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Money Gupta, Rashi Chauhan, Yamuna Prasad, Gulshan Wadhwa, Chakresh Kumar Jain
The lack of complete treatments and appearance of multiple drug-resistance strains of Burkholderia cepacia complex (Bcc) are causing an increased risk of lung infections in cystic fibrosis patients. Bcc infection is a big risk to human health and demands an urgent need to identify new therapeutics against these bacteria. Network biology has emerged as one of the prospective hope in identifying novel drug targets and hits. We have applied protein-protein interaction methodology to identify new drug-target candidates (orthologs) in Burkhloderia cepacia GG4, which is an important strain for studying the quorum-sensing phenomena...
October 8, 2016: Computational Biology and Chemistry
Katrin Ehlers, Amey S Bhide, Dawit G Tekleyohans, Benjamin Wittkop, Rod J Snowdon, Annette Becker
Seed formation is a pivotal process in plant reproduction and dispersal. It begins with megagametophyte development in the ovule, followed by fertilization and subsequently coordinated development of embryo, endosperm, and maternal seed coat. Two closely related MADS-box genes, SHATTERPROOF 1 and 2 (SHP1 and SHP2) are involved in specifying ovule integument identity in Arabidopsis thaliana. The MADS box gene ARABIDOPSIS BSISTER (ABS or TT16) is required, together with SEEDSTICK (STK) for the formation of endothelium, part of the seed coat and innermost tissue layer formed by the maternal plant...
2016: PloS One
D F Paulo, A M L Azeredo-Espin, L E C Canesin, R Vicentini, A C M Junqueira
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that modulate gene expression through post-transcriptional regulation. Here, we report the identification and characterization of miRNAs in two closely related screwworm flies with different feeding habits: Cochliomyia hominivorax and Cochliomyia macellaria. The New World screwworm, C. hominivorax, is an obligatory parasite of warm-blooded vertebrates, whereas the secondary screwworm, C. macellaria, is a free-living organism that feeds on decaying organic matter. Here, the small RNA transcriptomes of adults and third-instar larvae of both species were sequenced...
October 24, 2016: Insect Molecular Biology
Peter R Wiecha, Arnaud Arbouet, Christian Girard, Aurélie Lecestre, Guilhem Larrieu, Vincent Paillard
The rational design of photonic nanostructures consists of anticipating their optical response from systematic variations of simple models. This strategy, however, has limited success when multiple objectives are simultaneously targeted, because it requires demanding computational schemes. To this end, evolutionary algorithms can drive the morphology of a nano-object towards an optimum through several cycles of selection, mutation and cross-over, mimicking the process of natural selection. Here, we present a numerical technique that can allow the design of photonic nanostructures with optical properties optimized along several arbitrary objectives...
October 24, 2016: Nature Nanotechnology
Manuel Martinez, Maria Estrella Santamaria, Mercedes Diaz-Mendoza, Ana Arnaiz, Laura Carrillo, Felix Ortego, Isabel Diaz
This review deals with phytocystatins, focussing on their potential role as defence proteins against phytophagous arthropods. Information about the evolutionary, molecular and biochemical features and inhibitory properties of phytocystatins are presented. Cystatin ability to inhibit heterologous cysteine protease activities is commented on as well as some approaches of tailoring cystatin specificity to enhance their defence function towards pests. A general landscape on the digestive proteases of phytophagous insects and acari and the remarkable plasticity of their digestive physiology after feeding on cystatins are highlighted...
October 20, 2016: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Yunpeng Cao, Yahui Han, Dahui Li, Yi Lin, Yongping Cai
In plants, 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligases (4CLs), comprising some of the adenylate-forming enzymes, are key enzymes involved in regulating lignin metabolism and the biosynthesis of flavonoids and other secondary metabolites. Although several 4CL-related proteins were shown to play roles in secondary metabolism, no comprehensive study on 4CL-related genes in the pear and other Rosaceae species has been reported. In this study, we identified 4CL-related genes in the apple, peach, yangmei, and pear genomes using DNATOOLS software and inferred their evolutionary relationships using phylogenetic analysis, collinearity analysis, conserved motif analysis, and structure analysis...
October 19, 2016: Genes
Jiaxiang Huang, Maoguo Gong, Lijia Ma
Molecular interactions data increase exponentially with the advance of biotechnology. This makes it possible and necessary to comparatively analyse the different data at a network level. Global network alignment is an important network comparison approach to identify conserved subnetworks and get insight into evolutionary relationship across species. Network alignment which is analogous to subgraph isomorphism is known to be an NP-hard problem. In this paper, we introduce a novel heuristic Particle-Swarm-Optimization based Network Aligner (PSONA), which optimizes a weighted global alignment model considering both protein sequence similarity and interaction conservations...
October 19, 2016: IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Gorana G Stamenković, Valentina S Ćirković, Marina M Šiljić, Jelena V Blagojević, Aleksandra M Knežević, Ivana D Joksić, Maja P Stanojević
The aim of this study was to estimate substitution rate and imprints of natural selection on parvovirus B19 genotype 1. Studied datasets included 137 near complete coding B19 genomes (positions 665 to 4851) for phylogenetic and substitution rate analysis and 146 and 214 partial genomes for selection analyses in open reading frames ORF1 and ORF2, respectively, collected 1973-2012 and including 9 newly sequenced isolates from Serbia. Phylogenetic clustering assigned majority of studied isolates to G1A. Nucleotide substitution rate for total coding DNA was 1...
October 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
T Jean M Arseneau-Robar, Eliane Müller, Anouk L Taucher, Carel P van Schaik, Erik P Willems
Males in a number of group-living species fight in intergroup conflicts to defend access to food resources, a seemingly paradoxical behaviour, given that this resource does not usually limit male fitness directly. We investigated the mechanism(s) driving apparent male food defence in wild vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops pygerythrus) by testing the effect that female resource access, and female audience size and activity had on the response of focal males during simulated intergroup encounters. Males do not appear to defend food to increase the reproductive success of female group members because their response was not influenced by the presence of provisioning boxes that only females could access...
October 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
Joanna Melonek, James D Stone, Ian Small
Hybrid seed production in rice relies on cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) induced by specific mitochondrial proteins, whose deleterious effects are suppressed by nuclear Restorer of Fertility (RF) genes. The majority of RF proteins belong to a specific clade of the RNA-binding pentatricopeptide repeat protein family. We have characterised 'restorer-of-fertility-like' (RFL) sequences from 13 Oryza genomes and the Brachypodium distachyon genome. The majority of the RFL sequences are found in genomic clusters located at two or three chromosomal loci with only a minor proportion being present as isolated genes...
October 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
Jinliang Liu, Hong Qian, Yi Jin, Chuping Wu, Jianhua Chen, Shuquan Yu, Xinliang Wei, Xiaofeng Jin, Jiajia Liu, Mingjian Yu
Understanding the relative importance of dispersal limitation and environmental filtering processes in structuring the beta diversities of subtropical forests in human disturbed landscapes is still limited. Here we used taxonomic (TBD) and phylogenetic (PBD), including terminal PBD (PBDt) and basal PBD (PBDb), beta diversity indices to quantify the taxonomic and phylogenetic turnovers at different depths of evolutionary history in disturbed and undisturbed subtropical forests. Multiple linear regression model and distance-based redundancy analysis were used to disentangle the relative importance of environmental and spatial variables...
October 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
Yipeng Du, Zichao Zhai, Ying Li, Ming Lu, Tanxi Cai, Bo Zhou, Lei Huang, Taotao Wei, Tingting Li
Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) based proteomic methods have been widely used to identify lysine acylation proteins. However, these experimental approaches often fail to detect proteins in low abundance or absent in specific biological samples. To circumvent these problems, we developed a computational method to predict lysine acylation, including acetylation, malonylation, succinylation, and glutarylation. The prediction algorithm integrated flanking primary sequence determinants and evolutionary conservation of acylated lysine, as well as multiple protein functional annotation features including gene ontology, conserved domains and protein-protein interactions...
October 24, 2016: Journal of Proteome Research
Lize Cuypers, Guangdi Li, Christoph Neumann-Haefelin, Supinya Piampongsant, Pieter Libin, Kristel Van Laethem, Anne-Mieke Vandamme, Kristof Theys
Despite significant progress in hepatitis C (HCV) treatment, global viral eradication remains a challenge. An in-depth map of its genome diversity within the context of structural and immunological constraints could contribute to the design of pan-genotypic antivirals and preventive vaccines. For such analyses, extensive information is only available for the highly prevalent HCV genotypes (GT) 1a and 1b. Using 647 GT1a and 408 GT1b full-genome sequences obtained from the Los Alamos database, we found that respectively 3 per cent and 82 per cent of all codon positions are under positive and negative selective pressure, suggesting variation mainly accumulates due to random genetic drift...
July 2016: Virus Evolution
Filip Bielejec, Guy Baele, Allen G Rodrigo, Marc A Suchard, Philippe Lemey
Various factors determine the rate at which mutations are generated and fixed in viral genomes. Viral evolutionary rates may vary over the course of a single persistent infection and can reflect changes in replication rates and selective dynamics. Dedicated statistical inference approaches are required to understand how the complex interplay of these processes shapes the genetic diversity and divergence in viral populations. Although evolutionary models accommodating a high degree of complexity can now be formalized, adequately informing these models by potentially sparse data, and assessing the association of the resulting estimates with external predictors, remains a major challenge...
July 2016: Virus Evolution
Truc T Pham, Shengli Meng, Yan Sun, Wenli Lv, Justin Bahl
A comprehensive monitoring strategy is vital for tracking the spread of mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. Virus detection consists of passive surveillance of primarily humans and swine, and/or active surveillance in mosquitoes, which may be a valuable proxy in providing insights into ecological processes underlying the spread and persistence of JEV. However, it has not been well characterized whether passive surveillance alone can capture the circulating genetic diversity to make reasonable inferences...
January 2016: Virus Evolution
Andrew Rambaut, Tommy T Lam, Luiz Max Carvalho, Oliver G Pybus
Gene sequences sampled at different points in time can be used to infer molecular phylogenies on a natural timescale of months or years, provided that the sequences in question undergo measurable amounts of evolutionary change between sampling times. Data sets with this property are termed heterochronous and have become increasingly common in several fields of biology, most notably the molecular epidemiology of rapidly evolving viruses. Here we introduce the cross-platform software tool, TempEst (formerly known as Path-O-Gen), for the visualization and analysis of temporally sampled sequence data...
January 2016: Virus Evolution
Héctor Cervera, Santiago F Elena
A long-standing observation in evolutionary virology is that RNA virus populations are highly polymorphic, composed by a mixture of genotypes whose abundances in the population depend on complex interaction between fitness differences, mutational coupling and genetic drift. It was shown long ago, though in cell cultures, that most of these genotypes had lower fitness than the population they belong, an observation that explained why single-virion passages turned on Muller's ratchet while very large population passages resulted in fitness increases in novel environments...
January 2016: Virus Evolution
Christina Kratsch, Thorsten R Klingen, Linda Mümken, Lars Steinbrück, Alice C McHardy
Human influenza viruses are rapidly evolving RNA viruses that cause short-term respiratory infections with substantial morbidity and mortality in annual epidemics. Uncovering the general principles of viral coevolution with human hosts is important for pathogen surveillance and vaccine design. Protein regions are an appropriate model for the interactions between two macromolecules, but the currently used epitope definition for the major antigen of influenza viruses, namely hemagglutinin, is very broad. Here, we combined genetic, evolutionary, antigenic, and structural information to determine the most relevant regions of the hemagglutinin of human influenza A/H3N2 viruses for interaction with human immunoglobulins...
January 2016: Virus Evolution
Gytis Dudas, Andrew Rambaut
Recombination is a process that unlinks neighboring loci allowing for independent evolutionary trajectories within genomes of many organisms. If not properly accounted for, recombination can compromise many evolutionary analyses. In addition, when dealing with organisms that are not obligately sexually reproducing, recombination gives insight into the rate at which distinct genetic lineages come into contact. Since June 2012, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has caused 1,106 laboratory-confirmed infections, with 421 MERS-CoV-associated deaths as of 16 April 2015...
January 2016: Virus Evolution
V Reyes-García, A L Balbo, E Gomez-Baggethun, M Gueze, A Mesoudi, P Richerson, X Rubio-Campillo, I Ruiz-Mallén, S Shennan
Cultural adaptation has become central in the context of accelerated global change with authors increasingly acknowledging the importance of understanding multilevel processes that operate as adaptation takes place. We explore the importance of multilevel processes in explaining cultural adaptation by describing how processes leading to cultural (mis)adaptation are linked through a complex nested hierarchy, where the lower levels combine into new units with new organizations, functions, and emergent properties or collective behaviours...
December 2016: Ecology and Society: a Journal of Integrative Science for Resilience and Sustainability
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