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Genetic evolution

Jan Kok, Lieke A van Gijtenbeek, Anne de Jong, Sjoerd B van der Meulen, Ana Solopova, Oscar P Kuipers
Lactococcus lactis is a major microbe. This lactic acid bacterium (LAB) is used worldwide in the production of safe, healthy, tasteful and nutritious milk fermentation products. Its huge industrial importance has led to an explosion of research on the organism, particularly since the early 1970s. The upsurge in the research on L. lactis coincided not accidentally with the advent of recombinant DNA technology in these years. The development of methods to take out and re-introduce DNA in L. lactis, to clone genes and to mutate the chromosome in a targeted way, to control (over)expression of proteins and, ultimately, the availability of the nucleotide sequence of its genome and the use of that information in transcriptomics and proteomics research have enabled to peek deep into the functioning of the organism...
August 1, 2017: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Anne-Marie Dion-Côté, Daniel A Barbash
Genome stability ensures individual fitness and reliable transmission of genetic information. Hybridization between diverging lineages can trigger genome instability, highlighting its potential role in post-zygotic reproductive isolation. We argue that genome instability is not merely one of several types of hybrid incompatibility, but rather that genome stability is one of the very first and most fundamental traits that can break down when two diverged genomes are combined. Future work will reveal how frequent and predictable genome instability is in hybrids, how it affects hybrid fitness, and whether it is a direct cause or consequence of speciation...
August 19, 2017: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
J J Emerson
The belief that all snakes possess ZW sex chromosomes has prevailed for decades, despite no evidence of this in boas, pythons, and their relatives. A recent discovery of male-specific genetic markers reveals that these snakes instead possess XY sex chromosomes.
August 21, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Tim Coulson, Bruce E Kendall, Julia Barthold, Floriane Plard, Susanne Schindler, Arpat Ozgul, Jean-Michel Gaillard
Understanding how the natural world will be impacted by environmental change over the coming decades is one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity. Addressing this challenge is difficult because environmental change can generate both population-level plastic and evolutionary responses, with plastic responses being either adaptive or nonadaptive. We develop an approach that links quantitative genetic theory with data-driven structured models to allow prediction of population responses to environmental change via plasticity and adaptive evolution...
September 2017: American Naturalist
David Killock
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 22, 2017: Nature Reviews. Clinical Oncology
Charles W Carter
The aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and their cognate transfer RNAs translate the universal genetic code. The twenty canonical amino acids are sufficiently diverse to create a selective advantage for dividing amino acid activation between two distinct, apparently unrelated superfamilies of synthetases, Class I amino acids being generally larger and less polar, Class II amino acids smaller and more polar. Biochemical, bioinformatic, and protein engineering experiments support the hypothesis that the two Classes descended from opposite strands of the same ancestral gene...
August 22, 2017: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Filippo Cola, Filippo Marchetti, Guido Tiana
Some genetic control networks display temporal oscillations as a result of delays in their homeostatic control. A relevant question about these systems is whether the oscillating regime is a rare feature, or it corresponds to a sizeable volume of the space of parameters. The answer is not trivial mainly due to the large number of parameters controlling the rate equations which describe the network. We have developed an efficient sampling scheme of the parameter space, based on a Monte Carlo algorithm, and applied it to a two-node system with delay, characterised by a 8-dimension parameter space...
August 2017: European Physical Journal. E, Soft Matter
Huaming Zhong, Shuai Shang, Xiaoyang Wu, Jun Chen, Wanchao Zhu, Jiakuo Yan, Haotian Li, Honghai Zhang
As nontraditional model organisms with extreme physiological and morphological phenotypes, snakes are believed to possess an inferior taste system. However, the bitter taste sensation is essential to distinguish the nutritious and poisonous food resources and the genomic evidence of bitter taste in snakes is largely scarce. To explore the genetic basis of the bitter taste of snakes and characterize the evolution of bitter taste receptor genes (Tas2rs) in reptiles, we identified Tas2r genes in 19 genomes (species) corresponding to three orders of non-avian reptiles...
2017: PeerJ
Sergey Y Morozov, Ekaterina A Lazareva, Andrey G Solovyev
Recently, a novel phenomenon of horizontal gene transfer of helicase-encoding sequence from positive-stranded RNA viruses to LINE transposons in insect genomes was described. TRAS family transposons encoding an ORF2 protein, which comprised all typical functional domains and an additional helicase domain, were found to be preserved in many families during the evolution of the order Lepidoptera. In the present paper, in species of orders Hemiptera and Orthoptera, we found helicase domain-encoding sequences integrated into ORF1 of retrotransposons of the Jockey family...
2017: PeerJ
Tingting Lu, Gaofeng Zhang, Lirong Sun, Ji Wang, Fushun Hao
Calcineurin B-like (CBL) proteins, as calcium sensors, play pivotal roles in plant responses to diverse abiotic stresses and in growth and development through interaction with CBL-interacting protein kinases (CIPKs). However, knowledge about functions and evolution of CBLs in Gossypium plants is scarce. Here, we conducted a genome-wide survey and identified 13, 13 and 22 CBL genes in the progenitor diploid Gossypium arboreum and Gossypium raimondii, and the cultivated allotetraploid Gossypium hirsutum, respectively...
2017: PeerJ
Daniel R Amor, Raúl Montañez, Salva Duran-Nebreda, Ricard Solé
A major force contributing to the emergence of novelty in nature is the presence of cooperative interactions, where two or more components of a system act in synergy, sometimes leading to higher-order, emergent phenomena. Within molecular evolution, the so called hypercycle defines the simplest model of an autocatalytic cycle, providing major theoretical insights on the evolution of cooperation in the early biosphere. These closed cooperative loops have also inspired our understanding of how catalytic loops appear in ecological systems...
August 21, 2017: PLoS Computational Biology
Christine Böhmer, Ingmar Werneburg
The unparalleled ability of turtle neck retraction is possible in three different modes, which characterize stem turtles, living side-necked (Pleurodira), and hidden-necked (Cryptodira) turtles, respectively. Despite the conservatism in vertebral count among turtles, there is significant functional and morphological regionalization in the cervical vertebral column. Since Hox genes play a fundamental role in determining the differentiation in vertebra morphology and based on our reconstruction of evolutionary genetics in deep time, we hypothesize genetic differences among the turtle groups and between turtles and other land vertebrates...
August 21, 2017: Scientific Reports
Caitlin Drummond, Baruch Fischhoff
Although Americans generally hold science in high regard and respect its findings, for some contested issues, such as the existence of anthropogenic climate change, public opinion is polarized along religious and political lines. We ask whether individuals with more general education and greater science knowledge, measured in terms of science education and science literacy, display more (or less) polarized beliefs on several such issues. We report secondary analyses of a nationally representative dataset (the General Social Survey), examining the predictors of beliefs regarding six potentially controversial issues...
August 21, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Anna Papa, Enkeleda Velo, Perparim Kadiaj, Katerina Tsioka, Anastasia Kontana, Majlinda Kota, Silvia Bino
Albania is a Balkan country endemic for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF). It was shown previously that CCHF virus (CCHFV) sequences from Albanian patients cluster into Europe 1 clade. Aim of the present study was to test for CCHFV ticks collected in several regions of Albania, and to determine the genetic lineage(s) of the CCHFV strains in relation with their geographic distribution. A total of 726 ticks (366 Hyalomma marginatum, 349 Rhipicephalus bursa and 11 Rhipicephalus sanguineus) collected from livestock during 2007-2014 were included in the study...
August 18, 2017: Infection, Genetics and Evolution
Nadine Castelhano, Natalia M Araujo, Miguel Arenas
The rapid evolution of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) through both evolutionary forces, mutation and recombination, allows this virus to generate a large variety of adapted variants at both intra and inter-host levels. It can, for instance, generate drug resistance or the diverse viral genotypes that currently exist in the HBV epidemics. Concerning the latter, it is known that recombination played a major role in the emergence and genetic diversification of novel genotypes. In this regard, the quantification of viral recombination in each genotype can provide relevant information to devise expectations about the evolutionary trends of the epidemic...
August 18, 2017: Infection, Genetics and Evolution
Chiara Sueri, Edoardo Ferlazzo, Maurizio Elia, Paolo Bonanni, Giovanna Randazzo, Sara Gasparini, Tiziana D'Agostino, Antonino R Sapone, Michele Ascoli, Marina A Bellavia, Vittoria Cianci, Antonio Gambardella, Angelo Labate, Umberto Aguglia
OBJECTIVE: Actual knowledge on evolution of Angelman syndrome (AS) relies on questionnaire-based cohort studies, phone interviews, or small retrospective cohort studies focused on specific clinical-genetic features. These reports provide conflicting results. The aim of this study was to assess the long-term outcome of epilepsy, sleep disorders, and EEG in a vast series of AS subjects. METHODS: We collected patients with genetically confirmed AS, aged ≥14years, followed in three tertiary epilepsy Centers or attending the meetings of the Italian Organization for AS (OrSA)...
August 19, 2017: Epilepsy & Behavior: E&B
Harish Menghwar, He Chenfei, Hui Zhang, Gang Zhao, Xifang Zhu, Farhan Anwar Khan, Muhammad Faisal, Muhammad Asif Rasheed, Muhammad Zubair, Atta Muhammad Memon, Anne Ridley, Ian D Robertson, Yingyu Chen, Aizhen Guo
This study was undertaken to determine the genotypic distribution of Chinese M. bovis strains and their similarity to isolates from other countries. Two multilocus sequence typing (MLST) schemes (MLST-1 and MLST-2) and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were used to compare 44 Chinese strains and the M. bovis type strain PG45. The results showed a high genetic homogeneity of Chinese isolates; 43 of 44 (97.7%) Chinese isolates were identified as ST-10 and as ST-34 by MLST-1, while for MLST-2 42 of 44 (95...
August 18, 2017: Microbial Pathogenesis
Elizabeth R Jerison, Sergey Kryazhimskiy, James Kameron Mitchell, Joshua S Bloom, Leonid Kruglyak, Michael M Desai
Evolution can favor organisms that are more adaptable, provided that genetic variation in adaptability exists. Here, we quantify this variation among 230 offspring of a cross between diverged yeast strains. We measure the adaptability of each offspring genotype, defined as its average rate of adaptation in a specific environmental condition, and analyze the heritability, predictability, and genetic basis of this trait. We find that initial genotype strongly affects adaptability and can alter the genetic basis of future evolution...
August 17, 2017: ELife
Miriama Malcicka, Joachim Ruther, Jacintha Ellers
Many ecological interactions in communities take place between consumers and the organisms they feed on. Continuous surplus of specific nutritional compounds in the diet may lead to evolutionary changes in the metabolic capacity of the consumer, leaving the biosynthesis of such compounds prone to genetic decay and render organisms auxotrophic. A nutrient that is essential to many organisms is the unsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid (LA; 18:2n-6), which is important in the maintenance of cell membrane fluidity and as a precursor for signaling molecules...
August 19, 2017: Journal of Chemical Ecology
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