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Pigment evolution

Alison S Brooks, John E Yellen, Richard Potts, Anna K Behrensmeyer, Alan L Deino, David E Leslie, Stanley H Ambrose, Jeffrey R Ferguson, Francesco d'Errico, Andrew M Zipkin, Scott Whittaker, Jeffrey Post, Elizabeth G Veatch, Kimberly Foecke, Jennifer B Clark
Previous research suggests that the complex symbolic, technological, and socio-economic behaviors that typify Homo sapiens had roots in the middle Pleistocene <200 ka, but data bearing on human behavioral origins are limited. We present a series of excavated Middle Stone Age sites from the Olorgesailie Basin, southern Kenya, dated ≥295 to ~320 ka by40 Ar/39 Ar and U-Series methods. Hominins at these sites made prepared cores and points, exploited iron-rich rocks to obtain red pigment, and procured stone tool materials from ≥25-50 km distance...
March 15, 2018: Science
Eugenia Sanchez, Eliane Küpfer, Daniel J Goedbloed, Arne W Nolte, Tim Lüddecke, Stefan Schulz, Miguel Vences, Sebastian Steinfartz
The postembryonic development of amphibians has been characterized as divided into three predominant periods, hereafter named primary developmental stages: premetamorphosis (PreM), prometamorphosis (ProM), metamorphic climax (Meta), and completion of metamorphosis (PostM), largely based on examination of anuran development. Here, we categorized the postembryonic development of larvae of a poisonous fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) by integrating morphology and gene expression (transcriptomic) data. Morphological analysis revealed three distinct clusters suggestive of PreM, ProM, and Meta, which were confirmed in parallel by microarray-derived gene expression analysis...
March 5, 2018: Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B, Molecular and Developmental Evolution
Yusuke Sone, Shuto Nakamura, Makoto Sasaki, Fumihito Hasebe, Seung-Young Kim, Nobutaka Funa
1,8-Dihydroxynaphthalene (1,8-DHN) is a key intermediate in the biosynthesis of DHN melanin, which is specific to fungi. In this study, we characterized the enzymatic properties of the gene products of an operon consisting of soceCHS1 , bdsA , and bdsB from the gram-negative bacterium, Sorangium cellulosum Heterologous expression of soceCHS1 , bdsA , and bdsB in Streptomyces coelicolor caused secretion of a dark-brown pigment into the broth. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis of the broth revealed that the recombinant strain produced 1,8-DHN, indicating that the operon encoded a novel enzymatic system for the synthesis of 1,8-DHN...
March 2, 2018: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Catherine R Linnen, Claire T O'Quin, Taylor Shackleford, Connor R Sears, Carita Lindstedt
Pigmentation has emerged as a premier model for understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic evolution, and a growing catalog of color loci is starting to reveal biases in the mutations, genes, and genetic architectures underlying color variation in the wild. However, existing studies have sampled a limited subset of taxa, color traits, and developmental stages. To expand the existing sample of color loci, we performed quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping analyses on two types of larval pigmentation traits that vary among populations of the redheaded pine sawfly ( Neodiprion lecontei ): carotenoid-based yellow body color and melanin-based spotting pattern...
March 1, 2018: Genetics
Serena Gianfaldoni, Georgi Tchernev, Uwe Wollina, Maria Grazia Roccia, Massimo Fioranelli, Jacopo Lotti, Miriam Rovesti, Francesca Satolli, Yan Valle, Andy Goren, Michael Tirant, Mirna Situm, Maja Kovacevic, Katlein França, Torello Lotti
BACKGROUND: Vitiligo is an acquired pigmentary cutaneous disease, characterised by the progressive loss of melanocytes, resulting in hypopigmented skin areas which progressively become amelanotic. Classically, vitiligo treatments are unsatisfactory and challenging. Despite the continuous introduction of new therapies, phototherapy is still the mainstay for vitiligo repigmentation. AIM: The aim of this multicenter observational retrospective study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the nb - UVB micro - phototherapy (BIOSKIN EVOLUTION®), used alone or in associations with an oral Janus kinase inhibitor (Tofacitinib citrate), in the treatment of stable or active forms of localised vitiligo...
January 25, 2018: Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences
Francisco Solano
The production of pigment in mammalian melanocytes requires the contribution of at least three melanogenic enzymes, tyrosinase and two other accessory enzymes called the tyrosinase-related proteins (Trp1 and Trp2), which regulate the type and amount of melanin. The last two proteins are paralogues to tyrosinase, and they appeared late in evolution by triplication of the tyrosinase gene. Tyrosinase is a copper-enzyme, and Trp2 is a zinc-enzyme. Trp1 has been more elusive, and the direct identification of its metal cofactor has never been achieved...
February 23, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Yang Liu, Hai Chi, Longfei Li, Stephen J Rossiter, Shuyi Zhang
The visual ability and associated photic niche of early mammals is debated. The theory that ancestral mammals were nocturnal is supported by diverse adaptations. However, others argue that photopigment repertoires of early mammals are more consistent with a crepuscular niche, and support for this also comes from inferred spectral tuning of middle/long wavelength-sensitive (M/LWS) opsin sequences. Functional studies have suggested that the M/LWS pigment in the ancestor of Mammalia was either red- or green-sensitive; however, these were based on outdated phylogenies with key lineages omitted...
February 14, 2018: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Robert E Blankenship, Daniel C Brune, Jon C Olson
Here we provide reflections of and a tribute to John M. Olson, a pioneering researcher in photosynthesis. We trace his career, which began at Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania, and continued at Utrech in The Netherlands, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Odense University in Denmark. He was the world expert on pigment organization in the green photosynthetic bacteria, and discovered and characterized the first chlorophyll-containing protein, which has come to be known as the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) protein...
February 19, 2018: Photosynthesis Research
Andjin Siegenthaler, Alexander Mastin, Clément Dufaut, Debapriya Mondal, Chiara Benvenuto
A combination of burrowing behaviour and very efficient background matching makes the brown shrimp Crangon crangon almost invisible to potential predators and prey. This raises questions on how shrimp succeed in concealing themselves in the heterogeneous and dynamic estuarine habitats they inhabit and what type of environmental variables and behavioural factors affect their colour change abilities. Using a series of behavioural experiments, we show that the brown shrimp is capable of repeated fast colour adaptations (20% change in dark pigment cover within one hour) and that its background matching ability is mainly influenced by illumination and sediment colour...
February 19, 2018: Scientific Reports
Hanlu Twyman, Staffan Andersson, Nicholas I Mundy
BACKGROUND: Exaggerated signals, such as brilliant colours, are usually assumed to evolve through antagonistic coevolution between senders and receivers, but the underlying genetic mechanisms are rarely known. Here we explore a recently identified "redness gene", CYP2J19, that is highly interesting in this context since it encodes a carotenoid-modifying enzyme (a C4 ketolase involved in both colour signalling and colour discrimination in the red (long wavelength) spectral region...
February 13, 2018: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Ismael Galván, María Del Mar Delgado, Pablo R Camarero, Rafael Mateo, Rui Lourenço, Vincenzo Penteriani
Porphyrins are pigments produced in most animal cells during the synthesis of heme, but their importance for external coloration is unclear. Owls (Order Strigiformes) are among the few animals that accumulate porphyrins in the integument, where it could serve as a means of signaling. Here we hypothesized that the porphyrin content of feathers may depend on body condition and breeding site quality in Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) fledglings and thus constitute amplifiers of the quality of the area where they are born...
February 13, 2018: Integrative Zoology
Hongwei Gao
BACKGROUND: Tyrosinase plays a key role in the formation of skin melanin. The excessive accumulation of skin melanin will cause the serious aesthetic problems for human beings. HYPOTHESIS/PURPOSE: To find the potent tyrosinase inhibitors using computational simulation from TCM Database@Taiwan. STUDY DESIGN: Inhibitors of tyrosinase have been thought as potential drugs for the decrease of melanin synthesis in the process of pigmentation. To develop new tyrosinase inhibitors, we performed a virtual screening from Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Druglike Databases using the best 3D QSAR pharmacophore model as a 3D search query...
January 1, 2018: Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology
Mieke Anthonissen, Jill Meirte, Peter Moortgat, Koen Maertens, Daniel Daly, Steffen Fieuws, Cindy Lafaire, Lieve De Cuyper, Eric Van den Kerckhove
OBJECTIVE: Depressomassage is a non-invasive massage technique using a mechanical suction device that is used in the treatment of traumatic or burn scars. Since color and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) are respectively the most important physical and physiological characteristic of hypertrophic scar formation, we wanted to investigate the effects of depressomassage on the recovery of color and TEWL in burn scars compared to the traditional physiotherapy. METHODS: In this pilot comparative controlled study a total 43 burn patients were included and allocated into 2 groups...
January 27, 2018: Burns: Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries
Xingming Sun, Zhanying Zhang, Chao Chen, Wei Wu, Nannan Ren, Conghui Jiang, Jianping Yu, Yan Zhao, Xiaoming Zheng, Qingwen Yang, Hongliang Zhang, Jinjie Li, Zichao Li
Floral organs in rice (Oryza sativa) can be purple, brown or red in color due to the accumulation of flavonoids. But the molecular mechanism underlying specific organ pigmentation is not clear. Here, we propose a C-S-A gene model for rice hull pigmentation and characterize through genetic, molecular and metabolomic approaches. Further we conduct phylogenetic studies to reveal the evolution of rice color. In this gene system, C1 encodes a R2R3-MYB transcription factor and acts as a color-producing gene and S1 encodes a bHLH protein that functions in a tissue-specific manner...
January 18, 2018: Journal of Experimental Botany
Li He, Michael R Frost, John T Siegwart, Thomas T Norton
Hyperopic refractive error is detected by retinal neurons, which generate GO signals through a direct emmetropization signaling cascade: retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) into choroid and then into sclera, thereby increasing axial elongation. To examine signaling early in this cascade, we measured gene expression in the retina and RPE after short exposure to hyperopia produced by minus-lens wear. Gene expression in each tissue was compared with gene expression in combined retina + RPE. Starting 24 days after normal eye opening, three groups of juvenile tree shrews (n = 7 each) wore a monocular -5 D lens...
January 9, 2018: Experimental Eye Research
Dong Yan, John Beardall, Kunshan Gao
Cell size has implications for the package effect in photon absorption as well as for metabolic scaling of metabolism. In this study, we have avoided species-related differences by using isolates of the marine planktonic diatom Coscinodiscus granii with cells of different sizes and grown at different light intensities to investigate their energy allocation strategies. To make full use of incident light, several fold variations in cellular chlorophyll a content were employed across cell size. This modulation of pigment-related light absorbance was deemed effective as similar light absorbing capacities were found in all treatments...
January 10, 2018: Photosynthesis Research
Anna C Thomas, Pauline Heux, Chloe Santos, Wisenave Arulvasan, Nita Solanky, Magalie E Carey, Dianne Gerrelli, Veronica A Kinsler, Heather C Etchevers
BACKGROUND: MC1R, a G-protein coupled receptor with high affinity for alpha-melanocyte stimulating hormone (αMSH), modulates pigment production in melanocytes from many species and is associated with human melanoma risk. MC1R mutations affecting human skin and hair color also have pleiotropic effects on the immune response and analgesia. Variants affecting human pigmentation in utero alter the congenital phenotype of both oculocutaneous albinism and congenital melanocytic naevi, and have a possible effect on birthweight...
January 8, 2018: Birth Defects Research
Maxwell J Roeske, Eric M Camino, Sumant Grover, Mark Rebeiz, Thomas Michael Williams
Gene expression evolution through gene regulatory network (GRN) changes has gained appreciation as a driver of morphological evolution. However, understanding how GRNs evolve is hampered by finding relevant cis-regulatory element (CRE) mutations, and interpreting the protein-DNA interactions they alter. We investigated evolutionary changes in the duplicated Bric-à-brac (Bab) transcription factors and a key Bab target gene in a GRN underlying the novel dimorphic pigmentation of D. melanogaster and its relatives...
January 3, 2018: ELife
Olesya Yu Shoeva, Anastasiya Yu Glagoleva, Elena K Khlestkina
BACKGROUND: The available data demonstrate that even in universal metabolic pathways, some species-specific regulatory features of structural genes are present. For instance, in the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway (ABP), genes may be regulated by ABP-specific regulatory factors, and their expression levels may be strongly associated with anthocyanin pigmentation, or they may be expressed independently of pigmentation. A dataset of orthologous ABP genes (Chs, Chi, F3h, F3'h, Dfr, Ans) from monocot and dicot plant species that have distinct gene regulation patterns and different types of pollination was constructed to test whether these factors affect the evolution of the genes...
December 28, 2017: BMC Plant Biology
Matthew H Koski, Laura F Galloway
The evolution of flower color, especially petal pigmentation, has received substantial attention. Less understood is the evolutionary ecology of pollen pigmentation, though it varies among and within species and its biochemical properties affect pollen viability. We characterize the distribution of pollen color across 24 populations of the North American herb Campanula americana, and assess the degree to which this variation is genetically based. We identify abiotic factors that covary with pollen color and test whether germination of light and dark pollen is differentially affected by variable temperature and UV...
January 3, 2018: New Phytologist
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