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Kristopher J L Irizarry, Randall L Bryden
Color variation provides the opportunity to investigate the genetic basis of evolution and selection. Reptiles are less studied than mammals. Comparative genomics approaches allow for knowledge gained in one species to be leveraged for use in another species. We describe a comparative vertebrate analysis of conserved regulatory modules in pythons aimed at assessing bioinformatics evidence that transcription factors important in mammalian pigmentation phenotypes may also be important in python pigmentation phenotypes...
2016: Advances in Bioinformatics
Julienne Ng, Alison G Ossip-Klein, Richard E Glor
BACKGROUND: Studies of geographic variation can provide insight into the evolutionary processes involved in the early stages of biological diversification. In particular, multiple, replicated cases of geographic trait divergence present a powerful approach to study how patterns of introgression and adaptive divergence can vary with geographic space and time. In this study, we conduct replicated, fine-scaled molecular genetic analyses of striking geographic dewlap color variation of a Hispaniolan Anolis lizard, Anolis distichus, to investigate whether adaptive trait divergence is consistently associated with speciation, whereby genetic divergence is observed with neutral markers, or whether locally adapted traits are maintained in the face of continued gene flow...
2016: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Ivan Prates, Danielle Rivera, Miguel T Rodrigues, Ana C Carnaval
Shifts in the geographic distribution of habitats over time can promote dispersal and vicariance, thereby influencing large-scale biogeographic patterns and ecological processes. An example is that of transient corridors of suitable habitat across disjunct but ecologically similar regions, which have been associated with climate change over time. Such connections likely played a role in the assembly of tropical communities, especially within the highly diverse Amazonian and Atlantic rainforests of South America...
October 2016: Molecular Ecology
David S Steinberg, Manuel Leal
The perception of visual stimuli has been a major area of inquiry in sensory ecology, and much of this work has focused on coloration. However, for visually oriented organisms, the process of visual motion detection is often equally crucial to survival and reproduction. Despite the importance of motion detection to many organisms' daily activities, the degree of interspecific variation in the perception of visual motion remains largely unexplored. Furthermore, the factors driving this potential variation (e...
November 2016: Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Tomohiro Sugihara, Takashi Nagata, Benjamin Mason, Mitsumasa Koyanagi, Akihisa Terakita
Most animals possess multiple opsins which sense light for visual and non-visual functions. Here, we show spectral characteristics of non-visual opsins, vertebrate Opn3s, which are widely distributed among vertebrates. We successfully expressed zebrafish Opn3 in mammalian cultured cells and measured its absorption spectrum spectroscopically. When incubated with 11-cis retinal, zebrafish Opn3 formed a blue-sensitive photopigment with an absorption maximum around 465 nm. The Opn3 converts to an all-trans retinal-bearing photoproduct with an absorption spectrum similar to the dark state following brief blue-light irradiation...
2016: PloS One
D Luke Mahler, Shea M Lambert, Anthony J Geneva, Julienne Ng, S Blair Hedges, Jonathan B Losos, Richard E Glor
We report a new chameleon-like Anolis species from Hispaniola that is ecomorphologically similar to congeners found only on Cuba. Lizards from both clades possess short limbs and a short tail and utilize relatively narrow perches, leading us to recognize a novel example of ecomorphological matching among islands in the well-known Greater Antillean anole radiation. This discovery supports the hypothesis that the assembly of island faunas can be substantially deterministic and highlights the continued potential for basic discovery to reveal new insights in well-studied groups...
September 2016: American Naturalist
Michael L Logan, M C Duryea, Orsolya R Molnar, Benji J Kessler, Ryan Calsbeek
High levels of gene flow among partially isolated populations can overwhelm selection and limit local adaptation. This process, known as "gene swamping," can homogenize genetic diversity among populations and reduce the capacity of a species to withstand rapid environmental change. We studied brown anole lizards (Anolis sagrei) distributed across seven islands in The Bahamas. We used microsatellite markers to estimate gene flow among islands and then examined the correlation between thermal performance and island temperature...
October 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Takao Koeduka, Mami Kajiyama, Takumi Furuta, Hideyuki Suzuki, Tomohiko Tsuge, Kenji Matsui
Volatile benzenoids, including methyl p-methoxybenzoate, p-anisaldehyde, and p-anisalcohol, are responsible for the sweet and characteristic fragrance of loquat (Eriobotrya japonica, Rosaceae) flowers. Although the full pathway of volatile benzenoid synthesis has yet to be elucidated, their chemical structures suggest that O-methyltransferases are present in loquat and function in the methylation of the para-OH groups. In the present study, we used RNA-sequencing to identify four loquat genes (EjOMT1, EjOMT2, EjOMT3, and EjOMT4) that encode O-methyltransferases...
July 26, 2016: Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Shane C Campbell-Staton, Scott V Edwards, Jonathan B Losos
Climate-mediated evolution plays an integral role in species migration and range expansion. Gaining a clearer understanding of how climate affects demographic history and adaptation provides fundamental insight into the generation of intra- and interspecific diversity. In this study we used the natural colonization of the green anole (Anolis carolinensis) from the island of Cuba to mainland North America to investigate the role of evolution at the niche, phenotypic and genetic levels after long-term establishment in a novel environment...
July 6, 2016: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Markéta Bébarová, Peter Matejovič, Michal Pásek, Zuzana Hořáková, Jan Hošek, Milena Šimurdová, Jiří Šimurda
Alcohol intoxication tends to induce arrhythmias, most often the atrial fibrillation. To elucidate arrhythmogenic mechanisms related to alcohol consumption, the effect of ethanol on main components of the ionic membrane current is investigated step by step. Considering limited knowledge, we aimed to examine the effect of clinically relevant concentrations of ethanol (0.8-80 mM) on acetylcholine-sensitive inward rectifier potassium current I K(Ach). Experiments were performed by the whole-cell patch clamp technique at 23 ± 1 °C on isolated rat and guinea-pig atrial myocytes, and on expressed human Kir3...
October 2016: Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology
Michelle Kendall, Caroline Colijn
UNLABELLED: Evolutionary relationships are frequently described by phylogenetic trees, but a central barrier in many fields is the difficulty of interpreting data containing conflicting phylogenetic signals. We present a metric-based method for comparing trees which extracts distinct alternative evolutionary relationships embedded in data. We demonstrate detection and resolution of phylogenetic uncertainty in a recent study of anole lizards, leading to alternate hypotheses about their evolutionary relationships...
October 2016: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Oriol Lapiedra, Zachary Chejanovski, Jason J Kolbe
Novel selective pressures derived from human activities challenge the persistence of animal populations worldwide. Behavior is expected to be a major factor driving animals' responses to global change because it largely determines how animals interact with the environment. However, the role of individual variation in behavior to facilitate the persistence of animals in changing environments remains poorly understood. Here we adopted an animal personality approach to investigate if different behavioral traits allow animals to deal with two major components of global change: urbanization and biological invasions...
June 16, 2016: Global Change Biology
João C R Cardoso, Christina A Bergqvist, Rute C Félix, Dan Larhammar
The evolution of the peptide family consisting of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and the three urocortins (UCN1-3) has been puzzling due to uneven evolutionary rates. Distinct gene duplication scenarios have been proposed in relation to the two basal rounds of vertebrate genome doubling (2R) and the teleost fish-specific genome doubling (3R). By analyses of sequences and chromosomal regions, including many neighboring gene families, we show here that the vertebrate progenitor had two peptide genes that served as the founders of separate subfamilies...
July 2016: Journal of Molecular Endocrinology
Elizabeth D Hutchins, Walter L Eckalbar, Justin M Wolter, Marco Mangone, Kenro Kusumi
BACKGROUND: Lizards are evolutionarily the most closely related vertebrates to humans that can lose and regrow an entire appendage. Regeneration in lizards involves differential expression of hundreds of genes that regulate wound healing, musculoskeletal development, hormonal response, and embryonic morphogenesis. While microRNAs are able to regulate large groups of genes, their role in lizard regeneration has not been investigated. RESULTS: MicroRNA sequencing of green anole lizard (Anolis carolinensis) regenerating tail and associated tissues revealed 350 putative novel and 196 known microRNA precursors...
2016: BMC Genomics
Kristin M Winchell, R Graham Reynolds, Sofia R Prado-Irwin, Alberto R Puente-Rolón, Liam J Revell
Urbanization is an increasingly important dimension of global change, and urban areas likely impose significant natural selection on the species that reside within them. Although many species of plants and animals can survive in urban areas, so far relatively little research has investigated whether such populations have adapted (in an evolutionary sense) to their newfound milieu. Even less of this work has taken place in tropical regions, many of which have experienced dramatic growth and intensification of urbanization in recent decades...
May 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Simon Baeckens, Tess Driessens, Raoul Van Damme
While the conspicuous visual displays of anoles have been studied in great depth, the possibility that these lizards may also interact through chemical signalling has received hardly any consideration. In this study, we observed the behaviour of male brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) when introduced into an environment previously inhabited by female conspecifics, and compared it to when they were introduced into an untreated environment. The males in our tests exhibited significantly more elaborate display behaviour (i...
2016: PeerJ
Shan Nan Chen, Xiao Wen Zhang, Li Li, Bai Ye Ruan, Bei Huang, Wen Shu Huang, Peng Fei Zou, Jian Ping Fu, Li Juan Zhao, Nan Li, Pin Nie
IFN-λ (IFNL), i.e. type III IFN genes were found in a conserved gene locus in tetrapod vertebrates. But, a unique locus containing IFNL was found in avian. In turtle and crocodile, IFNL genes were distributed in these two separate loci. As revealed in phylogenetic trees, IFN-λs in these two different loci and other amniotes were grouped into two different clades. The conservation in gene presence and gene locus was also observed for the receptors of IFN-λ, IFN-λR1 and IL-10RB in tetrapods. It is further revealed that in North American green anole lizard Anolis carolinensis, a single IFNL gene was situated collinearly in the conserved locus as in other tetrapods, together with its receptors IFN-λR1 and IL-10RB also identified in this study...
August 2016: Developmental and Comparative Immunology
M Giovannotti, V A Trifonov, A Paoletti, I G Kichigin, P C M O'Brien, F Kasai, G Giovagnoli, B L Ng, P Ruggeri, P Nisi Cerioni, A Splendiani, J C Pereira, E Olmo, W Rens, V Caputo Barucchi, M A Ferguson-Smith
Anoles are a clade of iguanian lizards that underwent an extensive radiation between 125 and 65 million years ago. Their karyotypes show wide variation in diploid number spanning from 26 (Anolis evermanni) to 44 (A. insolitus). This chromosomal variation involves their sex chromosomes, ranging from simple systems (XX/XY), with heterochromosomes represented by either micro- or macrochromosomes, to multiple systems (X1X1X2X2/X1X2Y). Here, for the first time, the homology relationships of sex chromosomes have been investigated in nine anole lizards at the whole chromosome level...
March 22, 2016: Chromosoma
Riga Wu, Qingfeng Liu, Peng Zhang, Dan Liang
BACKGROUND: Tandem amino acid repeats are characterised by the consecutive recurrence of a single amino acid. They exhibit high rates of length mutations in addition to point mutations and have been proposed to be involved in genetic plasticity. Squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) diversify in both morphology and physiology. The underlying mechanism is yet to be understood. In a previous phylogenomic analysis of reptiles, the density of tandem repeats in an anole lizard diverged heavily from that of the other reptiles...
2016: BMC Genomics
Michael W Vandewege, Sarah F Mangum, Toni Gabaldón, Todd A Castoe, David A Ray, Federico G Hoffmann
Olfactory receptors (ORs) are membrane proteins that mediate the detection of odorants in the environment, and are the largest vertebrate gene family. Comparative studies of mammalian genomes indicate that OR repertoires vary widely, even between closely related lineages, as a consequence of frequent OR gains and losses. Several studies also suggest that mammalian OR repertoires are influenced by life history traits. Sauropsida is a diverse group of vertebrates group that is the sister group to mammals, and includes birds, testudines, squamates, and crocodilians, and represents a natural system to explore predictions derived from mammalian studies...
March 2016: Genome Biology and Evolution
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