WorldWideScience

Sample records for widespread evolutionary conservation

  1. Widespread evolutionary conservation of alternatively spliced exons in caenorhabditis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    Alternative splicing (AS) contributes to increased transcriptome and proteome diversity in various eukaryotic lineages. Previous studies showed low levels of conservation of alternatively spliced (cassette) exons within mammals and within dipterans. We report a strikingly different pattern...... in Caenorhabditis nematodes-more than 92% of cassette exons from Caenorhabditis elegans are conserved in Caenorhabditis briggsae and/or Caenorhabditis remanei. High levels of conservation extend to minor-form exons (present in a minority of transcripts) and are particularly pronounced for exons showing complex...... patterns of splicing. The functionality of the vast majority of cassette exons is underscored by various other features. We suggest that differences in conservation between lineages reflect differences in levels of functionality and further suggest that these differences are due to differences in intron...

  2. Strategies for measuring evolutionary conservation of RNA secondary structures

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    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.

  3. How conservative are evolutionary anthropologists?: a survey of political attitudes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyle, Henry F; Smith, Eric A

    2012-09-01

    The application of evolutionary theory to human behavior has elicited a variety of critiques, some of which charge that this approach expresses or encourages conservative or reactionary political agendas. In a survey of graduate students in psychology, Tybur, Miller, and Gangestad (Human Nature, 18, 313-328, 2007) found that the political attitudes of those who use an evolutionary approach did not differ from those of other psychology grad students. Here, we present results from a directed online survey of a broad sample of graduate students in anthropology that assays political views. We found that evolutionary anthropology graduate students were very liberal in their political beliefs, overwhelmingly voted for a liberal U.S. presidential candidate in the 2008 election, and identified with liberal political parties; in this, they were almost indistinguishable from non-evolutionary anthropology students. Our results contradict the view that evolutionary anthropologists hold conservative or reactionary political views. We discuss some possible reasons for the persistence of this view in terms of the sociology of science.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatebe, Hisashi; Shiozaki, Kazuhiro

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-12-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilucca, Maddalena; Cimini, Giulio; Giansanti, Andrea

    2018-07-15

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

  10. Widespread presence of human BOULE homologs among animals and conservation of their ancient reproductive function.

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    Chirag Shah

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Sex-specific traits that lead to the production of dimorphic gametes, sperm in males and eggs in females, are fundamental for sexual reproduction and accordingly widespread among animals. Yet the sex-biased genes that underlie these sex-specific traits are under strong selective pressure, and as a result of adaptive evolution they often become divergent. Indeed out of hundreds of male or female fertility genes identified in diverse organisms, only a very small number of them are implicated specifically in reproduction in more than one lineage. Few genes have exhibited a sex-biased, reproductive-specific requirement beyond a given phylum, raising the question of whether any sex-specific gametogenesis factors could be conserved and whether gametogenesis might have evolved multiple times. Here we describe a metazoan origin of a conserved human reproductive protein, BOULE, and its prevalence from primitive basal metazoans to chordates. We found that BOULE homologs are present in the genomes of representative species of each of the major lineages of metazoans and exhibit reproductive-specific expression in all species examined, with a preponderance of male-biased expression. Examination of Boule evolution within insect and mammalian lineages revealed little evidence for accelerated evolution, unlike most reproductive genes. Instead, purifying selection was the major force behind Boule evolution. Furthermore, loss of function of mammalian Boule resulted in male-specific infertility and a global arrest of sperm development remarkably similar to the phenotype in an insect boule mutation. This work demonstrates the conservation of a reproductive protein throughout eumetazoa, its predominant testis-biased expression in diverse bilaterian species, and conservation of a male gametogenic requirement in mice. This shows an ancient gametogenesis requirement for Boule among Bilateria and supports a model of a common origin of spermatogenesis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  12. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels.

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    Matsuura, Hironori; Sokabe, Takaaki; Kohno, Keigo; Tominaga, Makoto; Kadowaki, Tatsuhiko

    2009-09-10

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

  13. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tominaga Makoto

    2009-09-01

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

  14. Toxin structures as evolutionary tools: Using conserved 3D folds to study the evolution of rapidly evolving peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Undheim, Eivind A B; Mobli, Mehdi; King, Glenn F

    2016-06-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) structures have been used to explore the evolution of proteins for decades, yet they have rarely been utilized to study the molecular evolution of peptides. Here, we highlight areas in which 3D structures can be particularly useful for studying the molecular evolution of peptide toxins. Although we focus our discussion on animal toxins, including one of the most widespread disulfide-rich peptide folds known, the inhibitor cystine knot, our conclusions should be widely applicable to studies of the evolution of disulfide-constrained peptides. We show that conserved 3D folds can be used to identify evolutionary links and test hypotheses regarding the evolutionary origin of peptides with extremely low sequence identity; construct accurate multiple sequence alignments; and better understand the evolutionary forces that drive the molecular evolution of peptides. Also watch the video abstract. © 2016 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Incorporating evolutionary history into conservation planning in biodiversity hotspots.

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    Buerki, Sven; Callmander, Martin W; Bachman, Steven; Moat, Justin; Labat, Jean-Noël; Forest, Félix

    2015-02-19

    There is increased evidence that incorporating evolutionary history directly in conservation actions is beneficial, particularly given the likelihood that extinction is not random and that phylogenetic diversity (PD) is lost at higher rates than species diversity. This evidence is even more compelling in biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar, where less than 10% of the original vegetation remains. Here, we use the Leguminosae, an ecologically and economically important plant family, and a combination of phylogenetics and species distribution modelling, to assess biodiversity patterns and identify regions, coevolutionary processes and ecological factors that are important in shaping this diversity, especially during the Quaternary. We show evidence that species distribution and community PD are predicted by watershed boundaries, which enable the identification of a network of refugia and dispersal corridors that were perhaps important for maintaining community integrity during past climate change. Phylogenetically clustered communities are found in the southwest of the island at low elevation and share a suite of morphological characters (especially fruit morphology) indicative of coevolution with their main dispersers, the extinct and extant lemurs. Phylogenetically over-dispersed communities are found along the eastern coast at sea level and may have resulted from many independent dispersal events from the drier and more seasonal regions of Madagascar. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  16. Evolutionary conservation of plant gibberellin signalling pathway components

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    Reski Ralf

    2007-11-01

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

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

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    Thien-Phong eVu Manh

    2015-06-01

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

  18. Large-scale patterns of diversification in the widespread legume genus Senna and the evolutionary role of extrafloral nectaries.

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    Marazzi, Brigitte; Sanderson, Michael J

    2010-12-01

    Unraveling the diversification history of old, species-rich and widespread clades is difficult because of extinction, undersampling, and taxonomic uncertainty. In the context of these challenges, we investigated the timing and mode of lineage diversification in Senna (Leguminosae) to gain insights into the evolutionary role of extrafloral nectaries (EFNs). EFNs secrete nectar, attracting ants and forming ecologically important ant-plant mutualisms. In Senna, EFNs characterize one large clade (EFN clade), including 80% of its 350 species. Taxonomic accounts make Senna the largest caesalpinioid genus, but quantitative comparisons to other taxa require inferences about rates. Molecular dating analyses suggest that Senna originated in the early Eocene, and its major lineages appeared during early/mid Eocene to early Oligocene. EFNs evolved in the late Eocene, after the main radiation of ants. The EFN clade diversified faster, becoming significantly more species-rich than non-EFN clades. The shift in diversification rates associated with EFN evolution supports the hypothesis that EFNs represent a (relatively old) key innovation in Senna. EFNs may have promoted the colonization of new habitats appearing with the early uplift of the Andes. This would explain the distinctive geographic concentration of the EFN clade in South America. © 2010 The Author(s). Evolution© 2010 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

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

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

    2016-01-26

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

  20. Conservation planning for a widespread, threatened species: WWF and the African elephant Loxodonta africana

    OpenAIRE

    Stephenson, Peter J.; Ntiamoa-Baidu, Yaa

    2017-01-01

    In a case study of conservation planning by a conservation organization working at a continental scale we examine how WWF identified and prioritized its African elephant Loxodonta africana conservation activities. We (1) review lessons learnt from previous work, (2) identify priority landscapes using biological criteria (e.g. population size and viability) and institutional criteria (e.g. feasibility, sustainability and cost-effectiveness of WWF interventions), and (3) conduct a threat analys...

  1. Setting Conservation Priorities in a Widespread Species: Phylogeographic and Physiological Variation in the Lake Chub, Couesius plumbeus (Pisces: Cyprinidae

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    Patricia M. Schulte

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Defining units of conservation below the species level is a widely accepted conservation priority, but is especially challenging for widespread taxa that have experienced diverse geographic histories and exist across heterogenous environments. The lake chub (Pisces: Couesius plumbeus is a widespread freshwater fish in North America and occurs from the southcentral USA to northwestern Alaska and Canada. We used mtDNA sequence analysis to test for divergent lineages predicted to occur as a result of survival of lake chub in distinct glacial refugia. Lake chub consisted of two major mtDNA lineages separated by 3.8% sequence divergence which are probably late to pre-Pleistocene in origin. We combined these data with those consistent with thermal adaptation in fish living in thermal springs versus those living in a lake with wide seasonal temperature variation, and with data on distribution of lake chub in major watershed units. We assessed these data against objective criteria developed to identify conservation units under Canadian endangered species legislation. Our analysis identified twelve major units of conservation within C. plumbeus that could be assessed under Canada’s Species-at-Risk Act. Our study illustrates how different character traits manifested at very different spatial scales can be used to define conservation units within widely-distributed taxa.

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

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

    2010-08-01

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

  3. Evolutionary conservation and changes in insect TRP channels

    OpenAIRE

    Tominaga Makoto; Kohno Keigo; Sokabe Takaaki; Matsuura Hironori; Kadowaki Tatsuhiko

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background TRP (Transient Receptor Potential) channels respond to diverse stimuli and thus function as the primary integrators of varied sensory information. They are also activated by various compounds and secondary messengers to mediate cell-cell interactions as well as to detect changes in the local environment. Their physiological roles have been primarily characterized only in mice and fruit flies, and evolutionary studies are limited. To understand the evolution of insect TRP c...

  4. Detecting cryptic speciation in the widespread and morphologically conservative carpet chameleon (Furcifer lateralis) of Madagascar.

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    Florio, A M; Ingram, C M; Rakotondravony, H A; Louis, E E; Raxworthy, C J

    2012-07-01

    Species delimitation within recently evolved groups can be challenging because species may be difficult to distinguish morphologically. Following the General Lineage Concept, we apply a multiple evidence approach to assess species limits within the carpet chameleon Furcifer lateralis, which is endemic to Madagascar and exported in large numbers for the pet trade. Cryptic speciation within F. lateralis was considered likely because this species (1) has a vast distribution, (2) occupies exceptionally diverse habitats and (3) exhibits subtle regional differences in morphology. Phylogenetic trees reconstructed using nuclear and mitochondrial genes recovered three well-supported clades corresponding with geography. Morphological results based on canonical variates analysis show that these clades exhibit subtle differences in head casque morphology. Ecological niche modelling results found that these phylogenetic groups also occupy unique environmental space and exhibit patterns of regional endemism typical of other endemic reptiles. Combined, our findings provide diverse yet consistent evidence for the existence of three species. Consequently, we elevate the subspecies F. lateralis major to species rank and name a new species distributed in northern and western Madagascar. Initial ecological divergence, associated with speciation of F. lateralis in humid eastern habitat, fits the Ecographic Constraint model for species diversification in Madagascar. By contrast, the second speciation event provides some support for the Riverine Barrier model, with the Mangoky River possibly causing initial isolation between species. These findings thus support two contrasting models of speciation within closely related species and demonstrate the utility of applying a combined-evidence approach for detecting cryptic speciation. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  5. Reconciling Biodiversity Conservation and Widespread Deployment of Renewable Energy Technologies in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gove, Benedict; Williams, Leah J; Beresford, Alison E; Roddis, Philippa; Campbell, Colin; Teuten, Emma; Langston, Rowena H W; Bradbury, Richard B

    2016-01-01

    Renewable energy will potentially make an important contribution towards the dual aims of meeting carbon emission reduction targets and future energy demand. However, some technologies have considerable potential to impact on the biodiversity of the environments in which they are placed. In this study, an assessment was undertaken of the realistic deployment potential of a range of renewable energy technologies in the UK, considering constraints imposed by biodiversity conservation priorities. We focused on those energy sources that have the potential to make important energy contributions but which might conflict with biodiversity conservation objectives. These included field-scale solar, bioenergy crops, wind energy (both onshore and offshore), wave and tidal stream energy. The spatially-explicit analysis considered the potential opportunity available for each technology, at various levels of ecological risk. The resultant maps highlight the energy resource available, physical and policy constraints to deployment, and ecological sensitivity (based on the distribution of protected areas and sensitive species). If the technologies are restricted to areas which currently appear not to have significant ecological constraints, the total potential energy output from these energy sources was estimated to be in the region of 5,547 TWh/yr. This would be sufficient to meet projected energy demand in the UK, and help to achieve carbon reduction targets. However, we highlight two important caveats. First, further ecological monitoring and surveillance is required to improve understanding of wildlife distributions and therefore potential impacts of utilising these energy sources. This is likely to reduce the total energy available, especially at sea. Second, some of the technologies under investigation are currently not deployed commercially. Consequently this potential energy will only be available if continued effort is put into developing these energy sources

  6. V-SINEs: A New Superfamily of Vertebrate SINEs That Are Widespread in Vertebrate Genomes and Retain a Strongly Conserved Segment within Each Repetitive Unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ogiwara, Ikuo; Miya, Masaki; Ohshima, Kazuhiko; Okada, Norihiro

    2002-01-01

    We have identified a new superfamily of vertebrate short interspersed repetitive elements (SINEs), designated V-SINEs, that are widespread in fishes and frogs. Each V-SINE includes a central conserved domain preceded by a 5′-end tRNA-related region and followed by a potentially recombinogenic (TG)n tract, with a 3′ tail derived from the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of the corresponding partner long interspersed repetitive element (LINE) that encodes a functional reverse transcriptase. The central domain is strongly conserved and is even found in SINEs in the lamprey genome, suggesting that V-SINEs might be ∼550 Myr old or older in view of the timing of divergence of the lamprey lineage from the bony fish lineage. The central conserved domain might have been subject to some form of positive selection. Although the contemporary 3′ tails of V-SINEs differ from one another, it is possible that the original 3′ tail might have been replaced, via recombination, by the 3′ tails of more active partner LINEs, thereby retaining retropositional activity and the ability to survive for long periods on the evolutionary time scale. It seems plausible that V-SINEs may have some function(s) that have been maintained by the coevolution of SINEs and LINEs during the evolution of vertebrates. [The sequences reported in this paper have been deposited in the DDBJ/GenBank database under accession nos. AB072981–AB073004. Supplemental figures are available online at http://www.genome.org.] PMID:11827951

  7. Evolutionary Conservation in Genes Underlying Human Psychiatric Disorders

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    Lisa Michelle Ogawa

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petkov, Christopher I; Sutter, Mitchell L

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Sample sequencing of vascular plants demonstrates widespread conservation and divergence of microRNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chávez Montes, Ricardo A; de Fátima Rosas-Cárdenas, Flor; De Paoli, Emanuele; Accerbi, Monica; Rymarquis, Linda A; Mahalingam, Gayathri; Marsch-Martínez, Nayelli; Meyers, Blake C; Green, Pamela J; de Folter, Stefan

    2014-04-23

    Small RNAs are pivotal regulators of gene expression that guide transcriptional and post-transcriptional silencing mechanisms in eukaryotes, including plants. Here we report a comprehensive atlas of sRNA and miRNA from 3 species of algae and 31 representative species across vascular plants, including non-model plants. We sequence and quantify sRNAs from 99 different tissues or treatments across species, resulting in a data set of over 132 million distinct sequences. Using miRBase mature sequences as a reference, we identify the miRNA sequences present in these libraries. We apply diverse profiling methods to examine critical sRNA and miRNA features, such as size distribution, tissue-specific regulation and sequence conservation between species, as well as to predict putative new miRNA sequences. We also develop database resources, computational analysis tools and a dedicated website, http://smallrna.udel.edu/. This study provides new insights on plant sRNAs and miRNAs, and a foundation for future studies.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Background: A large panel of methods exists that aim to identify residues with critical impact on protein function based on evolutionary signals, sequence and structure information. However, it is not clear to what extent these different methods overlap, and if any of the methods have higher...... predictive potential compared to others when it comes to, in particular, the identification of catalytic residues (CR) in proteins. Using a large set of enzymatic protein families and measures based on different evolutionary signals, we sought to break up the different components of the information content......-value Evolutionary Trace (rvET) methods and conservation, another containing mutual information (MI) methods, and the last containing methods designed explicitly for the identification of specificity determining positions (SDPs): integer-value Evolutionary Trace (ivET), SDPfox, and XDET. In terms of prediction of CR...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-09

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

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

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    Bilsland Elizabeth

    2007-08-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. Functional conservation of the Drosophila gooseberry gene and its evolutionary alleles.

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    Wei Liu

    Full Text Available The Drosophila Pax gene gooseberry (gsb is required for development of the larval cuticle and CNS, survival to adulthood, and male fertility. These functions can be rescued in gsb mutants by two gsb evolutionary alleles, gsb-Prd and gsb-Pax3, which express the Drosophila Paired and mouse Pax3 proteins under the control of gooseberry cis-regulatory region. Therefore, both Paired and Pax3 proteins have conserved all the Gsb functions that are required for survival of embryos to fertile adults, despite the divergent primary sequences in their C-terminal halves. As gsb-Prd and gsb-Pax3 uncover a gsb function involved in male fertility, construction of evolutionary alleles may provide a powerful strategy to dissect hitherto unknown gene functions. Our results provide further evidence for the essential role of cis-regulatory regions in the functional diversification of duplicated genes during evolution.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

    in the RNA structure. The overlap of these fundamental dependencies is sufficient to cause "contagious" context dependencies which cascade across many nucleotide sites. Such large-scale dependencies challenge the use of traditional phylogenetic models in evolutionary inference because they explicitly assume...... components of traditional phylogenetic models. We applied this to a data set of full-genome sequences from the hepatitis C virus where five RNA structures are mapped within the coding region. This allowed us to partition the effects of selection on different structural elements and to test various hypotheses......Here we present a model of nucleotide substitution in protein-coding regions that also encode the formation of conserved RNA structures. In such regions, apparent evolutionary context dependencies exist, both between nucleotides occupying the same codon and between nucleotides forming a base pair...

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

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    Schapira Marc

    2007-09-01

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

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

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    Marek Ostaszewski

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Straub, Daniel; Wenkel, Stephan

    2017-01-01

    Protein concept beyond transcription factors to other protein families. Here, we reveal potential microProtein candidates in several plant and animal reference genomes. A large number of these microProteins are species-specific while others evolved early and are evolutionary highly conserved. Most known micro...... act in plant transcriptional regulation, signal transduction and anatomical structure development. MiPFinder is freely available to find microProteins in any genome and will aid in the identification of novel microProteins in plants and animals....

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

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    Lynch Michael

    2010-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catania, Francesco; Lynch, Michael

    2010-05-04

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

  1. Regulation of G-protein coupled receptor traffic by an evolutionary conserved hydrophobic signal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelotti, Tim; Daunt, David; Shcherbakova, Olga G; Kobilka, Brian; Hurt, Carl M

    2010-04-01

    Plasma membrane (PM) expression of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) is required for activation by extracellular ligands; however, mechanisms that regulate PM expression of GPCRs are poorly understood. For some GPCRs, such as alpha2c-adrenergic receptors (alpha(2c)-ARs), heterologous expression in non-native cells results in limited PM expression and extensive endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention. Recently, ER export/retentions signals have been proposed to regulate cellular trafficking of several GPCRs. By utilizing a chimeric alpha(2a)/alpha(2c)-AR strategy, we identified an evolutionary conserved hydrophobic sequence (ALAAALAAAAA) in the extracellular amino terminal region that is responsible in part for alpha(2c)-AR subtype-specific trafficking. To our knowledge, this is the first luminal ER retention signal reported for a GPCR. Removal or disruption of the ER retention signal dramatically increased PM expression and decreased ER retention. Conversely, transplantation of this hydrophobic sequence into alpha(2a)-ARs reduced their PM expression and increased ER retention. This evolutionary conserved hydrophobic trafficking signal within alpha(2c)-ARs serves as a regulator of GPCR trafficking.

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

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    Aldo Villalón

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We introduce a conceptual model that characterizes evolutionary refugia and ecological refuges based on our review of the attributes of aquati...

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

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    Tobias Bergmiller

    2012-06-01

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

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

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    Liang Chen

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

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

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    Dylan J. Fraser

    2006-12-01

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

  8. The importance of immune gene variability (MHC in evolutionary ecology and conservation

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    Sommer Simone

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Genetic studies have typically inferred the effects of human impact by documenting patterns of genetic differentiation and levels of genetic diversity among potentially isolated populations using selective neutral markers such as mitochondrial control region sequences, microsatellites or single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs. However, evolutionary relevant and adaptive processes within and between populations can only be reflected by coding genes. In vertebrates, growing evidence suggests that genetic diversity is particularly important at the level of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC. MHC variants influence many important biological traits, including immune recognition, susceptibility to infectious and autoimmune diseases, individual odours, mating preferences, kin recognition, cooperation and pregnancy outcome. These diverse functions and characteristics place genes of the MHC among the best candidates for studies of mechanisms and significance of molecular adaptation in vertebrates. MHC variability is believed to be maintained by pathogen-driven selection, mediated either through heterozygote advantage or frequency-dependent selection. Up to now, most of our knowledge has derived from studies in humans or from model organisms under experimental, laboratory conditions. Empirical support for selective mechanisms in free-ranging animal populations in their natural environment is rare. In this review, I first introduce general information about the structure and function of MHC genes, as well as current hypotheses and concepts concerning the role of selection in the maintenance of MHC polymorphism. The evolutionary forces acting on the genetic diversity in coding and non-coding markers are compared. Then, I summarise empirical support for the functional importance of MHC variability in parasite resistance with emphasis on the evidence derived from free-ranging animal populations investigated in their natural habitat. Finally, I

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-24

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scharfe Maren

    2010-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  12. Evolutionary conserved neural signature of early life stress affects animal social competence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyman, Cecilia; Fischer, Stefan; Aubin-Horth, Nadia; Taborsky, Barbara

    2018-01-31

    In vertebrates, the early social environment can persistently influence behaviour and social competence later in life. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying variation in animal social competence are largely unknown. In rats, high-quality maternal care causes an upregulation of hippocampal glucocorticoid receptors ( gr ) and reduces offspring stress responsiveness. This identifies gr regulation as a candidate mechanism for maintaining variation in animal social competence. We tested this hypothesis in a highly social cichlid fish, Neolamprologus pulcher , reared with or without caring parents. We find that the molecular pathway translating early social experience into later-life alterations of the stress axis is homologous across vertebrates: fish reared with parents expressed the glucocorticoid receptor gr1 more in the telencephalon. Furthermore, expression levels of the transcription factor egr-1 (early growth response 1) were associated with gr1 expression in the telencephalon and hypothalamus. When blocking glucocorticoid receptors (GR) with an antagonist, mifepristone (RU486), parent-reared individuals showed more socially appropriate, submissive behaviour when intruding on a larger conspecific's territory. Remarkably, mifepristone-treated fish were less attacked by territory owners and had a higher likelihood of territory takeover. Our results indicate that early social-environment effects on stress axis programming are mediated by an evolutionary conserved molecular pathway, which is causally involved in environmentally induced variation of animal social competence. © 2018 The Author(s).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

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    Athma A Pai

    2016-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Neotropical fish-fruit interactions: eco-evolutionary dynamics and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa, Sandra Bibiana; Costa-Pereira, Raul; Fleming, Theodore; Goulding, Michael; Anderson, Jill T

    2015-11-01

    Frugivorous fish play a prominent role in seed dispersal and reproductive dynamics of plant communities in riparian and floodplain habitats of tropical regions worldwide. In Neotropical wetlands, many plant species have fleshy fruits and synchronize their fruiting with the flood season, when fruit-eating fish forage in forest and savannahs for periods of up to 7 months. We conducted a comprehensive analysis to examine the evolutionary origin of fish-fruit interactions, describe fruit traits associated with seed dispersal and seed predation, and assess the influence of fish size on the effectiveness of seed dispersal by fish (ichthyochory). To date, 62 studies have documented 566 species of fruits and seeds from 82 plant families in the diets of 69 Neotropical fish species. Fish interactions with flowering plants are likely to be as old as 70 million years in the Neotropics, pre-dating most modern bird-fruit and mammal-fruit interactions, and contributing to long-distance seed dispersal and possibly the radiation of early angiosperms. Ichthyochory occurs across the angiosperm phylogeny, and is more frequent among advanced eudicots. Numerous fish species are capable of dispersing small seeds, but only a limited number of species can disperse large seeds. The size of dispersed seeds and the probability of seed dispersal both increase with fish size. Large-bodied species are the most effective seed dispersal agents and remain the primary target of fishing activities in the Neotropics. Thus, conservation efforts should focus on these species to ensure continuity of plant recruitment dynamics and maintenance of plant diversity in riparian and floodplain ecosystems. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  17. Identification of extant vertebrate Myxine glutinosa VWF: evolutionary conservation of primary hemostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Marianne A; Beeler, David L; Spokes, Katherine C; Chen, Junmei; Dharaneeswaran, Harita; Sciuto, Tracey E; Dvorak, Ann M; Interlandi, Gianluca; Lopez, José A; Aird, William C

    2017-12-07

    Hemostasis in vertebrates involves both a cellular and a protein component. Previous studies in jawless vertebrates (cyclostomes) suggest that the protein response, which involves thrombin-catalyzed conversion of a soluble plasma protein, fibrinogen, into a polymeric fibrin clot, is conserved in all vertebrates. However, similar data are lacking for the cellular response, which in gnathostomes is regulated by von Willebrand factor (VWF), a glycoprotein that mediates the adhesion of platelets to the subendothelial matrix of injured blood vessels. To gain evolutionary insights into the cellular phase of coagulation, we asked whether a functional vwf gene is present in the Atlantic hagfish, Myxine glutinosa We found a single vwf transcript that encodes a simpler protein compared with higher vertebrates, the most striking difference being the absence of an A3 domain, which otherwise binds collagen under high-flow conditions. Immunohistochemical analyses of hagfish tissues and blood revealed Vwf expression in endothelial cells and thrombocytes. Electron microscopic studies of hagfish tissues demonstrated the presence of Weibel-Palade bodies in the endothelium. Hagfish Vwf formed high-molecular-weight multimers in hagfish plasma and in stably transfected CHO cells. In functional assays, botrocetin promoted VWF-dependent thrombocyte aggregation. A search for vwf sequences in the genome of sea squirts, the closest invertebrate relatives of hagfish, failed to reveal evidence of an intact vwf gene. Together, our findings suggest that VWF evolved in the ancestral vertebrate following the divergence of the urochordates some 500 million years ago and that it acquired increasing complexity though sequential insertion of functional modules. © 2017 by The American Society of Hematology.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael K DeSalvo

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Poot

    2011-05-01

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

  1. Molecular insight into human platelet antigens: structural and evolutionary conservation analyses offer new perspective to immunogenic disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, Meytal; Rosenberg, Nurit

    2011-03-01

    Human platelet antigens (HPAs) are polymorphisms in platelet membrane glycoproteins (GPs) that can stimulate production of alloantibodies once exposed to foreign platelets (PLTs) with different HPAs. These antibodies can cause neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia, posttransfusion purpura, and PLT transfusion refractoriness. Most HPAs are localized on the main PLT receptors: 1) integrin αIIbβ3, known as the fibrinogen receptor; 2) the GPIb-IX-V complex that functions as the receptor for von Willebrand factor; and 3) integrin α2β1, which functions as the collagen receptor. We analyzed the structural location and the evolutionary conservation of the residues associated with the HPAs to characterize the features that induce immunologic responses but do not cause inherited diseases. We found that all HPAs reside in positions located on the protein surface, apart from the ligand-binding site, and are evolutionary variable. Disease-causing mutations often reside in highly conserved and buried positions. In contrast, the HPAs affect residues on the protein surface that were not conserved throughout evolution; this explains their naive effect on the protein function. Nonetheless, the HPAs involve substitutions of solvent-exposed positions that lead to altered interfaces on the surface of the protein and might present epitopes foreign to the immune system. © 2010 American Association of Blood Banks.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiancheng Liu

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shirai Leila T

    2012-02-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polzikov, Mikhail; Zatsepina, Olga; Magoulas, Charalambos

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haberer Georg

    2009-06-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chandonia, John-Marc; Kim, Sung-Hou

    2006-03-15

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

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

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    Igor R. Costa

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  11. A phylogenetic study of SPBP and RAI1: evolutionary conservation of chromatin binding modules.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sagar Darvekar

    Full Text Available Our genome is assembled into and array of highly dynamic nucleosome structures allowing spatial and temporal access to DNA. The nucleosomes are subject to a wide array of post-translational modifications, altering the DNA-histone interaction and serving as docking sites for proteins exhibiting effector or "reader" modules. The nuclear proteins SPBP and RAI1 are composed of several putative "reader" modules which may have ability to recognise a set of histone modification marks. Here we have performed a phylogenetic study of their putative reader modules, the C-terminal ePHD/ADD like domain, a novel nucleosome binding region and an AT-hook motif. Interactions studies in vitro and in yeast cells suggested that despite the extraordinary long loop region in their ePHD/ADD-like chromatin binding domains, the C-terminal region of both proteins seem to adopt a cross-braced topology of zinc finger interactions similar to other structurally determined ePHD/ADD structures. Both their ePHD/ADD-like domain and their novel nucleosome binding domain are highly conserved in vertebrate evolution, and construction of a phylogenetic tree displayed two well supported clusters representing SPBP and RAI1, respectively. Their genome and domain organisation suggest that SPBP and RAI1 have occurred from a gene duplication event. The phylogenetic tree suggests that this duplication has happened early in vertebrate evolution, since only one gene was identified in insects and lancelet. Finally, experimental data confirm that the conserved novel nucleosome binding region of RAI1 has the ability to bind the nucleosome core and histones. However, an adjacent conserved AT-hook motif as identified in SPBP is not present in RAI1, and deletion of the novel nucleosome binding region of RAI1 did not significantly affect its nuclear localisation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-23

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

  13. Evolutionary conserved mechanisms pervade structure and transcriptional modulation of allograft inflammatory factor-1 from sea anemone Anemonia viridis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuttitta, Angela; Ragusa, Maria Antonietta; Costa, Salvatore; Bennici, Carmelo; Colombo, Paolo; Mazzola, Salvatore; Gianguzza, Fabrizio; Nicosia, Aldo

    2017-08-01

    Gene family encoding allograft inflammatory factor-1 (AIF-1) is well conserved among organisms; however, there is limited knowledge in lower organisms. In this study, the first AIF-1 homologue from cnidarians was identified and characterised in the sea anemone Anemonia viridis. The full-length cDNA of AvAIF-1 was of 913 bp with a 5' -untranslated region (UTR) of 148 bp, a 3'-UTR of 315 and an open reading frame (ORF) of 450 bp encoding a polypeptide with149 amino acid residues and predicted molecular weight of about 17 kDa. The predicted protein possesses evolutionary conserved EF hand Ca 2+ binding motifs, post-transcriptional modification sites and a 3D structure which can be superimposed with human members of AIF-1 family. The AvAIF-1 transcript was constitutively expressed in all tested tissues of unchallenged sea anemone, suggesting that AvAIF-1 could serve as a general protective factor under normal physiological conditions. Moreover, we profiled the transcriptional activation of AvAIF-1 after challenges with different abiotic/biotic stresses showing induction by warming conditions, heavy metals exposure and immune stimulation. Thus, mechanisms associated to inflammation and immune challenges up-regulated AvAIF-1 mRNA levels. Our results suggest its involvement in the inflammatory processes and immune response of A. viridis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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    Alexandra Zinoviev

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Löffelhardt Wolfgang

    2008-11-01

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

  16. Evolutionary conservation of the polyproline II conformation surrounding intrinsically disordered phosphorylation sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elam, W Austin; Schrank, Travis P; Campagnolo, Andrew J; Hilser, Vincent J

    2013-04-01

    Intrinsically disordered (ID) proteins function in the absence of a unique stable structure and appear to challenge the classic structure-function paradigm. The extent to which ID proteins take advantage of subtle conformational biases to perform functions, and whether signals for such mechanism can be identified in proteome-wide studies is not well understood. Of particular interest is the polyproline II (PII) conformation, suggested to be highly populated in unfolded proteins. We experimentally determine a complete calorimetric propensity scale for the PII conformation. Projection of the scale into representative eukaryotic proteomes reveals significant PII bias in regions coding for ID proteins. Importantly, enrichment of PII in ID proteins, or protein segments, is also captured by other PII scales, indicating that this enrichment is robustly encoded and universally detectable regardless of the method of PII propensity determination. Gene ontology (GO) terms obtained using our PII scale and other scales demonstrate a consensus for molecular functions performed by high PII proteins across the proteome. Perhaps the most striking result of the GO analysis is conserved enrichment (P ontology reveals an enrichment of PII bias near disordered phosphorylation sites that is conserved throughout eukaryotes. Copyright © 2013 The Protein Society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. Evolutionary conservation of vertebrate notochord genes in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kugler, Jamie E; Passamaneck, Yale J; Feldman, Taya G; Beh, Jeni; Regnier, Todd W; Di Gregorio, Anna

    2008-11-01

    To reconstruct a minimum complement of notochord genes evolutionarily conserved across chordates, we scanned the Ciona intestinalis genome using the sequences of 182 genes reported to be expressed in the notochord of different vertebrates and identified 139 candidate notochord genes. For 66 of these Ciona genes expression data were already available, hence we analyzed the expression of the remaining 73 genes and found notochord expression for 20. The predicted products of the newly identified notochord genes range from the transcription factors Ci-XBPa and Ci-miER1 to extracellular matrix proteins. We examined the expression of the newly identified notochord genes in embryos ectopically expressing Ciona Brachyury (Ci-Bra) and in embryos expressing a repressor form of this transcription factor in the notochord, and we found that while a subset of the genes examined are clearly responsive to Ci-Bra, other genes are not affected by alterations in its levels. We provide a first description of notochord genes that are not evidently influenced by the ectopic expression of Ci-Bra and we propose alternative regulatory mechanisms that might control their transcription. Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  1. Evolutionary conservation and expression of miR-10a-3p in olive flounder and rock bream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jo, Ara; Im, Jennifer; Lee, Hee-Eun; Jang, Dongmin; Nam, Gyu-Hwi; Mishra, Anshuman; Kim, Woo-Jin; Kim, Won; Cha, Hee-Jae; Kim, Heui-Soo

    2017-09-10

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that mainly bind to the seed sequences located within the 3' untranslated region (3' UTR) of target genes. They perform an important biological function as regulators of gene expression. Different genes can be regulated by the same miRNA, whilst different miRNAs can be regulated by the same genes. Here, the evolutionary conservation and expression pattern of miR-10a-3p in olive flounder and rock bream was examined. Binding sites (AAAUUC) to seed region of the 3' UTR of target genes were highly conserved in various species. The expression pattern of miR-10a-3p was ubiquitous in the examined tissues, whilst its expression level was decreased in gill tissues infected by viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) compared to the normal control. In the case of rock bream, the spleen, kidney, and liver tissues showed dominant expression levels of miR-10a-3p. Only the liver tissues in the rock bream samples infected by the iridovirus indicated a dominant miR-10a-3p expression. The gene ontology (GO) analysis of predicted target genes for miR-10a-3p revealed that multiple genes are related to binding activity, catalytic activity, cell components as well as cellular and metabolic process. Overall the results imply that the miR-10a-3p could be used as a biomarker to detect VHSV infection in olive flounder and iridovirus infection in rock bream. In addition, the data provides fundamental information for further study of the complex interaction between miR-10a-3p and gene expression. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-07

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaobo Fan

    2015-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Carly N; Sgrò, Carla M

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. Conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noteboom, H.P.

    1985-01-01

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

  10. Conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haddley Kate

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grandien, K; Sommer, R J

    2001-08-15

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

  15. Divergent evolutionary rates in vertebrate and mammalian specific conserved non-coding elements (CNEs) in echolocating mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, Kalina T J; Tsagkogeorga, Georgia; Rossiter, Stephen J

    2014-12-19

    The majority of DNA contained within vertebrate genomes is non-coding, with a certain proportion of this thought to play regulatory roles during development. Conserved Non-coding Elements (CNEs) are an abundant group of putative regulatory sequences that are highly conserved across divergent groups and thus assumed to be under strong selective constraint. Many CNEs may contain regulatory factor binding sites, and their frequent spatial association with key developmental genes - such as those regulating sensory system development - suggests crucial roles in regulating gene expression and cellular patterning. Yet surprisingly little is known about the molecular evolution of CNEs across diverse mammalian taxa or their role in specific phenotypic adaptations. We examined 3,110 vertebrate-specific and ~82,000 mammalian-specific CNEs across 19 and 9 mammalian orders respectively, and tested for changes in the rate of evolution of CNEs located in the proximity of genes underlying the development or functioning of auditory systems. As we focused on CNEs putatively associated with genes underlying the development/functioning of auditory systems, we incorporated echolocating taxa in our dataset because of their highly specialised and derived auditory systems. Phylogenetic reconstructions of concatenated CNEs broadly recovered accepted mammal relationships despite high levels of sequence conservation. We found that CNE substitution rates were highest in rodents and lowest in primates, consistent with previous findings. Comparisons of CNE substitution rates from several genomic regions containing genes linked to auditory system development and hearing revealed differences between echolocating and non-echolocating taxa. Wider taxonomic sampling of four CNEs associated with the homeobox genes Hmx2 and Hmx3 - which are required for inner ear development - revealed family-wise variation across diverse bat species. Specifically within one family of echolocating bats that utilise

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-11-22

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas J Shinneman

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

  1. Amino Acids of Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigen 3A Essential for Repression of Jκ-Mediated Transcription and Their Evolutionary Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalbiès-Tran, Rozenn; Stigger-Rosser, Evelyn; Dotson, Travis; Sample, Clare E.

    2001-01-01

    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) nuclear antigen 3A (EBNA-3A) is essential for virus-mediated immortalization of B lymphocytes in vitro and is believed to regulate transcription of cellular and/or viral genes. One known mechanism of regulation is through its interaction with the cellular transcription factor Jκ. This interaction downregulates transcription mediated by EBNA-2 and Jκ. To identify the amino acids that play a role in this interaction, we have generated mutant EBNA-3A proteins. A mutant EBNA-3A protein in which alanine residues were substituted for amino acids 199, 200, and 202 no longer downregulated transcription. Surprisingly, this mutant protein remained able to coimmunoprecipitate with Jκ. Using a reporter gene assay based on the recruitment of Jκ by various regions spanning EBNA-3A, we have shown that this mutation abolished binding of Jκ to the N-proximal region (amino acids 125 to 222) and that no other region of EBNA-3A alone was sufficient to mediate an association with Jκ. To determine the biological significance of the interaction of EBNA-3A with Jκ, we have studied its conservation in the simian lymphocryptovirus herpesvirus papio (HVP) by cloning HVP-3A, the homolog of EBNA-3A encoded by this virus. This 903-amino-acid protein exhibited 37% identity with its EBV counterpart, mainly within the amino-terminal half. HVP-3A also interacted with Jκ through a region located between amino acids 127 and 223 and also repressed transcription mediated through EBNA-2 and Jκ. The evolutionary conservation of this function, in proteins that have otherwise significantly diverged, argues strongly for an important biological role in virus-mediated immortalization of B lymphocytes. PMID:11119577

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-05

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

  4. Gas solubilities widespread applications

    CERN Document Server

    Gerrard, William

    1980-01-01

    Gas Solubilities: Widespread Applications discusses several topics concerning the various applications of gas solubilities. The first chapter of the book reviews Henr's law, while the second chapter covers the effect of temperature on gas solubility. The third chapter discusses the various gases used by Horiuti, and the following chapters evaluate the data on sulfur dioxide, chlorine data, and solubility data for hydrogen sulfide. Chapter 7 concerns itself with solubility of radon, thoron, and actinon. Chapter 8 tackles the solubilities of diborane and the gaseous hydrides of groups IV, V, and

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanni Caruso

    Full Text Available G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs are a class of integral membrane proteins mediating physiological functions fundamental for survival, including energy homeostasis. A few years ago, an amino acid sequence of a novel GPCR gene was identified and named GPR178. In this study, we provide new insights regarding the biological significance of Gpr178 protein, investigating its evolutionary history and tissue distribution as well as examining the relationship between its expression level and feeding status. Our phylogenetic analysis indicated that GPR178 is highly conserved among all animal species investigated, and that GPR178 is not a member of a protein family. Real-time PCR and in situ hybridization revealed wide expression of Gpr178 mRNA in both the brain and periphery, with high expression density in the hypothalamus and brainstem, areas involved in the regulation of food intake. Hence, changes in receptor expression were assessed following several feeding paradigms including starvation and overfeeding. Short-term starvation (12-48h or food restriction resulted in upregulation of Gpr178 mRNA expression in the brainstem, hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex. Conversely, short-term (48h exposure to sucrose or Intralipid solutions downregulated Gpr178 mRNA in the brainstem; long-term exposure (10 days to a palatable high-fat and high-sugar diet resulted in a downregulation of Gpr178 in the amygdala but not in the hypothalamus. Our results indicate that hypothalamic Gpr178 gene expression is altered during acute exposure to starvation or acute exposure to palatable food. Changes in gene expression following palatable diet consumption suggest a possible involvement of Gpr178 in the complex mechanisms of feeding reward.

  6. Identification of a truncated splice variant of IL-18 receptor alpha in the human and rat, with evidence of wider evolutionary conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris S. Booker

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Interleukin-18 (IL-18 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine which stimulates activation of the nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-κB pathway via interaction with the IL-18 receptor. The receptor itself is formed from a dimer of two subunits, with the ligand-binding IL-18Rα subunit being encoded by the IL18R1 gene. A splice variant of murine IL18r1, which has been previously described, is formed by transcription of an unspliced intron (forming a ‘type II’ IL18r1 transcript and is predicted to encode a receptor with a truncated intracellular domain lacking the capacity to generate downstream signalling. In order to examine the relevance of this finding to human IL-18 function, we assessed the presence of a homologous transcript by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR in the human and rat as another common laboratory animal. We present evidence for type II IL18R1 transcripts in both species. While the mouse and rat transcripts are predicted to encode a truncated receptor with a novel 5 amino acid C-terminal domain, the human sequence is predicted to encode a truncated protein with a novel 22 amino acid sequence bearing resemblance to the ‘Box 1’ motif of the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR domain, in a similar fashion to the inhibitory interleukin-1 receptor 2. Given that transcripts from these three species are all formed by inclusion of homologous unspliced intronic regions, an analysis of homologous introns across a wider array of 33 species with available IL18R1 gene records was performed, which suggests similar transcripts may encode truncated type II IL-18Rα subunits in other species. This splice variant may represent a conserved evolutionary mechanism for regulating IL-18 activity.

  7. 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.

  8. Evidence for widespread degradation of gene control regions in hominid genomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter D Keightley

    2005-02-01

    Full Text Available Although sequences containing regulatory elements located close to protein-coding genes are often only weakly conserved during evolution, comparisons of rodent genomes have implied that these sequences are subject to some selective constraints. Evolutionary conservation is particularly apparent upstream of coding sequences and in first introns, regions that are enriched for regulatory elements. By comparing the human and chimpanzee genomes, we show here that there is almost no evidence for conservation in these regions in hominids. Furthermore, we show that gene expression is diverging more rapidly in hominids than in murids per unit of neutral sequence divergence. By combining data on polymorphism levels in human noncoding DNA and the corresponding human-chimpanzee divergence, we show that the proportion of adaptive substitutions in these regions in hominids is very low. It therefore seems likely that the lack of conservation and increased rate of gene expression divergence are caused by a reduction in the effectiveness of natural selection against deleterious mutations because of the low effective population sizes of hominids. This has resulted in the accumulation of a large number of deleterious mutations in sequences containing gene control elements and hence a widespread degradation of the genome during the evolution of humans and chimpanzees.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Grandien, Kaj; Sommer, Ralf J.

    2001-01-01

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

  13. Exploring the miRNA regulatory network using evolutionary correlations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benedikt Obermayer

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Post-transcriptional regulation by miRNAs is a widespread and highly conserved phenomenon in metazoans, with several hundreds to thousands of conserved binding sites for each miRNA, and up to two thirds of all genes under miRNA regulation. At the same time, the effect of miRNA regulation on mRNA and protein levels is usually quite modest and associated phenotypes are often weak or subtle. This has given rise to the notion that the highly interconnected miRNA regulatory network exerts its function less through any individual link and more via collective effects that lead to a functional interdependence of network links. We present a Bayesian framework to quantify conservation of miRNA target sites using vertebrate whole-genome alignments. The increased statistical power of our phylogenetic model allows detection of evolutionary correlation in the conservation patterns of site pairs. Such correlations could result from collective functions in the regulatory network. For instance, co-conservation of target site pairs supports a selective benefit of combinatorial regulation by multiple miRNAs. We find that some miRNA families are under pronounced co-targeting constraints, indicating a high connectivity in the regulatory network, while others appear to function in a more isolated way. By analyzing coordinated targeting of different curated gene sets, we observe distinct evolutionary signatures for protein complexes and signaling pathways that could reflect differences in control strategies. Our method is easily scalable to analyze upcoming larger data sets, and readily adaptable to detect high-level selective constraints between other genomic loci. We thus provide a proof-of-principle method to understand regulatory networks from an evolutionary perspective.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maxim N. Krot

    2015-06-01

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

  1. 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...

  2. [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.

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    PATRICIA DELGADO

    2002-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Strauß

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  8. Evolutionary and Functional Analysis of Old World Primate TRIM5 Reveals the Ancient Emergence of Primate Lentiviruses and Convergent Evolution Targeting a Conserved Capsid Interface.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin R McCarthy

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The widespread distribution of lentiviruses among African primates, and the lack of severe pathogenesis in many of these natural reservoirs, are taken as evidence for long-term co-evolution between the simian immunodeficiency viruses (SIVs and their primate hosts. Evidence for positive selection acting on antiviral restriction factors is consistent with virus-host interactions spanning millions of years of primate evolution. However, many restriction mechanisms are not virus-specific, and selection cannot be unambiguously attributed to any one type of virus. We hypothesized that the restriction factor TRIM5, because of its unique specificity for retrovirus capsids, should accumulate adaptive changes in a virus-specific fashion, and therefore, that phylogenetic reconstruction of TRIM5 evolution in African primates should reveal selection by lentiviruses closely related to modern SIVs. We analyzed complete TRIM5 coding sequences of 22 Old World primates and identified a tightly-spaced cluster of branch-specific adaptions appearing in the Cercopithecinae lineage after divergence from the Colobinae around 16 million years ago. Functional assays of both extant TRIM5 orthologs and reconstructed ancestral TRIM5 proteins revealed that this cluster of adaptations in TRIM5 specifically resulted in the ability to restrict Cercopithecine lentiviruses, but had no effect (positive or negative on restriction of other retroviruses, including lentiviruses of non-Cercopithecine primates. The correlation between lineage-specific adaptations and ability to restrict viruses endemic to the same hosts supports the hypothesis that lentiviruses closely related to modern SIVs were present in Africa and infecting the ancestors of Cercopithecine primates as far back as 16 million years ago, and provides insight into the evolution of TRIM5 specificity.

  9. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Matern

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abhishek Kumar

    2015-06-01

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

  13. Widespread marrow necrosis during pregnancy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knickerbocker, W.J.; Quenville, N.F.

    1982-01-01

    Recently, a 22-year-old Caucasian female was referred to our Hospital two days post-partum. She had been feeling unwell during the last few days of her pregnancy and complained of multiple aches and pains, worst in the abdomen and lower back. Her admission platelet count was severely depressed and a bone biopsy showed extensive marrow necrosis with viable bony trabeculae. There was no evidence of vasculitis, vascular thrombosis, or malignancy. Widespread marrow necrosis in pregnancy followed by recovery, to our knowledge, has not been previously reported. (orig.)

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Widespread ectopic expression of olfactory receptor genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanai Itai

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Olfactory receptors (ORs are the largest gene family in the human genome. Although they are expected to be expressed specifically in olfactory tissues, some ectopic expression has been reported, with special emphasis on sperm and testis. The present study systematically explores the expression patterns of OR genes in a large number of tissues and assesses the potential functional implication of such ectopic expression. Results We analyzed the expression of hundreds of human and mouse OR transcripts, via EST and microarray data, in several dozens of human and mouse tissues. Different tissues had specific, relatively small OR gene subsets which had particularly high expression levels. In testis, average expression was not particularly high, and very few highly expressed genes were found, none corresponding to ORs previously implicated in sperm chemotaxis. Higher expression levels were more common for genes with a non-OR genomic neighbor. Importantly, no correlation in expression levels was detected for human-mouse orthologous pairs. Also, no significant difference in expression levels was seen between intact and pseudogenized ORs, except for the pseudogenes of subfamily 7E which has undergone a human-specific expansion. Conclusion The OR superfamily as a whole, show widespread, locus-dependent and heterogeneous expression, in agreement with a neutral or near neutral evolutionary model for transcription control. These results cannot reject the possibility that small OR subsets might play functional roles in different tissues, however considerable care should be exerted when offering a functional interpretation for ectopic OR expression based only on transcription information.

  17. Conservation: Toward firmer ground

    Science.gov (United States)

    1975-01-01

    The following aspects of energy conservation were reviewed in order to place the problems in proper perspective: history and goals, conservation accounting-criteria, and a method to overcome obstacles. The effect of changing prices and available supplies of energy sources and their causes on consumption levels during the last few decades were described. Some examples of attainable conservation goals were listed and justified. A number of specific criteria applicable to conservation accounting were given. Finally, a discussion was presented to relate together the following aspects of energy conservation: widespread impact, involvement of government, industry, politics, moral and ethical aspects, urgency and time element.

  18. Chronic widespread pain in spondyloarthritis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Atzeni

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The pain associated with spondyloarthritis (SpA can be intense, persistent and disabling. It frequently has a multifactorial, simultaneously central and peripheral origin, and may be due to currently active inflammation, or joint damage and tissue destruction arising from a previous inflammatory condition. Inflammatory pain symptoms can be reduced by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but many patients continue to experience moderate pain due to alterations in the mechanisms that regulate central pain, as in the case of the chronic widespread pain (CWP that characterises fibromyalgia (FM. The importance of distinguishing SpA and FM is underlined by the fact that SpA is currently treated with costly drugs such as tumour necrosis factor (TNF inhibitors, and direct costs are higher in patients with concomitant CWP or FM than in those with FM or SpA alone. Optimal treatment needs to take into account symptoms such as fatigue, mood, sleep, and the overall quality of life, and is based on the use of tricyclic antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as fluoxetine, rather than adjustments in the dose of anti-TNF agents or disease-modifying drugs.

  19. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  20. Remarkable evolutionary conservation of SOX14 orthologues

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

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

  1. Evolutionary principles and their practical application.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-03-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Passivity and Evolutionary Game Dynamics

    KAUST Repository

    Park, Shinkyu

    2018-03-21

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

  4. Identifying designatable units for intraspecific conservation prioritization: a hierarchical approach applied to the lake whitefish species complex (Coregonus spp.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mee, Jonathan A; Bernatchez, Louis; Reist, Jim D; Rogers, Sean M; Taylor, Eric B

    2015-06-01

    The concept of the designatable unit (DU) affords a practical approach to identifying diversity below the species level for conservation prioritization. However, its suitability for defining conservation units in ecologically diverse, geographically widespread and taxonomically challenging species complexes has not been broadly evaluated. The lake whitefish species complex (Coregonus spp.) is geographically widespread in the Northern Hemisphere, and it contains a great deal of variability in ecology and evolutionary legacy within and among populations, as well as a great deal of taxonomic ambiguity. Here, we employ a set of hierarchical criteria to identify DUs within the Canadian distribution of the lake whitefish species complex. We identified 36 DUs based on (i) reproductive isolation, (ii) phylogeographic groupings, (iii) local adaptation and (iv) biogeographic regions. The identification of DUs is required for clear discussion regarding the conservation prioritization of lake whitefish populations. We suggest conservation priorities among lake whitefish DUs based on biological consequences of extinction, risk of extinction and distinctiveness. Our results exemplify the need for extensive genetic and biogeographic analyses for any species with broad geographic distributions and the need for detailed evaluation of evolutionary history and adaptive ecological divergence when defining intraspecific conservation units.

  5. Evolutionary principles and their practical application

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary principles are now routinely incorporated into medicine and agriculture. Examples include the design of treatments that slow the evolution of resistance by weeds, pests, and pathogens, and the design of breeding programs that maximize crop yield or quality. Evolutionary principles...... are also increasingly incorporated into conservation biology, natural resource management, and environmental science. Examples include the protection of small and isolated populations from inbreeding depression, the identification of key traits involved in adaptation to climate change, the design...... of harvesting regimes that minimize unwanted life-history evolution, and the setting of conservation priorities based on populations, species, or communities that harbor the greatest evolutionary diversity and potential. The adoption of evolutionary principles has proceeded somewhat independently...

  6. Are neonicotinoid insecticides driving declines of widespread butterflies?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andre S. Gilburn

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available There has been widespread concern that neonicotinoid pesticides may be adversely impacting wild and managed bees for some years, but recently attention has shifted to examining broader effects they may be having on biodiversity. For example in the Netherlands, declines in insectivorous birds are positively associated with levels of neonicotinoid pollution in surface water. In England, the total abundance of widespread butterfly species declined by 58% on farmed land between 2000 and 2009 despite both a doubling in conservation spending in the UK, and predictions that climate change should benefit most species. Here we build models of the UK population indices from 1985 to 2012 for 17 widespread butterfly species that commonly occur at farmland sites. Of the factors we tested, three correlated significantly with butterfly populations. Summer temperature and the index for a species the previous year are both positively associated with butterfly indices. By contrast, the number of hectares of farmland where neonicotinoid pesticides are used is negatively associated with butterfly indices. Indices for 15 of the 17 species show negative associations with neonicotinoid usage. The declines in butterflies have largely occurred in England, where neonicotinoid usage is at its highest. In Scotland, where neonicotinoid usage is comparatively low, butterfly numbers are stable. Further research is needed urgently to show whether there is a causal link between neonicotinoid usage and the decline of widespread butterflies or whether it simply represents a proxy for other environmental factors associated with intensive agriculture.

  7. Fixism and conservation science.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  8. Repeated and Widespread Evolution of Bioluminescence in Marine Fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew P Davis

    Full Text Available Bioluminescence is primarily a marine phenomenon with 80% of metazoan bioluminescent genera occurring in the world's oceans. Here we show that bioluminescence has evolved repeatedly and is phylogenetically widespread across ray-finned fishes. We recover 27 independent evolutionary events of bioluminescence, all among marine fish lineages. This finding indicates that bioluminescence has evolved many more times than previously hypothesized across fishes and the tree of life. Our exploration of the macroevolutionary patterns of bioluminescent lineages indicates that the present day diversity of some inshore and deep-sea bioluminescent fish lineages that use bioluminescence for communication, feeding, and reproduction exhibit exceptional species richness given clade age. We show that exceptional species richness occurs particularly in deep-sea fishes with intrinsic bioluminescent systems and both shallow water and deep-sea lineages with luminescent systems used for communication.

  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. When theory trumps ideology: Lessons from evolutionary psychology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tybur, Joshua M; Navarrete, Carlos David

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Sex pheromone biosynthetic pathways are conserved between moths and the butterfly Bicyclus anynana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liénard, Marjorie A; Wang, Hong-Lei; Lassance, Jean-Marc; Löfstedt, Christer

    2014-01-01

    Although phylogenetically nested within the moths, butterflies have diverged extensively in a number of life history traits. Whereas moths rely greatly on chemical signals, visual advertisement is the hallmark of mate finding in butterflies. In the context of courtship, however, male chemical signals are widespread in both groups although they likely have multiple evolutionary origins. Here, we report that in males of the butterfly Bicyclus anynana, courtship scents are produced de novo via biosynthetic pathways shared with females of many moth species. We show that two of the pheromone components that play a major role in mate choice, namely the (Z)-9-tetradecenol and hexadecanal, are produced through the activity of a fatty acyl Δ11-desaturase and two specialized alcohol-forming fatty acyl reductases. Our study provides the first evidence of conservation and sharing of ancestral genetic modules for the production of FA-derived pheromones over a long evolutionary timeframe thereby reconciling mate communication in moths and butterflies. PMID:24862548

  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. Widespread pain: is an improved classification possible?

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacFarlane, G J; Croft, P R; Schollum, J; Silman, A J

    1996-09-01

    The classification of widespread pain, proposed by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) for use in the clinic as a screen for fibromyalgia, as described, does not require truly widespread pain. Studies considering the epidemiology of widespread pain per se may therefore require a definition with greater face validity, which might also show enhanced associations with other physical and psychological measures. We aimed to develop a more coherent definition of widespread pain for use in epidemiological studies and to compare performance in identifying individuals with significant morbidity. A group of 172 subjects who had participated in a community based study on the occurrence of pain were identified and categorized by their pain experience as indicated on line drawings of the body according to ACR definition and to a new, more stringent definition that required the presence of more diffuse limb pain. A number of other clinical and psychological measures were recorded for these individuals and the association between their pain status measures and these other variables was assessed and compared. Persons satisfying the newly proposed definition for chronic widespread pain, in comparison with those who satisfied only the present ACR definition, had a significantly higher score on the General Health Questionnaire [median difference (MD) 7.95% CI 1.13], a higher score on the Health and Fatigue Questionnaire (MD 10.95% CI 0.15), and greater problems with sleep (sleep problem score MD 4.95% CI 0.9). Those satisfying the new definition also had a greater number of tender points on examination (MD 3.95% CI -1.7). The morbidity of those satisfying only the present ACR definition was closer to persons who had regional pain. A redefinition of widespread pain has produced a group of subjects whose pain is (a) likely to be more "widespread" and (b) is associated more strongly with factors such as psychological disturbance, fatigue, sleep problems, and tender points, and

  14. 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.

  15. Finding a (pine) needle in a haystack: chloroplast genome sequence divergence in rare and widespread pines

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.B. Whittall; J. Syring; M. Parks; J. Buenrostro; C. Dick; A. Liston; R. Cronn

    2010-01-01

    Critical to conservation efforts and other investigations at low taxonomic levels, DNA sequence data offer important insights into the distinctiveness, biogeographic partitioning, and evolutionary histories of species. The resolving power of DNA sequences is often limited by insufficient variability at the intraspecific level. This is particularly true of studies...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Dual transcriptomics reveals co-evolutionary mechanisms of intestinal parasite infections in blue mussels Mytilus edulis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feis, M.E.; John, U.; Lokmer, A.; Luttikhuizen, P.C.; Wegner, K.M.

    2018-01-01

    On theoretical grounds, antagonistic co-evolution between hosts and their parasitesshould be a widespread phenomenon but only received little empirical support sofar. Consequently, the underlying molecular mechanisms and evolutionary stepsremain elusive, especially in nonmodel systems. Here, we

  18. The glycolytic pathway of Trimastix pyriformis is an evolutionary mosaic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silberman Jeffrey D

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Glycolysis and subsequent fermentation is the main energy source for many anaerobic organisms. The glycolytic pathway consists of ten enzymatic steps which appear to be universal amongst eukaryotes. However, it has been shown that the origins of these enzymes in specific eukaryote lineages can differ, and sometimes involve lateral gene transfer events. We have conducted an expressed sequence tag (EST survey of the anaerobic flagellate Trimastix pyriformis to investigate the nature of the evolutionary origins of the glycolytic enzymes in this relatively unstudied organism. Results We have found genes in the Trimastix EST data that encode enzymes potentially catalyzing nine of the ten steps of the glycolytic conversion of glucose to pyruvate. Furthermore, we have found two different enzymes that in principle could catalyze the conversion of phosphoenol pyruvate (PEP to pyruvate (or the reverse reaction as part of the last step in glycolysis. Our phylogenetic analyses of all of these enzymes revealed at least four cases where the relationship of the Trimastix genes to homologs from other species is at odds with accepted organismal relationships. Although lateral gene transfer events likely account for these anomalies, with the data at hand we were not able to establish with confidence the bacterial donor lineage that gave rise to the respective Trimastix enzymes. Conclusion A number of the glycolytic enzymes of Trimastix have been transferred laterally from bacteria instead of being inherited from the last common eukaryotic ancestor. Thus, despite widespread conservation of the glycolytic biochemical pathway across eukaryote diversity, in a number of protist lineages the enzymatic components of the pathway have been replaced by lateral gene transfer from disparate evolutionary sources. It remains unclear if these replacements result from selectively advantageous properties of the introduced enzymes or if they are neutral

  19. Widespread and evolutionary analysis of a MITE family Monkey King in Brassicaceae

    OpenAIRE

    Dai, Shutao; Hou, Jinna; Long, Yan; Wang, Jing; Li, Cong; Xiao, Qinqin; Jiang, Xiaoxue; Zou, Xiaoxiao; Zou, Jun; Meng, Jinling

    2015-01-01

    Background Miniature inverted repeat transposable elements (MITEs) are important components of eukaryotic genomes, with hundreds of families and many copies, which may play important roles in gene regulation and genome evolution. However, few studies have investigated the molecular mechanisms involved. In our previous study, a Tourist-like MITE, Monkey King, was identified from the promoter region of a flowering time gene, BnFLC.A10, in Brassica napus. Based on this MITE, the characteristics ...

  20. Widespread and evolutionary analysis of a MITE family Monkey King in Brassicaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, Shutao; Hou, Jinna; Long, Yan; Wang, Jing; Li, Cong; Xiao, Qinqin; Jiang, Xiaoxue; Zou, Xiaoxiao; Zou, Jun; Meng, Jinling

    2015-06-19

    Miniature inverted repeat transposable elements (MITEs) are important components of eukaryotic genomes, with hundreds of families and many copies, which may play important roles in gene regulation and genome evolution. However, few studies have investigated the molecular mechanisms involved. In our previous study, a Tourist-like MITE, Monkey King, was identified from the promoter region of a flowering time gene, BnFLC.A10, in Brassica napus. Based on this MITE, the characteristics and potential roles on gene regulation of the MITE family were analyzed in Brassicaceae. The characteristics of the Tourist-like MITE family Monkey King in Brassicaceae, including its distribution, copies and insertion sites in the genomes of major Brassicaceae species were analyzed in this study. Monkey King was actively amplified in Brassica after divergence from Arabidopsis, which was indicated by the prompt increase in copy number and by phylogenetic analysis. The genomic variations caused by Monkey King insertions, both intra- and inter-species in Brassica, were traced by PCR amplification. Genomic sequence analysis showed that most complete Monkey King elements are located in gene-rich regions, less than 3kb from genes, in both the B. rapa and A. thaliana genomes. Sixty-seven Brassica expressed sequence tags carrying Monkey King fragments were also identified from the NCBI database. Bisulfite sequencing identified specific DNA methylation of cytosine residues in the Monkey King sequence. A fragment containing putative TATA-box motifs in the MITE sequence could bind with nuclear protein(s) extracted from leaves of B. napus plants. A Monkey King-related microRNA, bna-miR6031, was identified in the microRNA database. In transgenic A. thaliana, when the Monkey King element was inserted upstream of 35S promoter, the promoter activity was weakened. Monkey King, a Brassicaceae Tourist-like MITE family, has amplified relatively recently and has induced intra- and inter-species genomic variations in Brassica. Monkey King elements are most abundant in the vicinity of genes and may have a substantial effect on genome-wide gene regulation in Brassicaceae. Monkey King insertions potentially regulate gene expression and genome evolution through epigenetic modification and new regulatory motif production.

  1. Conservation and co-option in developmental programmes: the importance of homology relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Becker May-Britt

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract One of the surprising insights gained from research in evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo is that increasing diversity in body plans and morphology in organisms across animal phyla are not reflected in similarly dramatic changes at the level of gene composition of their genomes. For instance, simplicity at the tissue level of organization often contrasts with a high degree of genetic complexity. Also intriguing is the observation that the coding regions of several genes of invertebrates show high sequence similarity to those in humans. This lack of change (conservation indicates that evolutionary novelties may arise more frequently through combinatorial processes, such as changes in gene regulation and the recruitment of novel genes into existing regulatory gene networks (co-option, and less often through adaptive evolutionary processes in the coding portions of a gene. As a consequence, it is of great interest to examine whether the widespread conservation of the genetic machinery implies the same developmental function in a last common ancestor, or whether homologous genes acquired new developmental roles in structures of independent phylogenetic origin. To distinguish between these two possibilities one must refer to current concepts of phylogeny reconstruction and carefully investigate homology relationships. Particularly problematic in terms of homology decisions is the use of gene expression patterns of a given structure. In the future, research on more organisms other than the typical model systems will be required since these can provide insights that are not easily obtained from comparisons among only a few distantly related model species.

  2. Microwave Photonics: current challenges towards widespread application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capmany, José; Li, Guifang; Lim, Christina; Yao, Jianping

    2013-09-23

    Microwave Photonics, a symbiotic field of research that brings together the worlds of optics and radio frequency is currently facing several challenges in its transition from a niche to a truly widespread technology essential to support the ever-increasing values for speed, bandwidth, processing capability and dynamic range that will be required in next generation hybrid access networks. We outline these challenges, which are the subject of the contributions to this focus issue.

  3. Identifying Genetic Hotspots by Mapping Molecular Diversity of Widespread Trees: When Commonness Matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Souto, Cintia P; Mathiasen, Paula; Acosta, María Cristina; Quiroga, María Paula; Vidal-Russell, Romina; Echeverría, Cristian; Premoli, Andrea C

    2015-01-01

    Conservation planning requires setting priorities at the same spatial scale at which decision-making processes are undertaken considering all levels of biodiversity, but current methods for identifying biodiversity hotspots ignore its genetic component. We developed a fine-scale approach based on the definition of genetic hotspots, which have high genetic diversity and unique variants that represent their evolutionary potential and evolutionary novelties. Our hypothesis is that wide-ranging taxa with similar ecological tolerances, yet of phylogenetically independent lineages, have been and currently are shaped by ecological and evolutionary forces that result in geographically concordant genetic patterns. We mapped previously published genetic diversity and unique variants of biparentally inherited markers and chloroplast sequences for 9 species from 188 and 275 populations, respectively, of the 4 woody dominant families of the austral temperate forest, an area considered a biodiversity hotspot. Spatial distribution patterns of genetic polymorphisms differed among taxa according to their ecological tolerances. Eight genetic hotspots were detected and we recommend conservation actions for some in the southern Coastal Range in Chile. Existing spatially explicit genetic data from multiple populations and species can help to identify biodiversity hotspots and guide conservation actions to establish science-based protected areas that will preserve the evolutionary potential of key habitats and species. © The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Ultraviolet vision may be widespread in bats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorresen, P. Marcos; Cryan, Paul; Dalton, David C.; Wolf, Sandy; Bonaccorso, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Insectivorous bats are well known for their abilities to find and pursue flying insect prey at close range using echolocation, but they also rely heavily on vision. For example, at night bats use vision to orient across landscapes, avoid large obstacles, and locate roosts. Although lacking sharp visual acuity, the eyes of bats evolved to function at very low levels of illumination. Recent evidence based on genetics, immunohistochemistry, and laboratory behavioral trials indicated that many bats can see ultraviolet light (UV), at least at illumination levels similar to or brighter than those before twilight. Despite this growing evidence for potentially widespread UV vision in bats, the prevalence of UV vision among bats remains unknown and has not been studied outside of the laboratory. We used a Y-maze to test whether wild-caught bats could see reflected UV light and whether such UV vision functions at the dim lighting conditions typically experienced by night-flying bats. Seven insectivorous species of bats, representing five genera and three families, showed a statistically significant ‘escape-toward-the-light’ behavior when placed in the Y-maze. Our results provide compelling evidence of widespread dim-light UV vision in bats.

  7. Infrequent widespread microsatellite instability in hepatocellular carcinomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, H; Itoh, F; Fukushima, H; Kaneto, H; Sasaki, S; Ohmura, T; Satoh, T; Karino, Y; Endo, T; Toyota, J; Imai, K

    2000-03-01

    Widespread or high-frequency microsatellite instability (MSI) due to the defective DNA mismatch repair (MMR) occurs in the majority of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer and a subset of sporadic malignant tumors. The incidence of MSI and underlying DNA MMR defects have been well characterized in gastrointestinal carcinogenesis, but not in hepatocarcinogenesis. To address the issue, we analyzed 55 Japanese hepatocellular carcinomas using several indicators of DNA MMR defects, such as microsatellite analysis, loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and mutation analysis of MMR genes, methylation of hMLH1 promoter, and frameshift mutations of mononucleotide repeat sequences within possible target genes. Mutation of beta2-microglobulin gene, which is presumably involved in MSI-positive tumor cell escape from immune surveillance was also examined. Some of these analyses were also carried out in 9 human liver cancer cell lines. None of the 3 quasi-monomorphic mononucleotide markers sensitive for MSI, BAT26, BAT25, and BAT34C4 presented shortened unstable alleles in any of the carcinoma, cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis tissues, or cell lines. LOH at MMR genes was infrequent (4.4 approximately 7.1%), and no mutations were detected. Neither hMLH1 hypermethylation nor frameshift mutation in the target genes was detected. No mutations were found in beta2-microglobulin. Widespread MSI due to the defective DNA MMR appears to play little if any part in Japanese hepatocarcinogenesis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  9. Origins of evolutionary transitions

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-03-15

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

  10. Evolutionary relationships among Astroviridae

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lukashov, Vladimir V.; Goudsmit, Jaap

    2002-01-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. Comparative phylogeography of two widespread magpies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Ruiying; Song, Gang; Qu, Yanhua

    2012-01-01

    Historical geological events and climatic changes are believed to have played important roles in shaping the current distribution of species. However, sympatric species may have responded in different ways to such climatic fluctuations. Here we compared genetic structures of two corvid species......, the Azure-winged Magpie Cyanopica cyanus and the Eurasian Magpie Pica pica, both widespread but with different habitat dependence and some aspects of breeding behavior. Three mitochondrial genes and two nuclear introns were used to examine their co-distributed populations in East China and the Iberian...... Peninsula. Both species showed deep divergences between these two regions that were dated to the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene. In the East Chinese clade of C. cyanus, populations were subdivided between Northeast China and Central China, probably since the early to mid-Pleistocene, and the Central...

  13. International arrivals: widespread bioinvasions in European Seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galil, B S; Marchini, A; Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A; Minchin, D; Narščius, A; Ojaveer, H; Olenin, S

    2014-04-01

    The European Union lacks a comprehensive framework to address the threats posed by the introduction and spread of marine non-indigenous species (NIS). Current efforts are fragmented and suffer substantial gaps in coverage. In this paper we identify and discuss issues relating to the assessment of spatial and temporal patterns of introductions in European Seas (ES), based on a scientifically validated information system of aquatic non-indigenous and cryptogenic species, AquaNIS. While recognizing the limitations of the existing data, we extract information that can be used to assess the relative risk of introductions for different taxonomic groups, geographic regions and likely vectors. The dataset comprises 879 multicellular NIS. We applied a country-based approach to assess patterns of NIS richness in ES, and identify the principal introduction routes and vectors, the most widespread NIS and their spatial and temporal spread patterns. Between 1970 and 2013, the number of recorded NIS has grown by 86, 173 and 204% in the Baltic, Western European margin and the Mediterranean, respectively; 52 of the 879 NIS were recorded in 10 or more countries, and 25 NIS first recorded in European seas since 1990 have since been reported in five or more countries. Our results highlight the ever-rising role of shipping (commercial and recreational) as a vector for the widespread and recently spread NIS. The Suez Canal, a corridor unique to the Mediterranean, is responsible for the increased introduction of new thermophilic NIS into this warming sea. The 2020 goal of the EU Biodiversity Strategy concerning marine Invasive Alien Species may not be fully attainable. The setting of a new target date should be accompanied by scientifically robust, sensible and pragmatic plans to minimize introductions of marine NIS and to study those present.

  14. Evolutionary rate variation and RNA secondary structure prediction

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  15. The origin of widespread species in a poor dispersing lineage (diving beetle genus Deronectes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David García-Vázquez

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In most lineages, most species have restricted geographic ranges, with only few reaching widespread distributions. How these widespread species reached their current ranges is an intriguing biogeographic and evolutionary question, especially in groups known to be poor dispersers. We reconstructed the biogeographic and temporal origin of the widespread species in a lineage with particularly poor dispersal capabilities, the diving beetle genus Deronectes (Dytiscidae. Most of the ca. 60 described species of Deronectes have narrow ranges in the Mediterranean area, with only four species with widespread European distributions. We sequenced four mitochondrial and two nuclear genes of 297 specimens of 109 different populations covering the entire distribution of the four lineages of Deronectes, including widespread species. Using Bayesian probabilities with an a priori evolutionary rate, we performed (1 a global phylogeny/phylogeography to estimate the relationships of the main lineages within each group and root them, and (2 demographic analyses of the best population coalescent model for each species group, including a reconstruction of the geographical history estimated from the distribution of the sampled localities. We also selected 56 specimens to test for the presence of Wolbachia, a maternally transmitted parasite that can alter the patterns of mtDNA variability. All species of the four studied groups originated in the southern Mediterranean peninsulas and were estimated to be of Pleistocene origin. In three of the four widespread species, the central and northern European populations were nested within those in the northern areas of the Anatolian, Balkan and Iberian peninsulas respectively, suggesting a range expansion at the edge of the southern refugia. In the Mediterranean peninsulas the widespread European species were replaced by vicariant taxa of recent origin. The fourth species (D. moestus was proven to be a composite of unrecognised

  16. Resembling a viper: implications of mimicry for conservation of the endangered smooth snake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkonen, Janne K; Mappes, Johanna

    2014-12-01

    The phenomenon of Batesian mimicry, where a palatable animal gains protection against predation by resembling an unpalatable model, has been a core interest of evolutionary biologists for 150 years. An extensive range of studies has focused on revealing mechanistic aspects of mimicry (shared education and generalization of predators) and the evolutionary dynamics of mimicry systems (co-operation vs. conflict) and revealed that protective mimicry is widespread and is important for individual fitness. However, according to our knowledge, there are no case studies where mimicry theories have been applied to conservation of mimetic species. Theoretically, mimicry affects, for example, frequency dependency of predator avoidance learning and human induced mortality. We examined the case of the protected, endangered, nonvenomous smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) that mimics the nonprotected venomous adder (Vipera berus), both of which occur in the Åland archipelago, Finland. To quantify the added predation risk on smooth snakes caused by the rarity of vipers, we calculated risk estimates from experimental data. Resemblance of vipers enhances survival of smooth snakes against bird predation because many predators avoid touching venomous vipers. Mimetic resemblance is however disadvantageous against human predators, who kill venomous vipers and accidentally kill endangered, protected smooth snakes. We found that the effective population size of the adders in Åland is very low relative to its smooth snake mimic (28.93 and 41.35, respectively).Because Batesian mimicry is advantageous for the mimic only if model species exist in sufficiently high numbers, it is likely that the conservation program for smooth snakes will fail if adders continue to be destroyed. Understanding the population consequences of mimetic species may be crucial to the success of endangered species conservation. We suggest that when a Batesian mimic requires protection, conservation planners should

  17. Proteomics in evolutionary ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baer, B; Millar, A H

    2016-03-01

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

  18. 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.

  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. PMID:25684561

  20. Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csibra, Gergely; Gergely, György

    2011-04-12

    We propose that the cognitive mechanisms that enable the transmission of cultural knowledge by communication between individuals constitute a system of 'natural pedagogy' in humans, and represent an evolutionary adaptation along the hominin lineage. We discuss three kinds of arguments that support this hypothesis. First, natural pedagogy is likely to be human-specific: while social learning and communication are both widespread in non-human animals, we know of no example of social learning by communication in any other species apart from humans. Second, natural pedagogy is universal: despite the huge variability in child-rearing practices, all human cultures rely on communication to transmit to novices a variety of different types of cultural knowledge, including information about artefact kinds, conventional behaviours, arbitrary referential symbols, cognitively opaque skills and know-how embedded in means-end actions. Third, the data available on early hominin technological culture are more compatible with the assumption that natural pedagogy was an independently selected adaptive cognitive system than considering it as a by-product of some other human-specific adaptation, such as language. By providing a qualitatively new type of social learning mechanism, natural pedagogy is not only the product but also one of the sources of the rich cultural heritage of our species.

  1. Natural pedagogy as evolutionary adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csibra, Gergely; Gergely, György

    2011-01-01

    We propose that the cognitive mechanisms that enable the transmission of cultural knowledge by communication between individuals constitute a system of ‘natural pedagogy’ in humans, and represent an evolutionary adaptation along the hominin lineage. We discuss three kinds of arguments that support this hypothesis. First, natural pedagogy is likely to be human-specific: while social learning and communication are both widespread in non-human animals, we know of no example of social learning by communication in any other species apart from humans. Second, natural pedagogy is universal: despite the huge variability in child-rearing practices, all human cultures rely on communication to transmit to novices a variety of different types of cultural knowledge, including information about artefact kinds, conventional behaviours, arbitrary referential symbols, cognitively opaque skills and know-how embedded in means-end actions. Third, the data available on early hominin technological culture are more compatible with the assumption that natural pedagogy was an independently selected adaptive cognitive system than considering it as a by-product of some other human-specific adaptation, such as language. By providing a qualitatively new type of social learning mechanism, natural pedagogy is not only the product but also one of the sources of the rich cultural heritage of our species. PMID:21357237

  2. Widespread Natural Occurrence of Hydroxyurea in Animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, David I; Liu, Kyle T; Reid, Bryan J; Hawkins, Emily; Sevier, Andrew; Pyle, Michelle; Robinson, Jacob W; Ouellette, Pierre H R; Ballantyne, James S

    2015-01-01

    Here we report the widespread natural occurrence of a known antibiotic and antineoplastic compound, hydroxyurea in animals from many taxonomic groups. Hydroxyurea occurs in all the organisms we have examined including invertebrates (molluscs and crustaceans), fishes from several major groups, amphibians and mammals. The species with highest concentrations was an elasmobranch (sharks, skates and rays), the little skate Leucoraja erinacea with levels up to 250 μM, high enough to have antiviral, antimicrobial and antineoplastic effects based on in vitro studies. Embryos of L. erinacea showed increasing levels of hydroxyurea with development, indicating the capacity for hydroxyurea synthesis. Certain tissues of other organisms (e.g. skin of the frog (64 μM), intestine of lobster (138 μM) gills of the surf clam (100 μM)) had levels high enough to have antiviral effects based on in vitro studies. Hydroxyurea is widely used clinically in the treatment of certain human cancers, sickle cell anemia, psoriasis, myeloproliferative diseases, and has been investigated as a potential treatment of HIV infection and its presence at high levels in tissues of elasmobranchs and other organisms suggests a novel mechanism for fighting disease that may explain the disease resistance of some groups. In light of the known production of nitric oxide from exogenously applied hydroxyurea, endogenous hydoxyurea may play a hitherto unknown role in nitric oxide dynamics.

  3. Widespread Natural Occurrence of Hydroxyurea in Animals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David I Fraser

    Full Text Available Here we report the widespread natural occurrence of a known antibiotic and antineoplastic compound, hydroxyurea in animals from many taxonomic groups. Hydroxyurea occurs in all the organisms we have examined including invertebrates (molluscs and crustaceans, fishes from several major groups, amphibians and mammals. The species with highest concentrations was an elasmobranch (sharks, skates and rays, the little skate Leucoraja erinacea with levels up to 250 μM, high enough to have antiviral, antimicrobial and antineoplastic effects based on in vitro studies. Embryos of L. erinacea showed increasing levels of hydroxyurea with development, indicating the capacity for hydroxyurea synthesis. Certain tissues of other organisms (e.g. skin of the frog (64 μM, intestine of lobster (138 μM gills of the surf clam (100 μM had levels high enough to have antiviral effects based on in vitro studies. Hydroxyurea is widely used clinically in the treatment of certain human cancers, sickle cell anemia, psoriasis, myeloproliferative diseases, and has been investigated as a potential treatment of HIV infection and its presence at high levels in tissues of elasmobranchs and other organisms suggests a novel mechanism for fighting disease that may explain the disease resistance of some groups. In light of the known production of nitric oxide from exogenously applied hydroxyurea, endogenous hydoxyurea may play a hitherto unknown role in nitric oxide dynamics.

  4. Y-chromosome evidence supports widespread signatures of three-species Canis hybridization in eastern North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Paul J; Rutledge, Linda Y; Wheeldon, Tyler J; Patterson, Brent R; White, Bradley N

    2012-09-01

    There has been considerable discussion on the origin of the red wolf and eastern wolf and their evolution independent of the gray wolf. We analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and a Y-chromosome intron sequence in combination with Y-chromosome microsatellites from wolves and coyotes within the range of extensive wolf-coyote hybridization, that is, eastern North America. The detection of divergent Y-chromosome haplotypes in the historic range of the eastern wolf is concordant with earlier mtDNA findings, and the absence of these haplotypes in western coyotes supports the existence of the North American evolved eastern wolf (Canis lycaon). Having haplotypes observed exclusively in eastern North America as a result of insufficient sampling in the historic range of the coyote or that these lineages subsequently went extinct in western geographies is unlikely given that eastern-specific mtDNA and Y-chromosome haplotypes represent lineages divergent from those observed in extant western coyotes. By combining Y-chromosome and mtDNA distributional patterns, we identified hybrid genomes of eastern wolf, coyote, gray wolf, and potentially dog origin in Canis populations of central and eastern North America. The natural contemporary eastern Canis populations represent an important example of widespread introgression resulting in hybrid genomes across the original C. lycaon range that appears to be facilitated by the eastern wolf acting as a conduit for hybridization. Applying conventional taxonomic nomenclature and species-based conservation initiatives, particularly in human-modified landscapes, may be counterproductive to the effective management of these hybrids and fails to consider their evolutionary potential.

  5. Domain architecture conservation in orthologs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  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. Dynamic conservation of forest genetic resources in 33 European countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

  10. Widespread local chronic stressors in Caribbean coastal habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chollett, Iliana; Collin, Rachel; Bastidas, Carolina; Cróquer, Aldo; Gayle, Peter M H; Jordán-Dahlgren, Eric; Koltes, Karen; Oxenford, Hazel; Rodriguez-Ramirez, Alberto; Weil, Ernesto; Alemu, Jahson; Bone, David; Buchan, Kenneth C; Creary Ford, Marcia; Escalante-Mancera, Edgar; Garzón-Ferreira, Jaime; Guzmán, Hector M; Kjerfve, Björn; Klein, Eduardo; McCoy, Croy; Potts, Arthur C; Ruíz-Rentería, Francisco; Smith, Struan R; Tschirky, John; Cortés, Jorge

    2017-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems and the livelihoods they support are threatened by stressors acting at global and local scales. Here we used the data produced by the Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity program (CARICOMP), the longest, largest monitoring program in the wider Caribbean, to evidence local-scale (decreases in water quality) and global-scale (increases in temperature) stressors across the basin. Trend analyses showed that visibility decreased at 42% of the stations, indicating that local-scale chronic stressors are widespread. On the other hand, only 18% of the stations showed increases in water temperature that would be expected from global warming, partially reflecting the limits in detecting trends due to inherent natural variability of temperature data. Decreases in visibility were associated with increased human density. However, this link can be decoupled by environmental factors, with conditions that increase the flush of water, dampening the effects of human influence. Besides documenting environmental stressors throughout the basin, our results can be used to inform future monitoring programs, if the desire is to identify stations that provide early warning signals of anthropogenic impacts. All CARICOMP environmental data are now available, providing an invaluable baseline that can be used to strengthen research, conservation, and management of coastal ecosystems in the Caribbean basin.

  11. 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

  12. Widespread EEG changes precede focal seizures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piero Perucca

    Full Text Available The process by which the brain transitions into an epileptic seizure is unknown. In this study, we investigated whether the transition to seizure is associated with changes in brain dynamics detectable in the wideband EEG, and whether differences exist across underlying pathologies. Depth electrode ictal EEG recordings from 40 consecutive patients with pharmacoresistant lesional focal epilepsy were low-pass filtered at 500 Hz and sampled at 2,000 Hz. Predefined EEG sections were selected immediately before (immediate preictal, and 30 seconds before the earliest EEG sign suggestive of seizure activity (baseline. Spectral analysis, visual inspection and discrete wavelet transform were used to detect standard (delta, theta, alpha, beta and gamma and high-frequency bands (ripples and fast ripples. At the group level, each EEG frequency band activity increased significantly from baseline to the immediate preictal section, mostly in a progressive manner and independently of any modification in the state of vigilance. Preictal increases in each frequency band activity were widespread, being observed in the seizure-onset zone and lesional tissue, as well as in remote regions. These changes occurred in all the investigated pathologies (mesial temporal atrophy/sclerosis, local/regional cortical atrophy, and malformations of cortical development, but were more pronounced in mesial temporal atrophy/sclerosis. Our findings indicate that a brain state change with distinctive features, in the form of unidirectional changes across the entire EEG bandwidth, occurs immediately prior to seizure onset. We postulate that these changes might reflect a facilitating state of the brain which enables a susceptible region to generate seizures.

  13. Lariat sequencing in a unicellular yeast identifies regulated alternative splicing of exons that are evolutionarily conserved with humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Awan, Ali R; Manfredo, Amanda; Pleiss, Jeffrey A

    2013-07-30

    Alternative splicing is a potent regulator of gene expression that vastly increases proteomic diversity in multicellular eukaryotes and is associated with organismal complexity. Although alternative splicing is widespread in vertebrates, little is known about the evolutionary origins of this process, in part because of the absence of phylogenetically conserved events that cross major eukaryotic clades. Here we describe a lariat-sequencing approach, which offers high sensitivity for detecting splicing events, and its application to the unicellular fungus, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, an organism that shares many of the hallmarks of alternative splicing in mammalian systems but for which no previous examples of exon-skipping had been demonstrated. Over 200 previously unannotated splicing events were identified, including examples of regulated alternative splicing. Remarkably, an evolutionary analysis of four of the exons identified here as subject to skipping in S. pombe reveals high sequence conservation and perfect length conservation with their homologs in scores of plants, animals, and fungi. Moreover, alternative splicing of two of these exons have been documented in multiple vertebrate organisms, making these the first demonstrations of identical alternative-splicing patterns in species that are separated by over 1 billion y of evolution.

  14. Ecological interactions drive evolutionary loss of traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellers, Jacintha; Kiers, E Toby; Currie, Cameron R; McDonald, Bradon R; Visser, Bertanne

    2012-10-01

    Loss of traits can dramatically alter the fate of species. Evidence is rapidly accumulating that the prevalence of trait loss is grossly underestimated. New findings demonstrate that traits can be lost without affecting the external phenotype, provided the lost function is compensated for by species interactions. This is important because trait loss can tighten the ecological relationship between partners, affecting the maintenance of species interactions. Here, we develop a new perspective on so-called `compensated trait loss' and how this type of trait loss may affect the evolutionary dynamics between interacting organisms. We argue that: (1) the frequency of compensated trait loss is currently underestimated because it can go unnoticed as long as ecological interactions are maintained; (2) by analysing known cases of trait loss, specific factors promoting compensated trait loss can be identified and (3) genomic sequencing is a key way forwards in detecting compensated trait loss. We present a comprehensive literature survey showing that compensated trait loss is taxonomically widespread, can involve essential traits, and often occurs as replicated evolutionary events. Despite its hidden nature, compensated trait loss is important in directing evolutionary dynamics of ecological relationships and has the potential to change facultative ecological interactions into obligatory ones. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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,

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. Defining conservation units in a stocking-induced genetic melting pot: unraveling native and multiple exotic genetic imprints of recent and historical secondary contact in Adriatic grayling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meraner, Andreas; Cornetti, Luca; Gandolfi, Andrea

    2014-04-01

    The definition of conservation units is crucial for the sustainable management of endangered species, though particularly challenging when recent and past anthropogenic and natural gene flow might have played a role. The conservation of the European grayling, Thymallus thymallus, is particularly complex in its southern distribution area, where the Adriatic evolutionary lineage is endangered by a long history of anthropogenic disturbance, intensive stocking and potentially widespread genetic introgression. We provide mtDNA sequence and microsatellite data of 683 grayling from 30 sites of Adriatic as well as Danubian and Atlantic origin. We apply Bayesian clustering and Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) to detect microgeographic population structure and to infer the demographic history of the Adriatic populations, to define appropriate conservation units. Varying frequencies of indigenous genetic signatures of the Adriatic grayling were revealed, spanning from marginal genetic introgression to the collapse of native gene pools. Genetic introgression involved multiple exotic source populations of Danubian and Atlantic origin, thus evidencing the negative impact of few decades of stocking. Within the Adige River system, a contact zone of western Adriatic and eastern Danubian populations was detected, with ABC analyses suggesting a historical anthropogenic origin of eastern Adige populations, most likely founded by medieval translocations. Substantial river-specific population substructure within the Adriatic grayling Evolutionary Significant Unit points to the definition of different conservation units. We finally propose a catalog of management measures, including the legal prohibition of stocking exotic grayling and the use of molecular markers in supportive- and captive-breeding programs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Conservation Value

    OpenAIRE

    Tisdell, Clement A.

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin R Jack

    2016-05-01

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

  11. The four cornerstones of Evolutionary Toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bickham, John W

    2011-05-01

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

  12. Genomic Evidence of Widespread Admixture from Polar Bears into Brown Bears during the Last Ice Age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahill, James A; Heintzman, Peter D; Harris, Kelley; Teasdale, Matthew D; Kapp, Joshua; Soares, Andre E R; Stirling, Ian; Bradley, Daniel; Edwards, Ceiridwen J; Graim, Kiley; Kisleika, Aliaksandr A; Malev, Alexander V; Monaghan, Nigel; Green, Richard E; Shapiro, Beth

    2018-05-01

    Recent genomic analyses have provided substantial evidence for past periods of gene flow from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) into Alaskan brown bears (Ursus arctos), with some analyses suggesting a link between climate change and genomic introgression. However, because it has mainly been possible to sample bears from the present day, the timing, frequency, and evolutionary significance of this admixture remains unknown. Here, we analyze genomic DNA from three additional and geographically distinct brown bear populations, including two that lived temporally close to the peak of the last ice age. We find evidence of admixture in all three populations, suggesting that admixture between these species has been common in their recent evolutionary history. In addition, analyses of ten fossil bears from the now-extinct Irish population indicate that admixture peaked during the last ice age, whereas brown bear and polar bear ranges overlapped. Following this peak, the proportion of polar bear ancestry in Irish brown bears declined rapidly until their extinction. Our results support a model in which ice age climate change created geographically widespread conditions conducive to admixture between polar bears and brown bears, as is again occurring today. We postulate that this model will be informative for many admixing species pairs impacted by climate change. Our results highlight the power of paleogenomics to reveal patterns of evolutionary change that are otherwise masked in contemporary data.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  14. Evidence for Widespread Associations between Neotropical Hymenopteran Insects and Actinobacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernal Matarrita-Carranza

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The evolutionary success of hymenopteran insects has been associated with complex physiological and behavioral defense mechanisms against pathogens and parasites. Among these strategies are symbiotic associations between Hymenoptera and antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria, which provide protection to insect hosts. Herein, we examine associations between culturable Actinobacteria and 29 species of tropical hymenopteran insects that span five families, including Apidae (bees, Vespidae (wasps, and Formicidae (ants. In total, 197 Actinobacteria isolates were obtained from 22 of the 29 different insect species sampled. Through 16S rRNA gene sequences of 161 isolates, we show that 91% of the symbionts correspond to members of the genus Streptomyces with less common isolates belonging to Pseudonocardia and Amycolatopsis. Electron microscopy revealed the presence of filamentous bacteria with Streptomyces morphology in brood chambers of two different species of the eusocial wasps. Four fungal strains in the family Ophiocordycipitacea (Hypocreales known to be specialized insect parasites were also isolated. Bioassay challenges between the Actinobacteria and their possible targeted pathogenic antagonist (both obtained from the same insect at the genus or species level provide evidence that different Actinobacteria isolates produced antifungal activity, supporting the hypothesis of a defensive association between the insects and these microbe species. Finally, phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA and gyrB demonstrate the presence of five Streptomyces lineages associated with a broad range of insect species. Particularly our Clade I is of much interest as it is composed of one 16S rRNA phylotype repeatedly isolated from different insect groups in our sample. This phylotype corresponds to a previously described lineage of host-associated Streptomyces. These results suggest Streptomyces Clade I is a Hymenoptera host-associated lineage spanning several new insect

  15. Evidence for Widespread Associations between Neotropical Hymenopteran Insects and Actinobacteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matarrita-Carranza, Bernal; Moreira-Soto, Rolando D.; Murillo-Cruz, Catalina; Mora, Marielos; Currie, Cameron R.; Pinto-Tomas, Adrián A.

    2017-01-01

    The evolutionary success of hymenopteran insects has been associated with complex physiological and behavioral defense mechanisms against pathogens and parasites. Among these strategies are symbiotic associations between Hymenoptera and antibiotic-producing Actinobacteria, which provide protection to insect hosts. Herein, we examine associations between culturable Actinobacteria and 29 species of tropical hymenopteran insects that span five families, including Apidae (bees), Vespidae (wasps), and Formicidae (ants). In total, 197 Actinobacteria isolates were obtained from 22 of the 29 different insect species sampled. Through 16S rRNA gene sequences of 161 isolates, we show that 91% of the symbionts correspond to members of the genus Streptomyces with less common isolates belonging to Pseudonocardia and Amycolatopsis. Electron microscopy revealed the presence of filamentous bacteria with Streptomyces morphology in brood chambers of two different species of the eusocial wasps. Four fungal strains in the family Ophiocordycipitacea (Hypocreales) known to be specialized insect parasites were also isolated. Bioassay challenges between the Actinobacteria and their possible targeted pathogenic antagonist (both obtained from the same insect at the genus or species level) provide evidence that different Actinobacteria isolates produced antifungal activity, supporting the hypothesis of a defensive association between the insects and these microbe species. Finally, phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA and gyrB demonstrate the presence of five Streptomyces lineages associated with a broad range of insect species. Particularly our Clade I is of much interest as it is composed of one 16S rRNA phylotype repeatedly isolated from different insect groups in our sample. This phylotype corresponds to a previously described lineage of host-associated Streptomyces. These results suggest Streptomyces Clade I is a Hymenoptera host-associated lineage spanning several new insect taxa and

  16. 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...

  17. Cross-species amplification of 41 microsatellites in European cyprinids: A tool for evolutionary, population genetics and hybridization studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles André

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cyprinids display the most abundant and widespread species among the European freshwater Teleostei and are known to hybridize quite commonly. Nevertheless, a limited number of markers for conducting comparative differentiation, evolutionary and hybridization dynamics studies are available to date. Findings Five multiplex PCR sets were optimized in order to assay 41 cyprinid-specific polymorphic microsatellite loci (including 10 novel loci isolated from Chondrostoma nasus nasus, Chondrostoma toxostoma toxostoma and Leuciscus leuciscus for 503 individuals (440 purebred specimens and 63 hybrids from 15 European cyprinid species. The level of genetic diversity was assessed in Alburnus alburnus, Alburnoides bipunctatus, C. genei, C. n. nasus, C. soetta, C. t. toxostoma, L. idus, L. leuciscus, Pachychilon pictum, Rutilus rutilus, Squalius cephalus and Telestes souffia. The applicability of the markers was also tested on Abramis brama, Blicca bjoerkna and Scardinius erythrophtalmus specimens. Overall, between 24 and 37 of these markers revealed polymorphic for the investigated species and 23 markers amplified for all the 15 European cyprinid species. Conclusions The developed set of markers demonstrated its performance in discriminating European cyprinid species. Furthermore, it allowed detecting and characterizing hybrid individuals. These microsatellites will therefore be useful to perform comparative evolutionary and population genetics studies dealing with European cyprinids, what is of particular interest in conservation issues and constitutes a tool of choice to conduct hybridization studies.

  18. 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

  19. Widespread occurrence of bd in French Guiana, South America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elodie A Courtois

    Full Text Available The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd is a purported agent of decline and extinction of many amphibian populations worldwide. Its occurrence remains poorly documented in many tropical regions, including the Guiana Shield, despite the area's high amphibian diversity. We conducted a comprehensive assessment of Bd in French Guiana in order to (1 determine its geographical distribution, (2 test variation of Bd prevalence among species in French Guiana and compare it to earlier reported values in other South American anuran species (http://www.bd-maps.net; 123 species from 15 genera to define sentinel species for future work, (3 track changes in prevalence through time and (4 determine if Bd presence had a negative effect on one selected species. We tested the presence of Bd in 14 species at 11 sites for a total of 1053 samples (306 in 2009 and 747 in 2012. At least one Bd-positive individual was found at eight out of 11 sites, suggesting a wide distribution of Bd in French Guiana. The pathogen was not uniformly distributed among the studied amphibian hosts, with Dendrobatidae species displaying the highest prevalence (12.4% as compared to Bufonidae (2.6 % and Hylidae (1.5%. In contrast to earlier reported values, we found highest prevalence for three Dendrobatidae species and two of them displayed an increase in Bd prevalence from 2009 to 2012. Those three species might be the sentinel species of choice for French Guiana. For Dendrobates tinctorius, of key conservation value in the Guiana Shield, smaller female individuals were more likely to be infected, suggesting either that frogs can outgrow their chytrid infections or that the disease induces developmental stress limiting growth. Generally, our study supports the idea that Bd is more widespread than previously thought and occurs at remote places in the lowland forest of the Guiana shield.

  20. 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.

  1. 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).

  2. 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

  3. Identifying the Needs of Opinion Leaders to Encourage Widespread Adoption of Water Conservation and Protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Melissa R.; Lamm, Alexa J.

    2017-01-01

    Opinion leaders are persuasive in convincing others within their social networks to adopt certain opinions and behaviors. By identifying and using opinion leaders, agricultural educators may be able to leverage individuals who have influence on others' opinions, thereby speeding up the adoption of new practices. In this article, we review a…

  4. Mimicry's palette: widespread use of conserved pigments in the aposematic signals of snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, David W; Seymoure, Brett M; Pfennig, David W

    2014-03-01

    Mimicry, where one species resembles another species because of the selective benefits of sharing a common signal, is especially common in snakes. Snakes might be particularly prone to evolving mimicry if all species share some of the same proximate mechanisms that can be used to produce aposematic/mimetic signals. We evaluated this possibility by examining color pigments in 11 species of snakes from four different families, three species of which participate in a coral snake mimicry complex involving convergence in coloration. We found that all 11 species used combinations of two pteridine pigments and melanin in their coloration, regardless of whether or not they were mimics. Furthermore, the presence or absence of red pteridines was strongly correlated with the relative excitation of medium- and long-wavelength photoreceptors in birds, thereby linking shared pigmentation to perception of those pigments by likely agents of selection. Thus, precise color mimicry might be relatively easy to evolve among snakes owing to symplesiomorphies in pigmentation. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Multispecies genetic objectives in spatial conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  6. Evolutionary hotspots in the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in Madagascar neither Shows Widespread Presence nor Signs of Certain Establishment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Skerratt, Lee F

    2015-01-01

    The global spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) is associated with amphibian mass mortality, population decline, and extinction. Over the past decade, concern has been expressed for the potential introduction of Bd to Madagascar, a global hotspot of amphibian biodiversity. Following years without detection, widespread Bd presence in Madagascar has now been reported (Bletz et al. 2015a), raising international conservation concern. Before reacting to this finding with a significant management response, the accuracy and context of the data warrant cautious review. Re-examination of a 10-year dataset together with results from more recent surveillance (Kolby et al. 2015) does not yet demonstrate widespread Bd presence. Detection of Bd at "positive" locations in Madagascar has been inconsistent for unknown reasons. Whether Bd is established in Madagascar (i.e. populations are self-sustaining) or instead requires continued introduction to persist also remains uncertain. The deployment of emergency conservation rescue initiatives is expected to target areas where the distribution of Bd and the risk of chytridiomycosis endangering amphibians is believed to overlap. Thus, erroneous description of Bd presence would misdirect limited conservation resources. Standardized surveillance and confirmatory surveys are now imperative to reliably characterize the distribution, potential spread, virulence and overall risk of Bd to amphibians in Madagascar.

  10. Amphibian Chytrid Fungus in Madagascar neither Shows Widespread Presence nor Signs of Certain Establishment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan E Kolby

    Full Text Available The global spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd is associated with amphibian mass mortality, population decline, and extinction. Over the past decade, concern has been expressed for the potential introduction of Bd to Madagascar, a global hotspot of amphibian biodiversity. Following years without detection, widespread Bd presence in Madagascar has now been reported (Bletz et al. 2015a, raising international conservation concern. Before reacting to this finding with a significant management response, the accuracy and context of the data warrant cautious review. Re-examination of a 10-year dataset together with results from more recent surveillance (Kolby et al. 2015 does not yet demonstrate widespread Bd presence. Detection of Bd at "positive" locations in Madagascar has been inconsistent for unknown reasons. Whether Bd is established in Madagascar (i.e. populations are self-sustaining or instead requires continued introduction to persist also remains uncertain. The deployment of emergency conservation rescue initiatives is expected to target areas where the distribution of Bd and the risk of chytridiomycosis endangering amphibians is believed to overlap. Thus, erroneous description of Bd presence would misdirect limited conservation resources. Standardized surveillance and confirmatory surveys are now imperative to reliably characterize the distribution, potential spread, virulence and overall risk of Bd to amphibians in Madagascar.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Virus world as an evolutionary network of viruses and capsidless selfish elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koonin, Eugene V; Dolja, Valerian V

    2014-06-01

    Viruses were defined as one of the two principal types of organisms in the biosphere, namely, as capsid-encoding organisms in contrast to ribosome-encoding organisms, i.e., all cellular life forms. Structurally similar, apparently homologous capsids are present in a huge variety of icosahedral viruses that infect bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. These findings prompted the concept of the capsid as the virus "self" that defines the identity of deep, ancient viral lineages. However, several other widespread viral "hallmark genes" encode key components of the viral replication apparatus (such as polymerases and helicases) and combine with different capsid proteins, given the inherently modular character of viral evolution. Furthermore, diverse, widespread, capsidless selfish genetic elements, such as plasmids and various types of transposons, share hallmark genes with viruses. Viruses appear to have evolved from capsidless selfish elements, and vice versa, on multiple occasions during evolution. At the earliest, precellular stage of life's evolution, capsidless genetic parasites most likely emerged first and subsequently gave rise to different classes of viruses. In this review, we develop the concept of a greater virus world which forms an evolutionary network that is held together by shared conserved genes and includes both bona fide capsid-encoding viruses and different classes of capsidless replicons. Theoretical studies indicate that selfish replicons (genetic parasites) inevitably emerge in any sufficiently complex evolving ensemble of replicators. Therefore, the key signature of the greater virus world is not the presence of a capsid but rather genetic, informational parasitism itself, i.e., various degrees of reliance on the information processing systems of the host. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  19. Conservation endocrinology

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, Stephen; Romero, L. Michael

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Structural and evolutionary adaptation of rhoptry kinases and pseudokinases, a family of coccidian virulence factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The widespread protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii interferes with host cell functions by exporting the contents of a unique apical organelle, the rhoptry. Among the mix of secreted proteins are an expanded, lineage-specific family of protein kinases termed rhoptry kinases (ROPKs), several of which have been shown to be key virulence factors, including the pseudokinase ROP5. The extent and details of the diversification of this protein family are poorly understood. Results In this study, we comprehensively catalogued the ROPK family in the genomes of Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Eimeria tenella, as well as portions of the unfinished genome of Sarcocystis neurona, and classified the identified genes into 42 distinct subfamilies. We systematically compared the rhoptry kinase protein sequences and structures to each other and to the broader superfamily of eukaryotic protein kinases to study the patterns of diversification and neofunctionalization in the ROPK family and its subfamilies. We identified three ROPK sub-clades of particular interest: those bearing a structurally conserved N-terminal extension to the kinase domain (NTE), an E. tenella-specific expansion, and a basal cluster including ROP35 and BPK1 that we term ROPKL. Structural analysis in light of the solved structures ROP2, ROP5, ROP8 and in comparison to typical eukaryotic protein kinases revealed ROPK-specific conservation patterns in two key regions of the kinase domain, surrounding a ROPK-conserved insert in the kinase hinge region and a disulfide bridge in the kinase substrate-binding lobe. We also examined conservation patterns specific to the NTE-bearing clade. We discuss the possible functional consequences of each. Conclusions Our work sheds light on several important but previously unrecognized features shared among rhoptry kinases, as well as the essential differences between active and degenerate protein kinases. We identify the most distinctive ROPK-specific features

  2. Structural and evolutionary adaptation of rhoptry kinases and pseudokinases, a family of coccidian virulence factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talevich, Eric; Kannan, Natarajan

    2013-06-06

    The widespread protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii interferes with host cell functions by exporting the contents of a unique apical organelle, the rhoptry. Among the mix of secreted proteins are an expanded, lineage-specific family of protein kinases termed rhoptry kinases (ROPKs), several of which have been shown to be key virulence factors, including the pseudokinase ROP5. The extent and details of the diversification of this protein family are poorly understood. In this study, we comprehensively catalogued the ROPK family in the genomes of Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Eimeria tenella, as well as portions of the unfinished genome of Sarcocystis neurona, and classified the identified genes into 42 distinct subfamilies. We systematically compared the rhoptry kinase protein sequences and structures to each other and to the broader superfamily of eukaryotic protein kinases to study the patterns of diversification and neofunctionalization in the ROPK family and its subfamilies. We identified three ROPK sub-clades of particular interest: those bearing a structurally conserved N-terminal extension to the kinase domain (NTE), an E. tenella-specific expansion, and a basal cluster including ROP35 and BPK1 that we term ROPKL. Structural analysis in light of the solved structures ROP2, ROP5, ROP8 and in comparison to typical eukaryotic protein kinases revealed ROPK-specific conservation patterns in two key regions of the kinase domain, surrounding a ROPK-conserved insert in the kinase hinge region and a disulfide bridge in the kinase substrate-binding lobe. We also examined conservation patterns specific to the NTE-bearing clade. We discuss the possible functional consequences of each. Our work sheds light on several important but previously unrecognized features shared among rhoptry kinases, as well as the essential differences between active and degenerate protein kinases. We identify the most distinctive ROPK-specific features conserved across both active

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. Evolutionary games under incompetence.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-26

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

  6. isoenzyme analysis of five endemic and one widespread kniphofia ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Preferred Customer

    ISOENZYME ANALYSIS OF FIVE ENDEMIC AND ONE WIDESPREAD ... plants. The over all mean inbreeding coefficient (F) was positive indicating slight deficiency in the number of ...... populations, indicates rather recent speciation.

  7. [Conservation Units.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Texas Education Agency, Austin.

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

  8. Creative conservation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bentham, Roelof J.

    1968-01-01

    The increasing exploitation of our natural resources, the unlimited occupation of ever more new areas, and the intensification of land-use, make it necessary for us to expand the concept of conservation. But we also need to reconsider that concept itself. For the changing conditions in the

  9. Reshaping conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Funder, Mikkel; Danielsen, Finn; Ngaga, Yonika

    2013-01-01

    members strengthen the monitoring practices to their advantage, and to some extent move them beyond the reach of government agencies and conservation and development practitioners. This has led to outcomes that are of greater social and strategic value to communities than the original 'planned' benefits...

  10. Widespread ecomorphological convergence in multiple fish families spanning the marine-freshwater interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Aaron M; Betancur-R, Ricardo

    2017-05-17

    The theoretical definition and quantification of convergence is an increasingly topical focus in evolutionary research, with particular growing interest on study scales spanning deep phylogenetic divergences and broad geographical areas. While much progress has recently been made in understanding the role of convergence in driving terrestrial (e.g. anole lizards) and aquatic (e.g. cichlids) radiations, little is known about its macroevolutionary effects across environmental gradients. This study uses a suite of recently developed comparative approaches integrating diverse aspects of morphology, dietary data, habitat affiliation and phylogeny to assess convergence across several well-known tropical-temperate fish families in the percomorph suborder Terapontoidei, a clade with considerable phenotypic and ecological diversity radiating in both marine and freshwater environments. We demonstrate significant widespread convergence across many lineages occupying equivalent trophic niches, particularly feeding habits such as herbivory and biting of attached prey off hard substrates. These include several examples of convergent morphotypes evolving independently in marine and freshwater clades, separated by deep evolutionary divergences (tens of millions of years). The Terapontoidei present a new example of the macroevolutionary dynamics of morphological and ecological coevolution in relation to habitat and trophic preferences, at a greater phylogenetic and habitat scale than most well-studied adaptive radiations. © 2017 The Author(s).

  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)

    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.

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Personality disparity in chronic regional and widespread pain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Mei-Chung; Chen, Po-Fei; Lung, For-Wey

    2017-08-01

    Chronic pain has high comorbidity with psychiatric disorders, therefore, better understanding of the relationship between chronic pain and mental illness is needed. This study aimed to investigate the pathway relationships among parental attachment, personality characteristics, alexithymic trait and mental health in patients with chronic widespread pain, those with chronic regional pain, and controls. Two hundred and thirty participants were recruited. The parental Bonding Inventory, Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI), 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), Chinese Health Questionnaire, and Short-Form 36 were filled out. The pathway relationships revealed that patients of mothers who were more protective were more neurotic, had more difficulty identifying feelings (DIF), worse mental health, and a higher association with chronic widespread pain. No differences were found between patients with chronic regional pain and the controls. The predisposing factors for chronic widespread pain, when compared with chronic regional pain, may be more closely related to psychiatric disorders. The pathways to chronic regional pain and chronic widespread pain differ, with neuroticism and the alexithymic DIF trait being the main factors defining chronic widespread pain. Therefore, besides therapies targeting pain symptoms, psychiatric consultation, medication and psychotherapy are also recommended for those with chronic widespread pain to alleviate their mental health conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Conserving the Appalachian medicinal plant industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    James L. Chamberlain

    2006-01-01

    An industry based on plants that flourish in the mountains of Appalachia is at a critical crossroads. The medicinal plant industry has relied on the conservation of Appalachian forest resources for more than 300 years. There is growing and widespread concern that many of the species, on which this vibrant and substantial industry depends, are being depleted and...

  19. Individual-based modeling of ecological and evolutionary processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, Donald L.; Mooij, Wolf M.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charpentier, Anne

    2015-06-01

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

  1. Beyond conservation agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Beyond conservation agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Beyond Conservation Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ken E Giller

    2015-10-01

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

  4. Lyme disease and conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsberg, H.

    1994-01-01

    Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that is wide-spread in North America, especially in the northeastern and northcentral United States. This disease could negatively influence efforts to conserve natural populations in two ways: (1) the disease could directly affect wild animal health; and (2) tick control efforts could adversely affect natural populations and communities. Lyme disease affects several domestic animals, but symptoms have been reported in only a few wild species. Direct effects of Lyme disease on wild animal populations have not been reported, but the disease should be considered as a possible cause in cases of unexplained population declines in endemic areas. Methods available to manage ticks and Lyme disease include human self-protection techniques, manipulation of habitats and hosts species populations, biological control, and pesticide applications. The diversity of available techniques allows selection of approaches to minimize environmental effects by (1) emphasizing personal protection techniques, (2) carefully targeting management efforts to maximize efficiency, and (3) integrating environmentally benign techniques to improve management while avoiding broad-scale environmentally destructive approaches. The environmental effects of Lyme disease depend, to a large extent, on the methods chosen to minimize human exposure to infected ticks. Conservation biologists can help design tick management programs that effectively lower the incidence of human Lyme disease while simultaneously minimizing negative effects on natural populations.

  5. Conservation of Charge and Conservation of Current

    OpenAIRE

    Eisenberg, Bob

    2016-01-01

    Conservation of current and conservation of charge are nearly the same thing: when enough is known about charge movement, conservation of current can be derived from conservation of charge, in ideal dielectrics, for example. Conservation of current is enforced implicitly in ideal dielectrics by theories that conserve charge. But charge movement in real materials like semiconductors or ionic solutions is never ideal. We present an apparently universal derivation of conservation of current and ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Blind to morphology: Genetics identifies several widespread ecologically common species and few endemics among Indo-Pacific cauliflower corals (Pocillopora, Scleractinia)

    KAUST Repository

    Pinzón, Jorge H C

    2013-04-05

    Aim: Using high-resolution genetic markers on samples gathered from across their wide distributional range, we endeavoured to delimit species diversity in reef-building Pocillopora corals. They are common, ecologically important, and widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific, but their phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental conditions and their nearly featureless microskeletal structures confound taxonomic assignments and limit an understanding of their ecology and evolution. Location: Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, Arabian/Persian Gulf. Methods: Sequence analysis of nuclear ribosomal (internal transcribed spacer 2, ITS2) and mitochondrial (open reading frame) loci were combined with population genetic data (seven microsatellite loci) for Pocillopora samples collected throughout the Indo-Pacific, Red Sea and Arabian Gulf, in order to assess the evolutionary divergence, reproductive isolation, frequency of hybridization and geographical distributions of the genus. Results: Between five and eight genetically distinct lineages comparable to species were identified with minimal or no hybridization between them. Colony morphology was generally incongruent with genetics across the full range of sampling, and the total number of species is apparently consistent with lower estimates from competing morphologically based hypotheses (about seven or eight taxa). The most commonly occurring genetic lineages were widely distributed and exhibited high dispersal and gene flow, factors that have probably minimized allopatric speciation. Uniquely among scleractinian genera, this genus contains a monophyletic group of broadcast spawners that evolved recently from an ancestral brooder. Main conclusions: The delineation of species diversity guided by genetics fundamentally advances our understanding of Pocillopora geographical distributions, ecology and evolution. Because traditional diagnostic features of colony and branch morphology are proving to be of limited utility, the

  9. Blind to morphology: Genetics identifies several widespread ecologically common species and few endemics among Indo-Pacific cauliflower corals (Pocillopora, Scleractinia)

    KAUST Repository

    Pinzó n, Jorge H C; Sampayo, Eugenia M.; Cox, Evelyn F.; Chauka, Leonard J.; Chen, Chaolun Allen; Voolstra, Christian R.; LaJeunesse, Todd C.

    2013-01-01

    Aim: Using high-resolution genetic markers on samples gathered from across their wide distributional range, we endeavoured to delimit species diversity in reef-building Pocillopora corals. They are common, ecologically important, and widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific, but their phenotypic plasticity in response to environmental conditions and their nearly featureless microskeletal structures confound taxonomic assignments and limit an understanding of their ecology and evolution. Location: Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, Arabian/Persian Gulf. Methods: Sequence analysis of nuclear ribosomal (internal transcribed spacer 2, ITS2) and mitochondrial (open reading frame) loci were combined with population genetic data (seven microsatellite loci) for Pocillopora samples collected throughout the Indo-Pacific, Red Sea and Arabian Gulf, in order to assess the evolutionary divergence, reproductive isolation, frequency of hybridization and geographical distributions of the genus. Results: Between five and eight genetically distinct lineages comparable to species were identified with minimal or no hybridization between them. Colony morphology was generally incongruent with genetics across the full range of sampling, and the total number of species is apparently consistent with lower estimates from competing morphologically based hypotheses (about seven or eight taxa). The most commonly occurring genetic lineages were widely distributed and exhibited high dispersal and gene flow, factors that have probably minimized allopatric speciation. Uniquely among scleractinian genera, this genus contains a monophyletic group of broadcast spawners that evolved recently from an ancestral brooder. Main conclusions: The delineation of species diversity guided by genetics fundamentally advances our understanding of Pocillopora geographical distributions, ecology and evolution. Because traditional diagnostic features of colony and branch morphology are proving to be of limited utility, the

  10. Exercise, Affect, and Adherence: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harold Lee

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The low rates of regular exercise and overall physical activity (PA in the general population represent a significant public health challenge. Previous research suggests that, for many people, exercise leads to a negative affective response and, in turn, reduced likelihood of future exercise. The purpose of this paper is to examine this exercise-affect-adherence relationship from an evolutionary perspective. Specifically, we argue that low rates of physical exercise in the general population are a function of the evolved human tendency to avoid unnecessary physical exertion. This innate tendency evolved because it allowed our evolutionary ancestors to conserve energy for physical activities that had immediate adaptive utility such as pursuing prey, escaping predators, and engaging in social and reproductive behaviors. The commonly observed negative affective response to exercise is an evolved proximate psychological mechanism through which humans avoid unnecessary energy expenditure. The fact that the human tendencies toward negative affective response to and avoidance of unnecessary physical activities are innate does not mean that they are unchangeable. Indeed, it is only because of human-engineered changes in our environmental conditions (i.e., it is no longer necessary for us to work for our food that our predisposition to avoid unnecessary physical exertion has become a liability. Thus, it is well within our capabilities to reengineer our environments to once again make PA necessary or, at least, to serve an immediate functional purpose. We propose a two-pronged approach to PA promotion based on this evolutionary functional perspective: First, to promote exercise and other physical activities that are perceived to have an immediate purpose, and second, to instill greater perceived purpose for a wider range of physical activities. We posit that these strategies are more likely to result in more positive (or at least less negative affective

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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,

  15. 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-.

  16. 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.

  17. 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,.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Conservation of eelgrass (Zostera marina genetic diversity in a mesocosm-based restoration experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian S Ort

    Full Text Available Eelgrass (Zostera marina forms the foundation of an important shallow coastal community in protected estuaries and bays. Widespread population declines have stimulated restoration efforts, but these have often overlooked the importance of maintaining the evolutionary potential of restored populations by minimizing the reduction in genetic diversity that typically accompanies restoration. In an experiment simulating a small-scale restoration, we tested the effectiveness of a buoy-deployed seeding technique to maintain genetic diversity comparable to the seed source populations. Seeds from three extant source populations in San Francisco Bay were introduced into eighteen flow-through baywater mesocosms. Following seedling establishment, we used seven polymorphic microsatellite loci to compare genetic diversity indices from 128 shoots to those found in the source populations. Importantly, allelic richness and expected heterozygosity were not significantly reduced in the mesocosms, which also preserved the strong population differentiation present among source populations. However, the inbreeding coefficient F IS was elevated in two of the three sets of mesocosms when they were grouped according to their source population. This is probably a Wahlund effect from confining all half-siblings within each spathe to a single mesocosm, elevating F IS when the mesocosms were considered together. The conservation of most alleles and preservation of expected heterozygosity suggests that this seeding technique is an improvement over whole-shoot transplantation in the conservation of genetic diversity in eelgrass restoration efforts.

  1. Conservation of eelgrass (Zostera marina) genetic diversity in a mesocosm-based restoration experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ort, Brian S; Cohen, C Sarah; Boyer, Katharyn E; Reynolds, Laura K; Tam, Sheh May; Wyllie-Echeverria, Sandy

    2014-01-01

    Eelgrass (Zostera marina) forms the foundation of an important shallow coastal community in protected estuaries and bays. Widespread population declines have stimulated restoration efforts, but these have often overlooked the importance of maintaining the evolutionary potential of restored populations by minimizing the reduction in genetic diversity that typically accompanies restoration. In an experiment simulating a small-scale restoration, we tested the effectiveness of a buoy-deployed seeding technique to maintain genetic diversity comparable to the seed source populations. Seeds from three extant source populations in San Francisco Bay were introduced into eighteen flow-through baywater mesocosms. Following seedling establishment, we used seven polymorphic microsatellite loci to compare genetic diversity indices from 128 shoots to those found in the source populations. Importantly, allelic richness and expected heterozygosity were not significantly reduced in the mesocosms, which also preserved the strong population differentiation present among source populations. However, the inbreeding coefficient F IS was elevated in two of the three sets of mesocosms when they were grouped according to their source population. This is probably a Wahlund effect from confining all half-siblings within each spathe to a single mesocosm, elevating F IS when the mesocosms were considered together. The conservation of most alleles and preservation of expected heterozygosity suggests that this seeding technique is an improvement over whole-shoot transplantation in the conservation of genetic diversity in eelgrass restoration efforts.

  2. Evolutionary paths of streptococcal and staphylococcal superantigens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Okumura Kayo

    2012-08-01

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

  3. Interdisciplinary rehabilitation of patients with chronic widespread pain:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amris, Kirstine; Wæhrens, Eva E; Christensen, Robin

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the functional and psychological outcomes of a 2-week, group-based multicomponent treatment course that targeted patients with chronic widespread pain. Patients (192 included in the intention-to-treat population), all fulfilling the 1990 American College of Rheumatology...

  4. RUDI, a short interspersed element of the V-SINE superfamily widespread in molluscan genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luchetti, Andrea; Šatović, Eva; Mantovani, Barbara; Plohl, Miroslav

    2016-06-01

    Short interspersed elements (SINEs) are non-autonomous retrotransposons that are widespread in eukaryotic genomes. They exhibit a chimeric sequence structure consisting of a small RNA-related head, an anonymous body and an AT-rich tail. Although their turnover and de novo emergence is rapid, some SINE elements found in distantly related species retain similarity in certain core segments (or highly conserved domains, HCD). We have characterized a new SINE element named RUDI in the bivalve molluscs Ruditapes decussatus and R. philippinarum and found this element to be widely distributed in the genomes of a number of mollusc species. An unexpected structural feature of RUDI is the HCD domain type V, which was first found in non-amniote vertebrate SINEs and in the SINE from one cnidarian species. In addition to the V domain, the overall sequence conservation pattern of RUDI elements resembles that found in ancient AmnSINE (~310 Myr old) and Au SINE (~320 Myr old) families, suggesting that RUDI might be among the most ancient SINE families. Sequence conservation suggests a monophyletic origin of RUDI. Nucleotide variability and phylogenetic analyses suggest long-term vertical inheritance combined with at least one horizontal transfer event as the most parsimonious explanation for the observed taxonomic distribution.

  5. Distinct retroelement classes define evolutionary breakpoints demarcating sites of evolutionary novelty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longo, Mark S; Carone, Dawn M; Green, Eric D; O'Neill, Michael J; O'Neill, Rachel J

    2009-01-01

    Background Large-scale genome rearrangements brought about by chromosome breaks underlie numerous inherited diseases, initiate or promote many cancers and are also associated with karyotype diversification during species evolution. Recent research has shown that these breakpoints are nonrandomly distributed throughout the mammalian genome and many, termed "evolutionary breakpoints" (EB), are specific genomic locations that are "reused" during karyotypic evolution. When the phylogenetic trajectory of orthologous chromosome segments is considered, many of these EB are coincident with ancient centromere activity as well as new centromere formation. While EB have been characterized as repeat-rich regions, it has not been determined whether specific sequences have been retained during evolution that would indicate previous centromere activity or a propensity for new centromere formation. Likewise, the conservation of specific sequence motifs or classes at EBs among divergent mammalian taxa has not been determined. Results To define conserved sequence features of EBs associated with centromere evolution, we performed comparative sequence analysis of more than 4.8 Mb within the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, derived from centromeric regions (CEN), euchromatic regions (EU), and an evolutionary breakpoint (EB) that has undergone convergent breakpoint reuse and past centromere activity in marsupials. We found a dramatic enrichment for long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE1s) and endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and a depletion of short interspersed nucleotide elements (SINEs) shared between CEN and EBs. We analyzed the orthologous human EB (14q32.33), known to be associated with translocations in many cancers including multiple myelomas and plasma cell leukemias, and found a conserved distribution of similar repetitive elements. Conclusion Our data indicate that EBs tracked within the class Mammalia harbor sequence features retained since the divergence of marsupials

  6. Distinct retroelement classes define evolutionary breakpoints demarcating sites of evolutionary novelty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Green Eric D

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Large-scale genome rearrangements brought about by chromosome breaks underlie numerous inherited diseases, initiate or promote many cancers and are also associated with karyotype diversification during species evolution. Recent research has shown that these breakpoints are nonrandomly distributed throughout the mammalian genome and many, termed "evolutionary breakpoints" (EB, are specific genomic locations that are "reused" during karyotypic evolution. When the phylogenetic trajectory of orthologous chromosome segments is considered, many of these EB are coincident with ancient centromere activity as well as new centromere formation. While EB have been characterized as repeat-rich regions, it has not been determined whether specific sequences have been retained during evolution that would indicate previous centromere activity or a propensity for new centromere formation. Likewise, the conservation of specific sequence motifs or classes at EBs among divergent mammalian taxa has not been determined. Results To define conserved sequence features of EBs associated with centromere evolution, we performed comparative sequence analysis of more than 4.8 Mb within the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, derived from centromeric regions (CEN, euchromatic regions (EU, and an evolutionary breakpoint (EB that has undergone convergent breakpoint reuse and past centromere activity in marsupials. We found a dramatic enrichment for long interspersed nucleotide elements (LINE1s and endogenous retroviruses (ERVs and a depletion of short interspersed nucleotide elements (SINEs shared between CEN and EBs. We analyzed the orthologous human EB (14q32.33, known to be associated with translocations in many cancers including multiple myelomas and plasma cell leukemias, and found a conserved distribution of similar repetitive elements. Conclusion Our data indicate that EBs tracked within the class Mammalia harbor sequence features retained since the

  7. Widespread over-expression of the X chromosome in sterile F₁hybrid mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey M Good

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The X chromosome often plays a central role in hybrid male sterility between species, but it is unclear if this reflects underlying regulatory incompatibilities. Here we combine phenotypic data with genome-wide expression data to directly associate aberrant expression patterns with hybrid male sterility between two species of mice. We used a reciprocal cross in which F₁ males are sterile in one direction and fertile in the other direction, allowing us to associate expression differences with sterility rather than with other hybrid phenotypes. We found evidence of extensive over-expression of the X chromosome during spermatogenesis in sterile but not in fertile F₁ hybrid males. Over-expression was most pronounced in genes that are normally expressed after meiosis, consistent with an X chromosome-wide disruption of expression during the later stages of spermatogenesis. This pattern was not a simple consequence of faster evolutionary divergence on the X chromosome, because X-linked expression was highly conserved between the two species. Thus, transcriptional regulation of the X chromosome during spermatogenesis appears particularly sensitive to evolutionary divergence between species. Overall, these data provide evidence for an underlying regulatory basis to reproductive isolation in house mice and underscore the importance of transcriptional regulation of the X chromosome to the evolution of hybrid male sterility.

  8. Widespread Over-Expression of the X Chromosome in Sterile F1 Hybrid Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Good, Jeffrey M.; Giger, Thomas; Dean, Matthew D.; Nachman, Michael W.

    2010-01-01

    The X chromosome often plays a central role in hybrid male sterility between species, but it is unclear if this reflects underlying regulatory incompatibilities. Here we combine phenotypic data with genome-wide expression data to directly associate aberrant expression patterns with hybrid male sterility between two species of mice. We used a reciprocal cross in which F1 males are sterile in one direction and fertile in the other direction, allowing us to associate expression differences with sterility rather than with other hybrid phenotypes. We found evidence of extensive over-expression of the X chromosome during spermatogenesis in sterile but not in fertile F1 hybrid males. Over-expression was most pronounced in genes that are normally expressed after meiosis, consistent with an X chromosome-wide disruption of expression during the later stages of spermatogenesis. This pattern was not a simple consequence of faster evolutionary divergence on the X chromosome, because X-linked expression was highly conserved between the two species. Thus, transcriptional regulation of the X chromosome during spermatogenesis appears particularly sensitive to evolutionary divergence between species. Overall, these data provide evidence for an underlying regulatory basis to reproductive isolation in house mice and underscore the importance of transcriptional regulation of the X chromosome to the evolution of hybrid male sterility. PMID:20941395

  9. Widespread over-expression of the X chromosome in sterile F₁hybrid mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Good, Jeffrey M; Giger, Thomas; Dean, Matthew D; Nachman, Michael W

    2010-09-30

    The X chromosome often plays a central role in hybrid male sterility between species, but it is unclear if this reflects underlying regulatory incompatibilities. Here we combine phenotypic data with genome-wide expression data to directly associate aberrant expression patterns with hybrid male sterility between two species of mice. We used a reciprocal cross in which F₁ males are sterile in one direction and fertile in the other direction, allowing us to associate expression differences with sterility rather than with other hybrid phenotypes. We found evidence of extensive over-expression of the X chromosome during spermatogenesis in sterile but not in fertile F₁ hybrid males. Over-expression was most pronounced in genes that are normally expressed after meiosis, consistent with an X chromosome-wide disruption of expression during the later stages of spermatogenesis. This pattern was not a simple consequence of faster evolutionary divergence on the X chromosome, because X-linked expression was highly conserved between the two species. Thus, transcriptional regulation of the X chromosome during spermatogenesis appears particularly sensitive to evolutionary divergence between species. Overall, these data provide evidence for an underlying regulatory basis to reproductive isolation in house mice and underscore the importance of transcriptional regulation of the X chromosome to the evolution of hybrid male sterility.

  10. Preserving the evolutionary potential of floras in biodiversity hotspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forest, Félix; Grenyer, Richard; Rouget, Mathieu; Davies, T Jonathan; Cowling, Richard M; Faith, Daniel P; Balmford, Andrew; Manning, John C; Procheş, Serban; van der Bank, Michelle; Reeves, Gail; Hedderson, Terry A J; Savolainen, Vincent

    2007-02-15

    One of the biggest challenges for conservation biology is to provide conservation planners with ways to prioritize effort. Much attention has been focused on biodiversity hotspots. However, the conservation of evolutionary process is now also acknowledged as a priority in the face of global change. Phylogenetic diversity (PD) is a biodiversity index that measures the length of evolutionary pathways that connect a given set of taxa. PD therefore identifies sets of taxa that maximize the accumulation of 'feature diversity'. Recent studies, however, concluded that taxon richness is a good surrogate for PD. Here we show taxon richness to be decoupled from PD, using a biome-wide phylogenetic analysis of the flora of an undisputed biodiversity hotspot--the Cape of South Africa. We demonstrate that this decoupling has real-world importance for conservation planning. Finally, using a database of medicinal and economic plant use, we demonstrate that PD protection is the best strategy for preserving feature diversity in the Cape. We should be able to use PD to identify those key regions that maximize future options, both for the continuing evolution of life on Earth and for the benefit of society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Possible evolutionary origins of cognitive brain lateralization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallortigara, G; Rogers, L J; Bisazza, A

    1999-08-01

    Despite the substantial literature on the functional architecture of the asymmetries of the human brain, which has been accumulating for more than 130 years since Dax and Broca's early reports, the biological foundations of cerebral asymmetries are still poorly understood. Recent advances in comparative cognitive neurosciences have made available new animal models that have started to provide unexpected insights into the evolutionary origins and neuronal mechanisms of cerebral asymmetries. Animal model-systems, particularly those provided by the avian brain, highlight the interrelations of genetic, hormonal and environmental events to produce neural and behavioural asymmetries. Novel evidences showing that functional and structural lateralization of the brain is widespread among vertebrates (including fish, reptiles and amphibians) have accumulated rapidly. Perceptual asymmetries, in particular, seem to be ubiquitous in everyday behaviour of most species of animals with laterally placed eyes; in organisms with wider binocular overlap (e.g., amphibians), they appear to be retained for initial detection of stimuli in the extreme lateral fields. We speculate that adjustment of head position and eye movements may play a similar role in mammals with frontal vision as does the choice for right or left lateral visual fields in animals with laterally placed eyes. A first attempt to trace back the origins of brain asymmetry to early vertebrates is presented, based on the hypothesis that functional incompatibility between the logical demands associated with very basic cognitive functions is central to the phenomenon of cerebral lateralization.

  14. Global conservation priorities for marine turtles.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan P Wallace

    Full Text Available Where conservation resources are limited and conservation targets are diverse, robust yet flexible priority-setting frameworks are vital. Priority-setting is especially important for geographically widespread species with distinct populations subject to multiple threats that operate on different spatial and temporal scales. Marine turtles are widely distributed and exhibit intra-specific variations in population sizes and trends, as well as reproduction and morphology. However, current global extinction risk assessment frameworks do not assess conservation status of spatially and biologically distinct marine turtle Regional Management Units (RMUs, and thus do not capture variations in population trends, impacts of threats, or necessary conservation actions across individual populations. To address this issue, we developed a new assessment framework that allowed us to evaluate, compare and organize marine turtle RMUs according to status and threats criteria. Because conservation priorities can vary widely (i.e. from avoiding imminent extinction to maintaining long-term monitoring efforts we developed a "conservation priorities portfolio" system using categories of paired risk and threats scores for all RMUs (n = 58. We performed these assessments and rankings globally, by species, by ocean basin, and by recognized geopolitical bodies to identify patterns in risk, threats, and data gaps at different scales. This process resulted in characterization of risk and threats to all marine turtle RMUs, including identification of the world's 11 most endangered marine turtle RMUs based on highest risk and threats scores. This system also highlighted important gaps in available information that is crucial for accurate conservation assessments. Overall, this priority-setting framework can provide guidance for research and conservation priorities at multiple relevant scales, and should serve as a model for conservation status assessments and priority

  15. Thermal Non-equilibrium Consistent with Widespread Cooling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winebarger, A.; Lionello, R.; Mikic, Z.; Linker, J.; Mok, Y.

    2014-01-01

    Time correlation analysis has been used to show widespread cooling in the solar corona; this cooling has been interpreted as a result of impulsive (nanoflare) heating. In this work, we investigate wide-spread cooling using a 3D model for a solar active region which has been heated with highly stratified heating. This type of heating drives thermal non-equilibrium solutions, meaning that though the heating is effectively steady, the density and temperature in the solution are not. We simulate the expected observations in narrowband EUV images and apply the time correlation analysis. We find that the results of this analysis are qualitatively similar to the observed data. We discuss additional diagnostics that may be applied to differentiate between these two heating scenarios.

  16. Diversity of two widespread Indo-Pacific demosponge species revisited

    OpenAIRE

    Erpenbeck, D.; Aryasari, R.; Benning, S.; Debitus, Cécile; Kaltenbacher, E.; Al-Aidaroos, A. M.; Schupp, P.; Hall, K.; Hooper, J. N. A.; Voigt, O.; de Voogd, N. J.; Worheide, G.

    2017-01-01

    The Indo-Pacific is the world's largest marine biogeographic region, covering the tropical and subtropical waters from the Red Sea in the Western Indian Ocean to the Easter Islands in the Pacific. It is characterized by a vast degree of biogeographic connectivity in particular in its marine realm. So far, usage of molecular tools rejected the presence of cosmopolitan or very widespread sponge species in several cases, supporting hypotheses on a higher level of endemism among marine invertebra...

  17. Widespread Usutu virus outbreak in birds in the Netherlands, 2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rijks, JM; Kik, ML; Slaterus, R; Foppen, RPB; Stroo, A; IJzer, J; Stahl, J; Gröne, A; Koopmans, MGP; van der Jeugd, HP; Reusken, CBEM

    2016-01-01

    We report a widespread Usutu virus outbreak in birds in the Netherlands. Viral presence had been detected through targeted surveillance as early as April 2016 and increased mortality in common blackbirds and captive great grey owls was noticed from August 2016 onwards. Usutu virus infection was confirmed by post-mortem examination and RT-PCR. Extensive Usutu virus activity in the Netherlands in 2016 underlines the need to monitor mosquito activity and mosquito-borne infections in 2017 and beyond. PMID:27918257

  18. 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.

  19. Widespread plant species: natives vs. aliens in our changing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Pyšek, Petr; Kartesz, John; Nishino, Misako; Pauchard, Aníbal; Winter, Marten; Pino, Joan; Richardson, David M.; Wilson, John R.U.; Murray, Brad R.; Phillips, Megan L.; Ming-yang, Li; Celesti-Grapow, Laura; Font, Xavier

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments.

  20. Widespread plant species: Natives versus aliens in our changing world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Pysek, P.; Kartesz, J.; Nishino, M.; Pauchard, A.; Winter, M.; Pino, J.; Richardson, D.M.; Wilson, J.R.U.; Murray, B.R.; Phillips, M.L.; Ming-yang, L.; Celesti-Grapow, L.; Font, X.

    2011-01-01

    Estimates of the level of invasion for a region are traditionally based on relative numbers of native and alien species. However, alien species differ dramatically in the size of their invasive ranges. Here we present the first study to quantify the level of invasion for several regions of the world in terms of the most widely distributed plant species (natives vs. aliens). Aliens accounted for 51.3% of the 120 most widely distributed plant species in North America, 43.3% in New South Wales (Australia), 34.2% in Chile, 29.7% in Argentina, and 22.5% in the Republic of South Africa. However, Europe had only 1% of alien species among the most widespread species of the flora. Across regions, alien species relative to native species were either as well-distributed (10 comparisons) or more widely distributed (5 comparisons). These striking patterns highlight the profound contribution that widespread invasive alien plants make to floristic dominance patterns across different regions. Many of the most widespread species are alien plants, and, in particular, Europe and Asia appear as major contributors to the homogenization of the floras in the Americas. We recommend that spatial extent of invasion should be explicitly incorporated in assessments of invasibility, globalization, and risk assessments. ?? 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  1. 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.

  2. The evolutionary psychology of hunger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Shawaf, Laith

    2016-10-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. Conservation of transcription factor binding events predicts gene expression across species

    OpenAIRE

    Hemberg, Martin; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

    Recent technological advances have made it possible to determine the genome-wide binding sites of transcription factors (TFs). Comparisons across species have suggested a relatively low degree of evolutionary conservation of experimentally defined TF binding events (TFBEs). Using binding data for six different TFs in hepatocytes and embryonic stem cells from human and mouse, we demonstrate that evolutionary conservation of TFBEs within orthologous proximal promoters is closely linked to funct...

  5. An open future for ecological and evolutionary data?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenall, Amye; Harold, Simon; Foote, Christopher

    2014-04-02

    As part of BioMed Central's open science mission, we are pleased to announce that two of our journals have integrated with the open data repository Dryad. Authors submitting their research to either BMC Ecology or BMC Evolutionary Biology will now have the opportunity to deposit their data directly into the Dryad archive and will receive a permanent, citable link to their dataset. Although this does not affect any of our current data deposition policies at these journals, we hope to encourage a more widespread adoption of open data sharing in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology by facilitating this process for our authors. We also take this opportunity to discuss some of the wider issues that may concern researchers when making their data openly available. Although we offer a number of positive examples from different fields of biology, we also recognise that reticence to data sharing still exists, and that change must be driven from within research communities in order to create future science that is fit for purpose in the digital age. This editorial was published jointly in both BMC Ecology and BMC Evolutionary Biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badyaev, Alexander V

    2011-07-07

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

  7. Achieving open access to conservation science.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  8. Phylogenetics of a fungal invasion: Origins and widespread dispersal of white-nose syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drees, Kevin P.; Lorch, Jeffrey M.; Puechmaille, Sebastein J.; Parise, Katy L.; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Hoyt, Joseph R.; Sun, Keping; Jargalsaikhan, Ariunbold; Dalannast, Munkhnast; Palmer, Jonathan M.; Linder, Daniel L.; Kilpatrick, Marm; Pearson, Talima; Keim, Paul S.; Blehert, David; Foster, Jeffrey T.

    2017-01-01

    Globalization has facilitated the worldwide movement and introduction of pathogens, but epizoological reconstructions of these invasions are often hindered by limited sampling and insufficient genetic resolution among isolates. Pseudogymnoascus destructans, a fungal pathogen causing the epizootic of white-nose syndrome in North American bats, has exhibited few genetic polymorphisms in previous studies, presenting challenges for both epizoological tracking of the spread of this fungus and for determining its evolutionary history. We used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from whole-genome sequencing and microsatellites to construct high-resolution phylogenies of P. destructans. Shallow genetic diversity and the lack of geographic structuring among North American isolates support a recent introduction followed by expansion via clonal reproduction across the epizootic zone. Moreover, the genetic relationships of isolates within North America suggest widespread mixing and long-distance movement of the fungus. Genetic diversity among isolates of P. destructans from Europe was substantially higher than in those from North America. However, genetic distance between the North American isolates and any given European isolate was similar to the distance between the individual European isolates. In contrast, the isolates we examined from Asia were highly divergent from both European and North American isolates. Although the definitive source for introduction of the North American population has not been conclusively identified, our data support the origin of the North American invasion by P. destructans from Europe rather than Asia.

  9. The covert world of fish biofluorescence: a phylogenetically widespread and phenotypically variable phenomenon.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John S Sparks

    Full Text Available The discovery of fluorescent proteins has revolutionized experimental biology. Whereas the majority of fluorescent proteins have been identified from cnidarians, recently several fluorescent proteins have been isolated across the animal tree of life. Here we show that biofluorescence is not only phylogenetically widespread, but is also phenotypically variable across both cartilaginous and bony fishes, highlighting its evolutionary history and the possibility for discovery of numerous novel fluorescent proteins. Fish biofluorescence is especially common and morphologically variable in cryptically patterned coral-reef lineages. We identified 16 orders, 50 families, 105 genera, and more than 180 species of biofluorescent fishes. We have also reconstructed our current understanding of the phylogenetic distribution of biofluorescence for ray-finned fishes. The presence of yellow long-pass intraocular filters in many biofluorescent fish lineages and the substantive color vision capabilities of coral-reef fishes suggest that they are capable of detecting fluoresced light. We present species-specific emission patterns among closely related species, indicating that biofluorescence potentially functions in intraspecific communication and evidence that fluorescence can be used for camouflage. This research provides insight into the distribution, evolution, and phenotypic variability of biofluorescence in marine lineages and examines the role this variation may play.

  10. Phylogenetics of a Fungal Invasion: Origins and Widespread Dispersal of White-Nose Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin P. Drees

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Globalization has facilitated the worldwide movement and introduction of pathogens, but epizoological reconstructions of these invasions are often hindered by limited sampling and insufficient genetic resolution among isolates. Pseudogymnoascus destructans, a fungal pathogen causing the epizootic of white-nose syndrome in North American bats, has exhibited few genetic polymorphisms in previous studies, presenting challenges for both epizoological tracking of the spread of this fungus and for determining its evolutionary history. We used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs from whole-genome sequencing and microsatellites to construct high-resolution phylogenies of P. destructans. Shallow genetic diversity and the lack of geographic structuring among North American isolates support a recent introduction followed by expansion via clonal reproduction across the epizootic zone. Moreover, the genetic relationships of isolates within North America suggest widespread mixing and long-distance movement of the fungus. Genetic diversity among isolates of P. destructans from Europe was substantially higher than in those from North America. However, genetic distance between the North American isolates and any given European isolate was similar to the distance between the individual European isolates. In contrast, the isolates we examined from Asia were highly divergent from both European and North American isolates. Although the definitive source for introduction of the North American population has not been conclusively identified, our data support the origin of the North American invasion by P. destructans from Europe rather than Asia.

  11. 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…

  12. 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

  13. 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:

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  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. The relationship of protein conservation and sequence length

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panchenko Anna R

    2002-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In general, the length of a protein sequence is determined by its function and the wide variance in the lengths of an organism's proteins reflects the diversity of specific functional roles for these proteins. However, additional evolutionary forces that affect the length of a protein may be revealed by studying the length distributions of proteins evolving under weaker functional constraints. Results We performed sequence comparisons to distinguish highly conserved and poorly conserved proteins from the bacterium Escherichia coli, the archaeon Archaeoglobus fulgidus, and the eukaryotes Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Drosophila melanogaster, and Homo sapiens. For all organisms studied, the conserved and nonconserved proteins have strikingly different length distributions. The conserved proteins are, on average, longer than the poorly conserved ones, and the length distributions for the poorly conserved proteins have a relatively narrow peak, in contrast to the conserved proteins whose lengths spread over a wider range of values. For the two prokaryotes studied, the poorly conserved proteins approximate the minimal length distribution expected for a diverse range of structural folds. Conclusions There is a relationship between protein conservation and sequence length. For all the organisms studied, there seems to be a significant evolutionary trend favoring shorter proteins in the absence of other, more specific functional constraints.

  2. Evolutionary analysis of FAM83H in vertebrates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wushuang Huang

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

  3. Widespread hematogenous metastases and Trousseau's syndrome in gastric adenocarcinoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Santos Vitorino Modesto dos

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available A case of widespread hematogenous metastases and Trousseau's syndrome is reported in a 40 year-old white housewife with gastric cancer, presenting subdural hematoma, ecchymoses, epistaxis, stomach and uterine bleeding. After undergoing hematoma drainage, she was unsuccessfully treated with platelets, red blood cells, plasma cryoprecipitate transfusions, and antibiotics. Necropsy disclosed gastric ring-signet adenocarcinoma invading the serous layer, with massive disseminated intravascular coagulation and systemic neoplastic embolism. Multiple old and recent hyaline (rich in fibrin and platelets microthrombi, and tumor emboli were observed in the bone marrow, meninges, liver, lungs, kidneys, lymph nodes, adrenals, thyroid, heart, pancreas, and ovaries (Krukenberg tumor.

  4. The tad locus: postcards from the widespread colonization island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomich, Mladen; Planet, Paul J; Figurski, David H

    2007-05-01

    The Tad (tight adherence) macromolecular transport system, which is present in many bacterial and archaeal species, represents an ancient and major new subtype of type II secretion. The tad genes are present on a genomic island named the widespread colonization island (WCI), and encode the machinery that is required for the assembly of adhesive Flp (fimbrial low-molecular-weight protein) pili. The tad genes are essential for biofilm formation, colonization and pathogenesis in the genera Aggregatibacter (Actinobacillus), Haemophilus, Pasteurella, Pseudomonas, Yersinia, Caulobacter and perhaps others. Here we review the structure, function and evolution of the Tad secretion system.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. A restoration genetics guide for coral reef conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baums, Iliana B

    2008-06-01

    Worldwide degradation of coral reef communities has prompted a surge in restoration efforts. They proceed largely without considering genetic factors because traditionally, coral populations have been regarded as open over large areas with little potential for local adaptation. Since, biophysical and molecular studies indicated that most populations are closed over shorter time and smaller spatial scales. Thus, it is justified to re-examine the potential for site adaptation in corals. There is ample evidence for differentiated populations, inbreeding, asexual reproduction and the occurrence of ecotypes, factors that may facilitate local adaptation. Discovery of widespread local adaptation would influence coral restoration projects mainly with regard to the physical and evolutionary distance from the source wild and/or captive bred propagules may be moved without causing a loss of fitness in the restored population. Proposed causes for loss of fitness as a result of (plant) restoration efforts include founder effects, genetic swamping, inbreeding and/or outbreeding depression. Direct evidence for any of these processes is scarce in reef corals due to a lack of model species that allow for testing over multiple generations and the separation of the relative contributions of algal symbionts and their coral hosts to the overall performance of the coral colony. This gap in our knowledge may be closed by employing novel population genetic and genomics approaches. The use of molecular tools may aid managers in the selection of appropriate propagule sources, guide spatial arrangement of transplants, and help in assessing the success of coral restoration projects by tracking the performance of transplants, thereby generating important data for future coral reef conservation and restoration projects.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funk, W Chris; Murphy, Melanie A

    2010-02-01

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

  11. Widespread Wolbachia infection in terrestrial isopods and other crustaceans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Cordaux

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Wolbachia bacteria are obligate intracellular alpha-Proteobacteria of arthropods and nematodes. Although widespread among isopod crustaceans, they have seldom been found in non-isopod crustacean species. Here, we report Wolbachia infection in fourteen new crustacean species. Our results extend the range of Wolbachia infections in terrestrial isopods and amphipods (class Malacostraca. We report the occurrence of two different Wolbachia strains in two host species (a terrestrial isopod and an amphipod. Moreover, the discovery of Wolbachia in the goose barnacle Lepas anatifera (subclass Thecostraca establishes Wolbachia infection in class Maxillopoda. The new bacterial strains are closely related to B-supergroup Wolbachia strains previously reported from crustacean hosts. Our results suggest that Wolbachia infection may be much more widespread in crustaceans than previously thought. The presence of related Wolbachia strains in highly divergent crustacean hosts suggests that Wolbachia endosymbionts can naturally adapt to a wide range of crustacean hosts. Given the ability of isopod Wolbachia strains to induce feminization of genetic males or cytoplasmic incompatibility, we speculate that manipulation of crustacean-borne Wolbachia bacteria might represent potential tools for controlling crustacean species of commercial interest and crustacean or insect disease vectors.

  12. Evolutionary dynamics of protein domain architecture in plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Xue-Cheng

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein domains are the structural, functional and evolutionary units of the protein. Protein domain architectures are the linear arrangements of domain(s in individual proteins. Although the evolutionary history of protein domain architecture has been extensively studied in microorganisms, the evolutionary dynamics of domain architecture in the plant kingdom remains largely undefined. To address this question, we analyzed the lineage-based protein domain architecture content in 14 completed green plant genomes. Results Our analyses show that all 14 plant genomes maintain similar distributions of species-specific, single-domain, and multi-domain architectures. Approximately 65% of plant domain architectures are universally present in all plant lineages, while the remaining architectures are lineage-specific. Clear examples are seen of both the loss and gain of specific protein architectures in higher plants. There has been a dynamic, lineage-wise expansion of domain architectures during plant evolution. The data suggest that this expansion can be largely explained by changes in nuclear ploidy resulting from rounds of whole genome duplications. Indeed, there has been a decrease in the number of unique domain architectures when the genomes were normalized into a presumed ancestral genome that has not undergone whole genome duplications. Conclusions Our data show the conservation of universal domain architectures in all available plant genomes, indicating the presence of an evolutionarily conserved, core set of protein components. However, the occurrence of lineage-specific domain architectures indicates that domain architecture diversity has been maintained beyond these core components in plant genomes. Although several features of genome-wide domain architecture content are conserved in plants, the data clearly demonstrate lineage-wise, progressive changes and expansions of individual protein domain architectures, reinforcing

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Evolutionary Turnover of Kinetochore Proteins: A Ship of Theseus?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drinnenberg, Ines A; Henikoff, Steven; Malik, Harmit S

    2016-07-01

    The kinetochore is a multiprotein complex that mediates the attachment of a eukaryotic chromosome to the mitotic spindle. The protein composition of kinetochores is similar across species as divergent as yeast and human. However, recent findings have revealed an unexpected degree of compositional diversity in kinetochores. For example, kinetochore proteins that are essential in some species have been lost in others, whereas new kinetochore proteins have emerged in other lineages. Even in lineages with similar kinetochore composition, individual kinetochore proteins have functionally diverged to acquire either essential or redundant roles. Thus, despite functional conservation, the repertoire of kinetochore proteins has undergone recurrent evolutionary turnover. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. The evolutionary portrait of metazoan NAD salvage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Carneiro

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

  20. The evolutionary portrait of metazoan NAD salvage.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Evolutionary stability of sex chromosomes in snakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-22

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

  2. [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.

  3. Incorporating Development Into Evolutionary Psychology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F. Bjorklund

    2016-09-01

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

  4. Testing evolutionary convergence on Europa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chela-Flores, Julian [Instituto de Estudios Avanzados, Caracas (Venezuela); [Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste (Italy)

    2002-11-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Developing a Scenario for widespread use: Best practices, lessons learned

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, S.; Jones, L.; Cox, D.

    2011-01-01

    The ShakeOut Scenario is probably the most widely known and used earthquake scenario created to date. Much of the credit for its widespread dissemination and application lies with scenario development criteria that focused on the needs and involvement of end users and with a suite of products that tailored communication of the results to varied end users, who ranged from emergency managers to the general public, from corporations to grassroots organizations. Products were most effective when they were highly visual, when they emphasized the findings of social scientists, and when they communicated the experience of living through the earthquake. This paper summarizes the development criteria and the products that made the ShakeOut Scenario so widely known and used, and it provides some suggestions for future improvements. ?? 2011, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.

  7. Implications of teenagers' attitudes toward maned wolf conservation in Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Consorte-McCrea, A.; Nigbur, D.; Bath, A.

    2017-01-01

    The relationships between people and wild canids are a widespread concern for the conservation of species and habitats. The maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus is a Near Threatened species inhabiting South America. Strategies to conserve this keystone species may benefit the also-declining Cerrado biome. The attitudes of teenagers toward wild carnivores are also of worldwide interest as these youth are the future decision makers. We investigated selected attitudes, beliefs and knowledge in relat...

  8. Phylogeography and genetic diversity of a widespread Old World butterfly, Lampides boeticus (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierce Naomi E

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Evolutionary genetics provides a rich theoretical framework for empirical studies of phylogeography. Investigations of intraspecific genetic variation can uncover new putative species while allowing inference into the evolutionary origin and history of extant populations. With a distribution on four continents ranging throughout most of the Old World, Lampides boeticus (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae is one of the most widely distributed species of butterfly. It is placed in a monotypic genus with no commonly accepted subspecies. Here, we investigate the demographic history and taxonomic status of this widespread species, and screen for the presence or absence of the bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia. Results We performed phylogenetic, population genetic, and phylogeographic analyses using 1799 bp of mitochondrial sequence data from 57 specimens collected throughout the species' range. Most of the samples (>90% were nearly genetically identical, with uncorrected pairwise sequence differences of 0 – 0.5% across geographic distances > 9,000 km. However, five samples from central Thailand, Madagascar, northern Australia and the Moluccas formed two divergent clades differing from the majority of samples by uncorrected pairwise distances ranging from 1.79 – 2.21%. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that L. boeticus is almost certainly monophyletic, with all sampled genes coalescing well after the divergence from three closely related taxa included for outgroup comparisons. Analyses of molecular diversity indicate that most L. boeticus individuals in extant populations are descended from one or two relatively recent population bottlenecks. Conclusion The combined analyses suggest a scenario in which the most recent common ancestor of L. boeticus and its sister taxon lived in the African region approximately 7 Mya; extant lineages of L. boeticus began spreading throughout the Old World at least 1.5 Mya. More recently, expansion after

  9. Phylogenetics of a Fungal Invasion: Origins and Widespread Dispersal of White-Nose Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drees, Kevin P; Lorch, Jeffrey M; Puechmaille, Sebastien J; Parise, Katy L; Wibbelt, Gudrun; Hoyt, Joseph R; Sun, Keping; Jargalsaikhan, Ariunbold; Dalannast, Munkhnast; Palmer, Jonathan M; Lindner, Daniel L; Marm Kilpatrick, A; Pearson, Talima; Keim, Paul S; Blehert, David S; Foster, Jeffrey T

    2017-12-12

    Globalization has facilitated the worldwide movement and introduction of pathogens, but epizoological reconstructions of these invasions are often hindered by limited sampling and insufficient genetic resolution among isolates. Pseudogymnoascus destructans , a fungal pathogen causing the epizootic of white-nose syndrome in North American bats, has exhibited few genetic polymorphisms in previous studies, presenting challenges for both epizoological tracking of the spread of this fungus and for determining its evolutionary history. We used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from whole-genome sequencing and microsatellites to construct high-resolution phylogenies of P. destructans Shallow genetic diversity and the lack of geographic structuring among North American isolates support a recent introduction followed by expansion via clonal reproduction across the epizootic zone. Moreover, the genetic relationships of isolates within North America suggest widespread mixing and long-distance movement of the fungus. Genetic diversity among isolates of P. destructans from Europe was substantially higher than in those from North America. However, genetic distance between the North American isolates and any given European isolate was similar to the distance between the individual European isolates. In contrast, the isolates we examined from Asia were highly divergent from both European and North American isolates. Although the definitive source for introduction of the North American population has not been conclusively identified, our data support the origin of the North American invasion by P. destructans from Europe rather than Asia. IMPORTANCE This phylogenetic study of the bat white-nose syndrome agent, P. destructans , uses genomics to elucidate evolutionary relationships among populations of the fungal pathogen to understand the epizoology of this biological invasion. We analyze hypervariable and abundant genetic characters (microsatellites and genomic SNPs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Conservation of myeloid surface antigens on primate granulocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letvin, N L; Todd, R F; Palley, L S; Schlossman, S F; Griffin, J D

    1983-02-01

    Monoclonal antibodies reactive with myeloid cell surface antigens were used to study evolutionary changes in granulocyte surface antigens from primate species. Certain of these granulocyte membrane antigens are conserved in phylogenetically distant species, indicating the potential functional importance of these structures. The degree of conservation of these antigens reflects the phylogenetic relationship between primate species. Furthermore, species of the same genus show similar patterns of binding to this panel of anti-human myeloid antibodies. This finding of conserved granulocyte surface antigens suggests that non-human primates may provide a model system for exploring uses of monoclonal antibodies in the treatment of human myeloid disorders.

  12. An evolutionarily conserved gene family encodes proton-selective ion channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tu, Yu-Hsiang; Cooper, Alexander J; Teng, Bochuan; Chang, Rui B; Artiga, Daniel J; Turner, Heather N; Mulhall, Eric M; Ye, Wenlei; Smith, Andrew D; Liman, Emily R

    2018-03-02

    Ion channels form the basis for cellular electrical signaling. Despite the scores of genetically identified ion channels selective for other monatomic ions, only one type of proton-selective ion channel has been found in eukaryotic cells. By comparative transcriptome analysis of mouse taste receptor cells, we identified Otopetrin1 (OTOP1), a protein required for development of gravity-sensing otoconia in the vestibular system, as forming a proton-selective ion channel. We found that murine OTOP1 is enriched in acid-detecting taste receptor cells and is required for their zinc-sensitive proton conductance. Two related murine genes, Otop2 and Otop3 , and a Drosophila ortholog also encode proton channels. Evolutionary conservation of the gene family and its widespread tissue distribution suggest a broad role for proton channels in physiology and pathophysiology. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  13. Conservation potential of agricultural water conservation subsidies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huffaker, Ray

    2008-07-01

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

  14. Natural history collections as windows on evolutionary processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmes, Michael W; Hammond, Talisin T; Wogan, Guinevere O U; Walsh, Rachel E; LaBarbera, Katie; Wommack, Elizabeth A; Martins, Felipe M; Crawford, Jeremy C; Mack, Katya L; Bloch, Luke M; Nachman, Michael W

    2016-02-01

    Natural history collections provide an immense record of biodiversity on Earth. These repositories have traditionally been used to address fundamental questions in biogeography, systematics and conservation. However, they also hold the potential for studying evolution directly. While some of the best direct observations of evolution have come from long-term field studies or from experimental studies in the laboratory, natural history collections are providing new insights into evolutionary change in natural populations. By comparing phenotypic and genotypic changes in populations through time, natural history collections provide a window into evolutionary processes. Recent studies utilizing this approach have revealed some dramatic instances of phenotypic change over short timescales in response to presumably strong selective pressures. In some instances, evolutionary change can be paired with environmental change, providing a context for potential selective forces. Moreover, in a few cases, the genetic basis of phenotypic change is well understood, allowing for insight into adaptive change at multiple levels. These kinds of studies open the door to a wide range of previously intractable questions by enabling the study of evolution through time, analogous to experimental studies in the laboratory, but amenable to a diversity of species over longer timescales in natural populations. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  16. Proterozoic and early Cambrian protists: evidence for accelerating evolutionary tempo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoll, A. H.

    1994-01-01

    In rocks of late Paleoproterozoic and Mesoproterozoic age (ca. 1700-1000 million years ago), probable eukaryotic microfossils are widespread and well preserved, but assemblage and global diversities are low and turnover is slow. Near the Mesoproterozoic-Neoproterozoic boundary (1000 million years ago), red, green, and chromophytic algae diversified; molecular phylogenies suggest that this was part of a broader radiation of "higher" eukaryotic phyla. Observed diversity levels for protistan microfossils increased significantly at this time, as did turnover rates. Coincident with the Cambrian radiation of marine invertebrates, protistan microfossils again doubled in diversity and rates of turnover increased by an order of magnitude. Evidently, the Cambrian diversification of animals strongly influenced evolutionary rates, within clades already present in marine communities, implying an important role for ecology in fueling a Cambrian explosion that extends across kingdoms.

  17. ChIP-seq Identification of Weakly Conserved Heart Enhancers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  18. Widespread triploidy in Western North American aspen (Populus tremuloides.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen E Mock

    Full Text Available We document high rates of triploidy in aspen (Populus tremuloides across the western USA (up to 69% of genets, and ask whether the incidence of triploidy across the species range corresponds with latitude, glacial history (as has been documented in other species, climate, or regional variance in clone size. Using a combination of microsatellite genotyping, flow cytometry, and cytology, we demonstrate that triploidy is highest in unglaciated, drought-prone regions of North America, where the largest clone sizes have been reported for this species. While we cannot completely rule out a low incidence of undetected aneuploidy, tetraploidy or duplicated loci, our evidence suggests that these phenomena are unlikely to be significant contributors to our observed patterns. We suggest that the distribution of triploid aspen is due to a positive synergy between triploidy and ecological factors driving clonality. Although triploids are expected to have low fertility, they are hypothesized to be an evolutionary link to sexual tetraploidy. Thus, interactions between clonality and polyploidy may be a broadly important component of geographic speciation patterns in perennial plants. Further, cytotypes are expected to show physiological and structural differences which may influence susceptibility to ecological factors such as drought, and we suggest that cytotype may be a significant and previously overlooked factor in recent patterns of high aspen mortality in the southwestern portion of the species range. Finally, triploidy should be carefully considered as a source of variance in genomic and ecological studies of aspen, particularly in western U.S. landscapes.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-10-01

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

  1. Widespread alternative and aberrant splicing revealed by lariat sequencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stepankiw, Nicholas; Raghavan, Madhura; Fogarty, Elizabeth A.; Grimson, Andrew; Pleiss, Jeffrey A.

    2015-01-01

    Alternative splicing is an important and ancient feature of eukaryotic gene structure, the existence of which has likely facilitated eukaryotic proteome expansions. Here, we have used intron lariat sequencing to generate a comprehensive profile of splicing events in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, amongst the simplest organisms that possess mammalian-like splice site degeneracy. We reveal an unprecedented level of alternative splicing, including alternative splice site selection for over half of all annotated introns, hundreds of novel exon-skipping events, and thousands of novel introns. Moreover, the frequency of these events is far higher than previous estimates, with alternative splice sites on average activated at ∼3% the rate of canonical sites. Although a subset of alternative sites are conserved in related species, implying functional potential, the majority are not detectably conserved. Interestingly, the rate of aberrant splicing is inversely related to expression level, with lowly expressed genes more prone to erroneous splicing. Although we validate many events with RNAseq, the proportion of alternative splicing discovered with lariat sequencing is far greater, a difference we attribute to preferential decay of aberrantly spliced transcripts. Together, these data suggest the spliceosome possesses far lower fidelity than previously appreciated, highlighting the potential contributions of alternative splicing in generating novel gene structures. PMID:26261211

  2. Introduced species as evolutionary traps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlaepfer, Martin A.; Sherman, P.W.; Blossey, B.; Runge, M.C.

    2005-01-01

    Invasive species can alter environments in such a way that normal behavioural decision-making rules of native species are no longer adaptive. The evolutionary trap concept provides a useful framework for predicting and managing the impact of harmful invasive species. We discuss how native species can respond to changes in their selective regime via evolution or learning. We also propose novel management strategies to promote the long-term co-existence of native and introduced species in cases where the eradication of the latter is either economically or biologically unrealistic.

  3. Multidimensional extended spatial evolutionary games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krześlak, Michał; Świerniak, Andrzej

    2016-02-01

    The goal of this paper is to study the classical hawk-dove model using mixed spatial evolutionary games (MSEG). In these games, played on a lattice, an additional spatial layer is introduced for dependence on more complex parameters and simulation of changes in the environment. Furthermore, diverse polymorphic equilibrium points dependent on cell reproduction, model parameters, and their simulation are discussed. Our analysis demonstrates the sensitivity properties of MSEGs and possibilities for further development. We discuss applications of MSEGs, particularly algorithms for modelling cell interactions during the development of tumours. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Feminist Encounters with Evolutionary Psychology

    OpenAIRE

    O'Neill, Rachel

    2016-01-01

    This Section of Australian Feminist Studies is the product of an event that took place at King’s College London in January 2015, hosted as part of the UK-based ‘Critical Sexology’ seminar series. Participants at this event – feminist scholars working across the fields of lin- guistics, cultural studies, sociology, and psychology – were invited to reflect on their encounters with evolutionary psychology (EP). As the event organiser, I was interested to prompt a discussion about how EP shapes t...

  5. Improving processes through evolutionary optimization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clancy, Thomas R

    2011-09-01

    As systems evolve over time, their natural tendency is to become increasingly more complex. Studies on complex systems have generated new perspectives on management in social organizations such as hospitals. Much of this research appears as a natural extension of the cross-disciplinary field of systems theory. This is the 18th in a series of articles applying complex systems science to the traditional management concepts of planning, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling. In this article, I discuss methods to optimize complex healthcare processes through learning, adaptation, and evolutionary planning.

  6. Historical change and evolutionary theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masters, Roger D

    2007-09-01

    Despite advances in fields like genetics, evolutionary psychology, and human behavior and evolution--which generally focus on individual or small group behavior from a biological perspective--evolutionary biology has made little impact on studies of political change and social history. Theories of natural selection often seem inapplicable to human history because our social behavior is embedded in language (which makes possible the concepts of time and social identity on which what we call "history" depends). Peter Corning's Holistic Darwinism reconceptualizes evolutionary biology, making it possible to go beyond the barriers separating the social and natural sciences. Corning focuses on two primary processes: "synergy" (complex multivariate interactions at multiple levels between a species and its environment) and "cybernetics" (the information systems permitting communication between individuals and groups over time). Combining this frame of reference with inclusive fitness theory, it is possible to answer the most important (and puzzling) question in human history: How did a species that lived for millennia in hunter-gatherer bands form centralized states governing large populations of non-kin (including multi-ethnic empires as well as modern nation-states)? The fragility and contemporary ethnic violence in Kenya and the Congo should suffice as evidence that these issues need to be taken seriously. To explain the rise and fall of states as well as changes in human laws and customs--the core of historical research--it is essential to show how the provision of collective goods can overcome the challenge of self-interest and free-riding in some instances, yet fail to do so in others. To this end, it is now possible to consider how a state providing public goods can--under circumstances that often include effective leadership--contribute to enhanced inclusive fitness of virtually all its members. Because social behavior needs to adapt to ecology, but ecological

  7. Widespread microbiological groundwater contamination in the South-eastern Salento (Puglia-Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lugoli, F; Leopizzi, M I; Bagordo, F; Grassi, T; Guido, M; De Donno, A

    2011-01-01

    In the Salento peninsula (Puglia Region, South-East Italy), underground waters are a fundamental resource for the population because they constitute the principal reservoir for drinking water and irrigation. They are, however, affected by overexploitation. The risk factors in the Salento arise mainly from anthropic activities, especially tourism and agriculture (leaking wells, sewage and inadequate waste disposal procedures). The Southern Salento is recognized to be at high risk of pathologies characterised by oral-faecal transmission. From 2001 to 2009 the incidence of typhoid fever in the Salento was 12.11/100,000 inhabitants as against 2.91 in Italy. Enteritis caused by rotaviruses is an important cause of hospitalization of paediatric-aged children in the Salento, with high social costs. An effective monitoring system for the conservation and management of water bodies and the protection of public health is therefore fundamental. The present study sought to determine the microbiological and chemical-physical quality of groundwater in the Salento and to analyse the factors associated with contamination. The results indicated widespread pollution from salt and microbial contamination. Contamination from faecal microorganisms posed a significant risk of human infection in 100% of samples. Furthermore, the water was unsuitable even for irrigation in a high percentage of cases (31.8%), which is of considerable significance given that agriculture is one of the most important economic activities in the area under study. The high salt concentration was probably due to excessive extraction of water for intensive irrigation, especially in summer. Under these circumstances, some of mitigation activity is necessary. Furthermore, it would be advisable to decrease the pollution load from anthropic activities in the territory and to reduce water consumption in order to conserve groundwater resources especially.

  8. Widespread occurrence of (per)chlorate in the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, W. Andrew; Davila, Alfonso F; Sears, Derek W. G.; Coates, John D.; McKay, Christopher P.; Brundrett, Meaghan; Estrada, Nubia; Böhlke, John Karl

    2015-01-01

    Perchlorate (ClO− 4 ) and chlorate (ClO− 3 ) are ubiquitous on Earth and ClO− 4 has also been found on Mars. These species can play important roles in geochemical processes such as oxidation of organic matter and as biological electron acceptors, and are also indicators of important photochemical reactions involving oxyanions; on Mars they could be relevant for human habitability both in terms of in situ resource utilization and potential human health effects. For the first time, we extracted, detected and quantified ClO− 4 and ClO− 3 in extraterrestrial, non-planetary samples: regolith and rock samples from the Moon, and two chondrite meteorites (Murchison and Fayetteville). Lunar samples were collected by astronauts during the Apollo program, and meteorite samples were recovered immediately after their fall. This fact, together with the heterogeneous distribution of ClO− 4 and ClO− 3 within some of the samples, and their relative abundance with respect to other soluble species (e.g., NO− 3 ) are consistent with an extraterrestrial origin of the oxychlorine species. Our results, combined with the previously reported widespread occurrence on Earth and Mars, indicate that ClO− 4 and ClO− 3 could be present throughout the Solar System.

  9. Widespread episodic thiamine deficiency in Northern Hemisphere wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balk, Lennart; Hägerroth, Per-Åke; Gustavsson, Hanna; Sigg, Lisa; Åkerman, Gun; Ruiz Muñoz, Yolanda; Honeyfield, Dale C.; Tjärnlund, Ulla; Oliveira, Kenneth; Ström, Karin; McCormick, Stephen D.; Karlsson, Simon; Ström, Marika; van Manen, Mathijs; Berg, Anna-Lena; Halldórsson, Halldór P.; Strömquist, Jennie; Collier, Tracy K.; Börjeson, Hans; Mörner, Torsten; Hansson, Tomas

    2016-12-01

    Many wildlife populations are declining at rates higher than can be explained by known threats to biodiversity. Recently, thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency has emerged as a possible contributing cause. Here, thiamine status was systematically investigated in three animal classes: bivalves, ray-finned fishes, and birds. Thiamine diphosphate is required as a cofactor in at least five life-sustaining enzymes that are required for basic cellular metabolism. Analysis of different phosphorylated forms of thiamine, as well as of activities and amount of holoenzyme and apoenzyme forms of thiamine-dependent enzymes, revealed episodically occurring thiamine deficiency in all three animal classes. These biochemical effects were also linked to secondary effects on growth, condition, liver size, blood chemistry and composition, histopathology, swimming behaviour and endurance, parasite infestation, and reproduction. It is unlikely that the thiamine deficiency is caused by impaired phosphorylation within the cells. Rather, the results point towards insufficient amounts of thiamine in the food. By investigating a large geographic area, by extending the focus from lethal to sublethal thiamine deficiency, and by linking biochemical alterations to secondary effects, we demonstrate that the problem of thiamine deficiency is considerably more widespread and severe than previously reported.

  10. Widespread episodic thiamine deficiency in Northern Hemisphere wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balk, Lennart; Hägerroth, Per-Åke; Gustavsson, Hanna; Sigg, Lisa; Akerman, Gun; Ruiz Muñoz, Yolanda; Honeyfield, Dale C.; Tjarnlund, Ulla; Oliveira, Kenneth; Strom, Karin; McCormick, Stephen D.; Karlsson, Simon; Strom, Marika; van Manen, Mathijs; Berg, Anna-Lena; Halldórsson, Halldór P.; Stromquist, Jennie; Collier, Tracy K.; Borjeson, Hans; Morner, Torsten; Hansson, Tomas

    2016-01-01

    Many wildlife populations are declining at rates higher than can be explained by known threats to biodiversity. Recently, thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency has emerged as a possible contributing cause. Here, thiamine status was systematically investigated in three animal classes: bivalves, ray-finned fishes, and birds. Thiamine diphosphate is required as a cofactor in at least five life-sustaining enzymes that are required for basic cellular metabolism. Analysis of different phosphorylated forms of thiamine, as well as of activities and amount of holoenzyme and apoenzyme forms of thiamine-dependent enzymes, revealed episodically occurring thiamine deficiency in all three animal classes. These biochemical effects were also linked to secondary effects on growth, condition, liver size, blood chemistry and composition, histopathology, swimming behaviour and endurance, parasite infestation, and reproduction. It is unlikely that the thiamine deficiency is caused by impaired phosphorylation within the cells. Rather, the results point towards insufficient amounts of thiamine in the food. By investigating a large geographic area, by extending the focus from lethal to sublethal thiamine deficiency, and by linking biochemical alterations to secondary effects, we demonstrate that the problem of thiamine deficiency is considerably more widespread and severe than previously reported.

  11. Widespread abnormalities of radiocolloid distribution in patients with mucopolysaccharidoses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klingensmith, W.C. III; Eikman, E.A.; Maumenee, I.; Wagner, H.N. Jr.

    1975-01-01

    Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are inherited disorders of lysosomal enzymes. We have examined the sites of accumulation of intravenously injected /sup 99m/Tc-sulfur colloid in order to assess the regional distribution of phagocytic function in ten patients with MPS: three with Type I (Hurler), five with Type II (Hunter), one with Type III (Sanfilippo), and one with Type VI (Maroteaux-Lamy). Increased lung uptake was observed in 22 of 40 studies (55 percent) on the five patients with MPS Type II but in none of the 38 studies on patients with other MPS types. All MPS patients had diffuse recticuloendothelial (RE) marrow hypoplasia, despite normal or nearly normal hematocrits and hemoglobin levels, suggesting dissociation of the phagocytic and erythropoietic elements of the marrow. The eight patients with MPS Types I and II all had hepatomegaly and increased splenic uptake. Seven of these patients also had splenomegaly. The two patients with MPS Types III and VI did not have hepatosplenomegaly. These studies indicate that the lysosomal enzymic defect of MPS results in widespread abnormalities of the distribution of phagocytic function in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and probably the lung as well

  12. Widespread cortical thinning in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, S-H; Kwak, K; Hyun, J-W; Jeong, I H; Jo, H-J; Joung, A; Kim, J-H; Lee, S H; Yun, S; Joo, J; Lee, J-M; Kim, H J

    2016-07-01

    Studies on cortical involvement and its relationship with cognitive function in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) remain scarce. The objective of this study was to compare cortical thickness on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) between patients with NMOSD and multiple sclerosis (MS) and to investigate its relationship with clinical features and cognitive function. This observational clinical imaging study of 91 patients with NMOSD, 52 patients with MS and 44 healthy controls was conducted from 1 December 2013 to 30 April 2015 at the institutional referral center. Three tesla MRI of the brain and neuropsychological tests were performed. Cortical thickness was measured using three-dimensional surface-based analysis. Both sets of patients exhibited cortical thinning throughout the entire brain cortex. Patients with MS showed a significantly greater reduction in cortical thickness over broad regions of the bilateral frontal and parieto-temporal cortices and the left precuneus compared to those with NMOSD. Memory functions in patients with MS were correlated with broad regional cortical thinning, whereas no significant associations were observed between cortical thickness and cognitive function in patients with NMOSD. Widespread cortical thinning was observed in patients with NMOSD and MS, but the extent of cortical thinning was greater in patients with MS. The more severe cortical atrophy may contribute to memory impairment in patients with MS but not in those with NMOSD. These results provide in vivo evidence that the severity and clinical relevance of cortical thinning differ between NMOSD and MS. © 2016 EAN.

  13. Widespread Distribution of Trypodendron laeve in the Carpathian Mountains (Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolai Olenici

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Trypodendron laeve Eggers, 1939 is a species of ambrosia beetle much less known than the other three Trypodendron species occurring in Europe. Its status (native or alien in Central Europe has been a subject of debate over the past two decades. In Romania, the species was discovered in 2008 and the aim of the research presented in this paper was to investigate its distribution in the Carpathians, mainly at high altitudes (>800 m, in tree stands with Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] H. Karst. Panel intercept traps baited with synthetic pheromone for Trypodendron lineatum (Olivier, 1795 were used in the spring of 2015, at 31 locations. Adults of T. laeve were caught in 20 of them. Additional observations were made within some studies using similar baits and T. laeve specimens were caught in eight locations. T. laeve was always trapped together with T. lineatum, and at some locations also together with T. domesticum (Linnaeus, 1758 and T. signatum (Fabricius, 1787. In all traps, fewer specimens of T. laeve were caught compared to T. lineatum. The species has a widespread distribution in the mountain regions, within forests composed of native tree species and generally located far away from commercial routes. There, it occurs together with other native species of the same taxonomic genus. It seems to be more abundant at high altitudes, but overall its populations are less abundant than those of T. lineatum.

  14. Widespread erosion on high plateaus during recent glaciations in Scandinavia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jane L.; Egholm, David L.; Knudsen, Mads F.

    2018-01-01

    Glaciers create some of Earth's steepest topography; yet, many areas that were repeatedly overridden by ice sheets in the last few million years include extensive plateaus. The distinct geomorphic contrast between plateaus and the glacial troughs that dissect them has sustained two long-held hypo......Glaciers create some of Earth's steepest topography; yet, many areas that were repeatedly overridden by ice sheets in the last few million years include extensive plateaus. The distinct geomorphic contrast between plateaus and the glacial troughs that dissect them has sustained two long......-held hypotheses: first, that ice sheets perform insignificant erosion beyond glacial troughs, and, second, that the plateaus represent ancient pre-glacial landforms bearing information of tectonic and geomorphic history prior to Pliocene-Pleistocene global cooling (similar to 3.5 Myr ago). Here we show...... that the Fennoscandian ice sheets drove widespread erosion across plateaus far beyond glacial troughs. We apply inverse modelling to 118 new cosmogenic Be-10 and Al-26 measurements to quantify ice sheet erosion on the plateaus fringing the Sognefjorden glacial trough in western Norway. Our findings demonstrate...

  15. Genome-wide analysis of the phosphoinositide kinome from two ciliates reveals novel evolutionary links for phosphoinositide kinases in eukaryotic cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Leondaritis

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The complexity of phosphoinositide signaling in higher eukaryotes is partly due to expansion of specific families and types of phosphoinositide kinases (PIKs that can generate all phosphoinositides via multiple routes. This is particularly evident in the PI3Ks and PIPKs, and it is considered an evolutionary trait associated with metazoan diversification. Yet, there are limited comprehensive studies on the PIK repertoire of free living unicellular organisms. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We undertook a genome-wide analysis of putative PIK genes in two free living ciliated cells, Tetrahymena and Paramecium. The Tetrahymena thermophila and Paramecium tetraurelia genomes were probed with representative kinases from all families and types. Putative homologs were verified by EST, microarray and deep RNA sequencing database searches and further characterized for domain structure, catalytic efficiency, expression patterns and phylogenetic relationships. In total, we identified and characterized 22 genes in the Tetrahymena thermophila genome and 62 highly homologues genes in Paramecium tetraurelia suggesting a tight evolutionary conservation in the ciliate lineage. Comparison to the kinome of fungi reveals a significant expansion of PIK genes in ciliates. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our study highlights four important aspects concerning ciliate and other unicellular PIKs. First, ciliate-specific expansion of PI4KIII-like genes. Second, presence of class I PI3Ks which, at least in Tetrahymena, are associated with a metazoan-type machinery for PIP3 signaling. Third, expansion of divergent PIPK enzymes such as the recently described type IV transmembrane PIPKs. Fourth, presence of possible type II PIPKs and presumably inactive PIKs (hence, pseudo-PIKs not previously described. Taken together, our results provide a solid framework for future investigation of the roles of PIKs in ciliates and indicate that novel functions and novel regulatory

  16. Evolutionary genomics of plant genes encoding N-terminal-TM-C2 domain proteins and the similar FAM62 genes and synaptotagmin genes of metazoans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craxton Molly

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Synaptotagmin genes are found in animal genomes and are known to function in the nervous system. Genes with a similar domain architecture as well as sequence similarity to synaptotagmin C2 domains have also been found in plant genomes. The plant genes share an additional region of sequence similarity with a group of animal genes named FAM62. FAM62 genes also have a similar domain architecture. Little is known about the functions of the plant genes and animal FAM62 genes. Indeed, many members of the large and diverse Syt gene family await functional characterization. Understanding the evolutionary relationships among these genes will help to realize the full implications of functional studies and lead to improved genome annotation. Results I collected and compared plant Syt-like sequences from the primary nucleotide sequence databases at NCBI. The collection comprises six groups of plant genes conserved in embryophytes: NTMC2Type1 to NTMC2Type6. I collected and compared metazoan FAM62 sequences and identified some similar sequences from other eukaryotic lineages. I found evidence of RNA editing and alternative splicing. I compared the intron patterns of Syt genes. I also compared Rabphilin and Doc2 genes. Conclusion Genes encoding proteins with N-terminal-transmembrane-C2 domain architectures resembling synaptotagmins, are widespread in eukaryotes. A collection of these genes is presented here. The collection provides a resource for studies of intron evolution. I have classified the collection into homologous gene families according to distinctive patterns of sequence conservation and intron position. The evolutionary histories of these gene families are traceable through the appearance of family members in different eukaryotic lineages. Assuming an intron-rich eukaryotic ancestor, the conserved intron patterns distinctive of individual gene families, indicate independent origins of Syt, FAM62 and NTMC2 genes. Resemblances

  17. Conceptual Barriers to Progress Within Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  18. Model of Conservation on Sagara Anakan Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dede Sugandi

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Widespread decline in agricultural land and the impact on production decline caused extensive forest activities to meet the needs of the population. Activities that cause less environmental quality offset environmental balance changes. These changes due to deforestation, erosion, degraded land and natural resource degradation are exploited so that the function of ecological, economic and social life. Damaged ecosystems resulting in erosion, landslides in the watershed affect the sedimentation in Sagara Anakan sea. Silting, resulting in narrowing of fishing activities, tourism, sports, and services decreased crossings. Because of the problem and the purpose of this study proposed and analyzed a few questions: 1 How does the socio-economic impact of farmers in conserving the environment of Sagara Anakan ?, 2 How do people form of conservation and coastal of Sagara Anakan ?, 3 How model of integrated conservation in the watershed and coastal of Sagara Anakan ? and 4 What role do the people in the watershed and coastal on Sagara Anakan conservation ?. Study site covers an area of flow and Ci Ci Tanduy Beureum and Sagara Tillers waters. Activities of the population in the process of land affected when in Sagara tillers. The method used was a survey with a sample divided by the watershed upstream, downstream and coastal tengahm. Using statistical analysis techniques and geography, so that part of the watershed characteristics can be imaged. Shallowing Sagara Anakan, physically was affected by the physical condition of the easily eroded and accelerated by human activities. The activities of farmer on the watershed have done conservation unless doing reforestation, whereas the farmer on the swamp and coastal areas are not doing conservation. Different physical circumstances, the conservation of watersheds and coastal forms differ. Socio-economic condition of farmer affect the conservation. The farmer could not reforestation conservation form, as the

  19. Classifying the evolutionary and ecological features of neoplasms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maley, Carlo C.; Aktipis, Athena; Graham, Trevor A.; Sottoriva, Andrea; Boddy, Amy M.; Janiszewska, Michalina; Silva, Ariosto S.; Gerlinger, Marco; Yuan, Yinyin; Pienta, Kenneth J.; Anderson, Karen S.; Gatenby, Robert; Swanton, Charles; Posada, David; Wu, Chung-I; Schiffman, Joshua D.; Hwang, E. Shelley; Polyak, Kornelia; Anderson, Alexander R. A.; Brown, Joel S.; Greaves, Mel; Shibata, Darryl

    2018-01-01

    Neoplasms change over time through a process of cell-level evolution, driven by genetic and epigenetic alterations. However, the ecology of the microenvironment of a neoplastic cell determines which changes provide adaptive benefits. There is widespread recognition of the importance of these evolutionary and ecological processes in cancer, but to date, no system has been proposed for drawing clinically relevant distinctions between how different tumours are evolving. On the basis of a consensus conference of experts in the fields of cancer evolution and cancer ecology, we propose a framework for classifying tumours that is based on four relevant components. These are the diversity of neoplastic cells (intratumoural heterogeneity) and changes over time in that diversity, which make up an evolutionary index (Evo-index), as well as the hazards to neoplastic cell survival and the resources available to neoplastic cells, which make up an ecological index (Eco-index). We review evidence demonstrating the importance of each of these factors and describe multiple methods that can be used to measure them. Development of this classification system holds promise for enabling clinicians to personalize optimal interventions based on the evolvability of the patient’s tumour. The Evo- and Eco-indices provide a common lexicon for communicating about how neoplasms change in response to interventions, with potential implications for clinical trials, personalized medicine and basic cancer research. PMID:28912577

  20. Lessons in modularity: the evolutionary ecology of colonial invertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger N. Hughes

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Benthic colonial invertebrates share with higher plants a modular construction and a sessile adult life. Both types of organism show parallel evolutionary responses to common selective forces, but in contrast to the long-established focus on plants, comparable study of colonial invertebrates has developed relatively recently, largely owing to the application of new techniques in image processing and molecular biology. Species whose life cycles are readily completed under laboratory conditions and whose colonies are easily propagated from cuttings provide powerful models for experimentally investigating fundamental evolutionary problems, including metabolic allometry, the manifestation of ageing and the origin of allorecognition systems. Free of the confounding influences of behavioural manipulation and costs of copulation, colonial invertebrates whose water-borne sperm fertilize retained eggs lend themselves well to the experimental study of cryptic female choice, sperm competition and sexual conflict. In these respects, it will be productive to adopt and extend theoretical frameworks developed for flowering plants to guide experimental investigation of modular animals. Since mate choice occurs at the cellular level in modular animals, reproductive isolation is uncorrelated with morphology and cryptic speciation is likely to be widespread.

  1. Evolutionary epistemology a multiparadigm program

    CERN Document Server

    Pinxten, Rik

    1987-01-01

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

  2. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szabó, György; Borsos, István

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2016-04-05

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

  4. The Evolutionary Puzzle of Suicide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henri-Jean Aubin

    2013-12-01

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

  5. Evolutionary potential games on lattices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szabó, György; Borsos, István

    2016-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Regional systems of innovation: an evolutionary perspective

    OpenAIRE

    P Cooke; M G Uranga; G Etxebarria

    1998-01-01

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

  10. An evolutionary framework for cultural change: Selectionism versus communal exchange

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabora, Liane

    2013-06-01

    Dawkins' replicator-based conception of evolution has led to widespread mis-application of selectionism across the social sciences because it does not address the paradox that necessitated the theory of natural selection in the first place: how do organisms accumulate change when traits acquired over their lifetime are obliterated? This is addressed by von Neumann's concept of a self-replicating automaton (SRA). A SRA consists of a self-assembly code that is used in two distinct ways: (1) actively deciphered during development to construct a self-similar replicant, and (2) passively copied to the replicant to ensure that it can reproduce. Information that is acquired over a lifetime is not transmitted to offspring, whereas information that is inherited during copying is transmitted. In cultural evolution there is no mechanism for discarding acquired change. Acquired change can accumulate orders of magnitude faster than, and quickly overwhelm, inherited change due to differential replication of variants in response to selection. This prohibits a selectionist but not an evolutionary framework for culture and the creative processes that fuel it. The importance non-Darwinian processes in biological evolution is increasingly recognized. Recent work on the origin of life suggests that early life evolved through a non-Darwinian process referred to as communal exchange that does not involve a self-assembly code, and that natural selection emerged from this more haphazard, ancestral evolutionary process. It is proposed that communal exchange provides an evolutionary framework for culture that enables specification of cognitive features necessary for a (real or artificial) societies to evolve culture. This is supported by a computational model of cultural evolution and a conceptual network based program for documenting material cultural history, and it is consistent with high levels of human cooperation.

  11. Overview of energy demand and opportunities for conservation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graham, P. J.

    1977-10-15

    The widespread practice of conservation could make a substantial reduction in the rate of growth of demand and hence in the rate at which resources need to be developed and consumed. An attempt is not made to show that conservation is an alternative to increasing energy supply. After reviewing the consumption of energy before the 1973 energy crisis, the main features of conservation which have brought it to the forefront of energy policy are examined. Some information on present consumption patterns in New Zealand is presented.

  12. Identifying ambassador species for conservation marketing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.A. Macdonald

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Conservation relies heavily on external funding, much of it from a supportive public. Therefore it is important to know which species are most likely to catalyse such funding. Whilst previous work has looked at the physical attributes that contribute to a species' appeal, no previous studies have tried to examine the extent to which a species' sympatriots might contribute to it's potential as flagship for wider conservation. Therefore, here we estimate ‘flexibility’ and ‘appeal’ scores for all terrestrial mammals (n = 4320 and identify which of these might serve as ambassadors (defined as both highly appealing and flexible. Relatively few mammals (between 240 and 331 emerged as ambassadors, with carnivores featuring heavily in this group (representing 5% of terrestrial mammals but 39% of ambassadors. ‘Top ambassadors’ were defined as those with both flexibility and appeal scores greater than 1 standard deviation above the mean. Less than a quarter of the 20 most endangered and evolutionary distinct species in this study were classed as ambassadors, highlighting the need for surrogate species to catalyse conservation effort in areas with such priority species. This is the first global analysis bringing together flexibility and appeal for all terrestrial mammals, and demonstrates an approach for determining how best to market species in order to achieve maximal conservation gain in a world with urgent conservation need but limited resources.

  13. BSp66 protease is widespread in the acrosomal region of sperm from several mammalian species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cesari, A.; Katunar, M.R.; Monclus, M.A.; Vincenti, A.; Fornes, M.W.

    2004-01-01

    Fertilization in mammals comprises a sequence of events leading to the fusion of sperm and oocyte membranes. Although proteases are known to be involved in this process, their role in fertilization is controversial. There is extensive work on the characterization of proteolytic systems, including serine proteases, which demonstrates that acrosomal proteases can be distinguished among the sperm of different mammalian species on the basis of the gelatin-hydrolyzing activity on SDS-PAGE by the quantity and variety of the enzymes. In this report, we investigated the occurrence and activity of the serine protease BSp66, previously characterized in bovine spermatozoa, in various mammalian sperm. A protein with a molecular mass of 66 kDa cross-reacted with heterologous antibodies against bovine BSp66 when sperm extracts of several mammalian species were analyzed by Western blot. In agreement, proteolytic activity corresponding to the molecular mass of BSp66 was detected by gelatin zymography in all the species analyzed. This protein was located on the acrosomal region of sperm cells by immunofluorescence methods. We concluded that BSp66 is widespread in mammalian sperm, with a conserved location in the acrosomal region

  14. Final Report: Connecting genomic capabilities to physiology and response: Systems biology of the widespread alga Micromonas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Worden, Alexandra Z. [Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), Moss Landing, CA (United States); Callister, Stephen [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Stuart, Joshua [Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, CA (United States); Smith, Richard [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Increased stratification, less mixing and reduced nutrient concentrations in marine surface waters are predicted under a number of climate-change scenarios. These conditions are considered favorable for tiny photosynthetic algae (picophytoplankton), shaping their role in mediating future CO2 conditions. One possibility is that picophytoplankton such as Micromonas that have broad geographical ranges will more successfully adapt to changing environmental conditions. However, their capacity to thrive under the multi-factorial impacts of low pH, low nutrients, increasing temperature and changes in community composition is not known. Here, we developed the dual-Micromonas model system, which entailed generating optimized genomic information for two Micromonas species and developing a highperformance chemostat system in which both CO2 and nutrients could be consistently manipulated. This system is now fully operational. Project results are available in several publications will others are still in the analysis phase. Overall, our results show that Micromonas primary production will likely decrease under predicted future climate conditions. Furthermore, our studies on Micromonas provide new insights to the land plant ancestor, including the discovery of conserved signaling mechanisms (known to be essential to plant development) as well as the discovery of widespread chemical-sensing molecular switches. Collectively, this research highlights Micromonas as an important new model green alga for understanding plant gene networks and evolution as well as for investigating perturbation effects on marine primary production.

  15. Evolutionary Acquisition and Spiral Development Tutorial

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hantos, P

    2005-01-01

    .... NSS Acquisition Policy 03-01 provided some space-oriented customization and, similarly to the original DOD directives, also positioned Evolutionary Acquisition and Spiral Development as preferred...

  16. Recent widespread tree growth decline despite increasing atmospheric CO2.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Lucas C R; Anand, Madhur; Leithead, Mark D

    2010-07-21

    The synergetic effects of recent rising atmospheric CO(2) and temperature are expected to favor tree growth in boreal and temperate forests. However, recent dendrochronological studies have shown site-specific unprecedented growth enhancements or declines. The question of whether either of these trends is caused by changes in the atmosphere remains unanswered because dendrochronology alone has not been able to clarify the physiological basis of such trends. Here we combined standard dendrochronological methods with carbon isotopic analysis to investigate whether atmospheric changes enhanced water use efficiency (WUE) and growth of two deciduous and two coniferous tree species along a 9 degrees latitudinal gradient across temperate and boreal forests in Ontario, Canada. Our results show that although trees have had around 53% increases in WUE over the past century, growth decline (measured as a decrease in basal area increment--BAI) has been the prevalent response in recent decades irrespective of species identity and latitude. Since the 1950s, tree BAI was predominantly negatively correlated with warmer climates and/or positively correlated with precipitation, suggesting warming induced water stress. However, where growth declines were not explained by climate, WUE and BAI were linearly and positively correlated, showing that declines are not always attributable to warming induced stress and additional stressors may exist. Our results show an unexpected widespread tree growth decline in temperate and boreal forests due to warming induced stress but are also suggestive of additional stressors. Rising atmospheric CO2 levels during the past century resulted in consistent increases in water use efficiency, but this did not prevent growth decline. These findings challenge current predictions of increasing terrestrial carbon stocks under climate change scenarios.

  17. Widespread decline of Congo rainforest greenness in the past decade.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Liming; Tian, Yuhong; Myneni, Ranga B; Ciais, Philippe; Saatchi, Sassan; Liu, Yi Y; Piao, Shilong; Chen, Haishan; Vermote, Eric F; Song, Conghe; Hwang, Taehee

    2014-05-01

    Tropical forests are global epicentres of biodiversity and important modulators of climate change, and are mainly constrained by rainfall patterns. The severe short-term droughts that occurred recently in Amazonia have drawn attention to the vulnerability of tropical forests to climatic disturbances. The central African rainforests, the second-largest on Earth, have experienced a long-term drying trend whose impacts on vegetation dynamics remain mostly unknown because in situ observations are very limited. The Congolese forest, with its drier conditions and higher percentage of semi-evergreen trees, may be more tolerant to short-term rainfall reduction than are wetter tropical forests, but for a long-term drought there may be critical thresholds of water availability below which higher-biomass, closed-canopy forests transition to more open, lower-biomass forests. Here we present observational evidence for a widespread decline in forest greenness over the past decade based on analyses of satellite data (optical, thermal, microwave and gravity) from several independent sensors over the Congo basin. This decline in vegetation greenness, particularly in the northern Congolese forest, is generally consistent with decreases in rainfall, terrestrial water storage, water content in aboveground woody and leaf biomass, and the canopy backscatter anomaly caused by changes in structure and moisture in upper forest layers. It is also consistent with increases in photosynthetically active radiation and land surface temperature. These multiple lines of evidence indicate that this large-scale vegetation browning, or loss of photosynthetic capacity, may be partially attributable to the long-term drying trend. Our results suggest that a continued gradual decline of photosynthetic capacity and moisture content driven by the persistent drying trend could alter the composition and structure of the Congolese forest to favour the spread of drought-tolerant species.

  18. Widespread exploitation of the honeybee by early Neolithic farmers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roffet-Salque, Mélanie; Regert, Martine; Evershed, Richard P; Outram, Alan K; Cramp, Lucy J E; Decavallas, Orestes; Dunne, Julie; Gerbault, Pascale; Mileto, Simona; Mirabaud, Sigrid; Pääkkönen, Mirva; Smyth, Jessica; Šoberl, Lucija; Whelton, Helen L; Alday-Ruiz, Alfonso; Asplund, Henrik; Bartkowiak, Marta; Bayer-Niemeier, Eva; Belhouchet, Lotfi; Bernardini, Federico; Budja, Mihael; Cooney, Gabriel; Cubas, Miriam; Danaher, Ed M; Diniz, Mariana; Domboróczki, László; Fabbri, Cristina; González-Urquijo, Jesus E; Guilaine, Jean; Hachi, Slimane; Hartwell, Barrie N; Hofmann, Daniela; Hohle, Isabel; Ibáñez, Juan J; Karul, Necmi; Kherbouche, Farid; Kiely, Jacinta; Kotsakis, Kostas; Lueth, Friedrich; Mallory, James P; Manen, Claire; Marciniak, Arkadiusz; Maurice-Chabard, Brigitte; Mc Gonigle, Martin A; Mulazzani, Simone; Özdoğan, Mehmet; Perić, Olga S; Perić, Slaviša R; Petrasch, Jörg; Pétrequin, Anne-Marie; Pétrequin, Pierre; Poensgen, Ulrike; Pollard, C Joshua; Poplin, François; Radi, Giovanna; Stadler, Peter; Stäuble, Harald; Tasić, Nenad; Urem-Kotsou, Dushka; Vuković, Jasna B; Walsh, Fintan; Whittle, Alasdair; Wolfram, Sabine; Zapata-Peña, Lydia; Zoughlami, Jamel

    2015-11-12

    The pressures on honeybee (Apis mellifera) populations, resulting from threats by modern pesticides, parasites, predators and diseases, have raised awareness of the economic importance and critical role this insect plays in agricultural societies across the globe. However, the association of humans with A. mellifera predates post-industrial-revolution agriculture, as evidenced by the widespread presence of ancient Egyptian bee iconography dating to the Old Kingdom (approximately 2400 BC). There are also indications of Stone Age people harvesting bee products; for example, honey hunting is interpreted from rock art in a prehistoric Holocene context and a beeswax find in a pre-agriculturalist site. However, when and where the regular association of A. mellifera with agriculturalists emerged is unknown. One of the major products of A. mellifera is beeswax, which is composed of a complex suite of lipids including n-alkanes, n-alkanoic acids and fatty acyl wax esters. The composition is highly constant as it is determined genetically through the insect's biochemistry. Thus, the chemical 'fingerprint' of beeswax provides a reliable basis for detecting this commodity in organic residues preserved at archaeological sites, which we now use to trace the exploitation by humans of A. mellifera temporally and spatially. Here we present secure identifications of beeswax in lipid residues preserved in pottery vessels of Neolithic Old World farmers. The geographical range of bee product exploitation is traced in Neolithic Europe, the Near East and North Africa, providing the palaeoecological range of honeybees during prehistory. Temporally, we demonstrate that bee products were exploited continuously, and probably extensively in some regions, at least from the seventh millennium cal BC, likely fulfilling a variety of technological and cultural functions. The close association of A. mellifera with Neolithic farming communities dates to the early onset of agriculture and may provide

  19. Widespread Rickettsia spp. Infections in Ticks (Acari: Ixodoidea) in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuo, Chi-Chien; Shu, Pei-Yun; Mu, Jung-Jung; Lee, Pei-Lung; Wu, Yin-Wen; Chung, Chien-Kung; Wang, Hsi-Chieh

    2015-09-01

    Ticks are second to mosquitoes as the most important disease vectors, and recent decades have witnessed the emergence of many novel tick-borne rickettsial diseases, but systematic surveys of ticks and tick-borne rickettsioses are generally lacking in Asia. We collected and identified ticks from small mammal hosts between 2006 and 2010 in different parts of Taiwan. Rickettsia spp. infections in ticks were identified by targeting ompB and gltA genes with nested polymerase chain reaction. In total, 2,732 ticks were collected from 1,356 small mammals. Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides Supino (51.8% of total ticks), Haemaphysalis bandicota Hoogstraal & Kohls (28.0%), and Ixodes granulatus Supino (20.0%) were the most common tick species, and Rattus losea Swinhoe (44.7% of total ticks) and Bandicota indica Bechstein (39.9%) were the primary hosts. The average Rickettsia infective rate in 329 assayed ticks was 31.9% and eight Rickettsia spp. or closely related species were identified. This study shows that rickettsiae-infected ticks are widespread in Taiwan, with a high diversity of Rickettsia spp. circulating in the ticks. Because notifiable rickettsial diseases in Taiwan only include mite-borne scrub typhus and flea-borne murine typhus, more studies are warranted for a better understanding of the real extent of human risks to rickettsioses in Taiwan. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Full body illusion is associated with widespread skin temperature reduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roy eSalomon

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available A central feature of our consciousness is the experience of the self as a unified entity residing in a physical body, termed bodily self-consciousness. This phenomenon includes aspects such as the sense of owning a body (also known as body ownership and has been suggested to arise from the integration of sensory and motor signals from the body. Several studies have shown that temporally synchronous tactile stimulation of the real body and visual stimulation of a fake or virtual body can induce changes in bodily self-consciousness, typically resulting in a sense of illusory ownership over the fake body. The present study assessed the effect of anatomical congruency of visuo-tactile stimulation on bodily self-consciousness. A virtual body was presented and temporally synchronous visuo-tactile stroking was applied simultaneously the participants’ body and to the virtual body. We manipulated the anatomical locations of the visuo-tactile stroking (i.e. on the back, on the leg, resulting in congruent stroking (stroking was felt and seen on the back or the leg or incongruent stroking (i.e. stroking was felt on the leg and seen on the back. We measured self-identification with the virtual body and self-location as well as skin temperature. Illusory self-identification with the avatar as well as changes in self-localization were experienced in the congruent stroking conditions. Participants showed a decrease in skin temperature across several body locations during congruent stimulation. These data establish that the full-body illusion alters bodily self-consciousness and instigates widespread physiological changes in the participant’s body.

  1. A longitudinal study of delirium phenomenology indicates widespread neural dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonard, Maeve; Adamis, Dimitrios; Saunders, Jean; Trzepacz, Paula; Meagher, David

    2015-04-01

    Delirium affects all higher cortical functions supporting complex information processing consistent with widespread neural network impairment. We evaluated the relative prominence of delirium symptoms throughout episodes to assess whether impaired consciousness is selectively affecting certain brain functions at different timepoints. Twice-weekly assessments of 100 consecutive patients with DSM-IV delirium in a palliative care unit used the Delirium Rating Scale Revised-98 (DRS-R98) and Cognitive Test for Delirium (CTD). A mixed-effects model was employed to estimate changes in severity of individual symptoms over time. Mean age = 7 0.2 ± 10.5 years, 51% were male, and 27 had a comorbid dementia. A total of 323 assessments (range 2-9 per case) were conducted, but up to 6 are reported herein. Frequency and severity of individual DRS-R98 symptoms was very consistent over time even though the majority of patients (80%) experienced fluctuation in symptom severity over the course of hours or minutes. Over time, DRS-R98 items for attention (88-100%), sleep-wake cycle disturbance (90-100%), and any motor disturbance (87-100%), and CTD attention and vigilance were most frequently and consistently impaired. Mixed-effects regression modeling identified only very small magnitudes of change in individual symptoms over time, including the three core domains. Attention is disproportionately impaired during the entire episode of delirium, consistent with thalamic dysfunction underlying both an impaired state of consciousness and well-known EEG slowing. All individual symptoms and three core domains remain relatively stable despite small fluctuations in symptom severity for a given day, which supports a consistent state of impaired higher cortical functions throughout an episode of delirium.

  2. Squamate hatchling size and the evolutionary causes of negative offspring size allometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meiri, S; Feldman, A; Kratochvíl, L

    2015-02-01

    Although fecundity selection is ubiquitous, in an overwhelming majority of animal lineages, small species produce smaller number of offspring per clutch. In this context, egg, hatchling and neonate sizes are absolutely larger, but smaller relative to adult body size in larger species. The evolutionary causes of this widespread phenomenon are not fully explored. The negative offspring size allometry can result from processes limiting maximal egg/offspring size forcing larger species to produce relatively smaller offspring ('upper limit'), or from a limit on minimal egg/offspring size forcing smaller species to produce relatively larger offspring ('lower limit'). Several reptile lineages have invariant clutch sizes, where females always lay either one or two eggs per clutch. These lineages offer an interesting perspective on the general evolutionary forces driving negative offspring size allometry, because an important selective factor, fecundity selection in a single clutch, is eliminated here. Under the upper limit hypotheses, large offspring should be selected against in lineages with invariant clutch sizes as well, and these lineages should therefore exhibit the same, or shallower, offspring size allometry as lineages with variable clutch size. On the other hand, the lower limit hypotheses would allow lineages with invariant clutch sizes to have steeper offspring size allometries. Using an extensive data set on the hatchling and female sizes of > 1800 species of squamates, we document that negative offspring size allometry is widespread in lizards and snakes with variable clutch sizes and that some lineages with invariant clutch sizes have unusually steep offspring size allometries. These findings suggest that the negative offspring size allometry is driven by a constraint on minimal offspring size, which scales with a negative allometry. © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary

  3. Conservative and innovative dialect areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Schwarz

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The present paper focuses on conservative and innovative (transitional dialect areas and the questions of 1 how such areas can be methodologically visualized and 2 how the outcomes can be interpreted. In the first part of this paper a geostatistical method of representing phonological features in space will be introduced: interpolation. This method is not entirely new to dialectology; it has been quite neglected, though, in comparison to other methods of mapping, such as the isogloss or dot symbol method that was mainly used in traditional dialect atlases. The interpolation method will be applied to a large corpus of spontaneous speech data from rural dialects spoken in southwest Germany. Methodological steps in data processing will be described, resulting in a data set that can be used as input for statistical analysis and the visual depiction of variation in space as interpolated grid plots. In the second part results will be discussed. The major outcome consists of an aggregate interpolation plot that includes variables from fifteen different etymological sound classes. These sound classes can be used for demonstrating the distribution of receding phonological variables in space. The interpolation shows two conservative areas where receding forms are still widespread. They lie within the centers of the two major dialect groups of southwest Germany: Alemannic and Swabian. The conservative areas are separated by a broad transitional zone characterized by intense variation between receding and innovative variants. It will be argued that this transitional zone is not due to the horizontal spread of the dialects into each other’s areas alone. Rather, variation is triggered by vertical standard influence that supports any dialect form to spread out horizontally as long as it is phonologically identical or similar to the standard form.

  4. Conservation physiology of animal migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lennox, Robert J.; Chapman, Jacqueline M.; Souliere, Christopher M.; Tudorache, Christian; Wikelski, Martin; Metcalfe, Julian D.; Cooke, Steven J.

    2016-01-01

    Migration is a widespread phenomenon among many taxa. This complex behaviour enables animals to exploit many temporally productive and spatially discrete habitats to accrue various fitness benefits (e.g. growth, reproduction, predator avoidance). Human activities and global environmental change represent potential threats to migrating animals (from individuals to species), and research is underway to understand mechanisms that control migration and how migration responds to modern challenges. Focusing on behavioural and physiological aspects of migration can help to provide better understanding, management and conservation of migratory populations. Here, we highlight different physiological, behavioural and biomechanical aspects of animal migration that will help us to understand how migratory animals interact with current and future anthropogenic threats. We are in the early stages of a changing planet, and our understanding of how physiology is linked to the persistence of migratory animals is still developing; therefore, we regard the following questions as being central to the conservation physiology of animal migrations. Will climate change influence the energetic costs of migration? Will shifting temperatures change the annual clocks of migrating animals? Will anthropogenic influences have an effect on orientation during migration? Will increased anthropogenic alteration of migration stopover sites/migration corridors affect the stress physiology of migrating animals? Can physiological knowledge be used to identify strategies for facilitating the movement of animals? Our synthesis reveals that given the inherent challenges of migration, additional stressors derived from altered environments (e.g. climate change, physical habitat alteration, light pollution) or interaction with human infrastructure (e.g. wind or hydrokinetic turbines, dams) or activities (e.g. fisheries) could lead to long-term changes to migratory phenotypes. However, uncertainty remains

  5. Global patterns of evolutionary distinct and globally endangered amphibians and mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Global patterns of evolutionary distinct and globally endangered amphibians and mammals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamran Safi

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

  7. Phylogenetic niche conservatism and the evolutionary basis of ecological speciation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyron, R Alexander; Costa, Gabriel C; Patten, Michael A; Burbrink, Frank T

    2015-11-01

    Phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) typically refers to the tendency of closely related species to be more similar to each other in terms of niche than they are to more distant relatives. This has been implicated as a potential driving force in speciation and other species-richness patterns, such as latitudinal gradients. However, PNC has not been very well defined in most previous studies. Is it a pattern or a process? What are the underlying endogenous (e.g. genetic) and exogenous (e.g. ecological) factors that cause niches to be conserved? What degree of similarity is necessary to qualify as PNC? Is it possible for the evolutionary processes causing niches to be conserved to also result in niche divergence in different habitats? Here, we revisit these questions, codifying a theoretical and operational definition of PNC as a mechanistic evolutionary process resulting from several factors. We frame this both from a macroevolutionary and population-genetic perspective. We discuss how different axes of physical (e.g. geographic) and environmental (e.g. climatic) heterogeneity interact with the fundamental process of PNC to produce different outcomes of ecological speciation. We also review tests for PNC, and suggest ways that these could be improved or better utilized in future studies. Ultimately, PNC as a process has a well-defined mechanistic basis in organisms, and future studies investigating ecological speciation would be well served to consider this, and frame hypothesis testing in terms of the processes and expected patterns described herein. The process of PNC may lead to patterns where niches are conserved (more similar than expected), constrained (divergent within a limited subset of available niches), or divergent (less similar than expected), based on degree of phylogenetic relatedness between species. © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  8. Molecular variability in Amerindians: widespread but uneven information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    FRANCISCO M. SALZANO

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available A review was made in relation to the molecular variability present in North, Central, and South American Indian populations. It involved results from ancient DNA, mitochondrial DNA in extant populations, HLA and other autosomal markers, X and Y chromosome variation, as well as data from parasitic viruses which could show coevolutionary changes. The questions considered were their origin, ways in which the early colonization of the continent took place, types and levels of the variability which developed, peculiarities of the Amerindian evolutionary processes, and eventual genetic heterogeneity which evolved in different geographical areas. Although much information is already available, it is highly heterogeneous in relation to populations and types of genetic systems investigated. Unfortunately, the present trend of favoring essentially applied research suggest that the situation will not basically improve in the future.Foi realizada uma revisão quanto à variabilidade molecular presente em populações indígenas das Américas do Norte, Central e do Sul. Ela envolveu resultados sobre DNA antigo, DNA mitocondrial em populações atuais, HLA e outros marcadores autossômicos, variação nos cromossomos X e Y, bem como dados de virus parasitas que podem mostrar mudanças coevolucionárias. As questões consideradas foram a sua origem, maneiras como ocorreu a colonização pré-histórica do continente, tipos e níveis da variabilidade que foi desenvolvida, peculiaridades dos processos evolucionários em ameríndios, e a eventual heterogeneidade genética que surgiu em diferentes áreas geográficas. Apesar de que já foi obtida muita informação, ela é muito heterogênea quanto a populações e tipos de sistemas genéticos investigados. Infelizmente, a tendência atual a favorecer pesquisas essencialmente aplicadas sugere que esta situação não deverá melhorar no futuro.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Evolutionary dynamics of incubation periods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ottino-Loffler, Bertrand; Scott, Jacob G; Strogatz, Steven H

    2017-12-21

    The incubation period for typhoid, polio, measles, leukemia and many other diseases follows a right-skewed, approximately lognormal distribution. Although this pattern was discovered more than sixty years ago, it remains an open question to explain its ubiquity. Here, we propose an explanation based on evolutionary dynamics on graphs. For simple models of a mutant or pathogen invading a network-structured population of healthy cells, we show that skewed distributions of incubation periods emerge for a wide range of assumptions about invader fitness, competition dynamics, and network structure. The skewness stems from stochastic mechanisms associated with two classic problems in probability theory: the coupon collector and the random walk. Unlike previous explanations that rely crucially on heterogeneity, our results hold even for homogeneous populations. Thus, we predict that two equally healthy individuals subjected to equal doses of equally pathogenic agents may, by chance alone, show remarkably different time courses of disease.

  12. Evolutionary Games and Social Conventions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Pelle Guldborg

    2007-01-01

    -defined metaphors of individual learning and social imitation processes, from which a revised theory of convention may be erected (see Sugden 2004, Binmore 1993 and Young 1998). This paper makes a general argument in support of the evolutionary turn in the theory of convention by a progressive exposition of its...... in Aumann (1976) and which, together with the assumptions of perfect rationality, came to be defining of classical game theory. However, classical game theory is currently undergoing severe crisis as a tool for exploring social phenomena; a crisis emerging from the problem of equilibrium selection around......Some thirty years ago Lewis published his Convention: A Philosophical Study (Lewis, 2002). This laid the foundation for a game-theoretic approach to social conventions, but became more famously known for its seminal analysis of common knowledge; the concept receiving its canonical analysis...

  13. Bacterial Actins? An Evolutionary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doolittle, Russell F.; York, Amanda L.

    2003-01-01

    According to the conventional wisdom, the existence of a cytoskeleton in eukaryotes and its absence in prokaryotes constitute a fundamental divide between the two domains of life. An integral part of the dogma is that a cytoskeleton enabled an early eukaryote to feed upon prokaryotes, a consequence of which was the occasional endosymbiosis and the eventual evolution of organelles. Two recent papers present compelling evidence that actin, one of the principal components of a cytoskeleton, has a homolog in Bacteria that behaves in many ways like eukaryotic actin. Sequence comparisons reveml that eukaryotic actin and the bacterial homolog (mreB protein), unlike many other proteins common to eukaryotes and Bacteria, have very different and more highly extended evolutionary histories.

  14. EDEN: evolutionary dynamics within environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münch, Philipp C.; Stecher, Bärbel; McHardy, Alice C.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Summary Metagenomics revolutionized the field of microbial ecology, giving access to Gb-sized datasets of microbial communities under natural conditions. This enables fine-grained analyses of the functions of community members, studies of their association with phenotypes and environments, as well as of their microevolution and adaptation to changing environmental conditions. However, phylogenetic methods for studying adaptation and evolutionary dynamics are not able to cope with big data. EDEN is the first software for the rapid detection of protein families and regions under positive selection, as well as their associated biological processes, from meta- and pangenome data. It provides an interactive result visualization for detailed comparative analyses. Availability and implementation EDEN is available as a Docker installation under the GPL 3.0 license, allowing its use on common operating systems, at http://www.github.com/hzi-bifo/eden. Contact alice.mchardy@helmholtz-hzi.de Supplementary information Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:28637301

  15. Evolutionary adaptations to dietary changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luca, F; Perry, G H; Di Rienzo, A

    2010-08-21

    Through cultural innovation and changes in habitat and ecology, there have been a number of major dietary shifts in human evolution, including meat eating, cooking, and those associated with plant and animal domestication. The identification of signatures of adaptations to such dietary changes in the genome of extant primates (including humans) may shed light not only on the evolutionary history of our species, but also on the mechanisms that underlie common metabolic diseases in modern human populations. In this review, we provide a brief overview of the major dietary shifts that occurred during hominin evolution, and we discuss the methods and approaches used to identify signals of natural selection in patterns of sequence variation. We then review the results of studies aimed at detecting the genetic loci that played a major role in dietary adaptations and conclude by outlining the potential of future studies in this area.

  16. Steps towards an evolutionary physics

    CERN Document Server

    Tiezzi, E

    2006-01-01

    If thermodynamics is to physics as logic is to philosophy, recent theoretical advancements lend new coherence to the marvel and dynamism of life on Earth. Enzo Tiezzi's "Steps Towards an Evolutionary Physics" is a primer and guide, to those who would to stand on the shoulders of giants to attain this view: Heisenberg, Planck, Bateson, Varela, and Prigogine as well as notable contemporary scientists. The adventure of such a free and enquiring spirit thrives not so much on answers as on new questions. The book offers a new gestalt on the uncertainty principle and concept of probability. A wide range of examples, enigmas, and paradoxes lead one's imagination on an exquisite dance. Among the applications are: songs and shapes of nature, oscillatory reactions, orientors, goal functions and configurations of processes, and "dissipative structures and the city". Ecodynamics is a new science, which proposes a cross-fertilization between Charles Darwin and Ilya Prigogine. As an enigma in thermodynamics, Entropy forms ...

  17. Numerical and Evolutionary Optimization Workshop

    CERN Document Server

    Trujillo, Leonardo; Legrand, Pierrick; Maldonado, Yazmin

    2017-01-01

    This volume comprises a selection of works presented at the Numerical and Evolutionary Optimization (NEO) workshop held in September 2015 in Tijuana, Mexico. The development of powerful search and optimization techniques is of great importance in today’s world that requires researchers and practitioners to tackle a growing number of challenging real-world problems. In particular, there are two well-established and widely known fields that are commonly applied in this area: (i) traditional numerical optimization techniques and (ii) comparatively recent bio-inspired heuristics. Both paradigms have their unique strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to solve some challenging problems while still failing in others. The goal of the NEO workshop series is to bring together people from these and related fields to discuss, compare and merge their complimentary perspectives in order to develop fast and reliable hybrid methods that maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of the underlying paradigms. Throu...

  18. Markov Networks in Evolutionary Computation

    CERN Document Server

    Shakya, Siddhartha

    2012-01-01

    Markov networks and other probabilistic graphical modes have recently received an upsurge in attention from Evolutionary computation community, particularly in the area of Estimation of distribution algorithms (EDAs).  EDAs have arisen as one of the most successful experiences in the application of machine learning methods in optimization, mainly due to their efficiency to solve complex real-world optimization problems and their suitability for theoretical analysis. This book focuses on the different steps involved in the conception, implementation and application of EDAs that use Markov networks, and undirected models in general. It can serve as a general introduction to EDAs but covers also an important current void in the study of these algorithms by explaining the specificities and benefits of modeling optimization problems by means of undirected probabilistic models. All major developments to date in the progressive introduction of Markov networks based EDAs are reviewed in the book. Hot current researc...

  19. 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.

  20. Evolutionary design assistants for architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Onur Sönmez

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In its parallel pursuit of an increased competitivity for design offices and more pleasurable and easier workflows for designers, artificial design intelligence is a technical, intellectual, and political challenge. While human-machine cooperation has become commonplace through Computer Aided Design (CAD tools, a more improved collaboration and better support appear possible only through an endeavor into a kind of artificial design intelligence, which is more sensitive to the human perception of affairs. Considered as part of the broader Computational Design studies, the research program of this quest can be called Artificial / Autonomous / Automated Design (AD. The current available level of Artificial Intelligence (AI for design is limited and a viable aim for current AD would be to develop design assistants that are capable of producing drafts for various design tasks. Thus, the overall aim of this thesis is the development of approaches, techniques, and tools towards artificial design assistants that offer a capability for generating drafts for sub-tasks within design processes. The main technology explored for this aim is Evolutionary Computation (EC, and the target design domain is architecture. The two connected research questions of the study concern, first, the investigation of the ways to develop an architectural design assistant, and secondly, the utilization of EC for the development of such assistants. While developing approaches, techniques, and computational tools for such an assistant, the study also carries out a broad theoretical investigation into the main problems, challenges, and requirements towards such assistants on a rather overall level. Therefore, the research is shaped as a parallel investigation of three main threads interwoven along several levels, moving from a more general level to specific applications. The three research threads comprise, first, theoretical discussions and speculations with regard to both

  1. Widespread occurrence of secondary lipid biosynthesis potential in microbial lineages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine N Shulse

    Full Text Available Bacterial production of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3 and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3, is constrained to a narrow subset of marine γ-proteobacteria. The genes responsible for de novo bacterial PUFA biosynthesis, designated pfaEABCD, encode large, multi-domain protein complexes akin to type I iterative fatty acid and polyketide synthases, herein referred to as "Pfa synthases". In addition to the archetypal Pfa synthase gene products from marine bacteria, we have identified homologous type I FAS/PKS gene clusters in diverse microbial lineages spanning 45 genera representing 10 phyla, presumed to be involved in long-chain fatty acid biosynthesis. In total, 20 distinct types of gene clusters were identified. Collectively, we propose the designation of "secondary lipids" to describe these biosynthetic pathways and products, a proposition consistent with the "secondary metabolite" vernacular. Phylogenomic analysis reveals a high degree of functional conservation within distinct biosynthetic pathways. Incongruence between secondary lipid synthase functional clades and taxonomic group membership combined with the lack of orthologous gene clusters in closely related strains suggests horizontal gene transfer has contributed to the dissemination of specialized lipid biosynthetic activities across disparate microbial lineages.

  2. Widespread range expansions shape latitudinal variation in insect thermal limits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lancaster, Lesley T.

    2016-06-01

    Current anthropogenic impacts, including habitat modification and climate change, may contribute to a sixth mass extinction. To mitigate these impacts and slow further losses of biodiversity, we need to understand which species are most at risk and identify the factors contributing to current and future declines. Such information is often obtained through large-scale, comparative and biogeographic analysis of lineages or traits that are potentially sensitive to ongoing anthropogenic change--for instance to predict which regions are most susceptible to climate change-induced biodiversity loss. However, for this approach to be generally successful, the underlying causes of identified geographical trends need to be carefully considered. Here, I augment and reanalyse a global data set of insect thermal tolerances, evaluating the contribution of recent and contemporary range expansions to latitudinal variation in thermal niche breadth. Previous indications that high-latitude ectotherms exhibit broad thermal niches and high warming tolerances held only for species undergoing range expansions or invasions. In contrast, species with stable or declining geographic ranges exhibit latitudinally decreasing absolute thermal tolerances and no latitudinal variation in tolerance breadths. Thus, non-range-expanding species, particularly insular or endemic species, which are often of highest conservation priority, are unlikely to tolerate future climatic warming at high latitudes.

  3. Widespread of horizontal gene transfer in the human genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wenze; Tsai, Lillian; Li, Yulong; Hua, Nan; Sun, Chen; Wei, Chaochun

    2017-04-04

    A fundamental concept in biology is that heritable material is passed from parents to offspring, a process called vertical gene transfer. An alternative mechanism of gene acquisition is through horizontal gene transfer (HGT), which involves movement of genetic materials between different species. Horizontal gene transfer has been found prevalent in prokaryotes but very rare in eukaryote. In this paper, we investigate horizontal gene transfer in the human genome. From the pair-wise alignments between human genome and 53 vertebrate genomes, 1,467 human genome regions (2.6 M bases) from all chromosomes were found to be more conserved with non-mammals than with most mammals. These human genome regions involve 642 known genes, which are enriched with ion binding. Compared to known horizontal gene transfer regions in the human genome, there were few overlapping regions, which indicated horizontal gene transfer is more common than we expected in the human genome. Horizontal gene transfer impacts hundreds of human genes and this study provided insight into potential mechanisms of HGT in the human genome.

  4. Handbook of differential equations evolutionary equations

    CERN Document Server

    Dafermos, CM

    2008-01-01

    The material collected in this volume discusses the present as well as expected future directions of development of the field with particular emphasis on applications. The seven survey articles present different topics in Evolutionary PDE's, written by leading experts.- Review of new results in the area- Continuation of previous volumes in the handbook series covering Evolutionary PDEs- Written by leading experts

  5. On economic applications of evolutionary game theory

    OpenAIRE

    Daniel Friedman

    1998-01-01

    Evolutionary games have considerable unrealized potential for modeling substantive economic issues. They promise richer predictions than orthodox game models but often require more extensive specifications. This paper exposits the specification of evolutionary game models and classifies the possible asymptotic behavior for one and two dimensional models.

  6. Research traditions and evolutionary explanations in medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méthot, Pierre-Olivier

    2011-02-01

    In this article, I argue that distinguishing 'evolutionary' from 'Darwinian' medicine will help us assess the variety of roles that evolutionary explanations can play in a number of medical contexts. Because the boundaries of evolutionary and Darwinian medicine overlap to some extent, however, they are best described as distinct 'research traditions' rather than as competing paradigms. But while evolutionary medicine does not stand out as a new scientific field of its own, Darwinian medicine is united by a number of distinctive theoretical and methodological claims. For example, evolutionary medicine and Darwinian medicine can be distinguished with respect to the styles of evolutionary explanations they employ. While the former primarily involves 'forward looking' explanations, the latter depends mostly on 'backward looking' explanations. A forward looking explanation tries to predict the effects of ongoing evolutionary processes on human health and disease in contemporary environments (e.g., hospitals). In contrast, a backward looking explanation typically applies evolutionary principles from the vantage point of humans' distant biological past in order to assess present states of health and disease. Both approaches, however, are concerned with the prevention and control of human diseases. In conclusion, I raise some concerns about the claim that 'nothing in medicine makes sense except in the light of evolution'.

  7. Algorithmic Mechanism Design of Evolutionary Computation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pei, Yan

    2015-01-01

    We consider algorithmic design, enhancement, and improvement of evolutionary computation as a mechanism design problem. All individuals or several groups of individuals can be considered as self-interested agents. The individuals in evolutionary computation can manipulate parameter settings and operations by satisfying their own preferences, which are defined by an evolutionary computation algorithm designer, rather than by following a fixed algorithm rule. Evolutionary computation algorithm designers or self-adaptive methods should construct proper rules and mechanisms for all agents (individuals) to conduct their evolution behaviour correctly in order to definitely achieve the desired and preset objective(s). As a case study, we propose a formal framework on parameter setting, strategy selection, and algorithmic design of evolutionary computation by considering the Nash strategy equilibrium of a mechanism design in the search process. The evaluation results present the efficiency of the framework. This primary principle can be implemented in any evolutionary computation algorithm that needs to consider strategy selection issues in its optimization process. The final objective of our work is to solve evolutionary computation design as an algorithmic mechanism design problem and establish its fundamental aspect by taking this perspective. This paper is the first step towards achieving this objective by implementing a strategy equilibrium solution (such as Nash equilibrium) in evolutionary computation algorithm.

  8. 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 ...

  9. A Hybrid Chaotic Quantum Evolutionary Algorithm

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cai, Y.; Zhang, M.; Cai, H.

    2010-01-01

    A hybrid chaotic quantum evolutionary algorithm is proposed to reduce amount of computation, speed up convergence and restrain premature phenomena of quantum evolutionary algorithm. The proposed algorithm adopts the chaotic initialization method to generate initial population which will form a pe...... tests. The presented algorithm is applied to urban traffic signal timing optimization and the effect is satisfied....

  10. On the Evolutionary Stability of Bargaining Inefficiency

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Anders

    This paper investigates whether 'tough' bargaining behavior, which gives rise to inefficiency, can be evolutionary stable. We show that in a two-stage Nash Demand Game tough behavior survives. Indeed, almost all the surplus may be wasted. We also study the Ultimatum Game. Here evolutionary select...

  11. Calculating evolutionary dynamics in structured populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles G Nathanson

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Evolution is shaping the world around us. At the core of every evolutionary process is a population of reproducing individuals. The outcome of an evolutionary process depends on population structure. Here we provide a general formula for calculating evolutionary dynamics in a wide class of structured populations. This class includes the recently introduced "games in phenotype space" and "evolutionary set theory." There can be local interactions for determining the relative fitness of individuals, but we require global updating, which means all individuals compete uniformly for reproduction. We study the competition of two strategies in the context of an evolutionary game and determine which strategy is favored in the limit of weak selection. We derive an intuitive formula for the structure coefficient, sigma, and provide a method for efficient numerical calculation.

  12. Increased evaporation following widespread tree mortality limits streamflow response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biederman, J. A.; Harpold, A. A.; Gochis, D. J.; Ewers, B. E.; Reed, D. E.; Papuga, S. A.; Brooks, P. D.

    2014-07-01

    A North American epidemic of mountain pine beetle (MPB) has disturbed over 5 million ha of forest containing headwater catchments crucial to water resources. However, there are limited observations of MPB effects on partitioning of precipitation between vapor loss and streamflow, and to our knowledge these fluxes have not been observed simultaneously following disturbance. We combined eddy covariance vapor loss (V), catchment streamflow (Q), and stable isotope indicators of evaporation (E) to quantify hydrologic partitioning over 3 years in MPB-impacted and control sites. Annual control V was conservative, varying only from 573 to 623 mm, while MPB site V varied more widely from 570 to 700 mm. During wet periods, MPB site V was greater than control V in spite of similar above-canopy potential evapotranspiration (PET). During a wet year, annual MPB V was greater and annual Q was lower as compared to an average year, while in a dry year, essentially all water was partitioned to V. Ratios of 2H and 18O in stream and soil water showed no kinetic evaporation at the control site, while MPB isotope ratios fell below the local meteoric water line, indicating greater E and snowpack sublimation (Ss) counteracted reductions in transpiration (T) and sublimation of canopy-intercepted snow (Sc). Increased E was possibly driven by reduced canopy shading of shortwave radiation, which averaged 21 W m-2 during summer under control forest as compared to 66 W m-2 under MPB forest. These results show that abiotic vapor losses may limit widely expected streamflow increases.

  13. Lysosomal enzymes and their receptors in invertebrates: an evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Nadimpalli Siva; Bhamidimarri, Poorna M

    2015-01-01

    Lysosomal biogenesis is an important process in eukaryotic cells to maintain cellular homeostasis. The key components that are involved in the biogenesis such as the lysosomal enzymes, their modifications and the mannose 6-phosphate receptors have been well studied and their evolutionary conservation across mammalian and non-mammalian vertebrates is clearly established. Invertebrate lysosomal biogenesis pathway on the other hand is not well studied. Although, details on mannose 6-phosphate receptors and enzymes involved in lysosomal enzyme modifications were reported earlier, a clear cut pathway has not been established. Recent research on the invertebrate species involving biogenesis of lysosomal enzymes suggests a possible conserved pathway in invertebrates. This review presents certain observations based on these processes that include biochemical, immunological and functional studies. Major conclusions include conservation of MPR-dependent pathway in higher invertebrates and recent evidence suggests that MPR-independent pathway might have been more prominent among lower invertebrates. The possible components of MPR-independent pathway that may play a role in lysosomal enzyme targeting are also discussed here.

  14. Ethics of conservation triage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kerrie A Wilson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Conservation triage seems to be at a stalemate between those who accept triage based on utilitarian rationalization, and those that reject it based on a number of ethical principles. We argue that without considered attention to the ethics of conservation triage we risk further polarization in the field of conservation. We draw lessons from the medical sector, where triage is more intuitive and acceptable, and also from disaster planning, to help navigate the challenges that triage entails for conservation science, practice, and policy. We clarify the consequentialist, deontological, and virtue ethical stances that influence the level of acceptance of triage. We emphasize the ethical dimensions of conservation triage in principle and in practice, particularly in the context of stakeholder diversity, a wide range of possible objectives and actions, broader institutions, and significant uncertainties. A focus on a more diverse set of ethics, more considered choice of triage as a conservation tool, open communication of triage objectives and protocols, greater consideration of risk preferences, and regular review and adaptation of triage protocols is required for conservation triage to become more acceptable among diverse conservation practitioners, institutions, and the general public. Accepting conservation triage as fundamentally an ethical problem would foster more open dialogue and constructive debate about the role of conservation triage in a wider system of care.

  15. Comparison of evolutionary computation algorithms for solving bi ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    failure probability. Multiobjective Evolutionary Computation algorithms (MOEAs) are well-suited for Multiobjective task scheduling on heterogeneous environment. The two Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms such as Multiobjective Genetic. Algorithm (MOGA) and Multiobjective Evolutionary Programming (MOEP) with.

  16. Do species conservation assessments capture genetic diversity?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malin C. Rivers

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The best known system for classifying threat status of species, the IUCN Red List, currently lacks explicit considerations of genetic diversity, and consequently may not account for potential adaptation of species to future environmental change. To address this gap, we integrate range-wide genetic analysis with IUCN Red List assessments.We calculated the loss of genetic diversity under simulated range loss for species of Delonix (Leguminosae. Simulated range loss involved random loss of populations and was intended to model ongoing habitat destruction. We found a strong relationship between loss of genetic diversity and range. Moreover, we found correspondence between levels of genetic diversity and thresholds for ‘non-threatened’ versus ‘threatened’ IUCN Red List categories.Our results support the view that current threat thresholds of the IUCN Red List criteria reflect genetic diversity, and hence evolutionary potential; although the genetic diversity distinction between threatened categories was less evident. Thus, by supplementing conventional conservation assessments with genetic data, new insights into the biological robustness of IUCN Red List assessments for targeted conservation initiatives can be achieved. Keywords: Conservation assessment, Conservation genetics, Extinction risk, Genetic diversity, IUCN Red List, Range

  17. Evolutionary perspectives on innate immunity from the study of Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dennis H; Ausubel, Frederick M

    2005-02-01

    Genetic and functional genomic approaches have begun to define the molecular determinants of pathogen resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans. Conserved signal transduction components are required for pathogen resistance, including a Toll/IL-1 receptor domain adaptor protein that functions upstream of a conserved p38 MAP kinase pathway. We suggest that this pathway is an ancestral innate immune signaling pathway present in the common ancestor of nematodes, arthropods and vertebrates, which is likely to predate the involvement of canonical Toll signaling pathways in innate immunity. We anticipate that the study of pathogen resistance in C. elegans will continue to provide evolutionary and mechanistic insights into the signal transduction and physiology of innate immunity.

  18. 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.

  19. Energy conservation attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors in science laboratories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaplowitz, Michael D.; Thorp, Laurie; Coleman, Kayla; Kwame Yeboah, Felix

    2012-01-01

    Energy use per square foot from science research labs is disproportionately higher than that of other rooms in buildings on campuses across the nation. This is partly due to labs’ use of energy intensive equipment. However, laboratory management and personnel behavior may be significant contributing factors to energy consumption. Despite an apparent increasing need for energy conservation in science labs, a systematic investigation of avenues promoting energy conservation behavior in such labs appears absent in scholarly literature. This paper reports the findings of a recent study into the energy conservation knowledge, attitude and behavior of principle investigators, laboratory managers, and student lab workers at a tier 1 research university. The study investigates potential barriers as well as promising avenues to reducing energy consumption in science laboratories. The findings revealed: (1) an apparent lack of information about options for energy conservation in science labs, (2) existing operational barriers, (3) economic issues as barriers/motivators of energy conservation and (4) a widespread notion that cutting edge science may be compromised by energy conservation initiatives. - Highlights: ► Effective energy conservation and efficiency depend on social systems and human behaviors. ► Science laboratories use more energy per square foot than any other academic and research spaces. ► Time, money, quality control, and convenience overshadow personnel’s desire to save energy. ► Ignorance of conservation practices is a barrier to energy conservation in labs.

  20. Conservation: Toward firmer ground

    Science.gov (United States)

    1975-01-01

    The following aspects of energy conservation were discussed: conservation history and goals, conservation modes, conservation accounting-criteria, and a method to overcome obstacles. The conservation modes tested fall into one of the following categories: reduced energy consumption, increased efficiency of energy utilization, or substitution of one or more forms of energy for another which is in shorter supply or in some sense thought to be of more value. The conservation accounting criteria include net energy reduction, economic, and technical criteria. A method to overcome obstacles includes (approaches such as: direct personal impact (life style, income, security, aspiration), an element of crisis, large scale involvement of environmental, safety, and health issues, connections to big government, big business, big politics, involvement of known and speculative science and technology, appeal to moral and ethical standards, the transient nature of opportunities to correct the system.

  1. Econometric modelling of conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parker, J.C.; Seal, D.J.

    1990-01-01

    The issue of energy conservation in general, and conservation in the natural gas markets in particular, has recently had a much lower profile than in the past, when energy prices were significantly higher and energy costs composed a much larger proportion of industrial operating costs than today. The recent downward trend in energy prices has diverted attention away from this issue. In the face of expected significant real price increases, increasing pressure from environmental groups, and directives on the part of regulator authorities, conservation is once again becoming a topic of consideration in the energy industry. From the point of view of gas demand forecasting, conservation has received too little attention. The intentions of this paper are to establish the need for forecasting conservation in the natural gas utility sector, and to construct a model of industrial demand which incorporates conservation and is appropriate for use as a forecasting tool

  2. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mengistu, Henok; Huizinga, Joost; Mouret, Jean-Baptiste; Clune, Jeff

    2016-06-01

    Hierarchical organization-the recursive composition of sub-modules-is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments). Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force-the cost of connections-promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics.

  3. 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.

  4. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huizinga, Joost; Clune, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    Hierarchical organization—the recursive composition of sub-modules—is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments). Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force–the cost of connections–promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics. PMID:27280881

  5. The Evolutionary Origins of Hierarchy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henok Mengistu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Hierarchical organization-the recursive composition of sub-modules-is ubiquitous in biological networks, including neural, metabolic, ecological, and genetic regulatory networks, and in human-made systems, such as large organizations and the Internet. To date, most research on hierarchy in networks has been limited to quantifying this property. However, an open, important question in evolutionary biology is why hierarchical organization evolves in the first place. It has recently been shown that modularity evolves because of the presence of a cost for network connections. Here we investigate whether such connection costs also tend to cause a hierarchical organization of such modules. In computational simulations, we find that networks without a connection cost do not evolve to be hierarchical, even when the task has a hierarchical structure. However, with a connection cost, networks evolve to be both modular and hierarchical, and these networks exhibit higher overall performance and evolvability (i.e. faster adaptation to new environments. Additional analyses confirm that hierarchy independently improves adaptability after controlling for modularity. Overall, our results suggest that the same force-the cost of connections-promotes the evolution of both hierarchy and modularity, and that these properties are important drivers of network performance and adaptability. In addition to shedding light on the emergence of hierarchy across the many domains in which it appears, these findings will also accelerate future research into evolving more complex, intelligent computational brains in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics.

  6. Evolutionary games in the multiverse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gokhale, Chaitanya S; Traulsen, Arne

    2010-03-23

    Evolutionary game dynamics of two players with two strategies has been studied in great detail. These games have been used to model many biologically relevant scenarios, ranging from social dilemmas in mammals to microbial diversity. Some of these games may, in fact, take place between a number of individuals and not just between two. Here we address one-shot games with multiple players. As long as we have only two strategies, many results from two-player games can be generalized to multiple players. For games with multiple players and more than two strategies, we show that statements derived for pairwise interactions no longer hold. For two-player games with any number of strategies there can be at most one isolated internal equilibrium. For any number of players with any number of strategies , there can be at most isolated internal equilibria. Multiplayer games show a great dynamical complexity that cannot be captured based on pairwise interactions. Our results hold for any game and can easily be applied to specific cases, such as public goods games or multiplayer stag hunts.

  7. Evolutionary advantages of adaptive rewarding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szolnoki, Attila; Perc, Matjaž

    2012-01-01

    Our well-being depends on both our personal success and the success of our society. The realization of this fact makes cooperation an essential trait. Experiments have shown that rewards can elevate our readiness to cooperate, but since giving a reward inevitably entails paying a cost for it, the emergence and stability of such behavior remains elusive. Here we show that allowing for the act of rewarding to self-organize in dependence on the success of cooperation creates several evolutionary advantages that instill new ways through which collaborative efforts are promoted. Ranging from indirect territorial battle to the spontaneous emergence and destruction of coexistence, phase diagrams and the underlying spatial patterns reveal fascinatingly rich social dynamics that explain why this costly behavior has evolved and persevered. Comparisons with adaptive punishment, however, uncover an Achilles heel of adaptive rewarding, coming from over-aggression, which in turn hinders optimal utilization of network reciprocity. This may explain why, despite its success, rewarding is not as firmly embedded into our societal organization as punishment. (paper)

  8. 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.

  9. Handbook on energy conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-12-01

    This book shows energy situation in recent years, which includes reserves of energy resource in the world, crude oil production records in OPEC and non OPEC, supply and demand of energy in important developed countries, prospect of supply and demand of energy and current situation of energy conservation in developed countries. It also deals with energy situation in Korea reporting natural resources status, energy conservation policy, measurement for alternative energy, energy management of Korea, investment in equipment and public education for energy conservation.

  10. Effect of widespread agricultural chemical use on butterfly diversity across Turkish provinces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pekin, Burak K

    2013-12-01

    Although agricultural intensification is thought to pose a significant threat to species, little is known about its role in driving biodiversity loss at regional scales. I assessed the effects of a major component of agricultural intensification, agricultural chemical use, and land-cover and climatic variables on butterfly diversity across 81 provinces in Turkey, where agriculture is practiced extensively but with varying degrees of intensity. I determined butterfly species presence in each province from data on known butterfly distributions and calculated agricultural chemical use as the proportion of agricultural households that use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. I used constrained correspondence analyses and regression-based multimodel inference to determine the effect of environmental variables on species composition and richness, respectively. The variation in butterfly species composition across the provinces was largely explained (78%) by the combination of agricultural chemical use, particularly pesticides, and climatic and land-cover variables. Although overall butterfly richness was primarily explained by climatic and land-cover variables, such as the area of natural vegetation cover, threatened butterfly richness and the relative number of threatened butterfly species decreased substantially as the proportion of agricultural households using pesticides increased. These findings suggest that widespread use of agricultural chemicals, or other components of agricultural intensification that may be collinear with pesticide use, pose an imminent threat to the biodiversity of Turkey. Accordingly, policies that mitigate agricultural intensification and promote low-input farming practices are crucial for protecting threatened species from extinction in rapidly industrializing nations such as Turkey. Efectos del Uso Extensivo de Agroquímicos sobre la Diversidad de Mariposas en Provincias Turcas. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Species packing in eco-evolutionary models of seasonally fluctuating environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kremer, Colin T; Klausmeier, Christopher A

    2017-09-01

    As ecology and evolution become ever more entwined, many areas of ecological theory are being re-examined. Eco-evolutionary analyses of classic coexistence mechanisms are yielding new insights into the structure and stability of communities. We examine fluctuation-dependent coexistence models, identifying communities that are both ecologically and evolutionarily stable. Members of these communities possess distinct environmental preferences, revealing widespread patterns of limiting similarity. This regularity leads to consistent changes in the structure of communities across fluctuation regimes. However, at high amplitudes, subtle differences in the form of fluctuations dramatically affect the collapse of communities. We also show that identical fluctuations can support multiple evolutionarily stable communities - a novel example of alternative stable states within eco-evolutionary systems. Consequently, the configuration of communities will depend on historical contingencies, including details of the adaptive process. Integrating evolution into the study of coexistence offers new insights, while enriching our understanding of ecology. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  12. Evolutionary robotics simulations help explain why reciprocity is rare in nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, Jean-Baptiste; Nolfi, Stefano

    2016-09-12

    The relative rarity of reciprocity in nature, contrary to theoretical predictions that it should be widespread, is currently one of the major puzzles in social evolution theory. Here we use evolutionary robotics to solve this puzzle. We show that models based on game theory are misleading because they neglect the mechanics of behavior. In a series of experiments with simulated robots controlled by artificial neural networks, we find that reciprocity does not evolve, and show that this results from a general constraint that likely also prevents it from evolving in the wild. Reciprocity can evolve if it requires very few mutations, as is usually assumed in evolutionary game theoretic models, but not if, more realistically, it requires the accumulation of many adaptive mutations.

  13. Indirect genetics effects and evolutionary constraint: an analysis of social dominance in red deer, Cervus elaphus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, A J; Morrissey, M B; Adams, M J; Walling, C A; Guinness, F E; Pemberton, J M; Clutton-Brock, T H; Kruuk, L E B

    2011-04-01

    By determining access to limited resources, social dominance is often an important determinant of fitness. Thus, if heritable, standard theory predicts mean dominance should evolve. However, dominance is usually inferred from the tendency to win contests, and given one winner and one loser in any dyadic contest, the mean proportion won will always equal 0.5. Here, we argue that the apparent conflict between quantitative genetic theory and common sense is resolved by recognition of indirect genetic effects (IGEs). We estimate selection on, and genetic (co)variance structures for, social dominance, in a wild population of red deer Cervus elaphus, on the Scottish island of Rum. While dominance is heritable and positively correlated with lifetime fitness, contest outcomes depend as much on the genes carried by an opponent as on the genotype of a focal individual. We show how this dependency imposes an absolute evolutionary constraint on the phenotypic mean, thus reconciling theoretical predictions with common sense. More generally, we argue that IGEs likely provide a widespread but poorly recognized source of evolutionary constraint for traits influenced by competition. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2011 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  14. Evolutionary theory and the naturalist fallacy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grodal, Torben Kragh

    2008-01-01

    that great work of art are also automatically fitness-enhancing in the present day environment, at that there are simple correllations between whether a work of art has a high aesthetic value and whether it is fitness-enhancing or not.  Keywords :  Evolutionary aesthetics, film theory, literary theory......The article is an invited response to a target article by Joseph Carroll entitled "An evolutionary paradigm for literary study". It argues that the target article  misuse the fact that works of art are based on adaptations that were fitness-enhancing in the era of evolutionary adaptations to claim...

  15. Oxytocin mediated behavior in invertebrates: An evolutionary perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lockard, Meghan A; Ebert, Margaret S; Bargmann, Cornelia I

    2017-02-01

    The molecular and functional conservation of oxytocin-related neuropeptides in behavior is striking. In animals separated by at least 600 million years of evolution, from roundworms to humans, oxytocin homologs play critical roles in the modulation of reproductive behavior and other biological functions. Here, we review the roles of oxytocin in invertebrate behavior from an evolutionary perspective. We begin by tracing the evolution of oxytocin through the invertebrate animal lineages, and then describe common themes in invertebrate behaviors that are mediated by oxytocin-related peptides, including reproductive behavior, learning and memory, food arousal, and predator/prey relationships. Finally, we discuss interesting future directions that have recently become experimentally tractable. Studying oxytocin in invertebrates offers precise insights into the activity of neuropeptides on well-defined neural circuits; the principles that emerge may also be represented in the more complex vertebrate brain. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 77: 128-142, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Evolutionary Fates and Dynamic Functionalization of Young Duplicate Genes in Arabidopsis Genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Tao, Feng; Marowsky, Nicholas C; Fan, Chuanzhu

    2016-09-01

    Gene duplication is a primary means to generate genomic novelties, playing an essential role in speciation and adaptation. Particularly in plants, a high abundance of duplicate genes has been maintained for significantly long periods of evolutionary time. To address the manner in which young duplicate genes were derived primarily from small-scale gene duplication and preserved in plant genomes and to determine the underlying driving mechanisms, we generated transcriptomes to produce the expression profiles of five tissues in Arabidopsis thaliana and the closely related species Arabidopsis lyrata and Capsella rubella Based on the quantitative analysis metrics, we investigated the evolutionary processes of young duplicate genes in Arabidopsis. We determined that conservation, neofunctionalization, and specialization are three main evolutionary processes for Arabidopsis young duplicate genes. We explicitly demonstrated the dynamic functionalization of duplicate genes along the evolutionary time scale. Upon origination, duplicates tend to maintain their ancestral functions; but as they survive longer, they might be likely to develop distinct and novel functions. The temporal evolutionary processes and functionalization of plant duplicate genes are associated with their ancestral functions, dynamic DNA methylation levels, and histone modification abundances. Furthermore, duplicate genes tend to be initially expressed in pollen and then to gain more interaction partners over time. Altogether, our study provides novel insights into the dynamic retention processes of young duplicate genes in plant genomes. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  17. Evolutionary Fates and Dynamic Functionalization of Young Duplicate Genes in Arabidopsis Genomes1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jun; Tao, Feng; Marowsky, Nicholas C.; Fan, Chuanzhu

    2016-01-01

    Gene duplication is a primary means to generate genomic novelties, playing an essential role in speciation and adaptation. Particularly in plants, a high abundance of duplicate genes has been maintained for significantly long periods of evolutionary time. To address the manner in which young duplicate genes were derived primarily from small-scale gene duplication and preserved in plant genomes and to determine the underlying driving mechanisms, we generated transcriptomes to produce the expression profiles of five tissues in Arabidopsis thaliana and the closely related species Arabidopsis lyrata and Capsella rubella. Based on the quantitative analysis metrics, we investigated the evolutionary processes of young duplicate genes in Arabidopsis. We determined that conservation, neofunctionalization, and specialization are three main evolutionary processes for Arabidopsis young duplicate genes. We explicitly demonstrated the dynamic functionalization of duplicate genes along the evolutionary time scale. Upon origination, duplicates tend to maintain their ancestral functions; but as they survive longer, they might be likely to develop distinct and novel functions. The temporal evolutionary processes and functionalization of plant duplicate genes are associated with their ancestral functions, dynamic DNA methylation levels, and histone modification abundances. Furthermore, duplicate genes tend to be initially expressed in pollen and then to gain more interaction partners over time. Altogether, our study provides novel insights into the dynamic retention processes of young duplicate genes in plant genomes. PMID:27485883

  18. Structure versus time in the evolutionary diversification of avian carotenoid metabolic networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, Erin S; Badyaev, Alexander V

    2018-05-01

    Historical associations of genes and proteins are thought to delineate pathways available to subsequent evolution; however, the effects of past functional involvements on contemporary evolution are rarely quantified. Here, we examined the extent to which the structure of a carotenoid enzymatic network persists in avian evolution. Specifically, we tested whether the evolution of carotenoid networks was most concordant with phylogenetically structured expansion from core reactions of common ancestors or with subsampling of biochemical pathway modules from an ancestral network. We compared structural and historical associations in 467 carotenoid networks of extant and ancestral species and uncovered the overwhelming effect of pre-existing metabolic network structure on carotenoid diversification over the last 50 million years of avian evolution. Over evolutionary time, birds repeatedly subsampled and recombined conserved biochemical modules, which likely maintained the overall structure of the carotenoid metabolic network during avian evolution. These findings explain the recurrent convergence of evolutionary distant species in carotenoid metabolism and weak phylogenetic signal in avian carotenoid evolution. Remarkable retention of an ancient metabolic structure throughout extensive and prolonged ecological diversification in avian carotenoid metabolism illustrates a fundamental requirement of organismal evolution - historical continuity of a deterministic network that links past and present functional associations of its components. © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2018 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  19. Divergent Evolutionary Patterns of NAC Transcription Factors Are Associated with Diversification and Gene Duplications in Angiosperm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoli Jin

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available NAC (NAM/ATAF/CUC proteins constitute one of the biggest plant-specific transcription factor (TF families and have crucial roles in diverse developmental programs during plant growth. Phylogenetic analyses have revealed both conserved and lineage-specific NAC subfamilies, among which various origins and distinct features were observed. It is reasonable to hypothesize that there should be divergent evolutionary patterns of NAC TFs both between dicots and monocots, and among NAC subfamilies. In this study, we compared the gene duplication and loss, evolutionary rate, and selective pattern among non-lineage specific NAC subfamilies, as well as those between dicots and monocots, through genome-wide analyses of sequence and functional data in six dicot and five grass lineages. The number of genes gained in the dicot lineages was much larger than that in the grass lineages, while fewer gene losses were observed in the grass than that in the dicots. We revealed (1 uneven constitution of Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs and contrasting birth/death rates among subfamilies, and (2 two distinct evolutionary scenarios of NAC TFs between dicots and grasses. Our results demonstrated that relaxed selection, resulting from concerted gene duplications, may have permitted substitutions responsible for functional divergence of NAC genes into new lineages. The underlying mechanism of distinct evolutionary fates of NAC TFs shed lights on how evolutionary divergence contributes to differences in establishing NAC gene subfamilies and thus impacts the distinct features between dicots and grasses.

  20. Evolutionary Meta-Analysis of Association Studies Reveals Ancient Constraints Affecting Disease Marker Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dudley, Joel T.; Chen, Rong; Sanderford, Maxwell; Butte, Atul J.; Kumar, Sudhir

    2012-01-01

    Genome-wide disease association studies contrast genetic variation between disease cohorts and healthy populations to discover single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and other genetic markers revealing underlying genetic architectures of human diseases. Despite scores of efforts over the past decade, many reproducible genetic variants that explain substantial proportions of the heritable risk of common human diseases remain undiscovered. We have conducted a multispecies genomic analysis of 5,831 putative human risk variants for more than 230 disease phenotypes reported in 2,021 studies. We find that the current approaches show a propensity for discovering disease-associated SNPs (dSNPs) at conserved genomic positions because the effect size (odds ratio) and allelic P value of genetic association of an SNP relates strongly to the evolutionary conservation of their genomic position. We propose a new measure for ranking SNPs that integrates evolutionary conservation scores and the P value (E-rank). Using published data from a large case-control study, we demonstrate that E-rank method prioritizes SNPs with a greater likelihood of bona fide and reproducible genetic disease associations, many of which may explain greater proportions of genetic variance. Therefore, long-term evolutionary histories of genomic positions offer key practical utility in reassessing data from existing disease association studies, and in the design and analysis of future studies aimed at revealing the genetic basis of common human diseases. PMID:22389448

  1. Evolutionary plasticity of plasma membrane interaction in DREPP family proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vosolsobě, Stanislav; Petrášek, Jan; Schwarzerová, Kateřina

    2017-05-01

    The plant-specific DREPP protein family comprises proteins that were shown to regulate the actin and microtubular cytoskeleton in a calcium-dependent manner. Our phylogenetic analysis showed that DREPPs first appeared in ferns and that DREPPs have a rapid and plastic evolutionary history in plants. Arabidopsis DREPP paralogues called AtMDP25/PCaP1 and AtMAP18/PCaP2 are N-myristoylated, which has been reported as a key factor in plasma membrane localization. Here we show that N-myristoylation is neither conserved nor ancestral for the DREPP family. Instead, by using confocal microscopy and a new method for quantitative evaluation of protein membrane localization, we show that DREPPs rely on two mechanisms ensuring their plasma membrane localization. These include N-myristoylation and electrostatic interaction of a polybasic amino acid cluster. We propose that various plasma membrane association mechanisms resulting from the evolutionary plasticity of DREPPs are important for refining plasma membrane interaction of these signalling proteins under various conditions and in various cells. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Bioinformatics education dissemination with an evolutionary problem solving perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jungck, John R; Donovan, Samuel S; Weisstein, Anton E; Khiripet, Noppadon; Everse, Stephen J

    2010-11-01

    Bioinformatics is central to biology education in the 21st century. With the generation of terabytes of data per day, the application of computer-based tools to stored and distributed data is fundamentally changing research and its application to problems in medicine, agriculture, conservation and forensics. In light of this 'information revolution,' undergraduate biology curricula must be redesigned to prepare the next generation of informed citizens as well as those who will pursue careers in the life sciences. The BEDROCK initiative (Bioinformatics Education Dissemination: Reaching Out, Connecting and Knitting together) has fostered an international community of bioinformatics educators. The initiative's goals are to: (i) Identify and support faculty who can take leadership roles in bioinformatics education; (ii) Highlight and distribute innovative approaches to incorporating evolutionary bioinformatics data and techniques throughout undergraduate education; (iii) Establish mechanisms for the broad dissemination of bioinformatics resource materials and teaching models; (iv) Emphasize phylogenetic thinking and problem solving; and (v) Develop and publish new software tools to help students develop and test evolutionary hypotheses. Since 2002, BEDROCK has offered more than 50 faculty workshops around the world, published many resources and supported an environment for developing and sharing bioinformatics education approaches. The BEDROCK initiative builds on the established pedagogical philosophy and academic community of the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium to assemble the diverse intellectual and human resources required to sustain an international reform effort in undergraduate bioinformatics education.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. The Roles and Evolutionary Patterns of Intronless Genes in Deuterostomes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Zou

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Genes without introns are a characteristic feature of prokaryotes, but there are still a number of intronless genes in eukaryotes. To study these eukaryotic genes that have prokaryotic architecture could help to understand the evolutionary patterns of related genes and genomes. Our analyses revealed a number of intronless genes that reside in 6 deuterostomes (sea urchin, sea squirt, zebrafish, chicken, platypus, and human. We also determined the conservation for each intronless gene in archaea, bacteria, fungi, plants, metazoans, and other eukaryotes. Proportions of intronless genes that are inherited from the common ancestor of archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes in these species were consistent with their phylogenetic positions, with more proportions of ancient intronless genes residing in more primitive species. In these species, intronless genes belong to different cellular roles and gene ontology (GO categories, and some of these functions are very basic. Part of intronless genes is derived from other intronless genes or multiexon genes in each species. In conclusion, we showed that a varying number and proportion of intronless genes reside in these 6 deuterostomes, and some of them function importantly. These genes are good candidates for subsequent functional and evolutionary analyses specifically.

  5. A Study on Standard Competition with Network Effect Based on Evolutionary Game Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ye; Wang, Bingdong; Li, Kangning

    Owing to networks widespread in modern society, standard competition with network effect is now endowed with new connotation. This paper aims to study the impact of network effect on standard competition; it is organized in the mode of "introduction-model setup-equilibrium analysis-conclusion". Starting from a well-structured model of evolutionary game, it is then extended to a dynamic analysis. This article proves both theoretically and empirically that whether or not a standard can lead the market trends depends on the utility it would bring, and the author also discusses some advisable strategies revolving around the two factors of initial position and border break.

  6. Biodiversity Conservation and Conservation Biotechnology Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    This special issue is dedicated to the in vitro tools and methods used to conserve the genetic diversity of rare and threatened species from around the world. Species that are on the brink of extinction, due to the rapid loss of genetic diversity and habitat, come mainly from resource poor areas the...

  7. Paradigms for parasite conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dougherty, Eric R; Carlson, Colin J; Bueno, Veronica M; Burgio, Kevin R; Cizauskas, Carrie A; Clements, Christopher F; Seidel, Dana P; Harris, Nyeema C

    2016-08-01

    Parasitic species, which depend directly on host species for their survival, represent a major regulatory force in ecosystems and a significant component of Earth's biodiversity. Yet the negative impacts of parasites observed at the host level have motivated a conservation paradigm of eradication, moving us farther from attainment of taxonomically unbiased conservation goals. Despite a growing body of literature highlighting the importance of parasite-inclusive conservation, most parasite species remain understudied, underfunded, and underappreciated. We argue the protection of parasitic biodiversity requires a paradigm shift in the perception and valuation of their role as consumer species, similar to that of apex predators in the mid-20th century. Beyond recognizing parasites as vital trophic regulators, existing tools available to conservation practitioners should explicitly account for the unique threats facing dependent species. We built upon concepts from epidemiology and economics (e.g., host-density threshold and cost-benefit analysis) to devise novel metrics of margin of error and minimum investment for parasite conservation. We define margin of error as the risk of accidental host extinction from misestimating equilibrium population sizes and predicted oscillations, while minimum investment represents the cost associated with conserving the additional hosts required to maintain viable parasite populations. This framework will aid in the identification of readily conserved parasites that present minimal health risks. To establish parasite conservation, we propose an extension of population viability analysis for host-parasite assemblages to assess extinction risk. In the direst cases, ex situ breeding programs for parasites should be evaluated to maximize success without undermining host protection. Though parasitic species pose a considerable conservation challenge, adaptations to conservation tools will help protect parasite biodiversity in the face of

  8. 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

  9. [Evolutionary Concept Analysis of Spirituality].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Il Sun; Choi, So Young; Kim, Jin Sook

    2017-04-01

    This study was done to clarify attributes, antecedents, and consequences of spirituality. Rodgers's evolutionary concept analysis was used to analyze fifty seven studies from the literature related to spirituality as it appears in systematic literature reviews of theology, medicine, counseling & psychology, social welfare, and nursing. Spirituality was found to consist of two dimensions and eight attributes: 1) vertical dimension: 'intimacy and connectedness with God' and 'holy life and belief', 2) horizontal dimension: 'self-transcendence', 'meaning and purpose in life', 'self-integration', and 'self-creativity' in relationship with self, 'connectedness' and 'trust' in relationship with others·neighbors·nature. Antecedents of spirituality were socio-demographic, religious, psychological, and health related characteristics. Consequences of spirituality were positive and negative. Being positive included 'life centered on God' in vertical dimension, and among horizontal dimension 'joy', 'hope', 'wellness', 'inner peace', and 'self-actualization' in relationship with self, 'doing in love' and 'extended life toward neighbors and the world' in relationship with others·neighbors·nature. Being negative was defined as having 'guilt', 'inner conflict', 'loneliness', and 'spiritual distress'. Facilitators of spirituality were stressful life events and experiences. Spirituality is a multidimensional concept. Unchangeable attributes of spirituality are 'connectedness with God', 'self-transcendence', 'meaning of life' and 'connectedness with others·nature'. Unchangeable consequences of spirituality are 'joy' and 'hope'. The findings suggest that the dimensional framework of spirituality can be used to assess the current spiritual state of patients. Based on these results, the development of a Korean version of the scale measuring spirituality is recommended. © 2017 Korean Society of Nursing Science

  10. 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.

  11. Evolutionary relevance facilitates visual information processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Russell E; Calvillo, Dusti P

    2013-11-03

    Visual search of the environment is a fundamental human behavior that perceptual load affects powerfully. Previously investigated means for overcoming the inhibitions of high perceptual load, however, generalize poorly to real-world human behavior. We hypothesized that humans would process evolutionarily relevant stimuli more efficiently than evolutionarily novel stimuli, and evolutionary relevance would mitigate the repercussions of high perceptual load during visual search. Animacy is a significant component to evolutionary relevance of visual stimuli because perceiving animate entities is time-sensitive in ways that pose significant evolutionary consequences. Participants completing a visual search task located evolutionarily relevant and animate objects fastest and with the least impact of high perceptual load. Evolutionarily novel and inanimate objects were located slowest and with the highest impact of perceptual load. Evolutionary relevance may importantly affect everyday visual information processing.

  12. Evolutionary Relevance Facilitates Visual Information Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell E. Jackson

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Visual search of the environment is a fundamental human behavior that perceptual load affects powerfully. Previously investigated means for overcoming the inhibitions of high perceptual load, however, generalize poorly to real-world human behavior. We hypothesized that humans would process evolutionarily relevant stimuli more efficiently than evolutionarily novel stimuli, and evolutionary relevance would mitigate the repercussions of high perceptual load during visual search. Animacy is a significant component to evolutionary relevance of visual stimuli because perceiving animate entities is time-sensitive in ways that pose significant evolutionary consequences. Participants completing a visual search task located evolutionarily relevant and animate objects fastest and with the least impact of high perceptual load. Evolutionarily novel and inanimate objects were located slowest and with the highest impact of perceptual load. Evolutionary relevance may importantly affect everyday visual information processing.

  13. Evolutionary algorithms for mobile ad hoc networks

    CERN Document Server

    Dorronsoro, Bernabé; Danoy, Grégoire; Pigné, Yoann; Bouvry, Pascal

    2014-01-01

    Describes how evolutionary algorithms (EAs) can be used to identify, model, and minimize day-to-day problems that arise for researchers in optimization and mobile networking. Mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs), vehicular networks (VANETs), sensor networks (SNs), and hybrid networks—each of these require a designer’s keen sense and knowledge of evolutionary algorithms in order to help with the common issues that plague professionals involved in optimization and mobile networking. This book introduces readers to both mobile ad hoc networks and evolutionary algorithms, presenting basic concepts as well as detailed descriptions of each. It demonstrates how metaheuristics and evolutionary algorithms (EAs) can be used to help provide low-cost operations in the optimization process—allowing designers to put some “intelligence” or sophistication into the design. It also offers efficient and accurate information on dissemination algorithms topology management, and mobility models to address challenges in the ...

  14. Evolutionary medicine: its scope, interest and potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stearns, Stephen C

    2012-11-07

    This review is aimed at readers seeking an introductory overview, teaching courses and interested in visionary ideas. It first describes the range of topics covered by evolutionary medicine, which include human genetic variation, mismatches to modernity, reproductive medicine, degenerative disease, host-pathogen interactions and insights from comparisons with other species. It then discusses priorities for translational research, basic research and health management. Its conclusions are that evolutionary thinking should not displace other approaches to medical science, such as molecular medicine and cell and developmental biology, but that evolutionary insights can combine with and complement established approaches to reduce suffering and save lives. Because we are on the cusp of so much new research and innovative insights, it is hard to estimate how much impact evolutionary thinking will have on medicine, but it is already clear that its potential is enormous.

  15. Exploitation of linkage learning in evolutionary algorithms

    CERN Document Server

    Chen, Ying-ping

    2010-01-01

    The exploitation of linkage learning is enhancing the performance of evolutionary algorithms. This monograph examines recent progress in linkage learning, with a series of focused technical chapters that cover developments and trends in the field.

  16. Evolutionary Robotics: What, Why, and Where to

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephane eDoncieux

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Evolutionary robotics applies the selection, variation, and heredity principles of natural evolution to the design of robots with embodied intelligence. It can be considered as a subfield of robotics that aims to create more robust and adaptive robots. A pivotal feature of the evolutionary approach is that it considers the whole robot at once, and enables the exploitation of robot features in a holistic manner. Evolutionary robotics can also be seen as an innovative approach to the study of evolution based on a new kind of experimentalism. The use of robots as a substrate can help address questions that are difficult, if not impossible, to investigate through computer simulations or biological studies. In this paper we consider the main achievements of evolutionary robotics, focusing particularly on its contributions to both engineering and biology. We briefly elaborate on methodological issues, review some of the most interesting findings, and discuss important open issues and promising avenues for future work.

  17. Mean-Potential Law in Evolutionary Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nałecz-Jawecki, Paweł; Miekisz, Jacek

    2018-01-01

    The Letter presents a novel way to connect random walks, stochastic differential equations, and evolutionary game theory. We introduce a new concept of a potential function for discrete-space stochastic systems. It is based on a correspondence between one-dimensional stochastic differential equations and random walks, which may be exact not only in the continuous limit but also in finite-state spaces. Our method is useful for computation of fixation probabilities in discrete stochastic dynamical systems with two absorbing states. We apply it to evolutionary games, formulating two simple and intuitive criteria for evolutionary stability of pure Nash equilibria in finite populations. In particular, we show that the 1 /3 law of evolutionary games, introduced by Nowak et al. [Nature, 2004], follows from a more general mean-potential law.

  18. Hybridizing Evolutionary Algorithms with Opportunistic Local Search

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gießen, Christian

    2013-01-01

    There is empirical evidence that memetic algorithms (MAs) can outperform plain evolutionary algorithms (EAs). Recently the first runtime analyses have been presented proving the aforementioned conjecture rigorously by investigating Variable-Depth Search, VDS for short (Sudholt, 2008). Sudholt...

  19. Genetic variations and evolutionary relationships among radishes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    vera 1

    To determine the genetic diversity and evolutionary relationships among red radishes, 37 accessions ... determined that plant height, fresh leaf weight, and root ... Flower-shaped. Red .... according to Levan's karyotype classification standards.

  20. Evolutionary genetics: 150 years of natural selection

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    This year marks a hundred and fifty years since the formal enunciation of the ... publication of R. A. Fisher's landmark paper reconciling the statistical results of the ... applications of evolutionary thinking that has emerged over the past fifteen.

  1. Evolutionary Game Theory Analysis of Tumor Progression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Amy; Liao, David; Sturm, James; Austin, Robert

    2014-03-01

    Evolutionary game theory applied to two interacting cell populations can yield quantitative prediction of the future densities of the two cell populations based on the initial interaction terms. We will discuss how in a complex ecology that evolutionary game theory successfully predicts the future densities of strains of stromal and cancer cells (multiple myeloma), and discuss the possible clinical use of such analysis for predicting cancer progression. Supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Cancer Institute.

  2. Endogenous money: the evolutionary versus revolutionary views

    OpenAIRE

    Louis-Philippe Rochon; Sergio Rossi

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the endogenous nature of money. Contrary to the established post-Keynesian, or evolutionary, view, this paper argues that money has always been endogenous, irrespective of the historical period. Instead of the evolutionary theory of money and banking that can be traced back to Chick (1986), this paper puts forward a revolutionary definition of endogenous money consistent with many aspects of post-Keynesian economics as well as with the monetary ci...

  3. Avoiding Local Optima with Interactive Evolutionary Robotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-09

    the top of a flight of stairs selects for climbing ; suspending the robot and the target object above the ground and creating rungs between the two will...REPORT Avoiding Local Optimawith Interactive Evolutionary Robotics 14. ABSTRACT 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: The main bottleneck in evolutionary... robotics has traditionally been the time required to evolve robot controllers. However with the continued acceleration in computational resources, the

  4. Applied evolutionary economics and economic geography

    OpenAIRE

    Peter Sunley

    2008-01-01

    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 sociologists, all of whom share an interest in explaining the uneven distribution of economic activities in space and the historical processes that have produced these patterns.

  5. Introducing Conservation of Momentum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunt, Marjorie; Brunt, Geoff

    2013-01-01

    The teaching of the principle of conservation of linear momentum is considered (ages 15 + ). From the principle, the momenta of two masses in an isolated system are considered. Sketch graphs of the momenta make Newton's laws appear obvious. Examples using different collision conditions are considered. Conservation of momentum is considered…

  6. Water Conservation Resource List.

    Science.gov (United States)

    NJEA Review, 1981

    1981-01-01

    Alarmed by the growing water shortage, the New Jersey State Office of Dissemination has prepared this annotated list of free or inexpensive instructional materials for teaching about water conservation, K-l2. A tipsheet for home water conservation is appended. (Editor/SJL)

  7. Controllability of conservative behaviours

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rao, Shodhan

    2012-01-01

    In this article, we first define the class of J-conservative behaviours with observable storage functions, where J is a symmetric two-variable polynomial matrix. We then provide two main results. The first result states that if J(-xi,xi) is nonsingular, the input cardinality of a J-conservative

  8. Conservation Science Fair Projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil Conservation Society of America, Ankeny, IA.

    Included are ideas, suggestions, and examples for selecting and designing conservation science projects. Over 70 possible conservation subject areas are presented with suggested projects. References are cited with each of these subject areas, and a separate list of annotated references is included. The references pertain to general subject…

  9. Setting conservation priorities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Kerrie A; Carwardine, Josie; Possingham, Hugh P

    2009-04-01

    A generic framework for setting conservation priorities based on the principles of classic decision theory is provided. This framework encapsulates the key elements of any problem, including the objective, the constraints, and knowledge of the system. Within the context of this framework the broad array of approaches for setting conservation priorities are reviewed. While some approaches prioritize assets or locations for conservation investment, it is concluded here that prioritization is incomplete without consideration of the conservation actions required to conserve the assets at particular locations. The challenges associated with prioritizing investments through time in the face of threats (and also spatially and temporally heterogeneous costs) can be aided by proper problem definition. Using the authors' general framework for setting conservation priorities, multiple criteria can be rationally integrated and where, how, and when to invest conservation resources can be scheduled. Trade-offs are unavoidable in priority setting when there are multiple considerations, and budgets are almost always finite. The authors discuss how trade-offs, risks, uncertainty, feedbacks, and learning can be explicitly evaluated within their generic framework for setting conservation priorities. Finally, they suggest ways that current priority-setting approaches may be improved.

  10. Madagascar Conservation & Development

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Madagascar Conservation & Development welcomes the results of original research, field surveys, advances in field and laboratory techniques, book reviews, and informal status reports from research, conservation, development and management programs and in-field projects in Madagascar. In addition, notes on changes ...

  11. Resource Conservation Glossary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil Conservation Society of America, Ankeny, IA.

    This glossary is a composite of terms selected from 13 technologies, and is the expanded revision of the original 1952 edition of "The Soil and Water Conservation Glossary." The terms were selected from these areas: agronomy, biology, conservation, ecology, economics, engineering, forestry, geology, hydrology, range, recreation, soils, and…

  12. Creative Soil Conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Martha

    2010-01-01

    Take plant lessons outdoors with this engaging and inquiry-based activity in which third-grade students learn how to apply soil conservation methods to growing plants. They also collect data and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of their method of soil conservation. An added benefit to this activity is that the third-grade students played…

  13. 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.

  14. Evolutionary computation in zoology and ecology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, Randall B

    2017-12-01

    Evolutionary computational methods have adopted attributes of natural selection and evolution to solve problems in computer science, engineering, and other fields. The method is growing in use in zoology and ecology. Evolutionary principles may be merged with an agent-based modeling perspective to have individual animals or other agents compete. Four main categories are discussed: genetic algorithms, evolutionary programming, genetic programming, and evolutionary strategies. In evolutionary computation, a population is represented in a way that allows for an objective function to be assessed that is relevant to the problem of interest. The poorest performing members are removed from the population, and remaining members reproduce and may be mutated. The fitness of the members is again assessed, and the cycle continues until a stopping condition is met. Case studies include optimizing: egg shape given different clutch sizes, mate selection, migration of wildebeest, birds, and elk, vulture foraging behavior, algal bloom prediction, and species richness given energy constraints. Other case studies simulate the evolution of species and a means to project shifts in species ranges in response to a changing climate that includes competition and phenotypic plasticity. This introduction concludes by citing other uses of evolutionary computation and a review of the flexibility of the methods. For example, representing species' niche spaces subject to selective pressure allows studies on cladistics, the taxon cycle, neutral versus niche paradigms, fundamental versus realized niches, community structure and order of colonization, invasiveness, and responses to a changing climate.

  15. Japan's energy conservation policy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoda, Kenichi

    1990-01-01

    This article reviews developments in Japanese energy conservation since the 1970s. The industrial sector has achieved the greatest success, due to industrial restructuring as well as improvements in energy efficiency. In the residential/commercial sector, the efficiency of appliances has been much improved. Although improvements have been made in the fuel efficiency of passenger cars, energy consumption in the transportation sector has risen slightly owing to increased transport of passengers and freight. The overall responsibility for energy conservation policy rests with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. MITI is also responsible for implementing specific conservation policies in regard to the industrial and commercial sectors. In the residential sector, MITI works with the Ministry of Construction and in the transportation sector with the Ministry of Transport. To realize the goals of energy conservation policy through general research, dissemination of public information and other activities, MITI works with the Energy Conservation Center (ECC). (author). 2 figs, 3 tabs

  16. Tests of conservation laws

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldhaber, M.

    1988-01-01

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

  17. Targeted identification of short interspersed nuclear element families shows their widespread existence and extreme heterogeneity in plant genomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenke, Torsten; Döbel, Thomas; Sörensen, Thomas Rosleff; Junghans, Holger; Weisshaar, Bernd; Schmidt, Thomas

    2011-09-01

    Short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs) are non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons that are highly abundant, heterogeneous, and mostly not annotated in eukaryotic genomes. We developed a tool designated SINE-Finder for the targeted discovery of tRNA-derived SINEs. We analyzed sequence data of 16 plant genomes, including 13 angiosperms and three gymnosperms and identified 17,829 full-length and truncated SINEs falling into 31 families showing the widespread occurrence of SINEs in higher plants. The investigation focused on potato (Solanum tuberosum), resulting in the detection of seven different SolS SINE families consisting of 1489 full-length and 870 5' truncated copies. Consensus sequences of full-length members range in size from 106 to 244 bp depending on the SINE family. SolS SINEs populated related species and evolved separately, which led to some distinct subfamilies. Solanaceae SINEs are dispersed along chromosomes and distributed without clustering but with preferred integration into short A-rich motifs. They emerged more than 23 million years ago and were species specifically amplified during the radiation of potato, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). We show that tobacco TS retrotransposons are composite SINEs consisting of the 3' end of a long interspersed nuclear element integrated downstream of a nonhomologous SINE family followed by successfully colonization of the genome. We propose an evolutionary scenario for the formation of TS as a spontaneous event, which could be typical for the emergence of SINE families.

  18. Targeted Identification of Short Interspersed Nuclear Element Families Shows Their Widespread Existence and Extreme Heterogeneity in Plant Genomes[W

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenke, Torsten; Döbel, Thomas; Sörensen, Thomas Rosleff; Junghans, Holger; Weisshaar, Bernd; Schmidt, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs) are non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons that are highly abundant, heterogeneous, and mostly not annotated in eukaryotic genomes. We developed a tool designated SINE-Finder for the targeted discovery of tRNA-derived SINEs. We analyzed sequence data of 16 plant genomes, including 13 angiosperms and three gymnosperms and identified 17,829 full-length and truncated SINEs falling into 31 families showing the widespread occurrence of SINEs in higher plants. The investigation focused on potato (Solanum tuberosum), resulting in the detection of seven different SolS SINE families consisting of 1489 full-length and 870 5′ truncated copies. Consensus sequences of full-length members range in size from 106 to 244 bp depending on the SINE family. SolS SINEs populated related species and evolved separately, which led to some distinct subfamilies. Solanaceae SINEs are dispersed along chromosomes and distributed without clustering but with preferred integration into short A-rich motifs. They emerged more than 23 million years ago and were species specifically amplified during the radiation of potato, tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). We show that tobacco TS retrotransposons are composite SINEs consisting of the 3′ end of a long interspersed nuclear element integrated downstream of a nonhomologous SINE family followed by successfully colonization of the genome. We propose an evolutionary scenario for the formation of TS as a spontaneous event, which could be typical for the emergence of SINE families. PMID:21908723

  19. 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

  20. Intelligence in childhood and chronic widespread pain in middle age: the National Child Development Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gale, Catharine R; Deary, Ian J; Cooper, Cyrus; Batty, G David

    2012-12-01

    Psychological factors are thought to play a part in the aetiology of chronic widespread pain. We investigated the relationship between intelligence in childhood and risk of chronic widespread pain in adulthood in 6902 men and women from the National Child Development Survey (1958 British Birth Cohort). Participants took a test of general cognitive ability at age 11 years; and chronic widespread pain, defined according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria, was assessed at age 45 years. Risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using log-binomial regression, adjusting for sex and potential confounding or mediating factors. Risk of chronic widespread pain, defined according to the American College of Rheumatology criteria, rose in a stepwise fashion as intelligence fell (P for linear trend intelligence quotient, the RR of chronic widespread pain was 1.26 (95% CI 1.17-1.35). In multivariate backwards stepwise regression, lower childhood intelligence remained as an independent predictor of chronic widespread pain (RR 1.10; 95% CI 1.01-1.19), along with social class, educational attainment, body mass index, smoking status, and psychological distress. Part of the effect of lower childhood intelligence on risk of chronic widespread pain in midlife was significantly mediated through greater body mass index and more disadvantaged socioeconomic position. Men and women with higher intelligence in childhood are less likely as adults to report chronic widespread pain. Copyright © 2012 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.