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Sample records for large salamander genome

  1. LTR Retrotransposons Contribute to Genomic Gigantism in Plethodontid Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Cheng; Shepard, Donald B.; Chong, Rebecca A.; López Arriaza, José; Hall, Kathryn; Castoe, Todd A.; Feschotte, Cédric; Pollock, David D.; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2012-01-01

    Among vertebrates, most of the largest genomes are found within the salamanders, a clade of amphibians that includes 613 species. Salamander genome sizes range from ∼14 to ∼120 Gb. Because genome size is correlated with nucleus and cell sizes, as well as other traits, morphological evolution in salamanders has been profoundly affected by genomic gigantism. However, the molecular mechanisms driving genomic expansion in this clade remain largely unknown. Here, we present the first comparative analysis of transposable element (TE) content in salamanders. Using high-throughput sequencing, we generated genomic shotgun data for six species from the Plethodontidae, the largest family of salamanders. We then developed a pipeline to mine TE sequences from shotgun data in taxa with limited genomic resources, such as salamanders. Our summaries of overall TE abundance and diversity for each species demonstrate that TEs make up a substantial portion of salamander genomes, and that all of the major known types of TEs are represented in salamanders. The most abundant TE superfamilies found in the genomes of our six focal species are similar, despite substantial variation in genome size. However, our results demonstrate a major difference between salamanders and other vertebrates: salamander genomes contain much larger amounts of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons, primarily Ty3/gypsy elements. Thus, the extreme increase in genome size that occurred in salamanders was likely accompanied by a shift in TE landscape. These results suggest that increased proliferation of LTR retrotransposons was a major molecular mechanism contributing to genomic expansion in salamanders. PMID:22200636

  2. Initial characterization of the large genome of the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum using shotgun and laser capture chromosome sequencing.

    PubMed

    Keinath, Melissa C; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir A; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya Y; Tsonis, Panagiotis A; Voss, S Randal; Smith, Jeramiah J

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates exhibit substantial diversity in genome size, and some of the largest genomes exist in species that uniquely inform diverse areas of basic and biomedical research. For example, the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (the Mexican axolotl) is a model organism for studies of regeneration, development and genome evolution, yet its genome is ~10× larger than the human genome. As part of a hierarchical approach toward improving genome resources for the species, we generated 600 Gb of shotgun sequence data and developed methods for sequencing individual laser-captured chromosomes. Based on these data, we estimate that the A. mexicanum genome is ~32 Gb. Notably, as much as 19 Gb of the A. mexicanum genome can potentially be considered single copy, which presumably reflects the evolutionary diversification of mobile elements that accumulated during an ancient episode of genome expansion. Chromosome-targeted sequencing permitted the development of assemblies within the constraints of modern computational platforms, allowed us to place 2062 genes on the two smallest A. mexicanum chromosomes and resolves key events in the history of vertebrate genome evolution. Our analyses show that the capture and sequencing of individual chromosomes is likely to provide valuable information for the systematic sequencing, assembly and scaffolding of large genomes. PMID:26553646

  3. Initial characterization of the large genome of the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum using shotgun and laser capture chromosome sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Keinath, Melissa C.; Timoshevskiy, Vladimir A.; Timoshevskaya, Nataliya Y.; Tsonis, Panagiotis A.; Voss, S. Randal; Smith, Jeramiah J.

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates exhibit substantial diversity in genome size, and some of the largest genomes exist in species that uniquely inform diverse areas of basic and biomedical research. For example, the salamander Ambystoma mexicanum (the Mexican axolotl) is a model organism for studies of regeneration, development and genome evolution, yet its genome is ~10× larger than the human genome. As part of a hierarchical approach toward improving genome resources for the species, we generated 600 Gb of shotgun sequence data and developed methods for sequencing individual laser-captured chromosomes. Based on these data, we estimate that the A. mexicanum genome is ~32 Gb. Notably, as much as 19 Gb of the A. mexicanum genome can potentially be considered single copy, which presumably reflects the evolutionary diversification of mobile elements that accumulated during an ancient episode of genome expansion. Chromosome-targeted sequencing permitted the development of assemblies within the constraints of modern computational platforms, allowed us to place 2062 genes on the two smallest A. mexicanum chromosomes and resolves key events in the history of vertebrate genome evolution. Our analyses show that the capture and sequencing of individual chromosomes is likely to provide valuable information for the systematic sequencing, assembly and scaffolding of large genomes. PMID:26553646

  4. Hellbender Genome Sequences Shed Light on Genomic Expansion at the Base of Crown Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Cheng; Mueller, Rachel Lockridge

    2014-01-01

    Among animals, genome sizes range from 20 Mb to 130 Gb, with 380-fold variation across vertebrates. Most of the largest vertebrate genomes are found in salamanders, an amphibian clade of 660 species. Thus, salamanders are an important system for studying causes and consequences of genomic gigantism. Previously, we showed that plethodontid salamander genomes accumulate higher levels of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons than do other vertebrates, although the evolutionary origins of such sequences remained unexplored. We also showed that some salamanders in the family Plethodontidae have relatively slow rates of DNA loss through small insertions and deletions. Here, we present new data from Cryptobranchus alleganiensis, the hellbender. Cryptobranchus and Plethodontidae span the basal phylogenetic split within salamanders; thus, analyses incorporating these taxa can shed light on the genome of the ancestral crown salamander lineage, which underwent expansion. We show that high levels of LTR retrotransposons likely characterize all crown salamanders, suggesting that disproportionate expansion of this transposable element (TE) class contributed to genomic expansion. Phylogenetic and age distribution analyses of salamander LTR retrotransposons indicate that salamanders’ high TE levels reflect persistence and diversification of ancestral TEs rather than horizontal transfer events. Finally, we show that relatively slow DNA loss rates through small indels likely characterize all crown salamanders, suggesting that a decreased DNA loss rate contributed to genomic expansion at the clade’s base. Our identification of shared genomic features across phylogenetically distant salamanders is a first step toward identifying the evolutionary processes underlying accumulation and persistence of high levels of repetitive sequence in salamander genomes. PMID:25115007

  5. Variation in salamanders: an essay on genomes, development, and evolution.

    PubMed

    Brockes, Jeremy P

    2015-01-01

    Regeneration is studied in a few model species of salamanders, but the ten families of salamanders show considerable variation, and this has implications for our understanding of salamander biology. The most recent classification of the families identifies the cryptobranchoidea as the basal group which diverged in the early Jurassic. Variation in the sizes of genomes is particularly obvious, and reflects a major contribution from transposable elements which is already present in the basal group.Limb development has been a focus for evodevo studies, in part because of the variable property of pre-axial dominance which distinguishes salamanders from other tetrapods. This is thought to reflect the selective pressures that operate on a free-living aquatic larva, and might also be relevant for the evolution of limb regeneration. Recent fossil evidence suggests that both pre-axial dominance and limb regeneration were present 300 million years ago in larval temnospondyl amphibians that lived in mountain lakes. A satisfying account of regeneration in salamanders may need to address all these different aspects in the future. PMID:25740473

  6. Transcriptional and phylogenetic analysis of five complete ambystomatid salamander mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Samuels, Amy K; Weisrock, David W; Smith, Jeramiah J; France, Katherine J; Walker, John A; Putta, Srikrishna; Voss, S Randal

    2005-04-11

    We report on a study that extended mitochondrial transcript information from a recent EST project to obtain complete mitochondrial genome sequence for 5 tiger salamander complex species (Ambystoma mexicanum, A. t. tigrinum, A. andersoni, A. californiense, and A. dumerilii). We describe, for the first time, aspects of mitochondrial transcription in a representative amphibian, and then use complete mitochondrial sequence data to examine salamander phylogeny at both deep and shallow levels of evolutionary divergence. The available mitochondrial ESTs for A. mexicanum (N=2481) and A. t. tigrinum (N=1205) provided 92% and 87% coverage of the mitochondrial genome, respectively. Complete mitochondrial sequences for all species were rapidly obtained by using long distance PCR and DNA sequencing. A number of genome structural characteristics (base pair length, base composition, gene number, gene boundaries, codon usage) were highly similar among all species and to other distantly related salamanders. Overall, mitochondrial transcription in Ambystoma approximated the pattern observed in other vertebrates. We inferred from the mapping of ESTs onto mtDNA that transcription occurs from both heavy and light strand promoters and continues around the entire length of the mtDNA, followed by post-transcriptional processing. However, the observation of many short transcripts corresponding to rRNA genes indicates that transcription may often terminate prematurely to bias transcription of rRNA genes; indeed an rRNA transcription termination signal sequence was observed immediately following the 16S rRNA gene. Phylogenetic analyses of salamander family relationships consistently grouped Ambystomatidae in a clade containing Cryptobranchidae and Hynobiidae, to the exclusion of Salamandridae. This robust result suggests a novel alternative hypothesis because previous studies have consistently identified Ambystomatidae and Salamandridae as closely related taxa. Phylogenetic analyses of tiger

  7. Rapid fixation of non-native alleles revealed by genome-wide SNP analysis of hybrid tiger salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Johnson, Jarrett R; Kump, D Kevin; Shaffer, H Bradley; Smith, Jeramiah J; Voss, S Randal

    2009-01-01

    Background Hybrid zones represent valuable opportunities to observe evolution in systems that are unusually dynamic and where the potential for the origin of novelty and rapid adaptation co-occur with the potential for dysfunction. Recently initiated hybrid zones are particularly exciting evolutionary experiments because ongoing natural selection on novel genetic combinations can be studied in ecological time. Moreover, when hybrid zones involve native and introduced species, complex genetic patterns present important challenges for conservation policy. To assess variation of admixture dynamics, we scored a large panel of markers in five wild hybrid populations formed when Barred Tiger Salamanders were introduced into the range of California Tiger Salamanders. Results At three of 64 markers, introduced alleles have largely displaced native alleles within the hybrid populations. Another marker (GNAT1) showed consistent heterozygote deficits in the wild, and this marker was associated with embryonic mortality in laboratory F2's. Other deviations from equilibrium expectations were idiosyncratic among breeding ponds, consistent with highly stochastic demographic effects. Conclusion While most markers retain native and introduced alleles in expected proportions, strong selection appears to be eliminating native alleles at a smaller set of loci. Such rapid fixation of alleles is detectable only in recently formed hybrid zones, though it might be representative of dynamics that frequently occur in nature. These results underscore the variable and mosaic nature of hybrid genomes and illustrate the potency of recombination and selection in promoting variable, and often unpredictable genetic outcomes. Introgression of a few, strongly selected introduced alleles should not necessarily affect the conservation status of California Tiger Salamanders, but suggests that genetically pure populations of this endangered species will be difficult to maintain. PMID:19630983

  8. Phylogeny and genetic history of the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii, Dybowski, 1870) inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Malyarchuk, Boris; Derenko, Miroslava; Denisova, Galina

    2013-05-01

    We assessed phylogeny of the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii, Dybowski, 1870), the most northern ectothermic, terrestrial vertebrate in Eurasia, by sequence analysis of complete mitochondrial genomes in 26 specimens from different localities (China, Khabarovsk region, Sakhalin, Yakutia, Magadan region, Chukotka, Kamchatka, Ural, European part of Russia). In addition, a complete mitochondrial genome of the Schrenck salamander, Salamandrella schrenckii, was determined for the first time. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of the entire mtDNA genomes of S. keyserlingii demonstrates that two haplotype clades, AB and C, radiated about 1.4 million years ago (Mya). Bayesian skyline plots of population size change through time show an expansion around 250 thousand years ago (kya) and then a decline around the Last Glacial Maximum (25 kya) with subsequent restoration of population size. Climatic changes during the Quaternary period have dramatically affected the population genetic structure of the Siberian salamanders. In addition, complete mtDNA sequence analysis allowed us to recognize that the vast area of Northern Eurasia was colonized only by the Siberian salamander clade C1b during the last 150 kya. Meanwhile, we were unable to find evidence of molecular adaptation in this clade by analyzing the whole mitochondrial genomes of the Siberian salamanders. PMID:23415986

  9. Plethodontid salamander mitochondrial genomics: A parsimonyevaluation of character conflict and implications for historicalbiogeography

    SciTech Connect

    Macey, J. Robert

    2005-01-19

    A new parsimony analysis of 27 complete mitochondrial genomic sequences is conducted to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of plethodontid salamanders. This analysis focuses on the amount of character conflict between phylogenetic trees recovered from newly conducted parsimony searches and the Bayesian and maximum likelihood topology reported by Mueller et al. (2004, PNAS, 101, 13820-13825). Strong support for Hemidactylium as the sister taxon to all other plethodontids is recovered from parsimony analyses. Plotting area relationships on the most parsimonious phylogenetic tree suggests that eastern North America is the origin of the family Plethodontidae supporting the ''Out of Appalachia'' hypothesis. A new taxonomy that recognizes clades recovered from phylogenetic analyses is proposed.

  10. Cryptic sex? Estimates of genome exchange in unisexual mole salamanders (Ambystoma sp.).

    PubMed

    Gibbs, H Lisle; Denton, Robert D

    2016-06-01

    Cryptic sex has been argued to explain the exceptional longevity of certain parthenogenetic vertebrate lineages, yet direct measurements of genetic exchange between sexual and apparently parthenogenetic forms are rare. Female unisexual mole salamanders (Ambystoma sp.) are the oldest known unisexual vertebrate lineage (~5 million years), and one hypothesis for their persistence is that allopolyploid female unisexuals periodically exchange haploid genomes 'genome exchange' during gynogenetic reproduction with males from sympatric sexual species. We test this hypothesis by using genome-specific microsatellite DNA markers to estimate the rates of genome exchange between sexual males and unisexual females in two ponds in NE Ohio. We also test the prediction that levels of gene flow should be higher for 'sympatric' (sexual males present) genomes in unisexuals compared to 'allopatric' (sexual males absent) unisexual genomes. We used a model testing framework in the coalescent-based program MIGRATE-N to compare models where unidirectional gene flow is present and absent between sexual species and unisexuals. As predicted, our results show higher levels of gene flow between sexuals and sympatric unisexual genomes compared to lower (likely artefactual) levels of gene flow between sexuals and allopatric unisexual genomes. Our results provide direct evidence that genome exchange between sexual and unisexual Ambystoma occurs and demonstrate that the magnitude depends on which sexual species are present. The relatively high levels of gene flow suggest that unisexuals must be at a selective advantage over sexual forms so as to avoid extinction due to genetic swamping through genome exchange. PMID:27100619

  11. Complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial genome of a salamander, Mertensiella luschani.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, Rafael; Malaga-Trillo, Edward; Veith, Michael; Meyer, Axel

    2003-10-23

    The complete nucleotide sequence (16,650 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the salamander Mertensiella luschani (Caudata, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule conforms to the consensus vertebrate mitochondrial gene order. However, it is characterized by a long non-coding intervening sequence with two 124-bp repeats between the tRNA(Thr) and tRNA(Pro) genes. The new sequence data were used to reconstruct a phylogeny of jawed vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of all mitochondrial protein-coding genes at the amino acid level recovered a robust vertebrate tree in which lungfishes are the closest living relatives of tetrapods, salamanders and frogs are grouped together to the exclusion of caecilians (the Batrachia hypothesis) in a monophyletic amphibian clade, turtles show diapsid affinities and are placed as sister group of crocodiles+birds, and the marsupials are grouped together with monotremes and basal to placental mammals. The deduced phylogeny was used to characterize the molecular evolution of vertebrate mitochondrial proteins. Amino acid frequencies were analyzed across the main lineages of jawed vertebrates, and leucine and cysteine were found to be the most and least abundant amino acids in mitochondrial proteins, respectively. Patterns of amino acid replacements were conserved among vertebrates. Overall, cartilaginous fishes showed the least variation in amino acid frequencies and replacements. Constancy of rates of evolution among the main lineages of jawed vertebrates was rejected. PMID:14604788

  12. Accommodating the load: The transposable element content of very large genomes.

    PubMed

    Metcalfe, Cushla J; Casane, Didier

    2013-03-01

    Very large genomes, that is, those above 20 Gb, are rare but widely distributed throughout the eukaryotes. They are found within the diatoms, dinoflagellates, metazoans and green plants, but so far have not been found in the excavates. There is a known positive correlation between genome size and the proportion of the genome composed of transposable elements (TEs). Very large genomes may therefore be expected to be almost entirely composed of TEs. Of the large genomes examined, in the angiosperms, gymnosperms and the dinoflagellates only a small portion of the genome was identified as TEs, most of these genomes were unidentified and may be novel or diverse TEs. In the salamanders and lungfish, 25 to 47% of the genome were identifiable retrotransposons, that is, TEs that copy themselves before insertion. However, the predominant class of TEs found in the lungfish was not the same as that found in the salamanders. The little data we have at the moment suggests therefore that the diversity and abundance of TEs is variable between taxa with large genomes, similar to patterns found in taxa with smaller genomes. Based on results from the human genome, we suggest that the 'missing' portion of the lungfish and salamander genomes are old, highly divergent, and therefore inactive copies of TEs. The data available indicate that, unlike plants with large genomes, neither the lungfish nor the salamanders show an increased risk of extinction. Based on a slow rate of DNA loss in salamanders it has been suggested that the large salamander genome is the result of run-away genome expansion involving genome size increases via TE proliferation associated with reduced recombination rate. We know of no studies on DNA loss or recombination rates in lungfish genomes, however a similar scenario could describe the process of genome expansion in the lungfish. A series of waves of TE transposition and sequence decay would describe the pattern of TE content seen in both the lungfish and the

  13. [Episodes of adaptive evolution of mitochondrial genome in Asiatic salamanders (Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae)].

    PubMed

    Maliarchuk, B A; Derenko, M V; Denisova, G A

    2014-02-01

    To elucidate the effect of natural selection on the evolution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in Asiatic salamanders of the family Hynobiidae, nucleotide sequences of 12 protein-coding genes were analyzed. Using a mixed effects model of evolution, it was found that, in spite of the pronounced effect of negative selection on the mtDNA evolution in Hynobiidae (which is typical for the animals in general), two phylogenetic clusters, the West Asian one, represented by the genera Ranodon and Paradactylodon, and North Eurasian one, represented by the genus Salamandrella, were formed under the influence of episodic positive selection. Analysis of protein sequences encoded by the mitochondrial genome also supported the influence of positive selection on the evolution of Hynobiidae at some stages of their cladogenesis. It is suggested that the signatures of adaptive evolution detected in the mtDNA of Hynobiidae were determined by the complex and long-lasting history of their formation, accompanied by adaptation to the changing environment. PMID:25711027

  14. Morphological homoplasy, life history evolution, and historical biogeography of plethodontid salamanders inferred from complete mitochondrial genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Macey, J. Robert; Jaekel, Martin; Wake, David B.; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2004-08-01

    The evolutionary history of the largest salamander family (Plethodontidae) is characterized by extreme morphological homoplasy. Analysis of the mechanisms generating such homoplasy requires an independent, molecular phylogeny. To this end, we sequenced 24 complete mitochondrial genomes (22 plethodontids and two outgroup taxa), added data for three species from GenBank, and performed partitioned and unpartitioned Bayesian, ML, and MP phylogenetic analyses. We explored four dataset partitioning strategies to account for evolutionary process heterogeneity among genes and codon positions, all of which yielded increased model likelihoods and decreased numbers of supported nodes in the topologies (PP > 0.95) relative to the unpartitioned analysis. Our phylogenetic analyses yielded congruent trees that contrast with the traditional morphology-based taxonomy; the monophyly of three out of four major groups is rejected. Reanalysis of current hypotheses in light of these new evolutionary relationships suggests that (1) a larval life history stage re-evolved from a direct-developing ancestor multiple times, (2) there is no phylogenetic support for the ''Out of Appalachia'' hypothesis of plethodontid origins, and (3) novel scenarios must be reconstructed for the convergent evolution of projectile tongues, reduction in toe number, and specialization for defensive tail loss. Some of these novel scenarios imply morphological transformation series that proceed in the opposite direction than was previously thought. In addition, they suggest surprising evolutionary lability in traits previously interpreted to be conservative.

  15. Invasive Asian Earthworms Negatively Impact Keystone Terrestrial Salamanders.

    PubMed

    Ziemba, Julie L; Hickerson, Cari-Ann M; Anthony, Carl D

    2016-01-01

    Asian pheretimoid earthworms (e.g. Amynthas and Metaphire spp.) are invading North American forests and consuming the vital detrital layer that forest floor biota [including the keystone species Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander)], rely on for protection, food, and habitat. Plethodon cinereus population declines have been associated with leaf litter loss following the invasion of several exotic earthworm species, but there have been few studies on the specific interactions between pheretimoid earthworms and P. cinereus. Since some species of large and active pheretimoids spatially overlap with salamanders beneath natural cover objects and in detritus, they may distinctively compound the negative consequences of earthworm-mediated resource degradation by physically disturbing important salamander activities (foraging, mating, and egg brooding). We predicted that earthworms would exclude salamanders from high quality microhabitat, reduce foraging efficiency, and negatively affect salamander fitness. In laboratory trials, salamanders used lower quality microhabitat and consumed fewer flies in the presence of earthworms. In a natural field experiment, conducted on salamander populations from "non-invaded" and "pheretimoid invaded" sites in Ohio, salamanders and earthworms shared cover objects ~60% less than expected. Earthworm abundance was negatively associated with juvenile and male salamander abundance, but had no relationship with female salamander abundance. There was no effect of pheretimoid invasion on salamander body condition. Juvenile and non-resident male salamanders do not hold stable territories centered beneath cover objects such as rocks or logs, which results in reduced access to prey, greater risk of desiccation, and dispersal pressure. Habitat degradation and physical exclusion of salamanders from cover objects may hinder juvenile and male salamander performance, ultimately reducing recruitment and salamander abundance following Asian

  16. Invasive Asian Earthworms Negatively Impact Keystone Terrestrial Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Ziemba, Julie L.

    2016-01-01

    Asian pheretimoid earthworms (e.g. Amynthas and Metaphire spp.) are invading North American forests and consuming the vital detrital layer that forest floor biota [including the keystone species Plethodon cinereus (Eastern Red-backed Salamander)], rely on for protection, food, and habitat. Plethodon cinereus population declines have been associated with leaf litter loss following the invasion of several exotic earthworm species, but there have been few studies on the specific interactions between pheretimoid earthworms and P. cinereus. Since some species of large and active pheretimoids spatially overlap with salamanders beneath natural cover objects and in detritus, they may distinctively compound the negative consequences of earthworm-mediated resource degradation by physically disturbing important salamander activities (foraging, mating, and egg brooding). We predicted that earthworms would exclude salamanders from high quality microhabitat, reduce foraging efficiency, and negatively affect salamander fitness. In laboratory trials, salamanders used lower quality microhabitat and consumed fewer flies in the presence of earthworms. In a natural field experiment, conducted on salamander populations from “non-invaded” and “pheretimoid invaded” sites in Ohio, salamanders and earthworms shared cover objects ~60% less than expected. Earthworm abundance was negatively associated with juvenile and male salamander abundance, but had no relationship with female salamander abundance. There was no effect of pheretimoid invasion on salamander body condition. Juvenile and non-resident male salamanders do not hold stable territories centered beneath cover objects such as rocks or logs, which results in reduced access to prey, greater risk of desiccation, and dispersal pressure. Habitat degradation and physical exclusion of salamanders from cover objects may hinder juvenile and male salamander performance, ultimately reducing recruitment and salamander abundance

  17. Paedomorphosis and simplification in the nervous system of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Roth, G; Nishikawa, K C; Naujoks-Manteuffel, C; Schmidt, A; Wake, D B

    1993-01-01

    Comparative neuroanatomists since Herrick [1914] have been aware of the paradox that the brain of amphibians, especially salamanders, is less complex than one would expect based on their phylogenetic position among the Tetrapoda. Many features of the brain are less differentiated in salamanders than in tetrapod outgroups, including chondrichthyans and bony fishes, and for some brain characters, the salamander brain is even more simple than that of the agnathans. Here, we perform a cladistic analysis on 23 characters of four sensory systems (visual, auditory, lateral line and olfactory) and the brain. Our taxa include myxinoids, lampreys, chondrichthyans, actinopterygians, Latimeria, Neoceratodus and the lepidosirenid lungfishes, amniotes, frogs, caecilians, salamanders and bolitoglossine salamanders. Of the 23 characters we examined, 19 are most parsimoniously interpreted as secondarily simplified in salamanders from a more complex ancestral state, two characters are equally parsimonious under both hypotheses, one character (well developed ipsilateral retinotectal projections) is more complex in bolitoglossine salamanders than in vertebrates generally, and only one character (migration of neurons in the medial pallium) is most parsimoniously interpreted as retention of the plesiomorphically simple condition. Secondary simplification of the salamander brain appears to result from paedomorphosis, or retention of juvenile or embryonic morphology into adulthood. Paedomorphosis is correlated with an increase in genome size, which in turn is positively correlated with cell size, but negatively correlated with cell proliferation and differentiation rates. Available data suggest that, although increasing genome size and paedomorphosis tend to compromise the function of the salamander brain, compensating mechanisms have evolved that may restore or even enhance brain function. PMID:8364715

  18. Salamander occupancy in headwater stream networks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.; Green, L.E.; Lowe, W.H.

    2009-01-01

    1. Stream ecosystems exhibit a highly consistent dendritic geometry in which linear habitat units intersect to create a hierarchical network of connected branches. 2. Ecological and life history traits of species living in streams, such as the potential for overland movement, may interact with this architecture to shape patterns of occupancy and response to disturbance. Specifically, large-scale habitat alteration that fragments stream networks and reduces connectivity may reduce the probability a stream is occupied by sensitive species, such as stream salamanders. 3. We collected habitat occupancy data on four species of stream salamanders in first-order (i.e. headwater) streams in undeveloped and urbanised regions of the eastern U.S.A. We then used an information-theoretic approach to test alternative models of salamander occupancy based on a priori predictions of the effects of network configuration, region and salamander life history. 4. Across all four species, we found that streams connected to other first-order streams had higher occupancy than those flowing directly into larger streams and rivers. For three of the four species, occupancy was lower in the urbanised region than in the undeveloped region. 5. These results demonstrate that the spatial configuration of stream networks within protected areas affects the occurrences of stream salamander species. We strongly encourage preservation of network connections between first-order streams in conservation planning and management decisions that may affect stream species.

  19. Annotating Large Genomes With Exact Word Matches

    PubMed Central

    Healy, John; Thomas, Elizabeth E.; Schwartz, Jacob T.; Wigler, Michael

    2003-01-01

    We have developed a tool for rapidly determining the number of exact matches of any word within large, internally repetitive genomes or sets of genomes. Thus we can readily annotate any sequence, including the entire human genome, with the counts of its constituent words. We create a Burrows-Wheeler transform of the genome, which together with auxiliary data structures facilitating counting, can reside in about one gigabyte of RAM. Our original interest was motivated by oligonucleotide probe design, and we describe a general protocol for defining unique hybridization probes. But our method also has applications for the analysis of genome structure and assembly. We demonstrate the identification of chromosome-specific repeats, and outline a general procedure for finding undiscovered repeats. We also illustrate the changing contents of the human genome assemblies by comparing the annotations built from different genome freezes. PMID:12975312

  20. Effects of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions.

    PubMed

    Hocking, Daniel J; Babbitt, Kimberly J

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp.) likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m(2) plots) and small-scale enclosures (2 m(2)) where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m(-2)). In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders). Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types. PMID:24466269

  1. Effects of Red-Backed Salamanders on Ecosystem Functions

    PubMed Central

    Hocking, Daniel J.; Babbitt, Kimberly J.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystems provide a vast array of services for human societies, but understanding how various organisms contribute to the functions that maintain these services remains an important ecological challenge. Predators can affect ecosystem functions through a combination of top-down trophic cascades and bottom-up effects on nutrient dynamics. As the most abundant vertebrate predator in many eastern US forests, woodland salamanders (Plethodon spp.) likely affect ecosystems functions. We examined the effects of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) on a variety of forest ecosystem functions using a combined approach of large-scale salamander removals (314-m2 plots) and small-scale enclosures (2 m2) where we explicitly manipulated salamander density (0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 m−2). In these experiments, we measured the rates of litter and wood decomposition, potential nitrogen mineralization and nitrification rates, acorn germination, and foliar insect damage on red oak seedlings. Across both experimental venues, we found no significant effect of red-backed salamanders on any of the ecosystem functions. We also found no effect of salamanders on intraguild predator abundance (carabid beetles, centipedes, spiders). Our study adds to the already conflicting evidence on effects of red-backed salamander and other amphibians on terrestrial ecosystem functions. It appears likely that the impact of terrestrial amphibians on ecosystem functions is context dependent. Future research would benefit from explicitly examining terrestrial amphibian effects on ecosystem functions under a variety of environmental conditions and in different forest types. PMID:24466269

  2. Atypical regions in large genomic DNA sequences

    SciTech Connect

    Scherer, S. |; McPeek, M.S.; Speed, T.P.

    1994-07-19

    Large genomic DNA sequences contain regions with distinctive patterns of sequence organization. The authors describe a method using logarithms of probabilities based on seventh-order Markov chains to rapidly identify genomic sequences that do not resemble models of genome organization built from compilations of octanucleotide usage. Data bases have been constructed from Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae DNA sequences of >1000 nt and human sequences of >10,000 nt. Atypical genes and clusters of genes have been located in bacteriophage, yeast, and primate DNA sequences. The authors consider criteria for statistical significance of the results, offer possible explanations for the observed variation in genome organization, and give additional applications of these methods in DNA sequence analysis.

  3. Global Alignment System for Large Genomic Sequencing

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2002-03-01

    AVID is a global alignment system tailored for the alignment of large genomic sequences up to megabases in length. Features include the possibility of one sequence being in draft form, fast alignment, robustness and accuracy. The method is an anchor based alignment using maximal matches derived from suffix trees.

  4. Transcriptomic Analysis of Endangered Chinese Salamander: Identification of Immune, Sex and Reproduction-Related Genes and Genetic Markers

    PubMed Central

    Che, Rongbo; Sun, Yuena; Wang, Rixin; Xu, Tianjun

    2014-01-01

    Background The Chinese salamander (Hynobius chinensis), an endangered amphibian species of salamander endemic to China, has attracted much attention because of its value of studying paleontology evolutionary history and decreasing population size. Despite increasing interest in the Hynobius chinensis genome, genomic resources for the species are still very limited. A comprehensive transcriptome of Hynobius chinensis, which will provide a resource for genome annotation, candidate genes identification and molecular marker development should be generated to supplement it. Principal Findings We performed a de novo assembly of Hynobius chinensis transcriptome by Illumina sequencing. A total of 148,510 nonredundant unigenes with an average length of approximately 580 bp were obtained. In all, 60,388 (40.66%) unigenes showed homologous matches in at least one database and 33,537 (22.58%) unigenes were annotated by all four databases. In total, 41,553 unigenes were categorized into 62 sub-categories by BLAST2GO search, and 19,468 transcripts were assigned to 140 KEGG pathways. A large number of unigenes involved in immune system, local adaptation, reproduction and sex determination were identified, as well as 31,982 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and 460,923 putative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Conclusion This dataset represents the first transcriptome analysis of the Chinese salamander (Hynobius chinensis), an endangered species, to be also the first time of hynobiidae. The transcriptome will provide valuable resource for further research in discovery of new genes, protection of population, adaptive evolution and survey of various pathways, as well as development of molecule markers in Chinese salamander; and reference information for closely related species. PMID:24498226

  5. Landmark learning by juvenile salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum).

    PubMed

    Heuring, Whitney L; Mathis, Alicia

    2014-10-01

    Learning to use a landmark as a beacon to locate resources is one of the simplest forms of spatial learning. We tested whether landmark learning occurs in a semifossorial salamander that migrates annually to breeding ponds as adults. Juvenile spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) were tested in square containers with a plastic feeding dish in each corner, and a piece of earthworm was placed in one randomly-chosen dish. For landmark-trained salamanders, a rock was placed beside the dish containing the prey. For control salamanders, the rock was placed beside a randomly selected feeding dish. Each salamander was trained once every 2 days for 30 days. Significantly more landmark-trained salamanders than control salamanders entered the landmark area first, and landmark-trained individuals had faster latencies to enter the landmark area and longer stay-times. These results suggest that spotted salamanders are able to locate resources by associating their positions with landmarks. PMID:25444775

  6. [Phylogenetic relationships among Asiatic salamanders of the genus Salamandrella based on variability of nuclear genes].

    PubMed

    Maliarchuk, B A; Derenko, M V; Denisova, G A

    2015-01-01

    Based on sequence variation of three nuclear genome genes (BDNF, POMC, and RAG1), the phylogenetic relationships among Asiatic salamanders of the genus Salamandrella, Siberian salamander (S. keyserlingii) and Schrenk salamander (S. schrenkii), were examined. Both species demonstrated high levels of heterozygosity determined by intraspecific polymorphism. Fixed interspecific differences were revealed at one nucleotide position of the RAG1 gene, and thus the level of interspecific divergence over the three genes constituted only 0.04%. Analysis of the RAG1 polymorphism across the whole range of S. keyserlingii showed that only one gene variant, encoding for modified RAG1 recombinase, had the highest distribution to the north of the Amur region (west and northeast of Siberia). It is possible that the changes in the RAG1 gene in Siberian salamander are of an adaptive nature. However, cases of interspecific hybridization were identified in Jewish autonomous oblast (JAO), which contains one of the range borders between the two Salamandrella species. PMID:25857197

  7. "ANEIDES AENEUS" (GREEN SALAMANDER). DISPERSAL

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aneides aeneus inhabits cliffs and rockface outcrops at elevations <1340 m in mountainous forests from southwestern Pennsylvania to extreme northeastern Mississippi (Petranka 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. 587pp). Populations are ...

  8. Genome comparison of Pseudomonas aeruginosa large phages.

    PubMed

    Hertveldt, Kirsten; Lavigne, Rob; Pleteneva, Elena; Sernova, Natalia; Kurochkina, Lidia; Korchevskii, Roman; Robben, Johan; Mesyanzhinov, Vadim; Krylov, Victor N; Volckaert, Guido

    2005-12-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa phage EL is a dsDNA phage related to the giant phiKZ-like Myoviridae. The EL genome sequence comprises 211,215 bp and has 201 predicted open reading frames (ORFs). The EL genome does not share DNA sequence homology with other viruses and micro-organisms sequenced to date. However, one-third of the predicted EL gene products (gps) shares similarity (Blast alignments of 17-55% amino acid identity) with phiKZ proteins. Comparative EL and phiKZ genomics reveals that these giant phages are an example of substantially diverged genetic mosaics. Based on the position of similar EL and phiKZ predicted gene products, five genome regions can be delineated in EL, four of which are relatively conserved between EL and phiKZ. Region IV, a 17.7 kb genome region with 28 predicted ORFs, is unique to EL. Fourteen EL ORFs have been assigned a putative function based on protein similarity. Assigned proteins are involved in DNA replication and nucleotide metabolism (NAD+-dependent DNA ligase, ribonuclease HI, helicase, thymidylate kinase), host lysis and particle structure. EL-gp146 is the first chaperonin GroEL sequence identified in a viral genome. Besides a putative transposase, EL harbours predicted mobile endonucleases related to H-N-H and LAGLIDADG homing endonucleases associated with group I intron and intein intervening sequences. PMID:16256135

  9. Precision Editing of Large Animal Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Wenfang (Spring); Carlson, Daniel F.; Walton, Mark W.; Fahrenkrug, Scott C.; Hackett, Perry B.

    2013-01-01

    Transgenic animals are an important source of protein and nutrition for most humans and will play key roles in satisfying the increasing demand for food in an ever-increasing world population. The past decade has experienced a revolution in the development of methods that permit the introduction of specific alterations to complex genomes. This precision will enhance genome-based improvement of farm animals for food production. Precision genetics also will enhance the development of therapeutic biomaterials and models of human disease as resources for the development of advanced patient therapies. PMID:23084873

  10. 'Salamander plague' on Britain's doorstep.

    PubMed

    Mills, Georgina

    2015-01-24

    Chytridiomycosis can cause mass declines in amphibians, and the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis is the classic cause of this disease. However, recently, a second strain of chytrid fungus has emerged in Europe, resulting in major declines in fire salamanders. The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) discussed this, and the implications for the UK, at a meeting in December in London. Georgina Mills reports. PMID:25614547

  11. Age-related changes in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Townes-Anderson, E; Colantonio, A; St Jules, R S

    1998-05-01

    Tiger salamanders have been used in visual science because of the large size of their cells and the ease of preparation and maintenance of in vitro retinal preparations. We have found that salamanders over 27 cm in length show a variety of visual abnormalities. Compared to smaller animals (15-23 cm), large animals exhibited a decrease in visual responses determined by tests of the optomotor reflex. Small animals responded correctly an average of 84.5% of the time in visual testing at three light levels compared to an average of 68.4% for the large animals with the poorest visual performance at the lowest level of illumination. In addition, large animals contained (i) histological degeneration of the outer retina, in particular, loss and disruption of outer segments and abnormalities of the retinal pigmented epithelium, (ii) loss of cells, including photoreceptors, by apoptosis as evaluated with the TUNEL technique, and (iii) an increase in the number of macrophages and lymphocytes within the retina as determined by morphological examination. These histological changes were present in all large animals and all quadrants of their retinas. In contrast, small animals showed virtually no retinal degeneration, no TUNEL-positive cells, and few immune-like cells in the retina. Since large animals are also older animals. the visual changes are age-related. Loss of visual function and histological degeneration in the outer retina also typify aged human eyes. Thus, we propose that large salamanders serve as an animal model for age-related retinal degeneration. In addition to providing a source of aging retina that is readily accessible to experimental manipulation, the salamander provides a pigmented retina with a mixed (2:1, rod:cone) population of photoreceptors, similar to the degeneration-prone parafoveal region of the human eye. PMID:9631666

  12. Origin and diversification of a salamander sex pheromone system.

    PubMed

    Janssenswillen, Sunita; Vandebergh, Wim; Treer, Dag; Willaert, Bert; Maex, Margo; Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Bossuyt, Franky

    2015-02-01

    Sex pheromones form an important facet of reproductive strategies in many organisms throughout the Animal Kingdom. One of the oldest known sex pheromones in vertebrates are proteins of the Sodefrin Precursor-like Factor (SPF) system, which already had a courtship function in early salamanders. The subsequent evolution of salamanders is characterized by a diversification in courtship and reproduction, but little is known on how the SPF pheromone system diversified in relation to changing courtship strategies. Here, we combined transcriptomic, genomic, and phylogenetic analyses to investigate the evolution of the SPF pheromone system in nine salamandrid species with distinct courtship displays. First, we show that SPF originated from vertebrate three-finger proteins and diversified through multiple gene duplications in salamanders, while remaining a single copy in frogs. Next, we demonstrate that tail-fanning newts have retained a high phylogenetic diversity of SPFs, whereas loss of tail-fanning has been associated with a reduced importance or loss of SPF expression in the cloacal region. Finally, we show that the attractant decapeptide sodefrin is cleaved from larger SPF precursors that originated by a 62 bp insertion and consequent frameshift in an ancestral Cynops lineage. This led to the birth of a new decapeptide that rapidly evolved a pheromone function independently from uncleaved proteins. PMID:25415963

  13. On the analysis of large-scale genomic structures.

    PubMed

    Oiwa, Nestor Norio; Goldman, Carla

    2005-01-01

    We apply methods from statistical physics (histograms, correlation functions, fractal dimensions, and singularity spectra) to characterize large-scale structure of the distribution of nucleotides along genomic sequences. We discuss the role of the extension of noncoding segments ("junk DNA") for the genomic organization, and the connection between the coding segment distribution and the high-eukaryotic chromatin condensation. The following sequences taken from GenBank were analyzed: complete genome of Xanthomonas campestri, complete genome of yeast, chromosome V of Caenorhabditis elegans, and human chromosome XVII around gene BRCA1. The results are compared with the random and periodic sequences and those generated by simple and generalized fractal Cantor sets. PMID:15858230

  14. Thermal equilibrium and temperature differences among body regions in European plethodontid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Lunghi, Enrico; Manenti, Raoul; Canciani, Giancarlo; Scarì, Giorgio; Pennati, Roberta; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco

    2016-08-01

    Information on species thermal physiology is extremely important to understand species responses to environmental heterogeneity and changes. Thermography is an emerging technology that allows high resolution and accurate measurement of body temperature, but until now it has not been used to study thermal physiology of amphibians in the wild. Hydromantes terrestrial salamanders are strongly depending on ambient temperature for their activity and gas exchanges, but information on their body temperature is extremely limited. In this study we tested if Hydromantes salamanders are thermoconform, we assessed whether there are temperature differences among body regions, and evaluated the time required to reach the thermal equilibrium. During summers of 2014 and 2015 we analysed 56 salamanders (Hydromantes ambrosii and Hydromantes italicus) using infrared thermocamera. We photographed salamanders at the moment in which we found them and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 15min after having kept them in the hands. Body temperature was equal to air temperature; salamanders attained the equilibrium with air temperature in about 8min, the time required to reach equilibrium was longer in individuals with large body size. We detected small temperature differences between body parts, the head being slightly warmer than the body and the tail (mean difference: 0.05°C). These salamanders quickly reach the equilibrium with the environment, thus microhabitat measurement allows obtaining accurate information on their tolerance limits. PMID:27503719

  15. GDC 2: Compression of large collections of genomes.

    PubMed

    Deorowicz, Sebastian; Danek, Agnieszka; Niemiec, Marcin

    2015-01-01

    The fall of prices of the high-throughput genome sequencing changes the landscape of modern genomics. A number of large scale projects aimed at sequencing many human genomes are in progress. Genome sequencing also becomes an important aid in the personalized medicine. One of the significant side effects of this change is a necessity of storage and transfer of huge amounts of genomic data. In this paper we deal with the problem of compression of large collections of complete genomic sequences. We propose an algorithm that is able to compress the collection of 1092 human diploid genomes about 9,500 times. This result is about 4 times better than what is offered by the other existing compressors. Moreover, our algorithm is very fast as it processes the data with speed 200 MB/s on a modern workstation. In a consequence the proposed algorithm allows storing the complete genomic collections at low cost, e.g., the examined collection of 1092 human genomes needs only about 700 MB when compressed, what can be compared to about 6.7 TB of uncompressed FASTA files. The source code is available at http://sun.aei.polsl.pl/REFRESH/index.php?page=projects&project=gdc&subpage=about. PMID:26108279

  16. GDC 2: Compression of large collections of genomes

    PubMed Central

    Deorowicz, Sebastian; Danek, Agnieszka; Niemiec, Marcin

    2015-01-01

    The fall of prices of the high-throughput genome sequencing changes the landscape of modern genomics. A number of large scale projects aimed at sequencing many human genomes are in progress. Genome sequencing also becomes an important aid in the personalized medicine. One of the significant side effects of this change is a necessity of storage and transfer of huge amounts of genomic data. In this paper we deal with the problem of compression of large collections of complete genomic sequences. We propose an algorithm that is able to compress the collection of 1092 human diploid genomes about 9,500 times. This result is about 4 times better than what is offered by the other existing compressors. Moreover, our algorithm is very fast as it processes the data with speed 200 MB/s on a modern workstation. In a consequence the proposed algorithm allows storing the complete genomic collections at low cost, e.g., the examined collection of 1092 human genomes needs only about 700 MB when compressed, what can be compared to about 6.7 TB of uncompressed FASTA files. The source code is available at http://sun.aei.polsl.pl/REFRESH/index.php?page=projects&project=gdc&subpage=about. PMID:26108279

  17. Earliest known crown-group salamanders.

    PubMed

    Gao, Ke-Qin; Shubin, Neil H

    2003-03-27

    Salamanders are a model system for studying the rates and patterns of the evolution of new anatomical structures. Recent discoveries of abundant Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous salamanders are helping to address these issues. Here we report the discovery of well-preserved Middle Jurassic salamanders from China, which constitutes the earliest known record of crown-group urodeles (living salamanders and their closest relatives). The new specimens are from the volcanic deposits of the Jiulongshan Formation (Bathonian), Inner Mongolia, China, and represent basal members of the Cryptobranchidae, a family that includes the endangered Asian giant salamander (Andrias) and the North American hellbender (Cryptobranchus). These fossils document a Mesozoic record of the Cryptobranchidae, predating the previous record of the group by some 100 million years. This discovery provides evidence to support the hypothesis that the divergence of the Cryptobranchidae from the Hynobiidae had taken place in Asia before the Middle Jurassic period. PMID:12660782

  18. Science Review for the Scott Bar Salamander (Plethodon asupak) and the Siskiyou Mountains Salamander (P. stormi): Biology, Taxonomy, Habitat, and Detection Probabilities/Occupancy

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeGross, Douglas J.; Bury, R. Bruce

    2007-01-01

    The Plethodon elongatus Complex in the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion of southern Oregon and northern California includes three species: the Del Norte salamander, Plethodon elongatus; the Siskiyou Mountains salamander, P. stormi; and the Scott Bar salamander, P. asupak. This review aims to summarize the current literature and information available on select topics for P. stormi and P. asupak. These are both terrestrial salamanders belonging to the Family Plethodontidae, which contains more species and has a wider geographic distribution than any other family of salamanders (Wake 1966, 2006; Pough 1989). The genera of this family have greatly diversified ecologically across North America, Central America, northern South America, Sardinia, southeastern France and northwestern Italy, and have recently been discovered on the Korean peninsula (Min et al. 2005). The genus Plethodon is found exclusively in North America and is split into three distinct clades, based upon morphology and phylogenetics (Highton and Larson 1979): eastern small Plethodon, eastern large Plethodon, and the western Plethodon. The western Plethodon are the greatest representation of Plethodontidae in the Pacific Northwest, with 8 species. The two species with the most restricted ranges of these regional congeners are the Siskiyou Mountains and Scott Bar salamanders. These salamanders occupy the interior of the Klamath-Siskiyou Ecoregion which straddles the California and Oregon state lines, between Siskiyou County (CA) and Jackson and Josephine Counties (OR). The relatively recent discovery of P. asupak (Mead et al. 2005) and the limited range of both species have created an environment of uncertain conservation status for these species. This review will focus on four central topics of concern for land and resource managers: Biology; Taxonomy; Habitat; and Detection Probabilities/Occupancy.

  19. Identification of large-scale genomic variation in cancer genomes using in silico reference models.

    PubMed

    Killcoyne, Sarah; Del Sol, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Identifying large-scale structural variation in cancer genomes continues to be a challenge to researchers. Current methods rely on genome alignments based on a reference that can be a poor fit to highly variant and complex tumor genomes. To address this challenge we developed a method that uses available breakpoint information to generate models of structural variations. We use these models as references to align previously unmapped and discordant reads from a genome. By using these models to align unmapped reads, we show that our method can help to identify large-scale variations that have been previously missed. PMID:26264669

  20. Identification of large-scale genomic variation in cancer genomes using in silico reference models

    PubMed Central

    Killcoyne, Sarah; del Sol, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Identifying large-scale structural variation in cancer genomes continues to be a challenge to researchers. Current methods rely on genome alignments based on a reference that can be a poor fit to highly variant and complex tumor genomes. To address this challenge we developed a method that uses available breakpoint information to generate models of structural variations. We use these models as references to align previously unmapped and discordant reads from a genome. By using these models to align unmapped reads, we show that our method can help to identify large-scale variations that have been previously missed. PMID:26264669

  1. BACFinder: genomic localisation of large insert genomic clones based on restriction fingerprinting

    PubMed Central

    Crowe, Mark L.; Rana, Debashis; Fraser, Fiona; Bancroft, Ian; Trick, Martin

    2002-01-01

    We have developed software that allows the prediction of the genomic location of a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone, or other large genomic clone, based on a simple restriction digest of the BAC. The mapping is performed by comparing the experimentally derived restriction digest of the BAC DNA with a virtual restriction digest of the whole genome sequence. Our trials indicate that this program identified the genomic regions represented by BAC clones with a degree of accuracy comparable to that of end-sequencing, but at considerably less cost. Although the program has been developed principally for use with Arabidopsis BACs, it should align large insert genomic clones to any fully sequenced genome. PMID:12409477

  2. Exon capture optimization in amphibians with large genomes.

    PubMed

    McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Mount, Genevieve G; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2016-09-01

    Gathering genomic-scale data efficiently is challenging for nonmodel species with large, complex genomes. Transcriptome sequencing is accessible for organisms with large genomes, and sequence capture probes can be designed from such mRNA sequences to enrich and sequence exonic regions. Maximizing enrichment efficiency is important to reduce sequencing costs, but relatively few data exist for exon capture experiments in nonmodel organisms with large genomes. Here, we conducted a replicated factorial experiment to explore the effects of several modifications to standard protocols that might increase sequence capture efficiency for amphibians and other taxa with large, complex genomes. Increasing the amounts of c0 t-1 repetitive sequence blocker and individual input DNA used in target enrichment reactions reduced the rates of PCR duplication. This reduction led to an increase in the percentage of unique reads mapping to target sequences, essentially doubling overall efficiency of the target capture from 10.4% to nearly 19.9% and rendering target capture experiments more efficient and affordable. Our results indicate that target capture protocols can be modified to efficiently screen vertebrates with large genomes, including amphibians. PMID:27223337

  3. Large-scale structure of genomic methylation patterns.

    PubMed

    Rollins, Robert A; Haghighi, Fatemeh; Edwards, John R; Das, Rajdeep; Zhang, Michael Q; Ju, Jingyue; Bestor, Timothy H

    2006-02-01

    The mammalian genome depends on patterns of methylated cytosines for normal function, but the relationship between genomic methylation patterns and the underlying sequence is unclear. We have characterized the methylation landscape of the human genome by global analysis of patterns of CpG depletion and by direct sequencing of 3073 unmethylated domains and 2565 methylated domains from human brain DNA. The genome was found to consist of short (<4 kb) unmethylated domains embedded in a matrix of long methylated domains. Unmethylated domains were enriched in promoters, CpG islands, and first exons, while methylated domains comprised interspersed and tandem-repeated sequences, exons other than first exons, and non-annotated single-copy sequences that are depleted in the CpG dinucleotide. The enrichment of regulatory sequences in the relatively small unmethylated compartment suggests that cytosine methylation constrains the effective size of the genome through the selective exposure of regulatory sequences. This buffers regulatory networks against changes in total genome size and provides an explanation for the C value paradox, which concerns the wide variations in genome size that scale independently of gene number. This suggestion is compatible with the finding that cytosine methylation is universal among large-genome eukaryotes, while many eukaryotes with genome sizes <5 x 10(8) bp do not methylate their DNA. PMID:16365381

  4. Ambystoma maculatum (spotted salamander). Reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Glorioso, Brad M.; Waddle, Hardin; Hefner, Jeromi

    2012-01-01

    The Spotted Salamander is a wide-ranging salamander of the eastern United States that typically breeds in winter or early spring in ephemeral pools in lowland forests. Ambystoma maculatum is known to deposit 2-4 egg masses per year, each containing 1-250 eggs. As part of ongoing research into the ecology and reproductive biology of Spotted Salamanders in the Kisatchie District of Kisatchie National Forest in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, USA, we have been counting the number of embryos per egg mass. We captured seven female A. maculatum in a small pool, six of which were still gravid. We took standard measurements, including SVL, and then implanted a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT tag) into each adult female as was the protocol. About an hour after processing these animals we marked new A. maculatum egg masses found in the same small pool using PVC pin flags pushed carefully through the outer jelly. We did not have enough time to process them that evening, and it was not until a few days later that we photographed those masses. We discovered that one of the masses contained a PIT tag in the outer jelly that corresponded to one of the six gravid females that were marked that same evening. To our knowledge, this is the first report of PIT tags being the means, albeit coincidentally, by which a particular egg mass of Ambystoma maculatum has been assigned to a particular female. For our purposes, losing the PIT tag from the adult female is counter to the goals of our study of this population, and we will no longer be implanting PIT tags into gravid females.

  5. Climate change and shrinking salamanders: alternative mechanisms for changes in plethodontid salamander body size.

    PubMed

    Connette, Grant M; Crawford, John A; Peterman, William E

    2015-08-01

    An increasing number of studies have demonstrated relationships between climate trends and body size change of organisms. In many cases, climate might be expected to influence body size by altering thermoregulation, energetics or food availability. However, observed body size change can result from a variety of ecological processes (e.g. growth, selection, population dynamics) or imperfect observation of biological systems. We used two extensive datasets to evaluate alternative mechanisms for recently reported changes in the observed body size of plethodontid salamanders. We found that mean adult body size of salamanders can be highly sensitive to survey conditions, particularly rainfall. This systematic bias in the detection of larger or smaller individuals could result in a signature of body size change in relation to reported climate trends when it is simply observation error. We also identify considerable variability in body size distributions among years and find that individual growth rates can be strongly influenced by weather. Finally, our study demonstrates that measures of mean adult body size can be highly variable among surveys and that large sample sizes may be required to make reliable inferences. Identifying the effects of climate change is a critical area of research in ecology and conservation. Researchers should be aware that observed changes in certain organisms can result from multiple ecological processes or systematic bias due to nonrandom sampling of populations. PMID:25641384

  6. Late Jurassic salamanders from northern China.

    PubMed

    Gao, K Q; Shubin, N H

    2001-03-29

    With ten extant families, salamanders (urodeles) are one of the three major groups of modern amphibians (lissamphibians). Extant salamanders are often used as a model system to assess fundamental issues of developmental, morphological and biogeographical evolution. Unfortunately, our understanding of these issues has been hampered by the paucity of fossil evidence available to assess the early history of the group. Here we report the discovery of an extraordinary sample of salamander fossils, some with rare soft-tissue impressions, from the Upper Jurassic of China. With over 500 articulated specimens, this assemblage documents the morphological diversity of early urodeles and includes larvae and adults of both neotenic and metamorphosed taxa. Phylogenetic analysis confirms that these salamanders are primitive, and reveals that all basal salamander clades have Asian distributions. This is compelling evidence for an Asian origin of Recent salamanders, as well as for an extensive and early radiation of several major lineages. These discoveries show that the evolution of salamanders has involved phylogenetic and ecological diversification around a body plan that has remained fundamentally stable for over 150 million years. PMID:11279493

  7. A method to capture large DNA fragments from genomic DNA.

    PubMed

    Ball, Geneviève; Filloux, Alain; Voulhoux, Romé

    2014-01-01

    The gene capture technique is a powerful tool that allows the cloning of large DNA regions (up to 80 kb), such as entire genomic islands, without using restriction enzymes or DNA amplification. This technique takes advantage of the high recombinant capacity of the yeast. A "capture" vector containing both ends of the target DNA region must first be constructed. The target region is then captured by co-transformation and recombination in yeast between the "capture" vector and appropriate genomic DNA. The selected recombinant plasmid can be verified by sequencing and transferred in the bacteria for multiple applications. This chapter describes a protocol specifically adapted for Pseudomonas aeruginosa genomic DNA capture. PMID:24818928

  8. Stability analysis of chickpea large genomic DNA inserts in Agrobacterium.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of large DNA inserts directly into plants facilitates the transfer of gene clusters and flanking regulatory elements. It is recommended that the integrity of large genomic fragments in Agrobacterium be verified prior to plant transformation. In this ...

  9. Genome size variation affects song attractiveness in grasshoppers: evidence for sexual selection against large genomes.

    PubMed

    Schielzeth, Holger; Streitner, Corinna; Lampe, Ulrike; Franzke, Alexandra; Reinhold, Klaus

    2014-12-01

    Genome size is largely uncorrelated to organismal complexity and adaptive scenarios. Genetic drift as well as intragenomic conflict have been put forward to explain this observation. We here study the impact of genome size on sexual attractiveness in the bow-winged grasshopper Chorthippus biguttulus. Grasshoppers show particularly large variation in genome size due to the high prevalence of supernumerary chromosomes that are considered (mildly) selfish, as evidenced by non-Mendelian inheritance and fitness costs if present in high numbers. We ranked male grasshoppers by song characteristics that are known to affect female preferences in this species and scored genome sizes of attractive and unattractive individuals from the extremes of this distribution. We find that attractive singers have significantly smaller genomes, demonstrating that genome size is reflected in male courtship songs and that females prefer songs of males with small genomes. Such a genome size dependent mate preference effectively selects against selfish genetic elements that tend to increase genome size. The data therefore provide a novel example of how sexual selection can reinforce natural selection and can act as an agent in an intragenomic arms race. Furthermore, our findings indicate an underappreciated route of how choosy females could gain indirect benefits. PMID:25200798

  10. Salamander growth rates increase along an experimental stream phosphorus gradient.

    PubMed

    Bumpers, Phillip M; Maerz, John C; Rosemond, Amy D; Benstead, Jonathan P

    2015-11-01

    Nutrient-driven perturbations to the resource base of food webs are predicted to attenuate with trophic distance, so it is unclear whether higher-level consumers will generally respond to anthropogenic nutrient loading. Few studies have tested whether nutrient (specifically, nitrogen [N] and phosphorus [P]) enrichment of aquatic ecosystems propagates through multiple trophic levels to affect predators, or whether N vs. P is relatively more important in driving effects on food webs. We conducted two-year whole-stream N and P additions to five streams to generate gradients in N and P concentration and N:P ratio (target N:P = 2, 8, 16, 32, 128). Larval salamanders are vertebrate predators of primary and secondary macroinvertebrate consumers in many heterotrophic headwater streams in which the basal resources are detritus and associated microorganisms. We determined the effects of N and P on the growth rates of caged and free-roaming larval Desmognathus quadramaculatus and the average body size of larval Eurycea wilderae. Growth rates and average body size increased by up to 40% and 60%, respectively, with P concentration and were negatively related to N:P ratio. These findings were consistent across both species of salamanders using different methodologies (cage vs. free-roaming) and at different temporal scales (3 months vs. 2 yr). Nitrogen concentration was not significantly related to increased growth rate or body size of the salamander species tested. Our findings suggest that salamander growth responds to the relaxation of ecosystem-level P limitation and that moderate P enrichment can have relatively large effects on vertebrate predators in detritus-based food webs. PMID:27070018

  11. Effects of hatching time for larval ambystomatid salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Scott, D.E.; Niewiarowski, P.H.

    2002-01-01

    In aquatic communities, the phenology of breeding may influence species interactions. In the early-breeding marbled salamander, Ambystoma opacum, timing of pond filling may determine whether interactions among larvae are competitive or predatory. The objectives of our studies were to determine how time of egg hatching affected size, larval period, and survival to metamorphosis in A. opacum, and if early-hatching in A. opacum influenced the competitive and predator-prey relationships with smaller larvae of the mole salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum. Salamander larvae were reared from hatching through metamorphosis in large, outdoor enclosures located in a natural temporary pond in Aiken County, South Carolina, in two experiments. In study 1, we reared early- and late-hatching A. opacum larvae separately from hatching through metamorphosis. In study 2, we examined how early- versus late-hatching A. opacum affected a syntopic species, A. talpoideum. In general, early-hatching A. opacum were larger and older at metamorphosis, had greater survival, and left the pond earlier than late-hatching larvae. Ambystoma talpoideum reared in the presence of early-hatching A. opacum had lower survival than in controls, suggesting that A. opacum may predate upon A. talpoideum when they gain a growth advantage over later-hatching larvae. Our studies demonstrate that time of pond filling and phenology of breeding may influence population dynamics and alter the nature of relationships that develop among species.

  12. Effect of acute low body temperature on predatory behavior and prey-capture efficiency in a plethodontid salamander.

    PubMed

    Marvin, Glenn A; Davis, Kayla; Dawson, Jacob

    2016-05-01

    The low-temperature limit for feeding in some salamander species (Desmognathus, Plethodontidae) has been inferred from field studies of seasonal variation in salamander activity and gut contents, which could not determine whether feeding is more dependent on environmental conditions influencing salamander foraging behavior or prey availability and movement. We performed two controlled laboratory experiments to examine the effect of short-term (acute) low body temperature on predatory behavior and prey-capture efficiency in a semiaquatic plethodontid salamander (Desmognathus conanti). In the first experiment, we quantified variation in the feeding responses of cold salamanders (at 1, 3, 5 and 7°C) to a video recording of a walking, warm (15°C) cricket to determine the lower thermal limit for predatory behavior, independent of any temperature effect on movement of prey. Experimental-group salamanders exhibited vigorous feeding responses at 5 and 7°C, large variation in feeding responses both among and within individuals (over time) at 3°C, and little to no feeding response at 1°C. Feeding responses at both 1 and 3°C were significantly less than at each higher temperature, whereas responses of control-group individuals at 15°C did not vary over time. In the second experiment, we quantified feeding by cold salamanders (at 3, 5, 7 and 11°C) on live, warm crickets to examine thermal effects on prey-capture ability. The mean feeding response to live crickets was significantly less at 3°C than at higher temperatures; however, 50% of salamanders captured and ingested prey with high efficiency at this temperature. We conclude that many individuals stalk and capture prey at very low temperatures (down to 3°C). Our results support a growing body of data that indicate many plethodontid salamanders feed at temperatures only a few degrees above freezing. PMID:26939728

  13. Territorial Polymers and Large Scale Genome Organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosberg, Alexander

    2012-02-01

    Chromatin fiber in interphase nucleus represents effectively a very long polymer packed in a restricted volume. Although polymer models of chromatin organization were considered, most of them disregard the fact that DNA has to stay not too entangled in order to function properly. One polymer model with no entanglements is the melt of unknotted unconcatenated rings. Extensive simulations indicate that rings in the melt at large length (monomer numbers) N approach the compact state, with gyration radius scaling as N^1/3, suggesting every ring being compact and segregated from the surrounding rings. The segregation is consistent with the known phenomenon of chromosome territories. Surface exponent β (describing the number of contacts between neighboring rings scaling as N^β) appears only slightly below unity, β 0.95. This suggests that the loop factor (probability to meet for two monomers linear distance s apart) should decay as s^-γ, where γ= 2 - β is slightly above one. The later result is consistent with HiC data on real human interphase chromosomes, and does not contradict to the older FISH data. The dynamics of rings in the melt indicates that the motion of one ring remains subdiffusive on the time scale well above the stress relaxation time.

  14. Roary: rapid large-scale prokaryote pan genome analysis

    PubMed Central

    Page, Andrew J.; Cummins, Carla A.; Hunt, Martin; Wong, Vanessa K.; Reuter, Sandra; Holden, Matthew T.G.; Fookes, Maria; Falush, Daniel; Keane, Jacqueline A.; Parkhill, Julian

    2015-01-01

    Summary: A typical prokaryote population sequencing study can now consist of hundreds or thousands of isolates. Interrogating these datasets can provide detailed insights into the genetic structure of prokaryotic genomes. We introduce Roary, a tool that rapidly builds large-scale pan genomes, identifying the core and accessory genes. Roary makes construction of the pan genome of thousands of prokaryote samples possible on a standard desktop without compromising on the accuracy of results. Using a single CPU Roary can produce a pan genome consisting of 1000 isolates in 4.5 hours using 13 GB of RAM, with further speedups possible using multiple processors. Availability and implementation: Roary is implemented in Perl and is freely available under an open source GPLv3 license from http://sanger-pathogens.github.io/Roary Contact: roary@sanger.ac.uk Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:26198102

  15. Large-scale data mining pilot project in human genome

    SciTech Connect

    Musick, R.; Fidelis, R.; Slezak, T.

    1997-05-01

    This whitepaper briefly describes a new, aggressive effort in large- scale data Livermore National Labs. The implications of `large- scale` will be clarified Section. In the short term, this effort will focus on several @ssion-critical questions of Genome project. We will adapt current data mining techniques to the Genome domain, to quantify the accuracy of inference results, and lay the groundwork for a more extensive effort in large-scale data mining. A major aspect of the approach is that we will be fully-staffed data warehousing effort in the human Genome area. The long term goal is strong applications- oriented research program in large-@e data mining. The tools, skill set gained will be directly applicable to a wide spectrum of tasks involving a for large spatial and multidimensional data. This includes applications in ensuring non-proliferation, stockpile stewardship, enabling Global Ecology (Materials Database Industrial Ecology), advancing the Biosciences (Human Genome Project), and supporting data for others (Battlefield Management, Health Care).

  16. A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of extant frogs, salamanders, and caecilians.

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Wiens, John J

    2011-11-01

    The extant amphibians are one of the most diverse radiations of terrestrial vertebrates (>6800 species). Despite much recent focus on their conservation, diversification, and systematics, no previous phylogeny for the group has contained more than 522 species. However, numerous studies with limited taxon sampling have generated large amounts of partially overlapping sequence data for many species. Here, we combine these data and produce a novel estimate of extant amphibian phylogeny, containing 2871 species (∼40% of the known extant species) from 432 genera (∼85% of the ∼500 currently recognized extant genera). Each sampled species contains up to 12,712 bp from 12 genes (three mitochondrial, nine nuclear), with an average of 2563 bp per species. This data set provides strong support for many groups recognized in previous studies, but it also suggests non-monophyly for several currently recognized families, particularly in hyloid frogs (e.g., Ceratophryidae, Cycloramphidae, Leptodactylidae, Strabomantidae). To correct these and other problems, we provide a revised classification of extant amphibians for taxa traditionally delimited at the family and subfamily levels. This new taxonomy includes several families not recognized in current classifications (e.g., Alsodidae, Batrachylidae, Rhinodermatidae, Odontophrynidae, Telmatobiidae), but which are strongly supported and important for avoiding non-monophyly of current families. Finally, this study provides further evidence that the supermatrix approach provides an effective strategy for inferring large-scale phylogenies using the combined results of previous studies, despite many taxa having extensive missing data. PMID:21723399

  17. Sal-Site: Integrating new and existing ambystomatid salamander research and informational resources

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jeramiah J; Putta, Srikrishna; Walker, John A; Kump, D Kevin; Samuels, Amy K; Monaghan, James R; Weisrock, David W; Staben, Chuck; Voss, S Randal

    2005-01-01

    Salamanders of the genus Ambystoma are a unique model organism system because they enable natural history and biomedical research in the laboratory or field. We developed Sal-Site to integrate new and existing ambystomatid salamander research resources in support of this model system. Sal-Site hosts six important resources: 1) Salamander Genome Project: an information-based web-site describing progress in genome resource development, 2) Ambystoma EST Database: a database of manually edited and analyzed contigs assembled from ESTs that were collected from A. tigrinum tigrinum and A. mexicanum, 3) Ambystoma Gene Collection: a database containing full-length protein-coding sequences, 4) Ambystoma Map and Marker Collection: an image and database resource that shows the location of mapped markers on linkage groups, provides information about markers, and provides integrating links to Ambystoma EST Database and Ambystoma Gene Collection databases, 5) Ambystoma Genetic Stock Center: a website and collection of databases that describe an NSF funded salamander rearing facility that generates and distributes biological materials to researchers and educators throughout the world, and 6) Ambystoma Research Coordination Network: a web-site detailing current research projects and activities involving an international group of researchers. Sal-Site is accessible at . PMID:16359543

  18. Conservation assessment for the Siskiyou Mountains salamander and Scott Bar salamander in northern California.

    SciTech Connect

    Vinikour, W. S.; LaGory, K. E.; Adduci, J. J.; Environmental Science Division

    2006-10-20

    The purpose of this conservation assessment is to summarize existing knowledge regarding the biology and ecology of the Siskiyou Mountains salamander and Scott Bar salamander, identify threats to the two species, and identify conservation considerations to aid federal management for persistence of the species. The conservation assessment will serve as the basis for a conservation strategy for the species.

  19. Optimization of AFLP for extremely large genomes over 70 Gb.

    PubMed

    Veselá, Petra; Volařík, Daniel; Mráček, Jaroslav

    2016-07-01

    Here, we present an improved amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) protocol using restriction enzymes (AscI and SbfI) that recognize 8-base pair sequences to provide alternative optimization suitable for species with a genome size over 70 Gb. This cost-effective optimization massively reduces the number of amplified fragments using only +3 selective bases per primer during selective amplification. We demonstrate the effects of the number of fragments and genome size on the appearance of nonidentical comigrating fragments (size homoplasy), which has a negative impact on the informative value of AFLP genotypes. We also present various reaction conditions and their effects on reproducibility and the band intensity of the extremely large genome of Viscum album. The reproducibility of this octo-cutter protocol was calculated using several species with genome sizes ranging from 1 Gb (Carex panicea) to 76 Gb (V. album). The improved protocol also succeeded in detecting high intraspecific variability in species with large genomes (V. album, Galanthus nivalis and Pinus pumila). PMID:26849414

  20. Impacts of a gape limited Brook Trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, on larval Northwestern salamander, Ambystoma gracile, growth: A field enclosure experiment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Currens, C.R.; Liss, W.J.; Hoffman, R.L.

    2007-01-01

    The formation of amphibian population structure is directly affected by predation. Although aquatic predators have been shown to have direct negative effects on larval salamanders in laboratory and field experiments, the potential impacts of gape-limited fish on larval salamander growth has been largely underexplored. We designed an enclosure experiment conducted in situ to quantify the effects of gape-limited Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) on larval Northwestern Salamander (Ambystoma gracile) growth. We specifically tested whether the presence of fish too small to consume larvae had a negative effect on larval growth. The results of this study indicate that the presence of a gape-limited S. fontinalis can have a negative effect on growth of larval A. gracile salamanders. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  1. Early Miocene origin and cryptic diversification of South American salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The currently recognized species richness of South American salamanders is surprisingly low compared to North and Central America. In part, this low richness may be due to the salamanders being a recent arrival to South America. Additionally, the number of South American salamander species may be underestimated because of cryptic diversity. The aims of our present study were to infer evolutionary relationships, lineage diversity, and timing of divergence of the South American Bolitoglossa using mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data from specimens primarily from localities in the Andes and upper Amazon Basin. We also estimated time of colonization of South America to test whether it is consistent with arrival via the Panamanian Isthmus, or land bridge connection, at its traditionally assumed age of 3 million years. Results Divergence time estimates suggest that Bolitoglossa arrived in South America from Central America by at least the Early Miocene, ca. 23.6 MYA (95% HPD 15.9-30.3 MYA), and subsequently diversified. South American salamanders of the genus Bolitoglossa show strong phylogeographic structure at fine geographic scales and deep divergences at the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b (Cytb) and high diversity at the nuclear recombination activating gene-1 (Rag1). Species often contain multiple genetically divergent lineages that are occasionally geographically overlapping. Single specimens from two southeastern localities in Ecuador are sister to the equatoriana-peruviana clade and genetically distinct from all other species investigated to date. Another single exemplar from the Andes of northwestern Ecuador is highly divergent from all other specimens and is sister to all newly studied samples. Nevertheless, all sampled species of South American Bolitoglossa are members of a single clade that is one of several constituting the subgenus Eladinea, one of seven subgenera in this large genus. Conclusions The ancestors of South American salamanders

  2. ARE SALAMANDERS USEFUL INDICATORS OF HYDROLOGIC PERMANENCE IN HEADWATER STREAMS?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need appropriate indicators of stream permanence to aid in jurisdictional determinations for headwater streams. We evaluated salamanders as permanence indicators because they are often abundant in fishless headwaters. Salamander and habitat data were collect...

  3. Kernel methods for large-scale genomic data analysis

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Eric P.; Schaid, Daniel J.

    2015-01-01

    Machine learning, particularly kernel methods, has been demonstrated as a promising new tool to tackle the challenges imposed by today’s explosive data growth in genomics. They provide a practical and principled approach to learning how a large number of genetic variants are associated with complex phenotypes, to help reveal the complexity in the relationship between the genetic markers and the outcome of interest. In this review, we highlight the potential key role it will have in modern genomic data processing, especially with regard to integration with classical methods for gene prioritizing, prediction and data fusion. PMID:25053743

  4. Genome resequencing in Populus: Revealing large-scale genome variation and implications on specialized-trait genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Muchero, Wellington; Labbe, Jessy L; Priya, Ranjan; DiFazio, Steven P; Tuskan, Gerald A

    2014-01-01

    To date, Populus ranks among a few plant species with a complete genome sequence and other highly developed genomic resources. With the first genome sequence among all tree species, Populus has been adopted as a suitable model organism for genomic studies in trees. However, far from being just a model species, Populus is a key renewable economic resource that plays a significant role in providing raw materials for the biofuel and pulp and paper industries. Therefore, aside from leading frontiers of basic tree molecular biology and ecological research, Populus leads frontiers in addressing global economic challenges related to fuel and fiber production. The latter fact suggests that research aimed at improving quality and quantity of Populus as a raw material will likely drive the pursuit of more targeted and deeper research in order to unlock the economic potential tied in molecular biology processes that drive this tree species. Advances in genome sequence-driven technologies, such as resequencing individual genotypes, which in turn facilitates large scale SNP discovery and identification of large scale polymorphisms are key determinants of future success in these initiatives. In this treatise we discuss implications of genome sequence-enable technologies on Populus genomic and genetic studies of complex and specialized-traits.

  5. Different season, different strategies: Feeding ecology of two syntopic forest-dwelling salamanders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebastiano, Salvidio; Antonio, Romano; Fabrizio, Oneto; Dario, Ottonello; Roberta, Michelon

    2012-08-01

    Trophic niche may be the most important ecological dimension for some vertebrate groups and in particular for terrestrial amphibians, that are important predators of soil invertebrates. In general, resource partitioning occurs between syntopic species with similar ecological niches, and coexistence patterns seem to be regulated by temporal resource variability. However most of the generalization on foraging strategies of terrestrial salamanders are extrapolated from studies on New World temperate species, thus we investigated the seasonal effect of resource variation in an European forest ecosystem, in which two ecologically similar but phylogenetically distinct salamander species are found. The diet of adult and juvenile cave salamanders (Speleomantes strinati), and of adult spectacled salamander (Salamandrina perspicillata) was obtained by stomach flushing, and results showed large seasonal changes both in prey availability and in salamander realised trophic niche. Values of trophic diversity were similar and niche overlaps were large among all salamander groups in spring, during high prey availability. Conversely in autumn, when a two-fold reduction in prey biomass was observed, there was a clear niche partitioning as the smaller S. perspicillata shifted from a generalist to a specialized trophic strategy. Juvenile Speleomantes strinatii, that largely overlapped in size with S. perspicillata, did not show any change in diet, suggesting that the feeding strategies were species-specific and not size-mediated. The observed patterns of variation in feeding ecology indicate that similar predators may react differently to changing prey availability to enhance niche partitioning. We also observed an increased energy intake during autumn for S perspicillata and S. strinatii juveniles, possibly related to differences in microhabitat use and activity patterns.

  6. Indexes of Large Genome Collections on a PC

    PubMed Central

    Danek, Agnieszka; Deorowicz, Sebastian; Grabowski, Szymon

    2014-01-01

    The availability of thousands of individual genomes of one species should boost rapid progress in personalized medicine or understanding of the interaction between genotype and phenotype, to name a few applications. A key operation useful in such analyses is aligning sequencing reads against a collection of genomes, which is costly with the use of existing algorithms due to their large memory requirements. We present MuGI, Multiple Genome Index, which reports all occurrences of a given pattern, in exact and approximate matching model, against a collection of thousand(s) genomes. Its unique feature is the small index size, which is customisable. It fits in a standard computer with 16–32 GB, or even 8 GB, of RAM, for the 1000GP collection of 1092 diploid human genomes. The solution is also fast. For example, the exact matching queries (of average length 150 bp) are handled in average time of 39 µs and with up to 3 mismatches in 373 µs on the test PC with the index size of 13.4 GB. For a smaller index, occupying 7.4 GB in memory, the respective times grow to 76 µs and 917 µs. Software is available at http://sun.aei.polsl.pl/mugi under a free license. Data S1 is available at PLOS One online. PMID:25289699

  7. Life history as a predictor of salamander recovery rate from timber harvest in southern appalachian forests, USA.

    PubMed

    Connette, Grant M; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2013-12-01

    Forest management often represents a balance between social, economic, and ecological objectives. In the eastern United States, numerous studies have established that terrestrial salamander populations initially decline in abundance following timber harvest, yet the large-scale and long-term consequences are relatively unknown. We used count data from terrestrial survey points to examine the relation between salamander abundance and historic timber harvest while accounting for imperfect detection of individuals. Overall, stream- and terrestrial-breeding salamanders appeared to differ by magnitude of population decline, rate of population recovery, and extent of recolonization from surrounding forest. Specifically, estimated abundance of both species groups was positively associated with stand age and recovery rates were predicted to increase over time for red-legged salamanders (Plethodon shermani) and decrease in stream-breeding species. Abundance of stream-breeding salamanders was predicted to reach a peak by 100 years after timber harvest, and the population growth rate of red-legged salamanders was predicted to undergo a significant increase 100 years after harvest. Estimated abundance of stream-breeding salamanders in young forest stands was also negatively associated with the distance to adjacent forest, a result that suggests immigration has a role in the recovery of these species. Our results indicate that salamander abundance in young forest stands may be only modestly lower than in more mature forest but that full recovery from timber harvest may take a substantial amount of time and that species life history may affect patterns of recovery. Historia de Vida como un Vaticinador de la Tasa de Recuperación de una Salamandra a la Colecta de Madera en los Bosques del Sur de los Apalaches, E.U.A. PMID:24033390

  8. Data congruence, paedomorphosis and salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Struck, Torsten H

    2007-01-01

    Background The retention of ancestral juvenile characters by adult stages of descendants is called paedomorphosis. However, this process can mislead phylogenetic analyses based on morphological data, even in combination with molecular data, because the assessment if a character is primary absent or secondary lost is difficult. Thus, the detection of incongruence between morphological and molecular data is necessary to investigate the reliability of simultaneous analyses. Different methods have been proposed to detect data congruence or incongruence. Five of them (PABA, PBS, NDI, LILD, DRI) are used herein to assess incongruence between morphological and molecular data in a case study addressing salamander phylogeny, which comprises several supposedly paedomorphic taxa. Therefore, previously published data sets were compiled herein. Furthermore, two strategies ameliorating effects of paedomorphosis on phylogenetic studies were tested herein using a statistical rigor. Additionally, efficiency of the different methods to assess incongruence was analyzed using this empirical data set. Finally, a test statistic is presented for all these methods except DRI. Results The addition of morphological data to molecular data results in both different positions of three of the four paedomorphic taxa and strong incongruence, but treating the morphological data using different strategies ameliorating the negative impact of paedomorphosis revokes these changes and minimizes the conflict. Of these strategies the strategy to just exclude paedomorphic character traits seem to be most beneficial. Of the three molecular partitions analyzed herein the RAG1 partition seems to be the most suitable to resolve deep salamander phylogeny. The rRNA and mtDNA partition are either too conserved or too variable, respectively. Of the different methods to detect incongruence, the NDI and PABA approaches are more conservative in the indication of incongruence than LILD and PBS. Conclusion

  9. Abundances of northwestern salamander larvae in montane lakes with and without fish, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Gary L.; Hoffman, Robert L.

    2002-01-01

    In Mount Rainier National Park, the northwestern salamander usually inhabits relatively large and deep lakes and ponds (average size = 0.3 ha; average depth > 2 m) that contain flocculent, organic bottom sediments and abundant coarse wood. Prior to 1970, salmonids were introduced into many of the park's lakes and ponds that were typical habitat of the northwestern salamander. The objective of this study was to compare, in lakes and ponds with suitable habitat characteristics for northwestern salamanders, the observed abundances of larvae in takes and ponds with and without these introduced salmonids. Day surveys of 61 lakes were conducted between 1993 and 1999. Fish were limited to takes and ponds deeper than 2 in. For the 48 lakes and ponds deeper than 2 in (i.e., 25 fishless lakes and 23 fish lakes), the mean and median observed abundances of northwestern salamander larvae in fishless lakes and ponds was significantly greater than the mean and median observed abundances of larvae in lakes and ponds with fish. Northwestern salamander larvae were not observed in 11 fish lakes. These lakes were similar in median elevation, surface area, and maximum depth to the fishless lakes. The 12 fish lakes with observed larvae were significantly lower in median elevation, larger in median surface area, and deeper in median maximum depth than the fishless lakes. Low to null observed abundances of northwestern salamander larvae in lakes and ponds with fish were attributed to a combination of fish predation of larvae and changes in larval behavior.

  10. Evidence for Sex Chromosome Turnover in Proteid Salamanders.

    PubMed

    Sessions, Stanley K; Bizjak Mali, Lilijana; Green, David M; Trifonov, Vladimir; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm

    2016-01-01

    A major goal of genomic and reproductive biology is to understand the evolution of sex determination and sex chromosomes. Species of the 2 genera of the Salamander family Proteidae - Necturus of eastern North America, and Proteus of Southern Europe - have similar-looking karyotypes with the same chromosome number (2n = 38), which differentiates them from all other salamanders. However, Necturus possesses strongly heteromorphic X and Y sex chromosomes that Proteus lacks. Since the heteromorphic sex chromosomes of Necturus were detectable only with C-banding, we hypothesized that we could use C-banding to find sex chromosomes in Proteus. We examined mitotic material from colchicine-treated intestinal epithelium, and meiotic material from testes in specimens of Proteus, representing 3 genetically distinct populations in Slovenia. We compared these results with those from Necturus. We performed FISH to visualize telomeric sequences in meiotic bivalents. Our results provide evidence that Proteus represents an example of sex chromosome turnover in which a Necturus-like Y-chromosome has become permanently translocated to another chromosome converting heteromorphic sex chromosomes to homomorphic sex chromosomes. These results may be key to understanding some unusual aspects of demographics and reproductive biology of Proteus, and are discussed in the context of models of the evolution of sex chromosomes in amphibians. PMID:27351721

  11. Phylogeny, evolution, and biogeography of Asiatic Salamanders (Hynobiidae)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Peng; Chen, Yue-Qin; Zhou, Hui; Liu, Yi-Fei; Wang, Xiu-Ling; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Wake, David B.; Qu, Liang-Hu

    2006-01-01

    We sequenced 15 complete mitochondrial genomes and performed comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analyses to study the origin and phylogeny of the Hynobiidae, an ancient lineage of living salamanders. Our phylogenetic analyses show that the Hynobiidae is a clade with well resolved relationships, and our results contrast with a morphology-based phylogenetic hypothesis. These salamanders have low vagility and are limited in their distribution primarily by deserts, mountains, and oceans. Our analysis suggests that the relationships among living hynobiids have been shaped primarily by geography. We show that four-toed species assigned to Batrachuperus do not form a monophyletic group, and those that occur in Afghanistan and Iran are transferred to the resurrected Paradactylodon. Convergent morphological characters in different hynobiid lineages are likely produced by similar environmental selective pressures. Clock-independent molecular dating suggests that hynobiids originated in the Middle Cretaceous [≈110 million years ago (Mya)]. We propose an “out of North China” hypothesis for hynobiid origins and hypothesize an ancestral stream-adapted form. Given the particular distributional patterns and our molecular dating estimates, we hypothesize that: (i) the interior desertification from Mongolia to Western Asia began ≈50 Mya; (ii) the Tibetan plateau (at least on the eastern fringe) experienced rapid uplift ≈40 Mya and reached an altitude of at least 2,500 m; and (iii) the Ailao–Red River shear zone underwent the most intense orogenic movement ≈24 Mya. PMID:16648252

  12. Recombination-mediated genetic engineering of large genomic DNA transgenes.

    PubMed

    Ejsmont, Radoslaw Kamil; Ahlfeld, Peter; Pozniakovsky, Andrei; Stewart, A Francis; Tomancak, Pavel; Sarov, Mihail

    2011-01-01

    Faithful gene activity reporters are a useful tool for evo-devo studies enabling selective introduction of specific loci between species and assaying the activity of large gene regulatory sequences. The use of large genomic constructs such as BACs and fosmids provides an efficient platform for exploration of gene function under endogenous regulatory control. Despite their large size they can be easily engineered using in vivo homologous recombination in Escherichia coli (recombineering). We have previously demonstrated that the efficiency and fidelity of recombineering are sufficient to allow high-throughput transgene engineering in liquid culture, and have successfully applied this approach in several model systems. Here, we present a detailed protocol for recombineering of BAC/fosmid transgenes for expression of fluorescent or affinity tagged proteins in Drosophila under endogenous in vivo regulatory control. The tag coding sequence is seamlessly recombineered into the genomic region contained in the BAC/fosmid clone, which is then integrated into the fly genome using ϕC31 recombination. This protocol can be easily adapted to other recombineering projects. PMID:22065454

  13. The First Salamander Defensin Antimicrobial Peptide

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ke; Rong, Mingqiang; Lai, Ren

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides have been widely identified from amphibian skins except salamanders. A novel antimicrobial peptide (CFBD) was isolated and characterized from skin secretions of the salamander, Cynops fudingensis. The cDNA encoding CFBD precursor was cloned from the skin cDNA library of C. fudingensis. The precursor was composed of three domains: signal peptide of 17 residues, mature peptide of 41 residues and intervening propeptide of 3 residues. There are six cysteines in the sequence of mature CFBD peptide, which possibly form three disulfide-bridges. CFBD showed antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Candida albicans and Escherichia coli. This peptide could be classified into family of β-defensin based on its seqeuence similarity with β-defensins from other vertebrates. Evolution analysis indicated that CFBD was close to fish β-defensin. As far as we know, CFBD is the first β-defensin antimicrobial peptide from salamanders. PMID:24386139

  14. Evolution of Gigantism in Amphiumid Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Bonett, Ronald M.; Chippindale, Paul T.; Moler, Paul E.; Van Devender, R. Wayne; Wake, David B.

    2009-01-01

    The Amphiumidae contains three species of elongate, permanently aquatic salamanders with four diminutive limbs that append one, two, or three toes. Two of the species, Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum, are among the largest salamanders in the world, reaching lengths of more than one meter, whereas the third species (A. pholeter), extinct amphiumids, and closely related salamander families are relatively small. Amphiuma means and A. tridactylum are widespread species and live in a wide range of lowland aquatic habitats on the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, whereas A. pholeter is restricted to very specialized organic muck habitats and is syntopic with A. means. Here we present analyses of sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear loci from across the distribution of the three taxa to assess lineage diversity, relationships, and relative timing of divergence in amphiumid salamanders. In addition we analyze the evolution of gigantism in the clade. Our analyses indicate three lineages that have diverged since the late Miocene, that correspond to the three currently recognized species, but the two gigantic species are not each other's closest relatives. Given that the most closely related salamander families and fossil amphiumids from the Upper Cretaceous and Paleocene are relatively small, our results suggest at least two extreme changes in body size within the Amphuimidae. Gigantic body size either evolved once as the ancestral condition of modern amphiumas, with a subsequent strong size reduction in A. pholeter, or gigantism independently evolved twice in the modern species, A. means and A. tridactylum. These patterns are concordant with differences in habitat breadth and range size among lineages, and have implications for reproductive isolation and diversification of amphiumid salamanders. PMID:19461997

  15. Annotation-based genome-wide SNP discovery in the large and complex Aegilops tauschii genome using next-generation sequencing without a reference genome sequence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    An annotation-based, genome-wide SNP discovery pipeline is reported using NGS data for large and complex genomes without a reference genome sequence. Roche 454 shotgun reads with low genome coverage of one genotype are annotated in order to distinguish single-copy sequences and repeat junctions fr...

  16. Comparative Genomics of an Emerging Amphibian Virus

    PubMed Central

    Epstein, Brendan; Storfer, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Ranaviruses, a genus of the Iridoviridae, are large double-stranded DNA viruses that infect cold-blooded vertebrates worldwide. Ranaviruses have caused severe epizootics in commercial frog and fish populations, and are currently classified as notifiable pathogens in international trade. Previous work shows that a ranavirus that infects tiger salamanders throughout Western North America (Ambystoma tigrinum virus, or ATV) is in high prevalence among salamanders in the fishing bait trade. Bait ATV strains have elevated virulence and are transported long distances by humans, providing widespread opportunities for pathogen pollution. We sequenced the genomes of 15 strains of ATV collected from tiger salamanders across western North America and performed phylogenetic and population genomic analyses and tests for recombination. We find that ATV forms a monophyletic clade within the rest of the Ranaviruses and that it likely emerged within the last several thousand years, before human activities influenced its spread. We also identify several genes under strong positive selection, some of which appear to be involved in viral virulence and/or host immune evasion. In addition, we provide support for the pathogen pollution hypothesis with evidence of recombination among ATV strains, and potential bait-endemic strain recombination. PMID:26530419

  17. Comparative Genomics of an Emerging Amphibian Virus.

    PubMed

    Epstein, Brendan; Storfer, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Ranaviruses, a genus of the Iridoviridae, are large double-stranded DNA viruses that infect cold-blooded vertebrates worldwide. Ranaviruses have caused severe epizootics in commercial frog and fish populations, and are currently classified as notifiable pathogens in international trade. Previous work shows that a ranavirus that infects tiger salamanders throughout Western North America (Ambystoma tigrinum virus, or ATV) is in high prevalence among salamanders in the fishing bait trade. Bait ATV strains have elevated virulence and are transported long distances by humans, providing widespread opportunities for pathogen pollution. We sequenced the genomes of 15 strains of ATV collected from tiger salamanders across western North America and performed phylogenetic and population genomic analyses and tests for recombination. We find that ATV forms a monophyletic clade within the rest of the Ranaviruses and that it likely emerged within the last several thousand years, before human activities influenced its spread. We also identify several genes under strong positive selection, some of which appear to be involved in viral virulence and/or host immune evasion. In addition, we provide support for the pathogen pollution hypothesis with evidence of recombination among ATV strains, and potential bait-endemic strain recombination. PMID:26530419

  18. Effects of Timber Harvests and Silvicultural Edges on Terrestrial Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    MacNeil, Jami E.; Williams, Rod N.

    2014-01-01

    Balancing timber production and conservation in forest management requires an understanding of how timber harvests affect wildlife species. Terrestrial salamanders are useful indicators of mature forest ecosystem health due to their importance to ecosystem processes and sensitivity to environmental change. However, the effects of timber harvests on salamanders, though often researched, are still not well understood. To further this understanding, we used artificial cover objects to monitor the relative abundance of terrestrial salamanders for two seasons (fall and spring) pre-harvest and five seasons post-harvest in six forest management treatments, and for three seasons post-harvest across the edge gradients of six recent clearcuts. In total, we recorded 19,048 encounters representing nine species of salamanders. We observed declines in mean encounters of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and northern slimy salamanders (P. glutinosus) from pre- to post-harvest in group selection cuts and in clearcuts. However, we found no evidence of salamander declines at shelterwoods and forested sites adjacent to harvests. Edge effects induced by recent clearcuts influenced salamanders for approximately 20 m into the forest, but edge influence varied by slope orientation. Temperature, soil moisture, and canopy cover were all correlated with salamander counts. Our results suggest silvicultural techniques that remove the forest canopy negatively affect salamander relative abundance on the local scale during the years immediately following harvest, and that the depth of edge influence of clearcuts on terrestrial salamanders is relatively shallow (<20 m). Small harvests (<4 ha) and techniques that leave the forest canopy intact may be compatible with maintaining terrestrial salamander populations across a forested landscape. Our results demonstrate the importance of examining species-specific responses and monitoring salamanders across multiple seasons and years

  19. Effects of timber harvests and silvicultural edges on terrestrial salamanders.

    PubMed

    MacNeil, Jami E; Williams, Rod N

    2014-01-01

    Balancing timber production and conservation in forest management requires an understanding of how timber harvests affect wildlife species. Terrestrial salamanders are useful indicators of mature forest ecosystem health due to their importance to ecosystem processes and sensitivity to environmental change. However, the effects of timber harvests on salamanders, though often researched, are still not well understood. To further this understanding, we used artificial cover objects to monitor the relative abundance of terrestrial salamanders for two seasons (fall and spring) pre-harvest and five seasons post-harvest in six forest management treatments, and for three seasons post-harvest across the edge gradients of six recent clearcuts. In total, we recorded 19,048 encounters representing nine species of salamanders. We observed declines in mean encounters of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and northern slimy salamanders (P. glutinosus) from pre- to post-harvest in group selection cuts and in clearcuts. However, we found no evidence of salamander declines at shelterwoods and forested sites adjacent to harvests. Edge effects induced by recent clearcuts influenced salamanders for approximately 20 m into the forest, but edge influence varied by slope orientation. Temperature, soil moisture, and canopy cover were all correlated with salamander counts. Our results suggest silvicultural techniques that remove the forest canopy negatively affect salamander relative abundance on the local scale during the years immediately following harvest, and that the depth of edge influence of clearcuts on terrestrial salamanders is relatively shallow (<20 m). Small harvests (<4 ha) and techniques that leave the forest canopy intact may be compatible with maintaining terrestrial salamander populations across a forested landscape. Our results demonstrate the importance of examining species-specific responses and monitoring salamanders across multiple seasons and years

  20. Large-Scale Sequencing: The Future of Genomic Sciences Colloquium

    SciTech Connect

    Margaret Riley; Merry Buckley

    2009-01-01

    Genetic sequencing and the various molecular techniques it has enabled have revolutionized the field of microbiology. Examining and comparing the genetic sequences borne by microbes - including bacteria, archaea, viruses, and microbial eukaryotes - provides researchers insights into the processes microbes carry out, their pathogenic traits, and new ways to use microorganisms in medicine and manufacturing. Until recently, sequencing entire microbial genomes has been laborious and expensive, and the decision to sequence the genome of an organism was made on a case-by-case basis by individual researchers and funding agencies. Now, thanks to new technologies, the cost and effort of sequencing is within reach for even the smallest facilities, and the ability to sequence the genomes of a significant fraction of microbial life may be possible. The availability of numerous microbial genomes will enable unprecedented insights into microbial evolution, function, and physiology. However, the current ad hoc approach to gathering sequence data has resulted in an unbalanced and highly biased sampling of microbial diversity. A well-coordinated, large-scale effort to target the breadth and depth of microbial diversity would result in the greatest impact. The American Academy of Microbiology convened a colloquium to discuss the scientific benefits of engaging in a large-scale, taxonomically-based sequencing project. A group of individuals with expertise in microbiology, genomics, informatics, ecology, and evolution deliberated on the issues inherent in such an effort and generated a set of specific recommendations for how best to proceed. The vast majority of microbes are presently uncultured and, thus, pose significant challenges to such a taxonomically-based approach to sampling genome diversity. However, we have yet to even scratch the surface of the genomic diversity among cultured microbes. A coordinated sequencing effort of cultured organisms is an appropriate place to begin

  1. Large-scale genomic analysis suggests a neutral punctuated dynamics of transposable elements in bacterial genomes.

    PubMed

    Iranzo, Jaime; Gómez, Manuel J; López de Saro, Francisco J; Manrubia, Susanna

    2014-06-01

    Insertion sequences (IS) are the simplest and most abundant form of transposable DNA found in bacterial genomes. When present in multiple copies, it is thought that they can promote genomic plasticity and genetic exchange, thus being a major force of evolutionary change. The main processes that determine IS content in genomes are, though, a matter of debate. In this work, we take advantage of the large amount of genomic data currently available and study the abundance distributions of 33 IS families in 1811 bacterial chromosomes. This allows us to test simple models of IS dynamics and estimate their key parameters by means of a maximum likelihood approach. We evaluate the roles played by duplication, lateral gene transfer, deletion and purifying selection. We find that the observed IS abundances are compatible with a neutral scenario where IS proliferation is controlled by deletions instead of purifying selection. Even if there may be some cases driven by selection, neutral behavior dominates over large evolutionary scales. According to this view, IS and hosts tend to coexist in a dynamic equilibrium state for most of the time. Our approach also allows for a detection of recent IS expansions, and supports the hypothesis that rapid expansions constitute transient events-punctuations-during which the state of coexistence of IS and host becomes perturbated. PMID:24967627

  2. SMRT® Sequencing Solutions for Large Genomes and Transcriptomes

    PubMed Central

    Chin, J.; Peluso, P.; Rank, D.; Kim, K.; Landolin, J.; Koren, S.; Phillippy, A.M.; Tseng, E.; Wang, S.; Baybayan, P.; Gu, J.

    2014-01-01

    Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing holds promise for addressing new frontiers in large genome complexities, such as long, highly repetitive, low-complexity regions and duplication events, and differentiating between transcript isoforms that are difficult to resolve with short-read technologies. We present solutions available for both reference genome improvement (100 MB) and transcriptome research to best leverage long reads that have exceeded 20 Kb in length. Benefits for these applications are further realized with consistent use of size-selection of input sample using the BluePippin™ device from Sage Science. Highlights from our genome improvement projects using the latest P5-C3 chemistry on model organisms with contig N50 exceeding 6 Mb and longest contig exceeding 12.5 Mb with an average base quality of QV50 will be shared. Additionally, the value of long, intact reads to provide a no-assembly approach to investigate transcript isoforms using our Iso-Seq protocol will be presented.

  3. Fast randomization of large genomic datasets while preserving alteration counts

    PubMed Central

    Gobbi, Andrea; Iorio, Francesco; Dawson, Kevin J.; Wedge, David C.; Tamborero, David; Alexandrov, Ludmil B.; Lopez-Bigas, Nuria; Garnett, Mathew J.; Jurman, Giuseppe; Saez-Rodriguez, Julio

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: Studying combinatorial patterns in cancer genomic datasets has recently emerged as a tool for identifying novel cancer driver networks. Approaches have been devised to quantify, for example, the tendency of a set of genes to be mutated in a ‘mutually exclusive’ manner. The significance of the proposed metrics is usually evaluated by computing P-values under appropriate null models. To this end, a Monte Carlo method (the switching-algorithm) is used to sample simulated datasets under a null model that preserves patient- and gene-wise mutation rates. In this method, a genomic dataset is represented as a bipartite network, to which Markov chain updates (switching-steps) are applied. These steps modify the network topology, and a minimal number of them must be executed to draw simulated datasets independently under the null model. This number has previously been deducted empirically to be a linear function of the total number of variants, making this process computationally expensive. Results: We present a novel approximate lower bound for the number of switching-steps, derived analytically. Additionally, we have developed the R package BiRewire, including new efficient implementations of the switching-algorithm. We illustrate the performances of BiRewire by applying it to large real cancer genomics datasets. We report vast reductions in time requirement, with respect to existing implementations/bounds and equivalent P-value computations. Thus, we propose BiRewire to study statistical properties in genomic datasets, and other data that can be modeled as bipartite networks. Availability and implementation: BiRewire is available on BioConductor at http://www.bioconductor.org/packages/2.13/bioc/html/BiRewire.html Contact: iorio@ebi.ac.uk Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:25161255

  4. Evolutionary genomics of nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Lakshminarayan M; Balaji, S; Koonin, Eugene V; Aravind, L

    2006-04-01

    A previous comparative-genomic study of large nuclear and cytoplasmic DNA viruses (NCLDVs) of eukaryotes revealed the monophyletic origin of four viral families: poxviruses, asfarviruses, iridoviruses, and phycodnaviruses [Iyer, L.M., Aravind, L., Koonin, E.V., 2001. Common origin of four diverse families of large eukaryotic DNA viruses. J. Virol. 75 (23), 11720-11734]. Here we update this analysis by including the recently sequenced giant genome of the mimiviruses and several additional genomes of iridoviruses, phycodnaviruses, and poxviruses. The parsimonious reconstruction of the gene complement of the ancestral NCLDV shows that it was a complex virus with at least 41 genes that encoded the replication machinery, up to four RNA polymerase subunits, at least three transcription factors, capping and polyadenylation enzymes, the DNA packaging apparatus, and structural components of an icosahedral capsid and the viral membrane. The phylogeny of the NCLDVs is reconstructed by cladistic analysis of the viral gene complements, and it is shown that the two principal lineages of NCLDVs are comprised of poxviruses grouped with asfarviruses and iridoviruses grouped with phycodnaviruses-mimiviruses. The phycodna-mimivirus grouping was strongly supported by several derived shared characters, which seemed to rule out the previously suggested basal position of the mimivirus [Raoult, D., Audic, S., Robert, C., Abergel, C., Renesto, P., Ogata, H., La Scola, B., Suzan, M., Claverie, J.M. 2004. The 1.2-megabase genome sequence of Mimivirus. Science 306 (5700), 1344-1350]. These results indicate that the divergence of the major NCLDV families occurred at an early stage of evolution, prior to the divergence of the major eukaryotic lineages. It is shown that subsequent evolution of the NCLDV genomes involved lineage-specific expansion of paralogous gene families and acquisition of numerous genes via horizontal gene transfer from the eukaryotic hosts, other viruses, and bacteria

  5. The ClinSeq Project: Piloting large-scale genome sequencing for research in genomic medicine

    PubMed Central

    Biesecker, Leslie G.; Mullikin, James C.; Facio, Flavia M.; Turner, Clesson; Cherukuri, Praveen F.; Blakesley, Robert W.; Bouffard, Gerard G.; Chines, Peter S.; Cruz, Pedro; Hansen, Nancy F.; Teer, Jamie K.; Maskeri, Baishali; Young, Alice C.; Manolio, Teri A.; Wilson, Alexander F.; Finkel, Toren; Hwang, Paul; Arai, Andrew; Remaley, Alan T.; Sachdev, Vandana; Shamburek, Robert; Cannon, Richard O.; Green, Eric D.

    2009-01-01

    ClinSeq is a pilot project to investigate the use of whole-genome sequencing as a tool for clinical research. By piloting the acquisition of large amounts of DNA sequence data from individual human subjects, we are fostering the development of hypothesis-generating approaches for performing research in genomic medicine, including the exploration of issues related to the genetic architecture of disease, implementation of genomic technology, informed consent, disclosure of genetic information, and archiving, analyzing, and displaying sequence data. In the initial phase of ClinSeq, we are enrolling roughly 1000 participants; the evaluation of each includes obtaining a detailed family and medical history, as well as a clinical evaluation. The participants are being consented broadly for research on many traits and for whole-genome sequencing. Initially, Sanger-based sequencing of 300–400 genes thought to be relevant to atherosclerosis is being performed, with the resulting data analyzed for rare, high-penetrance variants associated with specific clinical traits. The participants are also being consented to allow the contact of family members for additional studies of sequence variants to explore their potential association with specific phenotypes. Here, we present the general considerations in designing ClinSeq, preliminary results based on the generation of an initial 826 Mb of sequence data, the findings for several genes that serve as positive controls for the project, and our views about the potential implications of ClinSeq. The early experiences with ClinSeq illustrate how large-scale medical sequencing can be a practical, productive, and critical component of research in genomic medicine. PMID:19602640

  6. Molecular mechanisms of extensive mitochondrial gene rearrangementin plethodontid salamanders

    SciTech Connect

    Mueller, Rachel Lockridge; Boore, Jeffrey L.

    2005-06-01

    Extensive gene rearrangement is reported in the mitochondrial genomes of lungless salamanders (Plethodontidae). In each genome with a novel gene order, there is evidence that the rearrangement was mediated by duplication of part of the mitochondrial genome, including the presence of both pseudogenes and additional, presumably functional, copies of duplicated genes. All rearrangement-mediating duplications include either the origin of light strand replication and the nearby tRNA genes or the regions flanking the origin of heavy strand replication. The latter regions comprise nad6, trnE, cob, trnT, an intergenic spacer between trnT and trnP and, in some genomes, trnP, the control region, trnF, rrnS, trnV, rrnL, trnL1, and nad1. In some cases, two copies of duplicated genes, presumptive regulatory regions, and/or sequences with no assignable function have been retained in the genome following the initial duplication; in other genomes, only one of the duplicated copies has been retained. Both tandem and non-tandem duplications are present in these genomes, suggesting different duplication mechanisms. In some of these mtDNAs, up to 25 percent of the total length is composed of tandem duplications of non-coding sequence that includes putative regulatory regions and/or pseudogenes of tRNAs and protein-coding genes along with otherwise unassignable sequences. These data indicate that imprecise initiation and termination of replication, slipped-strand mispairing, and intra-molecular recombination may all have played a role in generating repeats during the evolutionary history of plethodontid mitochondrial genomes.

  7. Optimizing restriction fragment fingerprinting methods for ordering large genomic libraries

    SciTech Connect

    Branscomb, E.; Slezak, T.; Pae, R.; Carrano, A.V. ); Galas, D.; Waterman, M. )

    1990-01-01

    The authors present a statistical analysis of the problem of ordering large genomic cloned libraries through overlap detection based on restriction fingerprinting. Such ordering projects involve a large investment of effort involving many repetitious experiments. Their primary purpose here is to provide methods of maximizing the efficiency of such efforts. To this end, they adopt a statistical approach that uses the likelihood ratio as a statistic to detect overlap. The main advantages of this approach are that (1) it allows the relatively straightforward incorporation of the observed statistical properties of the data; (2) it permits the efficiency of a particular experimental method for detecting overlap to be quantitatively defined so that alternative experimental designs may be compared and optimized; and (3) it yields a direct estimate of the probability that any two library members overlap. This estimate is a critical tool for the accurate, automatic assembly of overlapping sets of fragments into islands called contigs.' These contigs must subsequently be connected by other methods to provide an ordered set of overlapping fragments covering the entire genome.

  8. A survey for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in endangered and highly susceptible Vietnamese salamanders (Tylototriton spp.).

    PubMed

    Thien, Tao Nguyen; Martel, An; Brutyn, Melanie; Bogaerts, Sergé; Sparreboom, Max; Haesebrouck, Freddy; Fisher, Matthew C; Beukema, Wouter; Van, Tang Duong; Chiers, Koen; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-09-01

    Until now, Asian amphibians appear to have largely escaped declines driven by chytridiomycosis. Vietnamese salamanders that belong to the genus Tylototriton are rare and have a patchy distribution in mountainous areas, falling within the proposed environmental envelope of chytrid infections, surrounded by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infected regions. If these salamanders are susceptible to chytridiomycosis, then their populations could be highly vulnerable after the introduction of B. dendrobatidis. Examination for the presence of the chytrid fungus in skin swabs from 19 Tylototriton asperrimus and 104 Tylototriton vietnamensis by using quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed. Susceptibility of T. asperrimus to experimental infection by using the global panzootic lineage (BdGPL) strain of B. dendrobatidis was examined. The fungus was absent in all samples from all wild salamanders examined. Inoculation with the BdGPL strain resulted in mortality of all five inoculated salamanders within 3 weeks after inoculation with infected animals that manifested severe orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, epidermal hyperplasia, and spongiosis. Although infection by B. dendrobatidis currently appears absent in Vietnamese Tylototriton populations, the rarity of these animals, their pronounced susceptibility to chytridiomycosis, an apparently suitable environmental context and increasing likelihood of the pathogen being introduced, together suggest the need of urgent measures to avoid future scenarios of extinction as witnessed in Central America and Australia. PMID:24063090

  9. Transcriptomic analysis of the host response to an iridovirus infection in Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yuding; Chang, Ming Xian; Ma, Jie; LaPatra, Scott E; Hu, Yi Wei; Huang, Lili; Nie, Pin; Zeng, Lingbing

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of an infectious viral disease caused by the Chinese giant salamander iridovirus (GSIV) has led to substantial economic losses. However, no more molecular information is available for the understanding of the mechanisms associated with virus-host interaction. In this study, de novo sequencing was used to obtain abundant high-quality ESTs and investigate differentially-expressed genes in the spleen of Chinese giant salamanders that were either infected or mock infected with GSIV. Comparative expression analysis indicated that 293 genes were down-regulated and 220 genes were up-regulated. Further enrichment analysis showed that the most enriched pathway is "complement and coagulation cascades", and significantly enriched diseases include "inherited thrombophilia", "immune system diseases", "primary immunodeficiency", "complement regulatory protein defects", and "disorders of nucleotide excision repair". Additionally, 30 678 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) from all spleen samples, 26 355 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the spleens of uninfected animals and 36 070 SNPs from the spleens of infected animals were detected. The large amount of variation was specific for the Chinese giant salamanders that were infected with GSIV. The results reported herein provided significant and new EST information that could contribute greatly in investigations into the molecular functions of immune genes in the Chinese giant salamander. PMID:26589400

  10. Lagged influence of North Atlantic Oscillation on population dynamics of a Mediterranean terrestrial salamander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvidio, Sebastiano; Oneto, Fabrizio; Ottonello, Dario; Pastorino, Mauro V.

    2016-04-01

    The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is a large-scale climatic pattern that strongly influences the atmospheric circulation in the northern Hemisphere and by consequence the long-term variability of marine and terrestrial ecosystem over great part of northern Europe and western Mediterranean. In the Mediterranean, the effects of the NAO on vertebrates has been studied mainly on bird populations but was rarely analysed in ectothermic animals, and in particular in amphibians. In this study, we investigated the relationships between winter, spring and summer NAO indexes and the long-term population dynamics of the plethodontid salamander Speleomantes strinatii. This terrestrial salamander was monitored inside an artificial cave in NW Italy for 24 consecutive years. The relationships between seasonal NAO indexes and the salamander dynamics were assessed by cross-correlation function (CCF) analysis, after prewhitening the time series by autoregressive moving average statistical modelling. Results of CCF analyses indicated that the salamander abundance varied in relation to the one-year ahead winter NAO ( P = 0.018), while no relationships were found with spring and summer indexes. These results strengthen some previous findings that suggested a high sensitivity of temperate terrestrial amphibians to wintertime climatic conditions.

  11. Lagged influence of North Atlantic Oscillation on population dynamics of a Mediterranean terrestrial salamander.

    PubMed

    Salvidio, Sebastiano; Oneto, Fabrizio; Ottonello, Dario; Pastorino, Mauro V

    2016-04-01

    The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is a large-scale climatic pattern that strongly influences the atmospheric circulation in the northern Hemisphere and by consequence the long-term variability of marine and terrestrial ecosystem over great part of northern Europe and western Mediterranean. In the Mediterranean, the effects of the NAO on vertebrates has been studied mainly on bird populations but was rarely analysed in ectothermic animals, and in particular in amphibians. In this study, we investigated the relationships between winter, spring and summer NAO indexes and the long-term population dynamics of the plethodontid salamander Speleomantes strinatii. This terrestrial salamander was monitored inside an artificial cave in NW Italy for 24 consecutive years. The relationships between seasonal NAO indexes and the salamander dynamics were assessed by cross-correlation function (CCF) analysis, after prewhitening the time series by autoregressive moving average statistical modelling. Results of CCF analyses indicated that the salamander abundance varied in relation to the one-year ahead winter NAO (P = 0.018), while no relationships were found with spring and summer indexes. These results strengthen some previous findings that suggested a high sensitivity of temperate terrestrial amphibians to wintertime climatic conditions. PMID:26160231

  12. A stem batrachian from the Early Permian of Texas and the origin of frogs and salamanders.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Jason S; Reisz, Robert R; Scott, Diane; Fröbisch, Nadia B; Sumida, Stuart S

    2008-05-22

    The origin of extant amphibians (Lissamphibia: frogs, salamanders and caecilians) is one of the most controversial questions in vertebrate evolution, owing to large morphological and temporal gaps in the fossil record. Current discussions focus on three competing hypotheses: a monophyletic origin within either Temnospondyli or Lepospondyli, or a polyphyletic origin with frogs and salamanders arising among temnospondyls and caecilians among the lepospondyls. Recent molecular analyses are also controversial, with estimations for the batrachian (frog-salamander) divergence significantly older than the palaeontological evidence supports. Here we report the discovery of an amphibamid temnospondyl from the Early Permian of Texas that bridges the gap between other Palaeozoic amphibians and the earliest known salientians and caudatans from the Mesozoic. The presence of a mosaic of salientian and caudatan characters in this small fossil makes it a key taxon close to the batrachian (frog and salamander) divergence. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the batrachian divergence occurred in the Middle Permian, rather than the late Carboniferous as recently estimated using molecular clocks, but the divergence with caecilians corresponds to the deep split between temnospondyls and lepospondyls, which is congruent with the molecular estimates. PMID:18497824

  13. Homing orientation in salamanders: A mechanism involving chemical cues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Madison, D. M.

    1972-01-01

    A detailed description is given of experiments made to determine the senses and chemical cues used by salamanders for homing orientation. Sensory impairment and cue manipulative techniques were used in the investigation. All experiments were carried out at night. Results show that sense impaired animals did not home as readily as those who were blind but retained their sensory mechanism. This fact suggests that the olfactory mechanism is necessary for homing in the salamander. It was determined that after the impaired salamander regenerated its sensory mechanism it too returned home. It was concluded that homing ability in salamanders is direction independent, distant dependent, and vision independent.

  14. Lethal effects of water quality on threatened California salamanders but not on co-occurring hybrid salamanders.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Maureen E; Johnson, Jarrett R; Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M; Lowenstine, Linda J; Picco, Angela M; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2013-02-01

    Biological invasions and habitat alteration are often detrimental to native species, but their interactions are difficult to predict. Interbreeding between native and introduced species generates novel genotypes and phenotypes, and human land use alters habitat structure and chemistry. Both invasions and habitat alteration create new biological challenges and opportunities. In the intensively farmed Salinas Valley, California (U.S.A.), threatened California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) have been replaced by hybrids between California tiger salamander and introduced barred tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium). We conducted an enclosure experiment to examine the effects habitat modification and relative frequency of hybrid and native California tiger salamanders have on recruitment of salamanders and their prey, Pacific chorus frogs (Pseudacris regilla). We tested whether recruitment differed among genetic classes of tiger salamanders (hybrid or native) and pond hydroperiod (seasonal or perennial). Roughly 6 weeks into the experiment, 70% (of 378 total) of salamander larvae died in 4 out of 6 ponds. Native salamanders survived (n = 12) in these ponds only if they had metamorphosed prior to the die-offs. During die-offs, all larvae of native salamanders died, whereas 56% of hybrid larvae died. We necropsied native and hybrid salamanders, tested water quality, and queried the California Department of Pesticide Regulation database to investigate possible causes of the die-offs. Salamander die-offs, changes in the abundance of other community members (invertebrates, algae, and cyanobacteria), shifts in salamander sex ratio, and patterns of pesticide application in adjacent fields suggest that pesticide use may have contributed to die-offs. That all survivors were hybrids suggests that environmental stress may promote rapid displacement of native genotypes. PMID:23140535

  15. Evaluating multi-level models to test occupancy state responses of Plethodontid salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kroll, Andrew J.; Garcia, Tiffany S.; Jones, Jay E.; Dugger, Catherine; Murden, Blake; Johnson, Josh; Peerman, Summer; Brintz, Ben; Rochelle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Plethodontid salamanders are diverse and widely distributed taxa and play critical roles in ecosystem processes. Due to salamander use of structurally complex habitats, and because only a portion of a population is available for sampling, evaluation of sampling designs and estimators is critical to provide strong inference about Plethodontid ecology and responses to conservation and management activities. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-scale and hierarchical single-scale occupancy models in the context of a Before-After Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design with multiple levels of sampling. Also, we fit the hierarchical single-scale model to empirical data collected for Oregon slender and Ensatina salamanders across two years on 66 forest stands in the Cascade Range, Oregon, USA. All models were fit within a Bayesian framework. Estimator precision in both models improved with increasing numbers of primary and secondary sampling units, underscoring the potential gains accrued when adding secondary sampling units. Both models showed evidence of estimator bias at low detection probabilities and low sample sizes; this problem was particularly acute for the multi-scale model. Our results suggested that sufficient sample sizes at both the primary and secondary sampling levels could ameliorate this issue. Empirical data indicated Oregon slender salamander occupancy was associated strongly with the amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = 0.74; SD = 0.24); Ensatina occupancy was not associated with amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = -0.01; SD = 0.29). Our simulation results indicate that either model is suitable for use in an experimental study of Plethodontid salamanders provided that sample sizes are sufficiently large. However, hierarchical single-scale and multi-scale models describe different processes and estimate different parameters. As a result, we recommend careful consideration of study questions

  16. Evaluating Multi-Level Models to Test Occupancy State Responses of Plethodontid Salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Kroll, Andrew J.; Garcia, Tiffany S.; Jones, Jay E.; Dugger, Katie; Murden, Blake; Johnson, Josh; Peerman, Summer; Brintz, Ben; Rochelle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Plethodontid salamanders are diverse and widely distributed taxa and play critical roles in ecosystem processes. Due to salamander use of structurally complex habitats, and because only a portion of a population is available for sampling, evaluation of sampling designs and estimators is critical to provide strong inference about Plethodontid ecology and responses to conservation and management activities. We conducted a simulation study to evaluate the effectiveness of multi-scale and hierarchical single-scale occupancy models in the context of a Before-After Control-Impact (BACI) experimental design with multiple levels of sampling. Also, we fit the hierarchical single-scale model to empirical data collected for Oregon slender and Ensatina salamanders across two years on 66 forest stands in the Cascade Range, Oregon, USA. All models were fit within a Bayesian framework. Estimator precision in both models improved with increasing numbers of primary and secondary sampling units, underscoring the potential gains accrued when adding secondary sampling units. Both models showed evidence of estimator bias at low detection probabilities and low sample sizes; this problem was particularly acute for the multi-scale model. Our results suggested that sufficient sample sizes at both the primary and secondary sampling levels could ameliorate this issue. Empirical data indicated Oregon slender salamander occupancy was associated strongly with the amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = 0.74; SD = 0.24); Ensatina occupancy was not associated with amount of coarse woody debris (posterior mean = -0.01; SD = 0.29). Our simulation results indicate that either model is suitable for use in an experimental study of Plethodontid salamanders provided that sample sizes are sufficiently large. However, hierarchical single-scale and multi-scale models describe different processes and estimate different parameters. As a result, we recommend careful consideration of study questions

  17. Kinship affects morphogenesis in cannibalistic salamanders.

    PubMed

    Pfennig, D W; Collins, J P

    1993-04-29

    Inclusive fitness theory predicts that organisms can often increase their fitness by helping relatives. Indeed, many animals modify their behaviour towards kin in a fashion consistent with theory. Morphogenesis may also be sensitive to kinship environment, especially in species that facultatively produce distinct morphs that differ in their ability to harm relatives, such as those that produce alternative cannibalistic and non-cannibalistic phenotypes. We tested this hypothesis by examining whether consanguinity affected the probability that structurally distinctive cannibal morphs would develop in larval Arizona tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum). We report here that when tiger salamander larvae are reared in mixed-brood groups they are significantly more likely to develop the cannibal morphology and at an earlier age than siblings reared in pure-sibship groups. In general, morphogenesis may be responsive to kinship in any species that facultatively develops structures that can be used against conspecifics as weaponry. PMID:8479520

  18. Stream salamanders as indicators of stream quality in Maryland, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Southerland, M.T.; Jung, R.E.; Baxter, D.P.; Chellman, I.C.; Mercurio, G.; Volstad, J.H.

    2004-01-01

    Biological indicators are critical to the protection of small, headwater streams and the ecological values they provide. Maryland and other state monitoring programs have determined that fish indicators are ineffective in small streams, where stream salamanders may replace fish as top predators. Because of their life history, physiology, abundance, and ubiquity, stream salamanders are likely representative of biological integrity in these streams. The goal of this study was to determine whether stream salamanders are effective indicators of ecological conditions across biogeographic regions and gradients of human disturbance. During the summers of 2001 and 2002, we intensively surveyed for stream salamanders at 76 stream sites located west of the Maryland Coastal Plain, sites also monitored by the Maryland Biological Stream Survey (MBSS) and City of Gaithersburg. We found 1,584 stream salamanders, including all eight species known in Maryland, using two 15 ? 2 m transects and two 4 m2 quadrats that spanned both stream bank and channel. We performed removal sampling on transects to estimate salamander species detection probabilities, which ranged from 0.67-0.85. Stepwise regressions identified 15 of 52 non-salamander variables, representing water quality, physical habitat, land use, and biological conditions, which best predicted salamander metrics. Indicator development involved (1) identifying reference (non-degraded) and degraded sites (using percent forest, shading, riparian buffer width, aesthetic rating, and benthic macroinvertebrate and fish indices of biotic integrity); (2) testing 12 candidate salamander metrics (representing species richness and composition, abundance, species tolerance, and reproductive function) for their ability to distinguish reference from degraded sites; and (3) combining metrics into an index that effectively discriminated sites according to known stream conditions. Final indices for Highlands, Piedmont, and Non-Coastal Plain

  19. Comparing population size estimators for plethodontid salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bailey, L.L.; Simons, T.R.; Pollock, K.H.

    2004-01-01

    Despite concern over amphibian declines, few studies estimate absolute abundances because of logistic and economic constraints and previously poor estimator performance. Two estimation approaches recommended for amphibian studies are mark-recapture and depletion (or removal) sampling. We compared abundance estimation via various mark-recapture and depletion methods, using data from a three-year study of terrestrial salamanders in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our results indicate that short-term closed-population, robust design, and depletion methods estimate surface population of salamanders (i.e., those near the surface and available for capture during a given sampling occasion). In longer duration studies, temporary emigration violates assumptions of both open- and closed-population mark-recapture estimation models. However, if the temporary emigration is completely random, these models should yield unbiased estimates of the total population (superpopulation) of salamanders in the sampled area. We recommend using Pollock's robust design in mark-recapture studies because of its flexibility to incorporate variation in capture probabilities and to estimate temporary emigration probabilities.

  20. CGCI Investigators Reveal Comprehensive Landscape of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) Genomes | Office of Cancer Genomics

    Cancer.gov

    Researchers from British Columbia Cancer Agency used whole genome sequencing to analyze 40 DLBCL cases and 13 cell lines in order to fill in the gaps of the complex landscape of DLBCL genomes. Their analysis, “Mutational and structural analysis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma using whole genome sequencing,” was published online in Blood on May 22. The authors are Ryan Morin, Marco Marra, and colleagues.  

  1. Volume visualization of multiple alignment of large genomicDNA

    SciTech Connect

    Shah, Nameeta; Dillard, Scott E.; Weber, Gunther H.; Hamann, Bernd

    2005-07-25

    Genomes of hundreds of species have been sequenced to date, and many more are being sequenced. As more and more sequence data sets become available, and as the challenge of comparing these massive ''billion basepair DNA sequences'' becomes substantial, so does the need for more powerful tools supporting the exploration of these data sets. Similarity score data used to compare aligned DNA sequences is inherently one-dimensional. One-dimensional (1D) representations of these data sets do not effectively utilize screen real estate. As a result, tools using 1D representations are incapable of providing informatory overview for extremely large data sets. We present a technique to arrange 1D data in 3D space to allow us to apply state-of-the-art interactive volume visualization techniques for data exploration. We demonstrate our technique using multi-millions-basepair-long aligned DNA sequence data and compare it with traditional 1D line plots. The results show that our technique is superior in providing an overview of entire data sets. Our technique, coupled with 1D line plots, results in effective multi-resolution visualization of very large aligned sequence data sets.

  2. Genomic analysis of regulatory network dynamics reveals large topological changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luscombe, Nicholas M.; Madan Babu, M.; Yu, Haiyuan; Snyder, Michael; Teichmann, Sarah A.; Gerstein, Mark

    2004-09-01

    Network analysis has been applied widely, providing a unifying language to describe disparate systems ranging from social interactions to power grids. It has recently been used in molecular biology, but so far the resulting networks have only been analysed statically. Here we present the dynamics of a biological network on a genomic scale, by integrating transcriptional regulatory information and gene-expression data for multiple conditions in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We develop an approach for the statistical analysis of network dynamics, called SANDY, combining well-known global topological measures, local motifs and newly derived statistics. We uncover large changes in underlying network architecture that are unexpected given current viewpoints and random simulations. In response to diverse stimuli, transcription factors alter their interactions to varying degrees, thereby rewiring the network. A few transcription factors serve as permanent hubs, but most act transiently only during certain conditions. By studying sub-network structures, we show that environmental responses facilitate fast signal propagation (for example, with short regulatory cascades), whereas the cell cycle and sporulation direct temporal progression through multiple stages (for example, with highly inter-connected transcription factors). Indeed, to drive the latter processes forward, phase-specific transcription factors inter-regulate serially, and ubiquitously active transcription factors layer above them in a two-tiered hierarchy. We anticipate that many of the concepts presented here-particularly the large-scale topological changes and hub transience-will apply to other biological networks, including complex sub-systems in higher eukaryotes.

  3. Intron-genome size relationship on a large evolutionary scale.

    PubMed

    Vinogradov, A E

    1999-09-01

    The intron-genome size relationship was studied across a wide evolutionary range (from slime mold and yeast to human and maize), as well as the relationship between genome size and the ratio of intervening/coding sequence size. The average intron size is scaled to genome size with a slope of about one-fourth for the log-transformed values; i.e., on the global scale its increase in evolution is lower than the increase in genome size by four orders of magnitude. There are exceptions to the general trend. In baker's yeast introns are extraordinarily long for its genome size. Tetrapods also have longer introns than expected for their genome sizes. In teleost fish the mean intron size does not differ significantly, notwithstanding the differences in genome size. In contrast to previous reports, avian introns were not found to be significantly shorter than introns of mammals, although avian genomes are smaller than genomes of mammals on average by about a factor of 2.5. The extra-/intragenic ratio of noncoding DNA can be higher in fungi than in animals, notwithstanding the smaller fungal genomes. In vertebrates and invertebrates taken separately, this ratio is increasing as the increase in genome size. Two hypotheses are proposed to explain the variation in the extra-/intragenic ratio of noncoding DNA in organisms with similar numbers of genes: transition (dynamic) and equilibrium (static). According to the transition model, this variation arises with the rapid shift of genome size because the bulk of extragenic DNA can be changed more rapidly than the finely interspersed intron sequences. The equilibrium model assumes that this variation is a result of selective adjustment of genome size with constraints imposed on the intron size due to its putative link to chromatin structure (and constraints of the splicing machinery). PMID:10473779

  4. Bromeliad Selection by Two Salamander Species in a Harsh Environment

    PubMed Central

    Ruano-Fajardo, Gustavo; Rovito, Sean M.; Ladle, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Bromeliad phytotelmata are frequently used by several Neotropical amphibian taxa, possibly due to their high humidity, microclimatic stability, and role as a refuge from predators. Indeed, the ability of phytotelmata to buffer against adverse environmental conditions may be instrumental in allowing some amphibian species to survive during periods of environmental change or to colonize sub-optimal habitats. Association between bromeliad traits and salamanders has not been studied at a fine scale, despite the intimate association of many salamander species with bromeliads. Here, we identify microhabitat characteristics of epiphytic bromeliads used by two species of the Bolitoglossa morio group (B. morio and B. pacaya) in forest disturbed by volcanic activity in Guatemala. Specifically, we measured multiple variables for bromeliads (height and position in tree, phytotelma water temperature and pH, canopy cover, phytotelma size, leaf size, and tree diameter at breast height), as well as salamander size. We employed a DNA barcoding approach to identify salamanders. We found that B. morio and B. pacaya occurred in microsympatry in bromeliads and that phytotelmata size and temperature of bromeliad microhabitat were the most important factors associated with the presence of salamanders. Moreover, phytotelmata with higher pH contained larger salamanders, suggesting that larger salamanders or aggregated individuals might modify pH. These results show that bromeliad selection is nonrandom with respect to microhabitat characteristics, and provide insight into the relationship between salamanders and this unique arboreal environment. PMID:24892414

  5. Bromeliad selection by two salamander species in a harsh environment.

    PubMed

    Ruano-Fajardo, Gustavo; Rovito, Sean M; Ladle, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    Bromeliad phytotelmata are frequently used by several Neotropical amphibian taxa, possibly due to their high humidity, microclimatic stability, and role as a refuge from predators. Indeed, the ability of phytotelmata to buffer against adverse environmental conditions may be instrumental in allowing some amphibian species to survive during periods of environmental change or to colonize sub-optimal habitats. Association between bromeliad traits and salamanders has not been studied at a fine scale, despite the intimate association of many salamander species with bromeliads. Here, we identify microhabitat characteristics of epiphytic bromeliads used by two species of the Bolitoglossa morio group (B. morio and B. pacaya) in forest disturbed by volcanic activity in Guatemala. Specifically, we measured multiple variables for bromeliads (height and position in tree, phytotelma water temperature and pH, canopy cover, phytotelma size, leaf size, and tree diameter at breast height), as well as salamander size. We employed a DNA barcoding approach to identify salamanders. We found that B. morio and B. pacaya occurred in microsympatry in bromeliads and that phytotelmata size and temperature of bromeliad microhabitat were the most important factors associated with the presence of salamanders. Moreover, phytotelmata with higher pH contained larger salamanders, suggesting that larger salamanders or aggregated individuals might modify pH. These results show that bromeliad selection is nonrandom with respect to microhabitat characteristics, and provide insight into the relationship between salamanders and this unique arboreal environment. PMID:24892414

  6. Evaluation of Target Preparation Methods for Single Feature Polymorphism Detection in Large Complex Plant Genomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    For those genomes low in repetitive DNA, hybridizing total genomic DNA to high-density expression arrays offers an effective strategy for scoring single feature polymorphisms (SFPs). Of the ~2.5 Gb that constitute the maize genome (Zea mays L.), only 10-20% are genic sequences, with large amounts o...

  7. Combining p-values in large-scale genomics experiments.

    PubMed

    Zaykin, Dmitri V; Zhivotovsky, Lev A; Czika, Wendy; Shao, Susan; Wolfinger, Russell D

    2007-01-01

    In large-scale genomics experiments involving thousands of statistical tests, such as association scans and microarray expression experiments, a key question is: Which of the L tests represent true associations (TAs)? The traditional way to control false findings is via individual adjustments. In the presence of multiple TAs, p-value combination methods offer certain advantages. Both Fisher's and Lancaster's combination methods use an inverse gamma transformation. We identify the relation of the shape parameter of that distribution to the implicit threshold value; p-values below that threshold are favored by the inverse gamma method (GM). We explore this feature to improve power over Fisher's method when L is large and the number of TAs is moderate. However, the improvement in power provided by combination methods is at the expense of a weaker claim made upon rejection of the null hypothesis - that there are some TAs among the L tests. Thus, GM remains a global test. To allow a stronger claim about a subset of p-values that is smaller than L, we investigate two methods with an explicit truncation: the rank truncated product method (RTP) that combines the first K-ordered p-values, and the truncated product method (TPM) that combines p-values that are smaller than a specified threshold. We conclude that TPM allows claims to be made about subsets of p-values, while the claim of the RTP is, like GM, more appropriately about all L tests. GM gives somewhat higher power than TPM, RTP, Fisher, and Simes methods across a range of simulations. PMID:17879330

  8. Combining p-values in large scale genomics experiments

    PubMed Central

    Zaykin, Dmitri V.; Zhivotovsky, Lev A.; Czika, Wendy; Shao, Susan; Wolfinger, Russell D.

    2008-01-01

    Summary In large-scale genomics experiments involving thousands of statistical tests, such as association scans and microarray expression experiments, a key question is: Which of the L tests represent true associations (TAs)? The traditional way to control false findings is via individual adjustments. In the presence of multiple TAs, p-value combination methods offer certain advantages. Both Fisher’s and Lancaster’s combination methods use an inverse gamma transformation. We identify the relation of the shape parameter of that distribution to the implicit threshold value; p-values below that threshold are favored by the inverse gamma method (GM). We explore this feature to improve power over Fisher’s method when L is large and the number of TAs is moderate. However, the improvement in power provided by combination methods is at the expense of a weaker claim made upon rejection of the null hypothesis – that there are some TAs among the L tests. Thus, GM remains a global test. To allow a stronger claim about a subset of p-values that is smaller than L, we investigate two methods with an explicit truncation: the rank truncated product method (RTP) that combines the first K ordered p-values, and the truncated product method (TPM) that combines p-values that are smaller than a specified threshold. We conclude that TPM allows claims to be made about subsets of p-values, while the claim of the RTP is, like GM, more appropriately about all L tests. GM gives somewhat higher power than TPM, RTP, Fisher, and Simes methods across a range of simulations. PMID:17879330

  9. Northwestern salamanders Ambystoma gracile in mountain lakes: record oviposition depths among salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoffman, R., Jr.; Pearl, C.A.; Larson, G.L.; Samora, B.

    2012-01-01

    Oviposition timing, behaviors, and microhabitats of ambystomatid salamanders vary considerably (Egan and Paton 2004; Figiel and Semlitsch 1995; Howard and Wallace 1985; Mac-Cracken 2007). Regardless of species, however, females typically oviposit using sites conducive to embryo development and survival. For example, the results of an experiment by Figiel and Semlitsch (1995) on Ambystoma opacum (Marbled Salamander) oviposition indicated that females actively selected sites that were under grass clumps in wet versus dry treatments, and surmised that environmental conditions such as humidity, moisture, and temperature contributed to their results. Other factors associated with ambystomatid oviposition and embryo survival include water temperature (Anderson 1972; Brown 1976), dissolved oxygen concentration (Petranka et al. 1982; Sacerdote and King 2009), oviposition depth (Dougherty et al. 2005; Egan and Paton 2004), and oviposition attachment structures such as woody vegetation (McCracken 2007; Nussbaum et al. 1983). Resetarits (1996), in creating a model of oviposition site selection for anuran amphibians, hypothesized that oviparous organisms were also capable of modifying oviposition behavior and site selection to accommodate varying habitat conditions and to minimize potential negative effects of environmental stressors. Kats and Sih (1992), investigating the oviposition of Ambystoma barbouri (Streamside Salamander) in pools of a Kentucky stream, found that females preferred pools without predatory Lepomis cyanellus (Green Sunfish), and that the number of egg masses present in a pool historically containing fish increased significantly the year after fish had been extirpated from the pool. Palen et al. (2005) determined that Ambystoma gracile (Northwestern Salamander) and Ambystoma macrodactylum (Longtoed Salamander) eggs were deposited either at increased depth or in full shaded habitats, respectively, as water transperancy to UV-B radiation increased.

  10. Antarctic krill population genomics: apparent panmixia, but genome complexity and large population size muddy the water.

    PubMed

    Deagle, Bruce E; Faux, Cassandra; Kawaguchi, So; Meyer, Bettina; Jarman, Simon N

    2015-10-01

    Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba; hereafter krill) are an incredibly abundant pelagic crustacean which has a wide, but patchy, distribution in the Southern Ocean. Several studies have examined the potential for population genetic structuring in krill, but DNA-based analyses have focused on a limited number of markers and have covered only part of their circum-Antarctic range. We used mitochondrial DNA and restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) to investigate genetic differences between krill from five sites, including two from East Antarctica. Our mtDNA results show no discernible genetic structuring between sites separated by thousands of kilometres, which is consistent with previous studies. Using standard RAD-seq methodology, we obtained over a billion sequences from >140 krill, and thousands of variable nucleotides were identified at hundreds of loci. However, downstream analysis found that markers with sufficient coverage were primarily from multicopy genomic regions. Careful examination of these data highlights the complexity of the RAD-seq approach in organisms with very large genomes. To characterize the multicopy markers, we recorded sequence counts from variable nucleotide sites rather than the derived genotypes; we also examined a small number of manually curated genotypes. Although these analyses effectively fingerprinted individuals, and uncovered a minor laboratory batch effect, no population structuring was observed. Overall, our results are consistent with panmixia of krill throughout their distribution. This result may indicate ongoing gene flow. However, krill's enormous population size creates substantial panmictic inertia, so genetic differentiation may not occur on an ecologically relevant timescale even if demographically separate populations exist. PMID:26340718

  11. Locomotion and visually guided behavior in salamander: a neuromechanical study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ijspeert, Auke J.; Arbib, Michael A.

    2000-10-01

    This article investigates the neural mechanisms underlying locomotion and visually-guided behavior in a lower vertebrate: the salamander. We develop connectionist models of the salamander's locomotor circuitry and visual system, and analyze their functioning by embedding them into a biomechanical simulation of the salamander's body. This work is therefore an experiment in computational neuroethology which aims at investigating how behavior results from the coupling of a central nervous system (CNS) and a body, and from the interactions of the CNS-body pair with the environment. We believe that understanding these mechanisms is not only relevant for neurobiology but also for potential applications in robotics.

  12. Could we also be regenerative superheroes, like salamanders?

    PubMed

    Dall'Agnese, Alessandra; Puri, Pier Lorenzo

    2016-09-01

    Development of methods to reawaken the semi-dormant regenerative potential that lies within adult human tissues would hold promise for the restoration of diseased or damaged organs and tissues. While most of the regeneration potential is suppressed in many vertebrates, including humans, during adult life, urodele amphibians (salamanders) retain their regenerative ability throughout adulthood. Studies in newts and axolotls, two salamander models, have provided significant knowledge about adult limb regeneration. In this review, we present a comparative analysis of salamander and mammalian regeneration and discuss how evolutionarily altered properties of the regenerative environment can be exploited to restore full regenerative potential in the human body. PMID:27338874

  13. Biodiversity of Costa Rican salamanders: Implications of high levels of genetic differentiation and phylogeographic structure for species formation

    PubMed Central

    García-París, Mario; Good, David A.; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Wake, David B.

    2000-01-01

    Although salamanders are characteristic amphibians in Holarctic temperate habitats, in tropical regions they have diversified evolutionarily only in tropical America. An adaptive radiation centered in Middle America occurred late in the history of a single clade, the supergenus Bolitoglossa (Plethodontidae), and large numbers of species now occur in diverse habitats. Sublineages within this clade decrease in number from the northern to southern parts of Middle America, and in Costa Rica, there are but three. Despite this phylogenetic constraint, Costa Rica has many species; the number of salamander species on one local elevational transect in the Cordillera de Talamanca may be the largest for any such transect in the world. Extraordinary variation in sequences of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome b within a clade of the genus Bolitoglossa in Costa Rica reveals strong phylogeographic structure within a single species, Bolitoglossa pesrubra. Allozymic variation in 19 proteins reveals a pattern largely concordant with the mitochondrial DNA phylogeography. More species exist than are currently recognized. Diversification occurs in restricted geographic areas and involves sharp geographic and elevational differentiation and zonation. In their degree of genetic differentiation at a local scale, these species of the deep tropics exceed the known variation of extratropical salamanders, which also differ in being less restricted in elevational range. Salamanders display “tropicality” in that although speciose, they are usually local in distribution and rare. They display strong ecological and physiological differentiation that may contribute importantly to morphological divergence and species formation. PMID:10677512

  14. Identifying Recent Adaptations in Large-scale Genomic Data

    PubMed Central

    Grossman, Sharon R.; Andersen, Kristian G.; Shlyakhter, Ilya; Tabrizi, Shervin; Winnicki, Sarah; Yen, Angela; Park, Daniel J.; Griesemer, Dustin; Karlsson, Elinor K.; Wong, Sunny H.; Cabili, Moran; Adegbola, Richard A.; Bamezai, Rameshwar N. K.; Hill, Adrian V. S.; Vannberg, Fredrik O.; Rinn, John L.; Lander, Eric S.; Schaffner, Stephen F.; Sabeti, Pardis C.

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY While several hundred regions of the human genome harbor signals of positive natural selection, few of the relevant adaptive traits and variants have been elucidated. Using full-genome sequence variation from the 1000 Genomes Project (1000G) and the Composite of Multiple Signals (CMS) test, we investigated 412 candidate signals and leveraged functional annotation, protein structure modeling, epigenetics, and association studies to identify and extensively annotate candidate causal variants. The resulting catalog provides a tractable list for experimental follow-up; it includes thirty-five high-scoring non-synonymous variants, fifty-nine variants associated with expression levels of a nearby coding gene or lincRNA, and numerous variants associated with susceptibility to infectious disease and other phenotypes. We experimentally characterized one candidate non-synonymous variant in TLR5, and show that it leads to altered NF-κB signaling in response to bacterial flagellin. PMID:23415221

  15. SURGICAL IMPLANTATION OF COELOMIC RADIOTRANSMITTERS AND POSTOPERATIVE SURVIVAL OF CHINESE GIANT SALAMANDERS (ANDRIAS DAVIDIANUS) FOLLOWING REINTRODUCTION.

    PubMed

    Marcec, Ruth; Kouba, Andrew; Zhang, Lu; Zhang, Hongxing; Wang, Qijun; Zhao, Hu; Jiang, Wei; Willard, Scott

    2016-03-01

    Worldwide, there are only a handful of reintroduction programs for threatened salamander species, and very few have conducted postrelease studies to examine survival, habitat selection, and dispersal. Limitations in postrelease monitoring are primarily due to size constraints of amphibians and to dimensions of the radiotransmitters available for implantation. However, due to the large size of the critically endangered Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus), these animals make optimal candidates for surgical implantation of radiotransmitters prior to reintroduction or translocation. The objective of this study was to develop an anesthetic protocol using tricane methanesulfonate (MS-222) and test a surgical procedure for coelomic implantation of radiotransmitters for this species. A total of 32 Chinese giant salamanders from two age groups (Group A: 4.7 yr old, n = 16; Group B: 2.7 yr old, n = 16) were implanted with 4-g radiotransmitters designed for underwater monitoring of fish. Group A was held 16 wk before release while Group B was held 6 wk before release, and the salamanders' survival and postoperative complications recorded for the first month postrelease. Group A animals took longer to reach a surgical plane of anesthesia than did Group B animals, and this was directly correlated to mass of the animals. Postsurgery, one animal from Group B died of dehiscence before release while 83.9% animals survived after the first month in the wild. All of the animals that died postrelease were from Group B; three animals experienced dehiscence of the suture site and died while another two animals expired from trauma and fungal infection, respectively. Improvements for future studies include use of alternative suture material for closure after implantation and additional healing time of the incision. PMID:27010279

  16. Targeted Large-Scale Deletion of Bacterial Genomes Using CRISPR-Nickases

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Programmable CRISPR-Cas systems have augmented our ability to produce precise genome manipulations. Here we demonstrate and characterize the ability of CRISPR-Cas derived nickases to direct targeted recombination of both small and large genomic regions flanked by repetitive elements in Escherichia coli. While CRISPR directed double-stranded DNA breaks are highly lethal in many bacteria, we show that CRISPR-guided nickase systems can be programmed to make precise, nonlethal, single-stranded incisions in targeted genomic regions. This induces recombination events and leads to targeted deletion. We demonstrate that dual-targeted nicking enables deletion of 36 and 97 Kb of the genome. Furthermore, multiplex targeting enables deletion of 133 Kb, accounting for approximately 3% of the entire E. coli genome. This technology provides a framework for methods to manipulate bacterial genomes using CRISPR-nickase systems. We envision this system working synergistically with preexisting bacterial genome engineering methods. PMID:26451892

  17. Habitat requirements of New Mexico’s endangered salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ramotnik, Cindy A.; Scott, N.J.

    1988-01-01

    We measured habitat components for two state-listed endangered salamanders in New Mexico in 1986 and 1987. Both species are restricted to mesic environments within high-elevation, mixed coniferous forests. Steep slope and high elevation were the most useful variables for predicting the occurrence of Jemez Mountains salamanders and Sacramento Mountain salamanders, respectively. Although the discriminant models show some predictive value in detecting salamanders based on habitat variables, we believe that the best survey technique is ground-truth surveys in wet weather. A better fit of the discriminant models might be obtained by including variables not measured e.g., fire and logging history, and soil characteristics. We offer interim management guidelines as a result of our analysis.

  18. Salamander-like development in a seymouriamorph revealed by palaeohistology.

    PubMed

    Sanchez, Sophie; Klembara, Jozef; Castanet, Jacques; Steyer, J Sébastien

    2008-08-23

    The amniotes generally lay eggs on land and are thereby differentiated from lissamphibians (salamanders, frogs and caecilians) by their developmental pattern. Although a number of 330-300-Myr old fossils are regarded as early tetrapods placed close to amniotes on the basis of anatomical data, we still do not know whether their developmental pattern was more similar to those of lissamphibians or amniotes. Here we report palaeohistological and skeletochronological evidence supporting a salamander-like development in the seymouriamorph Discosauriscus. Its long-bone growth pattern, slow diaphyseal growth rate and delayed sexual maturity (at more than 10 years old) are more comparable with growth features of extant salamanders rather than extant amniotes, even though they are mostly hypothesized to be phylogenetically closer to living amniotes than salamanders. PMID:18460423

  19. Variation in Salamander Tail Regeneration Is Associated with Genetic Factors That Determine Tail Morphology

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Gareth J.; Kump, D. Kevin; Walker, John A.; Voss, S. Randal

    2013-01-01

    Very little is known about the factors that cause variation in regenerative potential within and between species. Here, we used a genetic approach to identify heritable genetic factors that explain variation in tail regenerative outgrowth. A hybrid ambystomatid salamander (Ambystoma mexicanum x A. andersoni) was crossed to an A. mexicanum and 217 offspring were induced to undergo metamorphosis and attain terrestrial adult morphology using thyroid hormone. Following metamorphosis, each salamander’s tail tip was amputated and allowed to regenerate, and then amputated a second time and allowed to regenerate. Also, DNA was isolated from all individuals and genotypes were determined for 187 molecular markers distributed throughout the genome. The area of tissue that regenerated after the first and second amputations was highly positively correlated across males and females. Males presented wider tails and regenerated more tail tissue during both episodes of regeneration. Approximately 66–68% of the variation in regenerative outgrowth was explained by tail width, while tail length and genetic sex did not explain a significant amount of variation. A small effect QTL was identified as having a sex-independent effect on tail regeneration, but this QTL was only identified for the first episode of regeneration. Several molecular markers significantly affected regenerative outgrowth during both episodes of regeneration, but the effect sizes were small (<4%) and correlated with tail width. The results show that ambysex and minor effect QTL explain variation in adult tail morphology and importantly, tail width. In turn, tail width at the amputation plane largely determines the rate of regenerative outgrowth. Because amputations in this study were made at approximately the same position of the tail, our results resolve an outstanding question in regenerative biology: regenerative outgrowth positively co-varies as a function of tail width at the amputation site. PMID:23843997

  20. The influence of large scale genomics and the changing role of ex situ collections

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The development of large scale genomics resources in non-model organisms promises to have a fundamental impact on the utilization of genetic resources. Technical innovation in high through-put sequencing has reduced the cost to a point where genome-wide SNP development is feasible across a range of ...

  1. Mutational and structural analysis of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma using whole genome sequencing | Office of Cancer Genomics

    Cancer.gov

    Abstract: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a genetically heterogeneous cancer comprising at least two molecular subtypes that differ in gene expression and distribution of mutations. Recently, application of genome/exome sequencing and RNA-seq to DLBCL has revealed numerous genes that are recurrent targets of somatic point mutation in this disease.

  2. GEnomes Management Application (GEM.app): a new software tool for large-scale collaborative genome analysis.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, Michael A; Lebrigio, Rafael F Acosta; Van Booven, Derek; Ulloa, Rick H; Powell, Eric; Speziani, Fiorella; Tekin, Mustafa; Schüle, Rebecca; Züchner, Stephan

    2013-06-01

    Novel genes are now identified at a rapid pace for many Mendelian disorders, and increasingly, for genetically complex phenotypes. However, new challenges have also become evident: (1) effectively managing larger exome and/or genome datasets, especially for smaller labs; (2) direct hands-on analysis and contextual interpretation of variant data in large genomic datasets; and (3) many small and medium-sized clinical and research-based investigative teams around the world are generating data that, if combined and shared, will significantly increase the opportunities for the entire community to identify new genes. To address these challenges, we have developed GEnomes Management Application (GEM.app), a software tool to annotate, manage, visualize, and analyze large genomic datasets (https://genomics.med.miami.edu/). GEM.app currently contains ∼1,600 whole exomes from 50 different phenotypes studied by 40 principal investigators from 15 different countries. The focus of GEM.app is on user-friendly analysis for nonbioinformaticians to make next-generation sequencing data directly accessible. Yet, GEM.app provides powerful and flexible filter options, including single family filtering, across family/phenotype queries, nested filtering, and evaluation of segregation in families. In addition, the system is fast, obtaining results within 4 sec across ∼1,200 exomes. We believe that this system will further enhance identification of genetic causes of human disease. PMID:23463597

  3. BactoGeNIE: a large-scale comparative genome visualization for big displays

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background The volume of complete bacterial genome sequence data available to comparative genomics researchers is rapidly increasing. However, visualizations in comparative genomics--which aim to enable analysis tasks across collections of genomes--suffer from visual scalability issues. While large, multi-tiled and high-resolution displays have the potential to address scalability issues, new approaches are needed to take advantage of such environments, in order to enable the effective visual analysis of large genomics datasets. Results In this paper, we present Bacterial Gene Neighborhood Investigation Environment, or BactoGeNIE, a novel and visually scalable design for comparative gene neighborhood analysis on large display environments. We evaluate BactoGeNIE through a case study on close to 700 draft Escherichia coli genomes, and present lessons learned from our design process. Conclusions BactoGeNIE accommodates comparative tasks over substantially larger collections of neighborhoods than existing tools and explicitly addresses visual scalability. Given current trends in data generation, scalable designs of this type may inform visualization design for large-scale comparative research problems in genomics. PMID:26329021

  4. BactoGeNIE: A large-scale comparative genome visualization for big displays

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Aurisano, Jillian; Reda, Khairi; Johnson, Andrew; Marai, Elisabeta G.; Leigh, Jason

    2015-08-13

    The volume of complete bacterial genome sequence data available to comparative genomics researchers is rapidly increasing. However, visualizations in comparative genomics--which aim to enable analysis tasks across collections of genomes--suffer from visual scalability issues. While large, multi-tiled and high-resolution displays have the potential to address scalability issues, new approaches are needed to take advantage of such environments, in order to enable the effective visual analysis of large genomics datasets. In this paper, we present Bacterial Gene Neighborhood Investigation Environment, or BactoGeNIE, a novel and visually scalable design for comparative gene neighborhood analysis on large display environments. We evaluate BactoGeNIE throughmore » a case study on close to 700 draft Escherichia coli genomes, and present lessons learned from our design process. In conclusion, BactoGeNIE accommodates comparative tasks over substantially larger collections of neighborhoods than existing tools and explicitly addresses visual scalability. Given current trends in data generation, scalable designs of this type may inform visualization design for large-scale comparative research problems in genomics.« less

  5. BactoGeNIE: A large-scale comparative genome visualization for big displays

    SciTech Connect

    Aurisano, Jillian; Reda, Khairi; Johnson, Andrew; Marai, Elisabeta G.; Leigh, Jason

    2015-08-13

    The volume of complete bacterial genome sequence data available to comparative genomics researchers is rapidly increasing. However, visualizations in comparative genomics--which aim to enable analysis tasks across collections of genomes--suffer from visual scalability issues. While large, multi-tiled and high-resolution displays have the potential to address scalability issues, new approaches are needed to take advantage of such environments, in order to enable the effective visual analysis of large genomics datasets. In this paper, we present Bacterial Gene Neighborhood Investigation Environment, or BactoGeNIE, a novel and visually scalable design for comparative gene neighborhood analysis on large display environments. We evaluate BactoGeNIE through a case study on close to 700 draft Escherichia coli genomes, and present lessons learned from our design process. In conclusion, BactoGeNIE accommodates comparative tasks over substantially larger collections of neighborhoods than existing tools and explicitly addresses visual scalability. Given current trends in data generation, scalable designs of this type may inform visualization design for large-scale comparative research problems in genomics.

  6. Whole genome comparison of a large collection of mycobacteriophages reveals a continuum of phage genetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Pope, Welkin H; Bowman, Charles A; Russell, Daniel A; Jacobs-Sera, Deborah; Asai, David J; Cresawn, Steven G; Jacobs, William R; Hendrix, Roger W; Lawrence, Jeffrey G; Hatfull, Graham F

    2015-01-01

    The bacteriophage population is large, dynamic, ancient, and genetically diverse. Limited genomic information shows that phage genomes are mosaic, and the genetic architecture of phage populations remains ill-defined. To understand the population structure of phages infecting a single host strain, we isolated, sequenced, and compared 627 phages of Mycobacterium smegmatis. Their genetic diversity is considerable, and there are 28 distinct genomic types (clusters) with related nucleotide sequences. However, amino acid sequence comparisons show pervasive genomic mosaicism, and quantification of inter-cluster and intra-cluster relatedness reveals a continuum of genetic diversity, albeit with uneven representation of different phages. Furthermore, rarefaction analysis shows that the mycobacteriophage population is not closed, and there is a constant influx of genes from other sources. Phage isolation and analysis was performed by a large consortium of academic institutions, illustrating the substantial benefits of a disseminated, structured program involving large numbers of freshman undergraduates in scientific discovery. PMID:25919952

  7. Large-scale genomic comparison using two-dimensional DNA gels

    SciTech Connect

    Sidman, C.L.; Shaffer, D.J.

    1994-09-01

    Two-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE) of DNA fragments, in which separation occurs first by size and then by sequence variation, is a method enabling large-scale comparison of complex genomes. Combining 2DE with probing for various classes of repetitive genomic elements allows rapid and efficient comparison of thousands of fragments and millions of basepairs of DNA distributed across most genomic regions. This approach is demonstrated here by analyzing the extent of genomic relatedness of different inbred strains of mice. Such strains are shown to differ from each other by approximately 0.2-1% of their nucleotides, above which level reproductive speciation occurs. The 2DE method of assessing the overall relationship between two genomes represents an appropriate tool for analyzing members of a single species, but is too sensitive for use in interspecies comparisons. 51 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  8. Radiation hybrid maps of D-genome of Aegilops tauschii and their application in sequence assembly of large and complex plant genomes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The large and complex genome of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L., ~17 Gb) requires high-resolution genome maps saturated with ordered markers to assist in anchoring and orienting BAC contigs/ sequence scaffolds for whole genome sequence assembly. Radiation hybrid (RH) mapping has proven to be an e...

  9. Are Salamanders Useful Indicators of Hydrologic Permanence in Headwater Streams?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, B.; Fritz, K.

    2005-05-01

    Regulatory agencies need appropriate indicators of stream permanence to aid in jurisdictional determinations for headwater streams. We evaluated salamanders as permanence indicators because they are often abundant in fishless headwaters. Salamander and habitat data were collected in spring and summer 2003 from 59 sites located longitudinally along 17 forested streams in KY, IN, and OH. Larval Eurycea bislineata/cirrigera dominated all forests, and their abundances were highly correlated with drainage areas and channel dimensions. Appalachian streams were more diverse and had intermittent sites with more Desmognathus and Gyrinophilus spp. Of 22 sites where larvae were collected in spring, 9 sites subsequently dried in summer, suggesting salamanders either emigrated or died. We therefore only used taxa with multi-year larval stages as indicators of perennial water. Salamander larvae >1 yr old were collected from each locality in drainage areas <0.17 km2. However, these older larvae were often found in isolated pools that serve as refugia during dry periods. Findings suggest salamanders with multi-year larval periods can indicate perennial waters and that their use is more effective in Appalachia where abundance and diversity are high. Although this work was reviewed by EPA and approved for publication, it may not necessarily reflect official Agency policy.

  10. Large-scale profiling of microRNAs for The Cancer Genome Atlas

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Andy; Robertson, Gordon; Brooks, Denise; Mungall, Andrew J.; Birol, Inanc; Coope, Robin; Ma, Yussanne; Jones, Steven; Marra, Marco A.

    2016-01-01

    The comprehensive multiplatform genomics data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network is an enabling resource for cancer research. It includes an unprecedented amount of microRNA sequence data: ∼11 000 libraries across 33 cancer types. Combined with initiatives like the National Cancer Institute Genomics Cloud Pilots, such data resources will make intensive analysis of large-scale cancer genomics data widely accessible. To support such initiatives, and to enable comparison of TCGA microRNA data to data from other projects, we describe the process that we developed and used to generate the microRNA sequence data, from library construction through to submission of data to repositories. In the context of this process, we describe the computational pipeline that we used to characterize microRNA expression across large patient cohorts. PMID:26271990

  11. Large-scale profiling of microRNAs for The Cancer Genome Atlas.

    PubMed

    Chu, Andy; Robertson, Gordon; Brooks, Denise; Mungall, Andrew J; Birol, Inanc; Coope, Robin; Ma, Yussanne; Jones, Steven; Marra, Marco A

    2016-01-01

    The comprehensive multiplatform genomics data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network is an enabling resource for cancer research. It includes an unprecedented amount of microRNA sequence data: ~11 000 libraries across 33 cancer types. Combined with initiatives like the National Cancer Institute Genomics Cloud Pilots, such data resources will make intensive analysis of large-scale cancer genomics data widely accessible. To support such initiatives, and to enable comparison of TCGA microRNA data to data from other projects, we describe the process that we developed and used to generate the microRNA sequence data, from library construction through to submission of data to repositories. In the context of this process, we describe the computational pipeline that we used to characterize microRNA expression across large patient cohorts. PMID:26271990

  12. The draft genome of the large yellow croaker reveals well-developed innate immunity.

    PubMed

    Wu, Changwen; Zhang, Di; Kan, Mengyuan; Lv, Zhengmin; Zhu, Aiyi; Su, Yongquan; Zhou, Daizhan; Zhang, Jianshe; Zhang, Zhou; Xu, Meiying; Jiang, Lihua; Guo, Baoying; Wang, Ting; Chi, Changfeng; Mao, Yong; Zhou, Jiajian; Yu, Xinxiu; Wang, Hailing; Weng, Xiaoling; Jin, Jason Gang; Ye, Junyi; He, Lin; Liu, Yun

    2014-01-01

    The large yellow croaker, Larimichthys crocea, is one of the most economically important marine fish species endemic to China. Its wild stocks have severely suffered from overfishing, and the aquacultured species are vulnerable to various marine pathogens. Here we report the creation of a draft genome of a wild large yellow croaker using a whole-genome sequencing strategy. We estimate the genome size to be 728 Mb with 19,362 protein-coding genes. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the stickleback is most closely related to the large yellow croaker. Rapidly evolving genes under positive selection are significantly enriched in pathways related to innate immunity. We also confirm the existence of several genes and identify the expansion of gene families that are important for innate immunity. Our results may reflect a well-developed innate immune system in the large yellow croaker, which could aid in the development of wild resource preservation and mariculture strategies. PMID:25407894

  13. A tadpole-induced polyphenism in the salamander Hynobius retardatus.

    PubMed

    Michimae, Hirofumi; Wakahara, Masami

    2002-10-01

    Larvae of the salamander Hynobius retardatus have two distinct morphs: normal and broad-headed, cannibal morphs. We performed three experiments to differentiate among the following hypotheses: The broad-headed morph is induced to allow: (1) feeding on nutritious conspecifics; (2) exclusion of strong competitors for food or space; or (3) feeding on large, tough prey when smaller prey items are unavailable. When newly hatched larvae were reared with a heterospecific, Rana pirica (an anuran amphibian) tadpoles, the broad-headed morph was induced more frequently compared with those reared with conspecifics. The phenotype expressed depended on the size of the tadpoles: The broad-headed morph occurred more frequently with small and the normal morph with large tadpoles. Metamorphosis occurred sooner in larvae fed conspecifics compared with those fed heterospecific tadpoles, and the mean growth rate of larvae fed conspecifics was significantly faster than that of those fed tadpoles, suggesting that the heterospecific tadpoles were less nutritive than the conspecifics. These results do not support the hypotheses that the broad-headed morph evolved for consuming conspecifics because of their better balance of nutrients or for excluding strong competitors for food or space. We tentatively conclude that the morph evolved to eat large, tough prey, including both conspecifics and heterospecific tadpoles. Because H. retardatus usually spawns very early in the spring in small ponds partially covered with ice and snow, newly hatched larvae may starve from the lack of proper food owing to extremely low water temperatures. Thus, the broad-headed morph of H. retardatus may represent a cold-habitat adaptation to overcome the severe circumstance when the only food items available are relatively large conspecifics or heterospecific tadpoles. PMID:12449490

  14. Feasibility of Large-Scale Genomic Testing to Facilitate Enrollment Onto Genomically Matched Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Meric-Bernstam, Funda; Brusco, Lauren; Shaw, Kenna; Horombe, Chacha; Kopetz, Scott; Davies, Michael A.; Routbort, Mark; Piha-Paul, Sarina A.; Janku, Filip; Ueno, Naoto; Hong, David; De Groot, John; Ravi, Vinod; Li, Yisheng; Luthra, Raja; Patel, Keyur; Broaddus, Russell; Mendelsohn, John; Mills, Gordon B.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose We report the experience with 2,000 consecutive patients with advanced cancer who underwent testing on a genomic testing protocol, including the frequency of actionable alterations across tumor types, subsequent enrollment onto clinical trials, and the challenges for trial enrollment. Patients and Methods Standardized hotspot mutation analysis was performed in 2,000 patients, using either an 11-gene (251 patients) or a 46- or 50-gene (1,749 patients) multiplex platform. Thirty-five genes were considered potentially actionable based on their potential to be targeted with approved or investigational therapies. Results Seven hundred eighty-nine patients (39%) had at least one mutation in potentially actionable genes. Eighty-three patients (11%) with potentially actionable mutations went on genotype-matched trials targeting these alterations. Of 230 patients with PIK3CA/AKT1/PTEN/BRAF mutations that returned for therapy, 116 (50%) received a genotype-matched drug. Forty patients (17%) were treated on a genotype-selected trial requiring a mutation for eligibility, 16 (7%) were treated on a genotype-relevant trial targeting a genomic alteration without biomarker selection, and 40 (17%) received a genotype-relevant drug off trial. Challenges to trial accrual included patient preference of noninvestigational treatment or local treatment, poor performance status or other reasons for trial ineligibility, lack of trials/slots, and insurance denial. Conclusion Broad implementation of multiplex hotspot testing is feasible; however, only a small portion of patients with actionable alterations were actually enrolled onto genotype-matched trials. Increased awareness of therapeutic implications and access to novel therapeutics are needed to optimally leverage results from broad-based genomic testing. PMID:26014291

  15. Duration of immobility in salamanders, genus Plethodon (Caudata: Plethodontidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.

    1989-01-01

    Immobility is a potentially important antipredator behavior in salamanders, especially for those posessing noxious skin secretions. The duration of immobility in 15 species of terrestrial salamanders (Plethodon) varied among species. Most salamanders (78.8%) became immobile when initially contacted under field conditions, and remained immobile from 1-180 s. Immobility duration was inversely correlated with substrate temperature and covaried with air temperature, but snout-vent level (SVL) had no effect on duration. Only immobility times of Plethodon shenandoah were significantly different from any other species. Substrate temperature, air temperature, SVL, and species accounted for only a small percentage of the variance (r2=0.09). The degree of disturbance received during a predator-prey encounter is probably more important than the subtle effects of temperature and SVL in determining immobility duration.

  16. Small effective population size in the long-toed salamander.

    PubMed

    Funk, W C; Tallmon, D A; Allendorf, F W

    1999-10-01

    The effective population sizes (Ne) of six populations of the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) from Montana and Idaho, USA were estimated from allozyme data from samples collected in 1978, 1996 and 1997 using the temporal allele frequency method. Five of the six estimates ranged from 23 to 207 (mean = 123 +/- 79); one estimate was indistinguishable from infinity. In order to infer the actual Ne of salamander populations, we compared the frequency distribution of our observed Ne estimates with distributions obtained from simulated populations of known Ne. Our observed Ne estimate distribution was consistent with distributions from simulated populations with Ne values of 10, 25, and 50, suggesting an actual Ne for each of the six salamander populations of less than 100. This Ne estimate agrees with most other Ne estimates for amphibians. We conclude by discussing the conservation implications of small Ne values in amphibians in the context of increasing isolation of populations due to habitat fragmentation. PMID:10583827

  17. Heterochrony repolarized: a phylogenetic analysis of developmental timing in plethodontid salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Disentangling evolutionary shifts in developmental timing (heterochony) is dependent upon accurate estimates of ancestral patterns. However, many classic assessments of heterochronic patterns predate robust phylogenetic hypotheses and methods for trait reconstruction, and therefore may have been polarized with untested ‘primitive’ conditions. Here we revisit the heterochronic modes of development that underlie the evolution of metamorphosis, maturation, and paedomorphosis in plethodontid salamanders. We focus on the tribe Spelerpini, which is a diverse clade that exhibits tremendous variation in timing of metamorphosis and maturation, as well as multiple independent instances of larval form paedomorphosis. Based on morphology and biogeography, early investigators concluded that the most recent common ancestors of plethodontids, and also spelerpines, were large salamanders, with very long larval periods and late maturation times. This prevailing assumption influenced subsequent heterochronic assessments, which concluded that most modern spelerpines (with shorter larval periods) were derived through multiple independent accelerations in larval development. It was also concluded that most occurrences of larval form paedomorphosis in this clade resulted from progenesis (acceleration of gonadal development relative to metamorphosis). Results By reconstructing the time to metamorphosis on a molecular-based phylogeny of plethodontids, we find that ancestral spelerpines likely had relatively shorter larval periods than previously proposed. Taken together with the credibility interval from our ancestral state estimation we show that very long larval periods are likely derived decelerations, only a few lineages have undergone appreciable accelerations in metamorphic timing, and the remaining taxa have lower probabilities of being different than the ancestral condition (possibly due to stasis). Reconstructing maturation age across nodes concomitant with the

  18. Ecological implications of metabolic compensation at low temperatures in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is influencing the biology of the world’s biota. Temperature increases are occurring at a faster pace than that experienced by organisms in their evolutionary histories, limiting the organisms’ response to new conditions. Mechanistic models that include physiological traits can help predict species’ responses to warming. Changes in metabolism at high temperatures are often examined; yet many species are behaviorally shielded from high temperatures. Salamanders generally favor cold temperatures and are one of few groups of metazoans to be most species-rich in temperate regions. I examined variation in body temperature, behavioral activity, and temperature dependence of resting heart rate, used as a proxy for standard metabolic rate, in fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Over 26 years, I found that salamanders are behaviorally active at temperatures as low as 1 °C, and aestivate at temperatures above 16 °C. Infrared thermography indicates limited thermoregulation opportunities for these nocturnal amphibians. Temperature affects resting heart rate, causing metabolic depression above 11 °C, and metabolic compensation below 8 °C: heart rate at 3 °C is 224% the expected heart rate. Thus, salamanders operating at low temperatures during periods of peak behavioral activity are able to maintain a higher metabolic rate than the rate expected in absence of compensation. This compensatory mechanism has important ecological implications, because it increases estimated seasonal heart rates. Increased heart rate, and thus metabolism, will require higher caloric intake for field-active salamanders. Thus, it is important to consider a species performance breadth over the entire temperature range, and particularly low temperatures that are ecologically relevant for cold tolerant species such as salamanders. PMID:27257549

  19. Ecological implications of metabolic compensation at low temperatures in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Catenazzi, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is influencing the biology of the world's biota. Temperature increases are occurring at a faster pace than that experienced by organisms in their evolutionary histories, limiting the organisms' response to new conditions. Mechanistic models that include physiological traits can help predict species' responses to warming. Changes in metabolism at high temperatures are often examined; yet many species are behaviorally shielded from high temperatures. Salamanders generally favor cold temperatures and are one of few groups of metazoans to be most species-rich in temperate regions. I examined variation in body temperature, behavioral activity, and temperature dependence of resting heart rate, used as a proxy for standard metabolic rate, in fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra). Over 26 years, I found that salamanders are behaviorally active at temperatures as low as 1 °C, and aestivate at temperatures above 16 °C. Infrared thermography indicates limited thermoregulation opportunities for these nocturnal amphibians. Temperature affects resting heart rate, causing metabolic depression above 11 °C, and metabolic compensation below 8 °C: heart rate at 3 °C is 224% the expected heart rate. Thus, salamanders operating at low temperatures during periods of peak behavioral activity are able to maintain a higher metabolic rate than the rate expected in absence of compensation. This compensatory mechanism has important ecological implications, because it increases estimated seasonal heart rates. Increased heart rate, and thus metabolism, will require higher caloric intake for field-active salamanders. Thus, it is important to consider a species performance breadth over the entire temperature range, and particularly low temperatures that are ecologically relevant for cold tolerant species such as salamanders. PMID:27257549

  20. Ontogenetic evidence for the Paleozoic ancestry of salamanders.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Rainer R; Carroll, Robert L

    2003-01-01

    The phylogenetic positions of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians have been difficult to establish. Data matrices based primarily on Paleozoic taxa support a monophyletic origin of all Lissamphibia but have resulted in widely divergent hypotheses of the nature of their common ancestor. Analysis that concentrates on the character states of the stem taxa of the extant orders, in contrast, suggests a polyphyletic origin from divergent Paleozoic clades. Comparison of patterns of larval development in Paleozoic and modern amphibians provides a means to test previous phylogenies based primarily on adult characteristics. This proves to be highly informative in the case of the origin of salamanders. Putative ancestors of salamanders are recognized from the Permo-Carboniferous boundary of Germany on the basis of ontogenetic changes observed in fossil remains of larval growth series. The entire developmental sequence from hatching to metamorphosis is revealed in an assemblage of over 600 specimens from a single locality, all belonging to the genus Apateon. Apateon forms the most speciose genus of the neotenic temnospondyl family Branchiosauridae. The sequence of ossification of individual bones and the changing configuration of the skull closely parallel those observed in the development of primitive living salamanders. These fossils provide a model of how derived features of the salamander skull may have evolved in the context of feeding specializations that appeared in early larval stages of members of the Branchiosauridae. Larvae of Apateon share many unique derived characters with salamanders of the families Hynobiidae, Salamandridae, and Ambystomatidae, which have not been recognized in any other group of Paleozoic amphibians. PMID:12752770

  1. Retrotransposon long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) is activated during salamander limb regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Wei; Kuo, Dwight; Nathanson, Jason; Satoh, Akira; Pao, Gerald M.; Yeo, Gene W.; Bryant, Susan V.; Voss, S. Randal; Gardiner, David M.; Hunter, Tony

    2012-01-01

    Salamanders possess an extraordinary capacity for tissue and organ regeneration when compared to mammals. In our effort to characterize the unique transcriptional fingerprint emerging during the early phase of salamander limb regeneration, we identified transcriptional activation of some germline-specific genes within the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that is indicative of cellular reprogramming of differentiated cells into a germline-like state. In this work, we focus on one of these genes, the long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) retrotransposon, which is usually active in germ cells and silent in most of the somatic tissues in other organisms. LINE-1 was found to be dramatically upregulated during regeneration. In addition, higher genomic LINE-1 content was also detected in the limb regenerate when compared to that before amputation indicating that LINE-1 retrotransposition is indeed active during regeneration. Active LINE-1 retrotransposition has been suggested to have a potentially deleterious impact on genomic integrity. Silencing of activated LINE-1 by small RNAs has been reported to be part of the machinery aiming to maintain genomic integrity. Indeed, we were able to identify putative LINE-1-related piRNAs in the limb blastema. Transposable element-related piRNAs have been identified frequently in the germline in other organisms. Thus, we present here a scenario in which a unique germline-like state is established during axolotl limb regeneration, and the re-activation of LINE-1 may serve as a marker for cellular dedifferentiation in the early-stage of limb regeneration. PMID:22913491

  2. The Psychiatric Genomics Consortium Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Workgroup: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Enters the Age of Large-Scale Genomic Collaboration

    PubMed Central

    Logue, Mark W; Amstadter, Ananda B; Baker, Dewleen G; Duncan, Laramie; Koenen, Karestan C; Liberzon, Israel; Miller, Mark W; Morey, Rajendra A; Nievergelt, Caroline M; Ressler, Kerry J; Smith, Alicia K; Smoller, Jordan W; Stein, Murray B; Sumner, Jennifer A; Uddin, Monica

    2015-01-01

    The development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is influenced by genetic factors. Although there have been some replicated candidates, the identification of risk variants for PTSD has lagged behind genetic research of other psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, autism, and bipolar disorder. Psychiatric genetics has moved beyond examination of specific candidate genes in favor of the genome-wide association study (GWAS) strategy of very large numbers of samples, which allows for the discovery of previously unsuspected genes and molecular pathways. The successes of genetic studies of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have been aided by the formation of a large-scale GWAS consortium: the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC). In contrast, only a handful of GWAS of PTSD have appeared in the literature to date. Here we describe the formation of a group dedicated to large-scale study of PTSD genetics: the PGC-PTSD. The PGC-PTSD faces challenges related to the contingency on trauma exposure and the large degree of ancestral genetic diversity within and across participating studies. Using the PGC analysis pipeline supplemented by analyses tailored to address these challenges, we anticipate that our first large-scale GWAS of PTSD will comprise over 10 000 cases and 30 000 trauma-exposed controls. Following in the footsteps of our PGC forerunners, this collaboration—of a scope that is unprecedented in the field of traumatic stress—will lead the search for replicable genetic associations and new insights into the biological underpinnings of PTSD. PMID:25904361

  3. Phylogeny-driven target selection for large-scale genome-sequencing (and other) projects

    PubMed Central

    Göker, Markus; Klenk, Hans-Peter

    2013-01-01

    Despite the steadily decreasing costs of genome sequencing, prioritizing organisms for sequencing remains important in large-scale projects. Phylogeny-based selection is of interest to identify those organisms whose genomes can be expected to differ most from those that have already been sequenced. Here, we describe a method that infers a phylogenetic scoring independent of which set of organisms has previously been targeted, which is computationally simple and easy to apply in practice. The scoring itself, as well as pre- and post-processing of the data, is illustrated using two real-world examples in which the method has already been applied for selecting targets for genome sequencing. These projects are the JGI CSP Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea phase I, targeting 1,000 type strains, and, on a smaller-scale, the phylogenomics of the Roseobacter clade. Potential artifacts of the method are discussed and compared to a selection approach based on the taxonomic classification. PMID:23991265

  4. Estimating site occupancy and species detection probability parameters for terrestrial salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bailey, L.L.; Simons, T.R.; Pollock, K.H.

    2004-01-01

    Recent, worldwide amphibian declines have highlighted a need for more extensive and rigorous monitoring programs to document species occurrence and detect population change. Abundance estimation methods, such as mark-recapture, are often expensive and impractical for large-scale or long-term amphibian monitoring. We apply a new method to estimate proportion of area occupied using detection/nondetection data from a terrestrial salamander system in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Estimated species-specific detection probabilities were all <1 and varied among seven species and four sampling methods. Time (i.e., sampling occasion) and four large-scale habitat characteristics (previous disturbance history, vegetation type, elevation, and stream presence) were important covariates in estimates of both proportion of area occupied and detection probability. All sampling methods were consistent in their ability to identify important covariates for each salamander species. We believe proportion of area occupied represents a useful state variable for large-scale monitoring programs. However, our results emphasize the importance of estimating detection and occupancy probabilities rather than using an unadjusted proportion of sites where species are observed where actual occupancy probabilities are confounded with detection probabilities. Estimated detection probabilities accommodate variations in sampling effort; thus comparisons of occupancy probabilities are possible among studies with different sampling protocols.

  5. Using counts to simultaneously estimate abundance and detection probabilities in a salamander community

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C.K., Jr.; Dorazio, R.M.

    2004-01-01

    A critical variable in both ecological and conservation field studies is determining how many individuals of a species are present within a defined sampling area. Labor intensive techniques such as capture-mark-recapture and removal sampling may provide estimates of abundance, but there are many logistical constraints to their widespread application. Many studies on terrestrial and aquatic salamanders use counts as an index of abundance, assuming that detection remains constant while sampling. If this constancy is violated, determination of detection probabilities is critical to the accurate estimation of abundance. Recently, a model was developed that provides a statistical approach that allows abundance and detection to be estimated simultaneously from spatially and temporally replicated counts. We adapted this model to estimate these parameters for salamanders sampled over a six vear period in area-constrained plots in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Estimates of salamander abundance varied among years, but annual changes in abundance did not vary uniformly among species. Except for one species, abundance estimates were not correlated with site covariates (elevation/soil and water pH, conductivity, air and water temperature). The uncertainty in the estimates was so large as to make correlations ineffectual in predicting which covariates might influence abundance. Detection probabilities also varied among species and sometimes among years for the six species examined. We found such a high degree of variation in our counts and in estimates of detection among species, sites, and years as to cast doubt upon the appropriateness of using count data to monitor population trends using a small number of area-constrained survey plots. Still, the model provided reasonable estimates of abundance that could make it useful in estimating population size from count surveys.

  6. Large-Scale Development of Gene-Associated Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism Markers for Molluscan Population Genomic, Comparative Genomic, and Genome-Wide Association Studies

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Wenqian; Fu, Xiaoteng; Li, Jinqin; Li, Ling; Feng, Liying; Lv, Jia; Zhang, Lu; Wang, Xiaojian; Li, Yangping; Hou, Rui; Zhang, Lingling; Hu, Xiaoli; Wang, Shi; Bao, Zhenmin

    2014-01-01

    Mollusca is the second most diverse group of animals in the world. Despite their perceived importance, omics-level studies have seldom been applied to this group of animals largely due to a paucity of genomic resources. Here, we report the first large-scale gene-associated marker development and evaluation for a bivalve mollusc, Chlamys farreri. More than 21,000 putative single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified from the C. farreri transcriptome. Primers and probes were designed and synthesized for 4500 SNPs, and 1492 polymorphic markers were successfully developed using a high-resolution melting genotyping platform. These markers are particularly suitable for population genomic analysis due to high polymorphism within and across populations, a low frequency of null alleles, and conformation to neutral expectations. Unexpectedly, high cross-species transferability was observed, suggesting that the transferable SNPs may largely represent ancestral genetic variations that have been preserved differentially among subfamilies of Pectinidae. Gene annotations were available for 73% of the markers, and 65% could be anchored to the recently released Pacific oyster genome. Large-scale association analysis revealed key candidate genes responsible for scallop growth regulation, and provided markers for further genetic improvement of C. farreri in breeding programmes. PMID:24277739

  7. Core-SINE blocks comprise a large fraction of monotreme genomes; implications for vertebrate chromosome evolution.

    PubMed

    Kirby, Patrick J; Greaves, Ian K; Koina, Edda; Waters, Paul D; Marshall Graves, Jennifer A

    2007-01-01

    The genomes of the egg-laying platypus and echidna are of particular interest because monotremes are the most basal mammal group. The chromosomal distribution of an ancient family of short interspersed repeats (SINEs), the core-SINEs, was investigated to better understand monotreme genome organization and evolution. Previous studies have identified the core-SINE as the predominant SINE in the platypus genome, and in this study we quantified, characterized and localized subfamilies. Dot blot analysis suggested that a very large fraction (32% of the platypus and 16% of the echidna genome) is composed of Mon core-SINEs. Core-SINE-specific primers were used to amplify PCR products from platypus and echidna genomic DNA. Sequence analysis suggests a common consensus sequence Mon 1-B, shared by platypus and echidna, as well as platypus-specific Mon 1-C and echidna specific Mon 1-D consensus sequences. FISH mapping of the Mon core-SINE products to platypus metaphase spreads demonstrates that the Mon-1C subfamily is responsible for the striking Mon core-SINE accumulation in the distal regions of the six large autosomal pairs and the largest X chromosome. This unusual distribution highlights the dichotomy between the seven large chromosome pairs and the 19 smaller pairs in the monotreme karyotype, which has some similarity to the macro- and micro-chromosomes of birds and reptiles, and suggests that accumulation of repetitive sequences may have enlarged small chromosomes in an ancestral vertebrate. In the forthcoming sequence of the platypus genome there are still large gaps, and the extensive Mon core-SINE accumulation on the distal regions of the six large autosomal pairs may provide one explanation for this missing sequence. PMID:18185983

  8. Bleached pigment activates transduction in salamander cones

    PubMed Central

    1995-01-01

    We have used suction electrode recording together with rapid steps into 0.5 mM IBMX solution to investigate changes in guanylyl cyclase velocity produced by pigment bleaching in isolated cones of the salamander Ambystoma tigrinum. Both backgrounds and bleaches accelerate the time course of current increase during steps into IBMX. We interpret this as evidence that the velocity of the guanylyl cyclase is increased in background light or after bleaching. Our results indicate that cyclase velocity increases nearly linearly with increasing percent pigment bleached but nonlinearly (and may saturate) with increasing back-ground intensity. In cones (as previously demonstrated for rods), light-activated pigment and bleached pigment appear to have somewhat different effects on the transduction cascade. The effect of bleaching on cyclase rate is maintained for at least 15-20 min after the light is removed, much longer than is required after a bleach for circulating current and sensitivity to stabilize in an isolated cone. The effect on the cyclase rate can be completely reversed by treatment with liposomes containing 11-cis retinal. The effects of bleaching can also be partially reversed by beta-ionone, an analogue of the chromophore 11- cis-retinal which does not form a covalent attachment to opsin. Perfusion of a bleached cone with beta-ionone produces a rapid increase in circulating current and sensitivity, which rapidly reverses when the beta-ionone is removed. Perfusion with beta-ionone also causes a partial reversal of the bleach-induced acceleration of cyclase velocity. We conclude that bleaching produces an "equivalent background" excitation of the transduction cascade in cones, perhaps by a mechanism similar to that in rods. PMID:8786347

  9. Vertebrate Protein CTCF and its Multiple Roles in a Large-Scale Regulation of Genome Activity

    PubMed Central

    Nikolaev, L.G; Akopov, S.B; Didych, D.A; Sverdlov, E.D

    2009-01-01

    The CTCF transcription factor is an 11 zinc fingers multifunctional protein that uses different zinc finger combinations to recognize and bind different sites within DNA. CTCF is thought to participate in various gene regulatory networks including transcription activation and repression, formation of independently functioning chromatin domains and regulation of imprinting. Sequencing of human and other genomes opened up a possibility to ascertain the genomic distribution of CTCF binding sites and to identify CTCF-dependent cis-regulatory elements, including insulators. In the review, we summarized recent data on genomic distribution of CTCF binding sites in the human and other genomes within a framework of the loop domain hypothesis of large-scale regulation of the genome activity. We also tried to formulate possible lines of studies on a variety of CTCF functions which probably depend on its ability to specifically bind DNA, interact with other proteins and form di- and multimers. These three fundamental properties allow CTCF to serve as a transcription factor, an insulator and a constitutive dispersed genome-wide demarcation tool able to recruit various factors that emerge in response to diverse external and internal signals, and thus to exert its signal-specific function(s). PMID:20119526

  10. Vertebrate Protein CTCF and its Multiple Roles in a Large-Scale Regulation of Genome Activity.

    PubMed

    Nikolaev, L G; Akopov, S B; Didych, D A; Sverdlov, E D

    2009-08-01

    The CTCF transcription factor is an 11 zinc fingers multifunctional protein that uses different zinc finger combinations to recognize and bind different sites within DNA. CTCF is thought to participate in various gene regulatory networks including transcription activation and repression, formation of independently functioning chromatin domains and regulation of imprinting. Sequencing of human and other genomes opened up a possibility to ascertain the genomic distribution of CTCF binding sites and to identify CTCF-dependent cis-regulatory elements, including insulators. In the review, we summarized recent data on genomic distribution of CTCF binding sites in the human and other genomes within a framework of the loop domain hypothesis of large-scale regulation of the genome activity. We also tried to formulate possible lines of studies on a variety of CTCF functions which probably depend on its ability to specifically bind DNA, interact with other proteins and form di- and multimers. These three fundamental properties allow CTCF to serve as a transcription factor, an insulator and a constitutive dispersed genome-wide demarcation tool able to recruit various factors that emerge in response to diverse external and internal signals, and thus to exert its signal-specific function(s). PMID:20119526

  11. The PRRS Host Genomic Consortium (PHGC) Database: Management of large data sets.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In any consortium project where large amounts of phenotypic and genotypic data are collected across several research labs, issues arise with maintenance and analysis of datasets. The PRRS Host Genomic Consortium (PHGC) Database was developed to meet this need for the PRRS research community. The sch...

  12. Software engineering the mixed model for genome-wide association studies on large samples

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Mixed models improve the ability to detect phenotype-genotype associations in the presence of population stratification and multiple levels of relatedness in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but for large data sets the resource consumption becomes impractical. At the same time, the sample siz...

  13. Physical mapping resources for large plant genomes: radiation hybrids for wheat D-genome progenitor Aegilops tauschii

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Development of a high quality reference sequence is a daunting task in crops like wheat with large (~17Gb), highly repetitive (>80%) and polyploid genome. To achieve complete sequence assembly of such genomes, development of a high quality physical map is a necessary first step. However, due to the lack of recombination in certain regions of the chromosomes, genetic mapping, which uses recombination frequency to map marker loci, alone is not sufficient to develop high quality marker scaffolds for a sequence ready physical map. Radiation hybrid (RH) mapping, which uses radiation induced chromosomal breaks, has proven to be a successful approach for developing marker scaffolds for sequence assembly in animal systems. Here, the development and characterization of a RH panel for the mapping of D-genome of wheat progenitor Aegilops tauschii is reported. Results Radiation dosages of 350 and 450 Gy were optimized for seed irradiation of a synthetic hexaploid (AABBDD) wheat with the D-genome of Ae. tauschii accession AL8/78. The surviving plants after irradiation were crossed to durum wheat (AABB), to produce pentaploid RH1s (AABBD), which allows the simultaneous mapping of the whole D-genome. A panel of 1,510 RH1 plants was obtained, of which 592 plants were generated from the mature RH1 seeds, and 918 plants were rescued through embryo culture due to poor germination (<3%) of mature RH1 seeds. This panel showed a homogenous marker loss (2.1%) after screening with SSR markers uniformly covering all the D-genome chromosomes. Different marker systems mostly detected different lines with deletions. Using markers covering known distances, the mapping resolution of this RH panel was estimated to be <140kb. Analysis of only 16 RH lines carrying deletions on chromosome 2D resulted in a physical map with cM/cR ratio of 1:5.2 and 15 distinct bins. Additionally, with this small set of lines, almost all the tested ESTs could be mapped. A set of 399 most informative RH

  14. Captured segment exchange: a strategy for custom engineering large genomic regions in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Bateman, Jack R; Palopoli, Michael F; Dale, Sarah T; Stauffer, Jennifer E; Shah, Anita L; Johnson, Justine E; Walsh, Conor W; Flaten, Hanna; Parsons, Christine M

    2013-02-01

    Site-specific recombinases (SSRs) are valuable tools for manipulating genomes. In Drosophila, thousands of transgenic insertions carrying SSR recognition sites have been distributed throughout the genome by several large-scale projects. Here we describe a method with the potential to use these insertions to make custom alterations to the Drosophila genome in vivo. Specifically, by employing recombineering techniques and a dual recombinase-mediated cassette exchange strategy based on the phiC31 integrase and FLP recombinase, we show that a large genomic segment that lies between two SSR recognition-site insertions can be "captured" as a target cassette and exchanged for a sequence that was engineered in bacterial cells. We demonstrate this approach by targeting a 50-kb segment spanning the tsh gene, replacing the existing segment with corresponding recombineered sequences through simple and efficient manipulations. Given the high density of SSR recognition-site insertions in Drosophila, our method affords a straightforward and highly efficient approach to explore gene function in situ for a substantial portion of the Drosophila genome. PMID:23150604

  15. Whole genome comparison of a large collection of mycobacteriophages reveals a continuum of phage genetic diversity

    PubMed Central

    Pope, Welkin H; Bowman, Charles A; Russell, Daniel A; Jacobs-Sera, Deborah; Asai, David J; Cresawn, Steven G; Jacobs, William R; Hendrix, Roger W; Lawrence, Jeffrey G; Hatfull, Graham F; Abbazia, Patrick; Ababio, Amma; Adam, Naazneen

    2015-01-01

    The bacteriophage population is large, dynamic, ancient, and genetically diverse. Limited genomic information shows that phage genomes are mosaic, and the genetic architecture of phage populations remains ill-defined. To understand the population structure of phages infecting a single host strain, we isolated, sequenced, and compared 627 phages of Mycobacterium smegmatis. Their genetic diversity is considerable, and there are 28 distinct genomic types (clusters) with related nucleotide sequences. However, amino acid sequence comparisons show pervasive genomic mosaicism, and quantification of inter-cluster and intra-cluster relatedness reveals a continuum of genetic diversity, albeit with uneven representation of different phages. Furthermore, rarefaction analysis shows that the mycobacteriophage population is not closed, and there is a constant influx of genes from other sources. Phage isolation and analysis was performed by a large consortium of academic institutions, illustrating the substantial benefits of a disseminated, structured program involving large numbers of freshman undergraduates in scientific discovery. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06416.001 PMID:25919952

  16. Insertion sequence-caused large-scale rearrangements in the genome of Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Heewook; Doak, Thomas G.; Popodi, Ellen; Foster, Patricia L.; Tang, Haixu

    2016-01-01

    A majority of large-scale bacterial genome rearrangements involve mobile genetic elements such as insertion sequence (IS) elements. Here we report novel insertions and excisions of IS elements and recombination between homologous IS elements identified in a large collection of Escherichia coli mutation accumulation lines by analysis of whole genome shotgun sequencing data. Based on 857 identified events (758 IS insertions, 98 recombinations and 1 excision), we estimate that the rate of IS insertion is 3.5 × 10−4 insertions per genome per generation and the rate of IS homologous recombination is 4.5 × 10−5 recombinations per genome per generation. These events are mostly contributed by the IS elements IS1, IS2, IS5 and IS186. Spatial analysis of new insertions suggest that transposition is biased to proximal insertions, and the length spectrum of IS-caused deletions is largely explained by local hopping. For any of the ISs studied there is no region of the circular genome that is favored or disfavored for new insertions but there are notable hotspots for deletions. Some elements have preferences for non-coding sequence or for the beginning and end of coding regions, largely explained by target site motifs. Interestingly, transposition and deletion rates remain constant across the wild-type and 12 mutant E. coli lines, each deficient in a distinct DNA repair pathway. Finally, we characterized the target sites of four IS families, confirming previous results and characterizing a highly specific pattern at IS186 target-sites, 5′-GGGG(N6/N7)CCCC-3′. We also detected 48 long deletions not involving IS elements. PMID:27431326

  17. FVGWAS: Fast voxelwise genome wide association analysis of large-scale imaging genetic data.

    PubMed

    Huang, Meiyan; Nichols, Thomas; Huang, Chao; Yu, Yang; Lu, Zhaohua; Knickmeyer, Rebecca C; Feng, Qianjin; Zhu, Hongtu

    2015-09-01

    More and more large-scale imaging genetic studies are being widely conducted to collect a rich set of imaging, genetic, and clinical data to detect putative genes for complexly inherited neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. Several major big-data challenges arise from testing genome-wide (NC>12 million known variants) associations with signals at millions of locations (NV~10(6)) in the brain from thousands of subjects (n~10(3)). The aim of this paper is to develop a Fast Voxelwise Genome Wide Association analysiS (FVGWAS) framework to efficiently carry out whole-genome analyses of whole-brain data. FVGWAS consists of three components including a heteroscedastic linear model, a global sure independence screening (GSIS) procedure, and a detection procedure based on wild bootstrap methods. Specifically, for standard linear association, the computational complexity is O (nNVNC) for voxelwise genome wide association analysis (VGWAS) method compared with O ((NC+NV)n(2)) for FVGWAS. Simulation studies show that FVGWAS is an efficient method of searching sparse signals in an extremely large search space, while controlling for the family-wise error rate. Finally, we have successfully applied FVGWAS to a large-scale imaging genetic data analysis of ADNI data with 708 subjects, 193,275voxels in RAVENS maps, and 501,584 SNPs, and the total processing time was 203,645s for a single CPU. Our FVGWAS may be a valuable statistical toolbox for large-scale imaging genetic analysis as the field is rapidly advancing with ultra-high-resolution imaging and whole-genome sequencing. PMID:26025292

  18. Bringing large-scale multiple genome analysis one step closer: ScalaBLAST and beyond

    SciTech Connect

    Oehmen, Christopher S.; Sofia, Heidi J.; Baxter, Douglas; Szeto, Ernest; Hugenholtz, Philip; Kyrpides, Nikos; Markowitz, Victor; Straatsma, Tjerk P.

    2007-06-01

    Genome sequence comparisons of exponentially growing data sets form the foundation for the comparative analysis tools provided by community biological data resources such as the Integrated Microbial Genome (IMG) system at the Joint Genome Institute (JGI). We present an example of how ScalaBLAST, a high-throughput sequence analysis program harnesses increasingly critical high-performance computing to perform sequence analysis which is a critical component of maintaining a state-of-the-art sequence data repository. The Integrated Microbial Genomes (IMG) system1 is a data management and analysis platform for microbial genomes hosted at the JGI. IMG contains both draft and complete JGI genomes integrated with other publicly available microbial genomes of all three domains of life. IMG provides tools and viewers for interactive analysis of genomes, genes and functions, individually or in a comparative context. Most of these tools are based on pre-computed pairwise sequence similarities involving millions of genes. These computations are becoming prohibitively time consuming with the rapid increase in the number of newly sequenced genomes incorporated into IMG and the need to refresh regularly the content of IMG in order to reflect changes in the annotations of existing genomes. Thus, building IMG 2.0 (released on December 1st 2006) entailed reloading from NCBI's RefSeq all the genomes in the previous version of IMG (IMG 1.6, as of September 1st, 2006) together with 1,541 new public microbial,viral and eukaryal genomes, bringing the total of IMG genomes to 2,301. A critical part of building IMG 2.0 involved using PNNL ScalaBLAST software for computing pairwise similarities for over 2.2 million genes in under 26 hours on 1,000 processors, thus illustrating the impact that new generation bioinformatics tools are poised to make in biology. The BLAST algorithm2, 3 is a familiar bioinformatics application for computing sequence similarity, and has become a workhorse in large

  19. Biological Consequences of Ancient Gene Acquisition and Duplication in the Large Genome of Candidatus Solibacter usitatus Ellin6076

    SciTech Connect

    Challacombe, Jean F; Eichorst, Stephanie A; Hauser, Loren John; Land, Miriam L; Xie, Gary; Kuske, Cheryl R

    2011-01-01

    Members of the bacterial phylum Acidobacteria are widespread in soils and sediments worldwide, and are abundant in many soils. Acidobacteria are challenging to culture in vitro, and many basic features of their biology and functional roles in the soil have not been determined. Candidatus Solibacter usitatus strain Ellin6076 has a 9.9 Mb genome that is approximately 2 5 times as large as the other sequenced Acidobacteria genomes. Bacterial genome sizes typically range from 0.5 to 10 Mb and are influenced by gene duplication, horizontal gene transfer, gene loss and other evolutionary processes. Our comparative genome analyses indicate that the Ellin6076 large genome has arisen by horizontal gene transfer via ancient bacteriophage and/or plasmid-mediated transduction, and widespread small-scale gene duplications, resulting in an increased number of paralogs. Low amino acid sequence identities among functional group members, and lack of conserved gene order and orientation in regions containing similar groups of paralogs, suggest that most of the paralogs are not the result of recent duplication events. The genome sizes of additional cultured Acidobacteria strains were estimated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to determine the prevalence of the large genome trait within the phylum. Members of subdivision 3 had larger genomes than those of subdivision 1, but none were as large as the Ellin6076 genome. The large genome of Ellin6076 may not be typical of the phylum, and encodes traits that could provide a selective metabolic, defensive and regulatory advantage in the soil environment.

  20. Final report. Human artificial episomal chromosome (HAEC) for building large genomic libraries

    SciTech Connect

    Jean-Michael H. Vos

    1999-12-09

    Collections of human DNA fragments are maintained for research purposes as clones in bacterial host cells. However for unknown reasons, some regions of the human genome appear to be unclonable or unstable in bacteria. Their team has developed a system using episomes (extrachromosomal, autonomously replication DNA) that maintains large DNA fragments in human cells. This human artificial episomal chromosomal (HAEC) system may prove useful for coverage of these especially difficult regions. In the broader biomedical community, the HAEC system also shows promise for use in functional genomics and gene therapy. Recent improvements to the HAEC system and its application to mapping, sequencing, and functionally studying human and mouse DNA are summarized. Mapping and sequencing the human genome and model organisms are only the first steps in determining the function of various genetic units critical for gene regulation, DNA replication, chromatin packaging, chromosomal stability, and chromatid segregation. Such studies will require the ability to transfer and manipulate entire functional units into mammalian cells.

  1. 3D Bite Modeling and Feeding Mechanics of the Largest Living Amphibian, the Chinese Giant Salamander Andrias davidianus (Amphibia:Urodela)

    PubMed Central

    Fortuny, Josep; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Heiss, Egon; Sanchez, Montserrat; Gil, Lluis; Galobart, Àngel

    2015-01-01

    Biting is an integral feature of the feeding mechanism for aquatic and terrestrial salamanders to capture, fix or immobilize elusive or struggling prey. However, little information is available on how it works and the functional implications of this biting system in amphibians although such approaches might be essential to understand feeding systems performed by early tetrapods. Herein, the skull biomechanics of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus is investigated using 3D finite element analysis. The results reveal that the prey contact position is crucial for the structural performance of the skull, which is probably related to the lack of a bony bridge between the posterior end of the maxilla and the anterior quadrato-squamosal region. Giant salamanders perform asymmetrical strikes. These strikes are unusual and specialized behavior but might indeed be beneficial in such sit-and-wait or ambush-predators to capture laterally approaching prey. However, once captured by an asymmetrical strike, large, elusive and struggling prey have to be brought to the anterior jaw region to be subdued by a strong bite. Given their basal position within extant salamanders and their “conservative” morphology, cryptobranchids may be useful models to reconstruct the feeding ecology and biomechanics of different members of early tetrapods and amphibians, with similar osteological and myological constraints. PMID:25853557

  2. Computer-assisted photo identification outperforms visible implant elastomers in an endangered salamander, Eurycea tonkawae.

    PubMed

    Bendik, Nathan F; Morrison, Thomas A; Gluesenkamp, Andrew G; Sanders, Mark S; O'Donnell, Lisa J

    2013-01-01

    Despite recognition that nearly one-third of the 6300 amphibian species are threatened with extinction, our understanding of the general ecology and population status of many amphibians is relatively poor. A widely-used method for monitoring amphibians involves injecting captured individuals with unique combinations of colored visible implant elastomer (VIE). We compared VIE identification to a less-invasive method - computer-assisted photographic identification (photoID) - in endangered Jollyville Plateau salamanders (Eurycea tonkawae), a species with a known range limited to eight stream drainages in central Texas. We based photoID on the unique pigmentation patterns on the dorsal head region of 1215 individual salamanders using identification software Wild-ID. We compared the performance of photoID methods to VIEs using both 'high-quality' and 'low-quality' images, which were taken using two different camera types and technologies. For high-quality images, the photoID method had a false rejection rate of 0.76% compared to 1.90% for VIEs. Using a comparable dataset of lower-quality images, the false rejection rate was much higher (15.9%). Photo matching scores were negatively correlated with time between captures, suggesting that evolving natural marks could increase misidentification rates in longer term capture-recapture studies. Our study demonstrates the utility of large-scale capture-recapture using photo identification methods for Eurycea and other species with stable natural marks that can be reliably photographed. PMID:23555669

  3. Side-by-side secretion of Late Palaeozoic diverged courtship pheromones in an aquatic salamander.

    PubMed

    Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Treer, Dag; Maex, Margo; Vandebergh, Wim; Janssenswillen, Sunita; Stegen, Gwij; Kok, Philippe; Willaert, Bert; Matthijs, Severine; Martens, Erik; Mortier, Anneleen; de Greve, Henri; Proost, Paul; Bossuyt, Franky

    2015-03-22

    Males of the advanced salamanders (Salamandroidea) attain internal fertilization without a copulatory organ by depositing a spermatophore on the substrate in the environment, which females subsequently take up with their cloaca. The aquatically reproducing modern Eurasian newts (Salamandridae) have taken this to extremes, because most species do not display close physical contact during courtship, but instead largely rely on females following the male track at spermatophore deposition. Although pheromones have been widely assumed to represent an important aspect of male courtship, molecules able to induce the female following behaviour that is the prelude for successful insemination have not yet been identified. Here, we show that uncleaved sodefrin precursor-like factor (SPF) protein pheromones are sufficient to elicit such behaviour in female palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus). Combined transcriptomic and proteomic evidence shows that males simultaneously tail-fan multiple ca 20 kDa glycosylated SPF proteins during courtship. Notably, molecular dating estimates show that the diversification of these proteins already started in the late Palaeozoic, about 300 million years ago. Our study thus not only extends the use of uncleaved SPF proteins outside terrestrially reproducing plethodontid salamanders, but also reveals one of the oldest vertebrate pheromone systems. PMID:25694622

  4. Computer-Assisted Photo Identification Outperforms Visible Implant Elastomers in an Endangered Salamander, Eurycea tonkawae

    PubMed Central

    Bendik, Nathan F.; Morrison, Thomas A.; Gluesenkamp, Andrew G.; Sanders, Mark S.; O’Donnell, Lisa J.

    2013-01-01

    Despite recognition that nearly one-third of the 6300 amphibian species are threatened with extinction, our understanding of the general ecology and population status of many amphibians is relatively poor. A widely-used method for monitoring amphibians involves injecting captured individuals with unique combinations of colored visible implant elastomer (VIE). We compared VIE identification to a less-invasive method – computer-assisted photographic identification (photoID) – in endangered Jollyville Plateau salamanders (Eurycea tonkawae), a species with a known range limited to eight stream drainages in central Texas. We based photoID on the unique pigmentation patterns on the dorsal head region of 1215 individual salamanders using identification software Wild-ID. We compared the performance of photoID methods to VIEs using both ‘high-quality’ and ‘low-quality’ images, which were taken using two different camera types and technologies. For high-quality images, the photoID method had a false rejection rate of 0.76% compared to 1.90% for VIEs. Using a comparable dataset of lower-quality images, the false rejection rate was much higher (15.9%). Photo matching scores were negatively correlated with time between captures, suggesting that evolving natural marks could increase misidentification rates in longer term capture-recapture studies. Our study demonstrates the utility of large-scale capture-recapture using photo identification methods for Eurycea and other species with stable natural marks that can be reliably photographed. PMID:23555669

  5. Tuataras and salamanders show that walking and running mechanics are ancient features of tetrapod locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Reilly, Stephen M; McElroy, Eric J; Andrew Odum, R; Hornyak, Valerie A

    2006-01-01

    The lumbering locomotor behaviours of tuataras and salamanders are the best examples of quadrupedal locomotion of early terrestrial vertebrates. We show they use the same walking (out-of-phase) and running (in-phase) patterns of external mechanical energy fluctuations of the centre-of-mass known in fast moving (cursorial) animals. Thus, walking and running centre-of-mass mechanics have been a feature of tetrapods since quadrupedal locomotion emerged over 400 million years ago. When walking, these sprawling animals save external mechanical energy with the same pendular effectiveness observed in cursorial animals. However, unlike cursorial animals (that change footfall patterns and mechanics with speed), tuataras and salamanders use only diagonal couplet gaits and indifferently change from walking to running mechanics with no significant change in total mechanical energy. Thus, the change from walking to running is not related to speed and the advantage of walking versus running is unclear. Furthermore, lumbering mechanics in primitive tetrapods is reflected in having total mechanical energy driven by potential energy (rather than kinetic energy as in cursorial animals) and relative centre-of-mass displacements an order of magnitude greater than cursorial animals. Thus, large vertical displacements associated with lumbering locomotion in primitive tetrapods may preclude their ability to increase speed. PMID:16777753

  6. CyanoGEBA: A Better Understanding of Cynobacterial Diversity through Large-scale Genomics (JGI Seventh Annual User Meeting 2012: Genomics of Energy and Environment)

    ScienceCinema

    Shih, Patrick [Kerfeld Lab, UC Berkeley and JGI

    2013-01-22

    Patrick Shih, representing both the University of California, Berkeley and JGI, gives a talk titled "CyanoGEBA: A Better Understanding of Cynobacterial Diversity through Large-scale Genomics" at the JGI 7th Annual Users Meeting: Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting on March 22, 2012 in Walnut Creek, California.

  7. CyanoGEBA: A Better Understanding of Cynobacterial Diversity through Large-scale Genomics (JGI Seventh Annual User Meeting 2012: Genomics of Energy and Environment)

    SciTech Connect

    Shih, Patrick

    2012-03-22

    Patrick Shih, representing both the University of California, Berkeley and JGI, gives a talk titled "CyanoGEBA: A Better Understanding of Cynobacterial Diversity through Large-scale Genomics" at the JGI 7th Annual Users Meeting: Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting on March 22, 2012 in Walnut Creek, California.

  8. Hyper-expansion of large DNA segments in the genome of kuruma shrimp, Marsupenaeus japonicus

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Higher crustaceans (class Malacostraca) represent the most species-rich and morphologically diverse group of non-insect arthropods and many of its members are commercially important. Although the crustacean DNA sequence information is growing exponentially, little is known about the genome organization of Malacostraca. Here, we constructed a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and performed BAC-end sequencing to provide genomic information for kuruma shrimp (Marsupenaeus japonicus), one of the most widely cultured species among crustaceans, and found the presence of a redundant sequence in the BAC library. We examined the BAC clone that includes the redundant sequence to further analyze its length, copy number and location in the kuruma shrimp genome. Results Mj024A04 BAC clone, which includes one redundant sequence, contained 27 putative genes and seemed to display a normal genomic DNA structure. Notably, of the putative genes, 3 genes encode homologous proteins to the inhibitor of apoptosis protein and 7 genes encode homologous proteins to white spot syndrome virus, a virulent pathogen known to affect crustaceans. Colony hybridization and PCR analysis of 381 BAC clones showed that almost half of the BAC clones maintain DNA segments whose sequences are homologous to the representative BAC clone Mj024A04. The Mj024A04 partial sequence was detected multiple times in the kuruma shrimp nuclear genome with a calculated copy number of at least 100. Microsatellites based BAC genotyping clearly showed that Mj024A04 homologous sequences were cloned from at least 48 different chromosomal loci. The absence of micro-syntenic relationships with the available genomic sequences of Daphnia and Drosophila suggests the uniqueness of these fragments in kuruma shrimp from current arthropod genome sequences. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that hyper-expansion of large DNA segments took place in the kuruma shrimp genome. Although we analyzed only a part of the

  9. The Dunaliella salina organelle genomes: large sequences, inflated with intronic and intergenic DNA

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, David R.; Lee, Robert W.; Cushman, John C.; Magnuson, Jon K.; Tran, Duc; Polle, Juergen E.

    2010-05-07

    Abstract Background: Dunaliella salina Teodoresco, a unicellular, halophilic green alga belonging to the Chlorophyceae, is among the most industrially important microalgae. This is because D. salina can produce massive amounts of β-carotene, which can be collected for commercial purposes, and because of its potential as a feedstock for biofuels production. Although the biochemistry and physiology of D. salina have been studied in great detail, virtually nothing is known about the genomes it carries, especially those within its mitochondrion and plastid. This study presents the complete mitochondrial and plastid genome sequences of D. salina and compares them with those of the model green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Volvox carteri. Results: The D. salina organelle genomes are large, circular-mapping molecules with ~60% noncoding DNA, placing them among the most inflated organelle DNAs sampled from the Chlorophyta. In fact, the D. salina plastid genome, at 269 kb, is the largest complete plastid DNA (ptDNA) sequence currently deposited in GenBank, and both the mitochondrial and plastid genomes have unprecedentedly high intron densities for organelle DNA: ~1.5 and ~0.4 introns per gene, respectively. Moreover, what appear to be the relics of genes, introns, and intronic open reading frames are found scattered throughout the intergenic ptDNA regions -- a trait without parallel in other characterized organelle genomes and one that gives insight into the mechanisms and modes of expansion of the D. salina ptDNA. Conclusions: These findings confirm the notion that chlamydomonadalean algae have some of the most extreme organelle genomes of all eukaryotes. They also suggest that the events giving rise to the expanded ptDNA architecture of D. salina and other Chlamydomonadales may have occurred early in the evolution of this lineage. Although interesting from a genome evolution standpoint, the D. salina organelle DNA sequences will aid in the development of a viable

  10. Native Salamanders and Introduced Fish: Changing the Nature of Mountain Lakes and Ponds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Gary L.; Hoffman, Robert L.

    2003-01-01

    During the last century, many fishless mountain lakes and ponds in the Pacific Northwest were stocked with non-native fish, such as brook trout, for recreational purposes. These introduced fish replaced long-toed and northwestern salamander larvae as the top aquatic vertebrate predator by preying on salamander larvae. This predatory interaction has been shown to reduce the abundances of larval salamander populations. We conducted studies in two national parks to assess the abundances of salamander larvae in lakes with and without introduced fish. These studies suggest that the two salamander species were affected quite differently by the presence of introduced fish because of different life-history traits and different distributions of salamanders and fish within each park.

  11. Large-scale genomic sequencing of extraintestinal pathogenic Escherichia coli strains

    PubMed Central

    Salipante, Stephen J.; Roach, David J.; Kitzman, Jacob O.; Snyder, Matthew W.; Stackhouse, Bethany; Butler-Wu, Susan M.; Lee, Choli; Cookson, Brad T.

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale bacterial genome sequencing efforts to date have provided limited information on the most prevalent category of disease: sporadically acquired infections caused by common pathogenic bacteria. Here, we performed whole-genome sequencing and de novo assembly of 312 blood- or urine-derived isolates of extraintestinal pathogenic (ExPEC) Escherichia coli, a common agent of sepsis and community-acquired urinary tract infections, obtained during the course of routine clinical care at a single institution. We find that ExPEC E. coli are highly genomically heterogeneous, consistent with pan-genome analyses encompassing the larger species. Investigation of differential virulence factor content and antibiotic resistance phenotypes reveals markedly different profiles among lineages and among strains infecting different body sites. We use high-resolution molecular epidemiology to explore the dynamics of infections at the level of individual patients, including identification of possible person-to-person transmission. Notably, a limited number of discrete lineages caused the majority of bloodstream infections, including one subclone (ST131-H30) responsible for 28% of bacteremic E. coli infections over a 3-yr period. We additionally use a microbial genome-wide-association study (GWAS) approach to identify individual genes responsible for antibiotic resistance, successfully recovering known genes but notably not identifying any novel factors. We anticipate that in the near future, whole-genome sequencing of microorganisms associated with clinical disease will become routine. Our study reveals what kind of information can be obtained from sequencing clinical isolates on a large scale, even well-characterized organisms such as E. coli, and provides insight into how this information might be utilized in a healthcare setting. PMID:25373147

  12. Insights into the Genome of Large Sulfur Bacteria Revealed by Analysis of Single Filaments

    PubMed Central

    Richter, Michael; de Beer, Dirk; Preisler, André; Jørgensen, Bo B; Huntemann, Marcel; Glöckner, Frank Oliver; Amann, Rudolf; Koopman, Werner J. H; Lasken, Roger S; Janto, Benjamin; Hogg, Justin; Stoodley, Paul; Boissy, Robert; Ehrlich, Garth D

    2007-01-01

    Marine sediments are frequently covered by mats of the filamentous Beggiatoa and other large nitrate-storing bacteria that oxidize hydrogen sulfide using either oxygen or nitrate, which they store in intracellular vacuoles. Despite their conspicuous metabolic properties and their biogeochemical importance, little is known about their genetic repertoire because of the lack of pure cultures. Here, we present a unique approach to access the genome of single filaments of Beggiatoa by combining whole genome amplification, pyrosequencing, and optical genome mapping. Sequence assemblies were incomplete and yielded average contig sizes of approximately 1 kb. Pathways for sulfur oxidation, nitrate and oxygen respiration, and CO2 fixation confirm the chemolithoautotrophic physiology of Beggiatoa. In addition, Beggiatoa potentially utilize inorganic sulfur compounds and dimethyl sulfoxide as electron acceptors. We propose a mechanism of vacuolar nitrate accumulation that is linked to proton translocation by vacuolar-type ATPases. Comparative genomics indicates substantial horizontal gene transfer of storage, metabolic, and gliding capabilities between Beggiatoa and cyanobacteria. These capabilities enable Beggiatoa to overcome non-overlapping availabilities of electron donors and acceptors while gliding between oxic and sulfidic zones. The first look into the genome of these filamentous sulfur-oxidizing bacteria substantially deepens the understanding of their evolution and their contribution to sulfur and nitrogen cycling in marine sediments. PMID:17760503

  13. Bionimbus: a cloud for managing, analyzing and sharing large genomics datasets

    PubMed Central

    Heath, Allison P; Greenway, Matthew; Powell, Raymond; Spring, Jonathan; Suarez, Rafael; Hanley, David; Bandlamudi, Chai; McNerney, Megan E; White, Kevin P; Grossman, Robert L

    2014-01-01

    Background As large genomics and phenotypic datasets are becoming more common, it is increasingly difficult for most researchers to access, manage, and analyze them. One possible approach is to provide the research community with several petabyte-scale cloud-based computing platforms containing these data, along with tools and resources to analyze it. Methods Bionimbus is an open source cloud-computing platform that is based primarily upon OpenStack, which manages on-demand virtual machines that provide the required computational resources, and GlusterFS, which is a high-performance clustered file system. Bionimbus also includes Tukey, which is a portal, and associated middleware that provides a single entry point and a single sign on for the various Bionimbus resources; and Yates, which automates the installation, configuration, and maintenance of the software infrastructure required. Results Bionimbus is used by a variety of projects to process genomics and phenotypic data. For example, it is used by an acute myeloid leukemia resequencing project at the University of Chicago. The project requires several computational pipelines, including pipelines for quality control, alignment, variant calling, and annotation. For each sample, the alignment step requires eight CPUs for about 12 h. BAM file sizes ranged from 5 GB to 10 GB for each sample. Conclusions Most members of the research community have difficulty downloading large genomics datasets and obtaining sufficient storage and computer resources to manage and analyze the data. Cloud computing platforms, such as Bionimbus, with data commons that contain large genomics datasets, are one choice for broadening access to research data in genomics. PMID:24464852

  14. An improved method for oriT-directed cloning and functionalization of large bacterial genomic regions.

    PubMed

    Kvitko, Brian H; McMillan, Ian A; Schweizer, Herbert P

    2013-08-01

    We have made significant improvements to a broad-host-range system for the cloning and manipulation of large bacterial genomic regions based on site-specific recombination between directly repeated oriT sites during conjugation. Using two suicide capture vectors carrying flanking homology regions, oriT sites are recombined on either side of the target region. Using a broad-host-range conjugation helper plasmid, the region between the oriT sites is conjugated into an Escherichia coli recipient strain, where it is circularized and maintained as a chimeric mini-F vector. The cloned target region is functionalized in multiple ways to accommodate downstream manipulation. The target region is flanked with Gateway attB sites for recombination into other vectors and by rare 18-bp I-SceI restriction sites for subcloning. The Tn7-functionalized target can also be inserted at a naturally occurring chromosomal attTn7 site(s) or maintained as a broad-host-range plasmid for complementation or heterologous expression studies. We have used the oriTn7 capture technique to clone and complement Burkholderia pseudomallei genomic regions up to 140 kb in size and have created isogenic Burkholderia strains with various combinations of genomic islands. We believe this system will greatly aid the cloning and genetic analysis of genomic islands, biosynthetic gene clusters, and large open reading frames. PMID:23747708

  15. An Improved Method for oriT-Directed Cloning and Functionalization of Large Bacterial Genomic Regions

    PubMed Central

    Kvitko, Brian H.; McMillan, Ian A.

    2013-01-01

    We have made significant improvements to a broad-host-range system for the cloning and manipulation of large bacterial genomic regions based on site-specific recombination between directly repeated oriT sites during conjugation. Using two suicide capture vectors carrying flanking homology regions, oriT sites are recombined on either side of the target region. Using a broad-host-range conjugation helper plasmid, the region between the oriT sites is conjugated into an Escherichia coli recipient strain, where it is circularized and maintained as a chimeric mini-F vector. The cloned target region is functionalized in multiple ways to accommodate downstream manipulation. The target region is flanked with Gateway attB sites for recombination into other vectors and by rare 18-bp I-SceI restriction sites for subcloning. The Tn7-functionalized target can also be inserted at a naturally occurring chromosomal attTn7 site(s) or maintained as a broad-host-range plasmid for complementation or heterologous expression studies. We have used the oriTn7 capture technique to clone and complement Burkholderia pseudomallei genomic regions up to 140 kb in size and have created isogenic Burkholderia strains with various combinations of genomic islands. We believe this system will greatly aid the cloning and genetic analysis of genomic islands, biosynthetic gene clusters, and large open reading frames. PMID:23747708

  16. Impact of valley fills on streamside salamanders in southern West Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wood, Petra Bohall; Williams, Jennifer M.

    2013-01-01

    Valley fills associated with mountaintop-removal mining bury stream headwaters and affect water quality and ecological function of reaches below fills. We quantified relative abundance of streamside salamanders in southern West Virginia during 2002 in three streams below valley fills (VFS) and in three reference streams (RS). We surveyed 36 10- × 2-m stream transects, once in summer and fall, paired by order and structure. Of 2,343 salamanders captured, 66.7% were from RS. Total salamanders (adults plus larvae) were more abundant in RS than VFS for first-order and second-order reaches. Adult salamanders had greater abundance in first-order reaches of RS than VFS. Larval salamanders were more abundant in second-order reaches of RS than VFS. No stream width or mesohabitat variables differed between VFS and RS. Only two cover variables differed. Silt cover, greater in VFS than RS first-order reaches, is a likely contributor to reduced abundance of salamanders in VFS. Second-order RS had more boulder cover than second-order VFS, which may have contributed to the higher total and larval salamander abundance in RS. Water chemistry assessments of our VFS and RS reported elevated levels of metal and ion concentrations in VFS, which can depress macroinvertebrate populations and likely affect salamander abundance. Valley fills appear to have significant negative effects on stream salamander abundance due to alterations in habitat structure, water quality and chemistry, and macroinvertebrate communities in streams below fills.

  17. Whole-genome mapping reveals a large chromosomal inversion on Iberian Brucella suis biovar 2 strains.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Ana Cristina; Dias, Ricardo; de Sá, Maria Inácia Corrêa; Tenreiro, Rogério

    2016-08-30

    Optical mapping is a technology able to quickly generate high resolution ordered whole-genome restriction maps of bacteria, being a proven approach to search for diversity among bacterial isolates. In this work, optical whole-genome maps were used to compare closely-related Brucella suis biovar 2 strains. This biovar is the unique isolated in domestic pigs and wild boars in Portugal and Spain and most of the strains share specific molecular characteristics establishing an Iberian clonal lineage that can be differentiated from another lineage mainly isolated in several Central European countries. We performed the BamHI whole-genome optical maps of five B. suis biovar 2 field strains, isolated from wild boars in Portugal and Spain (three from the Iberian lineage and two from the Central European one) as well as of the reference strain B. suis biovar 2 ATCC 23445 (Central European lineage, Denmark). Each strain showed a distinct, highly individual configuration of 228-231 BamHI fragments. Nevertheless, a low divergence was globally observed in chromosome II (1.6%) relatively to chromosome I (2.4%). Optical mapping also disclosed genomic events associated with B. suis strains in chromosome I, namely one indel (3.5kb) and one large inversion (944kb). By using targeted-PCR in a set of 176 B. suis strains, including all biovars and haplotypes, the indel was found to be specific of the reference strain ATCC 23445 and the large inversion was shown to be an exclusive genomic marker of the Iberian clonal lineage of biovar 2. PMID:27527786

  18. Apparent predation by Gray Jays, Perisoreus canadensis, on Long-toed Salamanders, Ambystoma macrodactylum, in the Oregon Cascade Range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Murray, M.P.; Pearl, C.A.; Bury, R.B.

    2005-01-01

    We report observations of Gray Jays (Perisoreus canadensis) appearing to consume larval Long-toed Salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in a drying subalpine pond in Oregon, USA. Corvids are known to prey upon a variety of anuran amphibians, but to our knowledge, this is the first report of predation by any corvid on aquatic salamanders. Long-toed Salamanders appear palatable to Gray Jays, and may provide a food resource to Gray Jays when salamander larvae are concentrated in drying temporary ponds.

  19. OPERA-LG: efficient and exact scaffolding of large, repeat-rich eukaryotic genomes with performance guarantees.

    PubMed

    Gao, Song; Bertrand, Denis; Chia, Burton K H; Nagarajan, Niranjan

    2016-01-01

    The assembly of large, repeat-rich eukaryotic genomes represents a significant challenge in genomics. While long-read technologies have made the high-quality assembly of small, microbial genomes increasingly feasible, data generation can be expensive for larger genomes. OPERA-LG is a scalable, exact algorithm for the scaffold assembly of large, repeat-rich genomes, out-performing state-of-the-art programs for scaffold correctness and contiguity. It provides a rigorous framework for scaffolding of repetitive sequences and a systematic approach for combining data from different second-generation and third-generation sequencing technologies. OPERA-LG provides an avenue for systematic augmentation and improvement of thousands of existing draft eukaryotic genome assemblies. PMID:27169502

  20. Better than fish on land? Hearing across metamorphosis in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Lauridsen, Henrik; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Pedersen, Michael; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2015-03-01

    Early tetrapods faced an auditory challenge from the impedance mismatch between air and tissue in the transition from aquatic to terrestrial lifestyles during the Early Carboniferous (350 Ma). Consequently, tetrapods may have been deaf to airborne sounds for up to 100 Myr until tympanic middle ears evolved during the Triassic. The middle ear morphology of recent urodeles is similar to that of early 'lepospondyl' microsaur tetrapods, and experimental studies on their hearing capabilities are therefore useful to understand the evolutionary and functional drivers behind the shift from aquatic to aerial hearing in early tetrapods. Here, we combine imaging techniques with neurophysiological measurements to resolve how the change from aquatic larvae to terrestrial adult affects the ear morphology and sensory capabilities of salamanders. We show that air-induced pressure detection enhances underwater hearing sensitivity of salamanders at frequencies above 120 Hz, and that both terrestrial adults and fully aquatic juvenile salamanders can detect airborne sound. Collectively, these findings suggest that early atympanic tetrapods may have been pre-equipped to aerial hearing and are able to hear airborne sound better than fish on land. When selected for, this rudimentary hearing could have led to the evolution of tympanic middle ears. PMID:25652830

  1. Mechanisms underlying vertebrate limb regeneration: lessons from the salamander.

    PubMed

    Brockes, Jeremy P; Gates, Phillip B

    2014-06-01

    Limb regeneration in adult salamanders proceeds by formation of a mound of progenitor cells called the limb blastema. It provides several pointers for regenerative medicine. These include the role of differentiated cells in the origin of the blastema, the role of regenerating axons of peripheral nerves and the importance of cell specification in conferring morphogenetic autonomy on the blastema. One aspect of regeneration that has received less attention is the ability to undergo multiple episodes without detectable change in the outcome, and with minimal effect of aging. We suggest that, although such pointers are valuable, it is important to understand why salamanders are the only adult tetrapod vertebrates able to regenerate their limbs. Although this remains a controversial issue, the existence of salamander-specific genes that play a significant role in the mechanism of regeneration provides evidence for the importance of local evolution, rather than a purely ancestral mechanism. The three-finger protein called Prod1 is discussed in the present article as an exemplar of this approach. PMID:24849229

  2. Evolutionary history of a complex adaptation: tetrodotoxin resistance in salamanders.

    PubMed

    Hanifin, Charles T; Gilly, William F

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the processes that generate novel adaptive phenotypes is central to evolutionary biology. We used comparative analyses to reveal the history of tetrodotoxin (TTX) resistance in TTX-bearing salamanders. Resistance to TTX is a critical component of the ability to use TTX defensively but the origin of the TTX-bearing phenotype is unclear. Skeletal muscle of TTX-bearing salamanders (modern newts, family: Salamandridae) is unaffected by TTX at doses far in excess of those that block action potentials in muscle and nerve of other vertebrates. Skeletal muscle of non-TTX-bearing salamandrids is also resistant to TTX but at lower levels. Skeletal muscle TTX resistance in the Salamandridae results from the expression of TTX-resistant variants of the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV 1.4 (SCN4a). We identified four substitutions in the coding region of salSCN4a that are likely responsible for the TTX resistance measured in TTX-bearing salamanders and variation at one of these sites likely explains variation in TTX resistance among other lineages. Our results suggest that exaptation has played a role in the evolution of the TTX-bearing phenotype and provide empirical evidence that complex physiological adaptations can arise through the accumulation of beneficial mutations in the coding region of conserved proteins. PMID:25346116

  3. Better than fish on land? Hearing across metamorphosis in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Lauridsen, Henrik; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Pedersen, Michael; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2015-01-01

    Early tetrapods faced an auditory challenge from the impedance mismatch between air and tissue in the transition from aquatic to terrestrial lifestyles during the Early Carboniferous (350 Ma). Consequently, tetrapods may have been deaf to airborne sounds for up to 100 Myr until tympanic middle ears evolved during the Triassic. The middle ear morphology of recent urodeles is similar to that of early ‘lepospondyl’ microsaur tetrapods, and experimental studies on their hearing capabilities are therefore useful to understand the evolutionary and functional drivers behind the shift from aquatic to aerial hearing in early tetrapods. Here, we combine imaging techniques with neurophysiological measurements to resolve how the change from aquatic larvae to terrestrial adult affects the ear morphology and sensory capabilities of salamanders. We show that air-induced pressure detection enhances underwater hearing sensitivity of salamanders at frequencies above 120 Hz, and that both terrestrial adults and fully aquatic juvenile salamanders can detect airborne sound. Collectively, these findings suggest that early atympanic tetrapods may have been pre-equipped to aerial hearing and are able to hear airborne sound better than fish on land. When selected for, this rudimentary hearing could have led to the evolution of tympanic middle ears. PMID:25652830

  4. Extreme morphological and ecological homoplasy in tropical salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Parra-Olea, Gabriela; Wake, David B.

    2001-01-01

    Fossorial salamanders typically have elongate and attenuated heads and bodies, diminutive limbs, hands and feet, and extremely elongate tails. Batrachoseps from California, Lineatriton from eastern México, and Oedipina from southern México to Ecuador, all members of the family Plethodontidae, tribe Bolitoglossini, resemble one another in external morphology, which has evolved independently. Whereas Oedipina and Batrachoseps are elongate because there are more trunk vertebrae, a widespread homoplasy (parallelism) in salamanders, the genus Lineatriton is unique in having evolved convergently by an alternate “giraffe-neck” developmental program. Lineatriton has the same number of trunk vertebrae as related, nonelongated taxa, but individual trunk vertebrae are elongated. A robust phylogenetic hypothesis, based on sequences of three mtDNA genes, finds Lineatriton to be deeply nested within a clade characterized by generalized ecology and morphology. Lineatriton lineolus, the only currently recognized taxon in the genus, shows unanticipated genetic diversity. Surprisingly, geographically separated populations of L. lineolus are not monophyletic, but are sister taxa of different species of the morphologically generalized genus Pseudoeurycea. Lineatriton, long thought to be a unique monospecific lineage, is polyphyletic. Accordingly, the specialized morphology of Lineatriton displays homoplasy at two hierarchical levels: (i) with respect to other elongate lineages in the family (convergence), and (ii) within what is currently recognized as a single taxon (parallelism). These evolutionary events are of adaptive significance because to invade the lowland tropics salamanders must be either arboreal or fossorial; the repeated evolution of elongation and attenuation has led to multiple lowland invasions. PMID:11427707

  5. Cannibalistic-morph Tiger Salamanders in unexpected ecological contexts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McLean, Kyle I.; Stockwell, Craig A.; Mushet, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Barred tiger salamanders [Ambystoma mavortium (Baird, 1850)] exhibit two trophic morphologies; a typical and a cannibalistic morph. Cannibalistic morphs, distinguished by enlarged vomerine teeth, wide heads, slender bodies, and cannibalistic tendencies, are often found where conspecifics occur at high density. During 2012 and 2013, 162 North Dakota wetlands and lakes were sampled for salamanders. Fifty-one contained A. mavortium populations; four of these contained cannibalistic morph individuals. Two populations with cannibalistic morphs occurred at sites with high abundances of conspecifics. However, the other two populations occurred at sites with unexpectedly low conspecific but high fathead minnow [Pimephales promelas (Rafinesque, 1820)] abundances. Further, no typical morphs were observed in either of these later two populations, contrasting with earlier research suggesting cannibalistic morphs only occur at low frequencies in salamander populations. Another anomaly of all four populations was the occurrence of cannibalistic morphs in permanent water sites, suggesting their presence was due to factors other than faster growth allowing them to occupy ephemeral habitats. Therefore, our findings suggest environmental factors inducing the cannibalistic morphism may be more complex than previously thought.

  6. Detection of an enigmatic plethodontid Salamander using Environmental DNA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pierson, Todd W.; Mckee, Anna; Spear, Stephen F.; Maerz, John C.; Camp, Carlos D.; Glenn, Travis C.

    2016-01-01

    The isolation and identification of environmental DNA (eDNA) offers a non-invasive and efficient method for the detection of rare and secretive aquatic wildlife, and it is being widely integrated into inventory and monitoring efforts. The Patch-Nosed Salamander (Urspelerpes brucei) is a tiny, recently discovered species of plethodontid salamander known only from headwater streams in a small region of Georgia and South Carolina. Here, we present results of a quantitative PCR-based eDNA assay capable of detecting Urspelerpes in more than 75% of 33 samples from five confirmed streams. We deployed the method at 31 additional streams and located three previously undocumented populations of Urspelerpes. We compare the results of our eDNA assay with our attempt to use aquatic leaf litterbags for the rapid detection of Urspelerpes and demonstrate the relative efficacy of the eDNA assay. We suggest that eDNA offers great potential for use in detecting other aquatic and semi-aquatic plethodontid salamanders.

  7. Distilling Artificial Recombinants from Large Sets of Complete mtDNA Genomes

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Qing-Peng; Salas, Antonio; Sun, Chang; Fuku, Noriyuki; Tanaka, Masashi; Zhong, Li; Wang, Cheng-Ye; Yao, Yong-Gang; Bandelt, Hans-Jürgen

    2008-01-01

    Background Large-scale genome sequencing poses enormous problems to the logistics of laboratory work and data handling. When numerous fragments of different genomes are PCR amplified and sequenced in a laboratory, there is a high immanent risk of sample confusion. For genetic markers, such as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which are free of natural recombination, single instances of sample mix-up involving different branches of the mtDNA phylogeny would give rise to reticulate patterns and should therefore be detectable. Methodology/Principal Findings We have developed a strategy for comparing new complete mtDNA genomes, one by one, to a current skeleton of the worldwide mtDNA phylogeny. The mutations distinguishing the reference sequence from a putative recombinant sequence can then be allocated to two or more different branches of this phylogenetic skeleton. Thus, one would search for two (or three) near-matches in the total mtDNA database that together best explain the variation seen in the recombinants. The evolutionary pathway from the mtDNA tree connecting this pair together with the recombinant then generate a grid-like median network, from which one can read off the exchanged segments. Conclusions We have applied this procedure to a large collection of complete human mtDNA sequences, where several recombinants could be distilled by our method. All these recombinant sequences were subsequently corrected by de novo experiments – fully concordant with the predictions from our data-analytical approach. PMID:18714389

  8. Genome-scale phylogenetic function annotation of large and diverse protein families

    PubMed Central

    Engelhardt, Barbara E.; Jordan, Michael I.; Srouji, John R.; Brenner, Steven E.

    2011-01-01

    The Statistical Inference of Function Through Evolutionary Relationships (SIFTER) framework uses a statistical graphical model that applies phylogenetic principles to automate precise protein function prediction. Here we present a revised approach (SIFTER version 2.0) that enables annotations on a genomic scale. SIFTER 2.0 produces equivalently precise predictions compared to the earlier version on a carefully studied family and on a collection of 100 protein families. We have added an approximation method to SIFTER 2.0 and show a 500-fold improvement in speed with minimal impact on prediction results in the functionally diverse sulfotransferase protein family. On the Nudix protein family, previously inaccessible to the SIFTER framework because of the 66 possible molecular functions, SIFTER achieved 47.4% accuracy on experimental data (where BLAST achieved 34.0%). Finally, we used SIFTER to annotate all of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe proteins with experimental functional characterizations, based on annotations from proteins in 46 fungal genomes. SIFTER precisely predicted molecular function for 45.5% of the characterized proteins in this genome, as compared with four current function prediction methods that precisely predicted function for 62.6%, 30.6%, 6.0%, and 5.7% of these proteins. We use both precision-recall curves and ROC analyses to compare these genome-scale predictions across the different methods and to assess performance on different types of applications. SIFTER 2.0 is capable of predicting protein molecular function for large and functionally diverse protein families using an approximate statistical model, enabling phylogenetics-based protein function prediction for genome-wide analyses. The code for SIFTER and protein family data are available at http://sifter.berkeley.edu. PMID:21784873

  9. Biological consequences of ancient gene acquisition and duplication in the large genome soil bacterium, ""solibacter usitatus"" strain Ellin6076

    SciTech Connect

    Challacombe, Jean F; Eichorst, Stephanie A; Xie, Gary; Kuske, Cheryl R; Hauser, Loren; Land, Miriam

    2009-01-01

    Bacterial genome sizes range from ca. 0.5 to 10Mb and are influenced by gene duplication, horizontal gene transfer, gene loss and other evolutionary processes. Sequenced genomes of strains in the phylum Acidobacteria revealed that 'Solibacter usistatus' strain Ellin6076 harbors a 9.9 Mb genome. This large genome appears to have arisen by horizontal gene transfer via ancient bacteriophage and plasmid-mediated transduction, as well as widespread small-scale gene duplications. This has resulted in an increased number of paralogs that are potentially ecologically important (ecoparalogs). Low amino acid sequence identities among functional group members and lack of conserved gene order and orientation in the regions containing similar groups of paralogs suggest that most of the paralogs were not the result of recent duplication events. The genome sizes of cultured subdivision 1 and 3 strains in the phylum Acidobacteria were estimated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis to determine the prevalence of the large genome trait within the phylum. Members of subdivision 1 were estimated to have smaller genome sizes ranging from ca. 2.0 to 4.8 Mb, whereas members of subdivision 3 had slightly larger genomes, from ca. 5.8 to 9.9 Mb. It is hypothesized that the large genome of strain Ellin6076 encodes traits that provide a selective metabolic, defensive and regulatory advantage in the variable soil environment.

  10. A Roadmap for Natural Product Discovery Based on Large-Scale Genomics and Metabolomics

    PubMed Central

    Doroghazi, James R.; Albright, Jessica C.; Goering, Anthony W.; Ju, Kou-San; Haines, Robert R.; Tchalukov, Konstantin A.; Labeda, David P.; Kelleher, Neil L.; Metcalf, William W.

    2014-01-01

    Actinobacteria encode a wealth of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters (NPGCs), whose systematic study is complicated by numerous repetitive motifs. By combining several metrics we developed a method for global classification of these gene clusters into families (GCFs) and analyzed the biosynthetic capacity of Actinobacteria in 830 genome sequences, including 344 obtained for this project. The GCF network, comprised of 11,422 gene clusters grouped into 4,122 GCFs, was validated in hundreds of strains by correlating confident mass spectrometric detection of known small molecules with the presence/absence of their established biosynthetic gene clusters. The method also linked previously unassigned GCFs to known natural products, an approach that will enable de novo, bioassay-free discovery of novel natural products using large data sets. Extrapolation from the 830-genome dataset reveals that Actinobacteria encode hundreds of thousands of future drug leads, while the strong correlation between phylogeny and GCFs frames a roadmap to efficiently access them. PMID:25262415

  11. Phylogeography and evolution of the Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber).

    PubMed

    Folt, Brian; Garrison, Nicole; Guyer, Craig; Rodriguez, Juanita; Bond, Jason E

    2016-05-01

    Phylogeographic studies frequently result in the elevation of subspecific taxa to species given monophyly, or the synonymy of subspecies that are not monophyletic. However, given limited or incongruent datasets, retention of subspecies can be useful to describe hypothesized incipient species or to illustrate interesting biological phenomena driving morphological diversity. Four subspecific taxa have been used to describe largely allopatric geographic variation within the species Pseudotriton ruber, a plethodontid salamander occupying stream and spring habitats across eastern North America: P. r. vioscai occurs in lowland Coastal Plain habitats, while P. r. ruber, P. r. nitidus, and P. r. schencki occupy upland regions in and around the Appalachian Mountains. Pseudotriton ruber co-occurs through its distribution with the aposematic newt Notophthalmus viridescens, and both species are hypothesized to be part of a Müllerian mimicry complex. In this study, we sequenced regions of two mitochondrial (cytochrome b, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2) and one single copy nuclear protein-coding gene (pro-opiomelanocortin) from individuals sampled across much of the distribution of P. ruber and then used maximum-likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic inference to test the monophyly of subspecies, reconstruct biogeographic history, and make inferences about morphological evolution. Phylogeographic hypotheses from mitochondrial and nuclear datasets described structure among populations of P. ruber which separated Coastal Plain and upland Appalachian populations, but subspecies were not monophyletic. Biogeographic reconstruction estimated the ancestor of all populations to have occupied and initially diverged in the Coastal Plain during the Pliocene (∼3.6mya), before one lineage subsequently invaded upland areas of Appalachia. Bold bright coloration of high elevation subspecies P. r. nitidus and P. r. schencki appears to have evolved twice. We hypothesize that the Müllerian mimicry

  12. Ultra Large Gene Families: A Matter of Adaptation or Genomic Parasites?

    PubMed

    Schiffer, Philipp H; Gravemeyer, Jan; Rauscher, Martina; Wiehe, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Gene duplication is an important mechanism of molecular evolution. It offers a fast track to modification, diversification, redundancy or rescue of gene function. However, duplication may also be neutral or (slightly) deleterious, and often ends in pseudo-geneisation. Here, we investigate the phylogenetic distribution of ultra large gene families on long and short evolutionary time scales. In particular, we focus on a family of NACHT-domain and leucine-rich-repeat-containing (NLR)-genes, which we previously found in large numbers to occupy one chromosome arm of the zebrafish genome. We were interested to see whether such a tight clustering is characteristic for ultra large gene families. Our data reconfirm that most gene family inflations are lineage-specific, but we can only identify very few gene clusters. Based on our observations we hypothesise that, beyond a certain size threshold, ultra large gene families continue to proliferate in a mechanism we term "run-away evolution". This process might ultimately lead to the failure of genomic integrity and drive species to extinction. PMID:27509525

  13. Draft genome sequence of the Daphnia pathogen Octosporea bayeri: insights into the gene content of a large microsporidian genome and a model for host-parasite interactions

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The highly compacted 2.9-Mb genome of Encephalitozoon cuniculi placed the microsporidia in the spotlight, encoding a mere 2,000 proteins and a highly reduced suite of biochemical pathways. This extreme level of reduction is not universal across the microsporidia, with genomes known to vary up to sixfold in size, suggesting that some genomes may harbor a gene content that is not as reduced as that of Enc. cuniculi. In this study, we present an in-depth survey of the large genome of Octosporea bayeri, a pathogen of Daphnia magna, with an estimated genome size of 24 Mb, in order to shed light on the organization and content of a large microsporidian genome. Results Using Illumina sequencing, 898 Mb of O. bayeri genome sequence was generated, resulting in 13.3 Mb of unique sequence. We annotated a total of 2,174 genes, of which 893 encodes proteins with assigned function. The gene density of the O. bayeri genome is very low on average, but also highly uneven, so gene-dense regions also occur. The data presented here suggest that the O. bayeri proteome is well represented in this analysis and is more complex that that of Enc. cuniculi. Functional annotation of O. bayeri proteins suggests that this species might be less biochemically dependent on its host for its metabolism than its more reduced relatives. Conclusions The combination of the data presented here, together with the imminent annotated genome of Daphnia magna, will provide a wealth of genetic and genomic tools to study host-parasite interactions in an interesting model for pathogenesis. PMID:19807911

  14. Habitat relationships of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) in Appalachian grazing systems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Altered microclimates and vegetation structure after timber harvest can result in longterm population declines of some Appalachian salamanders. If changes in forest structure following harvest alter woodland salamander habitat quality, conversion of forests to pastures or meadows is believed to resu...

  15. Gene lineages and eastern North American palaeodrainage basins: phylogeography and speciation in salamanders of the Eurycea bislineata species complex.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Kenneth H; Blaine, Russell A; Larson, Allan

    2006-01-01

    Contemporary North American drainage basins are composites of formerly isolated drainages, suggesting that fragmentation and fusion of palaeodrainage systems may have been an important factor generating current patterns of genetic and species diversity in stream-associated organisms. Here, we combine traditional molecular-phylogenetic, multiple-regression, nested clade, and molecular-demographic analyses to investigate the relationship between phylogeographic variation and the hydrogeological history of eastern North American drainage basins in semiaquatic plethodontid salamanders of the Eurycea bislineata species complex. Four hundred forty-two sequences representing 1108 aligned bases from the mitochondrial genome are reported for the five formally recognized species of the E. bislineata complex and three outgroup taxa. Within the in-group, 270 haplotypes are recovered from 144 sampling locations. Geographic patterns of mtDNA-haplotype coalescence identify 13 putatively independent population-level lineages, suggesting that the current taxonomy of the group underestimates species-level diversity. Spatial and temporal patterns of phylogeographic divergence are strongly associated with historical rather than modern drainage connections, indicating that shifts in major drainage patterns played a pivotal role in the allopatric fragmentation of populations and build-up of lineage diversity in these stream-associated salamanders. More generally, our molecular genetic results corroborate geological and faunistic evidence suggesting that palaeodrainage connections altered by glacial advances and headwater erosion occurring between the mid-Miocene and Pleistocene epochs explain regional patterns of biodiversity in eastern North American streams. PMID:16367840

  16. Reverse engineering and analysis of large genome-scale gene networks

    PubMed Central

    Aluru, Maneesha; Zola, Jaroslaw; Nettleton, Dan; Aluru, Srinivas

    2013-01-01

    Reverse engineering the whole-genome networks of complex multicellular organisms continues to remain a challenge. While simpler models easily scale to large number of genes and gene expression datasets, more accurate models are compute intensive limiting their scale of applicability. To enable fast and accurate reconstruction of large networks, we developed Tool for Inferring Network of Genes (TINGe), a parallel mutual information (MI)-based program. The novel features of our approach include: (i) B-spline-based formulation for linear-time computation of MI, (ii) a novel algorithm for direct permutation testing and (iii) development of parallel algorithms to reduce run-time and facilitate construction of large networks. We assess the quality of our method by comparison with ARACNe (Algorithm for the Reconstruction of Accurate Cellular Networks) and GeneNet and demonstrate its unique capability by reverse engineering the whole-genome network of Arabidopsis thaliana from 3137 Affymetrix ATH1 GeneChips in just 9 min on a 1024-core cluster. We further report on the development of a new software Gene Network Analyzer (GeNA) for extracting context-specific subnetworks from a given set of seed genes. Using TINGe and GeNA, we performed analysis of 241 Arabidopsis AraCyc 8.0 pathways, and the results are made available through the web. PMID:23042249

  17. Breeding signatures of rice improvement revealed by a genomic variation map from a large germplasm collection

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Weibo; Wang, Gongwei; Yuan, Meng; Yao, Wen; Lyu, Kai; Zhao, Hu; Yang, Meng; Li, Pingbo; Zhang, Xing; Yuan, Jing; Wang, Quanxiu; Liu, Fang; Dong, Huaxia; Zhang, Lejing; Li, Xinglei; Meng, Xiangzhou; Zhang, Wan; Xiong, Lizhong; He, Yuqing; Wang, Shiping; Yu, Sibin; Xu, Caiguo; Luo, Jie; Li, Xianghua; Xiao, Jinghua; Lian, Xingming; Zhang, Qifa

    2015-01-01

    Intensive rice breeding over the past 50 y has dramatically increased productivity especially in the indica subspecies, but our knowledge of the genomic changes associated with such improvement has been limited. In this study, we analyzed low-coverage sequencing data of 1,479 rice accessions from 73 countries, including landraces and modern cultivars. We identified two major subpopulations, indica I (IndI) and indica II (IndII), in the indica subspecies, which corresponded to the two putative heterotic groups resulting from independent breeding efforts. We detected 200 regions spanning 7.8% of the rice genome that had been differentially selected between IndI and IndII, and thus referred to as breeding signatures. These regions included large numbers of known functional genes and loci associated with important agronomic traits revealed by genome-wide association studies. Grain yield was positively correlated with the number of breeding signatures in a variety, suggesting that the number of breeding signatures in a line may be useful for predicting agronomic potential and the selected loci may provide targets for rice improvement. PMID:26358652

  18. Evolution of the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) genome: a major role for CR1 and L2 LINE elements.

    PubMed

    Metcalfe, Cushla J; Filée, Jonathan; Germon, Isabelle; Joss, Jean; Casane, Didier

    2012-11-01

    Haploid genomes greater than 25,000 Mb are rare, within the animals only the lungfish and some of the salamanders and crustaceans are known to have genomes this large. There is very little data on the structure of genomes this size. It is known, however, that for animal genomes up to 3,000 Mb, there is in general a good correlation between genome size and the percent of the genome composed of repetitive sequence and that this repetitive component is highly dynamic. In this study, we sampled the Australian lungfish genome using three mini-genomic libraries and found that with very little sequence, the results converged on an estimate of 40% of the genome being composed of recognizable transposable elements (TEs), chiefly from the CR1 and L2 long interspersed nuclear element clades. We further characterized the CR1 and L2 elements in the lungfish genome and show that although most CR1 elements probably represent recent amplifications, the L2 elements are more diverse and are more likely the result of a series of amplifications. We suggest that our sampling method has probably underestimated the recognizable TE content. However, on the basis of the most likely sources of error, we suggest that this very large genome is not largely composed of recently amplified, undetected TEs but may instead include a large component of older degenerate TEs. Based on these estimates, and on Thomson's (Thomson K. 1972. An attempt to reconstruct evolutionary changes in the cellular DNA content of lungfish. J Exp Zool. 180:363-372) inference that in the lineage leading to the extant Australian lungfish, there was massive increase in genome size between 350 and 200 mya, after which the size of the genome changed little, we speculate that the very large Australian lungfish genome may be the result of a massive amplification of TEs followed by a long period with a very low rate of sequence removal and some ongoing TE activity. PMID:22734051

  19. A method for the large scale isolation of high transformation efficiency fungal genomic DNA.

    PubMed

    Zhang, D; Yang, Y; Castlebury, L A; Cerniglia, C E

    1996-12-01

    A procedure for isolation of genomic DNA from the zygomycete Cunninghamella elegans and other filamentous fungi and yeasts is reported. This procedure involves disruption of cells by grinding using dry ice, removal of polysaccharides using cetyltrimethylammonium bromide and by phenol extractions, and precipitation of DNA with isopropanol at room temperature. The isolation method produced large scale (approximate 1 mg DNA/5 g wet cells) and highly purified high molecular mass DNA. Sau3AI partially digested DNA showed high transformation efficiency (> 10(6)/100 ng DNA) when ligated to ZAP-express lambda vector. PMID:8961565

  20. The gradient boosting algorithm and random boosting for genome-assisted evaluation in large data sets.

    PubMed

    González-Recio, O; Jiménez-Montero, J A; Alenda, R

    2013-01-01

    In the next few years, with the advent of high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays and genome sequencing, genomic evaluation methods will need to deal with a large number of genetic variants and an increasing sample size. The boosting algorithm is a machine-learning technique that may alleviate the drawbacks of dealing with such large data sets. This algorithm combines different predictors in a sequential manner with some shrinkage on them; each predictor is applied consecutively to the residuals from the committee formed by the previous ones to form a final prediction based on a subset of covariates. Here, a detailed description is provided and examples using a toy data set are included. A modification of the algorithm called "random boosting" was proposed to increase predictive ability and decrease computation time of genome-assisted evaluation in large data sets. Random boosting uses a random selection of markers to add a subsequent weak learner to the predictive model. These modifications were applied to a real data set composed of 1,797 bulls genotyped for 39,714 SNP. Deregressed proofs of 4 yield traits and 1 type trait from January 2009 routine evaluations were used as dependent variables. A 2-fold cross-validation scenario was implemented. Sires born before 2005 were used as a training sample (1,576 and 1,562 for production and type traits, respectively), whereas younger sires were used as a testing sample to evaluate predictive ability of the algorithm on yet-to-be-observed phenotypes. Comparison with the original algorithm was provided. The predictive ability of the algorithm was measured as Pearson correlations between observed and predicted responses. Further, estimated bias was computed as the average difference between observed and predicted phenotypes. The results showed that the modification of the original boosting algorithm could be run in 1% of the time used with the original algorithm and with negligible differences in accuracy

  1. Managing Large-Scale Genomic Datasets and Translation into Clinical Practice

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Summary Objective To summarize excellent current research in the field of Bioinformatics and Translational Informatics with application in the health domain. Method We provide a synopsis of the articles selected for the IMIA Yearbook 2014, from which we attempt to derive a synthetic overview of current and future activities in the field. A first step of selection was performed by querying MEDLINE with a list of MeSH descriptors completed by a list of terms adapted to the section. Each section editor evaluated independently the set of 1,851 articles and 15 articles were retained for peer-review. Results The selection and evaluation process of this Yearbook’s section on Bioinformatics and Translational Informatics yielded three excellent articles regarding data management and genome medicine. In the first article, the authors present VEST (Variant Effect Scoring Tool) which is a supervised machine learning tool for prioritizing variants found in exome sequencing projects that are more likely involved in human Mendelian diseases. In the second article, the authors show how to infer surnames of male individuals by crossing anonymous publicly available genomic data from the Y chromosome and public genealogy data banks. The third article presents a statistical framework called iCluster+ that can perform pattern discovery in integrated cancer genomic data. This framework was able to determine different tumor subtypes in colon cancer. Conclusions The current research activities still attest the continuous convergence of Bioinformatics and Medical Informatics, with a focus this year on large-scale biological, genomic, and Electronic Health Records data. Indeed, there is a need for powerful tools for managing and interpreting complex data, but also a need for user-friendly tools developed for the clinicians in their daily practice. All the recent research and development efforts are contributing to the challenge of impacting clinically the results and even going towards a

  2. Structural characterization of genomes by large scale sequence-structure threading: application of reliability analysis in structural genomics

    PubMed Central

    Cherkasov, Artem; Ho Sui, Shannan J; Brunham, Robert C; Jones, Steven JM

    2004-01-01

    Background We establish that the occurrence of protein folds among genomes can be accurately described with a Weibull function. Systems which exhibit Weibull character can be interpreted with reliability theory commonly used in engineering analysis. For instance, Weibull distributions are widely used in reliability, maintainability and safety work to model time-to-failure of mechanical devices, mechanisms, building constructions and equipment. Results We have found that the Weibull function describes protein fold distribution within and among genomes more accurately than conventional power functions which have been used in a number of structural genomic studies reported to date. It has also been found that the Weibull reliability parameter β for protein fold distributions varies between genomes and may reflect differences in rates of gene duplication in evolutionary history of organisms. Conclusions The results of this work demonstrate that reliability analysis can provide useful insights and testable predictions in the fields of comparative and structural genomics. PMID:15274750

  3. A new tool called DISSECT for analysing large genomic data sets using a Big Data approach

    PubMed Central

    Canela-Xandri, Oriol; Law, Andy; Gray, Alan; Woolliams, John A.; Tenesa, Albert

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale genetic and genomic data are increasingly available and the major bottleneck in their analysis is a lack of sufficiently scalable computational tools. To address this problem in the context of complex traits analysis, we present DISSECT. DISSECT is a new and freely available software that is able to exploit the distributed-memory parallel computational architectures of compute clusters, to perform a wide range of genomic and epidemiologic analyses, which currently can only be carried out on reduced sample sizes or under restricted conditions. We demonstrate the usefulness of our new tool by addressing the challenge of predicting phenotypes from genotype data in human populations using mixed-linear model analysis. We analyse simulated traits from 470,000 individuals genotyped for 590,004 SNPs in ∼4 h using the combined computational power of 8,400 processor cores. We find that prediction accuracies in excess of 80% of the theoretical maximum could be achieved with large sample sizes. PMID:26657010

  4. A new tool called DISSECT for analysing large genomic data sets using a Big Data approach.

    PubMed

    Canela-Xandri, Oriol; Law, Andy; Gray, Alan; Woolliams, John A; Tenesa, Albert

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale genetic and genomic data are increasingly available and the major bottleneck in their analysis is a lack of sufficiently scalable computational tools. To address this problem in the context of complex traits analysis, we present DISSECT. DISSECT is a new and freely available software that is able to exploit the distributed-memory parallel computational architectures of compute clusters, to perform a wide range of genomic and epidemiologic analyses, which currently can only be carried out on reduced sample sizes or under restricted conditions. We demonstrate the usefulness of our new tool by addressing the challenge of predicting phenotypes from genotype data in human populations using mixed-linear model analysis. We analyse simulated traits from 470,000 individuals genotyped for 590,004 SNPs in ∼4 h using the combined computational power of 8,400 processor cores. We find that prediction accuracies in excess of 80% of the theoretical maximum could be achieved with large sample sizes. PMID:26657010

  5. Cross-Platform Assessment of Genomic Imbalance Confirms the Clinical Relevance of Genomic Complexity and Reveals Loci with Potential Pathogenic Roles in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Lizalynn M.; Thodima, Venkata; Friedman, Julia; Ma, Charles; Guttapalli, Asha; Mendiratta, Geetu; Siddiqi, Imran N.; Syrbu, Sergei; Chaganti, R. S. K.; Houldsworth, Jane

    2016-01-01

    Genomic copy number alterations (CNAs) in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) have roles in disease pathogenesis but overall clinical relevance remains unclear. Herein, an unbiased algorithm was uniformly applied across three genome profiling datasets comprising 392 newly-diagnosed DLBCL specimens that defined 32 overlapping CNAs, involving 36 minimal common regions (MCRs). Scoring criteria were established for 50 aberrations within the MCRs while considering peak gains/losses. Application of these criteria to independent datasets revealed novel candidate genes with coordinated expression, such as CNOT2, potentially with pathogenic roles. No one single aberration significantly associated with patient outcome across datasets, but genomic complexity, defined by imbalance in more than one MCR, significantly portended adverse outcome in two of three independent datasets. Thus, the standardized scoring of CNAs currently developed can be uniformly applied across platforms, affording robust validation of genomic imbalance and complexity in DLBCL and overall clinical utility as biomarkers of patient outcome. PMID:26294112

  6. Gene map of large yellow croaker (Larimichthys crocea) provides insights into teleost genome evolution and conserved regions associated with growth

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Shijun; Wang, Panpan; Zhang, Yan; Fang, Lujing; Liu, Yang; Li, Jiong-Tang; Wang, Zhi-Yong

    2015-01-01

    The genetic map of a species is essential for its whole genome assembly and can be applied to the mapping of important traits. In this study, we performed RNA-seq for a family of large yellow croakers (Larimichthys crocea) and constructed a high-density genetic map. In this map, 24 linkage groups comprised 3,448 polymorphic SNP markers. Approximately 72.4% (2,495) of the markers were located in protein-coding regions. Comparison of the croaker genome with those of five model fish species revealed that the croaker genome structure was closer to that of the medaka than to the remaining four genomes. Because the medaka genome preserves the teleost ancestral karyotype, this result indicated that the croaker genome might also maintain the teleost ancestral genome structure. The analysis also revealed different genome rearrangements across teleosts. QTL mapping and association analysis consistently identified growth-related QTL regions and associated genes. Orthologs of the associated genes in other species were demonstrated to regulate development, indicating that these genes might regulate development and growth in croaker. This gene map will enable us to construct the croaker genome for comparative studies and to provide an important resource for selective breeding of croaker. PMID:26689832

  7. Telocytes in ileum of the Chinese giant salamander: ultrastructural evidence.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Zhong, Shengwei; Ge, Tingting; Peng, Shasha; Yu, Pengcheng; Zhou, Zuohong; Guo, Xiaoquan

    2016-03-01

    Telocytes (TCs) and their telopodes (Tps) have been found in various organs of many mammals, including in lower animals. However, knowledge of TCs in lower animals is still very limited. This study identified TCs and their Tps in the ileum of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus (Amphibia: Caudata), by transmission electron microscopy. The TCs/Tps were found near epithelial cells, glandular cells and unmyelinated nerve fibres. Moreover, exosomes were also found to be present in between TCs/Tps and these cells. PMID:26805522

  8. Detecting a hierarchical genetic population structure: the case study of the Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra) in Northern Italy

    PubMed Central

    Pisa, Giulia; Orioli, Valerio; Spilotros, Giulia; Fabbri, Elena; Randi, Ettore; Bani, Luciano

    2015-01-01

    The multistep method here applied in studying the genetic structure of a low dispersal and philopatric species, such as the Fire Salamander Salamandra salamandra, was proved to be effective in identifying the hierarchical structure of populations living in broad-leaved forest ecosystems in Northern Italy. In this study, 477 salamander larvae, collected in 28 sampling populations (SPs) in the Prealpine and in the foothill areas of Northern Italy, were genotyped at 16 specie-specific microsatellites. SPs showed a significant overall genetic variation (Global FST = 0.032, P < 0.001). The genetic population structure was assessed by using STRUCTURE 2.3.4. We found two main genetic groups, one represented by SPs inhabiting the Prealpine belt, which maintain connections with those of the Eastern foothill lowland (PEF), and a second group with the SPs of the Western foothill lowland (WF). The two groups were significantly distinct with a Global FST of 0.010 (P < 0.001). While the first group showed a moderate structure, with only one divergent SP (Global FST = 0.006, P < 0.001), the second group proved more structured being divided in four clusters (Global FST = 0.017, P = 0.058). This genetic population structure should be due to the large conurbations and main roads that separate the WF group from the Prealpine belt and the Eastern foothill lowland. The adopted methods allowed the analysis of the genetic population structure of Fire Salamander from wide to local scale, identifying different degrees of genetic divergence of their populations derived from forest fragmentation induced by urban and infrastructure sprawl. PMID:25691995

  9. Detecting a hierarchical genetic population structure: the case study of the Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra) in Northern Italy.

    PubMed

    Pisa, Giulia; Orioli, Valerio; Spilotros, Giulia; Fabbri, Elena; Randi, Ettore; Bani, Luciano

    2015-02-01

    The multistep method here applied in studying the genetic structure of a low dispersal and philopatric species, such as the Fire Salamander Salamandra salamandra, was proved to be effective in identifying the hierarchical structure of populations living in broad-leaved forest ecosystems in Northern Italy. In this study, 477 salamander larvae, collected in 28 sampling populations (SPs) in the Prealpine and in the foothill areas of Northern Italy, were genotyped at 16 specie-specific microsatellites. SPs showed a significant overall genetic variation (Global F ST = 0.032, P < 0.001). The genetic population structure was assessed by using STRUCTURE 2.3.4. We found two main genetic groups, one represented by SPs inhabiting the Prealpine belt, which maintain connections with those of the Eastern foothill lowland (PEF), and a second group with the SPs of the Western foothill lowland (WF). The two groups were significantly distinct with a Global F ST of 0.010 (P < 0.001). While the first group showed a moderate structure, with only one divergent SP (Global F ST = 0.006, P < 0.001), the second group proved more structured being divided in four clusters (Global F ST = 0.017, P = 0.058). This genetic population structure should be due to the large conurbations and main roads that separate the WF group from the Prealpine belt and the Eastern foothill lowland. The adopted methods allowed the analysis of the genetic population structure of Fire Salamander from wide to local scale, identifying different degrees of genetic divergence of their populations derived from forest fragmentation induced by urban and infrastructure sprawl. PMID:25691995

  10. Earthworms, as ecosystem engineers, influence multiple aspects of a salamander's ecology.

    PubMed

    Ransom, Tami S

    2011-03-01

    Ecosystem engineers create habitat that can be used by other species in multiple ways, such as refugees from predators, places to breed, or areas with increased prey resources. I conducted a series of enclosure experiments to: (1) determine if salamanders use earthworm burrows, and (2) examine the potential influence of earthworm burrow use and indirect effects on salamander intra- and interspecific competition, predator avoidance, and seasonal performance. I found that one species of woodland salamander, Plethodon cinereus, used earthworm burrows 50% of the time when burrows were present. Neither adults nor juveniles of the congeneric P. glutinosus used earthworm burrows. Intraspecific, but not interspecific, competition by P. cinereus affected salamander behavior when earthworms were absent, with P. cinereus found under cover objects >70% of the time when alone or with a P. glutinosus, but only 40% of the time when with another P. cinereus. When earthworms were present, the behavior of P. cinereus was similar across salamander treatments. Earthworms decreased the amount of leaf litter and microinvertebrates, although this did not affect salamander mass. In subsequent experiments using only P. cinereus, the refuge provided by earthworm burrows increased the survival of P. cinereus over the winter and allowed P. cinereus to avoid being consumed by the common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis). Because earthworm burrows provide a refuge for P. cinereus during intraspecific encounters, in the presence of a predator and over the winter, they may serve as an important belowground-aboveground linkage in eastern forests where salamanders are common. PMID:20848134

  11. Rapid pair-wise synteny analysis of large bacterial genomes using web-based GeneOrder4.0

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The growing whole genome sequence databases necessitate the development of user-friendly software tools to mine these data. Web-based tools are particularly useful to wet-bench biologists as they enable platform-independent analysis of sequence data, without having to perform complex programming tasks and software compiling. Findings GeneOrder4.0 is a web-based "on-the-fly" synteny and gene order analysis tool for comparative bacterial genomics (ca. 8 Mb). It enables the visualization of synteny by plotting protein similarity scores between two genomes and it also provides visual annotation of "hypothetical" proteins from older archived genomes based on more recent annotations. Conclusions The web-based software tool GeneOrder4.0 is a user-friendly application that has been updated to allow the rapid analysis of synteny and gene order in large bacterial genomes. It is developed with the wet-bench researcher in mind. PMID:20178631

  12. Genomic mechanisms underlying PARK2 large deletions identified in a cohort of patients with PD

    PubMed Central

    Morais, Sara; Bastos-Ferreira, Rita; Sequeiros, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: To identify the genomic mechanisms that result in PARK2 large gene deletions. Methods: We conducted mutation screening using PCR amplification of PARK2-coding regions and exon-intron boundaries, followed by sequencing to evaluate a large series of 244 unrelated Portuguese patients with symptoms of Parkinson disease. For the detection of large gene rearrangements, we performed multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification, followed by long-range PCR and sequencing to map deletion breakpoints. Results: We identified biallelic pathogenic parkin mutations in 40 of the 244 patients. There were 18 different mutations, some of them novel. This study included mapping of 17 deletion breakpoints showing that nonhomologous end joining is the most common mechanism responsible for these gene rearrangements. None of these deletion breakpoints were previously described, and only one was present in 2 unrelated families, indicating that most of the deletions result from independent events. Conclusions: The c.155delA mutation is highly prevalent in the Portuguese population (62.5% of the cases). Large deletions were present in 42.5% of the patients. We present the largest study on the molecular mechanisms that mediate PARK2 deletions in a homogeneous population. PMID:27182553

  13. Differentially expressed genes match bill morphology and plumage despite largely undifferentiated genomes in a Holarctic songbird.

    PubMed

    Mason, Nicholas A; Taylor, Scott A

    2015-06-01

    Understanding the patterns and processes that contribute to phenotypic diversity and speciation is a central goal of evolutionary biology. Recently, high-throughput sequencing has provided unprecedented phylogenetic resolution in many lineages that have experienced rapid diversification. The Holarctic redpoll finches (Genus: Acanthis) provide an intriguing example of a recent, phenotypically diverse lineage; traditional sequencing and genotyping methods have failed to detect any genetic differences between currently recognized species, despite marked variation in plumage and morphology within the genus. We examined variation among 20 712 anonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed throughout the redpoll genome in combination with 215 825 SNPs within the redpoll transcriptome, gene expression data and ecological niche modelling to evaluate genetic and ecological differentiation among currently recognized species. Expanding upon previous findings, we present evidence of (i) largely undifferentiated genomes among currently recognized species; (ii) substantial niche overlap across the North American Acanthis range; and (iii) a strong relationship between polygenic patterns of gene expression and continuous phenotypic variation within a sample of redpolls from North America. The patterns we report may be caused by high levels of ongoing gene flow between polymorphic populations, incomplete lineage sorting accompanying very recent or ongoing divergence, variation in cis-regulatory elements, or phenotypic plasticity, but do not support a scenario of prolonged isolation and subsequent secondary contact. Together, these findings highlight ongoing theoretical and computational challenges presented by recent, rapid bouts of phenotypic diversification and provide new insight into the evolutionary dynamics of an intriguing, understudied non-model system. PMID:25735539

  14. Large-scale analysis of tandem repeat variability in the human genome

    PubMed Central

    Duitama, Jorge; Zablotskaya, Alena; Gemayel, Rita; Jansen, An; Belet, Stefanie; Vermeesch, Joris R.; Verstrepen, Kevin J.; Froyen, Guy

    2014-01-01

    Tandem repeats are short DNA sequences that are repeated head-to-tail with a propensity to be variable. They constitute a significant proportion of the human genome, also occurring within coding and regulatory regions. Variation in these repeats can alter the function and/or expression of genes allowing organisms to swiftly adapt to novel environments. Importantly, some repeat expansions have also been linked to certain neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, accurate sequencing of tandem repeats could contribute to our understanding of common phenotypic variability and might uncover missing genetic factors in idiopathic clinical conditions. However, despite long-standing evidence for the functional role of repeats, they are largely ignored because of technical limitations in sequencing, mapping and typing. Here, we report on a novel capture technique and data filtering protocol that allowed simultaneous sequencing of thousands of tandem repeats in the human genomes of a three generation family using GS-FLX-plus Titanium technology. Our results demonstrated that up to 7.6% of tandem repeats in this family (4% in coding sequences) differ from the reference sequence, and identified a de novo variation in the family tree. The method opens new routes to look at this underappreciated type of genetic variability, including the identification of novel disease-related repeats. PMID:24682812

  15. Extreme negative temperatures and body mass loss in the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii, amphibia, hynobiidae).

    PubMed

    Berman, D I; Meshcheryakova, E N; Bulakhova, N A

    2016-05-01

    Frozen Siberian salamander safely tolerates long (45 days) stay at-35°C. Short-term (3 days) cooling down to-50°C was tolerable for 40% of adult individuals; down to-55°C, for 80% of the underyearlings. Generally, the salamanders lose about 28% of the body mass during the pre-hibernating period (before winter, at temperatures as low as 0°C) and during the process of freezing (as low as-5°C). The body weight remained constant upon further cooling (to-35°C). The frozen salamanders have no physiological mechanisms protecting from sublimation. PMID:27411827

  16. A field test of the effect of acidic rain on ion balance in a woodland salamander

    SciTech Connect

    Frisbie, M.P.; Wyman, R.L. )

    1994-06-01

    Earlier laboratory studies demonstrated that red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, are susceptible to osmotic disruption by low pH substrates. In natural systems, however, acidic input from precipitation may be mediated by soils before it impacts salamanders. We tested the effect of acidic rain on sodium balance in salamanders by confining individuals in enclosure in two forest types (hemlock, beech) for 34 d. Enclosures received artificial rain of either pH 3 or 5 every 3-4 d. Soils inside enclosures in the hemlock forest were more acidic than those in the beech forest at the outset. At termination, [H[sup +

  17. The Exceptionally Large Chloroplast Genome of the Green Alga Floydiella terrestris Illuminates the Evolutionary History of the Chlorophyceae

    PubMed Central

    Brouard, Jean-Simon; Otis, Christian; Lemieux, Claude; Turmel, Monique

    2010-01-01

    The Chlorophyceae, an advanced class of chlorophyte green algae, comprises five lineages that form two major clades (Chlamydomonadales + Sphaeropleales and Oedogoniales + Chaetopeltidales + Chaetophorales). The four complete chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) sequences currently available for chlorophyceans uncovered an extraordinarily fluid genome architecture as well as many structural features distinguishing this group from other green algae. We report here the 521,168-bp cpDNA sequence from a member of the Chaetopeltidales (Floydiella terrestris), the sole chlorophycean lineage not previously sampled for chloroplast genome analysis. This genome, which contains 97 conserved genes and 26 introns (19 group I and 7 group II introns), is the largest chloroplast genome ever sequenced. Intergenic regions account for 77.8% of the genome size and are populated by short repeats. Numerous genomic features are shared with the cpDNA of the chaetophoralean Stigeoclonium helveticum, notably the absence of a large inverted repeat and the presence of unique gene clusters and trans-spliced group II introns. Although only one of the Floydiella group I introns encodes a homing endonuclease gene, our finding of five free-standing reading frames having similarity with such genes suggests that chloroplast group I introns endowed with mobility were once more abundant in the Floydiella lineage. Parsimony analysis of structural genomic features and phylogenetic analysis of chloroplast sequence data unambiguously resolved the Oedogoniales as sister to the Chaetopeltidales and Chaetophorales. An evolutionary scenario of the molecular events that shaped the chloroplast genome in the Chlorophyceae is presented. PMID:20624729

  18. Elevated plasma corticosterone increases metabolic rate in a terrestrial salamander.

    PubMed

    Wack, Corina L; DuRant, Sarah E; Hopkins, William A; Lovern, Matthew B; Feldhoff, Richard C; Woodley, Sarah K

    2012-02-01

    Plasma glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) increase intermediary metabolism, which may be reflected in whole-animal metabolic rate. Studies in fish, birds, and reptiles have shown that GCs may alter whole-animal energy expenditure, but results are conflicting and often involve GC levels that are not physiologically relevant. A previous study in red-legged salamanders found that male courtship pheromone increased plasma corticosterone (CORT; the primary GC in amphibians) concentrations in males, which could elevate metabolic processes to sustain courtship behaviors. To understand the possible metabolic effect of elevated plasma CORT, we measured the effects of male courtship pheromone and exogenous application of CORT on oxygen consumption in male red-legged salamanders (Plethodon shermani). Exogenous application of CORT elevated plasma CORT to physiologically relevant levels. Compared to treatment with male courtship pheromone and vehicle, treatment with CORT increased oxygen consumption rates for several hours after treatment, resulting in 12% more oxygen consumed (equivalent to 0.33 J) during our first 2h sampling period. Contrary to our previous work, treatment with pheromone did not increase plasma CORT, perhaps because subjects used in this study were not in breeding condition. Pheromone application did not affect respiration rates. Our study is one of the few to evaluate the influence of physiologically relevant elevations in CORT on whole-animal metabolism in vertebrates, and the first to show that elevated plasma CORT increases metabolism in an amphibian. PMID:22047668

  19. Strong selection barriers explain microgeographic adaptation in wild salamander populations.

    PubMed

    Richardson, Jonathan L; Urban, Mark C

    2013-06-01

    Microgeographic adaptation occurs when populations evolve divergent fitness advantages across the spatial scales at which focal organisms regularly disperse. Although an increasing number of studies find evidence for microgeographic adaptation, the underlying causes often remain unknown. Adaptive divergence requires some combination of limited gene flow and strong divergent natural selection among populations. In this study, we estimated the relative influence of selection, gene flow, and the spatial arrangement of populations in shaping patterns of adaptive divergence in natural populations of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum). Within the study region, A. maculatum co-occur with the predatory marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum) in some ponds, and past studies have established a link between predation risk and adaptive trait variation in A. maculatum. Using 14 microsatellite loci, we found a significant pattern of genetic divergence among A. maculatum populations corresponding to levels of A. opacum predation risk. Additionally, A. maculatum foraging rate was strongly associated with predation risk, genetic divergence, and the spatial relationship of ponds on the landscape. Our results indicate the sorting of adaptive genotypes by selection regime and strongly suggest that substantial selective barriers operate against gene flow. This outcome suggests that microgeographic adaptation in A. maculatum is possible because strong antagonistic selection quickly eliminates maladapted phenotypes despite ongoing and substantial immigration. Increasing evidence for microgeographic adaptation suggests a strong role for selective barriers in counteracting the homogenizing influence of gene flow. PMID:23730765

  20. Spermatogenic cycle of a plethodontid salamander, Eurycea longicauda (Amphibia, Urodela)

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Dustin S; Alvino, Sam; Trauth, Stanley E; Sever, David M; Gribbins, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    Previous investigators have described the spermatogenic cycles of numerous species of plethodontid salamanders. Most studies describe a fairly stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions of spermatogenesis commencing in the spring/summer. However, many studies lack details obtainable from histological examination and/or testicular squashes and, instead, provide only mensural data from the testes. Studies that lacked microscopic evaluation often revealed spermatogenic cycles that varied greatly from that of the stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions commencing in the fall/winter. Those studies hamper comparisons between the spermatogenic cycles of different species and their environments, as they do not provide a correlation between testicular size and any aspect of the spermatogenic cycle. In the following manuscript, we elucidate the spermatogenic cycle of Eurycea longicauda longicauda in an effort to outline an appropriate protocol for analyzing spermatogenesis in salamanders that will facilitate future comparative studies. Like many Nearctic plethodontids, E. l. longicauda exhibits a meiotic wave that travels through the testes during the summer; this process is followed by spermiogenesis, spermiation, and recrudescence in the fall, winter, and spring. PMID:26413402

  1. Sensitivity of two salamander (Ambystoma) species to ultraviolet radiation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Calfee, R.D.; Bridges, C.M.; Little, E.E.

    2006-01-01

    Increased ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation reaching the Earth's surface has been implicated in amphibian declines. Recent studies have shown that many amphibian species have differences in sensitivity depending on developmental stage. Embryos and larvae of Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander) and larvae of Ambystoma talpoideum (Mole Salamander) were exposed to five simulated UV-B treatments in controlled laboratory experiments to determine the relative sensitivity of different lifestages. Hatching success of the embryos exceeded 95% in all treatments; however, the larvae of both species exhibited greater sensitivity to UV-B exposure. Older larvae of A. maculatum that were not exposed to UV-B as embryos were more sensitive than larvae that had hatched during exposure to UV-B. Growth of surviving larvae of A. maculatum was significantly reduced as UV-B intensity increased, whereas growth of A. talpoideum was unaffected. These results were compared to ambient UV-B conditions in natural environments. It appears that the embryo stage is relatively unaffected by UV-B levels observed in natural habitats, probably because of protection from vegetation, organic matter in the water column, oviposition depth, and egg jelly. The larval stage of these species may be at greater risk, particularly if there is an increase in UV-B radiation exposure caused by increases in water clarity and/or decreases in dissolved organic carbon.

  2. Population dynamics and regulation in the cave salamander Speleomantes strinatii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvidio, Sebastiano

    2007-05-01

    Time series analysis has been used to evaluate the mechanisms regulating population dynamics of mammals and insects, but has been rarely applied to amphibian populations. In this study, the influence of endogenous (density-dependent) and exogenous (density-independent) factors regulating population dynamics of the terrestrial plethodontid salamander Speleomantes strinatii was analysed by means of time series and multiple regression analyses. During the period 1993 2005, S. strinatii population abundance, estimated by a standardised temporary removal method, displayed relatively low fluctuations, and the autocorrelation function (ACF) analysis showed that the time series had a noncyclic structure. The partial rate correlation function (PRCF) indicated that a strong first-order negative feedback dominated the endogenous dynamics. Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that the only climatic factor influencing population growth rate was the minimum winter temperature. Thus, at least during the study period, endogenous, density-dependent negative feedback was the main factor affecting the growth rate of the salamander population, whereas stochastic environmental variables, such as temperature and rainfall, seemed to play a minor role in regulation. These results stress the importance of considering both exogenous and endogenous factors when analysing amphibian long-term population dynamics.

  3. Conservation genetics of the endangered Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah, Plethodontidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carpenter, D.W.; Jung, R.E.; Sites, J.W., Jr.

    2001-01-01

    The Shenandoah salamander (Plethodon shenandoah) is restricted to three isolated talus outcrops in Shenandoah National Park, VA, USA and has one of the smallest ranges of any tetrapod vertebrate. This species was listed as endangered under the US Endangered Species Act in 1989 over concern that direct competition with the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus), successional habitat changes, and human impacts may cause its decline and possible extinction. We address two issues herein: (1) whether extensive introgression (through long-term hybridization) is present between the two species and threatens the survival of P. shenandoah, and (2) the level of population structure within P. shenandoah. We provide evidence from mtDNA haplotypes that shows no genetic differentiation among the three isolates of P. shenandoah, suggesting that their fragmentation is a geologically recent event, and/or that the isolates are still connected by occasional gene flow. There is also no evidence for extensive introgression of alleles in either direction between P. cinereus and P. shenandoah, which suggests that P. shenandoah may not be in danger of being genetically swamped out through hybridization with P. cinereus.

  4. Software engineering the mixed model for genome-wide association studies on large samples.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhiwu; Buckler, Edward S; Casstevens, Terry M; Bradbury, Peter J

    2009-11-01

    Mixed models improve the ability to detect phenotype-genotype associations in the presence of population stratification and multiple levels of relatedness in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), but for large data sets the resource consumption becomes impractical. At the same time, the sample size and number of markers used for GWAS is increasing dramatically, resulting in greater statistical power to detect those associations. The use of mixed models with increasingly large data sets depends on the availability of software for analyzing those models. While multiple software packages implement the mixed model method, no single package provides the best combination of fast computation, ability to handle large samples, flexible modeling and ease of use. Key elements of association analysis with mixed models are reviewed, including modeling phenotype-genotype associations using mixed models, population stratification, kinship and its estimation, variance component estimation, use of best linear unbiased predictors or residuals in place of raw phenotype, improving efficiency and software-user interaction. The available software packages are evaluated, and suggestions made for future software development. PMID:19933212

  5. The Large Mitochondrial Genome of Symbiodinium minutum Reveals Conserved Noncoding Sequences between Dinoflagellates and Apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    Shoguchi, Eiichi; Shinzato, Chuya; Hisata, Kanako; Satoh, Nori; Mungpakdee, Sutada

    2015-01-01

    Even though mitochondrial genomes, which characterize eukaryotic cells, were first discovered more than 50 years ago, mitochondrial genomics remains an important topic in molecular biology and genome sciences. The Phylum Alveolata comprises three major groups (ciliates, apicomplexans, and dinoflagellates), the mitochondrial genomes of which have diverged widely. Even though the gene content of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes is reportedly comparable to that of apicomplexans, the highly fragmented and rearranged genome structures of dinoflagellates have frustrated whole genomic analysis. Consequently, noncoding sequences and gene arrangements of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes have not been well characterized. Here we report that the continuous assembled genome (∼326 kb) of the dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium minutum, is AT-rich (∼64.3%) and that it contains three protein-coding genes. Based upon in silico analysis, the remaining 99% of the genome comprises transcriptomic noncoding sequences. RNA edited sites and unique, possible start and stop codons clarify conserved regions among dinoflagellates. Our massive transcriptome analysis shows that almost all regions of the genome are transcribed, including 27 possible fragmented ribosomal RNA genes and 12 uncharacterized small RNAs that are similar to mitochondrial RNA genes of the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Gene map comparisons show that gene order is only slightly conserved between S. minutum and P. falciparum. However, small RNAs and intergenic sequences share sequence similarities with P. falciparum, suggesting that the function of noncoding sequences has been preserved despite development of very different genome structures. PMID:26199191

  6. The Large Mitochondrial Genome of Symbiodinium minutum Reveals Conserved Noncoding Sequences between Dinoflagellates and Apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Shoguchi, Eiichi; Shinzato, Chuya; Hisata, Kanako; Satoh, Nori; Mungpakdee, Sutada

    2015-08-01

    Even though mitochondrial genomes, which characterize eukaryotic cells, were first discovered more than 50 years ago, mitochondrial genomics remains an important topic in molecular biology and genome sciences. The Phylum Alveolata comprises three major groups (ciliates, apicomplexans, and dinoflagellates), the mitochondrial genomes of which have diverged widely. Even though the gene content of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes is reportedly comparable to that of apicomplexans, the highly fragmented and rearranged genome structures of dinoflagellates have frustrated whole genomic analysis. Consequently, noncoding sequences and gene arrangements of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes have not been well characterized. Here we report that the continuous assembled genome (∼326 kb) of the dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium minutum, is AT-rich (∼64.3%) and that it contains three protein-coding genes. Based upon in silico analysis, the remaining 99% of the genome comprises transcriptomic noncoding sequences. RNA edited sites and unique, possible start and stop codons clarify conserved regions among dinoflagellates. Our massive transcriptome analysis shows that almost all regions of the genome are transcribed, including 27 possible fragmented ribosomal RNA genes and 12 uncharacterized small RNAs that are similar to mitochondrial RNA genes of the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Gene map comparisons show that gene order is only slightly conserved between S. minutum and P. falciparum. However, small RNAs and intergenic sequences share sequence similarities with P. falciparum, suggesting that the function of noncoding sequences has been preserved despite development of very different genome structures. PMID:26199191

  7. Physical mapping in large genomes: accelerating anchoring of BAC contigs to genetic maps through in silico analysis.

    PubMed

    Paux, Etienne; Legeai, Fabrice; Guilhot, Nicolas; Adam-Blondon, Anne-Françoise; Alaux, Michaël; Salse, Jérôme; Sourdille, Pierre; Leroy, Philippe; Feuillet, Catherine

    2008-02-01

    Anchored physical maps represent essential frameworks for map-based cloning, comparative genomics studies, and genome sequencing projects. High throughput anchoring can be achieved by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) screening of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library pools with molecular markers. However, for large genomes such as wheat, the development of high dimension pools and the number of reactions that need to be performed can be extremely large making the screening laborious and costly. To improve the cost efficiency of anchoring in such large genomes, we have developed a new software named Elephant (electronic physical map anchoring tool) that combines BAC contig information generated by FingerPrinted Contig with results of BAC library pools screening to identify BAC addresses with a minimal amount of PCR reactions. Elephant was evaluated during the construction of a physical map of chromosome 3B of hexaploid wheat. Results show that a one dimensional pool screening can be sufficient to anchor a BAC contig while reducing the number of PCR by 384-fold thereby demonstrating that Elephant is an efficient and cost-effective tool to support physical mapping in large genomes. PMID:18038165

  8. The genomic and physical organization of Ty1-copia-like sequences as a component of large genomes in Pinus elliottii var. elliottii and other gymnosperms.

    PubMed Central

    Kamm, A; Doudrick, R L; Heslop-Harrison, J S; Schmidt, T

    1996-01-01

    A DNA sequence, TPE1, representing the internal domain of a Ty1-copia retroelement, was isolated from genomic DNA of Pinus elliottii Engelm. var. elliottii (slash pine). Genomic Southern analysis showed that this sequence, carrying partial reverse transcriptase and integrase gene sequences, is highly amplified within the genome of slash pine and part of a dispersed element >4.8 kbp. Fluorescent in situ hybridization to metaphase chromosomes shows that the element is relatively uniformly dispersed over all 12 chromosome pairs and is highly abundant in the genome. It is largely excluded from centromeric regions and intercalary chromosomal sites representing the 18S-5.8S-25S rRNA genes. Southern hybridization with specific DNA probes for the reverse transcriptase gene shows that TPE1 represents a large subgroup of heterogeneous Ty1-copia retrotransposons in Pinus species. Because no TPE1 transcription could be detected, it is most likely an inactive element--at least in needle tissue. Further evidence for inactivity was found in recombinant reverse transcriptase and integrase sequences. The distribution of TPE1 within different gymnosperms that contain Ty1-copia group retrotransposons, as shown by a PCR assay, was investigated by Southern hybridization. The TPE1 family is highly amplified and conserved in all Pinus species analyzed, showing a similar genomic organization in the three- and five-needle pine species investigated. It is also present in spruce, bald cypress (swamp cypress), and in gingko but in fewer copies and a different genomic organization. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8610105

  9. Larval salamanders and channel geomorphology are indicators of hydrologic permanence in forested headwater streams

    EPA Science Inventory

    Regulatory agencies need rapid indicators of hydrologic permanence for jurisdictional determinations of headwater streams. Our study objective was to assess the utility of larval salamander presence and assemblage structure and habitat variables for determining stream permanence ...

  10. SPATIALLY AUTOCORRELATED DEMOGRAPHY AND INTERPOND MIGRATION IN THE CALIFORNIA TIGER SALAMANDER (AMBYSTOME CALIFORNIENSE)

    EPA Science Inventory

    We investigated the metapopulation structure of the California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) using a combination of indirect and direct methods to evaluate two key requirements of modern metapopulation models: 1) that patches support somewhat independent populations ...

  11. Tracing the first step to speciation: ecological and genetic differentiation of a salamander population in a small forest.

    PubMed

    Steinfartz, Sebastian; Weitere, Markus; Tautz, Diethard

    2007-11-01

    Mechanisms and processes of ecologically driven adaptive speciation are best studied in natural situations where the splitting process is still occurring, i.e. before complete reproductive isolation is achieved. Here, we present a case of an early stage of adaptive differentiation under sympatric conditions in the fire salamander, Salamandra salamandra, that allows inferring the underlying processes for the split. Larvae of S. salamandra normally mature in small streams until metamorphosis, but in an old, continuous forest area near Bonn (the Kottenforst), we found salamander larvae not only in small streams but also in shallow ponds, which are ecologically very different from small streams. Common-environment experiments with larvae from both habitat types reveal specific adaptations to these different ecological conditions. Mitochondrial and microsatellite analyses show that the two ecologically differentiated groups also show signs of genetic differentiation. A parallel analysis of animals from a neighbouring much larger forest area (the Eifel), in which larvae mature only in streams, shows no signs of genetic differentiation, indicating that gene flow between ecologically similar types can occur over large distances. Hence, geographical factors cannot explain the differential larval habitat adaptations in the Kottenforst, in particular since adult life and mating of S. salamandra is strictly terrestrial and not associated with larval habitats. We propose therefore that the evolution of these adaptations was coupled with the evolution of cues for assortative mating which would be in line with models of sympatric speciation that suggest a co-evolution of habitat adaptations and associated mating signals. PMID:17877714

  12. Needles: Toward Large-Scale Genomic Prediction with Marker-by-Environment Interaction.

    PubMed

    De Coninck, Arne; De Baets, Bernard; Kourounis, Drosos; Verbosio, Fabio; Schenk, Olaf; Maenhout, Steven; Fostier, Jan

    2016-05-01

    Genomic prediction relies on genotypic marker information to predict the agronomic performance of future hybrid breeds based on trial records. Because the effect of markers may vary substantially under the influence of different environmental conditions, marker-by-environment interaction effects have to be taken into account. However, this may lead to a dramatic increase in the computational resources needed for analyzing large-scale trial data. A high-performance computing solution, called Needles, is presented for handling such data sets. Needles is tailored to the particular properties of the underlying algebraic framework by exploiting a sparse matrix formalism where suited and by utilizing distributed computing techniques to enable the use of a dedicated computing cluster. It is demonstrated that large-scale analyses can be performed within reasonable time frames with this framework. Moreover, by analyzing simulated trial data, it is shown that the effects of markers with a high environmental interaction can be predicted more accurately when more records per environment are available in the training data. The availability of such data and their analysis with Needles also may lead to the discovery of highly contributing QTL in specific environmental conditions. Such a framework thus opens the path for plant breeders to select crops based on these QTL, resulting in hybrid lines with optimized agronomic performance in specific environmental conditions. PMID:26936924

  13. Diversity and relationships of cocirculating modern human rotaviruses revealed using large-scale comparative genomics.

    PubMed

    McDonald, Sarah M; McKell, Allison O; Rippinger, Christine M; McAllen, John K; Akopov, Asmik; Kirkness, Ewen F; Payne, Daniel C; Edwards, Kathryn M; Chappell, James D; Patton, John T

    2012-09-01

    Group A rotaviruses (RVs) are 11-segmented, double-stranded RNA viruses and are primary causes of gastroenteritis in young children. Despite their medical relevance, the genetic diversity of modern human RVs is poorly understood, and the impact of vaccine use on circulating strains remains unknown. In this study, we report the complete genome sequence analysis of 58 RVs isolated from children with severe diarrhea and/or vomiting at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, TN, during the years spanning community vaccine implementation (2005 to 2009). The RVs analyzed include 36 G1P[8], 18 G3P[8], and 4 G12P[8] Wa-like genogroup 1 strains with VP6-VP1-VP2-VP3-NSP1-NSP2-NSP3-NSP4-NSP5/6 genotype constellations of I1-R1-C1-M1-A1-N1-T1-E1-H1. By constructing phylogenetic trees, we identified 2 to 5 subgenotype alleles for each gene. The results show evidence of intragenogroup gene reassortment among the cocirculating strains. However, several isolates from different seasons maintained identical allele constellations, consistent with the notion that certain RV clades persisted in the community. By comparing the genes of VUMC RVs to those of other archival and contemporary RV strains for which sequences are available, we defined phylogenetic lineages and verified that the diversity of the strains analyzed in this study reflects that seen in other regions of the world. Importantly, the VP4 and VP7 proteins encoded by VUMC RVs and other contemporary strains show amino acid changes in or near neutralization domains, which might reflect antigenic drift of the virus. Thus, this large-scale, comparative genomic study of modern human RVs provides significant insight into how this pathogen evolves during its spread in the community. PMID:22696651

  14. Diversity and Relationships of Cocirculating Modern Human Rotaviruses Revealed Using Large-Scale Comparative Genomics

    PubMed Central

    McKell, Allison O.; Rippinger, Christine M.; McAllen, John K.; Akopov, Asmik; Kirkness, Ewen F.; Payne, Daniel C.; Edwards, Kathryn M.; Chappell, James D.; Patton, John T.

    2012-01-01

    Group A rotaviruses (RVs) are 11-segmented, double-stranded RNA viruses and are primary causes of gastroenteritis in young children. Despite their medical relevance, the genetic diversity of modern human RVs is poorly understood, and the impact of vaccine use on circulating strains remains unknown. In this study, we report the complete genome sequence analysis of 58 RVs isolated from children with severe diarrhea and/or vomiting at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, TN, during the years spanning community vaccine implementation (2005 to 2009). The RVs analyzed include 36 G1P[8], 18 G3P[8], and 4 G12P[8] Wa-like genogroup 1 strains with VP6-VP1-VP2-VP3-NSP1-NSP2-NSP3-NSP4-NSP5/6 genotype constellations of I1-R1-C1-M1-A1-N1-T1-E1-H1. By constructing phylogenetic trees, we identified 2 to 5 subgenotype alleles for each gene. The results show evidence of intragenogroup gene reassortment among the cocirculating strains. However, several isolates from different seasons maintained identical allele constellations, consistent with the notion that certain RV clades persisted in the community. By comparing the genes of VUMC RVs to those of other archival and contemporary RV strains for which sequences are available, we defined phylogenetic lineages and verified that the diversity of the strains analyzed in this study reflects that seen in other regions of the world. Importantly, the VP4 and VP7 proteins encoded by VUMC RVs and other contemporary strains show amino acid changes in or near neutralization domains, which might reflect antigenic drift of the virus. Thus, this large-scale, comparative genomic study of modern human RVs provides significant insight into how this pathogen evolves during its spread in the community. PMID:22696651

  15. Tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) response learning and usage of visual cues.

    PubMed

    Kundey, Shannon M A; Millar, Roberto; McPherson, Justin; Gonzalez, Maya; Fitz, Aleyna; Allen, Chadbourne

    2016-05-01

    We explored tiger salamanders' (Ambystoma tigrinum) learning to execute a response within a maze as proximal visual cue conditions varied. In Experiment 1, salamanders learned to turn consistently in a T-maze for reinforcement before the maze was rotated. All learned the initial task and executed the trained turn during test, suggesting that they learned to demonstrate the reinforced response during training and continued to perform it during test. In a second experiment utilizing a similar procedure, two visual cues were placed consistently at the maze junction. Salamanders were reinforced for turning towards one cue. Cue placement was reversed during test. All learned the initial task, but executed the trained turn rather than turning towards the visual cue during test, evidencing response learning. In Experiment 3, we investigated whether a compound visual cue could control salamanders' behaviour when it was the only cue predictive of reinforcement in a cross-maze by varying start position and cue placement. All learned to turn in the direction indicated by the compound visual cue, indicating that visual cues can come to control their behaviour. Following training, testing revealed that salamanders attended to stimuli foreground over background features. Overall, these results suggest that salamanders learn to execute responses over learning to use visual cues but can use visual cues if required. Our success with this paradigm offers the potential in future studies to explore salamanders' cognition further, as well as to shed light on how features of the tiger salamanders' life history (e.g. hibernation and metamorphosis) impact cognition. PMID:26796198

  16. Reintroduction and Post-Release Survival of a Living Fossil: The Chinese Giant Salamander

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lu; Jiang, Wei; Wang, Qi-Jun; Zhao, Hu; Zhang, Hong-Xing; Marcec, Ruth M.; Willard, Scott T.; Kouba, Andrew J.

    2016-01-01

    Captive rearing and reintroduction / translocation are increasingly used as tools to supplement wild populations of threatened species. Reintroducing captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders may help to augment the declining wild populations and conserve this critically endangered amphibian. We released 31 captive-reared juvenile giant salamanders implanted with VHF radio transmitters at the Heihe River (n = 15) and the Donghe River (n = 16) in the Qinling Mountains of central China. Salamanders were monitored every day for survival from April 28th 2013 to September 3rd 2014. We attempted to recapture all living individuals by the end of the study, measured their body mass and total body length, and checked for abnormalities and presence of external parasites. Two salamanders at the Heihe River and 10 animals at the Donghe River survived through the project timeline. Nine salamanders were confirmed dead, while the status of the other 10 animals was undetermined. The annual survival rate of giant salamanders at the Donghe River (0.702) was 1.7-fold higher than that at the Heihe River (0.405). Survival increased as individuals were held longer following surgery, whereas body mass did not have a significant impact on survival rate. All salamanders recaptured from the Donghe River (n = 8) increased in mass (0.50 ± 0.13 kg) and length (5.5 ± 1.5 cm) after approximately 11 months in the wild, and they were only 7% lighter than wild animals of the same length (mean residual = -0.033 ± 0.025). Our results indicate that captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders can survive in the wild one year after release and adequate surgical recovery time is extremely important to post-release survival. Future projects may reintroduce older juveniles to achieve better survival and longer monitoring duration. PMID:27258650

  17. Reintroduction and Post-Release Survival of a Living Fossil: The Chinese Giant Salamander.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lu; Jiang, Wei; Wang, Qi-Jun; Zhao, Hu; Zhang, Hong-Xing; Marcec, Ruth M; Willard, Scott T; Kouba, Andrew J

    2016-01-01

    Captive rearing and reintroduction / translocation are increasingly used as tools to supplement wild populations of threatened species. Reintroducing captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders may help to augment the declining wild populations and conserve this critically endangered amphibian. We released 31 captive-reared juvenile giant salamanders implanted with VHF radio transmitters at the Heihe River (n = 15) and the Donghe River (n = 16) in the Qinling Mountains of central China. Salamanders were monitored every day for survival from April 28th 2013 to September 3rd 2014. We attempted to recapture all living individuals by the end of the study, measured their body mass and total body length, and checked for abnormalities and presence of external parasites. Two salamanders at the Heihe River and 10 animals at the Donghe River survived through the project timeline. Nine salamanders were confirmed dead, while the status of the other 10 animals was undetermined. The annual survival rate of giant salamanders at the Donghe River (0.702) was 1.7-fold higher than that at the Heihe River (0.405). Survival increased as individuals were held longer following surgery, whereas body mass did not have a significant impact on survival rate. All salamanders recaptured from the Donghe River (n = 8) increased in mass (0.50 ± 0.13 kg) and length (5.5 ± 1.5 cm) after approximately 11 months in the wild, and they were only 7% lighter than wild animals of the same length (mean residual = -0.033 ± 0.025). Our results indicate that captive-reared Chinese giant salamanders can survive in the wild one year after release and adequate surgical recovery time is extremely important to post-release survival. Future projects may reintroduce older juveniles to achieve better survival and longer monitoring duration. PMID:27258650

  18. Diagnostic and molecular evaluation of three iridovirus-associated salamander mortality events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Docherty, D.E.; Meteyer, C.U.; Wang, Jingyuan; Mao, J.; Case, S.T.; Chinchar, V.G.

    2003-01-01

    In 1998 viruses were isolated from tiger salamander larvae (Ambystoma tigrinum diaboli and A. tigrinum melanostictum) involved in North Dakota and Utah (USA) mortality events and spotted salamander (A. maculatum) larvae in a third event in Maine (USA). Although sympatric caudates and anurans were present at all three sites only ambystomid larvae appeared to be affected. Mortality at the North Dakota site was in the thousands while at the Utah and Maine sites mortality was in the hundreds. Sick larvae were lethargic and slow moving. They swam in circles with obvious buoyancy problems and were unable to remain upright. On the ventral surface, near the gills and hind limbs, red spots or swollen areas were noted. Necropsy findings included: hemorrhages and ulceration of the skin, subcutaneous and intramuscular edema, swollen and pale livers with multifocal hemorrhage, and distended fluid-filled intestines with areas of hemorrhage. Light microscopy revealed intracytoplasmic inclusions, suggestive of a viral infection, in a variety of organs. Electron microscopy of ultra thin sections of the same tissues revealed iridovirus-like particles within the inclusions. These viruses were isolated from a variety of organs, indicating a systemic infection. Representative viral isolates from the three mortality events were characterized using molecular assays. Characterization confirmed that the viral isolates were iridoviruses and that the two tiger salamander isolates were similar and could be distinguished from the spotted salamander isolate. The spotted salamander isolate was similar to frog virus 3, the type species of the genus Ranavirus, while the tiger salamander isolates were not. These data indicate that different species of salamanders can become infected and die in association with different iridoviruses. Challenge assays are required to determine the fish and amphibian host range of these isolates and to assess the susceptibility of tiger and spotted salamanders to

  19. Plethodon cinerius (eastern red-backed salamander) movement

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sterrett, Sean; Brand, Adrianne; Fields, William R.; Katz, Rachel A.; Grant, Evan H. Campbell

    2015-01-01

    Lungless salamanders (family Plethodontidae) are relatively sedentary and are presumed to have limited dispersal ability (Marsh et al. 2004. Ecology 85:3396–3405). Site fidelity in Plethodontidae is high, and individuals displaced 90 m return to home territories (Kleeberger and Werner 1982. Copeia 1982:409–415). Individuals defend territories (Jaeger et al. 1982. Anim. Behav. 30:490–496) and female home ranges have been estimated to be 24.34 m2 (Kleeberger and Werner 1982, op. cit.). Females may seek out suitable subsurface habitat to oviposit eggs, yet little is known about their maximum movement distances (Petranka 1998. Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington. 587 pp.).On 18 September 2014, a female P. cinereus (lead back morphotype; SVL = 44.68 mm; 0.89 g) was found under a coverboard during a standard sampling event and uniquely marked using visual implant elastomer at the S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center, Massachusetts, USA (42.59280°N, 72.58070°W, datum WGS84; elev. 74 m). This individual was subsequently recaptured at ~1500 h on 8 October 2014 under a coverboard within 3 m of the original capture location and then again ~1430 h on 16 October 2014 under a log, within the same forest patch, though in a 50 x 150 m area adjacent to the original study area. Because we found the marked salamander while collecting multiple individuals for a laboratory study, the exact recapture location of the marked individual is not known. However, the distance between the 8 October capture location and the nearest edge of the 16 October search area (i.e. 50 x 150 m) was 143 m, indicating a minimum movement distance. As far as we are aware, this is the longest recorded movement for P. cinereus by more than 53 m (Kleeberger and Werner 1982, op. cit.). This finding followed a rain event of 1.63 cm within 24 h and the second largest sustained rain event during October. The movement we observed may have been due to

  20. Genomic exploration and molecular marker development in a large and complex conifer genome using RADseq and mRNAseq.

    PubMed

    Karam, M-J; Lefèvre, F; Dagher-Kharrat, M Bou; Pinosio, S; Vendramin, G G

    2015-05-01

    We combined restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) using a hypomethylation-sensitive enzyme and messenger RNA sequencing (mRNAseq) to develop molecular markers for the 16 gigabase genome of Cedrus atlantica, a conifer tree species. With each method, Illumina(®) reads from one individual were used to generate de novo assemblies. SNPs from the RADseq data set were detected in a panel of one single individual and three pools of three individuals each. We developed a flexible script to estimate the ascertainment bias in SNP detection considering the pooling and sampling effects on the probability of not detecting an existing polymorphism. Gene Ontology (GO) and transposable element (TE) search analyses were applied to both data sets. The RADseq and the mRNAseq assemblies represented 0.1% and 0.6% of the genome, respectively. Genome complexity reduction resulted in 17% of the RADseq contigs potentially coding for proteins. This rate was doubled in the mRNAseq data set, suggesting that RADseq also explores noncoding low-repeat regions. The two methods gave very similar GO-slim profiles. As expected, the two assemblies were poor in TE-like sequences (<4% of contigs length). We identified 17,348 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the RADseq data set and 5,714 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in the transcriptome. A subset of 282 SNPs was validated using the Fluidigm genotyping technology, giving a conversion rate of 50.4%, falling within the expected range for conifers. Increasing sample size had the greatest effect for ascertainment bias reduction. These results validated the utility of the RADseq approach for highly complex genomes such as conifers. PMID:25224750

  1. Genome Reduction Uncovers a Large Dispensable Genome and Adaptive Role for Copy Number Variation in Asexually Propagated Solanum tuberosum.

    PubMed

    Hardigan, Michael A; Crisovan, Emily; Hamilton, John P; Kim, Jeongwoon; Laimbeer, Parker; Leisner, Courtney P; Manrique-Carpintero, Norma C; Newton, Linsey; Pham, Gina M; Vaillancourt, Brieanne; Yang, Xueming; Zeng, Zixian; Douches, David S; Jiang, Jiming; Veilleux, Richard E; Buell, C Robin

    2016-02-01

    Clonally reproducing plants have the potential to bear a significantly greater mutational load than sexually reproducing species. To investigate this possibility, we examined the breadth of genome-wide structural variation in a panel of monoploid/doubled monoploid clones generated from native populations of diploid potato (Solanum tuberosum), a highly heterozygous asexually propagated plant. As rare instances of purely homozygous clones, they provided an ideal set for determining the degree of structural variation tolerated by this species and deriving its minimal gene complement. Extensive copy number variation (CNV) was uncovered, impacting 219.8 Mb (30.2%) of the potato genome with nearly 30% of genes subject to at least partial duplication or deletion, revealing the highly heterogeneous nature of the potato genome. Dispensable genes (>7000) were associated with limited transcription and/or a recent evolutionary history, with lower deletion frequency observed in genes conserved across angiosperms. Association of CNV with plant adaptation was highlighted by enrichment in gene clusters encoding functions for environmental stress response, with gene duplication playing a part in species-specific expansions of stress-related gene families. This study revealed unique impacts of CNV in a species with asexual reproductive habits and how CNV may drive adaption through evolution of key stress pathways. PMID:26772996

  2. Three decades of urbanization: Estimating the impact of land-cover change on stream salamander populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Price, S.J.; Dorcas, M.E.; Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Willson, J.D.

    2006-01-01

    Urbanization has become the dominant form of landscape disturbance in parts of the United States. Small streams in the Piedmont region of the eastern United States support high densities of salamanders and are often the first habitats to be affected by landscape-altering factors such as urbanization. We used US Geological Survey land cover data from 1972 to 2000 and a relation between stream salamanders and land cover, established from recent research, to estimate the impact of contemporary land-cover change on the abundance of stream salamanders near Davidson, North Carolina, a Piedmont locale that has experienced rapid urbanization during this time. Our analysis indicates that southern two-lined salamander (Eurycea cirrigera) populations have decreased from 32% to 44% while northern dusky salamanders (Desmognathus fuscus) have decreased from 21% to 30% over the last three decades. Our results suggest that the widespread conversion of forest to urban land in small catchments has likely resulted in a substantial decline of populations of stream salamanders and could have serious effects on stream ecosystems. ?? 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Spatial variation in water loss predicts terrestrial salamander distribution and population dynamics.

    PubMed

    Peterman, W E; Semlitsch, R D

    2014-10-01

    Many patterns observed in ecology, such as species richness, life history variation, habitat use, and distribution, have physiological underpinnings. For many ectothermic organisms, temperature relationships shape these patterns, but for terrestrial amphibians, water balance may supersede temperature as the most critical physiologically limiting factor. Many amphibian species have little resistance to water loss, which restricts them to moist microhabitats, and may significantly affect foraging, dispersal, and courtship. Using plaster models as surrogates for terrestrial plethodontid salamanders (Plethodon albagula), we measured water loss under ecologically relevant field conditions to estimate the duration of surface activity time across the landscape. Surface activity time was significantly affected by topography, solar exposure, canopy cover, maximum air temperature, and time since rain. Spatially, surface activity times were highest in ravine habitats and lowest on ridges. Surface activity time was a significant predictor of salamander abundance, as well as a predictor of successful recruitment; the probability of a juvenile salamander occupying an area with high surface activity time was two times greater than an area with limited predicted surface activity. Our results suggest that survival, recruitment, or both are demographic processes that are affected by water loss and the ability of salamanders to be surface-active. Results from our study extend our understanding of plethodontid salamander ecology, emphasize the limitations imposed by their unique physiology, and highlight the importance of water loss to spatial population dynamics. These findings are timely for understanding the effects that fluctuating temperature and moisture conditions predicted for future climates will have on plethodontid salamanders. PMID:25154754

  4. Soil acidity affects distribution, behavior, and physiology of the salamander Plethodon cinereus

    SciTech Connect

    Wyman, R.L.; Hawksley-Lescault, D.S.

    1987-12-01

    Censuses at two sites in Delaware County, New York from spring 1981 through spring 1985 indicated that the density and distribution of Plethodon cinereus were influenced by soil pH but not by soil temperature or moisture. Of 1044 1-m/sup 2/ quadrats of forest litter searched, 284 had a pH of 3.7 or less and only 25 of these (8.8%) contained salamanders. Of 760 quadrats with a pH 3.8 or more, 386 (50.8%) contained salamanders. Juvenile salamanders were never found on soils with a pH less than or equal to 3.7. Seasonal salamander density was correlated (r = -0.92) with the percentage of quadrats with a pH of 3.7 and less. Salamanders apparently were excluded from 27% of forest habitat because of low soil pH. In the laboratory, P. cinereus preferred to occupy substrates near neutral pH when given a choice among three levels of substrate acidity. The acutely lethal pH was between 2.5 and 3 and the 8-mo chronically lethal pH was between 3 and 4. Growth and respiration were reduced at low pHs. The influence of soil pH on salamander distribution might fundamentally change the forest floor decomposer food web of which P. cinereus is an upper-level consumer.

  5. Leaf litter bags as an index to populations of northern two-lined salamanders (Eurycea bislineata)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chalmers, R.J.; Droege, S.

    2002-01-01

    Concern about recent amphibian declines has led to research on amphibian populations, but few statistically tested, standardized methods of counting amphibians exist. We tested whether counts of northern two-lined salamander larvae (Eurycea bislineata) sheltered in leaf litter bags--a relatively new, easily replicable survey technique--had a linear correlation to total number of larvae. Using experimental enclosures placed in streams, we compared number of salamanders found in artificial habitat (leaf litter bags) with total number of salamanders in each enclosure. Low numbers of the animals were found in leaf litter bags, and the relative amount of variation in the index (number of animals in leaf litter bags compared to total number of animals in stream enclosures) was high. The index of salamanders in leaf litter bags was not significantly related to total number of salamanders in enclosures for two-thirds of the replicates or with pooled replicates (P= 0.066). Consequently, we cannot recommend using leaf litter bags to index populations of northern two-lined salamanders.

  6. A re-examination and re-evaluation of salamander orbital glands.

    PubMed

    Rehorek, Susan J; Grand-Pierre, Alix E; Cummings, Joshua R; Jewell, Bridgette; Constantine, Julieanne; Hillenius, W Jaap

    2013-11-01

    The amphibian integument contains numerous multicellular glands. Although two of these, the nasolabial and orbital glands and the associated nasolacrimal duct (NLD), have historically received considerable attention, interpretation of the original observations can be problematic in the context of current literature. Salamanders, in particular, are frequently regarded as at least indicative of aspects of the morphology of the common ancestor to all extant tetrapods; hence, an understanding of these glands in salamanders might prove to be informative about their evolution. For this study, the orbitonasal region of salamanders from three families was histologically examined. Three themes emerged: (1) examination of the effect of phylogeny on the nasolabial gland and NLD revealed a combination of features that may be unique to plethodontid salamanders, and may be correlated to their nose-tapping behavior by which substances are moved into the vomeronasal organ; (2) ecology appears to impact the relative development of the orbital glands, but not necessarily the nasolabial gland, with smaller glands being present in the aquatic species; (3) the nomenclature of the salamander orbital gland remains problematic, especially in light of comparative studies, as several alternate possibilities are viable. From this nomenclatural conundrum, however, it could be concluded that there may be a global pattern in the location of tetrapod orbital gland development. Molecular questions in terms of ontogeny and genetic homology affect the nature of the debate on orbital gland nomenclature. These observations suggest that rather than reflecting an ancestral condition, salamanders may instead represent a case of specialized, convergent evolution. PMID:24106029

  7. Woodland salamander responses to a shelterwood harvest-prescribed burn silvicultural treatment within Appalachian mixed-oak forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ford, W. Mark; Mahoney, Kathleen R.; Russell, Kevin R.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Riddle, Jason D.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Adams, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    Forest management practices that mimic natural canopy disturbances, including prescribed fire and timber harvests, may reduce competition and facilitate establishment of favorable vegetative species within various ecosystems. Fire suppression in the central Appalachian region for almost a century has contributed to a transition from oak-dominated to more mesophytic, fire-intolerant forest communities. Prescribed fire coupled with timber removal is currently implemented to aid in oak regeneration and establishment but responses of woodland salamanders to this complex silvicultural system is poorly documented. The purpose of our research was to determine how woodland salamanders respond to shelterwood harvests following successive burns in a central Appalachian mixed-oak forest. Woodland salamanders were surveyed using coverboard arrays in May, July, and August–September 2011 and 2012. Surveys were conducted within fenced shelterwood-burn (prescribed fires, shelterwood harvest, and fencing to prevent white-tailed deer [Odocoileus virginianus] herbivory), shelterwood-burn (prescribed fires and shelterwood harvest), and control plots. Relative abundance was modeled in relation to habitat variables measured within treatments for mountain dusky salamanders (Desmognathus ochrophaeus), slimy salamanders (Plethodon glutinosus), and eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). Mountain dusky salamander relative abundance was positively associated with canopy cover and there were significantly more individuals within controls than either shelterwood-burn or fenced shelterwood-burn treatments. Conversely, habitat variables associated with slimy salamanders and eastern red-backed salamanders did not differ among treatments. Salamander age-class structure within controls did not differ from shelterwood-burn or fenced shelterwood-burn treatments for any species. Overall, the woodland salamander assemblage remained relatively intact throughout the shelterwoodburn

  8. Reconstruction of Oomycete Genome Evolution Identifies Differences in Evolutionary Trajectories Leading to Present-Day Large Gene Families

    PubMed Central

    Seidl, Michael F.; Van den Ackerveken, Guido; Govers, Francine; Snel, Berend

    2012-01-01

    The taxonomic class of oomycetes contains numerous pathogens of plants and animals but is related to nonpathogenic diatoms and brown algae. Oomycetes have flexible genomes comprising large gene families that play roles in pathogenicity. The evolutionary processes that shaped the gene content have not yet been studied by applying systematic tree reconciliation of the phylome of these species. We analyzed evolutionary dynamics of ten Stramenopiles. Gene gains, duplications, and losses were inferred by tree reconciliation of 18,459 gene trees constituting the phylome with a highly supported species phylogeny. We reconstructed a strikingly large last common ancestor of the Stramenopiles that contained ∼10,000 genes. Throughout evolution, the genomes of pathogenic oomycetes have constantly gained and lost genes, though gene gains through duplications outnumber the losses. The branch leading to the plant pathogenic Phytophthora genus was identified as a major transition point characterized by increased frequency of duplication events that has likely driven the speciation within this genus. Large gene families encoding different classes of enzymes associated with pathogenicity such as glycoside hydrolases are formed by complex and distinct patterns of duplications and losses leading to their expansion in extant oomycetes. This study unveils the large-scale evolutionary dynamics that shaped the genomes of pathogenic oomycetes. By the application of phylogenetic based analyses methods, it provides additional insights that shed light on the complex history of oomycete genome evolution and the emergence of large gene families characteristic for this important class of pathogens. PMID:22230142

  9. Large Genomic Fragment Deletions and Insertions in Mouse Using CRISPR/Cas9

    PubMed Central

    Satheka, Achim Cchitvsanzwhoh; Togo, Jacques; An, Yao; Humphrey, Mabwi; Ban, Luying; Ji, Yan; Jin, Honghong; Feng, Xuechao; Zheng, Yaowu

    2015-01-01

    ZFN, TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 system have been used to generate point mutations and large fragment deletions and insertions in genomic modifications. CRISPR/Cas9 system is the most flexible and fast developing technology that has been extensively used to make mutations in all kinds of organisms. However, the most mutations reported up to date are small insertions and deletions. In this report, CRISPR/Cas9 system was used to make large DNA fragment deletions and insertions, including entire Dip2a gene deletion, about 65kb in size, and β-galactosidase (lacZ) reporter gene insertion of larger than 5kb in mouse. About 11.8% (11/93) are positive for 65kb deletion from transfected and diluted ES clones. High targeting efficiencies in ES cells were also achieved with G418 selection, 46.2% (12/26) and 73.1% (19/26) for left and right arms respectively. Targeted large fragment deletion efficiency is about 21.4% of live pups or 6.0% of injected embryos. Targeted insertion of lacZ reporter with NEO cassette showed 27.1% (13/48) of targeting rate by ES cell transfection and 11.1% (2/18) by direct zygote injection. The procedures have bypassed in vitro transcription by directly co-injection of zygotes or co-transfection of embryonic stem cells with circular plasmid DNA. The methods are technically easy, time saving, and cost effective in generating mouse models and will certainly facilitate gene function studies. PMID:25803037

  10. Using large-scale genome variation cohorts to decipher the molecular mechanism of cancer.

    PubMed

    Habermann, Nina; Mardin, Balca R; Yakneen, Sergei; Korbel, Jan O

    2016-01-01

    Characterizing genomic structural variations (SVs) in the human genome remains challenging, and there is a growing interest to understand somatic SVs occurring in cancer, a disease of the genome. A havoc-causing SV process known as chromothripsis scars the genome when localized chromosome shattering and repair occur in a one-off catastrophe. Recent efforts led to the development of a set of conceptual criteria for the inference of chromothripsis events in cancer genomes and to the development of experimental model systems for studying this striking DNA alteration process in vitro. We discuss these approaches, and additionally touch upon current "Big Data" efforts that employ hybrid cloud computing to enable studies of numerous cancer genomes in an effort to search for commonalities and differences in molecular DNA alteration processes in cancer. PMID:27342254

  11. Road deicing salt irreversibly disrupts osmoregulation of salamander egg clutches.

    PubMed

    Karraker, Nancy E; Gibbs, James P

    2011-03-01

    It has been postulated that road deicing salts are sufficiently diluted by spring rains to ameliorate any physiological impacts to amphibians breeding in wetlands near roads. We tested this conjecture by exposing clutches of the spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) to three chloride concentrations (1 mg/L, 145 mg/L, 945 mg/L) for nine days, then transferred clutches to control water for nine days, and measured change in mass at three-day intervals. We measured mass change because water uptake by clutches reduces risks to embryos associated with freezing, predation, and disease. Clutches in controls sequestered water asymptotically. Those in the moderate concentrations lost 18% mass initially and regained 14% after transfer to control water. Clutches in high concentration lost 33% mass and then lost an additional 8% after transfer. Our results suggest that spring rains do not ameliorate the effects of deicing salts in wetlands with extremely high chloride concentrations. PMID:21147507

  12. Ambient ultraviolet radiation causes mortality in salamander eggs

    SciTech Connect

    Blaustein, A.R.; Edmond, B.; Kiesecker, J.M.

    1995-08-01

    Previous research has shown that amphibian species have differential sensitivity to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. In some anuran species, ambient levels of UV-B cause mortality in embryonic stages and hatching success is significantly reduced. Projected increases in UV-B may affect an increasing number of species. The adverse effects of UV-B may eventually be manifested at the population level and may ultimately contribute to population declines. Using field experiments, we investigated the effects of ambient UV-B on salamander (Ambystoma gracile) embryos developing at natural oviposition sites. We show that the hatching success of eggs of A. gracile shielded from UV-B is significantly higher than those not shielded from UV-B. 27 refs., 1 fig.

  13. Innovative techniques for sampling stream-inhabiting salamanders

    SciTech Connect

    T.M. Luhring; C.A. Young

    2006-01-01

    Although salamanders are excellent indicators of environmental health, the ability to catch them efficiently without substantially disrupting their habitat is not always practical or even possible with current techniques. Ripping open logs and raking leaf packs onto shore (Bruce 1972) are examples of such practices that are disruptive but widely used by herpetologists who have no other means of efficient collection. Drift fences with pitfall traps are effective in catching animals moving within or between habitats but are time consuming and require an initial financial investment and constant upkeep to maintain functionality and prevent animal fatalities (Gibbons and Semlitsch 1981). One current alternative to drift fences is the use of coverboards (Grant et al. 1992), which require less maintenance and sampling effort than drift fences. However, coverboards do not integrate captures over a long time period and often result in a lower number of captures per trap (Grant et al. 1992).

  14. Physical mapping of a large plant genome using global high-information content fingerprinting: a distal region of wheat chromosome 3DS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Physical maps employing libraries of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones are essential for comparative genomics and sequencing of large and repetitive genomes such as those of wheat. We report the use of the Ae. tauschii, the diploid ancestor of the wheat D genome, for the construction of t...

  15. Physical mapping of a large plant genome using global high-information-content-fingerprinting: the distal region of the wheat ancestor Aegilops tauschii chromosome 3DS.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Physical maps employing libraries of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones are essential for comparative genomics and sequencing of large and repetitive genomes such as those of the hexaploid bread wheat. The diploid ancestor of wheat genome, Aegilops tauschii, is used as a resource for wheat...

  16. Draft Genome Sequence of Rheinheimera sp. F8, a Biofilm-Forming Strain Which Produces Large Amounts of Extracellular DNA

    PubMed Central

    Szewzyk, Ulrich

    2016-01-01

    Rheinheimera sp. strain F8 is a biofilm-forming gammaproteobacterium that has been found to produce large amounts of filamentous extracellular DNA. Here, we announce the de novo assembly of its genome. It is estimated to be 4,464,511 bp in length, with 3,970 protein-coding sequences and 92 RNA-coding sequences. PMID:26966195

  17. Exploring the feasibility of using copy number variants as genetic markers through large-scale whole genome sequencing experiments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Copy number variants (CNV) are large scale duplications or deletions of genomic sequence that are caused by a diverse set of molecular phenomena that are distinct from single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) formation. Due to their different mechanisms of formation, CNVs are often difficult to track us...

  18. An Integrative Approach for the Large-scale Identification of Human Genome Kinases Regulating Cancer Metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hanshuo; Wu, Pu-Yen; Ma, Ming; Ye, Yanzheng; Hao, Yang; Yang, Junyu; Yin, Shenyi; Sun, Changhong; Phan, John H.; Wang, May D.; Xi, Jianzhong Jeff

    2016-01-01

    Kinases regulate the majority of biological processes and become one of important groups of drug targets. To identify more kinases being potential for cancer therapy, we developed an integrative approach for the large-scale screen of functional genes capable of regulating the main traits of cancer metastasis, including cell migration as well as invasion. We first employed self-assembled cell microarray (SAMcell) to screen functional genes that regulate cancer cell migration using a siRNA library targeting 710 human genome kinase genes. We identified 81 genes capable of significantly regulating cancer cell migration. Following with invasion assays and bio-informatics analysis, we discovered that 16 genes with differentially expression in cancer samples can regulate both cell migration and invasion, among which 10 genes have been well known to play critical roles in the cancer development. The remaining 6 genes were experimentally validated to have the capacities of regulating the metastasis-related traits, including cell proliferation, apoptosis and anoikis activities besides cell motility. Together, these findings provide a new insight into the therapeutic use of human kinases. PMID:23751374

  19. Complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of the ark shell Scapharca broughtonii: an ultra-large metazoan mitochondrial genome.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yun-Guo; Kurokawa, Tadahide; Sekino, Masashi; Tanabe, Toru; Watanabe, Kazuhito

    2013-03-01

    The complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of the ark shell Scapharca broughtonii was determined using long PCR and a genome walking sequencing strategy with genus-specific primers. The S. broughtonii mt genome (GenBank accession number AB729113) contained 12 protein-coding genes (the atp8 gene is missing, as in most bivalves), 2 ribosomal RNA genes, and 42 transfer tRNA genes, in a length of 46,985 nucleotides for the size of mtDNA with only one copy of the heteroplasmic tandem repeat (HTR) unit. Moreover the S. broughtonii mt genome shows size variation; these genomes ranged in size from about 47 kb to about 50 kb because of variation in the number of repeat sequences in the non-coding region. The mt-genome of S. broughtonii is, to date, the longest reported metazoan mtDNA sequence. Sequence duplication in non-coding region and the formation of HTR arrays were two of the factors responsible for the ultra-large size of this mt genome. All the tRNA genes were found within the S. broughtonii mt genome, unlike the other bivalves usually lacking one or more tRNA genes. Twelve additional specimens were used to analyze the patterns of tandem repeat arrays by PCR amplification and agarose electrophoresis. Each of the 12 specimens displayed extensive heteroplasmy and had 8-10 length variants. The motifs of the HTR arrays are about 353-362 bp and the number of repeats ranges from 1 to 11. PMID:23291309

  20. Effects of egg size on success of larval salamanders in complex aquatic environments. [Ambystoma talpoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Semlitsch, R.D. ); Whitfield Gibbons, J. )

    1990-10-01

    Effects of egg size on growth, survival, and metamorphosis of larval salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum) were examined in varying environments. Pond drying regime and presence vs. absence of an interspecific competitor were manipulated in a factorial experiment using artificial ponds to measure the responses of larvae. Females that were 4 yr old produced larger eggs and hatchlings than 1-yr-old females. Differences in body size at hatching persisted through day 49 of the experiment but disappeared by day 129. Drying regime also affected body size at day 49 but not at day 129. Larvae from large eggs, and larvae in constant water level ponds, had higher survival to day 129 than larvae from small eggs, and in drying ponds. There was also a significant interaction between egg size and drying regime. Larvae from large eggs survived better than larvae from small eggs in the constant water level ponds, but not in drying ponds. Interspecific competitors did not affect growth or survival to day 129. More individuals metamorphosed from drying ponds than from constant water level ponds. The growth advantages conferred by larger body size at hatching are transient and may disappear during compensatory growth later in the larval period. Body size advantages early in the larval period, however, probably account for increased survival through size-specific mechanisms at a time when newly hatched larvae are most vulnerable.

  1. Declines in woodland salamander abundance associated with non-native earthworm and plant invasions.

    PubMed

    Maerz, John C; Nuzzo, Victoria A; Blossey, Bernd

    2009-08-01

    Factors that negatively affect the quality of wildlife habitat are a major concern for conservation. Non-native species invasions, in particular, are perceived as a global threat to the quality of wildlife habitat. Recent evidence indicates that some changes to understory plant communities in northern temperate forests of North America, including invasions by 3 non-native plant species, are facilitated by non-native earthworm invasion. Furthermore, non-native earthworm invasions cause a reduction in leaf litter on the forest floor, and the loss of forest leaf litter is commonly associated with declines in forest fauna, including amphibians. We conducted a mark-recapture study of woodland salamander abundance across plant invasion fronts at 10 sites to determine whether earthworm or plant invasions were associated with reduced salamander abundance. Salamander abundance declined exponentially with decreasing leaf litter volume. There was no significant relationship between invasive plant cover and salamander abundance, independent of the effects of leaf litter loss due to earthworm invasion. An analysis of selected salamander prey abundance (excluding earthworms) at 4 sites showed that prey abundance declined with declining leaf litter. The loss of leaf litter layers due to non-native earthworm invasions appears to be negatively affecting woodland salamander abundance, in part, because of declines in the abundance of small arthropods that are a stable resource for salamanders. Our results demonstrate that earthworm invasions pose a significant threat to woodland amphibian fauna in the northeastern United States, and that plant invasions are symptomatic of degraded amphibian habitat but are not necessarily drivers of habitat degradation. PMID:19236449

  2. Sodium-dependent calcium extrusion and sensitivity regulation in retinal cones of the salamander.

    PubMed Central

    Nakatani, K; Yau, K W

    1989-01-01

    1. Membrane current was recorded from an isolated, dark-adapted salamander cone by sucking its inner segment into a tight-fitting glass pipette containing Ringer solution. The outer segment of the cell was exposed to a bath solution that could be changed rapidly. 2. After removing Na+ from the bath Ringer solution for a short period of time in darkness (the 'loading period'), a transient inward current was observed upon restoring it in bright light. A similar but longer-lasting current was observed when Na+ was restored in the light after a large Ca2+ influx was induced through the light-sensitive conductance in darkness. 3. The above transient current was not observed if Li+ or guanidinium was substituted for Na+ in the light, or if Ba2+ was substituted for Ca2+ during the dark loading period. However, a current was observed if Sr2+ was the substituting ion for Ca2+ during loading. These observations suggested that the current was associated with an electrogenic Na+-dependent Ca2+ efflux at the cone outer segment. 4. The saturated amplitude of the exchange current was 12-25 pA with a mean around 16 pA. This is very comparable to that measured in the outer segment of a salamander rod under similar conditions. 5. By comparing a known Ca2+ load in a cone outer segment to the subsequent charge transfer through the exchange, we estimated that the stoichiometry of the exchange was near 3Na+:1Ca2+. 6. With a small Ca2+ load, or in the presence of Cs+ around the inner segment, the final temporal decline of the Na+-Ca2+ exchange current was roughly exponential, with a mean time constant of about 100 ms. This decline is about four times faster than that measured in rods. We interpret the shorter time constant in cones to reflect a faster rate of decline of intracellular free Ca2+ in their outer segments resulting from the exchange activity. 7. In the absence of external Na+, and hence any Na+-dependent Ca2+ efflux, the absolute sensitivity of a cone to a dim flash was

  3. Selection for Unequal Densities of Sigma70 Promoter-like Signalsin Different Regions of Large Bacterial Genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Huerta, Araceli M.; Francino, M. Pilar; Morett, Enrique; Collado-Vides, Julio

    2006-03-01

    distribution of promoter-like signals between regulatory and nonregulatory regions detected in large bacterial genomes confers a significant, although small, fitness advantage. This study paves the way for further identification of the specific types of selective constraints that affect the organization of regulatory regions and the overall distribution of promoter-like signals through more detailed comparative analyses among closely-related bacterial genomes.

  4. Obligate Insect Endosymbionts Exhibit Increased Ortholog Length Variation and Loss of Large Accessory Proteins Concurrent with Genome Shrinkage

    PubMed Central

    Kenyon, Laura J.; Sabree, Zakee L.

    2014-01-01

    Extreme genome reduction has been observed in obligate intracellular insect mutualists and is an assumed consequence of fixed, long-term host isolation. Rapid accumulation of mutations and pseudogenization of genes no longer vital for an intracellular lifestyle, followed by deletion of many genes, are factors that lead to genome reduction. Size reductions in individual genes due to small-scale deletions have also been implicated in contributing to overall genome shrinkage. Conserved protein functional domains are expected to exhibit low tolerance for mutations and therefore remain relatively unchanged throughout protein length reduction while nondomain regions, presumably under less selective pressures, would shorten. This hypothesis was tested using orthologous protein sets from the Flavobacteriaceae (phylum: Bacteroidetes) and Enterobacteriaceae (subphylum: Gammaproteobacteria) families, each of which includes some of the smallest known genomes. Upon examination of protein, functional domain, and nondomain region lengths, we found that proteins were not uniformly shrinking with genome reduction, but instead increased length variability and variability was observed in both the functional domain and nondomain regions. Additionally, as complete gene loss also contributes to overall genome shrinkage, we found that the largest proteins in the proteomes of nonhost-restricted bacteroidetial and gammaproteobacterial species often were inferred to be involved in secondary metabolic processes, extracellular sensing, or of unknown function. These proteins were absent in the proteomes of obligate insect endosymbionts. Therefore, loss of genes encoding large proteins not required for host-restricted lifestyles in obligate endosymbiont proteomes likely contributes to extreme genome reduction to a greater degree than gene shrinkage. PMID:24671745

  5. Efficient generation of large-scale genome-modified mice using gRNA and CAS9 endonuclease.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Wataru; Kawasaki, Kurenai; Sugiura, Koji; Naito, Kunihiko

    2013-11-01

    The generation of genome-modified animals is a powerful approach to analyze gene functions. The CAS9/guide RNA (gRNA) system is expected to become widely used for the efficient generation of genome-modified animals, but detailed studies on optimum conditions and availability are limited. In the present study, we attempted to generate large-scale genome-modified mice with an optimized CAS9/gRNA system, and confirmed the transmission of these mutations to the next generations. A comparison of different types of gRNA indicated that the target loci of almost all pups were modified successfully by the use of long-type gRNAs with CAS9. We showed that this system has much higher mutation efficiency and much lower off-target effect compared to zinc-finger nuclease. We propose that most of these off-target effects can be avoided by the careful control of CAS9 mRNA concentration and that the genome-modification efficiency depends rather on the gRNA concentration. Under optimized conditions, large-scale (~10 kb) genome-modified mice can be efficiently generated by modifying two loci on a single chromosome using two gRNAs at once in mouse zygotes. In addition, the normal transmission of these CAS9/gRNA-induced mutations to the next generation was confirmed. These results indicate that CAS9/gRNA system can become a highly effective tool for the generation of genome-modified animals. PMID:23997119

  6. Leveraging Large-Scale Cancer Genomics Datasets for Germline Discovery - TCGA

    Cancer.gov

    The session will review how data types have changed over time, focusing on how next-generation sequencing is being employed to yield more precise information about the underlying genomic variation that influences tumor etiology and biology.

  7. A large maize (Zea Mays L.) SNP genotyping array: development and germplasm genotyping, and genetic mapping to compare with the B73 reference genome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    SNP genotyping arrays have been useful for many applications that require a large number of molecular markers such as high-density genetic mapping, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and genomic selection for accelerated breeding. We report the establishment of a large SNP array for maize and i...

  8. Genetic drift and rapid evolution of viviparity in insular fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra).

    PubMed

    Velo-Antón, G; Zamudio, K R; Cordero-Rivera, A

    2012-04-01

    Continental islands offer an excellent opportunity to investigate adaptive processes and to time microevolutionary changes that precede macroevolutionary events. We performed a population genetic study of the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), a species that displays unique intraspecific diversity of reproductive strategies, to address the microevolutionary processes leading to phenotypic and genetic differentiation of island, coastal and interior populations. We used eight microsatellite markers to estimate genetic diversity, population structure and demographic parameters in viviparous insular populations and ovoviviparous coastal and interior populations. Our results show considerable genetic differentiation (F(ST) range: 0.06-0.27), and no clear signs of gene flow among populations, except between the large and admixed interior populations. We find no support for island colonization by rafting or intentional/accidental anthropogenic introductions, indicating that rising sea levels were responsible for isolation of the island populations approximately 9000 years ago. Our study provides evidence of rapid genetic differentiation between island and coastal populations, and rapid evolution of viviparity driven by climatic selective pressures on island populations, geographic isolation with genetic drift, or a combination of these factors. Studies of these viviparous island populations in early stages of divergence help us better understand the microevolutionary processes involved in rapid phenotypic shifts. PMID:22086081

  9. Acute toxicity of some hydrazine compounds to salamander larvae, Ambystoma spp

    SciTech Connect

    Slonim, A.R.

    1986-11-01

    Although hydrazine compounds have been used extensively by industry for a very long time, they have become important in recent years as propellants for aerospace operations. The study of hydrazine compounds in this laboratory began about two decades ago and developed into a large pharmacological and toxicological research program that included also environmental considerations. Subsequently, acute toxicity studies were conducted on the common guppy (Lebistes reticulatus Peters) using four hydrazine compounds of interest. The toxicity of these propellants were evaluated next on other species of aquatic organisms such as mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) and amphibians. Two different studies were conducted on amphibians: One utilized amphibian eggs and the other amphibian larvae. The larvae of spotted and marbled salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum and A. opacum, respectively) were used primarily in numerous static bioassays to determine the acute toxicity of hydrazine, UDMH and Aerozine-50 on these organisms. The remaining larvae were used in other tests mainly to corroborate previous experimental results (e.g., to see whether toxicity is affected by organism size, aeration of test solutions, and water hardness). The results on the larvae are presented in this paper.

  10. Genetic drift and rapid evolution of viviparity in insular fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra)

    PubMed Central

    Velo-Antón, G; Zamudio, K R; Cordero-Rivera, A

    2012-01-01

    Continental islands offer an excellent opportunity to investigate adaptive processes and to time microevolutionary changes that precede macroevolutionary events. We performed a population genetic study of the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), a species that displays unique intraspecific diversity of reproductive strategies, to address the microevolutionary processes leading to phenotypic and genetic differentiation of island, coastal and interior populations. We used eight microsatellite markers to estimate genetic diversity, population structure and demographic parameters in viviparous insular populations and ovoviviparous coastal and interior populations. Our results show considerable genetic differentiation (FST range: 0.06–0.27), and no clear signs of gene flow among populations, except between the large and admixed interior populations. We find no support for island colonization by rafting or intentional/accidental anthropogenic introductions, indicating that rising sea levels were responsible for isolation of the island populations approximately 9000 years ago. Our study provides evidence of rapid genetic differentiation between island and coastal populations, and rapid evolution of viviparity driven by climatic selective pressures on island populations, geographic isolation with genetic drift, or a combination of these factors. Studies of these viviparous island populations in early stages of divergence help us better understand the microevolutionary processes involved in rapid phenotypic shifts. PMID:22086081

  11. IMPACT OF GUTHION ON SURVIVAL AND GROWTH OF THE FROG PSEUDACRIS REGILLA AND THE SALAMANDERS AMBYSTOMA GRACILE AND AMBYSTOMA MACULATUM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effects of the insecticides Guthion (technical grade) and Guthion 2S(commercial formulation) on survival and growth of tadpoles of the Pacific treefrog Pseudacris regilla, and larvae of the Northwestern salamander Ambystoma gracile and the spotted salamander Ambystoma macula...

  12. 76 FR 44036 - Proposed Low-Effect Habitat Conservation Plan for the California Tiger Salamander, AT&T Portable...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-22

    ... Salamander, AT&T Portable Generator Storage Facility, Yolo County, CA AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service... the construction of a portable generator storage facility located at 26120 County Road 6, Dunnigan, CA... for the California tiger salamander into a new storage facility for portable generators within...

  13. Genome Sequence of the Pathogenic Intestinal Spirochete Brachyspira hyodysenteriae Reveals Adaptations to Its Lifestyle in the Porcine Large Intestine

    PubMed Central

    La, Tom; Ryan, Karon; Moolhuijzen, Paula; Albertyn, Zayed; Shaban, Babak; Motro, Yair; Dunn, David S.; Schibeci, David; Hunter, Adam; Barrero, Roberto; Phillips, Nyree D.; Hampson, David J.

    2009-01-01

    Brachyspira hyodysenteriae is an anaerobic intestinal spirochete that colonizes the large intestine of pigs and causes swine dysentery, a disease of significant economic importance. The genome sequence of B. hyodysenteriae strain WA1 was determined, making it the first representative of the genus Brachyspira to be sequenced, and the seventeenth spirochete genome to be reported. The genome consisted of a circular 3,000,694 base pair (bp) chromosome, and a 35,940 bp circular plasmid that has not previously been described. The spirochete had 2,122 protein-coding sequences. Of the predicted proteins, more had similarities to proteins of the enteric Escherichia coli and Clostridium species than they did to proteins of other spirochetes. Many of these genes were associated with transport and metabolism, and they may have been gradually acquired through horizontal gene transfer in the environment of the large intestine. A reconstruction of central metabolic pathways identified a complete set of coding sequences for glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, a non-oxidative pentose phosphate pathway, nucleotide metabolism, lipooligosaccharide biosynthesis, and a respiratory electron transport chain. A notable finding was the presence on the plasmid of the genes involved in rhamnose biosynthesis. Potential virulence genes included those for 15 proteases and six hemolysins. Other adaptations to an enteric lifestyle included the presence of large numbers of genes associated with chemotaxis and motility. B. hyodysenteriae has diverged from other spirochetes in the process of accommodating to its habitat in the porcine large intestine. PMID:19262690

  14. Larval long-toed salamanders incur nonconsumptive effects in the presence of nonnative trout

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kenison, Erin K.; Litt, Andrea R.; Pilliod, David; McMahon, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Predators can influence prey directly through consumption or indirectly through nonconsumptive effects (NCEs) by altering prey behavior, morphology, and life history. We investigated whether predator-avoidance behaviors by larval long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) in lakes with nonnative trout result in NCEs on morphology and development. Field studies in lakes with and without trout were corroborated by experimental enclosures, where prey were exposed only to visual and chemical cues of predators. We found that salamanders in lakes with trout were consistently smaller than in lakes without trout: 38% lower weight, 24% shorter body length, and 29% shorter tail length. Similarly, salamanders in protective enclosures grew 2.9 times slower when exposed to visual and olfactory trout cues than when no trout cues were present. Salamanders in trout-free lakes and enclosures were 22.7 times and 1.48 times, respectively, more likely to metamorphose during the summer season than those exposed to trout in lakes and/or their cues. Observed changes in larval growth rate and development likely resulted from a facultative response to predator-avoidance behavior and demonstrate NCEs occurred even when predation risk was only perceived. Reduced body size and growth, as well as delayed metamorphosis, could have ecological consequences for salamander populations existing with fish if those effects carry-over into lower recruitment, survival, and fecundity.

  15. A case for using Plethodontid salamanders for monitoring biodiversity and ecosystem integrity of North American forests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welsh, H.H., Jr.; Droege, S.

    2001-01-01

    Terrestrial salamanders of the family P!ethodontidae have unique attributes that make them excellent indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem integrity in forested habitats. Their longevity, small territory size, site fidelity, sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic perturbations, tendency to occur in high densities, and low sampling costs mean that counts of plethodontid salamanders provide numerous advantages over counts of other North American forest organisms for indicating environmental change. Furthermore, they are tightly linked physiologically to microclimatic and successional processes that influence the distribution and abundance of numerous other hydrophilic but difficult-to-study forest-dwelling plants and animals. Ecosystem processes such as moisture cycling, food-web dynamics, and succession, with their related structural and microclimatic variability, all affect forest biodiversity and have been shown to affect salamander populations as well. We determined the variability associated with sampling for plethodontid salamanders by estimating the coefficient of variation (CV) from available time-series data. The median coefficient of variation indicated that variation in counts of individuals among studies was much lower in plethodonticis (27%) than in lepidoptera (93%), passerine birds (57%), small mammals (69%), or other amphibians (37-46%), which means plethodontid salamanders provide an important statistical advantage over other species for monitoring long-term forest health.

  16. Estimating superpopulation size and annual probability of breeding for pond-breeding salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kinkead, K.E.; Otis, D.L.

    2007-01-01

    It has long been accepted that amphibians can skip breeding in any given year, and environmental conditions act as a cue for breeding. In this paper, we quantify temporary emigration or nonbreeding probability for mole and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma talpoideum and A. maculatum). We estimated that 70% of mole salamanders may skip breeding during an average rainfall year and 90% may skip during a drought year. Spotted salamanders may be more likely to breed, with only 17% avoiding the breeding pond during an average rainfall year. We illustrate how superpopulations can be estimated using temporary emigration probability estimates. The superpopulation is the total number of salamanders associated with a given breeding pond. Although most salamanders stay within a certain distance of a breeding pond for the majority of their life spans, it is difficult to determine true overall population sizes for a given site if animals are only captured during a brief time frame each year with some animals unavailable for capture at any time during a given year. ?? 2007 by The Herpetologists' League, Inc.

  17. Decoding the mechanisms of gait generation in salamanders by combining neurobiology, modeling and robotics.

    PubMed

    Bicanski, Andrej; Ryczko, Dimitri; Knuesel, Jérémie; Harischandra, Nalin; Charrier, Vanessa; Ekeberg, Örjan; Cabelguen, Jean-Marie; Ijspeert, Auke Jan

    2013-10-01

    Vertebrate animals exhibit impressive locomotor skills. These locomotor skills are due to the complex interactions between the environment, the musculo-skeletal system and the central nervous system, in particular the spinal locomotor circuits. We are interested in decoding these interactions in the salamander, a key animal from an evolutionary point of view. It exhibits both swimming and stepping gaits and is faced with the problem of producing efficient propulsive forces using the same musculo-skeletal system in two environments with significant physical differences in density, viscosity and gravitational load. Yet its nervous system remains comparatively simple. Our approach is based on a combination of neurophysiological experiments, numerical modeling at different levels of abstraction, and robotic validation using an amphibious salamander-like robot. This article reviews the current state of our knowledge on salamander locomotion control, and presents how our approach has allowed us to obtain a first conceptual model of the salamander spinal locomotor networks. The model suggests that the salamander locomotor circuit can be seen as a lamprey-like circuit controlling axial movements of the trunk and tail, extended by specialized oscillatory centers controlling limb movements. The interplay between the two types of circuits determines the mode of locomotion under the influence of sensory feedback and descending drive, with stepping gaits at low drive, and swimming at high drive. PMID:23430277

  18. Hybrid vigor between native and introduced salamanders raises new challenges for conservation

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Benjamin M.; Shaffer, H. Bradley

    2007-01-01

    Hybridization between differentiated lineages can have many different consequences depending on fitness variation among hybrid offspring. When introduced organisms hybridize with natives, the ensuing evolutionary dynamics may substantially complicate conservation decisions. Understanding the fitness consequences of hybridization is an important first step in predicting its evolutionary outcome and conservation impact. Here, we measured natural selection caused by differential viability of hybrid larvae in wild populations where native California Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma californiense) and introduced Barred Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium) have been hybridizing for 50–60 years. We found strong evidence of hybrid vigor; mixed-ancestry genotypes had higher survival rates than genotypes containing mostly native or mostly introduced alleles. Hybrid vigor may be caused by heterozygote advantage (overdominance) or recombinant hybrid vigor (due to epistasis or complementation). These genetic mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and we find statistical support for both overdominant and recombinant contributions to hybrid vigor in larval tiger salamanders. Because recombinant homozygous genotypes can breed true, a single highly fit genotype with a mosaic of native and introduced alleles may eventually replace the historically pure California Tiger Salamander (listed as Threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act). The management implications of this outcome are complex: Genetically pure populations may not persist into the future, but average fitness and population viability of admixed California Tiger Salamanders may be enhanced. The ecological consequences for other native species are unknown. PMID:17884982

  19. Salamanders increase their feeding activity when infected with the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Hess, Alexandra; McAllister, Caroline; DeMarchi, Joseph; Zidek, Makenzie; Murone, Julie; Venesky, Matthew D

    2015-10-27

    Immune function is a costly line of defense against parasitism. When infected with a parasite, hosts frequently lose mass due to these costs. However, some infected hosts (e.g. highly resistant individuals) can clear infections with seemingly little fitness losses, but few studies have tested how resistant hosts mitigate these costly immune defenses. We explored this topic using eastern red-backed salamanders Plethodon cinereus and the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Bd is generally lethal for amphibians, and stereotypical symptoms of infection include loss in mass and deficits in feeding. However, individuals of P. cinereus can clear their Bd infections with seemingly few fitness costs. We conducted an experiment in which we repeatedly observed the feeding activity of Bd-infected and non-infected salamanders. We found that Bd-infected salamanders generally increased their feeding activity compared to non-infected salamanders. The fact that we did not observe any differences in mass change between the treatments suggests that increased feeding might help Bd-infected salamanders minimize the costs of an effective immune response. PMID:26503775

  20. Chromatin organization and cytological features of carnivorous Genlisea species with large genome size differences

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Trung D.; Cao, Hieu X.; Jovtchev, Gabriele; Novák, Petr; Vu, Giang T. H.; Macas, Jiří; Schubert, Ingo; Fuchs, Joerg

    2015-01-01

    The monophyletic carnivorous genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae) is characterized by a bi-directional genome size evolution resulting in a 25-fold difference in nuclear DNA content. This is one of the largest ranges found within a genus so far and makes Genlisea an interesting subject to study mechanisms of genome and karyotype evolution. Genlisea nigrocaulis, with 86 Mbp one of the smallest plant genomes, and the 18-fold larger genome of G. hispidula (1,550 Mbp) possess identical chromosome numbers (2n = 40) but differ considerably in chromatin organization, nuclear and cell size. Interphase nuclei of G. nigrocaulis and of related species with small genomes, G. aurea (133 Mbp, 2n ≈ 104) and G. pygmaea (179 Mbp, 2n = 80), are hallmarked by intensely DAPI-stained chromocenters, carrying typical heterochromatin-associated methylation marks (5-methylcytosine, H3K9me2), while in G. hispidula and surprisingly also in the small genome of G. margaretae (184 Mbp, 2n = 38) the heterochromatin marks are more evenly distributed. Probes of tandem repetitive sequences together with rDNA allow the unequivocal discrimination of 13 out of 20 chromosome pairs of G. hispidula. One of the repetitive sequences labeled half of the chromosome set almost homogenously supporting an allopolyploid status of G. hispidula and its close relative G. subglabra (1,622 Mbp, 2n = 40). In G. nigrocaulis 11 chromosome pairs could be individualized using a combination of rDNA and unique genomic probes. The presented data provide a basis for future studies of karyotype evolution within the genus Genlisea. PMID:26347752

  1. Chromatin organization and cytological features of carnivorous Genlisea species with large genome size differences.

    PubMed

    Tran, Trung D; Cao, Hieu X; Jovtchev, Gabriele; Novák, Petr; Vu, Giang T H; Macas, Jiří; Schubert, Ingo; Fuchs, Joerg

    2015-01-01

    The monophyletic carnivorous genus Genlisea (Lentibulariaceae) is characterized by a bi-directional genome size evolution resulting in a 25-fold difference in nuclear DNA content. This is one of the largest ranges found within a genus so far and makes Genlisea an interesting subject to study mechanisms of genome and karyotype evolution. Genlisea nigrocaulis, with 86 Mbp one of the smallest plant genomes, and the 18-fold larger genome of G. hispidula (1,550 Mbp) possess identical chromosome numbers (2n = 40) but differ considerably in chromatin organization, nuclear and cell size. Interphase nuclei of G. nigrocaulis and of related species with small genomes, G. aurea (133 Mbp, 2n ≈ 104) and G. pygmaea (179 Mbp, 2n = 80), are hallmarked by intensely DAPI-stained chromocenters, carrying typical heterochromatin-associated methylation marks (5-methylcytosine, H3K9me2), while in G. hispidula and surprisingly also in the small genome of G. margaretae (184 Mbp, 2n = 38) the heterochromatin marks are more evenly distributed. Probes of tandem repetitive sequences together with rDNA allow the unequivocal discrimination of 13 out of 20 chromosome pairs of G. hispidula. One of the repetitive sequences labeled half of the chromosome set almost homogenously supporting an allopolyploid status of G. hispidula and its close relative G. subglabra (1,622 Mbp, 2n = 40). In G. nigrocaulis 11 chromosome pairs could be individualized using a combination of rDNA and unique genomic probes. The presented data provide a basis for future studies of karyotype evolution within the genus Genlisea. PMID:26347752

  2. Maintenance of Large Numbers of Virus Genomes in Human Cytomegalovirus-Infected T98G Glioblastoma Cells

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Ying-Liang; Ye, Han-Qing; Zavala, Anamaria G.; Yang, Cui-Qing; Miao, Ling-Feng; Fu, Bi-Shi; Seo, Keun Seok; Davrinche, Christian

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT After infection, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) persists for life. Primary infections and reactivation of latent virus can both result in congenital infection, a leading cause of central nervous system birth defects. We previously reported long-term HCMV infection in the T98G glioblastoma cell line (1). HCMV infection has been further characterized in T98Gs, emphasizing the presence of HCMV DNA over an extended time frame. T98Gs were infected with either HCMV Towne or AD169-IE2-enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) strains. Towne infections yielded mixed IE1 antigen-positive and -negative (Ag+/Ag−) populations. AD169-IE2-eGFP infections also yielded mixed populations, which were sorted to obtain an IE2− (Ag−) population. Viral gene expression over the course of infection was determined by immunofluorescent analysis (IFA) and reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). The presence of HCMV genomes was determined by PCR, nested PCR (n-PCR), and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Compared to the HCMV latency model, THP-1, Towne-infected T98Gs expressed IE1 and latency-associated transcripts for longer periods, contained many more HCMV genomes during early passages, and carried genomes for a greatly extended period of passaging. Large numbers of HCMV genomes were also found in purified Ag− AD169-infected cells for the first several passages. Interestingly, latency transcripts were observed from very early times in the Towne-infected cells, even when IE1 was expressed at low levels. Although AD169-infected Ag− cells expressed no detectable levels of either IE1 or latency transcripts, they also maintained large numbers of genomes within the cell nuclei for several passages. These results identify HCMV-infected T98Gs as an attractive new model in the study of the long-term maintenance of virus genomes in the context of neural cell types. IMPORTANCE Our previous work showed that T98G glioblastoma cells were semipermissive to HCMV infection; virus

  3. RNAseq versus genome-predicted transcriptomes: a large population of novel transcripts identified in an Illumina-454 Hydra transcriptome

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Evolutionary studies benefit from deep sequencing technologies that generate genomic and transcriptomic sequences from a variety of organisms. Genome sequencing and RNAseq have complementary strengths. In this study, we present the assembly of the most complete Hydra transcriptome to date along with a comparative analysis of the specific features of RNAseq and genome-predicted transcriptomes currently available in the freshwater hydrozoan Hydra vulgaris. Results To produce an accurate and extensive Hydra transcriptome, we combined Illumina and 454 Titanium reads, giving the primacy to Illumina over 454 reads to correct homopolymer errors. This strategy yielded an RNAseq transcriptome that contains 48’909 unique sequences including splice variants, representing approximately 24’450 distinct genes. Comparative analysis to the available genome-predicted transcriptomes identified 10’597 novel Hydra transcripts that encode 529 evolutionarily-conserved proteins. The annotation of 170 human orthologs points to critical functions in protein biosynthesis, FGF and TOR signaling, vesicle transport, immunity, cell cycle regulation, cell death, mitochondrial metabolism, transcription and chromatin regulation. However, a majority of these novel transcripts encodes short ORFs, at least 767 of them corresponding to pseudogenes. This RNAseq transcriptome also lacks 11’270 predicted transcripts that correspond either to silent genes or to genes expressed below the detection level of this study. Conclusions We established a simple and powerful strategy to combine Illumina and 454 reads and we produced, with genome assistance, an extensive and accurate Hydra transcriptome. The comparative analysis of the RNAseq transcriptome with genome-predicted transcriptomes lead to the identification of large populations of novel as well as missing transcripts that might reflect Hydra-specific evolutionary events. PMID:23530871

  4. Comparative genome analysis of a large Dutch Legionella pneumophila strain collection identifies five markers highly correlated with clinical strains

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Discrimination between clinical and environmental strains within many bacterial species is currently underexplored. Genomic analyses have clearly shown the enormous variability in genome composition between different strains of a bacterial species. In this study we have used Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaire's disease, to search for genomic markers related to pathogenicity. During a large surveillance study in The Netherlands well-characterized patient-derived strains and environmental strains were collected. We have used a mixed-genome microarray to perform comparative-genome analysis of 257 strains from this collection. Results Microarray analysis indicated that 480 DNA markers (out of in total 3360 markers) showed clear variation in presence between individual strains and these were therefore selected for further analysis. Unsupervised statistical analysis of these markers showed the enormous genomic variation within the species but did not show any correlation with a pathogenic phenotype. We therefore used supervised statistical analysis to identify discriminating markers. Genetic programming was used both to identify predictive markers and to define their interrelationships. A model consisting of five markers was developed that together correctly predicted 100% of the clinical strains and 69% of the environmental strains. Conclusions A novel approach for identifying predictive markers enabling discrimination between clinical and environmental isolates of L. pneumophila is presented. Out of over 3000 possible markers, five were selected that together enabled correct prediction of all the clinical strains included in this study. This novel approach for identifying predictive markers can be applied to all bacterial species, allowing for better discrimination between strains well equipped to cause human disease and relatively harmless strains. PMID:20630115

  5. Large-scale genomics unveil polygenic architecture of human cortical surface area.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chi-Hua; Peng, Qian; Schork, Andrew J; Lo, Min-Tzu; Fan, Chun-Chieh; Wang, Yunpeng; Desikan, Rahul S; Bettella, Francesco; Hagler, Donald J; Westlye, Lars T; Kremen, William S; Jernigan, Terry L; Le Hellard, Stephanie; Steen, Vidar M; Espeseth, Thomas; Huentelman, Matt; Håberg, Asta K; Agartz, Ingrid; Djurovic, Srdjan; Andreassen, Ole A; Schork, Nicholas; Dale, Anders M

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about how genetic variation contributes to neuroanatomical variability, and whether particular genomic regions comprising genes or evolutionarily conserved elements are enriched for effects that influence brain morphology. Here, we examine brain imaging and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) data from ∼2,700 individuals. We show that a substantial proportion of variation in cortical surface area is explained by additive effects of SNPs dispersed throughout the genome, with a larger heritable effect for visual and auditory sensory and insular cortices (h(2)∼0.45). Genome-wide SNPs collectively account for, on average, about half of twin heritability across cortical regions (N=466 twins). We find enriched genetic effects in or near genes. We also observe that SNPs in evolutionarily more conserved regions contributed significantly to the heritability of cortical surface area, particularly, for medial and temporal cortical regions. SNPs in less conserved regions contributed more to occipital and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. PMID:26189703

  6. Large-scale genomics unveil polygenic architecture of human cortical surface area

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chi-Hua; Peng, Qian; Schork, Andrew J.; Lo, Min-Tzu; Fan, Chun-Chieh; Wang, Yunpeng; Desikan, Rahul S.; Bettella, Francesco; Hagler, Donald J.; McCabe, Connor; Chang, Linda; Akshoomoff, Natacha; Newman, Erik; Ernst, Thomas; Van Zijl, Peter; Kuperman, Joshua; Murray, Sarah; Bloss, Cinnamon; Appelbaum, Mark; Gamst, Anthony; Thompson, Wesley; Bartsch, Hauke; Weiner, Michael; Aisen, Paul; Petersen, Ronald; Jack Jr, Clifford R.; Jagust, William; Trojanowki, John Q.; Toga, Arthur W.; Beckett, Laurel; Green, Robert C.; Saykin, Andrew J.; Morris, John; Shaw, Leslie M.; Khachaturian, Zaven; Sorensen, Greg; Carrillo, Maria; Kuller, Lew; Raichle, Marc; Paul, Steven; Davies, Peter; Fillit, Howard; Hefti, Franz; Holtzman, Davie; Mesulman, M. Marcel; Potter, William; Snyder, Peter J.; Schwartz, Adam; Montine, Tom; Thomas, Ronald G.; Donohue, Michael; Walter, Sarah; Gessert, Devon; Sather, Tamie; Jiminez, Gus; Harvey, Danielle; Bernstein, Matthew; Fox, Nick; Thompson, Paul; Schuff, Norbert; DeCarli, Charles; Borowski, Bret; Gunter, Jeff; Senjem, Matt; Vemuri, Prashanthi; Jones, David; Kantarci, Kejal; Ward, Chad; Koeppe, Robert A.; Foster, Norm; Reiman, Eric M.; Chen, Kewei; Mathis, Chet; Landau, Susan; Cairns, Nigel J.; Householder, Erin; Taylor-Reinwald, Lisa; Lee, Virginia M.Y.; Korecka, Magdalena; Figurski, Michal; Crawford, Karen; Neu, Scott; Foroud, Tatiana M.; Potkin, Steven; Shen, Li; Faber, Kelley; Kim, Sungeun; Nho, Kwangsik; Thal, Leon; Frank, Richard; Buckholtz, Neil; Albert, Marilyn; Hsiao, John; Westlye, Lars T.; Kremen, William S.; Jernigan, Terry L.; Hellard, Stephanie Le; Steen, Vidar M.; Espeseth, Thomas; Huentelman, Matt; Håberg, Asta K.; Agartz, Ingrid; Djurovic, Srdjan; Andreassen, Ole A.; Schork, Nicholas; Dale, Anders M.

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about how genetic variation contributes to neuroanatomical variability, and whether particular genomic regions comprising genes or evolutionarily conserved elements are enriched for effects that influence brain morphology. Here, we examine brain imaging and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) data from ∼2,700 individuals. We show that a substantial proportion of variation in cortical surface area is explained by additive effects of SNPs dispersed throughout the genome, with a larger heritable effect for visual and auditory sensory and insular cortices (h2∼0.45). Genome-wide SNPs collectively account for, on average, about half of twin heritability across cortical regions (N=466 twins). We find enriched genetic effects in or near genes. We also observe that SNPs in evolutionarily more conserved regions contributed significantly to the heritability of cortical surface area, particularly, for medial and temporal cortical regions. SNPs in less conserved regions contributed more to occipital and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices. PMID:26189703

  7. Twenty years of artificial directional selection have shaped the genome of the Italian Large White pig breed.

    PubMed

    Schiavo, G; Galimberti, G; Calò, D G; Samorè, A B; Bertolini, F; Russo, V; Gallo, M; Buttazzoni, L; Fontanesi, L

    2016-04-01

    In this study, we investigated at the genome-wide level if 20 years of artificial directional selection based on boar genetic evaluation obtained with a classical BLUP animal model shaped the genome of the Italian Large White pig breed. The most influential boars of this breed (n = 192), born from 1992 (the beginning of the selection program of this breed) to 2012, with an estimated breeding value reliability of >0.85, were genotyped with the Illumina Porcine SNP60 BeadChip. After grouping the boars in eight classes according to their year of birth, filtered single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were used to evaluate the effects of time on genotype frequency changes using multinomial logistic regression models. Of these markers, 493 had a PBonferroni  < 0.10. However, there was an increasing number of SNPs with a decreasing level of allele frequency changes over time, representing a continuous profile across the genome. The largest proportion of the 493 SNPs was on porcine chromosome (SSC) 7, SSC2, SSC8 and SSC18 for a total of 204 haploblocks. Functional annotations of genomic regions, including the 493 shifted SNPs, reported a few Gene Ontology terms that might underly the biological processes that contributed to increase performances of the pigs over the 20 years of the selection program. The obtained results indicated that the genome of the Italian Large White pigs was shaped by a directional selection program derived by the application of methodologies assuming the infinitesimal model that captured a continuous trend of allele frequency changes in the boar population. PMID:26644200

  8. Asymmetric Introgression in a Spotted Salamander Hybrid Zone.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Benjamin B; White, Thomas A; Phillips, Christopher A; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2015-01-01

    Before the establishment of reproductive isolation, deeply diverged intraspecific lineages can experience complex genetic and behavioral interactions as they come into secondary contact. Divergent selective and demographic processes mediate gene flow among lineages, resulting in hybrid zones with complex biogeographic structure. Discordance in the biogeographic patterns of autosomal and maternally inherited loci provides a useful window to infer the processes mediating admixture and introgression across hybrid zones. Here, we sampled 489 genotypes across a hybrid zone between 2 phylogeographic lineages of the spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, and characterize discordant patterns of nuclear and mitochondrial introgression across the contact boundary. Our results indicate asymmetric introgression of nuclear DNA beyond the contact boundary from the western to eastern lineage, with introgression of eastern mitochondrial DNA into the western lineage. We discuss alternative mechanisms for this pattern and attribute this result to neutral patterns of population expansion of the western lineage into the east in combination with female mate choice for larger-bodied western males. Our results underscore the complexity of interacting mechanisms that give rise to reproductive asymmetries in the earliest stages of the speciation process. PMID:26136297

  9. Phylogenetic history underlies elevational biodiversity patterns in tropical salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Wiens, John J; Parra-Olea, Gabriela; García-París, Mario; Wake, David B

    2007-01-01

    Elevational variation in species richness is ubiquitous and important for conservation, but remains poorly explained. Numerous studies have documented higher species richness at mid-elevations, but none have addressed the underlying evolutionary and biogeographic processes that ultimately explain this pattern (i.e. speciation, extinction and dispersal). Here, we address the evolutionary causes of the mid-elevational diversity hump in the most species-rich clade of salamanders, the tropical bolitoglossine plethodontids. We present a new phylogeny for the group based on DNA sequences from all 13 genera and 137 species. Using this phylogeny, we find no relationship between rates of diversification of clades and their elevational distribution, and no evidence for a rapid ‘species pump’ in tropical montane regions. Instead, we find a strong relationship between the number of species in each elevational zone and the estimated time when each elevational band was first colonized. Mid-elevation habitats were colonized early in the phylogenetic history of bolitoglossines, and given similar rates of diversification across elevations, more species have accumulated in the elevational zones that were inhabited the longest. This pattern may be widespread and suggests that mid-elevation habitats may not only harbour more species, but may also contain more phylogenetic diversity than other habitats within a region. PMID:17284409

  10. Pond acidification may explain differences in corticosterone among salamander populations.

    PubMed

    Chambers, David L; Wojdak, Jeremy M; Du, Pang; Belden, Lisa K

    2013-01-01

    Physiological tolerances play a key role in determining species distributions and abundance across a landscape, and understanding these tolerances can therefore be useful in predicting future changes in species distributions that might occur. Vertebrates possess several highly conserved physiological mechanisms for coping with environmental stressors, including the hormonal stress response that involves an endocrine cascade resulting in the increased production of glucocorticoids. We examined the function of this endocrine axis by assessing both baseline and acute stress-induced concentrations of corticosterone in larvae from eight natural breeding populations of Jefferson's salamander Ambystoma jeffersonianum. We surveyed individuals from each pond and also examined a variety of environmental pond parameters. We found that baseline and stress-induced corticosterone concentrations differed significantly among ponds. Population-level baseline corticosterone concentrations were negatively related to pH and positively related to nitrate, and stress-induced concentrations were again negatively related to pH, positively related to nitrate, and positively related to temperature. We followed the field survey with an outdoor mesocosm experiment in which we manipulated pH and again examined baseline and acute stress-induced corticosterone in A. jeffersonianum larvae. As in the field survey, we observed an increase in the baseline corticosterone concentration of individuals exposed to the lowest pH treatment (pH 5-5.8). Examining physiological indices using a combined approach of field surveys and experiments can be a powerful tool for trying to unravel the complexities of environmental impacts on species distributions. PMID:23434782

  11. Testicular structure and germ cells morphology in salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Uribe, Mari Carmen; Mejía-Roa, Víctor

    2014-01-01

    Testes of salamanders or urodeles are paired elongated organs that are attached to the dorsal wall of the body by a mesorchium. The testes are composed of one or several lobes. Each lobe is morphologically and functionally a similar testicular unit. The lobes of the testis are joined by cords covered by a single peritoneal epithelium and subjacent connective tissue. The cords contain spermatogonia. Spermatogonia associate with Sertoli cells to form spermatocysts or cysts. The spermatogenic cells in a cyst undergo their development through spermatogenesis synchronously. The distribution of cysts displays the cephalo-caudal gradient in respect to the stage of spermatogenesis. The formation of cysts at cephalic end of the testis causes their migration along the lobules to the caudal end. Consequently, the disposition in cephalo-caudal regions of spermatogenesis can be observed in longitudinal sections of the testis. The germ cells are spermatogonia, diploid cells with mitotic activity; primary and second spermatocytes characterized by meiotic divisions that develop haploid spermatids; during spermiogenesis the spermatids differentiate to spermatozoa. During spermiation the cysts open and spermatozoa leave the testicular lobules. After spermiation occurs the development of Leydig cells into glandular tissue. This glandular tissue regressed at the end of the reproductive cycle. PMID:26413406

  12. Wildlife disease. Recent introduction of a chytrid fungus endangers Western Palearctic salamanders.

    PubMed

    Martel, A; Blooi, M; Adriaensen, C; Van Rooij, P; Beukema, W; Fisher, M C; Farrer, R A; Schmidt, B R; Tobler, U; Goka, K; Lips, K R; Muletz, C; Zamudio, K R; Bosch, J; Lötters, S; Wombwell, E; Garner, T W J; Cunningham, A A; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, A; Salvidio, S; Ducatelle, R; Nishikawa, K; Nguyen, T T; Kolby, J E; Van Bocxlaer, I; Bossuyt, F; Pasmans, F

    2014-10-31

    Emerging infectious diseases are reducing biodiversity on a global scale. Recently, the emergence of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans resulted in rapid declines in populations of European fire salamanders. Here, we screened more than 5000 amphibians from across four continents and combined experimental assessment of pathogenicity with phylogenetic methods to estimate the threat that this infection poses to amphibian diversity. Results show that B. salamandrivorans is restricted to, but highly pathogenic for, salamanders and newts (Urodela). The pathogen likely originated and remained in coexistence with a clade of salamander hosts for millions of years in Asia. As a result of globalization and lack of biosecurity, it has recently been introduced into naïve European amphibian populations, where it is currently causing biodiversity loss. PMID:25359973

  13. An orphan gene is necessary for preaxial digit formation during salamander limb development

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Anoop; Gates, Phillip B.; Czarkwiani, Anna; Brockes, Jeremy P.

    2015-01-01

    Limb development in salamanders differs from other tetrapods in that the first digits to form are the two most anterior (preaxial dominance). This has been proposed as a salamander novelty and its mechanistic basis is unknown. Salamanders are the only adult tetrapods able to regenerate the limb, and the contribution of preaxial dominance to limb regeneration is unclear. Here we show that during early outgrowth of the limb bud, a small cohort of cells express the orphan gene Prod1 together with Bmp2, a critical player in digit condensation in amniotes. Disruption of Prod1 with a gene-editing nuclease abrogates these cells, and blocks formation of the radius and ulna, and outgrowth of the anterior digits. Preaxial dominance is a notable feature of limb regeneration in the larval newt, but this changes abruptly after metamorphosis so that the formation of anterior and posterior digits occurs together within the autopodium resembling an amniote-like pattern. PMID:26498026

  14. Heterogeneous Vesicles in Mucous Epithelial Cells of Posterior Esophagus of Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias Davidianus)

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, H.; Zhong, S.; Ge, T.; Peng, S.; Yu, P.; Zhou, Z.; Guo, X.

    2015-01-01

    The Chinese giant salamander belongs to an old lineage of salamanders and endangered species. Many studies of breeding and disease regarding this amphibian had been implemented. However, the studies on the ultrastructure of this amphibian are rare. In this work, we provide a histological and ultra-structural investigation on posterior esophagus of Chinese giant salamander. The sections of amphibian esophagus were stained by hematoxylin & eosin (H&E). Moreover, the esophageal epithelium was observed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The results showed that esophageal epithelium was a single layer epithelium, which consisted of mucous cells and columnar cells. The esophageal glands were present in submucosa. The columnar cells were ciliated. According to the diverging ultrastructure of mucous vesicles, three types of mucous cells could be identified in the esophageal mucosa: i) electron-lucent vesicles mucous cell (ELV-MC); ii) electron-dense vesicles mucous cell (EDV-MC); and iii) mixed vesicles mucous cell (MV-MC). PMID:26428885

  15. Large Scale Sequencing of Dothideomycetes Provides Insights into Genome Evolution and Adaptation

    SciTech Connect

    Haridas, Sajeet; Crous, Pedro; Binder, Manfred; Spatafora, Joseph; Grigoriev, Igor

    2015-03-16

    Dothideomycetes is the largest and most diverse class of ascomycete fungi with 23 orders 110 families, 1300 genera and over 19,000 known species. We present comparative analysis of 70 Dothideomycete genomes including over 50 that we sequenced and are as yet unpublished. This extensive sampling has almost quadrupled the previous study of 18 species and uncovered a 10 fold range of genome sizes. We were able to clarify the phylogenetic positions of several species whose origins were unclear in previous morphological and sequence comparison studies. We analyzed selected gene families including proteases, transporters and small secreted proteins and show that major differences in gene content is influenced by speciation.

  16. A large genome centre’s improvements to the Illumina sequencing system

    PubMed Central

    Quail, Michael A.; Kozarewa, Iwanka; Smith, Frances; Scally, Aylwyn; Stephens, Philip J.; Durbin, Richard; Swerdlow, Harold; Turner, Daniel J.

    2008-01-01

    Preface The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute is one of the world’s largest genome centres, and a substantial amount of our sequencing is performed on ‘next generation’ massively parallel sequencing technologies: in June 2008 the quantity of purity filtered sequence data generated by our Genome Analyzer (Illumina) platforms reached 1 terabase, and our average weekly Illumina production output is currently 64gigabases (Gb). Here we describe a set of improvements we have made to the standard Illumina protocols to make the library preparation more reliable in a high throughput environment, to reduce bias, tighten insert size distribution, and reliably obtain high yields of data. PMID:19034268

  17. Kmasker--a tool for in silico prediction of single-copy FISH probes for the large-genome species Hordeum vulgare.

    PubMed

    Schmutzer, T; Ma, L; Pousarebani, N; Bull, F; Stein, N; Houben, A; Scholz, U

    2014-01-01

    Specific localization of large genomic fragments by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is challenging in large- genome plant species due to the high content of repetitive sequences. We report the automated work flow (Kmasker) for in silico extraction of unique genomic sequences of large genomic fragments suitable for FISH in barley. This method can be widely used for the integration of genetic and cytogenetic maps in plants and other species with large and complex genomes if the probe sequence (e.g. BACs, sequence contigs) and a low coverage (8-fold) of unassembled sequences of the species of interest are available. Kmasker has been made publicly available as a web tool at http://webblast.ipk-gatersleben.de/kmasker. PMID:24335088

  18. Whole genome analysis of an MDR Beijing/W strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with large genomic deletions associated with resistance to isoniazid.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qiufen; Wan, Baoshan; Zhou, Aiping; Ni, Jinjing; Xu, Zhihong; Li, Shuxian; Tao, Jing; Yao, YuFeng

    2016-05-15

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) is one of the most prevalent bacterial pathogens in the world. With geographical wide spread and hypervirulence, Beijing/W family is the most successful M.tb lineage. China is a country of high tuberculosis (TB) and high multiple drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) burden, and the Beijing/W family strains take the largest share of MDR strains. To study the genetic basis of Beijing/W family strains' virulence and drug resistance, we performed the whole genome sequencing of M.tb strain W146, a clinical Beijing/W genotype MDR isolated from Wuxi, Jiangsu province, China. Compared with genome sequence of M.tb strain H37Rv, we found that strain W146 lacks three large fragments and the missing of furA-katG operon confers isoniazid resistance. Besides the missing of furA-katG operon, strain W146 harbored almost all known drug resistance-associated mutations. Comparison analysis of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and indels between strain W146 and Beijing/W genotype strains and non-Beijing/W genotype strains revealed that strain W146 possessed some unique mutations, which may be related to drug resistance, transmission and pathogenicity. These findings will help to understand the large sequence polymorphisms (LSPs) and the transmission and drug resistance related genetic characteristics of the Beijing/W genotype of M.tb. PMID:26854371

  19. Evolutionary analysis of a large mtDNA translocation (numt) into the nuclear genome of the Panthera genus species

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jae-Heup; Antunes, Agostinho; Luo, Shu-Jin; Menninger, Joan; Nash, William G.; O’Brien, Stephen J.; Johnson, Warren E.

    2006-01-01

    Translocation of cymtDNA into the nuclear genome, also referred to as numt, has been reported in many species, including several closely related to the domestic cat (Felis catus). We describe the recent transposition of 12,536 bp of the 17 kb mitochondrial genome into the nucleus of the common ancestor of the five Panthera genus species: tiger, P. tigris; snow leopard, P. uncia; jaguar, P. onca; leopard, P. pardus; and lion, P. leo. This nuclear integration, representing 74% of the mitochondrial genome, is one of the largest to be reported in eukaryotes. The Panthera genus numt differs from the numt previously described in the Felis genus in: (1) chromosomal location (F2 – telomeric region vs. D2 – centromeric region), (2) gene make up (from the ND5 to the ATP8 vs. from the CR to the COII), (3) size (12.5 kb vs. 7.9 kb), and (4) structure (single monomer vs. tandemly repeated in Felis). These distinctions indicate that the origin of this large numt fragment in the nuclear genome of the Panthera species is an independent insertion from that of the domestic cat lineage, which has been further supported by phylogenetic analyses. The tiger cymtDNA shared around 90% sequence identity with the homologous numt sequence, suggesting an origin for the Panthera numt at around 3.5 million years ago, prior to the radiation of the five extant Panthera species. PMID:16380222

  20. A Protocol for mtGenome Analysis on Large Sample Numbers

    PubMed Central

    Hamoy, Igor G; Ribeiro-dos-Santos, André M; Alvarez, Luiz; Barbosa, Silvanira; Silva, Artur; Santos, Sidney; Gusmão, Leonor; Ribeiro-dos-Santos, Ândrea

    2014-01-01

    The mitochondrial genome is widely studied in a variety of fields, such as population, forensic, and human and medical genetics. Most studies have been limited to a small portion of the sequence that, although highly diverse, does not describe the total variability. The arrival of modern high-throughput sequencing technologies has made it possible to investigate larger sequences in a shorter amount of time as well as in a more affordable fashion. This work aims to describe a protocol for sequencing and analyzing the complete mitochondrial genome with the Ion PGM™ platform. To evaluate the protocol, the mitochondrial genome was sequenced to approximately 210 Mbp, with high-quality sequences distributed between 12 samples that had an average coverage of 1023× per sample. Several variant callers were compared to improve the protocol outcome. The results suggest that it is possible to run up to 120 samples per run without any loss of any significant quality. Therefore, this protocol is an efficient and accurate tool for full mitochondrial genome analysis. PMID:25002812

  1. Discovery of novel phosphonate natural products and their biosynthetic pathways by large-scale genome mining

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genome mining has revolutionized the field of natural products, providing hope that new antibiotics can be discovered in time before all remainders are rendered useless against multidrug resistant pathogens. While this approach has been successful in academic settings focused on small collections or...

  2. High-resolution typing by integration of genome sequencing data in a large tuberculosis cluster.

    PubMed

    Schürch, Anita C; Kremer, Kristin; Daviena, Olaf; Kiers, Albert; Boeree, Martin J; Siezen, Roland J; van Soolingen, Dick

    2010-09-01

    To investigate whether genome sequencing yields more useful markers than those currently used to study the epidemiology of tuberculosis, it was applied to three Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates of the Harlingen outbreak. Our findings suggest that single nucleotide polymorphisms can be used to identify transmission chains in restriction fragment length polymorphism clusters. PMID:20592143

  3. High-Resolution Typing by Integration of Genome Sequencing Data in a Large Tuberculosis Cluster▿

    PubMed Central

    Schürch, Anita C.; Kremer, Kristin; Daviena, Olaf; Kiers, Albert; Boeree, Martin J.; Siezen, Roland J.; van Soolingen, Dick

    2010-01-01

    To investigate whether genome sequencing yields more useful markers than those currently used to study the epidemiology of tuberculosis, it was applied to three Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates of the Harlingen outbreak. Our findings suggest that single nucleotide polymorphisms can be used to identify transmission chains in restriction fragment length polymorphism clusters. PMID:20592143

  4. The effect of waist twisting on walking speed of an amphibious salamander like robot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Xin-Yan; Jia, Li-Chao; Wang, Chen; Xie, Guang-Ming

    2015-11-01

    Amphibious salamanders often swing their waist to coordinate quadruped walking in order to improve their crawling speed. A robot with a swing waist joint, like an amphibious salamander, is used to mimic this locomotion. A control method is designed to allow the robot to maintain the rotational speed of its legs continuous and avoid impact between its legs and the ground. An analytical expression is established between the amplitude of the waist joint and the step length. Further, an optimization amplitude is obtained corresponding to the maximum stride. The simulation results based on automatic dynamic analysis of mechanical systems (ADAMS) and physical experiments verify the rationality and validity of this expression.

  5. The effect of waist twisting on walking speed of an amphibious salamander like robot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Xin-Yan; Jia, Li-Chao; Wang, Chen; Xie, Guang-Ming

    2016-06-01

    Amphibious salamanders often swing their waist to coordinate quadruped walking in order to improve their crawling speed. A robot with a swing waist joint, like an amphibious salamander, is used to mimic this locomotion. A control method is designed to allow the robot to maintain the rotational speed of its legs continuous and avoid impact between its legs and the ground. An analytical expression is established between the amplitude of the waist joint and the step length. Further, an optimization amplitude is obtained corresponding to the maximum stride. The simulation results based on automatic dynamic analysis of mechanical systems (ADAMS) and physical experiments verify the rationality and validity of this expression.

  6. Complete Genome Sequence of the Multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii Strain AbH12O-A2, Isolated during a Large Outbreak in Spain.

    PubMed

    Merino, M; Alvarez-Fraga, L; Gómez, M J; Aransay, A M; Lavín, J L; Chaves, F; Bou, G; Poza, M

    2014-01-01

    We report the complete genome sequence of Acinetobacter baumannii strain AbH12O-A2, isolated during a large outbreak in Spain. The genome has 3,875,775 bp and 3,526 coding sequences, with 39.4% G+C content. The availability of this genome will facilitate the study of the pathogenicity of the Acinetobacter species. PMID:25395646

  7. Complete Genome Sequence of the Multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii Strain AbH12O-A2, Isolated during a Large Outbreak in Spain

    PubMed Central

    Merino, M.; Alvarez-Fraga, L.; Gómez, M. J.; Aransay, A. M.; Lavín, J. L.; Chaves, F.

    2014-01-01

    We report the complete genome sequence of Acinetobacter baumannii strain AbH12O-A2, isolated during a large outbreak in Spain. The genome has 3,875,775 bp and 3,526 coding sequences, with 39.4% G+C content. The availability of this genome will facilitate the study of the pathogenicity of the Acinetobacter species. PMID:25395646

  8. Molecular detection of vertebrates in stream water: A demonstration using rocky mountain tailed frogs and Idaho giant salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldberg, C.S.; Pilliod, D.S.; Arkle, R.S.; Waits, L.P.

    2011-01-01

    Stream ecosystems harbor many secretive and imperiled species, and studies of vertebrates in these systems face the challenges of relatively low detection rates and high costs. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has recently been confirmed as a sensitive and efficient tool for documenting aquatic vertebrates in wetlands and in a large river and canal system. However, it was unclear whether this tool could be used to detect low-density vertebrates in fast-moving streams where shed cells may travel rapidly away from their source. To evaluate the potential utility of eDNA techniques in stream systems, we designed targeted primers to amplify a short, species-specific DNA fragment for two secretive stream amphibian species in the northwestern region of the United States (Rocky Mountain tailed frogs, Ascaphus montanus, and Idaho giant salamanders, Dicamptodon aterrimus). We tested three DNA extraction and five PCR protocols to determine whether we could detect eDNA of these species in filtered water samples from five streams with varying densities of these species in central Idaho, USA. We successfully amplified and sequenced the targeted DNA regions for both species from stream water filter samples. We detected Idaho giant salamanders in all samples and Rocky Mountain tailed frogs in four of five streams and found some indication that these species are more difficult to detect using eDNA in early spring than in early fall. While the sensitivity of this method across taxa remains to be determined, the use of eDNA could revolutionize surveys for rare and invasive stream species. With this study, the utility of eDNA techniques for detecting aquatic vertebrates has been demonstrated across the majority of freshwater systems, setting the stage for an innovative transformation in approaches for aquatic research.

  9. Adenosine inhibits voltage-dependent Ca2+ influx in cone photoreceptor terminals of the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Stella, Salvatore L; Hu, Wanda D; Vila, Alejandro; Brecha, Nicholas C

    2007-04-01

    Endogenous adenosine has already been shown to inhibit transmitter release from the rod synapse by suppressing Ca(2+) influx through voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels. However, it is not clear how adenosine modulates the cone synapse. Cone photoreceptors, like rod photoreceptors, also possess L-type Ca(2+) channels that regulate the release of L-glutamate. To assess the impact of adenosine on Ca(2+) influx though voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels in cone terminals, whole-cell perforated-patch clamp recording and Ca(2+) imaging with fluo-4 were used on isolated cones and salamander retinal slices. Synaptic markers (VAMP and piccolo) and activity-dependent dye labeling revealed that tiger salamander cone terminals contain a broad, vesicle-filled cytoplasmic extension at the base of the somatic compartment, which is unlike rod terminals that contain one or more thin axons, each terminating in a large bulbous synaptic terminal. The spatiotemporal Ca(2+) responses of the cone terminals do not differ significantly from the Ca(2+) responses of the soma or inner segment like that observed in rods. Whole-cell recording of cone I(Ca) and Ca(2+) imaging of synaptic terminals in cones demonstrate that adenosine inhibited both I(Ca) and the depolarization-evoked Ca(2+) increase in cone terminals in a dose-dependent manner from 1 to 50 muM. These results indicate that, as in rods, adenosine's ability to suppress voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels at the cone synapse will limit the amount of L-glutamate released. Therefore, adenosine has an inhibitory effect on L-glutamate release at the first synapse, which likely favors elevated adenosine levels in the dark or during dark-adapted conditions. PMID:17304584

  10. Large-Scale Gene Relocations following an Ancient Genome Triplication Associated with the Diversification of Core Eudicots

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yupeng; Ficklin, Stephen P.; Wang, Xiyin; Feltus, F. Alex; Paterson, Andrew H.

    2016-01-01

    Different modes of gene duplication including whole-genome duplication (WGD), and tandem, proximal and dispersed duplications are widespread in angiosperm genomes. Small-scale, stochastic gene relocations and transposed gene duplications are widely accepted to be the primary mechanisms for the creation of dispersed duplicates. However, here we show that most surviving ancient dispersed duplicates in core eudicots originated from large-scale gene relocations within a narrow window of time following a genome triplication (γ) event that occurred in the stem lineage of core eudicots. We name these surviving ancient dispersed duplicates as relocated γ duplicates. In Arabidopsis thaliana, relocated γ, WGD and single-gene duplicates have distinct features with regard to gene functions, essentiality, and protein interactions. Relative to γ duplicates, relocated γ duplicates have higher non-synonymous substitution rates, but comparable levels of expression and regulation divergence. Thus, relocated γ duplicates should be distinguished from WGD and single-gene duplicates for evolutionary investigations. Our results suggest large-scale gene relocations following the γ event were associated with the diversification of core eudicots. PMID:27195960

  11. Large, Male Germ Cell-Specific Hypomethylated DNA Domains With Unique Genomic and Epigenomic Features on the Mouse X Chromosome

    PubMed Central

    Ikeda, Rieko; Shiura, Hirosuke; Numata, Koji; Sugimoto, Michihiko; Kondo, Masayo; Mise, Nathan; Suzuki, Masako; Greally, John M.; Abe, Kuniya

    2013-01-01

    To understand the epigenetic regulation required for germ cell-specific gene expression in the mouse, we analysed DNA methylation profiles of developing germ cells using a microarray-based assay adapted for a small number of cells. The analysis revealed differentially methylated sites between cell types tested. Here, we focused on a group of genomic sequences hypomethylated specifically in germline cells as candidate regions involved in the epigenetic regulation of germline gene expression. These hypomethylated sequences tend to be clustered, forming large (10 kb to ∼9 Mb) genomic domains, particularly on the X chromosome of male germ cells. Most of these regions, designated here as large hypomethylated domains (LoDs), correspond to segmentally duplicated regions that contain gene families showing germ cell- or testis-specific expression, including cancer testis antigen genes. We found an inverse correlation between DNA methylation level and expression of genes in these domains. Most LoDs appear to be enriched with H3 lysine 9 dimethylation, usually regarded as a repressive histone modification, although some LoD genes can be expressed in male germ cells. It thus appears that such a unique epigenomic state associated with the LoDs may constitute a basis for the specific expression of genes contained in these genomic domains. PMID:23861320

  12. Research guidelines in the era of large-scale collaborations: an analysis of Genome-wide Association Study Consortia.

    PubMed

    Austin, Melissa A; Hair, Marilyn S; Fullerton, Stephanie M

    2012-05-01

    Scientific research has shifted from studies conducted by single investigators to the creation of large consortia. Genetic epidemiologists, for example, now collaborate extensively for genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The effect has been a stream of confirmed disease-gene associations. However, effects on human subjects oversight, data-sharing, publication and authorship practices, research organization and productivity, and intellectual property remain to be examined. The aim of this analysis was to identify all research consortia that had published the results of a GWAS analysis since 2005, characterize them, determine which have publicly accessible guidelines for research practices, and summarize the policies in these guidelines. A review of the National Human Genome Research Institute's Catalog of Published Genome-Wide Association Studies identified 55 GWAS consortia as of April 1, 2011. These consortia were comprised of individual investigators, research centers, studies, or other consortia and studied 48 different diseases or traits. Only 14 (25%) were found to have publicly accessible research guidelines on consortia websites. The available guidelines provide information on organization, governance, and research protocols; half address institutional review board approval. Details of publication, authorship, data-sharing, and intellectual property vary considerably. Wider access to consortia guidelines is needed to establish appropriate research standards with broad applicability to emerging forms of large-scale collaboration. PMID:22491085

  13. Research Guidelines in the Era of Large-scale Collaborations: An Analysis of Genome-wide Association Study Consortia

    PubMed Central

    Austin, Melissa A.; Hair, Marilyn S.; Fullerton, Stephanie M.

    2012-01-01

    Scientific research has shifted from studies conducted by single investigators to the creation of large consortia. Genetic epidemiologists, for example, now collaborate extensively for genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The effect has been a stream of confirmed disease-gene associations. However, effects on human subjects oversight, data-sharing, publication and authorship practices, research organization and productivity, and intellectual property remain to be examined. The aim of this analysis was to identify all research consortia that had published the results of a GWAS analysis since 2005, characterize them, determine which have publicly accessible guidelines for research practices, and summarize the policies in these guidelines. A review of the National Human Genome Research Institute’s Catalog of Published Genome-Wide Association Studies identified 55 GWAS consortia as of April 1, 2011. These consortia were comprised of individual investigators, research centers, studies, or other consortia and studied 48 different diseases or traits. Only 14 (25%) were found to have publicly accessible research guidelines on consortia websites. The available guidelines provide information on organization, governance, and research protocols; half address institutional review board approval. Details of publication, authorship, data-sharing, and intellectual property vary considerably. Wider access to consortia guidelines is needed to establish appropriate research standards with broad applicability to emerging forms of large-scale collaboration. PMID:22491085

  14. Strain Dependent Genetic Networks for Antibiotic-Sensitivity in a Bacterial Pathogen with a Large Pan-Genome.

    PubMed

    van Opijnen, Tim; Dedrick, Sandra; Bento, José

    2016-09-01

    The interaction between an antibiotic and bacterium is not merely restricted to the drug and its direct target, rather antibiotic induced stress seems to resonate through the bacterium, creating selective pressures that drive the emergence of adaptive mutations not only in the direct target, but in genes involved in many different fundamental processes as well. Surprisingly, it has been shown that adaptive mutations do not necessarily have the same effect in all species, indicating that the genetic background influences how phenotypes are manifested. However, to what extent the genetic background affects the manner in which a bacterium experiences antibiotic stress, and how this stress is processed is unclear. Here we employ the genome-wide tool Tn-Seq to construct daptomycin-sensitivity profiles for two strains of the bacterial pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae. Remarkably, over half of the genes that are important for dealing with antibiotic-induced stress in one strain are dispensable in another. By confirming over 100 genotype-phenotype relationships, probing potassium-loss, employing genetic interaction mapping as well as temporal gene-expression experiments we reveal genome-wide conditionally important/essential genes, we discover roles for genes with unknown function, and uncover parts of the antibiotic's mode-of-action. Moreover, by mapping the underlying genomic network for two query genes we encounter little conservation in network connectivity between strains as well as profound differences in regulatory relationships. Our approach uniquely enables genome-wide fitness comparisons across strains, facilitating the discovery that antibiotic responses are complex events that can vary widely between strains, which suggests that in some cases the emergence of resistance could be strain specific and at least for species with a large pan-genome less predictable. PMID:27607357

  15. Completion of the swine genome will simplify the production of swine as a large animal biomedical model

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Anatomic and physiological similarities to the human make swine an excellent large animal model for human health and disease. Methods Cloning from a modified somatic cell, which can be determined in cells prior to making the animal, is the only method available for the production of targeted modifications in swine. Results Since some strains of swine are similar in size to humans, technologies that have been developed for swine can be readily adapted to humans and vice versa. Here the importance of swine as a biomedical model, current technologies to produce genetically enhanced swine, current biomedical models, and how the completion of the swine genome will promote swine as a biomedical model are discussed. Conclusions The completion of the swine genome will enhance the continued use and development of swine as models of human health, syndromes and conditions. PMID:23151353

  16. DNA content variation in monilophytes and lycophytes: large genomes that are not endopolyploid.

    PubMed

    Bainard, Jillian D; Henry, Thomas A; Bainard, Luke D; Newmaster, Steven G

    2011-08-01

    Less than 1% of known monilophytes and lycophytes have a genome size estimate, and substantially less is known about the presence and prevalence of endopolyploid nuclei in these groups. Thirty-one monilophyte species (including three horsetails) and six lycophyte species were collected in Ontario, Canada. Using flow cytometry, genome size and degree of endopolyploidy were estimated for 37 species. Across the five orders covered, 1Cx-values averaged 4.2 pg in the Lycopodiales, 18.1 pg for the Equisetales, 5.06 pg for a single representative of the Ophioglossales, 14.3 pg for the Osmundales, and 7.06 pg for the Polypodiales. There was no indication of endoreduplication in any of the leaf, stem, or root tissue analyzed. This information is essential to our understanding of DNA content evolution in land plants. PMID:21847691

  17. Multiple recent horizontal transfers of a large genomic region in cheese making fungi

    PubMed Central

    Cheeseman, Kevin; Ropars, Jeanne; Renault, Pierre; Dupont, Joëlle; Gouzy, Jérôme; Branca, Antoine; Abraham, Anne-Laure; Ceppi, Maurizio; Conseiller, Emmanuel; Debuchy, Robert; Malagnac, Fabienne; Goarin, Anne; Silar, Philippe; Lacoste, Sandrine; Sallet, Erika; Bensimon, Aaron; Giraud, Tatiana; Brygoo, Yves

    2014-01-01

    While the extent and impact of horizontal transfers in prokaryotes are widely acknowledged, their importance to the eukaryotic kingdom is unclear and thought by many to be anecdotal. Here we report multiple recent transfers of a huge genomic island between Penicillium spp. found in the food environment. Sequencing of the two leading filamentous fungi used in cheese making, P. roqueforti and P. camemberti, and comparison with the penicillin producer P. rubens reveals a 575 kb long genomic island in P. roqueforti—called Wallaby—present as identical fragments at non-homologous loci in P. camemberti and P. rubens. Wallaby is detected in Penicillium collections exclusively in strains from food environments. Wallaby encompasses about 250 predicted genes, some of which are probably involved in competition with microorganisms. The occurrence of multiple recent eukaryotic transfers in the food environment provides strong evidence for the importance of this understudied and probably underestimated phenomenon in eukaryotes. PMID:24407037

  18. Long bone histology of the stem salamander Kokartus honorarius (Amphibia: Caudata) from the Middle Jurassic of Kyrgyzstan.

    PubMed

    Skutschas, Pavel; Stein, Koen

    2015-04-01

    Kokartus honorarius from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) of Kyrgyzstan is one of the oldest salamanders in the fossil record, characterized by a mixture of plesiomorphic morphological features and characters shared with crown-group salamanders. Here we present a detailed histological analysis of its long bones. The analysis of a growth series demonstrates a significant histological maturation during ontogeny, expressed by the progressive appearance of longitudinally oriented primary vascular canals, primary osteons, growth marks, remodelling features in primary bone tissues, as well as progressive resorption of the calcified cartilage, formation of endochondral bone and development of cartilaginous to bony trabeculae in the epiphyses. Apart from the presence of secondary osteons, the long bone histology of Kokartus is very similar to that of miniaturized temnospondyls, other Jurassic stem salamanders, miniaturized seymouriamorphs and modern crown-group salamanders. We propose that the presence of secondary osteons in Kokartus honorarius is a plesiomorphic feature, and the loss of secondary osteons in the long bones of crown-group salamanders as well as in those of miniaturized temnospondyls is the result of miniaturization processes. Hitherto, all stem salamander long bong histology (Kokartus, Marmorerpeton and 'salamander A') has been generally described as having paedomorphic features (i.e. the presence of Katschenko's Line and a layer of calcified cartilage), these taxa were thus most likely neotenic forms. The absence of clear lines of arrested growth and annuli in long bones of Kokartus honorarius suggests that the animals lived in an environment with stable local conditions. PMID:25682890

  19. Large homogeneous genome regions (isochores) in soybean [glycine max (L.) merr].

    PubMed

    Woody, J L; Beavis, W; Shoemaker, R C

    2012-01-01

    The landscape of plant genomes, while slowly being characterized and defined, is still composed primarily of regions of undefined function. Many eukaryotic genomes contain isochore regions, mosaics of homogeneous GC content that can abruptly change from one neighboring isochore to the next. Isochores are broken into families that are characterized by their GC levels. We identified 4,339 compositionally distinct domains and 331 of these were identified as long homogeneous genome regions (LHGRs). We assigned these to four families based on finite mixture models of GC content. We then characterized each family with respect to exon length, gene content, and transposable elements. The LHGR pattern of soybeans is unique in that while the majority of the genes within LHGRs are found within a single LHGR family with a narrow GC range (Family B), that family is not the highest in GC content as seen in vertebrates and invertebrates. Instead Family B has a mean GC content of 35%. The range of GC content for all LHGRs is 16-59% GC which is a larger range than what is typical of vertebrates. This is the first study in which LHGRs have been identified in soybeans and the functions of the genes within the LHGRs have been analyzed. PMID:22934101

  20. Genomic evidence for large, long-lived ancestors to placental mammals.

    PubMed

    Romiguier, J; Ranwez, V; Douzery, E J P; Galtier, N

    2013-01-01

    It is widely assumed that our mammalian ancestors, which lived in the Cretaceous era, were tiny animals that survived massive asteroid impacts in shelters and evolved into modern forms after dinosaurs went extinct, 65 Ma. The small size of most Mesozoic mammalian fossils essentially supports this view. Paleontology, however, is not conclusive regarding the ancestry of extant mammals, because Cretaceous and Paleocene fossils are not easily linked to modern lineages. Here, we use full-genome data to estimate the longevity and body mass of early placental mammals. Analyzing 36 fully sequenced mammalian genomes, we reconstruct two aspects of the ancestral genome dynamics, namely GC-content evolution and nonsynonymous over synonymous rate ratio. Linking these molecular evolutionary processes to life-history traits in modern species, we estimate that early placental mammals had a life span above 25 years and a body mass above 1 kg. This is similar to current primates, cetartiodactyls, or carnivores, but markedly different from mice or shrews, challenging the dominant view about mammalian origin and evolution. Our results imply that long-lived mammals existed in the Cretaceous era and were the most successful in evolution, opening new perspectives about the conditions for survival to the Cretaceous-Tertiary crisis. PMID:22949523

  1. Genomic diversity of large-plaque-forming podoviruses infecting the phytopathogen Ralstonia solanacearum.

    PubMed

    Kawasaki, Takeru; Narulita, Erlia; Matsunami, Minaho; Ishikawa, Hiroki; Shimizu, Mio; Fujie, Makoto; Bhunchoth, Anjana; Phironrit, Namthip; Chatchawankanphanich, Orawan; Yamada, Takashi

    2016-05-01

    The genome organization, gene structure, and host range of five podoviruses that infect Ralstonia solanacearum, the causative agent of bacterial wilt disease were characterized. The phages fell into two distinctive groups based on the genome position of the RNA polymerase gene (i.e., T7-type and ϕKMV-type). One-step growth experiments revealed that ϕRSB2 (a T7-like phage) lysed host cells more efficiently with a shorter infection cycle (ca. 60min corresponding to half the doubling time of the host) than ϕKMV-like phages such as ϕRSB1 (with an infection cycle of ca. 180min). Co-infection experiments with ϕRSB1 and ϕRSB2 showed that ϕRSB2 always predominated in the phage progeny independent of host strains. Most phages had wide host-ranges and the phage particles usually did not attach to the resistant strains; when occasionally some did, the phage genome was injected into the resistant strain׳s cytoplasm, as revealed by fluorescence microscopy with SYBR Gold-labeled phage particles. PMID:26901487

  2. Merlin: Computer-Aided Oligonucleotide Design for Large Scale Genome Engineering with MAGE.

    PubMed

    Quintin, Michael; Ma, Natalie J; Ahmed, Samir; Bhatia, Swapnil; Lewis, Aaron; Isaacs, Farren J; Densmore, Douglas

    2016-06-17

    Genome engineering technologies now enable precise manipulation of organism genotype, but can be limited in scalability by their design requirements. Here we describe Merlin ( http://merlincad.org ), an open-source web-based tool to assist biologists in designing experiments using multiplex automated genome engineering (MAGE). Merlin provides methods to generate pools of single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides (oligos) for MAGE experiments by performing free energy calculation and BLAST scoring on a sliding window spanning the targeted site. These oligos are designed not only to improve recombination efficiency, but also to minimize off-target interactions. The application further assists experiment planning by reporting predicted allelic replacement rates after multiple MAGE cycles, and enables rapid result validation by generating primer sequences for multiplexed allele-specific colony PCR. Here we describe the Merlin oligo and primer design procedures and validate their functionality compared to OptMAGE by eliminating seven AvrII restriction sites from the Escherichia coli genome. PMID:27054880

  3. Incipient species formation in salamanders of the Ensatina complex

    PubMed Central

    Wake, David B.

    1997-01-01

    The Ensatina eschscholtzii complex of plethodontid salamanders, a well-known “ring species,” is thought to illustrate stages in the speciation process. Early research, based on morphology and coloration, has been extended by the incorporation of studies of protein variation and mitochondrial DNA sequences. The new data show that the complex includes a number of geographically and genetically distinct components that are at or near the species level. The complex is old and apparently has undergone instances of range contraction, isolation, differentiation, and then expansion and secondary contact. While the hypothesis that speciation is retarded by gene flow around the ring is not supported by molecular data, the general biogeographical hypothesis is supported. There is evidence of a north to south range expansion along two axes, with secondary contact and completion of the ring in southern California. Current research targets regions once thought to show primary intergradation, but which molecular markers reveal to be zones of secondary contact. Here emphasis is on the subspecies E. e. xanthoptica, which is involved in four distinct secondary contacts in central California. There is evidence of renewed genetic interactions upon recontact, with greater genetic differentiation within xanthoptica than between it and some of the interacting populations. The complex presents a full array of intermediate conditions between well-marked species and geographically variable populations. Geographically differentiated segments represent a diversity of depths of time of isolation and admixture, reflecting the complicated geomorphological history of California. Ensatina illustrates the continuing difficulty in making taxonomic assignments in complexes studied during species formation. PMID:9223261

  4. The palaeoclimatic significance of Eurasian Giant Salamanders (Cryptobranchidae: Zaissanurus, Andrias) - indications for elevated humidity in Central Asia during global warm periods (Eocene, late Oligocene warming, Miocene Climate Optimum)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasilyan, Davit; Böhme, Madelaine; Winklhofer, Michael

    2010-05-01

    Cryptobranchids represent a group of large sized (up to 1.8 m) tailed amphibians known since the Middle Jurassic (Gao & Shubin 2003). Two species are living today in eastern Eurasia: Andrias davidianus (China) and A. japonicus (Japan). Cenozoic Eurasian fossil giant salamanders are known with two genera and two or three species from over 30 localities, ranging from the Late Eocene to the Early Pliocene (Böhme & Ilg 2003). The Late Eocene species Zaissanurus beliajevae is restricted to the Central Asian Zaissan Basin (SE-Kazakhstan, 50°N, 85°E), whereas the Late Oligocene to Early Pliocene species Andrias scheuchzeri is distributed from Central Europe to the Zaissan Basin. In the latter basin the species occur during two periods; the latest Oligocene and the late Early to early Middle Miocene (Chkhikvadse 1982). Andrias scheuchzeri is osteological indistinguishable from both recent species, indicating a similar ecology (Westfahl 1958). To investigate the palaeoclimatic significance of giant salamanders we analyzed the climate within the present-day distribution area and at selected fossil localities with independent palaeoclimate record. Our results indicate that fossil and recent Andrias species occur in humid areas where the mean annual precipitation reach over 900 mm (900 - 1.300 mm). As a working hypothesis (assuming a similar ecology of Andrias and Zaissanurus) we interpret occurrences of both fossil Eurasian giant salamanders as indicative for humid palaeoclimatic conditions. Based on this assumption the Late Eocene, the latest Oligocene (late Oligocene warming) and the late Early to early Middle Miocene (Miocene Climatic Optimum) of Central Asia (Zaissan Basin) are periods of elevated humidity, suggesting a direct (positive) relationship between global climate and Central Asian humidity evolution. Böhme M., Ilg A. 2003: fosFARbase, www.wahre-staerke.com/ Chkhikvadze V.M. 1982. On the finding of fossil Cryptobranchidae in the USSR and Mongolia. Vertebrata

  5. Near infrared reflectance spectroscopy studies of Chinese giant salamanders in aquaculture production

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    NIR spectra were collected at three surface locations for Chinese giant salamanders to ascertain whether spectral signatures could be separated by anatomical, presumably physiologically-based, locations. The first location was the smooth area immediately above the cloaca on the animal’s abdomen, whi...

  6. Survival of spotted salamander eggs in temporary woodland ponds of coastal Maryland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Albers, P.H.; Prouty, R.M.

    1987-01-01

    Temporary ponds on the Atlantic Coastal Plain in maryland were characterized according to water chemistry, rain input, phytoplankton, zooplankton and use by the spotted salamander Ambystoma maculatum during March-October 1983-1984. Neither the number of egg masses per unit of pond surface (abundance) nor the survival of spotted salamander embryos was significantly correlated (P>0.05) with pond pH. Rainfall during May-July significantly increased the hydrogen ion concentration of 5 of 11 ponds evaluated for the impact of rainfall during the previous 48h and the previous week. Survival of egg masses transferred among eight ponds with pH3.66-4.45 and one pond with pH5.18 was significantly reduced (Psalamander. At the present time, pond longevity, water temperature and possibly, oxygen content, seem more important to spotted salamander reproduction than chemical changes caused by annual acidic deposition.

  7. Using the Eastern Hellbender Salamander in a High School Genetics & Ecological Conservation Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chudyk, Sarah; McMillan, Amy; Lange, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    This article contains an original 5E lesson plan developed from conservation genetics research on the giant North American hellbender salamander, Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis. The lesson plan provides background information on the hellbender, reviews basic genetics, and exposes students to the scientific process that is used during…

  8. Stream salamander species richness and abundance in relation to environmental factors in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.; Jung, R.E.; Rice, K.C.

    2005-01-01

    Stream salamanders are sensitive to acid mine drainage and may be sensitive to acidification and low acid neutralizing capacity (ANC) of a watershed. Streams in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, are subject to episodic acidification from precipitation events. We surveyed 25 m by 2 m transects located on the stream bank adjacent to the water channel in Shenandoah National Park for salamanders using a stratified random sampling design based on elevation, aspect and bedrock geology. We investigated the relationships of four species (Eurycea bislineata, Desmognathus fuscus, D. monticola and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) to habitat and water quality variables. We did not find overwhelming evidence that stream salamanders are affected by the acid-base status of streams in Shenandoah National Park. Desmognathus fuscus and D. monticola abundance was greater both in streams that had a higher potential to neutralize acidification, and in higher elevation (>700 m) streams. Neither abundance of E. bislineata nor species richness were related to any of the habitat variables. Our sampling method preferentially detected the adult age class of the study species and did not allow us to estimate population sizes. We suggest that continued monitoring of stream salamander populations in SNP will determine the effects of stream acidification on these taxa.

  9. Cytogenetics of the Brazilian Bolitoglossa paraensis (Unterstein, 1930) salamanders (Caudata, Plethodontidae)

    PubMed Central

    da Silva, Jéssica Barata; Suárez, Pablo; Nagamachi, Cleusa Yoshiko; Carter, Timothy Frederick; Pieczarka, Julio Cesar

    2014-01-01

    Plethodontid salamanders of genus Bolitoglossa constitute the largest and most diverse group of salamanders, including around 20% of living caudate species. Recent studies have indicated the occurrence of five recognized species in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. We present here the first cytogenetic data of a Brazilian salamander, which may prove to be a useful by contribution to the cytotaxonomy of the genus. Specimens were collected near the “type” locality (Utinga, Belém, PA, Brazil). Chromosomal preparations from duodenal epithelial cells and testes were subjected to Giemsa staining, C-banding and DAPI/CMA3 fluorochrome staining. All specimens showed a karyotype with 13 bi-armed chromosome pairs (2n = 26). Nucleolar Organizer Regions, evidenced by CMA3, were located distally on the long arm of pair 7 (7q). DAPI+ heterochromatin was predominantly centromeric, with some small pericentromeric bands. Although the C-banding patterns of other Bolitoglossa species are so far unknown, cytogenetic studies conducted in other Plethodontid salamanders have demonstrated that pericentromeric heterochromatin is a useful cytological marker for identifying interspecific homeologies. Species diversification is usually accompanied by chromosomal changes. Therefore, the cytogenetic characterization of Bolitoglossa populations from the middle and western Brazilian Amazon Basin could identify differences which may lead to the identification of new species. PMID:25249775

  10. Cytogenetics of the Brazilian Bolitoglossa paraensis (Unterstein, 1930) salamanders (Caudata, Plethodontidae).

    PubMed

    da Silva, Jéssica Barata; Suárez, Pablo; Nagamachi, Cleusa Yoshiko; Carter, Timothy Frederick; Pieczarka, Julio Cesar

    2014-09-01

    Plethodontid salamanders of genus Bolitoglossa constitute the largest and most diverse group of salamanders, including around 20% of living caudate species. Recent studies have indicated the occurrence of five recognized species in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. We present here the first cytogenetic data of a Brazilian salamander, which may prove to be a useful by contribution to the cytotaxonomy of the genus. Specimens were collected near the "type" locality (Utinga, Belém, PA, Brazil). Chromosomal preparations from duodenal epithelial cells and testes were subjected to Giemsa staining, C-banding and DAPI/CMA3 fluorochrome staining. All specimens showed a karyotype with 13 bi-armed chromosome pairs (2n = 26). Nucleolar Organizer Regions, evidenced by CMA3, were located distally on the long arm of pair 7 (7q). DAPI+ heterochromatin was predominantly centromeric, with some small pericentromeric bands. Although the C-banding patterns of other Bolitoglossa species are so far unknown, cytogenetic studies conducted in other Plethodontid salamanders have demonstrated that pericentromeric heterochromatin is a useful cytological marker for identifying interspecific homeologies. Species diversification is usually accompanied by chromosomal changes. Therefore, the cytogenetic characterization of Bolitoglossa populations from the middle and western Brazilian Amazon Basin could identify differences which may lead to the identification of new species. PMID:25249775

  11. The Amphibian Chytrid Fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, in Fully Aquatic Salamanders from Southeastern North America

    PubMed Central

    Chatfield, Matthew W. H.; Moler, Paul; Richards-Zawacki, Corinne L.

    2012-01-01

    Little is known about the impact that the pathogenic amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has on fully aquatic salamander species of the eastern United States. As a first step in determining the impacts of Bd on these species, we aimed to determine the prevalence of Bd in wild populations of fully aquatic salamanders in the genera Amphiuma, Necturus, Pseudobranchus, and Siren. We sampled a total of 98 salamanders, representing nine species from sites in Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Overall, infection prevalence was found to be 0.34, with significant differences among genera but no clear geographic pattern. We also found evidence for seasonal variation, but additional sampling throughout the year is needed to clarify this pattern. The high rate of infection discovered in this study is consistent with studies of other amphibians from the southeastern United States. Coupled with previously published data on life histories and population densities, the results presented here suggest that fully aquatic salamanders may be serving as important vectors of Bd and the interaction between these species and Bd warrants additional research. PMID:22984569

  12. Cutaneous Bacteria of the Redback Salamander Prevent Morbidity Associated with a Lethal Disease

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Matthew H.; Harris, Reid N.

    2010-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an infectious disease that causes population declines of many amphibians. Cutaneous bacteria isolated from redback salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, and mountain yellow-legged frogs, Rana muscosa, inhibit the growth of Bd in vitro. In this study, the bacterial community present on the skin of P. cinereus individuals was investigated to determine if it provides protection to salamanders from the lethal and sub-lethal effects of chytridiomycosis. When the cutaneous bacterial community was reduced prior to Bd exposure, salamanders experienced a significantly greater decrease in body mass, which is a symptom of the disease, when compared to infected individuals with a normal bacterial community. In addition, a greater proportion of infected individuals with a reduced bacterial community experienced limb-lifting, a behavior seen only in infected individuals. Overall, these results demonstrate that the cutaneous bacterial community of P. cinereus provides protection to the salamander from Bd and that alteration of this community can change disease resistance. Therefore, symbiotic microbes associated with this species appear to be an important component of its innate skin defenses. PMID:20532032

  13. Cutaneous bacteria of the redback salamander prevent morbidity associated with a lethal disease.

    PubMed

    Becker, Matthew H; Harris, Reid N

    2010-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an infectious disease that causes population declines of many amphibians. Cutaneous bacteria isolated from redback salamanders, Plethodon cinereus, and mountain yellow-legged frogs, Rana muscosa, inhibit the growth of Bd in vitro. In this study, the bacterial community present on the skin of P. cinereus individuals was investigated to determine if it provides protection to salamanders from the lethal and sub-lethal effects of chytridiomycosis. When the cutaneous bacterial community was reduced prior to Bd exposure, salamanders experienced a significantly greater decrease in body mass, which is a symptom of the disease, when compared to infected individuals with a normal bacterial community. In addition, a greater proportion of infected individuals with a reduced bacterial community experienced limb-lifting, a behavior seen only in infected individuals. Overall, these results demonstrate that the cutaneous bacterial community of P. cinereus provides protection to the salamander from Bd and that alteration of this community can change disease resistance. Therefore, symbiotic microbes associated with this species appear to be an important component of its innate skin defenses. PMID:20532032

  14. Phylogeographic concordance in the southeastern United States: the flatwoods salamander, Ambystoma cingulatum, as a test case.

    PubMed

    Pauly, Gregory B; Piskurek, Oliver; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2007-01-01

    Well-supported, congruent phylogeographic and biogeographic patterns permit the development of a priori phylogeographic and distributional predictions. In the southeastern Coastal Plain of the United States, the common discovery of east-west disjunctions (phylogeographic breaks and species' distributional boundaries) suggests that similar disjunctions should occur in codistributed taxa. Despite the near ubiquity of these disjunctions, the most recent morphological analyses of the flatwoods salamander, Ambystoma cingulatum, indicate that none occur in this low-vagility, Coastal Plain endemic. We conducted molecular and morphological analyses to test whether the flatwoods salamander is an exception to this common biogeographic pattern. Assessing geographic variation in this species is also an important management tool for this threatened, declining amphibian. We demonstrate that flatwoods salamanders, as predicted by comparisons to codistributed taxa, are polytypic with a major disjunction at the Apalachicola River. This drainage is a common site for east-west phylogeographic breaks, probably because repeated marine embayments during the Pliocene and Pleistocene interglacials generated barriers to gene flow. Based on mitochondrial DNA, morphology, and allozymes, we recognize two species of flatwoods salamanders -- Ambystoma cingulatum to the east of the Apalachicola drainage and Ambystoma bishopi to the west. Given this increased diversity, the conservation status of these two taxa may warrant re-evaluation. More generally, these results emphasize that in the absence of taxon-specific data, established comparative patterns can provide strong expectations for designing management units for unstudied species of conservation concern. PMID:17217354

  15. Vertebral development of modern salamanders provides insights into a unique event of their evolutionary history.

    PubMed

    Boisvert, Catherine Anne

    2009-01-15

    The origin of salamanders and their interrelationships to the two other modern amphibian orders (frogs and caecilians) are problematic owing to an 80-100 million year gap in the fossil record between the Carboniferous to the Lower Jurassic. This is compounded by a scarcity of adult skeletal characters linking the early representatives of the modern orders to their stem-group in the Paleozoic. The use of ontogenetic characters can be of great use in the resolution of these questions. Growth series of all ten modern salamander families (a 120 cleared and stained larvae) were examined for pattern and timing of vertebral elements chondrification and ossification. The primitive pattern is that of the neural arches developing before the centra, while the reverse represents the derived condition. Both the primitive and derived conditions are observed within the family Hynobiidae, whereas only the derived condition is observed in all other salamanders. This provides support to the claims that Hynobiidae is both the most basal of modern families and potentially polyphyletic (with Ranodon and Hybobius forming the most basal clade and Salamandrella being a part of the most derived clade). This provides insight into a unique event in salamander evolutionary history and suggests that the developmental pattern switch occurred between the Triassic and the mid-Jurassic before the last major radiation. PMID:19025964

  16. A genome-wide linkage analysis for reproductive traits in F2 Large White × Meishan cross gilts

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, S C; Finlayson, H A; Ashworth, C J; Haley, C S; Archibald, A L

    2014-01-01

    Female reproductive performance traits in pigs have low heritabilities thus limiting improvement through traditional selective breeding programmes. However, there is substantial genetic variation found between pig breeds with the Chinese Meishan being one of the most prolific pig breeds known. In this study, three cohorts of Large White × Meishan F2 cross-bred pigs were analysed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) with effects on reproductive traits, including ovulation rate, teat number, litter size, total born alive and prenatal survival. A total of 307 individuals were genotyped for 174 genetic markers across the genome. The genome-wide analysis of the trait-recorded F2 gilts in their first parity/litter revealed one QTL for teat number significant at the genome level and a total of 12 QTL, which are significant at the chromosome-wide level, for: litter size (three QTL), total born alive (two QTL), ovulation rate (four QTL), prenatal survival (one QTL) and teat number (two QTL). Further support for eight of these QTL is provided by results from other studies. Four of these 12 QTL were mapped for the first time in this study: on SSC15 for ovulation rate and on SSC18 for teat number, ovulation rate and litter size. PMID:24456574

  17. The Mitochondrial Genome of the Leaf-Cutter Ant Atta laevigata: A Mitogenome with a Large Number of Intergenic Spacers

    PubMed Central

    Rodovalho, Cynara de Melo; Lyra, Mariana Lúcio; Ferro, Milene; Bacci, Maurício

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we describe the nearly complete mitochondrial genome of the leaf-cutter ant Atta laevigata, assembled using transcriptomic libraries from Sanger and Illumina next generation sequencing (NGS), and PCR products. This mitogenome was found to be very large (18,729 bp), given the presence of 30 non-coding intergenic spacers (IGS) spanning 3,808 bp. A portion of the putative control region remained unsequenced. The gene content and organization correspond to that inferred for the ancestral pancrustacea, except for two tRNA gene rearrangements that have been described previously in other ants. The IGS were highly variable in length and dispersed through the mitogenome. This pattern was also found for the other hymenopterans in particular for the monophyletic Apocrita. These spacers with unknown function may be valuable for characterizing genome evolution and distinguishing closely related species and individuals. NGS provided better coverage than Sanger sequencing, especially for tRNA and ribosomal subunit genes, thus facilitating efforts to fill in sequence gaps. The results obtained showed that data from transcriptomic libraries contain valuable information for assembling mitogenomes. The present data also provide a source of molecular markers that will be very important for improving our understanding of genomic evolutionary processes and phylogenetic relationships among hymenopterans. PMID:24828084

  18. Genomic profiling of high-grade large-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the colon

    PubMed Central

    Hammond, William A.; Crozier, Jennifer A.; Nakhleh, Raouf E.

    2016-01-01

    High-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma (HGNEC) of the colon is a rare and aggressive cancer that has a poor prognosis. Currently no standard treatment exists, and published case series report an overall survival of approximately one year with treatment. Typically patients receive treatment similar to that recommended for small-cell lung cancer, extrapolating from the similarity in cancer biology. Here we report a case of HGNEC of the colon with genomic profiling that identified a KRAS G12D mutation and a PI3K mutation that has not yet been reported in the literature for this tumor type. PMID:27034803

  19. Genome-wide Association Study of Porcine Hematological Parameters in a Large White × Minzhu F2 Resource Population

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Weizhen; Chen, Shaokang; Cheng, Duxue; Wang, Ligang; Li, Yong; Ma, Xiaojun; Song, Xin; Liu, Xin; Li, Wen; Liang, Jing; Yan, Hua; Zhao, Kebin; Wang, Chuduan; Wang, Lixian; Zhang, Longchao

    2012-01-01

    Hematological traits, which are important indicators of immune function in animals, have been commonly examined as biomarkers of disease and disease severity in humans and animals. Genome-wide significant quantitative trait loci (QTLs) provide important information for use in breeding programs of animals such as pigs. QTLs for hematological parameters (hematological traits) have been detected in pig chromosomes, although these are often mapped by linkage analysis to large intervals making identification of the underlying mutation problematic. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the common form of genetic variation among individuals and are thought to account for the majority of inherited traits. In this study, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed to detect regions of association with hematological traits in a three-generation resource population produced by intercrossing Large White boars and Minzhu sows during the period from 2007 to 2011. Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip technology was used to genotype each animal and seven hematological parameters were measured (hematocrit (HCT), hemoglobin (HGB), mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), red blood cell count (RBC) and red blood cell volume distribution width (RDW)). Data were analyzed in a three step Genome-wide Rapid Association using the Mixed Model and Regression-Genomic Control (GRAMMAR-GC) method. A total of 62 genome-wide significant and three chromosome-wide significant SNPs associated with hematological parameters were detected in this GWAS. Seven and five SNPs were associated with HCT and HGB, respectively. These SNPs were all located within the region of 34.6-36.5 Mb on SSC7. Four SNPs within the region of 43.7-47.0 Mb and fifty-five SNPs within the region of 42.2-73.8 Mb on SSC8 showed significant association with MCH and MCV, respectively. At chromosome-wide significant level, one SNP at 29.2 Mb on SSC1

  20. At random meetings to the creation of new species of Salamander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brillant, Marie-Pierre

    2013-04-01

    The pupils in final year of high school (15-18 years old) study the notion "species" and the creation of new species in various ways. Having studied genetic admixtures, this activity allows the pupils to build a scenario explaining the creation of a new species of Salamander in southern California from an ancestral population existing in northern Oregon. They can observe, on Google Earth, various populations of Salamander of the genus Ensatina. Salamanders of the genus Ensatina live in California around the Joaquin and Sacramento dry valleys. In this software, the pupils get information about the salamanders' environment and photographs of individuals and environments. During a migratory movement toward new territories to be colonized, these salamanders meet an inhospitable environment that they can not occupy. This population then splits up into two migratory branches, east and west, each overcoming the obstacles in different ways. The two groups gradually colonized southern territories but they avoided the too dry and hot San Joaquin plains. The two main branches of the original population gradually move away from each other, and genetic exchanges between them decrease over time. Eventually, we can find various populations of Salamander on both sides of the valleys, since the salamanders occupied new territories and diversified along the way. Among mutations that randomly occur, only those mutations that are best adapted in the origin were conserved in the genetic heritage of every population. When the individuals stemming from different western populations met, they were interfertile and give fertile hybrids, which was verified in the laboratory. Likewise, when individuals of the different eastern subspecies met accidentally, fertile hybrids also could arise from these crossings. The pupils can observe what happens in the overlap of various populations : interfertility or not. They also have geological, geographical and climatic information about the San Joaquin

  1. Inferring Population Size History from Large Samples of Genome-Wide Molecular Data - An Approximate Bayesian Computation Approach.

    PubMed

    Boitard, Simon; Rodríguez, Willy; Jay, Flora; Mona, Stefano; Austerlitz, Frédéric

    2016-03-01

    Inferring the ancestral dynamics of effective population size is a long-standing question in population genetics, which can now be tackled much more accurately thanks to the massive genomic data available in many species. Several promising methods that take advantage of whole-genome sequences have been recently developed in this context. However, they can only be applied to rather small samples, which limits their ability to estimate recent population size history. Besides, they can be very sensitive to sequencing or phasing errors. Here we introduce a new approximate Bayesian computation approach named PopSizeABC that allows estimating the evolution of the effective population size through time, using a large sample of complete genomes. This sample is summarized using the folded allele frequency spectrum and the average zygotic linkage disequilibrium at different bins of physical distance, two classes of statistics that are widely used in population genetics and can be easily computed from unphased and unpolarized SNP data. Our approach provides accurate estimations of past population sizes, from the very first generations before present back to the expected time to the most recent common ancestor of the sample, as shown by simulations under a wide range of demographic scenarios. When applied to samples of 15 or 25 complete genomes in four cattle breeds (Angus, Fleckvieh, Holstein and Jersey), PopSizeABC revealed a series of population declines, related to historical events such as domestication or modern breed creation. We further highlight that our approach is robust to sequencing errors, provided summary statistics are computed from SNPs with common alleles. PMID:26943927

  2. Inferring Population Size History from Large Samples of Genome-Wide Molecular Data - An Approximate Bayesian Computation Approach

    PubMed Central

    Boitard, Simon; Rodríguez, Willy; Jay, Flora; Mona, Stefano; Austerlitz, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Inferring the ancestral dynamics of effective population size is a long-standing question in population genetics, which can now be tackled much more accurately thanks to the massive genomic data available in many species. Several promising methods that take advantage of whole-genome sequences have been recently developed in this context. However, they can only be applied to rather small samples, which limits their ability to estimate recent population size history. Besides, they can be very sensitive to sequencing or phasing errors. Here we introduce a new approximate Bayesian computation approach named PopSizeABC that allows estimating the evolution of the effective population size through time, using a large sample of complete genomes. This sample is summarized using the folded allele frequency spectrum and the average zygotic linkage disequilibrium at different bins of physical distance, two classes of statistics that are widely used in population genetics and can be easily computed from unphased and unpolarized SNP data. Our approach provides accurate estimations of past population sizes, from the very first generations before present back to the expected time to the most recent common ancestor of the sample, as shown by simulations under a wide range of demographic scenarios. When applied to samples of 15 or 25 complete genomes in four cattle breeds (Angus, Fleckvieh, Holstein and Jersey), PopSizeABC revealed a series of population declines, related to historical events such as domestication or modern breed creation. We further highlight that our approach is robust to sequencing errors, provided summary statistics are computed from SNPs with common alleles. PMID:26943927

  3. Large-scale whole-genome sequencing of the Icelandic population.

    PubMed

    Gudbjartsson, Daniel F; Helgason, Hannes; Gudjonsson, Sigurjon A; Zink, Florian; Oddson, Asmundur; Gylfason, Arnaldur; Besenbacher, Soren; Magnusson, Gisli; Halldorsson, Bjarni V; Hjartarson, Eirikur; Sigurdsson, Gunnar Th; Stacey, Simon N; Frigge, Michael L; Holm, Hilma; Saemundsdottir, Jona; Helgadottir, Hafdis Th; Johannsdottir, Hrefna; Sigfusson, Gunnlaugur; Thorgeirsson, Gudmundur; Sverrisson, Jon Th; Gretarsdottir, Solveig; Walters, G Bragi; Rafnar, Thorunn; Thjodleifsson, Bjarni; Bjornsson, Einar S; Olafsson, Sigurdur; Thorarinsdottir, Hildur; Steingrimsdottir, Thora; Gudmundsdottir, Thora S; Theodors, Asgeir; Jonasson, Jon G; Sigurdsson, Asgeir; Bjornsdottir, Gyda; Jonsson, Jon J; Thorarensen, Olafur; Ludvigsson, Petur; Gudbjartsson, Hakon; Eyjolfsson, Gudmundur I; Sigurdardottir, Olof; Olafsson, Isleifur; Arnar, David O; Magnusson, Olafur Th; Kong, Augustine; Masson, Gisli; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Helgason, Agnar; Sulem, Patrick; Stefansson, Kari

    2015-05-01

    Here we describe the insights gained from sequencing the whole genomes of 2,636 Icelanders to a median depth of 20×. We found 20 million SNPs and 1.5 million insertions-deletions (indels). We describe the density and frequency spectra of sequence variants in relation to their functional annotation, gene position, pathway and conservation score. We demonstrate an excess of homozygosity and rare protein-coding variants in Iceland. We imputed these variants into 104,220 individuals down to a minor allele frequency of 0.1% and found a recessive frameshift mutation in MYL4 that causes early-onset atrial fibrillation, several mutations in ABCB4 that increase risk of liver diseases and an intronic variant in GNAS associating with increased thyroid-stimulating hormone levels when maternally inherited. These data provide a study design that can be used to determine how variation in the sequence of the human genome gives rise to human diversity. PMID:25807286

  4. Perspectives on Clinical Informatics: Integrating Large-Scale Clinical, Genomic, and Health Information for Clinical Care

    PubMed Central

    Choi, In Young; Kim, Tae-Min; Kim, Myung Shin; Mun, Seong K.

    2013-01-01

    The advances in electronic medical records (EMRs) and bioinformatics (BI) represent two significant trends in healthcare. The widespread adoption of EMR systems and the completion of the Human Genome Project developed the technologies for data acquisition, analysis, and visualization in two different domains. The massive amount of data from both clinical and biology domains is expected to provide personalized, preventive, and predictive healthcare services in the near future. The integrated use of EMR and BI data needs to consider four key informatics areas: data modeling, analytics, standardization, and privacy. Bioclinical data warehouses integrating heterogeneous patient-related clinical or omics data should be considered. The representative standardization effort by the Clinical Bioinformatics Ontology (CBO) aims to provide uniquely identified concepts to include molecular pathology terminologies. Since individual genome data are easily used to predict current and future health status, different safeguards to ensure confidentiality should be considered. In this paper, we focused on the informatics aspects of integrating the EMR community and BI community by identifying opportunities, challenges, and approaches to provide the best possible care service for our patients and the population. PMID:24465229

  5. Rapid phylogenetic analysis of large samples of recombinant bacterial whole genome sequences using Gubbins.

    PubMed

    Croucher, Nicholas J; Page, Andrew J; Connor, Thomas R; Delaney, Aidan J; Keane, Jacqueline A; Bentley, Stephen D; Parkhill, Julian; Harris, Simon R

    2015-02-18

    The emergence of new sequencing technologies has facilitated the use of bacterial whole genome alignments for evolutionary studies and outbreak analyses. These datasets, of increasing size, often include examples of multiple different mechanisms of horizontal sequence transfer resulting in substantial alterations to prokaryotic chromosomes. The impact of these processes demands rapid and flexible approaches able to account for recombination when reconstructing isolates' recent diversification. Gubbins is an iterative algorithm that uses spatial scanning statistics to identify loci containing elevated densities of base substitutions suggestive of horizontal sequence transfer while concurrently constructing a maximum likelihood phylogeny based on the putative point mutations outside these regions of high sequence diversity. Simulations demonstrate the algorithm generates highly accurate reconstructions under realistically parameterized models of bacterial evolution, and achieves convergence in only a few hours on alignments of hundreds of bacterial genome sequences. Gubbins is appropriate for reconstructing the recent evolutionary history of a variety of haploid genotype alignments, as it makes no assumptions about the underlying mechanism of recombination. The software is freely available for download at github.com/sanger-pathogens/Gubbins, implemented in Python and C and supported on Linux and Mac OS X. PMID:25414349

  6. Perspectives on clinical informatics: integrating large-scale clinical, genomic, and health information for clinical care.

    PubMed

    Choi, In Young; Kim, Tae-Min; Kim, Myung Shin; Mun, Seong K; Chung, Yeun-Jun

    2013-12-01

    The advances in electronic medical records (EMRs) and bioinformatics (BI) represent two significant trends in healthcare. The widespread adoption of EMR systems and the completion of the Human Genome Project developed the technologies for data acquisition, analysis, and visualization in two different domains. The massive amount of data from both clinical and biology domains is expected to provide personalized, preventive, and predictive healthcare services in the near future. The integrated use of EMR and BI data needs to consider four key informatics areas: data modeling, analytics, standardization, and privacy. Bioclinical data warehouses integrating heterogeneous patient-related clinical or omics data should be considered. The representative standardization effort by the Clinical Bioinformatics Ontology (CBO) aims to provide uniquely identified concepts to include molecular pathology terminologies. Since individual genome data are easily used to predict current and future health status, different safeguards to ensure confidentiality should be considered. In this paper, we focused on the informatics aspects of integrating the EMR community and BI community by identifying opportunities, challenges, and approaches to provide the best possible care service for our patients and the population. PMID:24465229

  7. Rapid phylogenetic analysis of large samples of recombinant bacterial whole genome sequences using Gubbins

    PubMed Central

    Croucher, Nicholas J.; Page, Andrew J.; Connor, Thomas R.; Delaney, Aidan J.; Keane, Jacqueline A.; Bentley, Stephen D.; Parkhill, Julian; Harris, Simon R.

    2015-01-01

    The emergence of new sequencing technologies has facilitated the use of bacterial whole genome alignments for evolutionary studies and outbreak analyses. These datasets, of increasing size, often include examples of multiple different mechanisms of horizontal sequence transfer resulting in substantial alterations to prokaryotic chromosomes. The impact of these processes demands rapid and flexible approaches able to account for recombination when reconstructing isolates’ recent diversification. Gubbins is an iterative algorithm that uses spatial scanning statistics to identify loci containing elevated densities of base substitutions suggestive of horizontal sequence transfer while concurrently constructing a maximum likelihood phylogeny based on the putative point mutations outside these regions of high sequence diversity. Simulations demonstrate the algorithm generates highly accurate reconstructions under realistically parameterized models of bacterial evolution, and achieves convergence in only a few hours on alignments of hundreds of bacterial genome sequences. Gubbins is appropriate for reconstructing the recent evolutionary history of a variety of haploid genotype alignments, as it makes no assumptions about the underlying mechanism of recombination. The software is freely available for download at github.com/sanger-pathogens/Gubbins, implemented in Python and C and supported on Linux and Mac OS X. PMID:25414349

  8. Sequence variants from whole genome sequencing a large group of Icelanders.

    PubMed

    Gudbjartsson, Daniel F; Sulem, Patrick; Helgason, Hannes; Gylfason, Arnaldur; Gudjonsson, Sigurjon A; Zink, Florian; Oddson, Asmundur; Magnusson, Gisli; Halldorsson, Bjarni V; Hjartarson, Eirikur; Sigurdsson, Gunnar Th; Kong, Augustine; Helgason, Agnar; Masson, Gisli; Magnusson, Olafur Th; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Stefansson, Kari

    2015-01-01

    We have accumulated considerable data on the genetic makeup of the Icelandic population by sequencing the whole genomes of 2,636 Icelanders to depth of at least 10X and by chip genotyping 101,584 more. The sequencing was done with Illumina technology. The median sequencing depth was 20X and 909 individuals were sequenced to a depth of at least 30X. We found 20 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 1.5 million insertions/deletions (indels) that passed stringent quality control. Almost all the common SNPs (derived allele frequency (DAF) over 2%) that we identified in Iceland have been observed by either dbSNP (build 137) or the Exome Sequencing Project (ESP) while only 60 and 20% of rare (DAF<0.5%) SNPs and indels in coding regions, the most heavily studied parts of the genome, have been observed in the public databases. Features of our variant data, such as the transition/transversion ratio and the length distribution of indels, are similar to published reports. PMID:25977816

  9. Current and Historical Drivers of Landscape Genetic Structure Differ in Core and Peripheral Salamander Populations

    PubMed Central

    Dudaniec, Rachael Y.; Spear, Stephen F.; Richardson, John S.; Storfer, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    With predicted decreases in genetic diversity and greater genetic differentiation at range peripheries relative to their cores, it can be difficult to distinguish between the roles of current disturbance versus historic processes in shaping contemporary genetic patterns. To address this problem, we test for differences in historic demography and landscape genetic structure of coastal giant salamanders (Dicamptodon tenebrosus) in two core regions (Washington State, United States) versus the species' northern peripheral region (British Columbia, Canada) where the species is listed as threatened. Coalescent-based demographic simulations were consistent with a pattern of post-glacial range expansion, with both ancestral and current estimates of effective population size being much larger within the core region relative to the periphery. However, contrary to predictions of recent human-induced population decline in the less genetically diverse peripheral region, there was no genetic signature of population size change. Effects of current demographic processes on genetic structure were evident using a resistance-based landscape genetics approach. Among core populations, genetic structure was best explained by length of the growing season and isolation by resistance (i.e. a ‘flat’ landscape), but at the periphery, topography (slope and elevation) had the greatest influence on genetic structure. Although reduced genetic variation at the range periphery of D. tenebrosus appears to be largely the result of biogeographical history rather than recent impacts, our analyses suggest that inherent landscape features act to alter dispersal pathways uniquely in different parts of the species' geographic range, with implications for habitat management. PMID:22590604

  10. Delayed life history effects, multilevel selection, and evolutionary trade-offs in the California tiger salamander.

    PubMed

    Searcy, Christopher A; Gray, Levi N; Trenham, Peter C; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2014-01-01

    Delayed life history effects (DLHEs) occur when fitness in one life stage affects fitness in subsequent life stages. Given their biphasic life cycle, pond-breeding amphibians provide a natural system for studying DLHEs, although these effects are not restricted to species with biphasic life histories. In this study, we used multiple mark-recapture techniques enabled by a large trapping array to monitor components of fitness and resulting DLHEs in a population of the endangered California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense). We found that DLHEs are prominent across all life stage transitions and that there is variation in whether selection acts primarily at the individual or cohort level. We also demonstrated that there is more than an order of magnitude variation in mean cohort fitness, providing tremendous variation for DLHEs to act upon. We documented an evolutionary trade-off between mass at emergence and date of emergence, which may play a role in maintaining the variation in mass (fitness) at emergence. A literature review revealed that such high levels of intercohort variation occur in many other pond-breeding amphibians, and that appropriately documenting the magnitude of intercohort variation requires long-term studies (roughly two population turnovers). Given the profound effect that DLHEs can have on population dynamics, quantifying intercohort variation in mean fitness and the level(s) at which selection acts will be very important for developing accurate models of population dynamics. In general, when developing models of population dynamics, more attention should be paid to variation in mean fitness and not just variation in total numbers. PMID:24649647

  11. Abundance and phenology patterns of two pond-breeding salamanders determine species interactions in natural populations.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Thomas L; Hocking, Daniel J; Conner, Christopher A; Earl, Julia E; Harper, Elizabeth B; Osbourn, Michael S; Peterman, William E; Rittenhouse, Tracy A G; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2015-03-01

    Phenology often determines the outcome of interspecific interactions, where early-arriving species often dominate interactions over those arriving later. The effects of phenology on species interactions are especially pronounced in aquatic systems, but the evidence is largely derived from experimental studies. We examined whether differences in breeding phenology between two pond-breeding salamanders (Ambystoma annulatum and A. maculatum) affected metamorph recruitment and demographic traits within natural populations, with the expectation that the fall-breeding A. annulatum would negatively affect the spring-breeding A. maculatum. We monitored populations of each species at five ponds over 4 years using drift fences. Metamorph abundance and survival of A. annulatum were affected by intra- and interspecific processes, whereas metamorph size and date of emigration were primarily influenced by intraspecific effects. Metamorph abundance, snout-vent length, date of emigration and survival for A. maculatum were all predicted by combinations of intra- and interspecific effects, but often showed negative relationships with A. annulatum metamorph traits and abundance. Size and date of metamorphosis were strongly correlated within each species, but in opposite patterns (negative for A. annulatum and positive for A. maculatum), suggesting that the two species use alternative strategies to enhance terrestrial survival and that these factors may influence their interactions. Our results match predictions from experimental studies that suggest recruitment is influenced by intra- and interspecific processes which are determined by phenological differences between species. Incorporating spatiotemporal variability when modeling population dynamics is necessary to understand the importance of phenology in species interactions, especially as shifts in phenology occur under climate change. PMID:25413866

  12. Ontogenetic convergence and evolution of foot morphology in European cave salamanders (Family: Plethodontidae)

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background A major goal in evolutionary biology is to understand the evolution of phenotypic diversity. Both natural and sexual selection play a large role in generating phenotypic adaptations, with biomechanical requirements and developmental mechanisms mediating patterns of phenotypic evolution. For many traits, the relative importance of selective and developmental components remains understudied. Results We investigated ontogenetic trajectories of foot morphology in the eight species of European plethodontid cave salamander to test the hypothesis that adult foot morphology was adapted for climbing. Using geometric morphometrics and other approaches, we found that developmental patterns in five species displayed little morphological change during growth (isometry), where the extensive interdigital webbing in adults was best explained as the retention of the juvenile morphological state. By contrast, three species exhibited significant allometry, with an increase in interdigital webbing during growth. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that multiple evolutionary transitions between isometry and allometry of foot webbing have occurred in this lineage. Allometric parameters of foot growth were most similar to those of a tropical species previously shown to be adapted for climbing. Finally, interspecific variation in adult foot morphology was significantly reduced as compared to variation among juveniles, indicating that ontogenetic convergence had resulted in a common adult foot morphology across species. Conclusions The results presented here provide evidence of a complex history of phenotypic evolution in this clade. The common adult phenotype exhibited among species reveals that selection plays an important part in generating patterns of foot diversity in the group. However, developmental trajectories arriving at this common morphology are distinct; with some species displaying developmental stasis (isometry), while others show an increase in foot webbing during

  13. Mercury Speciation and Trophic Magnification Slopes in Giant Salamander Larvae from the Pacific Northwest, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bank, M. S.; Crocker, J.; Wachtl, J.; Kleeman, P.; Fellers, G.; Currens, C.; Hothem, R.; Madej, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination of stream salamanders in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States has received little attention. Here we report total Hg (HgT) and methyl mercury (MeHg) concentrations in larval giant salamanders (Dicamptodon spp.) and surface water from forested and chaparral lotic ecosystems distributed along a latitudinal gradient throughout Northern California and Washington. To test hypotheses related to potential effects from mining land-use activities, salamander larvae were also sampled from a reference site at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, California, and at a nearby, upstream site (Shasta county) on Bureau of Land Management land where Hg contamination from gold mining activities has been documented. HgT concentrations in whole body larvae ranged from 4.6 to 74.5 ng/g wet wt. and percent MeHg ranged from 67% to 86%. Both HgT and MeHg larval tissue concentrations were significantly higher at the mining site in comparison to measured background levels (P < 0.001). We conclude that salamander larvae in remote stream ecosystems, where Hg sources were dominated by atmospheric deposition, were generally low in HgT and MeHg and, in comparison, watersheds with a legacy of land-use practices (i.e., mining operations) had approximately 4.5 - 5.5 times the level of HgT bioaccumulation. Moreover, trophic magnification slopes were highest in the Shasta county region where mining was present. These findings suggest that mining activities increase HgT and MeHg exposure to salamander larvae in the region and may present a threat to other higher trophically positioned organisms, and their associated food webs.

  14. Three ferritin subunit analogs in Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) and their response to microbial stimulation.

    PubMed

    You, Xiuling; Sheng, Jianghong; Liu, Liu; Nie, Dongsong; Liao, Zhiyong

    2015-10-01

    Ferritin, an evolutionarily conserved iron-binding protein, plays important roles in iron storage and detoxification and in host immune response to invading stimulus as well. In the present study, we identified three ferritin subunit analog cDNAs from Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus). All the three ferritin subunit cDNAs had a putative iron responsive element in the 5'-untranslated region. Two deduced ferritin subunits (designated as cgsFerH and cgsFerM) had the highest identity of 90% to H type subunit of vertebrate ferritins, while another deduced ferritin subunit (designated as cgsFerL) had the highest identity of 84% to L type subunit of vertebrate ferritins. The Chinese giant salamander ferritin (cgsFer) was widely expressed in various tissues, with highest expression for cgsFerH and cgsFerL in liver and highest expression for cgsFerM in spleen. Infection of Chinese giant salamander with A. davidianus ranavirus showed significant induction of cgsFer expression. Both lipopolysaccharide and iron challenge drastically augmented cgsFer expression in the splenocytes and hepatocytes from Chinese giant salamander. In addition, recombinant cgsFers bound to ferrous iron in a dose-dependent manner, with significant ferroxidase activity. Furthermore, the recombinant cgsFer inhibited the growth of the pathogen Vibrio anguillarum. These results indicated that cgsFer was potential candidate of immune molecules involved in acute phase response to invading microbial pathogens in Chinese giant salamander possibly through its regulatory roles in iron homeostasis. PMID:26319314

  15. The hyal and ventral branchial muscles in caecilian and salamander larvae: homologies and evolution.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander

    2011-05-01

    Amphibians (Lissamphibia) are characterized by a bi-phasic life-cycle that comprises an aquatic larval stage and metamorphosis to the adult. The ancestral aquatic feeding behavior of amphibian larvae is suction feeding. The negative pressure that is needed for ingestion of prey is created by depression of the hyobranchial apparatus as a result of hyobranchial muscle action. Understanding the homologies of hyobranchial muscles in amphibian larvae is a crucial step in understanding the evolution of this important character complex. However, the literature mostly focuses on the adult musculature and terms used for hyal and ventral branchial muscles in different amphibians often do not reflect homologies across lissamphibian orders. Here we describe the hyal and ventral branchial musculature in larvae of caecilians (Gymnophiona) and salamanders (Caudata), including juveniles of two permanently aquatic salamander species. Based on previous alternative terminology schemes, we propose a terminology for the hyal and ventral branchial muscles that reflects the homologies of muscles and that is suited for studies on hyobranchial muscle evolution in amphibians. We present a discussion of the hyal and ventral branchial muscles in larvae of the most recent common ancestor of amphibians (i.e. the ground plan of Lissamphibia). Based on our terminology, the hyal and ventral branchial musculature of caecilians and salamanders comprises the following muscles: m. depressor mandibulae, m. depressor mandibulae posterior, m. hyomandibularis, m. branchiohyoideus externus, m. interhyoideus, m. interhyoideus posterior, m. subarcualis rectus I, m. subarcualis obliquus II, m. subarcualis obliquus III, m. subarcualis rectus II-IV, and m. transversus ventralis IV. Except for the m. branchiohyoideus externus, all muscles considered herein can be assigned to the ground plan of the Lissamphibia with certainty. The m. branchiohyoideus externus is either apomorphic for the Batrachia (frogs

  16. Genomic characterization of a large outbreak of Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 strains in Quebec City, 2012.

    PubMed

    Lévesque, Simon; Plante, Pier-Luc; Mendis, Nilmini; Cantin, Philippe; Marchand, Geneviève; Charest, Hugues; Raymond, Frédéric; Huot, Caroline; Goupil-Sormany, Isabelle; Desbiens, François; Faucher, Sébastien P; Corbeil, Jacques; Tremblay, Cécile

    2014-01-01

    During the summer of 2012, a major Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 outbreak occurred in Quebec City, Canada, which caused 182 declared cases of Legionnaire's disease and included 13 fatalities. Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 isolates from 23 patients as well as from 32 cooling towers located in the vicinity of the outbreak were recovered for analysis. In addition, 6 isolates from the 1996 Quebec City outbreak and 4 isolates from patients unrelated to both outbreaks were added to allow comparison. We characterized the isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, sequence-based typing, and whole genome sequencing. The comparison of patients-isolated strains to cooling tower isolates allowed the identification of the tower that was the source of the outbreak. Legionella pneumophila strain Quebec 2012 was identified as a ST-62 by sequence-based typing methodology. Two new Legionellaceae plasmids were found only in the epidemic strain. The LVH type IV secretion system was found in the 2012 outbreak isolates but not in the ones from the 1996 outbreak and only in half of the contemporary human isolates. The epidemic strains replicated more efficiently and were more cytotoxic to human macrophages than the environmental strains tested. At least four Icm/Dot effectors in the epidemic strains were absent in the environmental strains suggesting that some effectors could impact the intracellular replication in human macrophages. Sequence-based typing and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis combined with whole genome sequencing allowed the identification and the analysis of the causative strain including its likely environmental source. PMID:25105285

  17. First report of a ranavirus associated with morbidity and mortality in farmed Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus).

    PubMed

    Geng, Y; Wang, K Y; Zhou, Z Y; Li, C W; Wang, J; He, M; Yin, Z Q; Lai, W M

    2011-07-01

    From February to May 2010, an outbreak of disease occurred amongst farmed Chinese giant salamanders (Andrias davidianus) in Hanzhong County, Shanxi Province, China. Clinical signs included anorexia, lethargy, ecchymoses and swollen areas on the head and limbs, and skin ulceration. The aim of this study was to determine the cause of this disease. Necropsy examination revealed subcutaneous and intramuscular oedema, swollen and pale livers with multifocal haemorrhage, swollen kidneys with multifocal haemorrhage and distended fluid-filled intestines with areas of haemorrhage. Light microscopy revealed intracytoplasmic inclusions suggestive of a viral infection in a variety of organs, as well as degeneration and necrosis of these organs. Electron microscopy of ultrathin sections of the same tissues revealed iridovirus-like particles within the inclusions. Of the six specimens tested, all were positive for ranavirus major capsid protein (MCP) gene. Sequence alignments of the ranavirus MCP gene from these specimens showed 95-98% similarity with published ranavirus data. The virus, provisionally designated as Chinese giant salamander virus (CGSV), was isolated from tissue homogenates of diseased salamanders following inoculation of epithelioma papilloma cyprini cells. Sequence analysis of the MCP genes showed that the isolated virus was a ranavirus with marked sequence identity to other members of the genus Ranavirus. Koch's postulates were fulfilled by infecting healthy Chinese giant salamanders with the CGSV. These salamanders all died within 6-8 days. This is the first report of ranavirus infection associated with mass mortality in Chinese giant salamanders. PMID:21256507

  18. Even modest prediction accuracy of genomic models can have large clinical utility

    PubMed Central

    Dhurandhar, Emily J.; Vazquez, Ana I.; Argyropoulos, George A.; Allison, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Whole Genome Prediction (WGP) jointly fits thousands of SNPs into a regression model to yield estimates for the contribution of markers to the overall variance of a particular trait, and for their associations with that trait. To date, WGP has offered only modest prediction accuracy, but in some cases even modest prediction accuracy may be useful. We provide an illustration of this using a theoretical simulation that used WGP to predict weight loss after bariatric surgery with moderate accuracy (R2 = 0.07) to assess the clinical utility of WGP despite these limitations. Prevention of Type 2 Diabetes (T2DM) post-surgery was considered the major outcome. Treating only patients above predefined threshold of predicted weight loss in our simulation, in the realistic context of finite resources for the surgery, significantly reduced lifetime risk of T2DM in the treatable population by selecting those most likely to succeed. Thus, our example illustrates how WGP may be clinically useful in some situations, and even with moderate accuracy, may provide a clear path for turning personalized medicine from theory to reality. PMID:25506355

  19. A general framework for association tests with multivariate traits in large-scale genomics studies.

    PubMed

    He, Qianchuan; Avery, Christy L; Lin, Dan-Yu

    2013-12-01

    Genetic association studies often collect data on multiple traits that are correlated. Discovery of genetic variants influencing multiple traits can lead to better understanding of the etiology of complex human diseases. Conventional univariate association tests may miss variants that have weak or moderate effects on individual traits. We propose several multivariate test statistics to complement univariate tests. Our framework covers both studies of unrelated individuals and family studies and allows any type/mixture of traits. We relate the marginal distributions of multivariate traits to genetic variants and covariates through generalized linear models without modeling the dependence among the traits or family members. We construct score-type statistics, which are computationally fast and numerically stable even in the presence of covariates and which can be combined efficiently across studies with different designs and arbitrary patterns of missing data. We compare the power of the test statistics both theoretically and empirically. We provide a strategy to determine genome-wide significance that properly accounts for the linkage disequilibrium (LD) of genetic variants. The application of the new methods to the meta-analysis of five major cardiovascular cohort studies identifies a new locus (HSCB) that is pleiotropic for the four traits analyzed. PMID:24227293

  20. High proportion of large genomic deletions and a genotype–phenotype update in 80 unrelated families with juvenile polyposis syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Aretz, S; Stienen, D; Uhlhaas, S; Stolte, M; Entius, M M; Loff, S; Back, W; Kaufmann, A; Keller, K‐M; Blaas, S H; Siebert, R; Vogt, S; Spranger, S; Holinski‐Feder, E; Sunde, L; Propping, P; Friedl, W

    2007-01-01

    Background In patients with juvenile polyposis syndrome (JPS) the frequency of large genomic deletions in the SMAD4 and BMPR1A genes was unknown. Methods Mutation and phenotype analysis was used in 80 unrelated patients of whom 65 met the clinical criteria for JPS (typical JPS) and 15 were suspected to have JPS. Results By direct sequencing of the two genes, point mutations were identified in 30 patients (46% of typical JPS). Using MLPA, large genomic deletions were found in 14% of all patients with typical JPS (six deletions in SMAD4 and three deletions in BMPR1A). Mutation analysis of the PTEN gene in the remaining 41 mutation negative cases uncovered a point mutation in two patients (5%). SMAD4 mutation carriers had a significantly higher frequency of gastric polyposis (73%) than did patients with BMPR1A mutations (8%) (p<0.001); all seven cases of gastric cancer occurred in families with SMAD4 mutations. SMAD4 mutation carriers with gastric polyps were significantly older at gastroscopy than those without (p<0.001). In 22% of the 23 unrelated SMAD4 mutation carriers, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) was also diagnosed clinically. The documented histologic findings encompassed a wide distribution of different polyp types, comparable with that described in hereditary mixed polyposis syndromes (HMPS). Conclusions Screening for large deletions raised the mutation detection rate to 60% in the 65 patients with typical JPS. A strong genotype‐phenotype correlation for gastric polyposis, gastric cancer, and HHT was identified, which should have implications for counselling and surveillance. Histopathological results in hamartomatous polyposis syndromes must be critically interpreted. PMID:17873119

  1. Hybridization during altitudinal range shifts: nuclear introgression leads to extensive cyto-nuclear discordance in the fire salamander.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Ricardo J; Martínez-Solano, Iñigo; Buckley, David

    2016-04-01

    Ecological models predict that, in the face of climate change, taxa occupying steep altitudinal gradients will shift their distributions, leading to the contraction or extinction of the high-elevation (cold-adapted) taxa. However, hybridization between ecomorphologically divergent taxa commonly occurs in nature and may lead to alternative evolutionary outcomes, such as genetic merger or gene flow at specific genes. We evaluate this hypothesis by studying patterns of divergence and gene flow across three replicate contact zones between high- and low-elevation ecomorphs of the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) that have experienced altitudinal range shifts over the current postglacial period. Strong population structure with high genetic divergence in mitochondrial DNA suggests that vicariant evolution has occurred over several glacial-interglacial cycles and that it has led to cryptic differentiation within ecomorphs. In current parapatric boundaries, we do not find evidence for local extinction and replacement upon postglacial expansion. Instead, parapatric taxa recurrently show discordance between mitochondrial and nuclear markers, suggesting nuclear-mediated gene flow across contact zones. Isolation with migration models support this hypothesis by showing significant gene flow across all five parapatric boundaries. Together, our results suggest that, while some genomic regions, such as the mitochondria, may follow morphologic species traits and retreat to isolated mountain tops, other genomic regions, such as nuclear markers, may flow across parapatric boundaries, sometimes leading to a complete genetic merger. We show that despite high ecologic and morphologic divergence over prolonged periods of time, hybridization allows for evolutionary outcomes alternative to extinction and replacement of taxa in response to climate change. PMID:26850834

  2. Analysis of FOXO1 mutations in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma | Office of Cancer Genomics

    Cancer.gov

    Abstract: Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) accounts for 30% to 40% of newly diagnosed lymphomas and has an overall cure rate of approximately 60%. Previously, we observed FOXO1 mutations in non-Hodgkin lymphoma patient samples. To explore the effects of FOXO1 mutations, we assessed FOXO1 status in 279 DLBCL patient samples and 22 DLBCL-derived cell lines.

  3. Genomic characterization of a large panel of patient-derived hepatocellular carcinoma xenograft tumor models for preclinical development.

    PubMed

    Gu, Qingyang; Zhang, Bin; Sun, Hongye; Xu, Qiang; Tan, Yexiong; Wang, Guan; Luo, Qin; Xu, Weiguo; Yang, Shuqun; Li, Jian; Fu, Jing; Chen, Lei; Yuan, Shengxian; Liang, Guibai; Ji, Qunsheng; Chen, Shu-Hui; Chan, Chi-Chung; Zhou, Weiping; Xu, Xiaowei; Wang, Hongyang; Fang, Douglas D

    2015-08-21

    Lack of clinically relevant tumor models dramatically hampers development of effective therapies for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Establishment of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models that faithfully recapitulate the genetic and phenotypic features of HCC becomes important. In this study, we first established a cohort of 65 stable PDX models of HCC from corresponding Chinese patients. Then we showed that the histology and gene expression patterns of PDX models were highly consistent between xenografts and case-matched original tumors. Genetic alterations, including mutations and DNA copy number alterations (CNAs), of the xenografts correlated well with the published data of HCC patient specimens. Furthermore, differential responses to sorafenib, the standard-of-care agent, in randomly chosen xenografts were unveiled. Finally, in the models expressing high levels of FGFR1 gene according to the genomic data, FGFR1 inhibitor lenvatinib showed greater efficacy than sorafenib. Taken together, our data indicate that PDX models resemble histopathological and genomic characteristics of clinical HCC tumors, as well as recapitulate the differential responses of HCC patients to the standard-of-care treatment. Overall, this large collection of PDX models becomes a clinically relevant platform for drug screening, biomarker discovery and translational research in preclinical setting. PMID:26062443

  4. Large gene overlaps and tRNA processing in the compact mitochondrial genome of the crustacean Armadillidium vulgare.

    PubMed

    Doublet, Vincent; Ubrig, Elodie; Alioua, Abdelmalek; Bouchon, Didier; Marcadé, Isabelle; Maréchal-Drouard, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    A faithful expression of the mitochondrial DNA is crucial for cell survival. Animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) presents a highly compact gene organization. The typical 16.5 kbp animal mtDNA encodes 13 proteins, 2 rRNAs and 22 tRNAs. In the backyard pillbug Armadillidium vulgare, the rather small 13.9 kbp mtDNA encodes the same set of proteins and rRNAs as compared to animal kingdom mtDNA, but seems to harbor an incomplete set of tRNA genes. Here, we first confirm the expression of 13 tRNA genes in this mtDNA. Then we show the extensive repair of a truncated tRNA, the expression of tRNA involved in large gene overlaps and of tRNA genes partially or fully integrated within protein-coding genes in either direct or opposite orientation. Under selective pressure, overlaps between genes have been likely favored for strong genome size reduction. Our study underlines the existence of unknown biochemical mechanisms for the complete gene expression of A. vulgare mtDNA, and of co-evolutionary processes to keep overlapping genes functional in a compacted mitochondrial genome. PMID:26361137

  5. Mining the genome for susceptibility to diabetic nephropathy: the role of large-scale studies and consortia.

    PubMed

    Iyengar, Sudha K; Freedman, Barry I; Sedor, John R

    2007-03-01

    Approximately 30% of individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes develop persistent albuminuria, lose renal function, and are at increased risk for cardiovascular and other microvascular complications. Diabetes and kidney diseases rank within the top 10 causes of death in Westernized countries and cause significant morbidity. Given these observations, genetic, genomic, and proteomic investigations have been initiated to better define basic mechanisms for disease initiation and progression, to identify individuals at risk for diabetic complications, and to develop more efficacious therapies. In this review we have focused on linkage analyses of candidate genes or chromosomal regions, or coarse genome-wide scans, which have mapped either categorical (chronic kidney disease or end-stage renal disease) or quantitative kidney traits (albuminuria/proteinuria or glomerular filtration rate). Most loci identified to date have not been replicated, however, several linked chromosomal regions are concordant between independent samples, suggesting the presence of a diabetic nephropathy gene. Two genes, carnosinase (CNDP1) on 18q, and engulfment and cell motility 1 (ELMO1) on 7p14, have been identified as diabetic nephropathy susceptibility genes, but these results require authentication. The availability of patient data sets with large sample sizes, improvements in informatics, genotyping technology, and statistical methodologies should accelerate the discovery of valid diabetic nephropathy susceptibility genes. PMID:17418689

  6. Large gene overlaps and tRNA processing in the compact mitochondrial genome of the crustacean Armadillidium vulgare

    PubMed Central

    Doublet, Vincent; Ubrig, Elodie; Alioua, Abdelmalek; Bouchon, Didier; Marcadé, Isabelle; Maréchal-Drouard, Laurence

    2015-01-01

    A faithful expression of the mitochondrial DNA is crucial for cell survival. Animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) presents a highly compact gene organization. The typical 16.5 kbp animal mtDNA encodes 13 proteins, 2 rRNAs and 22 tRNAs. In the backyard pillbug Armadillidium vulgare, the rather small 13.9 kbp mtDNA encodes the same set of proteins and rRNAs as compared to animal kingdom mtDNA, but seems to harbor an incomplete set of tRNA genes. Here, we first confirm the expression of 13 tRNA genes in this mtDNA. Then we show the extensive repair of a truncated tRNA, the expression of tRNA involved in large gene overlaps and of tRNA genes partially or fully integrated within protein-coding genes in either direct or opposite orientation. Under selective pressure, overlaps between genes have been likely favored for strong genome size reduction. Our study underlines the existence of unknown biochemical mechanisms for the complete gene expression of A. vulgare mtDNA, and of co-evolutionary processes to keep overlapping genes functional in a compacted mitochondrial genome. PMID:26361137

  7. Genomic organization and reproductive regulation of a large lipid transfer protein in the varroa mite, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman).

    PubMed

    Cabrera, A R; Shirk, P D; Duehl, A J; Donohue, K V; Grozinger, C M; Evans, J D; Teal, P E A

    2013-10-01

    The complete genomic region and corresponding transcript of the most abundant protein in phoretic varroa mites, Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman), were sequenced and have homology with acarine hemelipoglycoproteins and the large lipid transfer protein (LLTP) super family. The genomic sequence of VdLLTP included 14 introns and the mature transcript coded for a predicted polypeptide of 1575 amino acid residues. VdLLTP shared a minimum of 25% sequence identity with acarine LLTPs. Phylogenetic assessment showed VdLLTP was most closely related to Metaseiulus occidentalis vitellogenin and LLTP proteins of ticks; however, no heme binding by VdLLTP was detected. Analysis of lipids associated with VdLLTP showed that it was a carrier for free and esterified C12 -C22 fatty acids from triglycerides, diacylglycerides and monoacylglycerides. Additionally, cholesterol and β-sitosterol were found as cholesterol esters linked to common fatty acids. Transcript levels of VdLLTP were 42 and 310 times higher in phoretic female mites when compared with males and quiescent deutonymphs, respectively. Coincident with initiation of the reproductive phase, VdLLTP transcript levels declined to a third of those in phoretic female mites. VdLLTP functions as an important lipid transporter and should provide a significant RNA interference target for assessing the control of varroa mites. PMID:23834736

  8. DBG2OLC: Efficient Assembly of Large Genomes Using Long Erroneous Reads of the Third Generation Sequencing Technologies.

    PubMed

    Ye, Chengxi; Hill, Christopher M; Wu, Shigang; Ruan, Jue; Ma, Zhanshan Sam

    2016-01-01

    The highly anticipated transition from next generation sequencing (NGS) to third generation sequencing (3GS) has been difficult primarily due to high error rates and excessive sequencing cost. The high error rates make the assembly of long erroneous reads of large genomes challenging because existing software solutions are often overwhelmed by error correction tasks. Here we report a hybrid assembly approach that simultaneously utilizes NGS and 3GS data to address both issues. We gain advantages from three general and basic design principles: (i) Compact representation of the long reads leads to efficient alignments. (ii) Base-level errors can be skipped; structural errors need to be detected and corrected. (iii) Structurally correct 3GS reads are assembled and polished. In our implementation, preassembled NGS contigs are used to derive the compact representation of the long reads, motivating an algorithmic conversion from a de Bruijn graph to an overlap graph, the two major assembly paradigms. Moreover, since NGS and 3GS data can compensate for each other, our hybrid assembly approach reduces both of their sequencing requirements. Experiments show that our software is able to assemble mammalian-sized genomes orders of magnitude more quickly than existing methods without consuming a lot of memory, while saving about half of the sequencing cost. PMID:27573208

  9. DBG2OLC: Efficient Assembly of Large Genomes Using Long Erroneous Reads of the Third Generation Sequencing Technologies

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Chengxi; Hill, Christopher M.; Wu, Shigang; Ruan, Jue; Ma, Zhanshan (Sam)

    2016-01-01

    The highly anticipated transition from next generation sequencing (NGS) to third generation sequencing (3GS) has been difficult primarily due to high error rates and excessive sequencing cost. The high error rates make the assembly of long erroneous reads of large genomes challenging because existing software solutions are often overwhelmed by error correction tasks. Here we report a hybrid assembly approach that simultaneously utilizes NGS and 3GS data to address both issues. We gain advantages from three general and basic design principles: (i) Compact representation of the long reads leads to efficient alignments. (ii) Base-level errors can be skipped; structural errors need to be detected and corrected. (iii) Structurally correct 3GS reads are assembled and polished. In our implementation, preassembled NGS contigs are used to derive the compact representation of the long reads, motivating an algorithmic conversion from a de Bruijn graph to an overlap graph, the two major assembly paradigms. Moreover, since NGS and 3GS data can compensate for each other, our hybrid assembly approach reduces both of their sequencing requirements. Experiments show that our software is able to assemble mammalian-sized genomes orders of magnitude more quickly than existing methods without consuming a lot of memory, while saving about half of the sequencing cost. PMID:27573208

  10. Large genomic fragment deletion and functional gene cassette knock-in via Cas9 protein mediated genome editing in one-cell rodent embryos

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Liren; Shao, Yanjiao; Guan, Yuting; Li, Liang; Wu, Lijuan; Chen, Fangrui; Liu, Meizhen; Chen, Huaqing; Ma, Yanlin; Ma, Xueyun; Liu, Mingyao; Li, Dali

    2015-01-01

    The CRISPR-Cas RNA-guided system has versatile uses in many organisms and allows modification of multiple target sites simultaneously. Generating novel genetically modified mouse and rat models is one valuable application of this system. Through the injection of Cas9 protein instead of mRNA into embryos, we observed fewer off-target effects of Cas9 and increased point mutation knock-in efficiency. Large genomic DNA fragment (up to 95 kb) deletion mice were generated for in vivo study of lncRNAs and gene clusters. Site-specific insertion of a 2.7 kb CreERT2 cassette into the mouse Nfatc1 locus allowed labeling and tracing of hair follicle stem cells. In addition, we combined the Cre-Loxp system with a gene-trap strategy to insert a GFP reporter in the reverse orientation into the rat Lgr5 locus, which was later inverted by Cre-mediated recombination, yielding a conditional knockout/reporter strategy suitable for mosaic mutation analysis. PMID:26620761

  11. Large genomic fragment deletion and functional gene cassette knock-in via Cas9 protein mediated genome editing in one-cell rodent embryos.

    PubMed

    Wang, Liren; Shao, Yanjiao; Guan, Yuting; Li, Liang; Wu, Lijuan; Chen, Fangrui; Liu, Meizhen; Chen, Huaqing; Ma, Yanlin; Ma, Xueyun; Liu, Mingyao; Li, Dali

    2015-01-01

    The CRISPR-Cas RNA-guided system has versatile uses in many organisms and allows modification of multiple target sites simultaneously. Generating novel genetically modified mouse and rat models is one valuable application of this system. Through the injection of Cas9 protein instead of mRNA into embryos, we observed fewer off-target effects of Cas9 and increased point mutation knock-in efficiency. Large genomic DNA fragment (up to 95 kb) deletion mice were generated for in vivo study of lncRNAs and gene clusters. Site-specific insertion of a 2.7 kb CreERT2 cassette into the mouse Nfatc1 locus allowed labeling and tracing of hair follicle stem cells. In addition, we combined the Cre-Loxp system with a gene-trap strategy to insert a GFP reporter in the reverse orientation into the rat Lgr5 locus, which was later inverted by Cre-mediated recombination, yielding a conditional knockout/reporter strategy suitable for mosaic mutation analysis. PMID:26620761

  12. Contribution of the ciliary cyclic nucleotide-gated conductance to olfactory transduction in the salamander.

    PubMed Central

    Lowe, G; Gold, G H

    1993-01-01

    1. Flash photolysis of caged cyclic nucleotides was used to examine the contribution of the ciliary cyclic nucleotide-gated conductance to olfactory transduction in the tiger salamander. Brief illumination of solitary olfactory receptor cells loaded with 100 microM caged cyclic AMP caused a large inward current (peak amplitude 355 +/- 200 pA; mean +/- S.D. for eleven cells) under whole-cell voltage clamp at -50 mV. 2. The photolysis response was initiated after a latency of 4-12 ms, whereas an odorant response of identical amplitude had a latency of several hundred milliseconds. The amplitudes of both responses exhibited almost identical voltage dependence between -50 and +25 mV, with both reversing near 0 mV. The time courses of the falling phases of odorant and photolysis responses also exhibited similar voltage dependence, both being prolonged at positive voltages. 3. Photolysis of caged cyclic GMP activated a current similar in amplitude and time course to that produced by photolysis of caged cyclic AMP. 4. When the flash was spatially limited to the cilia, the amplitude and duration of the photolysis response increased linearly with the length of the cilia illuminated (for cilia not longer than 30-40 microns) while the latency remained constant at 4-12 ms. The increase in duration was described semi-quantitatively by a model which incorporated diffusion and saturable hydrolysis of cyclic AMP. When the flash was limited to the soma or proximal dendrite, the response latency was proportional to the square of the distance between the illuminated region and the cilia. 5. Dialysis of cells with 500 microM cyclic AMP from a whole-cell electrode under voltage clamp activated a large transient inward current. Simultaneous suction electrode recording showed that this current originated almost entirely from the ciliary membrane. The density of cyclic nucleotide-gated channels was estimated to be 800-fold higher in the cilia than in the soma. 6. Summation of simultaneous

  13. Sequencing-based large-scale genomics approaches with small numbers of isolated maize meiocytes

    PubMed Central

    Dukowic-Schulze, Stefanie; Sundararajan, Anitha; Ramaraj, Thiruvarangan; Mudge, Joann; Chen, Changbin

    2014-01-01

    High-throughput sequencing has become the large-scale approach of choice to study global gene expression and the distribution of specific chromatin marks and features. However, the limited availability of large amounts of purified cells made it very challenging to apply sequencing-based techniques in plant meiosis research in the past. In this paper, we describe a method to isolate meiocytes from maize anthers and detailed protocols to successfully perform RNA-seq, smRNA-seq, H3K4me3-ChIP-seq, and DNA bisulfite conversion sequencing with 5000–30,000 isolated maize male meiotic cells. These methods can be adjusted for other flowering plant species as well. PMID:24611068

  14. A new way to protect privacy in large-scale genome-wide association studies

    PubMed Central

    Kamm, Liina; Bogdanov, Dan; Laur, Sven; Vilo, Jaak

    2013-01-01

    Motivation: Increased availability of various genotyping techniques has initiated a race for finding genetic markers that can be used in diagnostics and personalized medicine. Although many genetic risk factors are known, key causes of common diseases with complex heritage patterns are still unknown. Identification of such complex traits requires a targeted study over a large collection of data. Ideally, such studies bring together data from many biobanks. However, data aggregation on such a large scale raises many privacy issues. Results: We show how to conduct such studies without violating privacy of individual donors and without leaking the data to third parties. The presented solution has provable security guarantees. Contact: jaak.vilo@ut.ee Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:23413435

  15. Excavating the Genome: Large Scale Mutagenesis Screening for the Discovery of New Mouse Models

    PubMed Central

    Sundberg, John P.; Dadras, Soheil S.; Silva, Kathleen A.; Kennedy, Victoria E.; Murray, Stephen A.; Denegre, James; Schofield, Paul N.; King, Lloyd E.; Wiles, Michael; Pratt, C. Herbert

    2016-01-01

    Technology now exists for rapid screening of mutated laboratory mice to identify phenotypes associated with specific genetic mutations. Large repositories exist for spontaneous mutants and those induced by chemical mutagenesis, many of which have never been studied or comprehensively evaluated. To supplement these resources, a variety of techniques have been consolidated in an international effort to create mutations in all known protein coding genes in the mouse. With targeted embryonic stem cell lines now available for almost all protein coding genes and more recently CRISPR/Cas9 technology, large-scale efforts are underway to create novel mutant mouse strains and to characterize their phenotypes. However, accurate diagnosis of skin, hair, and nail diseases still relies on careful gross and histological analysis. While not automated to the level of the physiological phenotyping, histopathology provides the most direct and accurate diagnosis and correlation with human diseases. As a result of these efforts, many new mouse dermatological disease models are being developed. PMID:26551941

  16. Integrating large-scale functional genomics data to dissect metabolic networks for hydrogen production

    SciTech Connect

    Harwood, Caroline S

    2012-12-17

    The goal of this project is to identify gene networks that are critical for efficient biohydrogen production by leveraging variation in gene content and gene expression in independently isolated Rhodopseudomonas palustris strains. Coexpression methods were applied to large data sets that we have collected to define probabilistic causal gene networks. To our knowledge this a first systems level approach that takes advantage of strain-to strain variability to computationally define networks critical for a particular bacterial phenotypic trait.

  17. Genome-Wide Association Study of Event-Free Survival in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma Treated With Immunochemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Ghesquieres, Hervé; Slager, Susan L.; Jardin, Fabrice; Veron, Amelie S.; Asmann, Yan W.; Maurer, Matthew J.; Fest, Thierry; Habermann, Thomas M.; Bene, Marie C.; Novak, Anne J.; Mareschal, Sylvain; Haioun, Corinne; Lamy, Thierry; Ansell, Stephen M.; Tilly, Herve; Witzig, Thomas E.; Weiner, George J.; Feldman, Andrew L.; Dogan, Ahmet; Cunningham, Julie M.; Olswold, Curtis L.; Molina, Thierry Jo; Link, Brian K.; Milpied, Noel; Cox, David G.; Salles, Gilles A.; Cerhan, James R.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose We performed a multistage genome-wide association study to identify inherited genetic variants that predict outcome in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients treated with immunochemotherapy. Methods We conducted a meta-analysis of two genome-wide association study data sets, one from the LNH2003B trial (N = 540), a prospective clinical trial from the Lymphoma Study Association, and the other from the Molecular Epidemiology Resource study (N = 312), a prospective observational study from the University of Iowa–Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Specialized Program of Research Excellence. Top single nucleotide polymorphisms were then genotyped in independent cohorts of patients from the Specialized Program of Research Excellence (N = 391) and the Groupe Ouest-Est des Leucémies Aiguës et Maladies du Sang (GOELAMS) -075 randomized trial (N = 294). We calculated the hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) using a log-additive genetic model with adjustment for age, sex, and age-adjusted International Prognostic Index. Results In a meta-analysis of the four studies, the top loci for EFS were marked by rs7712513 at 5q23.2 (near SNX2 and SNCAIP; HR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.23 to 1.57; P = 2.08 × 10−7), and rs7765004 at 6q21 (near MARCKS and HDAC2; HR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.22 to 1.57; P = 7.09 × 10−7), although they did not reach conventional genome-wide significance (P = 5 × 10−8). Both rs7712513 (HR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.29 to 1.72; P = 3.53 × 10−8) and rs7765004 (HR, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.27 to 1.71; P = 5.36 × 10−7) were also associated with OS. In exploratory analyses, a two–single nucleotide polymorphism risk score was highly predictive of EFS (P = 1.78 × 10−12) and was independent of treatment, IPI, and cell-of-origin classification. Conclusion Our study provides encouraging evidence for associations between loci at 5q23.2 and 6q21 with EFS and OS in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma treated with immunochemotherapy

  18. [Peculiarities of phosphoglycerate kinase-1 pseudogene evolution in Schrenck salamander (Salamandrella schrenckii Strauch, 1870)].

    PubMed

    Malyarchuk, B A; Denisova, G A; Derenko, M V

    2013-07-01

    Processed copies of genes generally evolve in neutral mode as pseudogenes, however, some of them might be important sources of new functional genes. The psiPGK1 pseudogene has been discovered in Schrenck salamander (Salamandrella schrenckii, Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae) via polymerase chain reaction used to amplify the phosphoglycerate kinase 1 gene (PGK1). This pseudogene is an intronless copy of PGK1 gene absent of exon 6. Analysis of psiPGK1 pseudogene polymorphism has demonstrated that it lacks mutations, which results in shifts in the stop codons and reading frames, as well as that the interspecies variation of this pseudogene was inconsistent with the neutral model of evolution. In addition, the pattern of phylogeographic differentiation of the psiPGK1 variants mainly coincides with that observed in mitochondrial DNA. These observations allow it to be suggested that the psiPGK1 pseudogene is a new functional gene in the Schrenck salamander. PMID:24450152

  19. Distribution of the Sonora Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi) in Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Rorabaugh, James C.; Lemos Espinal, Julio A.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Chambert, Thierry A; Carreon Arroyo, Gerardo; Hurtado Felix, David; Toyos Martinez, Daniel; Jones, Thomas R

    2016-01-01

    The Sonoran Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium stebbinsi Lowe, 1954) was listed as federally endangered in the USA in 1997 (USFWS 1997). In the USA, the distribution of A. mavortium stebbinsi is limited to the San Rafael Valley (approximately 567 km2), between the Sierra San Antonio (called the Patagonia Mountains in Arizona) and Huachuca Mountains, and south of the Canelo Hills, Arizona (Fig. 1). The USA listing was triggered by loss of natural wetland habitats, threats from invasive predators, frequent die-offs from disease, introgression with the introduced Barred Tiger Salamander (A. mavortium mavortium), and small range and number of breeding sites that increases susceptibility to stochastic events (USFWS 1997). Small population sizes and limited gene flow have caused inbreeding, which may further reduce population viability and the potential for recovery (Jones et al. 1988; Storfer et al. 2014). 

  20. Embryo Development inside Female Salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum-laterale) Prior to Egg Laying

    PubMed Central

    Charney, Noah D.; Castorino, John J.; Dobro, Megan J.; Steely, Sarah L.

    2014-01-01

    The length of embryo retention prior to oviposition is a critical evolutionary trait. In all oviparous salamanders, which include the vast majority of species in the order, fertilization is thought to occur at the time of egg laying. Embryos then enter the first cleavage stage several hours after being deposited. This pattern holds for previously studied individuals in the Ambystoma jeffersonianum-laterale complex. Here, we document an instance in which a female Ambystoma jeffersonianum-laterale was carrying embryos internally that had already reached stage 10 of development. Development likely began several days prior to the start of migration to the breeding pond. This is the first such record for any egg-laying salamander, and suggests a degree of plasticity in the timing of fertilization and development not previously recognized. Further work is needed to ascertain the prevalence, mechanics, and evolutionary significance of this phenomenon. PMID:24651275

  1. Effects of Histamine on Light Responses of Amacrine Cells in Tiger Salamander Retina

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yongchun; Satoh, Hiromasa; Vila, Alejandro; Wu, Samuel M.; Marshak, David W.

    2011-01-01

    Using immunofluorescence, we showed that histamine receptor 1 is expressed by horizontal cell axons and a subset of amacrine cells in the tiger salamander retina. The effects of histamine on light responses of amacrine cells were studied in slice preparations. Histamine modulated the light responses of many salamander amacrine cells, depending upon the morphological type. The most pronounced effects of histamine were decreases in the light responses of broadly stratified amacrine cells, particularly those having medium-sized dendritic field diameters. To determine whether the effects of histamine were direct, Co++ was substituted for Ca++ in the extracellular medium to block synaptic transmission. Histamine still affected broadly stratified amacrine cells, but not narrowly stratified amacrine cells under these conditions. Taken together, these findings suggest that inhibitory interactions between strata of the IPL and within the classical receptive fields of the ganglion cells would be particularly sensitive to histamine released from retinopetal axons. PMID:20878231

  2. Intrastrand annealing leads to the formation of a large DNA palindrome and determines the boundaries of genomic amplification in human cancer.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Hisashi; Cao, Yi; Bergstrom, Donald A; Kooperberg, Charles; Tapscott, Stephen J; Yao, Meng-Chao

    2007-03-01

    Amplification of large chromosomal regions (gene amplification) is a common somatic alteration in human cancer cells and often is associated with advanced disease. A critical event initiating gene amplification is a DNA double-strand break (DSB), which is immediately followed by the formation of a large DNA palindrome. Large DNA palindromes are frequent and nonrandomly distributed in the genomes of cancer cells and facilitate a further increase in copy number. Although the importance of the formation of large DNA palindromes as a very early event in gene amplification is widely recognized, it is not known how a DSB is resolved to form a large DNA palindrome and whether any local DNA structure determines the location of large DNA palindromes. We show here that intrastrand annealing following a DNA double-strand break leads to the formation of large DNA palindromes and that DNA inverted repeats in the genome determine the efficiency of this event. Furthermore, in human Colo320DM cancer cells, a DNA inverted repeat in the genome marks the border between amplified and nonamplified DNA. Therefore, an early step of gene amplification is a regulated process that is facilitated by DNA inverted repeats in the genome. PMID:17242211

  3. deBWT: parallel construction of Burrows–Wheeler Transform for large collection of genomes with de Bruijn-branch encoding

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Bo; Zhu, Dixian; Wang, Yadong

    2016-01-01

    Motivation: With the development of high-throughput sequencing, the number of assembled genomes continues to rise. It is critical to well organize and index many assembled genomes to promote future genomics studies. Burrows–Wheeler Transform (BWT) is an important data structure of genome indexing, which has many fundamental applications; however, it is still non-trivial to construct BWT for large collection of genomes, especially for highly similar or repetitive genomes. Moreover, the state-of-the-art approaches cannot well support scalable parallel computing owing to their incremental nature, which is a bottleneck to use modern computers to accelerate BWT construction. Results: We propose de Bruijn branch-based BWT constructor (deBWT), a novel parallel BWT construction approach. DeBWT innovatively represents and organizes the suffixes of input sequence with a novel data structure, de Bruijn branch encoding. This data structure takes the advantage of de Bruijn graph to facilitate the comparison between the suffixes with long common prefix, which breaks the bottleneck of the BWT construction of repetitive genomic sequences. Meanwhile, deBWT also uses the structure of de Bruijn graph for reducing unnecessary comparisons between suffixes. The benchmarking suggests that, deBWT is efficient and scalable to construct BWT for large dataset by parallel computing. It is well-suited to index many genomes, such as a collection of individual human genomes, with multiple-core servers or clusters. Availability and implementation: deBWT is implemented in C language, the source code is available at https://github.com/hitbc/deBWT or https://github.com/DixianZhu/deBWT Contact: ydwang@hit.edu.cn Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:27307614

  4. Excavating the Genome: Large-Scale Mutagenesis Screening for the Discovery of New Mouse Models.

    PubMed

    Sundberg, John P; Dadras, Soheil S; Silva, Kathleen A; Kennedy, Victoria E; Murray, Stephen A; Denegre, James M; Schofield, Paul N; King, Lloyd E; Wiles, Michael V; Pratt, C Herbert

    2015-11-01

    Technology now exists for rapid screening of mutated laboratory mice to identify phenotypes associated with specific genetic mutations. Large repositories exist for spontaneous mutants and those induced by chemical mutagenesis, many of which have never been fully studied or comprehensively evaluated. To supplement these resources, a variety of techniques have been consolidated in an international effort to create mutations in all known protein coding genes in the mouse. With targeted embryonic stem cell lines now available for almost all protein coding genes and more recently CRISPR/Cas9 technology, large-scale efforts are underway to create further novel mutant mouse strains and to characterize their phenotypes. However, accurate diagnosis of skin, hair, and nail diseases still relies on careful gross and histological analysis, and while not automated to the level of the physiological phenotyping, histopathology still provides the most direct and accurate diagnosis and correlation with human diseases. As a result of these efforts, many new mouse dermatological disease models are being characterized and developed. PMID:26551941

  5. Microbial community dynamics and effect of environmental microbial reservoirs on red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus)

    PubMed Central

    Loudon, Andrew H; Woodhams, Douglas C; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; Archer, Holly; Knight, Rob; McKenzie, Valerie; Harris, Reid N

    2014-01-01

    Beneficial cutaneous bacteria on amphibians can protect against the lethal disease chytridiomycosis, which has devastated many amphibian species and is caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. We describe the diversity of bacteria on red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) in the wild and the stability of these communities through time in captivity using culture-independent Illumina 16S rRNA gene sequencing. After field sampling, salamanders were housed with soil from the field or sterile media. The captive conditions led to different trajectories of bacterial communities. Eight OTUs present on >90% of salamanders in the field, through time, and in both treatments were defined as the core community, suggesting that some bacteria are closely associated with the host and are independent of an environmental reservoir. One of these taxa, a Pseudomonas sp., was previously cultured from amphibians and found to be antifungal. As all host-associated bacteria were found in the soil reservoir, environmental microbes strongly influence host–microbial diversity and likely regulate the core community. Using PICRUSt, an exploratory bioinformatics tool to predict gene functions, we found that core skin bacteria provided similar gene functions to the entire community. We suggest that future experiments focus on testing whether core bacteria on salamander skin contribute to the observed resistance to chytridiomycosis in this species even under hygenic captive conditions. For disease-susceptible hosts, providing an environmental reservoir with defensive bacteria in captive-rearing programs may improve outcomes by increasing bacterial diversity on threatened amphibians or increasing the likelihood that defensive bacteria are available for colonization. PMID:24335825

  6. Trends in Ranavirus Prevalence Among Plethodontid Salamanders in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    PubMed

    Sutton, William B; Gray, Matthew J; Hoverman, Jason T; Secrist, Richard G; Super, Paul E; Hardman, Rebecca H; Tucker, Jennifer L; Miller, Debra L

    2015-06-01

    Emerging pathogens are a potential contributor to global amphibian declines. Ranaviruses, which infect ectothermic vertebrates and are common in aquatic environments, have been implicated in die-offs of at least 72 amphibian species worldwide. Most studies on the subject have focused on pool-breeding amphibians, and infection trends in other amphibian species assemblages have been understudied. Our primary study objective was to evaluate hypotheses explaining ranavirus prevalence within a lungless salamander assemblage (Family Plethodontidae) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA. We sampled 566 total plethodontid salamanders representing 14 species at five sites over a 6-year period (2007-2012). We identified ranavirus-positive individuals in 11 of the 14 (78.6%) sampled species, with salamanders in the genus Desmognathus having greatest infection prevalence. Overall, we found the greatest support for site elevation and sampling year determining infection prevalence. We detected the greatest number of infections in 2007 with 82.5% of sampled individuals testing positive for ranavirus, which we attribute to record drought during this year. Infection prevalence remained relatively high in low-elevation sites in 2008 and 2009. Neither body condition nor aquatic dependence was a significant predictor of ranavirus prevalence. Overall, our results indicate that life history differences among species play a minor role determining ranavirus prevalence compared to the larger effects of site elevation and yearly fluctuations (likely due to environmental stressors) during sampling years. PMID:25537630

  7. Variable infection of stream salamanders in the southern Appalachians by the trematode Metagonimoides oregonensis (family: Heterophyidae).

    PubMed

    Wyderko, Jennie A; Benfield, Ernest F; Maerz, John C; Cecala, Kristen C; Belden, Lisa K

    2015-08-01

    Many factors contribute to parasites varying in host specificity and distribution among potential hosts. Metagonimoides oregonensis is a digenetic trematode that uses stream-dwelling plethodontid salamanders as second intermediate hosts in the Eastern US. We completed a field survey to identify which stream salamander species, at a regional level, are most likely to be important for transmission to raccoon definitive hosts. We surveyed six plethodontid species (N = 289 salamanders) from 23 Appalachian headwater sites in North Carolina: Desmognathus quadramaculatus (n = 69), Eurycea wilderae (n = 160), Desmognathus ocoee (n = 31), Desmognathus monticola (n = 3), Eurycea guttolineata (n = 7), and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus (n = 19). We found infection in all species except D. monticola. Further analysis focused on comparing infection in the two most abundant species, D. quadramaculatus and E. wilderae. We found that D. quadramaculatus had significantly higher infection prevalence and intensity, probably due to a longer aquatic larval period and larger body sizes and thus greater cumulative exposure to the parasite. PMID:26026670

  8. Amphibian chemical defense: antifungal metabolites of the microsymbiont Janthinobacterium lividum on the salamander Plethodon cinereus.

    PubMed

    Brucker, Robert M; Harris, Reid N; Schwantes, Christian R; Gallaher, Thomas N; Flaherty, Devon C; Lam, Brianna A; Minbiole, Kevin P C

    2008-11-01

    Disease has spurred declines in global amphibian populations. In particular, the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has decimated amphibian diversity in some areas unaffected by habitat loss. However, there is little evidence to explain how some amphibian species persist despite infection or even clear the pathogen beyond detection. One hypothesis is that certain bacterial symbionts on the skin of amphibians inhibit the growth of the pathogen. An antifungal strain of Janthinobacterium lividum, isolated from the skin of the red-backed salamander Plethodon cinereus, produces antifungal metabolites at concentrations lethal to B. dendrobatidis. Antifungal metabolites were identified by using reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography, high resolution mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance, and UV-Vis spectroscopy and tested for efficacy of inhibiting the pathogen. Two metabolites, indole-3-carboxaldehyde and violacein, inhibited the pathogen's growth at relatively low concentrations (68.9 and 1.82 microM, respectively). Analysis of fresh salamander skin confirmed the presence of J. lividum and its metabolites on the skin of host salamanders in concentrations high enough to hinder or kill the pathogen (51 and 207 microM, respectively). These results support the hypothesis that cutaneous, mutualistic bacteria play a role in amphibian resistance to fungal disease. Exploitation of this biological process may provide long-term resistance to B. dendrobatidis for vulnerable amphibians and serve as a model for managing future emerging diseases in wildlife populations. PMID:18949519

  9. Data set for transcriptome analysis of the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus )

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Xuemei; Wang, Yuan; Zhang, Xiaoying

    2015-01-01

    The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) occupies a seat at the phylogenetic and species evolution process, which makes it an invaluable model for genetics; however, the genetic information and gene sequences about the Chinese giant salamander in public databases are scanty. Hence, we aimed to perform transcriptome analysis with the help of high-throughput sequencing. In this data, 61,317,940 raw reads were acquired from Chinese giant salamander mRNA using Illumina paired-end sequencing platform. After de novo assembly, a total of 72,072 unigenes were gained, in which 33,834 (46.95%) and 29,479 (40.91%) transcripts exhibited homology to sequences in the Nr database and Swiss-Prot database, (E-value <10−5), respectively. In the obtained unigenes, 18,019 (25%) transcripts were assigned with at least one Gene Ontology term, of which 1218 (6.8%) transcripts were assigned to immune system processes. In addition, a total of 17,572 assembled sequences were assigned into 241 predicted KEGG metabolic pathways. Among these, 2552 (14.5%) transcripts were assigned to the immune system relevant pathway and 5 transcripts were identified as potential antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). PMID:26759822

  10. Data set for transcriptome analysis of the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus ).

    PubMed

    Jiang, Xuemei; Wang, Yuan; Zhang, Xiaoying

    2016-03-01

    The Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) occupies a seat at the phylogenetic and species evolution process, which makes it an invaluable model for genetics; however, the genetic information and gene sequences about the Chinese giant salamander in public databases are scanty. Hence, we aimed to perform transcriptome analysis with the help of high-throughput sequencing. In this data, 61,317,940 raw reads were acquired from Chinese giant salamander mRNA using Illumina paired-end sequencing platform. After de novo assembly, a total of 72,072 unigenes were gained, in which 33,834 (46.95%) and 29,479 (40.91%) transcripts exhibited homology to sequences in the Nr database and Swiss-Prot database, (E-value <10(-5)), respectively. In the obtained unigenes, 18,019 (25%) transcripts were assigned with at least one Gene Ontology term, of which 1218 (6.8%) transcripts were assigned to immune system processes. In addition, a total of 17,572 assembled sequences were assigned into 241 predicted KEGG metabolic pathways. Among these, 2552 (14.5%) transcripts were assigned to the immune system relevant pathway and 5 transcripts were identified as potential antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). PMID:26759822

  11. Biogeography and body size shuffling of aquatic salamander communities on a shifting refuge

    PubMed Central

    Bonett, Ronald M.; Trujano-Alvarez, Ana Lilia; Williams, Michael J.; Timpe, Elizabeth K.

    2013-01-01

    Freshwater habitats of coastal plains are refugia for many divergent vertebrate lineages, yet these environments are highly vulnerable to sea-level fluctuations, which suggest that resident communities have endured dynamic histories. Using the fossil record and a multi-locus nuclear phylogeny, we examine divergence times, biogeography, body size evolution and patterns of community assembly of aquatic salamanders from North American coastal plains since the Late Cretaceous. At least five salamander families occurred on the extensive Western Interior Coastal Plain (WICP), which existed from the Late Cretaceous through the Eocene. Four of these families subsequently colonized the emergent Southeastern Coastal Plain (SECP) by the Early Oligocene to Late Miocene. Three families ultimately survived and underwent extensive body size evolution in situ on the SECP. This included at least two major size reversals in recent taxa that are convergent with confamilial WICP ancestors. Dynamics of the coastal plain, major lineage extinctions and frequent extreme changes in body size have resulted in significant shuffling of the size structure of aquatic salamander communities on this shifting refuge since the Cretaceous. PMID:23466988

  12. Co-option and evolution of non-olfactory proteinaceous pheromones in a terrestrial lungless salamander.

    PubMed

    Doty, Kari A; Wilburn, Damien B; Bowen, Kathleen E; Feldhoff, Pamela W; Feldhoff, Richard C

    2016-03-01

    Gene co-option is a major force in the evolution of novel biological functions. In plethodontid salamanders, males deliver proteinaceous courtship pheromones to the female olfactory system or transdermally to the bloodstream. Molecular studies identified three families of highly duplicated, rapidly evolving pheromones (PRF, PMF, and SPF). Analyses for Plethodon salamanders revealed pheromone mixtures of primarily PRF and PMF. The current study demonstrates that in Desmognathus ocoee--a plesiomorphic species with transdermal delivery--SPF is the major pheromone component representing >30% of total protein. Chromatographic profiles of D. ocoee pheromones were consistent from May through October. LC/MS-MS analysis suggested uniform SPF isoform expression between individual male D. ocoee. A gene ancestry for SPF with the Three-Finger Protein superfamily was supported by intron-exon boundaries, but not by the disulfide bonding pattern. Further analysis of the pheromone mixture revealed paralogs to peptide hormones that contained mutations in receptor binding regions, such that these novel molecules may alter female physiology by acting as hormone agonists/antagonists. Cumulatively, gene co-option, duplication, and neofunctionalization have permitted recruitment of additional gene families for pheromone activity. Such independent co-option events may be playing a key role in salamander speciation by altering male traits that influence reproductive success. PMID:26385001

  13. Rapid diversification and dispersal during periods of global warming by plethodontid salamanders

    PubMed Central

    Vieites, David R.; Min, Mi-Sook; Wake, David B.

    2007-01-01

    A phylogeny and timescale derived from analyses of multilocus nuclear DNA sequences for Holarctic genera of plethodontid salamanders reveal them to be an old radiation whose common ancestor diverged from sister taxa in the late Jurassic and underwent rapid diversification during the late Cretaceous. A North American origin of plethodontids was followed by a continental-wide diversification, not necessarily centered only in the Appalachian region. The colonization of Eurasia by plethodontids most likely occurred once, by dispersal during the late Cretaceous. Subsequent diversification in Asia led to the origin of Hydromantes and Karsenia, with the former then dispersing both to Europe and back to North America. Salamanders underwent rapid episodes of diversification and dispersal that coincided with major global warming events during the late Cretaceous and again during the Paleocene–Eocene thermal optimum. The major clades of plethodontids were established during these episodes, contemporaneously with similar phenomena in angiosperms, arthropods, birds, and mammals. Periods of global warming may have promoted diversification and both inter- and transcontinental dispersal in northern hemisphere salamanders by making available terrain that shortened dispersal routes and offered new opportunities for adaptive and vicariant evolution. PMID:18077422

  14. Seasonal variation in microhabitat of salamanders: environmental variation or shift of habitat selection?

    PubMed

    Lunghi, Enrico; Manenti, Raoul; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Relationships between species and their habitats are not always constant. Different processes may determine changes in species-habitat association: individuals may prefer different habitat typologies in different periods, or they may be forced to occupy a different habitat in order to follow the changing environment. The aim of our study was to assess whether cave salamanders change their habitat association pattern through the year, and to test whether such changes are determined by environmental changes or by changes in preferences. We monitored multiple caves in Central Italy through one year, and monthly measured biotic and abiotic features of microhabitat and recorded Italian cave salamanders distribution. We used mixed models and niche similarity tests to assess whether species-habitat relationships remain constant through the year. Microhabitat showed strong seasonal variation, with the highest variability in the superficial sectors. Salamanders were associated to relatively cold and humid sectors in summer, but not during winter. Such apparent shift in habitat preferences mostly occurred because the environmental gradient changed through the year, while individuals generally selected similar conditions. Nevertheless, juveniles were more tolerant to dry sectors during late winter, when food demand was highest. This suggests that tolerance for suboptimal abiotic conditions may change through time, depending on the required resources. Differences in habitat use are jointly determined by environmental variation through time, and by changes in the preferred habitat. The trade-offs between tolerance and resources requirement are major determinant of such variation. PMID:26290788

  15. Phylogeography of Sardinian Cave Salamanders (Genus Hydromantes) Is Mainly Determined by Geomorphology

    PubMed Central

    Chiari, Ylenia; van der Meijden, Arie; Mucedda, Mauro; Lourenço, João M.; Hochkirch, Axel; Veith, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Detecting the factors that determine the interruption of gene flow between populations is key to understanding how speciation occurs. In this context, caves are an excellent system for studying processes of colonization, differentiation and speciation, since they represent discrete geographical units often with known geological histories. Here, we asked whether discontinuous calcareous areas and cave systems represent major barriers to gene flow within and among the five species of Sardinian cave salamanders (genus Hydromantes) and whether intraspecific genetic structure parallels geographic distance within and among caves. We generated mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences from 184 individuals representing 48 populations, and used a Bayesian phylogeographic approach to infer possible areas of cladogenesis for these species and reconstruct historical and current dispersal routes among distinct populations. Our results show deep genetic divergence within and among all Sardinian cave salamander species, which can mostly be attributed to the effects of mountains and discontinuities in major calcareous areas and cave systems acting as barriers to gene flow. While these salamander species can also occur outside caves, our results indicate that there is a very poor dispersal of these species between separate cave systems. PMID:22427830

  16. Vertebrate Hosts as Islands: Dynamics of Selection, Immigration, Loss, Persistence, and Potential Function of Bacteria on Salamander Skin

    PubMed Central

    Loudon, Andrew H.; Venkataraman, Arvind; Van Treuren, William; Woodhams, Douglas C.; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; McKenzie, Valerie J.; Knight, Rob; Schmidt, Thomas M.; Harris, Reid N.

    2016-01-01

    Skin bacterial communities can protect amphibians from a fungal pathogen; however, little is known about how these communities are maintained. We used a neutral model of community ecology to identify bacteria that are maintained on salamanders by selection or by dispersal from a bacterial reservoir (soil) and ecological drift. We found that 75% (9/12) of bacteria that were consistent with positive selection, <1% of bacteria that were consistent with random dispersal and none of the bacteria that were consistent under negative selection had a 97% or greater match to antifungal isolates. Additionally we performed an experiment where salamanders were either provided or denied a bacterial reservoir and estimated immigration and loss (emigration and local extinction) rates of bacteria on salamanders in both treatments. Loss was strongly related to bacterial richness, suggesting competition is important for structuring the community. Bacteria closely related to antifungal isolates were more likely to persist on salamanders with or without a bacterial reservoir, suggesting they had a competitive advantage. Furthermore, over-represented and under-represented operational taxonomic units (OTUs) had similar persistence on salamanders when a bacterial reservoir was present. However, under-represented OTUs were less likely to persist in the absence of a bacterial reservoir, suggesting that the over-represented and under-represented bacteria were selected against or for on salamanders through time. Our findings from the neutral model, migration and persistence analyses show that bacteria that exhibit a high similarity to antifungal isolates persist on salamanders, which likely protect hosts against pathogens and improve fitness. This research is one of the first to apply ecological theory to investigate assembly of host associated-bacterial communities, which can provide insights for probiotic bioaugmentation as a conservation strategy against disease. PMID:27014249

  17. Vertebrate Hosts as Islands: Dynamics of Selection, Immigration, Loss, Persistence, and Potential Function of Bacteria on Salamander Skin.

    PubMed

    Loudon, Andrew H; Venkataraman, Arvind; Van Treuren, William; Woodhams, Douglas C; Parfrey, Laura Wegener; McKenzie, Valerie J; Knight, Rob; Schmidt, Thomas M; Harris, Reid N

    2016-01-01

    Skin bacterial communities can protect amphibians from a fungal pathogen; however, little is known about how these communities are maintained. We used a neutral model of community ecology to identify bacteria that are maintained on salamanders by selection or by dispersal from a bacterial reservoir (soil) and ecological drift. We found that 75% (9/12) of bacteria that were consistent with positive selection, <1% of bacteria that were consistent with random dispersal and none of the bacteria that were consistent under negative selection had a 97% or greater match to antifungal isolates. Additionally we performed an experiment where salamanders were either provided or denied a bacterial reservoir and estimated immigration and loss (emigration and local extinction) rates of bacteria on salamanders in both treatments. Loss was strongly related to bacterial richness, suggesting competition is important for structuring the community. Bacteria closely related to antifungal isolates were more likely to persist on salamanders with or without a bacterial reservoir, suggesting they had a competitive advantage. Furthermore, over-represented and under-represented operational taxonomic units (OTUs) had similar persistence on salamanders when a bacterial reservoir was present. However, under-represented OTUs were less likely to persist in the absence of a bacterial reservoir, suggesting that the over-represented and under-represented bacteria were selected against or for on salamanders through time. Our findings from the neutral model, migration and persistence analyses show that bacteria that exhibit a high similarity to antifungal isolates persist on salamanders, which likely protect hosts against pathogens and improve fitness. This research is one of the first to apply ecological theory to investigate assembly of host associated-bacterial communities, which can provide insights for probiotic bioaugmentation as a conservation strategy against disease. PMID:27014249

  18. Multimodal communication, mismatched messages and the effects of turbidity on the antipredator behavior of the Barton Springs salamander, Eurycea sosorum.

    PubMed

    Zabierek, Kristina C; Gabor, Caitlin R

    2016-09-01

    Prey may use multiple sensory channels to detect predators, whose cues may differ in altered sensory environments, such as turbid conditions. Depending on the environment, prey may use cues in an additive/complementary manner or in a compensatory manner. First, to determine whether the purely aquatic Barton Springs salamander, Eurycea sosorum, show an antipredator response to visual cues, we examined their activity when exposed to either visual cues of a predatory fish (Lepomis cyanellus) or a non-predatory fish (Etheostoma lepidum). Salamanders decreased activity in response to predator visual cues only. Then, we examined the antipredator response of these salamanders to all matched and mismatched combinations of chemical and visual cues of the same predatory and non-predatory fish in clear and low turbidity conditions. Salamanders decreased activity in response to predator chemical cues matched with predator visual cues or mismatched with non-predator visual cues. Salamanders also increased latency to first move to predator chemical cues mismatched with non-predator visual cues. Salamanders decreased activity and increased latency to first move more in clear as opposed to turbid conditions in all treatment combinations. Our results indicate that salamanders under all conditions and treatments preferentially rely on chemical cues to determine antipredator behavior, although visual cues are potentially utilized in conjunction for latency to first move. Our results also have potential conservation implications, as decreased antipredator behavior was seen in turbid conditions. These results reveal complexity of antipredator behavior in response to multiple cues under different environmental conditions, which is especially important when considering endangered species. PMID:27370360

  19. Genomic islands of divergence in hybridizing Heliconius butterflies identified by large-scale targeted sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Nadeau, Nicola J.; Whibley, Annabel; Jones, Robert T.; Davey, John W.; Dasmahapatra, Kanchon K.; Baxter, Simon W.; Quail, Michael A.; Joron, Mathieu; ffrench-Constant, Richard H.; Blaxter, Mark L.; Mallet, James; Jiggins, Chris D.

    2012-01-01

    Heliconius butterflies represent a recent radiation of species, in which wing pattern divergence has been implicated in speciation. Several loci that control wing pattern phenotypes have been mapped and two were identified through sequencing. These same gene regions play a role in adaptation across the whole Heliconius radiation. Previous studies of population genetic patterns at these regions have sequenced small amplicons. Here, we use targeted next-generation sequence capture to survey patterns of divergence across these entire regions in divergent geographical races and species of Heliconius. This technique was successful both within and between species for obtaining high coverage of almost all coding regions and sufficient coverage of non-coding regions to perform population genetic analyses. We find major peaks of elevated population differentiation between races across hybrid zones, which indicate regions under strong divergent selection. These ‘islands’ of divergence appear to be more extensive between closely related species, but there is less clear evidence for such islands between more distantly related species at two further points along the ‘speciation continuum’. We also sequence fosmid clones across these regions in different Heliconius melpomene races. We find no major structural rearrangements but many relatively large (greater than 1 kb) insertion/deletion events (including gain/loss of transposable elements) that are variable between races. PMID:22201164

  20. Comment on Schielzeth et al. (2014): "Genome size variation affects song attractiveness in grasshoppers: Evidence for sexual selection against large genomes".

    PubMed

    Camacho, Juan Pedro M

    2016-06-01

    Schielzeth et al. (2014) concluded that attractive grasshopper singers have significantly smaller genomes thus suggesting a possible role for sexual selection on genome size. Whereas this conclusion could still be conceivably valid, it is not supported by the data presented due to some technical flaws. In addition, the interpretation of the results, speculating on the possible presence of B chromosomes, is not justified. PMID:27327141

  1. A Genome-Wide Association Study in Large White and Landrace Pig Populations for Number Piglets Born Alive

    PubMed Central

    Bergfelder-Drüing, Sarah; Grosse-Brinkhaus, Christine; Lind, Bianca; Erbe, Malena; Schellander, Karl; Simianer, Henner; Tholen, Ernst

    2015-01-01

    The number of piglets born alive (NBA) per litter is one of the most important traits in pig breeding due to its influence on production efficiency. It is difficult to improve NBA because the heritability of the trait is low and it is governed by a high number of loci with low to moderate effects. To clarify the biological and genetic background of NBA, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were performed using 4,012 Large White and Landrace pigs from herdbook and commercial breeding companies in Germany (3), Austria (1) and Switzerland (1). The animals were genotyped with the Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip. Because of population stratifications within and between breeds, clusters were formed using the genetic distances between the populations. Five clusters for each breed were formed and analysed by GWAS approaches. In total, 17 different significant markers affecting NBA were found in regions with known effects on female reproduction. No overlapping significant chromosome areas or QTL between Large White and Landrace breed were detected. PMID:25781935

  2. A genome-wide association study in large white and landrace pig populations for number piglets born alive.

    PubMed

    Bergfelder-Drüing, Sarah; Grosse-Brinkhaus, Christine; Lind, Bianca; Erbe, Malena; Schellander, Karl; Simianer, Henner; Tholen, Ernst

    2015-01-01

    The number of piglets born alive (NBA) per litter is one of the most important traits in pig breeding due to its influence on production efficiency. It is difficult to improve NBA because the heritability of the trait is low and it is governed by a high number of loci with low to moderate effects. To clarify the biological and genetic background of NBA, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were performed using 4,012 Large White and Landrace pigs from herdbook and commercial breeding companies in Germany (3), Austria (1) and Switzerland (1). The animals were genotyped with the Illumina PorcineSNP60 BeadChip. Because of population stratifications within and between breeds, clusters were formed using the genetic distances between the populations. Five clusters for each breed were formed and analysed by GWAS approaches. In total, 17 different significant markers affecting NBA were found in regions with known effects on female reproduction. No overlapping significant chromosome areas or QTL between Large White and Landrace breed were detected. PMID:25781935

  3. Genome-wide association study identifies a variant in HDAC9 associated with large vessel ischemic stroke

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Genetic factors have been implicated in stroke risk but few replicated associations have been reported. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in ischemic stroke and its subtypes in 3,548 cases and 5,972 controls, all of European ancestry. Replication of potential signals was performed in 5,859 cases and 6,281 controls. We replicated reported associations between variants close to PITX2 and ZFHX3 with cardioembolic stroke, and a 9p21 locus with large vessel stroke. We identified a novel association for a SNP within the histone deacetylase 9 (HDAC9) gene on chromosome 7p21.1 which was associated with large vessel stroke including additional replication in a further 735 cases and 28583 controls (rs11984041, combined P = 1.87×10−11, OR=1.42 (95% CI) 1.28-1.57). All four loci exhibit evidence for heterogeneity of effect across the stroke subtypes, with some, and possibly all, affecting risk for only one subtype. This suggests differing genetic architectures for different stroke subtypes. PMID:22306652

  4. Efficient inference of population size histories and locus-specific mutation rates from large-sample genomic variation data

    PubMed Central

    Bhaskar, Anand; Wang, Y.X. Rachel; Song, Yun S.

    2015-01-01

    With the recent increase in study sample sizes in human genetics, there has been growing interest in inferring historical population demography from genomic variation data. Here, we present an efficient inference method that can scale up to very large samples, with tens or hundreds of thousands of individuals. Specifically, by utilizing analytic results on the expected frequency spectrum under the coalescent and by leveraging the technique of automatic differentiation, which allows us to compute gradients exactly, we develop a very efficient algorithm to infer piecewise-exponential models of the historical effective population size from the distribution of sample allele frequencies. Our method is orders of magnitude faster than previous demographic inference methods based on the frequency spectrum. In addition to inferring demography, our method can also accurately estimate locus-specific mutation rates. We perform extensive validation of our method on simulated data and show that it can accurately infer multiple recent epochs of rapid exponential growth, a signal that is difficult to pick up with small sample sizes. Lastly, we use our method to analyze data from recent sequencing studies, including a large-sample exome-sequencing data set of tens of thousands of individuals assayed at a few hundred genic regions. PMID:25564017

  5. Large number of replacement polymorphisms in rapidly evolving genes of Drosophila. Implications for genome-wide surveys of DNA polymorphism.

    PubMed Central

    Schmid, K J; Nigro, L; Aquadro, C F; Tautz, D

    1999-01-01

    We present a survey of nucleotide polymorphism of three novel, rapidly evolving genes in populations of Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans. Levels of silent polymorphism are comparable to other loci, but the number of replacement polymorphisms is higher than that in most other genes surveyed in D. melanogaster and D. simulans. Tests of neutrality fail to reject neutral evolution with one exception. This concerns a gene located in a region of high recombination rate in D. simulans and in a region of low recombination rate in D. melanogaster, due to an inversion. In the latter case it shows a very low number of polymorphisms, presumably due to selective sweeps in the region. Patterns of nucleotide polymorphism suggest that most substitutions are neutral or nearly neutral and that weak (positive and purifying) selection plays a significant role in the evolution of these genes. At all three loci, purifying selection of slightly deleterious replacement mutations appears to be more efficient in D. simulans than in D. melanogaster, presumably due to different effective population sizes. Our analysis suggests that current knowledge about genome-wide patterns of nucleotide polymorphism is far from complete with respect to the types and range of nucleotide substitutions and that further analysis of differences between local populations will be required to understand the forces more completely. We note that rapidly diverging and nearly neutrally evolving genes cannot be expected only in the genome of Drosophila, but are likely to occur in large numbers also in other organisms and that their function and evolution are little understood so far. PMID:10581279

  6. RNA-seq pinpoints a Xanthomonas TAL-effector activated resistance gene in a large-crop genome

    PubMed Central

    Strauß, Tina; van Poecke, Remco M. P.; Strauß, Annett; Römer, Patrick; Minsavage, Gerald V.; Singh, Sylvia; Wolf, Christina; Strauß, Axel; Kim, Seungill; Lee, Hyun-Ah; Yeom, Seon-In; Parniske, Martin; Stall, Robert E.; Jones, Jeffrey B.; Choi, Doil; Prins, Marcel; Lahaye, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Transcription activator-like effector (TALE) proteins of the plant pathogenic bacterial genus Xanthomonas bind to and transcriptionally activate host susceptibility genes, promoting disease. Plant immune systems have taken advantage of this mechanism by evolving TALE binding sites upstream of resistance (R) genes. For example, the pepper Bs3 and rice Xa27 genes are hypersensitive reaction plant R genes that are transcriptionally activated by corresponding TALEs. Both R genes have a hallmark expression pattern in which their transcripts are detectable only in the presence and not the absence of the corresponding TALE. By transcriptome profiling using next-generation sequencing (RNA-seq), we tested whether we could avoid laborious positional cloning for the isolation of TALE-induced R genes. In a proof-of-principle experiment, RNA-seq was used to identify a candidate for Bs4C, an R gene from pepper that mediates recognition of the Xanthomonas TALE protein AvrBs4. We identified one major Bs4C candidate transcript by RNA-seq that was expressed exclusively in the presence of AvrBs4. Complementation studies confirmed that the candidate corresponds to the Bs4C gene and that an AvrBs4 binding site in the Bs4C promoter directs its transcriptional activation. Comparison of Bs4C with a nonfunctional allele that is unable to recognize AvrBs4 revealed a 2-bp polymorphism within the TALE binding site of the Bs4C promoter. Bs4C encodes a structurally unique R protein and Bs4C-like genes that are present in many solanaceous genomes seem to be as tightly regulated as pepper Bs4C. These findings demonstrate that TALE-specific R genes can be cloned from large-genome crops with a highly efficient RNA-seq approach. PMID:23132937

  7. Large-Scale Genome-Wide Association Studies and Meta-Analyses of Longitudinal Change in Adult Lung Function

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Wenbo; Kowgier, Matthew; Loth, Daan W.; Soler Artigas, María; Joubert, Bonnie R.; Hodge, Emily; Gharib, Sina A.; Smith, Albert V.; Ruczinski, Ingo; Gudnason, Vilmundur; Mathias, Rasika A.; Harris, Tamara B.; Hansel, Nadia N.; Launer, Lenore J.; Barnes, Kathleen C.; Hansen, Joyanna G.; Albrecht, Eva; Aldrich, Melinda C.; Allerhand, Michael; Barr, R. Graham; Brusselle, Guy G.; Couper, David J.; Curjuric, Ivan; Davies, Gail; Deary, Ian J.; Dupuis, Josée; Fall, Tove; Foy, Millennia; Franceschini, Nora; Gao, Wei; Gläser, Sven; Gu, Xiangjun; Hancock, Dana B.; Heinrich, Joachim; Hofman, Albert; Imboden, Medea; Ingelsson, Erik; James, Alan; Karrasch, Stefan; Koch, Beate; Kritchevsky, Stephen B.; Kumar, Ashish; Lahousse, Lies; Li, Guo; Lind, Lars; Lindgren, Cecilia; Liu, Yongmei; Lohman, Kurt; Lumley, Thomas; McArdle, Wendy L.; Meibohm, Bernd; Morris, Andrew P.; Morrison, Alanna C.; Musk, Bill; North, Kari E.; Palmer, Lyle J.; Probst-Hensch, Nicole M.; Psaty, Bruce M.; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Rotter, Jerome I.; Schulz, Holger; Smith, Lewis J.; Sood, Akshay; Starr, John M.; Strachan, David P.; Teumer, Alexander; Uitterlinden, André G.; Völzke, Henry; Voorman, Arend; Wain, Louise V.; Wells, Martin T.; Wilk, Jemma B.; Williams, O. Dale; Heckbert, Susan R.; Stricker, Bruno H.; London, Stephanie J.; Fornage, Myriam; Tobin, Martin D.; O′Connor, George T.; Hall, Ian P.; Cassano, Patricia A.

    2014-01-01

    Background Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous loci influencing cross-sectional lung function, but less is known about genes influencing longitudinal change in lung function. Methods We performed GWAS of the rate of change in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) in 14 longitudinal, population-based cohort studies comprising 27,249 adults of European ancestry using linear mixed effects model and combined cohort-specific results using fixed effect meta-analysis to identify novel genetic loci associated with longitudinal change in lung function. Gene expression analyses were subsequently performed for identified genetic loci. As a secondary aim, we estimated the mean rate of decline in FEV1 by smoking pattern, irrespective of genotypes, across these 14 studies using meta-analysis. Results The overall meta-analysis produced suggestive evidence for association at the novel IL16/STARD5/TMC3 locus on chromosome 15 (P  =  5.71 × 10-7). In addition, meta-analysis using the five cohorts with ≥3 FEV1 measurements per participant identified the novel ME3 locus on chromosome 11 (P  =  2.18 × 10-8) at genome-wide significance. Neither locus was associated with FEV1 decline in two additional cohort studies. We confirmed gene expression of IL16, STARD5, and ME3 in multiple lung tissues. Publicly available microarray data confirmed differential expression of all three genes in lung samples from COPD patients compared with controls. Irrespective of genotypes, the combined estimate for FEV1 decline was 26.9, 29.2 and 35.7 mL/year in never, former, and persistent smokers, respectively. Conclusions In this large-scale GWAS, we identified two novel genetic loci in association with the rate of change in FEV1 that harbor candidate genes with biologically plausible functional links to lung function. PMID:24983941

  8. ``Black Holes" and Bacterial Pathogenicity: A Large Genomic Deletion that Enhances the Virulence of Shigella spp. and Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maurelli, Anthony T.; Fernandez, Reinaldo E.; Bloch, Craig A.; Rode, Christopher K.; Fasano, Alessio

    1998-03-01

    Plasmids, bacteriophages, and pathogenicity islands are genomic additions that contribute to the evolution of bacterial pathogens. For example, Shigella spp., the causative agents of bacillary dysentery, differ from the closely related commensal Escherichia coli in the presence of a plasmid in Shigella that encodes virulence functions. However, pathogenic bacteria also may lack properties that are characteristic of nonpathogens. Lysine decarboxylate (LDC) activity is present in ≈ 90% of E. coli strains but is uniformly absent in Shigella strains. When the gene for LDC, cadA, was introduced into Shigella flexneri 2a, virulence became attenuated, and enterotoxin activity was inhibited greatly. The enterotoxin inhibitor was identified as cadaverine, a product of the reaction catalyzed by LDC. Comparison of the S. flexneri 2a and laboratory E. coli K-12 genomes in the region of cadA revealed a large deletion in Shigella. Representative strains of Shigella spp. and enteroinvasive E. coli displayed similar deletions of cadA. Our results suggest that, as Shigella spp. evolved from E. coli to become pathogens, they not only acquired virulence genes on a plasmid but also shed genes via deletions. The formation of these ``black holes,'' deletions of genes that are detrimental to a pathogenic lifestyle, provides an evolutionary pathway that enables a pathogen to enhance virulence. Furthermore, the demonstration that cadaverine can inhibit enterotoxin activity may lead to more general models about toxin activity or entry into cells and suggests an avenue for antitoxin therapy. Thus, understanding the role of black holes in pathogen evolution may yield clues to new treatments of infectious diseases.

  9. The effect of light on outer segment calcium in salamander rods

    PubMed Central

    Matthews, Hugh R; Fain, Gordon L

    2003-01-01

    Calcium acts as a second messenger in vertebrate rods, regulating the recovery phase of the light response and modulating sensitivity during light-adaptation. Since light not only decreases the outer segment calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) by closing cyclic nucleotide-gated channels but can also increase [Ca2+]i by releasing Ca2+ from buffer sites or intracellular stores, we examined in detail the effect of light and circulating current on [Ca2+]i by making simultaneous measurements of suction pipette current and [Ca2+]i from isolated rods of the salamander Ambystoma tigrinum after incorporation of the fluorescent dye fluo-5F. When the release of Ca2+ is measured in 0 Ca2+−0 Na+ solution, minimising fluxes of Ca2+ across the plasma membrane, it is substantial only for light bright enough to bleach a significant fraction of the photopigment and is restricted to the part of the outer segment in which the bleach occurred. It is unlikely, therefore, to make a large contribution to [Ca2+]i for most of the physiological operating range of the rod. Nevertheless, since release is half-maximal for a bleach of less than 10 %, it cannot be produced by a simple mechanism such as a change in the affinity of a binding site on rhodopsin itself but must instead require some more complex interaction. In Ringer solution, the Ca2+ in the light-releasable pool can be discharged merely by the decrease in [Ca2+]i that occurs as the outer segment channels close. In steady background light or after exposure to saturating illumination, the fraction of Ca2+ in the pool decreases essentially in proportion to [Ca2+]i as if Ca2+ were being removed from a buffer site within the cytoplasm. Furthermore, [Ca2+]i itself changes in proportion to the circulating current, with little evidence for a contribution from Ca2+ release or other mechanisms of Ca2+ homeostasis. This indicates that flux of Ca2+ across the plasma membrane is the major determinant of outer segment Ca2+ concentration within the

  10. Kinetics of Recovery of the Dark-adapted Salamander Rod Photoresponse

    PubMed Central

    Nikonov, S.; Engheta, N.; Pugh, E.N.

    1998-01-01

    The kinetics of the dark-adapted salamander rod photocurrent response to flashes producing from 10 to 105 photoisomerizations (Φ) were investigated in normal Ringer's solution, and in a choline solution that clamps calcium near its resting level. For saturating intensities ranging from ∼102 to 104 Φ, the recovery phases of the responses in choline were nearly invariant in form. Responses in Ringer's were similarly invariant for saturating intensities from ∼103 to 104 Φ. In both solutions, recoveries to flashes in these intensity ranges translated on the time axis a constant amount (τc) per e-fold increment in flash intensity, and exhibited exponentially decaying “tail phases” with time constant τc. The difference in recovery half-times for responses in choline and Ringer's to the same saturating flash was 5–7 s. Above ∼104 Φ, recoveries in both solutions were systematically slower, and translation invariance broke down. Theoretical analysis of the translation-invariant responses established that τc must represent the time constant of inactivation of the disc-associated cascade intermediate (R*, G*, or PDE*) having the longest lifetime, and that the cGMP hydrolysis and cGMP-channel activation reactions are such as to conserve this time constant. Theoretical analysis also demonstrated that the 5–7-s shift in recovery half-times between responses in Ringer's and in choline is largely (4–6 s) accounted for by the calcium-dependent activation of guanylyl cyclase, with the residual (1–2 s) likely caused by an effect of calcium on an intermediate with a nondominant time constant. Analytical expressions for the dim-flash response in calcium clamp and Ringer's are derived, and it is shown that the difference in the responses under the two conditions can be accounted for quantitatively by cyclase activation. Application of these expressions yields an estimate of the calcium buffering capacity of the rod at rest of ∼20, much lower than previous

  11. Salamander chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans) in the United States—Developing research, monitoring, and management strategies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Muths, Erin L.; Katz, Rachel A.; Canessa, Stefano; Adams, Michael J.; Ballard, Jennifer R.; Berger, Lee; Briggs, Cheryl J.; Coleman, Jeremy; Gray, Matthew J.; Harris, M. Camille; Harris, Reid N.; Hossack, Blake R.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Kolby, Jonathan E.; Lips, Karen R.; Lovich, Robert E.; McCallum, Hamish I.; Mendelson, Joseph R., III; Nanjappa, Priya; Olson, Deanna H.; Powers, Jenny G.; Richgels, Katherine L.D.; Russell, Robin E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieka; Watry, Mary Kay; Woodhams, Douglas C.; White, C. LeAnn

    2016-01-01

    The recently (2013) identified pathogenic chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal), poses a severe threat to the distribution and abundance of salamanders within the United States and Europe. Development of a response strategy for the potential, and likely, invasion of Bsal into the United States is crucial to protect global salamander biodiversity. A formal working group, led by Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins Science Center, and Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, was held at the USGS Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis in Fort Collins, Colorado, United States from June 23 to June 25, 2015, to identify crucial Bsal research and monitoring needs that could inform conservation and management strategies for salamanders in the United States. Key findings of the workshop included the following: (1) the introduction of Bsal into the United States is highly probable, if not inevitable, thus requiring development of immediate short-term and long-term intervention strategies to prevent Bsal establishment and biodiversity decline; (2) management actions targeted towards pathogen containment may be ineffective in reducing the long-term spread of Bsal throughout the United States; and (3) early detection of Bsal through surveillance at key amphibian import locations, among high-risk wild populations, and through analysis of archived samples is necessary for developing management responses. Top research priorities during the preinvasion stage included the following: (1) deployment of qualified diagnostic methods for Bsal and establishment of standardized laboratory practices, (2) assessment of susceptibility for amphibian hosts (including anurans), and (3) development and evaluation of short- and long-term pathogen intervention and management strategies. Several outcomes were achieved during the workshop, including development

  12. Lineage divergence and speciation in the Web-toed Salamanders (Plethodontidae: Hydromantes) of the Sierra Nevada, California.

    PubMed

    Rovito, Sean M

    2010-10-01

    Peripatric speciation and the importance of founder effects have long been controversial, and multilocus sequence data and coalescent methods now allow hypotheses of peripatric speciation to be tested in a rigorous manner. Using a multilocus phylogeographical data set for two species of salamanders (genus Hydromantes) from the Sierra Nevada of California, hypotheses of recent divergence by peripatric speciation and older, allopatric divergence were tested. Phylogeographical analysis revealed two divergent lineages within Hydromantes platycephalus, which were estimated to have diverged in the Pliocene. By contrast, a low-elevation species, Hydromantes brunus, diverged from within the northern lineage of H. platycephalus much more recently (mid-Pleistocene), during a time of major climatic change in the Sierra Nevada. Multilocus species tree estimation and coalescent estimates of divergence time, migration rate, and growth rate reject a scenario of ancient speciation of H. brunus with subsequent gene flow and introgression from H. platycephalus, instead supporting a more recent divergence with population expansion. Although the small, peripheral distribution of H. brunus suggests the possibility of peripatric speciation, the estimated founding population size of the species was too large to have allowed founder effects to be important in its divergence. These results provide evidence for both recent speciation, most likely tied to the climatic changes of the Pleistocene, and older lineage divergence, possibly due to geological events, and add to evidence that Pleistocene glacial cycles were an important driver of diversification in the Sierra Nevada. PMID:20854412

  13. Cloning of complete genome sets of six dsRNA viruses using an improved cloning method for large dsRNA genes.

    PubMed

    Potgieter, A C; Steele, A D; van Dijk, A A

    2002-09-01

    Cloning full-length large (>3 kb) dsRNA genome segments from small amounts of dsRNA has thus far remained problematic. Here, a single-primer amplification sequence-independent dsRNA cloning procedure was perfected for large genes and tailored for routine use to clone complete genome sets or individual genes. Nine complete viral genome sets were amplified by PCR, namely those of two human rotaviruses, two African horsesickness viruses (AHSV), two equine encephalosis viruses (EEV), one bluetongue virus (BTV), one reovirus and bacteriophage Phi12. Of these amplified genomes, six complete genome sets were cloned for viruses with genes ranging in size from 0.8 to 6.8 kb. Rotavirus dsRNA was extracted directly from stool samples. Co-expressed EEV VP3 and VP7 assembled into core-like particles that have typical orbivirus capsomeres. This work presents the first EEV sequence data and establishes that EEV genes have the same conserved termini (5' GUU and UAC 3') and coding assignment as AHSV and BTV. To clone complete genome sets, one-tube reactions were developed for oligo-ligation, cDNA synthesis and PCR amplification. The method is simple and efficient compared to other methods. Complete genomes can be cloned from as little as 1 ng dsRNA and a considerably reduced number of PCR cycles (22-30 cycles compared to 30-35 of other methods). This progress with cloning large dsRNA genes is important for recombinant vaccine development and determination of the role of terminal sequences for replication and gene expression. PMID:12185276

  14. Influence of observers and stream flow on northern two-lined salamander (Eurycea bislineata bislineata) relative abundance estimates in Acadia and Shenandoah National Parks, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crocker, J.B.; Bank, M.S.; Loftin, C.S.; Jung Brown, R.E.

    2007-01-01

    We investigated effects of observers and stream flow on Northern Two-Lined Salamander (Eurycea bislineata bislineata) counts in streams in Acadia (ANP) and Shenandoah National Parks (SNP). We counted salamanders in 22 ANP streams during high flow (May to June 2002) and during low flow (July 2002). We also counted salamanders in SNP in nine streams during high flow (summer 2003) and 11 streams during low flow (summers 2001?02, 2004). In 2002, we used a modified cover-controlled active search method with a first and second observer. In succession, observers turned over 100 rocks along five 1-m belt transects across the streambed. The difference between observers in total salamander counts was not significant. We counted fewer E. b. bislineata during high flow conditions, confirming that detection of this species is reduced during high flow periods and that assessment of stream salamander relative abundance is likely more reliable during low or base flow conditions.

  15. Paired-End Sequencing of Long-Range DNA Fragments for De Novo Assembly of Large, Complex Mammalian Genomes by Direct Intra-Molecule Ligation

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Kui; Cai, Qingle; Wang, Yu; Lang, Yongshan; Cao, Hongzhi; Yang, Huangming; Wang, Jian; Zhang, Xiuqing

    2012-01-01

    Background The relatively short read lengths from next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies still pose a challenge for de novo assembly of complex mammal genomes. One important solution is to use paired-end (PE) sequence information experimentally obtained from long-range DNA fragments (>1 kb). Here, we characterize and extend a long-range PE library construction method based on direct intra-molecule ligation (or molecular linker-free circularization) for NGS. Results We found that the method performs stably for PE sequencing of 2- to 5- kb DNA fragments, and can be extended to 10–20 kb (and even in extremes, up to ∼35 kb). We also characterized the impact of low quality input DNA on the method, and develop a whole-genome amplification (WGA) based protocol using limited input DNA (<1 µg). Using this PE dataset, we accurately assembled the YanHuang (YH) genome, the first sequenced Asian genome, into a scaffold N50 size of >2 Mb, which is over100-times greater than the initial size produced with only small insert PE reads(17 kb). In addition, we mapped two 7- to 8- kb insertions in the YH genome using the larger insert sizes of the long-range PE data. Conclusions In conclusion, we demonstrate here the effectiveness of this long-range PE sequencing method and its use for the de novo assembly of a large, complex genome using NGS short reads. PMID:23029438

  16. Patterns of metabolite changes identified from large-scale gene perturbations in Arabidopsis using a genome-scale metabolic network.

    PubMed

    Kim, Taehyong; Dreher, Kate; Nilo-Poyanco, Ricardo; Lee, Insuk; Fiehn, Oliver; Lange, Bernd Markus; Nikolau, Basil J; Sumner, Lloyd; Welti, Ruth; Wurtele, Eve S; Rhee, Seung Y

    2015-04-01

    Metabolomics enables quantitative evaluation of metabolic changes caused by genetic or environmental perturbations. However, little is known about how perturbing a single gene changes the metabolic system as a whole and which network and functional properties are involved in this response. To answer this question, we investigated the metabolite profiles from 136 mutants with single gene perturbations of functionally diverse Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) genes. Fewer than 10 metabolites were changed significantly relative to the wild type in most of the mutants, indicating that the metabolic network was robust to perturbations of single metabolic genes. These changed metabolites were closer to each other in a genome-scale metabolic network than expected by chance, supporting the notion that the genetic perturbations changed the network more locally than globally. Surprisingly, the changed metabolites were close to the perturbed reactions in only 30% of the mutants of the well-characterized genes. To determine the factors that contributed to the distance between the observed metabolic changes and the perturbation site in the network, we examined nine network and functional properties of the perturbed genes. Only the isozyme number affected the distance between the perturbed reactions and changed metabolites. This study revealed patterns of metabolic changes from large-scale gene perturbations and relationships between characteristics of the perturbed genes and metabolic changes. PMID:25670818

  17. Metals, Parasites, and Environmental Conditions Affecting Breeding Populations of Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) in Northern Arkansas, USA.

    PubMed

    DeMali, Heather M; Trauth, Stanley E; Bouldin, Jennifer L

    2016-06-01

    The spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) is indigenous to northern Arkansas, and several breeding sites are known to exist in the region. Spotted salamanders (n = 17) were collected and examined for parasites and only three females harbored nematodes (Physaloptera spp.). Chronic aquatic bioassays were conducted using water collected from eight breeding ponds during different hydroperiod events. No lethal or sublethal effects were measured in Ceriodaphnia dubia; however, decreased growth and survival were seen in Pimephales promelas. Aqueous, sediment, and salamander hepatic samples were analyzed for As, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Ni. Metal analysis revealed possible increased metal exposure following precipitation, with greatest metal concentrations measured in sediment samples. Hepatic metal concentrations were similar in parasitized and non-parasitized individuals, and greatest Pb concentrations were measured following normal precipitation events. Determining environmental stressors of amphibians, especially during their breeding and subsequent larval life stage, is imperative to improve species conservation. PMID:26886425

  18. Large and variable genome size unrelated to serpentine adaptation but supportive of cryptic sexuality in Cenococcum geophilum.

    PubMed

    Bourne, Elizabeth C; Mina, Diogo; Gonçalves, Susana C; Loureiro, João; Freitas, Helena; Muller, Ludo A H

    2014-01-01

    Estimations of genome size and its variation can provide valuable information regarding the genetic diversity of organisms and their adaptation potential to heterogeneous environments. We used flow cytometry to characterize the variation in genome size among 40 isolates of Cenococcum geophilum, an ectomycorrhizal fungus with a wide ecological and geographical distribution, obtained from two serpentine and two non-serpentine sites in Portugal. Besides determining the genome size and its intraspecies variation, we wanted to assess whether a relationship exists between genome size and the edaphic background of the C. geophilum isolates. Our results reveal C. geophilum to have one of the largest genome sizes so far measured in the Ascomycota, with a mean haploid genome size estimate of 0.208 pg (203 Mbp). However, no relationship was found between genome size and the edaphic background of the sampled isolates, indicating genetic and demographic processes to be more important for shaping the genome size variation in this species than environmental selection. The detection of variation in ploidy level among our isolates, including a single individual with both presumed haploid and diploid nuclei, provides supportive evidence for a possible cryptic sexual or parasexual cycle in C. geophilum (although other mechanisms may have caused this variation). The existence of such a cycle would have wide significance, explaining the high levels of genetic diversity and likelihood of recombination previously reported in this species, and adds to the increasing number of studies suggesting sexual cycles in previously assumed asexual fungi. PMID:23754539

  19. A novel sandwich hybridization method for selecting cDNAs from large genomic regions: Identification of cDNAs from the cloned genomic DNA spanning the XLRP locus

    SciTech Connect

    Yan, D.; McHenry, C.; Fujita, R.

    1994-09-01

    We have developed an efficient hybridization-based cDNA-selection method. A sandwich of three species - single-stranded cDNA, tagged RNA derived from genomic DNA, and biotinylated RNA complementary to the tag - allows specific retention of hybrids on an avidin-matrix. Previously, using model experiments, we demonstrated highly specific and efficient selection of a retinal gene, NRL, from complex mixtures of cDNA clones, using a sub-library from a 5 kb NRL genomic clone. We have now applied this selection strategy to isolate cDNAs from human adult retina and fetal eye libraries, with the {open_quotes}genomic RNA{close_quotes} derived from two YAC clones (OTC-C and 55B) spanning the region of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) locus RP3 at Xp21.1. Effectiveness of the selection-method was monitored by enrichment of TCTEX-1L gene that maps within the 55B YAC. Of the 15 selected cDNA clones that hybridized to the 55B YAC DNA, five appear to the map to specific cosmid clones derived from the 55B YAC. Inserts in these selected cDNA clones range from 0.5 to 2.3 kb in size. Additional clones are now being isolated and characterized. This procedure should be independent of the size or complexity of genomic DNA being used for selection, allow for the isolation of full-length cDNAs, and may have wider application.

  20. DEDUCTIONS ABOUT THE NUMBER, ORGANIZATION AND EVOLUTION OF GENES IN THE TOMATO GENOME BASED ON ANALYSIS OF LARGE EST COLLECTION AND SELECTIVE GENOMIC SEQUENCING

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Analysis of a collection of 120,892 single pass ESTs, derived from 26 different tomato cDNA libraries and reduced to a set of 27,274 unique consensus sequences (unigenes) reveals that 70% of the unigenes have identifiable homologs in the arabidopsis genome. Many of the most highly conserved multige...

  1. Dose rate estimation of the Tohoku hynobiid salamander, Hynobius lichenatus, in Fukushima.

    PubMed

    Fuma, Shoichi; Ihara, Sadao; Kawaguchi, Isao; Ishikawa, Takahiro; Watanabe, Yoshito; Kubota, Yoshihisa; Sato, Youji; Takahashi, Hiroyuki; Aono, Tatsuo; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Soeda, Haruhi; Matsui, Kumi; Une, Yumi; Minamiya, Yukio; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2015-05-01

    The radiological risks to the Tohoku hynobiid salamanders (class Amphibia), Hynobius lichenatus due to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident were assessed in Fukushima Prefecture, including evacuation areas. Aquatic egg clutches (n = 1 for each sampling date and site; n = 4 in total), overwintering larvae (n = 1-5 for each sampling date and site; n = 17 in total), and terrestrial juveniles or adults (n = 1 or 3 for each sampling date and site; n = 12 in total) of H. lichenatus were collected from the end of April 2011 to April 2013. Environmental media such as litter (n = 1-5 for each sampling date and site; n = 30 in total), soil (n = 1-8 for each sampling date and site; n = 31 in total), water (n = 1 for each sampling date and site; n = 17 in total), and sediment (n = 1 for each sampling date and site; n = 17 in total) were also collected. Activity concentrations of (134)Cs + (137)Cs were 1.9-2800, 0.13-320, and 0.51-220 kBq (dry kg) (-1) in the litter, soil, and sediment samples, respectively, and were 0.31-220 and <0.29-40 kBq (wet kg)(-1) in the adult and larval salamanders, respectively. External and internal absorbed dose rates to H. lichenatus were calculated from these activity concentration data, using the ERICA Assessment Tool methodology. External dose rates were also measured in situ with glass dosimeters. There was agreement within a factor of 2 between the calculated and measured external dose rates. In the most severely contaminated habitat of this salamander, a northern part of Abukuma Mountains, the highest total dose rates were estimated to be 50 and 15 μGy h(-1) for the adults and overwintering larvae, respectively. Growth and survival of H. lichenatus was not affected at a dose rate of up to 490 μGy h(-1) in the previous laboratory chronic gamma-irradiation experiment, and thus growth and survival of this salamander would not be affected, even in the most severely contaminated habitat in Fukushima Prefecture. However, further

  2. The role of climate in the dynamics of a hybrid zone in Appalachian salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walls, Susan

    2009-01-01

    I examined the potential influence of climate change on the dynamics of a previously studied hybrid zone between a pair of terrestrial salamanders at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, U.S. Forest Service, in the Nantahala Mountains of North Carolina, USA. A 16-year study led by Nelson G. Hairston, Sr. revealed that Plethodon teyahalee and Plethodon shermani hybridized at intermediate elevations, forming a cline between 'pure' parental P. teyahalee at lower elevations and 'pure' parental P. shermani at higher elevations. From 1974 to 1990 the proportion of salamanders at the higher elevation scored as 'pure' P. shermani declined significantly, indicating that the hybrid zone was spreading upward. To date there have been no rigorous tests of hypotheses for the movement of this hybrid zone. Using temperature and precipitation data from Coweeta, I re-analyzed Hairston's data to examine whether the observed elevational shift was correlated with variation in either air temperature or precipitation from the same time period. For temperature, my analysis tracked the results of the original study: the proportion of 'pure' P. shermani at the higher elevation declined significantly with increasing mean annual temperature, whereas the proportion of 'pure' P. teyahalee at lower elevations did not. There was no discernable relationship between proportions of 'pure' individuals of either species with variation in precipitation. From 1974 to 1990, low-elevation air temperatures at the Coweeta Laboratory ranged from annual means of 11.8 to 14.2 °C, compared with a 55-year average (1936-1990) of 12.6 °C. My re-analyses indicate that the upward spread of the hybrid zone is correlated with increasing air temperatures, but not precipitation, and provide an empirical test of a hypothesis for one factor that may have influenced this movement. My results aid in understanding the potential impact that climate change may have on the ecology and evolution of terrestrial salamanders in

  3. Projected Loss of a Salamander Diversity Hotspot as a Consequence of Projected Global Climate Change

    PubMed Central

    Milanovich, Joseph R.; Peterman, William E.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Maerz, John C.

    2010-01-01

    Background Significant shifts in climate are considered a threat to plants and animals with significant physiological limitations and limited dispersal abilities. The southern Appalachian Mountains are a global hotspot for plethodontid salamander diversity. Plethodontids are lungless ectotherms, so their ecology is strongly governed by temperature and precipitation. Many plethodontid species in southern Appalachia exist in high elevation habitats that may be at or near their thermal maxima, and may also have limited dispersal abilities across warmer valley bottoms. Methodology/Principal Findings We used a maximum-entropy approach (program Maxent) to model the suitable climatic habitat of 41 plethodontid salamander species inhabiting the Appalachian Highlands region (33 individual species and eight species included within two species complexes). We evaluated the relative change in suitable climatic habitat for these species in the Appalachian Highlands from the current climate to the years 2020, 2050, and 2080, using both the HADCM3 and the CGCM3 models, each under low and high CO2 scenarios, and using two-model thresholds levels (relative suitability thresholds for determining suitable/unsuitable range), for a total of 8 scenarios per species. Conclusion/Significance While models differed slightly, every scenario projected significant declines in suitable habitat within the Appalachian Highlands as early as 2020. Species with more southern ranges and with smaller ranges had larger projected habitat loss. Despite significant differences in projected precipitation changes to the region, projections did not differ significantly between global circulation models. CO2 emissions scenario and model threshold had small effects on projected habitat loss by 2020, but did not affect longer-term projections. Results of this study indicate that choice of model threshold and CO2 emissions scenario affect short-term projected shifts in climatic distributions of species; however

  4. Behavioral and physiological antipredator responses of the San Marcos salamander, Eurycea nana.

    PubMed

    Davis, Drew R; Gabor, Caitlin R

    2015-02-01

    Exposure to predatory stimuli typically results in the elevation of circulating glucocorticoid levels and a behavioral response of freezing or escape behavior in many prey species. Corticosterone (CORT) is the main glucocorticoid in amphibians and is known to be important in modulating many behaviors and developmental functions. The federally threatened San Marcos salamander, Eurycea nana, decreases activity in response to both native and introduced predatory fish, however, experience may further influence these interactions. To better understand the indirect effects of fish predators on this salamander, we examined both the antipredator behavior and water-borne CORT release rates in response to chemical cues (kairomones) from two fish species that varied in temporal risk of predation: (1) a low encounter frequency predator (largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides), (2) a high encounter frequency predator (redbreast sunfish, Lepomis auritus), and (3) a blank water control. Salamanders reduced activity (antipredator response) after exposure to both predator treatments, but not to the blank water control, and the response to M. salmoides was significantly stronger than that to L. auritus. The CORT response (post-stimulus/pre-stimulus release rates) did not differ between the blank water control and L. auritus treatments, and both were significantly less than the CORT response to M. salmoides. Overall, E. nana showed a decreased antipredator response and no CORT response towards the high encounter frequency L. auritus as compared to the low encounter frequency M. salmoides. Eurycea nana may mute antipredator and CORT responses to high temporal frequency predators. There was, however, no correlation between CORT release rates and antipredator behavior, which suggests that the presence of predators may be affecting CORT response and behavior independently. PMID:25446225

  5. Genome Reduction Uncovers a Large Dispensable Genome and Adaptive Role for Copy Number Variation in Asexually Propagated Solanum tuberosum[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Hardigan, Michael A.; Crisovan, Emily; Hamilton, John P.; Laimbeer, Parker; Leisner, Courtney P.; Manrique-Carpintero, Norma C.; Newton, Linsey; Pham, Gina M.; Vaillancourt, Brieanne; Zeng, Zixian; Jiang, Jiming

    2016-01-01

    Clonally reproducing plants have the potential to bear a significantly greater mutational load than sexually reproducing species. To investigate this possibility, we examined the breadth of genome-wide structural variation in a panel of monoploid/doubled monoploid clones generated from native populations of diploid potato (Solanum tuberosum), a highly heterozygous asexually propagated plant. As rare instances of purely homozygous clones, they provided an ideal set for determining the degree of structural variation tolerated by this species and deriving its minimal gene complement. Extensive copy number variation (CNV) was uncovered, impacting 219.8 Mb (30.2%) of the potato genome with nearly 30% of genes subject to at least partial duplication or deletion, revealing the highly heterogeneous nature of the potato genome. Dispensable genes (>7000) were associated with limited transcription and/or a recent evolutionary history, with lower deletion frequency observed in genes conserved across angiosperms. Association of CNV with plant adaptation was highlighted by enrichment in gene clusters encoding functions for environmental stress response, with gene duplication playing a part in species-specific expansions of stress-related gene families. This study revealed unique impacts of CNV in a species with asexual reproductive habits and how CNV may drive adaption through evolution of key stress pathways. PMID:26772996

  6. Escape to Alcatraz: evolutionary history of slender salamanders (Batrachoseps) on the islands of San Francisco Bay

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Solano, Iñigo; Lawson, Robin

    2009-01-01

    Background Island populations are excellent model systems for studies of phenotypic, ecological and molecular evolution. In this study, molecular markers of mitochondrial and nuclear derivation were used to investigate the evolution, structure and origin of populations of the California slender salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus) inhabiting the six major islands of San Francisco Bay, formed following the rising of sea level around 9,000 years ago. Results There was a high degree of congruence in the results of analyses of nucleotide and allozyme data, both of which strongly support the hypothesis that, for the majority of the islands, salamanders are descended from hilltop populations that became isolated with the formation of the Bay ca. 9,000 years ago. There are two exceptions (Alcatraz and Yerba Buena) where the evidence suggests that salamander populations are wholly or in part, the result of anthropogenic introductions. Comparison of the molecular data and the interpretations drawn therefrom with an earlier morphological study of many of the same salamander populations show some of the same evolutionary trends. Conclusion In spite of marked differences between the evolutionary rates of the two kinds of molecular markers, both indicate distinctive and similar patterns of population structure for B. attenuatus in the San Francisco Bay Area and its islands. With the two noted exceptions, it is clear that most island populations were established prior to the 9,000 years since the formation of the Bay. Results of coalescence-based analyses suggest that for most island populations the mtDNA lineages from which they were derived date from the Pleistocene. It can be said that, based on observed values of genetic diversity, the last 9,000 years of evolution on these islands have been characterized by relative stability, with the occasional extinction of some haplotypes or alleles that were formerly shared between island and mainland populations but overall

  7. Large-scale sequencing based on full-length-enriched cDNA libraries in pigs: contribution to annotation of the pig genome draft sequence

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Along with the draft sequencing of the pig genome, which has been completed by an international consortium, collection of the nucleotide sequences of genes expressed in various tissues and determination of entire cDNA sequences are necessary for investigations of gene function. The sequences of expressed genes are also useful for genome annotation, which is important for isolating the genes responsible for particular traits. Results We performed a large-scale expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis in pigs by using 32 full-length-enriched cDNA libraries derived from 28 kinds of tissues and cells, including seven tissues (brain, cerebellum, colon, hypothalamus, inguinal lymph node, ovary, and spleen) derived from pigs that were cloned from a sow subjected to genome sequencing. We obtained more than 330,000 EST reads from the 5′-ends of the cDNA clones. Comparison with human and bovine gene catalogs revealed that the ESTs corresponded to at least 15,000 genes. cDNA clones representing contigs and singlets generated by assembly of the EST reads were subjected to full-length determination of inserts. We have finished sequencing 31,079 cDNA clones corresponding to more than 12,000 genes. Mapping of the sequences of these cDNA clones on the draft sequence of the pig genome has indicated that the clones are derived from about 15,000 independent loci on the pig genome. Conclusions ESTs and cDNA sequences derived from full-length-enriched libraries are valuable for annotation of the draft sequence of the pig genome. This information will also contribute to the exploration of promoter sequences on the genome and to molecular biology-based analyses in pigs. PMID:23150988

  8. Large scale full-length cDNA sequencing reveals a unique genomic landscape in a lepidopteran model insect, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Suetsugu, Yoshitaka; Futahashi, Ryo; Kanamori, Hiroyuki; Kadono-Okuda, Keiko; Sasanuma, Shun-ichi; Narukawa, Junko; Ajimura, Masahiro; Jouraku, Akiya; Namiki, Nobukazu; Shimomura, Michihiko; Sezutsu, Hideki; Osanai-Futahashi, Mizuko; Suzuki, Masataka G; Daimon, Takaaki; Shinoda, Tetsuro; Taniai, Kiyoko; Asaoka, Kiyoshi; Niwa, Ryusuke; Kawaoka, Shinpei; Katsuma, Susumu; Tamura, Toshiki; Noda, Hiroaki; Kasahara, Masahiro; Sugano, Sumio; Suzuki, Yutaka; Fujiwara, Haruhiko; Kataoka, Hiroshi; Arunkumar, Kallare P; Tomar, Archana; Nagaraju, Javaregowda; Goldsmith, Marian R; Feng, Qili; Xia, Qingyou; Yamamoto, Kimiko; Shimada, Toru; Mita, Kazuei

    2013-09-01

    The establishment of a complete genomic sequence of silkworm, the model species of Lepidoptera, laid a foundation for its functional genomics. A more complete annotation of the genome will benefit functional and comparative studies and accelerate extensive industrial applications for this insect. To realize these goals, we embarked upon a large-scale full-length cDNA collection from 21 full-length cDNA libraries derived from 14 tissues of the domesticated silkworm and performed full sequencing by primer walking for 11,104 full-length cDNAs. The large average intron size was 1904 bp, resulting from a high accumulation of transposons. Using gene models predicted by GLEAN and published mRNAs, we identified 16,823 gene loci on the silkworm genome assembly. Orthology analysis of 153 species, including 11 insects, revealed that among three Lepidoptera including Monarch and Heliconius butterflies, the 403 largest silkworm-specific genes were composed mainly of protective immunity, hormone-related, and characteristic structural proteins. Analysis of testis-/ovary-specific genes revealed distinctive features of sexual dimorphism, including depletion of ovary-specific genes on the Z chromosome in contrast to an enrichment of testis-specific genes. More than 40% of genes expressed in specific tissues mapped in tissue-specific chromosomal clusters. The newly obtained FL-cDNA sequences enabled us to annotate the genome of this lepidopteran model insect more accurately, enhancing genomic and functional studies of Lepidoptera and comparative analyses with other insect orders, and yielding new insights into the evolution and organization of lepidopteran-specific genes. PMID:23821615

  9. Large Scale Full-Length cDNA Sequencing Reveals a Unique Genomic Landscape in a Lepidopteran Model Insect, Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    Suetsugu, Yoshitaka; Futahashi, Ryo; Kanamori, Hiroyuki; Kadono-Okuda, Keiko; Sasanuma, Shun-ichi; Narukawa, Junko; Ajimura, Masahiro; Jouraku, Akiya; Namiki, Nobukazu; Shimomura, Michihiko; Sezutsu, Hideki; Osanai-Futahashi, Mizuko; Suzuki, Masataka G; Daimon, Takaaki; Shinoda, Tetsuro; Taniai, Kiyoko; Asaoka, Kiyoshi; Niwa, Ryusuke; Kawaoka, Shinpei; Katsuma, Susumu; Tamura, Toshiki; Noda, Hiroaki; Kasahara, Masahiro; Sugano, Sumio; Suzuki, Yutaka; Fujiwara, Haruhiko; Kataoka, Hiroshi; Arunkumar, Kallare P.; Tomar, Archana; Nagaraju, Javaregowda; Goldsmith, Marian R.; Feng, Qili; Xia, Qingyou; Yamamoto, Kimiko; Shimada, Toru; Mita, Kazuei

    2013-01-01

    The establishment of a complete genomic sequence of silkworm, the model species of Lepidoptera, laid a foundation for its functional genomics. A more complete annotation of the genome will benefit functional and comparative studies and accelerate extensive industrial applications for this insect. To realize these goals, we embarked upon a large-scale full-length cDNA collection from 21 full-length cDNA libraries derived from 14 tissues of the domesticated silkworm and performed full sequencing by primer walking for 11,104 full-length cDNAs. The large average intron size was 1904 bp, resulting from a high accumulation of transposons. Using gene models predicted by GLEAN and published mRNAs, we identified 16,823 gene loci on the silkworm genome assembly. Orthology analysis of 153 species, including 11 insects, revealed that among three Lepidoptera including Monarch and Heliconius butterflies, the 403 largest silkworm-specific genes were composed mainly of protective immunity, hormone-related, and characteristic structural proteins. Analysis of testis-/ovary-specific genes revealed distinctive features of sexual dimorphism, including depletion of ovary-specific genes on the Z chromosome in contrast to an enrichment of testis-specific genes. More than 40% of genes expressed in specific tissues mapped in tissue-specific chromosomal clusters. The newly obtained FL-cDNA sequences enabled us to annotate the genome of this lepidopteran model insect more accurately, enhancing genomic and functional studies of Lepidoptera and comparative analyses with other insect orders, and yielding new insights into the evolution and organization of lepidopteran-specific genes. PMID:23821615

  10. Positive-selection and ligation-independent cloning vectors for large scale in planta expression for plant functional genomics.

    PubMed

    Oh, Sang-Keun; Kim, Saet-Byul; Yeom, Seon-In; Lee, Hyun-Ah; Choi, Doil

    2010-12-01

    Transient expression is an easy, rapid and powerful technique for producing proteins of interest in plants. Recombinational cloning is highly efficient but has disadvantages, including complicated, time consuming cloning procedures and expensive enzymes for large-scale gene cloning. To overcome these limitations, we developed new ligation-independent cloning (LIC) vectors derived from binary vectors including tobacco mosaic virus (pJL-TRBO), potato virus X (pGR106) and the pBI121 vector-based pMBP1. LIC vectors were modified to enable directional cloning of PCR products without restriction enzyme digestion or ligation reactions. In addition, the ccdB gene, which encodes a potent cell-killing protein, was introduced between the two LIC adapter sites in the pJL-LIC, pGR-LIC, and pMBP-LIC vectors for the efficient selection of recombinant clones. This new vector does not require restriction enzymes, alkaline phosphatase, or DNA ligase for cloning. To clone, the three LIC vectors are digested with SnaBI and treated with T4 DNA polymerase, which includes 3' to 5' exonuclease activity in the presence of only one dNTP (dGTP for the inserts and dCTP for the vector). To make recombinants, the vector plasmid and the insert PCR fragment were annealed at room temperature for 20 min prior to transformation into the host. Bacterial transformation was accomplished with 100% efficiency. To validate the new LIC vector systems, we were used to coexpressed the Phytophthora AVR and potato resistance (R) genes in N. benthamiana by infiltration of Agrobacterium. Coexpressed AVR and R genes in N. benthamiana induced the typical hypersensitive cell death resulting from in vivo interaction of the two proteins. These LIC vectors could be efficiently used for high-throughput cloning and laboratory-scale in planta expression. These vectors could provide a powerful tool for high-throughput transient expression assays for functional genomic studies in plants. PMID:21340673

  11. Generation of large numbers of SNP in cattle by coupling reduced genome representation with high throughput sequencing

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Whole genome sequencing projects have produced draft sequences for species from diverse evolutionary clades for comparative evolutionary studies. Generally, these projects have not simultaneously created extensive single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) resources for use in genetics studies within the...

  12. Role of habitat complexity in predator-prey dynamics between an introduced fish and larval Long-toed Salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kenison, Erin K; Litt, Andrea R.; Pilliod, David; McMahon, Tom E

    2016-01-01

    Predation by nonnative fishes has reduced abundance and increased extinction risk for amphibian populations worldwide. Although rare, fish and palatable amphibians have been observed to coexist where aquatic vegetation and structural complexity provide suitable refugia. We examined whether larval long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum Baird, 1849) increased use of vegetation cover in lakes with trout and whether adding vegetation structure could reduce predation risk and nonconsumptive effects (NCEs), such as reductions in body size and delayed metamorphosis. We compared use of vegetation cover by larval salamanders in lakes with and without trout and conducted a field experiment to investigate the influence of added vegetation structure on salamander body morphology and life history. The probability of catching salamanders in traps in lakes with trout was positively correlated with the proportion of submerged vegetation and surface cover. Growth rates of salamanders in enclosures with trout cues decreased as much as 85% and the probability of metamorphosis decreased by 56%. We did not find evidence that adding vegetation reduced NCEs in experimental enclosures, but salamanders in lakes with trout utilized more highly-vegetated areas which suggests that adding vegetation structure at the scale of the whole lake may facilitate coexistence between salamanders and introduced trout.

  13. Ovarian Cancers Harboring Inactivating Mutations in CDK12 Display a Distinct Genomic Instability Pattern Characterized by Large Tandem Duplications.

    PubMed

    Popova, Tatiana; Manié, Elodie; Boeva, Valentina; Battistella, Aude; Goundiam, Oumou; Smith, Nicholas K; Mueller, Christopher R; Raynal, Virginie; Mariani, Odette; Sastre-Garau, Xavier; Stern, Marc-Henri

    2016-04-01

    CDK12 is a recurrently mutated gene in serous ovarian carcinoma, whose downregulation is associated with impaired expression of DNA damage repair genes and subsequent hypersensitivity to DNA-damaging agents and PARP1/2 inhibitors. In this study, we investigated the genomic landscape associated with CDK12 inactivation in patients with serous ovarian carcinoma. We show that CDK12 loss was consistently associated with a particular genomic instability pattern characterized by hundreds of tandem duplications of up to 10 megabases (Mb) in size. Tandem duplications were characterized by a bimodal (∼0.3 and ∼3 Mb) size distribution and overlapping microhomology at the breakpoints. This genomic instability, denoted as the CDK12 TD-plus phenotype, is remarkably distinct from other alteration patterns described in breast and ovarian cancers. The CDK12 TD-plus phenotype was associated with a greater than 10% gain in genomic content and occurred at a 3% to 4% rate in The Cancer Genome Atlas-derived and in-house cohorts of patients with serous ovarian carcinoma. Moreover, CDK12-inactivating mutations together with the TD-plus phenotype were also observed in prostate cancers. Our finding provides new insight toward deciphering the function of CDK12 in genome maintenance and oncogenesis. Cancer Res; 76(7); 1882-91. ©2016 AACR. PMID:26787835

  14. Genome physical mapping from large-insert clones by fingerprint analysis with capillary electrophoresis: a robust physical map of Penicillium chrysogenum.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhanyou; van den Berg, Marco A; Scheuring, Chantel; Covaleda, Lina; Lu, Hong; Santos, Felipe A; Uhm, Taesik; Lee, Mi-Kyung; Wu, Chengcang; Liu, Steve; Zhang, Hong-Bin

    2005-01-01

    Physical mapping with large-insert clones is becoming an active area of genomics research, and capillary electrophoresis (CE) promises to revolutionize the physical mapping technology. Here, we demonstrate the utility of the CE technology for genome physical mapping with large-insert clones by constructing a robust, binary bacterial artificial chromosome (BIBAC)-based physical map of Penicillium chrysogenum. We fingerprinted 23.1x coverage BIBAC clones with five restriction enzymes and the SNaPshot kit containing four fluorescent-ddNTPs using the CE technology, and explored various strategies to construct quality physical maps. It was shown that the fingerprints labeled with one or two colors, resulting in 40-70 bands per clone, were assembled into much better quality maps than those labeled with three or four colors. The selection of fingerprinting enzymes was crucial to quality map construction. From the dataset labeled with ddTTP-dROX, we assembled a physical map for P.chrysogenum, with 2-3 contigs per chromosome and anchored the map to its chromosomes. This map represents the first physical map constructed using the CE technology, thus providing not only a platform for genomic studies of the penicillin-producing species, but also strategies for efficient use of the CE technology for genome physical mapping of plants, animals and microbes. PMID:15767275

  15. Persistence and extirpation in invaded landscapes: patch characteristics and connectivity determine effects of non-native predatory fish on native salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pilliod, David S.; Arkle, Robert S.; Maxell, Bryce A.

    2012-01-01

    Studies have demonstrated negative effects of non-native, predatory fishes on native amphibians, yet it is still unclear why some amphibian populations persist, while others are extirpated, following fish invasion. We examined this question by developing habitat-based occupancy models for the long-toed salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum) and nonnative fish using survey data from 1,749 water bodies across 470 catchments in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA. We first modeled the habitat associations of salamanders at 468 fishless water bodies in 154 catchments where non-native fish were historically, and are currently, absent from the entire catchment. Wethen applied this habitat model to the complete data set to predict the probability of salamander occupancy in each water body, removing any effect of fish presence. Finally, we compared field-observed occurrences of salamanders and fish to modeled probability of salamander occupancy. Suitability models indicated that fish and salamanders had similar habitat preferences, possibly resulting in extirpations of salamander populations from entire catchments where suitable habitats were limiting. Salamanders coexisted with non-native fish in some catchments by using marginal quality, isolated (no inlet or outlet) habitats that remained fishless. They rarely coexisted with fish within individual water bodies and only where habitat quality was highest. Connectivity of water bodies via streams resulted in increased probability of fish invasion and consequently reduced probability of salamander occupancy.These results could be used to identify and prioritize catchments and water bodies where control measures would be most effective at restoring amphibian populations. Our approach could be useful as a framework for improved investigations into questions of persistence and extirpation of native species when non-native species have already become established.

  16. Linking the evolution of habitat choice to ecosystem functioning: direct and indirect effects of pond-reproducing fire salamanders on aquatic-terrestrial subsidies.

    PubMed

    Reinhardt, Timm; Steinfartz, Sebastian; Paetzold, Achim; Weitere, Markus

    2013-09-01

    Shifts in life history traits and in the behaviour of species can potentially alter ecosystem functioning. The reproduction of the central European fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), which usually deposits its larvae in first-order streams, in small pool and pond-like habitats, is an example of a recent local adaptation in this species. Here we aimed to quantify the direct and indirect effects of the predatory larvae on the aquatic food webs in the ponds and on the flux of matter between the ponds and adjacent terrestrial habitats. Our estimates are based on biomass data of the present pond fauna as well as on the analysis of stomach content data, growth rates and population dynamics of the salamander larvae in pond habitats. By their deposition of larvae in early spring, female fire salamanders import between 0.07 and 2.86 g dry mass m(-2) larval biomass into the ponds. Due to high mortality rates in the larval phase and the relatively small size at metamorphosis of the pond-adapted salamanders compared to stream-adapted ones, the biomass export of the metamorphosed salamanders clearly falls below the initial biomass import. Catastrophic events such as high water temperatures and low oxygen levels may even occasionally result in mass mortalities of salamander larvae and thus in a net 100 % import of the salamander biomass into the pond food webs. Indirect effects further accelerate this net import of matter into the aquatic habitat, e.g. the feeding of salamanders on aquatic insect larvae with the emergence of terrestrial adults-thus preventing export-and on terrestrial organisms that fall on the water surface (supporting import). This study demonstrates that the adaptation of salamanders to pond reproduction can alter food web linkages across ecosystem boundaries by enhancing the flux of materials and energy from terrestrial (i.e. forest) to the aquatic (i.e. pond) habitat. PMID:23358795

  17. 76 FR 55413 - Proposed Safe Harbor Agreement for California Red-legged Frog, California Tiger Salamander, Smith...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-07

    ... Register on June 17, 1999 (64 FR 32717), the Service would issue a permit to the Applicant authorizing take... Tiger Salamander, Smith's Blue Butterfly, and Yadon's Piperia at Palo Corona Regional Park, Monterey... californiense) and federally endangered Smith's blue butterfly (Euphilotes enoptes smithi) under the...

  18. INFLUENCE OF HABITAT CHARACTERISTICS ON DETECTED SITE OCCUPANCY OF THE NEW MEXICO ENDEMIC SACRAMENTO MOUNTAINS SALAMANDER, ANEIDES HARDII

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Sacramento Mountains Salamander (Aneides hardii) is a state-listed threatened species endemic to three mountain ranges in south central New Mexico. Information about the ecological requirements of this species is inadequate for managers to make informed conservation decisions, yet changes in ma...

  19. Conservation genetics of extremely isolated urban populations of the northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) in New York City.

    PubMed

    Munshi-South, Jason; Zak, Yana; Pehek, Ellen

    2013-01-01

    Urbanization is a major cause of amphibian decline. Stream-dwelling plethodontid salamanders are particularly susceptible to urbanization due to declining water quality and hydrological changes, but few studies have examined these taxa in cities. The northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) was once common in the New York City metropolitan area, but has substantially declined throughout the region in recent decades. We used five tetranucleotide microsatellite loci to examine population differentiation, genetic variation, and bottlenecks among five remnant urban populations of dusky salamanders in NYC. These genetic measures provide information on isolation, prevalence of inbreeding, long-term prospects for population persistence, and potential for evolutionary responses to future environmental change. All populations were genetically differentiated from each other, and the most isolated populations in Manhattan have maintained very little genetic variation (i.e. <20% heterozygosity). A majority of the populations also exhibited evidence of genetic bottlenecks. These findings contrast with published estimates of high genetic variation within and lack of structure between populations of other desmognathine salamanders sampled over similar or larger spatial scales. Declines in genetic variation likely resulted from population extirpations and the degradation of stream and terrestrial paths for dispersal in NYC. Loss of genetic variability in populations isolated by human development may be an underappreciated cause and/or consequence of the decline of this species in urbanized areas of the northeast USA. PMID:23646283

  20. Conservation genetics of extremely isolated urban populations of the northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) in New York City

    PubMed Central

    Zak, Yana; Pehek, Ellen

    2013-01-01

    Urbanization is a major cause of amphibian decline. Stream-dwelling plethodontid salamanders are particularly susceptible to urbanization due to declining water quality and hydrological changes, but few studies have examined these taxa in cities. The northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) was once common in the New York City metropolitan area, but has substantially declined throughout the region in recent decades. We used five tetranucleotide microsatellite loci to examine population differentiation, genetic variation, and bottlenecks among five remnant urban populations of dusky salamanders in NYC. These genetic measures provide information on isolation, prevalence of inbreeding, long-term prospects for population persistence, and potential for evolutionary responses to future environmental change. All populations were genetically differentiated from each other, and the most isolated populations in Manhattan have maintained very little genetic variation (i.e. <20% heterozygosity). A majority of the populations also exhibited evidence of genetic bottlenecks. These findings contrast with published estimates of high genetic variation within and lack of structure between populations of other desmognathine salamanders sampled over similar or larger spatial scales. Declines in genetic variation likely resulted from population extirpations and the degradation of stream and terrestrial paths for dispersal in NYC. Loss of genetic variability in populations isolated by human development may be an underappreciated cause and/or consequence of the decline of this species in urbanized areas of the northeast USA. PMID:23646283

  1. Feeding Preferences of the Larval Southern Two-Lined Salamander, Eurycea Cirrigera, in an Impacted Agricultural Area, Southwest Georgia.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muenz, T. K.; Golladay, S. W.; Smith, L. L.; Vellidis, G.

    2005-05-01

    Feeding preference of the stream-dwelling Southern Two-lined Salamander, Eurycea cirrigera, was examined in streams affected by agricultural practices in southwest Georgia. Larvae were collected within bimonthly benthic macroinvertebrate samples from February 2002 to February 2003. Five stream reaches were sampled, two of which were fenced from cattle and three allowed cattle access. Forty larvae were recovered from the invertebrate collections, with significantly higher captures at fenced sites than unfenced sites. The entire digestive tract was removed from larvae and stomach contents were examined to better understand prey selection in streams with differing intensities of adjacent agricultural land-use. Invertebrates were enumerated in 34 salamander stomachs, with Chironomidae comprising the largest percentage of individuals found, both in stomach contents and habitat collections. Electivity values showed a wide range of variability among individual salamanders, however, overall indices suggest slight positive selection for a subfamily of the Chironomidae, the Tanypodinae. It appears that E.cirrigera larvae select for Tanypodinae, however, this invertebrate group was found at all stream sites, suggesting factors other than prey abundance, such as stream habitat quality, may also influence larval salamander abundance.

  2. Transcriptome analysis of the endangered Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus): Immune modulation in response to Aeromonas hydrophila infection.

    PubMed

    Qi, Zhitao; Zhang, Qihuan; Wang, Zisheng; Ma, Tianyi; Zhou, Jie; Holland, Jason W; Gao, Qian

    2016-01-01

    The endangered Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus) is the largest extant amphibian species. Disease outbreaks represent one of the major factors threatening A. davidianus populations in the wild and the viability of artificial breeding programmes. Development of future immune therapies to eliminate infectious disease in A. davidianus is dependent on a thorough understanding of the immune mechanisms elicited by pathogen encounters. To this end we have undertaken, for the first time in amphibians, differential transcriptome analysis of the giant salamander response to Aeromonas hydrophila, one of the most devastating pathogens affecting amphibian populations. Out of 87,204 non-redundant consensus unigenes 19,216 were annotated, 6834 of which were upregulated and 906 down-regulated following bacterial infection. 2058 unigenes were involved with immune system processes, including 287 differentially expressed unigenes indicative of the impact of bacterial infection on several innate and adaptive immune pathways in the giant salamander. Other pathways not directly associated with immune-related activity were differentially expressed, including developmental, structural, molecular and growth processes. Overall, this work provides valuable insights into the underlying immune mechanisms elicited during bacterial infection in amphibians that may aid in the future development of disease control measures in protecting the Chinese giant salamander. With the unique position of amphibians in the transition of tetrapods from aquatic to terrestrial habitats, our study will also be invaluable towards the further understanding of the evolution of tetrapod immunity. PMID:26620078

  3. Non-additive response of larval ringed salamanders to intraspecific density.

    PubMed

    Ousterhout, Brittany H; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2016-04-01

    Conditions experienced in early developmental stages can have long-term consequences for individual fitness. High intraspecific density during the natal period can affect juvenile and eventually adult growth rates, metabolism, immune function, survival, and fecundity. Despite the important ecological and evolutionary effects of early developmental density, the form of the relationship between natal density and resulting juvenile phenotype is poorly understood. To test competing hypotheses explaining responses to intraspecific density, we experimentally manipulated the initial larval density of ringed salamanders (Ambystoma annulatum), a pond-breeding amphibian, over 11 densities. We modeled the functional form of the relationship between natal density and juvenile traits, and compared the relative support for the various hypotheses based on their goodness of fit. These functional form models were then used to parameterize a simple simulation model of population growth. Our data support non-additive density dependence and presents an alternate hypothesis to additive density dependence, self-thinning and Allee effects in larval amphibians. We posit that ringed salamander larvae may be under selective pressure for tolerance to high density and increased efficiency in resource utilization. Additionally, we demonstrate that models of population dynamics are sensitive to assumptions of the functional form of density dependence. PMID:26683834

  4. Purification and characterization of cholecystokinin from the skin of salamander Tylototriton verrucosus

    PubMed Central

    JIANG, Wen-Bin; HAKIM, Ma; LUO, Lei; LI, Bo-Wen; YANG, Shi-Long; SONG, Yu-Zhu; LAI, Ren; LU, Qiu-Min

    2015-01-01

    As a group of intestinal hormones and neurotransmitters, cholecystokinins (CCKs) regulate and affect pancreatic enzyme secretion, gastrointestinal motility, pain hypersensitivity, digestion and satiety, and generally contain a DYMGWMDFG sequence at the C-terminus. Many CCKs have been reported in mammals. However, only a few have been reported in amphibians, such as Hyla nigrovittata, Xenopus laevis, and Rana catesbeiana, with none reported in urodele amphibians like newts and salamanders. Here, a CCK called CCK-TV was identified and characterized from the skin of the salamander Tylototriton verrucosus. This CCK contained an amino acid sequence of DYMGWMDF-NH2 as seen in other CCKs. A cDNA encoding the CCK precursor containing 129 amino acid residues was cloned from the cDNA library of T. verrucosus skin. The CCK-TV had the potential to induce the contraction of smooth muscle strips isolated from porcine gallbladder, eliciting contraction at a concentration of 5.0x10-11 mol/L and inducing maximal contraction at a concentration of 2.0x10-6 mol/L. The EC50 was 13.6 nmol/L. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to identify the presence of a CCK in an urodele amphibian. PMID:26018861

  5. Coalescence patterns of endemic Tibetan species of stream salamanders (Hynobiidae: Batrachuperus).

    PubMed

    Lu, Bin; Zheng, Yuchi; Murphy, Robert W; Zeng, Xiaomao

    2012-07-01

    Orogenesis of topographically diverse montane regions often drives complex evolutionary histories of species. The extensive biodiversity of the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, which gradually decreases eastwardly, facilitates a comparison of historical patterns. We use coalescence methods to compare species of stream salamanders (Batrachuperus) that occur at high and low elevations. Coalescent simulations reveal that closely related species are likely to have been influenced by different drivers of diversification. Species living in the western high-elevation region with its northsouth extending mountains appear to have experienced colonization via dispersal followed by isolation and divergence. In contrast, species on the eastern low-elevation region, which has many discontinuous mountain ranges, appear to have experienced fragmentation, sometimes staged, of wide-ranging ancestral populations. The two groups of species appear to have been affected differently by glaciation. High-elevation species, which are more resistant to cooler temperatures, appear to have experienced population declines as recently as the last glaciation (0.016-0.032Ma). In contrast, salamanders dwelling in the warmer and wetter habitats at low-elevation environs appear to have been affected less by the relatively recent, milder glaciation, and more so by harsher, extensive glaciations (0.5-0.175 Ma). Thus, elevation, topography and cold tolerance appear to drive evolutionary patterns of diversification and demography even among closely related taxa. The comparison of multiple species in genealogical analyses can lead to an understanding of the evolutionary drivers. PMID:22571598

  6. Cutaneous mastocytomas in the neotenic caudate amphibians Ambystoma mexicanum (axolotl) and Ambystoma tigrinun (tiger salamander)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harshbarger, J.C.; Chang, S.C.; DeLanney, L.E.; Rose, F.L.; Green, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    Spontaneous mastocytomas studied in 18 axolotls (Ambystoma mexicanum) and six tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) were gray-white, uni- to multilobular cutaneous protrusions from 2mm to 2cm in diameter. Tumors were moderately cellular unencapsulated masses that usually infiltrated the dermis and hypodermis with the destruction of intervening tissues. Some tumors were invading superficial bundles of the underlying skeletal muscle. Tumors consisted of mitotically active cells derived from a single lineage but showing a range of differentiation. Immature cells had nearly smooth to lightly cleft or folded basophilic nuclei bordered by a band of cytoplasm with few cytoplasmic processes and containing a few small uniform eccentric granules. Mature cells had basophilic nuclei with deep clefts or folds and abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm with multiple long intertwining cytoplasmic extensions packed with metachromatic granules. The axolotls were old individuals from an inbred laboratory colony. The tiger salamanders were wild animals from a single polluted pond. They could have been old and inbred. Both groups were neotenic. These are the first mastocytomas discovered in cold-blooded animals.

  7. Successful treatment of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans infections in salamanders requires synergy between voriconazole, polymyxin E and temperature

    PubMed Central

    Blooi, M.; Pasmans, F.; Rouffaer, L.; Haesebrouck, F.; Vercammen, F.; Martel, A.

    2015-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) poses a serious threat to urodelan diversity worldwide. Antimycotic treatment of this disease using protocols developed for the related fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), results in therapeutic failure. Here, we reveal that this therapeutic failure is partly due to different minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of antimycotics against Bsal and Bd. In vitro growth inhibition of Bsal occurs after exposure to voriconazole, polymyxin E, itraconazole and terbinafine but not to florfenicol. Synergistic effects between polymyxin E and voriconazole or itraconazole significantly decreased the combined MICs necessary to inhibit Bsal growth. Topical treatment of infected fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra), with voriconazole or itraconazole alone (12.5 μg/ml and 0.6 μg/ml respectively) or in combination with polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) at an ambient temperature of 15 °C during 10 days decreased fungal loads but did not clear Bsal infections. However, topical treatment of Bsal infected animals with a combination of polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) and voriconazole (12.5 μg/ml) at an ambient temperature of 20 °C resulted in clearance of Bsal infections. This treatment protocol was validated in 12 fire salamanders infected with Bsal during a field outbreak and resulted in clearance of infection in all animals. PMID:26123899

  8. Successful treatment of Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans infections in salamanders requires synergy between voriconazole, polymyxin E and temperature.

    PubMed

    Blooi, M; Pasmans, F; Rouffaer, L; Haesebrouck, F; Vercammen, F; Martel, A

    2015-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans (Bsal) poses a serious threat to urodelan diversity worldwide. Antimycotic treatment of this disease using protocols developed for the related fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), results in therapeutic failure. Here, we reveal that this therapeutic failure is partly due to different minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of antimycotics against Bsal and Bd. In vitro growth inhibition of Bsal occurs after exposure to voriconazole, polymyxin E, itraconazole and terbinafine but not to florfenicol. Synergistic effects between polymyxin E and voriconazole or itraconazole significantly decreased the combined MICs necessary to inhibit Bsal growth. Topical treatment of infected fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra), with voriconazole or itraconazole alone (12.5 μg/ml and 0.6 μg/ml respectively) or in combination with polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) at an ambient temperature of 15 °C during 10 days decreased fungal loads but did not clear Bsal infections. However, topical treatment of Bsal infected animals with a combination of polymyxin E (2000 IU/ml) and voriconazole (12.5 μg/ml) at an ambient temperature of 20 °C resulted in clearance of Bsal infections. This treatment protocol was validated in 12 fire salamanders infected with Bsal during a field outbreak and resulted in clearance of infection in all animals. PMID:26123899

  9. Avian, salamander, and forest floor mercury concentrations increase with elevation in a terrestrial ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Townsend, Jason M; Driscoll, Charles T; Rimmer, Christopher C; McFarland, Kent P

    2014-01-01

    High-elevation ecosystems of the northeastern United States are vulnerable to deposition and environmental accumulation of atmospheric pollutants, yet little work has been done to assess mercury (Hg) concentrations in organisms occupying montane ecosystems. The authors present data on Hg concentrations in ground-foraging insectivorous songbirds, a terrestrial salamander, and forest floor horizons sampled along a forested elevational gradient from 185 m to 1273 m in the Catskill Mountains, New York, USA. Mean Hg concentrations in Catharus thrushes and the salamander Plethodon cinereus increased with elevation, as did Hg concentrations in all forest floor horizons. Mean Hg concentrations in organic soils at approximately 1200 m elevation (503.5 ± 17.7 ng/g, dry wt) were 4.4-fold greater than those at approximately 200 m. Montane ecosystems of the northeastern United States, and probably elsewhere, are exposed to higher levels of atmospheric Hg deposition as reflected in accumulation patterns in the forest floor and associated high-elevation fauna. This information can be used to parameterize and test Hg transport and bioaccumulation models of landscape-specific patterns and may serve as a monitoring tool for decision makers considering future controls on Hg emissions. Further investigation is needed into the potential effects of increased Hg concentrations on high-elevation fauna. PMID:24302165

  10. Toxicological responses of red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) to soil exposures of copper.

    PubMed

    Bazar, Matthew A; Quinn, Michael J; Mozzachio, Kristie; Bleiler, John A; Archer, Christine R; Phillips, Carlton T; Johnson, Mark S

    2009-07-01

    Copper (Cu) has widespread military use in munitions and small arms, particularly as a protective jacket for lead projectiles. The distribution of Cu at many US military sites is substantial and sites of contamination include habitats in and around military storage facilities, manufacturing, load and packing plants, open burning/open detonation areas, and firing ranges. Some of these areas include habitat for amphibian species, which generally lack toxicity data for risk assessment purposes. In an effort to ascertain Cu concentrations in soil that are toxic to terrestrial amphibians, 100 red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) were randomly sorted by weight, assigned to either a control soil or one of four treatments amended with copper acetate in soil, and exposed for 28 days. Analytical mean soil concentrations were 18, 283, 803, 1333, and 2700 mg Cu/kg soil dry weight. Food consisted of uncontaminated flightless Drosophila melanogaster. Survival was reduced in salamanders exposed to 1333 and 2700 mg/kg by 55% and 100%, respectively. Mortality/morbidity occurred within the first 4 days of exposure. These data suggest that a Cu soil concentration of and exceeding 1333.3 +/- 120.2 mg/kg results in reduced survival, whereas hematology analyses suggest that a concentration of and exceeding 803.3 +/- 98.4 mg/kg might result in reduced total white blood cell count. No effects were observed at 283.3 +/- 36.7 mg/kg. PMID:18825446

  11. Origin and control of the dominant time constant of salamander cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Zang, Jingjing

    2012-01-01

    Recovery of the light response in vertebrate photoreceptors requires the shutoff of both active intermediates in the phototransduction cascade: the visual pigment and the transducin–phosphodiesterase complex. Whichever intermediate quenches more slowly will dominate photoresponse recovery. In suction pipette recordings from isolated salamander ultraviolet- and blue-sensitive cones, response recovery was delayed, and the dominant time constant slowed when internal [Ca2+] was prevented from changing after a bright flash by exposure to 0Ca2+/0Na+ solution. Taken together with a similar prior observation in salamander red-sensitive cones, these observations indicate that the dominance of response recovery by a Ca2+-sensitive process is a general feature of amphibian cone phototransduction. Moreover, changes in the external pH also influenced the dominant time constant of red-sensitive cones even when changes in internal [Ca2+] were prevented. Because the cone photopigment is, uniquely, exposed to the external solution, this may represent a direct effect of protons on the equilibrium between its inactive Meta I and active Meta II forms, consistent with the notion that the process dominating recovery of the bright flash response represents quenching of the active Meta II form of the cone photopigment. PMID:22802362

  12. Spatial genetic structure and regional demography in the southern torrent salamander: Implications for conservation and management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Mark P.; Haig, Susan M.; Wagner, R.S.

    2006-01-01

    The Southern torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton variegatus) was recently found not warranted for listing under the US Endangered Species Act due to lack of information regarding population fragmentation and gene flow. Found in small-order streams associated with late-successional coniferous forests of the US Pacific Northwest, threats to their persistence include disturbance related to timber harvest activities. We conducted a study of genetic diversity throughout this species' range to 1) identify major phylogenetic lineages and phylogeographic barriers and 2) elucidate regional patterns of population genetic and spatial phylogeographic structure. Cytochrome b sequence variation was examined for 189 individuals from 72 localities. We identified 3 major lineages corresponding to nonoverlapping geographic regions: a northern California clade, a central Oregon clade, and a northern Oregon clade. The Yaquina River may be a phylogeographic barrier between the northern Oregon and central Oregon clades, whereas the Smith River in northern California appears to correspond to the discontinuity between the central Oregon and northern California clades. Spatial analyses of genetic variation within regions encompassing major clades indicated that the extent of genetic structure is comparable among regions. We discuss our results in the context of conservation efforts for Southern torrent salamanders.

  13. Phylogeography and spatial genetic structure of the Southern torrent salamander: Implications for conservation and management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, M.P.; Haig, S.M.; Wagner, R.S.

    2006-01-01

    The Southern torrent salamander (Rhyacotriton variegatus) was recently found not warranted for listing under the US Endangered Species Act due to lack of information regarding population fragmentation and gene flow. Found in small-order streams associated with late-successional coniferous forests of the US Pacific Northwest, threats to their persistence include disturbance related to timber harvest activities. We conducted a study of genetic diversity throughout this species' range to 1) identify major phylogenetic lineages and phylogeographic barriers and 2) elucidate regional patterns of population genetic and spatial phylogeographic structure. Cytochrome b sequence variation was examined for 189 individuals from 72 localities. We identified 3 major lineages corresponding to nonoverlapping geographic regions: a northern California clade, a central Oregon clade, and a northern Oregon clade. The Yaquina River may be a phylogeographic barrier between the northern Oregon and central Oregon clades, whereas the Smith River in northern California appears to correspond to the discontinuity between the central Oregon and northern California clades. Spatial analyses of genetic variation within regions encompassing major clades indicated that the extent of genetic structure is comparable among regions. We discuss our results in the context of conservation efforts for Southern torrent salamanders. ?? The American Genetic Association. 2006. All rights reserved.

  14. Purification and characterization of cholecystokinin from the skin of salamander Tylototriton verrucosus.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Wen-Bin; Hakim, Ma; Luo, Lei; Li, Bo-Wen; Yang, Shi-Long; Song, Yu-Zhu; Lai, Ren; Lu, Qiu-Min

    2015-05-18

    As a group of intestinal hormones and neurotransmitters, cholecystokinins (CCKs) regulate and affect pancreatic enzyme secretion, gastrointestinal motility, pain hypersensitivity, digestion and satiety, and generally contain a DYMGWMDFG sequence at the C-terminus. Many CCKs have been reported in mammals. However, only a few have been reported in amphibians, such as Hyla nigrovittata, Xenopus laevis, and Rana catesbeiana, with none reported in urodele amphibians like newts and salamanders. Here, a CCK called CCK-TV was identified and characterized from the skin of the salamander Tylototriton verrucosus. This CCK contained an amino acid sequence of DYMGWMDF-NH2 as seen in other CCKs. A cDNA encoding the CCK precursor containing 129 amino acid residues was cloned from the cDNA library of T. verrucosus skin. The CCK-TV had the potential to induce the contraction of smooth muscle strips isolated from porcine gallbladder, eliciting contraction at a concentration of 5.0 x 10⁻¹¹ mol/L and inducing maximal contraction at a concentration of 2.0 x 10⁻⁶ mol/L. The EC50 was 13.6 nmol/L. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report to identify the presence of a CCK in an urodele amphibian. PMID:26018861

  15. Cold-blooded snipers: thermal independence of ballistic tongue projection in the salamander Hydromantes platycephalus.

    PubMed

    Deban, Stephen M; Richardson, Jason C

    2011-12-01

    Plethodontid salamanders of the genus Hydromantes capture prey using the most extreme tongue projection among salamanders, and can shoot the tongue a distance of 80% of body length in less than 20 msec. The tongue skeleton is projected from the body via an elastic-recoil mechanism that decouples muscle contraction from tongue projection, amplifying muscle power tenfold. We tested the hypothesis that the elastic-recoil mechanism also endows tongue projection with low thermal dependence by examining the kinematics and dynamics of tongue projection in Hydromantes platycephalus over a range of body temperatures (2-24°C). We found that H. platycephalus maintained tongue-projection performance over the tested temperature range and that tongue projection showed thermal independence (Q(10) values of 0.94-1.04) of all performance parameters including projection distance, average velocity, and peak instantaneous values of velocity, acceleration, and power. Nonelastic, muscle-powered tongue retraction, in contrast, responded to temperature changes significantly differently than elastic tongue projection; performance parameters of retraction displayed thermal dependence typical of muscle-powered movement (Q(10) values of 1.63-4.97). These results reveal that the elastic-recoil mechanism liberates tongue projection from the effects of temperature on muscle contractile rates. We suggest that relative thermal independence is a general characteristic of elastic-recoil mechanisms and may promote the evolution of these mechanisms in ectothermic animals. PMID:21953778

  16. Phenotypic variation in metamorphosis and paedomorphosis in the salamander Ambystoma talpoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Semlitsch, R.D.; Gibbons, J.W.

    1985-08-01

    Phenotypic variation in metamorphosis and paedomorphosis in the salamander Ambystoma talpoideum was examined to determine its environmental or genetic basis. Eight artificial ponds were maintained, four at each of two environmental treatments: constant water level, to simulate fish-free permanent breeding ponds, and gradual drying out, to simulate temporary breeding ponds. Two populations of salamanders were used, derived from two breeding ponds having different frequencies of paedomorphosis. The water level in the drying treatment was lowered during the last 10 wk of the experimental period with no apparent differences in water chemistry parameters between treatments and only a slight change in water temperature during the last 2 wk. The effects of water level were potentially confounded by those of water temperature, density of larvae, and amount food. Population differences in the frequency of metamorphosis and paedomorphosis could potentially represent genetic differences resulting from the different selective regimes that individuals encounter in breeding ponds varying in drying frequency. 35 references, 3 figures, 4 tables.

  17. Reduced genetic variation in the Japanese giant salamander, Andrias japonicus (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Liu, Wan-zhao; Tanaka-Ueno, Tomoko

    2008-10-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among 46 samples from 27 populations of the Japanese giant salamander, Andriasjaponicus and its congener, A. davidianus from China was investigated, using 3664 bp sequences of the mitochondrial genes NADH1, NADH3, cyt b and CR, partial NADH6 and intervening genes. In phylogenetic trees constructed by MP, ML, and Bayesian methods, the family Cryptobranchidae and the genus Andrias both form monophyletic groups. Japanese A. japonicus and Chinese A. davidianus are sister taxa and can be regarded as separate species despite a small degree of genetic differentiation. Andriasjaponicus is divided into central and western clades, but the phylogenetic relationships within the latter clade are unresolved. As previously reported from allozyme analyses, A. japonicus exhibits little genetic differentiation, in strong contrast to salamanders of the genus Hynobius with which their distributions overlap. This reduced genetic variability in A. japonicus is attributable to a unique mating system of polygyny, delayed sexual maturity, notable longevity, life in a stable aquatic environment, and gigantism, as well as bottleneck effects following habitat fragmentation and extinction of local populations during Quaternary glaciations. The species is thus susceptible to extinction by potential environmental fluctuations, and requires extensive conservation measures. PMID:18723097

  18. Large differences in the genome organization of different plant Trypanosomatid parasites (Phytomonas spp.) reveal wide evolutionary divergences between taxa.

    PubMed

    Marín, C; Dollet, M; Pagès, M; Bastien, P

    2009-03-01

    All currently known plant trypanosomes have been grouped in the genus Phytomonas spp., although they can differ greatly in terms of both their biological properties and effects upon the host. Those parasitizing the phloem sap are specifically associated with lethal syndromes in Latin America, such as, phloem necrosis of coffee, 'Hartrot' of coconut and 'Marchitez sorpresiva' of oil palm, that inflict considerable economic losses in endemic countries. The genomic organization of one group of Phytomonas (D) considered as representative of the genus has been published previously. The present work presents the genomic structure of two representative isolates from the pathogenic phloem-restricted group (H) of Phytomonas, analyzed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis followed by hybridization with chromosome-specific DNA markers. It came as a surprise to observe an extremely different genomic organization in this group as compared with that of group D. Most notably, the chromosome number is 7 in this group (with a genome size of 10 Mb) versus 21 in the group D (totalling 25 Mb). These data unravel an unsuspected genomic diversity within plant trypanosomatids, that may justify a further debate about their division into different genera. PMID:19111630

  19. Genome sequence reveals that Pseudomonas fluorescens F113 possesses a large and diverse array of systems for rhizosphere function and host interaction

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Pseudomonas fluorescens F113 is a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium (PGPR) isolated from the sugar-beet rhizosphere. This bacterium has been extensively studied as a model strain for genetic regulation of secondary metabolite production in P. fluorescens, as a candidate biocontrol agent against phytopathogens, and as a heterologous host for expression of genes with biotechnological application. The F113 genome sequence and annotation has been recently reported. Results Comparative analysis of 50 genome sequences of strains belonging to the P. fluorescens group has revealed the existence of five distinct subgroups. F113 belongs to subgroup I, which is mostly composed of strains classified as P. brassicacearum. The core genome of these five strains is highly conserved and represents approximately 76% of the protein-coding genes in any given genome. Despite this strong conservation, F113 also contains a large number of unique protein-coding genes that encode traits potentially involved in the rhizocompetence of this strain. These features include protein coding genes required for denitrification, diterpenoids catabolism, motility and chemotaxis, protein secretion and production of antimicrobial compounds and insect toxins. Conclusions The genome of P. fluorescens F113 is composed of numerous protein-coding genes, not usually found together in previously sequenced genomes, which are potentially decisive during the colonisation of the rhizosphere and/or interaction with other soil organisms. This includes genes encoding proteins involved in the production of a second flagellar apparatus, the use of abietic acid as a growth substrate, the complete denitrification pathway, the possible production of a macrolide antibiotic and the assembly of multiple protein secretion systems. PMID:23350846

  20. SVA retrotransposon insertion-associated deletion represents a novel mutational mechanism underlying large genomic copy number changes with non-recurrent breakpoints

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Genomic disorders are caused by copy number changes that may exhibit recurrent breakpoints processed by nonallelic homologous recombination. However, region-specific disease-associated copy number changes have also been observed which exhibit non-recurrent breakpoints. The mechanisms underlying these non-recurrent copy number changes have not yet been fully elucidated. Results We analyze large NF1 deletions with non-recurrent breakpoints as a model to investigate the full spectrum of causative mechanisms, and observe that they are mediated by various DNA double strand break repair mechanisms, as well as aberrant replication. Further, two of the 17 NF1 deletions with non-recurrent breakpoints, identified in unrelated patients, occur in association with the concomitant insertion of SINE/variable number of tandem repeats/Alu (SVA) retrotransposons at the deletion breakpoints. The respective breakpoints are refractory to analysis by standard breakpoint-spanning PCRs and are only identified by means of optimized PCR protocols designed to amplify across GC-rich sequences. The SVA elements are integrated within SUZ12P intron 8 in both patients, and were mediated by target-primed reverse transcription of SVA mRNA intermediates derived from retrotranspositionally active source elements. Both SVA insertions occurred during early postzygotic development and are uniquely associated with large deletions of 1 Mb and 867 kb, respectively, at the insertion sites. Conclusions Since active SVA elements are abundant in the human genome and the retrotranspositional activity of many SVA source elements is high, SVA insertion-associated large genomic deletions encompassing many hundreds of kilobases could constitute a novel and as yet under-appreciated mechanism underlying large-scale copy number changes in the human genome. PMID:24958239

  1. 'Solo' large terminal repeats (LTR) of an endogenous retrovirus-like gene family (VL30) in the mouse genome.

    PubMed Central

    Rotman, G; Itin, A; Keshet, E

    1984-01-01

    VL30 genetic elements constitute a murine multicopy gene family that is retrovirus-like, despite the lack of sequence homology with any known retrovirus. Over one hundred copies of VL30 units are dispersed throughout the mouse genome. We report here that the mouse genome also contains 'solo' VL30 long terminal repeats (LTRs). These are structures which contain the LTR detached from the rest of the VL30 sequences. The isolation of solo LTRs from a mouse embryonic gene library with the aid of sub-genomic VL30 probes is described. Direct DNA sequencing established that the solo LTR unit is grossly similar to a standard VL30 LTR and that the LTR is flanked by a 4-base pair duplication. The analogy to the occurrence of solitary LTR units of transposable elements is discussed. Images PMID:6324110

  2. Weak endogenous Ca2+ buffering supports sustained synaptic transmission by distinct mechanisms in rod and cone photoreceptors in salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Van Hook, Matthew J; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2015-01-01

    Differences in synaptic transmission between rod and cone photoreceptors contribute to different response kinetics in rod- versus cone-dominated visual pathways. We examined Ca2+ dynamics in synaptic terminals of tiger salamander photoreceptors under conditions that mimicked endogenous buffering to determine the influence on kinetically and mechanistically distinct components of synaptic transmission. Measurements of ICl(Ca) confirmed that endogenous Ca2+ buffering is equivalent to ˜0.05 mmol/L EGTA in rod and cone terminals. Confocal imaging showed that with such buffering, depolarization stimulated large, spatially unconstrained [Ca2+] increases that spread throughout photoreceptor terminals. We calculated immediately releasable pool (IRP) size and release efficiency in rods by deconvolving excitatory postsynaptic currents and presynaptic Ca2+ currents. Peak efficiency of ˜0.2 vesicles/channel was similar to that of cones (˜0.3 vesicles/channel). Efficiency in both cell types was not significantly affected by using weak endogenous Ca2+ buffering. However, weak Ca2+ buffering speeded Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent replenishment of vesicles to ribbons in both rods and cones, thereby enhancing sustained release. In rods, weak Ca2+ buffering also amplified sustained release by enhancing CICR and CICR-stimulated release of vesicles at nonribbon sites. By contrast, elevating [Ca2+] at nonribbon sites in cones with weak Ca2+ buffering and by inhibiting Ca2+ extrusion did not trigger additional release, consistent with the notion that exocytosis from cones occurs exclusively at ribbons. The presence of weak endogenous Ca2+ buffering in rods and cones facilitates slow, sustained exocytosis by enhancing Ca2+/CaM-dependent replenishment of ribbons in both rods and cones and by stimulating nonribbon release triggered by CICR in rods. PMID:26416977

  3. Multilocus Phylogeography and Species Delimitation in the Cumberland Plateau Salamander, Plethodon kentucki: Incongruence among Data Sets and Methods

    PubMed Central

    Kuchta, Shawn R.; Brown, Ashley D.; Converse, Paul E.; Highton, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Species are a fundamental unit of biodiversity, yet can be challenging to delimit objectively. This is particularly true of species complexes characterized by high levels of population genetic structure, hybridization between genetic groups, isolation by distance, and limited phenotypic variation. Previous work on the Cumberland Plateau Salamander, Plethodon kentucki, suggested that it might constitute a species complex despite occupying a relatively small geographic range. To examine this hypothesis, we sampled 135 individuals from 43 populations, and used four mitochondrial loci and five nuclear loci (5693 base pairs) to quantify phylogeographic structure and probe for cryptic species diversity. Rates of evolution for each locus were inferred using the multidistribute package, and time calibrated gene trees and species trees were inferred using BEAST 2 and *BEAST 2, respectively. Because the parameter space relevant for species delimitation is large and complex, and all methods make simplifying assumptions that may lead them to fail, we conducted an array of analyses. Our assumption was that strongly supported species would be congruent across methods. Putative species were first delimited using a Bayesian implementation of the GMYC model (bGMYC), Geneland, and Brownie. We then validated these species using the genealogical sorting index and BPP. We found substantial phylogeographic diversity using mtDNA, including four divergent clades and an inferred common ancestor at 14.9 myr (95% HPD: 10.8–19.7 myr). By contrast, this diversity was not corroborated by nuclear sequence data, which exhibited low levels of variation and weak phylogeographic structure. Species trees estimated a far younger root than did the mtDNA data, closer to 1.0 myr old. Mutually exclusive putative species were identified by the different approaches. Possible causes of data set discordance, and the problem of species delimitation in complexes with high levels of population structure and

  4. Multilocus Phylogeography and Species Delimitation in the Cumberland Plateau Salamander, Plethodon kentucki: Incongruence among Data Sets and Methods.

    PubMed

    Kuchta, Shawn R; Brown, Ashley D; Converse, Paul E; Highton, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Species are a fundamental unit of biodiversity, yet can be challenging to delimit objectively. This is particularly true of species complexes characterized by high levels of population genetic structure, hybridization between genetic groups, isolation by distance, and limited phenotypic variation. Previous work on the Cumberland Plateau Salamander, Plethodon kentucki, suggested that it might constitute a species complex despite occupying a relatively small geographic range. To examine this hypothesis, we sampled 135 individuals from 43 populations, and used four mitochondrial loci and five nuclear loci (5693 base pairs) to quantify phylogeographic structure and probe for cryptic species diversity. Rates of evolution for each locus were inferred using the multidistribute package, and time calibrated gene trees and species trees were inferred using BEAST 2 and *BEAST 2, respectively. Because the parameter space relevant for species delimitation is large and complex, and all methods make simplifying assumptions that may lead them to fail, we conducted an array of analyses. Our assumption was that strongly supported species would be congruent across methods. Putative species were first delimited using a Bayesian implementation of the GMYC model (bGMYC), Geneland, and Brownie. We then validated these species using the genealogical sorting index and BPP. We found substantial phylogeographic diversity using mtDNA, including four divergent clades and an inferred common ancestor at 14.9 myr (95% HPD: 10.8-19.7 myr). By contrast, this diversity was not corroborated by nuclear sequence data, which exhibited low levels of variation and weak phylogeographic structure. Species trees estimated a far younger root than did the mtDNA data, closer to 1.0 myr old. Mutually exclusive putative species were identified by the different approaches. Possible causes of data set discordance, and the problem of species delimitation in complexes with high levels of population structure and

  5. Adding more ecology into species delimitation: ecological niche models and phylogeography help define cryptic species in the black salamander (Aneides flavipunctatus).

    PubMed

    Rissler, Leslie J; Apodaca, Joseph J

    2007-12-01

    Being able to efficiently and accurately delimit species is one of the most basic and important aspects of systematics because species are the fundamental unit of analysis in biogeography, ecology, and conservation. We present a rationale and approach for combining ecological niche modeling, spatially explicit analyses of environmental data, and phylogenetics in species delimitation, and we use our methodology in an empirical example focusing on Aneides flavipunctatus, the black salamander (Caudata: Plethodontidae), in California. We assess the relationships between genetic, environmental, and geographic distance among populations. We use 11 climatic variables and point locality data from public databases to create ecological niche models. The suitability of potential contact zones between parapatric lineages is also assessed using the data from ecological niche modeling. Phylogenetic analyses of portions of the mitochondrial genome reveal morphologically cryptic mitochondrial lineages in this species. In addition, we find that patterns of genetic divergence are strongly associated with divergence in the ecological niche. Our work demonstrates the ease and utility of using spatial analyses of environmental data and phylogenetics in species delimitation, especially for groups displaying fine-scaled endemism and cryptic species. PMID:18066928

  6. Enlarged Multilocus Data set Provides Surprisingly Younger Time of Origin for the Plethodontidae, the Largest Family of Salamanders.

    PubMed

    Shen, Xing-Xing; Liang, Dan; Chen, Meng-Yun; Mao, Rong-Li; Wake, David B; Zhang, Peng

    2016-01-01

    Deep phylogenetic relationships of the largest salamander family Plethodontidae have been difficult to resolve, probably reflecting a rapid diversification early in their evolutionary history. Here, data from 50 independent nuclear markers (total 48,582 bp) are used to reconstruct the phylogeny and divergence times for plethodontid salamanders, using both concatenation and coalescence-based species tree analyses. Our results robustly resolve the position of the enigmatic eastern North American four-toed salamander (Hemidactylium) as the sister taxon of Batrachoseps + Tribe Bolitoglossini, thus settling a long-standing question. Furthermore, we statistically reject sister taxon status of Karsenia and Hydromantes, the only plethodontids to occur outside the Americas, leading us to new biogeographic hypotheses. Contrary to previous long-standing arguments that plethodontid salamanders are an old lineage originating in the Cretaceous (more than 90 Ma), our analyses lead to the hypothesis that these salamanders are much younger, arising close to the K-T boundary (~66 Ma). These time estimates are highly stable using alternative calibration schemes and dating methods. Our data simulation highlights the potential risk of making strong arguments about phylogenetic timing based on inferences from a handful of nuclear genes, a common practice. Based on the newly obtained timetree and ancestral area reconstruction results, we argue that (i) the classic "Out of Appalachia" hypothesis of plethodontid origins is problematic; (ii) the common ancestor of extant plethodontids may have originated in northwestern North America in the early Paleocene; (iii) origins of Eurasian plethodontids likely result from two separate dispersal events from western North America via Beringia in the late Eocene (~42 Ma) and the early Miocene (~23 Ma), respectively. PMID:26385618

  7. An atypical human induced pluripotent stem cell line with a complex, stable, and balanced genomic rearrangement including a large de novo 1q uniparental disomy.

    PubMed

    Steichen, Clara; Maluenda, Jérôme; Tosca, Lucie; Luce, Eléanor; Pineau, Dominique; Dianat, Noushin; Hannoun, Zara; Tachdjian, Gérard; Melki, Judith; Dubart-Kupperschmitt, Anne

    2015-03-01

    Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) hold great promise for cell therapy through their use as vital tools for regenerative and personalized medicine. However, the genomic integrity of hiPSCs still raises some concern and is one of the barriers limiting their use in clinical applications. Numerous articles have reported the occurrence of aneuploidies, copy number variations, or single point mutations in hiPSCs, and nonintegrative reprogramming strategies have been developed to minimize the impact of the reprogramming process on the hiPSC genome. Here, we report the characterization of an hiPSC line generated by daily transfections of modified messenger RNAs, displaying several genomic abnormalities. Kar