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"Tree of life"

Joseph W Spatafora, M Catherine Aime, Igor V Grigoriev, Francis Martin, Jason E Stajich, Meredith Blackwell
The kingdom Fungi is one of the more diverse clades of eukaryotes in terrestrial ecosystems, where they provide numerous ecological services ranging from decomposition of organic matter and nutrient cycling to beneficial and antagonistic associations with plants and animals. The evolutionary relationships of the kingdom have represented some of the more recalcitrant problems in systematics and phylogenetics. The advent of molecular phylogenetics, and more recently phylogenomics, has greatly advanced our understanding of the patterns and processes associated with fungal evolution, however...
September 2017: Microbiology Spectrum
Patrick R Stoddard, Tom A Williams, Ethan Garner, Buzz Baum
While many are familiar with actin as a well-conserved component of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton, it is less often appreciated that actin is a member of a large superfamily of structurally related protein families found throughout the tree of life. Actin-related proteins include chaperones, carbohydrate kinases, and other enzymes, as well as a staggeringly diverse set of proteins that use the energy from ATP hydrolysis to form dynamic, linear polymers. Despite differing widely from one another in filament structure and dynamics, these polymers play important roles in ordering cell space in bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes...
September 15, 2017: Molecular Biology of the Cell
Edward D Burress, Milton Tan
The uneven distribution of diversity is a conspicuous phenomenon across the tree of life. Ecological opportunity is a prominent catalyst of adaptive radiation and therefore may alter patterns of diversification. We evaluated the distribution of shifts in diversification rates across the cichlid phylogeny and the distribution of major clades across phylogenetic space. We also tested if ecological opportunity influenced these patterns. Colonization-associated ecological opportunity altered the tempo and mode of diversification during the adaptive radiation of cichlid fishes...
September 12, 2017: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Donovan H Parks, Christian Rinke, Maria Chuvochina, Pierre-Alain Chaumeil, Ben J Woodcroft, Paul N Evans, Philip Hugenholtz, Gene W Tyson
Challenges in cultivating microorganisms have limited the phylogenetic diversity of currently available microbial genomes. This is being addressed by advances in sequencing throughput and computational techniques that allow for the cultivation-independent recovery of genomes from metagenomes. Here, we report the reconstruction of 7,903 bacterial and archaeal genomes from >1,500 public metagenomes. All genomes are estimated to be ≥50% complete and nearly half are ≥90% complete with ≤5% contamination...
September 11, 2017: Nature Microbiology
Stefania Gallucci, Massimo E Maffei
From plants to mammals, pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) specifically recognize DNA, as a potential marker of either infection or damage. These receptors play critical roles in inflammation, immunity, and pathogen resistance. Importantly, given the ubiquity of DNA, its sensing must be tightly regulated. DNA localization plays a key role in recognition, as highlighted by Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) in the endosomal compartment and cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) and absent in melanoma 2 (AIM2) in the cytoplasm...
September 5, 2017: Trends in Immunology
Richard Giegé
Crystallogenesis is a longstanding topic that has transformed into a discipline that is mainly focused on the preparation of crystals for practising crystallo-graphers. Although the idiosyncratic features of proteins have to be taken into account, the crystallization of proteins is governed by the same physics as the crystallization of inorganic materials. At present, a diversified panel of crystallization methods adapted to proteins has been validated, and although only a few methods are in current practice, the success rate of crystallization has increased constantly, leading to the determination of ∼10(5) X-ray structures...
July 1, 2017: IUCrJ
R E Danczak, M D Johnston, C Kenah, M Slattery, K C Wrighton, M J Wilkins
BACKGROUND: The Candidate Phyla Radiation (CPR) is a recently described expansion of the tree of life that represents more than 15% of all bacterial diversity and potentially contains over 70 different phyla. Despite this broad phylogenetic variation, these microorganisms appear to feature little functional diversity, with members generally characterized as obligate fermenters. Additionally, much of the data describing CPR phyla has been generated from a limited number of environments, constraining our knowledge of their functional roles and biogeographical distribution...
September 2, 2017: Microbiome
André Busch, Grit Kunert, David G Heckel, Yannick Pauchet
Hemicelluloses, such as xyloglucan, xylan and mannans, consist of a heterogeneous array of plant-derived polysaccharides that form the plant cell wall. These polysaccharides differ from each other in their structure and physiochemical properties, but they share a β-(1,4)-linked sugar backbone. Hemicelluloses can be hydrolyzed by plant-cell-wall-degrading enzymes (PCWDEs), which are widely distributed in phytopathogenic microbes. Recently, it has become apparent that phytophagous beetles also produce their own PCWDEs...
2017: PloS One
Eliran Avni, Sagi Snir
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is a major part of the evolution of Archaea and Bacteria, to the extent that the validity of the Tree of Life concept for prokaryotes has been seriously questioned. The patterns and routes of HGT remain a subject of intense study and debate. It was discovered that while several genes exhibit rampant HGT across the whole prokaryotic tree of life, others are lethal to certain organisms and therefore cannot be successfully transferred to them. We distinguish between these two classes of genes and show analytically that genes found to be toxic to a specific species (E...
August 24, 2017: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Christian Milani, Marta Mangifesta, Leonardo Mancabelli, Gabriele A Lugli, Kieran James, Sabrina Duranti, Francesca Turroni, Chiara Ferrario, Maria C Ossiprandi, Douwe van Sinderen, Marco Ventura
Internally transcribed spacer (ITS) rRNA profiling is a novel tool for detailed analysis of microbial populations at low taxonomic ranks. Here we exploited this approach to explore species-level biogeography of the Bifidobacterium genus across 291 adult mammals. These include humans and 13 other primates, domesticated animals, such as dogs, cats, cows, sheep, goats, horses and pigs, and 46 additional species. The collected profiles revealed the presence of 89 putative novel bifidobacterial taxa in addition to 45 previously described species...
August 22, 2017: ISME Journal
Anna Muszewska, Marta M Stepniewska-Dziubinska, Kamil Steczkiewicz, Julia Pawlowska, Agata Dziedzic, Krzysztof Ginalski
Fungi are able to switch between different lifestyles in order to adapt to environmental changes. Their ecological strategy is connected to their secretome as fungi obtain nutrients by secreting hydrolytic enzymes to their surrounding and acquiring the digested molecules. We focus on fungal serine proteases (SPs), the phylogenetic distribution of which is barely described so far. In order to collect a complete set of fungal proteases, we searched over 600 fungal proteomes. Obtained results suggest that serine proteases are more ubiquitous than expected...
August 22, 2017: Scientific Reports
Mark Kowarsky, Joan Camunas-Soler, Michael Kertesz, Iwijn De Vlaminck, Winston Koh, Wenying Pan, Lance Martin, Norma F Neff, Jennifer Okamoto, Ronald J Wong, Sandhya Kharbanda, Yasser El-Sayed, Yair Blumenfeld, David K Stevenson, Gary M Shaw, Nathan D Wolfe, Stephen R Quake
Blood circulates throughout the human body and contains molecules drawn from virtually every tissue, including the microbes and viruses which colonize the body. Through massive shotgun sequencing of circulating cell-free DNA from the blood, we identified hundreds of new bacteria and viruses which represent previously unidentified members of the human microbiome. Analyzing cumulative sequence data from 1,351 blood samples collected from 188 patients enabled us to assemble 7,190 contiguous regions (contigs) larger than 1 kbp, of which 3,761 are novel with little or no sequence homology in any existing databases...
August 22, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Meng-Yun Chen, Dan Liang, Peng Zhang
The interordinal relationships of Laurasiatherian mammals are currently one of the most controversial questions in mammalian phylogenetics. Previous studies mainly relied on coding sequences (CDS) and seldom used noncoding sequences. Here, by data mining public genome data, we compiled an intron data set of 3,638 genes (all introns from a protein-coding gene are considered as a gene) (19,055,073 bp) and a CDS data set of 10,259 genes (20,994,285 bp), covering all major lineages of Laurasiatheria (except Pholidota)...
August 1, 2017: Genome Biology and Evolution
Rachel O Niederer, Evan P Hass, David C Zappulla
Long noncoding RNAs have recently been discovered to comprise a sizeable fraction of the RNA World. The scope of their functions, physical organization, and disease relevance remain in the early stages of characterization. Although many thousands of lncRNA transcripts recently have been found to emanate from the expansive DNA between protein-coding genes in animals, there are also hundreds that have been found in simple eukaryotes. Furthermore, lncRNAs have been found in the bacterial and archaeal branches of the tree of life, suggesting they are ubiquitous...
2017: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Xing-Xing Shen, Chris Todd Hittinger, Antonis Rokas
Phylogenomic studies have resolved countless branches of the tree of life, but remain strongly contradictory on certain, contentious relationships. Here, we use a maximum likelihood framework to quantify the distribution of phylogenetic signal among genes and sites for 17 contentious branches and 6 well-established control branches in plant, animal and fungal phylogenomic data matrices. We find that resolution in some of these 17 branches rests on a single gene or a few sites, and that removal of a single gene in concatenation analyses or a single site from every gene in coalescence-based analyses diminishes support and can alter the inferred topology...
April 10, 2017: Nature ecology & evolution
Dahiana Arcila, Guillermo Ortí, Richard Vari, Jonathan W Armbruster, Melanie L J Stiassny, Kyung D Ko, Mark H Sabaj, John Lundberg, Liam J Revell, Ricardo Betancur-R
Much progress has been achieved in disentangling evolutionary relationships among species in the tree of life, but some taxonomic groups remain difficult to resolve despite increasing availability of genome-scale data sets. Here we present a practical approach to studying ancient divergences in the face of high levels of conflict, based on explicit gene genealogy interrogation (GGI). We show its efficacy in resolving the controversial relationships within the largest freshwater fish radiation (Otophysi) based on newly generated DNA sequences for 1,051 loci from 225 species...
January 13, 2017: Nature ecology & evolution
Gary M Bucciarelli, H Bradley Shaffer, David B Green, Lee B Kats
Inducible phenotypic responses to environmental variation are ubiquitous across the tree of life, but it remains an open question whether amphibian chemical defense phenotypes are inducible. Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a key chemical defense trait in North American and Eurasian newts (Salamandridae). We tested if TTX can be induced by exposing populations of adult and larval California newts (Taricha torosa) to sustained stressful conditions while longitudinally quantifying TTX concentrations. Adult newts rapidly increased chemical defenses in response to simulated predator attacks and consistently maintained elevated TTX concentrations relative to wild, non-captive individuals...
August 15, 2017: Scientific Reports
JaeJin Choi, Sung-Hou Kim
Fungi belong to one of the largest and most diverse kingdoms of living organisms. The evolutionary kinship within a fungal population has so far been inferred mostly from the gene-information-based trees ("gene trees"), constructed commonly based on the degree of differences of proteins or DNA sequences of a small number of highly conserved genes common among the population by a multiple sequence alignment (MSA) method. Since each gene evolves under different evolutionary pressure and time scale, it has been known that one gene tree for a population may differ from other gene trees for the same population depending on the subjective selection of the genes...
August 14, 2017: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Song-Can Chen, Guo-Xin Sun, Barry P Rosen, Si-Yu Zhang, Ye Deng, Bo-Kai Zhu, Christopher Rensing, Yong-Guan Zhu
The toxic metalloid arsenic has been environmentally ubiquitous since life first arose nearly four billion years ago and presents a challenge for the survival of all living organisms. Its bioavailability has varied dramatically over the history of life on Earth. As life spread, biogeochemical and climate changes cyclically increased and decreased bioavailable arsenic. To elucidate the history of arsenic adaptation across the tree of life, we reconstructed the phylogeny of the arsM gene that encodes the As(III) S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) methyltransferase...
August 10, 2017: Scientific Reports
Anja Spang, Eva F Caceres, Thijs J G Ettema
About 40 years ago, Archaea were recognized as a major prokaryotic domain of life besides Bacteria. Recently, cultivation-independent sequencing methods have produced a wealth of genomic data for previously unidentified archaeal lineages, several of which appear to represent newly revealed branches in the tree of life. Analyses of some recently obtained genomes have uncovered previously unknown metabolic traits and provided insights into the evolution of archaea and their relationship to eukaryotes. On the basis of our current understanding, much archaeal diversity still defies genomic exploration...
August 11, 2017: Science
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