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Robert D Denton, Ariadna E Morales, H Lisle Gibbs
Quantifying introgression between sexual species and polyploid lineages traditionally thought to be asexual is an important step in understanding what drives the longevity of putatively asexual groups. Here, we capitalize on three recent innovations-ultraconserved element (UCE) sequencing, bioinformatic techniques for identifying genome-specific variation in polyploids, and model-based methods for evaluating historical gene flow-to measure the extent and tempo of introgression over the evolutionary history of an allopolyploid lineage of all-female salamanders and two ancestral sexual species...
June 21, 2018: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Jessica R Brzyski, Christopher R Stieha, D Nicholas McLetchie
Background and Aims: In dioecious plants, sexual reproduction requires close proximity to potential mates, but clonal growth can increase this distance and, therefore, reduce the probability of mating. Reduction in sexual propagules can lead to decreased dispersal and gene flow between populations. Gene flow and clonal growth may be further influenced by the size of the habitat patch. The effects of habitat size and reproductive mode (sexual or asexual reproduction) on spatial genetic structure and segregation of the sexes were tested by quantifying the distributions of genotypes and the sexes using the dioecious liverwort Marchantia inflexa...
June 19, 2018: Annals of Botany
Wenjing Yang, Hao Wu, Zhangxun Wang, Qian Sun, Lintao Qiao, Bo Huang
The APSES family is a unique family of transcription factors with a basic helix-loop-helix structure (APSES: Asm1p, Phd1p, Sok2p, Efg1p , and StuAp ), which are key regulators of cell development and sporulation-related processes. However, the functions of the APSES family of genes in the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii have not been reported. Here, we report the identification and characterization of the MrStuA gene, a member of the APSES family, in M. robertsii . The selected gene was identified as StuA in M...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Lokesh D Kori, Neena Valecha, Anupkumar R Anvikar
Even though malaria is preventable and curable, it has become a serious threat to mankind. In 2016, there were an estimated 216 million cases of malaria across the world. The biology of its causative agent, i.e. Plasmodium parasite is full of complex mechanisms. There are five Plasmodium species responsible for malaria in humans, viz. Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae, P. ovale and recently identified P. knowlesi that normally infect apes. In humans, malaria is spread by the injection of Plasmodium sporozoites through the bite of infectious Anopheles' female mosquito during their blood meal...
January 2018: Journal of Vector Borne Diseases
Adrian Forsythe, Victoria Giglio, Jonathan Asa, Jianping Xu
White-nose Syndrome (WNS) is an ongoing epizootic affecting multiple species of North American bats, caused by epidermal infections of the psychrophilic filamentous fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans Since its introduction from Europe, WNS has spread rapidly across eastern North America and resulted in high mortality rates in bats. At present, the mechanisms behind its spread and the extent of its adaptation to different geographic and ecological niches remain unknown. The objective of this study was to examine the geographic patterns of phenotypic variation and the potential evidence for adaptation among strains representing broad geographic locations in eastern North America...
June 18, 2018: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Ning Jiang, Zhiwei Tu, Yiwei Zhang, Jianping Li, Ying Feng, Na Yang, Xiaoyu Sang, Qijun Chen
BACKGROUND: Plasmodium falciparum is the most virulent parasite of the five Plasmodium species that cause human malaria, and biological analysis of the parasite is critical for the development of novel strategies for disease control. DNA endonucleases are important for maintaining the biological activity, gene stability of the parasite and interaction with host immune systems. In this study, ten sequences of DNA endonucleases were found in the genome of P. falciparum 3D7 clone, seven of them were predicted to contain an endonuclease/exonuclease/phosphatase (IPR005135) domain which plays an important role in DNA catalytic activity...
June 18, 2018: Malaria Journal
J P M Araújo, H C Evans, R Kepler, D P Hughes
Ophiocordyceps species infecting ants - the so-called zombie-ant fungi - comprise one of the most intriguing and fascinating relationships between microbes and animals. They are widespread within tropical forests worldwide, with relatively few reports from temperate ecosystems. These pathogens possess the ability to manipulate host behaviour in order to increase their own fitness. Depending on the fungal species involved the infected ants are manipulated either to leave the nest to ascend understorey shrubs, to die biting onto vegetation, or descend from the canopy to die at the base of trees...
June 2018: Studies in Mycology
Ruth Ayanful-Torgby, Neils B Quashie, Johnson N Boampong, Kim C Williamson, Linda E Amoah
Plasmodium falciparum infections presenting either as symptomatic or asymptomatic may contain sexual stage parasites (gametocytes) that are crucial to malaria transmission. In this study, the prevalence of microscopic and submicroscopic asexual and gametocyte parasite stages were assessed in asymptomatic children from two communities in southern Ghana. Eighty children aged twelve years and below, none of whom exhibited signs of clinical malaria living in Obom and Cape Coast were sampled twice, one during the rainy (July 2015) and subsequently during the dry (January 2016) season...
2018: PloS One
Tjaša Kogovšek, Martin Vodopivec, Fabio Raicich, Shin-Ichi Uye, Alenka Malej
A prominent increase in the moon jellyfish (genus Aurelia) populations has been observed since 1980 in two semi-enclosed temperate seas: the northern Adriatic Sea and the Inland Sea of Japan. Therefore, we reviewed long-term environmental and biotic data from the two Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites, along with the increase in the moon jellyfish occurrence to elucidate how these coastal seas shifted to the jellyfish-dominated ecosystems. The principal component analysis of atmospheric data revealed a simultaneous occurrence of similar climatic changes in the early 1980s; thereafter, air temperature increased steadily and precipitation decreased but became more extreme...
June 1, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Nicolas Azaña Schnedler-Meyer, Simone Pigolotti, Patrizio Mariani
Many living organisms in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems rely on multiple reproductive strategies to reduce the risk of extinction in variable environments. Examples are provided by the polyp stage of several bloom-forming jellyfish species, which can reproduce asexually using different budding strategies. These strategies broadly fall into three categories: (1) fast localized reproduction, (2) dormant cysts, or (3) motile and dispersing buds. Similar functional strategies are also present in other groups of species...
July 2018: American Naturalist
Siqi Zhang, Danielle Hagstrom, Patrick Hayes, Aaron Graham, Eva-Maria S Collins
There is an increased recognition in the field of toxicology of the value of medium-to-high-throughput screening methods using in vitro and alternative animal models. We have previously introduced the asexual freshwater planarian Dugesia japonica as a new alternative animal model and proposed that it is particularly well-suited for the study of developmental neurotoxicology. In this paper, we discuss how we have expanded and automated our screening methodology to allow for fast screening of multiple behavioral endpoints, developmental toxicity, and mortality...
June 8, 2018: Toxicological Sciences: An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology
Chen-Yo Chung, Yi-Min Hsiao, Ting-Yu Huang, Tien-Hsien Chang, Chun-Che Chang
In animals, differentiation of germline from soma usually takes place during embryogenesis. Genes and their products that are preferentially expressed in the embryonic germ cells are regarded as candidates for maintaining germline fate or promoting germline identity. In Drosophila, for example, the protein encoded by the germline gene vasa is specifically restricted to the germ cells while products of the gap gene hunchback (hb), a somatic gene, are preferentially expressed in the neuroblasts. In this study, we report the expression of both mRNA and protein encoded by Aphb, an hb orthologue in the asexual viviparous pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum, in germ cells as well as in neuroblasts...
June 11, 2018: Insect Molecular Biology
Spencer C Galen, Janus Borner, Ellen S Martinsen, Juliane Schaer, Christopher C Austin, Christopher J West, Susan L Perkins
The evolutionary relationships among the apicomplexan blood pathogens known as the malaria parasites (order Haemosporida), some of which infect nearly 200 million humans each year, has remained a vexing phylogenetic problem due to limitations in taxon sampling, character sampling and the extreme nucleotide base composition biases that are characteristic of this clade. Previous phylogenetic work on the malaria parasites has often lacked sufficient representation of the broad taxonomic diversity within the Haemosporida or the multi-locus sequence data needed to resolve deep evolutionary relationships, rendering our understanding of haemosporidian life-history evolution and the origin of the human malaria parasites incomplete...
May 2018: Royal Society Open Science
Adelaide S M Dennis, James E O Rosling, Adele M Lehane, Kiaran Kirk
Four hundred structurally diverse drug-like compounds comprising the Medicines for Malaria Venture's 'Pathogen Box' were screened for their effect on a range of physiological parameters in asexual blood-stage malaria (Plasmodium falciparum) parasites. Eleven of these compounds were found to perturb parasite Na+ , pH and volume in a manner consistent with inhibition of the putative Na+ efflux P-type ATPase PfATP4. All eleven compounds fell within the subset of 125 compounds included in the Pathogen Box on the basis of their having been identified as potent inhibitors of the growth of asexual blood-stage P...
June 11, 2018: Scientific Reports
Arista Fourie, Michael J Wingfield, Brenda D Wingfield, Magriet A van der Nest, M Theodor Loots, Irene Barnes
Ceratocystis fimbriata is a fungal plant pathogen that causes black rot on Ipomoea batatas. Based on inoculation studies on numerous tree species, the pathogen is known to be host specific. The closely related species, Ceratocystis manginecans, causes severe wilt on a broad range of tree hosts, including Mangifera indica, Acacia mangium and other leguminous tree species. The genetic factors underlying the pathogenicity and host specificity of Ceratocystis species have rarely been investigated. In this study, an F1 population of 70 recombinant progeny from a cross between C...
July 2018: Fungal Biology
Mark Arentshorst, Arthur F J Ram
The industrially important fungus Aspergillus niger is known to reproduce only asexually. The parasexual cycle of fungi can be used for crossing two different strains to produce segregants or progeny with combined mutations even in fungi without a known sexual cycle. In A. niger, the parasexual cycle has been extensively used to establish linkage groups and to generate genetic maps. With the advent of whole genome sequencing, the parasexual cycle has received renewed attention as a method to create segregants for bulk segregant analysis...
2018: Methods in Molecular Biology
Frédéric Suffert, Ghislain Delestre, Sandrine Gélisse
This study provides empirical evidence for antagonistic density dependence mechanisms driving sexual reproduction in the wheat fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici. Biparental crosses with 12 increasing inoculum concentrations, in controlled conditions, showed that sexual reproduction in Z. tritici was impacted by an Allee effect due to mate limitation and a competition with asexual multiplication for resource allocation. The highest number of ascospores discharged was reached at intermediate inoculum concentrations (from 5 × 104 conidia mL-1 to 106 conidia mL-1 )...
June 6, 2018: Microbial Ecology
Frédéric Suffert, Henriette Goyeau, Ivan Sache, Florence Carpentier, Sandrine Gélisse, David Morais, Ghislain Delestre
The efficiency of plant resistance to fungal pathogen populations is expected to decrease over time, due to their evolution with an increase in the frequency of virulent or highly aggressive strains. This dynamics may differ depending on the scale investigated (annual or pluriannual), particularly for annual crop pathogens with both sexual and asexual reproduction cycles. We assessed this time-scale effect, by comparing aggressiveness changes in a local Zymoseptoria tritici population over an 8-month cropping season and a 6-year period of wheat monoculture...
June 2018: Evolutionary Applications
Xia Chen, Hang-Gui Lai, Qi Sun, Jin-Ping Liu, Song-Bi Chen, Wen-Li Zhu
Apomixis, or asexual seed formation, is of great value for plant breeding and seed production, and is desirable in modern agriculture, but natural apomixis occurs in cassava at very low frequency. In present study, apomixis was induced by the treatments of female flower buds with 1%, 1.5% and 2% (v/v) dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and the results showed that 1.5% DMSO treatment was most effective for the induction of apomictic seed formation in cassava cultivar SC5 with the highest percentages of fruit set and true apomictic seeds...
March 2018: Breeding Science
Lucia Manni, Chiara Anselmi, Paolo Burighel, Margherita Martini, Fabio Gasparini
Tunicates, the sister group of vertebrates, possess a mechanoreceptor organ, the coronal organ, which is considered the best candidate to address the controversial issue of vertebrate hair cell evolution. The organ, located at the base of the oral siphon, controls the flow of seawater into the organism and can drive the "squirting" reaction, i.e., the rapid body muscle contraction used to eject dangerous particles during filtration. Coronal sensory cells are secondary mechanoreceptors and share morphological, developmental and molecular traits with vertebrate hair cells...
June 4, 2018: Integrative and Comparative Biology
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