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Evolutionary dynamics

Kattina Zavala, Michael W Vandewege, Federico G Hoffmann, Juan C Opazo
The study of the evolutionary history of genes related to human disease lies at the interface of evolution and medicine. These studies provide the evolutionary context on which medical researchers should work, and are also useful in providing information to suggest further genetic experiments, especially in model species where genetic manipulations can be made. Here we studied the evolution of the β-adrenoreceptor gene family in vertebrates with the aim of adding an evolutionary framework to the already abundant physiological information...
October 18, 2016: General and Comparative Endocrinology
Diyendo Massilani, Silvia Guimaraes, Jean-Philip Brugal, E Andrew Bennett, Malgorzata Tokarska, Rose-Marie Arbogast, Gennady Baryshnikov, Gennady Boeskorov, Jean-Christophe Castel, Sergey Davydov, Stéphane Madelaine, Olivier Putelat, Natalia N Spasskaya, Hans-Peter Uerpmann, Thierry Grange, Eva-Maria Geigl
BACKGROUND: Climatic and environmental fluctuations as well as anthropogenic pressure have led to the extinction of much of Europe's megafauna. The European bison or wisent (Bison bonasus), one of the last wild European large mammals, narrowly escaped extinction at the onset of the 20th century owing to hunting and habitat fragmentation. Little is known, however, about its origin, evolutionary history and population dynamics during the Pleistocene. RESULTS: Through ancient DNA analysis we show that the emblematic European bison has experienced several waves of population expansion, contraction, and extinction during the last 50,000 years in Europe, culminating in a major reduction of genetic diversity during the Holocene...
October 21, 2016: BMC Biology
Nicoletta Bobola, Samir Merabet
Homeodomain proteins are evolutionary conserved proteins present in the entire eukaryote kingdom. They execute functions that are essential for life, both in developing and adult organisms. Most homeodomain proteins act as transcription factors and bind DNA to control the activity of other genes. In contrast to their similar DNA binding specificity, homeodomain proteins execute highly diverse and context-dependent functions. Several factors, including genome accessibility, DNA shape, combinatorial binding and the ability to interact with many transcriptional partners, diversify the activity of homeodomain proteins and culminate in the activation of highly dynamic, context-specific transcriptional programs...
October 18, 2016: Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
Po C Liu, Yi T Lee, Chun Y Wang, Ya-Tang Yang
We describe a low cost, configurable morbidostat for characterizing the evolutionary pathway of antibiotic resistance. The morbidostat is a bacterial culture device that continuously monitors bacterial growth and dynamically adjusts the drug concentration to constantly challenge the bacteria as they evolve to acquire drug resistance. The device features a working volume of ~10 ml and is fully automated and equipped with optical density measurement and micro-pumps for medium and drug delivery. To validate the platform, we measured the stepwise acquisition of trimethoprim resistance in Escherichia coli MG 1655, and integrated the device with a multiplexed microfluidic platform to investigate cell morphology and antibiotic susceptibility...
September 27, 2016: Journal of Visualized Experiments: JoVE
Xingguang Li, Junjie Zai, Haizhou Liu, Yi Feng, Fan Li, Jing Wei, Sen Zou, Zhiming Yuan, Yiming Shao
Following its immergence in December 2013, the recent Zaire Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak in West Africa has spread and persisted for more than two years, making it the largest EBOV epidemic in both scale and geographical region to date. In this study, a total of 726 glycoprotein (GP) gene sequences of the EBOV full-length genome obtained from West Africa from the 2014 outbreak, combined with 30 from earlier outbreaks between 1976 and 2008 were used to investigate the genetic divergence, evolutionary history, population dynamics, and selection pressure of EBOV among distinct epidemic waves...
October 21, 2016: Scientific Reports
Sarah Thabet, Nada Souissi
The mycobacterial insertion sequence IS6110 proved crucial in deciphering tuberculosis (TB) transmission dynamics. This sequence was also shown to play an important role in the pathogenicity (transmission ability and/or virulence) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the main causative agent of TB in humans. In this study, we explored the usefulness of IS6110 and its potential as a phylogenetic/typing marker. We also analyzed the genetic polymorphism and evolutionary trends (selective pressure) of its transposase-encoding open reading frames (ORFs), A and B, using the maximum likelihood method...
October 20, 2016: Molecular Biology Reports
Rita Barros, Daniela Pereira, Catarina Callé, Vânia Camilo, Ana Isabel Cunha, Leonor David, Raquel Almeida, António Dias-Pereira, Paula Chaves
Barrett's esophagus (BE) is the replacement of the normal esophageal squamous epithelium by a columnar lining epithelium. It is a premalignant condition for the development of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and esophagogastric junction. BE is associated with gastroesophageal reflux which might change the expression profile of key transcription factors involved in the establishment of tissue differentiation, namely, SOX2 (associated with esophageal and gastric differentiation) and CDX2 (associated with intestinal differentiation)...
2016: Disease Markers
Daryl C Yang, Jennifer R Deuis, Daniel Dashevsky, James Dobson, Timothy N W Jackson, Andreas Brust, Bing Xie, Ivan Koludarov, Jordan Debono, Iwan Hendrikx, Wayne C Hodgson, Peter Josh, Amanda Nouwens, Gregory J Baillie, Timothy J C Bruxner, Paul F Alewood, Kelvin Kok Peng Lim, Nathaniel Frank, Irina Vetter, Bryan G Fry
Millions of years of evolution have fine-tuned the ability of venom peptides to rapidly incapacitate both prey and potential predators. Toxicofera reptiles are characterized by serous-secreting mandibular or maxillary glands with heightened levels of protein expression. These glands are the core anatomical components of the toxicoferan venom system, which exists in myriad points along an evolutionary continuum. Neofunctionalisation of toxins is facilitated by positive selection at functional hotspots on the ancestral protein and venom proteins have undergone dynamic diversification in helodermatid and varanid lizards as well as advanced snakes...
October 18, 2016: Toxins
Samuel A Neymotin, Benjamin A Suter, Salvador Dura-Bernal, Gordon M G Shepherd, Michele Migliore, William W Lytton
Corticospinal neurons (SPI), thick-tufted pyramidal neurons in motor cortex layer 5B that project caudally via the medullary pyramids, display distinct class-specific electrophysiological properties in vitro: strong sag with hyperpolarization, lack of adaptation, and a nearly linear frequency-current (FI) relationship. We used our electrophysiological data to produce a pair of large archives of SPI neuron computer models in two model classes: 1. Detailed models with full reconstruction; 2. Simplified models with 6 compartments...
October 19, 2016: Journal of Neurophysiology
Yann J K Bertrand, Magnus Johansson, Peter Norberg
The hypothesis of wide spread reticulate evolution in Tick-Borne Encephalitis virus (TBEV) has recently gained momentum with several publications describing past recombination events involving various TBEV clades. Despite a large body of work, no consensus has yet emerged on TBEV evolutionary dynamics. Understanding the occurrence and frequency of recombination in TBEV bears significant impact on epidemiology, evolution, and vaccination with live vaccines. In this study, we investigated the possibility of detecting recombination events in TBEV by simulating recombinations at several locations on the virus' phylogenetic tree and for different lengths of recombining fragments...
2016: PloS One
Vanessa Bellini Bardella, Sebastián Pita, André Luis Laforga Vanzela, Cleber Galvão, Francisco Panzera
The subfamily Triatominae (Hemiptera, Reduviidae) includes 150 species of blood-sucking insects, vectors of Chagas disease or American trypanosomiasis. Karyotypic information reveals a striking stability in the number of autosomes. However, this group shows substantial variability in genome size, the amount and distribution of C-heterochromatin, and the chromosome positions of 45S rDNA clusters. Here, we analysed the karyotypes of 41 species from six different genera with C-fluorescence banding in order to evaluate the base-pair richness of heterochromatic regions...
October 2016: Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Jeremy B Yoder
Decades of research on the evolution of mutualism has generated a wealth of possible ways whereby mutually beneficial interactions between species persist in spite of the apparent advantages to individuals that accept the benefits of mutualism without reciprocating - but identifying how any particular empirical system is stabilized against cheating remains challenging. Different hypothesized models of mutualism stability predict different forms of coevolutionary selection, and emerging high-throughput sequencing methods allow examination of the selective histories of mutualism genes and, thereby, the form of selection acting on those genes...
October 18, 2016: American Journal of Botany
András Szilágyi, Dániel Györffy, Péter Závodszky
In an earlier study, we showed that two-domain segment-swapped proteins can evolve by domain swapping and fusion, resulting in a protein with two linkers connecting its domains. We proposed that a potential evolutionary advantage of this topology may be the restriction of interdomain motions, which may facilitate domain closure by a hinge-like movement, crucial for the function of many enzymes. Here, we test this hypothesis computationally on uroporphyrinogen III synthase, a two-domain segment-swapped enzyme essential in porphyrin metabolism...
October 18, 2016: Proteins
Christopher E Cattau, Robert J Fletcher, Brian E Reichert, Wiley M Kitchens
Identifying impacts of non-native species on native populations is central to conservation and ecology. While effects of non-native predators on native prey populations have recently received much attention, impacts of introduced prey on native predator populations are less understood. Non-native prey can influence predator behavior and demography through direct and indirect pathways, yet quantitative assessments of the relative impacts of multiple, potentially counteracting, effects on native predator population growth remain scarce...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Isabel Rodríguez-Quilón, Luis Santos-Del-Blanco, María Jesús Serra-Varela, Jarkko Koskela, Santiago C González-Martínez, Ricardo Alía
Preserving intraspecific genetic diversity is essential for long-term forest sustainability in a climate change scenario. Despite that, genetic information is largely neglected in conservation planning, and how conservation units should be defined is still heatedly debated. Here, we use maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.), an outcrossing long-lived tree with a highly fragmented distribution in the Mediterranean biodiversity hotspot, to prove the importance of accounting for genetic variation, of both neutral molecular markers and quantitative traits, to define useful conservation units...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Maelin da Silva, Patricia Barbosa, Roberto F Artoni, Eliana Feldberg
Gymnotidae is a family of electric fish endemic to the Neotropics consisting of 2 genera: Electrophorus and Gymnotus. The genus Gymnotus is widely distributed and is found in all of the major Brazilian river systems. Physical and molecular mapping data for the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) in this genus are still scarce, with its chromosomal location known in only 11 species. As other species of Gymnotus with 2n = 54 chromosomes from the Paraná-Paraguay basin, G. mamiraua was found to have a large number of 5S rDNA sites...
October 18, 2016: Cytogenetic and Genome Research
Kjetil Lysne Voje
The dominating view of evolution based on the fossil record is that established species remain more or less unaltered during their existence. Substantial evolution is on the other hand routinely reported for contemporary populations, and most quantitative traits show high potential for evolution. These contrasting observations on long and short time scales are often referred to as the paradox of stasis, which rests on the fundamental assumption that periods of morphological stasis in the fossil record represent minimal evolutionary change...
October 17, 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Keisuke Yoshihara, Minh Nhat Le, Koo Nagasawa, Hiroyuki Tsukagoshi, Hien Anh Nguyen, Michiko Toizumi, Hiroyuki Moriuchi, Masahiro Hashizume, Koya Ariyoshi, Duc Anh Dang, Hirokazu Kimura, Lay-Myint Yoshida
We performed molecular evolutionary analyses of the G gene C-terminal 3rd hypervariable region of RSV-A genotypes NA1 and ON1 strains from the paediatric acute respiratory infection patients in central Vietnam during the 2010-2012 study period. Time-scaled phylogenetic analyses were performed using Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method, and pairwise distances (p-distances) were calculated. Bayesian Skyline Plot (BSP) was constructed to analyze the time-trend relative genetic diversity of central Vietnam RSV-A strains...
October 14, 2016: Infection, Genetics and Evolution
Sonika Ahlawat, Sachinandan De, Priyanka Sharma, Rekha Sharma, Reena Arora, R S Kataria, T K Datta, R K Singh
Hybrid sterility or reproductive isolation in mammals has been attributed to allelic incompatibilities in a DNA-binding protein PRDM9. Not only is PRDM9 exceptional in being the only known 'speciation gene' in vertebrates, but it is also considered to be the fastest evolving gene in the genome. The terminal zinc finger (ZF) domain of PRDM9 specifies genome-wide meiotic recombination hotspot locations in mammals. Intriguingly, PRDM9 ZF domain is highly variable between as well as within species, possibly activating different recombination hotspots...
October 15, 2016: Molecular Genetics and Genomics: MGG
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