM sites when substituted, and highlight kinase motifs that show specific negative selection and enrichment of disease mutations. We provide this dataset with corresponding hypothesized mechanisms as a community resource. As an example of our integrative approach, we propose that PTPN11 variants in Noonan syndrome aberrantly activate the protein by disrupting an uncharacterized cluster of phosphorylation sites. Further, as PTMs are molecular switches that are modulated by drugs, we study mutated binding sites of PTM enzymes in disease genes and define a drug-disease network containing 413 novel predicted disease-gene links.

  13. Evolutionary Constraint and Disease Associations of Post-Translational Modification Sites in Human Genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimand, Jüri; Wagih, Omar; Bader, Gary D.

    2015-01-01

    Interpreting the impact of human genome variation on phenotype is challenging. The functional effect of protein-coding variants is often predicted using sequence conservation and population frequency data, however other factors are likely relevant. We hypothesized that variants in protein post-translational modification (PTM) sites contribute to phenotype variation and disease. We analyzed fraction of rare variants and non-synonymous to synonymous variant ratio (Ka/Ks) in 7,500 human genomes and found a significant negative selection signal in PTM regions independent of six factors, including conservation, codon usage, and GC-content, that is widely distributed across tissue-specific genes and function classes. PTM regions are also enriched in known disease mutations, suggesting that PTM variation is more likely deleterious. PTM constraint also affects flanking sequence around modified residues and increases around clustered sites, indicating presence of functionally important short linear motifs. Using target site motifs of 124 kinases, we predict that at least ∼180,000 motif-breaker amino acid residues that disrupt PTM sites when substituted, and highlight kinase motifs that show specific negative selection and enrichment of disease mutations. We provide this dataset with corresponding hypothesized mechanisms as a community resource. As an example of our integrative approach, we propose that PTPN11 variants in Noonan syndrome aberrantly activate the protein by disrupting an uncharacterized cluster of phosphorylation sites. Further, as PTMs are molecular switches that are modulated by drugs, we study mutated binding sites of PTM enzymes in disease genes and define a drug-disease network containing 413 novel predicted disease-gene links. PMID:25611800

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nils Poulicard

    2016-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  16. Applying evolutionary anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Host-Specific and Segment-Specific Evolutionary Dynamics of Avian and Human Influenza A Viruses: A Systematic Review

    KAUST Repository

    Kim, Kiyeon

    2016-01-13

    Understanding the evolutionary dynamics of influenza viruses is essential to control both avian and human influenza. Here, we analyze host-specific and segment-specific Tajima’s D trends of influenza A virus through a systematic review using viral sequences registered in the National Center for Biotechnology Information. To avoid bias from viral population subdivision, viral sequences were stratified according to their sampling locations and sampling years. As a result, we obtained a total of 580 datasets each of which consists of nucleotide sequences of influenza A viruses isolated from a single population of hosts at a single sampling site within a single year. By analyzing nucleotide sequences in the datasets, we found that Tajima’s D values of viral sequences were different depending on hosts and gene segments. Tajima’s D values of viruses isolated from chicken and human samples showed negative, suggesting purifying selection or a rapid population growth of the viruses. The negative Tajima’s D values in rapidly growing viral population were also observed in computer simulations. Tajima’s D values of PB2, PB1, PA, NP, and M genes of the viruses circulating in wild mallards were close to zero, suggesting that these genes have undergone neutral selection in constant-sized population. On the other hand, Tajima’s D values of HA and NA genes of these viruses were positive, indicating HA and NA have undergone balancing selection in wild mallards. Taken together, these results indicated the existence of unknown factors that maintain viral subtypes in wild mallards.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Alam, Tanvir

    2012-07-01

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

  19. A typological approach to testing the evolutionary functions of human female orgasm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Robert; Belsky, Jay

    2012-10-01

    Building on previous work that identified different types of orgasm in women (King, Belsky, Mah, & Binik, 2011), the goal of the present study was to extend such typological work and determine whether female orgasmic variability tracked potentially evolutionarily salient sexual partner characteristics (e.g., those displaying possible immune-system compatibility). A total of 265 females completed an Internet survey about their orgasmic experience-achieved either with partners or alone. For partnered orgasms, they also provided details of partner characteristics and sexual behaviors. Latent class analysis revealed two orgasm types which were meaningfully distinguishable in terms of sensations and location-either centered on the surface of genitalia or deep inside. Deep orgasms were associated with internal sensations consistent with proposed functions of female orgasm in terms of differential sperm insuck. Such orgasms were associated with partners who were perceived as considerate, dominant, with a noticeably attractive smell, and as providing firm penetration. However, some hypothesized reproductively significant partner characteristics were not differentially associated with deep orgasms (i.e., muscularity, aggression, masculinity). Results were discussed and future research directions outlined. In particular, it is suggested that sexual passion between partners is a non-accidental component of sexual functioning and that this has too frequently been missing in sex research involving humans. Direct physiological measures of the results of female orgasm need to be undertaken. Additionally, the intriguing phenomenon of female ejaculation deserves scientific attention.

  20. Predicting human miRNA target genes using a novel evolutionary methodology

    KAUST Repository

    Aigli, Korfiati

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of miRNAs had great impacts on traditional biology. Typically, miRNAs have the potential to bind to the 3\\'untraslated region (UTR) of their mRNA target genes for cleavage or translational repression. The experimental identification of their targets has many drawbacks including cost, time and low specificity and these are the reasons why many computational approaches have been developed so far. However, existing computational approaches do not include any advanced feature selection technique and they are facing problems concerning their classification performance and their interpretability. In the present paper, we propose a novel hybrid methodology which combines genetic algorithms and support vector machines in order to locate the optimal feature subset while achieving high classification performance. The proposed methodology was compared with two of the most promising existing methodologies in the problem of predicting human miRNA targets. Our approach outperforms existing methodologies in terms of classification performances while selecting a much smaller feature subset. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

  1. Evolutionary behavioral genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  2. Humanized SFTPA1 and SFTPA2 Transgenic Mice Reveal Functional Divergence of SP-A1 and SP-A2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guirong; Guo, Xiaoxuan; DiAngelo, Susan; Thomas, Neal J.; Floros, Joanna

    2010-01-01

    Surfactant protein A (SP-A) plays a role in lung innate immunity and surfactant-related functions. Two functional genes, SP-A1 (SFTPA1) and SP-A2 (SFTPA2), are present in humans and primates (rodents have one gene). Single gene SP-A1 or SP-A2 proteins expressed in vitro are functional. To study their role in vivo, we generated humanized transgenic (hTG) C57BL/6 mice, SP-A1(6A4) and SP-A2(1A3). The SP-A cDNA in experimental constructs was driven by the 3.7-kb SP-C promoter. Positive hTG mice were bred with SP-A knock-out mice to generate F8 offspring for study. Epithelial alveolar type II cells were SP-A-positive, and Clara cells were negative by immunohistochemistry in hTG mice. The levels of SP-A in lungs of two hTG lines used were comparable with those in human lungs. Southern blot analysis indicated that two cDNA copies of either SP-A1(6A4) or SP-A2(1A3) were integrated as a concatemer into the genome of each of the two hTG lines. Electron microscopy analysis revealed that hTG mice with a single SP-A1(6A4) or SP-A2(1A3) gene product lacked tubular myelin (TM), but hTG mice carrying both had TM. Furthermore, TM was observed in human bronchoalveolar lavage fluid only if both SP-A1 and SP-A2 gene products were present and not in those containing primarily (>99.7%) either SP-A1 or SP-A2 gene products. In vivo rescue study confirmed that TM can only be restored after administering exogenous SP-A containing both SP-A1 and SP-A2 into the lungs of SP-A knock-out mice. These observations indicate that SP-A1 and SP-A2 diverged functionally at least in terms of TM formation. PMID:20048345

  3. Evolutionary Nephrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Chevalier

    2017-05-01

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

  4. Evolutionary Design in Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormack, Jon

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

  5. Evolutionary developmental psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Ashley C; Bjorklund, David F

    2010-02-01

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

  6. The evolution of cortical development: the synapsid-diapsid divergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goffinet, Andre M

    2017-11-15

    The cerebral cortex covers the rostral part of the brain and, in higher mammals and particularly humans, plays a key role in cognition and consciousness. It is populated with neuronal cell bodies distributed in radially organized layers. Understanding the common and lineage-specific molecular mechanisms that orchestrate cortical development and evolution are key issues in neurobiology. During evolution, the cortex appeared in stem amniotes and evolved divergently in two main branches of the phylogenetic tree: the synapsids (which led to present day mammals) and the diapsids (reptiles and birds). Comparative studies in organisms that belong to those two branches have identified some common principles of cortical development and organization that are possibly inherited from stem amniotes and regulated by similar molecular mechanisms. These comparisons have also highlighted certain essential features of mammalian cortices that are absent or different in diapsids and that probably evolved after the synapsid-diapsid divergence. Chief among these is the size and multi-laminar organization of the mammalian cortex, and the propensity to increase its area by folding. Here, I review recent data on cortical neurogenesis, neuronal migration and cortical layer formation and folding in this evolutionary perspective, and highlight important unanswered questions for future investigation. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  7. Divergence in dialogue.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick G T Healey

    Full Text Available One of the best known claims about human communication is that people's behaviour and language use converge during conversation. It has been proposed that these patterns can be explained by automatic, cross-person priming. A key test case is structural priming: does exposure to one syntactic structure, in production or comprehension, make reuse of that structure (by the same or another speaker more likely? It has been claimed that syntactic repetition caused by structural priming is ubiquitous in conversation. However, previous work has not tested for general syntactic repetition effects in ordinary conversation independently of lexical repetition. Here we analyse patterns of syntactic repetition in two large corpora of unscripted everyday conversations. Our results show that when lexical repetition is taken into account there is no general tendency for people to repeat their own syntactic constructions. More importantly, people repeat each other's syntactic constructions less than would be expected by chance; i.e., people systematically diverge from one another in their use of syntactic constructions. We conclude that in ordinary conversation the structural priming effects described in the literature are overwhelmed by the need to actively engage with our conversational partners and respond productively to what they say.

  8. Offspring mortality was a determinant factor in the evolution of paternal investment in humans: An evolutionary game approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Alonso, Diego; Ortiz-Rodríguez, Isabel M

    2017-04-21

    Some researchers support the belief that man evolved philandering behavior because of the greater reproductive success of promiscuous males. According to this idea, deserting behavior from the man should be expected along with null paternal involvement in offspring care. Paradoxically however, the average offspring investment in the human male is far higher than that of any other male mammal, including other primates. In our work, we have addressed this conundrum by employing evolutionary game theory, using objective payoffs instead of, as are commonly used, arbitrary payoffs. Payoffs were computed as reproductive successes by a model based on trivial probabilities, implemented within the Barreto's Population Dynamics Toolbox (2014). The evolution of the parent conflict was simulated by a game with two players (the woman and the man). First, a simple game was assayed with two strategies, 'desert-unfaithful' and 'care-faithful'. Then, the game was played with a third mixed strategy, 'care-unfaithful'. The two-strategy game results were mainly determined by the offspring survival rate (s) and the non-paternity rate (z), with remaining factors playing a secondary role. Starting from two empirical estimates for both rates (s = 0.617 and z = 0.033) and decreasing the offspring mortality from near 0.4 to 0.1, the results were consistent with a win for the 'care-faithful' strategy. The 'desert-unfaithful' strategy only won at unrealistically high non-paternity rates (z>0.2). When three-strategy games were played, the mixed strategy of 'care-unfaithful' man could win the game in some less frequent cases. Regardless of the number of game strategies, 'care' fathers always won. These results strongly suggest that offspring mortality was the key factor in the evolution of paternal investment within the Homo branch. The 'care-faithful' strategy would have been the main strategy in human evolution but 'care-unfaithful' men did evolve at a lesser frequency. It can therefore be

  9. ZIPK: a unique case of murine-specific divergence of a conserved vertebrate gene.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yishay Shoval

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Zipper interacting protein kinase (ZIPK, also known as death-associated protein kinase 3 [DAPK3] is a Ser/Thr kinase that functions in programmed cell death. Since its identification eight years ago, contradictory findings regarding its intracellular localization and molecular mode of action have been reported, which may be attributed to unpredicted differences among the human and rodent orthologs. By aligning the sequences of all available ZIPK orthologs, from fish to human, we discovered that rat and mouse sequences are more diverged from the human ortholog relative to other, more distant, vertebrates. To test experimentally the outcome of this sequence divergence, we compared rat ZIPK to human ZIPK in the same cellular settings. We found that while ectopically expressed human ZIPK localized to the cytoplasm and induced membrane blebbing, rat ZIPK localized exclusively within nuclei, mainly to promyelocytic leukemia oncogenic bodies, and induced significantly lower levels of membrane blebbing. Among the unique murine (rat and mouse sequence features, we found that a highly conserved phosphorylation site, previously shown to have an effect on the cellular localization of human ZIPK, is absent in murines but not in earlier diverging organisms. Recreating this phosphorylation site in rat ZIPK led to a significant reduction in its promyelocytic leukemia oncogenic body localization, yet did not confer full cytoplasmic localization. Additionally, we found that while rat ZIPK interacts with PAR-4 (also known as PAWR very efficiently, human ZIPK fails to do so. This interaction has clear functional implications, as coexpression of PAR-4 with rat ZIPK caused nuclear to cytoplasm translocation and induced strong membrane blebbing, thus providing the murine protein a possible adaptive mechanism to compensate for its sequence divergence. We have also cloned zebrafish ZIPK and found that, like the human and unlike the murine orthologs, it localizes to the

  10. Divergence of canonical danger signals: The genome-level expression patterns of human mononuclear cells subjected to heat shock or lipopolysaccharide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakthivel Bhuvaneswari

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC serve a sentinel role allowing the host to efficiently sense and adapt to the presence of danger signals. Herein we have directly compared the genome-level expression patterns (microarray of a human PBMC model (THP-1 cells subjected to one of two canonical danger signals, heat shock or lipopolysaccharide (LPS. Results and Discussion Based on sequential expression and statistical filters, and in comparison to control cells, we found that 3,988 genes were differentially regulated in THP-1 cells subjected to LPS stress, and 2,921 genes were differentially regulated in THP-1 cells subjected to heat shock stress. Venn analyses demonstrated that the majority of differentially regulated genes (≥ 70% were uniquely expressed in response to one of the two danger signals. Functional analyses demonstrated that the two danger signals induced expression or repression of genes corresponding to unique pathways, molecular functions, biological processes, and gene networks. In contrast, there were 184 genes that were commonly upregulated by both stress signals, and 430 genes that were commonly downregulated by both stress signals. Interestingly, the 184 commonly upregulated genes corresponded to a gene network broadly related to inflammation, and more specifically to chemokine signaling. Conclusion These data demonstrate that the mononuclear cell responses to the canonical stress signals, heat shock and LPS, are highly divergent. However, there is a heretofore unrecognized common pattern of gene network expression corresponding to chemokine-related biology. The data also serve as a reference database for investigators in the field of stress signaling.

  11. Niche divergence and lineage diversification among closely related Sistrurus rattlesnakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wooten, J A; Gibbs, H L

    2012-02-01

    Comparing niche divergence among closely related taxa can yield important insights into the ecological distinctiveness of genetically similar forms, and identify the processes that are responsible for diversification in such organisms. Here, we apply newly developed techniques for analysing niche divergence to assess how ecologically distinct a group of closely related rattlesnakes (Sistrurus sp.) are and to explore the role that niche divergence may have played in their diversification. We find that all taxa even the most recently evolved subspecies (approximately 100,000 years old) are now ecologically distinct, implying a role for ecology in the diversification process. Statistical analysis based on comparisons with null models show that niche divergence between forms is more common than niche conservation. Finally, there is nonlinear relationship between phylogenetic and niche divergence in this group whereby niche divergence develops more rapidly between recently diverged subspecies than more distantly related forms. Overall, our results argue that ecology may play an important role in the diversification process in these snakes. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  12. Archaeogenetics in evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwman, Abigail; Rühli, Frank

    2016-09-01

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

  13. Environmental selection is a main driver of divergence in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Romania and Bulgaria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geue, Julia C; Vágási, Csongor I; Schweizer, Mona; Pap, Péter L; Thomassen, Henri A

    2016-11-01

    Both neutral and adaptive evolutionary processes can cause population divergence, but their relative contributions remain unclear. We investigated the roles of these processes in population divergence in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) from Romania and Bulgaria, regions characterized by high landscape heterogeneity compared to Western Europe. We asked whether morphological divergence, complemented with genetic data in this human commensal species, was best explained by environmental variation, geographic distance, or landscape resistance-the effort it takes for an individual to disperse from one location to the other-caused by either natural or anthropogenic barriers. Using generalized dissimilarity modeling, a matrix regression technique that fits biotic beta diversity to both environmental predictors and geographic distance, we found that a small set of climate and vegetation variables explained up to ~30% of the observed divergence, whereas geographic and resistance distances played much lesser roles. Our results are consistent with signals of selection on morphological traits and of isolation by adaptation in genetic markers, suggesting that selection by natural environmental conditions shapes population divergence in house sparrows. Our study thus contributes to a growing body of evidence that adaptive evolution may be a major driver of diversification.

  14. Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy are an evolutionary adaptation to mitigate the reproductive consequences of the human physique.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayuk, Paul T-Y

    2006-01-01

    The aetiology of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy remains unknown, despite over 30 years of research. The prevalence and natural history of these disorders and the lack of progress in identifying a cause calls for a radical new approach. It is hypothesised that these disorders arise as a consequence of abnormal maternal regulatory mechanisms. The evolution of the physical characteristics unique to humans (bi-pedal gait and a large brain) resulted in a narrow pelvis and a large head. Such a physique is not conducive to viviparity and caused difficult, prolonged and obstructed labour with post-partum haemorrhage--the commonest causes of maternal mortality in the absence of modern medical care. In such circumstances, up to 6.5% of pregnant women will die as a direct consequence of pregnancy, mainly as a result of obstructed labour and haemorrhage. The death toll would have been much higher over millions of years of evolution. These conditions exerted significant adaptive and evolutionary pressure on our species. The adaptations necessary to mitigate the reproductive consequences of the human physique include activation of the coagulation system to reduce post-partum haemorrhage, increased blood pressure to peak after delivery and maintain cerebral perfusion in the face of post-partum blood loss and restriction of fetal growth to prevent obstructed labour. These adaptations must be regulated to guarantee their occurrence but limit their extent to prevent disease. Evidence for blood pressure regulation during pregnancy and a proposed mechanism to achieve this are presented. Regulation requires a redundant feto-placental signal and a single tightly controlled regulator. To guarantee that blood pressure rises, the feto-placental signal is predicted to be conveyed by several different molecules and to be produced in excess in all pregnancies. Normality is then maintained by a single tightly controlled regulator. This model predicts that the feto-placental factors that

  15. Conceptual foundations of evolutionary thought

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    K. P. MOHANAN

    2017-07-04

    Jul 4, 2017 ... This article seeks to explore the conceptual foundations of evolutionary thought in the physical, biological, and human sciences. Viewing evolution as symmetry breaking, it explores the concepts of change, history, and evolutionary history, and outlines a concept of biological macroevolution.

  16. Mitochondrial genome sequences reveal deep divergences among Anopheles punctulatus sibling species in Papua New Guinea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Logue Kyle

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Members of the Anopheles punctulatus group (AP group are the primary vectors of human malaria in Papua New Guinea. The AP group includes 13 sibling species, most of them morphologically indistinguishable. Understanding why only certain species are able to transmit malaria requires a better comprehension of their evolutionary history. In particular, understanding relationships and divergence times among Anopheles species may enable assessing how malaria-related traits (e.g. blood feeding behaviours, vector competence have evolved. Methods DNA sequences of 14 mitochondrial (mt genomes from five AP sibling species and two species of the Anopheles dirus complex of Southeast Asia were sequenced. DNA sequences from all concatenated protein coding genes (10,770 bp were then analysed using a Bayesian approach to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships and date the divergence of the AP sibling species. Results Phylogenetic reconstruction using the concatenated DNA sequence of all mitochondrial protein coding genes indicates that the ancestors of the AP group arrived in Papua New Guinea 25 to 54 million years ago and rapidly diverged to form the current sibling species. Conclusion Through evaluation of newly described mt genome sequences, this study has revealed a divergence among members of the AP group in Papua New Guinea that would significantly predate the arrival of humans in this region, 50 thousand years ago. The divergence observed among the mtDNA sequences studied here may have resulted from reproductive isolation during historical changes in sea-level through glacial minima and maxima. This leads to a hypothesis that the AP sibling species have evolved independently for potentially thousands of generations. This suggests that the evolution of many phenotypes, such as insecticide resistance will arise independently in each of the AP sibling species studied here.

  17. Learning: An Evolutionary Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, Joanna

    2009-01-01

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

  18. Evolutionary Developmental Psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geary, David C.; Bjorklund, David F.

    2000-01-01

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

  19. What to expect from an evolutionary hypothesis for a human disease: The case of type 2 diabetes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watve, Milind; Diwekar-Joshi, Manawa

    2016-10-01

    Evolutionary medicine has a promise to bring in a conceptual revolution in medicine. However, as yet the field does not have the same theoretical rigour as that of many other fields in evolutionary studies. We discuss here with reference to type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) what role an evolutionary hypothesis should play in the development of thinking in medicine. Starting with the thrifty gene hypothesis, evolutionary thinking in T2DM has undergone several transitions, modifications and refinements of the thrift family of hypotheses. In addition alternative hypotheses independent of thrift are also suggested. However, most hypotheses look at partial pictures; make selective use of supportive data ignoring inconvenient truths. Most hypotheses look at a superficial picture and avoid getting into the intricacies of underlying molecular, neuronal and physiological processes. Very few hypotheses have suggested clinical implications and none of them have been tested with randomized clinical trials. In the meanwhile the concepts in the pathophysiology of T2DM are undergoing radical changes and evolutionary hypotheses need to take them into account. We suggest an approach and a set of criteria to evaluate the relative merits of the alternative hypotheses. A number of hypotheses are likely to fail when critically evaluated against these criteria. It is possible that more than one selective process are at work in the evolution of propensity to T2DM, but the intercompatibility of the alternative selective forces and their relative contribution needs to be examined. The approach we describe could potentially lead to a sound evolutionary theory that is clinically useful and testable by randomized controlled clinical trials. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  20. Functional divergence outlines the evolution of novel protein ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2013-10-01

    Oct 1, 2013 ... performed a comprehensive bioinformatics analysis of the NifH/BchL family in order to elucidate the intrinsic functional diversity and the underlying evolutionary mechanism among the members. To analyse functional divergence in the NifH/. BchL family, we have conducted pair-wise estimation in altered ...

  1. Phenotypic Divergence in the Reproductive Traits of Marbled ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keywords: Leptoscarus vaigiensis, fishing pressure, fecundity, evolutionary response, MPAs, Kenya. Abstract — Phenotypic divergence in the reproductive traits of marbled parrotfish. (Leptoscarus vaigiensis) was studied during May 2011-April 2012 at six reef sites exposed to varying levels of fishing pressure in coastal ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Bing-Hong; Liao, Pei-Chun

    2015-07-01

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

  3. Evolutionary macroecology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Alexandre F. Diniz-Filho

    2013-10-01

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

  4. Evolutionary Expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, Ulrik William

    2014-01-01

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

  5. [Evolutionary medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wjst, M

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Experimental evidence that parasites drive eco-evolutionary feedbacks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunner, Franziska S; Anaya-Rojas, Jaime M; Matthews, Blake; Eizaguirre, Christophe

    2017-04-04

    Host resistance to parasites is a rapidly evolving trait that can influence how hosts modify ecosystems. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks may develop if the ecosystem effects of host resistance influence selection on subsequent host generations. In a mesocosm experiment, using a recently diverged (eco-evolutionary feedbacks.

  7. Total Integrative Evolutionary Communication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nedergaard Thomsen, Ole; Brier, Søren

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Evolutionary conservation of protein backbone flexibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-10-01

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

  9. Next Generation sequencing of the Trichinella murrelli mitochondrial genome allows comprehensive comparison of its divergence from the principal agent of human trichinellosis, Trichinella spiralis

    Science.gov (United States)

    The mitochondrial genome’s non-recombinant mode of inheritance and relatively rapid rate of evolution has promoted its use as a marker for studying the biogeographic history and evolutionary interrelationships among many metazoan species. A modest portion of the mitochondrial genome has been define...

  10. Evolutionary dynamics in structured populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Tarnita, Corina E.; Antal, Tibor

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary dynamics shape the living world around us. At the centre of every evolutionary process is a population of reproducing individuals. The structure of that population affects evolutionary dynamics. The individuals can be molecules, cells, viruses, multicellular organisms or humans. Whenever the fitness of individuals depends on the relative abundance of phenotypes in the population, we are in the realm of evolutionary game theory. Evolutionary game theory is a general approach that can describe the competition of species in an ecosystem, the interaction between hosts and parasites, between viruses and cells, and also the spread of ideas and behaviours in the human population. In this perspective, we review the recent advances in evolutionary game dynamics with a particular emphasis on stochastic approaches in finite sized and structured populations. We give simple, fundamental laws that determine how natural selection chooses between competing strategies. We study the well-mixed population, evolutionary graph theory, games in phenotype space and evolutionary set theory. We apply these results to the evolution of cooperation. The mechanism that leads to the evolution of cooperation in these settings could be called ‘spatial selection’: cooperators prevail against defectors by clustering in physical or other spaces. PMID:20008382

  11. An Evolutionary Perspective on Toxic Leadership

    OpenAIRE

    Lucia Ovidia VREJA; Balan, Sergiu,; Loredana Cornelia BOSCA

    2016-01-01

    Charles Darwin’s prediction from 1859, that future psychology was going to be built on principles derived from evolutionary theory came at last to be fulfilled. Nowadays, there are at least four disciplines that attempt to explain human behaviours as evolutionary adaptations (or maladaptations) to the natural and/or social environment: human sociobiology, human behavioural ecology, evolutionary psychology, memetics and gene–culture coevolution theory (in our view, the most adequate of all). A...

  12. Stride lengths, speed and energy costs in walking of Australopithecus afarensis: using evolutionary robotics to predict locomotion of early human ancestors

    OpenAIRE

    Sellers, William I; Cain, Gemma M; Wang, Weijie; Crompton, Robin H

    2005-01-01

    This paper uses techniques from evolutionary robotics to predict the most energy-efficient upright walking gait for the early human relative Australopithecus afarensis, based on the proportions of the 3.2 million year old AL 288-1 ‘Lucy’ skeleton, and matches predictions against the nearly contemporaneous (3.5–3.6 million year old) Laetoli fossil footprint trails. The technique creates gaits de novo and uses genetic algorithm optimization to search for the most efficient patterns of simulated...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Green Eric D

    2009-07-01

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

  14. Decoherence and infrared divergence

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Abstract. The dynamics of a particle which is linearly coupled to a boson field is investigated. The boson field induces superselection rules for the momentum of the particle, if the field is infrared divergent. Thereby the Hamiltonian of the total system remains bounded from below.

  15. Evolutionary medicine: its scope, interest and potential

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Stephen C. Stearns

    2012-01-01

    .... It first describes the range of topics covered by evolutionary medicine, which include human genetic variation, mismatches to modernity, reproductive medicine, degenerative disease, hostpathogen...

  16. Evolutionary Explanations of Eating Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Kardum

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available This article reviews several most important evolutionary mechanisms that underlie eating disorders. The first part clarifies evolutionary foundations of mental disorders and various mechanisms leading to their development. In the second part selective pressures and evolved adaptations causing contemporary epidemic of obesity as well as differences in dietary regimes and life-style between modern humans and their ancestors are described. Concerning eating disorders, a number of current evolutionary explanations of anorexia nervosa are presented together with their main weaknesses. Evolutionary explanations of eating disorders based on the reproductive suppression hypothesis and its variants derived from kin selection theory and the model of parental manipulation were elaborated. The sexual competition hypothesis of eating disorder, adapted to flee famine hypothesis as well as explanation based on the concept of social attention holding power and the need to belonging were also explained. The importance of evolutionary theory in modern conceptualization and research of eating disorders is emphasized.

  17. The interaction of neutral evolutionary processes with climatically-driven adaptive changes in the 3D shape of the human os coxae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Betti, Lia; von Cramon-Taubadel, Noreen; Manica, Andrea; Lycett, Stephen J

    2014-08-01

    Differences in the breadth of the pelvis among modern human populations and among extinct hominin species have often been interpreted in the light of thermoregulatory adaptation, whereby a larger pelvic girdle would help preserve body temperature in cold environments while a narrower pelvis would help dissipate heat in tropical climates. There is, however, a theoretical problem in interpreting a pattern of variation as evidence of selection without first accounting for the effects of neutral evolutionary processes (i.e., mutation, genetic drift and migration). Here, we analyse 3D configurations of 27 landmarks on the os coxae of 1494 modern human individuals representing 30 male and 23 female populations from five continents and a range of climatic conditions. We test for the effects of climate on the size and shape of the pelvic bone, while explicitly accounting for population history (i.e., geographically-mediated gene flow and genetic drift). We find that neutral processes account for a substantial proportion of shape variance in the human os coxae in both sexes. Beyond the neutral pattern due to population history, temperature is a significant predictor of shape and size variation in the os coxae, at least in males. The effect of climate on the shape of the pelvic bone, however, is comparatively limited, explaining only a small percentage of shape variation in males and females. In accordance with previous hypotheses, the size of the os coxae tends to increase with decreasing temperature, although the significance of the association is reduced when population history is taken into account. In conclusion, the shape and size of the human os coxae reflect both neutral evolutionary processes and climatically-driven adaptive changes. Neutral processes have a substantial effect on pelvic variation, suggesting such factors will need to be taken into account in future studies of human and fossil hominin coxal variation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  18. Anxiety: an evolutionary approach.

    OpenAIRE

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. The current status of REH theory. [Random Evolutionary Hits in biological molecular evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmquist, R.; Jukes, T. H.

    1981-01-01

    A response is made to the evaluation of Fitch (1980) of REH (random evolutionary hits) theory for the evolutionary divergence of proteins and nucleic acids. Correct calculations for the beta hemoglobin mRNAs of the human, mouse and rabbit in the absence and presence of selective constraints are summarized, and it is shown that the alternative evolutionary analysis of Fitch underestimates the total fixed mutations. It is further shown that the model used by Fitch to test for the completeness of the count of total base substitutions is in fact a variant of REH theory. Considerations of the variance inherent in evolutionary estimations are also presented which show the REH model to produce no more variance than other evolutionary models. In the reply, it is argued that, despite the objections raised, REH theory applied to proteins gives inaccurate estimates of total gene substitutions. It is further contended that REH theory developed for nucleic sequences suffers from problems relating to the frequency of nucleotide substitutions, the identity of the codons accepting silent and amino acid-changing substitutions, and estimate uncertainties.

  20. Convergence from divergence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costin, Ovidiu; Dunne, Gerald V.

    2018-01-01

    We show how to convert divergent series, which typically occur in many applications in physics, into rapidly convergent inverse factorial series. This can be interpreted physically as a novel resummation of perturbative series. Being convergent, these new series allow rigorous extrapolation from an asymptotic region with a large parameter, to the opposite region where the parameter is small. We illustrate the method with various physical examples, and discuss how these convergent series relate to standard methods such as Borel summation, and also how they incorporate the physical Stokes phenomenon. We comment on the relation of these results to Dyson’s physical argument for the divergence of perturbation theory. This approach also leads naturally to a wide class of relations between bosonic and fermionic partition functions, and Klein–Gordon and Dirac determinants.

  1. A Philosophical Perspective on Evolutionary Systems Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, Maureen A; Soyer, Orkun S; Siegal, Mark L

    2015-03-01

    Evolutionary systems biology (ESB) is an emerging hybrid approach that integrates methods, models, and data from evolutionary and systems biology. Drawing on themes that arose at a cross-disciplinary meeting on ESB in 2013, we discuss in detail some of the explanatory friction that arises in the interaction between evolutionary and systems biology. These tensions appear because of different modeling approaches, diverse explanatory aims and strategies, and divergent views about the scope of the evolutionary synthesis. We locate these discussions in the context of long-running philosophical deliberations on explanation, modeling, and theoretical synthesis. We show how many of the issues central to ESB's progress can be understood as general philosophical problems. The benefits of addressing these philosophical issues feed back into philosophy too, because ESB provides excellent examples of scientific practice for the development of philosophy of science and philosophy of biology.

  2. Rapid changes in the gut microbiome during human evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Moeller, Andrew H.; Li, Yingying; Mpoudi Ngole, Eitel; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Lonsdorf, Elizabeth V.; Pusey, Anne E.; Peeters, Martine; Hahn, Beatrice H.; Ochman, Howard

    2014-01-01

    Humans are ecosystems containing trillions of microorganisms, but the evolutionary history of this microbiome is obscured by a lack of knowledge about microbiomes of African apes. We sequenced the gut communities of hundreds of chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas and developed a phylogenetic approach to reconstruct how present-day human microbiomes have diverged from those of ancestral populations. Compositional change in the microbiome was slow and clock-like during African ape diversificatio...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Convergence and divergence in the evolution of aquatic birds.

    OpenAIRE

    Van Tuinen, M.; Butvill, D. B.; Kirsch, J A; Hedges, S.B.

    2001-01-01

    Aquatic birds exceed other terrestrial vertebrates in the diversity of their adaptations to aquatic niches. For many species this has created difficulty in understanding their evolutionary origin and, in particular, for the flamingos, hamerkop, shoebill and pelecaniforms. Here, new evidence from nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences and DNA-DNA hybridization data indicates extensive morphological convergence and divergence in aquatic birds. Among the unexpected findings is a grouping of fla...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. Reproductive isolation between phylogeographic lineages scales with divergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singhal, Sonal; Moritz, Craig

    2013-12-07

    Phylogeographic studies frequently reveal multiple morphologically cryptic lineages within species. What is not yet clear is whether such lineages represent nascent species or evolutionary ephemera. To address this question, we compare five contact zones, each of which occurs between ecomorphologically cryptic lineages of skinks from the rainforests of the Australian Wet Tropics. Although the contacts probably formed concurrently in response to Holocene expansion from glacial refugia, we estimate that the divergence times (τ) of the lineage pairs range from 3.1 to 11.5 Ma. Multi-locus analyses of the contact zones yielded estimates of reproductive isolation that are tightly correlated with divergence time and, for lineages with older divergence times (τ > 5 Myr), substantial. These results show that phylogeographic splits of increasing depth represent stages along the speciation continuum, even in the absence of overt change in ecologically relevant morphology.

  7. Anthropogenic habitat disturbance and ecological divergence between incipient species of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamdem, Colince; Tene Fossog, Billy; Simard, Frédéric; Etouna, Joachim; Ndo, Cyrille; Kengne, Pierre; Boussès, Philippe; Etoa, François-Xavier; Awono-Ambene, Parfait; Fontenille, Didier; Antonio-Nkondjio, Christophe; Besansky, Nora J; Costantini, Carlo

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat disturbance is a prime cause in the current trend of the Earth's reduction in biodiversity. Here we show that the human footprint on the Central African rainforest, which is resulting in deforestation and growth of densely populated urban agglomerates, is associated to ecological divergence and cryptic speciation leading to adaptive radiation within the major malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. In southern Cameroon, the frequency of two molecular forms--M and S--among which reproductive isolation is strong but still incomplete, was correlated to an index of urbanisation extracted from remotely sensed data, expressed as the proportion of built-up surface in each sampling unit. The two forms markedly segregated along an urbanisation gradient forming a bimodal cline of ∼6-km width: the S form was exclusive to the rural habitat, whereas only the M form was present in the core of densely urbanised settings, co-occurring at times in the same polluted larval habitats of the southern house mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus--a species association that was not historically recorded before. Our results indicate that when humans create novel habitats and ecological heterogeneities, they can provide evolutionary opportunities for rapid adaptive niche shifts associated with lineage divergence, whose consequences upon malaria transmission might be significant.

  8. Evolutionary developmental psychology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    King, Ashley C; Bjorklund, David F

    2010-01-01

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

  9. The association of recombination events in the founding and emergence of subgenogroup evolutionary lineages of human enterovirus 71.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McWilliam Leitch, E C; Cabrerizo, M; Cardosa, J; Harvala, H; Ivanova, O E; Koike, S; Kroes, A C M; Lukashev, A; Perera, D; Roivainen, M; Susi, P; Trallero, G; Evans, D J; Simmonds, P

    2012-03-01

    Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is responsible for frequent large-scale outbreaks of hand, foot, and mouth disease worldwide and represent a major etiological agent of severe, sometimes fatal neurological disease. EV71 variants have been classified into three genogroups (GgA, GgB, and GgC), and the latter two are further subdivided into subgenogroups B1 to B5 and C1 to C5. To investigate the dual roles of recombination and evolution in the epidemiology and transmission of EV71 worldwide, we performed a large-scale genetic analysis of isolates (n = 308) collected from 19 countries worldwide over a 40-year period. A series of recombination events occurred over this period, which have been identified through incongruities in sequence grouping between the VP1 and 3Dpol regions. Eleven 3Dpol clades were identified, each specific to EV71 and associated with specific subgenogroups but interspersed phylogenetically with clades of coxsackievirus A16 and other EV species A serotypes. The likelihood of recombination increased with VP1 sequence divergence; mean half-lives for EV71 recombinant forms (RFs) of 6 and 9 years for GgB and GgC overlapped with those observed for the EV-B serotypes, echovirus 9 (E9), E30, and E11, respectively (1.3 to 9.8 years). Furthermore, within genogroups, sporadic recombination events occurred, such as the linkage of two B4 variants to RF-W instead of RF-A and of two C4 variants to RF-H. Intriguingly, recombination events occurred as a founding event of most subgenogroups immediately preceding their lineage expansion and global emergence. The possibility that recombination contributed to their subsequent spread through improved fitness requires further biological and immunological characterization.

  10. Development of a human vasopressin V1a-receptor antagonist from an evolutionary-related insect neuropeptide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Di Giglio, Maria Giulia; Muttenthaler, Markus; Harpsøe, Kasper

    2017-01-01

    conservation of the 600-million-year-old oxytocin/vasopressin signalling system. We isolated the insect oxytocin/vasopressin orthologue inotocin from the black garden ant (Lasius niger), identified and cloned its cognate receptor and determined its pharmacological properties on the insect and human oxytocin....../vasopressin receptors. Subsequently, we identified a functional dichotomy: inotocin activated the insect inotocin and the human vasopressin V1b receptors, but inhibited the human V1aR. Replacement of Arg8 of inotocin by D-Arg8 led to a potent, stable and competitive V1aR-antagonist ([D-Arg8]-inotocin) with a 3,000-fold...

  11. An Exon-Based Comparative Variant Analysis Pipeline to Study the Scale and Role of Frameshift and Nonsense Mutation in the Human-Chimpanzee Divergence

    OpenAIRE

    Yu, GongXin

    2009-01-01

    Chimpanzees and humans are closely related but differ in many deadly human diseases and other characteristics in physiology, anatomy, and pathology. In spite of decades of extensive research, crucial questions about the molecular mechanisms behind the differences are yet to be understood. Here I report ExonVar, a novel computational pipeline for Exon-based human-chimpanzee comparative Variant analysis. The objective is to comparatively analyze mutations specifically those that caused th...

  12. The evolutionary psychology of violence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goetz, Aaron T

    2010-02-01

    This paper reviews theory and research on the evolutionary psychology of violence. First, I examine evidence suggesting that humans have experienced an evolutionary history of violence. Next, I discuss violence as a context-sensitive strategy that might have provided benefits to our ancestors under certain circumstances. I then focus on the two most common forms of violence that plague humans -violence over status contests and intimate partner violence- outlining psychological mechanisms involved in each. Finally, I suggest that greater progress will be made by shifting the study from contexts to mechanisms.

  13. Molecular evolution and functional divergence of the Ca(2+ sensor protein in store-operated Ca(2+ entry: stromal interaction molecule.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinjiang Cai

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Receptor-mediated Ca(2+ signaling in many non-excitable cells initially induces Ca(2+ release from intracellular Ca(2+ stores, followed by Ca(2+ influx across the plasma membrane. Recent findings have suggested that stromal interaction molecules (STIMs function as the Ca(2+ sensor to detect changes of Ca(2+ content in the intracellular Ca(2+ stores. Human STIMs and invertebrate STIM share several functionally important protein domains, but diverge significantly in the C-terminus. To better understand the evolutionary significance of STIM activity, phylogenetic analysis of the STIM protein family was conducted after extensive database searching. Results from phylogeny and sequence analysis revealed early adaptation of the C-terminal divergent domains in Urochordata, before the expansion of STIMs in Vertebrata. STIMs were subsequently subjected to one round of gene duplication as early as in the Euteleostomi lineage in vertebrates, with a second round of fish-specific gene duplication. After duplication, STIM-1 and STIM-2 molecules appeared to have undergone purifying selection indicating strong evolutionary constraints within each group. Furthermore, sequence analysis of the EF-hand Ca(2+ binding domain and the SAM domain, together with functional divergence studies, identified critical regions/residues likely underlying functional changes, and provided evidence for the hypothesis that STIM-1 and STIM-2 might have developed distinct functional properties after duplication.

  14. Culture in great apes: using intricate complexity in feeding skills to trace the evolutionary origin of human technical prowess

    OpenAIRE

    Byrne, Richard W.

    2007-01-01

    Geographical cataloguing of traits, as used in human ethnography, has led to the description of ‘culture’ in some non-human great apes. Culture, in these terms, is detected as a pattern of local ignorance resulting from environmental constraints on knowledge transmission. However, in many cases, the geographical variations may alternatively be explained by ecology. Social transmission of information can reliably be identified in many other animal species, by experiment or distinctive patterns...

  15. Whole genome sequencing and evolutionary analysis of human respiratory syncytial virus A and B from Milwaukee, WI 1998-2010.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Rebuffo-Scheer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV is the leading cause of lower respiratory-tract infections in infants and young children worldwide. Despite this, only six complete genome sequences of original strains have been previously published, the most recent of which dates back 35 and 26 years for RSV group A and group B respectively. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We present a semi-automated sequencing method allowing for the sequencing of four RSV whole genomes simultaneously. We were able to sequence the complete coding sequences of 13 RSV A and 4 RSV B strains from Milwaukee collected from 1998-2010. Another 12 RSV A and 5 RSV B strains sequenced in this study cover the majority of the genome. All RSV A and RSV B sequences were analyzed by neighbor-joining, maximum parsimony and Bayesian phylogeny methods. Genetic diversity was high among RSV A viruses in Milwaukee including the circulation of multiple genotypes (GA1, GA2, GA5, GA7 with GA2 persisting throughout the 13 years of the study. However, RSV B genomes showed little variation with all belonging to the BA genotype. For RSV A, the same evolutionary patterns and clades were seen consistently across the whole genome including all intergenic, coding, and non-coding regions sequences. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The sequencing strategy presented in this work allows for RSV A and B genomes to be sequenced simultaneously in two working days and with a low cost. We have significantly increased the amount of genomic data that is available for both RSV A and B, providing the basic molecular characteristics of RSV strains circulating in Milwaukee over the last 13 years. This information can be used for comparative analysis with strains circulating in other communities around the world which should also help with the development of new strategies for control of RSV, specifically vaccine development and improvement of RSV diagnostics.

  16. Evolutionary genomics of Entamoeba

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weedall, Gareth D.; Hall, Neil

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Evolutionary modifications of human milk composition: evidence from long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid composition of anthropoid milks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milligan, Lauren A; Bazinet, Richard P

    2008-12-01

    Brain growth in mammals is associated with increased accretion of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) in brain phospholipids. The period of maximum accumulation is during the brain growth spurt. Humans have a perinatal brain growth spurt, selectively accumulating docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and other LCPUFA from the third trimester through the second year of life. The emphasis on rapid postnatal brain growth and LCPUFA transfer during lactation has led to the suggestion that human milk LCPUFA composition may be unique. Our study tests this hypothesis by determining fatty acid composition for 11 species of captive anthropoids (n=53; Callithrix jacchus, Cebus apella, Gorilla gorilla, Hylobates lar, Leontopithecus rosalia, Macaca mulatta, Pan troglodytes, Pan paniscus, Pongo pygmaeus, Saimiri boliviensis, and Symphalangus syndactylus). Results are compared to previously published data on five species of wild anthropoids (n=28; Alouatta paliatta, Callithrix jacchus, Gorilla beringei, Leontopithecus rosalia, and Macaca sinica) and human milk fatty acid profiles. Milk LCPUFA profiles of captive anthropoids (consuming diets with a preformed source of DHA) are similar to milk from women on a Western diet, and those of wild anthropoids are similar to milk from vegan women. Collectively, the range of DHA percent composition values from nonhuman anthropoid milks (0.03-1.1) is nearly identical to that from a cross-cultural analysis of human milk (0.06-1.4). Humans do not appear to be unique in their ability to secrete LCPUFA in milk but may be unique in their access to dietary LCPUFA.

  18. Evolutionary Demography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levitis, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Demography is the quantitative study of population processes, while evolution is a population process that influences all aspects of biological organisms, including their demography. Demographic traits common to all human populations are the products of biological evolution or the interaction...

  19. Recombinant Receptor-Binding Domains of Multiple Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronaviruses (MERS-CoVs) Induce Cross-Neutralizing Antibodies against Divergent Human and Camel MERS-CoVs and Antibody Escape Mutants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tai, Wanbo; Wang, Yufei; Fett, Craig A; Zhao, Guangyu; Li, Fang; Perlman, Stanley; Jiang, Shibo; Zhou, Yusen; Du, Lanying

    2017-01-01

    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) binds to cellular receptor dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) via the spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain (RBD). The RBD contains critical neutralizing epitopes and serves as an important vaccine target. Since RBD mutations occur in different MERS-CoV isolates and antibody escape mutants, cross-neutralization of divergent MERS-CoV strains by RBD-induced antibodies remains unknown. Here, we constructed four recombinant RBD (rRBD) proteins with single or multiple mutations detected in representative human MERS-CoV strains from the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 outbreaks, respectively, and one rRBD protein with multiple changes derived from camel MERS-CoV strains. Like the RBD of prototype EMC2012 (EMC-RBD), all five RBDs maintained good antigenicity and functionality, the ability to bind RBD-specific neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and the DPP4 receptor, and high immunogenicity, able to elicit S-specific antibodies. They induced potent neutralizing antibodies cross-neutralizing 17 MERS pseudoviruses expressing S proteins of representative human and camel MERS-CoV strains identified during the 2012-2015 outbreaks, 5 MAb escape MERS-CoV mutants, and 2 live human MERS-CoV strains. We then constructed two RBDs mutated in multiple key residues in the receptor-binding motif (RBM) of RBD and demonstrated their strong cross-reactivity with anti-EMC-RBD antibodies. These RBD mutants with diminished DPP4 binding also led to virus attenuation, suggesting that immunoevasion after RBD immunization is accompanied by loss of viral fitness. Therefore, this study demonstrates that MERS-CoV RBD is an important vaccine target able to induce highly potent and broad-spectrum neutralizing antibodies against infection by divergent circulating human and camel MERS-CoV strains. MERS-CoV was first identified in June 2012 and has since spread in humans and camels. Mutations in its spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain (RBD), a

  20. From prediction to function using evolutionary genomics: human-specific ecotypes of Lactobacillus reuteri have diverse probiotic functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spinler, Jennifer K; Sontakke, Amrita; Hollister, Emily B; Venable, Susan F; Oh, Phaik Lyn; Balderas, Miriam A; Saulnier, Delphine M A; Mistretta, Toni-Ann; Devaraj, Sridevi; Walter, Jens; Versalovic, James; Highlander, Sarah K

    2014-06-19

    The vertebrate gut symbiont Lactobacillus reuteri has diversified into separate clades reflecting host origin. Strains show evidence of host adaptation, but how host-microbe coevolution influences microbial-derived effects on hosts is poorly understood. Emphasizing human-derived strains of L. reuteri, we combined comparative genomic analyses with functional assays to examine variations in host interaction among genetically distinct ecotypes. Within clade II or VI, the genomes of human-derived L. reuteri strains are highly conserved in gene content and at the nucleotide level. Nevertheless, they share only 70-90% of total gene content, indicating differences in functional capacity. Human-associated lineages are distinguished by genes related to bacteriophages, vitamin biosynthesis, antimicrobial production, and immunomodulation. Differential production of reuterin, histamine, and folate by 23 clade II and VI strains was demonstrated. These strains also differed with respect to their ability to modulate human cytokine production (tumor necrosis factor, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, interleukin [IL]-1β, IL-5, IL-7, IL-12, and IL-13) by myeloid cells. Microarray analysis of representative clade II and clade VI strains revealed global regulation of genes within the reuterin, vitamin B12, folate, and arginine catabolism gene clusters by the AraC family transcriptional regulator, PocR. Thus, human-derived L. reuteri clade II and VI strains are genetically distinct and their differences affect their functional repertoires and probiotic features. These findings highlight the biological impact of microbe:host coevolution and illustrate the functional significance of subspecies differences in the human microbiome. Consideration of host origin and functional differences at the subspecies level may have major impacts on probiotic strain selection and considerations of microbial ecology in mammalian species. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on

  1. Characterization of the Uncertainty of Divergence Time Estimation under Relaxed Molecular Clock Models Using Multiple Loci

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Genetic sequence data provide information about the distances between species or branch lengths in a phylogeny, but not about the absolute divergence times or the evolutionary rates directly. Bayesian methods for dating species divergences estimate times and rates by assigning priors on them. In particular, the prior on times (node ages on the phylogeny) incorporates information in the fossil record to calibrate the molecular tree. Because times and rates are confounded, our posterior time es...

  2. Divergence in Olfactory Host Plant Preference in D. mojavensis in Response to Cactus Host Use

    OpenAIRE

    Priya Date; Dweck, Hany K. M.; Stensmyr, Marcus C; Jodi Shann; Hansson, Bill S.; Rollmann, Stephanie M.

    2013-01-01

    Divergence in host adaptive traits has been well studied from an ecological and evolutionary perspective, but identification of the proximate mechanisms underlying such divergence is less well understood. Behavioral preferences for host plants are often mediated by olfaction and shifts in preference may be accompanied by changes in the olfactory system. In this study, we examine the evolution of host plant preferences in cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis that feeds and breeds on different cac...

  3. CMP-Neu5Ac Hydroxylase Null Mice as a Model for Studying Metabolic Disorders Caused by the Evolutionary Loss of Neu5Gc in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Deug-Nam; Choi, Yun-Jung; Cho, Ssang-Goo; Park, Chankyu; Seo, Han Geuk; Song, Hyuk; Kim, Jin-Hoi

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify the modification/turnover of gene products that are altered in humans due to evolutionary loss of Neu5Gc. CMP-Neu5Ac hydroxylase- (Cmah-) deficient mice show the infiltration of Kupffer cells within liver sinusoids, whereas body and liver weight develop normally. Pathway analysis by use of Illumina MouseRef-8 v2 Expression BeadChip provided evidence that a number of biological pathways, including the glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, TCA cycle, and pentose phosphate pathways, as well as glycogen metabolism-related gene expression, were significantly upregulated in Cmah-null mice. The intracellular glucose supply in Cmah-null mice resulted in mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, and the advanced glycation end products accumulation that could further induce oxidative stress. Finally, low sirtuin-1 and sirtuin-3 gene expressions due to higher NADH/NAD in Cmah-null mice decreased Foxo-1 and MnSOD gene expression, suggesting that oxidative stress may result in mitochondrial dysfunction in Cmah-null mouse. The present study suggests that mice with CMAH deficiency can be taken as an important model for studying metabolic disorders in humans.

  4. The evolutionary interplay of intergroup conflict and altruism in humans: a review of parochial altruism theory and prospects for its extension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusch, Hannes

    2014-11-07

    Drawing on an idea proposed by Darwin, it has recently been hypothesized that violent intergroup conflict might have played a substantial role in the evolution of human cooperativeness and altruism. The central notion of this argument, dubbed 'parochial altruism', is that the two genetic or cultural traits, aggressiveness against the out-groups and cooperativeness towards the in-group, including self-sacrificial altruistic behaviour, might have coevolved in humans. This review assesses the explanatory power of current theories of 'parochial altruism'. After a brief synopsis of the existing literature, two pitfalls in the interpretation of the most widely used models are discussed: potential direct benefits and high relatedness between group members implicitly induced by assumptions about conflict structure and frequency. Then, a number of simplifying assumptions made in the construction of these models are pointed out which currently limit their explanatory power. Next, relevant empirical evidence from several disciplines which could guide future theoretical extensions is reviewed. Finally, selected alternative accounts of evolutionary links between intergroup conflict and intragroup cooperation are briefly discussed which could be integrated with parochial altruism in the future. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  5. The Crossed Projection to the Striatum in Two Species of Monkey and in Humans: Behavioral and Evolutionary Significance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Innocenti, Giorgio M.; Dyrby, Tim Bjørn; Andersen, Kasper Winther

    2017-01-01

    -striatal projections originate from prefrontal, premotor, and motor areas. In humans, we discovered a new projection originating from superior parietal lobule, supramarginal, and superior temporal gyrus, regions engaged in language processing. This projection crosses in the isthmus the lesion of which was reported...

  6. How to learn about teaching: An evolutionary framework for the study of teaching behavior in humans and other animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kline, Michelle Ann

    2015-01-01

    The human species is more reliant on cultural adaptation than any other species, but it is unclear how observational learning can give rise to the faithful transmission of cultural adaptations. One possibility is that teaching facilitates accurate social transmission by narrowing the range of inferences that learners make. However, there is wide disagreement about how to define teaching, and how to interpret the empirical evidence for teaching across cultures and species. In this article I argue that disputes about the nature and prevalence of teaching across human societies and nonhuman animals are based on a number of deep-rooted theoretical differences between fields, as well as on important differences in how teaching is defined. To reconcile these disparate bodies of research, I review the three major approaches to the study of teaching - mentalistic, culture-based, and functionalist - and outline the research questions about teaching that each addresses. I then argue for a new, integrated framework that differentiates between teaching types according to the specific adaptive problems that each type solves, and apply this framework to restructure current empirical evidence on teaching in humans and nonhuman animals. This integrative framework generates novel insights, with broad implications for the study of the evolution of teaching, including the roles of cognitive constraints and cooperative dilemmas in how and when teaching evolves. Finally, I propose an explanation for why some types of teaching are uniquely human, and discuss new directions for research motivated by this framework.

  7. Steroid and G Protein Binding Characteristics of the Seatrout and Human Progestin Membrane Receptor Alpha Subtypes and Their Evolutionary Origins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thomas, P.; Pang, Y.; Dong, J.; Groenen, P.; Kelder, J.; Vlieg, J. de; Zhu, Y.; Tubbs, C.

    2006-01-01

    A novel progestin receptor (mPR) with seven-transmembrane domains was recently discovered in spotted seatrout and homologous genes were identified in other vertebrates. Here we show that cDNAs for the mPR alpha subtypes from spotted seatrout (st-mPRalpha) and humans (hu-mPRalpha) encode progestin

  8. Evolutionary neuroscience of cumulative culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stout, Dietrich; Hecht, Erin E

    2017-07-24

    Culture suffuses all aspects of human life. It shapes our minds and bodies and has provided a cumulative inheritance of knowledge, skills, institutions, and artifacts that allows us to truly stand on the shoulders of giants. No other species approaches the extent, diversity, and complexity of human culture, but we remain unsure how this came to be. The very uniqueness of human culture is both a puzzle and a problem. It is puzzling as to why more species have not adopted this manifestly beneficial strategy and problematic because the comparative methods of evolutionary biology are ill suited to explain unique events. Here, we develop a more particularistic and mechanistic evolutionary neuroscience approach to cumulative culture, taking into account experimental, developmental, comparative, and archaeological evidence. This approach reconciles currently competing accounts of the origins of human culture and develops the concept of a uniquely human technological niche rooted in a shared primate heritage of visuomotor coordination and dexterous manipulation.

  9. Oversimplifying Evolutionary Psychology Leads to Explanatory Gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Chuck; Ledbetter, Jay N.

    2010-01-01

    Comments on Evolutionary psychology: Controversies, questions, prospects, and limitations by Confer et al. They argued that SST cannot explain the existence of either homosexuality or suicide within the human species. We contend that a sufficiently nuanced evolutionary position has no difficulties explaining either phenomenon. Also in this…

  10. Ecological niche dimensionality and the evolutionary diversification of stick insects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrik Nosil

    Full Text Available The degree of phenotypic divergence and reproductive isolation between taxon pairs can vary quantitatively, and often increases as evolutionary divergence proceeds through various stages, from polymorphism to population differentiation, ecotype and race formation, speciation, and post-speciational divergence. Although divergent natural selection promotes divergence, it does not always result in strong differentiation. For example, divergent selection can fail to complete speciation, and distinct species pairs sometimes collapse ('speciation in reverse'. Widely-discussed explanations for this variability concern genetic architecture, and the geographic arrangement of populations. A less-explored possibility is that the degree of phenotypic and reproductive divergence between taxon pairs is positively related to the number of ecological niche dimensions (i.e., traits subject to divergent selection. Some data supporting this idea stem from laboratory experimental evolution studies using Drosophila, but tests from nature are lacking. Here we report results from manipulative field experiments in natural populations of herbivorous Timema stick insects that are consistent with this 'niche dimensionality' hypothesis. In such insects, divergent selection between host plants might occur for cryptic colouration (camouflage to evade visual predation, physiology (to detoxify plant chemicals, or both of these niche dimensions. We show that divergent selection on the single niche dimension of cryptic colouration can result in ecotype formation and intermediate levels of phenotypic and reproductive divergence between populations feeding on different hosts. However, greater divergence between a species pair involved divergent selection on both niche dimensions. Although further replication of the trends reported here is required, the results suggest that dimensionality of selection may complement genetic and geographic explanations for the degree of

  11. Child murder by parents and evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Susan Hatters; Cavney, James; Resnick, Phillip J

    2012-12-01

    This article explores the contribution of evolutionary theory to the understanding of causation and motive in filicide cases and also reviews special issues in the forensic evaluation of alleged perpetrators of filicide. Evolutionary social psychology seeks to understand the context in which our brains evolved, to understand human behaviors. The authors propose evolutionary theory as a framework theory to meaningfully appreciate research about filicide. Using evolutionary psychology as a theoretical lens, this article reviews the research on filicide over the past 40 years, and describes epidemiologic and typologic studies of filicide, and theoretical analyses from a range of disciplines. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Evolutionary psychology: its programs, prospects, and pitfalls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neher, Andrew

    2006-01-01

    The emerging specialty of evolutionary psychology presents a challenge to mainstream psychology. It proposes that cognitive, notjust more fundamental, traits in humans are grounded in dedicated evolutionary programs. Specifically, it maintains that the common assumption in psychology-that the complexities of our psyches have been largely freed from evolutionary constraints and are instead based in a general learning capacity-is mistaken. The major premises of evolutionary psychology are examined in light of arguments and evidence presented by both supporters and detractors. Although some of these premises are well grounded, others are questionable and limit the development of the specialty and its integration into mainstream psychology.

  13. Evolutionary genomics of environmental pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Chemical toxins have been a persistent source of evolutionary challenges throughout the history of life, and deep within the genomic storehouse of evolutionary history lay ancient adaptations to diverse chemical poisons. However, the rate of change of contemporary environments mediated by human-introduced pollutants is rapidly screening this storehouse and severely testing the adaptive potential of many species. In this chapter, we briefly review the deep history of evolutionary adaptation to environmental toxins, and then proceed to describe the attributes of stressors and populations that may facilitate contemporary adaptation to pollutants introduced by humans. We highlight that phenotypes derived to enable persistence in polluted habitats may be multi-dimensional, requiring global genome-scale tools and approaches to uncover their mechanistic basis, and include examples of recent progress in the field. The modern tools of genomics offer promise for discovering how pollutants interact with genomes on physiological timescales, and also for discovering what genomic attributes of populations may enable resistance to pollutants over evolutionary timescales. Through integration of these sophisticated genomics tools and approaches with an understanding of the deep historical forces that shaped current populations, a more mature understanding of the mechanistic basis of contemporary ecological-evolutionary dynamics should emerge.

  14. Culture in great apes: using intricate complexity in feeding skills to trace the evolutionary origin of human technical prowess.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, Richard W

    2007-04-29

    Geographical cataloguing of traits, as used in human ethnography, has led to the description of 'culture' in some non-human great apes. Culture, in these terms, is detected as a pattern of local ignorance resulting from environmental constraints on knowledge transmission. However, in many cases, the geographical variations may alternatively be explained by ecology. Social transmission of information can reliably be identified in many other animal species, by experiment or distinctive patterns in distribution; but the excitement of detecting culture in great apes derives from the possibility of understanding the evolution of cumulative technological culture in humans. Given this interest, I argue that great ape research should concentrate on technically complex behaviour patterns that are ubiquitous within a local population; in these cases, a wholly non-social ontogeny is highly unlikely. From this perspective, cultural transmission has an important role in the elaborate feeding skills of all species of great ape, in conveying the 'gist' or organization of skills. In contrast, social learning is unlikely to be responsible for local stylistic differences, which are apt to reflect sensitive adaptations to ecology.

  15. Evolutionary Information Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Burgin

    2013-04-01

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

  16. Impact of transcriptional properties on essentiality and evolutionary rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Jung Kyoon; Kim, Sang Cheol; Seo, Jungmin; Kim, Sangsoo; Bhak, Jong

    2007-01-01

    We characterized general transcriptional activity and variability of eukaryotic genes from global expression profiles of human, mouse, rat, fly, plants, and yeast. The variability shows a higher degree of divergence between distant species, implying that it is more closely related to phenotypic evolution, than the activity. More specifically, we show that transcriptional variability should be a true indicator of evolutionary rate. If we rule out the effect of translational selection, which seems to operate only in yeast, the apparent slow evolution of highly expressed genes should be attributed to their low variability. Meanwhile, rapidly evolving genes may acquire a high level of transcriptional variability and contribute to phenotypic variations. Essentiality also seems to be correlated with the variability, not the activity. We show that indispensable or highly interactive proteins tend to be present in high abundance to maintain a low variability. Our results challenge the current theory that highly expressed genes are essential and evolve slowly. Transcriptional variability, rather than transcriptional activity, might be a common indicator of essentiality and evolutionary rate, contributing to the correlation between the two variables.

  17. The Evolutionary Ecology of Mutualism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ivens, A.B.F.

    2012-01-01

    Mutualism, cooperation between different species, is wide-spread in nature. From bees pollinating plants to bacteria aiding digestion in the human gut: mutualism is essential for life on earth. But how does mutualism evolve? And what mechanisms keep mutualisms stable over evolutionary time and

  18. Global analysis of human duplicated genes reveals the relative importance of whole-genome duplicates originated in the early vertebrate evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharya, Debarun; Ghosh, Tapash C

    2016-01-22

    Gene duplication is a genetic mutation that creates functionally redundant gene copies that are initially relieved from selective pressures and may adapt themselves to new functions with time. The levels of gene duplication may vary from small-scale duplication (SSD) to whole genome duplication (WGD). Studies with yeast revealed ample differences between these duplicates: Yeast WGD pairs were functionally more similar, less divergent in subcellular localization and contained a lesser proportion of essential genes. In this study, we explored the differences in evolutionary genomic properties of human SSD and WGD genes, with the identifiable human duplicates coming from the two rounds of whole genome duplication occurred early in vertebrate evolution. We observed that these two groups of duplicates were also dissimilar in terms of their evolutionary and genomic properties. But interestingly, this is not like the same observed in yeast. The human WGDs were found to be functionally less similar, diverge more in subcellular level and contain a higher proportion of essential genes than the SSDs, all of which are opposite from yeast. Additionally, we explored that human WGDs were more divergent in their gene expression profile, have higher multifunctionality and are more often associated with disease, and are evolutionarily more conserved than human SSDs. Our study suggests that human WGD duplicates are more divergent and entails the adaptation of WGDs to novel and important functions that consequently lead to their evolutionary conservation in the course of evolution.

  19. Divergent pro-inflammatory profile of human dendritic cells in response to commensal and pathogenic bacteria associated with the airway microbiota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Larsen, J.M.; Steen-Jensen, D.B.; Laursen, J.M.; Sondergaard, J.N.; Musavian, H.S.; Butt, T.M.; Brix, S.

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies using culture-independent methods have characterized the human airway microbiota and report microbial communities distinct from other body sites. Changes in these airway bacterial communities appear to be associated with inflammatory lung disease, yet the pro-inflammatory properties

  20. Divergent pro-inflammatory profile of human dendritic cells in response to commensal and pathogenic bacteria associated with the airway microbiota

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Jeppe Madura; Steen-Jensen, Daniel Bisgaard; Laursen, Janne Marie

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies using culture-independent methods have characterized the human airway microbiota and report microbial communities distinct from other body sites. Changes in these airway bacterial communities appear to be associated with inflammatory lung disease, yet the pro-inflammatory properties...

  1. Evolutionary diversity of bile salts in reptiles and mammals, including analysis of ancient human and extinct giant ground sloth coprolites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hofmann Alan F

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bile salts are the major end-metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion and in influencing the intestinal microflora. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt diversity in both reptiles and mammals, including analysis of 8,000 year old human coprolites and coprolites from the extinct Shasta ground sloth (Nothrotherium shastense. Results While there is significant variation of bile salts across species, bile salt profiles are generally stable within families and often within orders of reptiles and mammals, and do not directly correlate with differences in diet. The variation of bile salts generally accords with current molecular phylogenies of reptiles and mammals, including more recent groupings of squamate reptiles. For mammals, the most unusual finding was that the Paenungulates (elephants, manatees, and the rock hyrax have a very different bile salt profile from the Rufous sengi and South American aardvark, two other mammals classified with Paenungulates in the cohort Afrotheria in molecular phylogenies. Analyses of the approximately 8,000 year old human coprolites yielded a bile salt profile very similar to that found in modern human feces. Analysis of the Shasta ground sloth coprolites (approximately 12,000 years old showed the predominant presence of glycine-conjugated bile acids, similar to analyses of bile and feces of living sloths, in addition to a complex mixture of plant sterols and stanols expected from an herbivorous diet. Conclusions The bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution, with some bile salt modifications only found within single groups such as marsupials. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt structures in different species provides a potentially rich model system for the evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates. Our results also demonstrate the stability of bile salts in coprolites

  2. Evolutionary diversity of bile salts in reptiles and mammals, including analysis of ancient human and extinct giant ground sloth coprolites

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Bile salts are the major end-metabolites of cholesterol and are also important in lipid and protein digestion and in influencing the intestinal microflora. We greatly extend prior surveys of bile salt diversity in both reptiles and mammals, including analysis of 8,000 year old human coprolites and coprolites from the extinct Shasta ground sloth (Nothrotherium shastense). Results While there is significant variation of bile salts across species, bile salt profiles are generally stable within families and often within orders of reptiles and mammals, and do not directly correlate with differences in diet. The variation of bile salts generally accords with current molecular phylogenies of reptiles and mammals, including more recent groupings of squamate reptiles. For mammals, the most unusual finding was that the Paenungulates (elephants, manatees, and the rock hyrax) have a very different bile salt profile from the Rufous sengi and South American aardvark, two other mammals classified with Paenungulates in the cohort Afrotheria in molecular phylogenies. Analyses of the approximately 8,000 year old human coprolites yielded a bile salt profile very similar to that found in modern human feces. Analysis of the Shasta ground sloth coprolites (approximately 12,000 years old) showed the predominant presence of glycine-conjugated bile acids, similar to analyses of bile and feces of living sloths, in addition to a complex mixture of plant sterols and stanols expected from an herbivorous diet. Conclusions The bile salt synthetic pathway has become longer and more complex throughout vertebrate evolution, with some bile salt modifications only found within single groups such as marsupials. Analysis of the evolution of bile salt structures in different species provides a potentially rich model system for the evolution of a complex biochemical pathway in vertebrates. Our results also demonstrate the stability of bile salts in coprolites preserved in arid climates

  3. Island biology and morphological divergence of the Skyros wall lizard Podarcis gaigeae: a combined role for local selection and genetic drift on color morph frequency divergence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runemark, Anna; Hansson, Bengt; Pafilis, Panayiotis; Valakos, Efstratios D; Svensson, Erik I

    2010-09-02

    Patterns of spatial variation in discrete phenotypic traits can be used to draw inferences about the adaptive significance of traits and evolutionary processes, especially when compared to patterns of neutral genetic variation. Population divergence in adaptive traits such as color morphs can be influenced by both local ecology and stochastic factors such as genetic drift or founder events. Here, we use quantitative color measurements of males and females of Skyros wall lizard, Podarcis gaigeae, to demonstrate that this species is polymorphic with respect to throat color, and the morphs form discrete phenotypic clusters with limited overlap between categories. We use divergence in throat color morph frequencies and compare that to neutral genetic variation to infer the evolutionary processes acting on islet- and mainland populations. Geographically close islet- and mainland populations of the Skyros wall lizard exhibit strong divergence in throat color morph frequencies. Population variation in throat color morph frequencies between islets was higher than that between mainland populations, and the effective population sizes on the islets were small (Ne:s drift could thus not be rejected as an explanation for the pattern. Moreover, for both comparisons among mainland-mainland population pairs and between mainland-islet population pairs, morph frequency divergence was significantly correlated with neutral divergence, further pointing to some role for genetic drift in divergence also at the phenotypic level of throat color morphs. Genetic drift could not be rejected as an explanation for the pattern of population divergence in morph frequencies. In spite of an expected stabilising selection, throat color frequencies diverged in the islet populations. These results suggest that there is an interaction between selection and genetic drift causing divergence even at a phenotypic level in these small, subdivided populations.

  4. Island biology and morphological divergence of the Skyros wall lizard Podarcis gaigeae: a combined role for local selection and genetic drift on color morph frequency divergence?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Runemark Anna

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Patterns of spatial variation in discrete phenotypic traits can be used to draw inferences about the adaptive significance of traits and evolutionary processes, especially when compared to patterns of neutral genetic variation. Population divergence in adaptive traits such as color morphs can be influenced by both local ecology and stochastic factors such as genetic drift or founder events. Here, we use quantitative color measurements of males and females of Skyros wall lizard, Podarcis gaigeae, to demonstrate that this species is polymorphic with respect to throat color, and the morphs form discrete phenotypic clusters with limited overlap between categories. We use divergence in throat color morph frequencies and compare that to neutral genetic variation to infer the evolutionary processes acting on islet- and mainland populations. Results Geographically close islet- and mainland populations of the Skyros wall lizard exhibit strong divergence in throat color morph frequencies. Population variation in throat color morph frequencies between islets was higher than that between mainland populations, and the effective population sizes on the islets were small (Ne:s ST for throat color morph frequencies fell within the neutral FST-distribution estimated from microsatellite markers, and genetic drift could thus not be rejected as an explanation for the pattern. Moreover, for both comparisons among mainland-mainland population pairs and between mainland-islet population pairs, morph frequency divergence was significantly correlated with neutral divergence, further pointing to some role for genetic drift in divergence also at the phenotypic level of throat color morphs. Conclusions Genetic drift could not be rejected as an explanation for the pattern of population divergence in morph frequencies. In spite of an expected stabilising selection, throat color frequencies diverged in the islet populations. These results suggest that

  5. Evolutionary ecology of human birth sex ratio under the compound influence of climate change, famine, economic crises and wars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helle, Samuli; Helama, Samuli; Lertola, Kalle

    2009-11-01

    1. Human sex ratio at birth at the population level has been suggested to vary according to exogenous stressors such as wars, ambient temperature, ecological disasters and economic crises, but their relative effects on birth sex ratio have not been investigated. It also remains unclear whether such associations represent environmental forcing or adaptive parental response, as parents may produce the sex that has better survival prospects and fitness in a given environmental challenge. 2. We examined the simultaneous role of wars, famine, ambient temperature, economic development and total mortality rate on the annual variation of offspring birth sex ratio and whether this variation, in turn, was related to sex-specific infant mortality rate in Finland during 1865-2003. 3. Our findings show an increased excess of male births during the World War II and during warm years. Instead, economic development, famine, short-lasting Finnish civil war and total mortality rate were not related to birth sex ratio. Moreover, we found no association between annual birth sex ratio and sex-biased infant mortality rate among the concurrent cohort. 4. Our results propose that some exogenous challenges like ambient temperature and war can skew human birth sex ratio and that these deviations likely represent environmental forcing rather than adaptive parental response to such challenges.

  6. Towards Adaptive Evolutionary Architecture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Sebastian HOlt; Rask, Nina; Risi, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents first results from an interdisciplinary project, in which the fields of architecture, philosophy and artificial life are combined to explore possible futures of architecture. Through an interactive evolutionary installation, called EvoCurtain, we investigate aspects of how...... living in the future could occur, if built spaces could evolve and adapt alongside inhabitants. As such, present study explores the interdisciplinary possibilities in utilizing computational power to co-create with users and generate designs based on human input. We argue that this could lead...... to the development of designs tailored to the individual preferences of inhabitants, changing the roles of architects and designers entirely. Architecture-as-it-could-be is a philosophical approach conducted through artistic methods to anticipate the technological futures of human-centered development within...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

  8. Research traditions and evolutionary explanations in medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méthot, Pierre-Olivier

    2011-02-01

    In this article, I argue that distinguishing 'evolutionary' from 'Darwinian' medicine will help us assess the variety of roles that evolutionary explanations can play in a number of medical contexts. Because the boundaries of evolutionary and Darwinian medicine overlap to some extent, however, they are best described as distinct 'research traditions' rather than as competing paradigms. But while evolutionary medicine does not stand out as a new scientific field of its own, Darwinian medicine is united by a number of distinctive theoretical and methodological claims. For example, evolutionary medicine and Darwinian medicine can be distinguished with respect to the styles of evolutionary explanations they employ. While the former primarily involves 'forward looking' explanations, the latter depends mostly on 'backward looking' explanations. A forward looking explanation tries to predict the effects of ongoing evolutionary processes on human health and disease in contemporary environments (e.g., hospitals). In contrast, a backward looking explanation typically applies evolutionary principles from the vantage point of humans' distant biological past in order to assess present states of health and disease. Both approaches, however, are concerned with the prevention and control of human diseases. In conclusion, I raise some concerns about the claim that 'nothing in medicine makes sense except in the light of evolution'.

  9. Evolutionary Aesthetics and Print Advertising

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamil Luczaj

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The article analyzes the extent to which predictions based on the theory of evolutionary aesthetics are utilized by the advertising industry. The purpose of a comprehensive content analysis of print advertising is to determine whether the items indicated by evolutionists such as animals, flowers, certain types of landscapes, beautiful humans, and some colors are part of real advertising strategies. This article has shown that many evolutionary hypotheses (although not all of them are supported by empirical data. Along with these hypotheses, some inferences from Bourdieu’s cultural capital theory were tested. It turned out that advertising uses both biological schemata and cultural patterns to make an image more likable.

  10. Evolutionary Dynamics of Biological Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowak, Martin A.; Sigmund, Karl

    2004-02-01

    Darwinian dynamics based on mutation and selection form the core of mathematical models for adaptation and coevolution of biological populations. The evolutionary outcome is often not a fitness-maximizing equilibrium but can include oscillations and chaos. For studying frequency-dependent selection, game-theoretic arguments are more appropriate than optimization algorithms. Replicator and adaptive dynamics describe short- and long-term evolution in phenotype space and have found applications ranging from animal behavior and ecology to speciation, macroevolution, and human language. Evolutionary game theory is an essential component of a mathematical and computational approach to biology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haddley Kate

    2011-05-01

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

  12. Dike-induced contraction along oceanic and continental divergent plate boundaries

    KAUST Repository

    Trippanera, D.

    2014-10-28

    The axis of divergent plate boundaries shows extension fractures and normal faults at the surface. Here we present evidence of contraction along the axis of the oceanic ridge of Iceland and the continental Main Ethiopian Rift. Contraction is found at the base of the tilted hanging wall of dilational normal faults, balancing part of their extension. Our experiments suggest that these structures result from dike emplacement. Multiple dike injection induces subsidence above and uplift to the sides of the dikes; the transition in between is accommodated by reverse faults and subsequent peripheral inward dipping normal faults. Our results suggest that contraction is a direct product of magma emplacement along divergent plate boundaries, at various scales, marking a precise evolutionary stage and initiating part of the extensional structures (extension fractures and normal faults). Key Points Contraction along divergent plate boundaries results from dike emplacementContraction generates extensional structures along divergent plate boundariesSurface deformation along divergent plate boundaries may be magma induced

  13. Detecting climatically driven phylogenetic and morphological divergence among spruce (Picea) species worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guo-Hong; Li, He; Zhao, Hai-Wei; Zhang, Wei-Kang

    2017-05-01

    This study aimed to elucidate the relationship between climate and the phylogenetic and morphological divergence of spruces (Picea) worldwide. Climatic and georeferenced data were collected from a total of 3388 sites distributed within the global domain of spruce species. A phylogenetic tree and a morphological tree for the global spruces were reconstructed based on DNA sequences and morphological characteristics. Spatial evolutionary and ecological vicariance analysis (SEEVA) was used to detect the ecological divergence among spruces. A divergence index (D) with (0, 1) scaling was calculated for each climatic factor at each node for both trees. The annual mean values, extreme values and annual range of the climatic variables were among the major determinants for spruce divergence. The ecological divergence was significant (P drought over land areas in the next 30-90 years, our findings shed light on the prediction of spruce distribution under future climate change.

  14. Divergence in olfactory host plant preference in D. mojavensis in response to cactus host use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Date, Priya; Dweck, Hany K M; Stensmyr, Marcus C; Shann, Jodi; Hansson, Bill S; Rollmann, Stephanie M

    2013-01-01

    Divergence in host adaptive traits has been well studied from an ecological and evolutionary perspective, but identification of the proximate mechanisms underlying such divergence is less well understood. Behavioral preferences for host plants are often mediated by olfaction and shifts in preference may be accompanied by changes in the olfactory system. In this study, we examine the evolution of host plant preferences in cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis that feeds and breeds on different cacti throughout its range. We show divergence in electrophysiological responses and olfactory behavior among populations with host plant shifts. Specifically, significant divergence was observed in the Mojave Desert population that specializes on barrel cactus. Differences were observed in electrophysiological responses of the olfactory organs and in behavioral responses to barrel cactus volatiles. Together our results suggest that the peripheral nervous system has changed in response to different ecological environments and that these changes likely contribute to divergence among D. mojavensis populations.

  15. Divergence in olfactory host plant preference in D. mojavensis in response to cactus host use.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Priya Date

    Full Text Available Divergence in host adaptive traits has been well studied from an ecological and evolutionary perspective, but identification of the proximate mechanisms underlying such divergence is less well understood. Behavioral preferences for host plants are often mediated by olfaction and shifts in preference may be accompanied by changes in the olfactory system. In this study, we examine the evolution of host plant preferences in cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis that feeds and breeds on different cacti throughout its range. We show divergence in electrophysiological responses and olfactory behavior among populations with host plant shifts. Specifically, significant divergence was observed in the Mojave Desert population that specializes on barrel cactus. Differences were observed in electrophysiological responses of the olfactory organs and in behavioral responses to barrel cactus volatiles. Together our results suggest that the peripheral nervous system has changed in response to different ecological environments and that these changes likely contribute to divergence among D. mojavensis populations.

  16. The miR-15/107 group of microRNA genes: evolutionary biology, cellular functions, and roles in human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finnerty, John R; Wang, Wang-Xia; Hébert, Sébastien S; Wilfred, Bernard R; Mao, Guogen; Nelson, Peter T

    2010-09-24

    The miR-15/107 group of microRNA (miRNA) gene is increasingly appreciated to serve key functions in humans. These miRNAs regulate gene expression involved in cell division, metabolism, stress response, and angiogenesis in vertebrate species. The miR-15/107 group has also been implicated in human cancers, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer's disease. Here we provide an overview of the following: (1) the evolution of miR-15/107 group member genes; (2) the expression levels of miRNAs in mammalian tissues; (3) evidence for overlapping gene-regulatory functions by different miRNAs; (4) the normal biochemical pathways regulated by miR-15/107 group miRNAs; and (5) the roles played by these miRNAs in human diseases. Membership in this group is defined based on sequence similarity near the mature miRNAs' 5' end: all include the sequence AGCAGC. Phylogeny of this group of miRNAs is incomplete; thus, a definitive taxonomic classification (e.g., designation as a "superfamily") is currently not possible. While all vertebrates studied to date express miR-15a, miR-15b, miR-16, miR-103, and miR-107, mammals alone are known to express miR-195, miR-424, miR-497, miR-503, and miR-646. Multiple different miRNAs in the miR-15/107 group are expressed at moderate to high levels in human tissues. We present data on the expression of all known miR-15/107 group members in human cerebral cortical gray matter and white matter using new miRNA profiling microarrays. There is extensive overlap in the mRNAs targeted by miR-15/107 group members. We show new data from cultured H4 cancer cells that demonstrate similarities in mRNAs targeted by miR-16 and miR-103 and also support the importance of the mature miRNAs' 5' seed region in mRNA target recognition. In conclusion, the miR-15/107 group of miRNA genes is a fascinating topic of study for evolutionary biologists, miRNA biochemists, and clinically oriented translational researchers alike. Copyright © 2010

  17. A vaccine of L2 epitope repeats fused with a modified IgG1 Fc induced cross-neutralizing antibodies and protective immunity against divergent human papillomavirus types.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xue Chen

    Full Text Available Current human papillomavirus (HPV major capsid protein L1 virus-like particles (VLPs-based vaccines in clinic induce strong HPV type-specific neutralizing antibody responses. To develop pan-HPV vaccines, here, we show that the fusion protein E3R4 consisting of three repeats of HPV16 L2 aa 17-36 epitope (E3 and a modified human IgG1 Fc scaffold (R4 induces cross-neutralizing antibodies and protective immunity against divergent HPV types. E3R4 was expressed as a secreted protein in baculovirus expression system and could be simply purified by one step Protein A affinity chromatography with the purity above 90%. Vaccination of E3R4 formulated with Freunds adjuvant not only induced cross-neutralizing antibodies against HPV pseudovirus types 16, 18, 45, 52, 58, 6, 11 and 5 in mice, but also protected mice against vaginal challenges with HPV pseudovirus types 16, 45, 52, 58, 11 and 5 for at least eleven months after the first immunization. Moreover, vaccination of E3R4 formulated with FDA approved adjuvant alum plus monophosphoryl lipid A also induced cross-neutralizing antibodies against HPV types 16, 18 and 6 in rabbits. Thus, our results demonstrate that delivery of L2 antigen as a modified Fc-fusion protein may facilitate pan-HPV vaccine development.

  18. Rapid changes in the gut microbiome during human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moeller, Andrew H; Li, Yingying; Mpoudi Ngole, Eitel; Ahuka-Mundeke, Steve; Lonsdorf, Elizabeth V; Pusey, Anne E; Peeters, Martine; Hahn, Beatrice H; Ochman, Howard

    2014-11-18

    Humans are ecosystems containing trillions of microorganisms, but the evolutionary history of this microbiome is obscured by a lack of knowledge about microbiomes of African apes. We sequenced the gut communities of hundreds of chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas and developed a phylogenetic approach to reconstruct how present-day human microbiomes have diverged from those of ancestral populations. Compositional change in the microbiome was slow and clock-like during African ape diversification, but human microbiomes have deviated from the ancestral state at an accelerated rate. Relative to the microbiomes of wild apes, human microbiomes have lost ancestral microbial diversity while becoming specialized for animal-based diets. Individual wild apes cultivate more phyla, classes, orders, families, genera, and species of bacteria than do individual humans across a range of societies. These results indicate that humanity has experienced a depletion of the gut flora since diverging from Pan.

  19. Eco-evolutionary dynamics in an urbanizing planet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alberti, Marina

    2015-02-01

    A great challenge for ecology in the coming decades is to understand the role humans play in eco-evolutionary dynamics. If, as emerging evidence shows, rapid evolutionary change affects ecosystem functioning and stability, current rapid environmental change and its evolutionary effects might have significant implications for ecological and human wellbeing on a relatively short time scale. Humans are major selective agents with potential for unprecedented evolutionary consequences for Earth's ecosystems, especially as cities expand rapidly. In this review, I identify emerging hypotheses on how urbanization drives eco-evolutionary dynamics. Studying how human-driven micro-evolutionary changes interact with ecological processes offers us the chance to advance our understanding of eco-evolutionary feedbacks and will provide new insights for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function over the long term. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Evolution of the class C GPCR Venus flytrap modules involved positive selected functional divergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Jianhua; Huang, Siluo; Qian, Ji; Huang, Jinlin; Jin, Li; Su, Zhixi; Yang, Ji; Liu, Jianfeng

    2009-03-27

    Class C G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) represent a distinct group of the GPCR family, which structurally possess a characteristically distinct extracellular domain inclusive of the Venus flytrap module (VFTM). The VFTMs of the class C GPCRs is responsible for ligand recognition and binding, and share sequence similarity with bacterial periplasmic amino acid binding proteins (PBPs). An extensive phylogenetic investigation of the VFTMs was conducted by analyzing for functional divergence and testing for positive selection for five typical groups of the class C GPCRs. The altered selective constraints were determined to identify the sites that had undergone functional divergence via positive selection. In order to structurally demonstrate the pattern changes during the evolutionary process, three-dimensional (3D) structures of the GPCR VFTMs were modelled and reconstructed from ancestral VFTMs. Our results show that the altered selective constraints in the VFTMs of class C GPCRs are statistically significant. This implies that functional divergence played a key role in characterizing the functions of the VFTMs after gene duplication events. Meanwhile, positive selection is involved in the evolutionary process and drove the functional divergence of the VFTMs. Our results also reveal that three continuous duplication events occurred in order to shape the evolutionary topology of class C GPCRs. The five groups of the class C GPCRs have essentially different sites involved in functional divergence, which would have shaped the specific structures and functions of the VFTMs. Taken together, our results show that functional divergence involved positive selection and is partially responsible for the evolutionary patterns of the class C GPCR VFTMs. The sites involved in functional divergence will provide more clues and candidates for further research on structural-function relationships of these modules as well as shedding light on the activation mechanism of the class C

  1. Evolution of the class C GPCR Venus flytrap modules involved positive selected functional divergence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Su Zhixi

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Class C G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs represent a distinct group of the GPCR family, which structurally possess a characteristically distinct extracellular domain inclusive of the Venus flytrap module (VFTM. The VFTMs of the class C GPCRs is responsible for ligand recognition and binding, and share sequence similarity with bacterial periplasmic amino acid binding proteins (PBPs. An extensive phylogenetic investigation of the VFTMs was conducted by analyzing for functional divergence and testing for positive selection for five typical groups of the class C GPCRs. The altered selective constraints were determined to identify the sites that had undergone functional divergence via positive selection. In order to structurally demonstrate the pattern changes during the evolutionary process, three-dimensional (3D structures of the GPCR VFTMs were modelled and reconstructed from ancestral VFTMs. Results Our results show that the altered selective constraints in the VFTMs of class C GPCRs are statistically significant. This implies that functional divergence played a key role in characterizing the functions of the VFTMs after gene duplication events. Meanwhile, positive selection is involved in the evolutionary process and drove the functional divergence of the VFTMs. Our results also reveal that three continuous duplication events occurred in order to shape the evolutionary topology of class C GPCRs. The five groups of the class C GPCRs have essentially different sites involved in functional divergence, which would have shaped the specific structures and functions of the VFTMs. Conclusion Taken together, our results show that functional divergence involved positive selection and is partially responsible for the evolutionary patterns of the class C GPCR VFTMs. The sites involved in functional divergence will provide more clues and candidates for further research on structural-function relationships of these modules as well as

  2. Substitution rate variation at human CpG sites correlates with non-CpG divergence, methylation level and GC content

    OpenAIRE

    Mugal, Carina F.; Ellegren, Hans

    2011-01-01

    Background A major goal in the study of molecular evolution is to unravel the mechanisms that induce variation in the germ line mutation rate and in the genome-wide mutation profile. The rate of germ line mutation is considerably higher for cytosines at CpG sites than for any other nucleotide in the human genome, an increase commonly attributed to cytosine methylation at CpG sites. The CpG mutation rate, however, is not uniform across the genome and, as methylation levels have recently been s...

  3. Divergent sexual selection via male competition: ecology is key.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lackey, A C R; Boughman, J W

    2013-08-01

    Sexual selection and ecological differences are important drivers of speciation. Much research has focused on female choice, yet the role of male competition in ecological speciation has been understudied. Here, we test how mating habitats impact sexual selection and speciation through male competition. Using limnetic and benthic species of threespine stickleback fish, we find that different mating habitats select differently on male traits through male competition. In mixed habitat with both vegetated and open areas, selection favours two trait combinations of male body size and nuptial colour: large with little colour and small with lots of colour. This matches what we see in reproductively isolated stickleback species, suggesting male competition could promote trait divergence and reproductive isolation. In contrast, when only open habitat exists, selection favours one trait combination, large with lots of colour, which would hinder trait divergence and reproductive isolation. Other behavioural mechanisms in male competition that might promote divergence, such as avoiding aggression with heterospecifics, are insufficient to maintain separate species. This work highlights the importance of mating habitats in male competition for both sexual selection and speciation. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2013 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. From where to what: a neuroanatomically based evolutionary model of the emergence of speech in humans [version 2; referees: 1 approved, 2 approved with reservations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oren Poliva

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the brain of primates, the auditory cortex connects with the frontal lobe via the temporal pole (auditory ventral stream; AVS and via the inferior parietal lobe (auditory dorsal stream; ADS. The AVS is responsible for sound recognition, and the ADS for sound-localization, voice detection and integration of calls with faces. I propose that the primary role of the ADS in non-human primates is the detection and response to contact calls. These calls are exchanged between tribe members (e.g., mother-offspring and are used for monitoring location. Detection of contact calls occurs by the ADS identifying a voice, localizing it, and verifying that the corresponding face is out of sight. Once a contact call is detected, the primate produces a contact call in return via descending connections from the frontal lobe to a network of limbic and brainstem regions. Because the ADS of present day humans also performs speech production, I further propose an evolutionary course for the transition from contact call exchange to an early form of speech. In accordance with this model, structural changes to the ADS endowed early members of the genus Homo with partial vocal control. This development was beneficial as it enabled offspring to modify their contact calls with intonations for signaling high or low levels of distress to their mother. Eventually, individuals were capable of participating in yes-no question-answer conversations. In these conversations the offspring emitted a low-level distress call for inquiring about the safety of objects (e.g., food, and his/her mother responded with a high- or low-level distress call to signal approval or disapproval of the interaction. Gradually, the ADS and its connections with brainstem motor regions became more robust and vocal control became more volitional. Speech emerged once vocal control was sufficient for inventing novel calls.

  5. Two families with quadrupedalism, mental retardation, no speech, and infantile hypotonia (Uner Tan Syndrome Type-II; a novel theory for the evolutionary emergence of human bipedalism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uner eTan

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Two consanguineous families with Uner Tan Syndrome (UTS were analyzed in relation to self-organizing processes in complex systems, and the evolutionary emergence of human bipedalism. The cases had the key symptoms of previously reported cases of UTS, such as quadrupedalism, mental retardation, and dysarthric or no speech, but the new cases also exhibited infantile hypotonia and are designated UTS Type-II. There were 10 siblings in Branch I and 12 siblings in Branch II. Of these, there were seven cases exhibiting habitual quadrupedal locomotion (QL: four deceased and three living. The infantile hypotonia in the surviving cases gradually disappeared over a period of years, so that they could sit by about 10 years, crawl on hands and knees by about 12 years. They began walking on all fours around 14 years, habitually using QL. Neurological examinations showed normal tonus in their arms and legs, no Babinski sign, brisk tendon reflexes especially in the legs, and mild tremor. The patients could not walk in a straight line, but (except in one case could stand up and maintain upright posture with truncal ataxia. Cerebello-vermial hypoplasia and mild gyral simplification were noted in their MRIs. The results of the genetic analysis were inconclusive: no genetic code could be identified as the triggering factor for the syndrome in these families. Instead, the extremely low socio-economic status of the patients was thought to play a role in the emergence of UTS, possibly by epigenetically changing the brain structure and function, with a consequent selection of ancestral neural networks for QL during locomotor development. It was suggested that UTS may be regarded as one of the unpredictable outcomes of self-organization within a complex system. It was also noted that the prominent feature of this syndrome, the diagonal-sequence habitual QL, generated an interference between ipsilateral hands and feet, as in non-human primates. It was suggested that this

  6. A LINE-1 component to human aging: do LINE elements exact a longevity cost for evolutionary advantage?

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Laurent, Georges; Hammell, Neil; McCaffrey, Timothy A

    2010-05-01

    Advancing age remains the largest risk factor for devastating diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. The mechanisms by which advancing age predisposes to disease are now beginning to unfold, due in part, to genetic and environmental manipulations of longevity in lower organisms. Converging lines of evidence suggest that DNA damage may be a final common pathway linking several proposed mechanisms of aging. The present review forwards a theory for an additional aging pathway that involves modes of inherent genetic instability. Long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs) are endogenous non-LTR retrotransposons that compose about 20% of the human genome. The LINE-1 (L1) gene products, ORF1p and ORF2p, possess mRNA binding, endonuclease, and reverse transcriptase activity that enable retrotransposition. While principally active only during embryogenesis, L1 transcripts are detected in adult somatic cells under certain conditions. The present hypothesis proposes that L1s act as an 'endogenous clock', slowly eroding genomic integrity by competing with the organism's double-strand break repair mechanism. Thus, while L1s are an accepted mechanism of genetic variation fueling evolution, it is proposed that longevity is negatively impacted by somatic L1 activity. The theory predicts testable hypotheses about the relationship between L1 activity, DNA repair, healthy aging, and longevity. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. An evolutionary review of human telomere biology: the thrifty telomere hypothesis and notes on potential adaptive paternal effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisenberg, Dan T A

    2011-01-01

    Telomeres, repetitive DNA sequences found at the ends of linear chromosomes, play a role in regulating cellular proliferation, and shorten with increasing age in proliferating human tissues. The rate of age-related shortening of telomeres is highest early in life and decreases with age. Shortened telomeres are thought to limit the proliferation of cells and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Although natural selection is widely assumed to operate against long telomeres because they entail increased cancer risk, the evidence for this is mixed. Instead, here it is proposed that telomere length is primarily limited by energetic constraints. Cell proliferation is energetically expensive, so shorter telomeres should lead to a thrifty phenotype. Shorter telomeres are proposed to restrain adaptive immunity as an energy saving mechanism. Such a limited immune system, however, might also result in chronic infections, inflammatory stress, premature aging, and death--a more "disposable soma." With an increased reproductive lifespan, the fitness costs of premature aging are higher and longer telomeres will be favored by selection. Telomeres exhibit a paternal effect whereby the offspring of older fathers have longer telomeres due to increased telomere lengths of sperm with age. This paternal effect is proposed to be an adaptive signal of the expected age of male reproduction in the environment offspring are born into. The offspring of lineages of older fathers will tend to have longer, and thereby less thrifty, telomeres, better preparing them for an environment with higher expected ages at reproduction. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. Gender Inequality in Interaction--An Evolutionary Account

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopcroft, Rosemary L.

    2009-01-01

    In this article I argue that evolutionary theorizing can help sociologists and feminists better understand gender inequality. Evolutionary theory explains why control of the sexuality of young women is a priority across most human societies both past and present. Evolutionary psychology has extended our understanding of male violence against…

  9. Divergence coding for convolutional codes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valery Zolotarev

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In the paper we propose a new coding/decoding on the divergence principle. A new divergent multithreshold decoder (MTD for convolutional self-orthogonal codes contains two threshold elements. The second threshold element decodes the code with the code distance one greater than for the first threshold element. Errorcorrecting possibility of the new MTD modification have been higher than traditional MTD. Simulation results show that the performance of the divergent schemes allow to approach area of its effective work to channel capacity approximately on 0,5 dB. Note that we include the enough effective Viterbi decoder instead of the first threshold element, the divergence principle can reach more. Index Terms — error-correcting coding, convolutional code, decoder, multithreshold decoder, Viterbi algorithm.

  10. Divergent Pro-Inflammatory Profile of Human Dendritic Cells in Response to Commensal and Pathogenic Bacteria Associated with the Airway Microbiota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Jeppe Madura; Steen-Jensen, Daniel Bisgaard; Laursen, Janne Marie; Søndergaard, Jonas Nørskov; Musavian, Hanieh Sadat; Butt, Tariq Mahmood; Brix, Susanne

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies using culture-independent methods have characterized the human airway microbiota and report microbial communities distinct from other body sites. Changes in these airway bacterial communities appear to be associated with inflammatory lung disease, yet the pro-inflammatory properties of individual bacterial species are unknown. In this study, we compared the immune stimulatory capacity on human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) of selected airway commensal and pathogenic bacteria predominantly associated with lungs of asthma or COPD patients (pathogenic Haemophillus spp. and Moraxella spp.), healthy lungs (commensal Prevotella spp.) or both (commensal Veillonella spp. and Actinomyces spp.). All bacteria were found to induce activation of DCs as demonstrated by similar induction of CD83, CD40 and CD86 surface expression. However, asthma and COPD-associated pathogenic bacteria provoked a 3–5 fold higher production of IL-23, IL-12p70 and IL-10 cytokines compared to the commensal bacteria. Based on the differential cytokine production profiles, the studied airway bacteria could be segregated into three groups (Haemophilus spp. and Moraxella spp. vs. Prevotella spp. and Veillonella spp. vs. Actinomyces spp.) reflecting their pro-inflammatory effects on DCs. Co-culture experiments found that Prevotella spp. were able to reduce Haemophillus influenzae-induced IL-12p70 in DCs, whereas no effect was observed on IL-23 and IL-10 production. This study demonstrates intrinsic differences in DC stimulating properties of bacteria associated with the airway microbiota. PMID:22363778

  11. Magnetically suspended virtual divergent channel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yamane, Ryuichiro [Kokushikan University, 4-28-1 Setagaya, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 154-8515 (Japan)]. E-mail: yamane@kokushikan.ac.jp; Oshiama, Shuzo [Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8552 (Japan); Park, Myeong-Kwan [Pusan National University, 30 Changjeon-dong, Kumjeong-ku, Pusan 609-735 (Korea, Republic of)

    2005-03-15

    Two permanent magnets are set face-to-face and inclined with each other to produce the long cuspidal magnetic field. The diamagnetic liquid is levitated and flows through it without contact with the solid walls as if it is in the virtual divergent channel. Analysis is made on the shape of the virtual channel, and the results are compared with the experimental ones. The divergence angle increases with the increase in the inclination of the magnets.

  12. Expression divergence measured by transcriptome sequencing of four yeast species

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    Busby Michele A

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The evolution of gene expression is a challenging problem in evolutionary biology, for which accurate, well-calibrated measurements and methods are crucial. Results We quantified gene expression with whole-transcriptome sequencing in four diploid, prototrophic strains of Saccharomyces species grown under the same condition to investigate the evolution of gene expression. We found that variation in expression is gene-dependent with large variations in each gene's expression between replicates of the same species. This confounds the identification of genes differentially expressed across species. To address this, we developed a statistical approach to establish significance bounds for inter-species differential expression in RNA-Seq data based on the variance measured across biological replicates. This metric estimates the combined effects of technical and environmental variance, as well as Poisson sampling noise by isolating each component. Despite a paucity of large expression changes, we found a strong correlation between the variance of gene expression change and species divergence (R2 = 0.90. Conclusion We provide an improved methodology for measuring gene expression changes in evolutionary diverged species using RNA Seq, where experimental artifacts can mimic evolutionary effects. GEO Accession Number: GSE32679

  13. Two families with quadrupedalism, mental retardation, no speech, and infantile hypotonia (Uner Tan Syndrome Type-II); a novel theory for the evolutionary emergence of human bipedalism.

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    Tan, Uner

    2014-01-01

    Two consanguineous families with Uner Tan Syndrome (UTS) were analyzed in relation to self-organizing processes in complex systems, and the evolutionary emergence of human bipedalism. The cases had the key symptoms of previously reported cases of UTS, such as quadrupedalism, mental retardation, and dysarthric or no speech, but the new cases also exhibited infantile hypotonia and are designated UTS Type-II. There were 10 siblings in Branch I and 12 siblings in Branch II. Of these, there were seven cases exhibiting habitual quadrupedal locomotion (QL): four deceased and three living. The infantile hypotonia in the surviving cases gradually disappeared over a period of years, so that they could sit by about 10 years, crawl on hands and knees by about 12 years. They began walking on all fours around 14 years, habitually using QL. Neurological examinations showed normal tonus in their arms and legs, no Babinski sign, brisk tendon reflexes especially in the legs, and mild tremor. The patients could not walk in a straight line, but (except in one case) could stand up and maintain upright posture with truncal ataxia. Cerebello-vermial hypoplasia and mild gyral simplification were noted in their MRIs. The results of the genetic analysis were inconclusive: no genetic code could be identified as the triggering factor for the syndrome in these families. Instead, the extremely low socio-economic status of the patients was thought to play a role in the emergence of UTS, possibly by epigenetically changing the brain structure and function, with a consequent selection of ancestral neural networks for QL during locomotor development. It was suggested that UTS may be regarded as one of the unpredictable outcomes of self-organization within a complex system. It was also noted that the prominent feature of this syndrome, the diagonal-sequence habitual QL, generated an interference between ipsilateral hands and feet, as in non-human primates. It was suggested that this may have been

  14. [Combination of Genetic and Humanitarian (Cross-Cultural) Methods for the Identification of Human Genes Involved in the Process of Adaptation to Evolutionary New Environmental Factors].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borinskaya, S A; Yankovsky, N K

    2015-04-01

    Human settlement from the African ancestral home was accompanied by cultural and genetic adaptation to new habitat conditions (climate, infections, diet, etc.). We previously suggested for the first time an approach to the identification of human genes presumably involved in adaptation to evolutionary new environmental factors based on a combination of genetic and humanitarian methods of study. In order to search for the genes involved in adaptation and for environmental factors (to which this adaptation occurs), we attempted to find correlations between the population allele frequencies of the studied gene and formalized descriptions of peculiarities of the habitat of ethnic groups given in "Ethnographic Atlas" by G. P. Murdock. In the presented review, we summarized our own data on an experimental determination of the allele frequencies for lactase (LCT*), apolipoprotein E (APOE), and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH1B) genes in populations of Russia. Based on these data and available materials of other investigators, we developed maps of worldwide allele frequency distribution for these genes. We detected a correlation of allele frequencies of these genes in populations with the presence of certain factors of the environment that these populations inhabit. It was also confirmed that the evolutionarily young LCT*-13910T allele, which determines lactase persistence and the possibility of milk consumption in adults, is distributed in populations for which dairy animal husbandry is typical. During the analysis of 68 populations, we for the first time demonstrated that the frequency of the APOE e4 allele (which is ancestral for humans and influences the lipid metabolism) is higher in groups with a high contribution of hunting and gathering. Our data are in favor of the hypothesis that it was exactly the e4 allele that was a subject for selection, while the e3 allele was less important for adaptation. We also for the first time demonstrated that the evolutionarily young ADH

  15. Conserved and divergent patterns of expression of DAZL, VASA and OCT4 in the germ cells of the human fetal ovary and testis

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    Coutts Shona

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Germ cells arise from a small group of cells that express markers of pluripotency including OCT4. In humans formation of gonadal compartments (cords in testis, nests in ovary takes place during the 1st trimester (6–8 weeks gestation. In the 2nd trimester germ cells can enter meiotic prophase in females whereas in males this does not occur until puberty. We have used qRTPCR, Westerns and immunohistochemical profiling to determine which of the germ cell subtypes in the human fetal gonads express OCT4, DAZL and VASA, as these have been shown to play an essential role in germ cell maturation in mice. Results OCT4 mRNA and protein were detected in extracts from both 1st and 2nd trimester ovaries and testes. In ovarian extracts a marked increase in expression of VASA and DAZL mRNA and protein occurred in the 2nd trimester. In testicular extracts VASA mRNA and protein were low/undetectable in 1st trimester and increased in the 2nd trimester whereas the total amount of DAZL did not seem to change. During the 1st trimester, germ cells were OCT4 positive but did not express VASA. These results are in contrast to the situation in mice where expression of Vasa is initiated in Oct4 positive primordial germ cells as they enter the gonadal ridge. In the 2nd trimester germ cells with intense cytoplasmic staining for VASA were present in both sexes; these cells were OCT4 negative. DAZL expression overlapped with both OCT4 and VASA and changed from the nuclear to the cytoplasmic compartment as cells became OCT4-negative. In males, OCT4-positive and VASA-positive subpopulations of germ cells coexisted within the same seminiferous cords but in the ovary there was a distinct spatial distribution of cells with OCT4 expressed by smaller, peripherally located, germ cells whereas DAZL and VASA were immunolocalised to larger (more mature centrally located cells. Conclusion OCT4, DAZL and VASA are expressed by human fetal germ cells but their

  16. Divergence of gene body DNA methylation and evolution of plant duplicate genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Wang

    Full Text Available It has been shown that gene body DNA methylation is associated with gene expression. However, whether and how deviation of gene body DNA methylation between duplicate genes can influence their divergence remains largely unexplored. Here, we aim to elucidate the potential role of gene body DNA methylation in the fate of duplicate genes. We identified paralogous gene pairs from Arabidopsis and rice (Oryza sativa ssp. japonica genomes and reprocessed their single-base resolution methylome data. We show that methylation in paralogous genes nonlinearly correlates with several gene properties including exon number/gene length, expression level and mutation rate. Further, we demonstrated that divergence of methylation level and pattern in paralogs indeed positively correlate with their sequence and expression divergences. This result held even after controlling for other confounding factors known to influence the divergence of paralogs. We observed that methylation level divergence might be more relevant to the expression divergence of paralogs than methylation pattern divergence. Finally, we explored the mechanisms that might give rise to the divergence of gene body methylation in paralogs. We found that exonic methylation divergence more closely correlates with expression divergence than intronic methylation divergence. We show that genomic environments (e.g., flanked by transposable elements and repetitive sequences of paralogs generated by various duplication mechanisms are associated with the methylation divergence of paralogs. Overall, our results suggest that the changes in gene body DNA methylation could provide another avenue for duplicate genes to develop differential expression patterns and undergo different evolutionary fates in plant genomes.

  17. ODoSE: A Webserver for Genome-Wide Calculation of Adaptive Divergence in Prokaryotes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, M.; Beek, T.A.H.; Driel, van M.A.; Huynen, M.A.; Eyre-Walker, A.; Passel, van M.W.J.

    2013-01-01

    Quantifying patterns of adaptive divergence between taxa is a major goal in the comparative and evolutionary study of prokaryote genomes. When applied appropriately, the McDonald-Kreitman (MK) test is a powerful test of selection based on the relative frequency of non-synonymous and synonymous

  18. ODoSE: a webserver for genome-wide calculation of adaptive divergence in prokaryotes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vos, M.; Beek, T.A.H. te; Driel, M.A. van; Huynen, M.A.; Eyre-Walker, A.; Passel, M.W. van

    2013-01-01

    Quantifying patterns of adaptive divergence between taxa is a major goal in the comparative and evolutionary study of prokaryote genomes. When applied appropriately, the McDonald-Kreitman (MK) test is a powerful test of selection based on the relative frequency of non-synonymous and synonymous

  19. Anxiety: an evolutionary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateson, Melissa; Brilot, Ben; Nettle, Daniel

    2011-12-01

    Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental illnesses, with huge attendant suffering. Current treatments are not universally effective, suggesting that a deeper understanding of the causes of anxiety is needed. To understand anxiety disorders better, it is first necessary to understand the normal anxiety response. This entails considering its evolutionary function as well as the mechanisms underlying it. We argue that the function of the human anxiety response, and homologues in other species, is to prepare the individual to detect and deal with threats. We use a signal detection framework to show that the threshold for expressing the anxiety response ought to vary with the probability of threats occurring, and the individual's vulnerability to them if they do occur. These predictions are consistent with major patterns in the epidemiology of anxiety. Implications for research and treatment are discussed.

  20. iPhos-PseEvo: Identifying Human Phosphorylated Proteins by Incorporating Evolutionary Information into General PseAAC via Grey System Theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Wang-Ren; Sun, Bi-Qian; Xiao, Xuan; Xu, Dong; Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2017-05-01

    Protein phosphorylation plays a critical role in human body by altering the structural conformation of a protein, causing it to become activated/deactivated, or functional modification. Given an uncharacterized protein sequence, can we predict whether it may be phosphorylated or may not? This is no doubt a very meaningful problem for both basic research and drug development. Unfortunately, to our best knowledge, so far no high throughput bioinformatics tool whatsoever has been developed to address such a very basic but important problem due to its extremely complexity and lacking sufficient training data. Here we proposed a predictor called iPhos-PseEvo by (1) incorporating the protein sequence evolutionary information into the general pseudo amino acid composition (PseAAC) via the grey system theory, (2) balancing out the skewed training datasets by the asymmetric bootstrap approach, and (3) constructing an ensemble predictor by fusing an array of individual random forest classifiers thru a voting system. Rigorous jackknife tests have indicated that very promising success rates have been achieved by iPhos-PseEvo even for such a difficult problem. A user-friendly web-server for iPhos-PseEvo has been established at http://www.jci-bioinfo.cn/iPhos-PseEvo, by which users can easily obtain their desired results without the need to go through the complicated mathematical equations involved. It has not escaped our notice that the formulation and approach presented here can be used to analyze many other problems in protein science as well. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. String loop divergences and effective lagrangians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischler, Willy; Klebanov, Igor; Susskind, Leonard

    1988-08-01

    We isolate logarithmic divergences from bosonic string amplitudes on a disc. These divergences are compared with ``tadpole'' divergences in the effective field theory, with a covariant cosmological term implied by the counting of string coupling constants. We find an inconsistency between the two. This might be a problem in eliminating divergences from the bosonic string. Work supported by NSF PHY 812280.

  2. An Evolutionary Perspective on War Heroism

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rusch, Hannes; Störmer, C.

    2015-01-01

    Humans are one of the most cooperative and altruistic species on the planet. At the same time, humans have a long history of violent and deadly intergroup conflicts or wars. Recently, contemporary evolutionary theorists have revived Charles Darwin’s idea that human in-group altruism and out-group

  3. Evolutionary molecular medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

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