WorldWideScience

Sample records for strong evolutionary conservation

  1. Evolutionary dynamics with fluctuating population sizes and strong mutualism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chotibut, Thiparat; Nelson, David R

    2015-08-01

    Game theory ideas provide a useful framework for studying evolutionary dynamics in a well-mixed environment. This approach, however, typically enforces a strictly fixed overall population size, deemphasizing natural growth processes. We study a competitive Lotka-Volterra model, with number fluctuations, that accounts for natural population growth and encompasses interaction scenarios typical of evolutionary games. We show that, in an appropriate limit, the model describes standard evolutionary games with both genetic drift and overall population size fluctuations. However, there are also regimes where a varying population size can strongly influence the evolutionary dynamics. We focus on the strong mutualism scenario and demonstrate that standard evolutionary game theory fails to describe our simulation results. We then analytically and numerically determine fixation probabilities as well as mean fixation times using matched asymptotic expansions, taking into account the population size degree of freedom. These results elucidate the interplay between population dynamics and evolutionary dynamics in well-mixed systems.

  2. Evolutionary dynamics with fluctuating population sizes and strong mutualism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chotibut, Thiparat; Nelson, David R.

    2015-08-01

    Game theory ideas provide a useful framework for studying evolutionary dynamics in a well-mixed environment. This approach, however, typically enforces a strictly fixed overall population size, deemphasizing natural growth processes. We study a competitive Lotka-Volterra model, with number fluctuations, that accounts for natural population growth and encompasses interaction scenarios typical of evolutionary games. We show that, in an appropriate limit, the model describes standard evolutionary games with both genetic drift and overall population size fluctuations. However, there are also regimes where a varying population size can strongly influence the evolutionary dynamics. We focus on the strong mutualism scenario and demonstrate that standard evolutionary game theory fails to describe our simulation results. We then analytically and numerically determine fixation probabilities as well as mean fixation times using matched asymptotic expansions, taking into account the population size degree of freedom. These results elucidate the interplay between population dynamics and evolutionary dynamics in well-mixed systems.

  3. Reduced larval feeding rate is a strong evolutionary correlate of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Genetics; Volume 85; Issue 3. Reduced larval feeding rate is a strong evolutionary correlate of rapid development in Drosophila melanogaster. M. Rajamani N. Raghavendra ... Keywords. life-history evolution; development time; larval feeding rate; competition; tradeoffs; Drosophila melanogaster.

  4. Building evolutionary resilience for conserving biodiversity under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sgrò, Carla M; Lowe, Andrew J; Hoffmann, Ary A

    2011-03-01

    Evolution occurs rapidly and is an ongoing process in our environments. Evolutionary principles need to be built into conservation efforts, particularly given the stressful conditions organisms are increasingly likely to experience because of climate change and ongoing habitat fragmentation. The concept of evolutionary resilience is a way of emphasizing evolutionary processes in conservation and landscape planning. From an evolutionary perspective, landscapes need to allow in situ selection and capture high levels of genetic variation essential for responding to the direct and indirect effects of climate change. We summarize ideas that need to be considered in planning for evolutionary resilience and suggest how they might be incorporated into policy and management to ensure that resilience is maintained in the face of environmental degradation.

  5. An Evolutionary View of Tiger Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Luo, Shu-Jin; Kim, Jae-Heup; Johnson, Warren E; van der Walt, Joelle; Martenson, Janice; Yuhki, Naoya; Miquelle, Dale G; Uphyrkina, Olga; Goodrich, John M; Quigley, Howard B; Tilson, Ronald; Brady, Gerald; Martelli, Paolo; Subramaniam, Vellayan; McDougal, Charles

    2004-01-01

    Eight traditional subspecies of tiger (Panthera tigris), of which three recently became extinct, are commonly recognized on the basis of geographic isolation and morphological characteristics. To investigate the species' evolutionary history and to establish objective methods for subspecies recognition, voucher specimens of blood, skin, hair, and/or skin biopsies from 134 tigers with verified geographic origins or heritage across the whole distribution range were examined for three molecular ...

  6. Strategies for measuring evolutionary conservation of RNA secondary structures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hofacker Ivo L

    2008-02-01

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

  7. Reduced larval feeding rate is a strong evolutionary correlate of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    New Delhi 110 054, India; Evolutionary Biology Laboratory, Evolutionary and Organismal Biology Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur, Bangalore 560 064, India; Department of Biology, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada; Department of Environmental Biology, ...

  8. Making evolutionary history count: biodiversity planning for coral reef fishes and the conservation of evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    von der Heyden, Sophie

    2017-03-01

    Anthropogenic activities are having devastating impacts on marine systems with numerous knock-on effects on trophic functioning, species interactions and an accelerated loss of biodiversity. Establishing conservation areas can not only protect biodiversity, but also confer resilience against changes to coral reefs and their inhabitants. Planning for protection and conservation in marine systems is complex, but usually focuses on maintaining levels of biodiversity and protecting special and unique landscape features while avoiding negative impacts to socio-economic benefits. Conversely, the integration of evolutionary processes that have shaped extant species assemblages is rarely taken into account. However, it is as important to protect processes as it is to protect patterns for maintaining the evolutionary trajectories of populations and species. This review focuses on different approaches for integrating genetic analyses, such as phylogenetic diversity, phylogeography and the delineation of management units, temporal and spatial monitoring of genetic diversity and quantification of adaptive variation for protecting evolutionary resilience, into marine spatial planning, specifically for coral reef fishes. Many of these concepts are not yet readily applied to coral reef fish studies, but this synthesis highlights their potential and the importance of including historical processes into systematic biodiversity planning for conserving not only extant, but also future, biodiversity and its evolutionary potential.

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thien-Phong eVu Manh

    2015-06-01

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

  11. Investigating Evolutionary Conservation of Dendritic Cell Subset Identity and Functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vu Manh, Thien-Phong; Bertho, Nicolas; Hosmalin, Anne; Schwartz-Cornil, Isabelle; Dalod, Marc

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Differences in evolutionary pressure acting within highly conserved ortholog groups

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aravind L

    2008-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In highly conserved widely distributed ortholog groups, the main evolutionary force is assumed to be purifying selection that enforces sequence conservation, with most divergence occurring by accumulation of neutral substitutions. Using a set of ortholog groups from prokaryotes, with a single representative in each studied organism, we asked the question if this evolutionary pressure is acting similarly on different subgroups of orthologs defined as major lineages (e.g. Proteobacteria or Firmicutes. Results Using correlations in entropy measures as a proxy for evolutionary pressure, we observed two distinct behaviors within our ortholog collection. The first subset of ortholog groups, called here informational, consisted mostly of proteins associated with information processing (i.e. translation, transcription, DNA replication and the second, the non-informational ortholog groups, mostly comprised of proteins involved in metabolic pathways. The evolutionary pressure acting on non-informational proteins is more uniform relative to their informational counterparts. The non-informational proteins show higher level of correlation between entropy profiles and more uniformity across subgroups. Conclusion The low correlation of entropy profiles in the informational ortholog groups suggest that the evolutionary pressure acting on the informational ortholog groups is not uniform across different clades considered this study. This might suggest "fine-tuning" of informational proteins in each lineage leading to lineage-specific differences in selection. This, in turn, could make these proteins less exchangeable between lineages. In contrast, the uniformity of the selective pressure acting on the non-informational groups might allow the exchange of the genetic material via lateral gene transfer.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-12-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatebe, Hisashi; Shiozaki, Kazuhiro

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tominaga Makoto

    2009-09-01

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

  18. Evolutionary Conservation of ABA Signaling for Stomatal Closure1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yuqing; Dai, Fei; Franks, Peter J.; Nevo, Eviatar; Soltis, Douglas E.; Soltis, Pamela S.; Xue, Dawei; Zhang, Guoping; Pogson, Barry J.

    2017-01-01

    Abscisic acid (ABA)-driven stomatal regulation reportedly evolved after the divergence of ferns, during the early evolution of seed plants approximately 360 million years ago. This hypothesis is based on the observation that the stomata of certain fern species are unresponsive to ABA, but exhibit passive hydraulic control. However, ABA-induced stomatal closure was detected in some mosses and lycophytes. Here, we observed that a number of ABA signaling and membrane transporter protein families diversified over the evolutionary history of land plants. The aquatic ferns Azolla filiculoides and Salvinia cucullata have representatives of 23 families of proteins orthologous to those of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and all other land plant species studied. Phylogenetic analysis of the key ABA signaling proteins indicates an evolutionarily conserved stomatal response to ABA. Moreover, comparative transcriptomic analysis has identified a suite of ABA-responsive genes that differentially expressed in a terrestrial fern species, Polystichum proliferum. These genes encode proteins associated with ABA biosynthesis, transport, reception, transcription, signaling, and ion and sugar transport, which fit the general ABA signaling pathway constructed from Arabidopsis and Hordeum vulgare. The retention of these key ABA-responsive genes could have had a profound effect on the adaptation of ferns to dry conditions. Furthermore, stomatal assays have shown the primary evidence for ABA-induced closure of stomata in two terrestrial fern species P. proliferum and Nephrolepis exaltata. In summary, we report, to our knowledge, new molecular and physiological evidence for the presence of active stomatal control in ferns. PMID:28232585

  19. Evolutionary Conservation of ABA Signaling for Stomatal Closure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Shengguan; Chen, Guang; Wang, Yuanyuan; Huang, Yuqing; Marchant, D Blaine; Wang, Yizhou; Yang, Qian; Dai, Fei; Hills, Adrian; Franks, Peter J; Nevo, Eviatar; Soltis, Douglas E; Soltis, Pamela S; Sessa, Emily; Wolf, Paul G; Xue, Dawei; Zhang, Guoping; Pogson, Barry J; Blatt, Michael R; Chen, Zhong-Hua

    2017-06-01

    Abscisic acid (ABA)-driven stomatal regulation reportedly evolved after the divergence of ferns, during the early evolution of seed plants approximately 360 million years ago. This hypothesis is based on the observation that the stomata of certain fern species are unresponsive to ABA, but exhibit passive hydraulic control. However, ABA-induced stomatal closure was detected in some mosses and lycophytes. Here, we observed that a number of ABA signaling and membrane transporter protein families diversified over the evolutionary history of land plants. The aquatic ferns Azolla filiculoides and Salvinia cucullata have representatives of 23 families of proteins orthologous to those of Arabidopsis ( Arabidopsis thaliana ) and all other land plant species studied. Phylogenetic analysis of the key ABA signaling proteins indicates an evolutionarily conserved stomatal response to ABA. Moreover, comparative transcriptomic analysis has identified a suite of ABA-responsive genes that differentially expressed in a terrestrial fern species, Polystichum proliferum These genes encode proteins associated with ABA biosynthesis, transport, reception, transcription, signaling, and ion and sugar transport, which fit the general ABA signaling pathway constructed from Arabidopsis and Hordeum vulgare The retention of these key ABA-responsive genes could have had a profound effect on the adaptation of ferns to dry conditions. Furthermore, stomatal assays have shown the primary evidence for ABA-induced closure of stomata in two terrestrial fern species P proliferum and Nephrolepis exaltata In summary, we report, to our knowledge, new molecular and physiological evidence for the presence of active stomatal control in ferns. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-26

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

  1. Evolutionary biology in biodiversity science, conservation, and policy: a call to action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendry, Andrew P; Lohmann, Lúcia G; Conti, Elena; Cracraft, Joel; Crandall, Keith A; Faith, Daniel P; Häuser, Christoph; Joly, Carlos A; Kogure, Kazuhiro; Larigauderie, Anne; Magallón, Susana; Moritz, Craig; Tillier, Simon; Zardoya, Rafael; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Hélène; Walther, Bruno A; Yahara, Tetsukazu; Donoghue, Michael J

    2010-05-01

    Evolutionary biologists have long endeavored to document how many species exist on Earth, to understand the processes by which biodiversity waxes and wanes, to document and interpret spatial patterns of biodiversity, and to infer evolutionary relationships. Despite the great potential of this knowledge to improve biodiversity science, conservation, and policy, evolutionary biologists have generally devoted limited attention to these broader implications. Likewise, many workers in biodiversity science have underappreciated the fundamental relevance of evolutionary biology. The aim of this article is to summarize and illustrate some ways in which evolutionary biology is directly relevant. We do so in the context of four broad areas: (1) discovering and documenting biodiversity, (2) understanding the causes of diversification, (3) evaluating evolutionary responses to human disturbances, and (4) implications for ecological communities, ecosystems, and humans. We also introduce bioGENESIS, a new project within DIVERSITAS launched to explore the potential practical contributions of evolutionary biology. In addition to fostering the integration of evolutionary thinking into biodiversity science, bioGENESIS provides practical recommendations to policy makers for incorporating evolutionary perspectives into biodiversity agendas and conservation. We solicit your involvement in developing innovative ways of using evolutionary biology to better comprehend and stem the loss of biodiversity.

  2. Widespread evolutionary conservation of alternatively spliced exons in caenorhabditis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) contributes to increased transcriptome and proteome diversity in various eukaryotic lineages. Previous studies showed low levels of conservation of alternatively spliced (cassette) exons within mammals and within dipterans. We report a strikingly different pattern in Cae...

  3. Prediction of strong earthquake motions on rock surface using evolutionary process models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kameda, H.; Sugito, M.

    1984-01-01

    Stochastic process models are developed for prediction of strong earthquake motions for engineering design purposes. Earthquake motions with nonstationary frequency content are modeled by using the concept of evolutionary processes. Discussion is focused on the earthquake motions on bed rocks which are important for construction of nuclear power plants in seismic regions. On this basis, two earthquake motion prediction models are developed, one (EMP-IB Model) for prediction with given magnitude and epicentral distance, and the other (EMP-IIB Model) to account for the successive fault ruptures and the site location relative to the fault of great earthquakes. (Author) [pt

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Straub, Daniel; Wenkel, Stephan

    2017-01-01

    Protein concept beyond transcription factors to other protein families. Here, we reveal potential microProtein candidates in several plant and animal reference genomes. A large number of these microProteins are species-specific while others evolved early and are evolutionary highly conserved. Most known micro...

  5. Evolutionary conservation of species' roles in food webs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stouffer, Daniel B; Sales-Pardo, Marta; Sirer, M Irmak; Bascompte, Jordi

    2012-03-23

    Studies of ecological networks (the web of interactions between species in a community) demonstrate an intricate link between a community's structure and its long-term viability. It remains unclear, however, how much a community's persistence depends on the identities of the species present, or how much the role played by each species varies as a function of the community in which it is found. We measured species' roles by studying how species are embedded within the overall network and the subsequent dynamic implications. Using data from 32 empirical food webs, we find that species' roles and dynamic importance are inherent species attributes and can be extrapolated across communities on the basis of taxonomic classification alone. Our results illustrate the variability of roles across species and communities and the relative importance of distinct species groups when attempting to conserve ecological communities.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

    Here we present a model of nucleotide substitution in protein-coding regions that also encode the formation of conserved RNA structures. In such regions, apparent evolutionary context dependencies exist, both between nucleotides occupying the same codon and between nucleotides forming a base pair...... in the RNA structure. The overlap of these fundamental dependencies is sufficient to cause "contagious" context dependencies which cascade across many nucleotide sites. Such large-scale dependencies challenge the use of traditional phylogenetic models in evolutionary inference because they explicitly assume...... evolutionary independence between short nucleotide tuples. In our model we address this by replacing context dependencies within codons by annotation-specific heterogeneity in the substitution process. Through a general procedure, we fragment the alignment into sets of short nucleotide tuples based on both...

  7. Spatial multiobjective optimization of agricultural conservation practices using a SWAT model and an evolutionary algorithm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabotyagov, Sergey; Campbell, Todd; Valcu, Adriana; Gassman, Philip; Jha, Manoj; Schilling, Keith; Wolter, Calvin; Kling, Catherine

    2012-12-09

    Finding the cost-efficient (i.e., lowest-cost) ways of targeting conservation practice investments for the achievement of specific water quality goals across the landscape is of primary importance in watershed management. Traditional economics methods of finding the lowest-cost solution in the watershed context (e.g.,(5,12,20)) assume that off-site impacts can be accurately described as a proportion of on-site pollution generated. Such approaches are unlikely to be representative of the actual pollution process in a watershed, where the impacts of polluting sources are often determined by complex biophysical processes. The use of modern physically-based, spatially distributed hydrologic simulation models allows for a greater degree of realism in terms of process representation but requires a development of a simulation-optimization framework where the model becomes an integral part of optimization. Evolutionary algorithms appear to be a particularly useful optimization tool, able to deal with the combinatorial nature of a watershed simulation-optimization problem and allowing the use of the full water quality model. Evolutionary algorithms treat a particular spatial allocation of conservation practices in a watershed as a candidate solution and utilize sets (populations) of candidate solutions iteratively applying stochastic operators of selection, recombination, and mutation to find improvements with respect to the optimization objectives. The optimization objectives in this case are to minimize nonpoint-source pollution in the watershed, simultaneously minimizing the cost of conservation practices. A recent and expanding set of research is attempting to use similar methods and integrates water quality models with broadly defined evolutionary optimization methods(3,4,9,10,13-15,17-19,22,23,25). In this application, we demonstrate a program which follows Rabotyagov et al.'s approach and integrates a modern and commonly used SWAT water quality model(7) with a

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bilsland Elizabeth

    2007-08-01

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

  9. Wildlife conservation and animal temperament: causes and consequences of evolutionary change for captive, reintroduced, and wild populations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    McDougall, P.T.; Réale, D.; Sol, D.; Reader, S.M.

    2006-01-01

    We argue that animal temperament is an important concept for wildlife conservation science and review causes and consequences of evolutionary changes in temperament traits that may occur in captive-breeding programmes. An evolutionary perspective is valid because temperament traits are heritable,

  10. Evolutionary mirages: selection on binding site composition creates the illusion of conserved grammars in Drosophila enhancers.

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    Richard W Lusk

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The clustering of transcription factor binding sites in developmental enhancers and the apparent preferential conservation of clustered sites have been widely interpreted as proof that spatially constrained physical interactions between transcription factors are required for regulatory function. However, we show here that selection on the composition of enhancers alone, and not their internal structure, leads to the accumulation of clustered sites with evolutionary dynamics that suggest they are preferentially conserved. We simulated the evolution of idealized enhancers from Drosophila melanogaster constrained to contain only a minimum number of binding sites for one or more factors. Under this constraint, mutations that destroy an existing binding site are tolerated only if a compensating site has emerged elsewhere in the enhancer. Overlapping sites, such as those frequently observed for the activator Bicoid and repressor Krüppel, had significantly longer evolutionary half-lives than isolated sites for the same factors. This leads to a substantially higher density of overlapping sites than expected by chance and the appearance that such sites are preferentially conserved. Because D. melanogaster (like many other species has a bias for deletions over insertions, sites tended to become closer together over time, leading to an overall clustering of sites in the absence of any selection for clustered sites. Since this effect is strongest for the oldest sites, clustered sites also incorrectly appear to be preferentially conserved. Following speciation, sites tend to be closer together in all descendent species than in their common ancestors, violating the common assumption that shared features of species' genomes reflect their ancestral state. Finally, we show that selection on binding site composition alone recapitulates the observed number of overlapping and closely neighboring sites in real D. melanogaster enhancers. Thus, this study calls into

  11. Accurate discrimination of conserved coding and non-coding regions through multiple indicators of evolutionary dynamics

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    Pesole Graziano

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The conservation of sequences between related genomes has long been recognised as an indication of functional significance and recognition of sequence homology is one of the principal approaches used in the annotation of newly sequenced genomes. In the context of recent findings that the number non-coding transcripts in higher organisms is likely to be much higher than previously imagined, discrimination between conserved coding and non-coding sequences is a topic of considerable interest. Additionally, it should be considered desirable to discriminate between coding and non-coding conserved sequences without recourse to the use of sequence similarity searches of protein databases as such approaches exclude the identification of novel conserved proteins without characterized homologs and may be influenced by the presence in databases of sequences which are erroneously annotated as coding. Results Here we present a machine learning-based approach for the discrimination of conserved coding sequences. Our method calculates various statistics related to the evolutionary dynamics of two aligned sequences. These features are considered by a Support Vector Machine which designates the alignment coding or non-coding with an associated probability score. Conclusion We show that our approach is both sensitive and accurate with respect to comparable methods and illustrate several situations in which it may be applied, including the identification of conserved coding regions in genome sequences and the discrimination of coding from non-coding cDNA sequences.

  12. Evolutionary conservation of the ribosomal biogenesis factor Rbm19/Mrd1: implications for function.

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    Yvonne Kallberg

    Full Text Available Ribosome biogenesis in eukaryotes requires coordinated folding and assembly of a pre-rRNA into sequential pre-rRNA-protein complexes in which chemical modifications and RNA cleavages occur. These processes require many small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs and proteins. Rbm19/Mrd1 is one such protein that is built from multiple RNA-binding domains (RBDs. We find that Rbm19/Mrd1 with five RBDs is present in all branches of the eukaryotic phylogenetic tree, except in animals and Choanoflagellates, that instead have a version with six RBDs and Microsporidia which have a minimal Rbm19/Mrd1 protein with four RBDs. Rbm19/Mrd1 therefore evolved as a multi-RBD protein very early in eukaryotes. The linkers between the RBDs have conserved properties; they are disordered, except for linker 3, and position the RBDs at conserved relative distances from each other. All but one of the RBDs have conserved properties for RNA-binding and each RBD has a specific consensus sequence and a conserved position in the protein, suggesting a functionally important modular design. The patterns of evolutionary conservation provide information for experimental analyses of the function of Rbm19/Mrd1. In vivo mutational analysis confirmed that a highly conserved loop 5-β4-strand in RBD6 is essential for function.

  13. Evolutionary conservation of the ribosomal biogenesis factor Rbm19/Mrd1: implications for function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kallberg, Yvonne; Segerstolpe, Åsa; Lackmann, Fredrik; Persson, Bengt; Wieslander, Lars

    2012-01-01

    Ribosome biogenesis in eukaryotes requires coordinated folding and assembly of a pre-rRNA into sequential pre-rRNA-protein complexes in which chemical modifications and RNA cleavages occur. These processes require many small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) and proteins. Rbm19/Mrd1 is one such protein that is built from multiple RNA-binding domains (RBDs). We find that Rbm19/Mrd1 with five RBDs is present in all branches of the eukaryotic phylogenetic tree, except in animals and Choanoflagellates, that instead have a version with six RBDs and Microsporidia which have a minimal Rbm19/Mrd1 protein with four RBDs. Rbm19/Mrd1 therefore evolved as a multi-RBD protein very early in eukaryotes. The linkers between the RBDs have conserved properties; they are disordered, except for linker 3, and position the RBDs at conserved relative distances from each other. All but one of the RBDs have conserved properties for RNA-binding and each RBD has a specific consensus sequence and a conserved position in the protein, suggesting a functionally important modular design. The patterns of evolutionary conservation provide information for experimental analyses of the function of Rbm19/Mrd1. In vivo mutational analysis confirmed that a highly conserved loop 5-β4-strand in RBD6 is essential for function.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    within a multiple sequence alignment to investigate their predictive potential and degree of overlap. Results: Our results demonstrate that the different methods included in the benchmark in general can be divided into three groups with a limited mutual overlap. One group containing real-value...... Evolutionary Trace (rvET) methods and conservation, another containing mutual information (MI) methods, and the last containing methods designed explicitly for the identification of specificity determining positions (SDPs): integer-value Evolutionary Trace (ivET), SDPfox, and XDET. In terms of prediction of CR......, we find using a proximity score integrating structural information (as the sum of the scores of residues located within a given distance of the residue in question) that only the methods from the first two groups displayed a reliable performance. Next, we investigated to what degree proximity scores...

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

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    Schapira Marc

    2007-09-01

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

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

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    Marek Ostaszewski

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

  17. I-HEDGE: determining the optimum complementary sets of taxa for conservation using evolutionary isolation

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    Evelyn L. Jensen

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In the midst of the current biodiversity crisis, conservation efforts might profitably be directed towards ensuring that extinctions do not result in inordinate losses of evolutionary history. Numerous methods have been developed to evaluate the importance of species based on their contribution to total phylogenetic diversity on trees and networks, but existing methods fail to take complementarity into account, and thus cannot identify the best order or subset of taxa to protect. Here, we develop a novel iterative calculation of the heightened evolutionary distinctiveness and globally endangered metric (I-HEDGE that produces the optimal ranked list for conservation prioritization, taking into account complementarity and based on both phylogenetic diversity and extinction probability. We applied this metric to a phylogenetic network based on mitochondrial control region data from extant and recently extinct giant Galápagos tortoises, a highly endangered group of closely related species. We found that the restoration of two extinct species (a project currently underway will contribute the greatest gain in phylogenetic diversity, and present an ordered list of rankings that is the optimum complementarity set for conservation prioritization.

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

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    Lynch Michael

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catania, Francesco; Lynch, Michael

    2010-05-04

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

  20. Evolutionary conserved regulation of HIF-1β by NF-κB.

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    Patrick van Uden

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1 is essential for mammalian development and is the principal transcription factor activated by low oxygen tensions. HIF-α subunit quantities and their associated activity are regulated in a post-translational manner, through the concerted action of a class of enzymes called Prolyl Hydroxylases (PHDs and Factor Inhibiting HIF (FIH respectively. However, alternative modes of HIF-α regulation such as translation or transcription are under-investigated, and their importance has not been firmly established. Here, we demonstrate that NF-κB regulates the HIF pathway in a significant and evolutionary conserved manner. We demonstrate that NF-κB directly regulates HIF-1β mRNA and protein. In addition, we found that NF-κB-mediated changes in HIF-1β result in modulation of HIF-2α protein. HIF-1β overexpression can rescue HIF-2α protein levels following NF-κB depletion. Significantly, NF-κB regulates HIF-1β (tango and HIF-α (sima levels and activity (Hph/fatiga, ImpL3/ldha in Drosophila, both in normoxia and hypoxia, indicating an evolutionary conserved mode of regulation. These results reveal a novel mechanism of HIF regulation, with impact in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for HIF-related pathologies including ageing, ischemia, and cancer.

  1. Evolutionary conserved regulation of HIF-1β by NF-κB.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Uden, Patrick; Kenneth, Niall S; Webster, Ryan; Müller, H Arno; Mudie, Sharon; Rocha, Sonia

    2011-01-27

    Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 (HIF-1) is essential for mammalian development and is the principal transcription factor activated by low oxygen tensions. HIF-α subunit quantities and their associated activity are regulated in a post-translational manner, through the concerted action of a class of enzymes called Prolyl Hydroxylases (PHDs) and Factor Inhibiting HIF (FIH) respectively. However, alternative modes of HIF-α regulation such as translation or transcription are under-investigated, and their importance has not been firmly established. Here, we demonstrate that NF-κB regulates the HIF pathway in a significant and evolutionary conserved manner. We demonstrate that NF-κB directly regulates HIF-1β mRNA and protein. In addition, we found that NF-κB-mediated changes in HIF-1β result in modulation of HIF-2α protein. HIF-1β overexpression can rescue HIF-2α protein levels following NF-κB depletion. Significantly, NF-κB regulates HIF-1β (tango) and HIF-α (sima) levels and activity (Hph/fatiga, ImpL3/ldha) in Drosophila, both in normoxia and hypoxia, indicating an evolutionary conserved mode of regulation. These results reveal a novel mechanism of HIF regulation, with impact in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for HIF-related pathologies including ageing, ischemia, and cancer.

  2. Evolutionary diversification of aminopeptidase N in Lepidoptera by conserved clade-specific amino acid residues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Austin L

    2014-07-01

    Members of the aminopepidase N (APN) gene family of the insect order Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies) bind the naturally insecticidal Cry toxins produced by the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Phylogenetic analysis of amino acid sequences of seven lepidopteran APN classes provided strong support for the hypothesis that lepidopteran APN2 class arose by gene duplication prior to the most recent common ancestor of Lepidoptera and Diptera. The Cry toxin-binding region (BR) of lepidopteran and dipteran APNs was subject to stronger purifying selection within APN classes than was the remainder of the molecule, reflecting conservation of catalytic site and adjoining residues within the BR. Of lepidopteran APN classes, APN2, APN6, and APN8 showed the strongest evidence of functional specialization, both in expression patterns and in the occurrence of conserved derived amino acid residues. The latter three APN classes also shared a convergently evolved conserved residue close to the catalytic site. APN8 showed a particularly strong tendency towards class-specific conserved residues, including one of the catalytic site residues in the BR and ten others in close vicinity to the catalytic site residues. The occurrence of class-specific sequences along with the conservation of enzymatic function is consistent with the hypothesis that the presence of Cry toxins in the environment has been a factor shaping the evolution of this multi-gene family. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Strong phenotypic plasticity limits potential for evolutionary responses to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oostra, Vicencio; Saastamoinen, Marjo; Zwaan, Bas J; Wheat, Christopher W

    2018-03-08

    Phenotypic plasticity, the expression of multiple phenotypes from one genome, is a widespread adaptation to short-term environmental fluctuations, but whether it facilitates evolutionary adaptation to climate change remains contentious. Here, we investigate seasonal plasticity and adaptive potential in an Afrotropical butterfly expressing distinct phenotypes in dry and wet seasons. We assess the transcriptional architecture of plasticity in a full-factorial analysis of heritable and environmental effects across 72 individuals, and reveal pervasive gene expression differences between the seasonal phenotypes. Strikingly, intra-population genetic variation for plasticity is largely absent, consistent with specialisation to a particular environmental cue reliably predicting seasonal transitions. Under climate change, deteriorating accuracy of predictive cues will likely aggravate maladaptive phenotype-environment mismatches and increase selective pressures on reaction norms. However, the observed paucity of genetic variation for plasticity limits evolutionary responses, potentially weakening prospects for population persistence. Thus, seasonally plastic species may be especially vulnerable to climate change.

  4. Cavity types and microclimate: implications for ecological, evolutionary, and conservation studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amat-Valero, M; Calero-Torralbo, M A; Václav, R; Valera, F

    2014-11-01

    The abiotic conditions of the immediate environment of organisms are key factors for a better understanding of ecological and evolutionary processes. Yet, information in this regard is biased towards some habitat types, landscapes, and organisms. Here, we present a 2-year comparative study of the microclimatic properties (temperature, relative humidity, and their fluctuation) of three cavity types (nest boxes, cavities in bridges, and burrows in sandy cliffs) in an arid environment. We found marked and consistent months-long differences in microclimate among the three cavity types. Nest boxes were colder than the other cavity types, with temperature oscillations being an order of magnitude higher than in other cavity types. In contrast, microclimate was very stable in burrows and cavities in bridges, the former being generally warmer and drier than the latter. We also discuss the biological implications of microclimatic conditions and its variation in different cavity types by presenting two case studies, namely the temperature-humidity index and water vapor pressure during the hatching period of an endotherm and the chilling period during the diapause of an ectotherm ectoparasite. We stress the need for comparative studies of the same organisms subjected to different microclimates given the important ecological, evolutionary, and conservation implications.

  5. A comparative genomics approach revealed evolutionary dynamics of microsatellite imperfection and conservation in genus Gossypium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Muhammad Mahmood; Shen, Chao; Khan, Anam Qadir; Wahid, Muhammad Atif; Shaban, Muhammad; Lin, Zhongxu

    2017-01-01

    Ongoing molecular processes in a cell could target microsatellites, a kind of repetitive DNA, owing to length variations and motif imperfection. Mutational mechanisms underlying such kind of genetic variations have been extensively investigated in diverse organisms. However, obscure impact of ploidization, an evolutionary process of genome content duplication prevails mostly in plants, on non-coding DNA is poorly understood. Genome sequences of diversely originated plant species were examined for genome-wide motif imperfection pattern, and various analytical tools were employed to canvass characteristic relationships among repeat density, imperfection and length of microsatellites. Moreover, comparative genomics approach aided in exploration of microsatellites conservation footprints in Gossypium evolution. Based on our results, motif imperfection in repeat length was found intricately related to genomic abundance of imperfect microsatellites among 13 genomes. Microsatellite decay estimation depicted slower decay of long motif repeats which led to predominant abundance of 5-nt repeat motif in Gossypium species. Short motif repeats exhibited rapid decay through the evolution of Gossypium lineage ensuing drastic decrease of 2-nt repeats, of which, "AT" motif type dilapidated in cultivated tetraploids of cotton. The outcome could be a directive to explore comparative evolutionary footprints of simple non-coding genetic elements i.e., repeat elements, through the evolution of genus-specific characteristics in cotton genomes.

  6. Evolutionary and molecular analysis of Dof transcription factors identified a conserved motif for intercellular protein trafficking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Huan; Ahmad, Munawar; Rim, Yeonggil; Lucas, William J; Kim, Jae-Yean

    2013-06-01

    · Cell-to-cell trafficking of transcription factors (TFs) has been shown to play an important role in the regulation of plant developmental events, but the evolutionary relationship between cell-autonomous and noncell-autonomous (NCA) TFs remains elusive. · AtDof4.1, named INTERCELLULAR TRAFFICKING DOF 1 (ITD1), was chosen as a representative NCA member to explore this evolutionary relationship. Using domain structure-function analyses and swapping studies, we examined the cell-to-cell trafficking of plant-specific Dof TF family members across Arabidopsis and other species. · We identified a conserved intercellular trafficking motif (ITM) that is necessary and sufficient for selective cell-to-cell trafficking and can impart gain-of-function cell-to-cell movement capacity to an otherwise cell-autonomous TF. The functionality of related motifs from Dof members across the plant kingdom extended, surprisingly, to a unicellular alga that lacked plasmodesmata. By contrast, the algal homeodomain related to the NCA KNOX homeodomain was either inefficient or unable to impart such cell-to-cell movement function. · The Dof ITM appears to predate the evolution of selective plasmodesmal trafficking in the plant kingdom, which may well have acted as a molecular template for the evolution of Dof proteins as NCA TFs. However, the ability to efficiently traffic for KNOX homeodomain (HD) proteins may have been acquired during the evolution of early nonvascular plants. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

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

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    Aldo Villalón

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  9. Extreme evolutionary conservation of functionally important regions in H1N1 influenza proteome.

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    Samantha Warren

    Full Text Available The H1N1 subtype of influenza A virus has caused two of the four documented pandemics and is responsible for seasonal epidemic outbreaks, presenting a continuous threat to public health. Co-circulating antigenically divergent influenza strains significantly complicates vaccine development and use. Here, by combining evolutionary, structural, functional, and population information about the H1N1 proteome, we seek to answer two questions: (1 do residues on the protein surfaces evolve faster than the protein core residues consistently across all proteins that constitute the influenza proteome? and (2 in spite of the rapid evolution of surface residues in influenza proteins, are there any protein regions on the protein surface that do not evolve? To answer these questions, we first built phylogenetically-aware models of the patterns of surface and interior substitutions. Employing these models, we found a single coherent pattern of faster evolution on the protein surfaces that characterizes all influenza proteins. The pattern is consistent with the events of inter-species reassortment, the worldwide introduction of the flu vaccine in the early 80's, as well as the differences caused by the geographic origins of the virus. Next, we developed an automated computational pipeline to comprehensively detect regions of the protein surface residues that were 100% conserved over multiple years and in multiple host species. We identified conserved regions on the surface of 10 influenza proteins spread across all avian, swine, and human strains; with the exception of a small group of isolated strains that affected the conservation of three proteins. Surprisingly, these regions were also unaffected by genetic variation in the pandemic 2009 H1N1 viral population data obtained from deep sequencing experiments. Finally, the conserved regions were intrinsically related to the intra-viral macromolecular interaction interfaces. Our study may provide further insights

  10. Conservation of the Keap1-Nrf2 System: An Evolutionary Journey through Stressful Space and Time

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    Yuji Fuse

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The Keap1-Nrf2 system is an evolutionarily conserved defense mechanism against oxidative and xenobiotic stress. Its regulatory mechanisms, e.g., stress-sensing mechanism, proteasome-based regulation of Nrf2 activity and selection of target genes, have been elucidated mainly in mammals. In addition, emerging model animals, such as zebrafish, fruit fly and Caenorhabditis elegans, have been shown to have similar anti-stress systems to mammals, suggesting that analogous defense systems are widely conserved throughout the animal kingdom. Experimental evidence in lower animals provides important information beyond mere laboratory-confined utility, such as regarding how these systems transformed during evolution, which may help characterize the mammalian system in greater detail. Recent advances in genome projects of both model and non-model animals have provided a great deal of useful information toward this end. We herein review the research on Keap1-Nrf2 and its analogous systems in both mammals and lower model animals. In addition, by comparing the amino acid sequences of Nrf2 and Keap1 proteins from various species, we can deduce the evolutionary history of the anti-stress system. This combinatorial approach using both experimental and genetic data will suggest perspectives of approach for researchers studying the stress response.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Bergmiller

    2012-06-01

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

  12. Comparing the evolutionary conservation between human essential genes, human orthologs of mouse essential genes and human housekeeping genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

    Human housekeeping genes are often confused with essential human genes, and several studies regard both types of genes as having the same level of evolutionary conservation. However, this is not necessarily the case. To clarify this, we compared the differences between human housekeeping genes and essential human genes with respect to four aspects: the evolutionary rate (dN/dS), protein sequence identity, single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) density and level of linkage disequilibrium (LD). The results showed that housekeeping genes had lower evolutionary rates, higher sequence identities, lower SNP densities and higher levels of LD compared with essential genes. Together, these findings indicate that housekeeping and essential genes are two distinct types of genes, and that housekeeping genes have a higher level of evolutionary conservation. Therefore, we suggest that researchers should pay careful attention to the distinctions between housekeeping genes and essential genes. Moreover, it is still controversial whether we should substitute human orthologs of mouse essential genes for human essential genes. Therefore, we compared the evolutionary features between human orthologs of mouse essential genes and human housekeeping genes and we got inconsistent results in long-term and short-term evolutionary characteristics implying the irrationality of simply replacing human essential genes with human orthologs of mouse essential genes. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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

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    Dylan J. Fraser

    2006-12-01

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

  14. Transcriptional regulation of an evolutionary conserved intergenic region of CDT2-INTS7.

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    Hiroki Nakagawa

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available In the mammalian genome, a substantial number of gene pairs (approximately 10% are arranged head-to-head on opposite strands within 1,000 base pairs, and separated by a bidirectional promoter(s that generally drives the co-expression of both genes and results in functional coupling. The significance of unique genomic configuration remains elusive.Here we report on the identification of an intergenic region of non-homologous genes, CDT2, a regulator of DNA replication, and an integrator complex subunit 7 (INTS7, an interactor of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II. The CDT2-INTS7 intergenic region is 246 and 245 base pairs long in human and mouse respectively and is evolutionary well-conserved among several mammalian species. By measuring the luciferase activity in A549 cells, the intergenic human sequence was shown to be able to drive the reporter gene expression in either direction and notably, among transcription factors E2F, E2F1 approximately E2F4, but not E2F5 and E2F6, this sequence clearly up-regulated the reporter gene expression exclusively in the direction of the CDT2 gene. In contrast, B-Myb, c-Myb, and p53 down-regulated the reporter gene expression in the transcriptional direction of the INTS7 gene. Overexpression of E2F1 by adenoviral-mediated gene transfer resulted in an increased CDT2, but not INTS7, mRNA level. Real-time polymerase transcription (RT-PCR analyses of the expression pattern for CDT2 and INTS7 mRNA in human adult and fetal tissues and cell lines revealed that transcription of these two genes are asymmetrically regulated. Moreover, the abundance of mRNA between mouse and rat tissues was similar, but these patterns were quite different from the results obtained from human tissues.These findings add a unique example and help to understand the mechanistic insights into the regulation of gene expression through an evolutionary conserved intergenic region of the mammalian genome.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-24

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

  16. Evolutionary conservation of sequence and secondary structures inCRISPR repeats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunin, Victor; Sorek, Rotem; Hugenholtz, Philip

    2006-09-01

    Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) are a novel class of direct repeats, separated by unique spacer sequences of similar length, that are present in {approx}40% of bacterial and all archaeal genomes analyzed to date. More than 40 gene families, called CRISPR-associated sequences (CAS), appear in conjunction with these repeats and are thought to be involved in the propagation and functioning of CRISPRs. It has been proposed that the CRISPR/CAS system samples, maintains a record of, and inactivates invasive DNA that the cell has encountered, and therefore constitutes a prokaryotic analog of an immune system. Here we analyze CRISPR repeats identified in 195 microbial genomes and show that they can be organized into multiple clusters based on sequence similarity. All individual repeats in any given cluster were inferred to form characteristic RNA secondary structure, ranging from non-existent to pronounced. Stable secondary structures included G:U base pairs and exhibited multiple compensatory base changes in the stem region, indicating evolutionary conservation and functional importance. We also show that the repeat-based classification corresponds to, and expands upon, a previously reported CAS gene-based classification including specific relationships between CRISPR and CAS subtypes.

  17. An evolutionary conserved role for anaplastic lymphoma kinase in behavioral responses to ethanol.

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    Amy W Lasek

    Full Text Available Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (Alk is a gene expressed in the nervous system that encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase commonly known for its oncogenic function in various human cancers. We have determined that Alk is associated with altered behavioral responses to ethanol in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, in mice, and in humans. Mutant flies containing transposon insertions in dAlk demonstrate increased resistance to the sedating effect of ethanol. Database analyses revealed that Alk expression levels in the brains of recombinant inbred mice are negatively correlated with ethanol-induced ataxia and ethanol consumption. We therefore tested Alk gene knockout mice and found that they sedate longer in response to high doses of ethanol and consume more ethanol than wild-type mice. Finally, sequencing of human ALK led to the discovery of four polymorphisms associated with a low level of response to ethanol, an intermediate phenotype that is predictive of future alcohol use disorders (AUDs. These results suggest that Alk plays an evolutionary conserved role in ethanol-related behaviors. Moreover, ALK may be a novel candidate gene conferring risk for AUDs as well as a potential target for pharmacological intervention.

  18. A strongly conservative finite element method for the coupling of Stokes and Darcy flow

    KAUST Repository

    Kanschat, G.

    2010-08-01

    We consider a model of coupled free and porous media flow governed by Stokes and Darcy equations with the Beavers-Joseph-Saffman interface condition. This model is discretized using divergence-conforming finite elements for the velocities in the whole domain. Discontinuous Galerkin techniques and mixed methods are used in the Stokes and Darcy subdomains, respectively. This discretization is strongly conservative in Hdiv(Ω) and we show convergence. Numerical results validate our findings and indicate optimal convergence orders. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

  19. Strong first order electroweak phase transition in the CP-conserving 2HDM revisited

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Basler, P.; Krause, M.; Mühlleitner, M. [Institute for Theoretical Physics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,Wolfgang-Gaede-Str. 1, 76131 Karlsruhe (Germany); Wittbrodt, J. [Institute for Theoretical Physics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,Wolfgang-Gaede-Str. 1, 76131 Karlsruhe (Germany); Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY,Notkestraße 85, D-22607 Hamburg (Germany); Wlotzka, A. [Institute for Theoretical Physics, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,Wolfgang-Gaede-Str. 1, 76131 Karlsruhe (Germany)

    2017-02-23

    The discovery of the Higgs boson by the LHC experiments ATLAS and CMS has marked a milestone for particle physics. Yet, there are still many open questions that cannot be answered within the Standard Model (SM). For example, the generation of the observed matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe through baryogenesis can only be explained qualitatively in the SM. A simple extension of the SM compatible with the current theoretical and experimental constraints is given by the 2-Higgs-Doublet Model (2HDM) where a second Higgs doublet is added to the Higgs sector. We investigate the possibility of a strong first order electroweak phase transition in the CP-conserving 2HDM type I and type II where either of the CP-even Higgs bosons is identified with the SM-like Higgs boson. The renormalisation that we apply on the loop-corrected Higgs potential allows us to efficiently scan the 2HDM parameter space and simultaneously take into account all relevant theoretical and up-to-date experimental constraints. The 2HDM parameter regions found to be compatible with the applied constraints and a strong electroweak phase transition are analysed systematically. Our results show that there is a strong interplay between the requirement of a strong phase transition and collider phenomenology with testable implications for searches at the LHC.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. The Drosophila surface glia transcriptome: evolutionary conserved blood-brain barrier processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeSalvo, Michael K; Hindle, Samantha J; Rusan, Zeid M; Orng, Souvinh; Eddison, Mark; Halliwill, Kyle; Bainton, Roland J

    2014-01-01

    Central nervous system (CNS) function is dependent on the stringent regulation of metabolites, drugs, cells, and pathogens exposed to the CNS space. Cellular blood-brain barrier (BBB) structures are highly specific checkpoints governing entry and exit of all small molecules to and from the brain interstitial space, but the precise mechanisms that regulate the BBB are not well understood. In addition, the BBB has long been a challenging obstacle to the pharmacologic treatment of CNS diseases; thus model systems that can parse the functions of the BBB are highly desirable. In this study, we sought to define the transcriptome of the adult Drosophila melanogaster BBB by isolating the BBB surface glia with fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and profiling their gene expression with microarrays. By comparing the transcriptome of these surface glia to that of all brain glia, brain neurons, and whole brains, we present a catalog of transcripts that are selectively enriched at the Drosophila BBB. We found that the fly surface glia show high expression of many ATP-binding cassette (ABC) and solute carrier (SLC) transporters, cell adhesion molecules, metabolic enzymes, signaling molecules, and components of xenobiotic metabolism pathways. Using gene sequence-based alignments, we compare the Drosophila and Murine BBB transcriptomes and discover many shared chemoprotective and small molecule control pathways, thus affirming the relevance of invertebrate models for studying evolutionary conserved BBB properties. The Drosophila BBB transcriptome is valuable to vertebrate and insect biologists alike as a resource for studying proteins underlying diffusion barrier development and maintenance, glial biology, and regulation of drug transport at tissue barriers.

  2. The Drosophila surface glia transcriptome: evolutionary conserved blood-brain barrier processes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael K DeSalvo

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available AbstractCentral nervous system (CNS function is dependent on the stringent regulation of metabolites, drugs, cells, and pathogens exposed to the CNS space. Cellular blood-brain barrier (BBB structures are highly specific checkpoints governing entry and exit of all small molecules to and from the brain interstitial space, but the precise mechanisms that regulate the BBB are not well understood. In addition, the BBB has long been a challenging obstacle to the pharmacologic treatment of CNS diseases; thus model systems that can parse the functions of the BBB are highly desirable. In this study, we sought to define the transcriptome of the adult Drosophila melanogaster BBB by isolating the BBB surface glia with FACS and profiling their gene expression with microarrays. By comparing the transcriptome of these surface glia to that of all brain glia, brain neurons, and whole brains, we present a catalog of transcripts that are selectively enriched at the Drosophila BBB. We found that the fly surface glia show high expression of many ABC and SLC transporters, cell adhesion molecules, metabolic enzymes, signaling molecules, and components of xenobiotic metabolism pathways. Using gene sequence-based alignments, we compare the Drosophila and Murine BBB transcriptomes and discover many shared chemoprotective and small molecule control pathways, thus affirming the relevance of invertebrate models for studying evolutionary conserved BBB properties. The Drosophila BBB transcriptome is valuable to vertebrate and insect biologists alike as a resource for studying proteins underlying diffusion barrier development and maintenance, glial biology, and regulation of drug transport at tissue barriers.

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

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    Martin Poot

    2011-05-01

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

  4. [Morphologic variation of the parthenogenetic lizard Aspidoscelis rodecki (Squamata: Teiidae): evolutionary and conservation implications].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elizalde-Rocha, Sandra P; Méndez-de la Cruz, Fausto R; Méndez-Sánchez, J Fernando; Granados-González, Gisela; Hernândez-Gallegos, Oswaldo

    2008-12-01

    Post-formational divergence has been used for the recognition of new parthenogenetic species. Currently, the parthenogenetic lizard Aspidoscelis rodecki McCoy and Maslin 1962 is recognized as a single taxon that was derived from a single, parthenogenetically capable, hybrid. This lizard had been derived via hybridization between individuals of two gonochoristic species, Aspidoscelis ungusticeps Cope 1878 and Aspidoscelis deppii Wiegmann 1834. The distribution of A. rodecki includes Isla Contoy and Isla Mujeres and the adjacent mainland of Quintana Roo, México. Previous studies have found post-formational divergence in genetic, chromatic and life-history characteristics among a continental population (Puerto Juárez) and an insular population (Isla Contoy). A meristic analysis was carried out to evaluate the morphological divergence among both populations of A. rodecki. We used 38 individuals from Puerto Juárez and 23 individuals from Isla Contoy. Nine meristic characters with discrimination value among species of the genus Aspidoscelis were used in both univariate (t-Student) and multivariate analyses (principal components and canonical variate analysis). According to both analyses, Puerto Juárez is meristically distinguishable from Isla Contoy. Both populations differ in five meristic characters and were a high correct classification in the canonical variate analysis: 97% of Puerto Juárez and 100% of Isla Contoy. A small sample from Isla Mujeres and a single specimen from Punta Sam (mainland) may represent different morphological groups. Due to the patterns of phenotypic variation, A. rodecki is considered as a single variable parthenogenetic species with high priority to conservation. The populations of A. rodecki have been extremely affected by the tourism developers. If the habitat of the parthenogenetic lizard (beach grasses) is allowed to stay, the expansion by the developers will not affect the survivorship of these populations. Nevertheless, the first

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Single-Base Resolution Map of Evolutionary Constraints and Annotation of Conserved Elements across Major Grass Genomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Pingping; Saqib, Hafiz Sohaib Ahmed; Zhang, Xingtan; Zhang, Liangsheng

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Conserved noncoding sequences (CNSs) are evolutionarily conserved DNA sequences that do not encode proteins but may have potential regulatory roles in gene expression. CNS in crop genomes could be linked to many important agronomic traits and ecological adaptations. Compared with the relatively mature exon annotation protocols, efficient methods are lacking to predict the location of noncoding sequences in the plant genomes. We implemented a computational pipeline that is tailored to the comparisons of plant genomes, yielding a large number of conserved sequences using rice genome as the reference. In this study, we used 17 published grass genomes, along with five monocot genomes as well as the basal angiosperm genome of Amborella trichopoda. Genome alignments among these genomes suggest that at least 12.05% of the rice genome appears to be evolving under constraints in the Poaceae lineage, with close to half of the evolutionarily constrained sequences located outside protein-coding regions. We found evidence for purifying selection acting on the conserved sequences by analyzing segregating SNPs within the rice population. Furthermore, we found that known functional motifs were significantly enriched within CNS, with many motifs associated with the preferred binding of ubiquitous transcription factors. The conserved elements that we have curated are accessible through our public database and the JBrowse server. In-depth functional annotations and evolutionary dynamics of the identified conserved sequences provide a solid foundation for studying gene regulation, genome evolution, as well as to inform gene isolation for cereal biologists. PMID:29378032

  7. 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.

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

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirai Leila T

    2012-02-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polzikov, Mikhail; Zatsepina, Olga; Magoulas, Charalambos

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Using evolutionary conserved modules in gene networks as a strategy to leverage high throughput gene expression queries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeanne M Serb

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Large-scale gene expression studies have not yielded the expected insight into genetic networks that control complex processes. These anticipated discoveries have been limited not by technology, but by a lack of effective strategies to investigate the data in a manageable and meaningful way. Previous work suggests that using a pre-determined seed-network of gene relationships to query large-scale expression datasets is an effective way to generate candidate genes for further study and network expansion or enrichment. Based on the evolutionary conservation of gene relationships, we test the hypothesis that a seed network derived from studies of retinal cell determination in the fly, Drosophila melanogaster, will be an effective way to identify novel candidate genes for their role in mouse retinal development. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our results demonstrate that a number of gene relationships regulating retinal cell differentiation in the fly are identifiable as pairwise correlations between genes from developing mouse retina. In addition, we demonstrate that our extracted seed-network of correlated mouse genes is an effective tool for querying datasets and provides a context to generate hypotheses. Our query identified 46 genes correlated with our extracted seed-network members. Approximately 54% of these candidates had been previously linked to the developing brain and 33% had been previously linked to the developing retina. Five of six candidate genes investigated further were validated by experiments examining spatial and temporal protein expression in the developing retina. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We present an effective strategy for pursuing a systems biology approach that utilizes an evolutionary comparative framework between two model organisms, fly and mouse. Future implementation of this strategy will be useful to determine the extent of network conservation, not just gene conservation, between species and will

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Conservation genomics reveals multiple evolutionary units within Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klicka, Luke B.; Kus, Barbara E.; Title, Pascal O.; Burns, Kevin J.

    2016-01-01

    The Bell’s Vireo (Vireo bellii) is a widespread North American species of bird that has declined since the mid-1960s primarily due to habitat modification. Throughout its range, Bell’s Vireo populations are regulated under varying degrees of protection; however, the species has never been characterized genetically. Therefore, the current taxonomy used to guide management decisions may misrepresent the true evolutionary history for the species. We sequenced 86 individuals for ND2 and genotyped 48 individuals for genome-wide SNPs to identify distinct lineages within Bell’s Vireo. Phylogenetic analyses uncovered two distinct clades that are separated in the arid southwestern United States, near the border of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran Deserts. These clades diverged from each other approximately 1.11–2.04 mya. The timing of diversification, geographic location, and niche modeling of the east/west divergence suggest vicariance as a mode of diversification for these two lineages. Analyses of the SNP dataset provided additional resolution and indicated the Least Bell’s Vireo populations are a distinct evolutionary lineage. Our genetic evidence, together with information from morphology and behavior, suggests that the Bell’s Vireo complex involves two species, each containing two separate subspecies. This new information has implications for the federal, state and other listing status of Bell’s Vireo throughout its range.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Evolutionary conservation of divergent pro-inflammatory and homeostatic responses in Lamprey phagocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey J Havixbeck

    Full Text Available In higher vertebrates, phagocytosis plays a critical role in development and immunity, based on the internalization and removal of apoptotic cells and invading pathogens, respectively. Previous studies describe the effective uptake of these particles by lower vertebrate and invertebrate phagocytes, and identify important molecular players that contribute to this internalization. However, it remains unclear if individual phagocytes mediate internalization processes in these ancient organisms, and how this impacts the balance of pro-inflammatory and homeostatic events within their infection sites. Herein we show that individual phagocytes of the jawless vertebrate Petromyzon marinus (sea lamprey, like those of teleost fish and mice, display the capacity for divergent pro-inflammatory and homeostatic responses following internalization of zymosan and apoptotic cells, respectively. Professional phagocytes (macrophages, monocytes, neutrophils were the primary contributors to the internalization of pro-inflammatory particles among goldfish (C. auratus and lamprey (P. marinus hematopoietic leukocytes. However, goldfish showed a greater ability for zymosan phagocytosis when compared to their jawless counterparts. Coupled to this increase was a significantly lower sensitivity of goldfish phagocytes to homeostatic signals derived from apoptotic cell internalization. Together, this translated into a significantly greater capacity for induction of antimicrobial respiratory burst responses compared to lamprey phagocytes, but also a decreased efficacy in apoptotic cell-driven leukocyte homeostatic mechanisms that attenuate this pro-inflammatory process. Overall, our results show the long-standing evolutionary contribution of intrinsic phagocyte mechanisms for the control of inflammation, and illustrate one effective evolutionary strategy for increased responsiveness against invading pathogens. In addition, they highlight the need for development of

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chandonia, John-Marc; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2006-03-15

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

  18. Evolutionary innovation and conservation in the embryonic derivation of the vertebrate skull

    OpenAIRE

    Piekarski, Nadine; Gross, Joshua B.; Hanken, James

    2014-01-01

    Development of the vertebrate skull has been studied intensively for more than 150 years, yet many essential features remain unresolved. One such feature is the extent to which embryonic derivation of individual bones is evolutionarily conserved or labile. We perform long-term fate mapping using GFP-transgenic axolotl and Xenopus laevis to document the contribution of individual cranial neural crest streams to the osteocranium in these amphibians. Here we show that the axolotl pattern is stri...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor R. Costa

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-23

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

  2. Evolutionary Conservation and Diversification of the Translation Initiation Apparatus in Trypanosomatids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Zinoviev

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Trypanosomatids are ancient eukaryotic parasites that migrate between insect vectors and mammalian hosts, causing a range of diseases in humans and domestic animals. Trypanosomatids feature a multitude of unusual molecular features, including polycistronic transcription and subsequent processing by trans-splicing and polyadenylation. Regulation of protein coding genes is posttranscriptional and thus, translation regulation is fundamental for activating the developmental program of gene expression. The spliced-leader RNA is attached to all mRNAs. It contains an unusual hypermethylated cap-4 structure in its 5 end. The cap-binding complex, eIF4F, has gone through evolutionary changes in accordance with the requirement to bind cap-4. The eIF4F components in trypanosomatids are highly diverged from their orthologs in higher eukaryotes, and their potential functions are discussed. The cap-binding activity in all eukaryotes is a target for regulation and plays a similar role in trypanosomatids. Recent studies revealed a novel eIF4E-interacting protein, involved in directing stage-specific and stress-induced translation pathways. Translation regulation during stress also follows unusual regulatory cues, as the increased translation of Hsp83 following heat stress is driven by a defined element in the 3 UTR, unlike higher eukaryotes. Overall, the environmental switches experienced by trypanosomatids during their life cycle seem to affect their translational machinery in unique ways.

  3. A ChIP-Seq benchmark shows that sequence conservation mainly improves detection of strong transcription factor binding sites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tony Håndstad

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Transcription factors are important controllers of gene expression and mapping transcription factor binding sites (TFBS is key to inferring transcription factor regulatory networks. Several methods for predicting TFBS exist, but there are no standard genome-wide datasets on which to assess the performance of these prediction methods. Also, it is believed that information about sequence conservation across different genomes can generally improve accuracy of motif-based predictors, but it is not clear under what circumstances use of conservation is most beneficial. RESULTS: Here we use published ChIP-seq data and an improved peak detection method to create comprehensive benchmark datasets for prediction methods which use known descriptors or binding motifs to detect TFBS in genomic sequences. We use this benchmark to assess the performance of five different prediction methods and find that the methods that use information about sequence conservation generally perform better than simpler motif-scanning methods. The difference is greater on high-affinity peaks and when using short and information-poor motifs. However, if the motifs are specific and information-rich, we find that simple motif-scanning methods can perform better than conservation-based methods. CONCLUSIONS: Our benchmark provides a comprehensive test that can be used to rank the relative performance of transcription factor binding site prediction methods. Moreover, our results show that, contrary to previous reports, sequence conservation is better suited for predicting strong than weak transcription factor binding sites.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Löffelhardt Wolfgang

    2008-11-01

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

  5. Phylogeography of Camellia taliensis (Theaceae inferred from chloroplast and nuclear DNA: insights into evolutionary history and conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liu Yang

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background As one of the most important but seriously endangered wild relatives of the cultivated tea, Camellia taliensis harbors valuable gene resources for tea tree improvement in the future. The knowledge of genetic variation and population structure may provide insights into evolutionary history and germplasm conservation of the species. Results Here, we sampled 21 natural populations from the species' range in China and performed the phylogeography of C. taliensis by using the nuclear PAL gene fragment and chloroplast rpl32-trnL intergenic spacer. Levels of haplotype diversity and nucleotide diversity detected at rpl32-trnL (h = 0.841; π = 0.00314 were almost as high as at PAL (h = 0.836; π = 0.00417. Significant chloroplast DNA population subdivision was detected (GST = 0.988; NST = 0.989, suggesting fairly high genetic differentiation and low levels of recurrent gene flow through seeds among populations. Nested clade phylogeographic analysis of chlorotypes suggests that population genetic structure in C. taliensis has been affected by habitat fragmentation in the past. However, the detection of a moderate nrDNA population subdivision (GST = 0.222; NST = 0.301 provided the evidence of efficient pollen-mediated gene flow among populations and significant phylogeographical structure (NST > GST; P PAL haplotypes indicates that phylogeographical pattern of nrDNA haplotypes might be caused by restricted gene flow with isolation by distance, which was also supported by Mantel’s test of nrDNA haplotypes (r = 0.234, P  Conclusions We found that C. taliensis showed fairly high genetic differentiation resulting from restricted gene flow and habitat fragmentation. This phylogeographical study gives us deep insights into population structure of the species and conservation strategies for germplasm sampling and developing in situ conservation of natural populations.

  6. Evolutionary innovation and conservation in the embryonic derivation of the vertebrate skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piekarski, Nadine; Gross, Joshua B; Hanken, James

    2014-12-01

    Development of the vertebrate skull has been studied intensively for more than 150 years, yet many essential features remain unresolved. One such feature is the extent to which embryonic derivation of individual bones is evolutionarily conserved or labile. We perform long-term fate mapping using GFP-transgenic axolotl and Xenopus laevis to document the contribution of individual cranial neural crest streams to the osteocranium in these amphibians. Here we show that the axolotl pattern is strikingly similar to that in amniotes; it likely represents the ancestral condition for tetrapods. Unexpectedly, the pattern in Xenopus is much different; it may constitute a unique condition that evolved after anurans diverged from other amphibians. Such changes reveal an unappreciated relation between life history evolution and cranial development and exemplify 'developmental system drift', in which interspecific divergence in developmental processes that underlie homologous characters occurs with little or no concomitant change in the adult phenotype.

  7. Species-specific detection of Candida tropicalis using evolutionary conserved intein DNA sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajasekharan, S K; Ray, A K; Ramesh, S; Kannappan Mohanvel, S

    2018-02-10

    Inteins (internal proteins) are self-splicing transportable genetic elements present in conserved regions of housekeeping genes. The study highlights the importance of intein as a potential diagnostic marker for species-specific identification of Candida tropicalis, a rapidly emerging opportunistic human pathogen. Initial steps of primer validation, sequence alignment, phylogenetic tree analysis, gel electrophoresis and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were performed to confirm the specificity of the designed primers. The primers were selective for C. tropicalis with 100% inclusivity and showed no cross-species or cross-genera matches. The established technique is a prototype for developing multifaceted PCR assays and for point-of-care testing in near future. Development of molecular markers for specific detection of microbial pathogens using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is an appealing and challenging technique. A real-time PCR is an emerging technology frequently used to detect the aetiologic agents. In recent times, designing species-specific primers for pathogen detection is gaining momentum. The method offers rapid, accurate and cost-effective strategy to identify the target, thus providing sufficient time to instigate appropriate chemotherapy. The study highlights the use of intein DNA sequence as molecular markers for species-specific identification of Candida tropicalis. The study also offers a prototype model for developing multifaceted PCR assays using intein DNA sequences, and provides a developmental starting point for point-of-care testing in near future. © 2018 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  9. CRF19_cpx is an Evolutionary fit HIV-1 Variant Strongly Associated With Rapid Progression to AIDS in Cuba.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouri, Vivian; Khouri, Ricardo; Alemán, Yoan; Abrahantes, Yeissel; Vercauteren, Jurgen; Pineda-Peña, Andrea-Clemencia; Theys, Kristof; Megens, Sarah; Moutschen, Michel; Pfeifer, Nico; Van Weyenbergh, Johan; Pérez, Ana B; Pérez, Jorge; Pérez, Lissette; Van Laethem, Kristel; Vandamme, Anne-Mieke

    2015-03-01

    Clinicians reported an increasing trend of rapid progression (RP) (AIDS within 3 years of infection) in Cuba. Recently infected patients were prospectively sampled, 52 RP at AIDS diagnosis (AIDS-RP) and 21 without AIDS in the same time frame (non-AIDS). 22 patients were sampled at AIDS diagnosis (chronic-AIDS) retrospectively assessed as > 3 years infected. Clinical, demographic, virological, epidemiological and immunological data were collected. Pol and env sequences were used for subtyping, transmission cluster analysis, and prediction of resistance, co-receptor use and evolutionary fitness. Host, immunological and viral predictors of RP were explored through data mining. Subtyping revealed 26 subtype B strains, 6 C, 6 CRF18_cpx, 9 CRF19_cpx, 29 BG-recombinants and other subtypes/URFs. All patients infected with CRF19 belonged to the AIDS-RP group. Data mining identified CRF19, oral candidiasis and RANTES levels as the strongest predictors of AIDS-RP. CRF19 was more frequently predicted to use the CXCR4 co-receptor, had higher fitness scores in the protease region, and patients had higher viral load at diagnosis. CRF19 is a recombinant of subtype D (C-part of Gag, PR, RT and nef), subtype A (N-part of Gag, Integrase, Env) and subtype G (Vif, Vpr, Vpu and C-part of Env). Since subtypes D and A have been associated with respectively faster and slower disease progression, our findings might indicate a fit PR driving high viral load, which in combination with co-infections may boost RANTES levels and thus CXCR4 use, potentially explaining the fast progression. We propose that CRF19 is evolutionary very fit and causing rapid progression to AIDS in many newly infected patients in Cuba.

  10. Spt-Ada-Gcn5-Acetyltransferase (SAGA Complex in Plants: Genome Wide Identification, Evolutionary Conservation and Functional Determination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rakesh Srivastava

    Full Text Available The recruitment of RNA polymerase II on a promoter is assisted by the assembly of basal transcriptional machinery in eukaryotes. The Spt-Ada-Gcn5-Acetyltransferase (SAGA complex plays an important role in transcription regulation in eukaryotes. However, even in the advent of genome sequencing of various plants, SAGA complex has been poorly defined for their components and roles in plant development and physiological functions. Computational analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa genomes for SAGA complex resulted in the identification of 17 to 18 potential candidates for SAGA subunits. We have further classified the SAGA complex based on the conserved domains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the SAGA complex proteins are evolutionary conserved between plants, yeast and mammals. Functional annotation showed that they participate not only in chromatin remodeling and gene regulation, but also in different biological processes, which could be indirect and possibly mediated via the regulation of gene expression. The in silico expression analysis of the SAGA components in Arabidopsis and O. sativa clearly indicates that its components have a distinct expression profile at different developmental stages. The co-expression analysis of the SAGA components suggests that many of these subunits co-express at different developmental stages, during hormonal interaction and in response to stress conditions. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of SAGA component genes further confirmed their expression in different plant tissues and stresses. The expression of representative salt, heat and light inducible genes were affected in mutant lines of SAGA subunits in Arabidopsis. Altogether, the present study reveals expedient evidences of involvement of the SAGA complex in plant gene regulation and stress responses.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  13. Conservation genetics of evolutionary lineages of the endangered mountain yellow-legged frog, Rana muscosa (Amphibia: Ranidae), in southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoville, Sean D.; Tustall, Tate S.; Vredenburg, Vance T.; Backlin, Adam R.; Gallegos, Elizabeth; Wood, Dustin A.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    Severe population declines led to the listing of southern California Rana muscosa (Ranidae) as endangered in 2002. Nine small populations inhabit watersheds in three isolated mountain ranges, the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto. One population from the Dark Canyon tributary in the San Jacinto Mountains has been used to establish a captive breeding population at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Because these populations may still be declining, it is critical to gather information on how genetic variation is structured in these populations and what historical inter-population connectivity existed between populations. Additionally, it is not clear whether these populations are rapidly losing genetic diversity due to population bottlenecks. Using mitochondrial and microsatellite data, we examine patterns of genetic variation in southern California and one of the last remaining populations of R. muscosa in the southern Sierra Nevada. We find low levels of genetic variation within each population and evidence of genetic bottlenecks. Additionally, substantial population structure is evident, suggesting a high degree of historical isolation within and between mountain ranges. Based on estimates from a multi-population isolation with migration analysis, these populations diversified during glacial episodes of the Pleistocene, with little gene flow during population divergence. Our data demonstrate that unique evolutionary lineages of R. muscosa occupy each mountain range in southern California and should be managed separately. The captive breeding program at Dark Canyon is promising, although mitigating the loss of neutral genetic diversity relative to the natural population might require additional breeding frogs.

  14. Patterns of evolutionary conservation of ascorbic acid-related genes following whole-genome triplication in Brassica rapa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duan, Weike; Song, Xiaoming; Liu, Tongkun; Huang, Zhinan; Ren, Jun; Hou, Xilin; Du, Jianchang; Li, Ying

    2014-12-31

    Ascorbic acid (AsA) is an important antioxidant in plants and an essential vitamin for humans. Extending the study of AsA-related genes from Arabidopsis thaliana to Brassica rapa could shed light on the evolution of AsA in plants and inform crop breeding. In this study, we conducted whole-genome annotation, molecular-evolution and gene-expression analyses of all known AsA-related genes in B. rapa. The nucleobase-ascorbate transporter (NAT) gene family and AsA l-galactose pathway genes were also compared among plant species. Four important insights gained are that: 1) 102 AsA-related gene were identified in B. rapa and they mainly diverged 12-18 Ma accompanied by the Brassica-specific genome triplication event; 2) during their evolution, these AsA-related genes were preferentially retained, consistent with the gene dosage hypothesis; 3) the putative proteins were highly conserved, but their expression patterns varied; and 4) although the number of AsA-related genes is higher in B. rapa than in A. thaliana, the AsA contents and the numbers of expressed genes in leaves of both species are similar, the genes that are not generally expressed may serve as substitutes during emergencies. In summary, this study provides genome-wide insights into evolutionary history and mechanisms of AsA-related genes following whole-genome triplication in B. rapa. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    Individual preferences for good habitat are often thought to have a beneficial stabilizing effect for populations. However, if individuals preferentially compete for better-quality territories, these may become hotspots of conflict. We show that, in an endangered species, this process decreases the productivity of favoured territories to the extent that differences in productivity between territories disappear. Unlike predictions from current demographic theory on site-dependent population regulation (ideal despotic distribution), we show that population productivity is reduced if resources are distributed unevenly in space. Competition for high-quality habitat can thus have detrimental consequences for populations even though it benefits individuals. Manipulating conflict (e.g. by reducing variation in habitat quality) can therefore prove an effective conservation measure in species with strong social or territorial conflict. PMID:20534612

  16. Phylogeography of the endangered rosewood Dalbergia nigra (Fabaceae): insights into the evolutionary history and conservation of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, R A; Lemos-Filho, J P; Ramos, A C S; Lovato, M B

    2011-01-01

    The Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) is an endangered tree endemic to the central Brazilian Atlantic Forest, one of the world's most threatened biomes. The population diversity, phylogeographic structure and demographic history of this species were investigated using the variation in the chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) sequences of 185 individuals from 19 populations along the geographical range of the species. Fifteen haplotypes were detected in the analysis of 1297 bp from two non-coding sequences, trnV-trnM and trnL. We identified a strong genetic structure (FST=0.62, Pclimatic changes in the central part of the Atlantic forest, with cycles of forest expansion and contraction, may have led to repeated vicariance events, resulting in the genetic differentiation of these groups. Based on comparisons among the populations of large reserves and small, disturbed fragments of the same phylogeographic group, we also found evidence of recent anthropogenic effects on genetic diversity. The results were also analysed with the aim of contributing to the conservation of D. nigra. We suggest that the three phylogeographic groups could be considered as three distinct management units. Based on the genetic diversity and uniqueness of the populations, we also indicate priority areas for conservation. PMID:20517347

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  18. A fast linearized conservative finite element method for the strongly coupled nonlinear fractional Schrödinger equations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Meng; Gu, Xian-Ming; Huang, Chengming; Fei, Mingfa; Zhang, Guoyu

    2018-04-01

    In this paper, a fast linearized conservative finite element method is studied for solving the strongly coupled nonlinear fractional Schrödinger equations. We prove that the scheme preserves both the mass and energy, which are defined by virtue of some recursion relationships. Using the Sobolev inequalities and then employing the mathematical induction, the discrete scheme is proved to be unconditionally convergent in the sense of L2-norm and H α / 2-norm, which means that there are no any constraints on the grid ratios. Then, the prior bound of the discrete solution in L2-norm and L∞-norm are also obtained. Moreover, we propose an iterative algorithm, by which the coefficient matrix is independent of the time level, and thus it leads to Toeplitz-like linear systems that can be efficiently solved by Krylov subspace solvers with circulant preconditioners. This method can reduce the memory requirement of the proposed linearized finite element scheme from O (M2) to O (M) and the computational complexity from O (M3) to O (Mlog ⁡ M) in each iterative step, where M is the number of grid nodes. Finally, numerical results are carried out to verify the correction of the theoretical analysis, simulate the collision of two solitary waves, and show the utility of the fast numerical solution techniques.

  19. Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Premise of the study: Ponderosa pine ( Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex P. Lawson & C. Lawson) exhibits complicated patterns of morphological and genetic variation across its range in western North America. This study aims to clarify P. ponderosa evolutionary history and phylogeography using a highly polymorphic...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Aligning science and policy to achieve evolutionarily enlightened conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Carly N; Sgrò, Carla M

    2017-06-01

    There is increasing recognition among conservation scientists that long-term conservation outcomes could be improved through better integration of evolutionary theory into management practices. Despite concerns that the importance of key concepts emerging from evolutionary theory (i.e., evolutionary principles and processes) are not being recognized by managers, there has been little effort to determine the level of integration of evolutionary theory into conservation policy and practice. We assessed conservation policy at 3 scales (international, national, and provincial) on 3 continents to quantify the degree to which key evolutionary concepts, such as genetic diversity and gene flow, are being incorporated into conservation practice. We also evaluated the availability of clear guidance within the applied evolutionary biology literature as to how managers can change their management practices to achieve better conservation outcomes. Despite widespread recognition of the importance of maintaining genetic diversity, conservation policies provide little guidance about how this can be achieved in practice and other relevant evolutionary concepts, such as inbreeding depression, are mentioned rarely. In some cases the poor integration of evolutionary concepts into management reflects a lack of decision-support tools in the literature. Where these tools are available, such as risk-assessment frameworks, they are not being adopted by conservation policy makers, suggesting that the availability of a strong evidence base is not the only barrier to evolutionarily enlightened management. We believe there is a clear need for more engagement by evolutionary biologists with policy makers to develop practical guidelines that will help managers make changes to conservation practice. There is also an urgent need for more research to better understand the barriers to and opportunities for incorporating evolutionary theory into conservation practice. © 2016 Society for Conservation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandien, K; Sommer, R J

    2001-08-15

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

  4. Comparative genomics identifies the mouse Bmp3 promoter and an upstream evolutionary conserved region (ECR in mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan W Lowery

    Full Text Available The Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP pathway is a multi-member signaling cascade whose basic components are found in all animals. One member, BMP3, which arose more recently in evolution and is found only in deuterostomes, serves a unique role as an antagonist to both the canonical BMP and Activin pathways. However, the mechanisms that control BMP3 expression, and the cis-regulatory regions mediating this regulation, remain poorly defined. With this in mind, we sought to identify the Bmp3 promoter in mouse (M. musculus through functional and comparative genomic analyses. We found that the minimal promoter required for expression in resides within 0.8 kb upstream of Bmp3 in a region that is highly conserved with rat (R. norvegicus. We also found that an upstream region abutting the minimal promoter acts as a repressor of the minimal promoter in HEK293T cells and osteoblasts. Strikingly, a portion of this region is conserved among all available eutherian mammal genomes (47/47, but not in any non-eutherian animal (0/136. We also identified multiple conserved transcription factor binding sites in the Bmp3 upstream ECR, suggesting that this region may preserve common cis-regulatory elements that govern Bmp3 expression across eutherian mammals. Since dysregulation of BMP signaling appears to play a role in human health and disease, our findings may have application in the development of novel therapeutics aimed at modulating BMP signaling in humans.

  5. The panmixia paradigm of eastern Pacific olive ridley turtles revised: consequences for their conservation and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López-Castro, M C; Rocha-Olivares, A

    2005-10-01

    Previous studies of the olive ridley Lepidochelys olivacea population structure in the tropical eastern Pacific have indicated the existence of a single panmictic population ranging from Costa Rica to Mexico. This information has been used to design specific management measures to conserve primary nesting beaches in Mexico. However, little is known about olive ridleys in the Baja California Peninsula, their northernmost reproductive limit, where recent observations have shown differences in nesting female behaviour and size of hatchlings relative to other continental rookeries. We used mtDNA control region sequences from 137 turtles from five continental and four peninsular nesting sites to determine whether such differences correspond to a genetic distinction of Baja California olive ridleys or to phenotypic plasticity associated with the extreme environmental nesting conditions of this region. We found that genetic diversity in peninsular turtles was significantly lower than in continental nesting colonies. Analysis of molecular variance revealed a significant population structure (Phi ST = 0.048, P = 0.006) with the inclusion of peninsular samples. Our results: (i) suggest that the observed phenotypic variation may be associated with genetic differentiation and reproductive isolation; (ii) support the recent colonization of the eastern Pacific by Lepidochelys; (iii) reveal genetic signatures of historical expansion and colonization events; and (iv) significantly challenge the notion of a single genetic and conservation unit of olive ridleys in the eastern Pacific. We conclude that conservation measures for olive ridleys in Mexico should be revised to grant peninsular beaches special attention.

  6. Comparative analysis of complete genomes reveals gene loss, acquisition and acceleration of evolutionary rates in Metazoa, suggests a prevalence of evolution via gene acquisition and indicates that the evolutionary rates in animals tend to be conserved.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babenko, Vladimir N; Krylov, Dmitri M

    2004-01-01

    In this study we systematically examined the differences between the proteomes of Metazoa and other eukaryotes. Metazoans (Homo sapiens, Ceanorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster) were compared with a plant (Arabidopsis thaliana), fungi (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccaromyces pombe) and Encephalitozoan cuniculi. We identified 159 gene families that were probably lost in the Metazoan branch and 1263 orthologous families that were specific to Metazoa and were likely to have originated in their last common ancestor (LCA). We analyzed the evolutionary rates of pan-eukaryotic protein families and identified those with higher rates in animals. The acceleration was shown to occur in: (i) the LCA of Metazoa or (ii) independently in the Metazoan phyla. A high proportion of the accelerated Metazoan protein families was found to participate in translation and ribosome biogenesis, particularly mitochondrial. By functional analysis we show that no metabolic pathway in animals evolved faster than in other organisms. We conclude that evolution in the LCA of Metazoa was extensive and proceeded largely by gene duplication and/or invention rather than by modification of extant proteins. Finally, we show that the rate of evolution of a gene family in animals has a clear, but not absolute, tendency to be conserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-15

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

  8. The evolutionary conservation of the core components necessary for the extrinsic apoptotic signaling pathway, in Medaka fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kominami Katsuya

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Death receptors on the cell surface and the interacting cytosolic molecules, adaptors and initiator caspases, are essential as core components of the extrinsic apoptotic signaling pathway. While the apoptotic machinery governing the extrinsic signaling pathway is well characterized in mammals, it is not fully understood in fish. Results We identified and characterized orthologs of mammalian Fas, FADD and caspase-8 that correspond to the death receptor, adaptor and initiator caspase, from the Medaka fish (Oryzias latipes. Medaka Fas, caspase-8 and FADD exhibited protein structures similar to that of their mammalian counterparts, containing a death domain (DD, a death effector domain (DED or both. Functional analyses indicated that these molecules possess killing activity in mammalian cell lines upon overexpression or following activation by apoptotic stimuli, suggesting similar pro-apoptotic functions in the extrinsic pathway as those in mammals. Genomic sequence analysis revealed that the Medaka fas (tnfrsf6, fadd and caspase-8 (casp8 genes are organized in a similar genomic structure as the mammalian genes. Database search and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the fas gene, but not the fadd and casp8 genes, appear to be present only in vertebrates. Conclusion Our results indicate that the core components necessary for the extrinsic apoptotic pathway are evolutionarily conserved in function and structure across vertebrate species. Based on these results, we presume the mechanism of apoptosis induction via death receptors was evolutionarily established during the appearance of vertebrates.

  9. Conservation of native Pacific trout diversity in Western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke E. Penaluna; Alicia Abadía-Cardoso; Jason B. Dunham; Francisco J. García-Dé León; Robert E. Gresswell; Arturo Ruiz Luna; Eric B. Taylor; Bradley B. Shepard; Robert Al-Chokhachy; Clint C. Muhlfeld; Kevin R. Bestgen; Kevin Rogers; Marco A. Escalante; Ernest R. Keeley; Gabriel M. Temple; Jack E. Williams; Kathleen R. Matthews; Ron Pierce; Richard L. Mayden; Ryan P. Kovach; John Carlos Garza; Kurt D. Fausch

    2016-01-01

    Pacific trout Oncorhynchus spp. in western North America are strongly valued in ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural views, and have been the subject of substantial research and conservation efforts. Despite this, the understanding of their evolutionary histories, overall diversity, and challenges to their conservation is incomplete. We review...

  10. Strong genetic structure among coral populations within a conservation priority region, the Bird's Head Seascape (Papua, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig John Starger

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Marine Protected Areas (MPAs are widely considered to be one of the best strategies available for protecting species diversity and ecosystem processes in marine environments. While data on connectivity and genetic structure of marine populations are critical to designing appropriately sized and spaced networks of MPAs, such data are rarely available. This study examines genetic structure in reef-building corals from Papua and West Papua, Indonesia, one of the most biodiverse and least disturbed coral reef regions in the world. We focused on two common reef-building corals, Pocillopora damicornis (Linnaeus 1758 and Seriatopora hystrix (family: Pocilloporidae, from three regions under different management regimes: Teluk Cenderawasih, Raja Ampat, and southwest Papua. Analyses of molecular variance, assignment tests, and genetical bandwidth mapping based on microsatellite variation revealed significant genetic structure in both species, although there were no clear regional filters to gene flow among regions. Overall, P. damicornis populations were less structured (FST = 0.139, p < 0.00001 than S. hystrix (FST = 0.357, p < 0.00001. Despite occurring in one of the most pristine marine habitats in Indonesia, populations of both species showed evidence of recent declines. Furthermore, exclusion of individual populations from connectivity analyses resulted in marked increases in self-recruitment. Maintaining connectivity within and among regions of Eastern Indonesia will require coral conservation on the local scales and regional networks of MPAs. 

  11. 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.

  12. A conserved leucine zipper-like motif accounts for strong tetramerization capabilities of SEPALLATA-like MADS-domain transcription factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rümpler, Florian; Theißen, Günter; Melzer, Rainer

    2018-02-21

    The development of angiosperm flowers is regulated by homeotic MIKC-type MADS-domain transcription factors that activate or repress target genes via the formation of DNA-bound, organ specific tetrameric complexes. The protein-protein interaction (PPI) capabilities differ considerably between different MIKC-type proteins. The floral homeotic protein SEPALLATA3 (SEP3) acts as a hub that incorporates numerous other MADS-domain proteins into tetrameric complexes that would otherwise not form. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie these promiscuous interactions remain largely unknown. In this study we created a collection of amino acid substitution mutants of SEP3 to quantify the contribution of individual residues on protein tetramerization during DNA-binding, employing methods of molecular biophysics. We show that leucine residues at certain key positions form a leucine zipper structure that is essential for tetramerization of SEP3, whereas the introduction of physicochemically very similar residues at respective sites impedes the formation of DNA-bound tetramers. Comprehensive molecular evolutionary analyses of MADS-domain proteins from a diverse set of flowering plants revealed exceedingly high conservation of the identified leucine residues within SEP3-subfamily proteins throughout angiosperm evolution. In contrast, MADS-domain proteins that are unable to tetramerize among themselves exhibit preferences for other amino acids at homologous sites. Our findings indicate that the subfamily-specific conservation of amino acid residues at just a few key positions account for subfamily-specific interaction capabilities of MADS-domain transcription factors and shaped the present-day structure of the PPI network controlling flower development.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Comparison of primary and secondary 26S rRNA structures in two Tetrahymena species: evidence for a strong evolutionary and structural constraint in expansion segments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engberg, J; Nielsen, Henrik; Lenaers, G

    1990-01-01

    . These are regions within the common core of secondary structure where expansions have taken place during the evolution of the rRNA of higher eukaryotes. The dispensable nature of some of the expansion segments has been taken as evidence of their non-functionality. However, our data show that a considerable......We have determined the nucleotide sequence of the 26S large subunit (LSU) rRNA genes for two Tetrahymena species, T. thermophila and T. pyriformis. The inferred rRNA sequences are presented in their most probable secondary structures based on compensatory mutations, energy, and conservation...... selective constraint has operated to preserve the secondary structure of these segments. Especially in the case of the D2 and D8 segments, the presence of a considerable number of compensatory base changes suggests that the secondary structure of these regions is of functional importance. Alternatively...

  16. Hybridization in the Ensatina Ring Species, Strong selection against hybrids at a hybrid zone in the ensatina ring species complex and its evolutionary implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alexandrino, Joao; Baird, Stuart J.E.; Lawson, Lucinda; Macey, J. Robert; Moritz, Craig; Wake, David B.

    2005-04-22

    The analysis of interactions between lineages at varying levels of genetic divergence can provide insights into the process of speciation through the accumulation of incompatible mutations. Ring species, and especially the Ensatina eschscholtzii system exemplify this approach. The plethodontid salamanders Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica and Ensatina eschscholtzii platensis hybridize in the Central Sierran foothills of California. We compared the genetic structure across two transects (southern and northern Calaveras Co.), one of which was re-sampled over 20 years, and examined diagnostic molecular markers (eight allozyme loci and mitochondrial DNA) and a diagnostic quantitative trait (color pattern). Key results across all studies were: (i) cline centers for all markers were coincident and the zones were narrow, with width estimates of 730m to 2000m; (ii) cline centers at the northern Calaveras transect were coincident between 1981 and 2001, demonstrating repeatability over 5 generations; (iii) there are very few if any putative F1's, but a relatively high number of backcrossed individuals (57-86 percent) in the central portion of transects; (iv) we found substantial linkage disequilibrium in all three studies and strong heterozygote deficit both in northern Calaveras, in 2001, and southern Calaveras. Both linkage disequilibrium and heterozygote deficit show maximum values near the center of the zones (R and Fis, approx. equal to 0.5). Using estimates of cline width and dispersal, we infer strong selection against hybrids (s* approx. equal to 46-75 percent). This is sufficient to promote accumulation of differences at loci that are neutral or under divergent selection, but would still allow for introgression of adaptive alleles. The evidence for strong, but incomplete isolation across this centrally located contact is consistent with theory suggesting a gradual increase in postzygotic incompatibility between allopatric populations subject to divergent

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  18. Chaperonin GroEL: a novel phylogenetically conserved protein with strong immunoreactivity of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli isolates from duck identified by immunoproteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bao, Yinli; Zhai, Zhipeng; Wang, Shaohui; Ma, Jiale; Zhang, Wei; Lu, Chengping

    2013-06-19

    Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) is one of the most important bacterial pathogens of poultry. The lack of suitable vaccines and the emergence of multi-resistant strains have hampered the control of avian colibacillosis. To identify immunogenic proteins of APEC as vaccine candidates, immunoproteomics and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) were applied. Proteins from total cell lysates of APEC DE205B isolated from the brain of a duck with septicemia and neurological symptom in China were separated by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) and reacted with hyperimmune duck serum against DE205B. Fourteen immunoreactive spots were found, representing 11 distinct proteins. These included two predominant immunogenic components, outer membrane protein A (OmpA) and flagellin (FliC). GroEL, which is a member of the molecular chaperone family and identical structurally to eukaryotic heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60), and the other eight antigens are reported here as immunoreactive proteins of APEC for the first time. Subsequently, nine genes encoding the identified proteins were successfully cloned and expressed in E. coli BL21 (DE3). Seven of the recombinant proteins were able to react with hyperimmune duck serum and three of them, GroEL, OmpA and FliC, showed stronger immunoreactivity. Challenge studies revealed that, just like OmpA and FliC, recombinant GroEL stimulated a strong antibody response and supported protective efficacy against APEC infection in ducks. With high phylogenetic conservation, it is considered that GroEL would be an ideal immunogen of APEC for vaccine development. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Grandien, Kaj; Sommer, Ralf J.

    2001-01-01

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

  1. Evolutionary Demography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levitis, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    of biological and cultural evolution. Demographic variation within and among human populations is influenced by our biology, and therefore by natural selection and our evolutionary background. Demographic methods are necessary for studying populations of other species, and for quantifying evolutionary fitness...

  2. Patterns of evolutionary constraints on genes in humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lopez-Bigas Nuria

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Different regions in a genome evolve at different rates depending on structural and functional constraints. Some genomic regions are highly conserved during metazoan evolution, while other regions may evolve rapidly, either in all species or in a lineage-specific manner. A strong or even moderate change in constraints in functional regions, for example in coding regions, can have significant evolutionary consequences. Results Here we discuss a novel framework, 'BaseDiver', to classify groups of genes in humans based on the patterns of evolutionary constraints on polymorphic positions in their coding regions. Comparing the nucleotide-level divergence among mammals with the extent of deviation from the ancestral base in the human lineage, we identify patterns of evolutionary pressure on nonsynonymous base-positions in groups of genes belonging to the same functional category. Focussing on groups of genes in functional categories, we find that transcription factors contain a significant excess of nonsynonymous base-positions that are conserved in other mammals but changed in human, while immunity related genes harbour mutations at base-positions that evolve rapidly in all mammals including humans due to strong preference for advantageous alleles. Genes involved in olfaction also evolve rapidly in all mammals, and in humans this appears to be due to weak negative selection. Conclusion While recent studies have identified genes under positive selection in humans, our approach identifies evolutionary constraints on Gene Ontology groups identifying changes in humans relative to some of the other mammals.

  3. Strong minor groove base conservation in sequence logos implies DNA distortion or base flipping during replication and transcription initiation | Center for Cancer Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubbed "Tom's T" by Dhruba Chattoraj, the unusually conserved thymine at position +7 in bacteriophage P1 plasmid RepA DNA binding sites rises above repressor and acceptor sequence logos. The T appears to represent base flipping prior to helix opening in this DNA replication initation protein.

  4. Evolutionary thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, Tam

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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...... of biological and cultural evolution. Demographic variation within and among human populations is influenced by our biology, and therefore by natural selection and our evolutionary background. Demographic methods are necessary for studying populations of other species, and for quantifying evolutionary fitness...

  6. Strong trans-Pacific break and local conservation units in the Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis) revealed by genome-wide cytonuclear markers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pazmiño, Diana A; Maes, Gregory E; Green, Madeline E; Simpfendorfer, Colin A; Hoyos-Padilla, E Mauricio; Duffy, Clinton J A; Meyer, Carl G; Kerwath, Sven E; Salinas-de-León, Pelayo; van Herwerden, Lynne

    2018-05-01

    The application of genome-wide cytonuclear molecular data to identify management and adaptive units at various spatio-temporal levels is particularly important for overharvested large predatory organisms, often characterized by smaller, localized populations. Despite being "near threatened", current understanding of habitat use and population structure of Carcharhinus galapagensis is limited to specific areas within its distribution. We evaluated population structure and connectivity across the Pacific Ocean using genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (~7200 SNPs) and mitochondrial control region sequences (945 bp) for 229 individuals. Neutral SNPs defined at least two genetically discrete geographic groups: an East Tropical Pacific (Mexico, east and west Galapagos Islands), and another central-west Pacific (Lord Howe Island, Middleton Reef, Norfolk Island, Elizabeth Reef, Kermadec, Hawaii and Southern Africa). More fine-grade population structure was suggested using outlier SNPs: west Pacific, Hawaii, Mexico, and Galapagos. Consistently, mtDNA pairwise Φ ST defined three regional stocks: east, central and west Pacific. Compared to neutral SNPs (F ST  = 0.023-0.035), mtDNA exhibited more divergence (Φ ST  = 0.258-0.539) and high overall genetic diversity (h = 0.794 ± 0.014; π = 0.004 ± 0.000), consistent with the longstanding eastern Pacific barrier between the east and central-west Pacific. Hawaiian and Southern African populations group within the west Pacific cluster. Effective population sizes were moderate/high for east/west populations (738 and 3421, respectively). Insights into the biology, connectivity, genetic diversity, and population demographics informs for improved conservation of this species, by delineating three to four conservation units across their Pacific distribution. Implementing such conservation management may be challenging, but is necessary to achieve long-term population resilience at basin and

  7. Strong conservation of rhoptry-associated-protein-1 (RAP-1) locus organization and sequence among Babesia isolates infecting sheep from China (Babesia motasi-like phylogenetic group).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Qingli; Valentin, Charlotte; Bonsergent, Claire; Malandrin, Laurence

    2014-12-01

    Rhoptry-associated-protein 1 (RAP-1) is considered as a potential vaccine candidate due to its involvement in red blood cell invasion by parasites in the genus Babesia. We examined its value as a vaccine candidate by studying RAP-1 conservation in isolates of Babesia sp. BQ1 Ningxian, Babesia sp. Tianzhu and Babesia sp. Hebei, responsible for ovine babesiosis in different regions of China. The rap-1 locus in these isolates has very similar features to those described for Babesia sp. BQ1 Lintan, another Chinese isolate also in the B. motasi-like phylogenetic group, namely the presence of three types of rap-1 genes (rap-1a, rap-1b and rap-1c), multiple conserved rap-1b copies (5) interspaced with more or less variable rap-1a copies (6), and the 3' localization of one rap-1c. The isolates Babesia sp. Tianzhu, Babesia sp. BQ1 Lintan and Ningxian were almost identical (average nucleotide identity of 99.9%) over a putative locus of about 31 Kb, including the intergenic regions. Babesia sp. Hebei showed a similar locus organization but differed in the rap-1 locus sequence, for each gene and intergenic region, with an average nucleotide identity of 78%. Our results are in agreement with 18S rDNA phylogenetic studies performed on these isolates. However, in extremely closely related isolates the rap-1 locus seems more conserved (99.9%) than the 18S rDNA (98.7%), whereas in still closely related isolates the identities are much lower (78%) compared with the 18S rDNA (97.7%). The particularities of the rap-1 locus in terms of evolution, phylogeny, diagnosis and vaccine development are discussed. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Evolutionary Expectations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nash, Ulrik William

    2014-01-01

    , they are correlated among people who share environments because these individuals satisfice within their cognitive bounds by using cues in order of validity, as opposed to using cues arbitrarily. Any difference in expectations thereby arise from differences in cognitive ability, because two individuals with identical......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...... 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...

  11. Applying Evolutionary Anthropology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PATRICIA DELGADO

    2002-03-01

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

  13. Tigers in the Terai: Strong evidence for meta-population dynamics contributing to tiger recovery and conservation in the Terai Arc Landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thapa, Kanchan; Wikramanayake, Eric; Malla, Sabita; Acharya, Krishna Prasad; Lamichhane, Babu Ram; Subedi, Naresh; Pokharel, Chiranjivi Prasad; Thapa, Gokarna Jung; Dhakal, Maheshwar; Bista, Ashish; Borah, Jimmy; Gupta, Mudit; Maurya, Kamlesh K; Gurung, Ghana Shyam; Jnawali, Shant Raj; Pradhan, Narendra Man Babu; Bhata, Shiv Raj; Koirala, Saroj; Ghose, Dipankar; Vattakaven, Joseph

    2017-01-01

    The source populations of tigers are mostly confined to protected areas, which are now becoming isolated. A landscape scale conservation strategy should strive to facilitate dispersal and survival of dispersing tigers by managing habitat corridors that enable tigers to traverse the matrix with minimal conflict. We present evidence for tiger dispersal along transboundary protected areas complexes in the Terai Arc Landscape, a priority tiger landscape in Nepal and India, by comparing camera trap data, and through population models applied to the long term camera trap data sets. The former showed that 11 individual tigers used the corridors that connected the transboundary protected areas. The estimated population growth rates using the minimum observed population size in two protected areas in Nepal, Bardia National Park and Suklaphanta National Park showed that the increases were higher than expected from growth rates due to in situ reproduction alone. These lines of evidence suggests that tigers are recolonizing Nepal's protected areas from India, after a period of population decline, and that the tiger populations in the transboundary protected areas complexes may be maintained as meta-population. Our results demonstrate the importance of adopting a landscape-scale approach to tiger conservation, especially to improve population recovery and long term population persistence.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

    transporters has recently been identified in prokaryotes. Here we have probed structural relationships in a 'microdoman' corresponding to the extracellular ends of transmembrane segments (TM) 7 and 8 in one of these homologs, the tryptophan transporter TnaT from Symbiobacterium thermophilum. We found...... that simultaneous - but not individual - substitution of Ala286 at the top of TM7 and Met311 at the top of TM8 with cysteines conferred sensitivity to submicromolar concentrations of Hg(2+) as assessed in a [(3)H]tryptophan uptake assay. Because Hg(2+) can cross-link pairs of cysteines, this suggests close...... proximity between TM 7 and 8 in the tertiary structure of TnaT as previously suggested for the mammalian counterparts. Furthermore, the inhibition of uptake upon cross-linking the two cysteines provides indirect support for a conserved conformational role of these transmembrane domains in the transport...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Strauß

    2017-11-01

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

  16. Evolutionary robotics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  17. Core principles of evolutionary medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunspan, Daniel Z; Nesse, Randolph M; Barnes, M Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background and objectives Evolutionary medicine is a rapidly growing field that uses the principles of evolutionary biology to better understand, prevent and treat disease, and that uses studies of disease to advance basic knowledge in evolutionary biology. Over-arching principles of evolutionary medicine have been described in publications, but our study is the first to systematically elicit core principles from a diverse panel of experts in evolutionary medicine. These principles should be useful to advance recent recommendations made by The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to make evolutionary thinking a core competency for pre-medical education. Methodology The Delphi method was used to elicit and validate a list of core principles for evolutionary medicine. The study included four surveys administered in sequence to 56 expert panelists. The initial open-ended survey created a list of possible core principles; the three subsequent surveys winnowed the list and assessed the accuracy and importance of each principle. Results Fourteen core principles elicited at least 80% of the panelists to agree or strongly agree that they were important core principles for evolutionary medicine. These principles over-lapped with concepts discussed in other articles discussing key concepts in evolutionary medicine. Conclusions and implications This set of core principles will be helpful for researchers and instructors in evolutionary medicine. We recommend that evolutionary medicine instructors use the list of core principles to construct learning goals. Evolutionary medicine is a young field, so this list of core principles will likely change as the field develops further. PMID:29493660

  18. Tissue-specific DNA methylation is conserved across human, mouse, and rat, and driven by primary sequence conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jia; Sears, Renee L; Xing, Xiaoyun; Zhang, Bo; Li, Daofeng; Rockweiler, Nicole B; Jang, Hyo Sik; Choudhary, Mayank N K; Lee, Hyung Joo; Lowdon, Rebecca F; Arand, Jason; Tabers, Brianne; Gu, C Charles; Cicero, Theodore J; Wang, Ting

    2017-09-12

    Uncovering mechanisms of epigenome evolution is an essential step towards understanding the evolution of different cellular phenotypes. While studies have confirmed DNA methylation as a conserved epigenetic mechanism in mammalian development, little is known about the conservation of tissue-specific genome-wide DNA methylation patterns. Using a comparative epigenomics approach, we identified and compared the tissue-specific DNA methylation patterns of rat against those of mouse and human across three shared tissue types. We confirmed that tissue-specific differentially methylated regions are strongly associated with tissue-specific regulatory elements. Comparisons between species revealed that at a minimum 11-37% of tissue-specific DNA methylation patterns are conserved, a phenomenon that we define as epigenetic conservation. Conserved DNA methylation is accompanied by conservation of other epigenetic marks including histone modifications. Although a significant amount of locus-specific methylation is epigenetically conserved, the majority of tissue-specific DNA methylation is not conserved across the species and tissue types that we investigated. Examination of the genetic underpinning of epigenetic conservation suggests that primary sequence conservation is a driving force behind epigenetic conservation. In contrast, evolutionary dynamics of tissue-specific DNA methylation are best explained by the maintenance or turnover of binding sites for important transcription factors. Our study extends the limited literature of comparative epigenomics and suggests a new paradigm for epigenetic conservation without genetic conservation through analysis of transcription factor binding sites.

  19. Expression analysis of Egr-1 ortholog in metamorphic brain of honeybee (Apis mellifera L.): Possible evolutionary conservation of roles of Egr in eye development in vertebrates and insects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ugajin, Atsushi; Watanabe, Takayuki; Uchiyama, Hironobu; Sasaki, Tetsuhiko; Yajima, Shunsuke; Ono, Masato

    2016-09-16

    Specific genes quickly transcribed after extracellular stimuli without de novo protein synthesis are known as immediate early genes (IEGs) and are thought to contribute to learning and memory processes in the mature nervous system of vertebrates. A recent study revealed that the homolog of Early growth response protein-1 (Egr-1), which is one of the best-characterized vertebrate IEGs, shared similar properties as a neural activity-dependent gene in the adult brain of insects. With regard to the roles of vertebrate Egr-1 in neural development, the contribution to the development and growth of visual systems has been reported. However, in insects, the expression dynamics of the Egr-1 homologous gene during neural development remains poorly understood. Our expression analysis demonstrated that AmEgr, a honeybee homolog of Egr-1, was transiently upregulated in the developing brain during the early to mid pupal stages. In situ hybridization and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) immunohistochemistry revealed that AmEgr was mainly expressed in post-mitotic cells in optic lobes, the primary visual center of the insect brain. These findings suggest the evolutionarily conserved role of Egr homologs in the development of visual systems in vertebrates and insects. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Matern

    2011-05-01

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

  1. First karyotypical description of two American Ciconiiform birds, Mycteria americana (Ciconiidae and Platalea ajaja (Threskiornithidae and its significance for the chromosome evolutionary and biological conservation approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mercival Roberto Francisco

    2000-12-01

    Full Text Available The karyotypes of Mycteria americana (Ciconiidae and Platalea ajaja (Threskiornithidae are described. Both species have a diploid number of 2n = 72. There are slight chromosome morphology differences, which could be related to distinct chromosome evolution pathways of these two families. Besides a better understanding of the chromosome relationships among Ciconiiformes, this first chromosome characterization of M. americana and P. ajaja is an important tool for the conservation of both species.No presente trabalho foram descritos os cariótipos de Mycteria americana (Ciconiidae e Platalea ajaja (Threskiornithidae. Embora ambas as espécies tenham apresentado o número diplóide 2n = 72, foram observadas diferenças na morfologia cariotípica resultantes de processos evolutivos distintos que parecem ocorrer entre as duas famílias. Além de contribuir para um melhor entendimento da evolução cromossômica dentro da ordem Ciconiiformes, a caracterização cariotípica de M. americana e P. ajaja vem representar uma importante ferramenta para a realização de planos de manejo e conservação destas espécies.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abhishek Kumar

    2015-06-01

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

  3. Ageing research on vertebrates shows knowledge gaps and opportunities for species conservation and management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conde, Dalia Amor

    is constant when species reach maturity. The implications of these assumptions have strong consequences not only in the development of evolutionary theories of ageing and population ecology but also in species conservation. By modeling mortality of different species of vertebrates we show that different...

  4. Evolutionary Finance

    OpenAIRE

    Igor V. Evstigneev; Thorsten Hens; Klaus Reiner Schenk-Hoppé

    2008-01-01

    Evolutionary finance studies the dynamic interaction of investment strategies in financial markets. This market interaction generates a stochastic wealth dynamics on a heterogenous population of traders through the fluctuation of asset prices and their random payoffs. Asset prices are endogenously determined through short-term market clearing. Investors' portfolio choices are characterized by investment strategies which provide a descriptive model of decision behavior. The mathematical framew...

  5. The Principal Forces of Oocyte Polarity Are Evolutionary Conserved but May Not Affect the Contribution of the First Two Blastomeres to the Blastocyst Development in Mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sayyed-Morteza Hosseini

    Full Text Available Oocyte polarity and embryonic patterning are well-established features of development in lower species. Whether a similar form of pre-patterning exists in mammals is currently under hot debate in mice. This study investigated this issue for the first time in ovine as a large mammal model. Microsurgical trisection of unfertilized MII-oocytes revealed that cortical cytoplasm around spindle (S contained significant amounts of total maternal mRNAs and proteins compared to matched cytoplast hemispheres that were located either near (NS or far (FS -to-spindle. RT-qPCR provided striking examples of maternal mRNA localized to subcellular substructures S (NPM2, GMNN, H19, PCAF, DNMT3A, DNMT1, and STELLA, NS (SOX2, NANOG, POU5F1, and TET1, and FS (GCN of MII oocyte. Immunoblotting revealed that specific maternal proteins DNMT3A and NANOG were asymmetrically enriched in MII-spindle-half of the oocytes. Topological analysis of sperm entry point (SEP revealed that sperm preferentially entered via the MII-spindle-half of the oocytes. Even though, the topological position of first cleavage plane with regard to SEP was quite stochastic. Spatial comparison of lipid content revealed symmetrical distribution of lipids between 2-cell blastomeres. Lineage tracing using Dil, a fluorescent dye, revealed that while the progeny of leading blastomere of 2-cell embryos contributed to more cells in the developed blastocysts compared to lagging counterpart, the contributions of leading and lagging blastomeres to the embryonic-abembryonic parts of the developed blastocysts were almost unbiased. And finally, separated sister blastomeres of 2-cell embryos had an overall similar probability to arrest at any stage before the blastocyst (2-cell, 4-cell, 8-cell, and morula or to achieve the blastocyst stage. It was concluded that the localization of maternal mRNAs and proteins at the spindle are evolutionarily conserved between mammals unfertilized ovine oocyte could be considered

  6. 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.

  7. Characterization of the Apa antigen from M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis: a conserved Mycobacterium antigen that elicits a strong humoral response in cattle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gioffré, A; Echeverría-Valencia, G; Arese, A; Morsella, C; Garbaccio, S; Delgado, F; Zumárraga, M; Paolicchi, F; Cataldi, A; Romano, M I

    2009-12-15

    Johne's disease or paratuberculosis is widespread in almost all countries and remains difficult to eradicate. Nowadays, diagnosis of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MPTB) infection is one of the main concerns. In this work, we evaluated the expression, biochemical properties and antigenicity of the Apa antigen, encoded by the gene annotated as MAP1569, in the MPTB genome. We confirmed its expression in MPTB and its glycosylation by the ConA binding assay. Although the MPTB-Apa is not an immunodominant antigen, MPTB-infected cattle showed a strong humoral response to recombinant Apa by Western blot and ELISA. Milk was also a suitable sample to be tested by ELISA. We comparatively analysed the humoral cross-reactivity to the Apa from MPTB (MPTB-Apa) and the orthologue from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MT-Apa, identical to that from Mycobacterium bovis) in both infected and control cows. Response of M. bovis- and MPTB-infected animals against MT-Apa was similar (P=0.6985) but the response of the M. bovis-infected ones to MPTB-Apa was differential, being significantly diminished (PApa stimulation in the IFNgamma release assay, we found no significant differences when compared infected herds with non-infected ones (P=0.34). This antigen, in contrast to bovine Purified Protein Derivative (PPDb), was strongly represented in avian PPD (PPDa), as shown by the recognition of BALB/c mice hyperimmune sera against MPTB-Apa by Dot-blot immunoassay. We therefore demonstrated the antigenicity of Apa in MPTB-infected animals and a differential response to the recombinant antigen when compared to M. bovis-infected animals. These traits herein described, added to the usefulness of milk samples to detect IgG anti-Apa, could be important for routine screening in dairy cattle, considering a multiantigenic approach to overcome the lack of immunodominance.

  8. Antibodies directed against monomorphic and evolutionary conserved self epitopes may be generated in 'knock-out' mice. Development of monoclonal antibodies directed against monomorphic MHC class I determinants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Claesson, M H; Endel, B; Ulrik, J

    1994-01-01

    binding antibodies. Three stable anti-MHC class I (MHC-I) antibody secreting hybridoma clones were established and subcloned. All three MoAbs precipitated radiolabelled H-2 molecules as analysed by SDS PAGE, and all three MoAbs stained H-2b, H-2d, as well as H-2k cells by FACS analysis. The MoAbs stained...... to two beta 2m loss mutant cell lines, C4.4-25- and R1E, suggesting that some MHC-I heavy chain is exported to the cell surface even in the absence of endogenous beta 2m. Staining of murine cell lines kept under serum-free culture conditions was strongly influenced by the addition of bovine or human......-S cells were cultured at 37 degrees C. In total, these observations suggest that the MoAbs recognize conformational, presumably beta 2m and peptide dependent, self epitopes on MHC-class I. One of the three MoAbs stained rat blood mononuclear blood cells (BMC), all three MoAbs stained hamster BMC, whereas...

  9. Incorporating evolutionary principles into environmental management and policy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    SOX14 Canis familiaris, 5. SOX14 Equus cabalus, 6. SOX14 Bos taurus, 7. SOX14 Mus musculus, 8. SOX14 Rattus norvegicus,. 9. SOX14 Monodelphis domestica, 10. SOX14 Ornithorinchus anatinus, 11. SOX14. Gallus gallus, 12. SOX14 Xenopus tropicalis, 13. SOX14 Danio rerio, 14. SOX14. Oreochromis aureus, 15.

  11. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ing early development and they have been implicated in cell- fate decisions in numerous ... ventral border of the limb activates Sox14 (Uchikawa et al. 1999). .... Jelena Popovic and Milena Stevanovic. Table 2. Sequence analysis of SOX14 orthologues. Sequence identity with. GC content GC3 value human. Species.

  12. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  13. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    PCR based approach was used to identify Sox14 of goat, cow and rat, while nucleotide and amino acid sequence alignments and mapping were performed using information currently available in public database. Comparative sequence analysis revealed remarkable identity among Sox14 orthologues and helped us to ...

  14. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    species, including human, mouse, platypus, chicken and fish. Sox14 expression is restricted to a limited population of neu- rons in the developing brain and spinal cord of mouse and. Keywords. comparative analysis; comparative mapping; molecular evolution; Sox genes; SOX14 orthologues. Journal of Genetics, Vol.

  15. Evolutionary principles and their practical application

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design of harvesting regimes that minimize unwanted life-history evolution, and the setting of conservation priorities based on populations, species, or communities that harbor the greatest evolutionary diversity and potential. The adoption of evolutionary principles has proceeded somewhat independently in these different fields, even though the underlying fundamental concepts are the same. We explore these fundamental concepts under four main themes: variation, selection, connectivity, and eco-evolutionary dynamics. Within each theme, we present several key evolutionary principles and illustrate their use in addressing applied problems. We hope that the resulting primer of evolutionary concepts and their practical utility helps to advance a unified multidisciplinary field of applied evolutionary biology. PMID:25567966

  16. Passivity and Evolutionary Game Dynamics

    KAUST Repository

    Park, Shinkyu

    2018-03-21

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

  17. Realism, Relativism, and Evolutionary Psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derksen, M.

    Against recent attempts to forge a reconciliation between constructionism and realism, I contend that, in psychology at least, stirring up conflict is a more fruitful strategy. To illustrate this thesis, I confront a school of psychology with strong realist leanings, evolutionary psychology, with

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnson Todd A

    2006-12-01

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

  19. Studies in evolutionary agroecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wille, Wibke

    difference between optimal individual and optimal population performance increases with strong competition among individuals. Thus dense populations make ideal environments to exert forms of selection pressure deviating from natural selection. The first part of this study investigates the central hypothesis...... 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...... with each other, it will have a negative impact on the population performance. While high density results in strong competition, it also increases the potential for cooperation. The other aspect of this study has been to investigate the possibility of improving the yield and weed suppression potential...

  20. Global loss of avian evolutionary uniqueness in urban areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibáñez-Álamo, Juan Diego; Rubio, Enrique; Benedetti, Yanina; Morelli, Federico

    2017-08-01

    Urbanization, one of the most important anthropogenic impacts on Earth, is rapidly expanding worldwide. This expansion of urban land-covered areas is known to significantly reduce different components of biodiversity. However, the global evidence for this effect is mainly focused on a single diversity measure (species richness) with a few local or regional studies also supporting reductions in functional diversity. We have used birds, an important ecological group that has been used as surrogate for other animals, to investigate the hypothesis that urbanization reduces the global taxonomical and/or evolutionary diversity. We have also explored whether there is evidence supporting that urban bird communities are evolutionarily homogenized worldwide in comparison with nonurban ones by means of using evolutionary distinctiveness (how unique are the species) of bird communities. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to quantify the effect of urbanization in more than one single diversity measure as well as the first time to look for associations between urbanization and phylogenetic diversity at a large spatial scale. Our findings show a strong and globally consistent reduction in taxonomic diversity in urban areas, which is also synchronized with the evolutionary homogenization of urban bird communities. Despite our general patterns, we found some regional differences in the intensity of the effect of cities on bird species richness or evolutionary distinctiveness, suggesting that conservation efforts should be adapted locally. Our findings might be useful for conservationists and policymakers to minimize the impact of urban development on Earth's biodiversity and help design more realistic conservation strategies. © 2016 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Evolutionary principles and their practical application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design......Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles...

  2. Fixism and conservation science.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  3. Multiple explanations in Darwinian evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bock, Walter J

    2010-03-01

    Variational evolutionary theory as advocated by Darwin is not a single theory, but a bundle of related but independent theories, namely: (a) variational evolution; (b) gradualism rather than large leaps; (c) processes of phyletic evolution and of speciation; (d) causes for the formation of varying individuals in populations and for the action of selective agents; and (e) all organisms evolved from a common ancestor. The first four are nomological-deductive explanations and the fifth is historical-narrative. Therefore evolutionary theory must be divided into nomological and historical theories which are both testable against objective empirical observations. To be scientific, historical evolutionary theories must be based on well corroborated nomological theories, both evolutionary and functional. Nomological and general historical evolutionary theories are well tested and must be considered as strongly corroborated scientific theories. Opponents of evolutionary theory are concerned only with historical evolutionary theories, having little interest in nomological theory. Yet given a well corroborated nomological evolutionary theory, historical evolutionary theories follow automatically. If understood correctly, both forms of evolutionary theories stand on their own as corroborated scientific theories and should not be labeled as facts.

  4. Evolutionary paths of streptococcal and staphylococcal superantigens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Okumura Kayo

    2012-08-01

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

  5. Evolutionary inevitability of sexual antagonism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connallon, Tim; Clark, Andrew G

    2014-02-07

    Sexual antagonism, whereby mutations are favourable in one sex and disfavourable in the other, is common in natural populations, yet the root causes of sexual antagonism are rarely considered in evolutionary theories of adaptation. Here, we explore the evolutionary consequences of sex-differential selection and genotype-by-sex interactions for adaptation in species with separate sexes. We show that sexual antagonism emerges naturally from sex differences in the direction of selection on phenotypes expressed by both sexes or from sex-by-genotype interactions affecting the expression of such phenotypes. Moreover, modest sex differences in selection or genotype-by-sex effects profoundly influence the long-term evolutionary trajectories of populations with separate sexes, as these conditions trigger the evolution of strong sexual antagonism as a by-product of adaptively driven evolutionary change. The theory demonstrates that sexual antagonism is an inescapable by-product of adaptation in species with separate sexes, whether or not selection favours evolutionary divergence between males and females.

  6. Cell lineages and fate maps in tunicates: conservation and modification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishida, Hiroki; Stach, Thomas

    2014-10-01

    Comparison of features of the cell lineages and fate maps of early embryos between related species is useful in inferring developmental mechanisms and amenable to evolutionary considerations. We present cleavage patterns, cell lineage trees, and fate maps of ascidian and appendicularian embryos side by side to facilitate comparison. This revealed a number of significant differences in cleavage patterns and cell lineage trees, whereas the fate maps were found to be conserved. This fate map similarity can be extended to vertebrates, thus representing the fate map characteristics of chordates. Cleavage patterns and cell lineages may have been modified during evolution without any drastic changes in fate maps. Selective pressures that constrain developmental mechanisms at early embryonic stages might not be so strong as long as embryos are still able to generate a chordate-type fate map. Aquatic chordates share similar fate maps and morphogenetic movements during gastrulation and neurulation, eventually developing into tadpole-shaped larvae. As swimming by tail beats, and not by cilia, is advantageous, selective pressure may maintain the basic elements of the tadpole shape. We also discuss the evolutionary origin of the vertebrate neural crest and the embryonic origin of the appendicularian heart to illustrate the usefulness of cell lineage data. From an evolutionary standpoint, cell lineages behave like other characteristics such as morphology or protein sequences. Both novel and primitive features are present in extant organisms, and it is of interest to identify the relative degree of evolutionary conservation as well as the level at which homology is inferred.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    the qualitative and quantitative expression of 21 orthologous alternative splice events through the development of 2 nematode species separated by 85-110 Myr of evolutionary time. We demonstrate that most of these alternative splice events present in Caenorhabditis elegans are conserved in Caenorhabditis briggsae...... mechanisms controlling AS are to a large extent conserved during the evolution of Caenorhabditis. This strong conservation indicates that both major and minor splice forms have important functional roles and that the relative quantities in which they are expressed are crucial. Our results therefore suggest...... that the quantitative regulation of isoform expression levels is an intrinsic part of most AS events. Moreover, our results indicate that AS contributes little to transcript variation in Caenorhabditis genes and that gene duplication may be the major evolutionary mechanism for the origin of novel transcripts in these 2...

  8. Precursory strong-signal characteristics of the convective clouds of the Central Tibetan Plateau detected by radar echoes with respect to the evolutionary processes of an eastward-moving heavy rainstorm belt in the Yangtze River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yang; Xu, Xiangde; Ruan, Zheng; Chen, Bin; Wang, Fang

    2018-03-01

    The integrated analysis of the data from a C-band frequency-modulated continuous-wave (C-FMCW) radar site in Naqu obtained during a rainstorm over the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the data concerning the three-dimensional structure of the circulation of the precipitation system that occurred over the lower reaches of the Yangtze River Basin during the Third Tibetan Plateau (TP) Atmospheric Experiment from August 15th to 19th, 2014, was carried out. The changes in the echo intensity at the C-FMCW radar site in Naqu were of regional indicative significance for the characteristics of the whole-layer apparent heat source Q1 in local areas and the region of the adjacent river source area, including the Yangtze River, Yellow River, and Lancang River (hereinafter referred to as the "source area of three rivers"), as well as to the vertical speeds due to the development of convection. This study indicates that the C-FMCW radar echo intensity of the plateau convection zone and the related power structures of the coupled dipole circulations in the middle layer of the atmosphere, as well as in the upper atmospheric level divergence and lower atmospheric level convergence, are important stimuli for convective clouds in this region. Furthermore, these radar data provided a physical image of the development and maintenance mechanisms of an eastward-moving heavy rainstorm belt. This study also shows that changes in the echo intensities at the C-FMCW radar site of Naqu can provide strong signals related to heavy rainstorm processes in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.

  9. Attractive evolutionary equilibria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  10. Evolutionary Creation: Moving beyond the Evolution versus Creation Debate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamoureux, Denis O.

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary creation offers a conservative Christian approach to evolution. It explores biblical faith and evolutionary science through a Two Divine Books model and proposes a complementary relationship between Scripture and science. The Book of God's Words discloses the spiritual character of the world, while the Book of God's Works reveals the…

  11. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Evolutionary Biology Today - The Domain of Evolutionary Biology ... Keywords. Evolution; natural selection; biodiversity; fitness; adaptation. Author Affiliations. Amitabh Joshi1. Evolutionary and Organismal Biology Unit Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research P.Box 6436, Jakkur Bangalore 560 065, India.

  12. Evolutionary dynamics of Newcastle disease virus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, P.J.; Kim, L.M.; Ip, Hon S.; Afonso, C.L.

    2009-01-01

    A comprehensive dataset of NDV genome sequences was evaluated using bioinformatics to characterize the evolutionary forces affecting NDV genomes. Despite evidence of recombination in most genes, only one event in the fusion gene of genotype V viruses produced evolutionarily viable progenies. The codon-associated rate of change for the six NDV proteins revealed that the highest rate of change occurred at the fusion protein. All proteins were under strong purifying (negative) selection; the fusion protein displayed the highest number of amino acids under positive selection. Regardless of the phylogenetic grouping or the level of virulence, the cleavage site motif was highly conserved implying that mutations at this site that result in changes of virulence may not be favored. The coding sequence of the fusion gene and the genomes of viruses from wild birds displayed higher yearly rates of change in virulent viruses than in viruses of low virulence, suggesting that an increase in virulence may accelerate the rate of NDV evolution. ?? 2009 Elsevier Inc.

  13. Reduced larval feeding rate is a strong evolutionary correlate of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    To answer the question, are preadult development time and larval feeding rate ... Keywords. life-history evolution; development time; larval feeding rate; competition; tradeoffs; Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Genetics, Vol. 85, No ..... financial assistance in the form of a senior research fellowship. N.A. thanks Jawaharlal ...

  14. Reduced larval feeding rate is a strong evolutionary correlate of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2001) was an arte- fact of extreme directional selection for rapid development that led to changes in the correlational structure of develop- ment time, larval feeding rate, dry weight at eclosion, and preadult survivorship. A positive genetic correlation between larval feeding rate and development time in the control pop-.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capra, John A; Paeschke, Katrin; Singh, Mona; Zakian, Virginia A

    2010-07-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John A Capra

    2010-07-01

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

  17. Core principles of evolutionary medicine: A Delphi study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grunspan, Daniel Z; Nesse, Randolph M; Barnes, M Elizabeth; Brownell, Sara E

    2018-01-01

    Evolutionary medicine is a rapidly growing field that uses the principles of evolutionary biology to better understand, prevent and treat disease, and that uses studies of disease to advance basic knowledge in evolutionary biology. Over-arching principles of evolutionary medicine have been described in publications, but our study is the first to systematically elicit core principles from a diverse panel of experts in evolutionary medicine. These principles should be useful to advance recent recommendations made by The Association of American Medical Colleges and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to make evolutionary thinking a core competency for pre-medical education. The Delphi method was used to elicit and validate a list of core principles for evolutionary medicine. The study included four surveys administered in sequence to 56 expert panelists. The initial open-ended survey created a list of possible core principles; the three subsequent surveys winnowed the list and assessed the accuracy and importance of each principle. Fourteen core principles elicited at least 80% of the panelists to agree or strongly agree that they were important core principles for evolutionary medicine. These principles over-lapped with concepts discussed in other articles discussing key concepts in evolutionary medicine. This set of core principles will be helpful for researchers and instructors in evolutionary medicine. We recommend that evolutionary medicine instructors use the list of core principles to construct learning goals. Evolutionary medicine is a young field, so this list of core principles will likely change as the field develops further.

  18. High-order epistasis shapes evolutionary trajectories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sailer, Zachary R; Harms, Michael J

    2017-05-01

    High-order epistasis-where the effect of a mutation is determined by interactions with two or more other mutations-makes small, but detectable, contributions to genotype-fitness maps. While epistasis between pairs of mutations is known to be an important determinant of evolutionary trajectories, the evolutionary consequences of high-order epistasis remain poorly understood. To determine the effect of high-order epistasis on evolutionary trajectories, we computationally removed high-order epistasis from experimental genotype-fitness maps containing all binary combinations of five mutations. We then compared trajectories through maps both with and without high-order epistasis. We found that high-order epistasis strongly shapes the accessibility and probability of evolutionary trajectories. A closer analysis revealed that the magnitude of epistasis, not its order, predicts is effects on evolutionary trajectories. We further find that high-order epistasis makes it impossible to predict evolutionary trajectories from the individual and paired effects of mutations. We therefore conclude that high-order epistasis profoundly shapes evolutionary trajectories through genotype-fitness maps.

  19. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 8; Issue 2. Evolutionary Biology Today - What do Evolutionary Biologists do? Amitabh Joshi. Series Article Volume 8 Issue 2 February 2003 pp 6-18. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  20. Evolutionary Stable Strategy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-08-26

    Aug 26, 2016 ... Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 21; Issue 9. Evolutionary Stable Strategy: Application of Nash Equilibrium in Biology. General ... Using some examples of classical games, we show how evolutionary game theory can help understand behavioural decisions of animals.

  1. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Amitabh Joshi studies and teaches evolutionary genetics and population ecology at the Jawaharlal. Nehru Centre for Advanced. Scientific Research,. Bangalore. His current research interests are in life- history evolution, the evolutionary genetics of biological clocks, and small population and meta population dynamics.

  2. Methodological problems in evolutionary biology. XII. Against evolutionary ethics.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    vd Steen, W.J.

    1999-01-01

    Evolutionary ethics has recently become popular again. Some of its representatives elaborate new attempts to derive ethics from evolutionary biology. The attempts, like previous ones, fail because they commit the naturalistic fallacy. Premises from evolutionary biology together with normative

  3. Tests of conservation laws

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldhaber, M.

    1988-01-01

    For quite a while it has been realized that some discrete quantum numbers are conserved in some interactions but not in others. The most conspicuous cases are parity P, charge conjugation C, and the product CP which are conserved in strong and electromagnetic interactions but not in weak interactions. The question arises whether for some of the other conserved quantities, which are conserved in strong, electromagnetic and weak interactions, there is an interaction intermediate in strength between weak and gravitational which violates these quantum numbers, e.g., baryon number B and lepton number L. The possibility exists that these conservation laws, if they are broken at all, are only broken by the gravitational force which would make the mass of an intermediate boson which induces the break-down equal to the Planck mass. (orig.)

  4. Evolutionary dynamics of group formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javarone, Marco Alberto; Marinazzo, Daniele

    2017-01-01

    Group formation is a quite ubiquitous phenomenon across different animal species, whose individuals cluster together forming communities of diverse size. Previous investigations suggest that, in general, this phenomenon might have similar underlying reasons across the interested species, despite genetic and behavioral differences. For instance improving the individual safety (e.g. from predators), and increasing the probability to get food resources. Remarkably, the group size might strongly vary from species to species, e.g. shoals of fishes and herds of lions, and sometimes even within the same species, e.g. tribes and families in human societies. Here we build on previous theories stating that the dynamics of group formation may have evolutionary roots, and we explore this fascinating hypothesis from a purely theoretical perspective, with a model using the framework of Evolutionary Game Theory. In our model we hypothesize that homogeneity constitutes a fundamental ingredient in these dynamics. Accordingly, we study a population that tries to form homogeneous groups, i.e. composed of similar agents. The formation of a group can be interpreted as a strategy. Notably, agents can form a group (receiving a 'group payoff'), or can act individually (receiving an 'individual payoff'). The phase diagram of the modeled population shows a sharp transition between the 'group phase' and the 'individual phase', characterized by a critical 'individual payoff'. Our results then support the hypothesis that the phenomenon of group formation has evolutionary roots.

  5. Nonlinearity, Conservation Law and Shocks

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    the Mathematics. Olympiad in India. Phoolan Prasad. We present in two parts, a mathematical theory of conservation laws using the language of physics. In Part I we explain the concept of a special type of nonlinearity which appears in an important class of evolutionary processes governed by hyperbolic partial differential.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  7. Multiple coding and the evolutionary properties of RNA secondary structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huynen, M A; Konings, D A; Hogeweg, P

    1993-11-21

    This article evaluates evolutionary properties of the transition from RNA primary sequence to RNA secondary structure. It focuses on the restrictions that the conservation of a protein code in an RNA sequence puts on its potential to evolve towards a specific secondary structure. Restricting the mutations to those that do not affect the coding for a protein restricts both the accessibility and the connectivity of the sequence space. The accessibility is restricted because only certain point mutations are allowed. The connectivity is restricted because no insertions and deletions are allowed. Simulating an evolutionary search process for a specific secondary structure shows that (i) the reduction of allowable point mutations allows for adaptation to some large-scale topology, but strongly reduces the possibility of small-scale adaptations, (ii) the abolition of insertions and deletions has very little effect on the results of the search process. During the evolutionary search process for a secondary structure with a specific topology and a high frequency of base-pairing the quasispecies moves into a subspace in which the similarity between secondary structures of neighboring sequences is relatively high. Increased similarity between second structures of neighboring sequences is also found in the Rev responsive element (RRE) in the lentiviruses Caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus and Visna virus. In these viruses a biased nucleotide frequency in the RRE region suggests that selection for the RRE RNA secondary structure affects the amino acid sequence of the env gene. Our results show a variation in the ruggedness of fitness landscapes which are based on a high degree of epistatic interactions. Fitness landscapes play an essential role, not only in biotic evolution, but also in all kinds of optimization processes (Hill Climbing, Simulated Annealing, Genetic Algorithms, etc). Variation in their ruggedness should therefore be taken into account in the analysis of these

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  9. Part E: Evolutionary Computation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

    of Computational Intelligence. First, comprehensive surveys of genetic algorithms, genetic programming, evolution strategies, parallel evolutionary algorithms are presented, which are readable and constructive so that a large audience might find them useful and – to some extent – ready to use. Some more general...... evolutionary algorithms, such as memetic algorithms, which have emerged as a very promising tool for solving many real-world problems in a multitude of areas of science and technology. Moreover, parallel evolutionary combinatorial optimization has been presented. Search operators, which are crucial in all...

  10. 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

  11. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks, adaptive dynamics and evolutionary rescue theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferriere, Regis; Legendre, Stéphane

    2013-01-01

    Adaptive dynamics theory has been devised to account for feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes. Doing so opens new dimensions to and raises new challenges about evolutionary rescue. Adaptive dynamics theory predicts that successive trait substitutions driven by eco-evolutionary feedbacks can gradually erode population size or growth rate, thus potentially raising the extinction risk. Even a single trait substitution can suffice to degrade population viability drastically at once and cause ‘evolutionary suicide’. In a changing environment, a population may track a viable evolutionary attractor that leads to evolutionary suicide, a phenomenon called ‘evolutionary trapping’. Evolutionary trapping and suicide are commonly observed in adaptive dynamics models in which the smooth variation of traits causes catastrophic changes in ecological state. In the face of trapping and suicide, evolutionary rescue requires that the population overcome evolutionary threats generated by the adaptive process itself. Evolutionary repellors play an important role in determining how variation in environmental conditions correlates with the occurrence of evolutionary trapping and suicide, and what evolutionary pathways rescue may follow. In contrast with standard predictions of evolutionary rescue theory, low genetic variation may attenuate the threat of evolutionary suicide and small population sizes may facilitate escape from evolutionary traps. PMID:23209163

  12. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks, adaptive dynamics and evolutionary rescue theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferriere, Regis; Legendre, Stéphane

    2013-01-19

    Adaptive dynamics theory has been devised to account for feedbacks between ecological and evolutionary processes. Doing so opens new dimensions to and raises new challenges about evolutionary rescue. Adaptive dynamics theory predicts that successive trait substitutions driven by eco-evolutionary feedbacks can gradually erode population size or growth rate, thus potentially raising the extinction risk. Even a single trait substitution can suffice to degrade population viability drastically at once and cause 'evolutionary suicide'. In a changing environment, a population may track a viable evolutionary attractor that leads to evolutionary suicide, a phenomenon called 'evolutionary trapping'. Evolutionary trapping and suicide are commonly observed in adaptive dynamics models in which the smooth variation of traits causes catastrophic changes in ecological state. In the face of trapping and suicide, evolutionary rescue requires that the population overcome evolutionary threats generated by the adaptive process itself. Evolutionary repellors play an important role in determining how variation in environmental conditions correlates with the occurrence of evolutionary trapping and suicide, and what evolutionary pathways rescue may follow. In contrast with standard predictions of evolutionary rescue theory, low genetic variation may attenuate the threat of evolutionary suicide and small population sizes may facilitate escape from evolutionary traps.

  13. Sequence analysis, identification of evolutionary conserved motifs and expression analysis of murine tcof1 provide further evidence for a potential function for the gene and its human homologue, TCOF1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, J; Hovanes, K; Shiang, R; Dixon, M J

    1997-05-01

    The gene mutated in Treacher Collins syndrome, an autosomal dominant disorder of facial development, has recently been cloned. While the function of the predicted protein, Treacle, is unknown, it has been shown to share a number of features with the highly phosphorylated nucleolar phosphoproteins, which play a role in nucleolar-cytoplasmic transport. In the current study, the murine homologue of the Treacher Collins syndrome gene has been isolated and shown to encode a low complexity, serine/alanine-rich protein of 133 kDa. Interspecies comparison indicates that the proteins display 61.5% identity, with the level of conservation being greatest in the regions of acidic/basic amino acid repeats and nuclear localization signals. These features are shared with the nucleolar phosphoproteins. Confirmation that the gene isolated in the current study is orthologous with the Treacher Collins syndrome gene was provided by the demonstration that it mapped to central mouse chromosome 18 in a conserved syntenic region with human chromosome 5q21-q33. Expression analysis in the mouse indicated that the gene was expressed in a wide variety of embryonic and adult tissues. Peak levels of expression in the developing embryo were observed at the edges of the neural folds immediately prior to fusion, and also in the developing branchial arches at the times of critical morphogenetic events. These observations support a role for the gene in the development of the craniofacial complex and provide further evidence that the gene encodes a protein which may be involved in nucleolar-cytoplasmic transport.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uma Gaur

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

  15. Evolutionary rate variation and RNA secondary structure prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Tree Contractions and Evolutionary Trees

    OpenAIRE

    Kao, Ming-Yang

    2001-01-01

    An evolutionary tree is a rooted tree where each internal vertex has at least two children and where the leaves are labeled with distinct symbols representing species. Evolutionary trees are useful for modeling the evolutionary history of species. An agreement subtree of two evolutionary trees is an evolutionary tree which is also a topological subtree of the two given trees. We give an algorithm to determine the largest possible number of leaves in any agreement subtree of two trees T_1 and ...

  17. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary ecologists are traditionally gene-focused, as genes propagate phenotypic traits across generations and mutations and recombination in the DNA generate genetic diversity required for evolutionary processes. As a consequence, the inheritance of changed DNA provides a molecular explanation for the functional changes associated with natural selection. A direct focus on proteins on the other hand, the actual molecular agents responsible for the expression of a phenotypic trait, receives far less interest from ecologists and evolutionary biologists. This is partially due to the central dogma of molecular biology that appears to define proteins as the 'dead-end of molecular information flow' as well as technical limitations in identifying and studying proteins and their diversity in the field and in many of the more exotic genera often favored in ecological studies. Here we provide an overview of a newly forming field of research that we refer to as 'Evolutionary Proteomics'. We point out that the origins of cellular function are related to the properties of polypeptide and RNA and their interactions with the environment, rather than DNA descent, and that the critical role of horizontal gene transfer in evolution is more about coopting new proteins to impact cellular processes than it is about modifying gene function. Furthermore, post-transcriptional and post-translational processes generate a remarkable diversity of mature proteins from a single gene, and the properties of these mature proteins can also influence inheritance through genetic and perhaps epigenetic mechanisms. The influence of post-transcriptional diversification on evolutionary processes could provide a novel mechanistic underpinning for elements of rapid, directed evolutionary changes and adaptations as observed for a variety of evolutionary processes. Modern state-of the art technologies based on mass spectrometry are now available to identify and quantify peptides, proteins, protein

  18. Evolutionary relationships between papovaviruses and their hosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scherneck, S; Feunteun, J; Vogel, F; Boettger, M; Krause, H; Prokoph, H; Zimmermann, W; Geissler, E

    1983-01-01

    The papovaviridae family consists of two genera, the papillomaviruses (PV) and the polyomaviruses (Py-V). Both genera are distinguished by morphological (larger sizes of the PV) and several biological characteristics. The genomes of either of the two genera share highly conserved DNA regions and a common antigenic determinant, located in their major capsid polypeptides. On the basis of these data an evolutionary relationship among the members of PV and Py-V, respectively, has been suggested. No homology has been found for either DNA- or protein sequences between PV and Py-V and the question of a common ancestor for both viral genera remains open. We have started to characterize the genome of a papilloma producing papovavirus of the Syrian hamster (HaPV). Most of the known biological characteristics of the HaPV suggest it should be classified as a papilloma-like virus. However, the molecular weight of about 3.5 X 10(6) daltons found for the circular duplex DNA lies within the range given for SV 40 and polyoma virus (Py). Analysis of the HaPV genome by cleavage with 21 different restriction endonucleases, location of specific binding sites of phage T 4 gene 32 protein and E. coli RNA polymerase on the viral DNA demonstrated that the HaPV differed distinctly from all other currently known papovaviruses. The HaPV genome was also analyzed by filter hybridization and electron microscopy under conditions of varied stringency for nucleotide sequence homology with the genomes of different papovaviruses of both genera. Whereas no homologous DNA regions could be found between the genomes of HaPV and the human PV types 1 and 4, only under nonstringent conditions (Tm-43 degrees C) stable hybrids were formed between HaPV-, SV 40- and the DNA of a PV isolated from Mastomys natalensis (MnPV). On the other hand extensive homology was detected between the genomes of HaPV and Py even under stringent hybridization conditions (Tm-28 degrees C). The homologous DNA segments mapped on the

  19. Paleoanthropology and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tattersall, Ian

    2012-01-01

    Paleoanthropologists of the first half of the twentieth century were little concerned either with evolutionary theory or with the technicalities and broader implications of zoological nomenclature. In consequence, the paleoanthropological literature of the period consisted largely of a series of descriptions accompanied by authoritative pronouncements, together with a huge excess of hominid genera and species. Given the intellectual flimsiness of the resulting paleoanthropological framework, it is hardly surprising that in 1950 the ornithologist Ernst Mayr met little resistance when he urged the new postwar generation of paleoanthropologists to accept not only the elegant reductionism of the Evolutionary Synthesis but a vast oversimplification of hominid phylogenetic history and nomenclature. Indeed, the impact of Mayr's onslaught was so great that even when developments in evolutionary biology during the last quarter of the century brought other paleontologists to the realization that much more has been involved in evolutionary histories than the simple action of natural selection within gradually transforming lineages, paleoanthropologists proved highly reluctant to follow. Even today, paleoanthropologists are struggling to reconcile an intuitive realization that the burgeoning hominid fossil record harbors a substantial diversity of species (bringing hominid evolutionary patterns into line with that of other successful mammalian families), with the desire to cram a huge variety of morphologies into an unrealistically minimalist systematic framework. As long as this theoretical ambivalence persists, our perception of events in hominid phylogeny will continue to be distorted.

  20. Domain architecture conservation in orthologs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Close 3D proximity of evolutionary breakpoints argues for the notion of spatial synteny

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Véron Amélie S

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Folding and intermingling of chromosomes has the potential of bringing close to each other loci that are very distant genomically or even on different chromosomes. On the other hand, genomic rearrangements also play a major role in the reorganisation of loci proximities. Whether the same loci are involved in both mechanisms has been studied in the case of somatic rearrangements, but never from an evolutionary standpoint. Results In this paper, we analysed the correlation between two datasets: (i whole-genome chromatin contact data obtained in human cells using the Hi-C protocol; and (ii a set of breakpoint regions resulting from evolutionary rearrangements which occurred since the split of the human and mouse lineages. Surprisingly, we found that two loci distant in the human genome but adjacent in the mouse genome are significantly more often observed in close proximity in the human nucleus than expected. Importantly, we show that this result holds for loci located on the same chromosome regardless of the genomic distance separating them, and the signal is stronger in gene-rich and open-chromatin regions. Conclusions These findings strongly suggest that part of the 3D organisation of chromosomes may be conserved across very large evolutionary distances. To characterise this phenomenon, we propose to use the notion of spatial synteny which generalises the notion of genomic synteny to the 3D case.

  3. Eco-Evolutionary Theory and Insect Outbreaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Páez, David J; Dukic, Vanja; Dushoff, Jonathan; Fleming-Davies, Arietta; Dwyer, Greg

    2017-06-01

    Eco-evolutionary theory argues that population cycles in consumer-resource interactions are partly driven by natural selection, such that changes in densities and changes in trait values are mutually reinforcing. Evidence that the theory explains cycles in nature, however, is almost nonexistent. Experimental tests of model assumptions are logistically impractical for most organisms, while for others, evidence that population cycles occur in nature is lacking. For insect baculoviruses in contrast, tests of model assumptions are straightforward, and there is strong evidence that baculoviruses help drive population cycles in many insects, including the gypsy moth that we study here. We therefore used field experiments with the gypsy moth baculovirus to test two key assumptions of eco-evolutionary models of host-pathogen population cycles: that reduced host infection risk is heritable and that it is costly. Our experiments confirm both assumptions, and inserting parameters estimated from our data into eco-evolutionary insect-outbreak models gives cycles closely resembling gypsy moth outbreak cycles in North America, whereas standard models predict unrealistic stable equilibria. Our work shows that eco-evolutionary models are useful for explaining outbreaks of forest insect defoliators, while widespread observations of intense selection on defoliators in nature and of heritable and costly resistance in defoliators in the lab together suggest that eco-evolutionary dynamics may play a general role in defoliator outbreaks.

  4. Evolutionary Statistical Procedures

    CERN Document Server

    Baragona, Roberto; Poli, Irene

    2011-01-01

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

  5. The population genetics of evolutionary rescue.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H Allen Orr

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary rescue occurs when a population that is threatened with extinction by an environmental change adapts to the change sufficiently rapidly to survive. Here we extend the mathematical theory of evolutionary rescue. In particular, we model evolutionary rescue to a sudden environmental change when adaptation involves evolution at a single locus. We consider adaptation using either new mutations or alleles from the standing genetic variation that begin rare. We obtain several results: i the total probability of evolutionary rescue from either new mutation or standing variation; ii the conditions under which rescue is more likely to involve a new mutation versus an allele from the standing genetic variation; iii a mathematical description of the U-shaped curve of total population size through time, conditional on rescue; and iv the time until the average population size begins to rebound as well as the minimal expected population size experienced by a rescued population. Our analysis requires taking into account a subtle population-genetic effect (familiar from the theory of genetic hitchhiking that involves "oversampling" of those lucky alleles that ultimately sweep to high frequency. Our results are relevant to conservation biology, experimental microbial evolution, and medicine (e.g., the dynamics of antibiotic resistance.

  6. Evolutionary stability in the asymmetric volunteer's dilemma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun-Zhou He

    Full Text Available It is often assumed that in public goods games, contributors are either strong or weak players and each individual has an equal probability of exhibiting cooperation. It is difficult to explain why the public good is produced by strong individuals in some cooperation systems, and by weak individuals in others. Viewing the asymmetric volunteer's dilemma game as an evolutionary game, we find that whether the strong or the weak players produce the public good depends on the initial condition (i.e., phenotype or initial strategy of individuals. These different evolutionarily stable strategies (ESS associated with different initial conditions, can be interpreted as the production modes of public goods of different cooperation systems. A further analysis revealed that the strong player adopts a pure strategy but mixed strategies for the weak players to produce the public good, and that the probability of volunteering by weak players decreases with increasing group size or decreasing cost-benefit ratio. Our model shows that the defection probability of a "strong" player is greater than the "weak" players in the model of Diekmann (1993. This contradicts Selten's (1980 model that public goods can only be produced by a strong player, is not an evolutionarily stable strategy, and will therefore disappear over evolutionary time. Our public good model with ESS has thus extended previous interpretations that the public good can only be produced by strong players in an asymmetric game.

  7. Molluscan Evolutionary Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wanninger, Andreas Wilhelm Georg; Koop, Damien; Moshel-Lynch, Sharon

    2008-01-01

    Brought together by Winston F. Ponder and David R. Lindberg, thirty-six experts on the evolution of the Mollusca provide an up-to-date review of its evolutionary history. The Mollusca are the second largest animal phylum and boast a fossil record of over 540 million years. They exhibit remarkable...

  8. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    An `evolutionary transition in individuality' or `major transition' is a transformation in the hierarchical level at which natural selection operates on a population. In this article I give an abstract (i.e. level-neutral and substrate-neutral) articulation of the transition process in order to precisely understand how such processes can ...

  9. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-03-15

    Mar 15, 2014 ... collectivist life forms have spread through the population, the situation – the terms of the evolutionary game – have changed. Where initially there ...... Kerr B and Godfrey-Smith P 2002 Individualist and multi-level perspectives on selection in structured populations. Biol. Philos. 17 477–517. Kirk DL 1998 ...

  10. Evolutionary Stable Strategy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    After Maynard-Smith and Price [1] mathematically derived why a given behaviour or strategy was adopted by a certain proportion of the population at a given time, it was shown that a strategy which is currently stable in a population need not be stable in evolutionary time (across generations). Additionally it was sug-.

  11. Editorial overview: Evolutionary psychology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Evolutionary trends in Heteroptera

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cobben, R.H.

    1968-01-01

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

    2. Chapter 3 evaluates facts

  13. Interfaces in evolutionary games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolotev, Sergei; Malyutin, Aleksandr; Burovski, Evgeni; Shchur, Lev

    2018-01-01

    We investigate geometrical aspects of a spatial evolutionary game. The game is based on the Prisoner’s dilemma. We analyze the geometrical structure of the space distribution of cooperators and defectors in the steady-state regime of evolution. We develop algorithm for the identification of the interfaces between clusters of cooperators and defectors, and measure fractal properties of the interfaces.

  14. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-03-15

    Mar 15, 2014 ... was to define a major transition by identifying a pattern that is common across an otherwise diverse set of ... been many major evolutionary events that this definition of a transition excludes. The evolution of ...... fragmentation periodic, or brings it under endogenous con- trol. So the mechanisms are far from ...

  15. Evolutionary perspectives on ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichard, Martin

    2017-10-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. Applications of Evolutionary Computation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Evolutionary relationships among pollinators and repeated pollinator sharing in sexually deceptive orchids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, R D; Brown, G R; Dixon, K W; Hayes, C; Linde, C C; Peakall, R

    2017-09-01

    The mechanism of pollinator attraction is predicted to strongly influence both plant diversification and the extent of pollinator sharing between species. Sexually deceptive orchids rely on mimicry of species-specific sex pheromones to attract their insect pollinators. Given that sex pheromones tend to be conserved among related species, we predicted that in sexually deceptive orchids, (i) pollinator sharing is rare, (ii) closely related orchids use closely related pollinators and (iii) there is strong bias in the wasp lineages exploited by orchids. We focused on species that are pollinated by sexual deception of thynnine wasps in the distantly related genera Caladenia and Drakaea, including new field observations for 45 species of Caladenia. Specialization was extreme with most orchids using a single pollinator species. Unexpectedly, seven cases of pollinator sharing were found, including two between Caladenia and Drakaea, which exhibit strikingly different floral morphology. Phylogenetic analysis of pollinators using four nuclear sequence loci demonstrated that although orchids within major clades primarily use closely related pollinator species, up to 17% of orchids within these clades are pollinated by a member of a phylogenetically distant wasp genus. Further, compared to the total diversity of thynnine wasps within the study region, orchids show a strong bias towards exploiting certain genera. Although these patterns may arise through conservatism in the chemical classes used in sex pheromones, apparent switches between wasp clades suggest unexpected flexibility in floral semiochemical production. Alternatively, wasp sex pheromones within lineages may exhibit greater chemical diversity than currently appreciated. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark G F Sun

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

  20. Conservation Value

    OpenAIRE

    Tisdell, Clement A.

    2010-01-01

    This paper outlines the significance of the concept of conservation value and discusses ways in which it is determined paying attention to views stemming from utilitarian ethics and from deontological ethics. The importance of user costs in relation to economic decisions about the conservation and use of natural resources is emphasised. Particular attention is given to competing views about the importance of conserving natural resources in order to achieve economic sustainability. This then l...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Beyond conservation agriculture

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giller, K.E.; Andersson, J.A.; Corbeels, Marc; Kirkegaard, John; Mortensen, David; Erenstein, Olaf; Vanlauwe, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and

  3. Genome Trees from Conservation Profiles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available The concept of the genome tree depends on the potential evolutionary significance in the clustering of species according to similarities in the gene content of their genomes. In this respect, genome trees have often been identified with species trees. With the rapid expansion of genome sequence data it becomes of increasing importance to develop accurate methods for grasping global trends for the phylogenetic signals that mutually link the various genomes. We therefore derive here the methodological concept of genome trees based on protein conservation profiles in multiple species. The basic idea in this derivation is that the multi-component "presence-absence" protein conservation profiles permit tracking of common evolutionary histories of genes across multiple genomes. We show that a significant reduction in informational redundancy is achieved by considering only the subset of distinct conservation profiles. Beyond these basic ideas, we point out various pitfalls and limitations associated with the data handling, paving the way for further improvements. As an illustration for the methods, we analyze a genome tree based on the above principles, along with a series of other trees derived from the same data and based on pair-wise comparisons (ancestral duplication-conservation and shared orthologs. In all trees we observe a sharp discrimination between the three primary domains of life: Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya. The new genome tree, based on conservation profiles, displays a significant correspondence with classically recognized taxonomical groupings, along with a series of departures from such conventional clusterings.

  4. The evolutionary strata of DARPP-32 tail implicates hierarchical ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Predicted phosphorylation sites on DARPP-32 show conservation across vertebrates. Phylogenetics analysis indicates evolutionary strata of phosphorylation site acquisition at the C-terminus, suggesting functional expansion of DARPP-32, where more diverse signalling cues may involve in regulating DARPP-32 in ...

  5. Evolutionary change and phylogenetic relationships in light of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2015-04-20

    Apr 20, 2015 ... from bacteria to animals, have acquired and conserved genes derived from other organisms, which has placed horizontal gene transfer, or HGT (the process of incorporation of new genetic material to host genomes, also known as lateral gene transfer, or LTG), in the realm of evolutionary biology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin R Jack

    2016-05-01

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

  7. Adaptive evolutionary artificial neural networks for pattern classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oong, Tatt Hee; Isa, Nor Ashidi Mat

    2011-11-01

    This paper presents a new evolutionary approach called the hybrid evolutionary artificial neural network (HEANN) for simultaneously evolving an artificial neural networks (ANNs) topology and weights. Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) with strong global search capabilities are likely to provide the most promising region. However, they are less efficient in fine-tuning the search space locally. HEANN emphasizes the balancing of the global search and local search for the evolutionary process by adapting the mutation probability and the step size of the weight perturbation. This is distinguishable from most previous studies that incorporate EA to search for network topology and gradient learning for weight updating. Four benchmark functions were used to test the evolutionary framework of HEANN. In addition, HEANN was tested on seven classification benchmark problems from the UCI machine learning repository. Experimental results show the superior performance of HEANN in fine-tuning the network complexity within a small number of generations while preserving the generalization capability compared with other algorithms.

  8. Evolutionary problems in centrosome and centriole biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, L; Normark, B B

    2015-05-01

    Centrosomes have been an enigma to evolutionary biologists. Either they have been the subject of ill-founded speculation or they have been ignored. Here, we highlight evolutionary paradoxes and problems of centrosome and centriole evolution and seek to understand them in the light of recent advances in centrosome biology. Most evolutionary accounts of centrosome evolution have been based on the hypothesis that centrosomes are replicators, independent of the nucleus and cytoplasm. It is now clear, however, that this hypothesis is not tenable. Instead, centrosomes are formed de novo each cell division, with the presence of an old centrosome regulating, but not essential for, the assembly of a new one. Centrosomes are the microtubule-organizing centres of cells. They can potentially affect sensory and motor characters (as the basal body of cilia), as well as the movements of chromosomes during cell division. This latter role does not seem essential, however, except in male meiosis, and the reasons for this remain unclear. Although the centrosome is absent in some taxa, when it is present, its structure is extraordinarily conserved: in most taxa across eukaryotes, it does not appear to evolve at all. And yet a few insect groups display spectacular hypertrophy of the centrioles. We discuss how this might relate to the unusual reproductive system found in these insects. Finally, we discuss why the fate of centrosomes in sperm and early embryos might differ between different groups of animals. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of European Society for Evolutionary Biology.

  9. The four cornerstones of Evolutionary Toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bickham, John W

    2011-05-01

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

  10. Are ungulates in forests concerns or key species for conservation and biodiversity? Reply to Boulanger et al. (DOI: 10.1111/gcb.13899).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fløjgaard, Camilla; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Hansen, Morten D D; Heilmann-Clausen, Jacob; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Ejrnaes, Rasmus

    2018-03-01

    Increasing species richness of light demanding species in forests may not be a conservation concern if we accept a macroecological and evolutionary baseline for biodiversity. Most of the current biodiversity in Europe has evolved in the Pleistocene or earlier, and in ecosystems markedly influenced by dynamic natural processes, including grazing. Many threatened species are associated with high-light forest environments such as forest glades and edges, as these have strongly declined at least partially due to the decline of large herbivores in European forests. Hence, moderate grazing in forests should be an ecological baseline and conservation target rather than a concern. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Evolutionary genetics: the Drosophila model

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    In Evolutionary genetics: from molecules to morphology (ed. R. S. Singh and C. B. Krimbas), pp. 609–627. Cambridge Uni- versity Press, Cambridge. Houle D. 2001 Characters as the units of evolutionary change. In The character concept in evolutionary biology. (ed. G. P. Wagner), pp. 109–140. Academic Press, San Diego.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  13. Indirect evolutionary rescue: prey adapts, predator avoids extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamichi, Masato; Miner, Brooks E

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have increasingly recognized evolutionary rescue (adaptive evolution that prevents extinction following environmental change) as an important process in evolutionary biology and conservation science. Researchers have concentrated on single species living in isolation, but populations in nature exist within communities of interacting species, so evolutionary rescue should also be investigated in a multispecies context. We argue that the persistence or extinction of a focal species can be determined solely by evolutionary change in an interacting species. We demonstrate that prey adaptive evolution can prevent predator extinction in two-species predator–prey models, and we derive the conditions under which this indirect evolutionary interaction is essential to prevent extinction following environmental change. A nonevolving predator can be rescued from extinction by adaptive evolution of its prey due to a trade-off for the prey between defense against predation and population growth rate. As prey typically have larger populations and shorter generations than their predators, prey evolution can be rapid and have profound effects on predator population dynamics. We suggest that this process, which we term ‘indirect evolutionary rescue’, has the potential to be critically important to the ecological and evolutionary responses of populations and communities to dramatic environmental change. PMID:26366196

  14. Trophic phylogenetics: evolutionary influences on body size, feeding, and species associations in grassland arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Eric M; Vincent, John B; Weiblen, George D; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Borer, Elizabeth T

    2015-04-01

    Contemporary animal-plant interactions such as herbivory are widely understood to be shaped by evolutionary history. Yet questions remain about the role of plant phylogenetic diversity in generating and maintaining herbivore diversity, and whether evolutionary relatedness of producers might predict the composition of consumer communities. We tested for evidence of evolutionary associations among arthropods and the plants on which they were found, using phylogenetic analysis of naturally occurring arthropod assemblages sampled from a plant-diversity manipulation experiment. Considering phylogenetic relationships among more than 900 arthropod consumer taxa and 29 plant species in the experiment, we addressed several interrelated questions. First, our results support the hypothesis that arthropod functional traits such as body size and trophic role are phylogenetically conserved in community ecological samples. Second, herbivores tended to cooccur with closer phylogenetic relatives than would be expected at random, whereas predators and parasitoids did not show phylogenetic association patterns. Consumer specialization, as measured by association through time with monocultures of particular host plant species, showed significant phylogenetic signal, although the. strength of this association varied among plant species. Polycultures of phylogenetically dissimilar plant species supported more phylogenetically dissimilar consumer communities than did phylogenetically similar polycultures. Finally, we separated the effects of plant species richness and relatedness in predicting the phylogenetic distribution of the arthropod assemblages in this experiment. The phylogenetic diversity of plant communities predicted the phylogenetic diversity of herbivore communities even after accounting for plant species richness. The phylogenetic diversity of secondary consumers differed by guild, with predator phylogenetic diversity responding to herbivore relatedness, while parasitoid

  15. Evolutionary constrained optimization

    CERN Document Server

    Deb, Kalyanmoy

    2015-01-01

    This book makes available a self-contained collection of modern research addressing the general constrained optimization problems using evolutionary algorithms. Broadly the topics covered include constraint handling for single and multi-objective optimizations; penalty function based methodology; multi-objective based methodology; new constraint handling mechanism; hybrid methodology; scaling issues in constrained optimization; design of scalable test problems; parameter adaptation in constrained optimization; handling of integer, discrete and mix variables in addition to continuous variables; application of constraint handling techniques to real-world problems; and constrained optimization in dynamic environment. There is also a separate chapter on hybrid optimization, which is gaining lots of popularity nowadays due to its capability of bridging the gap between evolutionary and classical optimization. The material in the book is useful to researchers, novice, and experts alike. The book will also be useful...

  16. Evolutionary approaches to understanding sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee Kavanau, J

    2005-04-01

    A major controversy over REM sleep's role in memory processing may owe to inadequate allowances for the highly conservative nature of evolutionary adaptations. The controversy hinges on whether NREM sleep, alone, retains primitive memory processing capabilities. The selective pressure for primitive sleep, is thought to have been the need to obviate conflicts between enormous neural processing requirements of complex visual analysis and split-second control of movements, on the one hand, and memory processing, on the other. The most efficient memory processing during mammalian and avian sleep appears to be a two-step process: synapses in individual component circuits of events are reinforced primarily by slow brain waves during NREM sleep, with the reinforced components temporally bound by fast waves, and manifested as dreams, during REM sleep. This dual action could account for partitioning of sleep periods into multiple NREM-REM cycles. It is proposed that in the absence of REM sleep, all needed memory processing can be accomplished by NREM sleep, alone, though less efficiently. Many symptoms of fatal familial insomnia are attributed to subnormal nightly reinforcement of brain circuitry because of almost total loss of sleep, and compensatory responses thereto during waking. During this disorder, sensory circuitry seemingly is spared by virtue of its supernormal reinforcement during almost continuous waking. Contrariwise, sparing of an adult's 'higher faculties' in encephalitis lethargica appears to owe to supernormal circuit reinforcement during almost continuous sleep.

  17. 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 ...

  18. Evolutionary Dynamics of Globalization

    OpenAIRE

    Naci Canpolat; Hüseyin Ozel

    2008-01-01

    The expansion of markets –globalization– was reversed during early 20th century and unfettered markets gave in to the welfare state and central planning. But the markets have been striking back since the early 1980s. Governments are withdrawn from economic activities, and many structural market reforms are implemented. Now the question is: Can the forces that market expansion create again reverse this expansion? This paper seeks an answer to this question by constructing an evolutionary game ...

  19. Computational evolutionary perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Donald D; Singh, Manish

    2012-01-01

    Marr proposed that human vision constructs "a true description of what is there". He argued that to understand human vision one must discover the features of the world it recovers and the constraints it uses in the process. Bayesian decision theory (BDT) is used in modem vision research as a probabilistic framework for understanding human vision along the lines laid out by Marr. Marr's contribution to vision research is substantial and justly influential. We propose, however, that evolution by natural selection does not, in general, favor perceptions that are true descriptions of the objective world. Instead, research with evolutionary games shows that perceptual systems tuned solely to fitness routinely outcompete those tuned to truth. Fitness functions depend not just on the true state of the world, but also on the organism, its state, and the type of action. Thus, fitness and truth are distinct. Natural selection depends only on expected fitness. It shapes perceptual systems to guide fitter behavior, not to estimate truth. To study perception in an evolutionary context, we introduce the framework of Computational Evolutionary Perception (CEP). We show that CEP subsumes BDT, and reinterprets BDT as evaluating expected fitness rather than estimating truth.

  20. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-08-01

    Evolutionary game theory is a powerful framework for studying evolution in populations of interacting individuals. A common assumption in evolutionary game theory is that interactions are symmetric, which means that the players are distinguished by only their strategies. In nature, however, the microscopic interactions between players are nearly always asymmetric due to environmental effects, differing baseline characteristics, and other possible sources of heterogeneity. To model these phenomena, we introduce into evolutionary game theory two broad classes of asymmetric interactions: ecological and genotypic. Ecological asymmetry results from variation in the environments of the players, while genotypic asymmetry is a consequence of the players having differing baseline genotypes. We develop a theory of these forms of asymmetry for games in structured populations and use the classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner's Dilemma and the Snowdrift Game, for illustrations. Interestingly, asymmetric games reveal essential differences between models of genetic evolution based on reproduction and models of cultural evolution based on imitation that are not apparent in symmetric games.

  1. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex McAvoy

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary game theory is a powerful framework for studying evolution in populations of interacting individuals. A common assumption in evolutionary game theory is that interactions are symmetric, which means that the players are distinguished by only their strategies. In nature, however, the microscopic interactions between players are nearly always asymmetric due to environmental effects, differing baseline characteristics, and other possible sources of heterogeneity. To model these phenomena, we introduce into evolutionary game theory two broad classes of asymmetric interactions: ecological and genotypic. Ecological asymmetry results from variation in the environments of the players, while genotypic asymmetry is a consequence of the players having differing baseline genotypes. We develop a theory of these forms of asymmetry for games in structured populations and use the classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner's Dilemma and the Snowdrift Game, for illustrations. Interestingly, asymmetric games reveal essential differences between models of genetic evolution based on reproduction and models of cultural evolution based on imitation that are not apparent in symmetric games.

  2. Hierarchical partitioning of metazoan protein conservation profiles provides new functional insights.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Witztum

    Full Text Available The availability of many complete, annotated proteomes enables the systematic study of the relationships between protein conservation and functionality. We explore this question based solely on the presence or absence of protein homologues (a.k.a. conservation profiles. We study 18 metazoans, from two distinct points of view: the human's and the fly's. Using the GOrilla gene ontology (GO analysis tool, we explore functional enrichment of the "universal proteins", those with homologues in all 17 other species, and of the "non-universal proteins". A large number of GO terms are strongly enriched in both human and fly universal proteins. Most of these functions are known to be essential. A smaller number of GO terms, exhibiting markedly different properties, are enriched in both human and fly non-universal proteins. We further explore the non-universal proteins, whose conservation profiles are consistent with the "tree of life" (TOL consistent, as well as the TOL inconsistent proteins. Finally, we applied Quantum Clustering to the conservation profiles of the TOL consistent proteins. Each cluster is strongly associated with one or a small number of specific monophyletic clades in the tree of life. The proteins in many of these clusters exhibit strong functional enrichment associated with the "life style" of the related clades. Most previous approaches for studying function and conservation are "bottom up", studying protein families one by one, and separately assessing the conservation of each. By way of contrast, our approach is "top down". We globally partition the set of all proteins hierarchically, as described above, and then identify protein families enriched within different subdivisions. While supporting previous findings, our approach also provides a tool for discovering novel relations between protein conservation profiles, functionality, and evolutionary history as represented by the tree of life.

  3. Hierarchical Partitioning of Metazoan Protein Conservation Profiles Provides New Functional Insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witztum, Jonathan; Persi, Erez; Horn, David; Pasmanik-Chor, Metsada; Chor, Benny

    2014-01-01

    The availability of many complete, annotated proteomes enables the systematic study of the relationships between protein conservation and functionality. We explore this question based solely on the presence or absence of protein homologues (a.k.a. conservation profiles). We study 18 metazoans, from two distinct points of view: the human's and the fly's. Using the GOrilla gene ontology (GO) analysis tool, we explore functional enrichment of the “universal proteins”, those with homologues in all 17 other species, and of the “non-universal proteins”. A large number of GO terms are strongly enriched in both human and fly universal proteins. Most of these functions are known to be essential. A smaller number of GO terms, exhibiting markedly different properties, are enriched in both human and fly non-universal proteins. We further explore the non-universal proteins, whose conservation profiles are consistent with the “tree of life” (TOL consistent), as well as the TOL inconsistent proteins. Finally, we applied Quantum Clustering to the conservation profiles of the TOL consistent proteins. Each cluster is strongly associated with one or a small number of specific monophyletic clades in the tree of life. The proteins in many of these clusters exhibit strong functional enrichment associated with the “life style” of the related clades. Most previous approaches for studying function and conservation are “bottom up”, studying protein families one by one, and separately assessing the conservation of each. By way of contrast, our approach is “top down”. We globally partition the set of all proteins hierarchically, as described above, and then identify protein families enriched within different subdivisions. While supporting previous findings, our approach also provides a tool for discovering novel relations between protein conservation profiles, functionality, and evolutionary history as represented by the tree of life. PMID:24594619

  4. Multispecies genetic objectives in spatial conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  5. Notes on an evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiner, H

    1998-01-01

    Medicine does not have a comprehensive theory of health, ill-health, and disease. Its explanations of disease are firmly rooted in pathological anatomy brought about by infection, intoxication, trauma, and mutations in genes. Because medical concepts have been influenced mainly by classical physics, it is mechanistic, materialistic, deterministic, reductionistic, linear-causal, and strongly biased toward proximate explanations of disease. Of late, many thoughtful persons have attempted to provide medicine with a more comprehensive theory that integrates the documented roles of physical, social, environmental, and psychological factors in the etiology and pathogenesis of ill-health and disease (eg, Refs. 1-3). Until very recently (4), no one has clearly pointed out that such a comprehensive theory should be guided by the concepts of evolutionary and organismic biology. Darwin's great theory states that evolution is "driven," but not exclusively so, by natural and sexual selection. Natural selection acts on variants that differ in adaptive capacities. Those capable of adaptation survive to reproduce. Failure to adapt reduces reproductive fitness and success, and leads to injury or death. But this formulation could be expanded to regard ill-health and disease as adaptive failures, whereas health usually may be conceived of as equivalent to adaptive success. Adaptations are determined by many factors-genetic, morphological, physiological, and behavioral. Selective pressures are many and varied. However, social primates are at a selective advantage, and are among the most successful species and varieties. Social behavior (eg, support) seems to enhance the chances of survival and reproductive fitness. Physiological (immunological, metabolic, cardiovascular) and behavioral adaptations are geared specifically for interactions with the environment. Emotions have evolved as ways of matching physiological responses with environmental demands and signaling the organism's state

  6. Reshaping conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Mikkel; Danielsen, Finn; Ngaga, Yonika

    2013-01-01

    members strengthen the monitoring practices to their advantage, and to some extent move them beyond the reach of government agencies and conservation and development practitioners. This has led to outcomes that are of greater social and strategic value to communities than the original 'planned' benefits......, although the monitoring scheme has also to some extent become dominated by local 'conservation elites' who negotiate the terrain between the state and other community members. Our findings suggest that we need to move beyond simplistic assumptions of community strategies and incentives in participatory...... conservation and allow for more adaptive and politically explicit governance spaces in protected area management....

  7. Investigating Climate Change and Reproduction: Experimental Tools from Evolutionary Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Y. Martin

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available It is now generally acknowledged that climate change has wide-ranging biological consequences, potentially leading to impacts on biodiversity. Environmental factors can have diverse and often strong effects on reproduction, with obvious ramifications for population fitness. Nevertheless, reproductive traits are often neglected in conservation considerations. Focusing on animals, recent progress in sexual selection and sexual conflict research suggests that reproductive costs may pose an underestimated hurdle during rapid climate change, potentially lowering adaptive potential and increasing extinction risk of certain populations. Nevertheless, regime shifts may have both negative and positive effects on reproduction, so it is important to acquire detailed experimental data. We hence present an overview of the literature reporting short-term reproductive consequences of exposure to different environmental factors. From the enormous diversity of findings, we conclude that climate change research could benefit greatly from more coordinated efforts incorporating evolutionary approaches in order to obtain cross-comparable data on how individual and population reproductive fitness respond in the long term. Therefore, we propose ideas and methods concerning future efforts dealing with reproductive consequences of climate change, in particular by highlighting the advantages of multi-generational experimental evolution experiments.

  8. Evolutionary impact assessment: accounting for evolutionary consequences of fishing in an ecosystem approach to fisheries management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laugen, Ane T; Engelhard, Georg H; Whitlock, Rebecca; Arlinghaus, Robert; Dankel, Dorothy J; Dunlop, Erin S; Eikeset, Anne M; Enberg, Katja; Jørgensen, Christian; Matsumura, Shuichi; Nusslé, Sébastien; Urbach, Davnah; Baulier, Loїc; Boukal, David S; Ernande, Bruno; Johnston, Fiona D; Mollet, Fabian; Pardoe, Heidi; Therkildsen, Nina O; Uusi-Heikkilä, Silva; Vainikka, Anssi; Heino, Mikko; Rijnsdorp, Adriaan D; Dieckmann, Ulf

    2014-03-01

    Managing fisheries resources to maintain healthy ecosystems is one of the main goals of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF). While a number of international treaties call for the implementation of EAF, there are still gaps in the underlying methodology. One aspect that has received substantial scientific attention recently is fisheries-induced evolution (FIE). Increasing evidence indicates that intensive fishing has the potential to exert strong directional selection on life-history traits, behaviour, physiology, and morphology of exploited fish. Of particular concern is that reversing evolutionary responses to fishing can be much more difficult than reversing demographic or phenotypically plastic responses. Furthermore, like climate change, multiple agents cause FIE, with effects accumulating over time. Consequently, FIE may alter the utility derived from fish stocks, which in turn can modify the monetary value living aquatic resources provide to society. Quantifying and predicting the evolutionary effects of fishing is therefore important for both ecological and economic reasons. An important reason this is not happening is the lack of an appropriate assessment framework. We therefore describe the evolutionary impact assessment (EvoIA) as a structured approach for assessing the evolutionary consequences of fishing and evaluating the predicted evolutionary outcomes of alternative management options. EvoIA can contribute to EAF by clarifying how evolution may alter stock properties and ecological relations, support the precautionary approach to fisheries management by addressing a previously overlooked source of uncertainty and risk, and thus contribute to sustainable fisheries.

  9. Evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Nuclear myosin is ubiquitously expressed and evolutionary conserved in vertebrates

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kahle, Michal; Přidalová, Jarmila; Špaček, M.; Dzijak, Rastislav; Hozák, Pavel

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 127, č. 2 (2007), s. 139-184 ISSN 0948-6143 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA204/04/0108; GA AV ČR IAA5039202; GA MŠk LC545; GA ČR GD204/05/H023 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390512; CEZ:AV0Z50520514 Keywords : Nuclear myosin I * Transcription * Chromatin Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.893, year: 2007

  11. Testing strong interaction theories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ellis, J.

    1979-01-01

    The author discusses possible tests of the current theories of the strong interaction, in particular, quantum chromodynamics. High energy e + e - interactions should provide an excellent means of studying the strong force. (W.D.L.)

  12. Evolutionary patterns and processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leonardi, Michela; Sanz, Pablo Librado; Der Sarkissian, Clio

    2017-01-01

    Ever since its emergence in 1984, the field of ancient DNA has struggled to overcome the challenges related to the decay of DNA molecules in the fossil record. With the recent development of high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies and molecular techniques tailored to ultra-damaged templates......, it has now come of age, merging together approaches in phylogenomics, population genomics, epigenomics, and metagenomics. Leveraging on complete temporal sample series, ancient DNA provides direct access to the most important dimension in evolution-time, allowing a wealth of fundamental evolutionary...

  13. Molluscan Evolutionary Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wanninger, Andreas Wilhelm Georg; Koop, Damien; Moshel-Lynch, Sharon

    2008-01-01

    Brought together by Winston F. Ponder and David R. Lindberg, thirty-six experts on the evolution of the Mollusca provide an up-to-date review of its evolutionary history. The Mollusca are the second largest animal phylum and boast a fossil record of over 540 million years. They exhibit remarkable...... anatomical diversity and include the bivalves (scallops, oysters, and clams), gastropods (limpets, snails, and slugs), and cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish, and octopus). This study treats each major taxon and supplies general information as well as overviews of evolution and phylogeny using data from...... different sources--morphological, ultrastructural, molecular, developmental, and from the fossil record....

  14. Evolutionary phenomena in galaxies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beckman, J.E.; Pagel, B.E.J.

    1989-01-01

    This book reviews the subject of evolutionary phenomena in galaxies, bringing together contributions by experts on all the relevant physics and astrophysics necessary to understand galaxies and how they work. The book is based on the proceedings of a conference held in July 1988 in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife which was timed to coincide with the first year of operation of the 4.2 m William Herschel Telescope. The broad topics covered include formation of galaxies and their ages, stellar dynamics, galactic scale gas and its role in star formation and the production and distribution of the chemical elements within galaxies. (author)

  15. 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

  16. Evolutionary divergence of chloroplast FAD synthetase proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. Conservatism of lizard thermal tolerances and body temperatures across evolutionary history and geography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grigg, Joseph W; Buckley, Lauren B

    2013-04-23

    Species may exhibit similar thermal tolerances via either common ancestry or environmental filtering and local adaptation, if the species inhabit similar environments. We ask whether upper and lower thermal limits (critical thermal maxima and minima) and body temperatures are more strongly conserved across evolutionary history or geography for lizard populations distributed globally. We find that critical thermal maxima are highly conserved with location accounting for a higher proportion of the variation than phylogeny. Notably, thermal tolerance breadth is conserved across the phylogeny despite critical thermal minima showing little niche conservatism. Body temperatures observed during activity in the field show the greatest degree of conservatism, with phylogeny accounting for most of the variation. This suggests that propensities for thermoregulatory behaviour, which can buffer body temperatures from environmental variation, are similar within lineages. Phylogeny and geography constrain thermal tolerances similarly within continents, but variably within clades. Conservatism of thermal tolerances across lineages suggests that the potential for local adaptation to alleviate the impacts of climate change on lizards may be limited.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  19. Practical advantages of evolutionary computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogel, David B.

    1997-10-01

    Evolutionary computation is becoming a common technique for solving difficult, real-world problems in industry, medicine, and defense. This paper reviews some of the practical advantages to using evolutionary algorithms as compared with classic methods of optimization or artificial intelligence. Specific advantages include the flexibility of the procedures, as well as their ability to self-adapt the search for optimum solutions on the fly. As desktop computers increase in speed, the application of evolutionary algorithms will become routine.

  20. Integrating cytogenetics and genomics in comparative evolutionary studies of cichlid fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mazzuchelli Juliana

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The availability of a large number of recently sequenced vertebrate genomes opens new avenues to integrate cytogenetics and genomics in comparative and evolutionary studies. Cytogenetic mapping can offer alternative means to identify conserved synteny shared by distinct genomes and also to define genome regions that are still not fine characterized even after wide-ranging nucleotide sequence efforts. An efficient way to perform comparative cytogenetic mapping is based on BAC clones mapping by fluorescence in situ hybridization. In this report, to address the knowledge gap on the genome evolution in cichlid fishes, BAC clones of an Oreochromis niloticus library covering the linkage groups (LG 1, 3, 5, and 7 were mapped onto the chromosomes of 9 African cichlid species. The cytogenetic mapping data were also integrated with BAC-end sequences information of O. niloticus and comparatively analyzed against the genome of other fish species and vertebrates. Results The location of BACs from LG1, 3, 5, and 7 revealed a strong chromosomal conservation among the analyzed cichlid species genomes, which evidenced a synteny of the markers of each LG. Comparative in silico analysis also identified large genomic blocks that were conserved in distantly related fish groups and also in other vertebrates. Conclusions Although it has been suggested that fishes contain plastic genomes with high rates of chromosomal rearrangements and probably low rates of synteny conservation, our results evidence that large syntenic chromosome segments have been maintained conserved during evolution, at least for the considered markers. Additionally, our current cytogenetic mapping efforts integrated with genomic approaches conduct to a new perspective to address important questions involving chromosome evolution in fishes.

  1. Conservation endocrinology

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, Stephen; Romero, L. Michael

    2017-01-01

    Endocrinologists can make significant contributions to conservation biology by helping to understand the mechanisms by which organisms cope with changing environments. Field endocrine techniques have advanced rapidly in recent years and can provide substantial information on the growth, stress, and reproductive status of individual animals, thereby providing insight into current and future responses of populations to changes in the environment. Environmental stressors and reproductive status can be detected nonlethally by measuring a number of endocrine-related endpoints, including steroids in plasma, living and nonliving tissue, urine, and feces. Information on the environmental or endocrine requirements of individual species for normal growth, development, and reproduction will provide critical information for species and ecosystem conservation. For many taxa, basic information on endocrinology is lacking, and advances in conservation endocrinology will require approaches that are both “basic” and “applied” and include integration of laboratory and field approaches.

  2. Dynamic Epigenetic Control of Highly Conserved Noncoding Elements

    KAUST Repository

    Seridi, Loqmane

    2014-10-07

    Background Many noncoding genomic loci have remained constant over long evolutionary periods, suggesting that they are exposed to strong selective pressures. The molecular functions of these elements have been partially elucidated, but the fundamental reason for their extreme conservation is still unknown. Results To gain new insights into the extreme selection of highly conserved noncoding elements (HCNEs), we used a systematic analysis of multi-omic data to study the epigenetic regulation of such elements during the development of Drosophila melanogaster. At the sequence level, HCNEs are GC-rich and have a characteristic oligomeric composition. They have higher levels of stable nucleosome occupancy than their flanking regions, and lower levels of mononucleosomes and H3.3, suggesting that these regions reside in compact chromatin. Furthermore, these regions showed remarkable modulations in histone modification and the expression levels of adjacent genes during development. Although HCNEs are primarily initiated late in replication, about 10% were related to early replication origins. Finally, HCNEs showed strong enrichment within lamina-associated domains. Conclusion HCNEs have distinct and protective sequence properties, undergo dynamic epigenetic regulation, and appear to be associated with the structural components of the chromatin, replication origins, and nuclear matrix. These observations indicate that such elements are likely to have essential cellular functions, and offer insights into their epigenetic properties.

  3. Evolutionary explanations for natural language: criteria from evolutionary biology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zuidema, W.; de Boer, B.

    2008-01-01

    Theories of the evolutionary origins of language must be informed by empirical and theoretical results from a variety of different fields. Complementing recent surveys of relevant work from linguistics, animal behaviour and genetics, this paper surveys the requirements on evolutionary scenarios that

  4. International Conference of Intelligence Computation and Evolutionary Computation ICEC 2012

    CERN Document Server

    Intelligence Computation and Evolutionary Computation

    2013-01-01

    2012 International Conference of Intelligence Computation and Evolutionary Computation (ICEC 2012) is held on July 7, 2012 in Wuhan, China. This conference is sponsored by Information Technology & Industrial Engineering Research Center.  ICEC 2012 is a forum for presentation of new research results of intelligent computation and evolutionary computation. Cross-fertilization of intelligent computation, evolutionary computation, evolvable hardware and newly emerging technologies is strongly encouraged. The forum aims to bring together researchers, developers, and users from around the world in both industry and academia for sharing state-of-art results, for exploring new areas of research and development, and to discuss emerging issues facing intelligent computation and evolutionary computation.

  5. Evolutionary games under incompetence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleshnina, Maria; Filar, Jerzy A; Ejov, Vladimir; McKerral, Jody C

    2018-02-26

    The adaptation process of a species to a new environment is a significant area of study in biology. As part of natural selection, adaptation is a mutation process which improves survival skills and reproductive functions of species. Here, we investigate this process by combining the idea of incompetence with evolutionary game theory. In the sense of evolution, incompetence and training can be interpreted as a special learning process. With focus on the social side of the problem, we analyze the influence of incompetence on behavior of species. We introduce an incompetence parameter into a learning function in a single-population game and analyze its effect on the outcome of the replicator dynamics. Incompetence can change the outcome of the game and its dynamics, indicating its significance within what are inherently imperfect natural systems.

  6. Spore: Spawning Evolutionary Misconceptions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Thomas E.; Sinatra, Gale M.; Schrader, P. G.

    2010-10-01

    The use of computer simulations as educational tools may afford the means to develop understanding of evolution as a natural, emergent, and decentralized process. However, special consideration of developmental constraints on learning may be necessary when using these technologies. Specifically, the essentialist (biological forms possess an immutable essence), teleological (assignment of purpose to living things and/or parts of living things that may not be purposeful), and intentionality (assumption that events are caused by an intelligent agent) biases may be reinforced through the use of computer simulations, rather than addressed with instruction. We examine the video game Spore for its depiction of evolutionary content and its potential to reinforce these cognitive biases. In particular, we discuss three pedagogical strategies to mitigate weaknesses of Spore and other computer simulations: directly targeting misconceptions through refutational approaches, targeting specific principles of scientific inquiry, and directly addressing issues related to models as cognitive tools.

  7. Environmental evolutionary graph theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maciejewski, Wes; Puleo, Gregory J

    2014-11-07

    Understanding the influence of an environment on the evolution of its resident population is a major challenge in evolutionary biology. Great progress has been made in homogeneous population structures while heterogeneous structures have received relatively less attention. Here we present a structured population model where different individuals are best suited to different regions of their environment. The underlying structure is a graph: individuals occupy vertices, which are connected by edges. If an individual is suited for their vertex, they receive an increase in fecundity. This framework allows attention to be restricted to the spatial arrangement of suitable habitat. We prove some basic properties of this model and find some counter-intuitive results. Notably, (1) the arrangement of suitable sites is as important as their proportion, and (2) decreasing the proportion of suitable sites may result in a decrease in the fixation time of an allele. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Colorful Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skophammer, Karen

    2011-01-01

    Some people only think about conservation on Earth Day. Being in the "art business" however, this author is always conscious of the many products she thinks get wasted when they could be reused, recycled, and restored--especially in a school building and art room. In this article, she describes an art lesson that allows students to paint…

  9. [Conservation Units.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Texas Education Agency, Austin.

    Each of the six instructional units deals with one aspect of conservation: forests, water, rangeland, minerals (petroleum), and soil. The area of the elementary school curriculum with which each correlates is indicated. Lists of general and specific objectives are followed by suggested teaching procedures, including ideas for introducing the…

  10. Topics of Evolutionary Computation 2001

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ursem, Rasmus Kjær

    This booklet contains the student reports from the course: Topics of Evolutionary Computation, Fall 2001, given by Thiemo Krink, Rene Thomsen and Rasmus K. Ursem......This booklet contains the student reports from the course: Topics of Evolutionary Computation, Fall 2001, given by Thiemo Krink, Rene Thomsen and Rasmus K. Ursem...

  11. Fixation Time for Evolutionary Graphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Pu-Yan; Zhang, Pei-Ai

    Evolutionary graph theory (EGT) is recently proposed by Lieberman et al. in 2005. EGT is successful for explaining biological evolution and some social phenomena. It is extremely important to consider the time of fixation for EGT in many practical problems, including evolutionary theory and the evolution of cooperation. This study characterizes the time to asymptotically reach fixation.

  12. 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

  13. Open Issues in Evolutionary Robotics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Fernando; Duarte, Miguel; Correia, Luís; Oliveira, Sancho Moura; Christensen, Anders Lyhne

    2016-01-01

    One of the long-term goals in evolutionary robotics is to be able to automatically synthesize controllers for real autonomous robots based only on a task specification. While a number of studies have shown the applicability of evolutionary robotics techniques for the synthesis of behavioral control, researchers have consistently been faced with a number of issues preventing the widespread adoption of evolutionary robotics for engineering purposes. In this article, we review and discuss the open issues in evolutionary robotics. First, we analyze the benefits and challenges of simulation-based evolution and subsequent deployment of controllers versus evolution on real robotic hardware. Second, we discuss specific evolutionary computation issues that have plagued evolutionary robotics: (1) the bootstrap problem, (2) deception, and (3) the role of genomic encoding and genotype-phenotype mapping in the evolution of controllers for complex tasks. Finally, we address the absence of standard research practices in the field. We also discuss promising avenues of research. Our underlying motivation is the reduction of the current gap between evolutionary robotics and mainstream robotics, and the establishment of evolutionary robotics as a canonical approach for the engineering of autonomous robots.

  14. Contemporary issues in evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    We are delighted to bring to the readers, a set of peer-reviewed papers on evolutionary biology, published as a special issue of the Journal of Genetics. These papers emanated from ruminations upon and discussions at the Foundations of. Evolutionary Theory: the Ongoing Synthesis meeting at Coorg, India, in February ...

  15. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2005-01-01

    Individual-based models (IBMs) allow the explicit inclusion of individual variation in greater detail than do classical differential-equation and difference-equation models. Inclusion of such variation is important for continued progress in ecological and evolutionary theory. We provide a conceptual basis for IBMs by describing five major types of individual variation in IBMs: spatial, ontogenetic, phenotypic, cognitive, and genetic. IBMs are now used in almost all subfields of ecology and evolutionary biology. We map those subfields and look more closely at selected key papers on fish recruitment, forest dynamics, sympatric speciation, metapopulation dynamics, maintenance of diversity, and species conservation. Theorists are currently divided on whether IBMs represent only a practical tool for extending classical theory to more complex situations, or whether individual-based theory represents a radically new research program. We feel that the tension between these two poles of thinking can be a source of creativity in ecology and evolutionary theory.

  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. How competition affects evolutionary rescue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osmond, Matthew Miles; de Mazancourt, Claire

    2013-01-01

    Populations facing novel environments can persist by adapting. In nature, the ability to adapt and persist will depend on interactions between coexisting individuals. Here we use an adaptive dynamic model to assess how the potential for evolutionary rescue is affected by intra- and interspecific competition. Intraspecific competition (negative density-dependence) lowers abundance, which decreases the supply rate of beneficial mutations, hindering evolutionary rescue. On the other hand, interspecific competition can aid evolutionary rescue when it speeds adaptation by increasing the strength of selection. Our results clarify this point and give an additional requirement: competition must increase selection pressure enough to overcome the negative effect of reduced abundance. We therefore expect evolutionary rescue to be most likely in communities which facilitate rapid niche displacement. Our model, which aligns to previous quantitative and population genetic models in the absence of competition, provides a first analysis of when competitors should help or hinder evolutionary rescue. PMID:23209167

  18. On the evolutionary origins of equity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphane Debove

    Full Text Available Equity, defined as reward according to contribution, is considered a central aspect of human fairness in both philosophical debates and scientific research. Despite large amounts of research on the evolutionary origins of fairness, the evolutionary rationale behind equity is still unknown. Here, we investigate how equity can be understood in the context of the cooperative environment in which humans evolved. We model a population of individuals who cooperate to produce and divide a resource, and choose their cooperative partners based on how they are willing to divide the resource. Agent-based simulations, an analytical model, and extended simulations using neural networks provide converging evidence that equity is the best evolutionary strategy in such an environment: individuals maximize their fitness by dividing benefits in proportion to their own and their partners' relative contribution. The need to be chosen as a cooperative partner thus creates a selection pressure strong enough to explain the evolution of preferences for equity. We discuss the limitations of our model, the discrepancies between its predictions and empirical data, and how interindividual and intercultural variability fit within this framework.

  19. Social traits, social networks and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, D N; McAdam, A G

    2017-12-01

    The social environment is both an important agent of selection for most organisms, and an emergent property of their interactions. As an aggregation of interactions among members of a population, the social environment is a product of many sets of relationships and so can be represented as a network or matrix. Social network analysis in animals has focused on why these networks possess the structure they do, and whether individuals' network traits, representing some aspect of their social phenotype, relate to their fitness. Meanwhile, quantitative geneticists have demonstrated that traits expressed in a social context can depend on the phenotypes and genotypes of interacting partners, leading to influences of the social environment on the traits and fitness of individuals and the evolutionary trajectories of populations. Therefore, both fields are investigating similar topics, yet have arrived at these points relatively independently. We review how these approaches are diverged, and yet how they retain clear parallelism and so strong potential for complementarity. This demonstrates that, despite separate bodies of theory, advances in one might inform the other. Techniques in network analysis for quantifying social phenotypes, and for identifying community structure, should be useful for those studying the relationship between individual behaviour and group-level phenotypes. Entering social association matrices into quantitative genetic models may also reduce bias in heritability estimates, and allow the estimation of the influence of social connectedness on trait expression. Current methods for measuring natural selection in a social context explicitly account for the fact that a trait is not necessarily the property of a single individual, something the network approaches have not yet considered when relating network metrics to individual fitness. Harnessing evolutionary models that consider traits affected by genes in other individuals (i.e. indirect genetic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Anne

    2015-06-01

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

  1. Vulnerability of dynamic genetic conservation units of forest trees in Europe to climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schueler, Silvio; Falk, Wolfgang; Koskela, Jarkko; Lefèvre, François; Bozzano, Michele; Hubert, Jason; Kraigher, Hojka; Longauer, Roman; Olrik, Ditte C

    2014-05-01

    A transnational network of genetic conservation units for forest trees was recently documented in Europe aiming at the conservation of evolutionary processes and the adaptive potential of natural or man-made tree populations. In this study, we quantified the vulnerability of individual conservation units and the whole network to climate change using climate favourability models and the estimated velocity of climate change. Compared to the overall climate niche of the analysed target species populations at the warm and dry end of the species niche are underrepresented in the network. However, by 2100, target species in 33-65 % of conservation units, mostly located in southern Europe, will be at the limit or outside the species' current climatic niche as demonstrated by favourabilities below required model sensitivities of 95%. The highest average decrease in favourabilities throughout the network can be expected for coniferous trees although they are mainly occurring within units in mountainous landscapes for which we estimated lower velocities of change. Generally, the species-specific estimates of favourabilities showed only low correlations to the velocity of climate change in individual units, indicating that both vulnerability measures should be considered for climate risk analysis. The variation in favourabilities among target species within the same conservation units is expected to increase with climate change and will likely require a prioritization among co-occurring species. The present results suggest that there is a strong need to intensify monitoring efforts and to develop additional conservation measures for populations in the most vulnerable units. Also, our results call for continued transnational actions for genetic conservation of European forest trees, including the establishment of dynamic conservation populations outside the current species distribution ranges within European assisted migration schemes. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lefévre, François; Kraigher, Hojka; Westergren, Marjana

    2013-01-01

    Dynamic conservation of forest genetic resources (FGR) means maintaining the genetic diversity of trees within an evolutionary process and allowing generation turnover in the forest. We assessed the network of forests areas managed for the dynamic conservation of FGR (conservation units) across Europe (33 countries). On the basis of information available in the European Information System on FGR (EUFGIS Portal), species distribution maps, and environmental stratification of the continent, we ...

  3. Exporting conservation

    OpenAIRE

    LTRA-12

    2012-01-01

    Metadata only record Soil degradation represents a major threat to food security, particularly in mountainous regions of Southeast Asia, where rainfall can wash away inches of topsoil. This article presents conservation agriculture as a potential solution, focusing on the work that North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University conducts in Southeast Asia in conjunction with regional partners as part of the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (SANREM) collabo...

  4. Eco-evolutionary dynamics, density-dependent dispersal and collective behaviour: implications for salmon metapopulation robustness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeakel, Justin D; Gibert, Jean P; Gross, Thilo; Westley, Peter A H; Moore, Jonathan W

    2018-05-19

    The spatial dispersal of individuals plays an important role in the dynamics of populations, and is central to metapopulation theory. Dispersal provides connections within metapopulations, promoting demographic and evolutionary rescue, but may also introduce maladapted individuals, potentially lowering the fitness of recipient populations through introgression of heritable traits. To explore this dual nature of dispersal, we modify a well-established eco-evolutionary model of two locally adapted populations and their associated mean trait values, to examine recruiting salmon populations that are connected by density-dependent dispersal, consistent with collective migratory behaviour that promotes navigation. When the strength of collective behaviour is weak such that straying is effectively constant, we show that a low level of straying is associated with the highest gains in metapopulation robustness and that high straying serves to erode robustness. Moreover, we find that as the strength of collective behaviour increases, metapopulation robustness is enhanced, but this relationship depends on the rate at which individuals stray. Specifically, strong collective behaviour increases the presence of hidden low-density basins of attraction, which may serve to trap disturbed populations, and this is exacerbated by increased habitat heterogeneity. Taken as a whole, our findings suggest that density-dependent straying and collective migratory behaviour may help metapopulations, such as in salmon, thrive in dynamic landscapes. Given the pervasive eco-evolutionary impacts of dispersal on metapopulations, these findings have important ramifications for the conservation of salmon metapopulations facing both natural and anthropogenic contemporary disturbances.This article is part of the theme issue 'Collective movement ecology'. © 2018 The Authors.

  5. Strongly Correlated Topological Insulators

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-02-03

    Strongly Correlated Topological Insulators In the past year, the grant was used for work in the field of topological phases, with emphasis on finding...surface of topological insulators. In the past 3 years, we have started a new direction, that of fractional topological insulators. These are materials...in which a topologically nontrivial quasi-flat band is fractionally filled and then subject to strong interactions. The views, opinions and/or

  6. Strong Cosmic Censorship

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isenberg, James

    2017-01-01

    The Hawking-Penrose theorems tell us that solutions of Einstein's equations are generally singular, in the sense of the incompleteness of causal geodesics (the paths of physical observers). These singularities might be marked by the blowup of curvature and therefore crushing tidal forces, or by the breakdown of physical determinism. Penrose has conjectured (in his `Strong Cosmic Censorship Conjecture`) that it is generically unbounded curvature that causes singularities, rather than causal breakdown. The verification that ``AVTD behavior'' (marked by the domination of time derivatives over space derivatives) is generically present in a family of solutions has proven to be a useful tool for studying model versions of Strong Cosmic Censorship in that family. I discuss some of the history of Strong Cosmic Censorship, and then discuss what is known about AVTD behavior and Strong Cosmic Censorship in families of solutions defined by varying degrees of isometry, and discuss recent results which we believe will extend this knowledge and provide new support for Strong Cosmic Censorship. I also comment on some of the recent work on ``Weak Null Singularities'', and how this relates to Strong Cosmic Censorship.

  7. Evolutionary Tracks for Betelgeuse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolan, Michelle M.; Mathews, Grant J.; Lam, Doan Duc; Quynh Lan, Nguyen; Herczeg, Gregory J.; Dearborn, David S. P.

    2016-03-01

    We have constructed a series of nonrotating quasi-hydrostatic evolutionary models for the M2 Iab supergiant Betelgeuse (α Orionis). Our models are constrained by multiple observed values for the temperature, luminosity, surface composition, and mass loss for this star, along with the parallax distance and high-resolution imagery that determines its radius. We have then applied our best-fit models to analyze the observed variations in surface luminosity and the size of detected surface bright spots as the result of up-flowing convective material from regions of high temperature in the surface convective zone. We also attempt to explain the intermittently observed periodic variability in a simple radial linear adiabatic pulsation model. Based on the best fit to all observed data, we suggest a best progenitor mass estimate of {20}-3+5 {M}⊙ and a current age from the start of the zero-age main sequence of 8.0-8.5 Myr based on the observed ejected mass while on the giant branch.

  8. Climate, Carbon, Conservation and Communities

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vaugn, Kit; Brickell, Emily [WWF-UK (United Kingdom); Roe, Dilys; Reid, Hannah; Elliot, Jo

    2007-07-01

    The growing market for carbon offers great opportunities for linking greenhouse gas mitigation with conservation of forests and biodiversity, and the generation of local livelihoods. For these combined objectives to be achieved, strong governance is needed along with institutions that ensure poor people win, rather than lose out, from the new challenges posed by climate change. This briefing paper explores the opportunities from and limitations to carbon-based funds for conservation and development. It highlights mechanisms that may help secure benefits for climate, conservation and communities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. Industrial Applications of Evolutionary Algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    Sanchez, Ernesto; Tonda, Alberto

    2012-01-01

    This book is intended as a reference both for experienced users of evolutionary algorithms and for researchers that are beginning to approach these fascinating optimization techniques. Experienced users will find interesting details of real-world problems, and advice on solving issues related to fitness computation, modeling and setting appropriate parameters to reach optimal solutions. Beginners will find a thorough introduction to evolutionary computation, and a complete presentation of all evolutionary algorithms exploited to solve different problems. The book could fill the gap between the

  11. Marine Dispersal Scales Are Congruent over Evolutionary and Ecological Time

    KAUST Repository

    Pinsky, Malin L.

    2016-12-15

    The degree to which offspring remain near their parents or disperse widely is critical for understanding population dynamics, evolution, and biogeography, and for designing conservation actions. In the ocean, most estimates suggesting short-distance dispersal are based on direct ecological observations of dispersing individuals, while indirect evolutionary estimates often suggest substantially greater homogeneity among populations. Reconciling these two approaches and their seemingly competing perspectives on dispersal has been a major challenge. Here we show for the first time that evolutionary and ecological measures of larval dispersal can closely agree by using both to estimate the distribution of dispersal distances. In orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula) populations in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, we found that evolutionary dispersal kernels were 17 km (95% confidence interval: 12–24 km) wide, while an exhaustive set of direct larval dispersal observations suggested kernel widths of 27 km (19–36 km) or 19 km (15–27 km) across two years. The similarity between these two approaches suggests that ecological and evolutionary dispersal kernels can be equivalent, and that the apparent disagreement between direct and indirect measurements can be overcome. Our results suggest that carefully applied evolutionary methods, which are often less expensive, can be broadly relevant for understanding ecological dispersal across the tree of life.

  12. Extrapolating Weak Selection in Evolutionary Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Bin; García, Julián; Hauert, Christoph; Traulsen, Arne

    2013-01-01

    In evolutionary games, reproductive success is determined by payoffs. Weak selection means that even large differences in game outcomes translate into small fitness differences. Many results have been derived using weak selection approximations, in which perturbation analysis facilitates the derivation of analytical results. Here, we ask whether results derived under weak selection are also qualitatively valid for intermediate and strong selection. By “qualitatively valid” we mean that the ranking of strategies induced by an evolutionary process does not change when the intensity of selection increases. For two-strategy games, we show that the ranking obtained under weak selection cannot be carried over to higher selection intensity if the number of players exceeds two. For games with three (or more) strategies, previous examples for multiplayer games have shown that the ranking of strategies can change with the intensity of selection. In particular, rank changes imply that the most abundant strategy at one intensity of selection can become the least abundant for another. We show that this applies already to pairwise interactions for a broad class of evolutionary processes. Even when both weak and strong selection limits lead to consistent predictions, rank changes can occur for intermediate intensities of selection. To analyze how common such games are, we show numerically that for randomly drawn two-player games with three or more strategies, rank changes frequently occur and their likelihood increases rapidly with the number of strategies . In particular, rank changes are almost certain for , which jeopardizes the predictive power of results derived for weak selection. PMID:24339769

  13. Evidence for selection maintaining MHC diversity in a rodent species despite strong density fluctuations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Andrea C; Herde, Antje; Mazzoni, Camila J; Eccard, Jana A; Sommer, Simone

    2016-07-01

    Strong spatiotemporal variation in population size often leads to reduced genetic diversity limiting the adaptive potential of individual populations. Key genes of adaptive variation are encoded by the immune genes of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) playing an essential role in parasite resistance. How MHC variation persists in rodent populations that regularly experience population bottlenecks remains an important topic in evolutionary genetics. We analysed the consequences of strong population fluctuations on MHC class II DRB exon 2 diversity in two distant common vole (Microtus arvalis) populations in three consecutive years using a high-throughput sequencing approach. In 143 individuals, we detected 25 nucleotide alleles translating into 14 unique amino acid MHC alleles belonging to at least three loci. Thus, the overall allelic diversity and amino acid distance among the remaining MHC alleles, used as a surrogate for the range of pathogenic antigens that can be presented to T-cells, are still remarkably high. Both study populations did not show significant population differentiation between years, but significant differences were found between sites. We concluded that selection processes seem to be strong enough to maintain moderate levels of MHC diversity in our study populations outcompeting genetic drift, as the same MHC alleles were conserved between years. Differences in allele frequencies between populations might be the outcome of different local parasite pressures and/or genetic drift. Further understanding of how pathogens vary across space and time will be crucial to further elucidate the mechanisms maintaining MHC diversity in cyclic populations.

  14. Evolutionary Origin of Euglena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakryś, Bożena; Milanowski, Rafał; Karnkowska, Anna

    2017-01-01

    Euglenids (Excavata, Discoba, Euglenozoa, Euglenida) is a group of free-living, single-celled flagellates living in the aquatic environments. The uniting and unique morphological feature of euglenids is the presence of a cell covering called the pellicle. The morphology and organization of the pellicle correlate well with the mode of nutrition and cell movement. Euglenids exhibit diverse modes of nutrition, including phagotrophy and photosynthesis. Photosynthetic species (Euglenophyceae) constitute a single subclade within euglenids. Their plastids embedded by three membranes arose as the result of a secondary endosymbiosis between phagotrophic eukaryovorous euglenid and the Pyramimonas-related green alga. Within photosynthetic euglenids three evolutionary lineages can be distinguished. The most basal lineage is formed by one mixotrophic species, Rapaza viridis. Other photosynthetic euglenids are split into two groups: predominantly marine Eutreptiales and freshwater Euglenales. Euglenales are divided into two families: Phacaceae, comprising three monophyletic genera (Discoplastis, Lepocinclis, Phacus) and Euglenaceae with seven monophyletic genera (Euglenaformis, Euglenaria, Colacium, Cryptoglena, Strombomonas, Trachelomonas, Monomorphina) and polyphyletic genus Euglena. For 150 years researchers have been studying Euglena based solely on morphological features what resulted in hundreds of descriptions of new taxa and many artificial intra-generic classification systems. In spite of the progress towards defining Euglena, it still remains polyphyletic and morphologically almost undistinguishable from members of the recently described genus Euglenaria; members of both genera have cells undergoing metaboly (dynamic changes in cell shape), large chloroplasts with pyrenoids and monomorphic paramylon grains. Model organisms Euglena gracilis Klebs, the species of choice for addressing fundamental questions in eukaryotic biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, is a

  15. Molluscan Evolutionary Genomics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simison, W. Brian; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-12-01

    In the last 20 years there have been dramatic advances in techniques of high-throughput DNA sequencing, most recently accelerated by the Human Genome Project, a program that has determined the three billion base pair code on which we are based. Now this tremendous capability is being directed at other genome targets that are being sampled across the broad range of life. This opens up opportunities as never before for evolutionary and organismal biologists to address questions of both processes and patterns of organismal change. We stand at the dawn of a new 'modern synthesis' period, paralleling that of the early 20th century when the fledgling field of genetics first identified the underlying basis for Darwin's theory. We must now unite the efforts of systematists, paleontologists, mathematicians, computer programmers, molecular biologists, developmental biologists, and others in the pursuit of discovering what genomics can teach us about the diversity of life. Genome-level sampling for mollusks to date has mostly been limited to mitochondrial genomes and it is likely that these will continue to provide the best targets for broad phylogenetic sampling in the near future. However, we are just beginning to see an inroad into complete nuclear genome sequencing, with several mollusks and other eutrochozoans having been selected for work about to begin. Here, we provide an overview of the state of molluscan mitochondrial genomics, highlight a few of the discoveries from this research, outline the promise of broadening this dataset, describe upcoming projects to sequence whole mollusk nuclear genomes, and challenge the community to prepare for making the best use of these data.

  16. Defining fitness in evolutionary models

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    jgen/087/04/0339-0348. Keywords. fitness; invasion exponent; adaptive dynamics; game theory; Lyapunov exponent; invasibility; Malthusian parameter. Abstract. The analysis of evolutionary models requires an appropriate definition for fitness.

  17. Evolutionary Processes and Mental Deficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spitz, Herman H.

    1973-01-01

    The author hypothesizes that central nervous system damage of deficiency associated with mental retardation affects primarily those cortical processes which developed at a late stage in man's evolutionary history. (Author)

  18. Evolutionary computation for reinforcement learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Whiteson, S.; Wiering, M.; van Otterlo, M.

    2012-01-01

    Algorithms for evolutionary computation, which simulate the process of natural selection to solve optimization problems, are an effective tool for discovering high-performing reinforcement-learning policies. Because they can automatically find good representations, handle continuous action spaces,

  19. Strong Arcwise Connectedness

    OpenAIRE

    Espinoza, Benjamin; Gartside, Paul; Kovan-Bakan, Merve; Mamatelashvili, Ana

    2012-01-01

    A space is `n-strong arc connected' (n-sac) if for any n points in the space there is an arc in the space visiting them in order. A space is omega-strong arc connected (omega-sac) if it is n-sac for all n. We study these properties in finite graphs, regular continua, and rational continua. There are no 4-sac graphs, but there are 3-sac graphs and graphs which are 2-sac but not 3-sac. For every n there is an n-sac regular continuum, but no regular continuum is omega-sac. There is an omega-sac ...

  20. Abortion: Strong's counterexamples fail

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Di Nucci, Ezio

    2009-01-01

    This paper shows that the counterexamples proposed by Strong in 2008 in the Journal of Medical Ethics to Marquis's argument against abortion fail. Strong's basic idea is that there are cases--for example, terminally ill patients--where killing an adult human being is prima facie seriously morally......'s scenarios have some valuable future or admitted that killing them is not seriously morally wrong. Finally, if "valuable future" is interpreted as referring to objective standards, one ends up with implausible and unpalatable moral claims....

  1. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks in community and ecosystem ecology: interactions between the ecological theatre and the evolutionary play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Post, David M.; Palkovacs, Eric P.

    2009-01-01

    Interactions between natural selection and environmental change are well recognized and sit at the core of ecology and evolutionary biology. Reciprocal interactions between ecology and evolution, eco-evolutionary feedbacks, are less well studied, even though they may be critical for understanding the evolution of biological diversity, the structure of communities and the function of ecosystems. Eco-evolutionary feedbacks require that populations alter their environment (niche construction) and that those changes in the environment feed back to influence the subsequent evolution of the population. There is strong evidence that organisms influence their environment through predation, nutrient excretion and habitat modification, and that populations evolve in response to changes in their environment at time-scales congruent with ecological change (contemporary evolution). Here, we outline how the niche construction and contemporary evolution interact to alter the direction of evolution and the structure and function of communities and ecosystems. We then present five empirical systems that highlight important characteristics of eco-evolutionary feedbacks: rotifer–algae chemostats; alewife–zooplankton interactions in lakes; guppy life-history evolution and nutrient cycling in streams; avian seed predators and plants; and tree leaf chemistry and soil processes. The alewife–zooplankton system provides the most complete evidence for eco-evolutionary feedbacks, but other systems highlight the potential for eco-evolutionary feedbacks in a wide variety of natural systems. PMID:19414476

  2. Evolutionary computation for trading systems

    OpenAIRE

    Kaucic, Massimiliano

    2008-01-01

    2007/2008 Evolutionary computations, also called evolutionary algorithms, consist of several heuristics, which are able to solve optimization tasks by imitating some aspects of natural evolution. They may use different levels of abstraction, but they are always working on populations of possible solutions for a given task. The basic idea is that if only those individuals of a population which meet a certain selection criteria reproduce, while the remaining individuals die, the ...

  3. Freud: the first evolutionary psychologist?

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeCroy, D

    2000-04-01

    An evolutionary perspective on attachment theory and psychoanalytic theory brings these two fields together in interesting ways. Application of the evolutionary principle of parent-offspring conflict to attachment theory suggests that attachment styles represent context-sensitive, evolved (adaptive) behaviors. In addition, an emphasis on offspring counter-strategies to adult reproductive strategies leads to consideration of attachment styles as overt manifestations of psychodynamic mediating processes, including the defense mechanisms of repression and reaction formation.

  4. An Evolutionary Game Theory Model of Revision-Resistant Motivations and Strategic Reasoning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    DeLancey, Craig

    2008-01-01

    Strong reciprocity and other forms of cooperation with non-kin in large groups and in one-time social interactions is difficult to explain with traditional economic or with simple evolutionary accounts...

  5. A strong comeback

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marier, D.

    1992-01-01

    This article presents the results of a financial rankings survey which show a strong economic activity in the independent energy industry. The topics of the article include advisor turnover, overseas banks, and the increase in public offerings. The article identifies the top project finance investors for new projects and restructurings and rankings for lenders

  6. Designing Conservation Corridors in Production Landscapes: Assessment Methods, Implementation Issues, and Lessons Learned

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda T. Lombard

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Designing broad-scale conservation corridors has become increasingly common as a way of conducting an assessment for achieving targets for the representation and persistence of nature. However, since many of these corridors must traverse agricultural and other production landscapes, planning and implementation are not trivial tasks. Most approaches to conservation assessments in the dynamic world of production landscapes are data-intensive and analytically complex. However, in the real world, donor and other external requirements impose time and budget constraints, and dictate strong stakeholder involvement in the entire planning process. In order to accommodate this, assessments must be rapid, cheap, and the approach and products must be comprehensible and acceptable to stakeholders. Here we describe such an assessment aimed at identifying and implementing a network of conservation corridors in the Gouritz Initiative project domain of South Africa's Cape Floristic Region hotspot. We used empirical data and expert knowledge to identify a corridor network hypothesized to sustain key ecological and evolutionary processes. We also consulted experts to provide a spatially explicit assessment of the opportunity costs of conservation associated with agriculture, the predominant land use in the region. We used these products to identify categories of land requiring different actions and instruments to achieve conservation goals, thereby moving from the "where" to the "how" of conservation. This information was then fed into the collaborative strategy development process for the Gouritz Initiative. Our discussion emphasizes the lessons that we learnt from undertaking this assessment, particularly lessons regarding the implementation of the planning products. We conclude that at the outset of any planning project, a consensus on the vision must be achieved, a detailed social assessment of appropriate institutions must be undertaken, and a learning

  7. Strong Electroweak Symmetry Breaking

    CERN Document Server

    Grinstein, Benjamin

    2011-01-01

    Models of spontaneous breaking of electroweak symmetry by a strong interaction do not have fine tuning/hierarchy problem. They are conceptually elegant and use the only mechanism of spontaneous breaking of a gauge symmetry that is known to occur in nature. The simplest model, minimal technicolor with extended technicolor interactions, is appealing because one can calculate by scaling up from QCD. But it is ruled out on many counts: inappropriately low quark and lepton masses (or excessive FCNC), bad electroweak data fits, light scalar and vector states, etc. However, nature may not choose the minimal model and then we are stuck: except possibly through lattice simulations, we are unable to compute and test the models. In the LHC era it therefore makes sense to abandon specific models (of strong EW breaking) and concentrate on generic features that may indicate discovery. The Technicolor Straw Man is not a model but a parametrized search strategy inspired by a remarkable generic feature of walking technicolor,...

  8. Plasmons in strong superconductors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baldo, M.; Ducoin, C.

    2011-01-01

    We present a study of the possible plasmon excitations that can occur in systems where strong superconductivity is present. In these systems the plasmon energy is comparable to or smaller than the pairing gap. As a prototype of these systems we consider the proton component of Neutron Star matter just below the crust when electron screening is not taken into account. For the realistic case we consider in detail the different aspects of the elementary excitations when the proton, electron components are considered within the Random-Phase Approximation generalized to the superfluid case, while the influence of the neutron component is considered only at qualitative level. Electron screening plays a major role in modifying the proton spectrum and spectral function. At the same time the electron plasmon is strongly modified and damped by the indirect coupling with the superfluid proton component, even at moderately low values of the gap. The excitation spectrum shows the interplay of the different components and their relevance for each excitation modes. The results are relevant for neutrino physics and thermodynamical processes in neutron stars. If electron screening is neglected, the spectral properties of the proton component show some resemblance with the physical situation in high-T c superconductors, and we briefly discuss similarities and differences in this connection. In a general prospect, the results of the study emphasize the role of Coulomb interaction in strong superconductors.

  9. Conservation of coevolving protein interfaces bridges prokaryote–eukaryote homologies in the twilight zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Rivas, Juan; Marsili, Simone; Juan, David; Valencia, Alfonso

    2016-01-01

    Protein–protein interactions are fundamental for the proper functioning of the cell. As a result, protein interaction surfaces are subject to strong evolutionary constraints. Recent developments have shown that residue coevolution provides accurate predictions of heterodimeric protein interfaces from sequence information. So far these approaches have been limited to the analysis of families of prokaryotic complexes for which large multiple sequence alignments of homologous sequences can be compiled. We explore the hypothesis that coevolution points to structurally conserved contacts at protein–protein interfaces, which can be reliably projected to homologous complexes with distantly related sequences. We introduce a domain-centered protocol to study the interplay between residue coevolution and structural conservation of protein–protein interfaces. We show that sequence-based coevolutionary analysis systematically identifies residue contacts at prokaryotic interfaces that are structurally conserved at the interface of their eukaryotic counterparts. In turn, this allows the prediction of conserved contacts at eukaryotic protein–protein interfaces with high confidence using solely mutational patterns extracted from prokaryotic genomes. Even in the context of high divergence in sequence (the twilight zone), where standard homology modeling of protein complexes is unreliable, our approach provides sequence-based accurate information about specific details of protein interactions at the residue level. Selected examples of the application of prokaryotic coevolutionary analysis to the prediction of eukaryotic interfaces further illustrate the potential of this approach. PMID:27965389

  10. Conservation of the Ethiopian church forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aerts, Raf; Ortveld, Koev van; November, Eva

    2016-01-01

    communities and related these to environmental variables and potential natural vegetation, (3) identified the main challenges to biodiversity conservation in view of plant population dynamics and anthropogenic disturbances, and (4) present guidelines for management and policy. The 394 forests identified...... and evolutionary potential of species may be threatened by isolation, small sizes of tree species populations and disturbance, especially when considering climate change. Forest management interventions are essential and should be supported by environmental education and other forms of public engagement....

  11. Fixation times in evolutionary games under weak selection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altrock, Philipp M; Traulsen, Arne

    2009-01-01

    In evolutionary game dynamics, reproductive success increases with the performance in an evolutionary game. If strategy A performs better than strategy B, strategy A will spread in the population. Under stochastic dynamics, a single mutant will sooner or later take over the entire population or go extinct. We analyze the mean exit times (or average fixation times) associated with this process. We show analytically that these times depend on the payoff matrix of the game in an amazingly simple way under weak selection, i.e. strong stochasticity: the payoff difference Δπ is a linear function of the number of A individuals i, Δπ=u i+v. The unconditional mean exit time depends only on the constant term v. Given that a single A mutant takes over the population, the corresponding conditional mean exit time depends only on the density dependent term u. We demonstrate this finding for two commonly applied microscopic evolutionary processes.

  12. Evolutionary competition between boundedly rational behavioral rules in oligopoly games

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cerboni Baiardi, Lorenzo; Lamantia, Fabio; Radi, Davide

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an evolutionary model of oligopoly competition where agents can select between different behavioral rules to make decisions on productions. We formalize the model as a general class of evolutionary oligopoly games and then we consider an example with two specific rules, namely Local Monopolistic Approximation and Gradient dynamics. We provide several results on the global dynamic properties of the model, showing that in some cases the attractor of the system may belong to an invariant plane where only one behavioral rule is adopted (monomorphic state). The attractors on the invariant planes can be either strong attractors or weak attractors. However, we also explain why the system can be in a state of Evolutionary Stable Heterogeneity, where it is more profitable for the agents to employ both heuristics in the long term (polymorphic state).

  13. Evolutionary foundations for cancer biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aktipis, C Athena; Nesse, Randolph M

    2013-01-01

    New applications of evolutionary biology are transforming our understanding of cancer. The articles in this special issue provide many specific examples, such as microorganisms inducing cancers, the significance of within-tumor heterogeneity, and the possibility that lower dose chemotherapy may sometimes promote longer survival. Underlying these specific advances is a large-scale transformation, as cancer research incorporates evolutionary methods into its toolkit, and asks new evolutionary questions about why we are vulnerable to cancer. Evolution explains why cancer exists at all, how neoplasms grow, why cancer is remarkably rare, and why it occurs despite powerful cancer suppression mechanisms. Cancer exists because of somatic selection; mutations in somatic cells result in some dividing faster than others, in some cases generating neoplasms. Neoplasms grow, or do not, in complex cellular ecosystems. Cancer is relatively rare because of natural selection; our genomes were derived disproportionally from individuals with effective mechanisms for suppressing cancer. Cancer occurs nonetheless for the same six evolutionary reasons that explain why we remain vulnerable to other diseases. These four principles-cancers evolve by somatic selection, neoplasms grow in complex ecosystems, natural selection has shaped powerful cancer defenses, and the limitations of those defenses have evolutionary explanations-provide a foundation for understanding, preventing, and treating cancer.

  14. 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.

  15. Strong-coupling approximations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abbott, R.B.

    1984-03-01

    Standard path-integral techniques such as instanton calculations give good answers for weak-coupling problems, but become unreliable for strong-coupling. Here we consider a method of replacing the original potential by a suitably chosen harmonic oscillator potential. Physically this is motivated by the fact that potential barriers below the level of the ground-state energy of a quantum-mechanical system have little effect. Numerically, results are good, both for quantum-mechanical problems and for massive phi 4 field theory in 1 + 1 dimensions. 9 references, 6 figures

  16. Strong interaction and QFD

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ebata, T.

    1981-01-01

    With an assumed weak multiplet structure for bosonic hadrons, which is consistent with the ΔI = 1/2 rule, it is shown that the strong interaction effective hamiltonian is compatible with the weak SU(2) x U(1) gauge transformation. Especially the rho-meson transforms as a triplet under SU(2)sub(w), and this is the origin of the rho-photon analogy. It is also shown that the existence of the non-vanishing Cabibbo angle is a necessary condition for the absence of the exotic hadrons. (orig.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hong, Wei; Zhao, Huabin

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Strong Coupling Holography

    CERN Document Server

    Dvali, Gia

    2009-01-01

    We show that whenever a 4-dimensional theory with N particle species emerges as a consistent low energy description of a 3-brane embedded in an asymptotically-flat (4+d)-dimensional space, the holographic scale of high-dimensional gravity sets the strong coupling scale of the 4D theory. This connection persists in the limit in which gravity can be consistently decoupled. We demonstrate this effect for orbifold planes, as well as for the solitonic branes and string theoretic D-branes. In all cases the emergence of a 4D strong coupling scale from bulk holography is a persistent phenomenon. The effect turns out to be insensitive even to such extreme deformations of the brane action that seemingly shield 4D theory from the bulk gravity effects. A well understood example of such deformation is given by large 4D Einstein term in the 3-brane action, which is known to suppress the strength of 5D gravity at short distances and change the 5D Newton's law into the four-dimensional one. Nevertheless, we observe that the ...

  19. Complicated evolutionary patterns of microRNAs in vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, XiaOwo; Zhang, XueGong; Li, YanDa

    2008-06-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of approximately 22 nt long endogenous non-coding RNAs that play important regulatory roles in diverse organisms. Up to now, little is known about the evolutionary properties of these crucial regulators. Most miRNAs were thought to be phylogenetically conserved, but recently, a number of poorly-conserved miRNAs have been reported and miRNA innovation is shown to be an ongoing process. In this work, through the characterization of an miRNA super family, we studied the evolutionary patterns of miRNAs in vertebrates. Recently generated miRNAs seem to evolve rapidly during a certain period following their emergence. Multiple lineage-specific expansions were observed. Homolgous premiRNAs may produce mature products from the opposite stem arms following tandem duplications, which may have important contribution to miRNA innovation. Our observations of miRNAs' complicated evolutionary patterns support the notion that these key regulatory molecules may play very active roles in evolution.

  20. Yin and yang surfaces: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legge, David

    2014-12-01

    A search of the Chinese medicine literature reveals several conflicting explanations of the division of the body into yin and yang surfaces. This paper attempts to clarify this basic concept and reconcile the differing descriptions of it through an exploration of material from other disciplines. A remarkable similarity exists between the surfaces on the human body that are defined by the pathways of the yin and yang meridians and those that have evolved from the ventral and the dorsal aspects of early vertebrate structure. Many of the evolutionary changes described have parallels in our embryological development and are evident in the underlying anatomy of our limbs. The degree of convergence between the two descriptions strongly supports the definition of the yin and yang surfaces as those traversed by the yin and yang meridians. It also goes a long way towards reconciling the conflicting definitions found in the literature. Finding a solution to this question of yin and yang surfaces that is based on anatomy and evolutionary theories has several advantages. It can throw light on differences in the clinical effects of points on the yin and yang meridians and enable the identification of anomalies in the pathways of the main meridian network. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  1. Evolutionary diversification in stickleback affects ecosystem functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Luke J; Matthews, Blake; Des Roches, Simone; Chase, Jonathan M; Shurin, Jonathan B; Schluter, Dolph

    2009-04-30

    Explaining the ecological causes of evolutionary diversification is a major focus of biology, but surprisingly little has been said about the effects of evolutionary diversification on ecosystems. The number of species in an ecosystem and their traits are key predictors of many ecosystem-level processes, such as rates of productivity, biomass sequestration and decomposition. Here we demonstrate short-term ecosystem-level effects of adaptive radiation in the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) over the past 10,000 years. These fish have undergone recent parallel diversification in several lakes in coastal British Columbia, resulting in the formation of two specialized species (benthic and limnetic) from a generalist ancestor. Using a mesocosm experiment, we demonstrate that this diversification has strong effects on ecosystems, affecting prey community structure, total primary production, and the nature of dissolved organic materials that regulate the spectral properties of light transmission in the system. However, these ecosystem effects do not simply increase in their relative strength with increasing specialization and species richness; instead, they reflect the complex and indirect consequences of ecosystem engineering by sticklebacks. It is well known that ecological factors influence adaptive radiation. We demonstrate that adaptive radiation, even over short timescales, can have profound effects on ecosystems.

  2. The evolutionary psychology of hunger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Shawaf, Laith

    2016-10-01

    An evolutionary psychological perspective suggests that emotions can be understood as coordinating mechanisms whose job is to regulate various psychological and physiological programs in the service of solving an adaptive problem. This paper suggests that it may also be fruitful to approach hunger from this coordinating mechanism perspective. To this end, I put forward an evolutionary task analysis of hunger, generating novel a priori hypotheses about the coordinating effects of hunger on psychological processes such as perception, attention, categorization, and memory. This approach appears empirically fruitful in that it yields a bounty of testable new hypotheses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. 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.

  4. Diversity-Guided Evolutionary Algorithms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ursem, Rasmus Kjær

    2002-01-01

    Population diversity is undoubtably a key issue in the performance of evolutionary algorithms. A common hypothesis is that high diversity is important to avoid premature convergence and to escape local optima. Various diversity measures have been used to analyze algorithms, but so far few...... algorithms have used a measure to guide the search. The diversity-guided evolutionary algorithm (DGEA) uses the wellknown distance-to-average-point measure to alternate between phases of exploration (mutation) and phases of exploitation (recombination and selection). The DGEA showed remarkable results...

  5. Achieving open access to conservation science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Richard A; Lee, Jasmine R; Watson, James E M

    2014-12-01

    Conservation science is a crisis discipline in which the results of scientific enquiry must be made available quickly to those implementing management. We assessed the extent to which scientific research published since the year 2000 in 20 conservation science journals is publicly available. Of the 19,207 papers published, 1,667 (8.68%) are freely downloadable from an official repository. Moreover, only 938 papers (4.88%) meet the standard definition of open access in which material can be freely reused providing attribution to the authors is given. This compares poorly with a comparable set of 20 evolutionary biology journals, where 31.93% of papers are freely downloadable and 7.49% are open access. Seventeen of the 20 conservation journals offer an open access option, but fewer than 5% of the papers are available through open access. The cost of accessing the full body of conservation science runs into tens of thousands of dollars per year for institutional subscribers, and many conservation practitioners cannot access pay-per-view science through their workplace. However, important initiatives such as Research4Life are making science available to organizations in developing countries. We urge authors of conservation science to pay for open access on a per-article basis or to choose publication in open access journals, taking care to ensure the license allows reuse for any purpose providing attribution is given. Currently, it would cost $51 million to make all conservation science published since 2000 freely available by paying the open access fees currently levied to authors. Publishers of conservation journals might consider more cost effective models for open access and conservation-oriented organizations running journals could consider a broader range of options for open access to nonmembers such as sponsorship of open access via membership fees. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the Society for

  6. LIGO: The strong belief

    CERN Multimedia

    Antonella Del Rosso

    2016-01-01

    Twenty years of designing, building and testing a number of innovative technologies, with the strong belief that the endeavour would lead to a historic breakthrough. The Bulletin publishes an abstract of the Courier’s interview with Barry Barish, one of the founding fathers of LIGO.   The plots show the signals of gravitational waves detected by the twin LIGO observatories at Livingston, Louisiana, and Hanford, Washington. (Image: Caltech/MIT/LIGO Lab) On 11 February, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo collaborations published a historic paper in which they showed a gravitational signal emitted by the merger of two black holes. These results come after 20 years of hard work by a large collaboration of scientists operating the two LIGO observatories in the US. Barry Barish, Linde Professor of Physics, Emeritus at the California Institute of Technology and former Director of the Global Design Effort for the Internat...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, Alexander V.

    2011-01-01

    In complex organisms, neutral evolution of genomic architecture, associated compensatory interactions in protein networks and emergent developmental processes can delineate the directions of evolutionary change, including the opportunity for natural selection. These effects are reflected in the evolution of developmental programmes that link genomic architecture with a corresponding functioning phenotype. Two recent findings call for closer examination of the rules by which these links are constructed. First is the realization that high dimensionality of genotypes and emergent properties of autonomous developmental processes (such as capacity for self-organization) result in the vast areas of fitness neutrality at both the phenotypic and genetic levels. Second is the ubiquity of context- and taxa-specific regulation of deeply conserved gene networks, such that exceptional phenotypic diversification coexists with remarkably conserved generative processes. Establishing the causal reciprocal links between ongoing neutral expansion of genomic architecture, emergent features of organisms' functionality, and often precisely adaptive phenotypic diversification therefore becomes an important goal of evolutionary biology and is the latest reincarnation of the search for a framework that links development, functioning and evolution of phenotypes. Here I examine, in the light of recent empirical advances, two evolutionary concepts that are central to this framework—natural selection and inheritance—the general rules by which they become associated with emergent developmental and homeostatic processes and the role that they play in descent with modification. PMID:21490021

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2011-07-07

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

  9. Animal models and conserved processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greek Ray

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The concept of conserved processes presents unique opportunities for using nonhuman animal models in biomedical research. However, the concept must be examined in the context that humans and nonhuman animals are evolved, complex, adaptive systems. Given that nonhuman animals are examples of living systems that are differently complex from humans, what does the existence of a conserved gene or process imply for inter-species extrapolation? Methods We surveyed the literature including philosophy of science, biological complexity, conserved processes, evolutionary biology, comparative medicine, anti-neoplastic agents, inhalational anesthetics, and drug development journals in order to determine the value of nonhuman animal models when studying conserved processes. Results Evolution through natural selection has employed components and processes both to produce the same outcomes among species but also to generate different functions and traits. Many genes and processes are conserved, but new combinations of these processes or different regulation of the genes involved in these processes have resulted in unique organisms. Further, there is a hierarchy of organization in complex living systems. At some levels, the components are simple systems that can be analyzed by mathematics or the physical sciences, while at other levels the system cannot be fully analyzed by reducing it to a physical system. The study of complex living systems must alternate between focusing on the parts and examining the intact whole organism while taking into account the connections between the two. Systems biology aims for this holism. We examined the actions of inhalational anesthetic agents and anti-neoplastic agents in order to address what the characteristics of complex living systems imply for inter-species extrapolation of traits and responses related to conserved processes. Conclusion We conclude that even the presence of conserved processes is

  10. Animal models and conserved processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greek, Ray; Rice, Mark J

    2012-09-10

    The concept of conserved processes presents unique opportunities for using nonhuman animal models in biomedical research. However, the concept must be examined in the context that humans and nonhuman animals are evolved, complex, adaptive systems. Given that nonhuman animals are examples of living systems that are differently complex from humans, what does the existence of a conserved gene or process imply for inter-species extrapolation? We surveyed the literature including philosophy of science, biological complexity, conserved processes, evolutionary biology, comparative medicine, anti-neoplastic agents, inhalational anesthetics, and drug development journals in order to determine the value of nonhuman animal models when studying conserved processes. Evolution through natural selection has employed components and processes both to produce the same outcomes among species but also to generate different functions and traits. Many genes and processes are conserved, but new combinations of these processes or different regulation of the genes involved in these processes have resulted in unique organisms. Further, there is a hierarchy of organization in complex living systems. At some levels, the components are simple systems that can be analyzed by mathematics or the physical sciences, while at other levels the system cannot be fully analyzed by reducing it to a physical system. The study of complex living systems must alternate between focusing on the parts and examining the intact whole organism while taking into account the connections between the two. Systems biology aims for this holism. We examined the actions of inhalational anesthetic agents and anti-neoplastic agents in order to address what the characteristics of complex living systems imply for inter-species extrapolation of traits and responses related to conserved processes. We conclude that even the presence of conserved processes is insufficient for inter-species extrapolation when the trait or response

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohane Isaac

    2005-11-01

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

  12. Theoretical Approaches in Evolutionary Ecology: Environmental Feedback as a Unifying Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lion, Sébastien

    2018-01-01

    Evolutionary biology and ecology have a strong theoretical underpinning, and this has fostered a variety of modeling approaches. A major challenge of this theoretical work has been to unravel the tangled feedback loop between ecology and evolution. This has prompted the development of two main classes of models. While quantitative genetics models jointly consider the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a focal population, a separation of timescales between ecology and evolution is assumed by evolutionary game theory, adaptive dynamics, and inclusive fitness theory. As a result, theoretical evolutionary ecology tends to be divided among different schools of thought, with different toolboxes and motivations. My aim in this synthesis is to highlight the connections between these different approaches and clarify the current state of theory in evolutionary ecology. Central to this approach is to make explicit the dependence on environmental dynamics of the population and evolutionary dynamics, thereby materializing the eco-evolutionary feedback loop. This perspective sheds light on the interplay between environmental feedback and the timescales of ecological and evolutionary processes. I conclude by discussing some potential extensions and challenges to our current theoretical understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonghai Fan

    2017-12-01

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

  14. Evolutionary origin of the turtle skull.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bever, G S; Lyson, Tyler R; Field, Daniel J; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2015-09-10

    Transitional fossils informing the origin of turtles are among the most sought-after discoveries in palaeontology. Despite strong genomic evidence indicating that turtles evolved from within the diapsid radiation (which includes all other living reptiles), evidence of the inferred transformation between an ancestral turtle with an open, diapsid skull to the closed, anapsid condition of modern turtles remains elusive. Here we use high-resolution computed tomography and a novel character/taxon matrix to study the skull of Eunotosaurus africanus, a 260-million-year-old fossil reptile from the Karoo Basin of South Africa, whose distinctive postcranial skeleton shares many unique features with the shelled body plan of turtles. Scepticism regarding the status of Eunotosaurus as the earliest stem turtle arises from the possibility that these shell-related features are the products of evolutionary convergence. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate strong cranial support for Eunotosaurus as a critical transitional form in turtle evolution, thus fortifying a 40-million-year extension to the turtle stem and moving the ecological context of its origin back onto land. Furthermore, we find unexpected evidence that Eunotosaurus is a diapsid reptile in the process of becoming secondarily anapsid. This is important because categorizing the skull based on the number of openings in the complex of dermal bone covering the adductor chamber has long held sway in amniote systematics, and still represents a common organizational scheme for teaching the evolutionary history of the group. These discoveries allow us to articulate a detailed and testable hypothesis of fenestral closure along the turtle stem. Our results suggest that Eunotosaurus represents a crucially important link in a chain that will eventually lead to consilience in reptile systematics, paving the way for synthetic studies of amniote evolution and development.

  15. Evolutionary genetics: the Drosophila model

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    ral selection is provided by studies—sometimes characterized as evolutionary ecology—that attempt to understand how and why particular fitness functions are defined on the distribution of phenotypes in a population by its ecology. Studying how the interaction between phenotype and environment results in a fitness ...

  16. Conceptual foundations of evolutionary thought

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2017-07-04

    Jul 4, 2017 ... Home; Journals; Journal of Genetics; Volume 96; Issue 3. Conceptual foundations of evolutionary thought. K. P. MOHANAN. Perspectives Volume 96 Issue 3 July 2017 pp 401-412. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jgen/096/03/0401-0412. Abstract ...

  17. Evolutionary robotics–A review

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-08-26

    Aug 26, 2016 ... In evolutionary robotics, a suitable robot control system is developed automatically through evolution due to the interactions between the robot and its environment. It is a complicated task, as the robot and the environment constitute a highly dynamical system. Several methods have been tried by various ...

  18. Haldane and modern evolutionary genetics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Genetics; Volume 96; Issue 5. Haldane and modern evolutionary genetics. BRIAN CHARLESWORTH. HALDANE AT 125 Volume 96 Issue 5 November 2017 pp 773-782. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jgen/096/05/0773-0782. Keywords.

  19. Scalable Computing for Evolutionary Genomics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prins, J.C.P.; Belhachemi, D.; Möller, S.; Smant, G.

    2012-01-01

    Genomic data analysis in evolutionary biology is becoming so computationally intensive that analysis of multiple hypotheses and scenarios takes too long on a single desktop computer. In this chapter, we discuss techniques for scaling computations through parallelization of calculations, after giving

  20. Evolutionary Biology Research in India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 5; Issue 10. Evolutionary Biology Research in India. Information and Announcements Volume 5 Issue 10 October 2000 pp 102-104. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/005/10/0102-0104 ...

  1. Cryptic eco-evolutionary dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinnison, Michael T; Hairston, Nelson G; Hendry, Andrew P

    2015-12-01

    Natural systems harbor complex interactions that are fundamental parts of ecology and evolution. These interactions challenge our inclinations and training to seek the simplest explanations of patterns in nature. Not least is the likelihood that some complex processes might be missed when their patterns look similar to predictions for simpler mechanisms. Along these lines, theory and empirical evidence increasingly suggest that environmental, ecological, phenotypic, and genetic processes can be tightly intertwined, resulting in complex and sometimes surprising eco-evolutionary dynamics. The goal of this review is to temper inclinations to unquestioningly seek the simplest explanations in ecology and evolution, by recognizing that some eco-evolutionary outcomes may appear very similar to purely ecological, purely evolutionary, or even null expectations, and thus be cryptic. We provide theoretical and empirical evidence for observational biases and mechanisms that might operate among the various links in eco-evolutionary feedbacks to produce cryptic patterns. Recognition that cryptic dynamics can be associated with outcomes like stability, resilience, recovery, or coexistence in a dynamically changing world provides added impetus for finding ways to study them. © 2015 New York Academy of Sciences.

  2. Darwinian foundations for evolutionary economics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stoelhorst, J.W.

    2008-01-01

    This paper engages with the methodological debate on the contribution of Darwinism to Veblen's (1898) evolutionary research program for economics. I argue that ontological continuity, generalized Darwinism, and multi-level selection are necessary building blocks for an explanatory framework that can

  3. Evolutionary Psychology and Intelligence Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanazawa, Satoshi

    2010-01-01

    This article seeks to unify two subfields of psychology that have hitherto stood separately: evolutionary psychology and intelligence research/differential psychology. I suggest that general intelligence may simultaneously be an evolved adaptation and an individual-difference variable. Tooby and Cosmides's (1990a) notion of random quantitative…

  4. Diversity-Guided Evolutionary Algorithms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ursem, Rasmus Kjær

    2002-01-01

    Population diversity is undoubtably a key issue in the performance of evolutionary algorithms. A common hypothesis is that high diversity is important to avoid premature convergence and to escape local optima. Various diversity measures have been used to analyze algorithms, but so far few algorit...

  5. Testing evolutionary theories of menopause.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanley, Daryl P; Sear, Rebecca; Mace, Ruth; Kirkwood, Thomas B L

    2007-12-07

    Why do women cease fertility rather abruptly through menopause at an age well before generalized senescence renders child rearing biologically impossible? The two main evolutionary hypotheses are that menopause serves either (i) to protect mothers from rising age-specific maternal mortality risks, thereby protecting their highly dependent younger children from death if the mother dies or (ii) to provide post-reproductive grandmothers who enhance their inclusive fitness by helping to care and provide for their daughters' children. Recent theoretical work indicates that both factors together are necessary if menopause is to provide an evolutionary advantage. However, these ideas need to be tested using detailed data from actual human life histories lived under reasonably 'natural' conditions; for obvious reasons, such data are extremely scarce. We here describe a study based on a remarkably complete dataset from The Gambia. The data provided quantitative estimates for key parameters for the theoretical model, which were then used to assess the actual effects on fitness. Empirically based numerical analysis of this nature is essential if the enigma of menopause is to be explained satisfactorily in evolutionary terms. Our results point to the distinctive (and perhaps unique) role of menopause in human evolution and provide important support for the hypothesized evolutionary significance of grandmothers.

  6. Defining fitness in evolutionary models

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2008-12-23

    Dec 23, 2008 ... The analysis of evolutionary models requires an appropriate definition for fitness. ..... of dimorphism for dormancy in plants (Cohen 1966). .... yses have assumed nonoverlapping generations (i.e. no age- structure). The solution to defining fitness when the environ- ment is spatially variable and there is a ...

  7. Evolutionary dynamics of mammalian karyotypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlo Alberto Redi

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This special volume of Cytogenetic and Genome Research (edited by Roscoe Stanyon, University of Florence and Alexander Graphodatsky, Siberian division of the Russian Academy of Sciences is dedicated to the fascinating long search of the forces behind the evolutionary dynamics of mammalian karyotypes, revealed after the hypotonic miracle of the 1950s....

  8. Euryhalinity in an evolutionary context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Eric T.; McCormick, Stephen D.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Farrell, Anthony Peter; Brauner, Colin J.

    2013-01-01

    This chapter focuses on the evolutionary importance and taxonomic distribution of euryhalinity. Euryhalinity refers to broad halotolerance and broad halohabitat distribution. Salinity exposure experiments have demonstrated that species vary tenfold in their range of tolerable salinity levels, primarily because of differences in upper limits. Halotolerance breadth varies with the species’ evolutionary history, as represented by its ordinal classification, and with the species’ halohabitat. Freshwater and seawater species tolerate brackish water; their empirically-determined fundamental haloniche is broader than their realized haloniche, as revealed by the halohabitats they occupy. With respect to halohabitat distribution, a minority of species (basal actinopterygian fishes, is largely absent from orders arising from intermediate nodes, and reappears in the most derived taxa. There is pronounced family-level variability in the tendency to be halohabitat-euryhaline, which may have arisen during a burst of diversification following the Cretaceous-Palaeogene extinction. Low prevalence notwithstanding, euryhaline species are potent sources of evolutionary diversity. Euryhalinity is regarded as a key innovation trait whose evolution enables exploitation of new adaptive zone, triggering cladogenesis. We review phylogenetically-informed studies that demonstrate freshwater species diversifying from euryhaline ancestors through processes such as landlocking. These studies indicate that some euryhaline taxa are particularly susceptible to changes in halohabitat and subsequent diversification, and some geographic regions have been hotspots for transitions to freshwater. Comparative studies on mechanisms among multiple taxa and at multiple levels of biological integration are needed to clarify evolutionary pathways to, and from, euryhalinity.

  9. Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 10; Issue 7. Polemics and Synthesis: Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology. Renee M Borges. General Article Volume 10 Issue 7 July 2005 pp 21-33. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  10. Evolutionary Biology Research in India

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 5; Issue 10. Evolutionary Biology Research in India. Information and Announcements Volume 5 Issue 10 October 2000 pp 102-104. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/005/10/0102-0104 ...

  11. Evolutionary robotics – A review

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    R. Narasimhan (Krishtel eMaging) 1461 1996 Oct 15 13:05:22

    to solve this problem. This paper provides a survey on some of these important studies carried out in the recent past. Keywords. Evolutionary robotics; genetic ... neural network (NN) (Kosko 1994), to study the interaction between evolution and learning. .... After GA-based learning of the neural controller, the navigation.

  12. John Strong (1941 - 2006)

    CERN Multimedia

    Wickens, F

    Our friend and colleague John Strong was cruelly taken from us by a brain tumour on Monday 31st July, a few days before his 65th birthday John started his career working with a group from Westfield College, under the leadership of Ted Bellamy. He obtained his PhD and spent the early part of his career on experiments at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL), but after the early 1970s his research was focussed on experiments in CERN. Over the years he made a number of notable contributions to experiments in CERN: The Omega spectrometer adopted a system John had originally developed for experiments at RAL using vidicon cameras to record the sparks in the spark chambers; He contributed to the success of NA1 and NA7, where he became heavily involved in the electronic trigger systems; He was responsible for the second level trigger system for the ALEPH detector and spent five years leading a team that designed and built the system, which ran for twelve years with only minor interventions. Following ALEPH he tur...

  13. Stirring Strongly Coupled Plasma

    CERN Document Server

    Fadafan, Kazem Bitaghsir; Rajagopal, Krishna; Wiedemann, Urs Achim

    2009-01-01

    We determine the energy it takes to move a test quark along a circle of radius L with angular frequency w through the strongly coupled plasma of N=4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills (SYM) theory. We find that for most values of L and w the energy deposited by stirring the plasma in this way is governed either by the drag force acting on a test quark moving through the plasma in a straight line with speed v=Lw or by the energy radiated by a quark in circular motion in the absence of any plasma, whichever is larger. There is a continuous crossover from the drag-dominated regime to the radiation-dominated regime. In the crossover regime we find evidence for significant destructive interference between energy loss due to drag and that due to radiation as if in vacuum. The rotating quark thus serves as a model system in which the relative strength of, and interplay between, two different mechanisms of parton energy loss is accessible via a controlled classical gravity calculation. We close by speculating on the implicati...

  14. Strong-interaction nonuniversality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Volkas, R.R.; Foot, R.; He, X.; Joshi, G.C.

    1989-01-01

    The universal QCD color theory is extended to an SU(3) 1 direct product SU(3) 2 direct product SU(3) 3 gauge theory, where quarks of the ith generation transform as triplets under SU(3)/sub i/ and singlets under the other two factors. The usual color group is then identified with the diagonal subgroup, which remains exact after symmetry breaking. The gauge bosons associated with the 16 broken generators then form two massive octets under ordinary color. The interactions between quarks and these heavy gluonlike particles are explicitly nonuniversal and thus an exploration of their physical implications allows us to shed light on the fundamental issue of strong-interaction universality. Nonuniversality and weak flavor mixing are shown to generate heavy-gluon-induced flavor-changing neutral currents. The phenomenology of these processes is studied, as they provide the major experimental constraint on the extended theory. Three symmetry-breaking scenarios are presented. The first has color breaking occurring at the weak scale, while the second and third divorce the two scales. The third model has the interesting feature of radiatively induced off-diagonal Kobayashi-Maskawa matrix elements

  15. Evolutionary analysis of FAM83H in vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wushuang Huang

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

  16. Phylogeography and Conservation Genetics of the Ibero-Balearic Three-Spined Stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vila, Marta; Hermida, Miguel; Fernández, Carlos; Perea, Silvia; Doadrio, Ignacio; Amaro, Rafaela; San Miguel, Eduardo

    2017-01-01

    Genetic isolation and drift may imperil peripheral populations of wide-ranging species more than central ones. Therefore, information about species genetic variability and population structure is invaluable for conservation managers. The Iberian populations of three-spined stickleback lie at the southwestern periphery of the European distribution of Gasterosteus aculeatus. This teleost is a protected species in Portugal and Spain and local extinctions have been reported in both countries during the last decades. Our objectives were (i) to determine whether the Iberian populations of G. aculeatus are unique or composed of any of the major evolutionary lineages previously identified and (ii) to assess the evolutionary potential of these peripheral populations. We genotyped 478 individuals from 17 sites at 10 polymorphic microsatellite loci to evaluate the genetic variability and differentiation of the Ibero-Balearic populations. We also sequenced 1,165 bp of the mitochondrial genome in 331 of those individuals in order to complement the estimates of genetic diversity in the Ibero-Balearic region. We predicted the evolutionary potential of the different sites analysed based on the contribution of each of them to total allelic/mitochondrial diversity. An intraspecific phylogeny at European level was reconstructed using our data from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (755 bp) and published sequences. The so-called Transatlantic, European and Mediterranean mitochondrial lineages were found to be present in the Ibero-Balearic region. Their phylogeography suggests a history of multiple colonisations. The nuclear results show, however, a strong correlation between population structure and drainage system. The following basins should be prioritised by conservation policies in order to preserve those populations with the highest evolutionary potential: the Portuguese Vouga and Tagus as well as the Spanish Majorca and Limia. Maintenance of their connectivity, control of

  17. Towards a mechanistic foundation of evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doebeli, Michael; Ispolatov, Yaroslav; Simon, Burt

    2017-02-15

    Most evolutionary thinking is based on the notion of fitness and related ideas such as fitness landscapes and evolutionary optima. Nevertheless, it is often unclear what fitness actually is, and its meaning often depends on the context. Here we argue that fitness should not be a basal ingredient in verbal or mathematical descriptions of evolution. Instead, we propose that evolutionary birth-death processes, in which individuals give birth and die at ever-changing rates, should be the basis of evolutionary theory, because such processes capture the fundamental events that generate evolutionary dynamics. In evolutionary birth-death processes, fitness is at best a derived quantity, and owing to the potential complexity of such processes, there is no guarantee that there is a simple scalar, such as fitness, that would describe long-term evolutionary outcomes. We discuss how evolutionary birth-death processes can provide useful perspectives on a number of central issues in evolution.

  18. Evolutionary biology of bacterial and fungal pathogens

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Cassell, Gail H; Gutierrez-Fuentes, Jose A; Barquero, Fernando; Nombela, Cesar

    2008-01-01

    ... and Evolutionary Dynamics of Pathogens * 21 Keith A. Crandall and Marcos Pérez-Losada II. Evolutionary Genetics of Microbial Pathogens 4. Environmental and Social Influences on Infectious Disea...

  19. Evolutionary history of the porpoise family (Phocoenidae) : A perspective from mitogenomes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ben Chehida, Yacine; Aguilar, A. A.; Borrell, A.; Ferreira, M.; Taylor, B.L.; Rojas-Bracho, L.; Robertson, K.; Thumloup, Julie; Schumacher, C.; Vikingsson, G.A.; Morin, Phillip A.; Fontaine, Michael Christophe

    2017-01-01

    The six species of porpoises inhabit the cold waters of the globe, displaying a textbook example of anti-tropical distribution in marine mammals. Nevertheless, the evolutionary history of the porpoises still remained poorly understood, but this knowledge is crucial to illuminate the conservation

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, W Chris; Murphy, Melanie A

    2010-02-01

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

  1. Evolutionary biology today and the call for an extended synthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Futuyma, Douglas J

    2017-10-06

    Evolutionary theory has been extended almost continually since the evolutionary synthesis (ES), but except for the much greater importance afforded genetic drift, the principal tenets of the ES have been strongly supported. Adaptations are attributable to the sorting of genetic variation by natural selection, which remains the only known cause of increase in fitness. Mutations are not adaptively directed, but as principal authors of the ES recognized, the material (structural) bases of biochemistry and development affect the variety of phenotypic variations that arise by mutation and recombination. Against this historical background, I analyse major propositions in the movement for an 'extended evolutionary synthesis'. 'Niche construction' is a new label for a wide variety of well-known phenomena, many of which have been extensively studied, but (as with every topic in evolutionary biology) some aspects may have been understudied. There is no reason to consider it a neglected 'process' of evolution. The proposition that phenotypic plasticity may engender new adaptive phenotypes that are later genetically assimilated or accommodated is theoretically plausible; it may be most likely when the new phenotype is not truly novel, but is instead a slight extension of a reaction norm already shaped by natural selection in similar environments. However, evolution in new environments often compensates for maladaptive plastic phenotypic responses. The union of population genetic theory with mechanistic understanding of developmental processes enables more complete understanding by joining ultimate and proximate causation; but the latter does not replace or invalidate the former. Newly discovered molecular phenomena have been easily accommodated in the past by elaborating orthodox evolutionary theory, and it appears that the same holds today for phenomena such as epigenetic inheritance. In several of these areas, empirical evidence is needed to evaluate enthusiastic speculation

  2. Darwin’s legacy in South African evolutionary biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. D. Johnson

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available In the two decades after publication of the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin facilitated the publication of numerous scientific papers by settler naturalists in South Africa. This helped to establish the strong tradition of natural history which has characterised evolutionary research in South African museums, herbaria and universities. Significant developments in the early 20th century included the hominid fossil discoveries of Raymond Dart, Robert Broom, and others, but there was otherwise very little South African involvement in the evolutionary synthesis of the 1930s and 1940s. Evolutionary biology developed into a distinct discipline in South Africa during the 1970s and 1980s when it was dominated by mammalian palaeontology and a vigorous debate around species concepts. In the post-apartheid era, the main focus of evolutionary biology has been the construction of phylogenies for African plants and animals using molecular data, and the use of these phylogenies to answer questions about taxonomic classification and trait evolution. South African biologists have also recently contributed important evidence for some of Darwin’s ideas about plant–animal coevolution, sexual selection, and the role of natural selection in speciation. A bibliographic analysis shows that South African authors produce 2–3% of the world’s publications in the field of evolutionary biology, which is much higher than the value of about 0.5% for publications in all sciences. With its extraordinary biodiversity and well-developed research infrastructure, South Africa is an ideal laboratory from which to advance evolutionary research.

  3. Evolutionary rate patterns of the Gibberellin pathway genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Fu-min

    2009-08-01

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

  4. The citation field of evolutionary economics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dolfsma, Wilfred; Leydesdorff, Loet

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary economics has developed into an academic field of its own, institutionalized around, amongst others, the Journal of Evolutionary Economics (JEE). This paper analyzes the way and extent to which evolutionary economics has become an interdisciplinary journal, as its aim was: a journal

  5. Beyond conservation agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giller, Ken E; Andersson, Jens A; Corbeels, Marc; Kirkegaard, John; Mortensen, David; Erenstein, Olaf; Vanlauwe, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals, and biotechnology. Over the past 10 years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub-) tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture.

  6. Beyond Conservation Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken E Giller

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance, soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals and biotechnology. Over the past ten years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub- tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture.

  7. Beyond conservation agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giller, Ken E.; Andersson, Jens A.; Corbeels, Marc; Kirkegaard, John; Mortensen, David; Erenstein, Olaf; Vanlauwe, Bernard

    2015-01-01

    Global support for Conservation Agriculture (CA) as a pathway to Sustainable Intensification is strong. CA revolves around three principles: no-till (or minimal soil disturbance), soil cover, and crop rotation. The benefits arising from the ease of crop management, energy/cost/time savings, and soil and water conservation led to widespread adoption of CA, particularly on large farms in the Americas and Australia, where farmers harness the tools of modern science: highly-sophisticated machines, potent agrochemicals, and biotechnology. Over the past 10 years CA has been promoted among smallholder farmers in the (sub-) tropics, often with disappointing results. Growing evidence challenges the claims that CA increases crop yields and builds-up soil carbon although increased stability of crop yields in dry climates is evident. Our analyses suggest pragmatic adoption on larger mechanized farms, and limited uptake of CA by smallholder farmers in developing countries. We propose a rigorous, context-sensitive approach based on Systems Agronomy to analyze and explore sustainable intensification options, including the potential of CA. There is an urgent need to move beyond dogma and prescriptive approaches to provide soil and crop management options for farmers to enable the Sustainable Intensification of agriculture. PMID:26579139

  8. Schroedinger operators and evolutionary strategies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asselmeyer, T.

    1997-01-01

    First we introduce a simple model for the description of evolutionary algorithms, which is based on 2nd order partial differential equations for the distribution function of the individuals. Then we turn to the properties of Boltzmann's and Darwin's strategy. the next chapter is dedicated to the mathematical properties of Schroedinger operators. Both statements on the spectral density and their reproducibility during the simulation are summarized. The remaining of this chapter are dedicated to the analysis of the kernel as well as the dependence of the Schroedinger operator on the potential. As conclusion from the results of this chapter we obtain the classification of the strategies in dependence of the fitness. We obtain the classification of the evolutionary strategies, which are described by a 2nd order partial differential equation, in relation to their solution behaviour. Thereafter we are employed with the variation of the mutation distribution

  9. The evolutionary portrait of metazoan NAD salvage.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. The evolutionary portrait of metazoan NAD salvage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Carneiro

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

  11. Evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-22

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

  12. Incorporating Development Into Evolutionary Psychology

    OpenAIRE

    David F. Bjorklund

    2016-01-01

    Developmental thinking is gradually becoming integrated within mainstream evolutionary psychology. This is most apparent with respect to the role of parenting, with proponents of life history theory arguing that cognitive and behavioral plasticity early in life permits children to select different life history strategies, with such strategies being adaptive solutions to different fitness trade-offs. I argue that adaptations develop and are based on the highly plastic nature of infants’ and ch...

  13. Evolutionary dynamics of diploid populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desimone, Ralph; Newman, Timothy

    2003-10-01

    There has been much recent interest in constructing computer models of evolutionary dynamics. Typically these models focus on asexual population dynamics, which are appropriate for haploid organsims such as bacteria. Using a recently developed ``genome template'' model, we extend the algorithm to a sexual population of diploid organisms. We will present some early results showing the temporal evolution of mean fitness and genetic variation, and compare this to typical results from haploid populations.

  14. Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation

    OpenAIRE

    Csibra, Gergely; Gergely, György

    2011-01-01

    We propose that the cognitive mechanisms that enable the transmission of cultural knowledge by communication between individuals constitute a system of ‘natural pedagogy’ in humans, and represent an evolutionary adaptation along the hominin lineage. We discuss three kinds of arguments that support this hypothesis. First, natural pedagogy is likely to be human-specific: while social learning and communication are both widespread in non-human animals, we know of no example of social learning by...

  15. Ecological interactions are evolutionarily conserved across the entire tree of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, José M; Verdú, Miguel; Perfectti, Francisco

    2010-06-17

    Ecological interactions are crucial to understanding both the ecology and the evolution of organisms. Because the phenotypic traits regulating species interactions are largely a legacy of their ancestors, it is widely assumed that ecological interactions are phylogenetically conserved, with closely related species interacting with similar partners. However, the existing empirical evidence is inadequate to appropriately evaluate the hypothesis of phylogenetic conservatism in ecological interactions, because it is both ecologically and taxonomically biased. In fact, most studies on the evolution of ecological interactions have focused on specialized organisms, such as some parasites or insect herbivores, belonging to a limited subset of the overall tree of life. Here we study the evolution of host use in a large and diverse group of interactions comprising both specialist and generalist acellular, unicellular and multicellular organisms. We show that, as previously found for specialized interactions, generalized interactions can be evolutionarily conserved. Significant phylogenetic conservatism of interaction patterns was equally likely to occur in symbiotic and non-symbiotic interactions, as well as in mutualistic and antagonistic interactions. Host-use differentiation among species was higher in phylogenetically conserved clades, irrespective of their generalization degree and taxonomic position within the tree of life. Our findings strongly suggest a shared pattern in the organization of biological systems through evolutionary time, mediated by marked conservatism of ecological interactions among taxa.

  16. Evolutionary Theories in Environmental and Resource Economics: Approaches and Applications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Bergh, J.C.J.M.; Gowdy, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    Recent advances in evolutionary theory have important implications for environmental economics. A short overview is offered of evolutionary thinking in economics. Subsequently, major concepts and approaches in evolutionary biology and evolutionary economics are presented and compared. Attention is

  17. Incorporating Development Into Evolutionary Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F. Bjorklund

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Developmental thinking is gradually becoming integrated within mainstream evolutionary psychology. This is most apparent with respect to the role of parenting, with proponents of life history theory arguing that cognitive and behavioral plasticity early in life permits children to select different life history strategies, with such strategies being adaptive solutions to different fitness trade-offs. I argue that adaptations develop and are based on the highly plastic nature of infants’ and children’s behavior/cognition/brains. The concept of evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanisms is introduced, defined as information processing mechanisms evolved to solve recurrent problems faced by ancestral populations that are expressed in a probabilistic fashion in each individual in a generation and are based on the continuous and bidirectional interaction over time at all levels of organization, from the genetic through the cultural. Early perceptual/cognitive biases result in behavior that, when occurring in a species-typical environment, produce continuous adaptive changes in behavior (and cognition, yielding adaptive outcomes. Examples from social learning and tool use are provided, illustrating the development of adaptations via evolved probabilistic cognitive mechanisms. The integration of developmental concepts into mainstream evolutionary psychology (and evolutionary concepts into mainstream developmental psychology will provide a clearer picture of what it means to be human.

  18. Evolutionary computation and QSAR research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguiar-Pulido, Vanessa; Gestal, Marcos; Cruz-Monteagudo, Maykel; Rabuñal, Juan R; Dorado, Julian; Munteanu, Cristian R

    2013-06-01

    The successful high throughput screening of molecule libraries for a specific biological property is one of the main improvements in drug discovery. The virtual molecular filtering and screening relies greatly on quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) analysis, a mathematical model that correlates the activity of a molecule with molecular descriptors. QSAR models have the potential to reduce the costly failure of drug candidates in advanced (clinical) stages by filtering combinatorial libraries, eliminating candidates with a predicted toxic effect and poor pharmacokinetic profiles, and reducing the number of experiments. To obtain a predictive and reliable QSAR model, scientists use methods from various fields such as molecular modeling, pattern recognition, machine learning or artificial intelligence. QSAR modeling relies on three main steps: molecular structure codification into molecular descriptors, selection of relevant variables in the context of the analyzed activity, and search of the optimal mathematical model that correlates the molecular descriptors with a specific activity. Since a variety of techniques from statistics and artificial intelligence can aid variable selection and model building steps, this review focuses on the evolutionary computation methods supporting these tasks. Thus, this review explains the basic of the genetic algorithms and genetic programming as evolutionary computation approaches, the selection methods for high-dimensional data in QSAR, the methods to build QSAR models, the current evolutionary feature selection methods and applications in QSAR and the future trend on the joint or multi-task feature selection methods.

  19. Testing evolutionary convergence on Europa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chela-Flores, Julian

    2002-11-01

    A major objective in solar system exploration is the insertion of appropriate biology-oriented experiments in future missions. We discuss various reasons for suggesting that this type of research be considered a high priority for feasibility studies and, subsequently, for technological development of appropriate melters and submersibles. Based on numerous examples, we argue in favour of the assumption that Darwin's theory is valid for the evolution of life anywhere in the universe. We have suggested how to obtain preliminary insights into the question of the distribution of life in the universe. Universal evolution of intelligent behaviour is at the end of an evolutionary pathway, in which evolution of ion channels in the membrane of microorganisms occurs in its early stages. Further, we have argued that a preliminary test of this conjecture is feasible with experiments on the Europan surface or ocean, involving evolutionary biosignatures (ion channels). This aspect of the exploration for life in the solar system should be viewed as a complement to the astronomical approach for the search of evidence of the later stages of the evolutionary pathways towards intelligent behaviour. (author)

  20. What's wrong with evolutionary biology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, John J

    2017-01-01

    There have been periodic claims that evolutionary biology needs urgent reform, and this article tries to account for the volume and persistence of this discontent. It is argued that a few inescapable properties of the field make it prone to criticisms of predictable kinds, whether or not the criticisms have any merit. For example, the variety of living things and the complexity of evolution make it easy to generate data that seem revolutionary (e.g. exceptions to well-established generalizations, or neglected factors in evolution), and lead to disappointment with existing explanatory frameworks (with their high levels of abstraction, and limited predictive power). It is then argued that special discontent stems from misunderstandings and dislike of one well-known but atypical research programme: the study of adaptive function, in the tradition of behavioural ecology. To achieve its goals, this research needs distinct tools, often including imaginary agency, and a partial description of the evolutionary process. This invites mistaken charges of narrowness and oversimplification (which come, not least, from researchers in other subfields), and these chime with anxieties about human agency and overall purpose. The article ends by discussing several ways in which calls to reform evolutionary biology actively hinder progress in the field.

  1. Evolutionary ecology of virus emergence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennehy, John J

    2017-02-01

    The cross-species transmission of viruses into new host populations, termed virus emergence, is a significant issue in public health, agriculture, wildlife management, and related fields. Virus emergence requires overlap between host populations, alterations in virus genetics to permit infection of new hosts, and adaptation to novel hosts such that between-host transmission is sustainable, all of which are the purview of the fields of ecology and evolution. A firm understanding of the ecology of viruses and how they evolve is required for understanding how and why viruses emerge. In this paper, I address the evolutionary mechanisms of virus emergence and how they relate to virus ecology. I argue that, while virus acquisition of the ability to infect new hosts is not difficult, limited evolutionary trajectories to sustained virus between-host transmission and the combined effects of mutational meltdown, bottlenecking, demographic stochasticity, density dependence, and genetic erosion in ecological sinks limit most emergence events to dead-end spillover infections. Despite the relative rarity of pandemic emerging viruses, the potential of viruses to search evolutionary space and find means to spread epidemically and the consequences of pandemic viruses that do emerge necessitate sustained attention to virus research, surveillance, prophylaxis, and treatment. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  2. Cancer research meets evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pepper, John W; Scott Findlay, C; Kassen, Rees; Spencer, Sabrina L; Maley, Carlo C

    2009-02-01

    There is increasing evidence that Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection provides insights into the etiology and treatment of cancer. On a microscopic scale, neoplastic cells meet the conditions for evolution by Darwinian selection: cell reproduction with heritable variability that affects cell survival and replication. This suggests that, like other areas of biological and biomedical research, Darwinian theory can provide a general framework for understanding many aspects of cancer, including problems of great clinical importance. With the availability of raw molecular data increasing rapidly, this theory may provide guidance in translating data into understanding and progress. Several conceptual and analytical tools from evolutionary biology can be applied to cancer biology. Two clinical problems may benefit most from the application of Darwinian theory: neoplastic progression and acquired therapeutic resistance. The Darwinian theory of cancer has especially profound implications for drug development, both in terms of explaining past difficulties, and pointing the way toward new approaches. Because cancer involves complex evolutionary processes, research should incorporate both tractable (simplified) experimental systems, and also longitudinal observational studies of the evolutionary dynamics of cancer in laboratory animals and in human patients. Cancer biology will require new tools to control the evolution of neoplastic cells.

  3. Ecological and evolutionary effects of stickleback on community structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Des Roches

    Full Text Available Species' ecology and evolution can have strong effects on communities. Both may change concurrently when species colonize a new ecosystem. We know little, however, about the combined effects of ecological and evolutionary change on community structure. We simultaneously examined the effects of top-predator ecology and evolution on freshwater community parameters using recently evolved generalist and specialist ecotypes of three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus. We used a mesocosm experiment to directly examine the effects of ecological (fish presence and density and evolutionary (phenotypic diversity and specialization factors on community structure at lower trophic levels. We evaluated zooplankton biomass and composition, periphyton and phytoplankton chlorophyll-a concentration, and net primary production among treatments containing different densities and diversities of stickleback. Our results showed that both ecological and evolutionary differences in the top-predator affect different aspects of community structure and composition. Community structure, specifically the abundance of organisms at each trophic level, was affected by stickleback presence and density, whereas composition of zooplankton was influenced by stickleback diversity and specialization. Primary productivity, in terms of chlorophyll-a concentration and net primary production was affected by ecological but not evolutionary factors. Our results stress the importance of concurrently evaluating both changes in density and phenotypic diversity on the structure and composition of communities.

  4. Ecological and evolutionary effects of stickleback on community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Roches, Simone; Shurin, Jonathan B; Schluter, Dolph; Harmon, Luke J

    2013-01-01

    Species' ecology and evolution can have strong effects on communities. Both may change concurrently when species colonize a new ecosystem. We know little, however, about the combined effects of ecological and evolutionary change on community structure. We simultaneously examined the effects of top-predator ecology and evolution on freshwater community parameters using recently evolved generalist and specialist ecotypes of three-spine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We used a mesocosm experiment to directly examine the effects of ecological (fish presence and density) and evolutionary (phenotypic diversity and specialization) factors on community structure at lower trophic levels. We evaluated zooplankton biomass and composition, periphyton and phytoplankton chlorophyll-a concentration, and net primary production among treatments containing different densities and diversities of stickleback. Our results showed that both ecological and evolutionary differences in the top-predator affect different aspects of community structure and composition. Community structure, specifically the abundance of organisms at each trophic level, was affected by stickleback presence and density, whereas composition of zooplankton was influenced by stickleback diversity and specialization. Primary productivity, in terms of chlorophyll-a concentration and net primary production was affected by ecological but not evolutionary factors. Our results stress the importance of concurrently evaluating both changes in density and phenotypic diversity on the structure and composition of communities.

  5. The evolutionary advantage of limited network knowledge.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Jennifer M

    2016-06-07

    Groups of individuals have social networks that structure interactions within the groups; evolutionary theory increasingly uses this fact to explain the emergence of cooperation (Eshel and Cavalli-Sforza, 1982; Boyd and Richerson, 1988, 1989; Ohtsuki et al., 2006; Nowak et al., 2010; Van Veelen et al., 2012). This approach has resulted in a number of important insights for the evolution of cooperation in the biological and social sciences, but omits a key function of social networks that has persisted throughout recent evolutionary history (Apicella et al., 2012): their role in transmitting gossip about behavior within a group. Accounting for this well-established role of social networks among rational agents in a setting of indirect reciprocity not only shows a new mechanism by which the structure of networks is fitness-relevant, but also reveals that knowledge of social networks can be fitness-relevant as well. When groups enforce cooperation by sanctioning peers whom gossip reveals to have deviated, individuals in certain peripheral network positions are tempting targets of uncooperative behavior because gossip they share about misbehavior spreads slowly through the network. The ability to identify these individuals creates incentives to behave uncooperatively. Consequently, groups comprised of individuals who knew precise information about their social networks would be at a fitness disadvantage relative to groups of individuals with a coarser knowledge of their networks. Empirical work has consistently shown that modern humans know little about the structure of their own social networks and perform poorly when tasked with learning new ones. This robust empirical regularity may be the product of natural selection in an environment of strong selective pressure at the group level. Imprecise views of networks make enforcing cooperation easier. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Sensory-based conservation of seabirds: a review of management strategies and animal behaviours that facilitate success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesen, Megan R; Beggs, Jacqueline R; Gaskett, Anne C

    2017-08-01

    Sensory-based conservation harnesses species' natural communication and signalling behaviours to mitigate threats to wild populations. To evaluate this emerging field, we assess how sensory-based manipulations, sensory mode, and target taxa affect success. To facilitate broader, cross-species application of successful techniques, we test which behavioural and life-history traits correlate with positive conservation outcomes. We focus on seabirds, one of the world's most rapidly declining groups, whose philopatry, activity patterns, foraging, mate choice, and parental care behaviours all involve reliance on, and therefore strong selection for, sophisticated sensory physiology and accurate assessment of intra- and inter-species signals and cues in several sensory modes. We review the use of auditory, olfactory, and visual methods, especially for attracting seabirds to newly restored habitat or deterring birds from fishing boats and equipment. We found that more sensory-based conservation has been attempted with Procellariiformes (tube-nosed seabirds) and Charadriiformes (e.g. terns and gulls) than other orders, and that successful outcomes are more likely for Procellariiformes. Evolutionary and behavioural traits are likely to facilitate sensory-based techniques, such as social attraction to suitable habitat, across seabird species. More broadly, successful application of sensory-based conservation to other at-risk animal groups is likely to be associated with these behavioural and life-history traits: coloniality, philopatry, nocturnal, migratory, long-distance foraging, parental care, and pair bonds/monogamy. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  8. Water Conservation and Water Storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanan, M.

    2014-12-01

    Water storage can be a viable part of the solution to water conservation. This means that we should include reservoirs. Regardless, one should evaluate all aspects of water conservation principles. Recent drought in California indicates that there is an urgent need to re-visit the techniques used to maintain the water supply-chain mechanism in the entire state. We all recognize the fact that fish and wildlife depend on the streams, rivers and wetlands for survival. It is a well-known fact that there is an immediate need to provide solid protection to all these resources. Laws and regulations should help meet the needs of natural systems. Farmers may be forced to drilling wells deeper than ever. But, they will be eventually depleting groundwater reserves. Needless to say that birds, fish and wildlife cannot access these groundwater table. California is talking a lot about conservation. Unfortunately, the conservation efforts have not established a strong visible hold. The Environmental Protection Agency has a plan called E2PLAN (Narayanan, 2012). It is EPA's plan for achieving energy and environmental performance, leadership, accountability, and carbon neutrality. In June 2011, the EPA published a comprehensive, multi-year planning document called Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan. The author has previously reported these in detail at the 2012 AGU fall meeting. References: Ziegler, Jay (15 JUNE 2014). The Conversation: Water conservation efforts aren't taking hold, but there are encouraging signs. THE SACRAMENTO BEE. California. Narayanan, Mysore. (2012). The Importance of Water Conservation in the 21st Century. 72nd AGU International Conference. Eos Transactions: American Geophysical Union, Vol. 92, No. 56, Fall Meeting Supplement, 2012. H31I - 1255.http://www.sacbee.com/2014/06/15/6479862/jay-ziegler-water-conservation.html#storylink=cpy

  9. Finding a partner in the ocean: molecular and evolutionary bases of the response to sexual cues in a planktonic diatom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basu, Swaraj; Patil, Shrikant; Mapleson, Daniel; Russo, Monia Teresa; Vitale, Laura; Fevola, Cristina; Maumus, Florian; Casotti, Raffaella; Mock, Thomas; Caccamo, Mario; Montresor, Marina; Sanges, Remo; Ferrante, Maria Immacolata

    2017-07-01

    Microalgae play a major role as primary producers in aquatic ecosystems. Cell signalling regulates their interactions with the environment and other organisms, yet this process in phytoplankton is poorly defined. Using the marine planktonic diatom Pseudo-nitzschia multistriata, we investigated the cell response to cues released during sexual reproduction, an event that demands strong regulatory mechanisms and impacts on population dynamics. We sequenced the genome of P. multistriata and performed phylogenomic and transcriptomic analyses, which allowed the definition of gene gains and losses, horizontal gene transfers, conservation and evolutionary rate of sex-related genes. We also identified a small number of conserved noncoding elements. Sexual reproduction impacted on cell cycle progression and induced an asymmetric response of the opposite mating types. G protein-coupled receptors and cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) are implicated in the response to sexual cues, which overall entails a modulation of cell cycle, meiosis-related and nutrient transporter genes, suggesting a fine control of nutrient uptake even under nutrient-replete conditions. The controllable life cycle and the genome sequence of P. multistriata allow the reconstruction of changes occurring in diatoms in a key phase of their life cycle, providing hints on the evolution and putative function of their genes and empowering studies on sexual reproduction. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  10. Strong signature of natural selection within an FHIT intron implicated in prostate cancer risk.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Ding

    Full Text Available Previously, a candidate gene linkage approach on brother pairs affected with prostate cancer identified a locus of prostate cancer susceptibility at D3S1234 within the fragile histidine triad gene (FHIT, a tumor suppressor that induces apoptosis. Subsequent association tests on 16 SNPs spanning approximately 381 kb surrounding D3S1234 in Americans of European descent revealed significant evidence of association for a single SNP within intron 5 of FHIT. In the current study, re-sequencing and genotyping within a 28.5 kb region surrounding this SNP further delineated the association with prostate cancer risk to a 15 kb region. Multiple SNPs in sequences under evolutionary constraint within intron 5 of FHIT defined several related haplotypes with an increased risk of prostate cancer in European-Americans. Strong associations were detected for a risk haplotype defined by SNPs 138543, 142413, and 152494 in all cases (Pearson's chi(2 = 12.34, df 1, P = 0.00045 and for the homozygous risk haplotype defined by SNPs 144716, 142413, and 148444 in cases that shared 2 alleles identical by descent with their affected brothers (Pearson's chi(2 = 11.50, df 1, P = 0.00070. In addition to highly conserved sequences encompassing SNPs 148444 and 152413, population studies revealed strong signatures of natural selection for a 1 kb window covering the SNP 144716 in two human populations, the European American (pi = 0.0072, Tajima's D = 3.31, 14 SNPs and the Japanese (pi = 0.0049, Fay & Wu's H = 8.05, 14 SNPs, as well as in chimpanzees (Fay & Wu's H = 8.62, 12 SNPs. These results strongly support the involvement of the FHIT intronic region in an increased risk of prostate cancer.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Governance of tourism conservation partnerships: lessons from Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nthiga, R.W.

    2014-01-01

    <strong>Governance of Tourism Conservation Partnerships: Lessons from Kenyastrong> Rita Wairimu Nthiga Since the 19th century nature conservation in Eastern Africa has evolved in different stages. Initial interventions emerged as a result of the decline and potential extinction of species for

  13. Governance of tourism conservation partnerships: lessons from Kenya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nthiga, R.W.

    2014-01-01

    <strong>Governance of Tourism Conservation Partnerships: Lessons from Kenyastrong>

    Rita Wairimu Nthiga

    Since the 19th century nature conservation in Eastern Africa has evolved in different stages. Initial interventions emerged as a result of the decline and potential extinction of

  14. Conserving Phylogenetic Diversity Can Be a Poor Strategy for Conserving Functional Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazel, Florent; Mooers, Arne O; Riva, Giulio Valentino Dalla; Pennell, Matthew W

    2017-11-01

    For decades, academic biologists have advocated for making conservation decisions in light of evolutionary history. Specifically, they suggest that policy makers should prioritize conserving phylogenetically diverse assemblages. The most prominent argument is that conserving phylogenetic diversity (PD) will also conserve diversity in traits and features (functional diversity [FD]), which may be valuable for a number of reasons. The claim that PD-maximized ("maxPD") sets of taxa will also have high FD is often taken at face value and in cases where researchers have actually tested it, they have done so by measuring the phylogenetic signal in ecologically important functional traits. The rationale is that if traits closely mirror phylogeny, then saving the maxPD set of taxa will tend to maximize FD and if traits do not have phylogenetic structure, then saving the maxPD set of taxa will be no better at capturing FD than criteria that ignore PD. Here, we suggest that measuring the phylogenetic signal in traits is uninformative for evaluating the effectiveness of using PD in conservation. We evolve traits under several different models and, for the first time, directly compare the FD of a set of taxa that maximize PD to the FD of a random set of the same size. Under many common models of trait evolution and tree shapes, conserving the maxPD set of taxa will conserve more FD than conserving a random set of the same size. However, this result cannot be generalized to other classes of models. We find that under biologically plausible scenarios, using PD to select species can actually lead to less FD compared with a random set. Critically, this can occur even when there is phylogenetic signal in the traits. Predicting exactly when we expect using PD to be a good strategy for conserving FD is challenging, as it depends on complex interactions between tree shape and the assumptions of the evolutionary model. Nonetheless, if our goal is to maintain trait diversity, the fact

  15. Evolutionary analysis of the TPP-dependent enzyme family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costelloe, Seán J; Ward, John M; Dalby, Paul A

    2008-01-01

    The evolutionary relationships of the thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP)-dependent family of enzymes was investigated by generation of a neighbor joining phylogenetic tree using sequences from the conserved pyrophosphate (PP) and pyrimidine (Pyr) binding domains of 17 TPP-dependent enzymes. This represents the most comprehensive analysis of TPP-dependent enzyme evolution to date. The phylogeny was shown to be robust by comparison with maximum likelihood trees generated for each individual enzyme and also broadly confirms the evolutionary history proposed recently from structural comparisons alone (Duggleby 2006). The phylogeny is most parsimonious with the TPP enzymes having arisen from a homotetramer which subsequently diverged into an alpha(2)beta(2) heterotetramer. The relationship between the PP- and Pyr-domains and the recruitment of additional protein domains was examined using the transketolase C-terminal (TKC)-domain as an example. This domain has been recruited by several members of the family and yet forms no part of the active site and has unknown function. Removal of the TKC-domain was found to increase activity toward beta-hydroxypyruvate and glycolaldehyde. Further truncations of the Pyr-domain yielded several variants with retained activity. This suggests that the influence of TKC-domain recruitment on the evolution of the mechanism and specificity of transketolase (TK) has been minor, and that the smallest functioning unit of TK comprises the PP- and Pyr-domains, whose evolutionary histories extend to all TPP-dependent enzymes.

  16. In silico analysis of evolutionary patterns in restriction endonucleases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Tiratha Raj; Pardasani, Kamal Raj

    2009-01-01

    Restriction endonucleases represent one of the best studied examples of DNA binding proteins. Type II restriction endonucleases recognize short sequences of foreign DNA and cleave the target on both strands with remarkable sequence specificity. Type II restriction endonucleases are part of restriction modification systems. Restriction modification systems occur ubiquitously among bacteria and archaea. Restriction endonucleases are indispensable tools in molecular biology and biotechnology. They are important model system for specific protein-nucleic acid interactions and also serve as good example for investigating structural, functional and evolutionary relationships among various biomolecules. The interaction between restriction endonucleases and their recognition sequences plays a crucial role in biochemical activities like catalytic site/metal binding, DNA repair and recombination etc. We study various patterns in restriction endonucleases type II and analyzed their structural, functional and evolutionary role. Our studies support X-ray crystallographic studies, arguing for divergence and molecular evolution. Conservation patterns of the nuclease superfamily have also been analyzed by estimating site-specific evolutionary rates for the analyzed structures related to respective chains in this study.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  18. Diversity, Biodiversity, Conservation, and Sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joao Carlos Marques

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The concepts of diversity and biodiversity are analysed regarding their historical emergence, and their intrinsic meaning and differences are discussed. Through a brief synopsis, difficulties usually experienced by statisticians in capturing the dynamics of diversity are analysed and main problems identified. The shift from diversity to the more holistic biodiversity as a working concept is appraised in terms of the novelty involved. Through a number of examples, the way the two concepts capture natural cyclic changes is analysed, and their reciprocal and complementary relations are approached theoretically. The way diversity could develop from the stores of biodiversity as its active expression through selective and evolutionary processes is described. Through the use of a very simple dynamic model, the concepts of diversity and biodiversity are analysed in extremely opposite hypothetical scenarios. Comparisons with natural situations are made and the theoretical implications from the conservation point of view are discussed. These support the opinion that conservation undertaken in restricted and protected areas is not self-sustainable, needing permanent external intervention to regulate internal processes, and in the long run will most probably lead in the direction of obsolescence and extinction. Finally, the relations between diversity, biodiversity, and sustainability are approached. The vagueness of the sustainability concept is discussed. Preservation of biodiversity is then defended as one of the best available indicators to assist us in fixing boundaries which may help to provide a more precise definition of sustainability.

  19. ChIP-seq Identification of Weakly Conserved Heart Enhancers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  20. Incorporating phylogenetic information for the definition of floristic districts in hyper-diverse Amazon forests: implications for conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guevara, J.E.; Pitman, N.C.A.; ter Steege, H.; Mogollón, H.; Ceron, C.; Palacios, W.; Oleas, N.; Fine, P.V.A.

    2017-01-01

    Using complementary metrics to evaluate phylogenetic diversity can facilitate the delimitation of floristic units and conservation priority areas. In this study, we describe the spatial patterns of phylogenetic alpha and beta diversity, phylogenetic endemism, and evolutionary distinctiveness of the

  1. New satellite DNA in Lacerta s. str. lizards (Sauria: Lacertidae): evolutionary pathways and phylogenetic impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciobanu, Doina; Grechko, Vernata V; Darevsky, Ilya S; Kramerov, Dmitri A

    2004-11-15

    A new tandemly repeated (satellite) DNA family namely Agi160, from Lacerta agilis and Lacerta strigata (Lacerta sensu stricto (s. str.), Linnaeus 1758) have been cloned and sequenced. Agi160 is found in the above two species, as well as two other representatives of the same genus, L. viridis and L. media. DNA hybridization did not reveal it in Darevskia, Podarcis, Zootoca, Eremias, Ophisops, and Gallotia - the other genera of the family Lacertidae. The results suggest that Agi160 is a Lacerta s. str. specific family of tandem DNA repeats. However, a comparison between sequences of Agi160 and CLsat repeat units revealed 60 bp regions 62-74% identical. The latter is a satellite DNA family typical for Darevskia (syn. "L. saxicola complex") (Grechko et al., Molecular-genetic classification and phylogenetic relatedness of some species of Lacertidae lizards by taxonoprint data. Mol Biol 32:172-183, 1988.). Both Agi160 and CLsat tandem repeats share several common features (e.g., the same AT content and distribution of multiple short A-T runs, internal structure of repeated units, the presence of conservative regions). These data are indicative of their common origin and a possibly strong selective pressure upon conserving both satellites. A comparative analysis of structure, organization, and abundance of these two families of satDNA reveals evolutionary pathways that led to their formation and divergence. The data are consistent with the hypotheses of the concerted evolution of satellite DNA families. The possibility of use of Agi160 as a phylogenetic tool, defining relationships within Lacerta s. str., as well as within the whole family of Lacertidae is discussed. Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Effects of Clonal Reproduction on Evolutionary Lag and Evolutionary Rescue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orive, Maria E; Barfield, Michael; Fernandez, Carlos; Holt, Robert D

    2017-10-01

    Evolutionary lag-the difference between mean and optimal phenotype in the current environment-is of keen interest in light of rapid environmental change. Many ecologically important organisms have life histories that include stage structure and both sexual and clonal reproduction, yet how stage structure and clonality interplay to govern a population's rate of evolution and evolutionary lag is unknown. Effects of clonal reproduction on mean phenotype partition into two portions: one that is phenotype dependent, and another that is genotype dependent. This partitioning is governed by the association between the nonadditive genetic plus random environmental component of phenotype of clonal offspring and their parents. While clonality slows phenotypic evolution toward an optimum, it can dramatically increase population survival after a sudden step change in optimal phenotype. Increased adult survival slows phenotypic evolution but facilitates population survival after a step change; this positive effect can, however, be lost given survival-fecundity trade-offs. Simulations indicate that the benefits of increased clonality under environmental change greatly depend on the nature of that change: increasing population persistence under a step change while decreasing population persistence under a continuous linear change requiring de novo variation. The impact of clonality on the probability of persistence for species in a changing world is thus inexorably linked to the temporal texture of the change they experience.

  3. Barnacle cement: a polymerization model based on evolutionary concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickinson, Gary H.; Vega, Irving E.; Wahl, Kathryn J.; Orihuela, Beatriz; Beyley, Veronica; Rodriguez, Eva N.; Everett, Richard K.; Bonaventura, Joseph; Rittschof, Daniel

    2009-01-01

    Summary Enzymes and biochemical mechanisms essential to survival are under extreme selective pressure and are highly conserved through evolutionary time. We applied this evolutionary concept to barnacle cement polymerization, a process critical to barnacle fitness that involves aggregation and cross-linking of proteins. The biochemical mechanisms of cement polymerization remain largely unknown. We hypothesized that this process is biochemically similar to blood clotting, a critical physiological response that is also based on aggregation and cross-linking of proteins. Like key elements of vertebrate and invertebrate blood clotting, barnacle cement polymerization was shown to involve proteolytic activation of enzymes and structural precursors, transglutaminase cross-linking and assembly of fibrous proteins. Proteolytic activation of structural proteins maximizes the potential for bonding interactions with other proteins and with the surface. Transglutaminase cross-linking reinforces cement integrity. Remarkably, epitopes and sequences homologous to bovine trypsin and human transglutaminase were identified in barnacle cement with tandem mass spectrometry and/or western blotting. Akin to blood clotting, the peptides generated during proteolytic activation functioned as signal molecules, linking a molecular level event (protein aggregation) to a behavioral response (barnacle larval settlement). Our results draw attention to a highly conserved protein polymerization mechanism and shed light on a long-standing biochemical puzzle. We suggest that barnacle cement polymerization is a specialized form of wound healing. The polymerization mechanism common between barnacle cement and blood may be a theme for many marine animal glues. PMID:19837892

  4. Evolutionary Accessibility of Mutational Pathways

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franke, Jasper; Klözer, Alexander; de Visser, J. Arjan G. M.; Krug, Joachim

    2011-01-01

    Functional effects of different mutations are known to combine to the total effect in highly nontrivial ways. For the trait under evolutionary selection (‘fitness’), measured values over all possible combinations of a set of mutations yield a fitness landscape that determines which mutational states can be reached from a given initial genotype. Understanding the accessibility properties of fitness landscapes is conceptually important in answering questions about the predictability and repeatability of evolutionary adaptation. Here we theoretically investigate accessibility of the globally optimal state on a wide variety of model landscapes, including landscapes with tunable ruggedness as well as neutral ‘holey’ landscapes. We define a mutational pathway to be accessible if it contains the minimal number of mutations required to reach the target genotype, and if fitness increases in each mutational step. Under this definition accessibility is high, in the sense that at least one accessible pathway exists with a substantial probability that approaches unity as the dimensionality of the fitness landscape (set by the number of mutational loci) becomes large. At the same time the number of alternative accessible pathways grows without bounds. We test the model predictions against an empirical 8-locus fitness landscape obtained for the filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger. By analyzing subgraphs of the full landscape containing different subsets of mutations, we are able to probe the mutational distance scale in the empirical data. The predicted effect of high accessibility is supported by the empirical data and is very robust, which we argue reflects the generic topology of sequence spaces. Together with the restrictive assumptions that lie in our definition of accessibility, this implies that the globally optimal configuration should be accessible to genome wide evolution, but the repeatability of evolutionary trajectories is limited owing to the presence of a

  5. Evolutionary Origin of the Proepicardium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Cano

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The embryonic epicardium and the cardiac mesenchyme derived from it are critical to heart development. The embryonic epicardium arises from an extracardiac progenitor tissue called the proepicardium, a proliferation of coelomic cells located at the limit between the liver and the sinus venosus. A proepicardium has not been described in invertebrates, and the evolutionary origin of this structure in vertebrates is unknown. We herein suggest that the proepicardium might be regarded as an evolutionary derivative from an ancient pronephric external glomerulus that has lost its excretory role. In fact, we previously described that the epicardium arises by cell migration from the primordia of the right pronephric external glomerulus in a representative of the most primitive vertebrate lineage, the lamprey Petromyzon marinus. In this review, we emphasize the striking similarities between the gene expression profiles of the proepicardium and the developing kidneys, as well as the parallelisms in the signaling mechanisms involved in both cases. We show some preliminary evidence about the existence of an inhibitory mechanism blocking glomerular differentiation in the proepicardium. We speculate as to the possibility that this developmental link between heart and kidney can be revealing a phylogenetically deeper association, supported by the existence of a heart-kidney complex in Hemichordates. Finally, we suggest that primitive hematopoiesis could be related with this heart-kidney complex, thus accounting for the current anatomical association of the hematopoietic stem cells with an aorta-gonad-mesonephros area. In summary, we think that our hypothesis can provide new perspectives on the evolutionary origin of the vertebrate heart.

  6. The evolutionary origins of patriarchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smuts, B

    1995-03-01

    This article argues that feminist analyses of patriarchy should be expanded to address the evolutionary basis of male motivation to control female sexuality. Evidence from other primates of male sexual coercion and female resistance to it indicates that the sexual conflicts of interest that underlie patriarchy predate the emergence of the human species. Humans, however, exhibit more extensive male dominance and male control of female sexuality than is shown by most other primates. Six hypotheses are proposed to explain how, over the course of human evolution, this unusual degree of gender inequality came about. This approach emphasizes behavioral flexibility, cross-cultural variability in the degree of partriarchy, and possibilities for future change.

  7. Policy folklists and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Barry

    2014-07-22

    Policy folklists present a set of alleged historical facts seen as relevant to some social issue. Although the validity of these folklists is dubious, leaders and writers circulate them in the media, variants arise, and the lists continue on, sometimes for decades. Folklists are repeated because their messages are appealing and their users are credible. Because folklists are on the record, we can examine their origins and changes. This report draws an analogy with evolutionary theory and suggests that biological mechanisms of self-repair, boundary maintenance, plasticity, speciation, and predation have significant interpretations for folklists, and clarify how the lists win the credence of otherwise skeptical people.

  8. Evolutionary Games and Social Conventions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Pelle Guldborg

    2007-01-01

    Some thirty years ago Lewis published his Convention: A Philosophical Study (Lewis, 2002). This laid the foundation for a game-theoretic approach to social conventions, but became more famously known for its seminal analysis of common knowledge; the concept receiving its canonical analysis...... which any theory of convention must revolve. In response, the so-called evolutionary turn has developed. While retaining the broad framework, in which games are described in terms of strategies and payoffs, this marks a transition from the classical assumptions of perfect rationality and common...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefèvre, François; Koskela, Jarkko; Hubert, Jason; Kraigher, Hojka; Longauer, Roman; Olrik, Ditte C; Schüler, Silvio; Bozzano, Michele; Alizoti, Paraskevi; Bakys, Remigijus; Baldwin, Cathleen; Ballian, Dalibor; Black-Samuelsson, Sanna; Bednarova, Dagmar; Bordács, Sándor; Collin, Eric; de Cuyper, Bart; de Vries, Sven M G; Eysteinsson, Thröstur; Frýdl, Josef; Haverkamp, Michaela; Ivankovic, Mladen; Konrad, Heino; Koziol, Czesław; Maaten, Tiit; Notivol Paino, Eduardo; Oztürk, Hikmet; Pandeva, Ivanova Denitsa; Parnuta, Gheorghe; Pilipovič, Andrej; Postolache, Dragos; Ryan, Cathal; Steffenrem, Arne; Varela, Maria Carolina; Vessella, Federico; Volosyanchuk, Roman T; Westergren, Marjana; Wolter, Frank; Yrjänä, Leena; Zariŋa, Inga

    2013-04-01

    Dynamic conservation of forest genetic resources (FGR) means maintaining the genetic diversity of trees within an evolutionary process and allowing generation turnover in the forest. We assessed the network of forests areas managed for the dynamic conservation of FGR (conservation units) across Europe (33 countries). On the basis of information available in the European Information System on FGR (EUFGIS Portal), species distribution maps, and environmental stratification of the continent, we developed ecogeographic indicators, a marginality index, and demographic indicators to assess and monitor forest conservation efforts. The pan-European network has 1967 conservation units, 2737 populations of target trees, and 86 species of target trees. We detected a poor coincidence between FGR conservation and other biodiversity conservation objectives within this network. We identified 2 complementary strategies: a species-oriented strategy in which national conservation networks are specifically designed for key target species and a site-oriented strategy in which multiple-target units include so-called secondary species conserved within a few sites. The network is highly unbalanced in terms of species representation, and 7 key target species are conserved in 60% of the conservation units. We performed specific gap analyses for 11 tree species, including assessment of ecogeographic, demographic, and genetic criteria. For each species, we identified gaps, particularly in the marginal parts of their distribution range, and found multiple redundant conservation units in other areas. The Mediterranean forests and to a lesser extent the boreal forests are underrepresented. Monitoring the conservation efficiency of each unit remains challenging; however, conserved populations seem to be at risk of extinction. On the basis of our results, we recommend combining species-oriented and site-oriented strategies. © 2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. Evolutionary genomics of LysM genes in land plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stacey Gary

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ubiquitous LysM motif recognizes peptidoglycan, chitooligosaccharides (chitin and, presumably, other structurally-related oligosaccharides. LysM-containing proteins were first shown to be involved in bacterial cell wall degradation and, more recently, were implicated in perceiving chitin (one of the established pathogen-associated molecular patterns and lipo-chitin (nodulation factors in flowering plants. However, the majority of LysM genes in plants remain functionally uncharacterized and the evolutionary history of complex LysM genes remains elusive. Results We show that LysM-containing proteins display a wide range of complex domain architectures. However, only a simple core architecture is conserved across kingdoms. Each individual kingdom appears to have evolved a distinct array of domain architectures. We show that early plant lineages acquired four characteristic architectures and progressively lost several primitive architectures. We report plant LysM phylogenies and associated gene, protein and genomic features, and infer the relative timing of duplications of LYK genes. Conclusion We report a domain architecture catalogue of LysM proteins across all kingdoms. The unique pattern of LysM protein domain architectures indicates the presence of distinctive evolutionary paths in individual kingdoms. We describe a comparative and evolutionary genomics study of LysM genes in plant kingdom. One of the two groups of tandemly arrayed plant LYK genes likely resulted from an ancient genome duplication followed by local genomic rearrangement, while the origin of the other groups of tandemly arrayed LYK genes remains obscure. Given the fact that no animal LysM motif-containing genes have been functionally characterized, this study provides clues to functional characterization of plant LysM genes and is also informative with regard to evolutionary and functional studies of animal LysM genes.

  11. Some assembly required: evolutionary and systems perspectives on the mammalian reproductive system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordhorst, Bethany R; Wilson, Miranda L; Conant, Gavin C

    2016-01-01

    In this review, we discuss the way that insights from evolutionary theory and systems biology shed light on form and function in mammalian reproductive systems. In the first part of the review, we contrast the rapid evolution seen in some reproductive genes with the generally conservative nature of development. We discuss directional selection and coevolution as potential drivers of rapid evolution in sperm and egg proteins. Such rapid change is very different from the highly conservative nature of later embryo development. However, it is not unique, as some regions of the sex chromosomes also show elevated rates of evolutionary change. To explain these contradictory trends, we argue that it is not reproductive functions per se that induce rapid evolution. Rather, it is the fact that biotic interactions, such as speciation events and sexual conflict, have no evolutionary endpoint and hence can drive continuous evolutionary changes. Returning to the question of sex chromosome evolution, we discuss the way that recent advances in evolutionary genomics and systems biology and, in particular, the development of a theory of gene balance provide a better understanding of the evolutionary patterns seen on these chromosomes. We end the review with a discussion of a surprising and incompletely understood phenomenon observed in early embryos: namely the Warburg effect, whereby glucose is fermented to lactate and alanine rather than respired to carbon dioxide. We argue that evolutionary insights, from both yeasts and tumor cells, help to explain the Warburg effect, and that new metabolic modeling approaches are useful in assessing the potential sources of the effect.

  12. The evolutionary value of recombination is constrained by genome modularity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren P Martin

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Genetic recombination is a fundamental evolutionary mechanism promoting biological adaptation. Using engineered recombinants of the small single-stranded DNA plant virus, Maize streak virus (MSV, we experimentally demonstrate that fragments of genetic material only function optimally if they reside within genomes similar to those in which they evolved. The degree of similarity necessary for optimal functionality is correlated with the complexity of intragenomic interaction networks within which genome fragments must function. There is a striking correlation between our experimental results and the types of MSV recombinants that are detectable in nature, indicating that obligatory maintenance of intragenome interaction networks strongly constrains the evolutionary value of recombination for this virus and probably for genomes in general.

  13. The Evolutionary Value of Recombination Is Constrained by Genome Modularity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Genetic recombination is a fundamental evolutionary mechanism promoting biological adaptation. Using engineered recombinants of the small single-stranded DNA plant virus, Maize streak virus (MSV, we experimentally demonstrate that fragments of genetic material only function optimally if they reside within genomes similar to those in which they evolved. The degree of similarity necessary for optimal functionality is correlated with the complexity of intragenomic interaction networks within which genome fragments must function. There is a striking correlation between our experimental results and the types of MSV recombinants that are detectable in nature, indicating that obligatory maintenance of intragenome interaction networks strongly constrains the evolutionary value of recombination for this virus and probably for genomes in general.

  14. Vulnerability of dynamic genetic conservation units of forest trees in Europe to climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Schueler, Silvio; Falk, Wolfgang; Koskela, Jarkko; Lefèvre, François; Bozzano, Michele; Hubert, Jason; Kraigher, Hojka; Longauer, Roman; Olrik, Ditte C.

    2014-01-01

    A transnational network of genetic conservation units for forest trees was recently documented in Europe aiming at the conservation of evolutionary processes and the adaptive potential of natural or man-made tree populations. In this study, we quantified the vulnerability of individual conservation units and the whole network to climate change using climate favourability models and the estimated velocity of climate change. Compared to the overall climate niche of the analysed target species p...

  15. Evolutionary developmental biology its roots and characteristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morange, Michel

    2011-09-01

    The rise of evolutionary developmental biology was not the progressive isolation and characterization of developmental genes and gene networks. Many obstacles had to be overcome: the idea that all genes were more or less involved in development; the evidence that developmental processes in insects had nothing in common with those of vertebrates. Different lines of research converged toward the creation of evolutionary developmental biology, giving this field of research its present heterogeneity. This does not prevent all those working in the field from sharing the conviction that a precise characterization of evolutionary variations is required to fully understand the evolutionary process. Some evolutionary developmental biologists directly challenge the Modern Synthesis. I propose some ways to reconcile these apparently opposed visions of evolution. The turbulence seen in evolutionary developmental biology reflects the present entry of history into biology. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Conceptual Barriers to Progress Within Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laland, Kevin N; Odling-Smee, John; Feldman, Marcus W; Kendal, Jeremy

    2009-08-01

    In spite of its success, Neo-Darwinism is faced with major conceptual barriers to further progress, deriving directly from its metaphysical foundations. Most importantly, neo-Darwinism fails to recognize a fundamental cause of evolutionary change, "niche construction". This failure restricts the generality of evolutionary theory, and introduces inaccuracies. It also hinders the integration of evolutionary biology with neighbouring disciplines, including ecosystem ecology, developmental biology, and the human sciences. Ecology is forced to become a divided discipline, developmental biology is stubbornly difficult to reconcile with evolutionary theory, and the majority of biologists and social scientists are still unhappy with evolutionary accounts of human behaviour. The incorporation of niche construction as both a cause and a product of evolution removes these disciplinary boundaries while greatly generalizing the explanatory power of evolutionary theory.

  17. The structure of microbial evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sapp, J

    2007-12-01

    The study of microbial phylogeny and evolution has emerged as an interdisciplinary synthesis, divergent in both methods and concepts from the classical evolutionary biology. The deployment of macromolecular sequencing in microbial classification has provided a deep evolutionary taxonomy hitherto deemed impossible. Microbial phylogenetics has greatly transformed the landscape of evolutionary biology, not only in revitalizing the field in the pursuit of life's history over billions of years, but also in transcending the structure of thought that has shaped evolutionary theory since the time of Darwin. A trio of primary phylogenetic lineages, along with the recognition of symbiosis and lateral gene transfer as fundamental processes of evolutionary innovation, are core principles of microbial evolutionary biology today. Their scope and significance remain contentious among evolutionists.

  18. The Evolving Theory of Evolutionary Radiations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, M; Breitkreuz, L; Alvarado, M; Baca, S; Cooper, J C; Heins, L; Herzog, K; Lieberman, B S

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary radiations have intrigued biologists for more than 100 years, and our understanding of the patterns and processes associated with these radiations continues to grow and evolve. Recently it has been recognized that there are many different types of evolutionary radiation beyond the well-studied adaptive radiations. We focus here on multifarious types of evolutionary radiations, paying special attention to the abiotic factors that might trigger diversification in clades. We integrate concepts such as exaptation, species selection, coevolution, and the turnover-pulse hypothesis (TPH) into the theoretical framework of evolutionary radiations. We also discuss other phenomena that are related to, but distinct from, evolutionary radiations that have relevance for evolutionary biology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. On nonepistemic values in conservation biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgaertner, Bert; Holthuijzen, Wieteke

    2017-02-01

    Conservation biology is a uniquely interdisciplinary science with strong roots in ecology, but it also embraces a value-laden and mission-oriented framework. This combination of science and values causes conservation biology to be at the center of critique regarding the discipline's scientific credibility-especially the division between the realms of theory and practice. We identify this dichotomy between seemingly objective (fact-based) and subjective (value-laden) practices as the measure-value dichotomy, whereby measure refers to methods and analyses used in conservation biology (i.e., measuring biodiversity) and value refers to nonepistemic values. We reviewed and evaluated several landmark articles central to the foundation of conservation biology and concepts of biodiversity with respect to their attempts to separate measures and values. We argue that the measure-value dichotomy is false and that conservation biology can make progress in ways unavailable to other disciplines because its practitioners are tasked with engaging in both the realm of theory and the realm of practice. The entanglement of measures and values is by no means a weakness of conservation biology. Because central concepts such as biodiversity contain both factual and evaluative aspects, conservation biologists can make theoretical progress by examining, reviewing, and forming the values that are an integral part of those concepts. We suggest that values should be included and analyzed with respect to the methods, results, and conclusions of scientific work in conservation biology. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  20. The Evolutionary Puzzle of Suicide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henri-Jean Aubin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Mechanisms of self-destruction are difficult to reconcile with evolution’s first rule of thumb: survive and reproduce. However, evolutionary success ultimately depends on inclusive fitness. The altruistic suicide hypothesis posits that the presence of low reproductive potential and burdensomeness toward kin can increase the inclusive fitness payoff of self-removal. The bargaining hypothesis assumes that suicide attempts could function as an honest signal of need. The payoff may be positive if the suicidal person has a low reproductive potential. The parasite manipulation hypothesis is founded on the rodent—Toxoplasma gondii host-parasite model, in which the parasite induces a “suicidal” feline attraction that allows the parasite to complete its life cycle. Interestingly, latent infection by T. gondii has been shown to cause behavioral alterations in humans, including increased suicide attempts. Finally, we discuss how suicide risk factors can be understood as nonadaptive byproducts of evolved mechanisms that malfunction. Although most of the mechanisms proposed in this article are largely speculative, the hypotheses that we raise accept self-destructive behavior within the framework of evolutionary theory.

  1. Evolutionary development of tensegrity structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobo, Daniel; Vico, Francisco J

    2010-09-01

    Contributions from the emerging fields of molecular genetics and evo-devo (evolutionary developmental biology) are greatly benefiting the field of evolutionary computation, initiating a promise of renewal in the traditional methodology. While direct encoding has constituted a dominant paradigm, indirect ways to encode the solutions have been reported, yet little attention has been paid to the benefits of the proposed methods to real problems. In this work, we study the biological properties that emerge by means of using indirect encodings in the context of form-finding problems. A novel indirect encoding model for artificial development has been defined and applied to an engineering structural-design problem, specifically to the discovery of tensegrity structures. This model has been compared with a direct encoding scheme. While the direct encoding performs similarly well to the proposed method, indirect-based results typically outperform the direct-based results in aspects not directly linked to the nature of the problem itself, but to the emergence of properties found in biological organisms, like organicity, generalization capacity, or modularity aspects which are highly valuable in engineering. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szabó, György, E-mail: szabo@mfa.kfki.hu; Borsos, István, E-mail: borsos@mfa.kfki.hu

    2016-04-05

    Game theory provides a general mathematical background to study the effect of pair interactions and evolutionary rules on the macroscopic behavior of multi-player games where players with a finite number of strategies may represent a wide scale of biological objects, human individuals, or even their associations. In these systems the interactions are characterized by matrices that can be decomposed into elementary matrices (games) and classified into four types. The concept of decomposition helps the identification of potential games and also the evaluation of the potential that plays a crucial role in the determination of the preferred Nash equilibrium, and defines the Boltzmann distribution towards which these systems evolve for suitable types of dynamical rules. This survey draws parallel between the potential games and the kinetic Ising type models which are investigated for a wide scale of connectivity structures. We discuss briefly the applicability of the tools and concepts of statistical physics and thermodynamics. Additionally the general features of ordering phenomena, phase transitions and slow relaxations are outlined and applied to evolutionary games. The discussion extends to games with three or more strategies. Finally we discuss what happens when the system is weakly driven out of the “equilibrium state” by adding non-potential components representing games of cyclic dominance.

  3. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szabó, György; Borsos, István

    2016-01-01

    Game theory provides a general mathematical background to study the effect of pair interactions and evolutionary rules on the macroscopic behavior of multi-player games where players with a finite number of strategies may represent a wide scale of biological objects, human individuals, or even their associations. In these systems the interactions are characterized by matrices that can be decomposed into elementary matrices (games) and classified into four types. The concept of decomposition helps the identification of potential games and also the evaluation of the potential that plays a crucial role in the determination of the preferred Nash equilibrium, and defines the Boltzmann distribution towards which these systems evolve for suitable types of dynamical rules. This survey draws parallel between the potential games and the kinetic Ising type models which are investigated for a wide scale of connectivity structures. We discuss briefly the applicability of the tools and concepts of statistical physics and thermodynamics. Additionally the general features of ordering phenomena, phase transitions and slow relaxations are outlined and applied to evolutionary games. The discussion extends to games with three or more strategies. Finally we discuss what happens when the system is weakly driven out of the “equilibrium state” by adding non-potential components representing games of cyclic dominance.

  4. Evolutionary Biology Needs Wild Microbiomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hird, Sarah M

    2017-01-01

    The microbiome is a vital component to the evolution of a host and much of what we know about the microbiome derives from studies on humans and captive animals. But captivity alters the microbiome and mammals have unique biological adaptations that affect their microbiomes (e.g., milk). Birds represent over 30% of known tetrapod diversity and possess their own suite of adaptations relevant to the microbiome. In a previous study, we showed that 59 species of birds displayed immense variation in their microbiomes and host (bird) taxonomy and ecology were most correlated with the gut microbiome. In this Frontiers Focused Review, I put those results in a broader context by discussing how collecting and analyzing wild microbiomes contributes to the main goals of evolutionary biology and the specific ways that birds are unique microbial hosts. Finally, I outline some of the methodological considerations for adding microbiome sampling to the research of wild animals and urge researchers to do so. To truly understand the evolution of a host, we need to understand the millions of microorganisms that inhabit it as well: evolutionary biology needs wild microbiomes.

  5. Evolutionary epistemology a multiparadigm program

    CERN Document Server

    Pinxten, Rik

    1987-01-01

    This volume has its already distant origin in an inter­national conference on Evolutionary Epistemology the editors organized at the University of Ghent in November 1984. This conference aimed to follow up the endeavor started at the ERISS (Epistemologically Relevant Internalist Sociology of Science) conference organized by Don Campbell and Alex Rosen­ berg at Cazenovia Lake, New York, in June 1981, whilst in­ jecting the gist of certain current continental intellectual developments into a debate whose focus, we thought, was in danger of being narrowed too much, considering the still underdeveloped state of affairs in the field. Broadly speaking, evolutionary epistemology today con­ sists of two interrelated, yet qualitatively distinct inves­ tigative efforts. Both are drawing on Darwinian concepts, which may explain why many people have failed to discriminate them. One is the study of the evolution of the cognitive apparatus of living organisms, which is first and foremost the province of biologists and...

  6. Evolutionary expansion of the Monogenea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearn, G C

    1994-12-01

    The evolutionary expansion of the monogeneans has taken place in parallel with the diversification of the fish-like vertebrates. In this article the main trends in monogenean evolution are traced from a hypothetical skin-parasitic ancestor on early vertebrates. Special consideration is given to the following topics: early divergence between skin feeders and blood feeders; diversification and specialization of the haptor for attachment to skin; transfer from host to host, viviparity and the success of the gyrodactylids; predation on skin parasites and camouflage; colonization of the buccal and branchial cavities; diversification and specialization of the haptor for attachment to the gills; phoresy in gill parasites; the development of endoparasitism and the origin of the cestodes; the success of dactylogyroidean gill parasites; the uniqueness of the polyopisthocotyleans; ovoviviparity and the colonization of the tetrapods. Host specificity has been the guiding force of coevolution between monogeneans and their vertebrate hosts, but the establishment of monogeneans on unrelated hosts sharing the same environment (host-switching) may have been underestimated. Host-switching has provided significant opportunities for evolutionary change of direction and is probably responsible for the establishment of monogeneans on cephalopod molluscs, on the hippopotamus and possibly on chelonians. There are indications that host-switching may be more common in monogeneans that spread by direct transfer of adults/juveniles from host to host. A limitation on the further expansion of monogeneans is the need for water for the dispersal of the infective larva (oncomiracidium).

  7. The emerging empirics of evolutionary economic geography

    OpenAIRE

    Ron Boschma; KOen Frenken

    2010-01-01

    Following last decadeÕs programmatic papers on Evolutionary Economic Geography, we report on recent empirical advances and how this empirical work can be positioned vis-ˆ-vis other strands of research in economic geography. First, we review studies on the path dependent nature of clustering, and how the evolutionary perspective relates to that of New Economic Geography. Second, we discuss research on agglomeration externalities in Regional Science, and how Evolutionary Economic Geography cont...

  8. No. 186-Conservative Management of Urinary Incontinence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, Magali; Ross, Sue

    2018-02-01

    To outline the evidence for conservative management options for treating urinary incontinence. Conservative management options for treating urinary incontinence include behavioural changes, lifestyle modification, pelvic floor retraining, and use of mechanical devices. To provide understanding of current available evidence concerning efficacy of conservative alternatives for managing urinary incontinence; to empower women to choose continence therapies that have benefit and that have minimal or no harm. The Cochrane Library and Medline (1966 to 2005) were searched to find articles related to conservative management of incontinence. Review articles were appraised. The quality of evidence is rated, and recommendations are made using the criteria described by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care. Evidence for the efficacy of conservative management options for urinary incontinence is strong. These options can be advocated as primary interventions with minimal or no harm to women. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Evolutionary computation for dynamic optimization problems

    CERN Document Server

    Yao, Xin

    2013-01-01

    This book provides a compilation on the state-of-the-art and recent advances of evolutionary computation for dynamic optimization problems. The motivation for this book arises from the fact that many real-world optimization problems and engineering systems are subject to dynamic environments, where changes occur over time. Key issues for addressing dynamic optimization problems in evolutionary computation, including fundamentals, algorithm design, theoretical analysis, and real-world applications, are presented. "Evolutionary Computation for Dynamic Optimization Problems" is a valuable reference to scientists, researchers, professionals and students in the field of engineering and science, particularly in the areas of computational intelligence, nature- and bio-inspired computing, and evolutionary computation.

  10. Evolutionary Autonomous Health Monitoring System (EAHMS) Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — For supporting NASA's Robotics, Tele-Robotics and Autonomous Systems Roadmap, we are proposing the "Evolutionary Autonomous Health Monitoring System" (EAHMS) for...

  11. Residue Geometry Networks: A Rigidity-Based Approach to the Amino Acid Network and Evolutionary Rate Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fokas, Alexander S.; Cole, Daniel J.; Ahnert, Sebastian E.; Chin, Alex W.

    2016-09-01

    Amino acid networks (AANs) abstract the protein structure by recording the amino acid contacts and can provide insight into protein function. Herein, we describe a novel AAN construction technique that employs the rigidity analysis tool, FIRST, to build the AAN, which we refer to as the residue geometry network (RGN). We show that this new construction can be combined with network theory methods to include the effects of allowed conformal motions and local chemical environments. Importantly, this is done without costly molecular dynamics simulations required by other AAN-related methods, which allows us to analyse large proteins and/or data sets. We have calculated the centrality of the residues belonging to 795 proteins. The results display a strong, negative correlation between residue centrality and the evolutionary rate. Furthermore, among residues with high closeness, those with low degree were particularly strongly conserved. Random walk simulations using the RGN were also successful in identifying allosteric residues in proteins involved in GPCR signalling. The dynamic function of these residues largely remain hidden in the traditional distance-cutoff construction technique. Despite being constructed from only the crystal structure, the results in this paper suggests that the RGN can identify residues that fulfil a dynamical function.

  12. Residue Geometry Networks: A Rigidity-Based Approach to the Amino Acid Network and Evolutionary Rate Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fokas, Alexander S.; Cole, Daniel J.; Ahnert, Sebastian E.; Chin, Alex W.

    2016-01-01

    Amino acid networks (AANs) abstract the protein structure by recording the amino acid contacts and can provide insight into protein function. Herein, we describe a novel AAN construction technique that employs the rigidity analysis tool, FIRST, to build the AAN, which we refer to as the residue geometry network (RGN). We show that this new construction can be combined with network theory methods to include the effects of allowed conformal motions and local chemical environments. Importantly, this is done without costly molecular dynamics simulations required by other AAN-related methods, which allows us to analyse large proteins and/or data sets. We have calculated the centrality of the residues belonging to 795 proteins. The results display a strong, negative correlation between residue centrality and the evolutionary rate. Furthermore, among residues with high closeness, those with low degree were particularly strongly conserved. Random walk simulations using the RGN were also successful in identifying allosteric residues in proteins involved in GPCR signalling. The dynamic function of these residues largely remain hidden in the traditional distance-cutoff construction technique. Despite being constructed from only the crystal structure, the results in this paper suggests that the RGN can identify residues that fulfil a dynamical function. PMID:27623708

  13. Translational initiation in Leishmania tarentolae and Phytomonas serpens (Kinetoplastida) is strongly influenced by pre-ATG triplet and its 5' sequence context.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukes, Julius; Paris, Zdenek; Regmi, Sandesh; Breitling, Reinhard; Mureev, Sergey; Kushnir, Susanna; Pyatkov, Konstantin; Jirků, Milan; Alexandrov, Kirill A

    2006-08-01

    To investigate the influence of sequence context of translation initiation codon on translation efficiency in Kinetoplastida, we constructed a library of expression plasmids randomized in the three nucleotides prefacing ATG of a reporter gene encoding enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). All 64 possible combinations of pre-ATG triplets were individually stably integrated into the rDNA locus of Leishmania tarentolae and the resulting cell lines were assessed for EGFP expression. The expression levels were quantified directly by measuring the fluorescence of EGFP protein in living cells and confirmed by Western blotting. We observed a strong influence of the pre-ATG triplet on the level of protein expression over a 20-fold range. To understand the degree of evolutionary conservation of the observed effect, we transformed Phytomonas serpens, a trypanosomatid parasite of plants, with a subset of the constructs. The pattern of translational efficiency mediated by individual pre-ATG triplets in this species was similar to that observed in L. tarentolae. However, the pattern of translational efficiency of two other proteins (red fluorescent protein and tetracycline repressor) containing selected pre-ATG triplets did not correlate with either EGFP or each other. Thus, we conclude that a conserved mechanism of translation initiation site selection exists in kinetoplastids that is strongly influenced not only by the pre-ATG sequences but also by the coding region of the gene.

  14. Conservation genetics in transition to conservation genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ouborg, N. Joop; Pertoldi, Cino; Loeschcke, Volker

    2010-01-01

    in conservation biology. This has allowed assessment of the impact of genetic drift on genetic variation, of the level of inbreeding within populations, and of the amount of gene flow between or within populations. Recent developments in genomic techniques, including next generation sequencing, whole genome scans...... and gene-expression pattern analysis, have made it possible to step up from a limited number of neutral markers to genome-wide estimates of functional genetic variation. Here, we focus on how the transition of conservation genetics to conservation genomics leads to insights into the dynamics of selectively...

  15. Global Patterns of Evolutionary Distinct and Globally Endangered Amphibians and Mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Background Conservation of phylogenetic diversity allows maximising evolutionary information preserved within fauna and flora. The “EDGE of Existence” programme is the first institutional conservation initiative that prioritises species based on phylogenetic information. Species are ranked in two ways: one according to their evolutionary distinctiveness (ED) and second, by including IUCN extinction status, their evolutionary distinctiveness and global endangerment (EDGE). Here, we describe the global patterns in the spatial distribution of priority ED and EDGE species, in order to identify conservation areas for mammalian and amphibian communities. In addition, we investigate whether environmental conditions can predict the observed spatial pattern in ED and EDGE globally. Methods and Principal Findings Priority zones with high concentrations of ED and EDGE scores were defined using two different methods. The overlap between mammal and amphibian zones was very small, reflecting the different phylo-biogeographic histories. Mammal ED zones were predominantly found on the African continent and the neotropical forests, whereas in amphibians, ED zones were concentrated in North America. Mammal EDGE zones were mainly in South-East Asia, southern Africa and Madagascar; for amphibians they were in central and south America. The spatial pattern of ED and EDGE was poorly described by a suite of environmental variables. Conclusions Mapping the spatial distribution of ED and EDGE provides an important step towards identifying priority areas for the conservation of mammalian and amphibian phylogenetic diversity in the EDGE of existence programme. PMID:23691071

  16. Paradoxes in Biodiversity Conservation

    OpenAIRE

    David Pearce

    2005-01-01

    Biodiversity is important for human wellbeing, but it is declining. Measures to conserve biodiversity are essential but may be a waste of effort if several paradoxes are not addressed. The highest levels of diversity are in nations least able to practise effective conservation. The flow of funds to international biodiversity conservation appears trivial when compared to the scale of biodiversity loss. International agreements may not actually protect or conserve more than what would have been...

  17. Conservation Action Handbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Rifle Association, Washington, DC.

    Conservation problems are identified, with some suggestions for action. General areas covered are: Wildlife Conservation, Soil Conservation, Clean Water, Air Pollution Action, and Outdoor Recreation Action. Appendices list private organizations or agencies concerned with natural resource use and/or management, congressional committees considering…

  18. Symmetric solutions of evolutionary partial differential equations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruell, Gabriele; Ehrnström, Mats; Geyer, Anna; Pei, Long

    2017-10-01

    We show that for a large class of evolutionary nonlinear and nonlocal partial differential equations, symmetry of solutions implies very restrictive properties of the solutions and symmetry axes. These restrictions are formulated in terms of three principles, based on the structure of the equations. The first principle covers equations that allow for steady solutions and shows that any spatially symmetric solution is in fact steady with a speed determined by the motion of the axis of symmetry at the initial time. The second principle includes equations that admit breathers and steady waves, and therefore is less strong: it holds that the axes of symmetry are constant in time. The last principle is a mixed case, when the equation contains terms of the kind from both earlier principles, and there may be different outcomes; for a class of such equations one obtains that a spatially symmetric solution must be constant in both time and space. We list and give examples of more than 30 well-known equations and systems in one and several dimensions satisfying these principles; corresponding results for weak formulations of these equations may be attained using the same techniques. Our investigation is a generalisation of a local and one-dimensional version of the first principle from Ehrnström et al (2009 Int. Math. Res. Not. 2009 4578-96) to nonlocal equations, systems and higher dimensions, as well as a study of the standing and mixed cases.

  19. The evolutionary dynamics of bluetongue virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpi, Giovanna; Holmes, Edward C; Kitchen, Andrew

    2010-06-01

    Bluetongue virus (BTV) is a midge-borne member of the genus Orbivirus that causes an eponymous debilitating livestock disease of great agricultural impact and which has expanded into Europe in recent decades. Reassortment among the ten segments comprising the double-stranded (ds) RNA genome of BTV has played an important role in generating the epidemic strains of this virus in Europe. In this study, we investigated the dynamics of BTV genome segment evolution utilizing time-structured data sets of complete sequences from four segments, totalling 290 sequences largely sampled from ruminant hosts. Our analysis revealed that BTV genome segments generally evolve under strong purifying selection and at substitution rates that are generally lower (mean rates of approximately 0.5-7 x 10(-4) nucleotide substitutions per site, per year) than vector-borne positive-sense viruses with single-strand (ss) RNA genomes. These also represent the most robust estimates of the nucleotide substitution rate in a dsRNA virus generated to date. Additionally, we determined that patterns of geographic structure and times to most recent common ancestor differ substantially between each segment, including a relatively recent origin for the diversity of segment 10 within the past millennium. Together, these findings demonstrate the effect of reassortment to decouple the evolutionary dynamics of BTV genome segments.

  20. Evolutionary stability of mixed strategies on graphs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Yan; Liu, Xinsheng; Claussen, Jens Christian

    2016-01-01

    Up to the present time, the study of evolutionary dynamics mostly focused on pure strategy games in finite discrete strategy space, either in well-mixed or structured populations. In this paper, we study mixed strategy games in continuous strategy space on graphs of degree k . Each player is arranged on a vertex of the graph. The edges denote the interaction between two individuals. In the limit of weak selection, we first derive the payoff functions of two mixed strategies under three different updating rules, named birth–death, death–birth and imitation. Then we obtain the conditions for a strategy being a continuously stable strategy (CSS), and we also confirm that the equilibrium distribution corresponding to the CSS is neighborhood attracting and strongly uninvadable. Finally, we apply our theory to the prisoner’s dilemma and the snowdrift game to obtain possible CSS. Simulations are performed for the two special games and the results are well consistent with the conclusions we made. (paper)

  1. Modelling Evolutionary Algorithms with Stochastic Differential Equations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heredia, Jorge Pérez

    2017-11-20

    There has been renewed interest in modelling the behaviour of evolutionary algorithms (EAs) by more traditional mathematical objects, such as ordinary differential equations or Markov chains. The advantage is that the analysis becomes greatly facilitated due to the existence of well established methods. However, this typically comes at the cost of disregarding information about the process. Here, we introduce the use of stochastic differential equations (SDEs) for the study of EAs. SDEs can produce simple analytical results for the dynamics of stochastic processes, unlike Markov chains which can produce rigorous but unwieldy expressions about the dynamics. On the other hand, unlike ordinary differential equations (ODEs), they do not discard information about the stochasticity of the process. We show that these are especially suitable for the analysis of fixed budget scenarios and present analogues of the additive and multiplicative drift theorems from runtime analysis. In addition, we derive a new more general multiplicative drift theorem that also covers non-elitist EAs. This theorem simultaneously allows for positive and negative results, providing information on the algorithm's progress even when the problem cannot be optimised efficiently. Finally, we provide results for some well-known heuristics namely Random Walk (RW), Random Local Search (RLS), the (1+1) EA, the Metropolis Algorithm (MA), and the Strong Selection Weak Mutation (SSWM) algorithm.

  2. Analyzing Evolutionary Optimization in Noisy Environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Chao; Yu, Yang; Zhou, Zhi-Hua

    2018-01-01

    Many optimization tasks must be handled in noisy environments, where the exact evaluation of a solution cannot be obtained, only a noisy one. For optimization of noisy tasks, evolutionary algorithms (EAs), a type of stochastic metaheuristic search algorithm, have been widely and successfully applied. Previous work mainly focuses on the empirical study and design of EAs for optimization under noisy conditions, while the theoretical understandings are largely insufficient. In this study, we first investigate how noisy fitness can affect the running time of EAs. Two kinds of noise-helpful problems are identified, on which the EAs will run faster with the presence of noise, and thus the noise should not be handled. Second, on a representative noise-harmful problem in which the noise has a strong negative effect, we examine two commonly employed mechanisms dealing with noise in EAs: reevaluation and threshold selection. The analysis discloses that using these two strategies simultaneously is effective for the one-bit noise but ineffective for the asymmetric one-bit noise. Smooth threshold selection is then proposed, which can be proved to be an effective strategy to further improve the noise tolerance ability in the problem. We then complement the theoretical analysis by experiments on both synthetic problems as well as two combinatorial problems, the minimum spanning tree and the maximum matching. The experimental results agree with the theoretical findings and also show that the proposed smooth threshold selection can deal with the noise better.

  3. Evolutionary significance of ageing in the wild.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kowald, Axel; Kirkwood, Thomas B L

    2015-11-01

    Human lifespan has risen dramatically over the last 150 years, leading to a significant increase in the fraction of aged people in the population. Until recently it was believed that this contrasted strongly with the situation in wild populations of animals, where the likelihood of encountering demonstrably senescent individuals was believed to be negligible. Over the recent years, however, a series of field studies has appeared that shows ageing can also be observed for many species in the wild. We discuss here the relevance of this finding for the different evolutionary theories of ageing, since it has been claimed that ageing in the wild is incompatible with the so-called non-adaptive (non-programmed) theories, i.e. those in which ageing is presumed not to offer a direct selection benefit. We show that a certain proportion of aged individuals in the population is fully compatible with the antagonistic pleiotropy and the disposable soma theories, while it is difficult to reconcile with the mutation accumulation theory. We also quantify the costs of ageing using life history data from recent field studies and a range of possible metrics. We discuss the merits and problems of the different metrics and also introduce a new metric, yearly death toll, that aims directly at quantifying the deaths caused by the ageing process. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Quantum electrodynamics of strong fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Greiner, W.

    1983-01-01

    Quantum Electrodynamics of Strong Fields provides a broad survey of the theoretical and experimental work accomplished, presenting papers by a group of international researchers who have made significant contributions to this developing area. Exploring the quantum theory of strong fields, the volume focuses on the phase transition to a charged vacuum in strong electric fields. The contributors also discuss such related topics as QED at short distances, precision tests of QED, nonperturbative QCD and confinement, pion condensation, and strong gravitational fields In addition, the volume features a historical paper on the roots of quantum field theory in the history of quantum physics by noted researcher Friedrich Hund

  5. Evolution and conservation of plant NLR functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence eJacob

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available In plants and animals, nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeats (NLR–containing proteins play pivotal roles in innate immunity. Despite their similar biological functions and protein architecture, comparative genome-wide analyses of NLRs and genes encoding NLR-like proteins suggest that plant and animal NLRs have independently arisen in evolution. Furthermore, the demonstration of interfamily transfer of plant NLR functions from their original species to phylogenetically distant species implies evolutionary conservation of the underlying immune principle across plant taxonomy. In this review we discuss plant NLR evolution and summarise recent insights into plant NLR signalling mechanisms, which might constitute evolutionarily conserved NLR-mediated immune mechanisms.

  6. Numerical and Evolutionary Optimization Workshop

    CERN Document Server

    Trujillo, Leonardo; Legrand, Pierrick; Maldonado, Yazmin

    2017-01-01

    This volume comprises a selection of works presented at the Numerical and Evolutionary Optimization (NEO) workshop held in September 2015 in Tijuana, Mexico. The development of powerful search and optimization techniques is of great importance in today’s world that requires researchers and practitioners to tackle a growing number of challenging real-world problems. In particular, there are two well-established and widely known fields that are commonly applied in this area: (i) traditional numerical optimization techniques and (ii) comparatively recent bio-inspired heuristics. Both paradigms have their unique strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to solve some challenging problems while still failing in others. The goal of the NEO workshop series is to bring together people from these and related fields to discuss, compare and merge their complimentary perspectives in order to develop fast and reliable hybrid methods that maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of the underlying paradigms. Throu...

  7. Quantum Mechanics predicts evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, J S

    2018-01-11

    Nowhere are the shortcomings of conventional descriptive biology more evident than in the literature on Quantum Biology. In the on-going effort to apply Quantum Mechanics to evolutionary biology, merging Quantum Mechanics with the fundamentals of evolution as the First Principles of Physiology-namely negentropy, chemiosmosis and homeostasis-offers an authentic opportunity to understand how and why physics constitutes the basic principles of biology. Negentropy and chemiosmosis confer determinism on the unicell, whereas homeostasis constitutes Free Will because it offers a probabilistic range of physiologic set points. Similarly, on this basis several principles of Quantum Mechanics also apply directly to biology. The Pauli Exclusion Principle is both deterministic and probabilistic, whereas non-localization and the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle are both probabilistic, providing the long-sought after ontologic and causal continuum from physics to biology and evolution as the holistic integration recognized as consciousness for the first time. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Markov Networks in Evolutionary Computation

    CERN Document Server

    Shakya, Siddhartha

    2012-01-01

    Markov networks and other probabilistic graphical modes have recently received an upsurge in attention from Evolutionary computation community, particularly in the area of Estimation of distribution algorithms (EDAs).  EDAs have arisen as one of the most successful experiences in the application of machine learning methods in optimization, mainly due to their efficiency to solve complex real-world optimization problems and their suitability for theoretical analysis. This book focuses on the different steps involved in the conception, implementation and application of EDAs that use Markov networks, and undirected models in general. It can serve as a general introduction to EDAs but covers also an important current void in the study of these algorithms by explaining the specificities and benefits of modeling optimization problems by means of undirected probabilistic models. All major developments to date in the progressive introduction of Markov networks based EDAs are reviewed in the book. Hot current researc...

  9. Language and imagination: Evolutionary explorations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuland, Eric

    2017-10-01

    This article provides a functional analysis of the conditions for language to emerge, and analyzes its role in imagination. It starts with some initial reflections on imagination and its evolutionary beginnings in relation to the role of working memory and tool use by chimpanzees and humans up to modernity. It then presents an analysis of what it takes to develop language, and how language gives rise to higher orders of imagination. An important theme in the discussion is which of the changes in the development leading to language may have been gradual and which changes must reflect a discontinuity. It concludes with a paradoxical property of imagination: One part of our mind is able to imagine and create systems that another part of our mind is unable to deal with. It shows how this tension manifests itself in the notion of an impossible language, but crucially also in conceptions of human society at large. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Steps towards an evolutionary physics

    CERN Document Server

    Tiezzi, E

    2006-01-01

    If thermodynamics is to physics as logic is to philosophy, recent theoretical advancements lend new coherence to the marvel and dynamism of life on Earth. Enzo Tiezzi's "Steps Towards an Evolutionary Physics" is a primer and guide, to those who would to stand on the shoulders of giants to attain this view: Heisenberg, Planck, Bateson, Varela, and Prigogine as well as notable contemporary scientists. The adventure of such a free and enquiring spirit thrives not so much on answers as on new questions. The book offers a new gestalt on the uncertainty principle and concept of probability. A wide range of examples, enigmas, and paradoxes lead one's imagination on an exquisite dance. Among the applications are: songs and shapes of nature, oscillatory reactions, orientors, goal functions and configurations of processes, and "dissipative structures and the city". Ecodynamics is a new science, which proposes a cross-fertilization between Charles Darwin and Ilya Prigogine. As an enigma in thermodynamics, Entropy forms ...

  11. Estimation of body-size traits by photogrammetry in large mammals to inform conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berger, Joel

    2012-10-01

    Photography, including remote imagery and camera traps, has contributed substantially to conservation. However, the potential to use photography to understand demography and inform policy is limited. To have practical value, remote assessments must be reasonably accurate and widely deployable. Prior efforts to develop noninvasive methods of estimating trait size have been motivated by a desire to answer evolutionary questions, measure physiological growth, or, in the case of illegal trade, assess economics of horn sizes; but rarely have such methods been directed at conservation. Here I demonstrate a simple, noninvasive photographic technique and address how knowledge of values of individual-specific metrics bears on conservation policy. I used 10 years of data on juvenile moose (Alces alces) to examine whether body size and probability of survival are positively correlated in cold climates. I investigated whether the presence of mothers improved juvenile survival. The posited latter relation is relevant to policy because harvest of adult females has been permitted in some Canadian and American jurisdictions under the assumption that probability of survival of young is independent of maternal presence. The accuracy of estimates of head sizes made from photographs exceeded 98%. The estimates revealed that overwinter juvenile survival had no relation to the juvenile's estimated mass (p < 0.64) and was more strongly associated with maternal presence (p < 0.02) than winter snow depth (p < 0.18). These findings highlight the effects on survival of a social dynamic (the mother-young association) rather than body size and suggest a change in harvest policy will increase survival. Furthermore, photographic imaging of growth of individual juvenile muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) over 3 Arctic winters revealed annual variability in size, which supports the idea that noninvasive monitoring may allow one to detect how some environmental conditions ultimately affect body growth.

  12. Evolutionary design assistants for architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Onur Sönmez

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In its parallel pursuit of an increased competitivity for design offices and more pleasurable and easier workflows for designers, artificial design intelligence is a technical, intellectual, and political challenge. While human-machine cooperation has become commonplace through Computer Aided Design (CAD tools, a more improved collaboration and better support appear possible only through an endeavor into a kind of artificial design intelligence, which is more sensitive to the human perception of affairs. Considered as part of the broader Computational Design studies, the research program of this quest can be called Artificial / Autonomous / Automated Design (AD. The current available level of Artificial Intelligence (AI for design is limited and a viable aim for current AD would be to develop design assistants that are capable of producing drafts for various design tasks. Thus, the overall aim of this thesis is the development of approaches, techniques, and tools towards artificial design assistants that offer a capability for generating drafts for sub-tasks within design processes. The main technology explored for this aim is Evolutionary Computation (EC, and the target design domain is architecture. The two connected research questions of the study concern, first, the investigation of the ways to develop an architectural design assistant, and secondly, the utilization of EC for the development of such assistants. While developing approaches, techniques, and computational tools for such an assistant, the study also carries out a broad theoretical investigation into the main problems, challenges, and requirements towards such assistants on a rather overall level. Therefore, the research is shaped as a parallel investigation of three main threads interwoven along several levels, moving from a more general level to specific applications. The three research threads comprise, first, theoretical discussions and speculations with regard to both

  13. Strong WW Interaction at LHC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pelaez, Jose R

    1998-12-14

    We present a brief pedagogical introduction to the Effective Electroweak Chiral Lagrangians, which provide a model independent description of the WW interactions in the strong regime. When it is complemented with some unitarization or a dispersive approach, this formalism allows the study of the general strong scenario expected at the LHC, including resonances.

  14. Perceived consequences of evolution: College students perceive negative personal and social impact in evolutionary theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brem, Sarah K.; Ranney, Michael; Schindel, Jennifer

    2003-03-01

    Evolutionary science has consequences for individuals and society, ranging from the way we interpret human behavior to our notions of spirituality and the purpose of our existence. Popular portrayals of evolution depict a paradoxical theory, a source of knowledge and human connections, but also a threat to our humanity and freedom. Using quantitative and qualitative methodology, we examined how college-educated adults (n = 135) from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds perceive the impact of evolutionary theory on individuals and society. We identified a continuum of perspectives, ranging from strong creationist to strong evolutionist. Using the model of knowledge as an ecology (Demastes, Good, & Peebles, Science Education, 79, 637-666, 1995; Nardi & O'Day, Information ecologies: Using technology with heart, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1999), we examined the relationships among participants' beliefs, their perceptions regarding the social and personal impact of evolutionary theory, their prior exposure to and knowledge of evolutionary theory, and their opinions regarding the teaching of evolution. Evolutionists and creationists differed in their prior exposure to evolutionary theory, and their opinions about some aspects of teaching, but showed striking similarities regarding perceived impact. All groups viewed the consequences of accepting evolutionary principles in a way that might be considered undesirable: increased selfishness and racism, decreased spirituality, and a decreased sense of purpose and self-determination. From a science education perspective, this one-sided interpretation is troublesome because it runs counter to the available evidence and theories in evolutionary science, and we consider ways of fostering more balanced presentation and appraisal of evolutionary theory.

  15. Strong-back safety latch

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DeSantis, G.N.

    1995-01-01

    The calculation decides the integrity of the safety latch that will hold the strong-back to the pump during lifting. The safety latch will be welded to the strong-back and will latch to a 1.5-in. dia cantilever rod welded to the pump baseplate. The static and dynamic analysis shows that the safety latch will hold the strong-back to the pump if the friction clamps fail and the pump become free from the strong-back. Thus, the safety latch will meet the requirements of the Lifting and Rigging Manual for under the hook lifting for static loading; it can withstand shock loads from the strong-back falling 0.25 inch

  16. Strong-back safety latch

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeSantis, G.N.

    1995-03-06

    The calculation decides the integrity of the safety latch that will hold the strong-back to the pump during lifting. The safety latch will be welded to the strong-back and will latch to a 1.5-in. dia cantilever rod welded to the pump baseplate. The static and dynamic analysis shows that the safety latch will hold the strong-back to the pump if the friction clamps fail and the pump become free from the strong-back. Thus, the safety latch will meet the requirements of the Lifting and Rigging Manual for under the hook lifting for static loading; it can withstand shock loads from the strong-back falling 0.25 inch.

  17. Structured synthesis of MEMS using evolutionary approaches

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fan, Zhun; Wang, Jiachuan; Achiche, Sofiane

    2008-01-01

    In this paper, we discuss the hierarchy that is involved in a typical MEMS design and how evolutionary approaches can be used to automate the hierarchical synthesis process for MEMS. The paper first introduces the flow of a structured MEMS design process and emphasizes that system-level lumped...... the integrated design automation idea using these evolutionary approaches....

  18. Algorithmic Mechanism Design of Evolutionary Computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pei, Yan

    2015-01-01

    We consider algorithmic design, enhancement, and improvement of evolutionary computation as a mechanism design problem. All individuals or several groups of individuals can be considered as self-interested agents. The individuals in evolutionary computation can manipulate parameter settings and operations by satisfying their own preferences, which are defined by an evolutionary computation algorithm designer, rather than by following a fixed algorithm rule. Evolutionary computation algorithm designers or self-adaptive methods should construct proper rules and mechanisms for all agents (individuals) to conduct their evolution behaviour correctly in order to definitely achieve the desired and preset objective(s). As a case study, we propose a formal framework on parameter setting, strategy selection, and algorithmic design of evolutionary computation by considering the Nash strategy equilibrium of a mechanism design in the search process. The evaluation results present the efficiency of the framework. This primary principle can be implemented in any evolutionary computation algorithm that needs to consider strategy selection issues in its optimization process. The final objective of our work is to solve evolutionary computation design as an algorithmic mechanism design problem and establish its fundamental aspect by taking this perspective. This paper is the first step towards achieving this objective by implementing a strategy equilibrium solution (such as Nash equilibrium) in evolutionary computation algorithm.

  19. Evolutionary Biology in the Medical School Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neese, Randolph M.; Schiffman, Joshua D.

    2003-01-01

    Presents a study in which a questionnaire was given to deans at North American medical schools to determine which aspects of evolutionary biology are included in the curricula and the factors that influence this. Suggests that most future physicians should learn evolutionary biology as undergraduates if they are to learn it at all. (Author/NB)

  20. Handbook of differential equations evolutionary equations

    CERN Document Server

    Dafermos, CM

    2008-01-01

    The material collected in this volume discusses the present as well as expected future directions of development of the field with particular emphasis on applications. The seven survey articles present different topics in Evolutionary PDE's, written by leading experts.- Review of new results in the area- Continuation of previous volumes in the handbook series covering Evolutionary PDEs- Written by leading experts

  1. On the Evolutionary Stability of Bargaining Inefficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Anders

    This paper investigates whether 'tough' bargaining behavior, which gives rise to inefficiency, can be evolutionary stable. We show that in a two-stage Nash Demand Game tough behavior survives. Indeed, almost all the surplus may be wasted. We also study the Ultimatum Game. Here evolutionary...

  2. Toward a unifying framework for evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paixão, Tiago; Badkobeh, Golnaz; Barton, Nick; Çörüş, Doğan; Dang, Duc-Cuong; Friedrich, Tobias; Lehre, Per Kristian; Sudholt, Dirk; Sutton, Andrew M; Trubenová, Barbora

    2015-10-21

    The theory of population genetics and evolutionary computation have been evolving separately for nearly 30 years. Many results have been independently obtained in both fields and many others are unique to its respective field. We aim to bridge this gap by developing a unifying framework for evolutionary processes that allows both evolutionary algorithms and population genetics models to be cast in the same formal framework. The framework we present here decomposes the evolutionary process into its several components in order to facilitate the identification of similarities between different models. In particular, we propose a classification of evolutionary operators based on the defining properties of the different components. We cast several commonly used operators from both fields into this common framework. Using this, we map different evolutionary and genetic algorithms to different evolutionary regimes and identify candidates with the most potential for the translation of results between the fields. This provides a unified description of evolutionary processes and represents a stepping stone towards new tools and results to both fields. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Democratizing evolutionary biology, lessons from insects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dunn, Robert Roberdeau; Beasley, DeAnna E.

    2016-01-01

    The engagement of the public in the scientific process is an old practice. Yet with recent advances in technology, the role of the citizen scientist in studying evolutionary processes has increased. Insects provide ideal models for understanding these evolutionary processes at large scales...

  4. 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…

  5. Evolutionary game dynamics in a growing structured population

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poncela, Julia; Gomez-Gardenes, Jesus; Moreno, Yamir; Traulsen, Arne

    2009-01-01

    We discuss a model for evolutionary game dynamics in a growing, network-structured population. In our model, new players can either make connections to random preexisting players or preferentially attach to those that have been successful in the past. The latter depends on the dynamics of strategies in the game, which we implement following the so-called Fermi rule such that the limits of weak and strong strategy selection can be explored. Our framework allows to address general evolutionary games. With only two parameters describing the preferential attachment and the intensity of selection, we describe a wide range of network structures and evolutionary scenarios. Our results show that even for moderate payoff preferential attachment, over represented hubs arise. Interestingly, we find that while the networks are growing, high levels of cooperation are attained, but the same network structure does not promote cooperation as a static network. Therefore, the mechanism of payoff preferential attachment is different to those usually invoked to explain the promotion of cooperation in static, already-grown networks.

  6. Evolutionary game theory using agent-based methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adami, Christoph; Schossau, Jory; Hintze, Arend

    2016-12-01

    Evolutionary game theory is a successful mathematical framework geared towards understanding the selective pressures that affect the evolution of the strategies of agents engaged in interactions with potential conflicts. While a mathematical treatment of the costs and benefits of decisions can predict the optimal strategy in simple settings, more realistic settings such as finite populations, non-vanishing mutations rates, stochastic decisions, communication between agents, and spatial interactions, require agent-based methods where each agent is modeled as an individual, carries its own genes that determine its decisions, and where the evolutionary outcome can only be ascertained by evolving the population of agents forward in time. While highlighting standard mathematical results, we compare those to agent-based methods that can go beyond the limitations of equations and simulate the complexity of heterogeneous populations and an ever-changing set of interactors. We conclude that agent-based methods can predict evolutionary outcomes where purely mathematical treatments cannot tread (for example in the weak selection-strong mutation limit), but that mathematics is crucial to validate the computational simulations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Guiding deployment of resistance in cereals using evolutionary principles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdon, Jeremy J; Barrett, Luke G; Rebetzke, Greg; Thrall, Peter H

    2014-06-01

    Genetically controlled resistance provides plant breeders with an efficient means of controlling plant disease, but this approach has been constrained by practical difficulties associated with combining many resistance genes together and strong evolutionary responses from pathogen populations leading to subsequent resistance breakdown. However, continuing advances in molecular marker technologies are revolutionizing the ability to rapidly and reliably manipulate resistances of all types - major gene, adult plant and quantitative resistance loci singly or multiply into individual host lines. Here, we argue that these advances provide major opportunities to deliberately design deployment strategies in cereals that can take advantage of the evolutionary pressures faced by target pathogens. Different combinations of genes deployed either within single host individuals or between different individuals within or among crops, can be used to reduce the size of pathogen populations and generate patterns of disruptive selection. This will simultaneously limit immediate epidemic development and reduce the probability of subsequent evolutionary change in the pathogen for broader infectivity or increased aggressiveness. The same general principles are relevant to the control of noncereal diseases, but the most efficacious controls will vary reflecting the range of genetic options available and their fit with specific ecology and life-history combinations.

  8. Evolutionary Effect on the Embodied Beauty of Landscape Architectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wei; Tang, Xiaoxiang; He, Xianyou; Chen, Guangyao

    2018-01-01

    According to the framework of evolutionary aesthetics, a sense of beauty is related to environmental adaptation and plasticity of human beings, which has adaptive value and biological foundations. Prior studies have demonstrated that organisms derive benefits from the landscape. In this study, we investigated whether the benefits of landscape might elicit a stronger sense of beauty and what the nature of this sense of beauty is. In two experiments, when viewing classical landscape and nonlandscape architectures photographs, participants rated the aesthetic scores (Experiment 1) and had a two-alternative forced choice aesthetic judgment by pressing the reaction button located near to (15 cm) or far from (45 cm) the presenting stimuli (Experiment 2). The results showed that reaction of aesthetic ratings for classical landscape architectures was faster than those of classical nonlandscape architectures. Furthermore, only the reaction of beautiful judgment of classical landscape architecture photograph was significantly faster when the reaction button was in the near position to the presenting photograph than those in the position of far away from the presenting photograph. This finding suggests a facilitated effect for the aesthetic perception of classical landscape architectures due to their corresponding components including water and green plants with strong evolutionary implications. Furthermore, this sense of beauty for classical landscape architectures might be the embodied approach to beauty based on the viewpoint of evolutionary aesthetics and embodied cognition.

  9. Lysosomal enzymes and their receptors in invertebrates: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Nadimpalli Siva; Bhamidimarri, Poorna M

    2015-01-01

    Lysosomal biogenesis is an important process in eukaryotic cells to maintain cellular homeostasis. The key components that are involved in the biogenesis such as the lysosomal enzymes, their modifications and the mannose 6-phosphate receptors have been well studied and their evolutionary conservation across mammalian and non-mammalian vertebrates is clearly established. Invertebrate lysosomal biogenesis pathway on the other hand is not well studied. Although, details on mannose 6-phosphate receptors and enzymes involved in lysosomal enzyme modifications were reported earlier, a clear cut pathway has not been established. Recent research on the invertebrate species involving biogenesis of lysosomal enzymes suggests a possible conserved pathway in invertebrates. This review presents certain observations based on these processes that include biochemical, immunological and functional studies. Major conclusions include conservation of MPR-dependent pathway in higher invertebrates and recent evidence suggests that MPR-independent pathway might have been more prominent among lower invertebrates. The possible components of MPR-independent pathway that may play a role in lysosomal enzyme targeting are also discussed here.

  10. Titanium: light, strong, and white

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodruff, Laurel; Bedinger, George

    2013-01-01

    Titanium (Ti) is a strong silver-gray metal that is highly resistant to corrosion and is chemically inert. It is as strong as steel but 45 percent lighter, and it is twice as strong as aluminum but only 60 percent heavier. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) has a very high refractive index, which means that it has high light-scattering ability. As a result, TiO2 imparts whiteness, opacity, and brightness to many products. ...Because of the unique physical properties of titanium metal and the whiteness provided by TiO2, titanium is now used widely in modern industrial societies.

  11. 7 CFR 12.23 - Conservation plans and conservation systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Conservation plans and conservation systems. 12.23 Section 12.23 Agriculture Office of the Secretary of Agriculture HIGHLY ERODIBLE LAND AND WETLAND CONSERVATION Highly Erodible Land Conservation § 12.23 Conservation plans and conservation systems. (a) Use of...

  12. Ethics of conservation triage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerrie A Wilson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Conservation triage seems to be at a stalemate between those who accept triage based on utilitarian rationalization, and those that reject it based on a number of ethical principles. We argue that without considered attention to the ethics of conservation triage we risk further polarization in the field of conservation. We draw lessons from the medical sector, where triage is more intuitive and acceptable, and also from disaster planning, to help navigate the challenges that triage entails for conservation science, practice, and policy. We clarify the consequentialist, deontological, and virtue ethical stances that influence the level of acceptance of triage. We emphasize the ethical dimensions of conservation triage in principle and in practice, particularly in the context of stakeholder diversity, a wide range of possible objectives and actions, broader institutions, and significant uncertainties. A focus on a more diverse set of ethics, more considered choice of triage as a conservation tool, open communication of triage objectives and protocols, greater consideration of risk preferences, and regular review and adaptation of triage protocols is required for conservation triage to become more acceptable among diverse conservation practitioners, institutions, and the general public. Accepting conservation triage as fundamentally an ethical problem would foster more open dialogue and constructive debate about the role of conservation triage in a wider system of care.

  13. Conservation of eelgrass (Zostera marina genetic diversity in a mesocosm-based restoration experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian S Ort

    Full Text Available Eelgrass (Zostera marina forms the foundation of an important shallow coastal community in protected estuaries and bays. Widespread population declines have stimulated restoration efforts, but these have often overlooked the importance of maintaining the evolutionary potential of restored populations by minimizing the reduction in genetic diversity that typically accompanies restoration. In an experiment simulating a small-scale restoration, we tested the effectiveness of a buoy-deployed seeding technique to maintain genetic diversity comparable to the seed source populations. Seeds from three extant source populations in San Francisco Bay were introduced into eighteen flow-through baywater mesocosms. Following seedling establishment, we used seven polymorphic microsatellite loci to compare genetic diversity indices from 128 shoots to those found in the source populations. Importantly, allelic richness and expected heterozygosity were not significantly reduced in the mesocosms, which also preserved the strong population differentiation present among source populations. However, the inbreeding coefficient F IS was elevated in two of the three sets of mesocosms when they were grouped according to their source population. This is probably a Wahlund effect from confining all half-siblings within each spathe to a single mesocosm, elevating F IS when the mesocosms were considered together. The conservation of most alleles and preservation of expected heterozygosity suggests that this seeding technique is an improvement over whole-shoot transplantation in the conservation of genetic diversity in eelgrass restoration efforts.

  14. Genetic structure of the French red squirrel populations: implication for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dozières, Anne; Chapuis, Jean-Louis; Thibault, Sophie; Baudry, Emmanuelle

    2012-01-01

    The decline of the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) in several European countries due to the introduction of the American grey squirrel (S. carolinensis) and the predicted arrival of the grey squirrel in France in the near future has lead to the development of a preventative conservation project in this country. In this study, we conducted an extensive survey of mitochondrial DNA variation in French red squirrels using a fragment of the mitochondrial D-loop and we compared the results with previously published data from other European populations. Our main aims were: (1) to determine whether genetically differentiated populations, which could represent prioritized units for conservation purposes, were present in France and (2) to determine whether the French population, which is currently largely undisturbed, could provide information on the postglacial recolonization history of the species. We found that French D-loop haplotypes show almost no tendency to cluster by geographic origin, be it region or country, suggesting that French red squirrels have not been isolated from other populations during an evolutionarily significant period and that they do not constitute an Evolutionary Significant Unit. The French red squirrels showed strong signals of population expansion, the opposite to what is observed in most other European populations, making them of particular interest to study the postglacial expansion history of the species.

  15. Genetic structure of the French red squirrel populations: implication for conservation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Dozières

    Full Text Available The decline of the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris in several European countries due to the introduction of the American grey squirrel (S. carolinensis and the predicted arrival of the grey squirrel in France in the near future has lead to the development of a preventative conservation project in this country. In this study, we conducted an extensive survey of mitochondrial DNA variation in French red squirrels using a fragment of the mitochondrial D-loop and we compared the results with previously published data from other European populations. Our main aims were: (1 to determine whether genetically differentiated populations, which could represent prioritized units for conservation purposes, were present in France and (2 to determine whether the French population, which is currently largely undisturbed, could provide information on the postglacial recolonization history of the species. We found that French D-loop haplotypes show almost no tendency to cluster by geographic origin, be it region or country, suggesting that French red squirrels have not been isolated from other populations during an evolutionarily significant period and that they do not constitute an Evolutionary Significant Unit. The French red squirrels showed strong signals of population expansion, the opposite to what is observed in most other European populations, making them of particular interest to study the postglacial expansion history of the species.

  16. Genetic Structure of the French Red Squirrel Populations: Implication for Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dozières, Anne; Chapuis, Jean-Louis; Thibault, Sophie; Baudry, Emmanuelle

    2012-01-01

    The decline of the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) in several European countries due to the introduction of the American grey squirrel (S. carolinensis) and the predicted arrival of the grey squirrel in France in the near future has lead to the development of a preventative conservation project in this country. In this study, we conducted an extensive survey of mitochondrial DNA variation in French red squirrels using a fragment of the mitochondrial D-loop and we compared the results with previously published data from other European populations. Our main aims were: (1) to determine whether genetically differentiated populations, which could represent prioritized units for conservation purposes, were present in France and (2) to determine whether the French population, which is currently largely undisturbed, could provide information on the postglacial recolonization history of the species. We found that French D-loop haplotypes show almost no tendency to cluster by geographic origin, be it region or country, suggesting that French red squirrels have not been isolated from other populations during an evolutionarily significant period and that they do not constitute an Evolutionary Significant Unit. The French red squirrels showed strong signals of population expansion, the opposite to what is observed in most other European populations, making them of particular interest to study the postglacial expansion history of the species. PMID:23082180

  17. Inflated impact factors? The true impact of evolutionary papers in non-evolutionary journals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik Postma

    Full Text Available Amongst the numerous problems associated with the use of impact factors as a measure of quality are the systematic differences in impact factors that exist among scientific fields. While in theory this can be circumvented by limiting comparisons to journals within the same field, for a diverse and multidisciplinary field like evolutionary biology, in which the majority of papers are published in journals that publish both evolutionary and non-evolutionary papers, this is impossible. However, a journal's overall impact factor may well be a poor predictor for the impact of its evolutionary papers. The extremely high impact factors of some multidisciplinary journals, for example, are by many believed to be driven mostly by publications from other fields. Despite plenty of speculation, however, we know as yet very little about the true impact of evolutionary papers in journals not specifically classified as evolutionary. Here I present, for a wide range of journals, an analysis of the number of evolutionary papers they publish and their average impact. I show that there are large differences in impact among evolutionary and non-evolutionary papers within journals; while the impact of evolutionary papers published in multidisciplinary journals is substantially overestimated by their overall impact factor, the impact of evolutionary papers in many of the more specialized, non-evolutionary journals is significantly underestimated. This suggests that, for evolutionary biologists, publishing in high-impact multidisciplinary journals should not receive as much weight as it does now, while evolutionary papers in more narrowly defined journals are currently undervalued. Importantly, however, their ranking remains largely unaffected. While journal impact factors may thus indeed provide a meaningful qualitative measure of impact, a fair quantitative comparison requires a more sophisticated journal classification system, together with multiple field

  18. On the evolution of misunderstandings about evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, J; Persell, R

    2000-04-01

    Some of the controversy surrounding evolutionary explanations of human behavior may be due to cognitive information-processing patterns that are themselves the result of evolutionary processes. Two such patterns are (1) the tendency to oversimplify information so as to reduce demand on cognitive resources and (2) our strong desire to generate predictability and stability from perceptions of the external world. For example, research on social stereotyping has found that people tend to focus automatically on simplified social-categorical information, to use such information when deciding how to behave, and to rely on such information even in the face of contradictory evidence. Similarly, an undying debate over nature vs. nurture is shaped by various data-reduction strategies that frequently oversimplify, and thus distort, the intent of the supporting arguments. This debate is also often marked by an assumption that either the nature or the nurture domain may be justifiably excluded at an explanatory level because one domain appears to operate in a sufficiently stable and predictable way for a particular argument. As a result, critiques in-veighed against evolutionary explanations of behavior often incorporate simplified--and erroneous--assumptions about either the mechanics of how evolution operates or the inevitable implications of evolution for understanding human behavior. The influences of these tendencies are applied to a discussion of the heritability of behavioral characteristics. It is suggested that the common view that Mendelian genetics can explain the heritability of complex behaviors, with a one-gene-one-trait process, is misguided. Complex behaviors are undoubtedly a product of a more complex interaction between genes and environment, ensuring that both nature and nurture must be accommodated in a yet-to-be-developed post-Mendelian model of genetic influence. As a result, current public perceptions of evolutionary explanations of behavior are

  19. Evolutionary perspectives on innate immunity from the study of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dennis H; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-02-01

    Genetic and functional genomic approaches have begun to define the molecular determinants of pathogen resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Conserved signal transduction components are required for pathogen resistance, including a Toll/IL-1 receptor domain adaptor protein that functions upstream of a conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway. We suggest that this pathway is an ancestral innate immune signaling pathway present in the common ancestor of nematodes, arthropods and vertebrates, which is likely to predate the involvement of canonical Toll signaling pathways in innate immunity. We anticipate that the study of pathogen resistance in C. elegans will continue to provide evolutionary and mechanistic insights into the signal transduction and physiology of innate immunity.

  20. Conservation: Toward firmer ground

    Science.gov (United States)

    1975-01-01

    The following aspects of energy conservation were discussed: conservation history and goals, conservation modes, conservation accounting-criteria, and a method to overcome obstacles. The conservation modes tested fall into one of the following categories: reduced energy consumption, increased efficiency of energy utilization, or substitution of one or more forms of energy for another which is in shorter supply or in some sense thought to be of more value. The conservation accounting criteria include net energy reduction, economic, and technical criteria. A method to overcome obstacles includes (approaches such as: direct personal impact (life style, income, security, aspiration), an element of crisis, large scale involvement of environmental, safety, and health issues, connections to big government, big business, big politics, involvement of known and speculative science and technology, appeal to moral and ethical standards, the transient nature of opportunities to correct the system.

  1. Econometric modelling of conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parker, J.C.; Seal, D.J.

    1990-01-01

    The issue of energy conservation in general, and conservation in the natural gas markets in particular, has recently had a much lower profile than in the past, when energy prices were significantly higher and energy costs composed a much larger proportion of industrial operating costs than today. The recent downward trend in energy prices has diverted attention away from this issue. In the face of expected significant real price increases, increasing pressure from environmental groups, and directives on the part of regulator authorities, conservation is once again becoming a topic of consideration in the energy industry. From the point of view of gas demand forecasting, conservation has received too little attention. The intentions of this paper are to establish the need for forecasting conservation in the natural gas utility sector, and to construct a model of industrial demand which incorporates conservation and is appropriate for use as a forecasting tool

  2. Evolutionary dynamics from a variational principle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimek, Peter; Thurner, Stefan; Hanel, Rudolf

    2010-07-01

    We demonstrate with a thought experiment that fitness-based population dynamical approaches to evolution are not able to make quantitative, falsifiable predictions about the long-term behavior of some evolutionary systems. A key characteristic of evolutionary systems is the ongoing endogenous production of new species. These novel entities change the conditions for already existing species. Even Darwin’s Demon, a hypothetical entity with exact knowledge of the abundance of all species and their fitness functions at a given time, could not prestate the impact of these novelties on established populations. We argue that fitness is always a posteriori knowledge—it measures but does not explain why a species has reproductive success or not. To overcome these conceptual limitations, a variational principle is proposed in a spin-model-like setup of evolutionary systems. We derive a functional which is minimized under the most general evolutionary formulation of a dynamical system, i.e., evolutionary trajectories causally emerge as a minimization of a functional. This functional allows the derivation of analytic solutions of the asymptotic diversity for stochastic evolutionary systems within a mean-field approximation. We test these approximations by numerical simulations of the corresponding model and find good agreement in the position of phase transitions in diversity curves. The model is further able to reproduce stylized facts of timeseries from several man-made and natural evolutionary systems. Light will be thrown on how species and their fitness landscapes dynamically coevolve.

  3. Evolutionary psychology. Controversies, questions, prospects, and limitations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Confer, Jaime C; Easton, Judith A; Fleischman, Diana S; Goetz, Cari D; Lewis, David M G; Perilloux, Carin; Buss, David M

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary psychology has emerged over the past 15 years as a major theoretical perspective, generating an increasing volume of empirical studies and assuming a larger presence within psychological science. At the same time, it has generated critiques and remains controversial among some psychologists. Some of the controversy stems from hypotheses that go against traditional psychological theories; some from empirical findings that may have disturbing implications; some from misunderstandings about the logic of evolutionary psychology; and some from reasonable scientific concerns about its underlying framework. This article identifies some of the most common concerns and attempts to elucidate evolutionary psychology's stance pertaining to them. These include issues of testability and falsifiability; the domain specificity versus domain generality of psychological mechanisms; the role of novel environments as they interact with evolved psychological circuits; the role of genes in the conceptual structure of evolutionary psychology; the roles of learning, socialization, and culture in evolutionary psychology; and the practical value of applied evolutionary psychology. The article concludes with a discussion of the limitations of current evolutionary psychology. 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

  4. Phylogenetic inference with weighted codon evolutionary distances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criscuolo, Alexis; Michel, Christian J

    2009-04-01

    We develop a new approach to estimate a matrix of pairwise evolutionary distances from a codon-based alignment based on a codon evolutionary model. The method first computes a standard distance matrix for each of the three codon positions. Then these three distance matrices are weighted according to an estimate of the global evolutionary rate of each codon position and averaged into a unique distance matrix. Using a large set of both real and simulated codon-based alignments of nucleotide sequences, we show that this approach leads to distance matrices that have a significantly better treelikeness compared to those obtained by standard nucleotide evolutionary distances. We also propose an alternative weighting to eliminate the part of the noise often associated with some codon positions, particularly the third position, which is known to induce a fast evolutionary rate. Simulation results show that fast distance-based tree reconstruction algorithms on distance matrices based on this codon position weighting can lead to phylogenetic trees that are at least as accurate as, if not better, than those inferred by maximum likelihood. Finally, a well-known multigene dataset composed of eight yeast species and 106 codon-based alignments is reanalyzed and shows that our codon evolutionary distances allow building a phylogenetic tree which is similar to those obtained by non-distance-based methods (e.g., maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood) and also significantly improved compared to standard nucleotide evolutionary distance estimates.

  5. Handbook on energy conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-12-01

    This book shows energy situation in recent years, which includes reserves of energy resource in the world, crude oil production records in OPEC and non OPEC, supply and demand of energy in important developed countries, prospect of supply and demand of energy and current situation of energy conservation in developed countries. It also deals with energy situation in Korea reporting natural resources status, energy conservation policy, measurement for alternative energy, energy management of Korea, investment in equipment and public education for energy conservation.

  6. Evolutionary Dynamics of Biological Auctions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatterjee, Krishnendu; Reiter, Johannes G.; Nowak, Martin A.

    2011-01-01

    Many scenarios in the living world, where individual organisms compete for winning positions (or resources), have properties of auctions. Here we study the evolution of bids in biological auctions. For each auction n individuals are drawn at random from a population of size N. Each individual makes a bid which entails a cost. The winner obtains a benefit of a certain value. Costs and benefits are translated into reproductive success (fitness). Therefore, successful bidding strategies spread in the population. We compare two types of auctions. In “biological all-pay auctions” the costs are the bid for every participating individual. In “biological second price all-pay auctions” the cost for everyone other than the winner is the bid, but the cost for the winner is the second highest bid. Second price all-pay auctions are generalizations of the “war of attrition” introduced by Maynard Smith. We study evolutionary dynamics in both types of auctions. We calculate pairwise invasion plots and evolutionarily stable distributions over the continuous strategy space. We find that the average bid in second price all-pay auctions is higher than in all-pay auctions, but the average cost for the winner is similar in both auctions. In both cases the average bid is a declining function of the number of participants, n. The more individuals participate in an auction the smaller is the chance of winning, and thus expensive bids must be avoided. PMID:22120126

  7. Evolutionary dynamics under interactive diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Qi; Li, Aming; Wang, Long

    2017-10-01

    As evidenced by many cases in human societies, individuals often make different behavior decisions in different interactions, and adaptively adjust their behavior in changeable interactive scenarios. However, up to now, how such diverse interactive behavior affects cooperation dynamics has still remained unknown. Here we develop a general framework of interactive diversity, which models individuals’ separated behavior against distinct opponents and their adaptive adjustment in response to opponents’ strategies, to explore the evolution of cooperation. We find that interactive diversity enables individuals to reciprocate every single opponent, and thus sustains large-scale reciprocal interactions. Our work witnesses an impressive boost of cooperation for a notably extensive range of parameters and for all pairwise games. These results are robust against well-mixed and various networked populations, and against degree-normalized and cumulative payoff patterns. From the perspective of network dynamics, distinguished from individuals competing for nodes in most previous work, in this paper, the system evolves in the form of behavior disseminating along edges. We propose a theoretical method based on evolution of edges, which predicts well both the frequency of cooperation and the compact cooperation clusters. Our thorough investigation clarifies the positive role of interactive diversity in resolving social dilemmas and highlights the significance of understanding evolutionary dynamics from the viewpoint of edge dynamics.

  8. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henok Mengistu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Hierarchical organization-the recursive composition of sub-modules-is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments. Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force-the cost of connections-promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics.

  9. Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csibra, Gergely; Gergely, György

    2011-04-12

    We propose that the cognitive mechanisms that enable the transmission of cultural knowledge by communication between individuals constitute a system of 'natural pedagogy' in humans, and represent an evolutionary adaptation along the hominin lineage. We discuss three kinds of arguments that support this hypothesis. First, natural pedagogy is likely to be human-specific: while social learning and communication are both widespread in non-human animals, we know of no example of social learning by communication in any other species apart from humans. Second, natural pedagogy is universal: despite the huge variability in child-rearing practices, all human cultures rely on communication to transmit to novices a variety of different types of cultural knowledge, including information about artefact kinds, conventional behaviours, arbitrary referential symbols, cognitively opaque skills and know-how embedded in means-end actions. Third, the data available on early hominin technological culture are more compatible with the assumption that natural pedagogy was an independently selected adaptive cognitive system than considering it as a by-product of some other human-specific adaptation, such as language. By providing a qualitatively new type of social learning mechanism, natural pedagogy is not only the product but also one of the sources of the rich cultural heritage of our species.

  10. Flourishing: An Evolutionary Concept Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agenor, Christine; Conner, Norma; Aroian, Karen

    2017-11-01

    Mental health is an important measure of public health (WHO, 2004); however, nursing practice and research continues to prioritize mental illness, rather than well-being (Wand, 2011). Flourishing is a recent concept in the field of well-being. The term has been used sparingly in nursing practice and research, and conceptual clarification is needed to promote comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to critically analyze flourishing, assess the maturity of the concept, and provide recommendations for future research, education, and practice. The concept of flourishing was analyzed using the evolutionary approach to concept analysis (Rodgers, 2000). A search for articles on flourishing within the context of well-being was conducted through CINAHL, MEDLINE, and PsycINFO. A sample of 32 articles and 1 book was reviewed. Data were reviewed for concept attributes, antecedents, consequences, surrogate terms and related concepts. Four models of flourishing were identified with six overlapping attributes: meaning, positive relationships, engagement, competence, positive emotion, and self-esteem. Limited longitudinal and predictive studies have been conducted, but there is evidence for several antecedents and outcomes of flourishing. Research is ongoing primarily in psychology and sociology and is lacking in other disciplines. The concept of flourishing is immature; however, evidence is building for related concepts. A lack of consistent terminology regarding flourishing prevents knowledge development of flourishing as a distinct concept. Further multidisciplinary research is needed to establish standard operational and conceptual definitions and develop effective interventions.

  11. Evolutionary optimization of protein folding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cédric Debès

    Full Text Available Nature has shaped the make up of proteins since their appearance, [Formula: see text]3.8 billion years ago. However, the fundamental drivers of structural change responsible for the extraordinary diversity of proteins have yet to be elucidated. Here we explore if protein evolution affects folding speed. We estimated folding times for the present-day catalog of protein domains directly from their size-modified contact order. These values were mapped onto an evolutionary timeline of domain appearance derived from a phylogenomic analysis of protein domains in 989 fully-sequenced genomes. Our results show a clear overall increase of folding speed during evolution, with known ultra-fast downhill folders appearing rather late in the timeline. Remarkably, folding optimization depends on secondary structure. While alpha-folds showed a tendency to fold faster throughout evolution, beta-folds exhibited a trend of folding time increase during the last [Formula: see text]1.5 billion years that began during the "big bang" of domain combinations. As a consequence, these domain structures are on average slow folders today. Our results suggest that fast and efficient folding of domains shaped the universe of protein structure. This finding supports the hypothesis that optimization of the kinetic and thermodynamic accessibility of the native fold reduces protein aggregation propensities that hamper cellular functions.

  12. What's in it for Me? Motivational Differences between Farmer's Subsidised and Non-Subsidised Conservation Practices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lokhorst, A.M.; Staats, H.; Dijk, J. van

    2011-01-01

    Through nature conservation practices, farmers can strongly enhance nature quality and biodiversity in rural areas. In this paper, the social psychological underpinnings of farmers' nature conservation practices are investigated using the Theory of Planned Behavior, to which the concepts of

  13. On the Runtime of Randomized Local Search and Simple Evolutionary Algorithms for Dynamic Makespan Scheduling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Neumann, Frank; Witt, Carsten

    2015-01-01

    combinatorial optimization problem, namely makespan scheduling. We study the model of a strong adversary which is allowed to change one job at regular intervals. Furthermore, we investigate the setting of random changes. Our results show that randomized local search and a simple evolutionary algorithm are very...

  14. The Institutional Canopy of Conservation | IDRC - International ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Research has shown that the most effective strategy for sustaining biodiversity around and beyond parks involves strong community engagement that links livelihoods and aspirations to conservation benefits. The project will take a knowledge-action approach to engaging communities, their partnering institutions, and local ...

  15. Evolutionary distinctiveness of the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, B W; Meylan, A B; Avise, J C

    1991-08-22

    The endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempi) nests almost exclusively at a single locality in the western Gulf of Mexico, whereas the olive ridley (L. olivacea) nests globally in warm oceans. Morphological similarities between kempi and olivacea, and a geographical distribution that "...makes no sense at all under modern conditions of climate and geography", raise questions about the degree of evolutionary divergence between these taxa. Analysis of mitochondrial (mt) DNA restriction sites shows that Kemp's ridley is distinct from the olive ridley in matriarchal phylogeny, and that the two are sister taxa with respect to other marine turtles. Separation of olive and the Kemp's ridley lineages may date to formation of the Isthmus of Panama, whereas the global spread of the olive ridley lineage occurred recently. In contrast to recent examples in which molecular genetic assessments challenged systematic assignments underlying conservation programmes, our mtDNA data corroborate the taxonomy of an endangered form.

  16. Oxytocin mediated behavior in invertebrates: An evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockard, Meghan A; Ebert, Margaret S; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2017-02-01

    The molecular and functional conservation of oxytocin-related neuropeptides in behavior is striking. In animals separated by at least 600 million years of evolution, from roundworms to humans, oxytocin homologs play critical roles in the modulation of reproductive behavior and other biological functions. Here, we review the roles of oxytocin in invertebrate behavior from an evolutionary perspective. We begin by tracing the evolution of oxytocin through the invertebrate animal lineages, and then describe common themes in invertebrate behaviors that are mediated by oxytocin-related peptides, including reproductive behavior, learning and memory, food arousal, and predator/prey relationships. Finally, we discuss interesting future directions that have recently become experimentally tractable. Studying oxytocin in invertebrates offers precise insights into the activity of neuropeptides on well-defined neural circuits; the principles that emerge may also be represented in the more complex vertebrate brain. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 128-142, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Evolutionary theory and the naturalist fallacy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grodal, Torben Kragh

    2008-01-01

    The article is an invited response to a target article by Joseph Carroll entitled "An evolutionary paradigm for literary study". It argues that the target article  misuse the fact that works of art are based on adaptations that were fitness-enhancing in the era of evolutionary adaptations to claim...... that great work of art are also automatically fitness-enhancing in the present day environment, at that there are simple correllations between whether a work of art has a high aesthetic value and whether it is fitness-enhancing or not.  Keywords :  Evolutionary aesthetics, film theory, literary theory...

  18. Evolutionary theory and the naturalist fallacy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grodal, Torben Kragh

    2008-01-01

    that great work of art are also automatically fitness-enhancing in the present day environment, at that there are simple correllations between whether a work of art has a high aesthetic value and whether it is fitness-enhancing or not.  Keywords :  Evolutionary aesthetics, film theory, literary theory......The article is an invited response to a target article by Joseph Carroll entitled "An evolutionary paradigm for literary study". It argues that the target article  misuse the fact that works of art are based on adaptations that were fitness-enhancing in the era of evolutionary adaptations to claim...

  19. Conserved and species-specific alternative splicing in mammalian genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Favorov Alexander V

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Alternative splicing has been shown to be one of the major evolutionary mechanisms for protein diversification and proteome expansion, since a considerable fraction of alternative splicing events appears to be species- or lineage-specific. However, most studies were restricted to the analysis of cassette exons in pairs of genomes and did not analyze functionality of the alternative variants. Results We analyzed conservation of human alternative splice sites and cassette exons in the mouse and dog genomes. Alternative exons, especially minor-isofom ones, were shown to be less conserved than constitutive exons. Frame-shifting alternatives in the protein-coding regions are less conserved than frame-preserving ones. Similarly, the conservation of alternative sites is highest for evenly used alternatives, and higher when the distance between the sites is divisible by three. The rate of alternative-exon and site loss in mouse is slightly higher than in dog, consistent with faster evolution of the former. The evolutionary dynamics of alternative sites was shown to be consistent with the model of random activation of cryptic sites. Conclusion Consistent with other studies, our results show that minor cassette exons are less conserved than major-alternative and constitutive exons. However, our study provides evidence that this is caused not only by exon birth, but also lineage-specific loss of alternative exons and sites, and it depends on exon functionality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-09-01

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