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Núria Rovira-Graells, Sara Aguilera-Simón, Elisabet Tintó-Font, Alfred Cortés
The growth phenotype of asexual blood stage malaria parasites can influence their virulence and also their ability to survive and achieve transmission to the next host, but there are few methods available to characterise parasite growth parameters in detail. We developed a new assay to measure growth rates at different starting parasitaemias in a 96-well format and applied it to characterise the growth of Plasmodium falciparum lines 3D7-A and 3D7-B, previously shown to have different invasion rates and to use different invasion pathways...
2016: PloS One
Evan Hersh, Jaime Grimm, Jeannette Whitton
Negative reproductive interactions are likely to be strongest between close relatives and may be important in limiting local coexistence. In plants, interspecific pollen flow is common between co-occurring close relatives and may serve as the key mechanism of reproductive interference. Agamic complexes, systems in which some populations reproduce through asexual seeds (apomixis), while others reproduce sexually, provide an opportunity to examine effects of reproductive interference in limiting coexistence. Apomictic populations experience little or no reproductive interference, because apomictic ovules cannot receive pollen from nearby sexuals...
September 2016: Ecology and Evolution
Jullien M Flynn, Frédéric J J Chain, Daniel J Schoen, Melania E Cristescu
Understanding the rates, spectra, and fitness effects of spontaneous mutations is fundamental to answering key questions in evolution, molecular biology, disease genetics and conservation biology. To estimate mutation rates and evaluate the effect of selection on new mutations, we propagated mutation accumulation (MA) lines of Daphnia pulex for more than 82 generations and maintained a non-MA population under conditions where selection could act. Both experiments were started with the same obligate asexual progenitor clone...
October 24, 2016: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Qili Zhu, Ling Sun, Jiajie Lian, Xuli Gao, Lei Zhao, Mingyu Ding, Jing Li, Yuancun Liang
Phospholipase C (PLC) is an important phospholipid hydrolase that plays critical roles in various biological processes in eukaryotic cells. To elucidate the functions of PLC in morphogenesis and pathogenesis in Fusarium graminearum, deletion mutants were constructed of all six FgPLC genes identified in this study. Deletion of FgPLC1, but not the other five FgPLC genes, affected hyphal growth and conidiation. The FgPLC1 deletion mutant (Δplc1) also was defective in conidium germination and germ tube growth...
October 21, 2016: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Kathleen Marie Burchhardt, Megan E Miller, William O Cline, Marc Cubeta
The fungus Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi (Mvc), a pathogen of Vaccinium spp., requires asexual and sexual spore production to complete its life cycle. A recent study found population structuring of Mvc over a broad spatial scale in the US. In this study, we examined fine-scale genetic structuring, temporal dynamics, and reproductive biology within a 125 x 132m blueberry plot from 2010 to 2012. A total of 395 isolates of Mvc were sampled from infected shoots and fruits to examine their multilocus haplotype (MLH) using microsatellite markers...
October 24, 2016: Phytopathology
Guillaume Martin, Lionel Roques
Various models describe asexual evolution by mutation, selection and drift. Some focus directly on fitness, typically modelling drift but ignoring or simplifying both epistasis and the distribution of mutation effects (travelling wave models). Others follow the dynamics of quantitative traits determining fitness (Fisher's geometrical model), imposing a complex but fixed form of mutation effects and epistasis, and often ignoring drift. In all cases, predictions are typically obtained in high or low mutation rate limits and for long-term stationary regimes, thus loosing information on transient behaviors and the effect of initial conditions...
October 21, 2016: Genetics
L V Alvarez, J Z Groenewald, P W Crous
The asexual genera Coniella (1918) and Pilidiella (1927), including their sexual morphs in Schizoparme (1923), have a cosmopolitan distribution and are associated with foliar, fruit, leaf, stem and root diseases on a wide variety of hosts. Species of these genera sometimes occur as secondary invaders of plant tissues infected by other organisms or that are injured by other causes. Several studies published over the last few decades had conflicting ideas as to whether Coniella, Pilidiella and Schizoparme should be regarded as synonymous or as separate genera...
September 2016: Studies in Mycology
Marta R Pereira, Cristian S Dambros, Charles E Zartman
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Resource allocation is difficult to characterize in plants because of the challenges of quantifying gametes and propagules. We surveyed six sympatric, unisexual species in the family Calymperaceae (Bryophyta) to test for trade-offs in prezygotic sexual and asexual expression and density-dependent survivorship of female gametangia. METHODS: We tallied gametangial and asexual propagule output for 1820 shoots from 17 populations of six species at monthly intervals during one year (2010-2011) in a central Amazonian forest...
October 7, 2016: American Journal of Botany
Inderjeet Kaur, Mohammad Zeeshan, Ekta Saini, Abhinav Kaushik, Asif Mohmmed, Dinesh Gupta, Pawan Malhotra
Post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications play a major role in Plasmodium life cycle regulation. Lysine methylation of histone proteins is well documented in several organisms, however in recent years lysine methylation of proteins outside histone code is emerging out as an important post-translational modification (PTM). In the present study we have performed global analysis of lysine methylation of proteins in asexual blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum development. We immunoprecipitated stage specific Plasmodium lysates using anti-methyl lysine specific antibodies that immunostained the asexual blood stage parasites...
October 20, 2016: Scientific Reports
Yong-Jian Wang, Xue-Ping Shi, Xiao-Jing Wu, Xue-Feng Meng, Peng-Cheng Wang, Zhi-Xiang Zhou, Fang-Li Luo, Fei-Hai Yu
The availabilities of light and soil water resources usually spatially co-vary in natural habitats, and the spatial pattern of such co-variation may affect the benefits of physiological integration between connected ramets of clonal plants. In a greenhouse experiment, we grew connected or disconnected ramet pairs [consisting of a proximal (relatively old) and a distal (relative young) ramet] of a rhizomatous herb Iris japonica in four heterogeneous environments differing in patch arrangement (reciprocal vs...
October 19, 2016: Scientific Reports
Ana M Millanes, Paul Diederich, Mats Wedin
Pucciniomycotina is a highly diverse group of fungi, showing a remarkably wide range of lifestyles and ecologies. However, lichen-inhabiting fungi are only represented by a few species included in the genera Chionosphaera and Cystobasidium, and their phylogenetic position has never been investigated. Phylogenetic analyses using the nuclear SSU, ITS, and LSU ribosomal DNA markers reveal that the lichenicolous members of Cystobasidium (C. hypogymniicola, C. usneicola) form a monophyletic group distinct from Cystobasidium and outside the Cystobasidiales...
November 2016: Fungal Biology
Joey B Tanney, David R McMullin, Blake D Green, J David Miller, Keith A Seifert
The genus Diaporthe comprises close to 800 species, with around 2000 names attributed to it and its asexual morphs previously recognized in Phomopsis. Diaporthe species are common plant associates, including saprotrophs, pathogens, and endophytes affiliated with a diverse range of hosts worldwide. In this study, an unknown Diaporthe sp. was frequently isolated as an endophyte from healthy Picea mariana and Picea rubens needles in the Acadian forest of Eastern Canada. Morphological observations and the application of the genealogical concordance phylogenetic species recognition concept using four unlinked loci (internal transcribed spacer (ITS), DNA-lyase (Apn2), translation elongation factor 1-α (EF1-α), and beta-tubulin (TUB)) support the distinctiveness of this species, described here as Diaporthe maritima...
November 2016: Fungal Biology
Damien Ertz, Bettina Heuchert, Uwe Braun, Colin E Freebury, Ralph S Common, Paul Diederich
Taeniolella is a genus of asexual ascomycetes with saprophytic, endophytic, and lichenicolous life styles. A phylogeny of representative species is presented, with a focus on lichenicolous taxa. We obtained mtSSU and nuLSU sequence data from culture isolates of Taeniolella and from freshly collected specimens of other taxa. Taeniolella is recovered as strongly polyphyletic. The type species, Taeniolella exilis, is placed in Kirschsteiniotheliaceae within Dothideomycetes. Other saprophytic/endophytic Taeniolella species previously assigned to Sordariomycetes based on sequences were found to represent either contaminants or species that cannot be assigned to Taeniolella for morphological reasons...
November 2016: Fungal Biology
Pedro W Crous, Johannes Z Groenewald
Species of Coleophoma have been reported as plant pathogenic, saprobic or endophytic on a wide host range. The genus is characterised by having pycnidial conidiomata, phialidic conidiogenous cells intermingled among paraphyses, and cylindrical conidia. Coleophoma has had a confusing taxonomic history with numerous synonyms, and its phylogeny has remained unresolved. The aim of the present study was to use a polyphasic approach incorporating morphology, ecology, and molecular data of the partial large subunit of nrDNA (LSU), the internal transcribed spacer region with intervening 5...
November 2016: Fungal Biology
Chen Chen, Gerard J M Verkley, Guangyu Sun, Johannes Z Groenewald, Pedro W Crous
Species in Neofabraea, Pezicula, and related genera have been reported as saprobes, plant pathogens or endophytes from a wide range of hosts. The asexual morphs of Neofabraea and Pezicula had been placed in Cryptosporiopsis, now a synonym of Pezicula, while Neofabraea was also linked to Phlyctema. Based on morphology and molecular data of the partial large subunit nrDNA (LSU), the internal transcribed spacer region with intervening 5.8S nrDNA (ITS), partial β-tubulin region (tub2), and the partial RNA polymerase II second largest subunit region (rpb2), the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of these fungi were investigated...
November 2016: Fungal Biology
Evariste Sanchez-Palencia, Philippe Lherminier, Jean-Pierre Françoise
The present work is a contribution to the understanding of the sempiternal problem of the "burden of factor two" implied by sexual reproduction versus asexual one, as males are energy consumers not contributing to the production of offspring. We construct a deterministic mathematical model in population dynamics where a species enjoys both sexual and parthenogenetic capabilities of reproduction and lives on a limited resource. We then show how polygamy implies instability of a parthenogenetic population with a small number of sexually born males...
October 13, 2016: Acta Biotheoretica
Joseph W Spatafora, Ying Chang, Gerald L Benny, Katy Lazarus, Matthew E Smith, Mary L Berbee, Gregory Bonito, Nicolas Corradi, Igor Grigoriev, Andrii Gryganskyi, Timothy Y James, Kerry O'Donnell, Robert W Roberson, Thomas N Taylor, Jessie Uehling, Rytas Vilgalys, Merlin M White, Jason E Stajich
Zygomycete fungi were classified as a single phylum, Zygomycota, based on sexual reproduction by zygospores, frequent asexual reproduction by sporangia, absence of multicellular sporocarps, and production of coenocytic hyphae, all with some exceptions. Molecular phylogenies based on one or a few genes did not support the monophyly of the phylum, however, and the phylum was subsequently abandoned. Here we present phylogenetic analyses of a genome-scale data set for 46 taxa, including 25 zygomycetes and 192 proteins, and we demonstrate that zygomycetes comprise two major clades that form a paraphyletic grade...
September 2016: Mycologia
Richard A Lippa
Recent research has documented large and robust sex differences in the category specificity of self-reported sexual attraction and viewing times to men and women, with men showing more polarized responses to the two sexes than women. However, this research has been limited by the use of small and restricted samples. To address this, the current study assessed a representative sample of more than 2800 U.S. adults on demographic and attitudinal variables and on two measures of category specificity: one based on self-reported sexual attraction and the other based on viewing times to male and female swimsuit models...
October 11, 2016: Archives of Sexual Behavior
Wei Li, Yingpeng Guo, Aixiang Zhang, Huaigu Chen
Sharp eyespot on wheat is caused by Rhizoctonia cerealis anastomosis group D subgroup I (AG-DI) and is an economically important stem-base disease of wheat in temperate regions worldwide. However, the understanding about the field population structure of R. cerealis is limited. In this study, the genetic structure of four wheat-infecting populations in China was investigated using six microsatellite markers characterized from the transcriptome data of R. cerealis AG-DI. A total of 173 unique genotypes were identified among 235 fungal isolates...
October 11, 2016: Phytopathology
Tomoyo Sakata-Kato, Dyann F Wirth
Given that resistance to all drugs in clinical use has arisen, discovery of new anti-malarial drug targets is eagerly anticipated. The Plasmodium mitochondrion has been considered a promising drug target largely based on its significant divergence from the host organelle as well as its involvement in ATP production and pyrimidine biosynthesis. However, the functions of Plasmodium mitochondrial protein complexes and associated metabolic pathways are not fully characterized. Here, we report the development of novel and robust bioenergetic assay protocols for Plasmodium falciparum asexual parasites utilizing a Seahorse Bioscience XFe24 Extracellular Flux Analyzer...
October 9, 2016: ACS Infectious Diseases
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