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Gene network evolution

Ji Yang, Xin Li, Yin-Hong Cao, Kisun Pokharel, Xiao-Ju Hu, Ze-Hui Chen, Song-Song Xu, Jaana Peippo, Mervi Honkatukia, Juha Kantanen, Meng-Hua Li
Prolific breeds of domestic sheep (Ovis aries) are important genetic resources due to their reproductive performance, which is characterized by multiple lambs per birth and out-of-season breeding. However, the lack of a comprehensive understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying the important reproductive traits, particularly from the evolutionary genomics perspective, has impeded the efficient advancement of sheep breeding. Here, for the first time, by performing RNA-sequencing we built a de novo transcriptome assembly of ovarian and endometrial tissues in European mouflon (Ovis musimon) and performed an mRNA-miRNA integrated expression profiling analysis of the wild species and a highly prolific domestic sheep breed, the Finnsheep...
May 21, 2018: Heredity
William Corrêa Tavares, Hector N Seuánez
Several rodent lineages independently acquired the ability to dig complex networks of tunnels where fossorial and subterranean species spend part or their whole life, respectively. Their underground lifestyles imposed harsh physiological demands, presumably triggering strong selective pressures on genes involved in energy metabolism like those coding for mitochondrial proteins. Moreover, underground lifestyles must have increased inbreeding and susceptibility to population bottlenecks as well as restricted migration, leading to small effective population size (Ne ) that, in turn, must have reduced the effectiveness of selection...
May 18, 2018: Mammalian Genome: Official Journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society
Carlos Espinosa-Soto
Modularity is a widespread property in biological systems. It implies that interactions occur mainly within groups of system elements. A modular arrangement facilitates adjustment of one module without perturbing the rest of the system. Therefore, modularity of developmental mechanisms is a major factor for evolvability, the potential to produce beneficial variation from random genetic change. Understanding how modularity evolves in gene regulatory networks, that create the distinct gene activity patterns that characterize different parts of an organism, is key to developmental and evolutionary biology...
May 18, 2018: PLoS Computational Biology
Jungnam Cho
Transposable elements (TEs) are often regarded as harmful genomic factors and indeed they are strongly suppressed by the epigenetic silencing mechanisms. On the other hand, the mobilization of TEs brings about variability of genome and transcriptome which are essential in the survival and evolution of the host species. The vast majority of such controlling TEs influence the neighboring genes in cis by either promoting or repressing the transcriptional activities. Although TEs are highly repetitive in the genomes and transcribed in specific stress conditions or developmental stages, the trans -acting regulatory roles of TE-derived RNAs have been rarely studied...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Frederic Libersat, Maayan Kaiser, Stav Emanuel
Neuro-parasitology is an emerging branch of science that deals with parasites that can control the nervous system of the host. It offers the possibility of discovering how one species (the parasite) modifies a particular neural network, and thus particular behaviors, of another species (the host). Such parasite-host interactions, developed over millions of years of evolution, provide unique tools by which one can determine how neuromodulation up-or-down regulates specific behaviors. In some of the most fascinating manipulations, the parasite taps into the host brain neuronal circuities to manipulate hosts cognitive functions...
2018: Frontiers in Psychology
Antonio Serrato-Capuchina, Daniel R Matute
Understanding the phenotypic and molecular mechanisms that contribute to genetic diversity between and within species is fundamental in studying the evolution of species. In particular, identifying the interspecific differences that lead to the reduction or even cessation of gene flow between nascent species is one of the main goals of speciation genetic research. Transposable elements (TEs) are DNA sequences with the ability to move within genomes. TEs are ubiquitous throughout eukaryotic genomes and have been shown to alter regulatory networks, gene expression, and to rearrange genomes as a result of their transposition...
May 15, 2018: Genes
Kerry Geiler-Samerotte, Federica M O Sartori, Mark L Siegal
The concept of genetic canalization has had an abiding influence on views of complex-trait evolution. A genetically canalized system has evolved to become less sensitive to the effects of mutation. When a gene product that supports canalization is compromised, the phenotypic impacts of a mutation should be more pronounced. This expected increase in mutational effects not only has important consequences for evolution, but has also motivated strategies to treat disease. However, recent studies demonstrate that, when putative agents of genetic canalization are impaired, systems do not behave as expected...
May 8, 2018: Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology
Michael J Gaudry, Kevin L Campbell, Martin Jastroch
Brown adipose tissue (BAT), the specialized heat-producing organ found in many placental mammals including humans, may be accessible for clinical drug intervention to help combat metabolic diseases. Understanding the biology of BAT and its thermogenic uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) will benefit from an assessment of its evolution, answering where UCP1 originated and how it has been modified and integrated into cellular energy metabolism. Here, we review topical insights regarding the molecular evolution of UCP1-also reconstructing the proximate and ultimate factors selecting for brown fat thermogenesis in placental mammals...
May 10, 2018: Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology
Karolina Heyduk, Jeremy N Ray, Saravanaraj Ayyampalayam, James Leebens-Mack
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The relative ease of high throughput sequencing is facilitating comprehensive phylogenomic and gene expression studies, even for nonmodel groups. To date, however, these two approaches have not been merged; while phylogenomic methods might use transcriptome sequences to resolve relationships, assessment of gene expression patterns in a phylogenetic context is less common. Here we analyzed both carbon assimilation and gene expression patterns of closely related species within the Agavoideae (Asparagaceae) to elucidate changes in gene expression across weak and strong phenotypes for Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM)...
March 2018: American Journal of Botany
Xiujuan Lei, Ming Fang, Fang-Xiang Wu, Luonan Chen
BACKGROUND: Essential proteins are necessary for the survival and development of cells. The identification of essential proteins can help to understand the minimal requirements for cellular life and it also plays an important role in the disease genes study and drug design. With the development of high-throughput techniques, a large amount of protein-protein interactions data is available to predict essential proteins at the network level. Hitherto, even though a number of essential protein discovery methods have been proposed, the prediction precision still needs to be improved...
April 24, 2018: BMC Systems Biology
Marina Muñoz, Milena Camargo, Juan D Ramírez
Members of the Cryptococcus complex, includes Cryptococcus neoformans (most common fungal infection of the brain) and Cryptococcus gattii (high-impact emerging pathogen worldwide). Currently, the fungal multilocus sequence typing database (Fungal MLST Database) constitutes a valuable data repository of the genes used for molecular typing of these pathogens. We analyzed the data available in the Fungal MLST Database for seven housekeeping genes, with the aim to evaluate its contribution in the description of intra-taxa diversity, population genetic structure, and evolutionary patterns...
2018: Frontiers in Genetics
Keith R Willison
The cytosolic chaperonin CCT (chaperonin containing TCP-1) is an ATP-dependent double-ring protein machine mediating the folding of members of the eukaryotic cytoskeletal protein families. The actins and tubulins are obligate substrates of CCT because they are completely dependent on CCT activity to reach their native states. Genetic and proteomic analysis of the CCT interactome in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae revealed a CCT network of approximately 300 genes and proteins involved in many fundamental biological processes...
June 19, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Katy Poncin, Sébastien Gillet, Xavier De Bolle
The α-proteobacteria are a fascinating group of free-living, symbiotic and pathogenic organisms, including the Brucella genus, which is responsible for a worldwide zoonosis. One common feature of α-proteobacteria is the presence of a conserved response regulator called CtrA, first described in the model bacterium Caulobacter crescentus, where it controls gene expression at different stages of the cell cycle. Here, we focus on Brucella abortus and other intracellular α-proteobacteria in order to better assess the potential role of CtrA in the infectious context...
May 3, 2018: FEMS Microbiology Reviews
Zhang Ruiling, Liu Tongkai, Huang Zhendong, Zhuang Guifen, Ma Dezhen, Zhangzhong
Aedes albopictus has been described as one of the 100 worst invasive species in the world. This mosquito originated from southeastern Asia and currently has a widespread presence in every continent except Antarctica. The rapid global expansion of Ae. albopictus has increased public health concerns about arbovirus-related disease threats. Adaptation, adaption to novel areas is a biological challenge for invasive species, and the underlying processes can be studied at the molecular level. In this study, genetic analysis was performed using mitochondrial gene NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5), based on both native and invasive populations...
May 2, 2018: Acta Tropica
Sebastian Kittelmann, Alexandra D Buffry, Franziska A Franke, Isabel Almudi, Marianne Yoth, Gonzalo Sabaris, Juan Pablo Couso, Maria D S Nunes, Nicolás Frankel, José Luis Gómez-Skarmeta, Jose Pueyo-Marques, Saad Arif, Alistair P McGregor
Convergent phenotypic evolution is often caused by recurrent changes at particular nodes in the underlying gene regulatory networks (GRNs). The genes at such evolutionary 'hotspots' are thought to maximally affect the phenotype with minimal pleiotropic consequences. This has led to the suggestion that if a GRN is understood in sufficient detail, the path of evolution may be predictable. The repeated evolutionary loss of larval trichomes among Drosophila species is caused by the loss of shavenbaby (svb) expression...
May 3, 2018: PLoS Genetics
Sebastian Proost, Marek Mutwil
The recent accumulation of gene expression data in the form of RNA sequencing creates unprecedented opportunities to study gene regulation and function. Furthermore, comparative analysis of the expression data from multiple species can elucidate which functional gene modules are conserved across species, allowing the study of the evolution of these modules. However, performing such comparative analyses on raw data is not feasible for many biologists. Here, we present CoNekT (Co-expression Network Toolkit), an open source web server, that contains user-friendly tools and interactive visualizations for comparative analyses of gene expression data and co-expression networks...
May 1, 2018: Nucleic Acids Research
Sandipan Dutta, Jean-Pierre Eckmann, Albert Libchaber, Tsvi Tlusty
The function of proteins arises from cooperative interactions and rearrangements of their amino acids, which exhibit large-scale dynamical modes. Long-range correlations have also been revealed in protein sequences, and this has motivated the search for physical links between the observed genetic and dynamic cooperativity. We outline here a simplified theory of protein, which relates sequence correlations to physical interactions and to the emergence of mechanical function. Our protein is modeled as a strongly coupled amino acid network with interactions and motions that are captured by the mechanical propagator, the Green function...
April 30, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Julija Armalytė, Dukas Jurėnas, Renatas Krasauskas, Albinas Čepauskas, Edita Sužiedėlienė
Acinetobacter baumannii is one of the major causes of hard to treat multidrug-resistant hospital infections. A. baumannii features contributing to its spread and persistence in clinical environment are only beginning to be explored. Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems are genetic loci shown to be involved in plasmid maintenance and proposed to function as components of stress response networks. Here we present a thorough characterization of type II system of A. baumannii , which is the most ubiquitous TA module present in A...
2018: Frontiers in Microbiology
Qian Shen, Lida Zhang, Zhihua Liao, Shengyue Wang, Tingxiang Yan, Pu Shi, Meng Liu, Xueqing Fu, Qifang Pan, Yuliang Wang, Zongyou Lv, Xu Lu, Fangyuan Zhang, Weimin Jiang, Yanan Ma, Minghui Chen, Xiaolong Hao, Ling Li, Yueli Tang, Gang Lv, Yan Zhou, Xiaofen Sun, Peter E Brodelius, Jocelyn K C Rose, Kexuan Tang
Artemisia annua, commonly known as sweet wormwood or Qinghao, is a shrub native to China and has long been used for medicinal purposes. A. annua is now cultivated globally as the only natural source of a potent anti-malarial compound, artemisinin. Here, we report a high-quality draft assembly of the 1.74-gigabase genome of A. annua, which is highly heterozygous, rich in repetitive sequences, and contains 63 226 protein-coding genes, one of the largest numbers among the sequenced plant species. We found that, as one of a few sequenced genomes in the Asteraceae, the A...
April 20, 2018: Molecular Plant
Daniel Spalink, Kevin Stoffel, Genevieve K Walden, Amanda M Hulse-Kemp, Theresa A Hill, Allen Van Deynze, Lynn Bohs
The integration of genomics and phylogenetics allows new insight into the structure of gene tree discordance, the relationships among gene position, gene history, and rate of evolution, as well as the correspondence of gene function, positive selection, and gene ontology enrichment across lineages. We explore these issues using the tribe Capsiceae (Solanaceae), which is comprised of the genera Lycianthes and Capsicum (peppers). In combining the annotated genomes of Capsicum with newly sequenced transcriptomes of four species of Lycianthes and Capsicum, we develop phylogenies for 6,747 genes, and construct a backbone species tree using both concordance and explicit phylogenetic network approaches...
April 24, 2018: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
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