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"Tree of life"

M J Madison-Villar, Cheng Sun, Nelson C Lau, Matthew L Settles, Rachel Lockridge Mueller
Most of the largest vertebrate genomes are found in salamanders, a clade of amphibians that includes 686 species. Salamander genomes range in size from 14 to 120 Gb, reflecting the accumulation of large numbers of transposable element (TE) sequences from all three TE classes. Although DNA loss rates are slow in salamanders relative to other vertebrates, high levels of TE insertion are also likely required to explain such high TE loads. Across the Tree of Life, novel TE insertions are suppressed by several pathways involving small RNA molecules...
October 14, 2016: Journal of Molecular Evolution
Michael Lynch, Matthew S Ackerman, Jean-Francois Gout, Hongan Long, Way Sung, W Kelley Thomas, Patricia L Foster
As one of the few cellular traits that can be quantified across the tree of life, DNA-replication fidelity provides an excellent platform for understanding fundamental evolutionary processes. Furthermore, because mutation is the ultimate source of all genetic variation, clarifying why mutation rates vary is crucial for understanding all areas of biology. A potentially revealing hypothesis for mutation-rate evolution is that natural selection primarily operates to improve replication fidelity, with the ultimate limits to what can be achieved set by the power of random genetic drift...
October 14, 2016: Nature Reviews. Genetics
Mikko Pentinsaari, Heli Salmela, Marko Mutanen, Tomas Roslin
DNA barcodes are widely used for identification and discovery of species. While such use draws on information at the DNA level, the current amassment of ca. 4.7 million COI barcodes also offers a unique resource for exploring functional constraints on DNA evolution. Here, we explore amino acid variation in a crosscut of the entire animal kingdom. Patterns of DNA variation were linked to functional constraints at the level of the amino acid sequence in functionally important parts of the enzyme. Six amino acid sites show variation with possible effects on enzyme function...
October 13, 2016: Scientific Reports
Chris A Hamilton, Alan R Lemmon, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Jason E Bond
BACKGROUND: Despite considerable effort, progress in spider molecular systematics has lagged behind many other comparable arthropod groups, thereby hindering family-level resolution, classification, and testing of important macroevolutionary hypotheses. Recently, alternative targeted sequence capture techniques have provided molecular systematics a powerful tool for resolving relationships across the Tree of Life. One of these approaches, Anchored Hybrid Enrichment (AHE), is designed to recover hundreds of unique orthologous loci from across the genome, for resolving both shallow and deep-scale evolutionary relationships within non-model systems...
October 13, 2016: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Amparo Latorre, Alejandro Manzano-Marín
Symbiosis has played a major role in eukaryotic evolution beyond the origin of the eukaryotic cell. Thus, organisms across the tree of life are associated with diverse microbial partners, conferring to the host new adaptive traits that enable it to explore new niches. This is the case for insects thriving on unbalanced diets, which harbor mutualistic intracellular microorganisms, mostly bacteria that supply them with the required nutrients. As a consequence of the lifestyle change, from free-living to host-associated mutualist, a bacterium undergoes many structural and metabolic changes, of which genome shrinkage is the most dramatic...
October 10, 2016: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Erik J Nelson, Matthew R Helmus, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Stephen Polasky, Jesse R Lasky, Amy E Zanne, William D Pearse, Nathan J B Kraft, Daniela A Miteva, William F Fagan
Increasing trade between countries and gains in income have given consumers around the world access to a richer and more diverse set of commercial plant products (i.e., foods and fibers produced by farmers). According to the economic theory of comparative advantage, countries open to trade will be able to consume more-in terms of volume and diversity-if they concentrate production on commodities that they can most cost-effectively produce, while importing goods that are expensive to produce, relative to other countries...
2016: PloS One
Liam W Harris, T Jonathan Davies
Explaining the uneven distribution of species richness across the branches of the tree of life has been a major challenge for evolutionary biologists. Advances in phylogenetic reconstruction, allowing the generation of large, well-sampled, phylogenetic trees have provided an opportunity to contrast competing hypotheses. Here, we present a new time-calibrated phylogeny of seed plant families using Bayesian methods and 26 fossil calibrations. While there are various published phylogenetic trees for plants which have a greater density of species sampling, we are still a long way from generating a complete phylogeny for all ~300,000+ plants...
2016: PloS One
Atma M Ivancevic, R Daniel Kortschak, Terry Bertozzi, David L Adelson
LINE-1 (L1) retrotransposons are dynamic elements. They have the potential to cause great genomic change because of their ability to 'jump' around the genome and amplify themselves, resulting in the duplication and rearrangement of regulatory DNA. Active L1, in particular, are often thought of as tightly constrained, homologous and ubiquitous elements with well-characterised domain organisation. For the past 30 years, model organisms have been used to define L1s as 6-8kb sequences containing a 5'-UTR, two open reading frames working harmoniously in cis, and a 3'-UTR with a polyA tail...
October 3, 2016: Genome Biology and Evolution
Michael A Skinnider, Chad W Johnston, Robyn E Edgar, Chris A Dejong, Nishanth J Merwin, Philip N Rees, Nathan A Magarvey
Microbial natural products are an evolved resource of bioactive small molecules, which form the foundation of many modern therapeutic regimes. Ribosomally synthesized and posttranslationally modified peptides (RiPPs) represent a class of natural products which have attracted extensive interest for their diverse chemical structures and potent biological activities. Genome sequencing has revealed that the vast majority of genetically encoded natural products remain unknown. Many bioinformatic resources have therefore been developed to predict the chemical structures of natural products, particularly nonribosomal peptides and polyketides, from sequence data...
October 3, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Ângela M Ribeiro, Andrew D Foote, Anne Kupczok, Bárbara Frazão, Morten T Limborg, Rosalía Piñeiro, Samuel Abalde, Sara Rocha, Rute R da Fonseca
Marine ecosystems occupy 71% of the surface of our planet, yet we know little about their diversity. Although the inventory of species is continually increasing, as registered by the Census of Marine Life program, only about 10% of the estimated two million marine species are known. This lag between observed and estimated diversity is in part due to the elusiveness of most aquatic species and the technical difficulties of exploring extreme environments, as for instance the abyssal plains and polar waters. In the last decade, the rapid development of affordable and flexible high-throughput sequencing approaches have been helping to improve our knowledge of marine biodiversity, from the rich microbial biota that forms the base of the tree of life to a wealth of plant and animal species...
September 17, 2016: Marine Genomics
Xiaofan Zhou, David Peris, Jacek Kominek, Cletus P Kurtzman, Chris Todd Hittinger, Antonis Rokas
The availability of genomes across the tree of life is highly biased toward vertebrates, pathogens, human disease models, and organisms with relatively small and simple genomes. Recent progress in genomics has enabled the de novo decoding of the genome of virtually any organism, greatly expanding its potential for understanding the biology and evolution of the full spectrum of biodiversity. The increasing diversity of sequencing technologies, assays, and de novo assembly algorithms have augmented the complexity of de novo genome sequencing projects in non-model organisms...
September 16, 2016: G3: Genes—Genomes—Genetics
Ruiqi Huang, Andrew J O'Donnell, Jessica J Barboline, Todd J Barkman
Convergent evolution is a process that has occurred throughout the tree of life, but the historical genetic and biochemical context promoting the repeated independent origins of a trait is rarely understood. The well-known stimulant caffeine, and its xanthine alkaloid precursors, has evolved multiple times in flowering plant history for various roles in plant defense and pollination. We have shown that convergent caffeine production, surprisingly, has evolved by two previously unknown biochemical pathways in chocolate, citrus, and guaraná plants using either caffeine synthase- or xanthine methyltransferase-like enzymes...
September 20, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Martin Heil, Walter G Land, Mahmut Tör
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2016: Frontiers in Plant Science
Pedro Jordano
Basic research on biodiversity has concentrated on individual species-naming new species, studying distribution patterns, and analyzing their evolutionary relationships. Yet biodiversity is more than a collection of individual species; it is the combination of biological entities and processes that support life on Earth. To understand biodiversity we must catalog it, but we must also assess the ways species interact with other species to provide functional support for the Tree of Life. Ecological interactions may be lost well before the species involved in those interactions go extinct; their ecological functions disappear even though they remain...
September 2016: PLoS Biology
Jarone Pinhassi, Edward F DeLong, Oded Béjà, José M González, Carlos Pedrós-Alió
The recognition of a new family of rhodopsins in marine planktonic bacteria, proton-pumping proteorhodopsin, expanded the known phylogenetic range, environmental distribution, and sequence diversity of retinylidene photoproteins. At the time of this discovery, microbial ion-pumping rhodopsins were known solely in haloarchaea inhabiting extreme hypersaline environments. Shortly thereafter, proteorhodopsins and other light-activated energy-generating rhodopsins were recognized to be widespread among marine bacteria...
December 2016: Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews: MMBR
Robert J Robbins, Leonard Krishtalka, John C Wooley
BACKGROUND: Efforts to harmonize genomic data standards used by the biodiversity and metagenomic research communities have shown that prokaryotic data cannot be understood or represented in a traditional, classical biological context for conceptual reasons, not technical ones. RESULTS: Biology, like physics, has a fundamental duality-the classical macroscale eukaryotic realm vs. the quantum microscale microbial realm-with the two realms differing profoundly, and counter-intuitively, from one another...
2016: Standards in Genomic Sciences
Alexandre Antonelli, Hannes Hettling, Fabien L Condamine, Karin Vos, R Henrik Nilsson, Michael J Sanderson, Hervé Sauquet, Ruud Scharn, Daniele Silvestro, Mats Töpel, Christine D Bacon, Bengt Oxelman, Rutger A Vos
Rapidly growing biological data-including molecular sequences and fossils-hold an unprecedented potential to reveal how evolutionary processes generate and maintain biodiversity. However, researchers often have to develop their own idiosyncratic workflows to integrate and analyze these data for reconstructing time-calibrated phylogenies. In addition, divergence times estimated under different methods and assumptions, and based on data of various quality and reliability, should not be combined without proper correction...
September 10, 2016: Systematic Biology
Hongyan Yin, Guangyu Wang, Lina Ma, Soojin V Yi, Zhang Zhang
As genes originate at different evolutionary times, they harbor distinctive genomic signatures of evolutionary ages. Although previous studies have investigated different gene age-related signatures, what signatures dominantly associate with gene age remains unresolved. Here we address this question via a combined approach of comprehensive assignment of gene ages, gene family identification, and multivariate analyses. We first provide a comprehensive and improved gene age assignment by combining homolog clustering with phylogeny inference and categorize human genes into 26 age classes spanning the whole tree of life...
October 13, 2016: Genome Biology and Evolution
Joshua P Scholl, John J Wiens
Species richness varies dramatically among clades across the Tree of Life, by over a million-fold in some cases (e.g. placozoans versus arthropods). Two major explanations for differences in richness among clades are the clade-age hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades are older) and the diversification-rate hypothesis (i.e. species-rich clades diversify more rapidly, where diversification rate is the net balance of speciation and extinction over time). Here, we examine patterns of variation in diversification rates across the Tree of Life...
September 14, 2016: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Ren Ren, Yazhou Sun, Yue Zhao, David Geiser, Hong Ma, Xiaofan Zhou
A comprehensive and reliable eukaryotic tree of life is important for many aspects of biological studies from comparative developmental and physiological analyses to translational medicine and agriculture. Both gene-rich and taxon-rich approaches are effective strategies to improve phylogenetic accuracy and are greatly facilitated by marker genes that are universally distributed, well conserved, and orthologous among divergent eukaryotes. In this article, we report the identification of 943 low-copy eukaryotic genes and we show that many of these genes are promising tools in resolving eukaryotic phylogenies, despite the challenges of determining deep eukaryotic relationships...
2016: Genome Biology and Evolution
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