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Sample records for understand evolutionary trees

  1. How to Identify and Interpret Evolutionary Tree Diagrams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, Yi; Anderson, Trevor; Pelaez, Nancy

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary trees are key tools for modern biology and are commonly portrayed in textbooks to promote learning about biological evolution. However, many people have difficulty in understanding what evolutionary trees are meant to portray. In fact, some ideas that current professional biologists depict with evolutionary trees are neither clearly…

  2. Can Children Read Evolutionary Trees?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ainsworth, Shaaron; Saffer, Jessica

    2013-01-01

    Representations of the "tree of life" such as cladograms show the history of lineages and their relationships. They are increasingly found in formal and informal learning settings. Unfortunately, there is evidence that these representations can be challenging to interpret correctly. This study explored the question of whether children…

  3. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho de Souza, Fernanda; Dexter, Kyle G.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Brienen, Roel J. W.; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R.; Lopez Gonzalez, Gabriela; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Pennington, R. Toby; Poorter, Lourens; Alexiades, Miguel; Álvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Andrade, Ana; Aragão, Luis E. O. C.; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J. M. M.; Aymard C, Gerardo A.; Baraloto, Christopher; Barroso, Jorcely G.; Bonal, Damien; Boot, Rene G. A.; Camargo, José L. C.; Comiskey, James A.; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; de Camargo, Plínio B.; Di Fiore, Anthony; Erwin, Terry L.; Feldpausch, Ted R.; Ferreira, Leandro; Fyllas, Nikolaos M.; Gloor, Emanuel; Herault, Bruno; Herrera, Rafael; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N.; Killeen, Timothy J.; Laurance, William F.; Laurance, Susan; Lloyd, Jon; Lovejoy, Thomas E.; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maracahipes, Leandro; Marimon, Beatriz S.; Marimon-Junior, Ben H.; Mendoza, Casimiro; Morandi, Paulo; Neill, David A.; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Oliveira, Edmar A.; Lenza, Eddie; Palacios, Walter A.; Peñuela-Mora, Maria C.; Pipoly, John J.; Pitman, Nigel C. A.; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A.; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Rudas, Agustin; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Salomão, Rafael P.; Silveira, Marcos; ter Steege, Hans; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; van der Hout, Peter; van der Heijden, Geertje M. F.; van der Meer, Peter J.; Vasquez, Rodolfo V.; Vieira, Simone A.; Vilanova, Emilio; Vos, Vincent A.; Wang, Ophelia; Young, Kenneth R.; Zagt, Roderick J.; Baker, Timothy R.

    2016-01-01

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change. PMID:27974517

  4. Evolutionary heritage influences Amazon tree ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho de Souza, Fernanda; Dexter, Kyle G; Phillips, Oliver L; Brienen, Roel J W; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R; Lopez Gonzalez, Gabriela; Monteagudo Mendoza, Abel; Pennington, R Toby; Poorter, Lourens; Alexiades, Miguel; Álvarez-Dávila, Esteban; Andrade, Ana; Aragão, Luis E O C; Araujo-Murakami, Alejandro; Arets, Eric J M M; Aymard C, Gerardo A; Baraloto, Christopher; Barroso, Jorcely G; Bonal, Damien; Boot, Rene G A; Camargo, José L C; Comiskey, James A; Valverde, Fernando Cornejo; de Camargo, Plínio B; Di Fiore, Anthony; Elias, Fernando; Erwin, Terry L; Feldpausch, Ted R; Ferreira, Leandro; Fyllas, Nikolaos M; Gloor, Emanuel; Herault, Bruno; Herrera, Rafael; Higuchi, Niro; Honorio Coronado, Eurídice N; Killeen, Timothy J; Laurance, William F; Laurance, Susan; Lloyd, Jon; Lovejoy, Thomas E; Malhi, Yadvinder; Maracahipes, Leandro; Marimon, Beatriz S; Marimon-Junior, Ben H; Mendoza, Casimiro; Morandi, Paulo; Neill, David A; Vargas, Percy Núñez; Oliveira, Edmar A; Lenza, Eddie; Palacios, Walter A; Peñuela-Mora, Maria C; Pipoly, John J; Pitman, Nigel C A; Prieto, Adriana; Quesada, Carlos A; Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma; Rudas, Agustin; Ruokolainen, Kalle; Salomão, Rafael P; Silveira, Marcos; Stropp, Juliana; Ter Steege, Hans; Thomas-Caesar, Raquel; van der Hout, Peter; van der Heijden, Geertje M F; van der Meer, Peter J; Vasquez, Rodolfo V; Vieira, Simone A; Vilanova, Emilio; Vos, Vincent A; Wang, Ophelia; Young, Kenneth R; Zagt, Roderick J; Baker, Timothy R

    2016-12-14

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of traits and evolutionary relationships among species. The Amazonian tree flora comprises a high diversity of angiosperm lineages and species with widely differing life-history characteristics, providing an excellent system to investigate the combined influences of evolutionary heritage and selection in determining trait variation. We used trait data related to the major axes of life-history variation among tropical trees (e.g. growth and mortality rates) from 577 inventory plots in closed-canopy forest, mapped onto a phylogenetic hypothesis spanning more than 300 genera including all major angiosperm clades to test for evolutionary constraints on traits. We found significant phylogenetic signal (PS) for all traits, consistent with evolutionarily related genera having more similar characteristics than expected by chance. Although there is also evidence for repeated evolution of pioneer and shade tolerant life-history strategies within independent lineages, the existence of significant PS allows clearer predictions of the links between evolutionary diversity, ecosystem function and the response of tropical forests to global change. © 2016 The Authors.

  5. BEAST: Bayesian evolutionary analysis by sampling trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Drummond Alexei J

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The evolutionary analysis of molecular sequence variation is a statistical enterprise. This is reflected in the increased use of probabilistic models for phylogenetic inference, multiple sequence alignment, and molecular population genetics. Here we present BEAST: a fast, flexible software architecture for Bayesian analysis of molecular sequences related by an evolutionary tree. A large number of popular stochastic models of sequence evolution are provided and tree-based models suitable for both within- and between-species sequence data are implemented. Results BEAST version 1.4.6 consists of 81000 lines of Java source code, 779 classes and 81 packages. It provides models for DNA and protein sequence evolution, highly parametric coalescent analysis, relaxed clock phylogenetics, non-contemporaneous sequence data, statistical alignment and a wide range of options for prior distributions. BEAST source code is object-oriented, modular in design and freely available at http://beast-mcmc.googlecode.com/ under the GNU LGPL license. Conclusion BEAST is a powerful and flexible evolutionary analysis package for molecular sequence variation. It also provides a resource for the further development of new models and statistical methods of evolutionary analysis.

  6. Dynamic Ising model: reconstruction of evolutionary trees

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Oliveira, P M C

    2013-01-01

    An evolutionary tree is a cascade of bifurcations starting from a single common root, generating a growing set of daughter species as time goes by. ‘Species’ here is a general denomination for biological species, spoken languages or any other entity which evolves through heredity. From the N currently alive species within a clade, distances are measured through pairwise comparisons made by geneticists, linguists, etc. The larger is such a distance that, for a pair of species, the older is their last common ancestor. The aim is to reconstruct the previously unknown bifurcations, i.e. the whole clade, from knowledge of the N(N − 1)/2 quoted distances, which are taken for granted. A mechanical method is presented and its applicability is discussed. (paper)

  7. Undergraduate Students’ Initial Ability in Understanding Phylogenetic Tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sa'adah, S.; Hidayat, T.; Sudargo, Fransisca

    2017-04-01

    The Phylogenetic tree is a visual representation depicts a hypothesis about the evolutionary relationship among taxa. Evolutionary experts use this representation to evaluate the evidence for evolution. The phylogenetic tree is currently growing for many disciplines in biology. Consequently, learning about the phylogenetic tree has become an important part of biological education and an interesting area of biology education research. Skill to understanding and reasoning of the phylogenetic tree, (called tree thinking) is an important skill for biology students. However, research showed many students have difficulty in interpreting, constructing, and comparing among the phylogenetic tree, as well as experiencing a misconception in the understanding of the phylogenetic tree. Students are often not taught how to reason about evolutionary relationship depicted in the diagram. Students are also not provided with information about the underlying theory and process of phylogenetic. This study aims to investigate the initial ability of undergraduate students in understanding and reasoning of the phylogenetic tree. The research method is the descriptive method. Students are given multiple choice questions and an essay that representative by tree thinking elements. Each correct answer made percentages. Each student is also given questionnaires. The results showed that the undergraduate students’ initial ability in understanding and reasoning phylogenetic tree is low. Many students are not able to answer questions about the phylogenetic tree. Only 19 % undergraduate student who answered correctly on indicator evaluate the evolutionary relationship among taxa, 25% undergraduate student who answered correctly on indicator applying concepts of the clade, 17% undergraduate student who answered correctly on indicator determines the character evolution, and only a few undergraduate student who can construct the phylogenetic tree.

  8. Heterogeneous Compression of Large Collections of Evolutionary Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Suzanne J

    2015-01-01

    Compressing heterogeneous collections of trees is an open problem in computational phylogenetics. In a heterogeneous tree collection, each tree can contain a unique set of taxa. An ideal compression method would allow for the efficient archival of large tree collections and enable scientists to identify common evolutionary relationships over disparate analyses. In this paper, we extend TreeZip to compress heterogeneous collections of trees. TreeZip is the most efficient algorithm for compressing homogeneous tree collections. To the best of our knowledge, no other domain-based compression algorithm exists for large heterogeneous tree collections or enable their rapid analysis. Our experimental results indicate that TreeZip averages 89.03 percent (72.69 percent) space savings on unweighted (weighted) collections of trees when the level of heterogeneity in a collection is moderate. The organization of the TRZ file allows for efficient computations over heterogeneous data. For example, consensus trees can be computed in mere seconds. Lastly, combining the TreeZip compressed (TRZ) file with general-purpose compression yields average space savings of 97.34 percent (81.43 percent) on unweighted (weighted) collections of trees. Our results lead us to believe that TreeZip will prove invaluable in the efficient archival of tree collections, and enables scientists to develop novel methods for relating heterogeneous collections of trees.

  9. Evolutionary heritage influences amazon tree ecology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Souza, De Fernanda Coelho; Dexter, Kyle G.; Phillips, Oliver L.; Brienen, Roel J.W.; Chave, Jerome; Galbraith, David R.; Gonzalez, Gabriela Lopez; Mendoza, Abel Monteagudo; Toby Pennington, R.; Poorter, Lourens; Arets, E.J.M.M.; Boot, Rene G.A.; Meer, van der Peter J.

    2016-01-01

    Lineages tend to retain ecological characteristics of their ancestors through time. However, for some traits, selection during evolutionary history may have also played a role in determining trait values. To address the relative importance of these processes requires large-scale quantification of

  10. Assessing and Improving Student Understanding of Tree-Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kummer, Tyler A.

    Evolution is the unifying theory of biology. The importance of understanding evolution by those who study the origins, diversification and diversity life cannot be overstated. Because of its importance, in addition to a scientific study of evolution, many researchers have spent time studying the acceptance and the teaching of evolution. Phylogenetic Systematics is the field of study developed to understand the evolutionary history of organisms, traits, and genes. Tree-thinking is the term by which we identify concepts related to the evolutionary history of organisms. It is vital that those who undertake a study of biology be able to understand and interpret what information these phylogenies are meant to convey. In this project, we evaluated the current impact a traditional study of biology has on the misconceptions students hold by assessing tree-thinking in freshman biology students to those nearing the end of their studies. We found that the impact of studying biology was varied with some misconceptions changing significantly while others persisted. Despite the importance of tree-thinking no appropriately developed concept inventory exists to measure student understanding of these important concepts. We developed a concept inventory capable of filling this important need and provide evidence to support its use among undergraduate students. Finally, we developed and modified activities as well as courses based on best practices to improve teaching and learning of tree-thinking and organismal diversity. We accomplished this by focusing on two key questions. First, how do we best introduce students to tree-thinking and second does tree-thinking as a course theme enhance student understanding of not only tree-thinking but also organismal diversity. We found important evidence suggesting that introducing students to tree-thinking via building evolutionary trees was less successful than introducing the concept via tree interpretation and may have in fact introduced or

  11. Tapping the woodpecker tree for evolutionary insight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakya, Subir B; Fuchs, Jérôme; Pons, Jean-Marc; Sheldon, Frederick H

    2017-11-01

    Molecular phylogenetic studies of woodpeckers (Picidae) have generally focused on relationships within specific clades or have sampled sparsely across the family. We compared DNA sequences of six loci from 203 of the 217 recognized species of woodpeckers to construct a comprehensive tree of intrafamilial relationships. We recovered many known, but also numerous unknown, relationships among clades and species. We found, for example, that the three picine tribes are related as follows (Picini, (Campephilini, Melanerpini)) and that the genus Dinopium is paraphyletic. We used the tree to analyze rates of diversification and biogeographic patterns within the family. Diversification rate increased on two occasions during woodpecker history. We also tested diversification rates between temperate and tropical species but found no significant difference. Biogeographic analysis supported an Old World origin of the family and identified at least six independent cases of New World-Old World sister relationships. In light of the tree, we discuss how convergence, mimicry, and potential cases of hybridization have complicated woodpecker taxonomy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Taxon ordering in phylogenetic trees by means of evolutionary algorithms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cerutti Francesco

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In in a typical "left-to-right" phylogenetic tree, the vertical order of taxa is meaningless, as only the branch path between them reflects their degree of similarity. To make unresolved trees more informative, here we propose an innovative Evolutionary Algorithm (EA method to search the best graphical representation of unresolved trees, in order to give a biological meaning to the vertical order of taxa. Methods Starting from a West Nile virus phylogenetic tree, in a (1 + 1-EA we evolved it by randomly rotating the internal nodes and selecting the tree with better fitness every generation. The fitness is a sum of genetic distances between the considered taxon and the r (radius next taxa. After having set the radius to the best performance, we evolved the trees with (λ + μ-EAs to study the influence of population on the algorithm. Results The (1 + 1-EA consistently outperformed a random search, and better results were obtained setting the radius to 8. The (λ + μ-EAs performed as well as the (1 + 1, except the larger population (1000 + 1000. Conclusions The trees after the evolution showed an improvement both of the fitness (based on a genetic distance matrix, then close taxa are actually genetically close, and of the biological interpretation. Samples collected in the same state or year moved close each other, making the tree easier to interpret. Biological relationships between samples are also easier to observe.

  13. The Complexity of Constructing Evolutionary Trees Using Experiments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodal, Gerth Stølting; Fagerberg, Rolf; Pedersen, Christian Nørgaard Storm

    2001-01-01

    We present tight upper and lower bounds for the problem of constructing evolutionary trees in the experiment model. We describe an algorithm which constructs an evolutionary tree of n species in time O(nd logd n) using at most n⌈d/2⌉(log2⌈d/2⌉-1 n+O(1)) experiments for d > 2, and at most n(log n......+O(1)) experiments for d = 2, where d is the degree of the tree. This improves the previous best upper bound by a factor θ(log d). For d = 2 the previously best algorithm with running time O(n log n) had a bound of 4n log n on the number of experiments. By an explicit adversary argument, we show an Ω......(nd logd n) lower bound, matching our upper bounds and improving the previous best lower bound by a factor θ(logd n). Central to our algorithm is the construction and maintenance of separator trees of small height, which may be of independent interest....

  14. Hierarchical classification with a competitive evolutionary neural tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, R G.; Butchart, K; Davey, N

    1999-04-01

    A new, dynamic, tree structured network, the Competitive Evolutionary Neural Tree (CENT) is introduced. The network is able to provide a hierarchical classification of unlabelled data sets. The main advantage that the CENT offers over other hierarchical competitive networks is its ability to self determine the number, and structure, of the competitive nodes in the network, without the need for externally set parameters. The network produces stable classificatory structures by halting its growth using locally calculated heuristics. The results of network simulations are presented over a range of data sets, including Anderson's IRIS data set. The CENT network demonstrates its ability to produce a representative hierarchical structure to classify a broad range of data sets.

  15. Performance Analysis of Evolutionary Algorithms for Steiner Tree Problems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Xinsheng; Zhou, Yuren; Xia, Xiaoyun; Zhang, Qingfu

    2017-01-01

    The Steiner tree problem (STP) aims to determine some Steiner nodes such that the minimum spanning tree over these Steiner nodes and a given set of special nodes has the minimum weight, which is NP-hard. STP includes several important cases. The Steiner tree problem in graphs (GSTP) is one of them. Many heuristics have been proposed for STP, and some of them have proved to be performance guarantee approximation algorithms for this problem. Since evolutionary algorithms (EAs) are general and popular randomized heuristics, it is significant to investigate the performance of EAs for STP. Several empirical investigations have shown that EAs are efficient for STP. However, up to now, there is no theoretical work on the performance of EAs for STP. In this article, we reveal that the (1+1) EA achieves 3/2-approximation ratio for STP in a special class of quasi-bipartite graphs in expected runtime [Formula: see text], where [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], and [Formula: see text] are, respectively, the number of Steiner nodes, the number of special nodes, and the largest weight among all edges in the input graph. We also show that the (1+1) EA is better than two other heuristics on two GSTP instances, and the (1+1) EA may be inefficient on a constructed GSTP instance.

  16. Computing the Quartet Distance Between Evolutionary Trees in Time O(n log n)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodal, Gerth Sølfting; Fagerberg, Rolf; Pedersen, Christian Nørgaard Storm

    2003-01-01

    Evolutionary trees describing the relationship for a set of species are central in evolutionary biology, and quantifying differences between evolutionary trees is therefore an important task. The quartet distance is a distance measure between trees previously proposed by Estabrook, McMorris, and ...... unrooted evolutionary trees of n species, where all internal nodes have degree three, in time O(n log n. The previous best algorithm for the problem uses time O(n 2).......Evolutionary trees describing the relationship for a set of species are central in evolutionary biology, and quantifying differences between evolutionary trees is therefore an important task. The quartet distance is a distance measure between trees previously proposed by Estabrook, Mc......Morris, and Meacham. The quartet distance between two unrooted evolutionary trees is the number of quartet topology differences between the two trees, where a quartet topology is the topological subtree induced by four species. In this paper we present an algorithm for computing the quartet distance between two...

  17. How eco-evolutionary principles can guide tree breeding and tree biotechnology for enhanced productivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Oskar; Palmroth, Sari; Näsholm, Torgny

    2014-11-01

    Tree breeding and biotechnology can enhance forest productivity and help alleviate the rising pressure on forests from climate change and human exploitation. While many physiological processes and genes are targeted in search of genetically improved tree productivity, an overarching principle to guide this search is missing. Here, we propose a method to identify the traits that can be modified to enhance productivity, based on the differences between trees shaped by natural selection and 'improved' trees with traits optimized for productivity. We developed a tractable model of plant growth and survival to explore such potential modifications under a range of environmental conditions, from non-water limited to severely drought-limited sites. We show how key traits are controlled by a trade-off between productivity and survival, and that productivity can be increased at the expense of long-term survival by reducing isohydric behavior (stomatal regulation of leaf water potential) and allocation to defense against pests compared with native trees. In contrast, at dry sites occupied by naturally drought-resistant trees, the model suggests a better strategy may be to select trees with slightly lower wood density than the native trees and to augment isohydric behavior and allocation to defense. Thus, which traits to modify, and in which direction, depend on the original tree species or genotype, the growth environment and wood-quality versus volume production preferences. In contrast to this need for customization of drought and pest resistances, consistent large gains in productivity for all genotypes can be obtained if root traits can be altered to reduce competition for water and nutrients. Our approach illustrates the potential of using eco-evolutionary theory and modeling to guide plant breeding and genetic technology in selecting target traits in the quest for higher forest productivity. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved

  18. Combining evolutionary algorithms with oblique decision trees to detect bent-double galaxies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantu-Paz, Erick; Kamath, Chandrika

    2000-10-01

    Decision tress have long been popular in classification as they use simple and easy-to-understand tests at each node. Most variants of decision trees test a single attribute at a node, leading to axis- parallel trees, where the test results in a hyperplane which is parallel to one of the dimensions in the attribute space. These trees can be rather large and inaccurate in cases where the concept to be learned is best approximated by oblique hyperplanes. In such cases, it may be more appropriate to use an oblique decision tree, where the decision at each node is a linear combination of the attributes. Oblique decision trees have not gained wide popularity in part due to the complexity of constructing good oblique splits and the tendency of existing splitting algorithms to get stuck in local minima. Several alternatives have been proposed to handle these problems including randomization in conjunction wiht deterministic hill-climbing and the use of simulated annealing. In this paper, we use evolutionary algorithms (EAs) to determine the split. EAs are well suited for this problem because of their global search properties, their tolerance to noisy fitness evaluations, and their scalability to large dimensional search spaces. We demonstrate our technique on a synthetic data set, and then we apply it to a practical problem from astronomy, namely, the classification of galaxies with a bent-double morphology. In addition, we describe our experiences with several split evaluation criteria. Our results suggest that, in some cases, the evolutionary approach is faster and more accurate than existing oblique decision tree algorithms. However, for our astronomical data, the accuracy is not significantly different than the axis-parallel trees.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shackelford, Todd K; Liddle, James R

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Fixed Parameter Evolutionary Algorithms and Maximum Leaf Spanning Trees: A Matter of Mutations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kratsch, Stefan; Lehre, Per Kristian; Neumann, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary algorithms have been shown to be very successful for a wide range of NP-hard combinatorial optimization problems. We investigate the NP-hard problem of computing a spanning tree that has a maximal number of leaves by evolutionary algorithms in the context of fixed parameter tractabil...... two common mutation operators, we show that an operator related to spanning tree problems leads to an FPT running time in contrast to a general mutation operator that does not have this property....

  1. Evolutionary trees and the rise of modern primatology: the forgotten contribution of St. George Mivart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bigoni, Francesca; Barsanti, Giulio

    2011-01-01

    The modern concept of the tree of life originated as a popular, iconic synthesis of the Darwinian evolutionary theory of descent by modification even if Darwin's own trees were hypothetical and abstract. It is generally thought that Ernst Haeckel in 1866 was the first to publish a true evolutionary tree which showed actual taxa. It is apparently forgotten that St. George Mivart beginning in 1865 made significant contributions to the development of evolutionary based trees of life which dealt with primate evolution, including human phylogeny. His trees were built on the most extensive sets of original data published up to that time, and were clearly articulated as working hypotheses. Mivart's trees were surprisingly modern for appearance and for content. Not only are most taxonomic names still in use today, but also many of the issues he raised are still under discussion in current scientific literature. The history of biology and especially that of primatology in the 19th century can benefit from a more thorough knowledge of how the image of the tree was used in scientific writings, especially after Darwin in the context of the theory of evolution by descent from common ancestors. A reappraisal of Mivart's scientific achievements is necessary to better establish the origins and the development not only of evolutionary trees but of modern primatology. The history of primatology, a discipline that is fundamental for investigating the place of humans in nature, would also benefit from a reappraisal of Mivart's role in Victorian biology.

  2. An Evolutionary Framework for Understanding the Origin of Eukaryotes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil W. Blackstone

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Two major obstacles hinder the application of evolutionary theory to the origin of eukaryotes. The first is more apparent than real—the endosymbiosis that led to the mitochondrion is often described as “non-Darwinian” because it deviates from the incremental evolution championed by the modern synthesis. Nevertheless, endosymbiosis can be accommodated by a multi-level generalization of evolutionary theory, which Darwin himself pioneered. The second obstacle is more serious—all of the major features of eukaryotes were likely present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor thus rendering comparative methods ineffective. In addition to a multi-level theory, the development of rigorous, sequence-based phylogenetic and comparative methods represents the greatest achievement of modern evolutionary theory. Nevertheless, the rapid evolution of major features in the eukaryotic stem group requires the consideration of an alternative framework. Such a framework, based on the contingent nature of these evolutionary events, is developed and illustrated with three examples: the putative intron proliferation leading to the nucleus and the cell cycle; conflict and cooperation in the origin of eukaryotic bioenergetics; and the inter-relationship between aerobic metabolism, sterol synthesis, membranes, and sex. The modern synthesis thus provides sufficient scope to develop an evolutionary framework to understand the origin of eukaryotes.

  3. Understanding search trees via statistical physics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ary search tree model (where stands for the number of branches of the search tree), an important problem for data storage in computer science, using a variety of statistical physics techniques that allow us to obtain exact asymptotic results.

  4. Playing Multi-Action Adversarial Games: Online Evolutionary Planning versus Tree Search

    OpenAIRE

    Justesen, Niels; Mahlmann, Tobias; Risi, Sebastian; Togelius, Julian

    2017-01-01

    We address the problem of playing turn-based multi-action adversarial games, which include many strategy games with extremely high branching factors as players take multiple actions each turn. This leads to the breakdown of standard tree search methods, including Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS), as they become unable to reach a sufficient depth in the game tree. In this paper, we introduce Online Evolutionary Planning (OEP) to address this challenge, which searches for combinations of actions ...

  5. Understanding the challenges of municipal tree planting

    Science.gov (United States)

    E.G. McPherson; R. Young

    2010-01-01

    Nine of the twelve largest cities in the U.S. have mayoral tree planting initiatives (TPIs), with pledges to plant nearly 20 million trees. Although executive-level support for trees has never been this widespread, many wonder if this support will endure as administrations change and budgets tighten. In an effort to share lessons learned from successes and setbacks, a...

  6. Phylogeny and evolutionary histories of Pyrus L. revealed by phylogenetic trees and networks based on data from multiple DNA sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Xiaoyan; Cai, Danying; Potter, Daniel; Postman, Joseph; Liu, Jing; Teng, Yuanwen

    2014-11-01

    Reconstructing the phylogeny of Pyrus has been difficult due to the wide distribution of the genus and lack of informative data. In this study, we collected 110 accessions representing 25 Pyrus species and constructed both phylogenetic trees and phylogenetic networks based on multiple DNA sequence datasets. Phylogenetic trees based on both cpDNA and nuclear LFY2int2-N (LN) data resulted in poor resolution, especially, only five primary species were monophyletic in the LN tree. A phylogenetic network of LN suggested that reticulation caused by hybridization is one of the major evolutionary processes for Pyrus species. Polytomies of the gene trees and star-like structure of cpDNA networks suggested rapid radiation is another major evolutionary process, especially for the occidental species. Pyrus calleryana and P. regelii were the earliest diverged Pyrus species. Two North African species, P. cordata, P. spinosa and P. betulaefolia were descendent of primitive stock Pyrus species and still share some common molecular characters. Southwestern China, where a large number of P. pashia populations are found, is probably the most important diversification center of Pyrus. More accessions and nuclear genes are needed for further understanding the evolutionary histories of Pyrus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Reasoning about Evolution's Grand Patterns: College Students' Understanding of the Tree of Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, Laura R.; Catley, Kefyn M.

    2013-01-01

    Tree thinking involves using cladograms, hierarchical diagrams depicting the evolutionary history of a set of taxa, to reason about evolutionary relationships and support inferences. Tree thinking is indispensable in modern science. College students' tree-thinking skills were investigated using tree (much more common in professional biology) and…

  8. Calculating the probability of multitaxon evolutionary trees: bootstrappers Gambit.

    OpenAIRE

    Lake, J A

    1995-01-01

    The reconstruction of multitaxon trees from molecular sequences is confounded by the variety of algorithms and criteria used to evaluate trees, making it difficult to compare the results of different analyses. A global method of multitaxon phylogenetic reconstruction described here, Bootstrappers Gambit, can be used with any four-taxon algorithm, including distance, maximum likelihood, and parsimony methods. It incorporates a Bayesian-Jeffreys'-bootstrap analysis to provide a uniform probabil...

  9. Inferring phylogenetic trees from the knowledge of rare evolutionary events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hellmuth, Marc; Hernandez-Rosales, Maribel; Long, Yangjing; Stadler, Peter F

    2018-06-01

    Rare events have played an increasing role in molecular phylogenetics as potentially homoplasy-poor characters. In this contribution we analyze the phylogenetic information content from a combinatorial point of view by considering the binary relation on the set of taxa defined by the existence of a single event separating two taxa. We show that the graph-representation of this relation must be a tree. Moreover, we characterize completely the relationship between the tree of such relations and the underlying phylogenetic tree. With directed operations such as tandem-duplication-random-loss events in mind we demonstrate how non-symmetric information constrains the position of the root in the partially reconstructed phylogeny.

  10. Tree imbalance causes a bias in phylogenetic estimation of evolutionary timescales using heterochronous sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duchêne, David; Duchêne, Sebastian; Ho, Simon Y W

    2015-07-01

    Phylogenetic estimation of evolutionary timescales has become routine in biology, forming the basis of a wide range of evolutionary and ecological studies. However, there are various sources of bias that can affect these estimates. We investigated whether tree imbalance, a property that is commonly observed in phylogenetic trees, can lead to reduced accuracy or precision of phylogenetic timescale estimates. We analysed simulated data sets with calibrations at internal nodes and at the tips, taking into consideration different calibration schemes and levels of tree imbalance. We also investigated the effect of tree imbalance on two empirical data sets: mitogenomes from primates and serial samples of the African swine fever virus. In analyses calibrated using dated, heterochronous tips, we found that tree imbalance had a detrimental impact on precision and produced a bias in which the overall timescale was underestimated. A pronounced effect was observed in analyses with shallow calibrations. The greatest decreases in accuracy usually occurred in the age estimates for medium and deep nodes of the tree. In contrast, analyses calibrated at internal nodes did not display a reduction in estimation accuracy or precision due to tree imbalance. Our results suggest that molecular-clock analyses can be improved by increasing taxon sampling, with the specific aims of including deeper calibrations, breaking up long branches and reducing tree imbalance. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Understand the children's anger through tree drawing

    OpenAIRE

    増岡, 怜那; 高橋, 靖恵

    2006-01-01

    When small children (three to six years old) express their anger through inappropriate behavior or over reacting, most parents and other adults find this anger hard to deal with. That is because people see anger as a negative emotion. In actuality expressing anger can be a positive step in emotional development. In this study two kinds of tests were conducted on six years olds. The first test, [Tree drawing test] a drawing of a tree from each subject, was used to measure the individual's leve...

  12. Creating ensembles of oblique decision trees with evolutionary algorithms and sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantu-Paz, Erick [Oakland, CA; Kamath, Chandrika [Tracy, CA

    2006-06-13

    A decision tree system that is part of a parallel object-oriented pattern recognition system, which in turn is part of an object oriented data mining system. A decision tree process includes the step of reading the data. If necessary, the data is sorted. A potential split of the data is evaluated according to some criterion. An initial split of the data is determined. The final split of the data is determined using evolutionary algorithms and statistical sampling techniques. The data is split. Multiple decision trees are combined in ensembles.

  13. Understanding search trees via statistical physics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    the sequence changes, the corresponding tree changes and hence these observables ... While the leading log(N) behavior was proved by Devroye [4] who also ..... further useful to make a change of variables, t = log(N) and ϵi = − log(ri). The.

  14. Using Evolutionary Data in Developing Phylogenetic Trees: A Scaffolded Approach with Authentic Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, K. D.; Milks, Kirstin Jane; Van Tassell, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Analyzing evolutionary relationships requires that students have a thorough understanding of evidence and of how scientists use evidence to develop these relationships. In this lesson sequence, students work in groups to process many different lines of evidence of evolutionary relationships between ungulates, then construct a scientific argument…

  15. An Evolutionary Modelling Approach To Understanding The Factors Behind Plant Invasiveness And Community Susceptibility To Invasion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Warren, John; Topping, Christopher John; James, Penri

    2011-01-01

    Ecologists have had limited success in understanding which introduced species may become invasive. An evolutionary model is used to investigate which traits are associated with invasiveness. Translocation experiments were simulated in which species were moved into similar but evolutionary younger...

  16. Playing Multi-Action Adversarial Games: Online Evolutionary Planning versus Tree Search

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Justesen, Niels; Mahlmann, Tobias; Risi, Sebastian

    2017-01-01

    We address the problem of playing turn-based multi-action adversarial games, which include many strategy games with extremely high branching factors as players take multiple actions each turn. This leads to the breakdown of standard tree search methods, including Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS......), as they become unable to reach a sufficient depth in the game tree. In this paper, we introduce Online Evolutionary Planning (OEP) to address this challenge, which searches for combinations of actions to perform during a single turn guided by a fitness function that evaluates the quality of a particular state....... We compare OEP to different MCTS variations that constrain the exploration to deal with the high branching factor in the turn-based multi-action game Hero Academy. While the constrained MCTS variations outperform the vanilla MCTS implementation by a large margin, OEP is able to search the space...

  17. An Evolutionary Framework for Understanding the Origin of Eukaryotes

    OpenAIRE

    Neil W. Blackstone

    2016-01-01

    Two major obstacles hinder the application of evolutionary theory to the origin of eukaryotes. The first is more apparent than real?the endosymbiosis that led to the mitochondrion is often described as ?non-Darwinian? because it deviates from the incremental evolution championed by the modern synthesis. Nevertheless, endosymbiosis can be accommodated by a multi-level generalization of evolutionary theory, which Darwin himself pioneered. The second obstacle is more serious?all of the major fea...

  18. Cosmic phylogeny: reconstructing the chemical history of the solar neighbourhood with an evolutionary tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jofré, Paula; Das, Payel; Bertranpetit, Jaume; Foley, Robert

    2017-05-01

    Using 17 chemical elements as a proxy for stellar DNA, we present a full phylogenetic study of stars in the solar neighbourhood. This entails applying a clustering technique that is widely used in molecular biology to construct an evolutionary tree from which three branches emerge. These are interpreted as stellar populations that separate in age and kinematics and can be thus attributed to the thin disc, the thick disc and an intermediate population of probable distinct origin. We further find six lone stars of intermediate age that could not be assigned to any population with enough statistical significance. Combining the ages of the stars with their position on the tree, we are able to quantify the mean rate of chemical enrichment of each of the populations, and thus show in a purely empirical way that the star formation rate in the thick disc is much higher than that in the thin disc. We are also able to estimate the relative contribution of dynamical processes such as radial migration and disc heating to the distribution of chemical elements in the solar neighbourhood. Our method offers an alternative approach to chemical tagging methods with the advantage of visualizing the behaviour of chemical elements in evolutionary trees. This offers a new way to search for 'common ancestors' that can reveal the origin of solar neighbourhood stars.

  19. Barking up the right tree: Understanding local attitudes towards dogs ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Barking up the right tree: Understanding local attitudes towards dogs in villages ... PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH ... for hunting, and 41.2% reported that their dog had killed at least one wild animal, with 11.8% reporting that ...

  20. Using Ancient DNA to Understand Evolutionary and Ecological Processes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre; Cooper, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Ancient DNA provides a unique means to record genetic change through time and directly observe evolutionary and ecological processes. Although mostly based on mitochondrial DNA, the increasing availability of genomic sequences is leading to unprecedented levels of resolution. Temporal studies of ...

  1. Using Fault Trees to Advance Understanding of Diagnostic Errors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogith, Deevakar; Iyengar, M Sriram; Singh, Hardeep

    2017-11-01

    Diagnostic errors annually affect at least 5% of adults in the outpatient setting in the United States. Formal analytic techniques are only infrequently used to understand them, in part because of the complexity of diagnostic processes and clinical work flows involved. In this article, diagnostic errors were modeled using fault tree analysis (FTA), a form of root cause analysis that has been successfully used in other high-complexity, high-risk contexts. How factors contributing to diagnostic errors can be systematically modeled by FTA to inform error understanding and error prevention is demonstrated. A team of three experts reviewed 10 published cases of diagnostic error and constructed fault trees. The fault trees were modeled according to currently available conceptual frameworks characterizing diagnostic error. The 10 trees were then synthesized into a single fault tree to identify common contributing factors and pathways leading to diagnostic error. FTA is a visual, structured, deductive approach that depicts the temporal sequence of events and their interactions in a formal logical hierarchy. The visual FTA enables easier understanding of causative processes and cognitive and system factors, as well as rapid identification of common pathways and interactions in a unified fashion. In addition, it enables calculation of empirical estimates for causative pathways. Thus, fault trees might provide a useful framework for both quantitative and qualitative analysis of diagnostic errors. Future directions include establishing validity and reliability by modeling a wider range of error cases, conducting quantitative evaluations, and undertaking deeper exploration of other FTA capabilities. Copyright © 2017 The Joint Commission. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The Phylogeny of Rickettsia Using Different Evolutionary Signatures: How Tree-Like is Bacterial Evolution?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Gemma G. R.; Weinert, Lucy A.; Rhule, Emma L.; Welch, John J.

    2016-01-01

    Rickettsia is a genus of intracellular bacteria whose hosts and transmission strategies are both impressively diverse, and this is reflected in a highly dynamic genome. Some previous studies have described the evolutionary history of Rickettsia as non-tree-like, due to incongruity between phylogenetic reconstructions using different portions of the genome. Here, we reconstruct the Rickettsia phylogeny using whole-genome data, including two new genomes from previously unsampled host groups. We find that a single topology, which is supported by multiple sources of phylogenetic signal, well describes the evolutionary history of the core genome. We do observe extensive incongruence between individual gene trees, but analyses of simulations over a single topology and interspersed partitions of sites show that this is more plausibly attributed to systematic error than to horizontal gene transfer. Some conflicting placements also result from phylogenetic analyses of accessory genome content (i.e., gene presence/absence), but we argue that these are also due to systematic error, stemming from convergent genome reduction, which cannot be accommodated by existing phylogenetic methods. Our results show that, even within a single genus, tests for gene exchange based on phylogenetic incongruence may be susceptible to false positives. PMID:26559010

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  4. An evolutionary medicine approach to understanding factors that contribute to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoshiba, Kazutetsu; Tsuji, Takao; Itoh, Masayuki; Yamaguchi, Kazuhiro; Nakamura, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    Although many studies have been published on the causes and mechanisms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the reason for the existence of COPD and the reasons why COPD develops in humans have hardly been studied. Evolutionary medical approaches are required to explain not only the proximate factors, such as the causes and mechanisms of a disease, but the ultimate (evolutionary) factors as well, such as why the disease is present and why the disease develops in humans. According to the concepts of evolutionary medicine, disease susceptibility is acquired as a result of natural selection during the evolutionary process of traits linked to the genes involved in disease susceptibility. In this paper, we discuss the following six reasons why COPD develops in humans based on current evolutionary medical theories: (1) evolutionary constraints; (2) mismatch between environmental changes and evolution; (3) co-evolution with pathogenic microorganisms; (4) life history trade-off; (5) defenses and their costs, and (6) reproductive success at the expense of health. Our perspective pursues evolutionary answers to the fundamental question, 'Why are humans susceptible to this common disease, COPD, despite their long evolutionary history?' We believe that the perspectives offered by evolutionary medicine are essential for researchers to better understand the significance of their work.

  5. Fostering 21st-Century Evolutionary Reasoning: Teaching Tree Thinking to Introductory Biology Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, Laura R; Catley, Kefyn M

    2016-01-01

    The ability to interpret and reason from Tree of Life (ToL) diagrams has become a vital component of science literacy in the 21st century. This article reports on the effectiveness of a research-based curriculum, including an instructional booklet, laboratory, and lectures, to teach the fundamentals of such tree thinking in an introductory biology class for science majors. We present the results of a study involving 117 undergraduates who received either our new research-based tree-thinking curriculum or business-as-usual instruction. We found greater gains in tree-thinking abilities for the experimental instruction group than for the business-as-usual group, as measured by performance on our novel assessment instrument. This was a medium size effect. These gains were observed on an unannounced test that was administered ∼5-6 weeks after the primary instruction in tree thinking. The nature of students' postinstruction difficulties with tree thinking suggests that the critical underlying concept for acquiring expert-level competence in this area is understanding that any specific phylogenetic tree is a subset of the complete, unimaginably large ToL. © 2016 L. R. Novick and K. M. Catley. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  6. Of trees, geese and cirripedes: man's quest for understanding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckeridge, John

    2011-03-01

    At least zoologists know that barnacles are arthropods rather than mollusks. However, this knowledge is surprisingly new, for it was as recent as 1830 before J. Vaughan Thompson showed, through a careful study of barnacle larvae, that they were crustaceans. In the 1850s, Charles Darwin unraveled much of the taxonomy of barnacles, and, significantly, his observations and classification of them follow the structure that was to be published later as his evolutionary theory. Irrespective of these works, knowledge of the systematic placement of barnacles remains surprisingly poor in the wider population today, with most non-biologists viewing barnacles as shallow-water fouling organisms related to oysters and limpets. The present paper reviews the way humans have perceived barnacles for at least a millennium; it evaluates why they were thought to have grown from trees and to have been part of the life cycle of birds; it concludes by contemplating the manner in which we perceive our environment and by doing so try to make sense of our world. © 2011 ISZS, Blackwell Publishing and IOZ/CAS.

  7. When Relationships Depicted Diagrammatically Conflict with Prior Knowledge: An Investigation of Students' Interpretations of Evolutionary Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novick, Laura R.; Catley, Kefyn M.

    2014-01-01

    Science is an important domain for investigating students' responses to information that contradicts their prior knowledge. In previous studies of this topic, this information was communicated verbally. The present research used diagrams, specifically trees (cladograms) depicting evolutionary relationships among taxa. Effects of college…

  8. Understanding Boswellia papyrifera tree secondary metabolites through bark spectral analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Girma, A.; Skidmore, A.K.; Bie, de C.A.J.M.; Bongers, F.

    2015-01-01

    Decision makers are concerned whether to tap or rest Boswellia Papyrifera trees. Tapping for the production of frankincense is known to deplete carbon reserves from the tree leading to production of less viable seeds, tree carbon starvation and ultimately tree mortality. Decision makers use

  9. SICLE: a high-throughput tool for extracting evolutionary relationships from phylogenetic trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan F. DeBlasio

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available We present the phylogeny analysis software SICLE (Sister Clade Extractor, an easy-to-use, high-throughput tool to describe the nearest neighbors to a node of interest in a phylogenetic tree as well as the support value for the relationship. The application is a command line utility that can be embedded into a phylogenetic analysis pipeline or can be used as a subroutine within another C++ program. As a test case, we applied this new tool to the published phylome of Salinibacter ruber, a species of halophilic Bacteriodetes, identifying 13 unique sister relationships to S. ruber across the 4,589 gene phylogenies. S. ruber grouped with bacteria, most often other Bacteriodetes, in the majority of phylogenies, but 91 phylogenies showed a branch-supported sister association between S. ruber and Archaea, an evolutionarily intriguing relationship indicative of horizontal gene transfer. This test case demonstrates how SICLE makes it possible to summarize the phylogenetic information produced by automated phylogenetic pipelines to rapidly identify and quantify the possible evolutionary relationships that merit further investigation. SICLE is available for free for noncommercial use at http://eebweb.arizona.edu/sicle/.

  10. SICLE: a high-throughput tool for extracting evolutionary relationships from phylogenetic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeBlasio, Dan F; Wisecaver, Jennifer H

    2016-01-01

    We present the phylogeny analysis software SICLE (Sister Clade Extractor), an easy-to-use, high-throughput tool to describe the nearest neighbors to a node of interest in a phylogenetic tree as well as the support value for the relationship. The application is a command line utility that can be embedded into a phylogenetic analysis pipeline or can be used as a subroutine within another C++ program. As a test case, we applied this new tool to the published phylome of Salinibacter ruber, a species of halophilic Bacteriodetes, identifying 13 unique sister relationships to S. ruber across the 4,589 gene phylogenies. S. ruber grouped with bacteria, most often other Bacteriodetes, in the majority of phylogenies, but 91 phylogenies showed a branch-supported sister association between S. ruber and Archaea, an evolutionarily intriguing relationship indicative of horizontal gene transfer. This test case demonstrates how SICLE makes it possible to summarize the phylogenetic information produced by automated phylogenetic pipelines to rapidly identify and quantify the possible evolutionary relationships that merit further investigation. SICLE is available for free for noncommercial use at http://eebweb.arizona.edu/sicle/.

  11. Does biodiversity make a difference? Relationships between species richness, evolutionary diversity, and aboveground live tree biomass across US forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin M. Potter; Christopher W. Woodall

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity conveys numerous functional benefits to forested ecosystems, including community stability and resilience. In the context of managing forests for climate change mitigation/adaptation, maximizing and/or maintaining aboveground biomass will require understanding the interactions between tree biodiversity, site productivity, and the stocking of live trees....

  12. Understanding recruitment failure in tropical tree species: Insights from a tree ring study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vlam, M.; Baker, P.J.; Bunyavejchewin, S.; Mohren, G.M.J.; Zuidema, P.A.

    2014-01-01

    Many tropical tree species have population structures that exhibit strong recruitment failure. While the presence of adult trees indicates that appropriate regeneration conditions occurred in the past, it is often unclear why small individuals are absent. Knowing how, when and where these tree

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-19

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

  14. To Go Forward, We Must Look Back: The Importance of Evolutionary Psychology for Understanding Modern Politics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, Rose; Hatemi, Peter K

    2018-01-01

    As new waves of populism arise and cause disruption around the globe, there is both great interest in attempting to explain the origin of this dynamic as well as a need to ameliorate its potentially destructive impact. Perhaps the greatest signal of seismic change is the global dismantling of American institutional control of the postwar world following the election of Donald Trump in the United States. In the wake of such dramatic changes, it may seem odd to turn to evolutionary psychology which looks deeply into the past to try to understand current events, but, in fact, modern technology has dramatically changed the shape of political communication in just such a way as to make politics more personal once again, increasing the need to understand and interpret modern politics through an evolutionary lens. In fact, current modern political turmoils demonstrate how important evolutionary themes are and how critical they remain to understand how current forms of populism tape into older tribal sentiments and drives. Modern technology allows for a form of interpretative politics that no longer need to be mediated by political institutions or larger social structures, including enduring ones such as marriage. Indeed, in any ways, as we have technologically advanced, we have also regressed to more immediate, emotional, and personal forms of political communication. And it is only in understanding the nature of that personal political psychology that we can begin to grapple seriously with the challenges of today, including the consequences of global populism.

  15. Insights on the evolutionary origin of Detarioideae, a clade of ecologically dominant tropical African trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Estrella, Manuel; Forest, Félix; Wieringa, Jan J; Fougère-Danezan, Marie; Bruneau, Anne

    2017-06-01

    African tropical forests are generally considered less diverse than their Neotropical and Asian counterparts. By contrast, the Detarioideae is much more diverse in Africa than in South America and Asia. To better understand the evolution of this contrasting diversity pattern, we investigated the biogeographical and ecological origin of this subfamily, testing whether they originated in dry biomes surrounding the Tethys Seaway as currently hypothesized for many groups of Leguminosae. We constructed the largest time-calibrated phylogeny for the subfamily to date, reconstructed ancestral states for geography and biome/habitat, estimated diversification and extinction rates, and evaluated biome/habitat and geographic shifts in Detarioideae. The ancestral habitat of Detarioideae is postulated to be a primary forest (terra firme) originated in Africa-South America, in the early Palaeocene, after which several biome/habitat and geographic shifts occurred. The origin of Detarioideae is older than previous estimates, which postulated a dry (succulent) biome origin according to the Tethys Seaway hypothesis, and instead we reveal a post Gondwana and terra firme origin for this early branching clade of legumes. Detarioideae include some of the most dominant trees in evergreen forests and have likely played a pivotal role in shaping continental African forest diversity. © 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.

  16. Evolutionary trees: an integer multicommodity max-flow-min-cut theorem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Erdös, Péter L.; Szekely, László A.

    1992-01-01

    In biomathematics, the extensions of a leaf-colouration of a binary tree to the whole vertex set with minimum number of colour-changing edges are extensively studied. Our paper generalizes the problem for trees; algorithms and a Menger-type theorem are presented. The LP dual of the problem is a

  17. Application of network methods for understanding evolutionary dynamics in discrete habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenbaum, Gili; Fefferman, Nina H

    2017-06-01

    In populations occupying discrete habitat patches, gene flow between habitat patches may form an intricate population structure. In such structures, the evolutionary dynamics resulting from interaction of gene-flow patterns with other evolutionary forces may be exceedingly complex. Several models describing gene flow between discrete habitat patches have been presented in the population-genetics literature; however, these models have usually addressed relatively simple settings of habitable patches and have stopped short of providing general methodologies for addressing nontrivial gene-flow patterns. In the last decades, network theory - a branch of discrete mathematics concerned with complex interactions between discrete elements - has been applied to address several problems in population genetics by modelling gene flow between habitat patches using networks. Here, we present the idea and concepts of modelling complex gene flows in discrete habitats using networks. Our goal is to raise awareness to existing network theory applications in molecular ecology studies, as well as to outline the current and potential contribution of network methods to the understanding of evolutionary dynamics in discrete habitats. We review the main branches of network theory that have been, or that we believe potentially could be, applied to population genetics and molecular ecology research. We address applications to theoretical modelling and to empirical population-genetic studies, and we highlight future directions for extending the integration of network science with molecular ecology. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Understanding herding based on a co-evolutionary model for strategy and game structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Tao; Huang, Keke; Cheng, Yuan; Zheng, Xiaoping

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: •We model herding effect in emergency from perspective of evolutionary game theory. •Rational subpopulation survives only when the game parameter is significantly large. •Herding effect may arise if the relative rewarding for rational agents is small. •Increasing the relative rewarding for rational agents will prevent herding effect. •The evolution result is unstable if the game parameter approaches critical points. -- Abstract: So far, there has been no conclusion on the mechanism for herding, which is often discussed in the academia. Assuming escaping behavior of individuals in emergency is rational rather than out of panic according to recent findings in social psychology, we investigate the behavioral evolution of large crowds from the perspective of evolutionary game theory. Specifically, evolution of the whole population divided into two subpopulations, namely the co-evolution of strategy and game structure, is numerically simulated based on the game theoretical models built and the evolutionary rule designed, and a series of phenomena including extinction of one subpopulation and herding effect are predicted in the proposed framework. Furthermore, if the rewarding for rational agents becomes significantly larger than that for emotional ones, herding effect will disappear. It is exciting that some phase transition points with interesting properties for the system can be found. In addition, our model framework is able to explain the fact that it is difficult for mavericks to prevail in society. The current results of this work will be helpful in understanding and restraining herding effect in real life

  19. Evolutionary medicine--the quest for a better understanding of health, disease and prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brüne, Martin; Hochberg, Ze'ev

    2013-04-29

    Clinical medicine has neglected the fact that the make-up of organs and body functions, as well as the human-specific repertoire of behaviors and defenses against pathogens or other potential dangers are the product of adaptation by natural and sexual selection. Even more, for many clinicians it does not seem straightforward to accept a role of evolution in the understanding of disease, let alone, treatment and prevention.Accordingly, this Editorial seeks to set the stage for an article collection that aims at dealing precisely with the question of why evolutionary aspects of health and disease are not only interesting, but necessary to improve clinical medicine.

  20. Snakes and Eels and Dogs! Oh, My! Evaluating High School Students' Tree-Thinking Skills: An Entry Point to Understanding Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catley, Kefyn M.; Phillips, Brenda C.; Novick, Laura R.

    2013-12-01

    The biological community is currently undertaking one its greatest scientific endeavours, that of constructing the Tree of Life, a phylogeny intended to be an evidenced-based, predictive road map of evolutionary relationships among Earth's biota. Unfortunately, we know very little about how such diagrams are understood, interpreted, or used as inferential tools by students—collectively referred to as tree thinking. The present study provides the first in-depth look at US high school students' competence at tree thinking and reports how they engage cognitively with tree representations as a precursor to developing curricula that will provide an entry point into macroevolution. Sixty tenth graders completed a 12-question instrument that assessed five basic tree-thinking skills. We present data that show patterns of misunderstandings are largely congruent between tenth graders and undergraduates and identify competences that are pivotal to address during instruction. Two general principles that emerge from this study are: (a) Students need to be taught that cladograms are an authoritative source of evidence that should be weighted more than other superficial or ecological similarities; (b) students need to understand the vital importance and critical difference between most recent common ancestry and common ancestry. Further, we show how the objectives of this study are closely aligned with US and International Standards and argue that scientifically-literate citizens need at least a basic understanding of the science behind the Tree of Life to understand and engage in twenty-first century societal issues such as human health, agriculture, and biotechnology.

  1. Evolutionary patterns of range size, abundance and species richness in Amazonian angiosperm trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle Dexter

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Amazonian tree species vary enormously in their total abundance and range size, while Amazonian tree genera vary greatly in species richness. The drivers of this variation are not well understood. Here, we construct a phylogenetic hypothesis that represents half of Amazonian tree genera in order to contribute to explaining the variation. We find several clear, broad-scale patterns. Firstly, there is significant phylogenetic signal for all three characteristics; closely related genera tend to have similar numbers of species and similar mean range size and abundance. Additionally, the species richness of genera shows a significant, negative relationship with the mean range size and abundance of their constituent species. Our results suggest that phylogenetically correlated intrinsic factors, namely traits of the genera themselves, shape among lineage variation in range size, abundance and species richness. We postulate that tree stature may be one particularly relevant trait. However, other traits may also be relevant, and our study reinforces the need for ambitious compilations of trait data for Amazonian trees. In the meantime, our study shows how large-scale phylogenies can help to elucidate, and contribute to explaining, macroecological and macroevolutionary patterns in hyperdiverse, yet poorly understood regions like the Amazon Basin.

  2. Genomicus 2018: karyotype evolutionary trees and on-the-fly synteny computing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Nga Thi Thuy; Vincens, Pierre; Roest Crollius, Hugues; Louis, Alexandra

    2018-01-04

    Since 2010, the Genomicus web server is available online at http://genomicus.biologie.ens.fr/genomicus. This graphical browser provides access to comparative genomic analyses in four different phyla (Vertebrate, Plants, Fungi, and non vertebrate Metazoans). Users can analyse genomic information from extant species, as well as ancestral gene content and gene order for vertebrates and flowering plants, in an integrated evolutionary context. New analyses and visualization tools have recently been implemented in Genomicus Vertebrate. Karyotype structures from several genomes can now be compared along an evolutionary pathway (Multi-KaryotypeView), and synteny blocks can be computed and visualized between any two genomes (PhylDiagView). © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  3. The Natural Evolutionary Potential of Tree Populations to Cope with Newly Introduced Pests and Pathogens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Budde, Katharina Birgit; Nielsen, Lene Rostgaard; Ravn, Hans Peter

    2016-01-01

    Emerging diseases often originate from host shifts of introduced pests or pathogens. Genetic resistance of the host to such diseases might be limited or absent due to the lack of coevolutionary history. We review six examples of major disease outbreaks on native tree species caused by different...

  4. Research frontiers for improving our understanding of drought‐induced tree and forest mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartmann, Henrik; Moura, Catarina; Anderegg, William R. L.; Ruehr, Nadine; Salmon, Yann; Allen, Craig D.; Arndt, Stefan K.; Breshears, David D.; Davi, Hendrik; Galbraith, David; Ruthrof, Katinka X.; Wunder, Jan; Adams, Henry D.; Bloemen, Jasper; Cailleret, Maxime; Cobb, Richard; Gessler, Arthur; Grams, Thorsten E. E.; Jansen, Steven; Kautz, Markus; Lloret, Francisco; O’Brien, Michael

    2018-01-01

    Accumulating evidence highlights increased mortality risks for trees during severe drought, particularly under warmer temperatures and increasing vapour pressure deficit (VPD). Resulting forest die‐off events have severe consequences for ecosystem services, biophysical and biogeochemical land–atmosphere processes. Despite advances in monitoring, modelling and experimental studies of the causes and consequences of tree death from individual tree to ecosystem and global scale, a general mechanistic understanding and realistic predictions of drought mortality under future climate conditions are still lacking. We update a global tree mortality map and present a roadmap to a more holistic understanding of forest mortality across scales. We highlight priority research frontiers that promote: (1) new avenues for research on key tree ecophysiological responses to drought; (2) scaling from the tree/plot level to the ecosystem and region; (3) improvements of mortality risk predictions based on both empirical and mechanistic insights; and (4) a global monitoring network of forest mortality. In light of recent and anticipated large forest die‐off events such a research agenda is timely and needed to achieve scientific understanding for realistic predictions of drought‐induced tree mortality. The implementation of a sustainable network will require support by stakeholders and political authorities at the international level.

  5. Studying the evolutionary relationships and phylogenetic trees of 21 groups of tRNA sequences based on complex networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Fangping; Chen, Bowen

    2012-03-01

    To find out the evolutionary relationships among different tRNA sequences of 21 amino acids, 22 networks are constructed. One is constructed from whole tRNAs, and the other 21 networks are constructed from the tRNAs which carry the same amino acids. A new method is proposed such that the alignment scores of any two amino acids groups are determined by the average degree and the average clustering coefficient of their networks. The anticodon feature of isolated tRNA and the phylogenetic trees of 21 group networks are discussed. We find that some isolated tRNA sequences in 21 networks still connect with other tRNAs outside their group, which reflects the fact that those tRNAs might evolve by intercrossing among these 21 groups. We also find that most anticodons among the same cluster are only one base different in the same sites when S ≥ 70, and they stay in the same rank in the ladder of evolutionary relationships. Those observations seem to agree on that some tRNAs might mutate from the same ancestor sequences based on point mutation mechanisms.

  6. Global to local genetic diversity indicators of evolutionary potential in tree species within and outside forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Graudal, Lars; Aravanopoulos, Filippos; Bennadji, Zohra

    2014-01-01

    -monitoring schemes. Here, we provide a review and an assessment of the different attempts made to provide such indicators for tree genetic diversity from the global level down to the level of the management unit. So far, no generally accepted indicators have been provided as international standards, nor tested...... for their possible use in practice. We suggest that indicators for monitoring genetic diversity and dynamics should be based on ecological and demographic surrogates of adaptive diversity as well as genetic markers capable of identifying genetic erosion and gene flow. A comparison of past and present genecological...... distributions (patterns of genetic variation of key adaptive traits in the ecological space) of selected species is a realistic way of assessing the trend of intra-specific variation, and thus provides a state indicator of tree genetic diversity also able to reflect possible pressures threatening genetic...

  7. Complete chloroplast genome sequence of a tree fern Alsophila spinulosa: insights into evolutionary changes in fern chloroplast genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Lei; Yi, Xuan; Yang, Yong-Xia; Su, Ying-Juan; Wang, Ting

    2009-06-11

    Ferns have generally been neglected in studies of chloroplast genomics. Before this study, only one polypod and two basal ferns had their complete chloroplast (cp) genome reported. Tree ferns represent an ancient fern lineage that first occurred in the Late Triassic. In recent phylogenetic analyses, tree ferns were shown to be the sister group of polypods, the most diverse group of living ferns. Availability of cp genome sequence from a tree fern will facilitate interpretation of the evolutionary changes of fern cp genomes. Here we have sequenced the complete cp genome of a scaly tree fern Alsophila spinulosa (Cyatheaceae). The Alsophila cp genome is 156,661 base pairs (bp) in size, and has a typical quadripartite structure with the large (LSC, 86,308 bp) and small single copy (SSC, 21,623 bp) regions separated by two copies of an inverted repeat (IRs, 24,365 bp each). This genome contains 117 different genes encoding 85 proteins, 4 rRNAs and 28 tRNAs. Pseudogenes of ycf66 and trnT-UGU are also detected in this genome. A unique trnR-UCG gene (derived from trnR-CCG) is found between rbcL and accD. The Alsophila cp genome shares some unusual characteristics with the previously sequenced cp genome of the polypod fern Adiantum capillus-veneris, including the absence of 5 tRNA genes that exist in most other cp genomes. The genome shows a high degree of synteny with that of Adiantum, but differs considerably from two basal ferns (Angiopteris evecta and Psilotum nudum). At one endpoint of an ancient inversion we detected a highly repeated 565-bp-region that is absent from the Adiantum cp genome. An additional minor inversion of the trnD-GUC, which is possibly shared by all ferns, was identified by comparison between the fern and other land plant cp genomes. By comparing four fern cp genome sequences it was confirmed that two major rearrangements distinguish higher leptosporangiate ferns from basal fern lineages. The Alsophila cp genome is very similar to that of the

  8. Complete chloroplast genome sequence of a tree fern Alsophila spinulosa: insights into evolutionary changes in fern chloroplast genomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Yong-Xia

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ferns have generally been neglected in studies of chloroplast genomics. Before this study, only one polypod and two basal ferns had their complete chloroplast (cp genome reported. Tree ferns represent an ancient fern lineage that first occurred in the Late Triassic. In recent phylogenetic analyses, tree ferns were shown to be the sister group of polypods, the most diverse group of living ferns. Availability of cp genome sequence from a tree fern will facilitate interpretation of the evolutionary changes of fern cp genomes. Here we have sequenced the complete cp genome of a scaly tree fern Alsophila spinulosa (Cyatheaceae. Results The Alsophila cp genome is 156,661 base pairs (bp in size, and has a typical quadripartite structure with the large (LSC, 86,308 bp and small single copy (SSC, 21,623 bp regions separated by two copies of an inverted repeat (IRs, 24,365 bp each. This genome contains 117 different genes encoding 85 proteins, 4 rRNAs and 28 tRNAs. Pseudogenes of ycf66 and trnT-UGU are also detected in this genome. A unique trnR-UCG gene (derived from trnR-CCG is found between rbcL and accD. The Alsophila cp genome shares some unusual characteristics with the previously sequenced cp genome of the polypod fern Adiantum capillus-veneris, including the absence of 5 tRNA genes that exist in most other cp genomes. The genome shows a high degree of synteny with that of Adiantum, but differs considerably from two basal ferns (Angiopteris evecta and Psilotum nudum. At one endpoint of an ancient inversion we detected a highly repeated 565-bp-region that is absent from the Adiantum cp genome. An additional minor inversion of the trnD-GUC, which is possibly shared by all ferns, was identified by comparison between the fern and other land plant cp genomes. Conclusion By comparing four fern cp genome sequences it was confirmed that two major rearrangements distinguish higher leptosporangiate ferns from basal fern lineages. The

  9. Compartmentalization: a conceptual framework for understanding how trees grow and defend themselves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alex L. Shigo

    1984-01-01

    The purpose of this chapter is to describe a conceptual framework for understanding how trees grow and how they and other perennial plants defend themselves. The concept of compartmentalization has developed over many years, a synthesis of ideas from a number of investigators. It is derived from detailed studies of the gross morphology and cellular anatomy of the wood...

  10. Women, behavior, and evolution: understanding the debate between feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liesen, Laurette T

    2007-03-01

    Often since the early 1990s, feminist evolutionists have criticized evolutionary psychologists, finding fault in their analyses of human male and female reproductive behavior. Feminist evolutionists have criticized various evolutionary psychologists for perpetuating gender stereotypes, using questionable methodology, and exhibiting a chill toward feminism. Though these criticisms have been raised many times, the conflict itself has not been fully analyzed. Therefore, I reconsider this conflict, both in its origins and its implications. I find that the approaches and perspectives of feminist evolutionists and evolutionary psychologists are distinctly different, leading many of the former to work in behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology. Invitingly to feminist evolutionists, these three fields emphasize social behavior and the influences of environmental variables; in contrast, evolutionary psychology has come to rely on assumptions deemphasizing the pliability of psychological mechanisms and the flexibility of human behavior. In behavioral ecology, primatology, and evolutionary biology, feminist evolutionists have found old biases easy to correct and new hypotheses practical to test, offering new insights into male and female behavior, explaining the emergence and persistence of patriarchy, and potentially bringing closer a prime feminist goal, sexual equality.

  11. Understanding of amount and dynamics of radioactive cesium deposited on trees in Fukushima

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Endo, Izuki; Ohte, Nobuhito; Iseda, Kohei; Tanoi, Keitaro; Hirose, Atsushi; Kobayashi, Natsuko I. [The University of Tokyo, 113-8657, 1-1-1 Yayoi Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo (Japan); Ishii, Nobuyoshi [National Institute of Radiological Sciences, 263-8555, 4-9-1 Anagawa, Inage-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba (Japan); Ohashi, Mizue [University of Hyogo, 670-0092, 1-1-12 Shinzaike-Honcho, Himeji, Hyogo (Japan)

    2014-07-01

    The accident of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the earthquake and Tsunami in March 11, 2011 caused large amount of radioactive cesium ({sup 134}Cs, {sup 137}Cs) deposition onto the forest in the surrounding areas. River water from the forest area is used for food production and also for drinking water in these regions. In order to predict how radioactive Cs diffuse and discharge from the forest catchments, it is important to understand the amount and dynamics of radioactive Cs deposited on the trees. In this report, we show our preliminary results of {sup 137}Cs deposition in forest. Study was conducted in the forest at the upstream of Kami-Oguni River catchment, northern part of Fukushima Prefecture. Three plots (2 deciduous stands and 1 Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) plantation) were set in the forest. Quercus serrata and C. japonica, a representative of deciduous and evergreen tree species in this region, were chosen from each plot. Sample trees were logged in October 2012. Stem samples were collected every 2 m from above the ground to tree top and separated into bark, sapwood and heartwood. Litter traps were set in each plot and collected every month. Leaf litter was classified among species. Also, soil samples were collected in the cylinder of 5 cm in diameter and maximum 30 cm in depth from the forest floor every month. {sup 137}Cs concentration of all samples were measured by germanium semiconductor detector or NaI(Tl) scintillation counter. Deposited {sup 137}Cs was attached strongly on the bark of Q. serrata at high concentration (9-18 kBq/kg) but there were no clear relationship with tree height. In C. japonica, {sup 137}Cs concentration was about half times lower than that of Q. serrata at 0-10 m part of the tree. {sup 137}Cs concentration in wood of C. japonica was higher than Q. serrata. {sup 137}Cs concentration of sapwood was as high as that of heartwood in C. japonica, but in Q. serrata, {sup 137}Cs concentration in sapwood was

  12. Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Khaja, Nawal

    2007-01-01

    This is a thematic lesson plan for young learners about palm trees and the importance of taking care of them. The two part lesson teaches listening, reading and speaking skills. The lesson includes parts of a tree; the modal auxiliary, can; dialogues and a role play activity.

  13. Genes, communities & invasive species: understanding the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of host-pathogen interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdon, J J; Thrall, P H; Ericson, L

    2013-08-01

    Reciprocal interactions between hosts and pathogens drive ecological, epidemiological and co-evolutionary trajectories, resulting in complex patterns of diversity at population, species and community levels. Recent results confirm the importance of negative frequency-dependent rather than 'arms-race' processes in the evolution of individual host-pathogen associations. At the community level, complex relationships between species abundance and diversity dampen or alter pathogen impacts. Invasive pathogens challenge these controls reflecting the earliest stages of evolutionary associations (akin to arms-race) where disease effects may be so great that they overwhelm the host's and community's ability to respond. Viewing these different stabilization/destabilization phases as a continuum provides a valuable perspective to assessment of the role of genetics and ecology in the dynamics of both natural and invasive host-pathogen associations. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Evolutionary melting pots: a biodiversity hotspot shaped by ring diversifications around the Black Sea in the Eastern tree frog (Hyla orientalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dufresnes, Christophe; Litvinchuk, Spartak N; Leuenberger, Julien; Ghali, Karim; Zinenko, Oleksandr; Stöck, Matthias; Perrin, Nicolas

    2016-09-01

    Hotspots of intraspecific genetic diversity, which are of primary importance for the conservation of species, have been associated with glacial refugia, that is areas where species survived the Quaternary climatic oscillations. However, the proximate mechanisms generating these hotspots remain an open issue. Hotspots may reflect the long-term persistence of large refugial populations; alternatively, they may result from allopatric differentiation between small and isolated populations, that later admixed. Here, we test these two scenarios in a widely distributed species of tree frog, Hyla orientalis, which inhabits Asia Minor and southeastern Europe. We apply a fine-scale phylogeographic survey, combining fast-evolving mitochondrial and nuclear markers, with a dense sampling throughout the range, as well as ecological niche modelling, to understand what shaped the genetic variation of this species. We documented an important diversity centre around the Black Sea, composed of multiple allopatric and/or parapatric diversifications, likely driven by a combination of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations and complex regional topography. Remarkably, this diversification forms a ring around the Black Sea, from the Caucasus through Anatolia and eastern Europe, with terminal forms coming into contact and partially admixing in Crimea. Our results support the view that glacial refugia generate rather than host genetic diversity and can also function as evolutionary melting pots of biodiversity. Moreover, we report a new case of ring diversification, triggered by a large, yet cohesive dispersal barrier, a very rare situation in nature. Finally, we emphasize the Black Sea region as an important centre of intraspecific diversity in the Palearctic with implications for conservation. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Understanding the function of bacterial and eukaryotic thiolases II by integrating evolutionary and functional approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Ana Romina; Soto, Gabriela; Mozzicafreddo, Matteo; Garcia, Araceli Nora; Cuccioloni, Massimiliano; Angeletti, Mauro; Salerno, Juan Carlos; Ayub, Nicolás Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Acetoacetyl-CoA thiolase (EC 2.3.1.9), commonly named thiolase II, condenses two molecules of acetyl-CoA to give acetoacetyl-CoA and CoA. This enzyme acts in anabolic processes as the first step in the biosynthesis of isoprenoids and polyhydroxybutyrate in eukaryotes and bacteria, respectively. We have recently reported the evolutionary and functional equivalence of these enzymes, suggesting that thiolase II could be the rate limiting enzyme in these pathways and presented evidence indicating that this enzyme modulates the availability of reducing equivalents during abiotic stress adaptation in bacteria and plants. However, these results are not sufficient to clarify why thiolase II was evolutionary selected as a critical enzyme in the production of antioxidant compounds. Regarding this intriguing topic, we propose that thiolase II could sense changes in the acetyl-CoA/CoA ratio induced by the inhibition of the tricarboxylic acid cycle under abiotic stress. Thus, the high level of evolutionary and functional constraint of thiolase II may be due to the connection of this enzyme with an ancient and conserved metabolic route. © 2013.

  16. Expression Profiling of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Genes Reveals Their Evolutionary and Functional Diversity in Different Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis Cultivars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiang Jin

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis is the only commercially cultivated plant for producing natural rubber, one of the most essential industrial raw materials. Knowledge of the evolutionary and functional characteristics of kinases in H. brasiliensis is limited because of the long growth period and lack of well annotated genome information. Here, we reported mitogen-activated protein kinases in H. brasiliensis (HbMPKs by manually checking and correcting the rubber tree genome. Of the 20 identified HbMPKs, four members were validated by proteomic data. Protein motif and phylogenetic analyses classified these members into four known groups comprising Thr-Glu-Tyr (TEY and Thr-Asp-Tyr (TDY domains, respectively. Evolutionary and syntenic analyses suggested four duplication events: HbMPK3/HbMPK6, HbMPK8/HbMPK9/HbMPK15, HbMPK10/HbMPK12 and HbMPK11/HbMPK16/HbMPK19. Expression profiling of the identified HbMPKs in roots, stems, leaves and latex obtained from three cultivars with different latex yield ability revealed tissue- and variety-expression specificity of HbMPK paralogues. Gene expression patterns under osmotic, oxidative, salt and cold stresses, combined with cis-element distribution analyses, indicated different regulation patterns of HbMPK paralogues. Further, Ka/Ks and Tajima analyses suggested an accelerated evolutionary rate in paralogues HbMPK10/12. These results revealed HbMPKs have diverse functions in natural rubber biosynthesis, and highlighted the potential possibility of using MPKs to improve stress tolerance in future rubber tree breeding.

  17. Evolutionary context for understanding and manipulating plant responses to past, present and future atmospheric [CO2].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leakey, Andrew D B; Lau, Jennifer A

    2012-02-19

    Variation in atmospheric [CO(2)] is a prominent feature of the environmental history over which vascular plants have evolved. Periods of falling and low [CO(2)] in the palaeo-record appear to have created selective pressure for important adaptations in modern plants. Today, rising [CO(2)] is a key component of anthropogenic global environmental change that will impact plants and the ecosystem goods and services they deliver. Currently, there is limited evidence that natural plant populations have evolved in response to contemporary increases in [CO(2)] in ways that increase plant productivity or fitness, and no evidence for incidental breeding of crop varieties to achieve greater yield enhancement from rising [CO(2)]. Evolutionary responses to elevated [CO(2)] have been studied by applying selection in controlled environments, quantitative genetics and trait-based approaches. Findings to date suggest that adaptive changes in plant traits in response to future [CO(2)] will not be consistently observed across species or environments and will not be large in magnitude compared with physiological and ecological responses to future [CO(2)]. This lack of evidence for strong evolutionary effects of elevated [CO(2)] is surprising, given the large effects of elevated [CO(2)] on plant phenotypes. New studies under more stressful, complex environmental conditions associated with climate change may revise this view. Efforts are underway to engineer plants to: (i) overcome the limitations to photosynthesis from today's [CO(2)] and (ii) benefit maximally from future, greater [CO(2)]. Targets range in scale from manipulating the function of a single enzyme (e.g. Rubisco) to adding metabolic pathways from bacteria as well as engineering the structural and functional components necessary for C(4) photosynthesis into C(3) leaves. Successfully improving plant performance will depend on combining the knowledge of the evolutionary context, cellular basis and physiological integration

  18. Evolutionary context for understanding and manipulating plant responses to past, present and future atmospheric [CO2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leakey, Andrew D. B.; Lau, Jennifer A.

    2012-01-01

    Variation in atmospheric [CO2] is a prominent feature of the environmental history over which vascular plants have evolved. Periods of falling and low [CO2] in the palaeo-record appear to have created selective pressure for important adaptations in modern plants. Today, rising [CO2] is a key component of anthropogenic global environmental change that will impact plants and the ecosystem goods and services they deliver. Currently, there is limited evidence that natural plant populations have evolved in response to contemporary increases in [CO2] in ways that increase plant productivity or fitness, and no evidence for incidental breeding of crop varieties to achieve greater yield enhancement from rising [CO2]. Evolutionary responses to elevated [CO2] have been studied by applying selection in controlled environments, quantitative genetics and trait-based approaches. Findings to date suggest that adaptive changes in plant traits in response to future [CO2] will not be consistently observed across species or environments and will not be large in magnitude compared with physiological and ecological responses to future [CO2]. This lack of evidence for strong evolutionary effects of elevated [CO2] is surprising, given the large effects of elevated [CO2] on plant phenotypes. New studies under more stressful, complex environmental conditions associated with climate change may revise this view. Efforts are underway to engineer plants to: (i) overcome the limitations to photosynthesis from today's [CO2] and (ii) benefit maximally from future, greater [CO2]. Targets range in scale from manipulating the function of a single enzyme (e.g. Rubisco) to adding metabolic pathways from bacteria as well as engineering the structural and functional components necessary for C4 photosynthesis into C3 leaves. Successfully improving plant performance will depend on combining the knowledge of the evolutionary context, cellular basis and physiological integration of plant responses to varying

  19. The evolutionary diversification of seed size: using the past to understand the present.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sims, Hallie J

    2012-05-01

    The Devonian origin of seed plants and subsequent morphological diversification of seeds during the late Paleozoic represents an adaptive radiation into unoccupied ecological niche space. A plant's seed size is correlated with its life-history strategy, growth form, and seed dispersal syndrome. The fossil record indicates that the oldest seed plants had relatively small seeds, but the Mississippian seed size envelope increased significantly with the diversification of larger seeded lineages. Fossil seeds equivalent to the largest extant gymnosperm seeds appeared by the Pennsylvanian, concurrent with morphological diversification of growth forms and dispersal syndromes as well as the clade's radiation into new environments. Wang's Analysis of Skewness indicates that the evolutionary trend of increasing seed size resulted from primarily passive processes in Pennsylvanian seed plants. The distributions of modern angiosperms indicate a more diverse system of active and some passive processes, unbounded by Paleozoic limits; multiple angiosperm lineages independently evolved though the upper and lower bounds. Quantitative measures of preservation suggest that, although our knowledge of Paleozoic seeds is far from complete, the evolutionary trend in seed size is unlikely to be an artifact of taphonomy. © 2012 The Author. Evolution© 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  20. Genome-driven evolutionary game theory helps understand the rise of metabolic interdependencies in microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zomorrodi, Ali R; Segrè, Daniel

    2017-11-16

    Metabolite exchanges in microbial communities give rise to ecological interactions that govern ecosystem diversity and stability. It is unclear, however, how the rise of these interactions varies across metabolites and organisms. Here we address this question by integrating genome-scale models of metabolism with evolutionary game theory. Specifically, we use microbial fitness values estimated by metabolic models to infer evolutionarily stable interactions in multi-species microbial "games". We first validate our approach using a well-characterized yeast cheater-cooperator system. We next perform over 80,000 in silico experiments to infer how metabolic interdependencies mediated by amino acid leakage in Escherichia coli vary across 189 amino acid pairs. While most pairs display shared patterns of inter-species interactions, multiple deviations are caused by pleiotropy and epistasis in metabolism. Furthermore, simulated invasion experiments reveal possible paths to obligate cross-feeding. Our study provides genomically driven insight into the rise of ecological interactions, with implications for microbiome research and synthetic ecology.

  1. What shakes the FX tree? Understanding currency dominance, dependence, and dynamics (Keynote Address)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Neil F.; McDonald, Mark; Suleman, Omer; Williams, Stacy; Howison, Sam

    2005-05-01

    There is intense interest in understanding the stochastic and dynamical properties of the global Foreign Exchange (FX) market, whose daily transactions exceed one trillion US dollars. This is a formidable task since the FX market is characterized by a web of fluctuating exchange rates, with subtle inter-dependencies which may change in time. In practice, traders talk of particular currencies being 'in play' during a particular period of time -- yet there is no established machinery for detecting such important information. Here we apply the construction of Minimum Spanning Trees (MSTs) to the FX market, and show that the MST can capture important features of the global FX dynamics. Moreover, we show that the MST can help identify momentarily dominant and dependent currencies.

  2. 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.

  3. Phylogeny and evolutionary histories of Pyrus L. revealed by phylogenetic trees and networks based on data from multiple DNA sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reconstructing the phylogeny of Pyrus has been difficult due to the wide distribution of the genus and lack of informative data. In this study, we collected 110 accessions representing 25 Pyrus species and constructed both phylogenetic trees and phylogenetic networks based on multiple DNA sequence d...

  4. NifH and NifD phylogenies: an evolutionary basis for understanding nitrogen fixation capabilities of methanotrophic bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dedysh, Svetlana N; Ricke, Peter; Liesack, Werner

    2004-05-01

    The ability to utilize dinitrogen as a nitrogen source is an important phenotypic trait in most currently known methanotrophic bacteria (MB). This trait is especially important for acidophilic MB, which inhabit acidic oligotrophic environments, highly depleted in available nitrogen compounds. Phylogenetically, acidophilic MB are most closely related to heterotrophic dinitrogen-fixing bacteria of the genus BEIJERINCKIA: To further explore the phylogenetic linkage between these metabolically different organisms, the sequences of nifH and nifD gene fragments from acidophilic MB of the genera Methylocella and Methylocapsa, and from representatives of Beijerinckia, were determined. For reference, nifH and nifD sequences were also obtained from some type II MB of the alphaproteobacterial Methylosinus/Methylocystis group and from gammaproteobacterial type I MB. The trees constructed for the inferred amino acid sequences of nifH and nifD were highly congruent. The phylogenetic relationships among MB in the NifH and NifD trees also agreed well with the corresponding 16S rRNA-based phylogeny, except for two distinctive features. First, different methods used for phylogenetic analysis grouped the NifH and NifD sequences of strains of the gammaproteobacterial MB Methylococcus capsulatus within a clade mainly characterized by Alphaproteobacteria, including acidophilic MB and type II MB of the Methylosinus/Methylocystis group. From this and other genomic data from Methylococcus capsulatus Bath, it is proposed that an ancient event of lateral gene transfer was responsible for this aberrant branching. Second, the identity values of NifH and NifD sequences between Methylocapsa acidiphila B2 and representatives of Beijerinckia were clearly higher (98.5 and 96.6 %, respectively) than would be expected from their 16S rRNA-based relationships. Possibly, these two bacteria originated from a common acidophilic dinitrogen-fixing ancestor, and were subject to similar evolutionary pressure

  5. Putative recombination events and evolutionary history of five economically important viruses of fruit trees based on coat protein-encoding gene sequence analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulila, Moncef

    2010-06-01

    To enhance the knowledge of recombination as an evolutionary process, 267 accessions retrieved from GenBank were investigated, all belonging to five economically important viruses infecting fruit crops (Plum pox, Apple chlorotic leaf spot, Apple mosaic, Prune dwarf, and Prunus necrotic ringspot viruses). Putative recombinational events were detected in the coat protein (CP)-encoding gene using RECCO and RDP version 3.31beta algorithms. Based on RECCO results, all five viruses were shown to contain potential recombination signals in the CP gene. Reconstructed trees with modified topologies were proposed. Furthermore, RECCO performed better than the RDP package in detecting recombination events and exhibiting their evolution rate along the sequences of the five viruses. RDP, however, provided the possible major and minor parents of the recombinants. Thus, the two methods should be considered complementary.

  6. An Evolutionary Framework for Understanding Sex Differences in Croatian Mortality Rates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel J. Kruger

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Being male is the strongest demographic predictor of early mortality in Croatia. For every woman who dies between the ages of 15 and 34, three men die. Between the ages of 15 and 54, men are four times as likely as women to die from behavioral causes of death, such as accidents, homicides, and suicides. A causal explanation for sex differences in mortality must be based on an understanding of how sex differences were shaped by natural selection, and how those differences interact with environmental factors to create observed patterns and variations. In brief, males have been selected for riskier behavioral and physiological strategies than women, because of the greater variance and skew in male reproductive success. This paper examines the sex difference in Croatian mortality in three parts. First, we quantify the Croatian Male to Female Mortality Ratio (M:F MR for 9 major causes of death across age group to provide a richer understanding of the sex difference in mortality from a life history framework. Second, we compare the Croatian M:F MR from behavioral, internal, and all causes with that of the available world population to demonstrate how Croatian mortality can be understood as part of a universal pattern that is influenced by unique environmental context. Third, we investigate how the War of Independence in 1991-1995 affected mortality patterns though its impact on behavioral strategies and the physical embodiment of distress.

  7. Undergraduate Students’ Difficulties in Reading and Constructing Phylogenetic Tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sa'adah, S.; Tapilouw, F. S.; Hidayat, T.

    2017-02-01

    Representation is a very important communication tool to communicate scientific concepts. Biologists produce phylogenetic representation to express their understanding of evolutionary relationships. The phylogenetic tree is visual representation depict a hypothesis about the evolutionary relationship and widely used in the biological sciences. Phylogenetic tree currently growing for many disciplines in biology. Consequently, learning about phylogenetic tree become an important part of biological education and an interesting area for biology education research. However, research showed many students often struggle with interpreting the information that phylogenetic trees depict. The purpose of this study was to investigate undergraduate students’ difficulties in reading and constructing a phylogenetic tree. The method of this study is a descriptive method. In this study, we used questionnaires, interviews, multiple choice and open-ended questions, reflective journals and observations. The findings showed students experiencing difficulties, especially in constructing a phylogenetic tree. The students’ responds indicated that main reasons for difficulties in constructing a phylogenetic tree are difficult to placing taxa in a phylogenetic tree based on the data provided so that the phylogenetic tree constructed does not describe the actual evolutionary relationship (incorrect relatedness). Students also have difficulties in determining the sister group, character synapomorphy, autapomorphy from data provided (character table) and comparing among phylogenetic tree. According to them building the phylogenetic tree is more difficult than reading the phylogenetic tree. Finding this studies provide information to undergraduate instructor and students to overcome learning difficulties of reading and constructing phylogenetic tree.

  8. Phylogenetic incongruence in E. coli O104: understanding the evolutionary relationships of emerging pathogens in the face of homologous recombination.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weilong Hao

    Full Text Available Escherichia coli O104:H4 was identified as an emerging pathogen during the spring and summer of 2011 and was responsible for a widespread outbreak that resulted in the deaths of 50 people and sickened over 4075. Traditional phenotypic and genotypic assays, such as serotyping, pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE, and multilocus sequence typing (MLST, permit identification and classification of bacterial pathogens, but cannot accurately resolve relationships among genotypically similar but pathotypically different isolates. To understand the evolutionary origins of E. coli O104:H4, we sequenced two strains isolated in Ontario, Canada. One was epidemiologically linked to the 2011 outbreak, and the second, unrelated isolate, was obtained in 2010. MLST analysis indicated that both isolates are of the same sequence type (ST678, but whole-genome sequencing revealed differences in chromosomal and plasmid content. Through comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of five O104:H4 ST678 genomes, we identified 167 genes in three gene clusters that have undergone homologous recombination with distantly related E. coli strains. These recombination events have resulted in unexpectedly high sequence diversity within the same sequence type. Failure to recognize or adjust for homologous recombination can result in phylogenetic incongruence. Understanding the extent of homologous recombination among different strains of the same sequence type may explain the pathotypic differences between the ON2010 and ON2011 strains and help shed new light on the emergence of this new pathogen.

  9. Snakes and Eels and Dogs! Oh, My! Evaluating High School Students' Tree-Thinking Skills: An Entry Point to Understanding Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catley, Kefyn M.; Phillips, Brenda C.; Novick, Laura R.

    2013-01-01

    The biological community is currently undertaking one its greatest scientific endeavours, that of constructing the Tree of Life, a phylogeny intended to be an evidenced-based, predictive road map of evolutionary relationships among Earth's biota. Unfortunately, we know very little about how such diagrams are understood, interpreted, or used…

  10. Evolutionary history of a vanishing radiation: isolation-dependent persistence and diversification in Pacific Island partulid tree snails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Taehwan; Li, Jingchun; Churchill, Celia K C; Foighil, Diarmaid Ó

    2014-09-24

    Partulid tree snails are endemic to Pacific high islands and have experienced extraordinary rates of extinction in recent decades. Although they collectively range across a 10,000 km swath of Oceania, half of the family's total species diversity is endemic to a single Eastern Pacific hot spot archipelago (the Society Islands) and all three partulid genera display highly distinctive distributions. Our goal was to investigate broad scale (range wide) and fine scale (within-Society Islands) molecular phylogenetic relationships of the two widespread genera, Partula and Samoana. What can such data tell us regarding the genesis of such divergent generic distribution patterns, and nominal species diversity levels across Oceania? Museum, captive (zoo) and contemporary field specimens enabled us to genotype 54 of the ~120 recognized species, including many extinct or extirpated taxa, from 14 archipelagoes. The genera Partula and Samoana are products of very distinct diversification processes. Originating at the western edge of the familial range, the derived genus Samoana is a relatively recent arrival in the far eastern archipelagoes (Society, Austral, Marquesas) where it exhibits a stepping-stone phylogenetic pattern and has proven adept at both intra-and inter- archipelago colonization. The pronounced east-west geographic disjunction exhibited by the genus Partula stems from a much older long-distance dispersal event and its high taxonomic diversity in the Society Islands is a product of a long history of within-archipelago diversification. The central importance of isolation for partulid lineage persistence and diversification is evident in time-calibrated phylogenetic trees that show that remote archipelagoes least impacted by continental biotas bear the oldest clades and/or the most speciose radiations. In contemporary Oceania, that isolation is being progressively undermined and these tree snails are now directly exposed to introduced continental predators

  11. Urban forest management in New England: Towards a contemporary understanding of tree wardens in Massachusetts communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harper, Richard W.; Bloniarz, David V.; DeStefano, Stephen; Nicolson, Craig

    2017-01-01

    In the New England states, tree wardens are local officials responsible for the preservation, maintenance and stewardship of municipal public trees. This study explores the emerging professional challenges, duties and responsibilities of tree wardens, from the subject’s point of view, by conducting in-person, semi-structured qualitative research interviews with 50 tree wardens throughout Massachusetts. Many of the findings corroborate previous literature, including that tree wardens are typically housed in a municipal department (often public works or highway), that tree wardens routinely interact with a wide variety of local organisations (representatives from other municipal departments, community volunteer associations) and that as community size increases, tree wardens typically have access to a greater pool of resources to carry out urban forest management. A newer finding is that the subject of urban forest health arose as a topic of great importance for tree wardens, as nearly all interviewees (n = 49) indicated that they monitor for urban forest pests and that they would like further continuing education concerning this subject.

  12. Understanding the Roles of Forests and Tree-based Systems in Food Provision

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jamnadass, R.; McMullin, S.; Dawson, M.I.I.K.; Powell, B.; Termote, C.; Lckowitz, A.; Kehlenbeck, K.; Vinceti, B.; Vliet, van N.; Keding, G.; Stadlmayr, B.; Damme, van P.; Carsan, S.; Sunderland, T.; Njenga, M.; Gyau, A.; Cerutti, P.; Schure, J.M.; Kouame, C.; Obiri, B.D.; Ofori, D.; Agarwal, B.; Neufeldt, H.; Degrande, A.; Serban, A.

    2015-01-01

    Forests and other tree-based systems such as agroforestry contribute to food and nutritional security in myriad ways. Directly, trees provide a variety of healthy foods including fruits, leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and edible oils that can diversify diets and address seasonal food and nutritional

  13. Evolutionary change and phylogenetic relationships in light of horizontal gene transfer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boto, Luis

    2015-06-01

    Horizontal gene transfer has, over the past 25 years, become a part of evolutionary thinking. In the present paper I discuss horizontal gene transfer (HGT) in relation to contingency, natural selection, evolutionary change speed and the Tree-of-Life endeavour, with the aim of contributing to the understanding of the role of HGT in evolutionary processes. In addition, the challenges that HGT imposes on the current view of evolution are emphasized.

  14. Integrating geochemical investigations and geospatial assessment to understand the evolutionary process of hydrochemistry and groundwater quality in arid areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Alfy, Mohamed; Alharbi, Talal; Mansour, Basma

    2018-04-12

    Groundwater is the key for life in arid areas. Aquifer overexploitation and climatic conditions can significantly deteriorate groundwater quality. The Al-Qassim area in central Saudi Arabia is characterized by dense agricultural use and is irrigated mainly by fossil groundwater from the Saq Aquifer. Understanding the area's hydrochemistry, major factors governing groundwater quality, and alternative uses of the groundwater are the main goals of this study. Groundwater samples were collected and examined for major, minor, and trace elements. Ionic relationships, hydrochemical facies, geospatial distributions, and multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the hydrochemical processes at play. The salinity and nitrate concentrations of the Saq Aquifer's groundwater were found to increase in the outcrop areas more than the confined areas. The spatial distributions were fragmented by three main factors: (i) modern recharge by relatively brackish water, (ii) irrigation return flow in intensive farming areas, and (iii) overexploitation and draining of deep and relatively saline zones of the aquifer. Seven water types were found representing the alkaline water with a predominance of sulfate-chloride ions and earth alkaline water with a predominance of sulfate and chloride. Mixing between fresh and brackish water, dissolution of mineral phases, silicate weathering, and reverse ion exchange were recognized as the evolutionary processes, while evaporation played a minor role. Cluster analyses characterized the fresh groundwater zone, modern groundwater recharge zone, and anthropogenic influence zone. In the confined areas, nearly all the groundwater was appropriate for domestic use and irrigation. In the outcrop areas, some limitations were found due to unsuitable conditions.

  15. Molecular insights into the historic demography of bowhead whales: understanding the evolutionary basis of contemporary management practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, C D; Hoffman, J I; George, J C; Suydam, R S; Huebinger, R M; Patton, J C; Bickham, J W

    2013-01-01

    Patterns of genetic variation observed within species reflect evolutionary histories that include signatures of past demography. Understanding the demographic component of species' history is fundamental to informed management because changes in effective population size affect response to environmental change and evolvability, the strength of genetic drift, and maintenance of genetic variability. Species experiencing anthropogenic population reductions provide valuable case studies for understanding the genetic response to demographic change because historic changes in the census size are often well documented. A classic example is the bowhead whale, Balaena mysticetus, which experienced dramatic population depletion due to commercial whaling in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Consequently, we analyzed a large multi-marker dataset of bowhead whales using a variety of analytical methods, including extended Bayesian skyline analysis and approximate Bayesian computation, to characterize genetic signatures of both ancient and contemporary demographic histories. No genetic signature of recent population depletion was recovered through any analysis incorporating realistic mutation assumptions, probably due to the combined influences of long generation time, short bottleneck duration, and the magnitude of population depletion. In contrast, a robust signal of population expansion was detected around 70,000 years ago, followed by a population decline around 15,000 years ago. The timing of these events coincides to a historic glacial period and the onset of warming at the end of the last glacial maximum, respectively. By implication, climate driven long-term variation in Arctic Ocean productivity, rather than recent anthropogenic disturbance, appears to have been the primary driver of historic bowhead whale demography. PMID:23403722

  16. Climate change impacts on tree ranges: model intercomparison facilitates understanding and quantification of uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheaib, Alissar; Badeau, Vincent; Boe, Julien; Chuine, Isabelle; Delire, Christine; Dufrêne, Eric; François, Christophe; Gritti, Emmanuel S; Legay, Myriam; Pagé, Christian; Thuiller, Wilfried; Viovy, Nicolas; Leadley, Paul

    2012-06-01

    Model-based projections of shifts in tree species range due to climate change are becoming an important decision support tool for forest management. However, poorly evaluated sources of uncertainty require more scrutiny before relying heavily on models for decision-making. We evaluated uncertainty arising from differences in model formulations of tree response to climate change based on a rigorous intercomparison of projections of tree distributions in France. We compared eight models ranging from niche-based to process-based models. On average, models project large range contractions of temperate tree species in lowlands due to climate change. There was substantial disagreement between models for temperate broadleaf deciduous tree species, but differences in the capacity of models to account for rising CO(2) impacts explained much of the disagreement. There was good quantitative agreement among models concerning the range contractions for Scots pine. For the dominant Mediterranean tree species, Holm oak, all models foresee substantial range expansion. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  17. Teaching Tree-Thinking to Undergraduate Biology Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meisel, Richard P

    2010-07-27

    Evolution is the unifying principle of all biology, and understanding how evolutionary relationships are represented is critical for a complete understanding of evolution. Phylogenetic trees are the most conventional tool for displaying evolutionary relationships, and "tree-thinking" has been coined as a term to describe the ability to conceptualize evolutionary relationships. Students often lack tree-thinking skills, and developing those skills should be a priority of biology curricula. Many common student misconceptions have been described, and a successful instructor needs a suite of tools for correcting those misconceptions. I review the literature on teaching tree-thinking to undergraduate students and suggest how this material can be presented within an inquiry-based framework.

  18. [Evolutionary medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wjst, M

    2013-12-01

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

  19. Approaches to understanding the impact of life-history features on plant-pathogen co-evolutionary dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeremy J. Burdon; Peter H. Thrall; Adnane Nemri

    2012-01-01

    Natural plant-pathogen associations are complex interactions in which the interplay of environment, host, and pathogen factors results in spatially heterogeneous ecological and epidemiological dynamics. The evolutionary patterns that result from the interaction of these factors are still relatively poorly understood. Recently, integration of the appropriate spatial and...

  20. The Emergence of New Industries in Space: An evolutionary understanding of industry emergence from a geographical perspective

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tanner, Anne Nygaard

    of industrial organisational economics (Porter 1980) and in evolutionary economics (Dosi 1984, Nelson, Winter 1982). Second, the paper discusses the particularity that characterizes the temporal scope of industry emergence and it is claimed that the literature often lack attention to periods that precede......, which has characterized the field of economic geography. In particular, the framework builds on a critique of the predominant role previous theories have ascribed to chance events....

  1. Tree-based approaches for understanding growth patterns in the European regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Annoni

    2016-09-01

    transport infrastructure, human capital, labour market and research and innovation - and incorporates the institutional quality and two variables which aim to reflect the macroeconomic conditions in which the regions operate. Given the scarcity of reliable and comparable regional data at the EU level, large part of the analysis has been devoted to build reliable and consistent panel data on potential factors of growth. Two non-parametric, decision-tree techniques, randomized Classication and Regression Tree and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines, are employed for their ability to address data complexities such as non-linearities and interaction eects, which are generally a challenge for more traditional statistical procedures such as linear regression. Results show that the dependence of growth rates on the factors included in the analysis is clearly non-linear with important factor interactions. This means that growth is determined by the simultaneous presence of multiple stimulus factors rather than the presence of a single area of excellence. Results also conrm the critical importance of the macroeconomic framework together with human capital as major drivers of economic growth of countries and regions. This is overall in line with most of the economic literature, which has persistently underlined the major role of these factors on economic growth but with the novelty that the macroeconomic conditions are here incorporated. Human capital also has an important role, with low-skilled workforce having a higher detrimental eect on growth than high-skilled. Not surprisingly, other important factors are the quality of governance and, in line with the neoclassical growth theory, the stage of development, with less developed economies growing at a faster pace than the others. The evidence given by the model about the impact of other factors on economic growth such as those on the quality of infrastructure or the level of innovation seems to be more limited and

  2. Visualizing phylogenetic tree landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilgenbusch, James C; Huang, Wen; Gallivan, Kyle A

    2017-02-02

    Genomic-scale sequence alignments are increasingly used to infer phylogenies in order to better understand the processes and patterns of evolution. Different partitions within these new alignments (e.g., genes, codon positions, and structural features) often favor hundreds if not thousands of competing phylogenies. Summarizing and comparing phylogenies obtained from multi-source data sets using current consensus tree methods discards valuable information and can disguise potential methodological problems. Discovery of efficient and accurate dimensionality reduction methods used to display at once in 2- or 3- dimensions the relationship among these competing phylogenies will help practitioners diagnose the limits of current evolutionary models and potential problems with phylogenetic reconstruction methods when analyzing large multi-source data sets. We introduce several dimensionality reduction methods to visualize in 2- and 3-dimensions the relationship among competing phylogenies obtained from gene partitions found in three mid- to large-size mitochondrial genome alignments. We test the performance of these dimensionality reduction methods by applying several goodness-of-fit measures. The intrinsic dimensionality of each data set is also estimated to determine whether projections in 2- and 3-dimensions can be expected to reveal meaningful relationships among trees from different data partitions. Several new approaches to aid in the comparison of different phylogenetic landscapes are presented. Curvilinear Components Analysis (CCA) and a stochastic gradient decent (SGD) optimization method give the best representation of the original tree-to-tree distance matrix for each of the three- mitochondrial genome alignments and greatly outperformed the method currently used to visualize tree landscapes. The CCA + SGD method converged at least as fast as previously applied methods for visualizing tree landscapes. We demonstrate for all three mtDNA alignments that 3D

  3. 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.

  4. Biochemist-Tree: Using Modular Origami to Understand the Integration of Intermediary Metabolism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharp, Duncan

    2013-01-01

    Intermediary metabolism can be a complex area to study due to the inherent modularity of the catabolic biochemical processes. This article outlines a novel, cost-effective, and universally applicable teaching activity to enhance students understanding of the inter-relationship between the key processes of intermediary metabolism. A simple origami…

  5. Prevalence and Persistence of Misconceptions in Tree Thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kummer, Tyler A; Whipple, Clinton J; Jensen, Jamie L

    2016-12-01

    Darwin described evolution as "descent with modification." Descent, however, is not an explicit focus of most evolution instruction and often leaves deeply held misconceptions to dominate student understanding of common ancestry and species relatedness. Evolutionary trees are ways of visually depicting descent by illustrating the relationships between species and groups of species. The ability to properly interpret and use evolutionary trees has become known as "tree thinking." We used a 20-question assessment to measure misconceptions in tree thinking and compare the proportion of students who hold these misconceptions in an introductory biology course with students in two higher-level courses including a senior level biology course. We found that misconceptions related to reading the graphic ( reading the tips and node counting ) were variably influenced across time with reading the tips decreasing and node counting increasing in prevalence. On the other hand, misconceptions related to the fundamental underpinnings of evolutionary theory ( ladder thinking and similarity equals relatedness ) proved resistant to change during a typical undergraduate study of biology. A possible new misconception relating to the length of the branches in an evolutionary tree is described. Understanding the prevalence and persistence of misconceptions informs educators as to which misconceptions should be targeted in their courses.

  6. Prevalence and Persistence of Misconceptions in Tree Thinking†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kummer, Tyler A.; Whipple, Clinton J.; Jensen, Jamie L.

    2016-01-01

    Darwin described evolution as “descent with modification.” Descent, however, is not an explicit focus of most evolution instruction and often leaves deeply held misconceptions to dominate student understanding of common ancestry and species relatedness. Evolutionary trees are ways of visually depicting descent by illustrating the relationships between species and groups of species. The ability to properly interpret and use evolutionary trees has become known as “tree thinking.” We used a 20-question assessment to measure misconceptions in tree thinking and compare the proportion of students who hold these misconceptions in an introductory biology course with students in two higher-level courses including a senior level biology course. We found that misconceptions related to reading the graphic (reading the tips and node counting) were variably influenced across time with reading the tips decreasing and node counting increasing in prevalence. On the other hand, misconceptions related to the fundamental underpinnings of evolutionary theory (ladder thinking and similarity equals relatedness) proved resistant to change during a typical undergraduate study of biology. A possible new misconception relating to the length of the branches in an evolutionary tree is described. Understanding the prevalence and persistence of misconceptions informs educators as to which misconceptions should be targeted in their courses. PMID:28101265

  7. Prevalence and Persistence of Misconceptions in Tree Thinking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyler A. Kummer

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Darwin described evolution as “descent with modification.” Descent, however, is not an explicit focus of most evolution instruction and often leaves deeply held misconceptions to dominate student understanding of common ancestry and species relatedness. Evolutionary trees are ways of visually depicting descent by illustrating the relationships between species and groups of species. The ability to properly interpret and use evolutionary trees has become known as “tree thinking.” We used a 20-question assessment to measure misconceptions in tree thinking and compare the proportion of students who hold these misconceptions in an introductory biology course with students in two higher-level courses including a senior level biology course. We found that misconceptions related to reading the graphic (reading the tips and node counting were variably influenced across time with reading the tips decreasing and node counting increasing in prevalence. On the other hand, misconceptions related to the fundamental underpinnings of evolutionary theory (ladder thinking and similarity equals relatedness proved resistant to change during a typical undergraduate study of biology. A possible new misconception relating to the length of the branches in an evolutionary tree is described. Understanding the prevalence and persistence of misconceptions informs educators as to which misconceptions should be targeted in their courses.

  8. Trees are good, but…

    Science.gov (United States)

    E.G. McPherson; F. Ferrini

    2010-01-01

    We know that “trees are good,” and most people believe this to be true. But if this is so, why are so many trees neglected, and so many tree wells empty? An individual’s attitude toward trees may result from their firsthand encounters with specific trees. Understanding how attitudes about trees are shaped, particularly aversion to trees, is critical to the business of...

  9. Exploring the Complexity of Tree Thinking Expertise in an Undergraduate Systematics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halverson, Kristy L.; Pires, Chris J.; Abell, Sandra K.

    2011-01-01

    Student understanding of biological representations has not been well studied. Yet, we know that to be efficient problem solvers in evolutionary biology and systematics, college students must develop expertise in thinking with a particular type of representation, phylogenetic trees. The purpose of this study was to understand how undergraduates…

  10. Trinets encode tree-child and level-2 phylogenetic networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    L.J.J. van Iersel (Leo); V. Moulton

    2012-01-01

    htmlabstractPhylogenetic networks generalize evolutionary trees, and are commonly used to represent evolutionary histories of species that undergo reticulate evolutionary processes such as hybridization, recombination and lateral gene transfer. Recently, there has been great interest in trying to

  11. Using Decision Tree Analysis to Understand Foundation Science Student Performance. Insight Gained at One South African University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirby, Nicola Frances; Dempster, Edith Roslyn

    2014-11-01

    The Foundation Programme of the Centre for Science Access at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa provides access to tertiary science studies to educationally disadvantaged students who do not meet formal faculty entrance requirements. The low number of students proceeding from the programme into mainstream is of concern, particularly given the national imperative to increase participation and levels of performance in tertiary-level science. An attempt was made to understand foundation student performance in a campus of this university, with the view to identifying challenges and opportunities for remediation in the curriculum and processes of selection into the programme. A classification and regression tree analysis was used to identify which variables best described student performance. The explanatory variables included biographical and school-history data, performance in selection tests, and socio-economic data pertaining to their year in the programme. The results illustrate the prognostic reliability of the model used to select students, raise concerns about the inefficiency of school performance indicators as a measure of students' academic potential in the Foundation Programme, and highlight the importance of accommodation arrangements and financial support for student success in their access year.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noushin Niknafs

    2015-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Interplay between field observations and numerical modeling to understand temporal pulsing of tree root throw processes, Canadian Rockies, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Y. E.; Johnson, E. A.; Chaikina, O.

    2013-10-01

    During the cycle of forest disturbance, regeneration, and maturity, tree mortality leading to topple is a regular occurrence. When tree topple occurs relatively soon after mortality and if the tree has attained some threshold diameter at breast height (dbh) at the time of death, then notable amounts of soil may be upheaved along with the root wad. This upheaval may result in sediment transfers and soil production. A combination of field evidence and numerical modeling is used herein to gain insights regarding the temporal dynamics of tree topple, associated root throw processes, and pit-mound microtopography. Results from our model of tree population dynamics demonstrate temporal patterns in root throw processes in subalpine forests of the Canadian Rockies, a region in which forests are affected largely by wildfire disturbance. As the forest regenerates after disturbance, the new cohort of trees has to reach a critical dbh before significant root plate upheaval can occur; in the subalpine forests of the Canadian Rockies, this may take up to ~ 102 years. Once trees begin to reach this critical dbh for root plate upheaval, a period of sporadic root throw arises that is caused by mortality of trees during competition. In due course, another wildfire will occur on the landscape and a period of much increased root throw activity then takes place for the next several decades; tree sizes and, therefore, the amount of sediment disturbance will be greater the longer the time period since the previous fire. Results of previous root throw studies covering a number of regional settings are used to guide an exercise in diffusion modeling with the aim of defining a range of reasonable diffusion coefficients for pit-mound degradation; the most appropriate values to fit the field data ranged from 0.01 m2 y- 1 to 0.1 m2 y- 1. A similar exercise is then undertaken that is guided by our field observations in subalpine forests of the Canadian Rockies. For these forests, the most

  16. Phages of lactic acid bacteria: The role of genetics in understanding phage-host interactions and their co-evolutionary processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mahony, Jennifer; Ainsworth, Stuart; Stockdale, Stephen; Sinderen, Douwe van

    2012-01-01

    Dairy fermentations are among the oldest food processing applications, aimed at preservation and shelf-life extension through the use of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) starter cultures, in particular strains of Lactococcus lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus spp. and Leuconostoc spp. Traditionally this was performed by continuous passaging of undefined cultures from a finished fermentation to initiate the next fermentation. More recently, consumer demands on consistent and desired flavours and textures of dairy products have led to a more defined approach to such processes. Dairy (starter) companies have responded to the need to define the nature and complexity of the starter culture mixes, and dairy fermentations are now frequently based on defined starter cultures of low complexity, where each starter component imparts specific technological properties that are desirable to the product. Both mixed and defined starter culture approaches create the perfect environment for the proliferation of (bacterio)phages capable of infecting these LAB. The repeated use of the same starter cultures in a single plant, coupled to the drive towards higher and consistent production levels, increases the risk and negative impact of phage infection. In this review we will discuss recent advances in tracking the adaptation of phages to the dairy industry, the advances in understanding LAB phage-host interactions, including evolutionary and genomic aspects.

  17. Phages of lactic acid bacteria: The role of genetics in understanding phage-host interactions and their co-evolutionary processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mahony, Jennifer, E-mail: j.mahony@ucc.ie [Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork (Ireland); Ainsworth, Stuart; Stockdale, Stephen [Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork (Ireland); Sinderen, Douwe van, E-mail: d.vansinderen@ucc.ie [Department of Microbiology, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork (Ireland); Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre, Biosciences Institute, University College Cork, Western Road, Cork (Ireland)

    2012-12-20

    Dairy fermentations are among the oldest food processing applications, aimed at preservation and shelf-life extension through the use of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) starter cultures, in particular strains of Lactococcus lactis, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus spp. and Leuconostoc spp. Traditionally this was performed by continuous passaging of undefined cultures from a finished fermentation to initiate the next fermentation. More recently, consumer demands on consistent and desired flavours and textures of dairy products have led to a more defined approach to such processes. Dairy (starter) companies have responded to the need to define the nature and complexity of the starter culture mixes, and dairy fermentations are now frequently based on defined starter cultures of low complexity, where each starter component imparts specific technological properties that are desirable to the product. Both mixed and defined starter culture approaches create the perfect environment for the proliferation of (bacterio)phages capable of infecting these LAB. The repeated use of the same starter cultures in a single plant, coupled to the drive towards higher and consistent production levels, increases the risk and negative impact of phage infection. In this review we will discuss recent advances in tracking the adaptation of phages to the dairy industry, the advances in understanding LAB phage-host interactions, including evolutionary and genomic aspects.

  18. Quantifying Mosaic Development: Towards an Evo-Devo Postmodern Synthesis of the Evolution of Development via Differentiation Trees of Embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradly Alicea

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Embryonic development proceeds through a series of differentiation events. The mosaic version of this process (binary cell divisions can be analyzed by comparing early development of Ciona intestinalis and Caenorhabditis elegans. To do this, we reorganize lineage trees into differentiation trees using the graph theory ordering of relative cell volume. Lineage and differentiation trees provide us with means to classify each cell using binary codes. Extracting data characterizing lineage tree position, cell volume, and nucleus position for each cell during early embryogenesis, we conduct several statistical analyses, both within and between taxa. We compare both cell volume distributions and cell volume across developmental time within and between single species and assess differences between lineage tree and differentiation tree orderings. This enhances our understanding of the differentiation events in a model of pure mosaic embryogenesis and its relationship to evolutionary conservation. We also contribute several new techniques for assessing both differences between lineage trees and differentiation trees, and differences between differentiation trees of different species. The results suggest that at the level of differentiation trees, there are broad similarities between distantly related mosaic embryos that might be essential to understanding evolutionary change and phylogeny reconstruction. Differentiation trees may therefore provide a basis for an Evo-Devo Postmodern Synthesis.

  19. 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.

  20. Archaeogenetics in evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouwman, Abigail; Rühli, Frank

    2016-09-01

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

  1. Evolutionary Nephrology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert L. Chevalier

    2017-05-01

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

  2. Functional traits of trees on and off termite mounds : Understanding the origin of biotically-driven heterogeneity in savannas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Plas, F.; Howison, R.; Reinders, J.; Fokkema, W.; Olff, H.

    Questions In African savannas, Macrotermes termites contribute to small-scale heterogeneity by constructing large mounds. Operating as islands of high nutrient and water availability and low fire frequency, these mounds support distinct, diverse communities of trees that have been shown to be highly

  3. Advances in understanding ozone impact on forest trees: Messages from novel phytotron and free-air fumigation studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matyssek, R.; Karnosky, D.F.; Wieser, G.; Percy, K.; Oksanen, E.; Grams, T.E.E.; Kubiske, M.; Hanke, D.; Pretzsch, H.

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence from novel phytotron and free-air ozone (O 3 ) fumigation experiments in Europe and America on forest tree species is highlighted in relation to previous chamber studies. Differences in O 3 sensitivity between pioneer and climax species are examined and viewed for trees growing at the harsh alpine timberline ecotone. As O 3 apparently counteracts positive effects of elevated CO 2 and mitigates productivity increases, response is governed by genotype, competitors, and ontogeny rather than species per se. Complexity in O 3 responsiveness increased under the influence of pathogens and herbivores. The new evidence does not conflict in principle with previous findings that, however, pointed to a low ecological significance. This new knowledge on trees' O 3 responsiveness beyond the juvenile stage in plantations and forests nevertheless implies limited predictability due to complexity in biotic and abiotic interactions. Unravelling underlying mechanisms is mandatory for assessing O 3 risks as an important component of climate change scenarios. - Novel phytotron and free-air O 3 exposure studies on forest trees communicate sensitivity to be governed by genotype, ontogeny and biotic agents rather than species per se.

  4. Advances in understanding ozone impact on forest trees: Messages from novel phytotron and free-air fumigation studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matyssek, R., E-mail: matyssek@wzw.tum.d [Ecophysiology of Plants, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Am Hochanger 13, D-85354 Freising-Weihenstephan (Germany); Karnosky, D.F. [Michigan Technological University, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences, Houghton, MI 49931-129 (United States); Wieser, G. [Federal Research and Trainings Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape, Dept. of Alpine Timberline Ecophysiology, Rennweg 1, A-6020 Innsbruck (Austria); Percy, K. [K.E. Percy Air Quality Effects Consulting Ltd., 207-230 Wilson Drive, Fort McMurray, Alberta T9H 0A4 (Canada); Oksanen, E. [Faculty of Biosciences, University of Joensuu, P.O. Box 111, FIN 80101 Joensuu (Finland); Grams, T.E.E. [Ecophysiology of Plants, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Am Hochanger 13, D-85354 Freising-Weihenstephan (Germany); Kubiske, M. [Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies, US Forest Service, Northern Research Station, 5985 Hwy K, Rhinelander, WI 54501 (United States); Hanke, D. [Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, CB2 3EA (United Kingdom); Pretzsch, H. [Forest Yield Science, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Am Hochanger 13, D-85354 Freising-Weihenstephan (Germany)

    2010-06-15

    Recent evidence from novel phytotron and free-air ozone (O{sub 3}) fumigation experiments in Europe and America on forest tree species is highlighted in relation to previous chamber studies. Differences in O{sub 3} sensitivity between pioneer and climax species are examined and viewed for trees growing at the harsh alpine timberline ecotone. As O{sub 3} apparently counteracts positive effects of elevated CO{sub 2} and mitigates productivity increases, response is governed by genotype, competitors, and ontogeny rather than species per se. Complexity in O{sub 3} responsiveness increased under the influence of pathogens and herbivores. The new evidence does not conflict in principle with previous findings that, however, pointed to a low ecological significance. This new knowledge on trees' O{sub 3} responsiveness beyond the juvenile stage in plantations and forests nevertheless implies limited predictability due to complexity in biotic and abiotic interactions. Unravelling underlying mechanisms is mandatory for assessing O{sub 3} risks as an important component of climate change scenarios. - Novel phytotron and free-air O{sub 3} exposure studies on forest trees communicate sensitivity to be governed by genotype, ontogeny and biotic agents rather than species per se.

  5. 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

  6. Evolutionary Demography

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levitis, Daniel

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Creating creationists: The influence of 'issues framing' on our understanding of public perceptions of clash narratives between evolutionary science and belief.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsdon-Baker, Fern

    2015-05-01

    Clash narratives relating to evolutionary science and personal belief are a recurrent theme in media or public space discourse. However, a 2009 British Council poll undertaken in 10 countries worldwide shows that the perception of a necessary clash between evolutionary worldviews and belief in a God is a minority viewpoint. How then does the popular conception that there is an ongoing conflict between evolution and belief in God arise? One contributing factor is the framing and categorization of creationism and evolutionism within large-scale surveys for use within media campaigns. This article examines the issue framing within four polls conducted in the United Kingdom and internationally between 2008 and 2013. It argues that by ignoring the complexity and range of perspectives individuals hold, or by framing evolutionary science as atheistic, we are potentially creating 'creationists' - including 'Islamic creationists' - both figuratively and literally. © The Author(s) 2015.

  8. Contemporary issues in evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    These discussions included, among others, the possible consequences of nonDNA-based inheritance—epigenetics and cultural evolution, niche construction, and developmental mechanisms on our understanding of the evolutionary process, speciation, complexity in biology, and constructing a formal evolutionary theory.

  9. Biochemistry and evolutionary biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  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...... cognitive bounds will perceive business opportunities identically. In addition, because cues provide information about latent causal structures of the environment, changes in causality must be accompanied by changes in cognitive representations if adaptation is to be maintained. The concept of evolutionary......The concept of evolutionary expectations descends from cue learning psychology, synthesizing ideas on rational expectations with ideas on bounded rationality, to provide support for these ideas simultaneously. Evolutionary expectations are rational, but within cognitive bounds. Moreover...

  11. 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.

  12. Effects of Phylogenetic Tree Style on Student Comprehension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dees, Jonathan Andrew

    Phylogenetic trees are powerful tools of evolutionary biology that have become prominent across the life sciences. Consequently, learning to interpret and reason from phylogenetic trees is now an essential component of biology education. However, students often struggle to understand these diagrams, even after explicit instruction. One factor that has been observed to affect student understanding of phylogenetic trees is style (i.e., diagonal or bracket). The goal of this dissertation research was to systematically explore effects of style on student interpretations and construction of phylogenetic trees in the context of an introductory biology course. Before instruction, students were significantly more accurate with bracket phylogenetic trees for a variety of interpretation and construction tasks. Explicit instruction that balanced the use of diagonal and bracket phylogenetic trees mitigated some, but not all, style effects. After instruction, students were significantly more accurate for interpretation tasks involving taxa relatedness and construction exercises when using the bracket style. Based on this dissertation research and prior studies on style effects, I advocate for introductory biology instructors to use only the bracket style. Future research should examine causes of style effects and variables other than style to inform the development of research-based instruction that best supports student understanding of phylogenetic trees.

  13. Record of the Cretaceous magnetic quiet zone in the distal Bengal fan and its significance in understanding the evolutionary history of the northeastern Indian Ocean

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Ramana, M.V.; Subrahmanyam, V.; Sarma, K.V.L.N.S.; Desa, M.; Rao, M.M.M.; Subrahmanyam, C.

    was collected during the International Indian Ocean Expedition Programme and subsequent expeditions to unravel the evolutionary history of Indian Ocean, not much was known about the age and nature of the ocean floor of the Bengal Fan but for few speculations...

  14. Refining discordant gene trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Górecki, Pawel; Eulenstein, Oliver

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary studies are complicated by discordance between gene trees and the species tree in which they evolved. Dealing with discordant trees often relies on comparison costs between gene and species trees, including the well-established Robinson-Foulds, gene duplication, and deep coalescence costs. While these costs have provided credible results for binary rooted gene trees, corresponding cost definitions for non-binary unrooted gene trees, which are frequently occurring in practice, are challenged by biological realism. We propose a natural extension of the well-established costs for comparing unrooted and non-binary gene trees with rooted binary species trees using a binary refinement model. For the duplication cost we describe an efficient algorithm that is based on a linear time reduction and also computes an optimal rooted binary refinement of the given gene tree. Finally, we show that similar reductions lead to solutions for computing the deep coalescence and the Robinson-Foulds costs. Our binary refinement of Robinson-Foulds, gene duplication, and deep coalescence costs for unrooted and non-binary gene trees together with the linear time reductions provided here for computing these costs significantly extends the range of trees that can be incorporated into approaches dealing with discordance.

  15. Species tree estimation for the late blight pathogen, Phytophthora infestans, and close relatives.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime E Blair

    Full Text Available To better understand the evolutionary history of a group of organisms, an accurate estimate of the species phylogeny must be known. Traditionally, gene trees have served as a proxy for the species tree, although it was acknowledged early on that these trees represented different evolutionary processes. Discordances among gene trees and between the gene trees and the species tree are also expected in closely related species that have rapidly diverged, due to processes such as the incomplete sorting of ancestral polymorphisms. Recently, methods have been developed for the explicit estimation of species trees, using information from multilocus gene trees while accommodating heterogeneity among them. Here we have used three distinct approaches to estimate the species tree for five Phytophthora pathogens, including P. infestans, the causal agent of late blight disease in potato and tomato. Our concatenation-based "supergene" approach was unable to resolve relationships even with data from both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, and from multiple isolates per species. Our multispecies coalescent approach using both Bayesian and maximum likelihood methods was able to estimate a moderately supported species tree showing a close relationship among P. infestans, P. andina, and P. ipomoeae. The topology of the species tree was also identical to the dominant phylogenetic history estimated in our third approach, Bayesian concordance analysis. Our results support previous suggestions that P. andina is a hybrid species, with P. infestans representing one parental lineage. The other parental lineage is not known, but represents an independent evolutionary lineage more closely related to P. ipomoeae. While all five species likely originated in the New World, further study is needed to determine when and under what conditions this hybridization event may have occurred.

  16. Species tree estimation for the late blight pathogen, Phytophthora infestans, and close relatives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Jaime E; Coffey, Michael D; Martin, Frank N

    2012-01-01

    To better understand the evolutionary history of a group of organisms, an accurate estimate of the species phylogeny must be known. Traditionally, gene trees have served as a proxy for the species tree, although it was acknowledged early on that these trees represented different evolutionary processes. Discordances among gene trees and between the gene trees and the species tree are also expected in closely related species that have rapidly diverged, due to processes such as the incomplete sorting of ancestral polymorphisms. Recently, methods have been developed for the explicit estimation of species trees, using information from multilocus gene trees while accommodating heterogeneity among them. Here we have used three distinct approaches to estimate the species tree for five Phytophthora pathogens, including P. infestans, the causal agent of late blight disease in potato and tomato. Our concatenation-based "supergene" approach was unable to resolve relationships even with data from both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes, and from multiple isolates per species. Our multispecies coalescent approach using both Bayesian and maximum likelihood methods was able to estimate a moderately supported species tree showing a close relationship among P. infestans, P. andina, and P. ipomoeae. The topology of the species tree was also identical to the dominant phylogenetic history estimated in our third approach, Bayesian concordance analysis. Our results support previous suggestions that P. andina is a hybrid species, with P. infestans representing one parental lineage. The other parental lineage is not known, but represents an independent evolutionary lineage more closely related to P. ipomoeae. While all five species likely originated in the New World, further study is needed to determine when and under what conditions this hybridization event may have occurred.

  17. 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 ...

  18. Online monitoring and conditional regression tree test: Useful tools for a better understanding of combined sewer network behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bersinger, T; Bareille, G; Pigot, T; Bru, N; Le Hécho, I

    2018-06-01

    A good knowledge of the dynamic of pollutant concentration and flux in a combined sewer network is necessary when considering solutions to limit the pollutants discharged by combined sewer overflow (CSO) into receiving water during wet weather. Identification of the parameters that influence pollutant concentration and flux is important. Nevertheless, few studies have obtained satisfactory results for the identification of these parameters using statistical tools. Thus, this work uses a large database of rain events (116 over one year) obtained via continuous measurement of rainfall, discharge flow and chemical oxygen demand (COD) estimated using online turbidity for the identification of these parameters. We carried out a statistical study of the parameters influencing the maximum COD concentration, the discharge flow and the discharge COD flux. In this study a new test was used that has never been used in this field: the conditional regression tree test. We have demonstrated that the antecedent dry weather period, the rain event average intensity and the flow before the event are the three main factors influencing the maximum COD concentration during a rainfall event. Regarding the discharge flow, it is mainly influenced by the overall rainfall height but not by the maximum rainfall intensity. Finally, COD discharge flux is influenced by the discharge volume and the maximum COD concentration. Regression trees seem much more appropriate than common tests like PCA and PLS for this type of study as they take into account the thresholds and cumulative effects of various parameters as a function of the target variable. These results could help to improve sewer and CSO management in order to decrease the discharge of pollutants into receiving waters. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Applying evolutionary anthropology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibson, Mhairi A; Lawson, David W

    2015-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Nonbinary tree-based phylogenetic networks

    OpenAIRE

    Jetten, Laura; van Iersel, Leo

    2016-01-01

    Rooted phylogenetic networks are used to describe evolutionary histories that contain non-treelike evolutionary events such as hybridization and horizontal gene transfer. In some cases, such histories can be described by a phylogenetic base-tree with additional linking arcs, which can for example represent gene transfer events. Such phylogenetic networks are called tree-based. Here, we consider two possible generalizations of this concept to nonbinary networks, which we call tree-based and st...

  2. A Universal Phylogenetic Tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offner, Susan

    2001-01-01

    Presents a universal phylogenetic tree suitable for use in high school and college-level biology classrooms. Illustrates the antiquity of life and that all life is related, even if it dates back 3.5 billion years. Reflects important evolutionary relationships and provides an exciting way to learn about the history of life. (SAH)

  3. 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

  4. Phylogenetic trees in bioinformatics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burr, Tom L [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2008-01-01

    Genetic data is often used to infer evolutionary relationships among a collection of viruses, bacteria, animal or plant species, or other operational taxonomic units (OTU). A phylogenetic tree depicts such relationships and provides a visual representation of the estimated branching order of the OTUs. Tree estimation is unique for several reasons, including: the types of data used to represent each OTU; the use ofprobabilistic nucleotide substitution models; the inference goals involving both tree topology and branch length, and the huge number of possible trees for a given sample of a very modest number of OTUs, which implies that fmding the best tree(s) to describe the genetic data for each OTU is computationally demanding. Bioinformatics is too large a field to review here. We focus on that aspect of bioinformatics that includes study of similarities in genetic data from multiple OTUs. Although research questions are diverse, a common underlying challenge is to estimate the evolutionary history of the OTUs. Therefore, this paper reviews the role of phylogenetic tree estimation in bioinformatics, available methods and software, and identifies areas for additional research and development.

  5. Genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic approaches towards understanding the molecular mechanisms of salt tolerance in Frankia strains isolated from Casuarina trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oshone, Rediet; Ngom, Mariama; Chu, Feixia; Mansour, Samira; Sy, Mame Ourèye; Champion, Antony; Tisa, Louis S

    2017-08-18

    Soil salinization is a worldwide problem that is intensifying because of the effects of climate change. An effective method for the reclamation of salt-affected soils involves initiating plant succession using fast growing, nitrogen fixing actinorhizal trees such as the Casuarina. The salt tolerance of Casuarina is enhanced by the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis that they form with the actinobacterium Frankia. Identification and molecular characterization of salt-tolerant Casuarina species and associated Frankia is imperative for the successful utilization of Casuarina trees in saline soil reclamation efforts. In this study, salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive Casuarina associated Frankia strains were identified and comparative genomics, transcriptome profiling, and proteomics were employed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of salt and osmotic stress tolerance. Salt-tolerant Frankia strains (CcI6 and Allo2) that could withstand up to 1000 mM NaCl and a salt-sensitive Frankia strain (CcI3) which could withstand only up to 475 mM NaCl were identified. The remaining isolates had intermediate levels of salt tolerance with MIC values ranging from 650 mM to 750 mM. Comparative genomic analysis showed that all of the Frankia isolates from Casuarina belonged to the same species (Frankia casuarinae). Pangenome analysis revealed a high abundance of singletons among all Casuarina isolates. The two salt-tolerant strains contained 153 shared single copy genes (most of which code for hypothetical proteins) that were not found in the salt-sensitive(CcI3) and moderately salt-tolerant (CeD) strains. RNA-seq analysis of one of the two salt-tolerant strains (Frankia sp. strain CcI6) revealed hundreds of genes differentially expressed under salt and/or osmotic stress. Among the 153 genes, 7 and 7 were responsive to salt and osmotic stress, respectively. Proteomic profiling confirmed the transcriptome results and identified 19 and 8 salt and/or osmotic stress-responsive proteins in the

  6. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

    modifications and protein interactions of interest with high accuracy and assess protein diversity and function. Therefore, proteomic technologies can be viewed as providing evolutionary biologist with exciting novel opportunities to understand very early events in functional variation of cellular molecular machinery that are acting as part of evolutionary processes. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. The Tree of Industrial Life

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Esben Sloth

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to bring forth an interaction between evolutionary economics and industrial systematics. The suggested solution is to reconstruct the "family tree" of the industries. Such a tree is based on similarities, but it may also reflect the evolutionary history in industries....... For this purpose the paper shows how matrices of input-output coefficients can be transformed into binary characteristics matrices and to distance matrices, and it also discusses the possible evolutionary meaning of this translation. Then these derived matrices are used as inputs to algorithms for the heuristic...... finding of optimal industrial trees. The results are presented as taxonomic trees that can easily be compared with the hierarchical structure of existing systems of industrial classification....

  9. Locating a tree in a phylogenetic network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Iersel, van L.J.J.; Semple, C.; Steel, M.A.

    2010-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees and networks are leaf-labelled graphs that are used to describe evolutionary histories of species. The Tree Containment problem asks whether a given phylogenetic tree is embedded in a given phylogenetic network. Given a phylogenetic network and a cluster of species, the Cluster

  10. Investigating how students communicate tree-thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyce, Carrie Jo

    Learning is often an active endeavor that requires students work at building conceptual understandings of complex topics. Personal experiences, ideas, and communication all play large roles in developing knowledge of and understanding complex topics. Sometimes these experiences can promote formation of scientifically inaccurate or incomplete ideas. Representations are tools used to help individuals understand complex topics. In biology, one way that educators help people understand evolutionary histories of organisms is by using representations called phylogenetic trees. In order to understand phylogenetics trees, individuals need to understand the conventions associated with phylogenies. My dissertation, supported by the Tree-Thinking Representational Competence and Word Association frameworks, is a mixed-methods study investigating the changes in students' tree-reading, representational competence and mental association of phylogenetic terminology after participation in varied instruction. Participants included 128 introductory biology majors from a mid-sized southern research university. Participants were enrolled in either Introductory Biology I, where they were not taught phylogenetics, or Introductory Biology II, where they were explicitly taught phylogenetics. I collected data using a pre- and post-assessment consisting of a word association task and tree-thinking diagnostic (n=128). Additionally, I recruited a subset of students from both courses (n=37) to complete a computer simulation designed to teach students about phylogenetic trees. I then conducted semi-structured interviews consisting of a word association exercise with card sort task, a retrospective pre-assessment discussion, a post-assessment discussion, and interview questions. I found that students who received explicit lecture instruction had a significantly higher increase in scores on a tree-thinking diagnostic than students who did not receive lecture instruction. Students who received both

  11. Rooting phylogenetic trees under the coalescent model using site pattern probabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Yuan; Kubatko, Laura

    2017-12-19

    Phylogenetic tree inference is a fundamental tool to estimate ancestor-descendant relationships among different species. In phylogenetic studies, identification of the root - the most recent common ancestor of all sampled organisms - is essential for complete understanding of the evolutionary relationships. Rooted trees benefit most downstream application of phylogenies such as species classification or study of adaptation. Often, trees can be rooted by using outgroups, which are species that are known to be more distantly related to the sampled organisms than any other species in the phylogeny. However, outgroups are not always available in evolutionary research. In this study, we develop a new method for rooting species tree under the coalescent model, by developing a series of hypothesis tests for rooting quartet phylogenies using site pattern probabilities. The power of this method is examined by simulation studies and by application to an empirical North American rattlesnake data set. The method shows high accuracy across the simulation conditions considered, and performs well for the rattlesnake data. Thus, it provides a computationally efficient way to accurately root species-level phylogenies that incorporates the coalescent process. The method is robust to variation in substitution model, but is sensitive to the assumption of a molecular clock. Our study establishes a computationally practical method for rooting species trees that is more efficient than traditional methods. The method will benefit numerous evolutionary studies that require rooting a phylogenetic tree without having to specify outgroups.

  12. Mathematics and evolutionary biology make bioinformatics education comprehensible

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisstein, Anton E.

    2013-01-01

    The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes—the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software—the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a ‘two-culture’ problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses. PMID:23821621

  13. Mathematics and evolutionary biology make bioinformatics education comprehensible.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungck, John R; Weisstein, Anton E

    2013-09-01

    The patterns of variation within a molecular sequence data set result from the interplay between population genetic, molecular evolutionary and macroevolutionary processes-the standard purview of evolutionary biologists. Elucidating these patterns, particularly for large data sets, requires an understanding of the structure, assumptions and limitations of the algorithms used by bioinformatics software-the domain of mathematicians and computer scientists. As a result, bioinformatics often suffers a 'two-culture' problem because of the lack of broad overlapping expertise between these two groups. Collaboration among specialists in different fields has greatly mitigated this problem among active bioinformaticians. However, science education researchers report that much of bioinformatics education does little to bridge the cultural divide, the curriculum too focused on solving narrow problems (e.g. interpreting pre-built phylogenetic trees) rather than on exploring broader ones (e.g. exploring alternative phylogenetic strategies for different kinds of data sets). Herein, we present an introduction to the mathematics of tree enumeration, tree construction, split decomposition and sequence alignment. We also introduce off-line downloadable software tools developed by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to help students learn how to interpret and critically evaluate the results of standard bioinformatics analyses.

  14. Can tree-ring isotopes (δ18O and δ13C) improve our understanding of hydroclimate variability in the Columbia River Basin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csank, A. Z.; Wise, E.; McAfee, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    The trajectory of incoming storms from the Pacific Ocean has a strong impact on hydroclimate in the Pacific Northwest. Shifts between zonal and meridional flow are a key influence on drought and pluvial regimes in both the PNW and the western United States as a whole. Circulation-dependent variability in the isotopic composition of precipitation can be recorded and potentially reconstructed using δ18O records derived from tree-rings. Here we present isotopic records of δ18O and δ13C from ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) for the period 1950-2013 from six sites located in the lee of the Cascades in eastern Washington. Because of the orientation of the Cascades, zonal flow will result in an intensified rain shadow whereas meridional flow allows moisture to penetrate at a lower elevation leading to a lower rainout effect. This means zonal flow results in drier conditions in eastern Washington and the converse for meridional flow. We hypothesized that more depleted precipitation δ18O values will occur with periods of more zonal flow across the PNW and will be recorded by trees at our sites. Results show a strong relationship between our δ18O chronologies and winter precipitation (R = -0.50; p<0.001). δ13C chronologies from the same trees showed a relationship to prior fall/winter (pOct-pDec) precipitation (R = -0.46; p<0.005) suggesting a possible link to antecedent moisture conditions. With a focus on years with clear zonal and meridional flow regimes, we regressed the tree-ring δ18O anomaly against the instrumental record of total precipitation and compared the residual series to records of storm track for the period 1978-2008, and we found a detectable signal where the most depleted δ18O was generally associated with zonal flow and the most enriched δ18O with meridional flow. However, there are still some years where the relationship is unclear. Further work is aimed at understanding these anomalous years and extending our record beyond the instrumental

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Mira V; Zmasek, Christian M

    2009-10-27

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

  16. ColorTree: a batch customization tool for phylogenic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei-Hua; Lercher, Martin J

    2009-07-31

    Genome sequencing projects and comparative genomics studies typically aim to trace the evolutionary history of large gene sets, often requiring human inspection of hundreds of phylogenetic trees. If trees are checked for compatibility with an explicit null hypothesis (e.g., the monophyly of certain groups), this daunting task is greatly facilitated by an appropriate coloring scheme. In this note, we introduce ColorTree, a simple yet powerful batch customization tool for phylogenic trees. Based on pattern matching rules, ColorTree applies a set of customizations to an input tree file, e.g., coloring labels or branches. The customized trees are saved to an output file, which can then be viewed and further edited by Dendroscope (a freely available tree viewer). ColorTree runs on any Perl installation as a stand-alone command line tool, and its application can thus be easily automated. This way, hundreds of phylogenic trees can be customized for easy visual inspection in a matter of minutes. ColorTree allows efficient and flexible visual customization of large tree sets through the application of a user-supplied configuration file to multiple tree files.

  17. Evolutionary Game Theory: A Renaissance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Newton

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Economic agents are not always rational or farsighted and can make decisions according to simple behavioral rules that vary according to situation and can be studied using the tools of evolutionary game theory. Furthermore, such behavioral rules are themselves subject to evolutionary forces. Paying particular attention to the work of young researchers, this essay surveys the progress made over the last decade towards understanding these phenomena, and discusses open research topics of importance to economics and the broader social sciences.

  18. Computing Refined Buneman Trees in Cubic Time

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodal, G.S.; Fagerberg, R.; Östlin, A.

    2003-01-01

    Reconstructing the evolutionary tree for a set of n species based on pairwise distances between the species is a fundamental problem in bioinformatics. Neighbor joining is a popular distance based tree reconstruction method. It always proposes fully resolved binary trees despite missing evidence...... in the underlying distance data. Distance based methods based on the theory of Buneman trees and refined Buneman trees avoid this problem by only proposing evolutionary trees whose edges satisfy a number of constraints. These trees might not be fully resolved but there is strong combinatorial evidence for each...... proposed edge. The currently best algorithm for computing the refined Buneman tree from a given distance measure has a running time of O(n 5) and a space consumption of O(n 4). In this paper, we present an algorithm with running time O(n 3) and space consumption O(n 2). The improved complexity of our...

  19. A single evolutionary innovation drives the deep evolution of symbiotic N2-fixation in angiosperms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, Gijsbert D. A.; Cornwell, William K.; Sprent, Janet I.; Kattge, Jens; Kiers, E. Toby

    2014-01-01

    Symbiotic associations occur in every habitat on earth, but we know very little about their evolutionary histories. Current models of trait evolution cannot adequately reconstruct the deep history of symbiotic innovation, because they assume homogenous evolutionary processes across millions of years. Here we use a recently developed, heterogeneous and quantitative phylogenetic framework to study the origin of the symbiosis between angiosperms and nitrogen-fixing (N2) bacterial symbionts housed in nodules. We compile the largest database of global nodulating plant species and reconstruct the symbiosis’ evolution. We identify a single, cryptic evolutionary innovation driving symbiotic N2-fixation evolution, followed by multiple gains and losses of the symbiosis, and the subsequent emergence of ‘stable fixers’ (clades extremely unlikely to lose the symbiosis). Originating over 100 MYA, this innovation suggests deep homology in symbiotic N2-fixation. Identifying cryptic innovations on the tree of life is key to understanding the evolution of complex traits, including symbiotic partnerships. PMID:24912610

  20. Locating a tree in a phylogenetic network

    OpenAIRE

    van Iersel, Leo; Semple, Charles; Steel, Mike

    2010-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees and networks are leaf-labelled graphs that are used to describe evolutionary histories of species. The Tree Containment problem asks whether a given phylogenetic tree is embedded in a given phylogenetic network. Given a phylogenetic network and a cluster of species, the Cluster Containment problem asks whether the given cluster is a cluster of some phylogenetic tree embedded in the network. Both problems are known to be NP-complete in general. In this article, we consider t...

  1. Reconciliation of Gene and Species Trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Y. Rusin

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The first part of the paper briefly overviews the problem of gene and species trees reconciliation with the focus on defining and algorithmic construction of the evolutionary scenario. Basic ideas are discussed for the aspects of mapping definitions, costs of the mapping and evolutionary scenario, imposing time scales on a scenario, incorporating horizontal gene transfers, binarization and reconciliation of polytomous trees, and construction of species trees and scenarios. The review does not intend to cover the vast diversity of literature published on these subjects. Instead, the authors strived to overview the problem of the evolutionary scenario as a central concept in many areas of evolutionary research. The second part provides detailed mathematical proofs for the solutions of two problems: (i inferring a gene evolution along a species tree accounting for various types of evolutionary events and (ii trees reconciliation into a single species tree when only gene duplications and losses are allowed. All proposed algorithms have a cubic time complexity and are mathematically proved to find exact solutions. Solving algorithms for problem (ii can be naturally extended to incorporate horizontal transfers, other evolutionary events, and time scales on the species tree.

  2. Evolutionary history of glucose-6-phosphatase encoding genes in vertebrate lineages: towards a better understanding of the functions of multiple duplicates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marandel, Lucie; Panserat, Stéphane; Plagnes-Juan, Elisabeth; Arbenoits, Eva; Soengas, José Luis; Bobe, Julien

    2017-05-02

    Glucose-6-phosphate (G6pc) is a key enzyme involved in the regulation of the glucose homeostasis. The present study aims at revisiting and clarifying the evolutionary history of g6pc genes in vertebrates. g6pc duplications happened by successive rounds of whole genome duplication that occurred during vertebrate evolution. g6pc duplicated before or around Osteichthyes/Chondrichthyes radiation, giving rise to g6pca and g6pcb as a consequence of the second vertebrate whole genome duplication. g6pca was lost after this duplication in Sarcopterygii whereas both g6pca and g6pcb then duplicated as a consequence of the teleost-specific whole genome duplication. One g6pca duplicate was lost after this duplication in teleosts. Similarly one g6pcb2 duplicate was lost at least in the ancestor of percomorpha. The analysis of the evolution of spatial expression patterns of g6pc genes in vertebrates showed that all g6pc were mainly expressed in intestine and liver whereas teleost-specific g6pcb2 genes were mainly and surprisingly expressed in brain and heart. g6pcb2b, one gene previously hypothesised to be involved in the glucose intolerant phenotype in trout, was unexpectedly up-regulated (as it was in liver) by carbohydrates in trout telencephalon without showing significant changes in other brain regions. This up-regulation is in striking contrast with expected glucosensing mechanisms suggesting that its positive response to glucose relates to specific unknown processes in this brain area. Our results suggested that the fixation and the divergence of g6pc duplicated genes during vertebrates' evolution may lead to adaptive novelty and probably to the emergence of novel phenotypes related to glucose homeostasis.

  3. Kinematics of a Young Low-mass Star-forming Core: Understanding the Evolutionary State of the First-core Candidate L1451-mm

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maureira, María José; Arce, Héctor G. [Astronomy Department, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511 (United States); Dunham, Michael M. [Department of Physics, State University of New York at Fredonia, Fredonia, NY 14063 (United States); Pineda, Jaime E. [Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Giessenbachstrasse 1, D-85748 Garching (Germany); Fernández-López, Manuel [Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomía, CCT-La Plata (CONICET), C.C.5, 1894, Villa Elisa (Argentina); Chen, Xuepeng [Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2 West Beijing Road, Nanjing 210008 (China); Mardones, Diego, E-mail: mariajose.maureira@yale.edu, E-mail: hector.arce@yale.edu [Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 36-D, Santiago (Chile)

    2017-03-20

    We use 3 mm multiline and continuum CARMA observations toward the first hydrostatic core (FHSC) candidate L1451-mm to characterize the envelope kinematics at 1000 au scales and investigate its evolutionary state. We detect evidence of infall and rotation in the NH{sub 2}D(1{sub 1,1}–1{sub 0,1}), N{sub 2}H{sup +}(1–0), and HCN(1–0) molecular lines. We compare the position–velocity diagram of the NH{sub 2}D(1{sub 1,1}–1{sub 0,1}) line with a simple kinematic model and find that it is consistent with an envelope that is both infalling and rotating while conserving angular momentum around a central mass of about 0.06 M {sub ⊙}. The N{sub 2}H{sup +}(1–0) LTE mass of the envelope along with the inferred infall velocity leads to a mass infall rate of approximately 6 × 10{sup −6} M {sub ⊙} yr{sup −1}, implying a young age of 10{sup 4} years for this FHSC candidate. Assuming that the accretion onto the central object is the same as the infall rate, we obtain a minimum source size of 1.5–5 au, consistent with the size expected for a first core. We do not see any evidence of outflow motions or signs of outflow–envelope interaction at scales ≳2000 au. This is consistent with previous observations that revealed a very compact outflow (≲500 au). We conclude that L1451-mm is indeed at a very early stage of evolution, either a first core or an extremely young Class 0 protostar. Our results provide strong evidence that L1451-mm is the best candidate for being a bona fide first core.

  4. Phylogenetic classification and the universal tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, W F

    1999-06-25

    From comparative analyses of the nucleotide sequences of genes encoding ribosomal RNAs and several proteins, molecular phylogeneticists have constructed a "universal tree of life," taking it as the basis for a "natural" hierarchical classification of all living things. Although confidence in some of the tree's early branches has recently been shaken, new approaches could still resolve many methodological uncertainties. More challenging is evidence that most archaeal and bacterial genomes (and the inferred ancestral eukaryotic nuclear genome) contain genes from multiple sources. If "chimerism" or "lateral gene transfer" cannot be dismissed as trivial in extent or limited to special categories of genes, then no hierarchical universal classification can be taken as natural. Molecular phylogeneticists will have failed to find the "true tree," not because their methods are inadequate or because they have chosen the wrong genes, but because the history of life cannot properly be represented as a tree. However, taxonomies based on molecular sequences will remain indispensable, and understanding of the evolutionary process will ultimately be enriched, not impoverished.

  5. Interpreting the universal phylogenetic tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woese, C. R.

    2000-01-01

    The universal phylogenetic tree not only spans all extant life, but its root and earliest branchings represent stages in the evolutionary process before modern cell types had come into being. The evolution of the cell is an interplay between vertically derived and horizontally acquired variation. Primitive cellular entities were necessarily simpler and more modular in design than are modern cells. Consequently, horizontal gene transfer early on was pervasive, dominating the evolutionary dynamic. The root of the universal phylogenetic tree represents the first stage in cellular evolution when the evolving cell became sufficiently integrated and stable to the erosive effects of horizontal gene transfer that true organismal lineages could exist.

  6. Nonbinary Tree-Based Phylogenetic Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jetten, Laura; van Iersel, Leo

    2018-01-01

    Rooted phylogenetic networks are used to describe evolutionary histories that contain non-treelike evolutionary events such as hybridization and horizontal gene transfer. In some cases, such histories can be described by a phylogenetic base-tree with additional linking arcs, which can, for example, represent gene transfer events. Such phylogenetic networks are called tree-based. Here, we consider two possible generalizations of this concept to nonbinary networks, which we call tree-based and strictly-tree-based nonbinary phylogenetic networks. We give simple graph-theoretic characterizations of tree-based and strictly-tree-based nonbinary phylogenetic networks. Moreover, we show for each of these two classes that it can be decided in polynomial time whether a given network is contained in the class. Our approach also provides a new view on tree-based binary phylogenetic networks. Finally, we discuss two examples of nonbinary phylogenetic networks in biology and show how our results can be applied to them.

  7. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-19

    Meiosis is a key event of sexual life cycles in eukaryotes. Its mechanistic details have been uncovered in several model organisms, and most of its essential features have received various and often contradictory evolutionary interpretations. In this perspective, we present an overview of these often 'weird' features. We discuss the origin of meiosis (origin of ploidy reduction and recombination, two-step meiosis), its secondary modifications (in polyploids or asexuals, inverted meiosis), its importance in punctuating life cycles (meiotic arrests, epigenetic resetting, meiotic asymmetry, meiotic fairness) and features associated with recombination (disjunction constraints, heterochiasmy, crossover interference and hotspots). We present the various evolutionary scenarios and selective pressures that have been proposed to account for these features, and we highlight that their evolutionary significance often remains largely mysterious. Resolving these mysteries will likely provide decisive steps towards understanding why sex and recombination are found in the majority of eukaryotes.This article is part of the themed issue 'Weird sex: the underappreciated diversity of sexual reproduction'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  8. Understanding the role of the cytoskeleton in wood formation in angiosperm trees: hybrid aspen (Populus tremula x P. tremuloides) as a model species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chaffey, N.; Barlow, P. [Bristol Univ., Dept. of Agricultural Sciences, Long Ashton, (United Kingdom); Sundberg, B. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Dept. of Forest Genetics and Plant Physiology, Umea (Sweden)

    2002-03-01

    The involvement of microfilaments (MFs) and microtubules (MTs) in the development of the radial and axial components of secondary wood in hybrid aspen (Populus tremula X P. tremuloides) was studied by indirect immunofluorescent localization techniques in order to elucidate a consensus view of the roles of the cytoskeleton during wood formation in angiosperm trees. Early and late vessel elements, axial parenchyma, normal-wood fibres and contact and isolation cells were included in addition to cambial cells. Microfilaments were found to be rare in cambial cells, but were abundant and axially arranged in their derivatives once cell elongation begun. Microtubules were randomly oriented in ray and fusiform cells of the cambial zone. Ellipses of microfilaments were associated with pit development in fiber cells and isolation ray cells. Rings of localized microtubules and microfilaments were associated with developing inter-vessel bordered pits and vessel-contact ray cell contact pits. Although only microtubules were seen in the periphery of the perforation plate of vessel elements, a prominent meshwork of microfilaments overlaid the perforation plate itself. These observations indicate that there are corresponding subcellular control points whose manipulation could lead to the development of 'designer wood'. However, such development would require a better understanding of the physiological basis for the behaviour of microtubule and microfibre cytoskeletons during wood formation. 44 refs., 6 figs.

  9. "Small size" in the Philippine human fossil record: is it meaningful for a better understanding of the evolutionary history of the negritos?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Détroit, Florent; Corny, Julien; Dizon, Eusebio Z; Mijares, Armand S

    2013-01-01

    "Pygmy populations" are recognized in several places over the world, especially in Western Africa and in Southeast Asia (Philippine "negritos," for instance). Broadly defined as "small-bodied Homo sapiens" (compared with neighboring populations), their origins and the nature of the processes involved in the maintenance of their phenotype over time are highly debated. Major results have been recently obtained from population genetics on present-day negrito populations, but their evolutionary history remains largely unresolved. We present and discuss the Upper Pleistocene human remains recovered from Tabon Cave and Callao Cave in the Philippines, which are potentially highly relevant to these research questions. Human fossils have been recovered in large numbers from Tabon Cave (Palawan Island) but mainly from reworked and mixed sediments from several archaeological layers. We review and synthesize the long and meticulous collaborative work done on the archives left from the 1960s excavations and on the field. The results demonstrate the long history of human occupations in the cave, since at least ~30,000 BP. The examination of the Tabon human remains shows a large variability: large and robust for one part of the sample, and small and gracile for the other part. The latter would fit quite comfortably within the range of variation of Philippine negritos. Farther north, on Luzon Island, the human third metatarsal recently recovered from Callao Cave and dated to ~66,000 BP is now the oldest direct evidence of human presence in the Philippines. Previous data show that, compared with H. sapiens (including Philippine negritos), this bone presents a very small size and several unusual morphological characteristics. We present a new analytical approach using three-dimensional geometric morphometrics for comparing the Callao fossil to a wide array of extant Asian mammals, including nonhuman primates and H. sapiens. The results demonstrate that the shape of the Callao

  10. Gender Inequality in Interaction--An Evolutionary Account

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopcroft, Rosemary L.

    2009-01-01

    In this article I argue that evolutionary theorizing can help sociologists and feminists better understand gender inequality. Evolutionary theory explains why control of the sexuality of young women is a priority across most human societies both past and present. Evolutionary psychology has extended our understanding of male violence against…

  11. Nonbinary Tree-Based Phylogenetic Networks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jetten, L.; van Iersel, L.J.J.

    2018-01-01

    Rooted phylogenetic networks are used to describe evolutionary histories that contain non-treelike evolutionary events such as hybridization and horizontal gene transfer. In some cases, such histories can be described by a phylogenetic base-tree with additional linking arcs, which can for example

  12. MEGA5: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis Using Maximum Likelihood, Evolutionary Distance, and Maximum Parsimony Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamura, Koichiro; Peterson, Daniel; Peterson, Nicholas; Stecher, Glen; Nei, Masatoshi; Kumar, Sudhir

    2011-01-01

    Comparative analysis of molecular sequence data is essential for reconstructing the evolutionary histories of species and inferring the nature and extent of selective forces shaping the evolution of genes and species. Here, we announce the release of Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 5 (MEGA5), which is a user-friendly software for mining online databases, building sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees, and using methods of evolutionary bioinformatics in basic biology, biomedicine, and evolution. The newest addition in MEGA5 is a collection of maximum likelihood (ML) analyses for inferring evolutionary trees, selecting best-fit substitution models (nucleotide or amino acid), inferring ancestral states and sequences (along with probabilities), and estimating evolutionary rates site-by-site. In computer simulation analyses, ML tree inference algorithms in MEGA5 compared favorably with other software packages in terms of computational efficiency and the accuracy of the estimates of phylogenetic trees, substitution parameters, and rate variation among sites. The MEGA user interface has now been enhanced to be activity driven to make it easier for the use of both beginners and experienced scientists. This version of MEGA is intended for the Windows platform, and it has been configured for effective use on Mac OS X and Linux desktops. It is available free of charge from http://www.megasoftware.net. PMID:21546353

  13. Tree biology and dendrochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin T. Smith; Walter C. Shortle

    1996-01-01

    Dendrochemistry, the interpretation of elemental analysis of dated tree rings, can provide a temporal record of environmental change. Using the dendrochemical record requires an understanding of tree biology. In this review, we pose four questions concerning assumptions that underlie recent dendrochemical research: 1) Does the chemical composition of the wood directly...

  14. A Metric on Phylogenetic Tree Shapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colijn, C; Plazzotta, G

    2018-01-01

    The shapes of evolutionary trees are influenced by the nature of the evolutionary process but comparisons of trees from different processes are hindered by the challenge of completely describing tree shape. We present a full characterization of the shapes of rooted branching trees in a form that lends itself to natural tree comparisons. We use this characterization to define a metric, in the sense of a true distance function, on tree shapes. The metric distinguishes trees from random models known to produce different tree shapes. It separates trees derived from tropical versus USA influenza A sequences, which reflect the differing epidemiology of tropical and seasonal flu. We describe several metrics based on the same core characterization, and illustrate how to extend the metric to incorporate trees' branch lengths or other features such as overall imbalance. Our approach allows us to construct addition and multiplication on trees, and to create a convex metric on tree shapes which formally allows computation of average tree shapes. © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists.

  15. Deciphering the evolutionary history of open and closed mitosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sazer, Shelley; Lynch, Michael; Needleman, Daniel

    2014-11-17

    The origin of the nucleus at the prokaryote-to-eukaryote transition represents one of the most important events in the evolution of cellular organization. The nuclear envelope encircles the chromosomes in interphase and is a selectively permeable barrier between the nucleoplasm and cytoplasm and an organizational scaffold for the nucleus. It remains intact in the 'closed' mitosis of some yeasts, but loses its integrity in the 'open' mitosis of mammals. Instances of both types of mitosis within two evolutionary clades indicate multiple evolutionary transitions between open and closed mitosis, although the underlying genetic changes that influenced these transitions remain unknown. A survey of the diversity of mitotic nuclei that fall between these extremes is the starting point from which to determine the physiologically relevant characteristics distinguishing open from closed mitosis and to understand how they evolved and why they are retained in present-day organisms. The field is now poised to begin addressing these issues by defining and documenting patterns of mitotic nuclear variation within and among species and mapping them onto a phylogenic tree. Deciphering the evolutionary history of open and closed mitosis will complement cell biological and genetic approaches aimed at deciphering the fundamental organizational principles of the nucleus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. The evolutionary history of colour polymorphism in Ischnura damselflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Guillén, Rosa A; Cordero-Rivera, Adolfo; Rivas-Torres, Anais; Wellenreuther, Maren; Bybee, Seth; Hansson, Bengt; Velasquez-Vélez, María I; Realpe, Emilio; Chávez-Ríos, Jesús R; Villalobos, Fabricio; Dumont, Henri

    2018-05-10

    A major challenge in evolutionary biology consists of understanding how genetic and phenotypic variation is created and maintained. In the present study, we investigated the origin(s) and evolutionary patterns of the female-limited colour polymorphism in ischnuran damselflies. These consist of the presence of one to three colour morphs: one androchrome morph with a colouration that is similar to the male, and two gynochrome morphs (infuscans and aurantiaca) with female-specific colouration. We (i) documented the colour and mating system of 44 of the 75 taxa within the genus Ischnura, (ii) reconstructed the evolutionary history of colour and mating system to identify the ancestral state, (iii) evaluated the stability of the colour morph status over time, and (iv) tested for a correlation between colour and mating system. We found that the ances tral female colour of Ischnura was monomorphic and aurantiaca and that colour morph status changed over time; characterised by many gains and losses across the species tree. Our results further showed that colour polymorphism is significantly more frequent among polyandric species, whereas monandric species tend to be monomorphic. Research on some Ischnura species has shown that colour morphs have evolved to reduce male mating harassment, and our finding that the same phenotypic morphs have evolved multiple times (convergent evolution) suggests that several species in this genus might be experiencing similar selective pressures. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  17. Pareto-optimal phylogenetic tree reconciliation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Libeskind-Hadas, Ran; Wu, Yi-Chieh; Bansal, Mukul S; Kellis, Manolis

    2014-06-15

    Phylogenetic tree reconciliation is a widely used method for reconstructing the evolutionary histories of gene families and species, hosts and parasites and other dependent pairs of entities. Reconciliation is typically performed using maximum parsimony, in which each evolutionary event type is assigned a cost and the objective is to find a reconciliation of minimum total cost. It is generally understood that reconciliations are sensitive to event costs, but little is understood about the relationship between event costs and solutions. Moreover, choosing appropriate event costs is a notoriously difficult problem. We address this problem by giving an efficient algorithm for computing Pareto-optimal sets of reconciliations, thus providing the first systematic method for understanding the relationship between event costs and reconciliations. This, in turn, results in new techniques for computing event support values and, for cophylogenetic analyses, performing robust statistical tests. We provide new software tools and demonstrate their use on a number of datasets from evolutionary genomic and cophylogenetic studies. Our Python tools are freely available at www.cs.hmc.edu/∼hadas/xscape. . © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

  18. Encoding phylogenetic trees in terms of weighted quartets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grünewald, Stefan; Huber, Katharina T; Moulton, Vincent; Semple, Charles

    2008-04-01

    One of the main problems in phylogenetics is to develop systematic methods for constructing evolutionary or phylogenetic trees. For a set of species X, an edge-weighted phylogenetic X-tree or phylogenetic tree is a (graph theoretical) tree with leaf set X and no degree 2 vertices, together with a map assigning a non-negative length to each edge of the tree. Within phylogenetics, several methods have been proposed for constructing such trees that work by trying to piece together quartet trees on X, i.e. phylogenetic trees each having four leaves in X. Hence, it is of interest to characterise when a collection of quartet trees corresponds to a (unique) phylogenetic tree. Recently, Dress and Erdös provided such a characterisation for binary phylogenetic trees, that is, phylogenetic trees all of whose internal vertices have degree 3. Here we provide a new characterisation for arbitrary phylogenetic trees.

  19. 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.

  20. 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. This ...

  1. Ancient Biomolecules and Evolutionary Inference

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cappellini, Enrico; Prohaska, Ana; Racimo, Fernando

    2018-01-01

    Over the last decade, studies of ancient biomolecules-particularly ancient DNA, proteins, and lipids-have revolutionized our understanding of evolutionary history. Though initially fraught with many challenges, the field now stands on firm foundations. Researchers now successfully retrieve nucleo...

  2. TreeFam: a curated database of phylogenetic trees of animal gene families

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Heng; Coghlan, Avril; Ruan, Jue

    2006-01-01

    TreeFam is a database of phylogenetic trees of gene families found in animals. It aims to develop a curated resource that presents the accurate evolutionary history of all animal gene families, as well as reliable ortholog and paralog assignments. Curated families are being added progressively......, based on seed alignments and trees in a similar fashion to Pfam. Release 1.1 of TreeFam contains curated trees for 690 families and automatically generated trees for another 11 646 families. These represent over 128 000 genes from nine fully sequenced animal genomes and over 45 000 other animal proteins...

  3. Genetic transformation of forest trees

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Admin

    In this review, the recent progress on genetic transformation of forest trees were discussed. Its described also, different applications of genetic engineering for improving forest trees or understanding the mechanisms governing genes expression in woody plants. Key words: Genetic transformation, transgenic forest trees, ...

  4. Integrating multiple lines of evidence to better understand the evolutionary divergence of humpback dolphins along their entire distribution range: a new dolphin species in Australian waters?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Martin; Jefferson, Thomas A; Kolokotronis, Sergios-Orestis; Krützen, Michael; Parra, Guido J; Collins, Tim; Minton, Giana; Baldwin, Robert; Berggren, Per; Särnblad, Anna; Amir, Omar A; Peddemors, Vic M; Karczmarski, Leszek; Guissamulo, Almeida; Smith, Brian; Sutaria, Dipani; Amato, George; Rosenbaum, Howard C

    2013-12-01

    The conservation of humpback dolphins, distributed in coastal waters of the Indo-West Pacific and eastern Atlantic Oceans, has been hindered by a lack of understanding about the number of species in the genus (Sousa) and their population structure. To address this issue, we present a combined analysis of genetic and morphologic data collected from beach-cast, remote-biopsied and museum specimens from throughout the known Sousa range. We extracted genetic sequence data from 235 samples from extant populations and explored the mitochondrial control region and four nuclear introns through phylogenetic, population-level and population aggregation frameworks. In addition, 180 cranial specimens from the same geographical regions allowed comparisons of 24 morphological characters through multivariate analyses. The genetic and morphological data showed significant and concordant patterns of geographical segregation, which are typical for the kind of demographic isolation displayed by species units, across the Sousa genus distribution range. Based on our combined genetic and morphological analyses, there is convincing evidence for at least four species within the genus (S. teuszii in the Atlantic off West Africa, S. plumbea in the central and western Indian Ocean, S. chinensis in the eastern Indian and West Pacific Oceans, and a new as-yet-unnamed species off northern Australia). © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Evolutionary Quantitative Genomics of Populus trichocarpa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilga Porth

    Full Text Available Forest trees generally show high levels of local adaptation and efforts focusing on understanding adaptation to climate will be crucial for species survival and management. Here, we address fundamental questions regarding the molecular basis of adaptation in undomesticated forest tree populations to past climatic environments by employing an integrative quantitative genetics and landscape genomics approach. Using this comprehensive approach, we studied the molecular basis of climate adaptation in 433 Populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood genotypes originating across western North America. Variation in 74 field-assessed traits (growth, ecophysiology, phenology, leaf stomata, wood, and disease resistance was investigated for signatures of selection (comparing QST-FST using clustering of individuals by climate of origin (temperature and precipitation. 29,354 SNPs were investigated employing three different outlier detection methods and marker-inferred relatedness was estimated to obtain the narrow-sense estimate of population differentiation in wild populations. In addition, we compared our results with previously assessed selection of candidate SNPs using the 25 topographical units (drainages across the P. trichocarpa sampling range as population groupings. Narrow-sense QST for 53% of distinct field traits was significantly divergent from expectations of neutrality (indicating adaptive trait variation; 2,855 SNPs showed signals of diversifying selection and of these, 118 SNPs (within 81 genes were associated with adaptive traits (based on significant QST. Many SNPs were putatively pleiotropic for functionally uncorrelated adaptive traits, such as autumn phenology, height, and disease resistance. Evolutionary quantitative genomics in P. trichocarpa provides an enhanced understanding regarding the molecular basis of climate-driven selection in forest trees and we highlight that important loci underlying adaptive trait variation also show

  6. On the distribution of interspecies correlation for Markov models of character evolution on Yule trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulder, Willem H; Crawford, Forrest W

    2015-01-07

    Efforts to reconstruct phylogenetic trees and understand evolutionary processes depend fundamentally on stochastic models of speciation and mutation. The simplest continuous-time model for speciation in phylogenetic trees is the Yule process, in which new species are "born" from existing lineages at a constant rate. Recent work has illuminated some of the structural properties of Yule trees, but it remains mostly unknown how these properties affect sequence and trait patterns observed at the tips of the phylogenetic tree. Understanding the interplay between speciation and mutation under simple models of evolution is essential for deriving valid phylogenetic inference methods and gives insight into the optimal design of phylogenetic studies. In this work, we derive the probability distribution of interspecies covariance under Brownian motion and Ornstein-Uhlenbeck models of phenotypic change on a Yule tree. We compute the probability distribution of the number of mutations shared between two randomly chosen taxa in a Yule tree under discrete Markov mutation models. Our results suggest summary measures of phylogenetic information content, illuminate the correlation between site patterns in sequences or traits of related organisms, and provide heuristics for experimental design and reconstruction of phylogenetic trees. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. ALCANCES E LIMITES DA PSICOLOGIA EVOLUTIVA PARA A COMPREENSÃO DA MENTE SCOPE AND LIMITS OF EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY TO THE UNDERSTANDING OF MIND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cleverson leite Bastos

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available O que pretendemos, na extensão que um artigo permite, é convergir dois domínios de modelos contemporâneos para a compreensão da mente. Ambos são ferramentas heurísticas fundamentais que possibilitam, por um lado, a teoria da mente modular, entender aspectos importantes da cognição humana como linguagem, memória, aprendizagem (ciências cognitivas e, por outro, modelos advindos da psicologia evolutiva que explicam certos aparentes desperdícios comportamentais. Os pressupostos fundamentais de ambas as metáforas são distintos: o modelo modular é produto das ciências cognitivas e o modelo evolucionista é produto do princípio de seleção sexual. Basicamente, como ferramenta heurística a teoria modular demonstra ser a mente um cômputo, como produto da seleção (seleção natural, que processa informação; já a teoria da mente ornamental propõe uma ideia estranha que Amotz Zahavi chamou de princípio de handicap (seleção sexual.
    Our intent with this article, given its space limitations, is converging two contemporary models of mind domain. Both are fundamental heuristic tools, being the first, the modular theory of mind, which enables us to understand important aspects of human cognition such as language, memory, learning (cognitive sciences. The second, the ornamental mind theory, explains certain apparent wasteful behaviors. The fundamental presuppositions of both metaphors are distinct: whilst the modular model is a product of cognitive sciences, the ornamental model is the yield of the sexual selection principle. Basically, as heuristic tools, the modular theory demonstrates the mind as a computation, as a product of selection (natural selection which processes information; on its turn, the ornamental mind theory proposes an awkward idea, which Amotz Zahavi called the handicap principle (sexual selection.

  8. Identifying the rooted species tree from the distribution of unrooted gene trees under the coalescent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allman, Elizabeth S; Degnan, James H; Rhodes, John A

    2011-06-01

    Gene trees are evolutionary trees representing the ancestry of genes sampled from multiple populations. Species trees represent populations of individuals-each with many genes-splitting into new populations or species. The coalescent process, which models ancestry of gene copies within populations, is often used to model the probability distribution of gene trees given a fixed species tree. This multispecies coalescent model provides a framework for phylogeneticists to infer species trees from gene trees using maximum likelihood or Bayesian approaches. Because the coalescent models a branching process over time, all trees are typically assumed to be rooted in this setting. Often, however, gene trees inferred by traditional phylogenetic methods are unrooted. We investigate probabilities of unrooted gene trees under the multispecies coalescent model. We show that when there are four species with one gene sampled per species, the distribution of unrooted gene tree topologies identifies the unrooted species tree topology and some, but not all, information in the species tree edges (branch lengths). The location of the root on the species tree is not identifiable in this situation. However, for 5 or more species with one gene sampled per species, we show that the distribution of unrooted gene tree topologies identifies the rooted species tree topology and all its internal branch lengths. The length of any pendant branch leading to a leaf of the species tree is also identifiable for any species from which more than one gene is sampled.

  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. Using tree diversity to compare phylogenetic heuristics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sul, Seung-Jin; Matthews, Suzanne; Williams, Tiffani L

    2009-04-29

    Evolutionary trees are family trees that represent the relationships between a group of organisms. Phylogenetic heuristics are used to search stochastically for the best-scoring trees in tree space. Given that better tree scores are believed to be better approximations of the true phylogeny, traditional evaluation techniques have used tree scores to determine the heuristics that find the best scores in the fastest time. We develop new techniques to evaluate phylogenetic heuristics based on both tree scores and topologies to compare Pauprat and Rec-I-DCM3, two popular Maximum Parsimony search algorithms. Our results show that although Pauprat and Rec-I-DCM3 find the trees with the same best scores, topologically these trees are quite different. Furthermore, the Rec-I-DCM3 trees cluster distinctly from the Pauprat trees. In addition to our heatmap visualizations of using parsimony scores and the Robinson-Foulds distance to compare best-scoring trees found by the two heuristics, we also develop entropy-based methods to show the diversity of the trees found. Overall, Pauprat identifies more diverse trees than Rec-I-DCM3. Overall, our work shows that there is value to comparing heuristics beyond the parsimony scores that they find. Pauprat is a slower heuristic than Rec-I-DCM3. However, our work shows that there is tremendous value in using Pauprat to reconstruct trees-especially since it finds identical scoring but topologically distinct trees. Hence, instead of discounting Pauprat, effort should go in improving its implementation. Ultimately, improved performance measures lead to better phylogenetic heuristics and will result in better approximations of the true evolutionary history of the organisms of interest.

  11. Evolutionary transitions between beneficial and phytopathogenic Rhodococcus challenge disease management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savory, Elizabeth A; Fuller, Skylar L; Weisberg, Alexandra J; Thomas, William J; Gordon, Michael I; Stevens, Danielle M; Creason, Allison L; Belcher, Michael S; Serdani, Maryna; Wiseman, Michele S; Grünwald, Niklaus J; Putnam, Melodie L; Chang, Jeff H

    2017-12-12

    Understanding how bacteria affect plant health is crucial for developing sustainable crop production systems. We coupled ecological sampling and genome sequencing to characterize the population genetic history of Rhodococcus and the distribution patterns of virulence plasmids in isolates from nurseries. Analysis of chromosome sequences shows that plants host multiple lineages of Rhodococcus , and suggested that these bacteria are transmitted due to independent introductions, reservoir populations, and point source outbreaks. We demonstrate that isolates lacking virulence genes promote beneficial plant growth, and that the acquisition of a virulence plasmid is sufficient to transition beneficial symbionts to phytopathogens. This evolutionary transition, along with the distribution patterns of plasmids, reveals the impact of horizontal gene transfer in rapidly generating new pathogenic lineages and provides an alternative explanation for pathogen transmission patterns. Results also uncovered a misdiagnosed epidemic that implicated beneficial Rhodococcus bacteria as pathogens of pistachio. The misdiagnosis perpetuated the unnecessary removal of trees and exacerbated economic losses.

  12. Evolutionary Stable Strategy

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  13. Two Trees: Migrating Fault Trees to Decision Trees for Real Time Fault Detection on International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Charles; Alena, Richard L.; Robinson, Peter

    2004-01-01

    We started from ISS fault trees example to migrate to decision trees, presented a method to convert fault trees to decision trees. The method shows that the visualizations of root cause of fault are easier and the tree manipulating becomes more programmatic via available decision tree programs. The visualization of decision trees for the diagnostic shows a format of straight forward and easy understands. For ISS real time fault diagnostic, the status of the systems could be shown by mining the signals through the trees and see where it stops at. The other advantage to use decision trees is that the trees can learn the fault patterns and predict the future fault from the historic data. The learning is not only on the static data sets but also can be online, through accumulating the real time data sets, the decision trees can gain and store faults patterns in the trees and recognize them when they come.

  14. Understanding Spatio-Temporal Variability in the Reproduction Ratio of the Bluetongue (BTV-1 Epidemic in Southern Spain (Andalusia in 2007 Using Epidemic Trees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Napp

    Full Text Available Andalusia (Southern Spain is considered one of the main routes of introduction of bluetongue virus (BTV into Europe, evidenced by a devastating epidemic caused by BTV-1 in 2007. Understanding the pattern and the drivers of BTV-1 spread in Andalusia is critical for effective detection and control of future epidemics. A long-standing metric for quantifying the behaviour of infectious diseases is the case-reproduction ratio (Rt, defined as the average number of secondary cases arising from a single infected case at time t (for t>0. Here we apply a method using epidemic trees to estimate the between-herd case reproduction ratio directly from epidemic data allowing the spatial and temporal variability in transmission to be described. We then relate this variability to predictors describing the hosts, vectors and the environment to better understand why the epidemic spread more quickly in some regions or periods. The Rt value for the BTV-1 epidemic in Andalusia peaked in July at 4.6, at the start of the epidemic, then decreased to 2.2 by August, dropped below 1 by September (0.8, and by October it had decreased to 0.02. BTV spread was the consequence of both local transmission within established disease foci and BTV expansion to distant new areas (i.e. new foci, which resulted in a high variability in BTV transmission, not only among different areas, but particularly through time, which suggests that general control measures applied at broad spatial scales are unlikely to be effective. This high variability through time was probably due to the impact of temperature on BTV transmission, as evidenced by a reduction in the value of Rt by 0.0041 for every unit increase (day in the extrinsic incubation period (EIP, which is itself directly dependent on temperature. Moreover, within the range of values at which BTV-1 transmission occurred in Andalusia (20.6°C to 29.5°C there was a positive correlation between temperature and Rt values, although the

  15. Complexity in Evolutionary Processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schuster, P.

    2010-01-01

    Darwin's principle of evolution by natural selection is readily casted into a mathematical formalism. Molecular biology revealed the mechanism of mutation and provides the basis for a kinetic theory of evolution that models correct reproduction and mutation as parallel chemical reaction channels. A result of the kinetic theory is the existence of a phase transition in evolution occurring at a critical mutation rate, which represents a localization threshold for the population in sequence space. Occurrence and nature of such phase transitions depend critically on fitness landscapes. The fitness landscape being tantamount to a mapping from sequence or genotype space into phenotype space is identified as the true source of complexity in evolution. Modeling evolution as a stochastic process is discussed and neutrality with respect to selection is shown to provide a major challenge for understanding evolutionary processes (author)

  16. 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.

  17. Evolutionary understanding of the concept "Public relations"

    OpenAIRE

    Кам’янецька, О.В.

    2013-01-01

    The considered approaches to determination of notion of «public relations» different research and practical workers. The analyzed stages of development of communications with public and described their signs. Розглянуті підходи до визначення поняття «паблік рілейшнз» різних науковців та практиків. Проаналізовані етапи розвитку підходів до зв’язків з громадськістю та охарактеризовані їх ознаки....

  18. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Boswellia serrata Roxb. ex Colebr. (Indian Frankincense tree) of Burseraceae is a large-sized deciduous tree that is native to India. Bark is thin, greenish-ash-coloured that exfoliates into smooth papery flakes. Stem exudes pinkish resin ... Fruit is a three-valved capsule. A green gum-resin exudes from the ...

  19. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Flowering Trees. Ailanthus excelsa Roxb. (INDIAN TREE OF. HEAVEN) of Simaroubaceae is a lofty tree with large pinnately compound alternate leaves, which are ... inflorescences, unisexual and greenish-yellow. Fruits are winged, wings many-nerved. Wood is used in making match sticks. 1. Male flower; 2. Female flower.

  20. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Gyrocarpus americanus Jacq. (Helicopter Tree) of Hernandiaceae is a moderate size deciduous tree that grows to about 12 m in height with a smooth, shining, greenish-white bark. The leaves are ovate, rarely irregularly ... flowers which are unpleasant smelling. Fruit is a woody nut with two long thin wings.

  1. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 8 Issue 8 August 2003 pp 112-112 Flowering Trees. Zizyphus jujuba Lam. of Rhamnaceae · More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 8 Issue 9 September 2003 pp 97-97 Flowering Trees. Moringa oleifera · More Details Fulltext PDF. Volume 8 Issue 10 October 2003 pp 100-100 Flowering Trees.

  2. The evolutionary rate dynamically tracks changes in HIV-1 epidemics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maljkovic-berry, Irina [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Athreya, Gayathri [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Daniels, Marcus [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Bruno, William [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Korber, Bette [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Kuiken, Carla [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Ribeiro, Ruy M [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2009-01-01

    Large-sequence datasets provide an opportunity to investigate the dynamics of pathogen epidemics. Thus, a fast method to estimate the evolutionary rate from large and numerous phylogenetic trees becomes necessary. Based on minimizing tip height variances, we optimize the root in a given phylogenetic tree to estimate the most homogenous evolutionary rate between samples from at least two different time points. Simulations showed that the method had no bias in the estimation of evolutionary rates and that it was robust to tree rooting and topological errors. We show that the evolutionary rates of HIV-1 subtype B and C epidemics have changed over time, with the rate of evolution inversely correlated to the rate of virus spread. For subtype B, the evolutionary rate slowed down and tracked the start of the HAART era in 1996. Subtype C in Ethiopia showed an increase in the evolutionary rate when the prevalence increase markedly slowed down in 1995. Thus, we show that the evolutionary rate of HIV-1 on the population level dynamically tracks epidemic events.

  3. Evolutionary molecular medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  4. Towards a better understanding of long-term wood-chemistry variations in old-growth forests: A case study on ancient Pinus uncinata trees from the Pyrenees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hevia, Andrea; Sánchez-Salguero, Raúl; Camarero, J Julio; Buras, Allan; Sangüesa-Barreda, Gabriel; Galván, J Diego; Gutiérrez, Emilia

    2018-06-01

    Dendrochemical studies in old forests are still underdeveloped. Old trees growing in remote high-elevation areas far from direct human influence constitute a promising biological proxy for the long-term reconstructions of environmental changes using tree-rings. Furthermore, centennial-long chronologies of multi-elemental chemistry at inter- and intra-annual resolution are scarce. Here, we use a novel non-destructive method by applying Micro X-ray fluorescence (μXRF) to wood samples of old Pinus uncinata trees from two Pyrenean high-elevation forests growing on acidic and basic soils. To disentangle ontogenetic (changes in tree age and diameter) from environmental influences (e.g., climate warming) we compared element patterns in sapwood (SW) and heartwood (HW) during the pre-industrial (1700-1849) and industrial (1850-2008) periods. We quantified tree-ring growth, wood density and relative element concentrations at annual (TRW, tree-ring) to seasonal resolution (EW, earlywood; LW, latewood) and related them to climate variables (temperature and precipitation) and volcanic eruptions in the 18th and 19th centuries. We detected differences for most studied elements between SW and HW along the stem and also between EW and LW within rings. Long-term positive and negative trends were observed for Ca and K, respectively. Cl, P and S showed positive trends during the industrial period. However, differences between sites were also notable. Higher values of Mg, Al, Si and the Ca/Mn ratio were observed at the site with acidic soil. Growing-season temperatures were positively related to growth, maximum wood density and to the concentration of most elements. Peaks in S, Fe, Cl, Zn and Ca were linked to major volcanic eruptions (e.g., Tambora in 1815). Our results reveal the potential of long-term wood-chemistry studies based on the μXRF non-destructive technique to reconstruct environmental changes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. SILVA tree viewer: interactive web browsing of the SILVA phylogenetic guide trees

    OpenAIRE

    Beccati, Alan; Gerken, Jan; Quast, Christian; Yilmaz, Pelin; Glöckner, Frank Oliver

    2017-01-01

    Background Phylogenetic trees are an important tool to study the evolutionary relationships among organisms. The huge amount of available taxa poses difficulties in their interactive visualization. This hampers the interaction with the users to provide feedback for the further improvement of the taxonomic framework. Results The SILVA Tree Viewer is a web application designed for visualizing large phylogenetic trees without requiring the download of any software tool or data files. The SILVA T...

  6. Tree compression with top trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bille, Philip; Gørtz, Inge Li; Landau, Gad M.

    2013-01-01

    We introduce a new compression scheme for labeled trees based on top trees [3]. Our compression scheme is the first to simultaneously take advantage of internal repeats in the tree (as opposed to the classical DAG compression that only exploits rooted subtree repeats) while also supporting fast...

  7. Tree compression with top trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bille, Philip; Gørtz, Inge Li; Landau, Gad M.

    2015-01-01

    We introduce a new compression scheme for labeled trees based on top trees. Our compression scheme is the first to simultaneously take advantage of internal repeats in the tree (as opposed to the classical DAG compression that only exploits rooted subtree repeats) while also supporting fast...

  8. Preventive evolutionary medicine of cancers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochberg, Michael E; Thomas, Frédéric; Assenat, Eric; Hibner, Urszula

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary theory predicts that once an individual reaches an age of sufficiently low Darwinian fitness, (s)he will have reduced chances of keeping cancerous lesions in check. While we clearly need to better understand the emergence of precursor states and early malignancies as well as their mitigation by the microenvironment and tissue architecture, we argue that lifestyle changes and preventive therapies based in an evolutionary framework, applied to identified high-risk populations before incipient neoplasms become clinically detectable and chemoresistant lineages emerge, are currently the most reliable way to control or eliminate early tumours. Specifically, the relatively low levels of (epi)genetic heterogeneity characteristic of many if not most incipient lesions will mean a relatively limited set of possible adaptive traits and associated costs compared to more advanced cancers, and thus a more complete and predictable understanding of treatment options and outcomes. We propose a conceptual model for preventive treatments and discuss the many associated challenges.

  9. Evolutionary origin of the Asteraceae capitulum: Insights from Calyceraceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozner, Raúl; Zanotti, Christian; Johnson, Leigh A

    2012-01-01

    Phylogenies based on molecular data are revealing that generalizations about complex morphological structures often obscure variation and developmental patterns important for understanding the evolution of forms, as is the case for inflorescence morphology within the well-supported MGCA clade (Menyanthaceae + Goodeniaceae + Calyceraceae + Asteraceae). While the basal families share a basic thyrsic/thyrsoid structure of their inflorescences, Asteraceae possesses a capitulum that is widely interpreted as a racemose, condensed inflorescence. Elucidating the poorly known inflorescence structure of Calyceraceae, sister to Asteraceae, should help clarify how the Asteraceae capitulum evolved from thyrsic/thyrsoid inflorescences. The early development and structure of the inflorescence of eight species (five genera) of Calyceraceae were studied by SEM, and patterns of evolutionary change were interpreted via phylogenetic character mapping. The basic inflorescence structure of Calyceraceae is a cephalioid (a very condensed botryoid/thyrsoid). Optimization of inflorescence characters on a DNA sequence-derived tree suggests that the Asteraceae capitulum derives from a simple cephalioid through two morphological changes: loss of the terminal flower and suppression of the cymose branching pattern in the peripheral branches. Widely understood as a condensed raceme, the Asteraceae capitulum is the evolutionary result of a very reduced, condensed thyrsoid. Starting from that point, evolution worked separately only on the racemose developmental control/pattern within Asteraceae and mainly on the cymose developmental control/pattern within Calyceraceae, producing head-like inflorescences in both groups but with very different diversification potential. We also discuss possible remnants of the ancestral cephalioid structure in some Asteraceae.

  10. VESPA: Very large-scale Evolutionary and Selective Pressure Analyses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew E. Webb

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Background Large-scale molecular evolutionary analyses of protein coding sequences requires a number of preparatory inter-related steps from finding gene families, to generating alignments and phylogenetic trees and assessing selective pressure variation. Each phase of these analyses can represent significant challenges, particularly when working with entire proteomes (all protein coding sequences in a genome from a large number of species. Methods We present VESPA, software capable of automating a selective pressure analysis using codeML in addition to the preparatory analyses and summary statistics. VESPA is written in python and Perl and is designed to run within a UNIX environment. Results We have benchmarked VESPA and our results show that the method is consistent, performs well on both large scale and smaller scale datasets, and produces results in line with previously published datasets. Discussion Large-scale gene family identification, sequence alignment, and phylogeny reconstruction are all important aspects of large-scale molecular evolutionary analyses. VESPA provides flexible software for simplifying these processes along with downstream selective pressure variation analyses. The software automatically interprets results from codeML and produces simplified summary files to assist the user in better understanding the results. VESPA may be found at the following website: http://www.mol-evol.org/VESPA.

  11. Maximum likelihood inference of small trees in the presence of long branches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Sarah L; Goldman, Nick

    2014-09-01

    The statistical basis of maximum likelihood (ML), its robustness, and the fact that it appears to suffer less from biases lead to it being one of the most popular methods for tree reconstruction. Despite its popularity, very few analytical solutions for ML exist, so biases suffered by ML are not well understood. One possible bias is long branch attraction (LBA), a regularly cited term generally used to describe a propensity for long branches to be joined together in estimated trees. Although initially mentioned in connection with inconsistency of parsimony, LBA has been claimed to affect all major phylogenetic reconstruction methods, including ML. Despite the widespread use of this term in the literature, exactly what LBA is and what may be causing it is poorly understood, even for simple evolutionary models and small model trees. Studies looking at LBA have focused on the effect of two long branches on tree reconstruction. However, to understand the effect of two long branches it is also important to understand the effect of just one long branch. If ML struggles to reconstruct one long branch, then this may have an impact on LBA. In this study, we look at the effect of one long branch on three-taxon tree reconstruction. We show that, counterintuitively, long branches are preferentially placed at the tips of the tree. This can be understood through the use of analytical solutions to the ML equation and distance matrix methods. We go on to look at the placement of two long branches on four-taxon trees, showing that there is no attraction between long branches, but that for extreme branch lengths long branches are joined together disproportionally often. These results illustrate that even small model trees are still interesting to help understand how ML phylogenetic reconstruction works, and that LBA is a complicated phenomenon that deserves further study. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the Society of Systematic Biologists.

  12. Context dependent DNA evolutionary models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jens Ledet

    This paper is about stochastic models for the evolution of DNA. For a set of aligned DNA sequences, connected in a phylogenetic tree, the models should be able to explain - in probabilistic terms - the differences seen in the sequences. From the estimates of the parameters in the model one can...... start to make biologically interpretations and conclusions concerning the evolutionary forces at work. In parallel with the increase in computing power, models have become more complex. Starting with Markov processes on a space with 4 states, and extended to Markov processes with 64 states, we are today...... studying models on spaces with 4n (or 64n) number of states with n well above one hundred, say. For such models it is no longer possible to calculate the transition probability analytically, and often Markov chain Monte Carlo is used in connection with likelihood analysis. This is also the approach taken...

  13. Rate of tree carbon accumulation increases continuously with tree size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, N.L.; Das, A.J.; Condit, R.; Russo, S.E.; Baker, P.J.; Beckman, N.G.; Coomes, D.A.; Lines, E.R.; Morris, W.K.; Rüger, N.; Álvarez, E.; Blundo, C.; Bunyavejchewin, S.; Chuyong, G.; Davies, S.J.; Duque, Á.; Ewango, C.N.; Flores, O.; Franklin, J.F.; Grau, H.R.; Hao, Z.; Harmon, M.E.; Hubbell, S.P.; Kenfack, D.; Lin, Y.; Makana, J.-R.; Malizia, A.; Malizia, L.R.; Pabst, R.J.; Pongpattananurak, N.; Su, S.-H.; Sun, I-F.; Tan, S.; Thomas, D.; van Mantgem, P.J.; Wang, X.; Wiser, S.K.; Zavala, M.A.

    2014-01-01

    Forests are major components of the global carbon cycle, providing substantial feedback to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Our ability to understand and predict changes in the forest carbon cycle—particularly net primary productivity and carbon storage - increasingly relies on models that represent biological processes across several scales of biological organization, from tree leaves to forest stands. Yet, despite advances in our understanding of productivity at the scales of leaves and stands, no consensus exists about the nature of productivity at the scale of the individual tree, in part because we lack a broad empirical assessment of whether rates of absolute tree mass growth (and thus carbon accumulation) decrease, remain constant, or increase as trees increase in size and age. Here we present a global analysis of 403 tropical and temperate tree species, showing that for most species mass growth rate increases continuously with tree size. Thus, large, old trees do not act simply as senescent carbon reservoirs but actively fix large amounts of carbon compared to smaller trees; at the extreme, a single big tree can add the same amount of carbon to the forest within a year as is contained in an entire mid-sized tree. The apparent paradoxes of individual tree growth increasing with tree size despite declining leaf-level and stand-level productivity can be explained, respectively, by increases in a tree’s total leaf area that outpace declines in productivity per unit of leaf area and, among other factors, age-related reductions in population density. Our results resolve conflicting assumptions about the nature of tree growth, inform efforts to understand and model forest carbon dynamics, and have additional implications for theories of resource allocation and plant senescence.

  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. Rate of tree carbon accumulation increases continuously with tree size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, N L; Das, A J; Condit, R; Russo, S E; Baker, P J; Beckman, N G; Coomes, D A; Lines, E R; Morris, W K; Rüger, N; Alvarez, E; Blundo, C; Bunyavejchewin, S; Chuyong, G; Davies, S J; Duque, A; Ewango, C N; Flores, O; Franklin, J F; Grau, H R; Hao, Z; Harmon, M E; Hubbell, S P; Kenfack, D; Lin, Y; Makana, J-R; Malizia, A; Malizia, L R; Pabst, R J; Pongpattananurak, N; Su, S-H; Sun, I-F; Tan, S; Thomas, D; van Mantgem, P J; Wang, X; Wiser, S K; Zavala, M A

    2014-03-06

    Forests are major components of the global carbon cycle, providing substantial feedback to atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Our ability to understand and predict changes in the forest carbon cycle--particularly net primary productivity and carbon storage--increasingly relies on models that represent biological processes across several scales of biological organization, from tree leaves to forest stands. Yet, despite advances in our understanding of productivity at the scales of leaves and stands, no consensus exists about the nature of productivity at the scale of the individual tree, in part because we lack a broad empirical assessment of whether rates of absolute tree mass growth (and thus carbon accumulation) decrease, remain constant, or increase as trees increase in size and age. Here we present a global analysis of 403 tropical and temperate tree species, showing that for most species mass growth rate increases continuously with tree size. Thus, large, old trees do not act simply as senescent carbon reservoirs but actively fix large amounts of carbon compared to smaller trees; at the extreme, a single big tree can add the same amount of carbon to the forest within a year as is contained in an entire mid-sized tree. The apparent paradoxes of individual tree growth increasing with tree size despite declining leaf-level and stand-level productivity can be explained, respectively, by increases in a tree's total leaf area that outpace declines in productivity per unit of leaf area and, among other factors, age-related reductions in population density. Our results resolve conflicting assumptions about the nature of tree growth, inform efforts to undertand and model forest carbon dynamics, and have additional implications for theories of resource allocation and plant senescence.

  16. Genealogy and gene trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmuson, Marianne

    2008-02-01

    Heredity can be followed in persons or in genes. Persons can be identified only a few generations back, but simplified models indicate that universal ancestors to all now living persons have occurred in the past. Genetic variability can be characterized as variants of DNA sequences. Data are available only from living persons, but from the pattern of variation gene trees can be inferred by means of coalescence models. The merging of lines backwards in time leads to a MRCA (most recent common ancestor). The time and place of living for this inferred person can give insights in human evolutionary history. Demographic processes are incorporated in the model, but since culture and customs are known to influence demography the models used ought to be tested against available genealogy. The Icelandic data base offers a possibility to do so and points to some discrepancies. Mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome patterns give a rather consistent view of human evolutionary history during the latest 100 000 years but the earlier epochs of human evolution demand gene trees with longer branches. The results of such studies reveal as yet unsolved problems about the sources of our genome.

  17. Tree Nut Allergies

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Blog Vision Awards Common Allergens Tree Nut Allergy Tree Nut Allergy Learn about tree nut allergy, how ... a Tree Nut Label card . Allergic Reactions to Tree Nuts Tree nuts can cause a severe and ...

  18. 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.

  19. Constructing phylogenetic trees using interacting pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Peng; Che, Dongsheng

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees are used to represent evolutionary relationships among biological species or organisms. The construction of phylogenetic trees is based on the similarities or differences of their physical or genetic features. Traditional approaches of constructing phylogenetic trees mainly focus on physical features. The recent advancement of high-throughput technologies has led to accumulation of huge amounts of biological data, which in turn changed the way of biological studies in various aspects. In this paper, we report our approach of building phylogenetic trees using the information of interacting pathways. We have applied hierarchical clustering on two domains of organisms-eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Our preliminary results have shown the effectiveness of using the interacting pathways in revealing evolutionary relationships.

  20. Assessment of Student Learning Associated with Tree Thinking in an Undergraduate Introductory Organismal Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James J.; Cheruvelil, Kendra Spence; Auvenshine, Stacie

    2013-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees provide visual representations of ancestor-descendant relationships, a core concept of evolutionary theory. We introduced "tree thinking" into our introductory organismal biology course (freshman/sophomore majors) to help teach organismal diversity within an evolutionary framework. Our instructional strategy consisted…

  1. Revisiting the phylogeny of Zoanthidea (Cnidaria: Anthozoa): Staggered alignment of hypervariable sequences improves species tree inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swain, Timothy D

    2018-01-01

    The recent rapid proliferation of novel taxon identification in the Zoanthidea has been accompanied by a parallel propagation of gene trees as a tool of species discovery, but not a corresponding increase in our understanding of phylogeny. This disparity is caused by the trade-off between the capabilities of automated DNA sequence alignment and data content of genes applied to phylogenetic inference in this group. Conserved genes or segments are easily aligned across the order, but produce poorly resolved trees; hypervariable genes or segments contain the evolutionary signal necessary for resolution and robust support, but sequence alignment is daunting. Staggered alignments are a form of phylogeny-informed sequence alignment composed of a mosaic of local and universal regions that allow phylogenetic inference to be applied to all nucleotides from both hypervariable and conserved gene segments. Comparisons between species tree phylogenies inferred from all data (staggered alignment) and hypervariable-excluded data (standard alignment) demonstrate improved confidence and greater topological agreement with other sources of data for the complete-data tree. This novel phylogeny is the most comprehensive to date (in terms of taxa and data) and can serve as an expandable tool for evolutionary hypothesis testing in the Zoanthidea. Spanish language abstract available in Text S1. Translation by L. O. Swain, DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, 60604, USA. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    medium-sized handsome tree with a straight bole that branches at the top. Leaves are once pinnate, with two to three pairs of leaflets. Young parts of the tree are velvety. Inflorescence is a branched raceme borne at the branch ends. Flowers are large, white, attractive, and fragrant. Corolla is funnel-shaped. Fruit is an ...

  3. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Cassia siamia Lamk. (Siamese tree senna) of Caesalpiniaceae is a small or medium size handsome tree. Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound and glandular, upto 18 cm long with 8–12 pairs of leaflets. Inflorescence is axillary or terminal and branched. Flowering lasts for a long period from March to February. Fruit is ...

  4. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Cerbera manghasL. (SEA MANGO) of Apocynaceae is a medium-sized evergreen coastal tree with milky latex. The bark is grey-brown, thick and ... Fruit is large. (5–10 cm long), oval containing two flattened seeds and resembles a mango, hence the name Mangas or. Manghas. Leaves and fruits contain ...

  5. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    user

    Flowering Trees. Gliricidia sepium(Jacq.) Kunta ex Walp. (Quickstick) of Fabaceae is a small deciduous tree with. Pinnately compound leaves. Flower are prroduced in large number in early summer on terminal racemes. They are attractive, pinkish-white and typically like bean flowers. Fruit is a few-seeded flat pod.

  6. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Flowering Trees. Acrocarpus fraxinifolius Wight & Arn. (PINK CEDAR, AUSTRALIAN ASH) of. Caesalpiniaceae is a lofty unarmed deciduous native tree that attains a height of 30–60m with buttresses. Bark is thin and light grey. Leaves are compound and bright red when young. Flowers in dense, erect, axillary racemes.

  7. Talking Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tolman, Marvin

    2005-01-01

    Students love outdoor activities and will love them even more when they build confidence in their tree identification and measurement skills. Through these activities, students will learn to identify the major characteristics of trees and discover how the pace--a nonstandard measuring unit--can be used to estimate not only distances but also the…

  8. Drawing Trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Halkjær From, Andreas; Schlichtkrull, Anders; Villadsen, Jørgen

    2018-01-01

    We formally prove in Isabelle/HOL two properties of an algorithm for laying out trees visually. The first property states that removing layout annotations recovers the original tree. The second property states that nodes are placed at least a unit of distance apart. We have yet to formalize three...

  9. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Srimath

    Grevillea robusta A. Cunn. ex R. Br. (Sil- ver Oak) of Proteaceae is a daintily lacy ornamental tree while young and growing into a mighty tree (45 m). Young shoots are silvery grey and the leaves are fern- like. Flowers are golden-yellow in one- sided racemes (10 cm). Fruit is a boat- shaped, woody follicle.

  10. Attractive evolutionary equilibria

    OpenAIRE

    Roorda, Berend; Joosten, Reinoud

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Polymorphic Evolutionary Games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Michael A

    2016-06-07

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

  12. 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.

  13. Improvement of isotope-based climate reconstructions in Patagonia through a better understanding of climate influences on isotopic fractionation in tree rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavergne, Aliénor; Daux, Valérie; Villalba, Ricardo; Pierre, Monique; Stievenard, Michel; Srur, Ana Marina

    2017-02-01

    Very few studies of stable isotopes exist across the Andes in South America. This study is the first presenting annually resolved chronologies of both δ18 O and δ13 C in Nothofagus pumilio and Fitzroya cupressoides trees from Northern Patagonia. Interannual variability in δ18 O and δ13 C was assessed over the period 1952-2011. Based on these chronologies, we determined the primary climatic controls on stable isotopes and tree physiological responses to changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations (ca), temperature and humidity. Changes in specific intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE) were inferred from variations in δ13 C whereas the effects of CO2 increase on stomatal conductance were explored using δ18 O. Over the 60-year period, iWUE increased significantly (by ca. 25%) in coincidence with the rise of ca. The two species appear to have different strategies of gas-exchange. Whereas iWUE variations were likely driven by both stomatal conductance and photosynthetic assimilation rates in F. cupressoides, they were largely related to stomatal conductance in N. pumilio. After removing the low-frequency trends related to increasing ca, significant relationships between δ13 C and summer temperatures were recorded for both species. However, δ13 C variations in F. cupressoides were more strongly influenced by summer temperatures than in N. pumilio. Our results advocate for an indirect effect of summer temperatures on stable isotope ratios, which is mostly influenced by sunlight radiation in F. cupressoides and relative humidity/soil moisture in N. pumilio. δ13 C variations in F. cupressoides were spatially correlated to a large area south of 35°S in southern South America. These promising results encourage the use of δ13 C variations in F. cupressoides for reconstructing past variations in temperature and large-scale circulation indexes such as the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) in the Southern Hemisphere.

  14. Chemical evolutionary games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aristotelous, Andreas C; Durrett, Richard

    2014-05-01

    Inspired by the use of hybrid cellular automata in modeling cancer, we introduce a generalization of evolutionary games in which cells produce and absorb chemicals, and the chemical concentrations dictate the death rates of cells and their fitnesses. Our long term aim is to understand how the details of the interactions in a system with n species and m chemicals translate into the qualitative behavior of the system. Here, we study two simple 2×2 games with two chemicals and revisit the two and three species versions of the one chemical colicin system studied earlier by Durrett and Levin (1997). We find that in the 2×2 examples, the behavior of our new spatial model can be predicted from that of the mean field differential equation using ideas of Durrett and Levin (1994). However, in the three species colicin model, the system with diffusion does not have the coexistence which occurs in the lattices model in which sites interact with only their nearest neighbors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Inferring species trees from incongruent multi-copy gene trees using the Robinson-Foulds distance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Constructing species trees from multi-copy gene trees remains a challenging problem in phylogenetics. One difficulty is that the underlying genes can be incongruent due to evolutionary processes such as gene duplication and loss, deep coalescence, or lateral gene transfer. Gene tree estimation errors may further exacerbate the difficulties of species tree estimation. Results We present a new approach for inferring species trees from incongruent multi-copy gene trees that is based on a generalization of the Robinson-Foulds (RF) distance measure to multi-labeled trees (mul-trees). We prove that it is NP-hard to compute the RF distance between two mul-trees; however, it is easy to calculate this distance between a mul-tree and a singly-labeled species tree. Motivated by this, we formulate the RF problem for mul-trees (MulRF) as follows: Given a collection of multi-copy gene trees, find a singly-labeled species tree that minimizes the total RF distance from the input mul-trees. We develop and implement a fast SPR-based heuristic algorithm for the NP-hard MulRF problem. We compare the performance of the MulRF method (available at http://genome.cs.iastate.edu/CBL/MulRF/) with several gene tree parsimony approaches using gene tree simulations that incorporate gene tree error, gene duplications and losses, and/or lateral transfer. The MulRF method produces more accurate species trees than gene tree parsimony approaches. We also demonstrate that the MulRF method infers in minutes a credible plant species tree from a collection of nearly 2,000 gene trees. Conclusions Our new phylogenetic inference method, based on a generalized RF distance, makes it possible to quickly estimate species trees from large genomic data sets. Since the MulRF method, unlike gene tree parsimony, is based on a generic tree distance measure, it is appealing for analyses of genomic data sets, in which many processes such as deep coalescence, recombination, gene duplication and losses as

  16. Evolutionary accounts of human behavioural diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. Phylogenetic trees

    OpenAIRE

    Baños, Hector; Bushek, Nathaniel; Davidson, Ruth; Gross, Elizabeth; Harris, Pamela E.; Krone, Robert; Long, Colby; Stewart, Allen; Walker, Robert

    2016-01-01

    We introduce the package PhylogeneticTrees for Macaulay2 which allows users to compute phylogenetic invariants for group-based tree models. We provide some background information on phylogenetic algebraic geometry and show how the package PhylogeneticTrees can be used to calculate a generating set for a phylogenetic ideal as well as a lower bound for its dimension. Finally, we show how methods within the package can be used to compute a generating set for the join of any two ideals.

  19. Multi-objective evolutionary algorithms for fuzzy classification in survival prediction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, Fernando; Sánchez, Gracia; Juárez, José M

    2014-03-01

    This paper presents a novel rule-based fuzzy classification methodology for survival/mortality prediction in severe burnt patients. Due to the ethical aspects involved in this medical scenario, physicians tend not to accept a computer-based evaluation unless they understand why and how such a recommendation is given. Therefore, any fuzzy classifier model must be both accurate and interpretable. The proposed methodology is a three-step process: (1) multi-objective constrained optimization of a patient's data set, using Pareto-based elitist multi-objective evolutionary algorithms to maximize accuracy and minimize the complexity (number of rules) of classifiers, subject to interpretability constraints; this step produces a set of alternative (Pareto) classifiers; (2) linguistic labeling, which assigns a linguistic label to each fuzzy set of the classifiers; this step is essential to the interpretability of the classifiers; (3) decision making, whereby a classifier is chosen, if it is satisfactory, according to the preferences of the decision maker. If no classifier is satisfactory for the decision maker, the process starts again in step (1) with a different input parameter set. The performance of three multi-objective evolutionary algorithms, niched pre-selection multi-objective algorithm, elitist Pareto-based multi-objective evolutionary algorithm for diversity reinforcement (ENORA) and the non-dominated sorting genetic algorithm (NSGA-II), was tested using a patient's data set from an intensive care burn unit and a standard machine learning data set from an standard machine learning repository. The results are compared using the hypervolume multi-objective metric. Besides, the results have been compared with other non-evolutionary techniques and validated with a multi-objective cross-validation technique. Our proposal improves the classification rate obtained by other non-evolutionary techniques (decision trees, artificial neural networks, Naive Bayes, and case

  20. [Evolutionary perspective in precocious puberty].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hochberg, Ze'ev

    2014-10-01

    Pubertal development is subject to substantial heritability, but much variation remains to be explained, including fast changes over the last 150 years, that cannot be explained by changes of gene frequency in the population. This article discusses the influence of environmental factors to adjust maturational tempo in the service of fitness goals. Utilizing evolutionary development thinking (evo-devo), the author examines adolescence as an evolutionary life-history stage in its developmental context. The transition from the preceding stage of juvenility entails adaptive plasticity in response to energy resources, social needs of adolescence and maturation toward youth and adulthood. Using Belsky's evolutionary theory of socialization, I show that familial psychosocial environment during the infancy-childhood and childhood-juvenility transitions foster a fast life-history and reproductive strategy rather than early maturation being just a risk factor for aggression and delinquency. The implications of the evo-devo framework for theory building, illuminates new directions in the understanding of precocious puberty other than a diagnosis of a disease.

  1. Evolutionary cost management in the nuclear industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lombardi, C.G.; Mazzini, R.A.

    1986-01-01

    The reader is urged to consider the material in ''The Evolutionary Theory of Cost Management'' carefully before proceeding with the material in this paper. The recommendations in this paper flow from the revised line of thinking generated by the evolutionary approach. The suggestions will be difficult to accept in the absence of an understanding of the underlying theory. Although the authors briefly discuss some of the theory, it is nevertheless recommended that the reader develop a fuller understanding of the concepts by studying the prior paper

  2. Understanding Seasonal Dynamics of the Photo-Protective Xanthophyll Cycle Improves Remote Detection of Photosynthetic Phenology in Deciduous Trees and Evergreen Conifers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ensminger, I.; Wong, C. Y.; Junker, L. V.; Bathena, Y.; Arain, M. A.; D'Odorico, P.

    2017-12-01

    The ability of plants to sequester carbon is highly variable over the course of the year and reflects seasonal variation in photosynthetic efficiency. This seasonal variation is most prominent during autumn, when leaves of deciduous tree species undergo senescence, which is associated with the downregulation of photosynthesis and a change of leaf color and leaf optical properties. Vegetation indices derived from remote sensing of leaf optical properties using e.g. spectral reflectance measurements are increasingly used to monitor and predict growing season length and seasonal variation in carbon sequestration. Here we compare leaf-level, canopy-level and drone based observations of leaf spectral reflectance measurements. We demonstrate that some of the widely used vegetation indices such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and photochemical reflectance index (PRI) vary in their ability to adequately track the seasonal variation in photosynthetic efficiency and chlorophyll content. We further show that monitoring seasonal variation of photosynthesis using NDVI or PRI is particularly challenging in evergreen conifers, due to little seasonal variation in foliage. However, there is remarkable seasonal variation in leaf optical properties associated with changes in pools of xanthophyll cycle pigments and carotenoids that provide a promising way of monitoring photosynthetic phenology in evergreen conifers via leaf reflectance measurements.

  3. Electron Tree

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Appelt, Ane L; Rønde, Heidi S

    2013-01-01

    The photo shows a close-up of a Lichtenberg figure – popularly called an “electron tree” – produced in a cylinder of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). Electron trees are created by irradiating a suitable insulating material, in this case PMMA, with an intense high energy electron beam. Upon discharge......, during dielectric breakdown in the material, the electrons generate branching chains of fractures on leaving the PMMA, producing the tree pattern seen. To be able to create electron trees with a clinical linear accelerator, one needs to access the primary electron beam used for photon treatments. We...... appropriated a linac that was being decommissioned in our department and dismantled the head to circumvent the target and ion chambers. This is one of 24 electron trees produced before we had to stop the fun and allow the rest of the accelerator to be disassembled....

  4. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Srimath

    shaped corolla. Fruit is large, ellipsoidal, green with a hard and smooth shell containing numerous flattened seeds, which are embedded in fleshy pulp. Calabash tree is commonly grown in the tropical gardens of the world as a botanical oddity.

  5. Physiology and Genetics of Tree-Phytophage Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frances Lieutier; William J. Mattson; Michael R. Wagner

    1999-01-01

    Interactions between trees and phytophagous organisms represent an important fundamental process in the evolution of forest ecosystems. Through evolutionary time, the special traits of trees have lead the herbivore populations to differentiate and evolve in order to cope with the variability in natural resistance mechanisms of their hosts. Conversely, damage by...

  6. Student Interpretations of Phylogenetic Trees in an Introductory Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dees, Jonathan; Momsen, Jennifer L.; Niemi, Jarad; Montplaisir, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Phylogenetic trees are widely used visual representations in the biological sciences and the most important visual representations in evolutionary biology. Therefore, phylogenetic trees have also become an important component of biology education. We sought to characterize reasoning used by introductory biology students in interpreting taxa…

  7. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-03-15

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

  8. Evolutionary relationships among Astroviridae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lukashov, Vladimir V.; Goudsmit, Jaap

    2002-01-01

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

  9. Evolutionary Multiplayer Games

    OpenAIRE

    Gokhale, Chaitanya S.; Traulsen, Arne

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Constructing Student Problems in Phylogenetic Tree Construction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, Steven D.

    Evolution is often equated with natural selection and is taught from a primarily functional perspective while comparative and historical approaches, which are critical for developing an appreciation of the power of evolutionary theory, are often neglected. This report describes a study of expert problem-solving in phylogenetic tree construction.…

  11. Efficient Computation of Popular Phylogenetic Tree Measures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tsirogiannis, Constantinos; Sandel, Brody Steven; Cheliotis, Dimitris

    2012-01-01

    Given a phylogenetic tree $\\mathcal{T}$ of n nodes, and a sample R of its tips (leaf nodes) a very common problem in ecological and evolutionary research is to evaluate a distance measure for the elements in R. Two of the most common measures of this kind are the Mean Pairwise Distance ($\\ensurem...

  12. Understanding the role of the cytoskeleton in wood formation in angiosperm trees: hybrid aspen (Populus tremula x P. tremuloides) as the model species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaffey, Nigel; Barlow, Peter; Sundberg, Björn

    2002-03-01

    The involvement of microfilaments and microtubules in the development of the radial and axial components of secondary xylem (wood) in hybrid aspen (Populus tremula L. x P. tremuloides Michx.) was studied by indirect immunofluorescent localization techniques. In addition to cambial cells, the differentiated cell types considered were early- and late-wood vessel elements, axial parenchyma, normal-wood fibers and gelatinous fibers, and contact and isolation ray cells. Microfilaments were rare in ray cambial cells, but were abundant and axially arranged in their derivatives once cell elongation had begun, and persisted in that orientation in mature ray cells. Microfilaments were axially arranged in fusiform cambial cells and persisted in that orientation in all xylem derivatives of those cells. Microtubules were randomly oriented in ray and fusiform cells of the cambial zone. Dense arrays of parallel-aligned microtubules were oriented near axially in the developing gelatinous fibers, but at a wide range of angles in normal-wood fibers. Ellipses of microfilaments were associated with pit development in fiber cells and isolation ray cells. Rings of co-localized microtubules and microfilaments were associated with developing inter-vessel bordered pits and vessel-contact ray cell contact pits, and, in the case of bordered pits, these rings decreased in diameter as the over-arching pit border increased in size. Although only microtubules were seen at the periphery of the perforation plate of vessel elements, a prominent meshwork of microfilaments overlaid the perforation plate itself. A consensus view of the roles of the cytoskeleton during wood formation in angiosperm trees is presented.

  13. Understanding how roadside concentrations of NOx are influenced by the background levels, traffic density, and meteorological conditions using Boosted Regression Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayegh, Arwa; Tate, James E.; Ropkins, Karl

    2016-02-01

    Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx) is a major component of photochemical smog and its constituents are considered principal traffic-related pollutants affecting human health. This study investigates the influence of background concentrations of NOx, traffic density, and prevailing meteorological conditions on roadside concentrations of NOx at UK urban, open motorway, and motorway tunnel sites using the statistical approach Boosted Regression Trees (BRT). BRT models have been fitted using hourly concentration, traffic, and meteorological data for each site. The models predict, rank, and visualise the relationship between model variables and roadside NOx concentrations. A strong relationship between roadside NOx and monitored local background concentrations is demonstrated. Relationships between roadside NOx and other model variables have been shown to be strongly influenced by the quality and resolution of background concentrations of NOx, i.e. if it were based on monitored data or modelled prediction. The paper proposes a direct method of using site-specific fundamental diagrams for splitting traffic data into four traffic states: free-flow, busy-flow, congested, and severely congested. Using BRT models, the density of traffic (vehicles per kilometre) was observed to have a proportional influence on the concentrations of roadside NOx, with different fitted regression line slopes for the different traffic states. When other influences are conditioned out, the relationship between roadside concentrations and ambient air temperature suggests NOx concentrations reach a minimum at around 22 °C with high concentrations at low ambient air temperatures which could be associated to restricted atmospheric dispersion and/or to changes in road traffic exhaust emission characteristics at low ambient air temperatures. This paper uses BRT models to study how different critical factors, and their relative importance, influence the variation of roadside NOx concentrations. The paper

  14. Evolutionary cell biology: two origins, one objective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, Michael; Field, Mark C; Goodson, Holly V; Malik, Harmit S; Pereira-Leal, José B; Roos, David S; Turkewitz, Aaron P; Sazer, Shelley

    2014-12-02

    All aspects of biological diversification ultimately trace to evolutionary modifications at the cellular level. This central role of cells frames the basic questions as to how cells work and how cells come to be the way they are. Although these two lines of inquiry lie respectively within the traditional provenance of cell biology and evolutionary biology, a comprehensive synthesis of evolutionary and cell-biological thinking is lacking. We define evolutionary cell biology as the fusion of these two eponymous fields with the theoretical and quantitative branches of biochemistry, biophysics, and population genetics. The key goals are to develop a mechanistic understanding of general evolutionary processes, while specifically infusing cell biology with an evolutionary perspective. The full development of this interdisciplinary field has the potential to solve numerous problems in diverse areas of biology, including the degree to which selection, effectively neutral processes, historical contingencies, and/or constraints at the chemical and biophysical levels dictate patterns of variation for intracellular features. These problems can now be examined at both the within- and among-species levels, with single-cell methodologies even allowing quantification of variation within genotypes. Some results from this emerging field have already had a substantial impact on cell biology, and future findings will significantly influence applications in agriculture, medicine, environmental science, and synthetic biology.

  15. Evolutionary primacy of sodium bioenergetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolf Yuri I

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The F- and V-type ATPases are rotary molecular machines that couple translocation of protons or sodium ions across the membrane to the synthesis or hydrolysis of ATP. Both the F-type (found in most bacteria and eukaryotic mitochondria and chloroplasts and V-type (found in archaea, some bacteria, and eukaryotic vacuoles ATPases can translocate either protons or sodium ions. The prevalent proton-dependent ATPases are generally viewed as the primary form of the enzyme whereas the sodium-translocating ATPases of some prokaryotes are usually construed as an exotic adaptation to survival in extreme environments. Results We combine structural and phylogenetic analyses to clarify the evolutionary relation between the proton- and sodium-translocating ATPases. A comparison of the structures of the membrane-embedded oligomeric proteolipid rings of sodium-dependent F- and V-ATPases reveals nearly identical sets of amino acids involved in sodium binding. We show that the sodium-dependent ATPases are scattered among proton-dependent ATPases in both the F- and the V-branches of the phylogenetic tree. Conclusion Barring convergent emergence of the same set of ligands in several lineages, these findings indicate that the use of sodium gradient for ATP synthesis is the ancestral modality of membrane bioenergetics. Thus, a primitive, sodium-impermeable but proton-permeable cell membrane that harboured a set of sodium-transporting enzymes appears to have been the evolutionary predecessor of the more structurally demanding proton-tight membranes. The use of proton as the coupling ion appears to be a later innovation that emerged on several independent occasions. Reviewers This article was reviewed by J. Peter Gogarten, Martijn A. Huynen, and Igor B. Zhulin. For the full reviews, please go to the Reviewers' comments section.

  16. Development of tree hollows in pedunculate oak (Quercus robur)

    OpenAIRE

    Ranius, Thomas; Niklasson, Mats; Berg, Niclas

    2009-01-01

    Many invertebrates, birds and mammals are dependent on hollow trees. For landscape planning that aims at persistence of species inhabiting hollow trees it is crucial to understand the development of such trees. In this study we constructed an individual-based simulation model to predict diameter distribution and formation of hollows in oak tree populations. Based on tree-ring data from individual trees, we estimated the ages when hollow formation commences for pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) ...

  17. dCITE: Measuring Necessary Cladistic Information Can Help You Reduce Polytomy Artefacts in Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wise, Michael J

    2016-01-01

    Biologists regularly create phylogenetic trees to better understand the evolutionary origins of their species of interest, and often use genomes as their data source. However, as more and more incomplete genomes are published, in many cases it may not be possible to compute genome-based phylogenetic trees due to large gaps in the assembled sequences. In addition, comparison of complete genomes may not even be desirable due to the presence of horizontally acquired and homologous genes. A decision must therefore be made about which gene, or gene combinations, should be used to compute a tree. Deflated Cladistic Information based on Total Entropy (dCITE) is proposed as an easily computed metric for measuring the cladistic information in multiple sequence alignments representing a range of taxa, without the need to first compute the corresponding trees. dCITE scores can be used to rank candidate genes or decide whether input sequences provide insufficient cladistic information, making artefactual polytomies more likely. The dCITE method can be applied to protein, nucleotide or encoded phenotypic data, so can be used to select which data-type is most appropriate, given the choice. In a series of experiments the dCITE method was compared with related measures. Then, as a practical demonstration, the ideas developed in the paper were applied to a dataset representing species from the order Campylobacterales; trees based on sequence combinations, selected on the basis of their dCITE scores, were compared with a tree constructed to mimic Multi-Locus Sequence Typing (MLST) combinations of fragments. We see that the greater the dCITE score the more likely it is that the computed phylogenetic tree will be free of artefactual polytomies. Secondly, cladistic information saturates, beyond which little additional cladistic information can be obtained by adding additional sequences. Finally, sequences with high cladistic information produce more consistent trees for the same taxa.

  18. Mapping Phylogenetic Trees to Reveal Distinct Patterns of Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendall, Michelle; Colijn, Caroline

    2016-10-01

    Evolutionary relationships are frequently described by phylogenetic trees, but a central barrier in many fields is the difficulty of interpreting data containing conflicting phylogenetic signals. We present a metric-based method for comparing trees which extracts distinct alternative evolutionary relationships embedded in data. We demonstrate detection and resolution of phylogenetic uncertainty in a recent study of anole lizards, leading to alternate hypotheses about their evolutionary relationships. We use our approach to compare trees derived from different genes of Ebolavirus and find that the VP30 gene has a distinct phylogenetic signature composed of three alternatives that differ in the deep branching structure. phylogenetics, evolution, tree metrics, genetics, sequencing. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  19. How Much Can Evolutionary Psychology Inform the Educational Sciences?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halpern, Diane F.

    2008-01-01

    In response to a stimulating article by David C. Geary on the value of understanding the evolutionary basis of learning as a guide to instruction, I raise several objections. When evolutionary theory is used to explain everything from sex differences in math and reading to why children are bored in school, it loses its explanatory power. There is…

  20. Charisma as signal : An evolutionary perspective on charismatic leadership

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grabo, Allen; Spisak, Brian R.; van Vugt, Mark

    2017-01-01

    We present an evolutionary perspective on charismatic leadership, arguing that charisma has evolved as a credible signal of a person's ability to solve a coordination challenge requiring urgent collective action from group members. We suggest that a better understanding of charisma's evolutionary

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  2. Visual exploration of parameter influence on phylogenetic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, Martin; Bremm, Sebastian; Weissgraeber, Stephanie; Hamacher, Kay; Goesele, Michael; Wiemeyer, Josef; von Landesberger, Tatiana

    2014-01-01

    Evolutionary relationships between organisms are frequently derived as phylogenetic trees inferred from multiple sequence alignments (MSAs). The MSA parameter space is exponentially large, so tens of thousands of potential trees can emerge for each dataset. A proposed visual-analytics approach can reveal the parameters' impact on the trees. Given input trees created with different parameter settings, it hierarchically clusters the trees according to their structural similarity. The most important clusters of similar trees are shown together with their parameters. This view offers interactive parameter exploration and automatic identification of relevant parameters. Biologists applied this approach to real data of 16S ribosomal RNA and protein sequences of ion channels. It revealed which parameters affected the tree structures. This led to a more reliable selection of the best trees.

  3. Development links psychological causes to evolutionary explanations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedyk, Mark; Kushnir, Tamar

    2014-04-01

    Our conscious abilities are learned in environments that have evolved to support them. This insight provides an alternative way of framing Huang & Bargh's (H&B's) provocative hypothesis. To understand the conflict between unconscious goals and consciousness, we can study the emergence of conscious thought and control in childhood. These developmental processes are also central to the best available current evolutionary theories.

  4. The dynamics of strangling among forest trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okamoto, Kenichi W

    2015-11-07

    Strangler trees germinate and grow on other trees, eventually enveloping and potentially even girdling their hosts. This allows them to mitigate fitness costs otherwise incurred by germinating and competing with other trees on the forest floor, as well as minimize risks associated with host tree-fall. If stranglers can themselves host other strangler trees, they may not even seem to need non-stranglers to persist. Yet despite their high fitness potential, strangler trees neither dominate the communities in which they occur nor is the strategy particularly common outside of figs (genus Ficus). Here we analyze how dynamic interactions between strangling and non-strangling trees can shape the adaptive landscape for strangling mutants and mutant trees that have lost the ability to strangle. We find a threshold which strangler germination rates must exceed for selection to favor the evolution of strangling, regardless of how effectively hemiepiphytic stranglers may subsequently replace their hosts. This condition describes the magnitude of the phenotypic displacement in the ability to germinate on other trees necessary for invasion by a mutant tree that could potentially strangle its host following establishment as an epiphyte. We show how the relative abilities of strangling and non-strangling trees to occupy empty sites can govern whether strangling is an evolutionarily stable strategy, and obtain the conditions for strangler coexistence with non-stranglers. We then elucidate when the evolution of strangling can disrupt stable coexistence between commensal epiphytic ancestors and their non-strangling host trees. This allows us to highlight parallels between the invasion fitness of strangler trees arising from commensalist ancestors, and cases where strangling can arise in concert with the evolution of hemiepiphytism among free-standing ancestors. Finally, we discuss how our results can inform the evolutionary ecology of antagonistic interactions more generally

  5. Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Ellison, Peter T.; Flier, Jeffrey S.; Gluckman, Peter; Govindaraju, Diddahally R.; Niethammer, Dietrich; Omenn, Gilbert S.; Perlman, Robert L.; Schwartz, Mark D.; Thomas, Mark G.; Stearns, Stephen C.; Valle, David

    2010-01-01

    New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease. Knowledge about evolution provides physicians with an integrative framework that links otherwise disparate bits of knowledge. It replaces the prevalent view of bodies as machines with a biological view of bodies shaped by evolutionary processes. Like other basic sciences, evolutionary biology needs to be taught both before and during medical school. Most introductory biology courses are insufficient to establish competency in evolutionary biology. Premedical students need evolution courses, possibly ones that emphasize medically relevant aspects. In medical school, evolutionary biology should be taught as one of the basic medical sciences. This will require a course that reviews basic principles and specific medical applications, followed by an integrated presentation of evolutionary aspects that apply to each disease and organ system. Evolutionary biology is not just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum; it is an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease. PMID:19918069

  6. The space of ultrametric phylogenetic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavryushkin, Alex; Drummond, Alexei J

    2016-08-21

    The reliability of a phylogenetic inference method from genomic sequence data is ensured by its statistical consistency. Bayesian inference methods produce a sample of phylogenetic trees from the posterior distribution given sequence data. Hence the question of statistical consistency of such methods is equivalent to the consistency of the summary of the sample. More generally, statistical consistency is ensured by the tree space used to analyse the sample. In this paper, we consider two standard parameterisations of phylogenetic time-trees used in evolutionary models: inter-coalescent interval lengths and absolute times of divergence events. For each of these parameterisations we introduce a natural metric space on ultrametric phylogenetic trees. We compare the introduced spaces with existing models of tree space and formulate several formal requirements that a metric space on phylogenetic trees must possess in order to be a satisfactory space for statistical analysis, and justify them. We show that only a few known constructions of the space of phylogenetic trees satisfy these requirements. However, our results suggest that these basic requirements are not enough to distinguish between the two metric spaces we introduce and that the choice between metric spaces requires additional properties to be considered. Particularly, that the summary tree minimising the square distance to the trees from the sample might be different for different parameterisations. This suggests that further fundamental insight is needed into the problem of statistical consistency of phylogenetic inference methods. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. Part E: Evolutionary Computation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Form of an evolutionary tradeoff affects eco-evolutionary dynamics in a predator-prey system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasada, Minoru; Yamamichi, Masato; Yoshida, Takehito

    2014-11-11

    Evolution on a time scale similar to ecological dynamics has been increasingly recognized for the last three decades. Selection mediated by ecological interactions can change heritable phenotypic variation (i.e., evolution), and evolution of traits, in turn, can affect ecological interactions. Hence, ecological and evolutionary dynamics can be tightly linked and important to predict future dynamics, but our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics is still in its infancy and there is a significant gap between theoretical predictions and empirical tests. Empirical studies have demonstrated that the presence of genetic variation can dramatically change ecological dynamics, whereas theoretical studies predict that eco-evolutionary dynamics depend on the details of the genetic variation, such as the form of a tradeoff among genotypes, which can be more important than the presence or absence of the genetic variation. Using a predator-prey (rotifer-algal) experimental system in laboratory microcosms, we studied how different forms of a tradeoff between prey defense and growth affect eco-evolutionary dynamics. Our experimental results show for the first time to our knowledge that different forms of the tradeoff produce remarkably divergent eco-evolutionary dynamics, including near fixation, near extinction, and coexistence of algal genotypes, with quantitatively different population dynamics. A mathematical model, parameterized from completely independent experiments, explains the observed dynamics. The results suggest that knowing the details of heritable trait variation and covariation within a population is essential for understanding how evolution and ecology will interact and what form of eco-evolutionary dynamics will result.

  9. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    deciduous tree with irregularly-shaped trunk, greyish-white scaly bark and milky latex. Leaves in opposite pairs are simple, oblong and whitish beneath. Flowers that occur in branched inflorescence are white, 2–. 3cm across and fragrant. Calyx is glandular inside. Petals bear numerous linear white scales, the corollary.

  10. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Berrya cordifolia (Willd.) Burret (Syn. B. ammonilla Roxb.) – Trincomali Wood of Tiliaceae is a tall evergreen tree with straight trunk, smooth brownish-grey bark and simple broad leaves. Inflorescence is much branched with white flowers. Stamens are many with golden yellow anthers. Fruit is a capsule with six spreading ...

  11. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Canthium parviflorum Lam. of Rubiaceae is a large shrub that often grows into a small tree with conspicuous spines. Leaves are simple, in pairs at each node and are shiny. Inflorescence is an axillary few-flowered cymose fascicle. Flowers are small (less than 1 cm across), 4-merous and greenish-white. Fruit is ellipsoid ...

  12. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    sriranga

    Hook.f. ex Brandis (Yellow. Cadamba) of Rubiaceae is a large and handsome deciduous tree. Leaves are simple, large, orbicular, and drawn abruptly at the apex. Flowers are small, yellowish and aggregate into small spherical heads. The corolla is funnel-shaped with five stamens inserted at its mouth. Fruit is a capsule.

  13. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Celtis tetrandra Roxb. of Ulmaceae is a moderately large handsome deciduous tree with green branchlets and grayish-brown bark. Leaves are simple with three to four secondary veins running parallel to the mid vein. Flowers are solitary, male, female and bisexual and inconspicuous. Fruit is berry-like, small and globose ...

  14. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    Aglaia elaeagnoidea (A.Juss.) Benth. of Meliaceae is a small-sized evergreen tree of both moist and dry deciduous forests. The leaves are alternate and pinnately compound, terminating in a single leaflet. Leaflets are more or less elliptic with entire margin. Flowers are small on branched inflorescence. Fruit is a globose ...

  15. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    user

    Flowers are borne on stiff bunches terminally on short shoots. They are 2-3 cm across, white, sweet-scented with light-brown hairy sepals and many stamens. Loquat fruits are round or pear-shaped, 3-5 cm long and are edible. A native of China, Loquat tree is grown in parks as an ornamental and also for its fruits.

  16. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    mid-sized slow-growing evergreen tree with spreading branches that form a dense crown. The bark is smooth, thick, dark and flakes off in large shreds. Leaves are thick, oblong, leathery and bright red when young. The female flowers are drooping and are larger than male flowers. Fruit is large, red in color and velvety.

  17. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Andira inermis (wright) DC. , Dog Almond of Fabaceae is a handsome lofty evergreen tree. Leaves are alternate and pinnately compound with 4–7 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are fragrant and are borne on compact branched inflorescences. Fruit is ellipsoidal one-seeded drupe that is peculiar to members of this family.

  18. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    narrow towards base. Flowers are large and attrac- tive, but emit unpleasant foetid smell. They appear in small numbers on erect terminal clusters and open at night. Stamens are numerous, pink or white. Style is slender and long, terminating in a small stigma. Fruit is green, ovoid and indistinctly lobed. Flowering Trees.

  19. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Muntingia calabura L. (Singapore cherry) of. Elaeocarpaceae is a medium size handsome ever- green tree. Leaves are simple and alternate with sticky hairs. Flowers are bisexual, bear numerous stamens, white in colour and arise in the leaf axils. Fruit is a berry, edible with several small seeds embedded in a fleshy pulp ...

  20. ~{owering 'Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    . Stamens are fused into a purple staminal tube that is toothed. Fruit is about 0.5 in. across, nearly globose, generally 5-seeded, green but yellow when ripe, quite smooth at first but wrinkled in drying, remaining long on the tree ajier ripening.

  1. Tree Mortality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark J. Ambrose

    2012-01-01

    Tree mortality is a natural process in all forest ecosystems. However, extremely high mortality also can be an indicator of forest health issues. On a regional scale, high mortality levels may indicate widespread insect or disease problems. High mortality may also occur if a large proportion of the forest in a particular region is made up of older, senescent stands....

  2. Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Guaiacum officinale L. (LIGNUM-VITAE) of Zygophyllaceae is a dense-crowned, squat, knobbly, rough and twisted medium-sized ev- ergreen tree with mottled bark. The wood is very hard and resinous. Leaves are compound. The leaflets are smooth, leathery, ovate-ellipti- cal and appear in two pairs. Flowers (about 1.5.

  3. 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

  4. Evolutionary constraints in hind wing shape in Chinese dung beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Bai

    Full Text Available This study examines the evolution hindwing shape in Chinese dung beetle species using morphometric and phylogenetic analyses. Previous studies have analyzed the evolution of wing shape within a single or very few species, or by comparing only a few wing traits. No study has analyzed wing shape evolution of a large number of species, or quantitatively compared morphological variation of wings with proposed phylogenetic relationships. This study examines the morphological variation of hindwings based on 19 landmarks, 119 morphological characters, and 81 beetle species. Only one most parsimonious tree (MPT was found based on 119 wing and body characters. To better understand the possible role of the hindwing in the evolution of Scarabaeinae, additional phylogenetic analyses were proposed based on the only body features (106 characters, wing characters excluded. Two MPT were found based on 106 body characters, and five nodes were collapsed in a strict consensus. There was a strong correlation between the morphometric tree and all phylogenetic trees (r>0.5. Reconstructions of the ancestral wing forms suggest that Scarabaeinae hindwing morphology has not changed substantially over time, but the morphological changes that do occur are focused at the base of the wing. These results suggest that flight has been important since the origin of Scarabaeinae, and that variation in hindwing morphology has been limited by functional constraints. Comparison of metric disparity values and relative evolutionary sequences among Scarabaeinae tribes suggest that the primitive dung beetles had relatively diverse hindwing morphologies, while advanced dung beetles have relatively similar wing morphologies. The strong correlation between the morphometric tree and phylogenetic trees suggest that hindwing features reflect the evolution of whole body morphology and that wing characters are suitable for the phylogenetic analyses. By integrating morphometric and cladistic

  5. Inferring 'weak spots' in phylogenetic trees: application to mosasauroid nomenclature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madzia, Daniel; Cau, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Mosasauroid squamates represented the apex predators within the Late Cretaceous marine and occasionally also freshwater ecosystems. Proper understanding of the origin of their ecological adaptations or paleobiogeographic dispersals requires adequate knowledge of their phylogeny. The studies assessing the position of mosasauroids on the squamate evolutionary tree and their origins have long given conflicting results. The phylogenetic relationships within Mosasauroidea, however, have experienced only little changes throughout the last decades. Considering the substantial improvements in the development of phylogenetic methodology that have undergone in recent years, resulting, among others, in numerous alterations in the phylogenetic hypotheses of other fossil amniotes, we test the robustness in our understanding of mosasauroid beginnings and their evolutionary history. We re-examined a data set that results from modifications assembled in the course of the last 20 years and performed multiple parsimony analyses and Bayesian tip-dating analysis. Following the inferred topologies and the 'weak spots' in the phylogeny of mosasauroids, we revise the nomenclature of the 'traditionally' recognized mosasauroid clades, to acknowledge the overall weakness among branches and the alternative topologies suggested previously, and discuss several factors that might have an impact on the differing phylogenetic hypotheses and their statistical support.

  6. New perspectives on the ecology of tree structure and tree communities through terrestrial laser scanning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malhi, Yadvinder; Jackson, Tobias; Patrick Bentley, Lisa; Lau, Alvaro; Shenkin, Alexander; Herold, Martin; Calders, Kim; Bartholomeus, Harm; Disney, Mathias I

    2018-04-06

    Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) opens up the possibility of describing the three-dimensional structures of trees in natural environments with unprecedented detail and accuracy. It is already being extensively applied to describe how ecosystem biomass and structure vary between sites, but can also facilitate major advances in developing and testing mechanistic theories of tree form and forest structure, thereby enabling us to understand why trees and forests have the biomass and three-dimensional structure they do. Here we focus on the ecological challenges and benefits of understanding tree form, and highlight some advances related to capturing and describing tree shape that are becoming possible with the advent of TLS. We present examples of ongoing work that applies, or could potentially apply, new TLS measurements to better understand the constraints on optimization of tree form. Theories of resource distribution networks, such as metabolic scaling theory, can be tested and further refined. TLS can also provide new approaches to the scaling of woody surface area and crown area, and thereby better quantify the metabolism of trees. Finally, we demonstrate how we can develop a more mechanistic understanding of the effects of avoidance of wind risk on tree form and maximum size. Over the next few years, TLS promises to deliver both major empirical and conceptual advances in the quantitative understanding of trees and tree-dominated ecosystems, leading to advances in understanding the ecology of why trees and ecosystems look and grow the way they do.

  7. Tree-Based Unrooted Phylogenetic Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, A; Huber, K T; Moulton, V

    2018-02-01

    Phylogenetic networks are a generalization of phylogenetic trees that are used to represent non-tree-like evolutionary histories that arise in organisms such as plants and bacteria, or uncertainty in evolutionary histories. An unrooted phylogenetic network on a non-empty, finite set X of taxa, or network, is a connected, simple graph in which every vertex has degree 1 or 3 and whose leaf set is X. It is called a phylogenetic tree if the underlying graph is a tree. In this paper we consider properties of tree-based networks, that is, networks that can be constructed by adding edges into a phylogenetic tree. We show that although they have some properties in common with their rooted analogues which have recently drawn much attention in the literature, they have some striking differences in terms of both their structural and computational properties. We expect that our results could eventually have applications to, for example, detecting horizontal gene transfer or hybridization which are important factors in the evolution of many organisms.

  8. Conflicting Evolutionary Histories of the Mitochondrial and Nuclear Genomes in New World Myotis Bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, Roy N; Faircloth, Brant C; Sullivan, Kevin A M; Kieran, Troy J; Glenn, Travis C; Vandewege, Michael W; Lee, Thomas E; Baker, Robert J; Stevens, Richard D; Ray, David A

    2018-03-01

    The rapid diversification of Myotis bats into more than 100 species is one of the most extensive mammalian radiations available for study. Efforts to understand relationships within Myotis have primarily utilized mitochondrial markers and trees inferred from nuclear markers lacked resolution. Our current understanding of relationships within Myotis is therefore biased towards a set of phylogenetic markers that may not reflect the history of the nuclear genome. To resolve this, we sequenced the full mitochondrial genomes of 37 representative Myotis, primarily from the New World, in conjunction with targeted sequencing of 3648 ultraconserved elements (UCEs). We inferred the phylogeny and explored the effects of concatenation and summary phylogenetic methods, as well as combinations of markers based on informativeness or levels of missing data, on our results. Of the 294 phylogenies generated from the nuclear UCE data, all are significantly different from phylogenies inferred using mitochondrial genomes. Even within the nuclear data, quartet frequencies indicate that around half of all UCE loci conflict with the estimated species tree. Several factors can drive such conflict, including incomplete lineage sorting, introgressive hybridization, or even phylogenetic error. Despite the degree of discordance between nuclear UCE loci and the mitochondrial genome and among UCE loci themselves, the most common nuclear topology is recovered in one quarter of all analyses with strong nodal support. Based on these results, we re-examine the evolutionary history of Myotis to better understand the phenomena driving their unique nuclear, mitochondrial, and biogeographic histories.

  9. EVOLUTIONARY FOUNDATIONS FOR MOLECULAR MEDICINE

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. On the use of cartographic projections in visualizing phylo-genetic tree space

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clement Mark

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Phylogenetic analysis is becoming an increasingly important tool for biological research. Applications include epidemiological studies, drug development, and evolutionary analysis. Phylogenetic search is a known NP-Hard problem. The size of the data sets which can be analyzed is limited by the exponential growth in the number of trees that must be considered as the problem size increases. A better understanding of the problem space could lead to better methods, which in turn could lead to the feasible analysis of more data sets. We present a definition of phylogenetic tree space and a visualization of this space that shows significant exploitable structure. This structure can be used to develop search methods capable of handling much larger data sets.

  11. Evolution in Mind: Evolutionary Dynamics, Cognitive Processes, and Bayesian Inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suchow, Jordan W; Bourgin, David D; Griffiths, Thomas L

    2017-07-01

    Evolutionary theory describes the dynamics of population change in settings affected by reproduction, selection, mutation, and drift. In the context of human cognition, evolutionary theory is most often invoked to explain the origins of capacities such as language, metacognition, and spatial reasoning, framing them as functional adaptations to an ancestral environment. However, evolutionary theory is useful for understanding the mind in a second way: as a mathematical framework for describing evolving populations of thoughts, ideas, and memories within a single mind. In fact, deep correspondences exist between the mathematics of evolution and of learning, with perhaps the deepest being an equivalence between certain evolutionary dynamics and Bayesian inference. This equivalence permits reinterpretation of evolutionary processes as algorithms for Bayesian inference and has relevance for understanding diverse cognitive capacities, including memory and creativity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Human compulsivity: A perspective from evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Evolutionary mysteries in meiosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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,

  17. Evolutionary Biology Today

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  18. Learning: An Evolutionary Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swann, Joanna

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Complex systems, evolutionary planning?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. Evolutionary inference via the Poisson Indel Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchard-Côté, Alexandre; Jordan, Michael I

    2013-01-22

    We address the problem of the joint statistical inference of phylogenetic trees and multiple sequence alignments from unaligned molecular sequences. This problem is generally formulated in terms of string-valued evolutionary processes along the branches of a phylogenetic tree. The classic evolutionary process, the TKF91 model [Thorne JL, Kishino H, Felsenstein J (1991) J Mol Evol 33(2):114-124] is a continuous-time Markov chain model composed of insertion, deletion, and substitution events. Unfortunately, this model gives rise to an intractable computational problem: The computation of the marginal likelihood under the TKF91 model is exponential in the number of taxa. In this work, we present a stochastic process, the Poisson Indel Process (PIP), in which the complexity of this computation is reduced to linear. The Poisson Indel Process is closely related to the TKF91 model, differing only in its treatment of insertions, but it has a global characterization as a Poisson process on the phylogeny. Standard results for Poisson processes allow key computations to be decoupled, which yields the favorable computational profile of inference under the PIP model. We present illustrative experiments in which Bayesian inference under the PIP model is compared with separate inference of phylogenies and alignments.

  2. Evolutionary public health: introducing the concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wells, Jonathan C K; Nesse, Randolph M; Sear, Rebecca; Johnstone, Rufus A; Stearns, Stephen C

    2017-07-29

    The emerging discipline of evolutionary medicine is breaking new ground in understanding why people become ill. However, the value of evolutionary analyses of human physiology and behaviour is only beginning to be recognised in the field of public health. Core principles come from life history theory, which analyses the allocation of finite amounts of energy between four competing functions-maintenance, growth, reproduction, and defence. A central tenet of evolutionary theory is that organisms are selected to allocate energy and time to maximise reproductive success, rather than health or longevity. Ecological interactions that influence mortality risk, nutrient availability, and pathogen burden shape energy allocation strategies throughout the life course, thereby affecting diverse health outcomes. Public health interventions could improve their own effectiveness by incorporating an evolutionary perspective. In particular, evolutionary approaches offer new opportunities to address the complex challenges of global health, in which populations are differentially exposed to the metabolic consequences of poverty, high fertility, infectious diseases, and rapid changes in nutrition and lifestyle. The effect of specific interventions is predicted to depend on broader factors shaping life expectancy. Among the important tools in this approach are mathematical models, which can explore probable benefits and limitations of interventions in silico, before their implementation in human populations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The evolutionary ecology of molecular replicators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nee, Sean

    2016-08-01

    By reasonable criteria, life on the Earth consists mainly of molecular replicators. These include viruses, transposons, transpovirons, coviruses and many more, with continuous new discoveries like Sputnik Virophage. Their study is inherently multidisciplinary, spanning microbiology, genetics, immunology and evolutionary theory, and the current view is that taking a unified approach has great power and promise. We support this with a new, unified, model of their evolutionary ecology, using contemporary evolutionary theory coupling the Price equation with game theory, studying the consequences of the molecular replicators' promiscuous use of each others' gene products for their natural history and evolutionary ecology. Even at this simple expository level, we can make a firm prediction of a new class of replicators exploiting viruses such as lentiviruses like SIVs, a family which includes HIV: these have been explicitly stated in the primary literature to be non-existent. Closely connected to this departure is the view that multicellular organism immunology is more about the management of chronic infections rather than the elimination of acute ones and new understandings emerging are changing our view of the kind of theatre we ourselves provide for the evolutionary play of molecular replicators. This study adds molecular replicators to bacteria in the emerging field of sociomicrobiology.

  4. Comparative evolutionary diversity and phylogenetic structure across multiple forest dynamics plots: a mega-phylogeny approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Lee Erickson

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Forest dynamics plots, which now span longitudes, latitudes, and habitat types across the globe, offer unparalleled insights into the ecological and evolutionary processes that determine how species are assembled into communities. Understanding phylogenetic relationships among species in a community has become an important component of assessing assembly processes. However, the application of evolutionary information to questions in community ecology has been limited in large part by the lack of accurate estimates of phylogenetic relationships among individual species found within communities, and is particularly limiting in comparisons between communities. Therefore, streamlining and maximizing the information content of these community phylogenies is a priority. To test the viability and advantage of a multi-community phylogeny, we constructed a multi-plot mega-phylogeny of 1,347 species of trees across 15 forest dynamics plots in the ForestGEO network using DNA barcode sequence data (rbcL, matK and psbA-trnH and compared community phylogenies for each individual plot with respect to support for topology and branch lengths, which affect evolutionary inference of community processes. The levels of taxonomic differentiation across the phylogeny were examined by quantifying the frequency of resolved nodes throughout. In addition, three phylogenetic distance metrics that are commonly used to infer assembly processes were estimated for each plot (Phylogenetic Distance [PD], Mean Phylogenetic Distance [MPD], and Mean Nearest Taxon Distance [MNTD]. Lastly, we examine the partitioning of phylogenetic diversity among community plots through quantification of inter-community MPD and MNTD. Overall, evolutionary relationships were highly resolved across the DNA barcode-based mega-phylogeny, and phylogenetic resolution for each community plot was improved when estimated within the context of the mega-phylogeny. Likewise, when compared with phylogenies for

  5. Ancient Biomolecules and Evolutionary Inference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappellini, Enrico; Prohaska, Ana; Racimo, Fernando; Welker, Frido; Pedersen, Mikkel Winther; Allentoft, Morten E; de Barros Damgaard, Peter; Gutenbrunner, Petra; Dunne, Julie; Hammann, Simon; Roffet-Salque, Mélanie; Ilardo, Melissa; Moreno-Mayar, J Víctor; Wang, Yucheng; Sikora, Martin; Vinner, Lasse; Cox, Jürgen; Evershed, Richard P; Willerslev, Eske

    2018-04-25

    Over the last decade, studies of ancient biomolecules-particularly ancient DNA, proteins, and lipids-have revolutionized our understanding of evolutionary history. Though initially fraught with many challenges, the field now stands on firm foundations. Researchers now successfully retrieve nucleotide and amino acid sequences, as well as lipid signatures, from progressively older samples, originating from geographic areas and depositional environments that, until recently, were regarded as hostile to long-term preservation of biomolecules. Sampling frequencies and the spatial and temporal scope of studies have also increased markedly, and with them the size and quality of the data sets generated. This progress has been made possible by continuous technical innovations in analytical methods, enhanced criteria for the selection of ancient samples, integrated experimental methods, and advanced computational approaches. Here, we discuss the history and current state of ancient biomolecule research, its applications to evolutionary inference, and future directions for this young and exciting field. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Biochemistry Volume 87 is June 20, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

  6. Evolutionary Models for Simple Biosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagnoli, Franco

    The concept of evolutionary development of structures constituted a real revolution in biology: it was possible to understand how the very complex structures of life can arise in an out-of-equilibrium system. The investigation of such systems has shown that indeed, systems under a flux of energy or matter can self-organize into complex patterns, think for instance to Rayleigh-Bernard convection, Liesegang rings, patterns formed by granular systems under shear. Following this line, one could characterize life as a state of matter, characterized by the slow, continuous process that we call evolution. In this paper we try to identify the organizational level of life, that spans several orders of magnitude from the elementary constituents to whole ecosystems. Although similar structures can be found in other contexts like ideas (memes) in neural systems and self-replicating elements (computer viruses, worms, etc.) in computer systems, we shall concentrate on biological evolutionary structure, and try to put into evidence the role and the emergence of network structure in such systems.

  7. Efficient FPT Algorithms for (Strict) Compatibility of Unrooted Phylogenetic Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baste, Julien; Paul, Christophe; Sau, Ignasi; Scornavacca, Celine

    2017-04-01

    In phylogenetics, a central problem is to infer the evolutionary relationships between a set of species X; these relationships are often depicted via a phylogenetic tree-a tree having its leaves labeled bijectively by elements of X and without degree-2 nodes-called the "species tree." One common approach for reconstructing a species tree consists in first constructing several phylogenetic trees from primary data (e.g., DNA sequences originating from some species in X), and then constructing a single phylogenetic tree maximizing the "concordance" with the input trees. The obtained tree is our estimation of the species tree and, when the input trees are defined on overlapping-but not identical-sets of labels, is called "supertree." In this paper, we focus on two problems that are central when combining phylogenetic trees into a supertree: the compatibility and the strict compatibility problems for unrooted phylogenetic trees. These problems are strongly related, respectively, to the notions of "containing as a minor" and "containing as a topological minor" in the graph community. Both problems are known to be fixed parameter tractable in the number of input trees k, by using their expressibility in monadic second-order logic and a reduction to graphs of bounded treewidth. Motivated by the fact that the dependency on k of these algorithms is prohibitively large, we give the first explicit dynamic programming algorithms for solving these problems, both running in time [Formula: see text], where n is the total size of the input.

  8. Quantum Mechanics predicts evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torday, J S

    2018-07-01

    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 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Surface tree languages and parallel derivation trees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engelfriet, Joost

    1976-01-01

    The surface tree languages obtained by top-down finite state transformation of monadic trees are exactly the frontier-preserving homomorphic images of sets of derivation trees of ETOL systems. The corresponding class of tree transformation languages is therefore equal to the class of ETOL languages.

  10. Evolutionary conservation of plant gibberellin signalling pathway components

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reski Ralf

    2007-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  15. Introduction to Evolutionary Algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    Yu, Xinjie

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary algorithms (EAs) are becoming increasingly attractive for researchers from various disciplines, such as operations research, computer science, industrial engineering, electrical engineering, social science, economics, etc. This book presents an insightful, comprehensive, and up-to-date treatment of EAs, such as genetic algorithms, differential evolution, evolution strategy, constraint optimization, multimodal optimization, multiobjective optimization, combinatorial optimization, evolvable hardware, estimation of distribution algorithms, ant colony optimization, particle swarm opti

  16. Genome-wide comparative analysis of phylogenetic trees: the prokaryotic forest of life.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puigbò, Pere; Wolf, Yuri I; Koonin, Eugene V

    2012-01-01

    Genome-wide comparison of phylogenetic trees is becoming an increasingly common approach in evolutionary genomics, and a variety of approaches for such comparison have been developed. In this article, we present several methods for comparative analysis of large numbers of phylogenetic trees. To compare phylogenetic trees taking into account the bootstrap support for each internal branch, the Boot-Split Distance (BSD) method is introduced as an extension of the previously developed Split Distance method for tree comparison. The BSD method implements the straightforward idea that comparison of phylogenetic trees can be made more robust by treating tree splits differentially depending on the bootstrap support. Approaches are also introduced for detecting tree-like and net-like evolutionary trends in the phylogenetic Forest of Life (FOL), i.e., the entirety of the phylogenetic trees for conserved genes of prokaryotes. The principal method employed for this purpose includes mapping quartets of species onto trees to calculate the support of each quartet topology and so to quantify the tree and net contributions to the distances between species. We describe the application of these methods to analyze the FOL and the results obtained with these methods. These results support the concept of the Tree of Life (TOL) as a central evolutionary trend in the FOL as opposed to the traditional view of the TOL as a "species tree."

  17. Evolutionary games on graphs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, György; Fáth, Gábor

    2007-07-01

    Game theory is one of the key paradigms behind many scientific disciplines from biology to behavioral sciences to economics. In its evolutionary form and especially when the interacting agents are linked in a specific social network the underlying solution concepts and methods are very similar to those applied in non-equilibrium statistical physics. This review gives a tutorial-type overview of the field for physicists. The first four sections introduce the necessary background in classical and evolutionary game theory from the basic definitions to the most important results. The fifth section surveys the topological complications implied by non-mean-field-type social network structures in general. The next three sections discuss in detail the dynamic behavior of three prominent classes of models: the Prisoner's Dilemma, the Rock-Scissors-Paper game, and Competing Associations. The major theme of the review is in what sense and how the graph structure of interactions can modify and enrich the picture of long term behavioral patterns emerging in evolutionary games.

  18. Asymmetric Evolutionary Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAvoy, Alex; Hauert, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Evolutionary game theory is a powerful framework for studying evolution in populations of interacting individuals. A common assumption in evolutionary game theory is that interactions are symmetric, which means that the players are distinguished by only their strategies. In nature, however, the microscopic interactions between players are nearly always asymmetric due to environmental effects, differing baseline characteristics, and other possible sources of heterogeneity. To model these phenomena, we introduce into evolutionary game theory two broad classes of asymmetric interactions: ecological and genotypic. Ecological asymmetry results from variation in the environments of the players, while genotypic asymmetry is a consequence of the players having differing baseline genotypes. We develop a theory of these forms of asymmetry for games in structured populations and use the classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Snowdrift Game, for illustrations. Interestingly, asymmetric games reveal essential differences between models of genetic evolution based on reproduction and models of cultural evolution based on imitation that are not apparent in symmetric games. PMID:26308326

  19. Whole-tree distribution and temporal variation of non-structural carbohydrates in broadleaf evergreen trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Merryn G; Miller, Rebecca E; Arndt, Stefan K; Kasel, Sabine; Bennett, Lauren T

    2018-04-01

    Non-structural carbohydrates (NSCs) form a fundamental yet poorly quantified carbon pool in trees. Studies of NSC seasonality in forest trees have seldom measured whole-tree NSC stocks and allocation among organs, and are not representative of all tree functional types. Non-structural carbohydrate research has primarily focussed on broadleaf deciduous and coniferous evergreen trees with distinct growing seasons, while broadleaf evergreen trees remain under-studied despite their different growth phenology. We measured whole-tree NSC allocation and temporal variation in Eucalyptus obliqua L'Hér., a broadleaf evergreen tree species typically occurring in mixed-age temperate forests, which has year-round growth and the capacity to resprout after fire. Our overarching objective was to improve the empirical basis for understanding the functional importance of NSC allocation and stock changes at the tree- and organ-level in this tree functional type. Starch was the principal storage carbohydrate and was primarily stored in the stem and roots of young (14-year-old) trees rather than the lignotuber, which did not appear to be a specialized starch storage organ. Whole-tree NSC stocks were depleted during spring and summer due to significant decreases in starch mass in the roots and stem, seemingly to support root and crown growth but potentially exacerbated by water stress in summer. Seasonality of stem NSCs differed between young and mature trees, and was not synchronized with stem basal area increments in mature trees. Our results suggest that the relative magnitude of seasonal NSC stock changes could vary with tree growth stage, and that the main drivers of NSC fluctuations in broadleaf evergreen trees in temperate biomes could be periodic disturbances such as summer drought and fire, rather than growth phenology. These results have implications for understanding post-fire tree recovery via resprouting, and for incorporating NSC pools into carbon models of mixed

  20. A support vector machine based test for incongruence between sets of trees in tree space

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background The increased use of multi-locus data sets for phylogenetic reconstruction has increased the need to determine whether a set of gene trees significantly deviate from the phylogenetic patterns of other genes. Such unusual gene trees may have been influenced by other evolutionary processes such as selection, gene duplication, or horizontal gene transfer. Results Motivated by this problem we propose a nonparametric goodness-of-fit test for two empirical distributions of gene trees, and we developed the software GeneOut to estimate a p-value for the test. Our approach maps trees into a multi-dimensional vector space and then applies support vector machines (SVMs) to measure the separation between two sets of pre-defined trees. We use a permutation test to assess the significance of the SVM separation. To demonstrate the performance of GeneOut, we applied it to the comparison of gene trees simulated within different species trees across a range of species tree depths. Applied directly to sets of simulated gene trees with large sample sizes, GeneOut was able to detect very small differences between two set of gene trees generated under different species trees. Our statistical test can also include tree reconstruction into its test framework through a variety of phylogenetic optimality criteria. When applied to DNA sequence data simulated from different sets of gene trees, results in the form of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves indicated that GeneOut performed well in the detection of differences between sets of trees with different distributions in a multi-dimensional space. Furthermore, it controlled false positive and false negative rates very well, indicating a high degree of accuracy. Conclusions The non-parametric nature of our statistical test provides fast and efficient analyses, and makes it an applicable test for any scenario where evolutionary or other factors can lead to trees with different multi-dimensional distributions. The

  1. Applications of evolutionary computation in image processing and pattern recognition

    CERN Document Server

    Cuevas, Erik; Perez-Cisneros, Marco

    2016-01-01

    This book presents the use of efficient Evolutionary Computation (EC) algorithms for solving diverse real-world image processing and pattern recognition problems. It provides an overview of the different aspects of evolutionary methods in order to enable the reader in reaching a global understanding of the field and, in conducting studies on specific evolutionary techniques that are related to applications in image processing and pattern recognition. It explains the basic ideas of the proposed applications in a way that can also be understood by readers outside of the field. Image processing and pattern recognition practitioners who are not evolutionary computation researchers will appreciate the discussed techniques beyond simple theoretical tools since they have been adapted to solve significant problems that commonly arise on such areas. On the other hand, members of the evolutionary computation community can learn the way in which image processing and pattern recognition problems can be translated into an...

  2. The relationship between species diversity and genetic structure in the rare Picea chihuahuana tree species community, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simental-Rodríguez, Sergio Leonel; Quiñones-Pérez, Carmen Zulema; Moya, Daniel; Hernández-Tecles, Enrique; López-Sánchez, Carlos Antonio; Wehenkel, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Species diversity and genetic diversity, the most basic elements of biodiversity, have long been treated as separate topics, although populations evolve within a community context. Recent studies on community genetics and ecology have suggested that genetic diversity is not completely independent of species diversity. The Mexican Picea chihuahuana Martínez is an endemic species listed as "Endangered" on the Red List. Forty populations of Chihuahua spruce have been identified. This species is often associated with tree species of eight genera in gallery forests. This rare Picea chihuahuana tree community covers an area no more than 300 ha and has been subject of several studies involving different topics such as ecology, genetic structure and climate change. The overall aim of these studies was to obtain a dataset for developing management tools to help decision makers implement preservation and conservation strategies. However, this unique forest tree community may also represent an excellent subject for helping us to understand the interplay between ecological and evolutionary processes in determining community structure and dynamics. The AFLP technique and species composition data were used together to test the hypothesis that species diversity is related to the adaptive genetic structure of some dominant tree species (Picea chihuahuana, Pinus strobiformis, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Populus tremuloides) of the Picea chihuahuana tree community at fourteen locations. The Hill numbers were used as a diversity measure. The results revealed a significant correlation between tree species diversity and genetic structure in Populus tremuloides. Because the relationship between the two levels of diversity was found to be positive for the putative adaptive AFLP detected, genetic and species structures of the tree community were possibly simultaneously adapted to a combination of ecological or environmental factors. The present findings indicate that interactions between

  3. Border trees of complex networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Villas Boas, Paulino R; Rodrigues, Francisco A; Travieso, Gonzalo; Fontoura Costa, Luciano da

    2008-01-01

    The comprehensive characterization of the structure of complex networks is essential to understand the dynamical processes which guide their evolution. The discovery of the scale-free distribution and the small-world properties of real networks were fundamental to stimulate more realistic models and to understand important dynamical processes related to network growth. However, the properties of the network borders (nodes with degree equal to 1), one of its most fragile parts, remained little investigated and understood. The border nodes may be involved in the evolution of structures such as geographical networks. Here we analyze the border trees of complex networks, which are defined as the subgraphs without cycles connected to the remainder of the network (containing cycles) and terminating into border nodes. In addition to describing an algorithm for identification of such tree subgraphs, we also consider how their topological properties can be quantified in terms of their depth and number of leaves. We investigate the properties of border trees for several theoretical models as well as real-world networks. Among the obtained results, we found that more than half of the nodes of some real-world networks belong to the border trees. A power-law with cut-off was observed for the distribution of the depth and number of leaves of the border trees. An analysis of the local role of the nodes in the border trees was also performed

  4. Modular tree automata

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bahr, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Tree automata are traditionally used to study properties of tree languages and tree transformations. In this paper, we consider tree automata as the basis for modular and extensible recursion schemes. We show, using well-known techniques, how to derive from standard tree automata highly modular...

  5. Simple street tree sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak; Jeffrey T. Walton; James Baldwin; Jerry. Bond

    2015-01-01

    Information on street trees is critical for management of this important resource. Sampling of street tree populations provides an efficient means to obtain street tree population information. Long-term repeat measures of street tree samples supply additional information on street tree changes and can be used to report damages from catastrophic events. Analyses of...

  6. Prospective Algorithms for Quantum Evolutionary Computation

    OpenAIRE

    Sofge, Donald A.

    2008-01-01

    This effort examines the intersection of the emerging field of quantum computing and the more established field of evolutionary computation. The goal is to understand what benefits quantum computing might offer to computational intelligence and how computational intelligence paradigms might be implemented as quantum programs to be run on a future quantum computer. We critically examine proposed algorithms and methods for implementing computational intelligence paradigms, primarily focused on ...

  7. Evolutionary analyses of non-genealogical bonds produced by introgressive descent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bapteste, Eric; Lopez, Philippe; Bouchard, Frédéric; Baquero, Fernando; McInerney, James O; Burian, Richard M

    2012-11-06

    All evolutionary biologists are familiar with evolutionary units that evolve by vertical descent in a tree-like fashion in single lineages. However, many other kinds of processes contribute to evolutionary diversity. In vertical descent, the genetic material of a particular evolutionary unit is propagated by replication inside its own lineage. In what we call introgressive descent, the genetic material of a particular evolutionary unit propagates into different host structures and is replicated within these host structures. Thus, introgressive descent generates a variety of evolutionary units and leaves recognizable patterns in resemblance networks. We characterize six kinds of evolutionary units, of which five involve mosaic lineages generated by introgressive descent. To facilitate detection of these units in resemblance networks, we introduce terminology based on two notions, P3s (subgraphs of three nodes: A, B, and C) and mosaic P3s, and suggest an apparatus for systematic detection of introgressive descent. Mosaic P3s correspond to a distinct type of evolutionary bond that is orthogonal to the bonds of kinship and genealogy usually examined by evolutionary biologists. We argue that recognition of these evolutionary bonds stimulates radical rethinking of key questions in evolutionary biology (e.g., the relations among evolutionary players in very early phases of evolutionary history, the origin and emergence of novelties, and the production of new lineages). This line of research will expand the study of biological complexity beyond the usual genealogical bonds, revealing additional sources of biodiversity. It provides an important step to a more realistic pluralist treatment of evolutionary complexity.

  8. Studies in evolutionary agroecology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wille, Wibke

    of population performance will increase in frequency. Yield, one of the fundamental agronomic variables, is not an individual, but a population characteristic. A farmer wants a high yield per hectare; he is not interested in the performance of individual plants. When individual selection and population...... of Evolutionary Agroecology that the highest yielding individuals do not necessarily perform best as a population. The investment of resources into strategies and structures increasing individual competitive ability carries a cost. If a whole population consists of individuals investing resources to compete...

  9. Towards Adaptive Evolutionary Architecture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bak, Sebastian HOlt; Rask, Nina; Risi, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents first results from an interdisciplinary project, in which the fields of architecture, philosophy and artificial life are combined to explore possible futures of architecture. Through an interactive evolutionary installation, called EvoCurtain, we investigate aspects of how...... to the development of designs tailored to the individual preferences of inhabitants, changing the roles of architects and designers entirely. Architecture-as-it-could-be is a philosophical approach conducted through artistic methods to anticipate the technological futures of human-centered development within...

  10. Properly placed shade trees reduce summertime electricity bills in Sacramento, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geoffery H. Donovan; David R. Butry

    2009-01-01

    The discovery that shade trees can reduce home cooling costs is hardly surprising. Anybody who has sat under a tree on a warm summer day understands the shade benefit of trees. However, quantifying the effect a shade tree has on home energy use and carbon footprint, and identifying the optimal location for a shade tree, is less straightforward. Past studies that have...

  11. A new fast method for inferring multiple consensus trees using k-medoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tahiri, Nadia; Willems, Matthieu; Makarenkov, Vladimir

    2018-04-05

    Gene trees carry important information about specific evolutionary patterns which characterize the evolution of the corresponding gene families. However, a reliable species consensus tree cannot be inferred from a multiple sequence alignment of a single gene family or from the concatenation of alignments corresponding to gene families having different evolutionary histories. These evolutionary histories can be quite different due to horizontal transfer events or to ancient gene duplications which cause the emergence of paralogs within a genome. Many methods have been proposed to infer a single consensus tree from a collection of gene trees. Still, the application of these tree merging methods can lead to the loss of specific evolutionary patterns which characterize some gene families or some groups of gene families. Thus, the problem of inferring multiple consensus trees from a given set of gene trees becomes relevant. We describe a new fast method for inferring multiple consensus trees from a given set of phylogenetic trees (i.e. additive trees or X-trees) defined on the same set of species (i.e. objects or taxa). The traditional consensus approach yields a single consensus tree. We use the popular k-medoids partitioning algorithm to divide a given set of trees into several clusters of trees. We propose novel versions of the well-known Silhouette and Caliński-Harabasz cluster validity indices that are adapted for tree clustering with k-medoids. The efficiency of the new method was assessed using both synthetic and real data, such as a well-known phylogenetic dataset consisting of 47 gene trees inferred for 14 archaeal organisms. The method described here allows inference of multiple consensus trees from a given set of gene trees. It can be used to identify groups of gene trees having similar intragroup and different intergroup evolutionary histories. The main advantage of our method is that it is much faster than the existing tree clustering approaches, while

  12. City of Pittsburgh Trees

    Data.gov (United States)

    Allegheny County / City of Pittsburgh / Western PA Regional Data Center — Trees cared for and managed by the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works Forestry Division. Tree Benefits are calculated using the National Tree Benefit...

  13. SILVA tree viewer: interactive web browsing of the SILVA phylogenetic guide trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beccati, Alan; Gerken, Jan; Quast, Christian; Yilmaz, Pelin; Glöckner, Frank Oliver

    2017-09-30

    Phylogenetic trees are an important tool to study the evolutionary relationships among organisms. The huge amount of available taxa poses difficulties in their interactive visualization. This hampers the interaction with the users to provide feedback for the further improvement of the taxonomic framework. The SILVA Tree Viewer is a web application designed for visualizing large phylogenetic trees without requiring the download of any software tool or data files. The SILVA Tree Viewer is based on Web Geographic Information Systems (Web-GIS) technology with a PostgreSQL backend. It enables zoom and pan functionalities similar to Google Maps. The SILVA Tree Viewer enables access to two phylogenetic (guide) trees provided by the SILVA database: the SSU Ref NR99 inferred from high-quality, full-length small subunit sequences, clustered at 99% sequence identity and the LSU Ref inferred from high-quality, full-length large subunit sequences. The Tree Viewer provides tree navigation, search and browse tools as well as an interactive feedback system to collect any kinds of requests ranging from taxonomy to data curation and improving the tool itself.

  14. The evolutionary history of bears is characterized by gene flow across species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Vikas; Lammers, Fritjof; Bidon, Tobias; Pfenninger, Markus; Kolter, Lydia; Nilsson, Maria A.; Janke, Axel

    2017-01-01

    Bears are iconic mammals with a complex evolutionary history. Natural bear hybrids and studies of few nuclear genes indicate that gene flow among bears may be more common than expected and not limited to polar and brown bears. Here we present a genome analysis of the bear family with representatives of all living species. Phylogenomic analyses of 869 mega base pairs divided into 18,621 genome fragments yielded a well-resolved coalescent species tree despite signals for extensive gene flow across species. However, genome analyses using different statistical methods show that gene flow is not limited to closely related species pairs. Strong ancestral gene flow between the Asiatic black bear and the ancestor to polar, brown and American black bear explains uncertainties in reconstructing the bear phylogeny. Gene flow across the bear clade may be mediated by intermediate species such as the geographically wide-spread brown bears leading to large amounts of phylogenetic conflict. Genome-scale analyses lead to a more complete understanding of complex evolutionary processes. Evidence for extensive inter-specific gene flow, found also in other animal species, necessitates shifting the attention from speciation processes achieving genome-wide reproductive isolation to the selective processes that maintain species divergence in the face of gene flow. PMID:28422140

  15. The evolutionary history of bears is characterized by gene flow across species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Vikas; Lammers, Fritjof; Bidon, Tobias; Pfenninger, Markus; Kolter, Lydia; Nilsson, Maria A; Janke, Axel

    2017-04-19

    Bears are iconic mammals with a complex evolutionary history. Natural bear hybrids and studies of few nuclear genes indicate that gene flow among bears may be more common than expected and not limited to polar and brown bears. Here we present a genome analysis of the bear family with representatives of all living species. Phylogenomic analyses of 869 mega base pairs divided into 18,621 genome fragments yielded a well-resolved coalescent species tree despite signals for extensive gene flow across species. However, genome analyses using different statistical methods show that gene flow is not limited to closely related species pairs. Strong ancestral gene flow between the Asiatic black bear and the ancestor to polar, brown and American black bear explains uncertainties in reconstructing the bear phylogeny. Gene flow across the bear clade may be mediated by intermediate species such as the geographically wide-spread brown bears leading to large amounts of phylogenetic conflict. Genome-scale analyses lead to a more complete understanding of complex evolutionary processes. Evidence for extensive inter-specific gene flow, found also in other animal species, necessitates shifting the attention from speciation processes achieving genome-wide reproductive isolation to the selective processes that maintain species divergence in the face of gene flow.

  16. 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.

  17. Evolutionary approaches to cultural and linguistic diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, James; Jordan, Peter; Cochrane, Ethan

    2010-12-12

    Evolutionary approaches to cultural change are increasingly influential, and many scientists believe that a 'grand synthesis' is now in sight. The papers in this Theme Issue, which derives from a symposium held by the AHRC Centre for the Evolution of Cultural Diversity (University College London) in December 2008, focus on how the phylogenetic tree-building and network-based techniques used to estimate descent relationships in biology can be adapted to reconstruct cultural histories, where some degree of inter-societal diffusion will almost inevitably be superimposed on any deeper signal of a historical branching process. The disciplines represented include the three most purely 'cultural' fields from the four-field model of anthropology (cultural anthropology, archaeology and linguistic anthropology). In this short introduction, some context is provided from the history of anthropology, and key issues raised by the papers are highlighted.

  18. Environmental stress and whole-tree physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter L. Jr. Lorio

    1993-01-01

    Interactions among bark beetles, pathogens, and conifers constitute a triangle. Another triangle of interactions exist among the invading organism (bark beetles and pathogens), the trees, and the environment. How important, variable or constant, simple or complex, is the role of trees in these triangles? Understanding the wide range of interactions that take place...

  19. Developmental and Evolutionary Perspectives on the Origin and Diversification of Arthropod Appendages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jockusch, Elizabeth L

    2017-09-01

    Jointed, segmented appendages are a key innovation of arthropods. The subsequent diversification of these appendages, both along the body axis and across taxa, has contributed to the evolutionary success of arthropods. Both developmental and fossil data are informative for understanding how these transitions occurred. Comparative analyses help to pinpoint the developmental novelties that distinguish arthropod appendages from the lobopodous appendages of other panarthropods, and that distinguish different appendage types. The fossil record of stem group arthropods is diverse and preserves intermediate steps in these evolutionary transitions, including some that cannot be directly inferred based on extant taxa. These lead to hypotheses that can be tested with comparative developmental data, as well as to reinterpretations of developmental results. One developmental novelty of arthropods is the reiterated deployment of the joint formation network, which divides the appendages into segments. The fossil record raises questions about how this joint formation network was first deployed, given the contrasting morphologies of appendages in stem group versus extant arthropods. The fossil record supports a character tree for appendage diversification showing progressive individuation of appendages in an anterior-to-posterior sequence. However, to date, developmental evidence provides at best limited support for this character tree. Recent interpretations of the fossil record suggest that the labrum of extant arthropods is a greatly reduced protocerebral appendage pair; this hypothesis is consistent with the extensive shared developmental patterning of the labrum and jointed appendages. Reciprocal illumination from fossils and developmental patterning in a phylogenetic context both makes sense of some results and helps motivates questions for future research. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative

  20. Evolutionary origins of mechanosensitive ion channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinac, Boris; Kloda, Anna

    2003-01-01

    According to the recent revision, the universal phylogenetic tree is composed of three domains: Eukarya (eukaryotes), Bacteria (eubacteria) and Archaea (archaebacteria). Mechanosensitive (MS) ion channels have been documented in cells belonging to all three domains suggesting their very early appearance during evolution of life on Earth. The channels show great diversity in conductance, selectivity and voltage dependence, while sharing the property of being gated by mechanical stimuli exerted on cell membranes. In prokaryotes, MS channels were first documented in Bacteria followed by their discovery in Archaea. The finding of MS channels in archaeal cells helped to recognize and establish the evolutionary relationship between bacterial and archaeal MS channels and to show that this relationship extends to eukaryotic Fungi (Schizosaccharomyces pombe) and Plants (Arabidopsis thaliana). Similar to their bacterial and archaeal homologues, MS channels in eukaryotic cell-walled Fungi and Plants may serve in protecting the cellular plasma membrane from excessive dilation and rupture that may occur during osmotic stress. This review summarizes briefly some of the recent developments in the MS channel research field that may ultimately lead to elucidation of the biophysical and evolutionary principles underlying the mechanosensory transduction in living cells.

  1. Protein Based Molecular Markers Provide Reliable Means to Understand Prokaryotic Phylogeny and Support Darwinian Mode of Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaibhav eBhandari

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available The analyses of genome sequences have led to the proposal that lateral gene transfers (LGTs among prokaryotes are so widespread that they disguise the interrelationships among these organisms. This has led to questioning whether the Darwinian model of evolution is applicable to the prokaryotic organisms. In this review, we discuss the usefulness of taxon-specific molecular markers such as conserved signature indels (CSIs and conserved signature proteins (CSPs for understanding the evolutionary relationships among prokaryotes and to assess the influence of LGTs on prokaryotic evolution. The analyses of genomic sequences have identified large numbers of CSIs and CSPs that are unique properties of different groups of prokaryotes ranging from phylum to genus levels. The species distribution patterns of these molecular signatures strongly support a tree-like vertical inheritance of the genes containing these molecular signatures that is consistent with phylogenetic trees. Recent detailed studies in this regard on Thermotogae and Archaea, which are reviewed here, have identified large numbers of CSIs and CSPs that are specific for the species from these two taxa and a number of their major clades. The genetic changes responsible for these CSIs (and CSPs initially likely occurred in the common ancestors of these taxa and then vertically transferred to various descendants. Although some CSIs and CSPs in unrelated groups of prokaryotes were identified, their small numbers and random occurrence has no apparent influence on the consistent tree-like branching pattern emerging from other markers. These results provide evidence that although LGT is an important evolutionary force, it does not mask the tree-like branching pattern of prokaryotes or understanding of their evolutionary relationships. The identified CSIs and CSPs also provide novel and highly specific means for identification of different groups of microbes and for taxonomical and biochemical

  2. Protein based molecular markers provide reliable means to understand prokaryotic phylogeny and support Darwinian mode of evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Vaibhav; Naushad, Hafiz S; Gupta, Radhey S

    2012-01-01

    The analyses of genome sequences have led to the proposal that lateral gene transfers (LGTs) among prokaryotes are so widespread that they disguise the interrelationships among these organisms. This has led to questioning of whether the Darwinian model of evolution is applicable to prokaryotic organisms. In this review, we discuss the usefulness of taxon-specific molecular markers such as conserved signature indels (CSIs) and conserved signature proteins (CSPs) for understanding the evolutionary relationships among prokaryotes and to assess the influence of LGTs on prokaryotic evolution. The analyses of genomic sequences have identified large numbers of CSIs and CSPs that are unique properties of different groups of prokaryotes ranging from phylum to genus levels. The species distribution patterns of these molecular signatures strongly support a tree-like vertical inheritance of the genes containing these molecular signatures that is consistent with phylogenetic trees. Recent detailed studies in this regard on the Thermotogae and Archaea, which are reviewed here, have identified large numbers of CSIs and CSPs that are specific for the species from these two taxa and a number of their major clades. The genetic changes responsible for these CSIs (and CSPs) initially likely occurred in the common ancestors of these taxa and then vertically transferred to various descendants. Although some CSIs and CSPs in unrelated groups of prokaryotes were identified, their small numbers and random occurrence has no apparent influence on the consistent tree-like branching pattern emerging from other markers. These results provide evidence that although LGT is an important evolutionary force, it does not mask the tree-like branching pattern of prokaryotes or understanding of their evolutionary relationships. The identified CSIs and CSPs also provide novel and highly specific means for identification of different groups of microbes and for taxonomical and biochemical studies.

  3. The great opportunity: Evolutionary applications to medicine and public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M; Stearns, Stephen C

    2008-02-01

    Evolutionary biology is an essential basic science for medicine, but few doctors and medical researchers are familiar with its most relevant principles. Most medical schools have geneticists who understand evolution, but few have even one evolutionary biologist to suggest other possible applications. The canyon between evolutionary biology and medicine is wide. The question is whether they offer each other enough to make bridge building worthwhile. What benefits could be expected if evolution were brought fully to bear on the problems of medicine? How would studying medical problems advance evolutionary research? Do doctors need to learn evolution, or is it valuable mainly for researchers? What practical steps will promote the application of evolutionary biology in the areas of medicine where it offers the most? To address these questions, we review current and potential applications of evolutionary biology to medicine and public health. Some evolutionary technologies, such as population genetics, serial transfer production of live vaccines, and phylogenetic analysis, have been widely applied. Other areas, such as infectious disease and aging research, illustrate the dramatic recent progress made possible by evolutionary insights. In still other areas, such as epidemiology, psychiatry, and understanding the regulation of bodily defenses, applying evolutionary principles remains an open opportunity. In addition to the utility of specific applications, an evolutionary perspective fundamentally challenges the prevalent but fundamentally incorrect metaphor of the body as a machine designed by an engineer. Bodies are vulnerable to disease - and remarkably resilient - precisely because they are not machines built from a plan. They are, instead, bundles of compromises shaped by natural selection in small increments to maximize reproduction, not health. Understanding the body as a product of natural selection, not design, offers new research questions and a framework for

  4. Occult hepatitis B infection: an evolutionary scenario

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lukashov Vladimir V

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Occult or latent hepatitis B virus (HBV infection is defined as infection with detectable HBV DNA and undetectable surface antigen (HBsAg in patients' blood. The cause of an overt HBV infection becoming an occult one is unknown. To gain insight into the mechanism of the development of occult infection, we compared the full-length HBV genome from a blood donor carrying an occult infection (d4 with global genotype D genomes. Results The phylogenetic analysis of polymerase, core and X protein sequences did not distinguish d4 from other genotype D strains. Yet, d4 surface protein formed the evolutionary outgroup relative to all other genotype D strains. Its evolutionary branch was the only one where accumulation of substitutions suggests positive selection (dN/dS = 1.3787. Many of these substitutiions accumulated specifically in regions encoding the core/surface protein interface, as revealed in a 3D-modeled protein complex. We identified a novel RNA splicing event (deleting nucleotides 2986-202 that abolishes surface protein gene expression without affecting polymerase, core and X-protein related functions. Genotype D strains differ in their ability to perform this 2986-202 splicing. Strains prone to 2986-202 splicing constitute a separate clade in a phylogenetic tree of genotype D HBVs. A single substitution (G173T that is associated with clade membership alters the local RNA secondary structure and is proposed to affect splicing efficiency at the 202 acceptor site. Conclusion We propose an evolutionary scenario for occult HBV infection, in which 2986-202 splicing generates intracellular virus particles devoid of surface protein, which subsequently accumulates mutations due to relaxation of coding constraints. Such viruses are deficient of autonomous propagation and cannot leave the host cell until it is lysed.

  5. Evolutionary perspectives into placental biology and disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward B. Chuong

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Phylogenetic affinity of tree shrews to Glires is attributed to fast evolution rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Jiannan; Chen, Guangfeng; Gu, Liang; Shen, Yuefeng; Zheng, Meizhu; Zheng, Weisheng; Hu, Xinjie; Zhang, Xiaobai; Qiu, Yu; Liu, Xiaoqing; Jiang, Cizhong

    2014-02-01

    Previous phylogenetic analyses have led to incongruent evolutionary relationships between tree shrews and other suborders of Euarchontoglires. What caused the incongruence remains elusive. In this study, we identified 6845 orthologous genes between seventeen placental mammals. Tree shrews and Primates were monophyletic in the phylogenetic trees derived from the first or/and second codon positions whereas tree shrews and Glires formed a monophyly in the trees derived from the third or all codon positions. The same topology was obtained in the phylogeny inference using the slowly and fast evolving genes, respectively. This incongruence was likely attributed to the fast substitution rate in tree shrews and Glires. Notably, sequence GC content only was not informative to resolve the controversial phylogenetic relationships between tree shrews, Glires, and Primates. Finally, estimation in the confidence of the tree selection strongly supported the phylogenetic affiliation of tree shrews to Primates as a monophyly. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Different evolutionary pathways underlie the morphology of wrist bones in hominoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kivell, Tracy L; Barros, Anna P; Smaers, Jeroen B

    2013-10-23

    The hominoid wrist has been a focus of numerous morphological analyses that aim to better understand long-standing questions about the evolution of human and hominoid hand use. However, these same analyses also suggest various scenarios of complex and mosaic patterns of morphological evolution within the wrist and potentially multiple instances of homoplasy that would benefit from require formal analysis within a phylogenetic context.We identify morphological features that principally characterize primate - and, in particular, hominoid (apes, including humans) - wrist evolution and reveal the rate, process and evolutionary timing of patterns of morphological change on individual branches of the primate tree of life. Linear morphological variables of five wrist bones - the scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, capitate and hamate - are analyzed in a diverse sample of extant hominoids (12 species, 332 specimens), Old World (8 species, 43 specimens) and New World (4 species, 26 specimens) monkeys, fossil Miocene apes (8 species, 20 specimens) and Plio-Pleistocene hominins (8 species, 18 specimens). Results reveal a combination of parallel and synapomorphic morphology within haplorrhines, and especially within hominoids, across individual wrist bones. Similar morphology of some wrist bones reflects locomotor behaviour shared between clades (scaphoid, triquetrum and capitate) while others (lunate and hamate) indicate clade-specific synapomorphic morphology. Overall, hominoids show increased variation in wrist bone morphology compared with other primate clades, supporting previous analyses, and demonstrate several occurrences of parallel evolution, particularly between orangutans and hylobatids, and among hominines (extant African apes, humans and fossil hominins). Our analyses indicate that different evolutionary processes can underlie the evolution of a single anatomical unit (the wrist) to produce diversity in functional and morphological adaptations across individual wrist

  8. 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.

  9. Evolutionary history of LINE-1 in the major clades of placental mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul D Waters

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available LINE-1 constitutes an important component of mammalian genomes. It has a dynamic evolutionary history characterized by the rise, fall and replacement of subfamilies. Most data concerning LINE-1 biology and evolution are derived from the human and mouse genomes and are often assumed to hold for all placentals.To examine LINE-1 relationships, sequences from the 3' region of the reverse transcriptase from 21 species (representing 13 orders across Afrotheria, Xenarthra, Supraprimates and Laurasiatheria were obtained from whole genome sequence assemblies, or by PCR with degenerate primers. These sequences were aligned and analysed.Our analysis reflects accepted placental relationships suggesting mostly lineage-specific LINE-1 families. The data provide clear support for several clades including Glires, Supraprimates, Laurasiatheria, Boreoeutheria, Xenarthra and Afrotheria. Within the afrotherian LINE-1 (AfroLINE clade, our tree supports Paenungulata, Afroinsectivora and Afroinsectiphillia. Xenarthran LINE-1 (XenaLINE falls sister to AfroLINE, providing some support for the Atlantogenata (Xenarthra+Afrotheria hypothesis.LINEs and SINEs make up approximately half of all placental genomes, so understanding their dynamics is an essential aspect of comparative genomics. Importantly, a tree of LINE-1 offers a different view of the root, as long edges (branches such as that to marsupials are shortened and/or broken up. Additionally, a robust phylogeny of diverse LINE-1 is essential in testing that site-specific LINE-1 insertions, often regarded as homoplasy-free phylogenetic markers, are indeed unique and not convergent.

  10. 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.

  11. Evolutionary economics and industry location

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, R.A.; Frenken, K.

    2003-01-01

    This paper aims to provide the outlines of an evolutionary economic geography of industry location. We discuss two evolutionary explanations of industry location, that is, one that concentrates on spin-offs, and one that focuses attention on knowledge and agglomeration economies. We claim that both

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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.

  14. Applications of evolutionary economic geography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boschma, R.A.; Frenken, K.; Puranam, Krishna Kishore; Ravi Kumar Jain B., xx

    2008-01-01

    This paper is written as the first chapter of an edited volume on evolutionary economics and economic geography (Frenken, K., editor, Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, expected publication date February 2007). The paper reviews empirical applications of

  15. Evolutionary design assistants for architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Onur Sönmez

    2015-04-01

    existing literature and the proposals and applications of the thesis; secondly, proposals for descriptive and prescriptive models, mappings, summary illustrations, task structures, decomposition schemes, and integratory frameworks; and finally, experimental applications of these proposals. This tripartite progression allows an evaluation of each proposal both conceptually and practically; thereby, enabling a progressive improvement of the understanding regarding the research question, while producing concrete outputs on the way. Besides theoretical and interpretative examinations, the thesis investigates its subject through a set of practical and speculative proposals, which function as both research instruments and the outputs of the study. The first main output of the study is the “design_proxy” approach (d_p, which is an integrated approach for draft making design assistants. It is an outcome of both theoretical examinations and experimental applications, and proposes an integration of, (1 flexible and relaxed task definitions and representations (instead of strict formalisms, (2 intuitive interfaces that make use of usual design media, (3 evaluation of solution proposals through their similarity to given examples, and (4 a dynamic evolutionary approach for solution generation. The design_proxy approach may be useful for AD researchers that aim at developing practical design assistants, as has been examined and demonstrated with the two applications, i.e., design_proxy.graphics and design_proxy.layout. The second main output, the “Interleaved Evolutionary Algorithm” (IEA, or Interleaved EA is a novel evolutionary algorithm proposed and used as the underlying generative mechanism of design_proxybased design assistants. The Interleaved EA is a dynamic, adaptive, and multi-objective EA, in which one of the objectives leads the evolution until its fitness progression stagnates; in the sense that the settings and fitness values of this objective is used for most

  16. Visualizing Biological Data in Museums: Visitor Learning with an Interactive Tree of Life Exhibit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horn, Michael S.; Phillips, Brenda C.; Evans, Evelyn Margaret; Block, Florian; Diamond, Judy; Shen, Chia

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we investigate museum visitor learning and engagement at an interactive visualization of an evolutionary tree of life consisting of over 70,000 species. The study was conducted at two natural history museums where visitors collaboratively explored the tree of life using direct touch gestures on a multi-touch tabletop display. In the…

  17. Categorizing ideas about trees: a tree of trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisler, Marie; Lecointre, Guillaume

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study is to explore whether matrices and MP trees used to produce systematic categories of organisms could be useful to produce categories of ideas in history of science. We study the history of the use of trees in systematics to represent the diversity of life from 1766 to 1991. We apply to those ideas a method inspired from coding homologous parts of organisms. We discretize conceptual parts of ideas, writings and drawings about trees contained in 41 main writings; we detect shared parts among authors and code them into a 91-characters matrix and use a tree representation to show who shares what with whom. In other words, we propose a hierarchical representation of the shared ideas about trees among authors: this produces a "tree of trees." Then, we categorize schools of tree-representations. Classical schools like "cladists" and "pheneticists" are recovered but others are not: "gradists" are separated into two blocks, one of them being called here "grade theoreticians." We propose new interesting categories like the "buffonian school," the "metaphoricians," and those using "strictly genealogical classifications." We consider that networks are not useful to represent shared ideas at the present step of the study. A cladogram is made for showing who is sharing what with whom, but also heterobathmy and homoplasy of characters. The present cladogram is not modelling processes of transmission of ideas about trees, and here it is mostly used to test for proximity of ideas of the same age and for categorization.

  18. Rooting gene trees without outgroups: EP rooting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinsheimer, Janet S; Little, Roderick J A; Lake, James A

    2012-01-01

    Gene sequences are routinely used to determine the topologies of unrooted phylogenetic trees, but many of the most important questions in evolution require knowing both the topologies and the roots of trees. However, general algorithms for calculating rooted trees from gene and genomic sequences in the absence of gene paralogs are few. Using the principles of evolutionary parsimony (EP) (Lake JA. 1987a. A rate-independent technique for analysis of nucleic acid sequences: evolutionary parsimony. Mol Biol Evol. 4:167-181) and its extensions (Cavender, J. 1989. Mechanized derivation of linear invariants. Mol Biol Evol. 6:301-316; Nguyen T, Speed TP. 1992. A derivation of all linear invariants for a nonbalanced transversion model. J Mol Evol. 35:60-76), we explicitly enumerate all linear invariants that solely contain rooting information and derive algorithms for rooting gene trees directly from gene and genomic sequences. These new EP linear rooting invariants allow one to determine rooted trees, even in the complete absence of outgroups and gene paralogs. EP rooting invariants are explicitly derived for three taxon trees, and rules for their extension to four or more taxa are provided. The method is demonstrated using 18S ribosomal DNA to illustrate how the new animal phylogeny (Aguinaldo AMA et al. 1997. Evidence for a clade of nematodes, arthropods, and other moulting animals. Nature 387:489-493; Lake JA. 1990. Origin of the metazoa. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 87:763-766) may be rooted directly from sequences, even when they are short and paralogs are unavailable. These results are consistent with the current root (Philippe H et al. 2011. Acoelomorph flatworms are deuterostomes related to Xenoturbella. Nature 470:255-260).

  19. Rooting the archaebacterial tree: the pivotal role of Thermococcus celer in archaebacterial evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Achenbach-Richter, L.; Gupta, R.; Zillig, W.; Woese, C. R.

    1988-01-01

    The sequence of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene from the archaebacterium Thermococcus celer shows the organism to be related to the methanogenic archaebacteria rather than to its phenotypic counterparts, the extremely thermophilic archaebacteria. This conclusion turns on the position of the root of the archaebacterial phylogenetic tree, however. The problems encountered in rooting this tree are analyzed in detail. Under conditions that suppress evolutionary noise both the parsimony and evolutionary distance methods yield a root location (using a number of eubacterial or eukaryotic outgroup sequences) that is consistent with that determined by an "internal rooting" method, based upon an (approximate) determination of relative evolutionary rates.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Evolutionary modelling of transitions to sustainable development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Safarzynska, K.

    2010-01-01

    This thesis has examined how evolutionary economics can contribute to modelling the micromechanisms that underlie transitions towards sustainable development. In general, transitions are fundamental or structural system changes. They involve, or even require, escaping lock-in of dominant, environmentally unsustainable technologies, introducing major technical or social innovations, and changing prevailing social practices and structures. Due to the complexity of socioeconomic interactions, it is not always possible to identify, and thus target with appropriate policy instruments, causes of specific unsustainable patterns of behaviour. Formal modelling exercises can help improve our understanding of the interaction of various transition mechanisms which are otherwise difficult to grasp intuitively. They allow exploring effects of policy interventions in complex systems. However, existing models of transitions focus on social phenomena and seldom address economic problems. As opposed, mainstream (neoclassical) economic models of technological change do not account for social interactions, and changing heterogeneity of users and their perspectives - even though all of these can influence the direction of innovations and patterns of socio-technological development. Evolutionary economics offers an approach that goes beyond neoclassical economics - in the sense of employing more realistic assumptions regarding the behaviour and heterogeneity of consumers, firms and investors. It can complement current transition models by providing them with a better understanding of associated economic dynamics. In this thesis, formal models were proposed to illustrate the usefulness of a range of evolutionary-economic techniques for modelling transitions. Modelling exercises aimed to explain the core properties of socio-economic systems, such as lock-in, path-dependence, coevolution, group selection and recombinant innovation. The studies collected in this dissertation illustrate that

  3. Urban tree growth modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    E. Gregory McPherson; Paula J. Peper

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes three long-term tree growth studies conducted to evaluate tree performance because repeated measurements of the same trees produce critical data for growth model calibration and validation. Several empirical and process-based approaches to modeling tree growth are reviewed. Modeling is more advanced in the fields of forestry and...

  4. Keeping trees as assets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin T. Smith

    2009-01-01

    Landscape trees have real value and contribute to making livable communities. Making the most of that value requires providing trees with the proper care and attention. As potentially large and long-lived organisms, trees benefit from commitment to regular care that respects the natural tree system. This system captures, transforms, and uses energy to survive, grow,...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Genetic transformation of forest trees | Diouf | African Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this review, the recent progress on genetic transformation of forest trees were discussed. Its described also, different applications of genetic engineering for improving forest trees or understanding the mechanisms governing genes expression in woody plants. Key words: Genetic transformation, transgenic forest trees, ...

  8. Stewardship matters: Case studies in establishment success of urban trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara A. Roman; Lindsey A. Walker; Catherine M. Martineau; David J. Muffly; Susan A. MacQueen; Winnie Harris

    2015-01-01

    Urban tree planting initiatives aim to provide ecosystem services that materialize decades after planting, therefore understanding tree survival and growth is essential to evaluating planting program performance. Tree mortality is relatively high during the establishment phase, the first few years after planting. Qualitative assessments of programs with particularly...

  9. Urban tree effects on fine particulate matter and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Nowak

    2014-01-01

    Overall, city trees reduce particulate matter and provide substantial health benefits; but under certain conditions, they can locally increase particulate matter concentrations. Urban foresters need to understand how trees affect particulate matter so they can select proper species and create appropriate designs to improve air quality. This article details trees'...

  10. Classification and regression trees

    CERN Document Server

    Breiman, Leo; Olshen, Richard A; Stone, Charles J

    1984-01-01

    The methodology used to construct tree structured rules is the focus of this monograph. Unlike many other statistical procedures, which moved from pencil and paper to calculators, this text's use of trees was unthinkable before computers. Both the practical and theoretical sides have been developed in the authors' study of tree methods. Classification and Regression Trees reflects these two sides, covering the use of trees as a data analysis method, and in a more mathematical framework, proving some of their fundamental properties.

  11. Using Evolutionary Theory to Guide Mental Health Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durisko, Zachary; Mulsant, Benoit H; McKenzie, Kwame; Andrews, Paul W

    2016-03-01

    Evolutionary approaches to medicine can shed light on the origins and etiology of disease. Such an approach may be especially useful in psychiatry, which frequently addresses conditions with heterogeneous presentation and unknown causes. We review several previous applications of evolutionary theory that highlight the ways in which psychiatric conditions may persist despite and because of natural selection. One lesson from the evolutionary approach is that some conditions currently classified as disorders (because they cause distress and impairment) may actually be caused by functioning adaptations operating "normally" (as designed by natural selection). Such conditions suggest an alternative illness model that may generate alternative intervention strategies. Thus, the evolutionary approach suggests that psychiatry should sometimes think differently about distress and impairment. The complexity of the human brain, including normal functioning and potential for dysfunctions, has developed over evolutionary time and has been shaped by natural selection. Understanding the evolutionary origins of psychiatric conditions is therefore a crucial component to a complete understanding of etiology. © The Author(s) 2016.

  12. On the Accuracy of Language Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pompei, Simone; Loreto, Vittorio; Tria, Francesca

    2011-01-01

    Historical linguistics aims at inferring the most likely language phylogenetic tree starting from information concerning the evolutionary relatedness of languages. The available information are typically lists of homologous (lexical, phonological, syntactic) features or characters for many different languages: a set of parallel corpora whose compilation represents a paramount achievement in linguistics. From this perspective the reconstruction of language trees is an example of inverse problems: starting from present, incomplete and often noisy, information, one aims at inferring the most likely past evolutionary history. A fundamental issue in inverse problems is the evaluation of the inference made. A standard way of dealing with this question is to generate data with artificial models in order to have full access to the evolutionary process one is going to infer. This procedure presents an intrinsic limitation: when dealing with real data sets, one typically does not know which model of evolution is the most suitable for them. A possible way out is to compare algorithmic inference with expert classifications. This is the point of view we take here by conducting a thorough survey of the accuracy of reconstruction methods as compared with the Ethnologue expert classifications. We focus in particular on state-of-the-art distance-based methods for phylogeny reconstruction using worldwide linguistic databases. In order to assess the accuracy of the inferred trees we introduce and characterize two generalizations of standard definitions of distances between trees. Based on these scores we quantify the relative performances of the distance-based algorithms considered. Further we quantify how the completeness and the coverage of the available databases affect the accuracy of the reconstruction. Finally we draw some conclusions about where the accuracy of the reconstructions in historical linguistics stands and about the leading directions to improve it. PMID:21674034

  13. On the accuracy of language trees.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simone Pompei

    Full Text Available Historical linguistics aims at inferring the most likely language phylogenetic tree starting from information concerning the evolutionary relatedness of languages. The available information are typically lists of homologous (lexical, phonological, syntactic features or characters for many different languages: a set of parallel corpora whose compilation represents a paramount achievement in linguistics. From this perspective the reconstruction of language trees is an example of inverse problems: starting from present, incomplete and often noisy, information, one aims at inferring the most likely past evolutionary history. A fundamental issue in inverse problems is the evaluation of the inference made. A standard way of dealing with this question is to generate data with artificial models in order to have full access to the evolutionary process one is going to infer. This procedure presents an intrinsic limitation: when dealing with real data sets, one typically does not know which model of evolution is the most suitable for them. A possible way out is to compare algorithmic inference with expert classifications. This is the point of view we take here by conducting a thorough survey of the accuracy of reconstruction methods as compared with the Ethnologue expert classifications. We focus in particular on state-of-the-art distance-based methods for phylogeny reconstruction using worldwide linguistic databases. In order to assess the accuracy of the inferred trees we introduce and characterize two generalizations of standard definitions of distances between trees. Based on these scores we quantify the relative performances of the distance-based algorithms considered. Further we quantify how the completeness and the coverage of the available databases affect the accuracy of the reconstruction. Finally we draw some conclusions about where the accuracy of the reconstructions in historical linguistics stands and about the leading directions to improve

  14. Selecting the Best: Evolutionary Engineering of Chemical Production in Microbes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shepelin, Denis; Hansen, Anne Sofie Lærke; Lennen, Rebecca

    2018-01-01

    , we focus primarily on a more challenging problem-the use of evolutionary engineering for improving the production of chemicals in microbes directly. We describe recent developments in evolutionary engineering strategies, in general, and discuss, in detail, case studies where production of a chemical......Microbial cell factories have proven to be an economical means of production for many bulk, specialty, and fine chemical products. However, we still lack both a holistic understanding of organism physiology and the ability to predictively tune enzyme activities in vivo, thus slowing down rational...... engineering of industrially relevant strains. An alternative concept to rational engineering is to use evolution as the driving force to select for desired changes, an approach often described as evolutionary engineering. In evolutionary engineering, in vivo selections for a desired phenotype are combined...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Joseph; Theol, M

    2014-04-01

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

  16. Can live tree size-density relationships provide a mechanism for predicting down and dead tree resources?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher Woodall; James Westfall

    2009-01-01

    Live tree size-density relationships in forests have long provided a framework for understanding stand dynamics. There has been little examination of the relationship between the size-density attributes of live and standing/down dead trees (e.g., number and mean tree size per unit area, such information could help in large-scale efforts to estimate dead wood resources...

  17. Public Reactions to New Street Tree Planting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruth A. Rae

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available MillionTreesNYC, which has the goal of planting one million trees in New York City by 2017, is intended to make New York City a greener, more sustainable city and is part of the Mayor’s comprehensive long term strategic plan, PlaNYC. Through planting a tree at every suitable sidewalk location in the city, the City of New York is transforming blocks and communities, and providing a variety of environmental, social and aesthetic benefits. This article examines the large scale municipal planting of new street trees and the reaction by some of the pubic to this planting.Trees offer benefits to the city overall, but the public may not understand these benefits or the street tree planting process. Between 2007 and 2009, the Department of Parks & Recreation planted 53,235 new street trees, and received 4,108 items of correspondence from the public. The majority of this correspondence consisted of public comments about the City’s new street tree planting policies and processes including placement objections, maintenance concerns, reports of resultant damage from tree planting operations, requests for new street trees and reports of tree conditions.This study describes the operational policies that guide New York City's municipal street tree planting, and results of content and spatial analysis of the correspondence. Qualitative analysis of the correspondence revealed the public perceptions and concerns related to the MillionTreesNYC program. Spatial analysis explored the relationship between the planting locations of new street trees and the locations of the citizen correspondence.Public reactions to this large scale municipal planting are related to the dual public and private nature of the sidewalk, issues of territoriality, responsibility, aesthetics and place attachment. Correspondence volume was associated with the scale of the new street tree block planting program, and the effectiveness of NYC’s 311 Customer Service Center. The discussion

  18. Genealogical Trees of Scientific Papers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waumans, Michaël Charles; Bersini, Hugues

    2016-01-01

    Many results have been obtained when studying scientific papers citations databases in a network perspective. Articles can be ranked according to their current in-degree and their future popularity or citation counts can even be predicted. The dynamical properties of such networks and the observation of the time evolution of their nodes started more recently. This work adopts an evolutionary perspective and proposes an original algorithm for the construction of genealogical trees of scientific papers on the basis of their citation count evolution in time. The fitness of a paper now amounts to its in-degree growing trend and a "dying" paper will suddenly see this trend declining in time. It will give birth and be taken over by some of its most prevalent citing "offspring". Practically, this might be used to trace the successive published milestones of a research field.

  19. Evolutionary and developmental modules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacquaniti, Francesco; Ivanenko, Yuri P; d'Avella, Andrea; Zelik, Karl E; Zago, Myrka

    2013-01-01

    The identification of biological modules at the systems level often follows top-down decomposition of a task goal, or bottom-up decomposition of multidimensional data arrays into basic elements or patterns representing shared features. These approaches traditionally have been applied to mature, fully developed systems. Here we review some results from two other perspectives on modularity, namely the developmental and evolutionary perspective. There is growing evidence that modular units of development were highly preserved and recombined during evolution. We first consider a few examples of modules well identifiable from morphology. Next we consider the more difficult issue of identifying functional developmental modules. We dwell especially on modular control of locomotion to argue that the building blocks used to construct different locomotor behaviors are similar across several animal species, presumably related to ancestral neural networks of command. A recurrent theme from comparative studies is that the developmental addition of new premotor modules underlies the postnatal acquisition and refinement of several different motor behaviors in vertebrates.

  20. Microwave sensing of tree trunks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jezova, Jana; Mertens, Laurence; Lambot, Sebastien

    2015-04-01

    The main subject of this research is the observation of the inner part of living tree trunks using ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Trees are everyday part of human life and therefore it is important to pay attention to the tree conditions. The most obvious consequence of the poor tree condition is dead or injury caused by falling tree. The trunk internal structure is divided into three main parts: heartwood, sapwood and bark, which make this medium highly anisotropic and heterogeneous. Furthermore, the properties of the wood are not only specie-dependent but also depend on genetic and on environmental conditions. In urban areas the main problem for the stability of the trees relies in the apparition of decays provoked by fungi, insect or birds. This results in cavities or decreasing of the support capacity of the tree. GPR has proved itself to be a very powerful electromagnetic tool for non-destructive detection of buried objects. Since the beginning of the 20th century it has been used in several different areas (archaeology, landmine detection, civil engineering, ...). GPR uses the principle of the scattering of the electromagnetic waves that are radiated from a transmitting antenna. Then the waves propagate through the medium and are reflected from the object and then they are received by a receiving antenna. The velocity of the scattered signal is determined primarily by the permittivity of the material. The optimal functionality of the GPR was investigated using the numerical simulation tool gprMax2D. This tool is based on a Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) numerical model. Subsequently, the GPR functionality was tested using the laboratory model of a decayed tree trunk. Afterwards, the results and lessons learnt in the simplified tests will be used in the processing of the real data and will help to achieve deeper understanding of them. The laboratory model of the tree trunk was made by plastic or carton pipes and filled by sand. Space inside the model

  1. Social traits, social networks and evolutionary biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, D N; McAdam, A G

    2017-12-01

    effects) provides the potential to understand how entire networks of social interactions in populations influence phenotypes and predict how these traits may evolve. By theoretical integration of social network analysis and quantitative genetics, we hope to identify areas of compatibility and incompatibility and to direct research efforts towards the most promising areas. Continuing this synthesis could provide important insights into the evolution of traits expressed in a social context and the evolutionary consequences of complex and nuanced social phenotypes. © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2017 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  2. New weighting methods for phylogenetic tree reconstruction using multiple loci.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misawa, Kazuharu; Tajima, Fumio

    2012-08-01

    Efficient determination of evolutionary distances is important for the correct reconstruction of phylogenetic trees. The performance of the pooled distance required for reconstructing a phylogenetic tree can be improved by applying large weights to appropriate distances for reconstructing phylogenetic trees and small weights to inappropriate distances. We developed two weighting methods, the modified Tajima-Takezaki method and the modified least-squares method, for reconstructing phylogenetic trees from multiple loci. By computer simulations, we found that both of the new methods were more efficient in reconstructing correct topologies than the no-weight method. Hence, we reconstructed hominoid phylogenetic trees from mitochondrial DNA using our new methods, and found that the levels of bootstrap support were significantly increased by the modified Tajima-Takezaki and by the modified least-squares method.

  3. 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

  4. On the Existence of Evolutionary Learning Equilibriums

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masudul Alam Choudhury

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The usual kinds of Fixed-Point Theorems formalized on the existence of competitive equilibrium that explain much of economic theory at the core of economics can operate only on bounded and closed sets with convex mappings. But these conditions are hardly true of the real world of economic and financial complexities and perturbations. The category of learning sets explained by continuous fields of interactive, integrative and evolutionary behaviour caused by dynamic preferences at the individual and institutional and social levels cannot maintain the assumption of closed, bounded and convex sets. Thus learning sets and multi-system inter-temporal relations explained by pervasive complementarities and  participation between variables and entities, and evolution by learning, have evolutionary equilibriums. Such a study requires a new methodological approach. This paper formalizes such a methodology for evolutionary equilibriums in learning spaces. It briefly points out the universality of learning equilibriums in all mathematical structures. For a particular case though, the inter-systemic interdependence between sustainable development and ethics and economics in the specific understanding of learning domain is pointed out.

  5. Promoter Motifs in NCLDVs: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Graziele Pereira; Andrade, Ana Cláudia dos Santos Pereira; Rodrigues, Rodrigo Araújo Lima; Arantes, Thalita Souza; Boratto, Paulo Victor Miranda; Silva, Ludmila Karen dos Santos; Dornas, Fábio Pio; Trindade, Giliane de Souza; Drumond, Betânia Paiva; La Scola, Bernard; Kroon, Erna Geessien; Abrahão, Jônatas Santos

    2017-01-01

    For many years, gene expression in the three cellular domains has been studied in an attempt to discover sequences associated with the regulation of the transcription process. Some specific transcriptional features were described in viruses, although few studies have been devoted to understanding the evolutionary aspects related to the spread of promoter motifs through related viral families. The discovery of giant viruses and the proposition of the new viral order Megavirales that comprise a monophyletic group, named nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV), raised new questions in the field. Some putative promoter sequences have already been described for some NCLDV members, bringing new insights into the evolutionary history of these complex microorganisms. In this review, we summarize the main aspects of the transcription regulation process in the three domains of life, followed by a systematic description of what is currently known about promoter regions in several NCLDVs. We also discuss how the analysis of the promoter sequences could bring new ideas about the giant viruses’ evolution. Finally, considering a possible common ancestor for the NCLDV group, we discussed possible promoters’ evolutionary scenarios and propose the term “MEGA-box” to designate an ancestor promoter motif (‘TATATAAAATTGA’) that could be evolved gradually by nucleotides’ gain and loss and point mutations. PMID:28117683

  6. Promoter Motifs in NCLDVs: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graziele Pereira Oliveira

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available For many years, gene expression in the three cellular domains has been studied in an attempt to discover sequences associated with the regulation of the transcription process. Some specific transcriptional features were described in viruses, although few studies have been devoted to understanding the evolutionary aspects related to the spread of promoter motifs through related viral families. The discovery of giant viruses and the proposition of the new viral order Megavirales that comprise a monophyletic group, named nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses (NCLDV, raised new questions in the field. Some putative promoter sequences have already been described for some NCLDV members, bringing new insights into the evolutionary history of these complex microorganisms. In this review, we summarize the main aspects of the transcription regulation process in the three domains of life, followed by a systematic description of what is currently known about promoter regions in several NCLDVs. We also discuss how the analysis of the promoter sequences could bring new ideas about the giant viruses’ evolution. Finally, considering a possible common ancestor for the NCLDV group, we discussed possible promoters’ evolutionary scenarios and propose the term “MEGA-box” to designate an ancestor promoter motif (‘TATATAAAATTGA’ that could be evolved gradually by nucleotides’ gain and loss and point mutations.

  7. Diabetes and Obesity—An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Kirchengast

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Obesity and type II diabetes belong to the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century. Initially both diseases were typical of affluent societies. Currently both conditions however are increasingly found in low and middle income countries. In future obesity and diabetes are expected to reach epidemic proportions and affect developing countries to a greater extent than developed ones. A globalization of obesity and diabetes is observable. Recently prevalence rates increased, especially in Asia, the Near and Middle East, the Western Pacific region and even in Sub-Saharan Africa. Evolutionary Anthropology tries to understand the evolutionary mechanisms promoting rising obesity and diabetes type II rates. Homo sapiens evolved in an environment quite different from our recent one. Profound changes in physical activity patterns and nutritional habits during the last 10,000 years and increasingly during the last 200 years increased the risk of obesity and diabetes type II. Consequently our recent environment is called “obesogenic”. This mismatch has been recently observable among societies experiencing rapid cultural changes characterized by Westernization and modernization. This review focuses on obesity and type II diabetes from the viewpoint of evolutionary anthropology.

  8. Evolutionary Dynamics and Diversity in Microbial Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Joel; Fisher, Daniel

    2013-03-01

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

  9. An evolutionary ecology of individual differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dall, Sasha R. X.; Bell, Alison M.; Bolnick, Daniel I.; Ratnieks, Francis L. W.

    2014-01-01

    Individuals often differ in what they do. This has been recognised since antiquity. Nevertheless, the ecological and evolutionary significance of such variation is attracting widespread interest, which is burgeoning to an extent that is fragmenting the literature. As a first attempt at synthesis, we focus on individual differences in behaviour within populations that exceed the day-to-day variation in individual behaviour (i.e. behavioural specialisation). Indeed, the factors promoting ecologically relevant behavioural specialisation within natural populations are likely to have far-reaching ecological and evolutionary consequences. We discuss such individual differences from three distinct perspectives: individual niche specialisations, the division of labour within insect societies and animal personality variation. In the process, while recognising that each area has its own unique motivations, we identify a number of opportunities for productive ‘crossfertilisation’ among the (largely independent) bodies of work. We conclude that a complete understanding of evolutionarily and ecologically relevant individual differences must specify how ecological interactions impact the basic biological process (e.g. Darwinian selection, development and information processing) that underpin the organismal features determining behavioural specialisations. Moreover, there is likely to be covariation amongst behavioural specialisations. Thus, we sketch the key elements of a general framework for studying the evolutionary ecology of individual differences. PMID:22897772

  10. Resistance and relatedness on an evolutionary graph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maciejewski, Wes

    2012-01-01

    When investigating evolution in structured populations, it is often convenient to consider the population as an evolutionary graph—individuals as nodes, and whom they may act with as edges. There has, in recent years, been a surge of interest in evolutionary graphs, especially in the study of the evolution of social behaviours. An inclusive fitness framework is best suited for this type of study. A central requirement for an inclusive fitness analysis is an expression for the genetic similarity between individuals residing on the graph. This has been a major hindrance for work in this area as highly technical mathematics are often required. Here, I derive a result that links genetic relatedness between haploid individuals on an evolutionary graph to the resistance between vertices on a corresponding electrical network. An example that demonstrates the potential computational advantage of this result over contemporary approaches is provided. This result offers more, however, to the study of population genetics than strictly computationally efficient methods. By establishing a link between gene transfer and electric circuit theory, conceptualizations of the latter can enhance understanding of the former. PMID:21849384

  11. Toward a general evolutionary theory of oncogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ewald, Paul W; Swain Ewald, Holly A

    2013-01-01

    We propose an evolutionary framework, the barrier theory of cancer, which is based on the distinction between barriers to oncogenesis and restraints. Barriers are defined as mechanisms that prevent oncogenesis. Restraints, which are more numerous, inhibit but do not prevent oncogenesis. Processes that compromise barriers are essential causes of cancer; those that interfere with restraints are exacerbating causes. The barrier theory is built upon the three evolutionary processes involved in oncogenesis: natural selection acting on multicellular organisms to mold barriers and restraints, natural selection acting on infectious organisms to abrogate these protective mechanisms, and oncogenic selection which is responsible for the evolution of normal cells into cancerous cells. The barrier theory is presented as a first step toward the development of a general evolutionary theory of cancer. Its attributes and implications for intervention are compared with those of other major conceptual frameworks for understanding cancer: the clonal diversification model, the stem cell theory and the hallmarks of cancer. The barrier theory emphasizes the practical value of distinguishing between essential and exacerbating causes. It also stresses the importance of determining the scope of infectious causation of cancer, because individual pathogens can be responsible for multiple essential causes in infected cells.

  12. Spatial evolutionary epidemiology of spreading epidemics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lion, S; Gandon, S

    2016-10-26

    Most spatial models of host-parasite interactions either neglect the possibility of pathogen evolution or consider that this process is slow enough for epidemiological dynamics to reach an equilibrium on a fast timescale. Here, we propose a novel approach to jointly model the epidemiological and evolutionary dynamics of spatially structured host and pathogen populations. Starting from a multi-strain epidemiological model, we use a combination of spatial moment equations and quantitative genetics to analyse the dynamics of mean transmission and virulence in the population. A key insight of our approach is that, even in the absence of long-term evolutionary consequences, spatial structure can affect the short-term evolution of pathogens because of the build-up of spatial differentiation in mean virulence. We show that spatial differentiation is driven by a balance between epidemiological and genetic effects, and this quantity is related to the effect of kin competition discussed in previous studies of parasite evolution in spatially structured host populations. Our analysis can be used to understand and predict the transient evolutionary dynamics of pathogens and the emergence of spatial patterns of phenotypic variation. © 2016 The Author(s).

  13. Tree cover in sub-Saharan Africa: rainfall and fire constrain forest and savanna as alternative stable states

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Staver, AC

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Savannas are known as ecosystems with tree cover below climate-defined equilibrium values. However, a predictive framework for understanding constraints on tree cover is lacking. The authors present a) a spatially extensive analysis of tree cover...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lespinet Olivier

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Comparison of completely sequenced microbial genomes has revealed how fluid these genomes are. Detecting synteny blocks requires reliable methods to determining the orthologs among the whole set of homologs detected by exhaustive comparisons between each pair of completely sequenced genomes. This is a complex and difficult problem in the field of comparative genomics but will help to better understand the way prokaryotic genomes are evolving. Results We have developed a suite of programs that automate three essential steps to study conservation of gene order, and validated them with a set of 107 bacteria and archaea that cover the majority of the prokaryotic taxonomic space. We identified the whole set of shared homologs between two or more species and computed the evolutionary distance separating each pair of homologs. We applied two strategies to extract from the set of homologs a collection of valid orthologs shared by at least two genomes. The first computes the Reciprocal Smallest Distance (RSD using the PAM distances separating pairs of homologs. The second method groups homologs in families and reconstructs each family's evolutionary tree, distinguishing bona fide orthologs as well as paralogs created after the last speciation event. Although the phylogenetic tree method often succeeds where RSD fails, the reverse could occasionally be true. Accordingly, we used the data obtained with either methods or their intersection to number the orthologs that are adjacent in for each pair of genomes, the Positional Orthologous Genes (POGs, and to further study their properties. Once all these synteny blocks have been detected, we showed that POGs are subject to more evolutionary constraints than orthologs outside synteny groups, whichever the taxonomic distance separating the compared organisms. Conclusion The suite of programs described in this paper allows a reliable detection of orthologs and is useful for evaluating gene

  15. Fault tree handbook

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haasl, D.F.; Roberts, N.H.; Vesely, W.E.; Goldberg, F.F.

    1981-01-01

    This handbook describes a methodology for reliability analysis of complex systems such as those which comprise the engineered safety features of nuclear power generating stations. After an initial overview of the available system analysis approaches, the handbook focuses on a description of the deductive method known as fault tree analysis. The following aspects of fault tree analysis are covered: basic concepts for fault tree analysis; basic elements of a fault tree; fault tree construction; probability, statistics, and Boolean algebra for the fault tree analyst; qualitative and quantitative fault tree evaluation techniques; and computer codes for fault tree evaluation. Also discussed are several example problems illustrating the basic concepts of fault tree construction and evaluation

  16. The Concept of Cosmic Tree in Armenian and Iranian Cosmologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmanyan, S. V.; Mickaelian, A. M.

    2016-09-01

    Cosmic Tree or Tree of Life is a common motif in various world theologies, mythologies, and philosophies. In the present study we focus on Armenian and Iranian Cosmic Tree. In ancient Armenia, the Tree of Life (Կենաց Ծառ) is a religious symbol and is drawn on walls of fortresses and carved on the armour of warriors. According to ancient Armenians the center of the Universe is located at the crown of the tree or the column, which is the closest to the sky. We explore the idea of cosmic tree in the riddles, prayers, medieval rituals and miniatures. In the riddles, the tree mostly symbolizes the celestial phenomena (Sun, Stars, and Heavens), different units of time (years, months, weeks, days, and seasons), the people, Jerusalem, the apostles and Jesus Christ. The branches of the tree were equally divided on the right and left sides of the stem, with each branch having one leaf, and one leaf on the apex of the tree. Servants stood on each side of the tree with one of their hands up as if they are taking care of the tree. In pre-Islamic Persian mythology, the Gaokerena world tree is a large, sacred Haoma tree which bears all seeds. Ahriman created a frog to invade the tree and destroy it, aiming at preventing all trees from growing on the Earth. As a reaction, God (Ahura Mazda) created two kar fish staring at the frog to guard the tree. The concept of world tree in Persian Mythology is very closely related to the concept of the Tree of Life. Another related issue in ancient mythology of Iran is the myth of Mashya and Mashyane, two trees who were the ancestors of all living beings. This myth can be considered as a prototype for the creation myth where living beings are created by Gods (who have human forms). We come to the conclusion that in both cultures, no matter of the present different religions, the perception of Cosmic Tree is interconnected to the life on our planet and served as a metaphor for common descent in the evolutionary sense.

  17. The Tree of Life on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stahl, D. A.

    2002-12-01

    Similar biochemistry and a common genetic code unite all life on earth and speak to a common origin. However, the nature of the "family tree," encompassing all life forms in a single genealogy, has only recently begun to be understood. It was only with the advent of molecular biology and methods for sequencing proteins and nucleic acids that ancient patterns of relationship could be discerned. The basis for establishing evolutionary relationships was found in the DNA, RNA, and proteins that determine each organism's biochemistry. Common sequence patterns in today's organisms - either in the order of amino acids in proteins or the four bases making up DNA or RNA - was recognized to derive from features of ancestral molecules preserved over evolutionary time. This approach to genealogical reconstruction, called molecular phylogeny, has led to the construction of a single "Tree of Life," and revealed that all of today's life (bacteria, protozoa, plants, animals, fungi) has emerged from three primary lines of descent. Properties of the most "deeply rooted" organisms then yield important clues about conditions on the early Earth. These analyses have also revealed that the greater part of the evolutionary diversity of our planet, represented by the microorganisms, has yet to be characterized.

  18. There's Life in Hazard Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary Torsello; Toni McLellan

    The goals of hazard tree management programs are to maximize public safety and maintain a healthy sustainable tree resource. Although hazard tree management frequently targets removal of trees or parts of trees that attract wildlife, it can take into account a diversity of tree values. With just a little extra planning, hazard tree management can be highly beneficial...

  19. Why count trees? Volunteer motivations and experiences with tree monitoring in New York City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelle L. Johnson; Lindsay K. Campbell; Erika S. Svendsen; Philip. Silva

    2018-01-01

    Volunteer programs can benefit from a deeper understanding of the motivations and experiences of people engaged in citizen science. Research to date has studied motivations of citizen scientists and tree-planting volunteers. Less work has focused on tree-monitoring volunteers, a role that is rapidly increasing as more cities involve the public in monitoring the urban...

  20. The standard lateral gene transfer model is statistically consistent for pectinate four-taxon trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sand, Andreas; Steel, Mike

    2013-01-01

    Evolutionary events such as incomplete lineage sorting and lateral gene transfers constitute major problems for inferring species trees from gene trees, as they can sometimes lead to gene trees which conflict with the underlying species tree. One particularly simple and efficient way to infer...... species trees from gene trees under such conditions is to combine three-taxon analyses for several genes using a majority vote approach. For incomplete lineage sorting this method is known to be statistically consistent; however, for lateral gene transfers it was recently shown that a zone...... of inconsistency exists for a specific four-taxon tree topology, and it was posed as an open question whether inconsistencies could exist for other four-taxon tree topologies? In this letter we analyze all remaining four-taxon topologies and show that no other inconsistencies exist....

  1. 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.

  2. Evolutionary disarmament in interspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisdi, E; Geritz, S A

    2001-12-22

    Competitive asymmetry, which is the advantage of having a larger body or stronger weaponry than a contestant, drives spectacular evolutionary arms races in intraspecific competition. Similar asymmetries are well documented in interspecific competition, yet they seldom lead to exaggerated traits. Here we demonstrate that two species with substantially different size may undergo parallel coevolution towards a smaller size under the same ecological conditions where a single species would exhibit an evolutionary arms race. We show that disarmament occurs for a wide range of parameters in an ecologically explicit model of competition for a single shared resource; disarmament also occurs in a simple Lotka-Volterra competition model. A key property of both models is the interplay between evolutionary dynamics and population density. The mechanism does not rely on very specific features of the model. Thus, evolutionary disarmament may be widespread and may help to explain the lack of interspecific arms races.

  3. 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,

  4. Evolutionary genetics: the Drosophila model

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    Evolutionary genetics straddles the two fundamental processes of life, ... of the genus Drosophila have been used extensively as model systems in experimental ... issue will prove interesting, informative and thought-provoking for both estab-.

  5. Integrating genomics into evolutionary medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Juan Antonio; Marigorta, Urko M; Navarro, Arcadi

    2014-12-01

    The application of the principles of evolutionary biology into medicine was suggested long ago and is already providing insight into the ultimate causes of disease. However, a full systematic integration of medical genomics and evolutionary medicine is still missing. Here, we briefly review some cases where the combination of the two fields has proven profitable and highlight two of the main issues hindering the development of evolutionary genomic medicine as a mature field, namely the dissociation between fitness and health and the still considerable difficulties in predicting phenotypes from genotypes. We use publicly available data to illustrate both problems and conclude that new approaches are needed for evolutionary genomic medicine to overcome these obstacles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Evolutionary robotics – A review

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

    a need for a technique by which the robot is able to acquire new behaviours automatically .... Evolutionary robotics is a comparatively new field of robotics research, which seems to ..... Technical Report: PCIA-94-04, Institute of Psychology,.

  7. Covering tree with stars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baumbach, Jan; Guo, Jiong; Ibragimov, Rashid

    2015-01-01

    We study the tree edit distance problem with edge deletions and edge insertions as edit operations. We reformulate a special case of this problem as Covering Tree with Stars (CTS): given a tree T and a set of stars, can we connect the stars in by adding edges between them such that the resulting...... tree is isomorphic to T? We prove that in the general setting, CST is NP-complete, which implies that the tree edit distance considered here is also NP-hard, even when both input trees having diameters bounded by 10. We also show that, when the number of distinct stars is bounded by a constant k, CTS...

  8. Fast Image Texture Classification Using Decision Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David R.

    2011-01-01

    Texture analysis would permit improved autonomous, onboard science data interpretation for adaptive navigation, sampling, and downlink decisions. These analyses would assist with terrain analysis and instrument placement in both macroscopic and microscopic image data products. Unfortunately, most state-of-the-art texture analysis demands computationally expensive convolutions of filters involving many floating-point operations. This makes them infeasible for radiation- hardened computers and spaceflight hardware. A new method approximates traditional texture classification of each image pixel with a fast decision-tree classifier. The classifier uses image features derived from simple filtering operations involving integer arithmetic. The texture analysis method is therefore amenable to implementation on FPGA (field-programmable gate array) hardware. Image features based on the "integral image" transform produce descriptive and efficient texture descriptors. Training the decision tree on a set of training data yields a classification scheme that produces reasonable approximations of optimal "texton" analysis at a fraction of the computational cost. A decision-tree learning algorithm employing the traditional k-means criterion of inter-cluster variance is used to learn tree structure from training data. The result is an efficient and accurate summary of surface morphology in images. This work is an evolutionary advance that unites several previous algorithms (k-means clustering, integral images, decision trees) and applies them to a new problem domain (morphology analysis for autonomous science during remote exploration). Advantages include order-of-magnitude improvements in runtime, feasibility for FPGA hardware, and significant improvements in texture classification accuracy.

  9. 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.

  10. Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2006-01-01

    "Teaching Teaching & Understanding Understanding" is a 19-minute award-winning short-film about teaching at university and higher-level educational institutions. It is based on the "Constructive Alignment" theory developed by Prof. John Biggs. The film delivers a foundation for understanding what...

  11. Taxonomic colouring of phylogenetic trees of protein sequences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrade-Navarro Miguel A

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Phylogenetic analyses of protein families are used to define the evolutionary relationships between homologous proteins. The interpretation of protein-sequence phylogenetic trees requires the examination of the taxonomic properties of the species associated to those sequences. However, there is no online tool to facilitate this interpretation, for example, by automatically attaching taxonomic information to the nodes of a tree, or by interactively colouring the branches of a tree according to any combination of taxonomic divisions. This is especially problematic if the tree contains on the order of hundreds of sequences, which, given the accelerated increase in the size of the protein sequence databases, is a situation that is becoming common. Results We have developed PhyloView, a web based tool for colouring phylogenetic trees upon arbitrary taxonomic properties of the species represented in a protein sequence phylogenetic tree. Provided that the tree contains SwissProt, SpTrembl, or GenBank protein identifiers, the tool retrieves the taxonomic information from the corresponding database. A colour picker displays a summary of the findings and allows the user to associate colours to the leaves of the tree according to any number of taxonomic partitions. Then, the colours are propagated to the branches of the tree. Conclusion PhyloView can be used at http://www.ogic.ca/projects/phyloview/. A tutorial, the software with documentation, and GPL licensed source code, can be accessed at the same web address.

  12. Evolutionary biology and life histories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brown, C. R.

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available The demographic processes that drive the spread of populations through environments and in turn determine the abundance of organisms are the same demographic processes that drive the spread of genes through populations and in turn determine gene frequencies and fitness. Conceptually, marked similarities exist in the dynamic processes underlying population ecology and those underlying evolutionary biology. Central to an understanding of both disciplines is life history and its component demographic rates, such as survival, fecundity, and age of first breeding, and biologists from both fields have a vested interest in good analytical machinery for the estimation and analysis of these demographic rates. In the EURING conferences, we have been striving since the mid 1980s to promote a quantitative understanding of demographic rates through interdisciplinary collaboration between ecologists and statisticians. From the ecological side, the principal impetus has come from population biology, and in particular from wildlife biology, but the importance of good quantitative insights into demographic processes has long been recognized by a number of evolutionary biologists (e.g., Nichols & Kendall, 1995; Clobert, 1995; Cooch et al., 2002. In organizing this session, we have aimed to create a forum for those committed to gaining the best possible understanding of evolutionary processes through the application of modern quantitative methods for the collection and interpretation of data on marked animal populations. Here we present a short overview of the material presented in the session on evolutionary biology and life histories. In a plenary talk, Brown & Brown (2004 explored how mark–recapture methods have allowed a better understanding of the evolution of group–living and alternative reproductive tactics in colonial cliff swallows (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota. By estimating the number of transient birds passing through colonies of different sizes, they

  13. Evolutionary Transgenomics: prospects and challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raul eCorrea

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available AbstractMany advances in our understanding of the genetic basis of species differences have arisen from transformation experiments, which allow us to study the effect of genes from one species (the donor when placed in the genetic background of another species (the recipient. Such interspecies transformation experiments are usually focused on candidate genes – genes that, based on work in model systems, are suspected to be responsible for certain phenotypic differences between the donor and recipient species. We suggest that the high efficiency of transformation in a few plant species, most notably Arabidopsis thaliana, combined with the small size of typical plant genes and their cis-regulatory regions allow implementation of a screening strategy that does not depend upon a priori candidate gene identification. This approach, transgenomics, entails moving many large genomic inserts of a donor species into the wild type background of a recipient species and then screening for dominant phenotypic effects. As a proof of concept, we recently conducted a transgenomic screen that analyzed more than 1100 random, large genomic inserts of the Alabama gladecress Leavenworthia alabamica for dominant phenotypic effects in the A. thaliana background. This screen identified one insert that shortens fruit and decreases A. thaliana fertility. In this paper we discuss the principles of transgenomic screens and suggest methods to help minimize the frequencies of false positive and false negative results. We argue that, because transgenomics avoids committing in advance to candidate genes it has the potential to help us identify truly novel genes or cryptic functions of known genes. Given the valuable knowledge that is likely to be gained, we believe the time is ripe for the plant evolutionary community to invest in transgenomic screens, at least in the mustard family Brassicaceae Burnett where many species are amenable to efficient transformation.

  14. Selecting the Best: Evolutionary Engineering of Chemical Production in Microbes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepelin, Denis; Hansen, Anne Sofie Lærke; Lennen, Rebecca; Luo, Hao; Herrgård, Markus J

    2018-05-11

    Microbial cell factories have proven to be an economical means of production for many bulk, specialty, and fine chemical products. However, we still lack both a holistic understanding of organism physiology and the ability to predictively tune enzyme activities in vivo, thus slowing down rational engineering of industrially relevant strains. An alternative concept to rational engineering is to use evolution as the driving force to select for desired changes, an approach often described as evolutionary engineering. In evolutionary engineering, in vivo selections for a desired phenotype are combined with either generation of spontaneous mutations or some form of targeted or random mutagenesis. Evolutionary engineering has been used to successfully engineer easily selectable phenotypes, such as utilization of a suboptimal nutrient source or tolerance to inhibitory substrates or products. In this review, we focus primarily on a more challenging problem-the use of evolutionary engineering for improving the production of chemicals in microbes directly. We describe recent developments in evolutionary engineering strategies, in general, and discuss, in detail, case studies where production of a chemical has been successfully achieved through evolutionary engineering by coupling production to cellular growth.

  15. Evolutionary adaptations: theoretical and practical implications for visual ergonomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fostervold, Knut Inge; Watten, Reidulf G; Volden, Frode

    2014-01-01

    The literature discussing visual ergonomics often mention that human vision is adapted to light emitted by the sun. However, theoretical and practical implications of this viewpoint is seldom discussed or taken into account. The paper discusses some of the main theoretical implications of an evolutionary approach to visual ergonomics. Based on interactional theory and ideas from ecological psychology an evolutionary stress model is proposed as a theoretical framework for future research in ergonomics and human factors. The model stresses the importance of developing work environments that fits with our evolutionary adaptations. In accordance with evolutionary psychology, the environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA) and evolutionarily-novel environments (EN) are used as key concepts. Using work with visual display units (VDU) as an example, the paper discusses how this knowledge can be utilized in an ergonomic analysis of risk factors in the work environment. The paper emphasises the importance of incorporating evolutionary theory in the field of ergonomics. Further, the paper encourages scientific practices that further our understanding of any phenomena beyond the borders of traditional proximal explanations.

  16. Trees and highway safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    To minimize the severity of run-off-road collisions of vehicles with trees, departments of transportation (DOTs) : commonly establish clear zones for trees and other fixed objects. Caltrans clear zone on freeways is 30 feet : minimum (40 feet pref...

  17. Evolutionary Information System Development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Jan

    and necessary items that must be taken into account are pointed out by narrating two stories of e-commerce implementation processes in wholesale companies. The empirical evidence suggests the following: Managing the continued development on an operational level requires operational insight and understanding...

  18. Comparative evolutionary diversity and phylogenetic structure across multiple forest dynamics plots: a mega-phylogeny approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, David L.; Jones, Frank A.; Swenson, Nathan G.; Pei, Nancai; Bourg, Norman A.; Chen, Wenna; Davies, Stuart J.; Ge, Xue-jun; Hao, Zhanqing; Howe, Robert W.; Huang, Chun-Lin; Larson, Andrew J.; Lum, Shawn K. Y.; Lutz, James A.; Ma, Keping; Meegaskumbura, Madhava; Mi, Xiangcheng; Parker, John D.; Fang-Sun, I.; Wright, S. Joseph; Wolf, Amy T.; Ye, W.; Xing, Dingliang; Zimmerman, Jess K.; Kress, W. John

    2014-01-01

    Forest dynamics plots, which now span longitudes, latitudes, and habitat types across the globe, offer unparalleled insights into the ecological and evolutionary processes that determine how species are assembled into communities. Understanding phylogenetic relationships among species in a community has become an important component of assessing assembly processes. However, the application of evolutionary information to questions in community ecology has been limited in large part by the lack of accurate estimates of phylogenetic relationships among individual species found within communities, and is particularly limiting in comparisons between communities. Therefore, streamlining and maximizing the information content of these community phylogenies is a priority. To test the viability and advantage of a multi-community phylogeny, we constructed a multi-plot mega-phylogeny of 1347 species of trees across 15 forest dynamics plots in the ForestGEO network using DNA barcode sequence data (rbcL, matK, and psbA-trnH) and compared community phylogenies for each individual plot with respect to support for topology and branch lengths, which affect evolutionary inference of community processes. The levels of taxonomic differentiation across the phylogeny were examined by quantifying the frequency of resolved nodes throughout. In addition, three phylogenetic distance (PD) metrics that are commonly used to infer assembly processes were estimated for each plot [PD, Mean Phylogenetic Distance (MPD), and Mean Nearest Taxon Distance (MNTD)]. Lastly, we examine the partitioning of phylogenetic diversity among community plots through quantification of inter-community MPD and MNTD. Overall, evolutionary relationships were highly resolved across the DNA barcode-based mega-phylogeny, and phylogenetic resolution for each community plot was improved when estimated within the context of the mega-phylogeny. Likewise, when compared with phylogenies for individual plots, estimates of

  19. Decision-Tree Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buntine, Wray

    1994-01-01

    IND computer program introduces Bayesian and Markov/maximum-likelihood (MML) methods and more-sophisticated methods of searching in growing trees. Produces more-accurate class-probability estimates important in applications like diagnosis. Provides range of features and styles with convenience for casual user, fine-tuning for advanced user or for those interested in research. Consists of four basic kinds of routines: data-manipulation, tree-generation, tree-testing, and tree-display. Written in C language.

  20. Minnesota's Forest Trees. Revised.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, William R.; Fuller, Bruce L.

    This bulletin describes 46 of the more common trees found in Minnesota's forests and windbreaks. The bulletin contains two tree keys, a summer key and a winter key, to help the reader identify these trees. Besides the two keys, the bulletin includes an introduction, instructions for key use, illustrations of leaf characteristics and twig…

  1. D2-tree

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodal, Gerth Stølting; Sioutas, Spyros; Pantazos, Kostas

    2015-01-01

    We present a new overlay, called the Deterministic Decentralized tree (D2-tree). The D2-tree compares favorably to other overlays for the following reasons: (a) it provides matching and better complexities, which are deterministic for the supported operations; (b) the management of nodes (peers...

  2. Covering tree with stars

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baumbach, Jan; Guo, Jian-Ying; Ibragimov, Rashid

    2013-01-01

    We study the tree edit distance problem with edge deletions and edge insertions as edit operations. We reformulate a special case of this problem as Covering Tree with Stars (CTS): given a tree T and a set of stars, can we connect the stars in by adding edges between them such that the resulting ...

  3. Winter Birch Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweeney, Debra; Rounds, Judy

    2011-01-01

    Trees are great inspiration for artists. Many art teachers find themselves inspired and maybe somewhat obsessed with the natural beauty and elegance of the lofty tree, and how it changes through the seasons. One such tree that grows in several regions and always looks magnificent, regardless of the time of year, is the birch. In this article, the…

  4. Total well dominated trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Finbow, Arthur; Frendrup, Allan; Vestergaard, Preben D.

    cardinality then G is a total well dominated graph. In this paper we study composition and decomposition of total well dominated trees. By a reversible process we prove that any total well dominated tree can both be reduced to and constructed from a family of three small trees....

  5. Quantifying branch architecture of tropical trees using terrestrial LiDAR and 3D modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lau, Alvaro; Bentley, Lisa Patrick; Martius, Christopher; Shenkin, Alexander; Bartholomeus, Harm; Raumonen, Pasi; Malhi, Yadvinder; Jackson, Tobias; Herold, Martin

    2018-01-01

    Tree architecture is the three-dimensional arrangement of above ground parts of a tree. Ecologists hypothesize that the topology of tree branches represents optimized adaptations to tree’s environment. Thus, an accurate description of tree architecture leads to a better understanding of how form is

  6. Carbon Sequestration by Urban Trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fares, Silvano; Paoletti, Elena; Calfapietra, Carlo

    2017-01-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most prominent component of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, resulting mainly from fuel combustion in the built environment – for activities such as heating of buildings, urban mobility and cooking. The concentration of near-surface CO2 in cities is affected by ....... In this chapter, we review the most recent studies and highlight emerging research needs for a better understanding of present and future roles of urban trees in removing CO2 from the atmosphere....

  7. The evolutionary approach to understand human low fertility phenomenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cernak, Jozef

    2017-05-01

    Is it possible to reverse the low total fertility rate (TFR) in the developed world? Using a hypothetical model of population we have analysed the decline of the TFR which have took place in the background of ongoing global economic changes, and a liberalization process after the end of the Cold War. These phenomena have affected more that 110 millions of inhabitants of Central Europe and the Baltics and approximately 80 millions of inhabitants in Germany. The model has features of complex and evolving system of interacting individuals, and it enables to investigate a broad spectrum of input factors on individual decisions to limit the offspring. In the case of the TFR 2.1. The changes should stimulate more uniform spatial distribution of wealth, capital and usage. They will increase a number of self-sufficient and cooperative territories, to decrease the income inequality, to decrease labour and social mobilities. Societies should investigate the impacts of economic regulations and actions on the TFR trends in advance and take into account a biological nature of women more responsible.

  8. Understanding Life : The Evolutionary Dynamics of Complexity and Semiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loeckenhoff, Helmut K.

    2010-11-01

    Post-Renaissance sciences created different cultures. To establish an epistemological base, Physics were separated from the Mental domain. Consciousness was excluded from science. Life Sciences were left in between e.g. LaMettrie's `man—machine' (1748) and 'vitalism' [e.g. Bergson 4]. Causative thinking versus intuitive arguing limited strictly comprehensive concepts. First ethology established a potential shared base for science, proclaiming the `biology paradigm' in the middle of the 20th century. Initially procured by Cybernetics and Systems sciences, `constructivist' models prepared a new view on human perception and thus also of scientific `objectivity when introducing the `observer'. In sequel Computer sciences triggered the ICT revolution. In turn ICT helped to develop Chaos and Complexity sciences, Non-linear Mathematics and its spin-offs in the formal sciences [Spencer-Brown 49] as e.g. (proto-)logics. Models of life systems, as e.g. Anticipatory Systems, integrated epistemology with mathematics and Anticipatory Computing [Dubois 11, 12, 13, 14] connecting them with Semiotics. Seminal ideas laid in the turn of the 19th to the 20th century [J. v. Uexküll 53] detected the co-action and co-evolvement of environments and life systems. Bio-Semiotics ascribed purpose, intent and meaning as essential qualities of life. The concepts of Systems Biology and Qualitative Research enriched and develop also anthropologies and humanities. Brain research added models of (higher) consciousness. An avant-garde is contemplating a science including consciousness as one additional base. New insights from the extended qualitative approach led to re-conciliation of basic assumptions of scientific inquiry, creating the `epistemological turn'. Paradigmatically, resting on macro- micro- and recently on nano-biology, evolution biology sired fresh scripts of evolution [W. Wieser 60,61]. Its results tie to hypotheses describing the emergence of language, of the human mind and of culture [e.g. R. Logan 34]. The different but related approaches are yet but loosely connected. Recent efforts search for a shared foundation e.g. in a set of Transdisciplinary base models [Loeckenhoff 30, 31]. The domain of pure mental constructions as ideologies/religions and spiritual phenomena will be implied.

  9. Understanding national and international safeguards: an evolutionary process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Higinbotham, W.A.

    1983-01-01

    Domestic and international safeguards have been evolving and will continue to evolve. in the case of the United States, the concern was to protect the classified materials, at first. Then attention focussed on material accounting, then on measures to promptly detect theft by individuals with access, and later on physical protection to ward-off armed terrorists. The objective of the IAEA has always been to provide assurance that nuclear materials are not being diverted from the peaceful facilities that are under safeguards. The evolution has taken place in deciding how to provide this assurance, and in the definition of specific safeguards goals. In both cases the technology needed to meet the goals has improved due to R and D and to experience. A plea is made for more cooperation betwen those who develop and manage the policies, those who develop safeguards techniques, and those who are subject to national and IAEA safeguards. Some illustrations of the evolution of policies, inadequate coordination and general progress are given

  10. The evolutionary history of ferns inferred from 25 low-copy nuclear genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothfels, Carl J; Li, Fay-Wei; Sigel, Erin M; Huiet, Layne; Larsson, Anders; Burge, Dylan O; Ruhsam, Markus; Deyholos, Michael; Soltis, Douglas E; Stewart, C Neal; Shaw, Shane W; Pokorny, Lisa; Chen, Tao; dePamphilis, Claude; DeGironimo, Lisa; Chen, Li; Wei, Xiaofeng; Sun, Xiao; Korall, Petra; Stevenson, Dennis W; Graham, Sean W; Wong, Gane K-S; Pryer, Kathleen M

    2015-07-01

    Understanding fern (monilophyte) phylogeny and its evolutionary timescale is critical for broad investigations of the evolution of land plants, and for providing the point of comparison necessary for studying the evolution of the fern sister group, seed plants. Molecular phylogenetic investigations have revolutionized our understanding of fern phylogeny, however, to date, these studies have relied almost exclusively on plastid data.• Here we take a curated phylogenomics approach to infer the first broad fern phylogeny from multiple nuclear loci, by combining broad taxon sampling (73 ferns and 12 outgroup species) with focused character sampling (25 loci comprising 35877 bp), along with rigorous alignment, orthology inference and model selection.• Our phylogeny corroborates some earlier inferences and provides novel insights; in particular, we find strong support for Equisetales as sister to the rest of ferns, Marattiales as sister to leptosporangiate ferns, and Dennstaedtiaceae as sister to the eupolypods. Our divergence-time analyses reveal that divergences among the extant fern orders all occurred prior to ∼200 MYA. Finally, our species-tree inferences are congruent with analyses of concatenated data, but generally with lower support. Those cases where species-tree support values are higher than expected involve relationships that have been supported by smaller plastid datasets, suggesting that deep coalescence may be reducing support from the concatenated nuclear data.• Our study demonstrates the utility of a curated phylogenomics approach to inferring fern phylogeny, and highlights the need to consider underlying data characteristics, along with data quantity, in phylogenetic studies. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  11. TreePics: visualizing trees with pictures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Puillandre

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available While many programs are available to edit phylogenetic trees, associating pictures with branch tips in an efficient and automatic way is not an available option. Here, we present TreePics, a standalone software that uses a web browser to visualize phylogenetic trees in Newick format and that associates pictures (typically, pictures of the voucher specimens to the tip of each branch. Pictures are visualized as thumbnails and can be enlarged by a mouse rollover. Further, several pictures can be selected and displayed in a separate window for visual comparison. TreePics works either online or in a full standalone version, where it can display trees with several thousands of pictures (depending on the memory available. We argue that TreePics can be particularly useful in a preliminary stage of research, such as to quickly detect conflicts between a DNA-based phylogenetic tree and morphological variation, that may be due to contamination that needs to be removed prior to final analyses, or the presence of species complexes.

  12. Evolutionary Topology of a Currency Network in Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Xiaobing; Wang, Xiaofan

    Although recently there are extensive research on currency network using minimum spanning trees approach, the knowledge about the actual evolution of a currency web in Asia is still limited. In the paper, we study the structural evolution of an Asian network using daily exchange rate data. It was found that the correlation between Asian currencies and US Dollar, the previous regional key currency has become weaker and the intra-Asia interactions have increased. This becomes more salient after the exchange rate reform of China. Different from the previous studies, we further reveal that it is the trade volume, national wealth gap and countries growth cycle that has contributed to the evolutionary topology of the minimum spanning tree. These findings provide a valuable platform for theoretical modeling and further analysis.

  13. Grand challenges in evolutionary and population genetics: The importance of integrating epigenetics, genomics, modeling, and experimentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel A. Cushman

    2014-01-01

    This is a time of explosive growth in the fields of evolutionary and population genetics, with whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics driving a transformative paradigm shift (Morozova and Marra, 2008). At the same time, advances in epigenetics are thoroughly transforming our understanding of evolutionary processes and their implications for populations, species and...

  14. STBase: one million species trees for comparative biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Michelle M; Deepak, Akshay; Fernández-Baca, David; Boss, Darren; Sanderson, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Comprehensively sampled phylogenetic trees provide the most compelling foundations for strong inferences in comparative evolutionary biology. Mismatches are common, however, between the taxa for which comparative data are available and the taxa sampled by published phylogenetic analyses. Moreover, many published phylogenies are gene trees, which cannot always be adapted immediately for species level comparisons because of discordance, gene duplication, and other confounding biological processes. A new database, STBase, lets comparative biologists quickly retrieve species level phylogenetic hypotheses in response to a query list of species names. The database consists of 1 million single- and multi-locus data sets, each with a confidence set of 1000 putative species trees, computed from GenBank sequence data for 413,000 eukaryotic taxa. Two bodies of theoretical work are leveraged to aid in the assembly of multi-locus concatenated data sets for species tree construction. First, multiply labeled gene trees are pruned to conflict-free singly-labeled species-level trees that can be combined between loci. Second, impacts of missing data in multi-locus data sets are ameliorated by assembling only decisive data sets. Data sets overlapping with the user's query are ranked using a scheme that depends on user-provided weights for tree quality and for taxonomic overlap of the tree with the query. Retrieval times are independent of the size of the database, typically a few seconds. Tree quality is assessed by a real-time evaluation of bootstrap support on just the overlapping subtree. Associated sequence alignments, tree files and metadata can be downloaded for subsequent analysis. STBase provides a tool for comparative biologists interested in exploiting the most relevant sequence data available for the taxa of interest. It may also serve as a prototype for future species tree oriented databases and as a resource for assembly of larger species phylogenies from precomputed

  15. STBase: one million species trees for comparative biology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle M McMahon

    Full Text Available Comprehensively sampled phylogenetic trees provide the most compelling foundations for strong inferences in comparative evolutionary biology. Mismatches are common, however, between the taxa for which comparative data are available and the taxa sampled by published phylogenetic analyses. Moreover, many published phylogenies are gene trees, which cannot always be adapted immediately for species level comparisons because of discordance, gene duplication, and other confounding biological processes. A new database, STBase, lets comparative biologists quickly retrieve species level phylogenetic hypotheses in response to a query list of species names. The database consists of 1 million single- and multi-locus data sets, each with a confidence set of 1000 putative species trees, computed from GenBank sequence data for 413,000 eukaryotic taxa. Two bodies of theoretical work are leveraged to aid in the assembly of multi-locus concatenated data sets for species tree construction. First, multiply labeled gene trees are pruned to conflict-free singly-labeled species-level trees that can be combined between loci. Second, impacts of missing data in multi-locus data sets are ameliorated by assembling only decisive data sets. Data sets overlapping with the user's query are ranked using a scheme that depends on user-provided weights for tree quality and for taxonomic overlap of the tree with the query. Retrieval times are independent of the size of the database, typically a few seconds. Tree quality is assessed by a real-time evaluation of bootstrap support on just the overlapping subtree. Associated sequence alignments, tree files and metadata can be downloaded for subsequent analysis. STBase provides a tool for comparative biologists interested in exploiting the most relevant sequence data available for the taxa of interest. It may also serve as a prototype for future species tree oriented databases and as a resource for assembly of larger species phylogenies

  16. Can Evolutionary Principles Explain Patterns of Family Violence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archer, John

    2013-01-01

    The article's aim is to evaluate the application of the evolutionary principles of kin selection, reproductive value, and resource holding power to the understanding of family violence. The principles are described in relation to specific predictions and the mechanisms underlying these. Predictions are evaluated for physical violence perpetrated…

  17. Polemics and Synthesis: Ernst Mayr and Evolutionary Biology

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A hundred years is but an instant in evolutionary time; however during his life that spanned a century, Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) made outstanding contributions to our understanding of the pat- tern and process of evolution. An ornithologist and systematist by training, Mayr embraced Darwinism and championed the cause of.

  18. Spectra of chemical trees

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balasubramanian, K.

    1982-01-01

    A method is developed for obtaining the spectra of trees of NMR and chemical interests. The characteristic polynomials of branched trees can be obtained in terms of the characteristic polynomials of unbranched trees and branches by pruning the tree at the joints. The unbranched trees can also be broken down further until a tree containing just two vertices is obtained. The effectively reduces the order of the secular determinant of the tree used at the beginning to determinants of orders atmost equal to the number of vertices in the branch containing the largest number of vertices. An illustrative example of a NMR graph is given for which the 22 x 22 secular determinant is reduced to determinants of orders atmost 4 x 4 in just the second step of the algorithm. The tree pruning algorithm can be applied even to trees with no symmetry elements and such a factoring can be achieved. Methods developed here can be elegantly used to find if two trees are cospectral and to construct cospectral trees

  19. Explaining mutualism variation: a new evolutionary paradox?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heath, Katy D; Stinchcombe, John R

    2014-02-01

    The paradox of mutualism is typically framed as the persistence of interspecific cooperation, despite the potential advantages of cheating. Thus, mutualism research has tended to focus on stabilizing mechanisms that prevent the invasion of low-quality partners. These mechanisms alone cannot explain the persistence of variation for partner quality observed in nature, leaving a large gap in our understanding of how mutualisms evolve. Studying partner quality variation is necessary for applying genetically explicit models to predict evolution in natural populations, a necessary step for understanding the origins of mutualisms as well as their ongoing dynamics. An evolutionary genetic approach, which is focused on naturally occurring mutualist variation, can potentially synthesize the currently disconnected fields of mutualism evolution and coevolutionary genetics. We outline explanations for the maintenance of genetic variation for mutualism and suggest approaches necessary to address them. © 2013 The Author(s). Evolution © 2013 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  20. Evolution in health and medicine Sackler colloquium: Making evolutionary biology a basic science for medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesse, Randolph M; Bergstrom, Carl T; Ellison, Peter T; Flier, Jeffrey S; Gluckman, Peter; Govindaraju, Diddahally R; Niethammer, Dietrich; Omenn, Gilbert S; Perlman, Robert L; Schwartz, Mark D; Thomas, Mark G; Stearns, Stephen C; Valle, David

    2010-01-26

    New applications of evolutionary biology in medicine are being discovered at an accelerating rate, but few physicians have sufficient educational background to use them fully. This article summarizes suggestions from several groups that have considered how evolutionary biology can be useful in medicine, what physicians should learn about it, and when and how they should learn it. Our general conclusion is that evolutionary biology is a crucial basic science for medicine. In addition to looking at established evolutionary methods and topics, such as population genetics and pathogen evolution, we highlight questions about why natural selection leaves bodies vulnerable to disease. Knowledge about evolution provides physicians with an integrative framework that links otherwise disparate bits of knowledge. It replaces the prevalent view of bodies as machines with a biological view of bodies shaped by evolutionary processes. Like other basic sciences, evolutionary biology needs to be taught both before and during medical school. Most introductory biology courses are insufficient to establish competency in evolutionary biology. Premedical students need evolution courses, possibly ones that emphasize medically relevant aspects. In medical school, evolutionary biology should be taught as one of the basic medical sciences. This will require a course that reviews basic principles and specific medical applications, followed by an integrated presentation of evolutionary aspects that apply to each disease and organ system. Evolutionary biology is not just another topic vying for inclusion in the curriculum; it is an essential foundation for a biological understanding of health and disease.

  1. Evolutionary Science as a Method to Facilitate Higher Level Thinking and Reasoning in Medical Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graves, Joseph L; Reiber, Chris; Thanukos, Anna; Hurtado, Magdalena; Wolpaw, Terry

    2016-10-15

    Evolutionary science is indispensable for understanding biological processes. Effective medical treatment must be anchored in sound biology. However, currently the insights available from evolutionary science are not adequately incorporated in either pre-medical or medical school curricula. To illuminate how evolution may be helpful in these areas, examples in which the insights of evolutionary science are already improving medical treatment and ways in which evolutionary reasoning can be practiced in the context of medicine are provided. In order to facilitate the learning of evolutionary principles, concepts derived from evolutionary science that medical students and professionals should understand are outlined. These concepts are designed to be authoritative and at the same time easily accessible for anyone with the general biological knowledge of a first-year medical student. Thus we conclude that medical practice informed by evolutionary principles will be more effective and lead to better patient outcomes.Furthermore, it is argued that evolutionary medicine complements general medical training because it provides an additional means by which medical students can practice the critical thinking skills that will be important in their future practice. We argue that core concepts from evolutionary science have the potential to improve critical thinking and facilitate more effective learning in medical training. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Foundation for Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health.

  2. Evolutionary engineering for industrial microbiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanee, Niti; Fisher, Adam B; Fong, Stephen S

    2012-01-01

    Superficially, evolutionary engineering is a paradoxical field that balances competing interests. In natural settings, evolution iteratively selects and enriches subpopulations that are best adapted to a particular ecological niche using random processes such as genetic mutation. In engineering desired approaches utilize rational prospective design to address targeted problems. When considering details of evolutionary and engineering processes, more commonality can be found. Engineering relies on detailed knowledge of the problem parameters and design properties in order to predict design outcomes that would be an optimized solution. When detailed knowledge of a system is lacking, engineers often employ algorithmic search strategies to identify empirical solutions. Evolution epitomizes this iterative optimization by continuously diversifying design options from a parental design, and then selecting the progeny designs that represent satisfactory solutions. In this chapter, the technique of applying the natural principles of evolution to engineer microbes for industrial applications is discussed to highlight the challenges and principles of evolutionary engineering.

  3. Ancestral trees for modeling stem cell lineages genetically rather than functionally: understanding mutation accumulation and distinguishing the restrictive cancer stem cell propagation theory and the unrestricted cell propagation theory of human tumorigenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibata, Darryl K; Kern, Scott E

    2008-01-01

    Cancer stem cells either could be rare or common in tumors, constituting the major distinction between the two fundamentally opposed theoretical models of tumor progression: A newer and restrictive stem cell propagation model, in which the stem cells are a small and special minority of the tumor cells, and a standard older model, an unrestricted cell proliferation theory, in which many or most tumor cells are capable of indefinite generations of cell division. Stem cells of tumors are difficult to quantitate using functional assays, and the validity of the most common assays is seriously questioned. Nonetheless, stem cells are an essential component of any tumorigenesis model. Alternative approaches to studying tumor stem cells should be explored. Cell populations can be conceived of as having a genealogy, a relationship of cells to their ancestral lineage, from the zygote to the adult cells or neoplasms. Models using ancestral trees thus offer an anatomic and genetic means to "observe" stem cells independent of artificial conditions. Ancestral trees broaden our attention backward along a lineage, to the zygote stage, and thereby add insight into how the mutations of tumors accumulate. It is possible that a large fraction of mutations in a tumor originate from normal, endogenous, replication errors (nearly all being passenger mutations) occurring prior to the emergence of the first transformed cell. Trees can be constructed from experimental measurements - molecular clocks - of real human tissues and tumors. Detailed analysis of single-cell methylation patterns, heritable yet slightly plastic, now can provide this information in the necessary depth. Trees based on observations of molecular clocks may help us to distinguish between competing theories regarding the proliferative properties among cells of actual human tumors, to observe subtle and difficult phenomena such as the extinction of stem lineages, and to address the origins and rates of mutations in various

  4. Exact Algorithms for Duplication-Transfer-Loss Reconciliation with Non-Binary Gene Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kordi, Misagh; Bansal, Mukul S

    2017-06-01

    Duplication-Transfer-Loss (DTL) reconciliation is a powerful method for studying gene family evolution in the presence of horizontal gene transfer. DTL reconciliation seeks to reconcile gene trees with species trees by postulating speciation, duplication, transfer, and loss events. Efficient algorithms exist for finding optimal DTL reconciliations when the gene tree is binary. In practice, however, gene trees are often non-binary due to uncertainty in the gene tree topologies, and DTL reconciliation with non-binary gene trees is known to be NP-hard. In this paper, we present the first exact algorithms for DTL reconciliation with non-binary gene trees. Specifically, we (i) show that the DTL reconciliation problem for non-binary gene trees is fixed-parameter tractable in the maximum degree of the gene tree, (ii) present an exponential-time, but in-practice efficient, algorithm to track and enumerate all optimal binary resolutions of a non-binary input gene tree, and (iii) apply our algorithms to a large empirical data set of over 4700 gene trees from 100 species to study the impact of gene tree uncertainty on DTL-reconciliation and to demonstrate the applicability and utility of our algorithms. The new techniques and algorithms introduced in this paper will help biologists avoid incorrect evolutionary inferences caused by gene tree uncertainty.

  5. PhyloExplorer: a web server to validate, explore and query phylogenetic trees

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Auberval Nicolas

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many important problems in evolutionary biology require molecular phylogenies to be reconstructed. Phylogenetic trees must then be manipulated for subsequent inclusion in publications or analyses such as supertree inference and tree comparisons. However, no tool is currently available to facilitate the management of tree collections providing, for instance: standardisation of taxon names among trees with respect to a reference taxonomy; selection of relevant subsets of trees or sub-trees according to a taxonomic query; or simply computation of descriptive statistics on the collection. Moreover, although several databases of phylogenetic trees exist, there is currently no easy way to find trees that are both relevant and complementary to a given collection of trees. Results We propose a tool to facilitate assessment and management of phylogenetic tree collections. Given an input collection of rooted trees, PhyloExplorer provides facilities for obtaining statistics describing the collection, correcting invalid taxon names, extracting taxonomically relevant parts of the collection using a dedicated query language, and identifying related trees in the TreeBASE database. Conclusion PhyloExplorer is a simple and interactive website implemented through underlying Python libraries and MySQL databases. It is available at: http://www.ncbi.orthomam.univ-montp2.fr/phyloexplorer/ and the source code can be downloaded from: http://code.google.com/p/taxomanie/.

  6. The copy-number tree mixture deconvolution problem and applications to multi-sample bulk sequencing tumor data

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Zaccaria (Simone); M. El-Kebir (Mohammed); G.W. Klau (Gunnar); B.J. Raphael (Benjamin)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractCancer is an evolutionary process driven by somatic mutation. This process can be represented as a phylogenetic tree. Constructing such a phylogenetic tree from genome sequencing data is a challenging task due to the mutational complexity of cancer and the fact that nearly all cancer

  7. Reconstruction of certain phylogenetic networks from their tree-average distances.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willson, Stephen J

    2013-10-01

    Trees are commonly utilized to describe the evolutionary history of a collection of biological species, in which case the trees are called phylogenetic trees. Often these are reconstructed from data by making use of distances between extant species corresponding to the leaves of the tree. Because of increased recognition of the possibility of hybridization events, more attention is being given to the use of phylogenetic networks that are not necessarily trees. This paper describes the reconstruction of certain such networks from the tree-average distances between the leaves. For a certain class of phylogenetic networks, a polynomial-time method is presented to reconstruct the network from the tree-average distances. The method is proved to work if there is a single reticulation cycle.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. New substitution models for rooting phylogenetic trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Tom A; Heaps, Sarah E; Cherlin, Svetlana; Nye, Tom M W; Boys, Richard J; Embley, T Martin

    2015-09-26

    The root of a phylogenetic tree is fundamental to its biological interpretation, but standard substitution models do not provide any information on its position. Here, we describe two recently developed models that relax the usual assumptions of stationarity and reversibility, thereby facilitating root inference without the need for an outgroup. We compare the performance of these models on a classic test case for phylogenetic methods, before considering two highly topical questions in evolutionary biology: the deep structure of the tree of life and the root of the archaeal radiation. We show that all three alignments contain meaningful rooting information that can be harnessed by these new models, thus complementing and extending previous work based on outgroup rooting. In particular, our analyses exclude the root of the tree of life from the eukaryotes or Archaea, placing it on the bacterial stem or within the Bacteria. They also exclude the root of the archaeal radiation from several major clades, consistent with analyses using other rooting methods. Overall, our results demonstrate the utility of non-reversible and non-stationary models for rooting phylogenetic trees, and identify areas where further progress can be made. © 2015 The Authors.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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:

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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

  17. Genetical Genomics for Evolutionary Studies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prins, J.C.P.; Smant, G.; Jansen, R.C.

    2012-01-01

    Genetical genomics combines acquired high-throughput genomic data with genetic analysis. In this chapter, we discuss the application of genetical genomics for evolutionary studies, where new high-throughput molecular technologies are combined with mapping quantitative trait loci (QTL) on the genome

  18. Evolutionary trends in directional hearing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Carr, Catherine E; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    2016-01-01

    Tympanic hearing is a true evolutionary novelty that arose in parallel within early tetrapods. We propose that in these tetrapods, selection for sound localization in air acted upon pre-existing directionally sensitive brainstem circuits, similar to those in fishes. Auditory circuits in birds...

  19. 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....

  20. Haldane and modern evolutionary genetics

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Brian Charlesworth

    2017-11-24

    Nov 24, 2017 ... q(t) of an allele at a locus among the gametes produced at time t, to its .... the importance of disease as an evolutionary factor, which is now a ..... VII. Selection intensity as a function of mortality rate. Proc. Camb. Philos. Soc.

  1. Evolutionary medicine: update on the relevance to family practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naugler, Christopher T

    2008-09-01

    To review the relevance of evolutionary medicine to family practice and family physician training. Articles were located through a MEDLINE search, using the key words evolution, Darwin, and adaptation. Most references presented level III evidence (expert opinion), while a minority provided level II evidence (epidemiologic studies). Evolutionary medicine deals with the interplay of biology and the environment in the understanding of human disease. Yet medical schools have virtually ignored the need for family physicians to have more than a cursory knowledge of this topic. A review of the main trends in this field most relevant to family practice revealed that a basic knowledge of evolutionary medicine might help in explaining the causation of diseases to patients. Evolutionary medicine has also proven key to explaining the reasons for the development of antibiotic resistance and has the potential to explain cancer pathogenesis. As an organizing principle, this field also has potential in the teaching of family medicine. Evolutionary medicine should be studied further and incorporated into medical training and practice. Its practical utility will be proven through the generation of testable hypotheses and their application in relation to disease causation and possible prevention.

  2. Islamic medicine and evolutionary medicine: a comparative analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saniotis, Arthur

    2012-01-01

    The advent of evolutionary medicine in the last two decades has provided new insights into the causes of human disease and possible preventative strategies. One of the strengths of evolutionary medicine is that it follows a multi-disciplinary approach. Such an approach is vital to future biomedicine as it enables for the infiltration of new ideas. Although evolutionary medicine uses Darwinian evolution as a heuristic for understanding human beings' susceptibility to disease, this is not necessarily in conflict with Islamic medicine. It should be noted that current evolutionary theory was first expounded by various Muslim scientists such as al-Jāḥiẓ, al-Ṭūsī, Ibn Khaldūn and Ibn Maskawayh centuries before Darwin and Wallace. In this way, evolution should not be viewed as being totally antithetical to Islam. This article provides a comparative overview of Islamic medicine and Evolutionary medicine as well as drawing points of comparison between the two approaches which enables their possible future integration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Serafim; Rosado, Margarida

    2008-01-01

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

  4. The evolutionary ecology of clonally propagated domesticated plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKey, Doyle; Elias, Marianne; Pujol, Benoît; Duputié, Anne

    2010-04-01

    While seed-propagated crops have contributed many evolutionary insights, evolutionary biologists have often neglected clonally propagated crops. We argue that widespread notions about their evolution under domestication are oversimplified, and that they offer rich material for evolutionary studies. The diversity of their wild ancestors, the diverse ecologies of the crop populations themselves, and the intricate mix of selection pressures, acting not only on the parts harvested but also on the parts used by humans to make clonal propagules, result in complex and diverse evolutionary trajectories under domestication. We examine why farmers propagate some plants clonally, and discuss the evolutionary dynamics of sexual reproduction in clonal crops. We explore how their mixed clonal/sexual reproductive systems function, based on the sole example studied in detail, cassava (Manihot esculenta). Biotechnology is now expanding the number of clonal crops, continuing the 10 000-yr-old trend to increase crop yields by propagating elite genotypes. In an era of rapid global change, it is more important than ever to understand how the adaptive potential of clonal crops can be maintained. A key component of strategies for preserving this adaptive potential is the maintenance of mixed clonal/sexual systems, which can be achieved by encouraging and valuing farmer knowledge about the sexual reproductive biology of their clonal crops.

  5. The valuative tree

    CERN Document Server

    Favre, Charles

    2004-01-01

    This volume is devoted to a beautiful object, called the valuative tree and designed as a powerful tool for the study of singularities in two complex dimensions. Its intricate yet manageable structure can be analyzed by both algebraic and geometric means. Many types of singularities, including those of curves, ideals, and plurisubharmonic functions, can be encoded in terms of positive measures on the valuative tree. The construction of these measures uses a natural tree Laplace operator of independent interest.

  6. Mitochondria and the evolutionary roots of cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davila, Alfonso F; Zamorano, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Cancer disease is inherent to, and widespread among, metazoans. Yet, some of the hallmarks of cancer such as uncontrolled cell proliferation, lack of apoptosis, hypoxia, fermentative metabolism and free cell motility (metastasis) are akin to a prokaryotic lifestyle, suggesting a link between cancer disease and evolution. In this hypothesis paper, we propose that cancer cells represent a phenotypic reversion to the earliest stage of eukaryotic evolution. This reversion is triggered by the dysregulation of the mitochondria due to cumulative oxidative damage to mitochondrial and nuclear DNA. As a result, the phenotype of normal, differentiated cells gradually reverts to the phenotype of a facultative anaerobic, heterotrophic cell optimized for survival and proliferation in hypoxic environments. This phenotype matches the phenotype of the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) that resulted from the endosymbiosis between an α-proteobacteria (which later became the mitochondria) and an archaebacteria. As such, the evolution of cancer within one individual can be viewed as a recapitulation of the evolution of the eukaryotic cell from fully differentiated cells to LECA. This evolutionary model of cancer is compatible with the current understanding of the disease, and explains the evolutionary basis for most of the hallmarks of cancer, as well as the link between the disease and aging. It could also open new avenues for treatment directed at reestablishing the synergy between the mitochondria and the cancerous cell. (paper)

  7. Evolutionary dynamics of cooperation in neutral populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szolnoki, Attila; Perc, Matjaž

    2018-01-01

    Cooperation is a difficult proposition in the face of Darwinian selection. Those that defect have an evolutionary advantage over cooperators who should therefore die out. However, spatial structure enables cooperators to survive through the formation of homogeneous clusters, which is the hallmark of network reciprocity. Here we go beyond this traditional setup and study the spatiotemporal dynamics of cooperation in a population of populations. We use the prisoner's dilemma game as the mathematical model and show that considering several populations simultaneously gives rise to fascinating spatiotemporal dynamics and pattern formation. Even the simplest assumption that strategies between different populations are payoff-neutral with one another results in the spontaneous emergence of cyclic dominance, where defectors of one population become prey of cooperators in the other population, and vice versa. Moreover, if social interactions within different populations are characterized by significantly different temptations to defect, we observe that defectors in the population with the largest temptation counterintuitively vanish the fastest, while cooperators that hang on eventually take over the whole available space. Our results reveal that considering the simultaneous presence of different populations significantly expands the complexity of evolutionary dynamics in structured populations, and it allows us to understand the stability of cooperation under adverse conditions that could never be bridged by network reciprocity alone.

  8. Clonality and evolutionary history of rhabdomyosarcoma.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Chen

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available To infer the subclonality of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS and predict the temporal order of genetic events for the tumorigenic process, and to identify novel drivers, we applied a systematic method that takes into account germline and somatic alterations in 44 tumor-normal RMS pairs using deep whole-genome sequencing. Intriguingly, we find that loss of heterozygosity of 11p15.5 and mutations in RAS pathway genes occur early in the evolutionary history of the PAX-fusion-negative-RMS (PFN-RMS subtype. We discover several early mutations in non-RAS mutated samples and predict them to be drivers in PFN-RMS including recurrent mutation of PKN1. In contrast, we find that PAX-fusion-positive (PFP subtype tumors have undergone whole-genome duplication in the late stage of cancer evolutionary history and have acquired fewer mutations and subclones than PFN-RMS. Moreover we predict that the PAX3-FOXO1 fusion event occurs earlier than the whole genome duplication. Our findings provide information critical to the understanding of tumorigenesis of RMS.

  9. Urban tree effects on soil organic carbon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jill L Edmondson

    Full Text Available Urban trees sequester carbon into biomass and provide many ecosystem service benefits aboveground leading to worldwide tree planting schemes. Since soils hold ∼75% of ecosystem organic carbon, understanding the effect of urban trees on soil organic carbon (SOC and soil properties that underpin belowground ecosystem services is vital. We use an observational study to investigate effects of three important tree genera and mixed-species woodlands on soil properties (to 1 m depth compared to adjacent urban grasslands. Aboveground biomass and belowground ecosystem service provision by urban trees are found not to be directly coupled. Indeed, SOC enhancement relative to urban grasslands is genus-specific being highest under Fraxinus excelsior and Acer spp., but similar to grasslands under Quercus robur and mixed woodland. Tree cover type does not influence soil bulk density or C∶N ratio, properties which indicate the ability of soils to provide regulating ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling and flood mitigation. The trends observed in this study suggest that genus selection is important to maximise long-term SOC storage under urban trees, but emerging threats from genus-specific pathogens must also be considered.

  10. Allometric convergence in savanna trees and implications for the use of plant scaling models in variable ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew T Tredennick

    Full Text Available Theoretical models of allometric scaling provide frameworks for understanding and predicting how and why the morphology and function of organisms vary with scale. It remains unclear, however, if the predictions of 'universal' scaling models for vascular plants hold across diverse species in variable environments. Phenomena such as competition and disturbance may drive allometric scaling relationships away from theoretical predictions based on an optimized tree. Here, we use a hierarchical Bayesian approach to calculate tree-specific, species-specific, and 'global' (i.e. interspecific scaling exponents for several allometric relationships using tree- and branch-level data harvested from three savanna sites across a rainfall gradient in Mali, West Africa. We use these exponents to provide a rigorous test of three plant scaling models (Metabolic Scaling Theory (MST, Geometric Similarity, and Stress Similarity in savanna systems. For the allometric relationships we evaluated (diameter vs. length, aboveground mass, stem mass, and leaf mass the empirically calculated exponents broadly overlapped among species from diverse environments, except for the scaling exponents for length, which increased with tree cover and density. When we compare empirical scaling exponents to the theoretical predictions from the three models we find MST predictions are most consistent with our observed allometries. In those situations where observations are inconsistent with MST we find that departure from theory corresponds with expected tradeoffs related to disturbance and competitive interactions. We hypothesize savanna trees have greater length-scaling exponents than predicted by MST due to an evolutionary tradeoff between fire escape and optimization of mechanical stability and internal resource transport. Future research on the drivers of systematic allometric variation could reconcile the differences between observed scaling relationships in variable ecosystems and

  11. Coded Splitting Tree Protocols

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Jesper Hemming; Stefanovic, Cedomir; Popovski, Petar

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a novel approach to multiple access control called coded splitting tree protocol. The approach builds on the known tree splitting protocols, code structure and successive interference cancellation (SIC). Several instances of the tree splitting protocol are initiated, each...... instance is terminated prematurely and subsequently iterated. The combined set of leaves from all the tree instances can then be viewed as a graph code, which is decodable using belief propagation. The main design problem is determining the order of splitting, which enables successful decoding as early...

  12. Morocco - Fruit Tree Productivity

    Data.gov (United States)

    Millennium Challenge Corporation — Date Tree Irrigation Project: The specific objectives of this evaluation are threefold: - Performance evaluation of project activities, like the mid-term evaluation,...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Applied evolutionary economics and economic geography

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Frenken, K.

    2007-01-01

    Applied Evolutionary Economics and Economic Geography" aims to further advance empirical methodologies in evolutionary economics, with a special emphasis on geography and firm location. It does so by bringing together a select group of leading scholars including economists, geographers and

  16. Evolutionary biology of bacterial and fungal pathogens

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Baquero, F

    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...

  17. Evolutionary trends of the pharyngeal dentition in Cypriniformes (Actinopterygii: Ostariophysi.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel Pasco-Viel

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The fish order Cypriniformes is one of the most diverse ray-finned fish groups in the world with more than 3000 recognized species. Cypriniformes are characterized by a striking distribution of their dentition: namely the absence of oral teeth and presence of pharyngeal teeth on the last gill arch (fifth ceratobranchial. Despite this limited localisation, the diversity of tooth patterns in Cypriniformes is astonishing. Here we provide a further description of this diversity using X-ray microtomography and we map the resulting dental characters on a phylogenetic tree to explore evolutionary trends. RESULTS: We performed a pilot survey of dental formulae and individual tooth shapes in 34 adult species of Cypriniformes by X-ray microtomography (using either conventional X-ray machine, or synchrotron microtomography when necessary or by dissecting. By mapping morphological results in a phylogenetic tree, it emerges that the two super-families Cobitoidea and Cyprinoidea have followed two distinct evolutionary pathways. Furthermore, our analysis supports the hypothesis of a three-row dentition as ancestral for Cyprinoidea and a general trend in tooth row reduction in most derived lineages. Yet, this general scheme must be considered with caution as several events of tooth row gain and loss have occurred during evolutionary history of Cyprinoidea. SIGNIFICANCE: Dentition diversity in Cypriniformes constitutes an excellent model to study the evolution of complex morphological structures. This morphological survey clearly advocates for extending the use of X-ray microtomography to study tooth morphology in Cypriniformes. Yet, our survey also underlines that improved knowledge of Cypriniformes life traits, such as feeding habits, is required as current knowledge is not sufficient to conclude on the link between diet and dental morphology.

  18. Community assessment of tropical tree biomass

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Theilade, Ida; Rutishauser, Ervan; Poulsen, Michael K.

    2015-01-01

    Background REDD+ programs rely on accurate forest carbon monitoring. Several REDD+ projects have recently shown that local communities can monitor above ground biomass as well as external professionals, but at lower costs. However, the precision and accuracy of carbon monitoring conducted by local...... communities have rarely been assessed in the tropics. The aim of this study was to investigate different sources of error in tree biomass measurements conducted by community monitors and determine the effect on biomass estimates. Furthermore, we explored the potential of local ecological knowledge to assess...... measurement, with special attention given to large and odd-shaped trees. A better understanding of traditional classification systems and concepts is required for local tree identifications and wood density estimates to become useful in monitoring of biomass and tree diversity....

  19. 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.

  20. Are trees long-lived?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin T. Smith

    2009-01-01

    Trees and tree care can capture the best of people's motivations and intentions. Trees are living memorials that help communities heal at sites of national tragedy, such as Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center. We mark the places of important historical events by the trees that grew nearby even if the original tree, such as the Charter Oak in Connecticut or...

  1. 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

  2. Essays on nonlinear evolutionary game dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ochea, M.I.

    2010-01-01

    Evolutionary game theory has been viewed as an evolutionary repair of rational actor game theory in the hope that a population of boundedly rational players may attain convergence to classic rational solutions, such as the Nash Equilibrium, via some learning or evolutionary process. In this thesis

  3. Presenteeism in nursing: An evolutionary concept analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainbow, Jessica G; Steege, Linsey M

    Presenteeism is an emerging concept in nursing that has been linked to increased health care costs, patient medication errors and falls, and negative nurse well-being. However, prior work has utilized various definitions and antecedents. Clarity on the significance, development, and consequences of presenteeism in nursing is needed. This concept analysis seeks to understand the application of presenteeism within nursing workforce literature and in the broader workforce context. Rodgers' evolutionary concept analysis method was used. The proposed definition of presenteeism as the act of being physically present at work with reduced performance can be attributed to multiple antecedents. These include nurse health, professional identity, work-life balance, and work environment. The prevalence of these antecedents with high rates of presenteeism among nurses and consequences point to the need for interventions. These findings can guide development of future interventions and policies that address the broader context of factors leading to presenteeism. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Evolutionary Computation Techniques for Predicting Atmospheric Corrosion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amine Marref

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Corrosion occurs in many engineering structures such as bridges, pipelines, and refineries and leads to the destruction of materials in a gradual manner and thus shortening their lifespan. It is therefore crucial to assess the structural integrity of engineering structures which are approaching or exceeding their designed lifespan in order to ensure their correct functioning, for example, carrying ability and safety. An understanding of corrosion and an ability to predict corrosion rate of a material in a particular environment plays a vital role in evaluating the residual life of the material. In this paper we investigate the use of genetic programming and genetic algorithms in the derivation of corrosion-rate expressions for steel and zinc. Genetic programming is used to automatically evolve corrosion-rate expressions while a genetic algorithm is used to evolve the parameters of an already engineered corrosion-rate expression. We show that both evolutionary techniques yield corrosion-rate expressions that have good accuracy.

  5. Evolutionary change in continuous reaction norms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Murren, Courtney J; Maclean, Heidi J; Diamond, Sarah E

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the evolution of reaction norms remains a major challenge in ecology and evolution. Investigating evolutionary divergence in reaction norm shapes between populations and closely related species is one approach to providing insights. Here we use a meta-analytic approach to compare...... divergence in reaction norms of closely related species or populations of animals and plants across types of traits and environments. We quantified mean-standardized differences in overall trait means (Offset) and reaction norm shape (including both Slope and Curvature). These analyses revealed...... contributed to the best-fitting models, especially for Offset, Curvature, and the total differences (Total) between reaction norms. Congeneric species had greater differences in reaction norms than populations, and novel environmental conditions increased the differences in reaction norms between populations...

  6. Cooperation and conflict in cancer: An evolutionary perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan Featherston

    2012-09-01

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

  7. Fast Construction of Near Parsimonious Hybridization Networks for Multiple Phylogenetic Trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirzaei, Sajad; Wu, Yufeng

    2016-01-01

    Hybridization networks represent plausible evolutionary histories of species that are affected by reticulate evolutionary processes. An established computational problem on hybridization networks is constructing the most parsimonious hybridization network such that each of the given phylogenetic trees (called gene trees) is "displayed" in the network. There have been several previous approaches, including an exact method and several heuristics, for this NP-hard problem. However, the exact method is only applicable to a limited range of data, and heuristic methods can be less accurate and also slow sometimes. In this paper, we develop a new algorithm for constructing near parsimonious networks for multiple binary gene trees. This method is more efficient for large numbers of gene trees than previous heuristics. This new method also produces more parsimonious results on many simulated datasets as well as a real biological dataset than a previous method. We also show that our method produces topologically more accurate networks for many datasets.

  8. Fragmentation of random trees

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalay, Z; Ben-Naim, E

    2015-01-01

    We study fragmentation of a random recursive tree into a forest by repeated removal of nodes. The initial tree consists of N nodes and it is generated by sequential addition of nodes with each new node attaching to a randomly-selected existing node. As nodes are removed from the tree, one at a time, the tree dissolves into an ensemble of separate trees, namely, a forest. We study statistical properties of trees and nodes in this heterogeneous forest, and find that the fraction of remaining nodes m characterizes the system in the limit N→∞. We obtain analytically the size density ϕ s of trees of size s. The size density has power-law tail ϕ s ∼s −α with exponent α=1+(1/m). Therefore, the tail becomes steeper as further nodes are removed, and the fragmentation process is unusual in that exponent α increases continuously with time. We also extend our analysis to the case where nodes are added as well as removed, and obtain the asymptotic size density for growing trees. (paper)

  9. The tree BVOC index

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.R. Simpson; E.G. McPherson

    2011-01-01

    Urban trees can produce a number of benefits, among them improved air quality. Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emitted by some species are ozone precursors. Modifying future tree planting to favor lower-emitting species can reduce these emissions and aid air management districts in meeting federally mandated emissions reductions for these compounds. Changes...

  10. Tree growth visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. Linsen; B.J. Karis; E.G. McPherson; B. Hamann

    2005-01-01

    In computer graphics, models describing the fractal branching structure of trees typically exploit the modularity of tree structures. The models are based on local production rules, which are applied iteratively and simultaneously to create a complex branching system. The objective is to generate three-dimensional scenes of often many realistic- looking and non-...

  11. Flowering T Flowering Trees

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Adansonia digitata L. ( The Baobab Tree) of Bombacaceae is a tree with swollen trunk that attains a dia. of 10m. Leaves are digitately compound with leaflets up to 18cm. long. Flowers are large, solitary, waxy white, and open at dusk. They open in 30 seconds and are bat pollinated. Stamens are many. Fruit is about 30 cm ...

  12. Fault tree graphics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bass, L.; Wynholds, H.W.; Porterfield, W.R.

    1975-01-01

    Described is an operational system that enables the user, through an intelligent graphics terminal, to construct, modify, analyze, and store fault trees. With this system, complex engineering designs can be analyzed. This paper discusses the system and its capabilities. Included is a brief discussion of fault tree analysis, which represents an aspect of reliability and safety modeling

  13. Individual tree control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey A. Holt

    1989-01-01

    Controlling individual unwanted trees in forest stands is a readily accepted method for improving the value of future harvests. The practice is especially important in mixed hardwood forests where species differ considerably in value and within species individual trees differ in quality. Individual stem control is a mechanical or chemical weeding operation that...

  14. Trees and Climate Change

    OpenAIRE

    Dettenmaier, Megan; Kuhns, Michael; Unger, Bethany; McAvoy, Darren

    2017-01-01

    This fact sheet describes the complex relationship between forests and climate change based on current research. It explains ways that trees can mitigate some of the risks associated with climate change. It details the impacts that forests are having on the changing climate and discuss specific ways that trees can be used to reduce or counter carbon emissions directly and indirectly.

  15. Structural Equation Model Trees

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandmaier, Andreas M.; von Oertzen, Timo; McArdle, John J.; Lindenberger, Ulman

    2013-01-01

    In the behavioral and social sciences, structural equation models (SEMs) have become widely accepted as a modeling tool for the relation between latent and observed variables. SEMs can be seen as a unification of several multivariate analysis techniques. SEM Trees combine the strengths of SEMs and the decision tree paradigm by building tree…

  16. Matching Subsequences in Trees

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bille, Philip; Gørtz, Inge Li

    2009-01-01

    Given two rooted, labeled trees P and T the tree path subsequence problem is to determine which paths in P are subsequences of which paths in T. Here a path begins at the root and ends at a leaf. In this paper we propose this problem as a useful query primitive for XML data, and provide new...

  17. 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

  18. Exponential Expansion in Evolutionary Economics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frederiksen, Peter; Jagtfelt, Tue

    2013-01-01

    This article attempts to solve current problems of conceptual fragmentation within the field of evolutionary economics. One of the problems, as noted by a number of observers, is that the field suffers from an assemblage of fragmented and scattered concepts (Boschma and Martin 2010). A solution...... to this problem is proposed in the form of a model of exponential expansion. The model outlines the overall structure and function of the economy as exponential expansion. The pictographic model describes four axiomatic concepts and their exponential nature. The interactive, directional, emerging and expanding...... concepts are described in detail. Taken together it provides the rudimentary aspects of an economic system within an analytical perspective. It is argued that the main dynamic processes of the evolutionary perspective can be reduced to these four concepts. The model and concepts are evaluated in the light...

  19. Reconstruction of phylogenetic trees of prokaryotes using maximal common intervals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heydari, Mahdi; Marashi, Sayed-Amir; Tusserkani, Ruzbeh; Sadeghi, Mehdi

    2014-10-01

    One of the fundamental problems in bioinformatics is phylogenetic tree reconstruction, which can be used for classifying living organisms into different taxonomic clades. The classical approach to this problem is based on a marker such as 16S ribosomal RNA. Since evolutionary events like genomic rearrangements are not included in reconstructions of phylogenetic trees based on single genes, much effort has been made to find other characteristics for phylogenetic reconstruction in recent years. With the increasing availability of completely sequenced genomes, gene order can be considered as a new solution for this problem. In the present work, we applied maximal common intervals (MCIs) in two or more genomes to infer their distance and to reconstruct their evolutionary relationship. Additionally, measures based on uncommon segments (UCS's), i.e., those genomic segments which are not detected as part of any of the MCIs, are also used for phylogenetic tree reconstruction. We applied these two types of measures for reconstructing the phylogenetic tree of 63 prokaryotes with known COG (clusters of orthologous groups) families. Similarity between the MCI-based (resp. UCS-based) reconstructed phylogenetic trees and the phylogenetic tree obtained from NCBI taxonomy browser is as high as 93.1% (resp. 94.9%). We show that in the case of this diverse dataset of prokaryotes, tree reconstruction based on MCI and UCS outperforms most of the currently available methods based on gene orders, including breakpoint distance and DCJ. We additionally tested our new measures on a dataset of 13 closely-related bacteria from the genus Prochlorococcus. In this case, distances like rearrangement distance, breakpoint distance and DCJ proved to be useful, while our new measures are still appropriate for phylogenetic reconstruction. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Passivity and Evolutionary Game Dynamics

    KAUST Repository

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

    2018-01-01

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