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Peter Rotwein
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), a small, secreted peptide growth factor, is involved in a variety of physiological and patho-physiological processes, including somatic growth, tissue repair, and metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. IGF1 gene expression appears to be controlled by several different signaling cascades in the few species in which it has been evaluated, with growth hormone playing a major role by activating a pathway involving the Stat5b transcription factor. Here, genes encoding IGF1 have been evaluated in 25 different mammalian species representing 15 different orders and ranging over ~180 million years of evolutionary diversification...
2017: PloS One
Ana Ivanović, Jan W Arntzen
We carried out a comparative morphometric analysis of 56 species of salamandrid salamanders, representing 19 out of 21 extant genera, with the aim of uncovering the major patterns of skull shape diversification, and revealing possible trends and directions of evolutionary change. To do this we used micro-computed tomography scanning and three-dimensional geometric morphometrics, along with a well-resolved molecular phylogeny. We found that allometry explains a relatively small amount of shape variation across taxa...
December 14, 2017: Journal of Anatomy
Amol D Sonawane, Dinesh R Garud, Taro Udagawa, Mamoru Koketsu
In this letter, we report the regioselective iodocyclization reaction of 3-alkynyl-2-(methylthio)quinolines and 3-alkynyl-2-(methylseleno)quinolines for the synthesis of thieno[2,3-b]quinoline and selenopheno[2,3-b]quinoline derivatives. Furthermore, by employing various palladium-catalyzed Sonogashira, Suzuki, and Heck reactions, the structural diversification of the resulting halide derivatives, which can act as the important intermediates for building other valuable compounds, was achieved. All compounds were fully characterized by the FT-IR, mass, 1H NMR, and 13C NMR spectral data...
December 13, 2017: Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
Kimberly M Dohms, Brendan A Graham, Theresa M Burg
An increasing body of studies of widely distributed, high latitude species shows a variety of refugial locations and population genetic patterns. We examined the effects of glaciations and dispersal barriers on the population genetic patterns of a widely distributed, high latitude, resident corvid, the gray jay (Perisoreus canadensis), using the highly variable mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region and microsatellite markers combined with species distribution modeling. We sequenced 914 bp of mtDNA control region for 375 individuals from 37 populations and screened seven loci for 402 individuals from 27 populations across the gray jay range...
December 2017: Ecology and Evolution
Gerardo R Vasta, L Mario Amzel, Mario A Bianchet, Matteo Cammarata, Chiguang Feng, Keiko Saito
The F-type lectin (FTL) family is one of the most recent to be identified and structurally characterized. Members of the FTL family are characterized by a fucose recognition domain [F-type lectin domain (FTLD)] that displays a novel jellyroll fold ("F-type" fold) and unique carbohydrate- and calcium-binding sequence motifs. This novel lectin family comprises widely distributed proteins exhibiting single, double, or greater multiples of the FTLD, either tandemly arrayed or combined with other structurally and functionally distinct domains, yielding lectin subunits of pleiotropic properties even within a single species...
2017: Frontiers in Immunology
Xue-Min Han, Qi Yang, Yan-Jing Liu, Zhi-Ling Yang, Xiao-Ru Wang, Qing-Yin Zeng, Hai-Ling Yang
Evolutionary mechanisms of substrate specificities of enzyme families remain poorly understood. Plant SABATH methyltransferases catalyse methylation of the carboxyl group of various low molecular weight metabolites. Investigation into the functional diversification of the SABATH family in plants could shed light on the evolution of substrate specificities in this enzyme family. Zhao et al. identified 28 SABATH genes from the Populus trichocarpa genome. In this study, we re-annotated the Populus SABATH gene family, and performed molecular evolution, gene expression, and biochemical analyses of this large gene family...
December 11, 2017: Plant & Cell Physiology
Xiaolin Cai, Xiaochen Chen, Naiyi Yin, Huili Du, Guoxin Sun, Lihong Wang, Yudong Xu, Yuqing Chen, Yanshan Cui
The influence of the human gut microbiota on the bioaccessibility and bioavailability of trace elements in vegetables has barely been studied. An in vitro digestion model combining the physiologically based extraction test (PBET) and the Simulator of Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME) was applied. Results showed that the gut microbiota increased the bioaccessibility of iron (Fe) in ten test vegetables by 1.3-1.8 times, but reduced the bioaccessibility of manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) in vegetables in the colon phase by 3...
December 13, 2017: Food & Function
Pengxiang Fan, Abigail M Miller, Xiaoxiao Liu, A Daniel Jones, Robert L Last
Plants produce hundreds of thousands of structurally diverse specialized metabolites via multistep biosynthetic networks, including compounds of ecological and therapeutic importance. These pathways are restricted to specific plant groups, and are excellent systems for understanding metabolic evolution. Tomato and other plants in the nightshade family synthesize protective acylated sugars in the tip cells of glandular trichomes on stems and leaves. We describe a metabolic innovation in wild tomato species that contributes to acylsucrose structural diversity...
December 12, 2017: Nature Communications
Margaret I Steele, Waldan K Kwong, Marvin Whiteley, Nancy A Moran
Microbial communities are shaped by interactions among their constituent members. Some Gram-negative bacteria employ type VI secretion systems (T6SSs) to inject protein toxins into neighboring cells. These interactions have been theorized to affect the composition of host-associated microbiomes, but the role of T6SSs in the evolution of gut communities is not well understood. We report the discovery of two T6SSs and numerous T6SS-associated Rhs toxins within the gut bacteria of honey bees and bumble bees. We sequenced the genomes of 28 strains of Snodgrassella alvi, a characteristic bee gut microbe, and found tremendous variability in their Rhs toxin complements: altogether, these strains appear to encode hundreds of unique toxins...
December 12, 2017: MBio
Lincoln Carneiro, Gustavo A Bravo, Natalia Aristizábal, Andrés M Cuervo, Alexandre Aleixo
We infer phylogenetic relationships, divergence times, and the diversification history of the avian Neotropical antpitta genera Hylopezus and Myrmothera (Grallariidae), based on sequence data (3139 base pairs) from two mitochondrial (ND2 and ND3) and three nuclear markers (TGFB2, MUSK and FGB-I5) from 142 individuals of the 12 currently recognized species in Hylopezus and Myrmothera and 5 outgroup species. Phylogenetic analyses recovered 19 lineages clustered into two major clades, both distributed in Central and South America...
December 9, 2017: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Olga Raskina
In wild plant populations, chromosome rearrangements lead to the wide intraspecific polymorphisms in the abundance and patterns of highly repetitive DNA. However, despite the large amount of accumulated data, the impact of the complex repetitive DNA fraction on genome reorganization and functioning and the mechanisms balancing and maintaining the structural integrity of the genome are not fully understood. Homologous recombination is thought to play a key role in both genome reshuffling and stabilization, while the contribution of nonhomologous recombination seems to be undervalued...
December 13, 2017: Cytogenetic and Genome Research
Pitchaya P Indravudh, Augustine T Choko, Elizabeth L Corbett
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: HIV self-testing (HIVST) can provide complementary coverage to existing HIV testing services and improve knowledge of status among HIV-infected individuals. This review summarizes the current technology, policy and evidence landscape in sub-Saharan Africa and priorities within a rapidly evolving field. RECENT FINDINGS: HIVST is moving towards scaled implementation, with the release of WHO guidelines, WHO prequalification of the first HIVST product, price reductions of HIVST products and a growing product pipeline...
December 9, 2017: Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Hanlu Twyman, Maria Prager, Nicholas I Mundy, Staffan Andersson
Red carotenoid colours in birds are widely assumed to be sexually selected quality indicators, but this rests on a very incomplete understanding of genetic mechanisms and honesty-mediating costs. Recent progress was made by the implication of the gene CYP2J19 as an avian carotenoid ketolase, catalysing the synthesis of red C4-ketocarotenoids from yellow dietary precursors, and potentially a major mechanism behind red coloration in birds. Here we investigate the role of CYP2J19 in the spectacular colour diversification of African weaverbirds (Ploceidae), represented by five genera and 16 species; eight red, seven yellow, and one without carotenoid coloration...
December 12, 2017: Molecular Ecology
Andrew H Moeller, Taichi A Suzuki, Dana Lin, Eileen A Lacey, Samuel K Wasser, Michael W Nachman
The gut bacterial communities of mammals have profound effects on host fitness, but the processes that generate and maintain gut bacterial diversity remain poorly understood. We mapped compositional variation (i.e., β-diversity) in the gut microbiotas of 136 pairs of wild mammalian species living throughout the Americas to assess how the distribution of mammals across geographic space influences the diversification of their gut bacteria. Comparing the gut microbiotas of sympatric and allopatric mammalian populations provided insights into the flow of gut bacteria within and between mammalian communities, revealing that spatial limits on bacterial dispersal promote β-diversity between the gut microbiotas of mammalian species...
December 11, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Ivana Buj, Zoran Marčić, Marko Ćaleta, Radek Šanda, Matthias F Geiger, Jörg Freyhof, Annie Machordom, Jasna Vukić
In order to better understand the complex geologic history of the Mediterranean area, we have analysed evolutionary history, phylogeographic structure and molecular diversity of freshwater fishes belonging to the genus Telestes. As primary freshwater fishes distributed largely in the Mediterranean basin, this genus represents a suitable model system for investigating the historical biogeography of freshwater drainage systems in southern Europe. In this investigation we have included samples representing all Telestes species and based our analyses on one mitochondrial and one nuclear gene...
2017: PloS One
Michelle E Afkhami, D Luke Mahler, Jean H Burns, Marjorie G Weber, Martin F Wojciechowski, Janet Sprent, Sharon Y Strauss
How species interactions shape global biodiversity and influence diversification is a central - but also data-hungry - question in evolutionary ecology. Microbially-based mutualisms are widespread and could cause diversification by ameliorating stress and thus allowing organisms to colonize and adapt to otherwise unsuitable habitats. Yet the role of these interactions in generating species diversity has received limited attention, especially across large taxonomic groups. In the massive angiosperm family Leguminosae, plants often associate with root-nodulating bacteria that ameliorate nutrient stress by fixing atmospheric nitrogen...
December 11, 2017: Ecology
Benjamin Kerbs, Jacob Ressler, John K Kelly, Mark E Mort, Arnoldo Santos-Guerra, Matthew J S Gibson, Juli Caujapé-Castells, Daniel J Crawford
Hybridization is recognized as an important process in plant evolution, and this may be particularly true for island plants where several biotic and abiotic factors facilitate interspecific hybridization. Although rarely done, experimental studies could provide insights into the potential of natural hybridization to generate diversity when species come into contact in the dynamic island setting. The potential of hybridization to generate morphological variation was analysed within and among 12 families (inbred lines) of an F4 hybrid generation between two species of Tolpis endemic to the Canary Islands...
September 2017: AoB Plants
Ana C Prizon, Daniel P Bruschi, Luciana A Borin-Carvalho, Andréa Cius, Ligia M Barbosa, Henrique B Ruiz, Claudio H Zawadzki, Alberto S Fenocchio, Ana L de Brito Portela-Castro
Only one species of armored catfish, Ancistrus cirrhosus Valenciennes 1836, has been historically described in the basin of the Paraná River, from Misiones (Argentina). However, the ample variation found in the morphology and coloration of the populations sampled in the tributaries of the Brazilian state of Paraná makes it difficult to establish the real taxonomic status and evolutionary history of the Ancistrus specimens, suggesting that A. cirrhosus is not the only species found in this basin. By combining data on mitochondrial DNA (COI gene) and chromosomal markers from different Ancistrus populations, totaling 144 specimens, in the tributaries of the Paraná, and specimens from Misiones (type-locality of A...
2017: Frontiers in Genetics
Shoichi Mitsunaka, Naoki Sudo, Yasuhiko Sekine
Bacteriophages are genetic elements that play key roles in the evolution and diversification of bacterial genomes. The Shiga toxin (Stx)-encoding phage plays an important role in the horizontal transfer of the stx gene. However, the influence of the Stx phage integration on the physiological properties and gene expression pattern of the host have not been clearly resolved. In this study, we constructed the Sp5 lysogen through lysogenisation of E. coli K-12 by Sp5, an Stx2 phage in enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) O157:H7 Sakai, and examined the effect of the resulting lysogen on cell motility under various growth conditions...
December 8, 2017: Journal of General and Applied Microbiology
David Requena, Jose Andres Álvarez, Hugo Gabilondo, Ryan Loker, Richard S Mann, Carlos Estella
The insect wing is a key evolutionary innovation that was essential for insect diversification. Yet despite its importance, there is still debate about its evolutionary origins. Two main hypotheses have been proposed: the paranotal hypothesis, which suggests that wings evolved as an extension of the dorsal thorax, and the gill-exite hypothesis, which proposes that wings were derived from a modification of a pre-existing branch at the dorsal base (subcoxa) of the leg. Here, we address this question by studying how wing fates are initially specified during Drosophila embryogenesis, by characterizing a cis-regulatory module (CRM) from the snail (sna) gene, sna-DP (for dorsal primordia)...
November 30, 2017: Current Biology: CB
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